Rekindle Reason, the atheist group at the University of Pennsylvania, recently handed out chocolate chip cookies to fellow students.
In return, they just wanted their souls.
Or their pets’ souls. Visiting parents could hand over their childrens’ souls. It didn’t matter. Any old soul would do.
With a table and whiteboard on the Walk, group members claimed 13 souls in half an hour. Individuals “sold” their souls by signing a contract on a small piece of paper. In three hours, the group owned 79 souls.
Second-year computer science graduate student Christopher Imbriano tempted families visiting for Penn Preview Days: “Sell your child’s soul! These cookies are delicious, I had one!”
Rekindle Reason co-founder and College freshman Emmett Wynn said, “The point of making a Faustian bargain for a cookie is that most people have never really thought about whether they have a soul. We’re trying to get people to think.”
David Gregson, first-year graduate computer science student, said, “If there is a soul, we should be feeling different right now. But all I’m feeling is that delicious cookie.”
“Up until now, souls had zero nominal value,” second-year computer science graduate student Sunny Gupta said. Then he chomped on his cookie.
At least now we know how much one is worth.
On their Facebook page, group leader Seth Koren mentioned one of the not-so-positive responses they received:
After hearing me say, “Sell your soul for a cookie?” a young boy who was touring with his family started to come over before his mother pulled him back in line.
You would hope some of this had an effect, that some students actually questioned what a soul is, realized no one actually has one, came to their senses. That’s a lot to ask for from a cookie, but you have to start somewhere, and this is a fairly non-confrontational way to do it.