By James Blish
Father Ramon Ruiz-Sanchez S.J., is part of a 4 guy medical fee to the planet Lithia, there to review a harmonious society of extraterrestrial beings dwelling on a planets that's a biologist's paradise. He quickly reveals himself bothered: how can those ideal beings, dwelling in an obvious Eden, haven't any notion of sin or God? If this sort of sinless Eden has been created except God, then who's liable?
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Extra resources for Case of Conscience (Sf Masterworks 30)
J. At the sound of his name the dream collapsed, and he realized that the room had grown a little lighter. Dawn-or the dripping, wool-gray travesty of it which prevailed on Lithia-was on its way. He wondered what he had just said to the court. It had been conclusive, damning, good enough to be used when he awoke; but he could not remember a word of it. ) AGRONSKI: It's getting light. I suppose we'd better knock off. MICHELIS: Did you stake down the 'copter? The winds down here are higher than they are up north, I seem to remember.
But it was vital that they had qualms of conscience—if they did. The calendar caught his eye. It was an "art" calendar Cleaver had produced from his luggage back in the beginning; the girl on it was now unintentionally modest beneath large patches of brilliant orange mold. The date was April 19, 2049. Almost Easter—the most pointed of reminders that to the inner life, the body was only a garment. To Ruiz-Sanchez personally, however, the year date was almost equally significant, for 2050 was to be a Holy Year.
I've seen nothing to convince me that there's anything on Lithia that's dangerous to us. Except maybe Cleaver in there, and I'm not prepared to say that the Father would have left him if he were in any serious danger. And I don't see how Earthmen could harm this society; it's too stable emotionally, economically, in every other way. (Danger, danger, said somebody in Cleaver's dream. It will explode. It's all a popish plot. ) AGRONSKI: Why do you suppose those two jokers never called us after we went north?