Stories are for entertainment. Great stories entertain and challenge us.
I"ve read this author's stories before. He has a knack for taking centuries' old assumptions, and subtly making a change on a basic premise, which then leads to completely new concepts and outcomes in his stories. He will do this to a wide range of topics, from simple pop culture, to dogmatic religious beliefs.
Read the story now
The reason I particularly enjoy this trait in his style of writing is that it challenges and forces me to re-think long-held beliefs. As my mind wanders in the twilight of sleep after reading some of his books, I have found myself questioning and re-assessing some of my own beliefs.
This short story is no exception. It is entertaining to think how the end of the world is not caused by evil and malicious intent, be it atomic war or the brain eating zombies of late.
So now I'm thinking, I've always tried to do good in this world, and help others....but often leading to ignoring my own interests. In the story, doing good to an extreme is harmful; as my Grandfather always said, "anything in extreme is harmful".
It appears that finding a balance in all things is more important than the modern Western Christian ethos of always following the Golden Rule. This was nicely exemplified by the choice of a Priest as both a victim and as a savior; but only after being human and having faults.