Reasonable movies about God

Religion in TV, Movies, Books, etc.

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ThePainefulTruth
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Reasonable movies about God

Post #1

Post by ThePainefulTruth »

There are precious few movies, reasonably well made and in English anyway, which fit the category. There are many, particularly older titles, that deal with miracles, faith or revelation but that's mere hearsay. Atheism is OK as long as it isn't focused on anarchy or the like.

There are only 7 titles listed here. It isn't surprising that there are so few, and one of those is musical. As science progresses, presenting us with natural answers and evidence to questions that had previously been deemed to be the realm of religious faith, we tend to throw the baby out with the bathwater and reject God along with religion. We rush to judgement to get answers, so since God doesn't intervene, He/It must not exist. But science has yet to come up with the first bit of evidence that addresses the origin of the universe, pro- or con God. The least favorite thing for us as a species to do is to admit that we're clueless, and to have to live with doubt.

Please don't include movies that face the question and then just let it drop or fade into the background, like The Black Robe. It should offer some kind of insight.
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Inherit the Wind (1960)--The first and in many ways the most courageous, it's thinly fictional look at the Scopes Monkey Trial in 1925 brought teaching religion and suppressing science in the classroom to the forefront again. A classic with some outstanding performances.

Jesus Christ Superstar (1973)--Another classic, this first major rock opera (based on the 1971 Broadway production, which itself followed the music album in 1970). It uses an outstanding Webber-Rice score telling the story of the Passion of Jesus, based on the gospels but without the supernatural elements. The lyrics of the title song at the end ask the questions we've been asking, often in hiding, ever since.

The Devil's Advocate (1997)--It's important to remember that most of the film is a dream sequence, with the Devil being, for the protagonist, a symbol for temptation. As he declares at the end, "Vanity is definitely my favorite sin", but on introspection we realize that it's actually the justification for all sin.

Doubt (2008)--The specific problems that are a consequence of the abuse of power of an authoritarian church, lead the parochial school principle/nun to question the divine source of that authority. Those questions, given her commitment to that divine authority, lead to her soul crushing doubt.

Creation (2009)--Well made but little known independent film about the events surrounding Darwin's publication of On the Origin of the Species. He struggles with it due to his wife, Emma, being very religious and insists that she agree to its publication (profound historical speculation?). The death of their sweet, favorite daughter, due possibly to their being close cousins, points to natural selection, while there's no explanation for God's non-intervention on her behalf.

The Tree of Life (2011)-- The opening quote sets the stage, "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the Earth, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? Job 38:4,7". In other words, it isn't your concern, which is the only answer any revealed religion can give to man's continual question, echoed by Job, Why?

Her (2013)--The latest and my first ever all time favorite film, fits the topic due to how it skirts the subject of God. It's a science fiction movie that offers a possible scientific basis for a Hereafter. But since there is no reasonable evidence for God, it doesn't associate any such possible afterlife with God one way or the other or even bring up the subject. In fact, the subject is couched in artistic code. Some who've seen it are probably wondering what I'm talking about--but it is there. It almost always takes a second viewing. Ref: the line, "the space between the words".

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Post #21

Post by Pazuzu bin Hanbi »

^ If you consider the truth sad, that is your call. Do you also consider it sad that Santa doesn't really exist?
لا إلـــــــــــــــــــــــــــه

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Post #22

Post by ThePainefulTruth »

Pazuzu bin Hanbi wrote: ^ If you consider the truth sad, that is your call. Do you also consider it sad that Santa doesn't really exist?
Well, it really gets tiresome, people claiming they have certain knowledge that the universe sprang into existence spontaneously; since the only alternatives are Santa or pink unicorns. Your "revelation" is exactly the same and based on the same blind faith as those of the most intransigent fundamentalists.

You say you want evidence. What do you do until you have some?
Truth=God

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Post #23

Post by bluethread »

A good one that I should have thought of before is Fiddler on the Roof. It is more about the conflict between tradition and romanticism, but Tevye clearly sees Adonai as a constant companion.

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Post #24

Post by ThePainefulTruth »

bluethread wrote: A good one that I should have thought of before is Fiddler on the Roof. It is more about the conflict between tradition and romanticism, but Tevye clearly sees Adonai as a constant companion.
Don't get me wrong, that's one of my all time favorites, 10/10. But Tevye's conversations with God, while being obviously one way, he also expects God to hear him and hopefully intervene with a "small fortune" or whatever. Ergo, it doesn't really qualify as reasonable. It would've been different if it'd been presented as a fantasy or something, but faith, particularly then and there, was part of being a Jew which is what the movie is really about--that and the outstanding music it's set to.

On the side, I 'd like to say I probably have the most respect for Judaism, even though the religion is still revealed, they maintain at least one foot on the ground, instead of head and all floating up into the clouds.... "Meanwhile, let's start packing".
Truth=God

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Post #25

Post by Goat »

ThePainefulTruth wrote:
AllAboutLove wrote: [Replying to ThePainefulTruth]

He has a very bad potty mouth but I always liked George Carlin too! I watched an HBO comedy concert that he gave and he ended the show with a routine about "There Is No God." He said he wrote it just a short while after his wife died. I always thought that was sad. :(
Yes, and i don't say this to be judgemental, as I've said elsewhere I think atheism and deism are the only two reasonable positions on God, but I think atheism is ultimately very depressingly sad--in this life anyway.
And, I , being an atheist, disagree 100%. I think this life is fantastic, wonderful, and joyful. And, well, when someone dies, they die. For a word to have meaning, there must be silence, both before and after.
“What do you think science is? There is nothing magical about science. It is simply a systematic way for carefully and thoroughly observing nature and using consistent logic to evaluate results. So which part of that exactly do you disagree with? Do you disagree with being thorough? Using careful observation? Being systematic? Or using consistent logic?�

Steven Novella

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Post #26

Post by ThePainefulTruth »

Goat wrote:
ThePainefulTruth wrote:
AllAboutLove wrote: [Replying to ThePainefulTruth]

He has a very bad potty mouth but I always liked George Carlin too! I watched an HBO comedy concert that he gave and he ended the show with a routine about "There Is No God." He said he wrote it just a short while after his wife died. I always thought that was sad. :(
Yes, and i don't say this to be judgemental, as I've said elsewhere I think atheism and deism are the only two reasonable positions on God, but I think atheism is ultimately very depressingly sad--in this life anyway.
And, I , being an atheist, disagree 100%. I think this life is fantastic, wonderful, and joyful. And, well, when someone dies, they die. For a word to have meaning, there must be silence, both before and after.
Did I say anything about atheists don't enjoy this life. I'm enjoying the hell out of it even though I know sooner or later me and everyone I know will be facing the great unknown--which is some ways is worse than "knowing". Hope is the difference. I think a lot of atheists refuse to invest in hope for fear of being disappointed (again?), and a lot of you are very angry, punishing your former religion by going as far as possible in the other direction, but don't actually care that much about atheism per se.

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Post #27

Post by Pazuzu bin Hanbi »

ThePainefulTruth wrote:a lot of you are very angry, punishing your former religion by going as far as possible in the other direction

Image

In other words, completely incorrect, though this is a 'hope' that the religious maintain in order to make themselves feel better when faced with a rational person that rejects god without emotion.
لا إلـــــــــــــــــــــــــــه

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Post #28

Post by ThePainefulTruth »

[Replying to post 27 by Pazuzu bin Hanbi]

1) I'm not religious.
2) I've long stated the two most rational positions on God are atheism and deism.
3) I reject all "revealed" gods.
4) Since there's no evidence for or against God (no evidence to indicate how the universe came to be), then any claim to likelihood, much less certainty, either way is irrational.

And please don't start with the Philosophy 101 indoctrination to Liberal Religion, strawmen they always drag out. >>>IF<<< the universe was created by a supernatural intellect, you can call it a pink unicorn if you want, but it would still be God.

Truth is God, even if there is no supernatural intellect, and even if there were no objective Truth--which there is; and even if there were no subjective Truth--which there is.

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Post #29

Post by Pazuzu bin Hanbi »

And what does any of that have to do with my response to your claim about people being 'angry' at their erstwhile religions?
لا إلـــــــــــــــــــــــــــه

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Post #30

Post by ThePainefulTruth »

Pazuzu bin Hanbi wrote: And what does any of that have to do with my response to your claim about people being 'angry' at their erstwhile religions?
Atheists being angry at their former religions.

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