Cinemaligion: Contact

Posted by BulletProofPoet on May 30, 2010 in BulletProofPoet's Musings |

Thirteen years ago, there was a big-budget summer blockbuster that did something rare: it entertained people AND made them think about important philosophical issues. Its repercussions continue to be felt today. That movie, of course, was Beverly Hills Ninja. No, I kid, it was Contact, starring Jodie Foster and Matthew McConaughey. This was 1997, when Jodie Foster still made movies regularly, and when the novelty of Matthew McConaughey hadn’t worn off yet. Robert Zemeckis, who had just won an Oscar for directing Forrest Gump — THAT IS A THING THAT REALLY HAPPENED — was next hired to direct this story, based on a novel by Carl Sagan. Sagan, who died eight months before the film was released, was next to Isaac Asimov and Stephen Hawking in the category of Super-Smart Guys Who Look at the Stars and Know Everything About Them. The stereotype would be that he was therefore an atheist, but Sagan always insisted he was agnostic. “An atheist has to know a lot more than I know,” he said. “An atheist is someone who knows there is no god. By some definitions atheism is very stupid.”

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I just marvel at my atheist friends who are atheists, just because. They put no more research or thought into the subject at hand other than what they were force fed by college professors, peers and so-called “authoritative” figures. Basically taking the word of others, they are either too lazy or too ignorant to invest the time necessary to confirm or deny for themselves.

I’ve spent dozens of hours debating this topic. It is shocking to find how little they actually know, yet are so convinced they are correct. Based on….nothing really. Same goes for “believers”. I’ve had one too many friends try to “save” me, yet, I am usually more familiar with their Bible better than they are!

I tell my atheist and believing friends the same thing: “Don’t tell me you’re an atheist. I don’t care because more than likely you don’t know why you are.” “Don’t tell me you’re a believer because again, most likely you don’t know why you are.”

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