Sunday, July 31, 2011

An atheist movie

A conversation on Facebook (of which I'm having quite a few lately) I commented that a new movie with an atheist 'hero'. My comment stated that movies that are sympathetic to the atheist viewpoint are common and none too subtle. When provided with a list it was criticized that most on the list either involve things such as science fiction, fantasy, or otherwise fictitious elements that attempt to distinguish the world of the movie from "real life."

Now I could make some obvious jokes about the relationship between atheism and fantasy. Instead I was puzzled by how high the bar had been set. If the movie in my previous blog post is 'unusually' sympathetic to the atheist viewpoint what would it take to make a truly atheist movie?

I imagine an opening scene with our hero waking up to the sunrise. Our hero engages in a soliloquy about how the sun activates the pleasure centers in his brain. The woman in his bed is the wife of another man. This is good as the husband (an antiquated concept) is a Christian fundamentalist preacher. When he isn't molesting children or beating his wife he preaches about sin and hell. She wakes and realizes she must return home:

Now our hero struggles are internal. He is tempted at times to convert to Christianity. From 'Holy'wood to public television broadcasting our hero is constantly bombarded with Christianist propaganda. His workplace routinely holds morning prayer and is constantly passed over for promotion because of his "outsider" views.

But nevertheless our hero remains resolute to his commitment to nothing. He knows that the truth is that there is no source and summit of life. He is committed to rescuing those such as the woman he sleeps with to freeing them from the chains of purpose and eternal salvation. With a firm purpose he resolves to rescue the world and the only true maxim:

Nothing is true. Everything is permitted.

It is a stirring tale of struggle and finding the strength to live out one's meaningless life. A tale of courage in the face of relentless oppression of a God of Love. It closes with our hero freeing the woman he sleeps with from the oppressive regime of religion to live out the rest of their life before being buried in the cold ground to rot.

It is highly doubtful that such a script will make it past the clergy that run most major movie studios. It is a shame, because nothing stirs the inner chemical reactions of the brain like the visual effects projected on a screen about the meaninglessness of life.

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