Wednesday, March 18, 2009

"Never compromise, even in the face of Armegeddon."

Ok so I have a sin to confess to everyone... my wife and I went to see the movie Watchmen. If you have not seen it already, I would recommend that you forgo this movie due to some very unnecessary sexually explicit scenes and over the top gore. However, I wish that I could in good conscience tell every Christian to go see it, because I cannot imagine a better demonstration of the futility of a naturalistic worldview. The movie basically revolves around a group of Batman type second generation (except for the Comedian) masked heroes. The story is mainly carried by a mystery over who killed the Comedian close to the beginning of the movie. It is also important to specifically mention that one of the heroes, due to an accident with a physics experiment, actually has powers e.g. manipulating matter any way he wants, teleportation, perfect knowledge of his past and future, and he can duplicate himself. This character's name is Dr. Manhattan. To really give a good summary of the movie would take far too long due to complicated sub plots and the heavy handed philosophy that is interwoven throughout the movie. Therefore I am going to go ahead and jump into the futility of the movies naturalistic worldview.

Rorschach, the character I quoted in the title, was my favorite character because his uncompromising nature appeals to me. Here is the deal though, Rorschach is constantly denouncing the sins of the city. Rorschach's Journal:
"Dog carcass in alley this morning, tire tread on burst stomach. This city is afraid of me. I have seen its true face.
The streets are extended gutters and the gutters are full of blood and when the drains finally scab over, all the vermin will drown.
The accumulated filth of all their sex and murder will foam up about their waists and all the whores and politicians will look up and shout "Save Us!"...:
...and I'll look down, and whisper, "No"...."
Can anyone else spot the problem here? What possible grounds in a naturalistic worldview could Rorschach have for reviling the city for its evil? a collection of atoms albeit a complex sentient collection of atoms cannot pass moral judgement on another set of complex sentient atoms unless there is something that transcends those different sets of atoms. I am even granting that somehow it is meaningful to say that things that are only physical can somehow have a conceptual (as opposed to spatial etc) relationship with each other. Moving on.

Dr. Manhattan, the one with actual powers, decides to leave earth for mars at one point. He leaves because he feels bad when he is told he is unintentionally giving people cancer (again what basis would you have for feeling bad about that in a naturalistic worldview) and because he is tired of humans entangling him in their lives. His girlfriend also breaks up with him. During his visit on mars he transports Silk Spectre II (his ex girlfriend) to mars and takes her on a tour of mars demonstrating that the existence of life is overrated. However, at the end of silk spectre's visit he says that he was wrong and that human life is a miracle. Why? because thousands of sperm had to compete for the egg that eventually ended up being her "...only you...." and that it was "like turning air into gold." Am I the only one who thinks that is the flimsiest reason on earth to consider life a miracle? How does Dr. Manhattan differentiate between the physical processes of the sperm and the physical processes of erosion and geological activity on mars that he so eloquently talked about. Why does he value one set of physical processes over another?

Dr. Manhattan at one point gets atomically scattered (for lack of a better description) by another hero who is trying to kill him. Of course Dr. Manhattan reappears and says "reassembling myself was the first trick that I learned." I am sorry, I thought he was only physical matter, albeit cool shiny blue matter, and if that matter is scattered how is there a "self" that reassembles it. If you equal only matter, and that matter is scattered, there is no longer any you.

I really could go on e.g. the horrible demonstration of consequentialism at the end when hero Ozymandias vaporizes millions of people to achieve world peace. In a naturalistic worldview by what objective standard is peace good? maybe I like peace and you like peace but joe shmoe hates peace why should our view rule over his. Any reason you give that is subjective fails because the different "subjects" can change and contradict and there is nothing to rule over them. If you give an objective reason then you must appeal to something that transcends nature. There I go again. Seriously I am going to stop now for the sake of anyone who is still trying to read this blog to the end. If anyone wants to defend a naturalistic worldview I invite you to leave a comment.

I will say one good thing about the movie. It can give the Christian a picture of what the world might be like if God were to remove his hand of restraint on evil.

Until next time I leave you with this happy note from the naturalistic worldview of Dr. Manhattan "A live body and a dead body contain the same number of particles. Structurally, there's no discernible difference. Life and death are unquantifiable abstracts. Why should I be concerned?"

No comments: