Dystopian films have been increasingly on the rise I’ve noticed. These films displaying all their fancy advanced technology and depressing future show how citizens live in abject oppression by brutal government cronies who were supposed to be put in place for the collective good, and the opposing resistance banding together to overthrow the unjust system. Just look at the list of a few films released in the last 30 years:
Blade Runner (1982)
Minority Report (2002)
I Robot (2004)
V for Vendetta (2005)
Hunger Games series
The Colony (show)
Children of Men (2006)
In Time (2011)
The Giver (2014)
Maze Runner (2014)
The Purge series
Although not a complete list of films, they have managed to capture our minds with their depiction of what life could be like.
Also, they are highly speculative about the future. They’re not making definitive claims about what life will be like, but instead giving us a glimpse of what life could be like. It’s not a surprise that cinema is a big piece of the American lifestyle. Cinema and plays have been here with America since the beginning and have shifted as the culture changed.
For instance, Birth of a Nation (1915) came out when the KKK was an immensely large hate group. Also, Midnight Cowboy (1969) won the best picture at the Oscars during the Sexual Revolution of the 60s. Straight out of Compton (2015) was seen as an inspiring movie for the rise of police brutality amongst Black men.
Currently, our culture for many decades has been fixated on science and the future. The underlying message of these movies is that science and human ingenuity alone can create the conditions for a perfect society where no hate and social problems exist. “The old world had too many conflicting things such as religion or social class, so let us make science our guide for a better and more perfect standard for truth and justice” is the philosophy of these films.
In fact, scientism is the pervasive view in all areas of our life. It permeates in our schools, college system, medicine, laws, etc. It rests on the idea that science is the most proven and reliable standard source of truth. Scientism has grown because our culture has become increasingly more advanced. And that’s not a bad thing either! The philosophical separation of science and religion has caused scientism to triumph.
To naturalist and materialist, the idea of the supernatural having influence or influenced our world is folly. Genuinely neglecting God doesn’t lead to a better society, but can create disorder. Science in isolation of the Creator isn’t possible.
In fact, The Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 159 beautifully states the following:
“Consequently, methodical research in all branches of knowledge, provided it is carried out in a truly scientific manner and does not override moral laws, can never conflict with the faith, because the things of the world and the things of faith derive from the same God. The humble and persevering investigator of the secrets of nature is being led, as it were, by the hand of God in spite of himself, for it is God, the conserver of all things, who made them what they are.”
At the heart of substituting God is pride, “we can do it better than some imaginary All-Powerful person.” The human brain and its creativity have become our God. Its the source of us Worshipping the Creature vs. The Creator. Similarly, the Tower of Babel (Gen 11:1-9) experienced the same fate. Human progress and pride at the isolation of God caused confusion amongst its builders.
We can confront scientism. If our society is leading toward a Dystopian path, which I’ve heard many people claim we are, then we can change it!
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