I’m currently watching a popular movie called “Village of the Damned”. I’m amazed at how much the scientists are demonized and the theists are held up on a pedestal. It is thigns like this movie that truly impede us.
Can you list other movies that include that theme?
Fantastic Voyage - as Pauline Kael wrote, you know which scientist is the villain as soon as you hear him spouting atheism.
Every single Frankenstein movie, except for the possible exception of “Young Frankenstein”.
Most of Ed Wood’s movies.
The Island of Dr. Moreau. I never read the book, but I suspect the most recent film version (Brando/Kilmer) is trying to deliver a message about genetic research. From what I understand, the book was more on the order of Jeckyll/Hyde good/evil. The movie started out like it was going to be really good, but decayed into a cross between Dawn of the Dead and Omega Man. Twelve Monkeys had a lot of Omega Man in it, too. All good scientists-fuck-everything-up movies.
Omega Man also had a pretty open slant against religion, if you remember Anthony Zerbe (one of the best character actors ever) as Matthias. That was probably rather novel for back in the day.
Almost every work of fiction, especially genre fare, presents atheist/skeptics in a negative light. If you think about it, it serves a particular function in most fictive works. First we establish “the Other” has come, the bad thing that we are to fear. The atheist/skeptic comes forth to declare that there are no such things as ghost-vampires-zombies-UFO‘s-slashers-pod people, etc, etc. This first echoes our own doubts about such things, and provides a pause in the proceedings where the Other can work his mischief, whilst the people waste their time living their lives, oblivious to the danger that awaits them.
That they are ultimately proven wrong brings a sense of happiness to the audience, as that they are already aware that the Other is present (for if it wasn’t, what would be the point of the story to begin with?) the audience loves to see the smug smart guy die, as they usually do at this point of the story, just as he comes to grip with the Thing that he could not believe in.
Think about it. Wouldn’t the movies be boring if they were right? “The person was killed by a vampire!”, “Non sense! Vampires don’t exist.”, “Oh, right. Oh wait, there’s the killer over there, and he was killed with only one bullet. Imagine that.” The End.
Frankly, I think it would be shorter if we just listed those movies/TV shows that showed atheist/skeptics in a positive light, or at least those shows that let them be right, which would basically be “House” and “Scooby Doo.”
Any of the distopian movies or novels, except for Ayn Rand’s “Anthem”, should be considered anti-science. All of the twisted, bizarre societies in these stories are always supposedly built on the foundation of science.
George Lucas’s “THX 1138”, Orwell’s “1984”, “Running Man”, all portray highly technological, opressive societies. Ayn Rand’s “Anthem” is the exception because she believed that if the individual is supressed, science cannot progress, and technology cannot be maintained. Her dystopian society, in which even the word “I” is heresy punishable by death, took fifty years simply to adopt the candle over torches.