Atheists demonized in movies

2 Dec

You know what I’m sick and tired of? Atheists and skeptics being demonized in movies. atheists and skeptics are always portrayed as the bad guys. By the end of the movie they either are defeated by the righteous believer character, or realize the error of their ways and convert.

Take this clip from the movie Breach:

No, the USSR did not fall because of atheism. It fell because of a number of reasons, namely bad economics and poor organization.

Skeptics are always the first to go in horror movies. This I can sort of understand, but it doesn’t make me any happier. For one, in the movie, the beast (or whatever it is) IS real, not like in real life where it is not and the skeptic is right. (It is just a movie after all) In real life the skeptic would not be freaking out and screaming, they would try and find the actual natural reason for whatever the problem is, but this does not make for scary horror movies and so he has to go. This is pretty much universal in horror movies, but one I can remember doing this was the Lady in water.

Take this clip from I am Legend, here Will Smith’s character explains the reason he believes there is no god, namely the sudden and horrible death of billions and billions of people (nice god eh?):

Unfortunately, at the end of the movie Will Smith’s character “sees the light” because of some stupid coincidence with a butterfly tattoo and repents. (This still doesn’t change the fact that billions of people are dead

The movie Sohpie Scholl: The final days, a film about a woman of that name who was beheaded by the Nazi’s for distributing anti-war pamphlets. There is a seen where Sophie is being interrogated by a Nazi officer and she makes some comment about how what she is doing is write because of god or something. The Nazi officer bursts out angrily that there is no god. Way to go.

The film (which I love) claims to be based off of unpublished interrogation transcripts. If that out burst from the interrogate actually happened, then I’m not going to argue with it. There are good atheists and bad atheists, just like there are good theists and bad theists, but the Nazi’s were not atheists as a whole, they persecuted atheists along with everyone else, and firmly believed they were doing god’s work by killing the Jews, just like Christians had done for centuries prior, just not on this scale. (Kinder, Kirche, Kueche anyone?)

Hell, you even find Atheists being attacked in Star Wars!

While I’m on the sci-fi leg, Battle Star Galactica (the remake series) did the exact same thing with Gaius Baltar! He started out as my favorite character, this extremely smart atheist scientist, he even had this whole monologue with 6 about how there was no god, but then as the series progresses, he converts and becomes a religious zealot, and a major scumbag responsible for the near extinction of humanity.

Just this whole theme of “unbeliever repenting by the end of the movie” infuriates me. I’d like to see a movie where the believers repent at the end of the movie and realize that there is no god, and that being a skeptic is perfectly fine.

4 Responses to “Atheists demonized in movies”

  1. makarios December 2, 2009 at 4:36 pm #

    that being a skeptic is perfectly fine

    Except that it isn’t 😦

  2. godlesspaladin December 3, 2009 at 12:00 pm #

    and why isn’t it?

  3. CJ December 10, 2009 at 4:09 am #

    *goes over with magnifying glass*

    Yea, I do that.

    Now.. Nazi’s couldn’t believe in God because then each time they tortured someone to death there would be this little voice telling them about hell and how soon they’re going to get there.
    I’m using the Christian God here as it’s generally the one referred to btw.

    In Star Wars, the dude that got choked had basically told the most powerful person in existence that he was faking it. Vader could be a psion using DnD rules, but an extremely bad tempered psion. And to be told by some random that he had nothing.. Course he was going to react badly. That’s not an anti atheist sentiment, that’s just sheer pettiness.

    In a horror movie, it’s guaranteed that the skeptics the first to go. If someone says “don’t open the door or we’ll all die”, the skeptic laughs, says “pfft, you’re scared of nothing” and opens the door to prove her/him-self right.. Well, what do you expect is going to happen? Lollipops and fairies dance around? It’s a horror movie. =P

    Tip. If you look for an insult, you’ll find it.

  4. J December 14, 2009 at 4:44 pm #

    Another good example of atheism being “debunked” or otherwise marginalized in a movie can be found in the film ‘The Soloist’. There is a part when Robert Downey Jr.’s character encounters an atheist on the street and makes a rather outrageous proposition that atheists simply believe in nothing. This is one of the worst myths about atheism. If we’re not being lumped into the “Satan” category, its nihilism that our ideology is being confused with. That part alone put a damper on what turned out to be a pretty decent movie I think.

    And to CJ, in a retort to your last remark directed to GP: If you look for a “god” in a world that perpetuates and worships baseless ignorance like flies buzzing around a mountain of shit, then you will find it.

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