In the entertainment section of MSNBC.com an article asks whether the character of Batman should die in Christopher Nolan’s third Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises.
While such a move is nothing new for story tellers, the author’s motivations reveal the philosophical background of the post-Christian society that America is becoming. The author argues:
For a hyper-affluent, handsome, righteous hero like Batman to die would be a blow to the good-triumphs-over-evil trope that is so thoroughly ingrained in Western cultural and religious traditions. The good figure — the Christ figure — must always rise after being beaten down; yet, as anyone struck by tragedy knows, this is not always the case in real life.
The West has been influenced by the idea of good and evil and of good overcoming evil since before Christianity, but Christianity has held sway in Western culture for the past two millennia. Christ, the perfect Messiah sent by God, conquers the ultimate symbol of evil, Satan, through a heroic act of sacrifice thereby setting mankind free from bondage to evil.
This belief assumes there is evil and good powerful enough to conquer it and assumes that direct and violent confrontation — war — is necessary to win the day. Religion, especially Christianity, has been the voice of the West declaring what is good, God, what is evil, sin, and what is needed for man to resist sin. This includes spiritual warfare through organized religion and sometimes material warfare through armies and weaponry.
Under evolutionary narrative, there is no conflict between good and evil. It is not that scientific knowledge has brought an end to the conflict, but rather revealed that there never was a conflict. Mankind was peacefully evolving until he discovered belief in gods and good and evil. This belief in God, in good and evil, and the need to defeat what is evil through organized religion became the cause of war. The solution to war and for world peace is to undermine if not eliminate belief in God, belief in good and evil, and belief in war.
The same can be seen in the Pixar film, How to Train Your Dragon. The head Viking Stoic the Vast, who openly displays his faith in deities like Odin and Thor, considers himself good and right fighting against the dragons who he considers evil, calling them “devils.” Hiccup, who displays his atheism with the statement, “The gods hate me,” rejects the war against the dragons and relying on his scientific knowledge makes peace with the dragons, declaring that he is not a Viking. It is Hiccup’s scientific knowledge and not Stoic’s war that becomes the ultimate vehicle of peace for the Vikings.
A secular society is not a friend of organized religion and views belief and faith in a very negative light. For a man under evolution, belief in God and in good and evil, are paths to violence and war, to the death of innocent men, women and children. Only a lack of belief and faith will bring about life and prosperity.
This is the philosophy that is working to replace Christianity in the West.