I have just put this in my Netflix Que to review, but it is not a new film. However, the concept is interesting enough I thought I would mention it in my daily post. The movie is called Time Changers and was produced in 2002 by Five & Two Pictures. One of the reviewers on Amazon.com summed up the premise nicely: “…ethics don’t count unless they’re backed by the force of Christ.” So basically the storyline follows a Biblical professor named Russel Carlisle who proposes that morals can be dependent of Christianity and wants to publish his ideas with the support of his colleagues, only one of them protests. This would be Love Boat’s own Gavin Macleod playing Dr. Anderson. Dr. Anderson apparently has a time machine and sends Professor Carlisle into the future to find out how his writings have affected the future.
Obviously inspired by H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine, Rich Christiano, whose name is on the film, may believe the future–which is now–is a decaying society without Christ. This is the general agreement amongst evangelical Christians. Secular humanism is just not a good thing I guess.
Yes, it’s the old argument if you don’t believe in God, why would you be moral? I wonder if we could take a census of how many criminals in jail believe in God and how many are atheists? I’m betting the odds are in favor of atheists being in the minority. Morality has to do with reason and there’s no better proof than the Bible itself. Christians pick and choose the laws to follow in the Bible because in a secular society we don’t stone the homosexuals or treat women like they’re cursed when they have their periods. There is no easy to read morals list in that ancient text, it is spread out and unclear which is why we have a ton of Biblical commentaries and theological debates. We dig lessons out of the Bible that make sense and avoid the ones that don’t as many of the lauded heroes of the Bible, chosen by God, are poor moral advisers and even the things God himself did were horrendous–genocide being the major offense. Morality is secular and evolves to keep up with society–it is still evolving because we continue to debate it.
The easiest experiment to do in regards to morality without God is to take a poll amongst atheists and see how many are ax-murderers or rapists. You think I’m kidding, but that’s how stupid this argument is. Without God, we’re supposed to go willy-nilly off into unfettered sex and violence with no care for anyone else. And yet it doesn’t happen this way. It honestly scares me that the only thing keeping Christians from gang raping me is that they believe in God. I would hope they would have enough commonsense that if they lost their faith they wouldn’t feel compelled to do something that horrible.
And if God is required for morality, why do so many public believers get in trouble? If there was a consistency, maybe I could agree to this idea. In other words, if anyone who believed in God never committed a crime or even a moral trespass, then we have some proof. But there seems to be no real difference between believers and nonbelievers when it comes to morality, which is why Christ died on the cross because everyone sins. So what is the point? God has no effect on moral behavior if he felt it necessary to save everyone from their sins, otherwise those who believe in God wouldn’t sin. If we’re saying that everyone still sins despite believing in God, then how is belief in God essential for morality?
I did a comic page parody of this issue a couple of years back, take a look. It pretty much illustrates all I’m saying here. It’s time we call Christians on this belief because they love to repeat it. Secular Humanists know better. Morality is much more complicated than “God says so.”
I will not say that religious institutions have not taught moral precepts, though again, they can be accused of teaching bigotry and sexism too, not to mention murdering unbelievers and those deemed to be witches. I will not say that there could be moral precepts drawn out of the Bible such as “Thou Shalt Not Kill” which is very vague (can I kill someone if they’re trying to kill me?). All I’m saying is that you can be moral without a god and that you can absolutely be immoral with a god. The Catholic priest scandal is recent evidence of that.
Morality is a work in progress as life does get better–we may look back at this time period much like we look back at the 18th century now and think, “What a bunch of ill-informed barbarians.”
I’m looking forward to watching this film. It even has Paul Rodriguez in it, the latin comedian. I’m surprised if Christians were planning to do a time machine movie that they wouldn’t go back 6,000 years and prove evolutionary theory wrong. Probably a budget issue.