Appetite for Violence: Good and Evil Live Within Us All

Appetite for Violence: Good and Evil Live Within Us All April 4, 2017

Secular humanism is a worldview of violence and destructions according to some Christians. Not "fallen" for it.

My mom and I are grade A certified geeks. While we would’ve probably would’ve enjoyed Beauty and the Beast, which Keith’s sister took their mom to, we opted instead for another kind of beast entirely…Logan.

We knew the movie would be violent. Wolverine doesn’t use those adamantium claws as back scratchers. But the noir, Westernish Logan lived up to its excellent reviews.

Still, my mom and I don’t go to violent movies because of their bloodshed, but despite it. Whenever Wolverine drove his spiked fist through the skulls of a villain — this is no spoiler if you’ve ever seen an X-Men film — I winced.

Every time.

But that was not the reaction of the man sitting next to me. Whenever someone was dispatched in a

You can enjoy Wolverine without reveling in his violence.
Photo credit: By Eva Rinaldi – Wolverine, CC BY-SA 2.0.

particularly gruesome or graphic way, he would chuckle, “Hoo hooooo!”

He was not particularly loud or obnoxious, but I found his responses more disturbing than the carnage he found so amusing.

Now, it’s important to note that we’re talking about a mutant with self-healing powers and a virtually indestructible, adamantium-reinforced skeleton. This is not realistic violence here.

Hell, even adamantium isn’t real.

Nonetheless, the only time I’ve ever laughed at graphic violence was when it was supposed to be funny. I’m thinking particularly of the two Kill Bill films. In those movies, Quentin Tarantino went so enormously over the top with his gore that it was intentionally funny.

If you never thought you could laugh at decapitation…well, it’s hard to resist when chopped off heads spurt fire hydrants of blood. And then there’s the super-soaker dismemberment…

You’ll have to trust me on the hilarity if you haven’t seen the flicks.

While those films, like Logan, were rated R, our movie rating system tends to object to graphic sex far more than violence. The hilarious Team America: World Police, by the guys behind South Park, had to edit their puppet sex scene in order to secure an R rating.

Yes. Puppet sex. If my references to Kill Bill didn’t put you off about my taste, this should seal the deal. Seriously, though the movie is sometimes unbearably sophomoric — I did mention South Park — it elicits far more guffaws than groans. Check it out.

But the point is, sex acts between two 60s-type marionettes are more likely to invoke the ire of the movie rating board than graphic violence, despite that fact that puppet sex is not exactly a pressing societal problem.

Nor is sex between consenting adults (even ones without adamantium skeletons.)

A Humanist Taste for Violence!? Not Fallen for It

Despite what the Religious Right often claims, pornography or other depictions of sex outside of what they would term “holy matrimony” don’t turn people into rapists or sex maniacs. While looking up instances of movie-inspired violence, I came across this Christian take on the ultimate cause of such mayhem.

Secular humanism is a worldview of destruction. Those who hate God, love death. The massacre in Aurora is just another demonstration of the truth of the depravity of man, the danger of glamourizing violence in the entertainment industry, violent video games, superficial materialism and self-centred existentialism.

Secular humanism is a worldview of destruction!?? I do not think that term means what you think it means. PS: secular humanists (or atheists) don’t hate God.

Do you hate the Easter Bunny?

James Holmes, the perpetrator of the Aurora theater massacre, may or may not have been inspired by the Joker, but Batman most certainly didn’t turn him batty. And neither did the Fall of Man.

Depictions of violence don’t cause violence, but they can lend inspiration to the way it manifests for the violent and disturbed. The guy sitting next to me didn’t appear to be any of these things. So why did he disturb me so much?

Biblical literalists believe that humans are inherently debased because a talking snake tricked the first man and woman to eat an obviously metaphorical fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Opening a Jack-in-the-box of evil was already taken.

But good and evil has always existed within humanity. The hunger for destruction and the impulse to care for our fellow complex human beings — the actual worldview of secular humanists — is within all of us. Even if we don’t like to admit it.

That same guy who laughed at the hideous deaths on screen moved over a seat to give me some extra room.


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