Daniel and Chris discuss how the movie’s screenplay was written by the author of the book series, Douglas Adams, making it extremely close to the book.
We start out discussing the actual presentation of in the movie. The Guide is supposedly a repository of all knowledge, but how can it contain all knowledge if they have people tramping around the universe seeking more knowledge to put in the Guide? Also, the Guide’s definition of Earth is “mostly harmless.” Chris brings up how much more than “;mostly harmless”; we are, taking into account that Adam and Eve’s sin cursed all of creation.
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned. (Romans [5:12], NASB)
Is the Bible the repository of all knowledge? Actually, the Bible is the repository of absolute truth. It tells us to seek after wisdom, knowledge, and understanding.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. (Proverbs [9:10], NASB)
Buy truth, and do not sell it,
get wisdom and instruction and understanding. (Proverbs [23:23], NASB)
Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding. (Proverbs 4:7)
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7)
Daniel brings up the trilogy that the Guide is compared to (“more controversial than the blockbusters: Where God Went Wrong, Some More of God’s Greatest Mistakes, and Who Is This God Person Anyway?“). Chris mentions this makes her think of Richard Dawkins (author of The God Delusion). These definitely represent outright attacks against God and a mockery of faith—a theme that, unfortunately, runs throughout the movie as well as the books.
The Guide is “slightly cheaper than the Encyclopedia Galactica” and it has “Don’t panic” written on it’s cover. So it seems the most important information that people need to hear is not to panic. That makes a book trustworthy? Eve plays the panic on Earth scene while Daniel is discussing “not panicking” and skews into a discussion on the biblical metaphor of people as sheep.
All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way. (Isaiah 53:6a)
What about the people who lie down and put the paper bags over their heads when Earth is going to be destroyed? Is this a plausible reaction that points to how people (particularly atheists) see their existence as pointless or a desire to be oblivious of the future—especially toward what comes after death? It seems that walking around avoiding the question of eternity makes about as much sense as lying down and putting paper bags over your heads.
Eat, drink, and be merry
Chris talks about Ford’s buying drinks for everyone in the bar, so that they can “drink up because they’re going to die in twelve minutes.” This presents another philosophy of man, that life is fleeting so enjoy it while you can. This philosophy has some scriptural basis, but not perhaps in the manner that this movie portrays.
What gain has the worker from his toil? I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man. (Ecclesiastes 3:9-13, ESV)
This presents life and the means to take joy in living as gifts from God. We were created to enjoy the creation God created for us and to glorify God for it.
So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (Romans [14:16]–17, ESV)
Also, there is a purpose to life and a source for contentment and joy, which can make joy survive even in the midst of the worst of circumstances.
So much of what is presented in this movie has to do with doing whatever makes you happy. We discuss the idea that you can’t know what’s going on and so you’d “rather be happy than right” but yet, not being happy. Chris mentions that the reason why living for what makes you happy is never successful, because the only source of happiness is God. When you take God out of the equation, then there is really nothing worth living for.
Arthur comments that all his questions haven’t brought him an iota of happiness. Eve mentions that it’s not questions that provide happiness, but answers, which Arthur doesn’t actively seek. Daniel mentions the irony that the people who are pursuing happiness the most are those that seem the most unhappy because they are looking in the wrong places for answers to their questions. Chris mentions that they aren’t even really looking. Eve continues this by saying that so often those who want happiness look for it as an environment rather than an attitude, expecting to find the right circumstances that make them happy. But according to Scripture, joy is an attitude that is not dependent on circumstances but on the condition of your heart. We see this many times in the Psalms.
O satisfy us in the morning with Your lovingkindness, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. (Psalm [90:14], NASB)
We discuss Marvin (the depressed robot) and the Heart of Gold (the insanely cheerful ship), which then leds into a conversation of the “point-of-view gun.” The weapon used against the Vulgans—when Marvin shoots them and they all become as depressed as he is. An interesting point is that the point-of-view gun doesn’t work on women—because women are naturally empathetic enough to understand other points of view without being shot with the gun. Really? Daniel takes us back to Marvin and the ship and asks if machines can really have emotion. Machines cannot really feel emotions, they can only simulate the characteristics that people interpret as emotions.
Daniel mentions Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles and the terminator named “;Patrick Henry”; who could not understand emotions. So having the computer return a programmed response is not really an emotion. From the biblical worldview, this answers the question as to why God didn’t make us love Him—because a programmed response is not true emotion. Chris mentions that if we take an evolutionary perspective, emotions are just programmed responses resulting from a random compilation of chemicals.
Two heads are better than one?
Chris introduces the two-headed aspect of Zaphod as president of the universe. He has to split his brain into two parts in order to properly govern, because he was supposedly too smart to be the president of the universe. Government comes from God and has no purpose apart from God.
Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. (Romans 13:1, NASB)
The Infinite Improbability Drive (or Eve’s finger on the track list) presents us with the comment about the strange feeling that there is something huge and sinister going on the world is perfectly normal paranoia—everyone gets that. So any belief about things happening outside your control is paranoia? Eve mentions conspiracy theorists and agrees that a lot of that is simple paranoia, but then she reminds us that we are living in a sin-cursed world, and that there is a certain direction to the flow of things. Chris says this leads back to a purpose because it isn’t paranoia if they really are out to get you.
Earth Mark II
Eve comments about how Earth Mark II is identical, right down to the individual people that were in Mark I. And yet, the planets are created by a factory—in a form with an appearance of “;age”; (though “;maturity”; is a far better word to use, since “;age”; is the process of decay). Yet, Daniel suspects that the reason Adams does this is to subtlety say that believing that Earth was created is just as absurd as believing there is a business that makes custom planets—complete with the organisms that inhabit them. Atheists often debunk absurdities as a means of slamming Christianity with the implication that their made-up belief systems are ridiculous and so is Christianity.
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