“Woody Wednesday” Discussing Woody Allen’s movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” and various other subjects with Ark Times Bloggers (Part 1) “Does might make right?”

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 1

Uploaded by on Sep 23, 2007

Part 1 of 3: ‘What Does Judah Believe?’
A discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie, perhaps his finest.
By Anton Scamvougeras.

http://camdiscussion.blogspot.com/
antons@mail.ubc.ca

________________________

I have gone back and forth and back and forth with many liberals on the Arkansas Times Blog on many issues such as abortionhuman rightswelfarepovertygun control  and issues dealing with popular culture . This time around I have discussed morality with the Ark Times Bloggers and have used the examples given in Woody Allen’s movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” to do so. With out God in the picture to punish the evildoers  in an afterlife, then can people do anything they want because “might makes right.”

Without the infinite-personal God of the Bible to reveal moral absolutes then man is left to embrace moral relativism. In a time plus chance universe man is reduced to a machine and can not find a place for values such as love. Both of Francis Schaeffer’s film series have tackled these subjects and he shows how this is reflected in the arts.

Here are some posts I have done on the series “HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? : Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices” episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence”episode 8 “The Age of Fragmentation”episode 7 “The Age of Non-Reason” episode 6 “The Scientific Age”  episode 5 “The Revolutionary Age” episode 4 “The Reformation” episode 3 “The Renaissance”episode 2 “The Middle Ages,”, and  episode 1 “The Roman Age,” .

In the film series “WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?” the arguments are presented  against abortion (Episode 1),  infanticide (Episode 2),   euthenasia (Episode 3), and then there is a discussion of the Christian versus Humanist worldview concerning the issue of “the basis for human dignity” in Episode 4 and then in the last episode a close look at the truth claims of the Bible.

In July of 2013 I got into this discussion about morality and the meaning of life with the Arkansas Times Bloggers:

I asserted:

The debate on youtube of atheists and theists concerning the meaning of life included Richard Dawkins and William Lane Craig. Dawkins says that trying to find a lasting meaning to life is “silly.” Without God in the picture I would have to agree with him there. That was the view of King Solomon when he wrote the Book of Ecclesiastes 3000 years ago and it is the view of many of the modern philosophers today. Modern man has tried to come up with a lasting meaning for life without God in the picture (life under the sun), but it is not possible. Without the infinite-personal God of the Bible to reveal moral absolutes then man is left to embrace moral relativism. In a time plus chance universe man is reduced to a machine and can not find a place for values such as love. Both of Francis Schaeffer’s film series have tackled these subjects and he shows how this is reflected in the arts.

https://thedailyhatch.org/2013/07/06/taking…

It is a long session but you go to these points in the discussion for in my the best parts of the debate.

Richard Dawkins TIMES:
7:20
32:15
1:03:05
1:19:33
1:39:33

William Lane Craig TIMES:
13:39
46:27
1:14:04
1:36:08

_____________

Then Verla Sweere responded:


Saline–your reality depends on believing in something we cannot see, hear or smell, thus faith. Or delusion. Many of us want something more. When Senator Pryor says he’s unsure that our world is older than 6000 years, that means he has not studied the issue. Small wonder that we don’t trust him.

________

I responded:

Verla if you accept Darwinism then why not Social Darwinism?

Verla, this is where we are without the infinite personal God to provide written revealed truth to us in the Bible. 


— A.J. Ayer in “Language, Truth and Logic” wrote this:

“We can now see why it is impossible to find a criterion for determining the validity of ethical judgments. It is not because they have an absolute validity which is mysteriously independent of ordinary sense experience, but because they have no objective validity whatsoever. If a sentence makes no statement at all, there is obviously no sense in asking whether what it says is true or false.”
__________________


Jean-Paul Sartre in “Existentialism Is Humanism” wrote this:


“The existentialist, on the contrary, thinks it is very distressing that God does not exist, because all possibility of finding values in a heaven of ideas disappears along with Him; there can no longer be an objective Good, since there is no infinite and perfect consciousness to think it. Nowhere is it written that the Good exists, that we must be honest, that we must not lie; because the fact is we are on a plane where there are only men. Dostoevsky said, ‘If God didn’t exist, everything would be possible.’” —

_______________

Steven E, I also believe in freedom like you do and don’t think that giving the government more money to waste is the solution but Hitler did believe in the survival of the fittest and he thought his race was going to be the last one standing. I still have not had heard any answers telling on what moral basis what he did was wrong. In an universe without a lasting meaning or the presence of an infinite personal God how can anyone said what he did was wrong in an impersonal world of time and chance? 

In the film “Crimes and Misdemeanors” speaking to Judah, Rabbi Ben states the two key moral positions of the movie: “It’s a fundamental difference in the way we view the world. You see it as harsh and empty of values and pitiless. And I couldn’t go on living if I didn’t feel it with all my heart a moral structure, with real meaning, and forgiveness, and a higher power, otherwise there’s no basis to live.”

There is no middle ground. Either you embrace the chance universe or you realize that God put us here for a reason!!!!!!

_______________

The Outlier wrote:

Saline uses Sartre like he uses the bible—picking and choosing, leaving out the parts that are inconvenient. Here are some more quotes from the lecture he cited.

“And when we say that man takes responsibility for himself, we say more than that – he is in his choices responsible for all men. All our acts of creating ourselves create at the same time an image of man such as we believe he must be. Thus, our personal responsibility is vast, because it engages all humanity.”

______________

I responded:

What Sartre is saying is very simple here. He believed that people should take responsibility for their own moral choices but that is not the case if the world is just a mindless time plus chance universe. 

The perfect example is the agnostic Woody Allen and the lead character in the movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors.” Judah is caught in a hard position because his mistress is about to turn him in for his past illegal business dealings and tell his wife about their 2 year affair. Instead of going to jail he has his underworld brother have the mistress killed. Here is how Judah put it:

JUDAH ROSENTHAL 


And after the awful deed is done, he finds that he’s plagued by deep-rooted guilt. Little sparks of his religious background, which he’d rejected, are suddenly stirred up. He hears his father’s voice. He imagines that God is watching his every move. Suddenly, it’s not an empty universe at all, but a just and moral one, and he’s violated it. Now, he’s panic-stricken. He’s on the verge of a mental collapse, an inch away from confessing the whole thing to the police. And then one morning, he awakens. The sun is shining, his family is around him and mysteriously, the crisis has lifted. He takes his family on a vacation to Europe and as the months pass, he finds he’s not punished. In fact, he prospers. The killing gets attributed to another person — a drifter who has a number of other murders to his credit, so I mean, what the hell? One more doesn’t even matter. Now he’s scott-free. His life is completely back to normal. Back to his protected world of wealth and privilege.


WITH NO AFTERLIFE THERE IS NO DENYING THAT MIGHT MAKES RIGHT!!!!!

Solomon discovered that life under the sun without God in the picture is a life where chance and time have determined the past, and they will determine the future. (Ecclesiastes 9:11-13 “I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all. Moreover, no one knows when their hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so people are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them.”)


Solomon also discovered that if God is not in the picture that power reigns in this life, and the scales are not balanced.(Eccl 4:1; “Again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun: I saw the tears of the oppressed—
and they have no comforter; po wer was on the side of their oppressors— and they have no comforter.” 7:15 “In this meaningless life of mine I have seen both of these: the righteous perishing in their righteousness, and the wicked living long in their wickedness. ).

Can anyone dispute these conclusions?

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