“Truth Tuesday” Discussing Woody Allen’s movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” and various other subjects with Ark Times Bloggers (Part 2) “THERE MUST BE AN ENFORCEMENT FACTOR IN ORDER TO CONVINCE JUDAH NOT TO RESORT TO MURDER”

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Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 2

Uploaded by on Sep 23, 2007

Part 2 of 3: ‘What Does The Movie Tell Us About Ourselves?’
A discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie, perhaps his finest.
By Anton Scamvougeras.

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

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Discussing Woody Allen’s movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” and various other subjects with Ark Times Bloggers (Part 1)

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:Olphart says he has disputed my conclusions but has he given any good reasons to be positive about the future if God doesn’t exist?

Many agnostic people out there think there is way to find a lasting meaning while having a secular world view but it is not possible. Woody Allen created a professor Levy and made him a positive atheist and guess what happened to Professor Levy?

After Levy committed suicide, Cliff reviewed a clip from the documentary footage in which Levy states: “But we must always remember that when we are born we need a great deal of love to persuade us to stay in life. Once we get that love, it usually lasts us. But the universe is a pretty cold place. It’s we who invest it with our feelings. And under certain conditions, we feel that the thing isn’t worth it anymore.”

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Mudturtle wrote, “Let’s just say I don’t murder people because I think that is wrong.” 

ON WHAT BASIS IS MURDER WRONG?

Later in the film “Crimes and Misdemeanors”, Judah reflects on the conversation his religious father had with Judah ‘s unbelieving Aunt May at the dinner table many years ago:

“Come on Sol, open your eyes. Six million Jews burned to death by the Nazis, and they got away with it because might makes right,” says aunt May

Sol replies, “May, how did they get away with it?”

Judah asks, “If a man kills, then what?”

Sol responds to his son, “Then in one way or another he will be punished.”

Aunt May comments, “I say if he can do it and get away with it and he chooses not to be bothered by the ethics, then he is home free.”

Judah ‘s final conclusion was that might did make right. He observed that one day, because of this conclusion, he woke up and the cloud of guilt was gone. He was, as his aunt said, “home free.”

Woody Allen has exposed a weakness in his own humanistic view that God is not necessary as a basis for good ethics. THERE MUST BE AN ENFORCEMENT FACTOR IN ORDER TO CONVINCE JUDAH NOT TO RESORT TO MURDER. Otherwise, it is fully to Judah ‘s advantage to remove this troublesome woman from his life.

The Bible tells us, “{God} has also set eternity in the hearts of men…” (Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV). The secularist calls this an illusion, but the Bible tells us that the idea that we will survive the grave was planted in everyone’s heart by God Himself. Romans 1:19-21 tells us that God has instilled a conscience in everyone that points each of them to Him and tells them what is right and wrong (also Romans 2:14 -15).

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Greg Koukl rightly noted:

An excellent illustration of this point comes from the movie The Quarrel . In this movie, a rabbi and a Jewish secularist meet again after the Second World War after they had been separated. They had gotten into a quarrel as young men, separated on bad terms, and then had their village and their family and everything destroyed through the Second World War, both thinking the other was dead. They meet serendipitously in Toronto, Canada in a park and renew their friendship and renew their old quarrel.

Rabbi Hersch says to the secularist Jew Chiam, “IF A PERSON DOES NOT HAVE THE ALMIGHTY TO TURN TO, IF THERE’S NOTHING IN THE UNIVERSE THAT’S HIGHER THAN HUMAN BEINGS, THEN WHAT’S MORALITY? WELL, IT’S A MATTER OF OPINION. I like milk; you like meat. Hitler likes to kill people; I like to save them. Who’s to say which is better? Do you begin to see the horror of this? If there is no Master of the universe then who’s to say that Hitler did anything wrong? If there is no God then the people that murdered your wife and kids did nothing wrong.”

That is a very, very compelling point coming from the rabbi. In other words, to argue against the existence of God based on the existence of evil forces us into saying something like this: Evil exists, therefore there is no God. If there is no God then good and evil are relative and not absolute, so true evil doesn’t exist, contradicting the first point. Simply put, there cannot be a world in which it makes any sense to say that evil is real and at the same time say that God doesn’t exist. If there is no God then nothing is ultimately bad, deplorable, tragic or worthy of blame. The converse, by the way, is also true. This is the other hard part about this, it cuts both ways. Nothing is ultimately good, honorable, noble or worthy of praise. Everything is ultimately lost in a twilight zone of moral nothingness. To paraphrase the late Dr. Francis Schaeffer, the person who argues against the existence of God based on the existence of evil in the world has both feet firmly planted in mid-air.

Olphart observed:

“Woody Allen created a professor Levy and made him a positive atheist and guess what happened to Professor Levy?”

Being a devout atheist, then finding out that Woody Allen had created you was quite shocking, to say the least. Who could blame Levy for committing suicide?

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