Batman V. Superman: A Sign of the Culture’s Theological Condition
By Dr. Brian Huffling
Not even on the most distorted and contracted theory of good which ever was framed by religious or philosophical fanaticism, can the government of Nature be made to resemble the work of a being at once good and omnipotent .
Is this the worldview of a philosopher or a modern-day comic book villain? The answer is, yes. While these words were uttered by 19th century philosopher, John Stuart Mill, it is echoed by Lex Luthor in the most recent Superhero film, Batman V. Superman.
Batman and Superman have both been exciting characters for me. Over the years they, and many other fictitious characters, have exemplified the ideals of heroism promoting virtues like courage and perseverance in an imaginative way. But in today’s modern comic age, super-hero stories are becoming the backdrop for complicated ideologies that have trickled down from the ivory tower of academia and into the mainstream media.
The most recent example of this can be seen in the movie Batman v. Superman. In the film, Superman is portrayed as type of God-like being. The people of Earth see Superman not just as a “super-man,” but as a being with God-like powers, who can be anywhere, anytime, and do anything. This realization led many to wonder what moral obligations does a being like Super-Man have? Is an all-powerful being subject to any law? Other characters, such as Lex Luthor, the intellectual villain who recognizes that superman is not a God because God doesn’t exist for Luthor. He argues that if God were all-powerful, then God could not be all-good; conversely, if he were all-good, then he could not be all-powerful.
After seeing the film, I decided that I would use this as an opportunity to write an article responding to the many misrepresentations of God in our culture. Especially those views of God that seem to be dangerously close to viewing God as a type of super-human rather than Creator and Sustainer of the universe…
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