Smurf atheism


Via Fidalgo, First Things spots some scary atheist existentialism in the new Smurfs movie.

[pause to laugh very much for a long time]

It’s someone called Collin Garbarino who spotted this smurf atheist existentialism.

This weekend I saw the new trailer for Smurfs 2. It looks to be a fun romp. Gargamel is back, and he’s got a new plan for catching those little blue people who are two apples high. If the trailer accurately represents the film, we’ll be entertained by nonstop shenanigans and high jinks. We’ll also get a healthy dose of atheistic existentialism.

Watch the trailer below. At the 1:45 mark Papa Smurf says, “It doesn’t matter where you came from; what matters is who you choose to be.”

How inspiring! If only it were true.

It does matter where we come from. If God really is our creator, then we really do owe him something. Papa Smurf’s words of pseudo-wisdom only make sense if our existence is the product of meaningless forces. If we are the products of evolution, then we have to manufacture meaning for our lives. We have to choose to be someone. If we have a creator, chances are that he intended for us to be a certain someone, and maybe we should ask him about it if we’re confused.

Ok, let’s take Garbarino’s claims seriously.

If God really is our creator, then we really do owe him something.

Do we? Why? I don’t think we do. God didn’t get our consent, and without consent, how can it be true that we “owe” god something for creating us? I don’t see it.

Now, saving lives, as opposed to creating them – I can see that. We owe people who save our lives, and all the more so if they do it at risk to themselves. Consent doesn’t come into it in the same way. But creating us? That’s a different kind of thing.

And then there’s the “if” – that’s a big if. The reality is that “God” is not “our creator” and that there’s no reason to think it is, so the debt question doesn’t arise.

If we have a creator, chances are that he intended for us to be a certain someone

But there again the issue of consent comes into play, in fact it becomes very urgent. Garbarino is saying this god created us without our consent and had specific intentions about who and what we would be, still without our consent. Well the hell with that. I don’t consent to be whatever it is that some outside person intended me to be. My life belongs to me; our lives belong to us; we’re not toys in the hands of a bigger more powerful person. It’s slavish of Garbarino to think otherwise.

and maybe we should ask him about it if we’re confused.

Ok. What about it, god?

[waits]

Nothing.

Garbarino wants us to ask this “God” person about it while knowing perfectly well that “God” won’t answer so what does he think he’s saying? I suppose the usual – the mindless, obedient, unreflective usual – we should ask and then be quite content to get no answer, or, we should ask some member of the clergy or other and be quite content to take that as an answer even though it’s obviously no such thing.

They don’t think these things through. It gets tiresome.

Comments

  1. jackal says

    Smurfette was created by the evil wizard Gargamel to cause jealousy and infighting among the smurfs. So, Garbarino is saying she should go back to doing that? If you’re going to read way too far into something, you should at least know your topic’s general background.

  2. Randomfactor says

    He saves our lives every day by not incinerating us in the eternal fiery torture chamber he also created. How about a little gratitude?

  3. deepak shetty says

    Do we? Why? I don’t think we do. God didn’t get our consent, and without consent, how can it be true that we “owe” god something for creating us? I don’t see it.
    well i guess it depends on how you answer the question on whether you owe your biological parents anything for creating you(no consent was – and to the parents who brought you up for caring for you .

  4. Claire Ramsey says

    Did those little Smurfs consent to be blue? I don’t think so.

    Garbarino must have been scraping the very bottom of the barrel to come up with this desperate commentary.

  5. Forbidden Snowflake says

    Richard Smith:

    In the title, is “Smurf” being used as noun, or a verb?

    Hey! Smurf you, you smurfing smurfer! Smurf off.
    :-)

    Deepak Shetty:

    well i guess it depends on how you answer the question on whether you owe your biological parents anything for creating you(no consent was – and to the parents who brought you up for caring for you .

    For creating you? No. For caring for you? Sure, since having been created, you probably wanted to be taken care of. Does this debt include having to be whoever they want you to be( a ballerina? a Muslim? a heterosexual?)? No, it just doesn’t, no matter what wonderful parents they were.

    So without even going into the question of whether “god” did the equivalent of bringing you up while caring for you, the moral debt incurred in such a case would have a strict limit.

  6. deepak shetty says

    @Forbidden Snowflake,Ophelia
    For the creating part , I agree with you – but I think there are people who claim that their biological parents are important to them for reasons that i cannot understand (either adoptees or hypotheticals posed to people).

    For the caring part . again from a religious perspective it makes sense since the religious believe that God cares for them (from a liberalish makes thew world go around to the fundamentalist he cares for ME!)

  7. says

    At the 1:45 mark Papa Smurf says, “It doesn’t matter where you came from; what matters is who you choose to be.”

    I interpret that to be pretty standard anti-racism, not atheism. You know, judge people by their actions, not their origins.

    This strikes me as just another case of a religious moron shoving his beliefs where they don’t belong.

  8. Stevarious, Public Health Problem says

    No parent gets pregnant for the sake of giving existence to a child. They either do it because THEY want children, or they do it accidentally. Since parents either become parents for selfish or careless reasons, no debt is owed.

    I personally owe my parents a great deal for 18 years of financial and logistical support, which they CHOSE to do for my benefit instead of theirs. I try to repay them as best I can, mostly with nigh-responsibility-free visits with their grandchild, which they seem to appreciate.

  9. iknklast says

    well i guess it depends on how you answer the question on whether you owe your biological parents anything for creating you(no consent was – and to the parents who brought you up for caring for you .

    Meanwhile, I’ll think about all I owe my parents for the years of abuse that left me scarred and unable to function properly without years of therapy.

    This is a better analogy for god, anyway, because according to the book god supposedly wrote, he has spent most of human history abusing his creations for not bowing down and worshipping him enough. And then, just to top it off, made a nice llttle eternal fireplace to roast us in when we manage to die, thinking we’re escaping his clutches. Not worthy of my gratitude.

  10. says

    I tend toward the idea that parents owe their children. The parents had a choice, the children didn’t. The parents carry responsibility, the children don’t. Debt can only ever be incurred willingly. You can’t force someone to owe you, no matter what you do.

    Parents automatically owe their children, by virtue of having made a conscious decision to bring them into the world and subject them to an untold amount of horror and misery. Children only owe their parent if, in the eyes of the children, the parents have done a good job.

    E.g. I can’t sneak into your house, fix your plumbing and then present you with a bill. You didn’t order the job, so you don’t have to pay for it. You might feel grateful enough to give me some money for it, but I’m not entitled to it.

    On the other hand, you can reasonably ask me for restitution for anything I broke while breaking in to fix the plumbing. If I break a $50 lock to get in, I still have to pay for it, even if I fix a $100 drain problem. The fact that I fixed the drain doesn’t eliminate the crime of breaking the lock, unless you willingly agree to not press charges.

  11. Subtract Hominem says

    In the title, is “Smurf” being used as noun, or a verb?

    Adjective, actually. What sort of atheism is being discussed? Atheism of the Smurf variety.

    I’m Subtract Hominem and this has been your Moment of Pedantry™.

  12. Bjarte Foshaug says

    I totally agree with LykeX. You cannot bill somebody for something they didn’t order, and nobody ever asked to be born. To get back to the question of whether or not we owe God anything (or would do so if he existed), I would argue that if your only options in life are eternal torture or spending eternity desperately trying to appease an omnipotent and omnimalevolent narcissist and psychopath like Yahweh, who may send you to hell at any moment for any reason, it is far, far better not to exist in the first place. I sure as hell wouldn’t want to be brought into an existence where those were my only options. So why should I owe God any allegiance for something I didn’t ask for and wouldn’t even have wanted if I were given a choice?

  13. sailor1031 says

    chances are that he intended for us to be a certain someone

    Chances are that if there’s a doG at all it wanted us to have the choice as to who to be – like any good parent. My parents used to tell me I could be whatever I wanted to be. Surely doG as the ultimate parent would want no less?
    I don’t think this Garbarino person actually believes in doG.

  14. yumi says

    Well, Garbarino is right at some point, but he looked at it in a perspective which is not intended on the movie.. it’s not about creation or whatever consent.. it is about papa smurf still loving his daughter smurfette no matter what she chooses to be, it is about the naughties being accepted by the smurfs if they choose to be smurfy. . So, it is not atheism afterall… “it doesnt matter if you are a smurf or gargamel naughty, if you choose to be smurfy then you are a part of the smurfy family”

  15. Richard Smith says

    @Subtract Hominem (#14), re pedantry.

    Oh, (verb) (pronoun) (adjective) (noun)!

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