Avatar and the Longing for Eden
Patrick Zukeran — James Cameron’s hit movie Avatar ranks as a ground-breaking epoch. This movie features new technology and special effects that make it landmark fantasy film,
joining the elite group of movies which include 2001: A Space Odyssey, Star
Wars, and Lord of the Rings.
What accounts for the tremendous popularity of this movie? I believe the cutting
edge technology, combined with the strong environmental message, stirred the
hearts of people throughout the world. I believe the movie also awakened a deep
longing in all of us for Eden.
In Avatar we are projected into the twenty-second century and enter the alien world of
Pandora, a spectacular tropical paradise inhabited by the ten foot tall, blue
skinned Na’vi. Through innovative 3-D technology, we are immersed into
experiencing this stunning paradise in vivid detail as never before encountered
CNN news reported that after the movie, numerous fans experienced depression and even
suicidal thoughts as they reflected on the present state of our planet and
longed for the paradise of Pandora. Several websites included hundreds of
entries from individuals who expressed their sense of loss and regret. In
Pandora many saw a paradise that was lost, or one that can never be attained on
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"In India and Nepal, I have witnessed cows, monkeys, and even rats receiving better care than humans—and many are even worshipped while human beings remain secondary. This is an outgrowth of the worldview of pantheism, which is celebrated in the movie Avatar. My radio program exposes the worldview issue and explains why people's hearts can resonate so deeply with the message of the movie: we have a legitimate longing for Eden."
Pat is our own "Apolo-Jedi," a doctorate in apologetics with a black belt in karate. He has a B.A. in Religion from Point Loma Nazarene University, a Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary, and a D.Min. from Southern Evangelical Seminary. He is an author, radio talk show host, and a national and international speaker on apologetics, cults, world religions, Bible, theology, and current issues.
The World of Animism
Pat describes the "default setting" of man's religion without revelation from God: the worship of spirits. We see animism woven throughout Avatar, and reading this article can help you identify the worldview errors of the movie even more.
Dr. Ray Bohlin explains how pantheism and naturalism provide only pragmatic, short-term, and self-defeating alternatives in the environmental crisis.
A worldview is like a pair of glasses through which we view the world. Jerry Solomon examines the basic
worldviews and some of the beliefs and questions that they involve. He explains how pantheism compares to the other major worldviews.
Probe Answers Your Questions:
"I Can't Forgive God For Taking All Those People in the WTC"
"How Does Pantheism View Good and Evil?"
"How Do I Help This Young Teenage Wiccan?"