Have you ever wondered what would happen, if all of the geniuses,
the artists, the scientists, the smartest, most creative people in the
world decided to actually change it? Where. where could they even
do such a thing? They’d need a place free from politics and bureaucracy,
distractions, greed–a secret place where they could build whatever they
were crazy enough to imagine. (Hugo in Tomorrowland)
Tomorrowland is a highly entertaining movie. I caught myself laughing out loud several times. There’s plenty of humorous interaction among the characters and what’s not to like about a spaceship launching from the Eiffel Tower or a house will all of the gadgetry that Frank Walker’s (George Clooney’s character) has?
That said, the premise of the movie is fundamentally flawed. I’m not speaking to the science or plot holes—I’m talking from a spiritual point of view. Early on in the film, we’re introduced to the idea that inside every person there are two wolves fighting—one wolf is darkness and despair, while the other is hope and light. The wolf that wins is whichever one we choose to feed. It’s a more current take of the glass half-empty/half full analogy and it makes an important point concerning the importance of our attitude and outlook.
But that can be taken too far.
When it’s extrapolated to the degree that the ultimate solution to man’s problems is man (i.e., his technology, his optimism, and his refusal to give up) apart from God, then it becomes just another Babel. It is the kind of thinking that hardly bears critiquing for anyone with a sense of history.
In the years leading up to the twentieth century (the time in the movie when Edison, Telsa, Verne and Eiffel began their secret society to accomplish the saving of the world), there existed a tremendous optimism as a result of significant medical, technological and industrial advances. Many believed man was on the brink of utopia. What happened to dash this optimism? Something the movie doesn’t mention: World War I.
Therefore, Hugo’s suggestion of isolating “the geniuses, the artists, the scientists, the smartest, most creative people in the world” from governments and other restricting influences was already asked and answered in the years following the four men they celebrate as paving the way to a better world.
But it’s also answered in every generation. The same science that delivers to us the wonder of space exploration, medical advancement, and communication technology is also employed to abort the unborn, produce illegal drugs and pollute the planet. Of course, it is not science that is the problem—it’s the people misusing science. Specifically it’s the problem of sin. All of this is made clear in Genesis 1-11: the answer to our problems is not in us! Human beings are responsible for child pornography, human trafficking, terrorism and everything else that crushes and enslaves the human spirit. There is a solution but it demands that we first deny ourselves before we can be free to embrace it.
That really shouldn’t be too difficult to do.