A Savior from the Skies

by Luke Muehlhauser on August 19, 2010 in General Atheism

superman the humanistThis comics panel reminds me of a scene I wrote a few years back for a Superman screenplay I was developing. Superman has just appeared to the world and just averted a major crisis, and he decides to give a press conference. (Text reworked to make sense to those who are unfamiliar with screenwriting conventions.)

Reporters shout questions frantically, but one in particular cuts through the noise.

TALL REPORTER: “Do you believe in God?”

The other reporters turn to Tall Reporter.

TALL REPORTER: “Do you believe in God?”

Pause.

SUPERMAN: “Does God exist? I don’t know. But I do know this: If God exists, he gave you those hands and that head and that heart for a reason. You can’t wait for a superhero from the sky to solve your problems. [Pointing] You and you and you and you… we can work together and save this planet.”

Cornball, I know…

superman throwing crossDon’t get too excited. Apparently, Superman is a Methodist, and superheroes in general are a remarkably diverse bunch.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Zak August 19, 2010 at 2:01 pm

To quote Lois Lane, from Superman Returns, “The world doesn’t need a savior. And neither do I.”

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David Rogers August 19, 2010 at 2:08 pm

It doesn’t really do the atheist cause much support quoting from such a pathetic effort as Superman Returns. Ironically, however, it turned out that Ms. Lane and the world did need Superman. Her rejection was based in an emotional reaction that he didn’t do what she thought he should.

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Ralph August 19, 2010 at 2:29 pm

David, you’re too excitable. Nobody is drawing any conclusions about theism or atheism on the basis of how Superman was portrayed. Relax.

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lukeprog August 19, 2010 at 2:35 pm

Heh.

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Patrick August 19, 2010 at 2:39 pm

Actually, the first comic posted can be interpreted as an incredibly subtle, incredibly sardonic explanation of the Problem of Suffering.

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al friedlander August 19, 2010 at 2:47 pm

“Most super-villains in mainstream comic books are atheists, agnostics, or simply non-religious”

….

yay for us…

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Chip August 19, 2010 at 3:15 pm

@al friedlander
I thought it was interesting how the reverse was true in Watchmen. Most of the heroes were unbelievers (Dr. Manhattan, Comedian, Rohrshach, Ozy) and the villains were the religious ones (only Moloch springs to mind at the moment).

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Silas August 19, 2010 at 4:08 pm

Luke, I’m sorry to say this, but… Superman doesn’t exist.

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MKR August 19, 2010 at 5:33 pm

For more on the religious affiliations of comic book characters, see the Comic Book Religion Database.

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Mazen Abdallah August 20, 2010 at 12:27 am

Funny as hell, we were discussing what Superman and Batman’s religions were the other day. My friend suggested Judaism. However, many prominent superheroes live in a world where whenever evil lurks its ugly head, they have to do all the heavy lifting. I’d say that would at the very least make them frustrated at God.

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cl August 20, 2010 at 10:40 am

So you say you used to write screenplays? Anything ever come of it? Is it still an interest of yours?

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lukeprog August 20, 2010 at 2:12 pm

cl,

No and no. I’m not good at it.

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