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Written Word > Articles & Commentaries > September 2009 > "District 9" and the Biblical Attitude Toward the Other
Current rating: 4.9 (7 ratings)
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Jim
This is similiar to the recent update of the "Battlestar Galatica" television show. Man creates a robotic artificial intellegience, which then gains self consciousness as a collective to eventually resist and rebel their creators. Man refers to them as "toasters" and "skin jobs" to demean them for their utility. Such creatures then become aware of a greater being than the creators, and fight with the creators in the quest to find the source of being for them both. Man then is forced to leave their homeworld, either to wander the cosmos, or overcome their differences within themselves and their technology to find their true home at journeys end.
9/2/2009 11:13:11 AM
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Leonard Nelson
The biggest question District 9 raised was at what level should the aliens be treated? Do they have a human soul, and made in the image of God with all the rights of humans, or are the aliens without a soul and humans have dominion over them such as dogs, cat's, etc.
9/3/2009 5:05:03 PM
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Kell Brigan
Hm. So, the master/slave relationship is dysfunctional (sounds reasonable). And, when the master realizes the slave's identity (learns compassion, acknowledges the dignity of the Other, looks for a better way to live), the dysfunction is cured. Does this happen also when the slave rebels, claims humanity, refuses to be seen as other? Is the slave's rebellion also an act, ultimately, of mercy for the "master", since it helps lift the "master" from that delusion state?

Hence, the phrase, the rising of the women means the rising of the race.

Feminism, dudes. It's everywhere.
9/6/2009 2:16:00 AM
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mydogoreo
Father Barron's review is very disturbing. His argument could be used to justify anything. Should I become evil so as to better understand evil people? Try again, Father.
9/6/2009 1:57:48 PM
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Kell Brigan
To mydogoreo: I think the operative word in this discussion is "slave". Slaves are not scapegoated because of anything they've done; they're just people, usually picked at random, really (race, gender, nationality, or other ways of being in the right place at the wrong time...) Slaves are hated, first, because it's convenient -- there's something the "masters" need from them (work, an opportunity for economic exploitation, a way to indulge delusions of superiority, a way to divert attention from the ruling class or mainstream society's actions, etc.) Slaves are hated, eventually, because they've always been hated, because hating slaves is "what everybody knows", because hating slaves gets filed under "common sense".

Here's why "taking the form of a slave" does not, intrinsically (although individual problems might arise) involve embracing sin or evil; for slaves, virtue gets put into a blender. Sin becomes virtue. Virtue becomes sin (in the minds of the "masters"). A slave who fights for freedom is an "outlaw", even though enslaving anyone is the real offense. Refusing to work for a tyrant is "laziness"*. Thinking for yourself is being "primitive". Being virtuous is mislabelled at "evil", as far as slaves are concerned. Remember when Huck vowed to help Jim escape, even if God damned him for it?

*Recommended read, Philip P. Hallie's "Cruelty". The most frequent epithet aimed at slaves isn't "inhuman" or "trash", but "lazy" -- an insult that attacks victims directly where their self respect and aspirations to virtue live.
9/8/2009 11:38:12 AM
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