Google+
Close

Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.

Noah’s War On Humans



Text  



Having heard the rumors that the Russell Crowe $130 million extravaganza, Noah, was distinctly anti-human and radically environmentalist, I decided to check it out. Ayup.

(SPOILER ALERTS! There is a great flood. Also, I will discuss some plot points.)

As I left the theater, I was put in mind of the remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still. In the 1951 original, the space alien Klaatu comes to earth to save humans from destroying themselves. But in the misanthropic remake, Klaatu comes to earth to destroy all humanity to save the earth. There is even a Noah’s ark scene in which animals are removed temporarily so they can be restored once all the evil humans are dead.

In Darren Arnofsky’s remake of the Genesis story of Noah, “the Creator” doesn’t decide to destroy humankind because, as in the original, He is sickened by man’s unrighteousness and immorality. No, like Klaatu, He wants us all dead to–yes–save the earth

You see, after being kicked out of Eden, man became industrial, building evil cities (never depicted except at a distance), strip mining minerals from the earth, exhausting the soil, and generally despoiling the environment into a barren wasteland (except for Methuselahs’ Mountain, which remains green). Good grief, the place looks like Mordor: No trees, rare animals, ubiquitous toxic waste–a radical environmentalist’s hysterical fantasy about how we are supposedly ”killing the planet” today.

Nor is Noah necessarily spared because he is morally righteous–although he is the epitome of how Deep Ecology types believe we should live gently on the earth. For example, he solemnly instructs his young son Ham to never pick a wildflower because “we should only gather what we can use, what we need.” (I was reminded how, in real life, Switzerland’s constitution has declared that individual plants have intrinsic dignity and an opinion by a Swiss bioethics commission that “decapitating” a wildflower is immoral.) 

As a son of Seth, Noah is a hunter gatherer. Other men, descendants of the murderer Cain, are depicted as evil for their sadistic and bloodthirsty consumption of meat. 

Noah receives a vision of the coming flood and the need to build the ark. Later, when looking for wives for his two younger sons, he has a second vision of humankind being inherently evil, which includes silhouettes of uniformed soldiers fighting from the ancient to modern times. 

Thus, it develops that Noah might have been chosen to captain the ark–not to ensure humans survive the “cleansing flood”–but because he will obey The Creator’s will that all humans perish so that the earth can be restored to a paradise. Here are a few script excerpts that push the theme as best as I could write them down:

Man broke the world.

Water will separate “the foul” [humans] from “the innocent” [animals].

Before man, earth was a paradise.

Man is against creation.

Everything that is good and beautiful we shattered. This means there can be no men for earth to be a paradise.

[Once humans are gone] Creation will be left alone, safe and beautiful.

The “good guy” Noah, teaches that it is man’s job to “serve the innocent.” The vile villain, believes it is man’s job “to subdue the earth”–as he eats an animal alive with gluttonous gusto. 

Only Emma Watson’s character–not in Genesis–mitigates the unremitting and two-dimensional depiction of humans as irredeemably bad. She convinces Noah that there is some good in us. We love our children! (There is a similar character in The Day the Earth Stood Still, who convinces Klaatu not to destroy us all because we have Mozart.)

Whether man gets a “second chance” or goes extinct, is depicted as Noah’s decision, not The Creator’s.  What he decides is obvious since you are reading these words. But the clear implication of the movie is that Noah made a mistake showing us mercy, that we remain evil descendants of Cain, and just as destructive of The Creator’s Paradise. 

Bottom line: Noah pushes much too hard on the modern environmentalist meme–as I reported in The War on Humans–that we are a terrible plague on the living Gaia. That message sells among a small group of progressive elites and  misanthropic neo-earth religionists. Whether the movie is a hit or a flop, I suspect,will depend on whether most are willing to accept being defined as cancers on the planet.

 



Text  


Sign up for free NRO e-mails today:

Subscribe to National Review