Contrary to what most people believe today, the arts (literature, motion pictures, television, music, etc.) are not neutral when it comes to promoting the worldviews of the artist to the consumer. As a matter of fact, it is usually the medium in which the philosophy/worldview of the artist is conveyed and promoted to the consumer. It is true that most of us do not watch a motion picture, or listen to a song with the intent of getting part of our worldview or philosophy from it. This is usually true on the consumer's part, but quite a different story on the part of the artist. Whether we wish to face the facts or not, most of what we see, hear, or read is not produced for entertainment purposes only.
Most of the general population will never read the works of any of the major philosophers, but the ideas of those philosophers will generally find their way into the general thinking of the person on the street. The average American today has probably never heard of Friedrich Nietzsche or the philosophy of nihilism, but many of the same Americans, unknowingly, live their lives in accords to the philosophy of nihilism. How have the philosophies of the academics trickled down to mainstreet America? Through the arts.Today I will begin a series of post that will look at some of the products of pop culture, and examine the philosophies and worldviews that are being promoted through these works of art. I will also be comparing how those philosophies to what the Christian worldview has to say about the areas of life these works of art have addressed.
The word "philosophy" in the Greek means to be a "friend/lover (philos) of wisdom (sophia)." In the Bible, throughout the book of Proverbs, wisdom is personified as a woman who is crying out in the streets, and the reader is admonished to be a close friend/lover of this wisdom. Now, the wisom that is referred to in Proverbs is not the abstract idea of wisdom (that is always searched for, but never really found) that has been promoted by the ancient Greeks and most secular philosophers since. The wisdom that Proverbs refers to is the concept of wisdom that was taught by the ancient Hebrew. It is a prictical wisdom. It is a wisdom that effects the every day life. It is the wisdom that comes from accepting and putting into one's life the things that are commanded by God in the Bible. It is a wisdom that has a true understanding of who God is, and who we are in the light of that truth. In that light, Christians are the true philosophers.
So, grab a chair, some popcorn, becuase we will first be off to the movies.