Thanks to Jay, I was able to watch Blade Runner 2049. I’m frankly disappointed. Granted, I have gripes about it as a movie; most movies these days stink. But my biggest gripe is the very disappointing way the question of what makes us human was handled. I wouldn’t expect anyone to come up with my peculiar answer to the question, but this one just oversimplified the question. In essence, it boils down to the capacity for self-sacrifice in pursuit of a noble cause.
That’s the kind of answer you get when the background of the question is a story that includes a lot beings who are officially regarded as less than human. It’s as if humanity is an honor, deserving of special treatment. That’s never been true, and the dreary movie makes it clear that’s baloney, so it’s all self-contradictory. It’s cast against the background of a culture that wants us to believe human life is precious. Sure, you can say the movie suggests we shouldn’t be so inhumane, even as casual abuse of human life is so very widely practiced. But when the movie ended, I felt like the whole thing was a cheap shot at the something that could have been done so much better, even from within a Western perspective.
You and I know that there are two primary elements in human nature: We are fallen, and we have a capacity for heart-led existence. The latter is the answer to the former, but if we are to have a definition of humanity, those two elements have to be the basis. That second point implies we were designed for so much more, but we cannot know what “more” means without the heart-mind in ascendance.
So what sets apart, say, Nebuchadnezzar from the likes of Soros? Neb was heart-led. It’s not even a question of Soros being demon-led, though it clearly is so. Rather, it’s that Soros lacks the high moral discernment of someone who is heart-led. Otherwise, all we can see is that both came on the scene with ambition and a sense of divine right about taking over the world. But Nebuchadnezzar had a divine calling; Soros is led by his own reason, and he will fail.
More importantly, Nebuchadnezzar killed people for an entirely different purpose, from a wholly different outlook. This business of worrying about whether there is some oppressed people on the earth is not the right question. The whole Blade Runner franchise wants to raise the question of fair treatment as a parable, and it’s the wrong question. Nebuchadnezzar knew he was called by God to conquer his world, so resistance was a sin against God. The prophet Jeremiah said as much. Soros and his ilk are not called by God; they deny God and promote reason as the ultimate deity. In the process, they are more brutal than Nebuchadnezzar about who gets to live and who must die. Neb could be merciful and friendly; he offered a tremendous level of freedom under his protection. You’ll never get half of that much under a world run by the likes of Soros. If Soros got his way, you and I would likely be dead.
Without the heart-led way, there is simply no hope of explaining something like this.