Movie: "What the @#$% Do We Know?"


#1

Has anyone seen this movie? I am considering seeing it because I am fascinated by quantum mechanics and physics, and the relationship to religion. However, I am also skeptical that it may have a “New Age” agenda, and/or anti-organized-religion agenda.

To See or not to see?


#2

I read a review of it in Popular Science. It has no scientific value, so if that’s why you want to see it, don’t. It’s basically all New Age agenda. The credits list one of the producers as a 3000 year old spirit channeled by one of the characters. The interviews of legitimate scientists were cut and spliced to make them sound like they agreed with the makers, even though one of them said he spent hours trying to explain why quantum mechanics has nothing to do with spirituality.


#3

Here’s the Pop Sci article:

popsci.com/popsci/science/article/0,20967,699379,00.html


#4

I have seen it, and I did like the view of quantuum mechanics that it presents, which is everything our senses tell us about the world is wrong based upon what we know about quantuum mechanics.

So about the first third I liked. Then, the movie hangs a sharp left turn by saying that the thoughts in your head have an impact on the world, and therefore you affect reality positively by thinking positive thoughts and you affect reality negatively by thinking negative thoughts. So, obviously, based upon these scientific facts, you actually are your own god, so God as defined by Christianity doesn’t exist.

…insert witty commentary here…

So, should you see it? It all depends on how well-grounded in your faith you are. Surely, people who aren’t should not see it, but I do think the first third of the movie is interesting.

Peace and God bless! :slight_smile:

Eric


#5

One of the themes that connects the two parts of the movie is the idea that life is a field of infinite potentiality, and that when we as humans make a choice within that potentiality, we not only “choose” a reality, but we – in a sense --help to create reality as well.

The quantum physics part of the movie was all about how quantum mechanics is a physics of potentiality, of probability; and how the act of observing a set of quantum probabilities leads to one of those probabilities being “concretized”. A crude example would be to say that a box may or may not contain a live cat; once you open the box, then one choice among the many possibilities is given concrete form.

The more psychological part of the movie was focused on the idea that we humans are “addicted” to various harmful emotions: hatred, greed, anger, lust, etc.; and that we have the power within ourselves to release those addictions. The release occurs via choosing a beneficial path amongst the many potential choices.

I wouldn’t say that the movie is anti-organized religion. Instead it stresses the ideas that life, existence, the universe, is ultimately a mystery, and that joy is found in the questioning, not the answering. Various organized religions might find that idea threatening, naturally.

Ahimsa


#6

The movie has a definite anti-organized religion agenda. One of the interviewees (I think she is the one that channels some spirit guide or other) declares that it is just arrogance to think that anything a speck of carbon-water molecules (us) can do can in any way offend an utterly transcendent God who created billions and billions of galaxies, so (she concludes) there is no sin, no evil, just the evolution of the universe working itself out. She also declares (as the post above observed) that we are our own gods creating the universe for ourselves.

A much more enjoyable (and human, but still new-agey) movie is “I Huckabees”. It at least shows a dialectic between new-age and nihilism through a matieralistic world-view. Plus, Lily Tomlin and Dustin Hoffman are pretty funny, so you won’t take it too seriously. “What the @#$% Do We Know?” was so pedantic, but ultimately shallow. I felt I wasted my money.


#7

'“What the @#$% Do We Know?” was so pedantic, but ultimately shallow. ’

really? with a title like that? what a surprise…

i do think we help ‘create’ the world around us by our expectations and presuppositions and attitudes, but probably in a much less ‘spirit world meets quantum physics’ way than the creators of ‘what the’.


#8

thanks, everybody.


#9

This documentry is incredable like whoa. It explains a lot of stuff about physics and what not that I honestly didnt know. I didnt even realize that theories like this existed until i saw this film…
You have to see with with a closed mind though. It can mess with your faith and what not depending how strong you are in it. Honestly it can really mess with your brain. It took me over 48 to shake off some of the stuff that I had heard.
It doesnt dis prove god nor does it set out to do so. It explain a certain part of physics that relates to religion and god very well.
Just see it


#10

What do you mean, mess with your faith? I’m just curious as to what you meant by that, and how a documentary on physics can do that. Love to hear what you have to say! :slight_smile:


#11

What documentary?


#12

Hi Corleone,

I posted a question about the movie when it first came out in November of 04. I got some good replies, and decided not to see the movie. Read the posts here:
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=23685

Peace.


#13

i agree with many post in that thread.

It has justification until it talks about people being able to mold their enviorments… I talked to a few class mates of mine and they could put the ideas in the documentary into a religious deal…

They said:
God is possibly the first man to completly take advantage of the power of the mind. (if you believe the stuff) He could have the power to take life, create life, and do all the other things god can do. It makes sense but I honestly think its all bull stuff. \

As I read else where, the stuff about men changing their enviorment due to though, has no scientific proof at all.


#14

[quote=Corleone]This documentry is incredable like whoa. It explains a lot of stuff about physics and what not that I honestly didnt know. I didnt even realize that theories like this existed until i saw this film…
You have to see with with a closed mind though. It can mess with your faith and what not depending how strong you are in it. Honestly it can really mess with your brain. It took me over 48 to shake off some of the stuff that I had heard.
It doesnt dis prove god nor does it set out to do so. It explain a certain part of physics that relates to religion and god very well.
Just see it
[/quote]

It seems like the point of the movie is to get you to think and question things. If you see it with a closed mind, you’re defeating the purpose. It’s better to just not go.


#15

i am not for sure this film was a documentry. but people will say many convincing things to try and change you mind about what you know is right. it is just movie though. not real.


#16

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