Family Guy 7×11: Not All Dogs Go To Heaven

StarTrekFamilyGuyI’m not the biggest Family Guy fan. It was funny at first, but for me, every episode feels pretty much the same. So I’m not a regular viewer. But this episode, Not All Dogs Go To Heaven, got my attention because it had the entire cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation guest starring in the episode. So I thought I’d give it a shot. But it was the second story line, featuring Meg, that ended up being the most fascinating.

Getting the Star Trek: TNG plot out of the way first. Stewie misses his opportunity to ask the TNGcast his questions at a Star Trek Convention, so builds a fully operational transporter, kidnaps the cast and spends a day with them. The cast acts like a bunch of children. Stewie sends them home. The end. Some funny moments, but really under uses the opportunity to have all these fine actors on the show. This should have been a full episode of material like the episode of Futurama with the original Star Trek cast. Instead it feels like a waste of talent.

But it’s the second plot I want to talk about. Meg is stuck in bed sick with the Mumps. Poor Meg. No one likes her. Even her dad gives the viewers an opportunity to stop watching (“That’s right folks, it’s gonna be a Meg episode. Stick around for the fun. Here’s the clicker.” Peter offers the viewer the remote. “No one would blame you.”) Rejected and unloved, is it any wonder that after spending five days watching Kirk Cameron on the Christian channel that she becomes a born again Christian? At least Jesus loves her.

Her family is a bit unsettled by her conversion. Especially Brian the dog. Because he’s an atheist. And that revelation upsets everyone. It’s okay to be agnostic, but atheism is taking it too far. So Brian is ostracised by the community while Meg gets into some wholesome Christian practices like book burning. The show presents Meg’s faith as a form of brain washing. That Christianity is a crutch for stupid people.

But atheism isn’t the answer that the show asserts it is. Brian gives a spiel at the end about how we don’t know the answers and finding out will be the most amazing thing ever. Except this isn’t an answer. It’s just doubt and uncertainty. It’s rejecting what is true and certain and replacing it with nothing. God has revealed himself to us through his son Jesus. Atheism is just stumbling around in the dark pretending that the light is on.

Christianity is about knowing our purpose for this life. That purpose is to bring glory to God. It’s not a faith that demands blind faith and stupidity from its followers. In fact, the more you think about it, the more sense it makes.

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , ,

About Joel A Moroney

Associate Minister at St Luke's Anglican Church, Liverpool (in the Sydney Diocese). A very strange man, but he usually has Pez, so that makes it okay.

25 responses to “Family Guy 7×11: Not All Dogs Go To Heaven”

  1. morsec0de says :

    “Christianity is about knowing our purpose for this life.”

    Actually, it’s about claiming to know the purpose of life. And having no good evidence to back that up. Which, I think, is the message Family Guy was trying to give.

    Better to accept the fact that we don’t ultimately know than to say you know when you really don’t.

    More comforting to try and convince yourself you know. But not true.

    • meverz says :

      “Better to accept the fact that we don’t ultimately know”

      So there is no purpose to life? Or at least no purpose we can know?

      Why therefore do anything?

      If there is no purpose to life, why do you care if people think there is?

  2. Mike S says :

    Christianity stands or falls on the resurrection. If Jesus rose from the dead, then anyone who rejects him is in serious trouble. If he didn’t, then Christians are the biggest fools of all.

    So the question is not about proving the existence of God, since the resurrection does that eloquently, but of proving the resurrection. This becomes a historical, not scientific or philosophical issue. What is the evidence for the resurrection, and does it stand up to the usual criteria for historical examination?

    • morsec0de says :

      Since there isn’t enough good evidence to conclusively say the biblical Jesus existed, “the resurrection” is a bit of a moot point.

      • Jono says :

        Firstly, there’s plenty of historical evidence for the resurrection – let alone the life and death of Jesus. What kind of evidence would be ‘conclusive’ or at least interesting to you?

        Secondly, what is your evidence to say that we ultimately ‘really don’t know’?
        So far it sounds like you definitely know we can’t definitely know something. Can you please explain your reasoning on that one?

  3. Mike S says :

    Non-Christian and even anti-Christian sources from the 1st and 2nd century talk about Jesus, this is extremely good evidence for his existence. There is more evidence for the existence and crucifixion of Jesus than for the existence of Julius Caesar.

  4. jason says :

    now iv never don’t one of these before..i dunno what to say.. maby i shouldn’t say anything at all.. look at the other peoples stuff its so like intelligent and awesome looking. i cant compete with that.. sorry Joel but Jason has to sit this one out

  5. morsec0de says :

    “Non-Christian and even anti-Christian sources from the 1st and 2nd century talk about Jesus”

    Sure they do. And all of them talked about this sect of Jews who worshipped a guy named Jesus.

    Notice how there is no extra-biblical reports of the EXISTENCE of Jesus. And the biblical reports are all from after he was supposed to have died.

    Not impressive. At all.

    “There is more evidence for the existence and crucifixion of Jesus than for the existence of Julius Caesar.”

    That is blatantly false.

    • meverz says :

      2 questions.

      1. Why discount the Biblical evidence? Following that logic, surely you need to discount all Roman evidence for the existence of Julius Caeser?

      2. Why would you expect extra-biblical evidence for Jesus? He was some random Jew from a backwater town who was one of many the Romans crucified in a particularly troublesome corner of the Roman Empire. Until recently, we had no evidence for Pontius Pilate, the Governor of the region, we really shouldn’t expect to find evidence for someone he executed.

      • morsec0de says :

        1. I don’t discount it. I look at it for what it is: a few accounts that differ on quite a few points, all of which historians tells us were written at least ten years after the man in question was supposed to have died.

        Caesar has multiple sources, many contemporary, both flattering and non flattering.

        2. “Why would you expect extra-biblical evidence for Jesus? He was some random Jew from a backwater town who was one of many the Romans crucified in a particularly troublesome corner of the Roman Empire.”

        If all you claim is that Jesus was a random Jew from a backwater town who was crucified by the Romans, then I have no problem believing that character existed. In fact, that’s what I think is most likely. And there is sufficient evidence to support it.

        What there isn’t enough evidence to support the existence of a man who healed the blind, walked on water, and rose from the dead.

        It’s exactly like Caesar. We see there is enough evidence of his existence. Even more so than Jesus. But there isn’t enough evidence to affirm that he was descended from Venus.

  6. Jono says :

    Morse, earlier you stated there wasn’t good extra-biblical evidence for Jesus’ existence. Now you say there is evidence of his existence but just not his divinity. In fact, you even said it is ‘most likely’ that he was a Jew he was crucified by the Romans.

    What evidence makes you think that is the ‘most likely’ reality?

    • morsec0de says :

      “Morse, earlier you stated there wasn’t good extra-biblical evidence for Jesus’ existence.”

      There isn’t extra-biblical evidence for Jesus period.

      The Bible, by itself, is probably good enough to suggest that there was an itinerant preacher named Yeshua who may have lived in the desert of the Middle East and may have been executed for annoying the Romans.

      It is not good enough evidence for miracle-performing Jesus.

      I’ll repeat:

      “It’s exactly like Caesar. We see there is enough evidence of his existence. Even more so than Jesus. But there isn’t enough evidence to affirm that he was descended from Venus.”

  7. Mike S says :

    morsec0de, what level of evidence will suffice? If we find a document written by a Roman observer who states that Jesus walked on water, will that be enough evidence?

    • morsec0de says :

      A single document? No.

      For the same reason we don’t believe the single eye-witness of a UFO. Or even the large number of eye-witnesses.

      If there were a large amount of documents, all confirmed to be from the time that the event actually took place, then there would certainly be an indication of something have happened.

      • Mike S says :

        Fair enough.
        Of course, that does rule out the historicity of most of the events before 1000 AD. Large swathes of our understanding of history comes from single historians, like Tacitus. We only know of Socrates through Plato’s writings.
        Do we reject these histories as well?

        How many witnesses do you believe in a murder trial?

        I guess what I’m asking is: what is your criteria for evidence, is it different for Christian history and why?

  8. meverz says :

    Morse, I want to come back to come back to something you said in your very first post. Speaking about the purpose of life you said “Better to accept the fact that we don’t ultimately know than to say you know when you really don’t.”

    Assuming you are right, and there really is no purpose to life, why do you care if others (Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, whoever) think there is a purpose to life? Why is it such a big deal if others think life does have a purpose?

    • morsec0de says :

      “and there really is no purpose to life,”

      There is no ultimate purpose. The purpose that does exist in life is the purpose we give it.

      I care about the truth. It’s something I value. And when I see people going about and promoting things that don’t make sense, I want to argue with them.

      Not to mention the fact that religions can cause people to do horrible things.

      • meverz says :

        If there is no purpose of life, why do you care about truth? Why do you value truth if there is no purpose in life?

        Seems like you actually do think there is purpose in life. Life is about truth.

  9. morsec0de says :

    “I guess what I’m asking is: what is your criteria for evidence, is it different for Christian history and why?”

    Carl Sagan put it best. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. A murder is not an extraordinary claim. Walking on water is.

    “Do we reject these histories as well?”

    We take them with a grain of salt. If Plato told us that Socrates could sprout wings and fly, for example, we wouldn’t take that seriously. But to say there was a man who was a philosopher who was later killed by the government (if I remember who Socrates is, hehe), that’s not terribly out of the question.

    And if we find new evidence that contradicts Plato, that’s fine. No one is telling us that we’ll be tortured for eternity if we don’t believe Socrates lived.

    Furthermore, whether or not Socrates existed or was a creation of Plato, the things attributed to Socrates still have use. The same goes for, for example, Shakespeare.

    • Mike S says :

      Which raises two obvious questions:
      1) Who gets to define what is “extraordinary” and what is not?
      2) How many people have to have seen something that you define “extraordinary” before you consider it evidence?

      • morsec0de says :

        1.) Evidence. If there’s never been solid, empirical, non-anecdotal evidence for something, it might be pretty safe to say that it’s extraordinary.

        2.) Not sure.

        How many people have to say they were abducted by aliens before you believe them?

        Anecdotes, no matter how many people give similar ones, are not good evidence. It is evidence of a sort. Evidence that something happened leading these people to believe they were abducted by aliens.

        That ‘something’ could be any number of things, including but not limited to them actually being abducted by extra-terrestrials. But as there’s no good non-anecdotal evidence for aliens, the alien theory remains the most extraordinary and the least likely.

  10. morsec0de says :

    “If there is no purpose of life, ”

    Never said there wasn’t. Said there wasn’t any ULTIMATE purpose of life. Once again, we have the purpose we give it.

    • meverz says :

      OK, sorry. I obviously misunderstood your point.

      But if there is no ultimate purpose of life, is there anything that makes your choice to value truth a ‘better’ or more valid choice than any other?

      Is there any reason why choosing Truth is a better choice than choosing falsehood?

  11. Jono says :

    I don’t agree with the reasoning that if you don’t believe a claim as readily as another it is necessarily intrinsically ‘extraordinary’. It could just be that you don’t like the implications of the claim.
    (Don’t worry, I realise the claims of Jesus are extraordinary.)
    I also disagree that the basis for substantiating a claim is dependent on the ‘extraodinary-ness’ of the claim. I think if ordinary methods are reliable, they will be just as reliable given outrageous claims. In fact, surely if something is less likely to happen, the ordinary evidence would be against it, not for it. If someone came to me with a claim of something extra-ordinary but had some obscure and extraordinary trail of evidences, I would be far less convinced than if there were some good old fashioned eye-witnesses.

  12. Mike S says :

    morsec0de,

    Empirical evidence requires the scientific method, which involves reproducible experiments and falsifiable theories. “freak” or “one off” occurrences by definition cannot be proven scientifically. The only available evidence is witnesses.

    If I understand your model of evidence correctly, you do not accept any form of witness testimony of events that you cannot prove empirically. Thus you will not believe in any event that is not consistently reproducible.

    Is this a fair assessment?

%d bloggers like this: