One Star – Degrading
The meaning of life is the existential question each of us must answer. But to suggest that every answer is equal in validity and wisdom is a foolishness that only confuses the undisciplined mind. That is disturbingly proven by Roger Nygard in his vulgar documentary parody “The Nature of Existence”.
Rather than finding the best thinkers on the subject and allowing them to inform our understanding, Nygard naively presents the assertions of a 7th grade girl and a caustic campus evangelist as being helpful input in our quest. But what makes the film even more disturbing is that he combines their comments with those of thoughtful rabbis, university professors and assertive skeptics. It is like having a few real diamonds mixed into a bucket full of cubic zirconium imitations and worthless chunks of coal. Without the tools to divide the fake from the real from the trash, we are left with a bucket of distractions.
What is even more disturbing is Nygard’s seeming dependence on friends to answer the questions and never visits the halls of the great seminaries where philosophers and scholars have studied these issues for hundreds of years. Instead, he approaches individual practitioners from many of the various religions of the world, usually on the extreme fringes of their traditions, and then edits them in such a way as to make their views seem incoherent and purposefully contradictory.
The conclusion that Nygard comes to is that all of us are trying to find answers but that there are none to be found. That is a sad and unnecessary conclusion that ignores the vast reservoir of human experience, not only with one another but also with the Divine.
Discussion for those who have seen this film:
1. What is the process you have used to discover the truth about life? Do you believe all answers are equal? Why or why not?
2. It would be irresponsible not to seek the wisdom of the best medical minds and experienced practitioners if one had medical issues to resolve, so why do you think Nygard would ignore the experts in resolving the ultimate existential question?