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Scientism in the “Inherit the Wind” Film Essay

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Updated: Jan 21st, 2021

What is the method of stubbornness used in the movie? Who? How? Why?

Though natural, the “method of tenacity” is a very defective technique of belief obsession. This approach entails the willful evasion of situations that may rouse doubt within an individual’s current beliefs’ repertoire. In the film, intellectualism is portrayed as the basic cause of conflict. Nevertheless, freedom of knowledge is normally in antagonism with the slavery of doctrinaire thought. In the film, Brady and the residents of the Hillsboro region are fundamentalists in the evangelical sense. The literary belief in the doctrines of the Bible.

To Brady, people should not question the content of the sacred scripture. This belief appears to be institutionalized into the minds of these people who are already slaves of religion. In a nutshell, people in Hillsboro deeply believe that everything got in the holy scripture should never be questioned, altered, or modified and should be accepted as it is since this is a way of interfering with the word of God.

Tom Brady, fundamentalism does not only imply literal translation but also complete acceptance of these doctrines. Since to challenge or modify anything in the Bible is absurd and suicidal to Brady, fundamentalism conflicts with intellectualism. Being a conventionalist implies that the mind should be kept shut. This is what Brady is facing since he is shuttered from being inquisitive, which is natural to any normal human being. The film also portrays Drummond who is anti-traditionalism. Drummond is promoting intellectualism among the members of the society. According to Drummond, the human mind is sacred and freedom of the will and thought are fundamental to human life (Kessler 33).

Rachel is another young and luminous girl who is held into her father’s conventional thoughts and way of living. Rachel comes to a thought that it is only by escaping from her parents’ domination so that she can start a new life of her own. However, this is only possible if she sets her mind to think critically and seek freedom. Based on Rachel’s life, we may deduce that free thought is not just vital from an intellectual point of view, but also valuable in human life. Drummond is certain that there can be no development if people don’t embrace science that will in turn initiate technology in society.

What is the method of Authority used in the movie? Who? How? Why?

In Hillsboro, people co-exist harmoniously. The people are extensively homogenous. Virtually everyone in this town belongs to the same religion and hence, they share the same belief system. They have been struggling to join hands and censure Cates Bert. This man had dared to utter a different outlook from what they believe in. This shows how these people are restricted to a single perspective, and they don’t tolerate anything external. According to Drummond, this confinement into a single worldview can impair oneself (Jerome and Lee 51).

“Method of authority” also entails belief fixation. In this case, individuals normally act based on what they believe. Those beliefs may either address factual issues like falsity and truth, or valuable matters such as good and evil. Based on the film, the most popular way of fixing beliefs in the human mind is based on authority.

The residents of Hillsboro and in particular Brady and Rev. Brown think that people should lead a holy life. To them, the meaning of the concept holy is very simple and conventional. They base their lives on what the Bible says. Brady has even recited virtually every book in the Old Testament. This is what directs his dogmatic approach to life. The method of authority used in the film takes the form of dogmatic scriptures to direct the communities in the Hillsboro region in leading their lives (Kessler 127).

However, Drummond thinks differently. The form of authority perceived by Brady in the Bible, to Drummond is just a body of words and tales. To Drummond, the aptitude for human thought is sacred. He sees the holiness in the human mind to surpass any cathedral or dogmatic scripture written in the Bible. To him, miracles should not be interpreted in religious terms but should be seen as a development in human understanding of the universe. Drummond hence conceptualizes the meaning of authority in spiritual terms rather than religious (Kessler 277).

What is scientism? How it was shown in the movie? Who? How? Why?

In general terms, scientism is a belief in the use of a scientific approach, and the perspective that practical science entails the most authoritative attitude or most vital aspect of human understanding to the exclusion of other standpoints.

Based on the movie, undoubtedly most of the people in Hillsboro town believe in the literal dogmatic truth presented in the Bible. Only one person, Drummond, has an open mind. Everybody else is held in savagery by their blind beliefs in the scripture. The movie portrays the conflict between the religious and a single scientific proponent. Drummond was jailed for proposing theories that contradict religious faith.

Central to the issue of coming up with optional theories is a misconception of what scientism entails. Scientism is depicted as a completely different thing from faith. In science, supernatural aspects or forces are relied on for explanations of particular occurrences. The people of Hillsboro believe that only religious teachings have the potential to explicate or interpret occurrences in human life (Jerome and Lee 45).

When supporters of Darwinism such as Drummond request the replacement of creationism with evolution theory matters worsened. Supporters of evolution are fighting against rigidness in terms of thinking in their society. They are requesting that their point of view to be given an equal stand just as creation theory is. Unfortunately, this proposal violates the laws of the church since it is not based on faith.

Works Cited

Jerome, Lawrence and Lee, Robert. Inherit the Wind, New York: Random House Publishing Group, 2003. Print.

Kessler, Gary. Voices of Wisdom: A Multicultural Philosophy, New York: Cengage Learning. 2008. Print.

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