Disney’s Cars and the Meaning of Life

My son is addicted the Disney movie “Cars.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard him cry “Whitening McFeen!” to get me to put it on for him. Scenes are beginning to skip now in certain parts. And after about the 15th time, one begins to start pondering the deeper issues in the movie. How did these cars come to be? How are they born? How weird would it be for an actual car to come around with a real person inside in the Pixar world of “Cars”? Wouldn’t that totally freak them out? Would they try to run the guy over?

But I suppose, in my less morbid thoughts, I think about maybe Lightning and Doc Hudson looking up at the stars in Radiator Springs discussing the meaning of life.

“Where do we come from, Doc?” Lightning would say. “I have these leather seats on the inside and pedals that seem fit for some creature to ride in me. But that’s bizarre, isn’t it?”

“Yeah,” says Doc. “I’ve stopped asking those kinds of questions. There’s no scientific proof that we are anything more than hunks of metal randomly put together over billions of years. At least, that’s the best theory we have so far.”

“I know…. But it’s still strange. We all seem to have a function in the way we’re built, from Mater’s towing to my racing, to Guido’s tire-changing… It’s almost like we were all meant to do what we do. Like someone planned it that way.”

“Oh Lightning,” says Doc, “we’ve already figured that stuff out. First, there were little pieces of shrapnel that started, all of a sudden, duplicating, mutating over vast generations till we have the variety you see today. You know that. Didn’t you learn anything in school?”

“I did, but they only answered my ‘how’ questions. I’m not asking ‘how’. I’m asking ‘why’. Why are my insides so empty… as though something was meant to be inside me?”

Every argument for God can essentially be summed up in this: the existence of the universe the way it is demands He exist. And the most bizarre conundrum is man himself. We are just too weird, too strangely wired, to just be an accident of evolution. We are like Adam again looking at the animals, and everything else, and something doesn’t add up. We are lonely. On the outside, in the material world, our scientific theories work, but on the inside our sense of morality, our feelings, our restless hearts force us to look beyond only what we see because, if we don’t, then everything we are that makes us truly human makes no sense.

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