Since classical antiquity

Since classical antiquity, theologians, scientists as well as philosophers have tried to study the relationship regarding religion and science. The main difference defined between science and religion is that scientific claims rely on investigational verifications whilst the claims of religion rely on faith (Russel, 2002). Both religion as well as science gather evidences, however, evidence in science is more solid as compared to that in religion. Science has the ability to measure things quantitatively whilst religion cannot measure how much of the ‘God Field’ is manifest in a church (Stenger, 2012). Therefore the evidences linked to religion are different mostly taking the form of claims of miracles, texts as well as other personal evidence. Some find that proof compelling enough to form a belief, others do not. Religion and science in fact are multifaceted social as well as cultural endeavours that differ across cultures and have certainly changed over time. Many theologians have mentioned an interconnection between science and religion whilst others believe that they are even parallels. One parallel that exists between religion and science is that both ideologies are founded on faith. Science is based on faith in the laws of the universe as well as their authority over all creation whilst religion is based on a faith in a Universal Creator, His law as well as its authority over the universe and everything within it (Funk & Alper, 2015).
Figure 1: Paul and Graeme (Kohn, 2011)
In the movie, alien Paul, the characters broadcasted mostly struggle with Christianity. In fact, Paul is broadcasted as an atheistic, anti-Christian. An atheist is in fact a person who does not believe in the existence of a god or any gods. Throughout the movie, Paul runs from the government agents trying to get back to his
space ship. Paul does more than just make alien probe jokes while he runs from government agents and tries to get back to his spaceship. He also shatters the worldview of a fundamentalist Christian Ruth in the movie. A fundamentalist Christian is referred to as the follower of Christ who believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God in turn believing in its literal interpretation and fundamental teachings. They believe in the experience of the ‘new birth’ which takes place when faith is placed in Christ as Savior and Lord. According to Ruth in the movie, the world is only 4,000 years old and pretty much fulfills every negative stereotype about Christians in America. Paul responds by telepathically sharing his knowledge of the universe and science to Wiig, and at that moment, she experiences conversion from fundamentalist devotion to secularism. In the movie, Ruth escapes from a destructive past life of ignorance, “persecuting” those that don’t share her beliefs (Graeme and Clive), to embracing those same people and leading them to salvation–in this case, Paul’s escape from Earth and Pegg & Frost’s attainment of success in their science fiction comic book careers. Wiig’s redneck father is also portrayed as a devout fundamentalist Christian in the movie. Whilst in the movie Paul the Apostle, like other Jews, Paul was a monotheist. He believed that the only true God was the God of Israel. However, he also believed that the universe consists of multiple levels filled with spiritual beings (Sanders, 2018). In fact, Paul is known as one of the great figures of the apostolic age, despite the fact that he was not one of Jesus’s original 12 apostles. In the movie Paul the Apostle, the latter preached the death, resurrection, and lordship of Jesus and he proclaimed that faith in Jesus guarantees a share in his life whilst Paul the Alien disrupted the belief of Ruth while she start questioning about hell, heaven and purgatory; referring to life after death.
In fact I would say that the movie Paul borrows heavily from the Apostle Paul and his story. First of all is the name of the extraterrestrial actor in the film. Nick Frost and Simon Pegg, the actor as well as the writers of the movie could have chosen other name. However, they preferred to use a biblical name precisely and I feel that they wanted to bring a subconscious distinction between a person with a biblical name and their counterpart in the scriptures as many Christians attach great significance to names.
Apart from the similarity in the names, both of them went through a conversion. We are all aware about the conversion of Apostle Paul to Christianity. In fact on the road to Damascus, God revealed himself to Paul and turned him to the religion. This act of transformation indicates that God works through atypical agents showing that no one is beyond the point of saving as well as redemption. However, Apostle Paul’s influence was so great that some scholars did attribute the founding of “Christianity” to Paul not Jesus. Apostle Paul was surely responsible for spreading Christianity and organizing Christian teachings over a major part of the Roman Empire. In the movie alien Paul, we also witnessed the Kristen Wiig character’s conversion, which is by far the most interesting and direct connection to the story of the Apostle Paul in this movie. Wiig found most of what Clive, Graeme and Paul declare outrageous, but still joined them in the RV for excellent reasons. However, the existence of the alien caused a considerable challenge to her creationism. In the movie, Frost, Pegg and Paul come across Wiig at an RV camper Facility. The camp is run by Wiig’s father Moses. Wiig entered into the RV to questions both friends on their faith. She asked if they are believers. Wiig begin to lecture them on fundamentalist faith and on how we are all created in God’s image. Meanwhile, Paul overheard the conversation while hiding. He became very frustrated and reluctantly revealed himself. Wiig promptly fainted. After she woke up, she refused to believe that Paul was real accusing him for being a demon. Paul responded by telepathically sharing his knowledge of the universe and science to Wiig, and at that moment, she experiences conversion from fundamentalist devotion to secularism. Wiig afterwards brought about quantum change in her outlook. ‘No heaven/ No hell/ no good or evil? She was freed from her religious bondage and took maximum advantages- smoking pot; swearing like crazy and even grabbing Graeme’s private parts. In the end, she thanked Paul for not only curing her blindness but also her intellectual myopia. In addition, although we don’t see it happen on-screen, the alien Paul also went through a radical conversion. He in fact adopted many of the worldly behaviors. Paul the Alien goes from the ultimate outsider a literal alien hippie to pot-smoking type of human, who loves food on earth like snacks and peanuts unlike on his planet. On the other hand, the Apostle Paul is recognized worldwide as one among the greatest Christian missionaries. Paul was in fact a zealous persecutor of Christians. His abrupt turnaround to one of Christianity’s greatest proponents helped to shape the history of the early Christian church. In fact, the inspired writings of Paul envelop a large segment of the New Testament. Paul was given the opportunity to perform extraordinary things for the Kingdom of God. In Acts, Apostle Paul made several public speeches, healed many people in the name of Jesus, and received an important vision from God (Agosto, 2012). The story of Paul is a story of redemption in Jesus Christ and a testimony that no one is beyond the saving grace of the Lord. The story of the Apostle Paul is imperative to understanding how this movie deals with Christianity. It’s not kind to Christianity’s lunatic fringe and its dogmatic interpretation of the faith, but it mainly supports ideas that are exactly in line with the Apostle Paul’s teachings: miraculous healing, the power of conversion as well as selfless sacrifice.
In both movies, Apostle Paul as well as alien Paul demonstrated their healing powers. Alien Paul uses his healing powers to resurrect a dead bird and heal Ruth’s long-deformed eye. Alien Paul enlightens Ruth with his own tale creation stories. Ruth zealously indulges in sin and eagerly begins to walk down the wide road that leads to profanity and promiscuity. Alien Paul also saved Pegg’s life after taking a shotgun blast on his chest. Alien Paul nearly dies from it himself when he could have just hopped on his spaceship and sailed on home. However, Paul did so in an act of pure sacrifice and charity. He demonstrated compassion and love towards his human friends. According to Paul, Jesus’ death substituted for that of others and thereby freed believers from sin and guilt. Throughout the movie Paul the Alien didn’t entirely rejecting Christianity neither discard the existence of God directly while debating with Ruth and his father. The Apostle Paul also broadcasted some of these tricks in the movie. God did extraordinary miracles through Paul so that even aprons and handkerchiefs that had touched Paul were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them. Therefore we can say that alien Paul selfless act of healing is just as the Apostle Paul describes however without Jesus stuff. So, what have we learn from the life of the apostle Paul? We learn that God can save anyone. I would add that the extraordinary story of Paul repeats itself every day as sinful, broken people all over the world are transformed by God’s saving grace.
Another obvious factor that distinguishes them is the belief about sexuality. During their trip, Graeme and Clive were often mistaken for homosexual couples. For example in their hotel room, one man asked if they were on honeymoon and two others heckle them in a bar. Paul also questioned them about their sexuality adopting a variety of crude, suggestive motion before finally uttering the word gay. In the movie, Paul is seen to be provoking and allowing fornication between Ruth and Graeme, a personal matter for Paul “It is well for a man not to touch a woman”. While Paul the Alien is very interested to know about human sexual relationship, around the fire in the wood besides the city, while smoking pot he enquire about Clive’s sexual life. However, both insisted that they were not gay. Paul then admitted that on his planet everyone is bisexual: “It’s all about the pleasure, you know what I’m saying?” (Paul, 2011). Paul claimed that humans think that they are so sophisticated because they can distinguish themselves from their own reflection but ultimately they are part of a deeply neurotic species and shall be a lot better off if humans stopped worrying and learned to love the bum while conversely male homosexual activity is condemned in the Hebrew Bible in Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13— Paul the apostle however chose celibacy and chose to stay away from women. Paul the Alien on the other hand scrutinized Clive to know whether they were in a gay relationship and then assured him it is totally acceptable for him as he is bisexual and like him on his planet, his companions are bisexual too and very active sexually . while on the other hand male homosexual activity is condemned in the Hebrew Bible in Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13—teachings that Christianity followed, thanks in part to Paul, even as it disregarded most of the laws of Leviticus.
Lev. 18:22 , “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.”
1 Cor. 6:9-10, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals,1 10nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”
The movie Paul is a comedy; science-fiction film directed by Greg Mottola starring Simon Pegg as well as Nick Frost. The main actors in the movie are portrayed as two science-fiction geeks taking a pilgrimage to America’s UFO heartland. In fact, the two set up on a road trip in a rented RV to visit all the sites of major extraterrestrial importance in the southwest USA. The first part of the movie showed the ordinary world of the heroes. It showed the Clive and Graeme normal life at the start of the story before the adventure begins. On their way, they accidentally come across an extraterrestrial being called Paul who brought them on an insane road trip that altered their universe forever. This is the stage of the film that called the heroes for the main adventure. Along the way, they all met Kristen Wiig who is an Intelligent Design advocate with a black lens in her glasses. According to the movie, Paul has been on earth for 60 years. He was hanging around at a top-secret military base. He was kept their as a prisoner. Therefore, Paul escaped from the base and planned to return to his mother ship. He is on the run from a team of shady government agents. On his way, he met with Graeme Willy (Simon Pegg) and Clive Gollings (Nick Frost). Paul appeals to the pair for help. Indeed the hero takes a physical and very active part on the journey to help Paul’s achieve his goal. The actors in the movie changed their journey as per the demand of the alien. Besides, the Call to Adventure sets the movie rolling by disrupting the comfort of the hero. The call in fact threw their ordinary world off balance. At first, Clive fainted when he saw Paul and refused the adventure taken by Graeme due to uncertainties and insecurities that have cropped up from the call to adventure. Clive was not willing to make changes as he preferred a safe haven of the ordinary world. However, Paul here become the mentor used his telepathy power on Clive to share his knowledge of the universe and science. This helped Clive to overcome his initial fears and face the threshold of the adventure. Paul later also used his healing power to cure Wiig’s blinded eye. Finally both Clive and Wiig crossed the threshold and joined Graeme and became finally committed to the journey. Soon enough the trio are racing cross-country and adopting different approaches in an effort to unite alien with mother-ship. Throughout their journey they came across many enemies to stop them in achieve their goal. They were followed by federal agents as well as the fanatical father; Moses (John Carroll Lynch) of Ruth Buggs (Kristen Wiig). Graeme and Clive devise a fumbling escape plan to return Paul to his mother ship. Along the way they encounter a cast of disparate characters, including the vaguely threatening Special Agent Lorenzo Zoil (Jason Bateman), his bumbling underlings Haggard (Bill Hader) and O’Reilly (Joe Lo Truglio). Paul brought the group to Tara’s house. She had rescued Paul 60 years ago when his spaceship accidentally crashed and killed Tara’s dog. Haggard, Zoil and O’Reilly surrounded the house. The fugitives were able to flee. However O’Reilly shot at them igniting gas from Tara’s stove that destroyed her house and killed him. Haggard pursued them and was able to catch them. However, poor Haggard drove off a cliff and was killed. Zoil was in constant contact with the ‘Big Guy’. Tired of waiting, she ordered a ‘military response’ to get Paul. The group was able to reach Devils Tower National Monument. They set off fireworks to signal Paul’s mothership. The Big Guy suddenly appeared in a helicopter. Zoil who is secretly Paul’s friend initiated a stand-off to disable the agents. Zoil was in fact attempting to help Paul in his escape under the guise of capturing the alien. However, he is wounded by the Big Guy. Tara was able to knock her off and she fainted. Moses also reached their and attempted to shoot Paul. However, Graeme jumped in front of the latter and was fatally wounded. Paul again used his healing powers to revive Graeme despite the
danger. Graeme faced the resurrection after his most dangerous meeting with death. This moment became the point of realization for Graeme in which a greater understanding is achieved. After this stage, Graeme and Wiig were able to admit their feeling. The journey helped them to find their love. Finally Big Guy regained consciousness and held the group at gunpoint about to finish them. She is finally crushed by a suddenly arriving Figure 2: Paul, Graeme, Clive and Wiig watching the Space ship (Tilly, 2011)
Space ship. Paul thanked his friends and proposed Tara to follow him promising to give her a new life. Two years later, Graeme, Clive, Ruth, Zoil, and O’Reilly are broadcasted at another Comic-Con, where Graeme and Clive are promoting Paul, their best-selling novel. In this movie, the hero has been resurrected, and has earned the right to be accepted back into the ordinary world and share with others the Elixir of his Journey in the form of his novel Paul.
Global researches have revealed that countries with a high religiosity have stronger faith in science as well whilst less religious ones have increased skepticism on the impact of science and technology (Pippa & Inglehart, 2011). Science is actually based on evidence and the new ideas can be replaced by old ones once proven. However, religion is faith-based and questioning its truth is prohibited as it indicates lack of faith. Whether the movie Paul resolves the age-old conflict between science and religion through the hero myth I would say that I am uncertain. According to me, the movie is wall to wall with references to other sci-fi movies. However it is very notable as to the extent to which religion plays a noteworthy role in this film. I must admit that most science-fiction movies I have watched normally avoid the issue entirely, however, the movie alien Paul spends significant time exploring the topic. However, to my knowledge, no one in the movie flat out denies the existence of Gods, or a God, not even Paul. The movie alien Paul I must admit is a fascinating insurrection of the apostle’s story, but one that ultimately leads to similar outcomes. The movie clearly comes out against fundamentalist Christianity, but I don’t think it’s as clearly against theistic religion in the same way. I believe that religion explains our existence and guides our living with the hope that we will find God and improve our living. Whilst science explains how the universe works in the hope that we will embrace new technologies in order to improve our livelihood. Science and religion I strongly feel do not naysay each other. They are both in fact systems producing theories that will bring faith in some people using different methodologies. In fact, science is concerned with predicting and describing the universe whilst religion is concerned with explaining it. I strongly feel that believing in some religion is not inherently a sufficient condition to be in conflict with science. I feel that science and religion complement each other very well. According to me, both cover certain domains but largely stay out of the other. However when they are merged; a solid ‘Theory of Everything’ comes up. No one can voice out with conviction whether or not God exists; as long as science cannot disprove the possibility; I feel that the two disciplines will continue to complement each other very well.