Jan 31, 2007

Hooked on 24

Encouraged by other Christian philosopher-friends, I try not to watch a lot of TV. There are only a couple of shows I watch on a regular basis. One of them, fairly recently acquired, is 24. The show is addictive, and I have to say that I am hooked. It must be the incessant cliffhanger endings on each episode.

However, the more I watch the program, the more I find myself analyzing its underlying philosophy and worldview. There is no doubt that the show is "politically conservative" and that's why a lot of conservatives rave about it, I'm sure. But, all kinds of ethical issues and questions come up if you pay close attention. Questions about the justice of war. Questions about the morality of torture in wartime. Trust and honesty (or the lack thereof). Many of the ethical decisions made by the characters (esp. the main character Jack Bauer) seem based on utilitarian considerations--the idea that what's right is bringing about the most happiness for the most people--though there are times when Jack makes more principled decisions as a deontologist would.

I would be very interested in what any readers out there think about 24 from a Christian and/or ethical viewpoint. Are the themes in the show and the actions of its protagonists consistent or inconsistent with Christian belief? Or sometimes consistent and sometimes not? How and when?