I’d startThe Big Picture with a frame showing the earth: from every spot on it zillions of people reach their hands toward what they imagine heaven to be and shout to the God they believe in: “Please God, please universe, give us a world in which love, kindness, generosity, caring for each other, and caring for the earth have replaced violence, wars, economic and social injustice, and environmental destructiveness.”

After that prayer, someone says, “What has God done for me lately? To hell with God. Why should I believe in a God that doesn’t deliver for me?” And suddenly the zillions of people fall silent, withdrawing into their own private isolation, despairing that their prayers and actions could ever make a difference. The film thus opens into the planet-destroying phase of human history in which people actually know that they are collectively destroying...

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