Guillermo del Toro’s Personal Religion


Question:
What is your personal philosophy?

Guillermo del Toro:  Well I believe... I believe... I'm semi-agnostic. I believe that there are so many things that are entirely unknowable that it’s better to abandon yourself to the wisdom of the universe, or its indifference, as Albert Camus would say.  You know? You can abandon yourself to the cold embrace of the universe or its warm embrace, depending on what vibe are you in.  But there is however, like in fractals, like in so many things, there is chaos contained within order and order contained within chaos.  And a constant flow between the two.  And I think that the beauty of understanding that is that you understand that there is a functional model to the universe.  Whether it is expanding, contracting and therefore completely changing the rules of time and space and this and that, and generating everything that we consider paranormal or spiritual.  I don’t know.  But there is a flow. There is an order; there is a function to it.  And I think that that allows us to dream our own mythologies.  

So I have constructed my own sort of personal religion, you know?  Which doesn’t depend on a guy in the sky that I pray to, but it does depend on trying to be as good a person as I can be.  And I’m not a good person all the time, but I allow myself to understand that too.  And I just think that, you know, that would be the fundamental belief that... You know, the Greeks used to say, we don’t need good government, we need good citizens.  And I think that’s the same way religion and spirituality: it doesn’t need a great church or you don’t need to belong to a great church, you just need try to be a good man, to a certain degree.  You know?  As good a man as you can be.  Whatever that measure is, be it you’re a serial killer or a war hero or a Samaritan, whatever you are, be as good a man as you can be. 

Recorded on September 22, 2010
Interviewed by Max Miller

The filmmaker grew up Catholic but is now agnostic. He prefers to abandon himself to the embrace, or perhaps indifference, of the Universe.

Live on Monday: Does the US need one billion people?

What would happen if you tripled the US population? Join Matthew Yglesias and Charles Duhigg at 1pm ET on Monday, September 28.

Ultracold gas exhibits bizarre quantum behavior

New experiments find weird quantum activity in supercold gas.

Credit: Pixabay
Surprising Science
  • Experiments on an ultracold gas show strange quantum behavior.
  • The observations point to applications in quantum computing.
  • The find may also advance chaos theory and explain the butterfly effect.
  • Keep reading Show less

    Learn innovation with 3-star Michelin chef Dominique Crenn

    Dominique Crenn, the only female chef in America with three Michelin stars, joins Big Think Live.

    Big Think LIVE

    Having been exposed to mavericks in the French culinary world at a young age, three-star Michelin chef Dominique Crenn made it her mission to cook in a way that is not only delicious and elegant, but also expressive, memorable, and true to her experience.

    Keep reading Show less

    3 cognitive biases perpetuating racism at work — and how to overcome them

    Researchers say that moral self-licensing occurs "because good deeds make people feel secure in their moral self-regard."

    Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash
    Personal Growth

    Books about race and anti-racism have dominated bestseller lists in the past few months, bringing to prominence authors including Ibram Kendi, Ijeoma Oluo, Reni Eddo-Lodge, and Robin DiAngelo.

    Keep reading Show less

    Should you grow a beard? Here's how women perceive bearded men

    Whether or not women think beards are sexy has to do with "moral disgust"

    Photo Credit: Frank Marino / Unsplash
    Sex & Relationships
    • A new study found that women perceive men with facial hair to be more attractive as well as physically and socially dominant.
    • Women tend to associate more masculine faces with physical strength, social assertiveness, and formidability.
    • Women who display higher levels of "moral disgust," or feelings of repugnance toward taboo behaviors, are more likely to prefer hairy faces.
    Keep reading Show less

    Only 35 percent of Americans know the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease

    Yet 80 percent of respondents want to reduce their risk of dementia.

    Photo: Lightspring / Shutterstock
    Mind & Brain
    • A new MDVIP/Ipsos survey found that only 35 percent of Americans know the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.
    • Eighty percent of respondents said they want to reduce their risks.
    • An estimated 7.1 million Americans over the age of 65 will suffer from Alzheimer's by 2025.
    Keep reading Show less
    Quantcast