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Default Golden Compass "Good Or Bad"

December 8th, 2007, 17:57
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
JemyM, for example, has repeatedly stated that he is an anti-religious atheist. I am also an atheist, but I am not anti-religious. (If I were, that would cause me severe problems at home, since my wife is a practicing Catholic.)
I do not call myself "atheist". It's a word others put on me. It's silly because they cannot even define what a "theist" actually believe. For most "atheist" simply means "not a member of Christianity" and I find it revealing when people toss around a label for those who are not submit to their cult in a "those who are not with us are against us" kind of fashion.
Also I am not against religions. I am against dogmas which includes lethal and oppressive suggestions which misdirect and segregate mankind. This just happen to include most world religions and several political ideologies.

Personally I am not in a rush to see Golden Compass. Neither was I in a rush to see Narnia. I have not seen Passion of the Christ but I would love to see a movie based on the life of Muhammad, Siddharta or the story of Krishna and Arjuna.
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December 8th, 2007, 18:26
Originally Posted by nessosin View Post
CS. Lewis Narnia is a propaganda? Since when?
It's Christian philosophy, packaged to be easily sold to children. It also has some elements that I find morally abhorrent and would not allow my children to read on their own, without subsequent discussion. Specifically, Susan's fate.

(Of course "propaganda" is usually used for politics, so feel free to substitute "evangelism" if you're more comfortable with the term in this context.)
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December 8th, 2007, 18:43
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
It's Christian philosophy, packaged to be easily sold to children. It also has some elements that I find morally abhorrent and would not allow my children to read on their own, without subsequent discussion. Specifically, Susan's fate.

(Of course "propaganda" is usually used for politics, so feel free to substitute "evangelism" if you're more comfortable with the term in this context.)
I read all of stories from "Narnia" when I was a child (around 8-9 years) and I dont feel influenced by it now. For me it was always fantasy for youglings .

And really I dont understand what you could specifically find in the books concerning universal morality that it would have been bad for your childreen. Care to give some examples?
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December 8th, 2007, 19:47
Originally Posted by nessosin View Post
And really I dont understand what you could specifically find in the books concerning universal morality that it would have been bad for your childreen. Care to give some examples?
Susan was condemned to perdition because she found out about boys.
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December 8th, 2007, 22:10
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
Susan was condemned to perdition because she found out about boys.
Originally Posted by Wiki
Lewis's supporters also point out that the other children enter into the "new" Narnia (representative of the eternal Heaven) because they have died in a train accident, while Susan remains alive on our world, so that there is no proof that she has been permanently "excluded" (i.e., damned). The first footnote under Susan’s entry in Companion of Narnia by Paul F. Ford helps in an understanding of Susan’s absence at the end of The Last Battle. Most importantly, Aslan’s last words at the coronation in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe offer the best justification for Susan's eventual reunion with her family and friends in Aslan’s Country: "Once a King or Queen in Narnia Always a King or Queen in Narnia…"
So its not that she is damned or smth.
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December 8th, 2007, 22:32
Read the books again, nessosin, esp. The Last Battle. "Proof" or not, the author makes his intent quite clear.

Originally Posted by C.S.Lewis
'Sir,' said Tirian, when he had greeted all these. 'If I have read the chronicles aright, there should be another. Has not your Majesty two sisters? Where is Queen Susan?'
'My sister Susan,' answered Peter shortly and gravely, 'is no longer a friend of Narnia.'
'Yes,' said Eustace, 'and whenever you've tried to get her to come and talk about Narnia or do anything about Narnia, she says, "What wonderful memories you have! Fancy you still thinking about all those funny games we used to play when we were children."'
'Oh Susan!' said Jill, 'she's interested in nothing now-a-days except nylons and lipstick and invitations. She always was a jolly sight too keen on being grown-up.'
I remember how I experienced it when I first read it around the age of 10 or 11, and it still reads the same way. Sophistry like the stuff you quoted won't change it: C.S. Lewis damned Susan, and his siblings and all the other characters never gave her a second thought.
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December 10th, 2007, 18:46
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
'Oh Susan!' said Jill, 'she's interested in nothing now-a-days except nylons and lipstick and invitations. She always was a jolly sight too keen on being grown-up.'

Susan was condemned to perdition because she found out about boys.

I remember how I experienced it when I first read it around the age of 10 or 11, and it still reads the same way. Sophistry like the stuff you quoted won't change it: C.S. Lewis damned Susan, and his siblings and all the other characters never gave her a second thought.
So Susan went off into the real world and got herself all tarted up with lipstick and stockings for an enthusiastic sex life and the others missed out on all that and just hang around in the back of a closet eating turkish delight for all eternity?

I reckon Susan got the better end of the deal personally.
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December 10th, 2007, 20:12
And, of course, as nessosin pointed out, she had all of a lifetime to repent of her wicked ways so she could rejoin the rest of the Kings and Queens for loukoum in the Great Beyond.
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December 11th, 2007, 13:52
1) Lewis "Narnia" hasn't made from me a catholic, though I really loved his books and tv-series (I think it was made by bbc) in childhood, well I still like it very much . I suppose Pullman's books also wouldn't made from me anty-christian if I read them in childhood. It's because thease books have second layer and this layer isn't easily seen when you're a kid. You focus on story, adventure and magic.
This case with Susan was sad for me (if I clearly remember my impressions from childhood) but I treated it in some way similar to Peter Pan, some things are avaible only for children. though I don't agree with it grrrhhh

2) In my life I read a lot of books, which authors' philosophy I didn't agree with and still loved those books. It's nice intelectual stimulation . I think it's a shame to miss great book because you don't agree with author vison of world. It's a matter of curiosity and willing to explore. And maybe willing to discuss.

3) "Golden compass"-movie: do you really think hollywood took a risk and put into the movie this second background of Pullman's books? I think they only left adventure and smartly rid off some "controversial" things. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against to see only adventure from this book .
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December 11th, 2007, 15:19
The question is, why should Christians not read a good story, even if it challenges their belief? I am more of an agnostic than an atheist, with some panteheistic tendencies. I read the Narnia books (and the screwtape letters) with considerable delight despite its sometimes heavy handed christian context. I have also read and enjoyed, books strongly championing budhism, islam, hinduism, and various pagan belief systems, all the way to strict atheism. Books that make a good story or a good argument are always worth reading, and the intellectual challenge of dissecting the purported world view against your own only adds to the enjoyment.

If a christian actually feels threatened by the fantasy in Pullmans book, maybe his beliefs aren't as strong as claimed, because otherwise he will find a smart play on christian myth, lots of Milton stood on its head, and a darn good yarn on top.
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December 11th, 2007, 15:31
Originally Posted by zima98 View Post
2) In my life I read a lot of books, which authors' philosophy I didn't agree with and still loved those books. It's nice intelectual stimulation . I think it's a shame to miss great book because you don't agree with author vison of world. It's a matter of curiosity and willing to explore. And maybe willing to discuss.
Same here (Robert A. Heinlein, Orson Scott Card, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Maksim Gorkii, to name a few off the top of my head). The thing is, these authors use their literature as a vehicle for their ideas either to challenge the reader on equal terms (Heinlein, Gorkii) or simply to express them (Card, Tolkien), whereas in the Narnia series CSL is talking down to his public — he's not leaving any room for disagreement or discourse; instead, he's creating an elaborate fiction expressly designed to sneak in his ideas into receptive minds "under the radar" as it were.

And no, "but it's children's fiction" isn't an acceptable excuse. Several authors manage not to talk down to their public even if their public is children, and even if they treat difficult subjects. Examples: most of Astrid Lindgren, most of Tove Jansson, The Amazing Maurice And His Educated Rodents, Wee Free Men, and A Hat Full Of Sky by Terry Pratchett (although IMO he stumbled badly in Wintersmith in this very respect).

Incidentally, I enjoyed CSL's Silent Planet trilogy much more than Narnia, precisely because there he's talking to the reader as an equal rather than talking down to him, even if it does get a bit didactic and rather transparently allegorical at times ("Ransom" indeed.)

Oh, and CSL was Anglican, not Catholic (much to his one-time friend Tolkien's chagrin).
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December 11th, 2007, 18:38
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
The question is, why should Christians not read a good story, even if it challenges their belief? I am more of an agnostic than an atheist, with some panteheistic tendencies. I read the Narnia books (and the screwtape letters) with considerable delight despite its sometimes heavy handed christian context. I have also read and enjoyed, books strongly championing budhism, islam, hinduism, and various pagan belief systems, all the way to strict atheism. Books that make a good story or a good argument are always worth reading, and the intellectual challenge of dissecting the purported world view against your own only adds to the enjoyment.

If a christian actually feels threatened by the fantasy in Pullmans book, maybe his beliefs aren't as strong as claimed, because otherwise he will find a smart play on christian myth, lots of Milton stood on its head, and a darn good yarn on top.
1. Because they may drop into hell for doing so.
2. Because the leaders of the church loose power if their churchgoers start to get unwanted ideas.

"Boycott Worked": Compass Flops - Opening Weekend $26 Million; Narnia $63 Million
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December 11th, 2007, 19:17
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
Oh, and CSL was Anglican, not Catholic (much to his one-time friend Tolkien's chagrin).
Yes, I know. I wrote first part of my post without explanation. It's because in Poland catholic church like to say: read Lewis, watch Narnia movie . That's why I wrote: "Narnia didn't make from me catholic" (it has nothing to do with Lewis religion ).
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December 11th, 2007, 23:52
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
1. Because they may drop into hell for doing so.
2. Because the leaders of the church loose power if their churchgoers start to get unwanted ideas.

"Boycott Worked": Compass Flops - Opening Weekend $26 Million; Narnia $63 Million
Jemmy, now you're being totally, off the planet, ridiculous!! Those statements are simply rubbish.

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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December 12th, 2007, 00:45
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
1. Because they may drop into hell for doing so.
2. Because the leaders of the church loose power if their churchgoers start to get unwanted ideas.

"Boycott Worked": Compass Flops - Opening Weekend $26 Million; Narnia $63 Million
Actually many Christian writers have read and support the books even is they don't like the ideas - I was reading Entertainment Weekly in the airport yesterday (4 hour delay, sue me )and it talked about a writer who was inspired by Pullman's work … and the feelings it produced in her.

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December 12th, 2007, 15:47
Originally Posted by Corwin View Post
Jemmy, now you're being totally, off the planet, ridiculous!! Those statements are simply rubbish.
Yeah, right, because "no other religion (than catholicism) has done more to promote human rights, science and goodwill" and that organization is completely innocent.
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December 12th, 2007, 19:04
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
Yeah, right, because "no other religion (than catholicism) has done more to promote human rights, science and goodwill" and that organization is completely innocent.
The thing is, some Christian groups have called for boycotts, but others have not, instead saying that the issues raised about religion as well as authoritarianism and other stuff, make for a good opportunity to discuss with kids. Also, there are many Christian fans of Pullman's work - they disagree with his ideas but like his stuff. And if you think about it, to simultaneously like CS Lewis, Pullman, and Sartre (as I do) you have to believe that ideas are wonderful things whether or not you agree with them.

The concern about your statements is that they paint it as if *every* Christian element is completely and totally opposed to anyone partaking in Pullman's stuff and considers it a (to use a Catholic term) Mortal Sin. It jst isn't true.

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December 13th, 2007, 20:54
Watched this one yesterday. The movies religious agenda or lack of agenda didn't really bother me, Christian though I am. If your faith is not strong enough to deal with a children's movie, well, you have other issues.

No, the reason I put Golden Compass firmly in the "Bad" category was simply because it was well, just bad. I expected to enjoy a mildly charming kids flick with talking animals ala Narnia. Not a chance. I dislike Harry Potter but this movie made it look like good in comparison. Were they that many plot holes in the books or was it just the movie translation? Oh man, the day Christians need to be worried about something as clumsy and contrived as that will be a dark day indeed.

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December 13th, 2007, 21:05
I would say that the writing of Pullman's books is definitely better than Harry Potter … especially after she got to the point where it seemed she had no editor (e.g 200 pages of endless Quidditch World Cup!)

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December 14th, 2007, 00:19
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
The thing is, some Christian groups have called for boycotts, but others have not, instead saying that the issues raised about religion as well as authoritarianism and other stuff, make for a good opportunity to discuss with kids. Also, there are many Christian fans of Pullman's work - they disagree with his ideas but like his stuff. And if you think about it, to simultaneously like CS Lewis, Pullman, and Sartre (as I do) you have to believe that ideas are wonderful things whether or not you agree with them.

The concern about your statements is that they paint it as if *every* Christian element is completely and totally opposed to anyone partaking in Pullman's stuff and considers it a (to use a Catholic term) Mortal Sin. It jst isn't true.
You know which term I use for those who think like that -> fanatics.

@Naked Ninja: From what I heard so far is that the book indeed is a lot better. I think I'll waite till it comes out on DVD and judge for myself. Don't know weather the local library has these books, but I'll try to find them.

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