Lord of the Rings/Harry Potter?

Discussion in 'Books / Publications Forum' started by mark, Dec 28, 2001.

  1. mark

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    I know a lot of Baptists thinkall movies are bad, but I do attend every once in a while. ANyway my question... do those of us who do see movies still have a double standard. For example we all grew up with the "old" Disney, but it was filled with magic mirrors, sorcer's, Merlins, etc, we watched the TV show Bewitched, but then we come unglued at Harry Potter. Well, on the recommendation of Crosswalk.com, I went to see Lord of Rings. You talk about sorcery, evil spirits, and grusome vilians, it was not a film for the weak of stomache. Why is "Harry Potter" evil (I did not see it btw) and "Lord of the Rings" a classic?

    [ December 28, 2001: Message edited by: Chris Temple ]
     
  2. mark

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    LOL&lt; I have cyber sitter filter and it filtered the p.o.t out of Harry P.o.t.t.e.r. :D
     
  3. lightkeeper

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    While this subject probably requires a book, I could summarize my research. First of all, Harry Potter makes frequent reference to the book of Wicca and promotes the Wiccan religion. As outlandish as it seems, these books make witchcraft seem attractive. There is also no clear-cut good or evil (moralistic relativism).

    Lord of the Rings is written by a Christian author who is trying to clearly portray good versus evil and is trying to use imagery and themes from Christianity. While this is an intense movie not for young children, I was impressed by its majesty and the way it told this wonderful story. I also like the way it clearly shows the effect that evil can have on anyone, even those seen as pure.
     
  4. mark

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    ok, good. Just out of curiousity, did you see Harry P.o.tter or are you going from what others have written about it? Are the books the same way? Like I said, I didn't see HP, but I have seen LofTR. I haven't read either set of books.
     
  5. Jamal5000

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by mark:
    Why is "Harry Potter" evil (I did not see it btw) and "Lord of the Rings" a classic?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Personally, to like one and not the other is hypocrisy when both deal with magic and wizardry. I have seen The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. It's just movie. Tolkien was an exceptional storyteller, and that's all it is: a story. Rowling's book is the same.
    I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. I don't believe he is evil. To me, that's taking this stuff waaaay to seriously. I agree that it takes a mature discernment level to look at these movies and not get influenced. On the other hand, this goes with everything in the world, right? You just lean on God in every situation. No more and no less.

    Agitiaton in Christians over these types of films puzzles me (as does the paranoia surrounding Halloween). If Harry Potter is evil, so is the fairy godmother in Cinderella and the "good witch" in the Wizard of Oz and Tinker Bell in Peter Pan and the three good fairies in Disney's Sleeping Beauty.


    God Bless You,
    Jamal5000 [​IMG]
     
  6. Pete Richert

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    Tolkien was a Christian and he did try to show Christian themes in his books. I'm not sure the movie had the same agenda in mind though. I wouldn't let my young children see this movie for it is kind of scary and violent, and does portray sorcery and such in a good light. Personally though, I enjoyed it. Maybe a little load.
     
  7. Steveninetx

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    I have read all 4 Harry Potter books and I thought they reminded me of my love for books like the Lord of the Rings while I was reading it. I didn't go see the movie only because I usually don't go and see movies based upon books that I really enjoy. Too many times the film just ruines or doesn't live up to my own imagination. I don't understand where people call Harry evil. Lord Voldemort is evil. I have read many articles where people write about things that Harry does in the books and everything they cite is being done by Voldemort. I think they are excellent books that allow something rare in this day and age to take place. Quality time between parents and their children as they read and discuss the books together.

    Steven :cool:
     
  8. superdave

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    There are many differences, too many to address in detail here.

    The big one is this. Lord of the Rings is for the most part, imaginary. It reflects no reality that would be mistaken for truth.

    Harry Potter blurs the line between what is made up and what is real. And yes, I have read two of the books, first and last, and have read summaries of the other two.

    J.K. Rowling uses modern occult and wiccan religion to model her school of witchcraft. It is not even historical as she claims. It is still being practiced in the way she describes today. Lord of the Rings is not in any way close to the practice of occultism, and Tolkien himself did not like using the word Magic. He was not referring either to stage magic or witchcraft when he used the word in his books. Even the elves question why hobbits and men call their powers magic. It is part of their very nature, as is the powers of characters such as Saruman, Gandolf, and Sauron. They are a separate race of beings that have certain abilities. Objects in LOTR are not demon possessed or enchanted, but have been made in a special way to be powerful, (I.E. the rings of power, frodo's Mithrel corselet, Aragorn's Sword, Frodo's sword Sting, which glows when Goblins are near.)

    As far as Harry Potter, being children's books, well, there is a whole host of other reasons why they are not appropriate for the age group they are marketed to, 6-11 years. The gory depictions of violence, and the language. I could not write some of the words used directly in the book, because they would just come out as *******. The Lord's name in vain, as well as several other crude and obscene terms.

    The most concerning thing about the books is the rampant moral relativism.

    Steve, You asked how anyone could call Harry "Bad" well, Harry is not a "Bad" character in the book, that is clear. His purposes are generally good. But his behavior is many times less than good. Would you call your child good if they Disobeyed, lied/cheated, broke the rules of their school or household, or were cruel to others? Harry does all these things in the name of good, and rarely is he punished for his behavior, in many cases he is rewarded. He rides a broomstick after the teacher says they will be expelled if they do, and is rewarded for his behaviour by being placed on the quiddich team. He uses magic as an underage wizard, and is told, it does not matter, they will not follow the rules and expell him. He and his friends regularly sneak out of their rooms and get into trouble, but rarely get caught, and are not punished. Even when the headmaster of the school catches Harry at the mirror of Erised he simply explains what it is and does, and sends him back to bed.

    Adults who want Harry to behave or be punished for his behavior are portrayed by Rowling as "Bad". Professor Snape, Argus Filtch, or the Dursleys.

    The headmaster of the school says to Harry in I believe the third book, "Truth is generally preferrable to lies" and that is the message of the whole series. There are many many more examples of this type of lesson being taught by the books either directly or by example.

    As far as "good vs. evil" it gets even cloudier. Professor Snape is the suspect for much of the first book, than he helps Harry and professor Quirrel ends up being possessed by the evil Lord Voldemort. "Good" characters lie, cheat, and break rules if no good reason to obey them is present. They allow Harry and his friends to get away with the same because Harry is "special" and their motives were good. "The Ends justfiy the means" is a primary thread. And the evil of Voldemort has no equal, except the Love of people for one another.

    In the Lord of the Rings, it is very clear who the good and evil characters are. There is deception and betrayal, but in general the readers can figure out the situation and once someone is revealed as evil, they stay that way. The "good" characters in general obey the common rules of society, they tell the truth, or say nothing. They do not steal, and when they do anything that would be considered wrong, there are usually bad consequences. There is a being who has purposes and power over all of middle earth. Gandalf talks about Frodo being meant to have the ring, and having a responsibility given to him. Not by Gandalf or by society, but by the "God" of Middle earth. This is the power that opposes the evil Lord Sauron, not a mystical "love of Harry's Mother" that would save one from evil. The lessons learned are those of courage, honor, standing for what is right and good, our lives have a purpose, God uses the small to confront the mighty, and doing all these things while not using immoral means of doing so. Tolkien's perspective makes a big difference, and the two writings are similar only on the surface. Besides the fact that if you have read the Lord of the Rings you know it is a classic, while the Harry Potter series seemed to me to be a gimmicky, shock fiction series on the order of The Goosebumps books by R.L. Stine.

    The Book "Harry Potter and the Bible" by Richard Abanes is fairly good. It covers the first four books in detail. I don't agree with all his points, and he goes too far in his analogies in a couple places, but has many examples and has some great research about the background for some of the occult references in the book. If you are serious about studying the truth about the books, at least read one or two of the books, just don't let your kids read them.

    For many of the same reasons as LOTR, I don't think Harry Potter is appropriate for kids, and for many reasons over and above that I don't thing Harry Potter is appropriate for adults either.

    I can give you more details via email if you would like.
     
  9. Steveninetx

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    I agree with you when it comes to the differences that make LOTR a better series than Harry Potter. If you have to choose between the two books, I agree LOTR is the better book.

    My problem is when you talk about Harry misbehaves and gets away with it. Many of the things he does that are against the rules are usually done by accident. He doesn't understand how his powers work or why it seems he is constantly under attack by the minions of evil (Lord Voldemort). I agree that there are many problems with the books but I also think there are many good things about them too. That's why I constantly reiterate that parents are to be vigilant and constantly in conversation with their children. I would be happy to recieve anything you may want to send me via email. There's nothing better than good debate and learning from it.

    Steven
     
  10. Jamal5000

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  11. Ransom

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    superdave said:

    The big one is this. Lord of the Rings is for the most part, imaginary. It reflects no reality that would be mistaken for truth.

    Harry Potter blurs the line between what is made up and what is real.


    If Harry Potter "blurs" this line, then all fiction is equally guilty because fiction, by definition, never happened.

    But all fiction likewise reflects something of reality - even LotR. The characters in Tolkien may be orcs and hobbits and dwarfs in addition to men, but they are all driven by the same passions and desires as non-fictional people. If you fall off a bridge while fighting a Balrog, gravity has the same effect on you as if you fall off a bridge in the real world. Fiction must reflect reality to a certain extent, otherwise we have no common ground upon which to appreciate or identify with it.

    So if Harry Potter blurs the line between fantasy and reality, this is not a criticism against Harry Potter because it is only doing what all fiction does. It is merely a matter of the degree to which fantasy and "reality" are visibly separate from each other. By the same criterion, you would have to judge murder mysteries or Harlequin romances as the worst offenders (since nothing happens in them that couldn't happen in the real world), Harry Potter somewhere in the middle (since Hogwarts and the magical community, though part of our world, are magically concealed from us Muggles), and Tolkien at the other end of the spectrum (since it takes place entirely in Middle-earth).

    J.K. Rowling uses modern occult and wiccan religion to model her school of witchcraft. It is not even historical as she claims. It is still being practiced in the way she describes today.

    "Real" Wiccans wave willow-and-phoenix-feather wands and cast spells in mock-Latin puns, mix eye of newt and toe of frog in boiling cauldrons, and fly through the air on brooms? Hardly.

    Actually, Wicca is largely pantheism and nature worship, which are not part of Harry Potter's world. Rowling's sources are folklore and her own head.

    Even the elves [in Tolkien] question why hobbits and men call their powers magic. It is part of their very nature, as is the powers of characters such as Saruman, Gandolf, and Sauron.

    This is no different from Harry Potter, where magical ability is, for lack of a better word, genetic. It is indeed "part of your very nature"; you're born with it or you're not. Those who aren't, are "Muggles." Harry's father was a wizard, and his mother was not. Just as two brown-eyed parents can sometimes produce blue-eyed offspring, sometimes children of Muggles are born with magical ability (Harry's friend Hermione is one of these; her parents are dentists). And this works in reverse as well: Filch, the caretaker at Hogwarts, is a "squib," someone with no magical ability born of wizards; in one book he is trying to learn magic by mail-order.

    They are a separate race of beings that have certain abilities.

    Just like Wizards and Muggles, in other words.

    Objects in LOTR are not demon possessed or enchanted, but have been made in a special way to be powerful,

    Partly true also in the world of Harry Potter, though it is also possible to enchant mundane articles (such as the Weasleys' flying car).

    Of course, I would be remiss to point out that in LotR, the hold that the Rings of Power have over their owners is very much like demon possession!

    I could not write some of the words used directly in the book, because they would just come out as *******. The Lord's name in vain, as well as several other crude and obscene terms.

    You are overstating the case. The Lord's name is taken in vain but a few times. I don't approve of it either, but you are making it sound like the characters are swearing a blue streak of profanity from one cover to the other, which they are not. Furthermore, the "several other crude and obscene terms" are commonplace in British literature (which Harry Potter is), and even acceptable in children's literature - the same "crude" words appear frequently in the Chronicles of Narnia!

    The most concerning thing about the books is the rampant moral relativism.

    I fail to see any "rampant moral relativism" in any of the books. In fact, it's quite clear that you are supposed to side with the good, and oppose evil.

    A local columnist, a Roman Catholic, rightly pointed out that one weakness of Rowling's moral world is that while good and evil are absolute, they are not properly grounded in the mind of God. Therefore, he argues (and I agree) the moral system of Harry Potter is not incompatible with Christianity so much as incomplete. He recommended Narnia to complete your children's "education," as it were.

    There are places where sometimes the books are morally ambiguous, e.g. the loyalties of the various Hogwarts teachers are not always clear. But not knowing who is good or evil is not the same as saying good and evil are relative.

    We see the same thing in LotR: at first we are led to believe that Saruman is good; it seems at one point that Gollum might be redeemable; Boromir becomes enchanted by the Ring and betrays Frodo; even Gandalf seems to be manipulating events behind the scenes.

    Quite frankly, stories where you can tell the good guys from the bad guys by the colour of hat they wear or their silly accents are dumb.

    Would you call your child good if they Disobeyed, lied/cheated, broke the rules of their school or household, or were cruel to others?

    In addition to fantasy, Harry Potter is also partly of the genre of "boarding school" stories, such as Tom Brown's School Days by Thomas Hughes (this book is one of Rowling's inspirations, and I also recommend it as good reading). It is a standard vehicle for character development in these stories for the protagonist to break the school rules, suffer some consequence, perhaps have a run-in with the stern but kindly Headmaster. If Harry breaks the Hogwarts rules, he is only following the conventions established for his kind of story.

    Moreover, except for a very few introductory-type passages, Rowling writes from a point of view called "limited omniscience" - a third-person narrative from the point of view of a single character. We only know what Harry knows, so if Rowling wants to reveal some crucial bit of information to the reader, she has to find some way of getting Harry to hear it. In many cases that means donning the Invisibility Cloak and snooping. It ain't what we ourselves would do, but it's better storytelling - it creates suspense.

    Harry does all these things in the name of good, and rarely is he punished for his behavior, in many cases he is rewarded. He rides a broomstick after the teacher says they will be expelled if they do, and is rewarded for his behaviour by being placed on the quiddich team.

    Yes, but he is also reprimanded and told that he ought to have been expelled. It is implied that Harry was not punished because his motives were honourable (defending a weaker child from a bully) and this mitigated his guilt. Obeying God rather than men, as it were.

    Adults who want Harry to behave or be punished for his behavior are portrayed by Rowling as "Bad". Professor Snape, Argus Filtch, or the Dursleys.

    Not so. The Dursleys are bad because they are bigots and child abusers. Filch doesn't like anyone sneaking around because he has to clean up after them. Snape wants Harry to be punished not because of his high regard for the school rules but a personal grudge, but as the story develops it is becoming apparent he is one of the "good guys" nonetheless.

    In fact, the strictest teacher is Prof. McGonagall, who is unquestionably good, and admired by Harry.

    The headmaster of the school says to Harry in I believe the third book, "Truth is generally preferrable to lies" and that is the message of the whole series.

    Understatement is a characteristic of dry British wit.

    As far as "good vs. evil" it gets even cloudier. Professor Snape is the suspect for much of the first book, than he helps Harry and professor Quirrel ends up being possessed by the evil Lord Voldemort.

    Well, as I said above, the good guys and the bad guys are rarely clearly identified as such. Moral ambiguity (in addition to being a realistic portrayal of the world) makes good storytelling - it builds suspense as we try and figure out where everyone's loyalties really lie.

    The Book "Harry Potter and the Bible" by Richard Abanes is fairly good.

    Also, for an excellent critique that is generally supportive of Harry Potter, see also What's a Christian to Do With Harry Potter? by Connie Neal.

    I also recently aquired a short book, A Closer Look at Harry Potter by John Houghton. He comes down somewhat against the stories (not condemning them outright) and many of his insights are thoughtful, though there are a few places where he undermines himself with misinterpretations or errors of fact.

    [ January 07, 2002: Message edited by: Ransom ]
     
  12. superdave

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    Whoa,don't have time to answer all that in detail, I'll just hit the high points, and try to acknowlege where I think you guys are correct as well.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> I understand what you mean, but it sounds to me like you are rationalizing using LOTR philosophy rather than real-life philosophy. An analogous example would be if I tried to explain how Star Trek's teleportation works based on what Scotty said. It still looks like wizardry and socecery to me which puts it on the same level as Harry Potter.

    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    The analogy to Star Trek is apt. The analogy to Harry Potter is not, as The Magic of Harry Potter is based (even if loosely) on modern occult practice. You do understand the concept, maybe just not why Harry Potter does not fit into the analogy. There is much explanation right in the text of LOTR that reveals the nature and character of the "magic" In Harry Potter it is meant to be magic in a real sense. The Lore and magic of LOTR would me much more analogous to the technology of Star Trek. We would view it as magical, because it is not within our technical knowlege. Same could be said of our modern technolgy to a person from an earlier age, yet, that does not make it magic. In the Harry Potter series, it is intentionally patterned after modern occult magic.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> But both books deal with magic. Since God frowns on magic, doesn't that automatically put them on His bad side? Consequentially, whether either story sits in reality or make-believe becomes a non-issue does it not? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    If you read carefully, I was trying to differentiate between the "magic" of LOTR and Harry Potter. My position would be that the magic condemned clearly in scripture is the practice of occultism, and is what the magic in Harry Potter is based on. LOTR is another animal entirely, even if on the surface, some of the same terms and concepts appear. Wizards, trolls, etc.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Violence and tough language are necessary if it helps better transmit the message. Otherwise, we might as well stop reading fiction books. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    If we were talking adult fiction here, I would agree, I don't think it is neccessary for children. I would not recommend LOTR for children either for some of the same reasons.


    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Misbehaving for the good of things is part of reality, and kids need to realize that more and more at a younger age so that they can know how to deal with it as a Christian when they get put in those positions as adolescents and adults. The exploits of Harry Potter and other similar stories are just some ways where kids can see examples of such situations without being exposed to it themselves. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    It is true that these types of situations are part of reality. I think there is a danger in teaching kids that its OK to defy authority whenever you feel that you have a better reason to disobey. There are moral absolutes which must underly any decision to defy authority. Harry Potter is not a "Obey God rather than man" scenario. It is "Do what you feel is right" there is a big difference!

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> On the whole, all I can say is test everything through God, but an uninformed disciple tends to be a poor witness. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I agree, thats why I read a couple of the books for myself. I was not convinced by any of the really extreme rhetoric that I had read and seen about the books. I actually would say my position is that you can find much better material for your kids to read, not that I would condemn someone to burn in hell for reading them or allowing their children to. There are far more morally clear stories that can teach children about the lessons you say are important.

    Now into the next post

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>If Harry Potter "blurs" this line, then all fiction is equally guilty because fiction, by definition, never happened.

    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    My problem with the blurry line is not its fictional nature, in fact I would be overjoyed if it were fiction, but that it is clearly patterned after real modern occult practice. Gravity, and Spell casting are hardly the same thing!

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> Real" Wiccans wave willow-and-phoenix-feather wands and cast spells in mock-Latin puns, mix eye of newt and toe of frog in boiling cauldrons, and fly through the air on brooms? Hardly.

    Actually, Wicca is largely pantheism and nature worship, which are not part of Harry Potter's world. Rowling's sources are folklore and her own head.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    There is plenty of fiction in her version of magic, but the underlying beliefs and practices in general are the same, as is the method of training.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> This is no different from Harry Potter, where magical ability is, for lack of a better word, genetic. It is indeed "part of your very nature"; you're born with it or you're not. Those who aren't, are "Muggles." Harry's father was a wizard, and his mother was not. Just as two brown-eyed parents can sometimes produce blue-eyed offspring, sometimes children of Muggles are born with magical ability (Harry's friend Hermione is one of these; her parents are dentists). And this works in reverse as well: Filch, the caretaker at Hogwarts, is a "squib," someone with no magical ability born of wizards; in one book he is trying to learn magic by mail-order.

    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    This is one confusing part of Rowling's books I haven't totally figured out. She herself says "We all have magic within us", and even describes muggles as people who are too ****** to understand the world of magic. The other clear difference is that even genetically gifted magical people in Harry Potter must go to Hogwarts and learn magic. In LOTR, elves have magic my their nature, as do Wizards. They can learn various lore and Gandalf studies historical documents about the rings, but their ability to do certain "magic" is not learned.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> Of course, I would be remiss to point out that in LotR, the hold that the Rings of Power have over their owners is very much like demon possession!
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    The power of the Rings does not create clear depictions of full mediumship or possession as would be described in the Harry Potter series. Characterized by voice changes, trance, or fortelling the future. They are not one and the same. There is no paralell to the power of the rings in modern occultism. It is purely a fictional device

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> Adults who want Harry to behave or be punished for his behavior are portrayed by Rowling as "Bad". Professor Snape, Argus Filtch, or the Dursleys.

    Not so. The Dursleys are bad because they are bigots and child abusers. Filch doesn't like anyone sneaking around because he has to clean up after them. Snape wants Harry to be punished not because of his high regard for the school rules but a personal grudge, but as the story develops it is becoming apparent he is one of the "good guys" nonetheless.

    In fact, the strictest teacher is Prof. McGonagall, who is unquestionably good, and admired by Harry.

    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    This proves my point. The only characters who come down hard on Harry for any disobedience are either portrayed negatively for that behaviour, or they are morally corrupt in other ways, the dursleys being a prime example. Prof. McGonagall is admired by Harry, and portrayed as good, and is one of the characters who does not punish Harry when it is due. When Harry illegally rides a broom, he is not praised for sticking up for a student against a bully, "Obeying God rather than man", but for his amazing skill at broomriding, why he did it does not even enter in . An excellent chance for Rowling to have made a clear moral lesson where the rules sometimes do have to be broken, and she leaves it open ended.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> We see the same thing in LotR: at first we are led to believe that Saruman is good; it seems at one point that Gollum might be redeemable; Boromir becomes enchanted by the Ring and betrays Frodo; even Gandalf seems to be manipulating events behind the scenes. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    In LOtR, the characters who turn out to be good follow rules of moral behavior, and in cases where they do not, the consequences of their actions result. There is a difference. In Harry Potter even the characters who are clearly good in their overall intents and purposes, behave in ways that are not moral or right, and most of the time, there are no bad consequences or punishment. That is the difference.

    I would not recommend the books for children, and definately not without some PG. If you want to read them with your kids so you can clear up some of the moral ambiguity that's fine. Just don't start too young. I know a couple parents who stopped reading them to their kids to get rid of nightmares. (1st and 2nd graders)

    The occult practices in the books I think are clearly condemned in scripture, and are very similar to modern occultism. So much so that a young man who comes to our wednesday night program, and claims that his family are all witches, says he was glad that kids have a more positive view of witches after reading the books, and that "not all witches are bad"

    Many of the reasons why Harry Potter books are not for kids, apply to LOtR as well. Most of my objections are about things that adult fiction contains, and I have no problem with. I think children's fiction ought to be much more cut and dry. I think the facsination by adults with these books demonstrates the adult nature of some of the material and devices used.

    To get back to the original intent of the thread, I think many of the differences between Harry Potter and LOtR are valid, and that they are similar only on the surface.

    **The quotes are mostly out of context in the interest of brevity (it didn't work) and are meant to reference where in the above posts to compare. Please read the whole thread before accusing me of misrepresenting anything. That was not my intent.
     
  13. superdave

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    Has anyone read the book "Finding God in the Lord of the Rings"? I was wondering if it would be any good. I don't know who wrote it.
     
  14. Jamal5000

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by superdave:
    The analogy to Star Trek is apt. The analogy to Harry Potter is not, as The Magic of Harry Potter is based (even if loosely) on modern occult practice. You do understand the concept, maybe just not why Harry Potter does not fit into the analogy. There is much explanation right in the text of LOTR that reveals the nature and character of the "magic" In Harry Potter it is meant to be magic in a real sense. The Lore and magic of LOTR would me much more analogous to the technology of Star Trek. We would view it as magical, because it is not within our technical knowlege. Same could be said of our modern technolgy to a person from an earlier age, yet, that does not make it magic. In the Harry Potter series, it is intentionally patterned after modern occult magic. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Yes, I agree that Harry Potter's version of magic (I would call it similar to Wiccan/Neo-paganism rather than similar occultism) is more real than the "magic" in LOTR, but does that make the LOTR more acceptable? Even if Rowling based her wizard world on real concepts, Roddenberry based his space-age world on real physics when he created he Star Trek universe. In order for Tolkien to create such a captivating world in LOTR, he had to appeal to people's preconceived notions about reality, race-relations, and magic. Otherwise, his readers would see it as illogical and flat. Nevertheless, whether Potter and LOTR use "magic" or magic, are not both books promoting some strain of wizardry and socerery? Since God condemns all forms of these things (real-life based and more unrealistically based), both of these books should get put in the same category: the inappropriate category or the appropriate category.

    If you read carefully, I was trying to differentiate between the "magic" of LOTR and Harry Potter. My position would be that the magic condemned clearly in scripture is the practice of occultism, and is what the magic in Harry Potter is based on. LOTR is another animal entirely, even if on the surface, some of the same terms and concepts appear. Wizards, trolls, etc.[/QB}

    I do see your differentiation, but If I must safely classify Harry Potter's magic, I would call it Neo-paganism/Wiccan which is often incorrectly juxtaposed with the more general occultism. If you would like some links about the differences, please let me know. Its kinda interesting. [​IMG]

    [QB]If we were talking adult fiction here, I would agree, I don't think it is neccessary for children. I would not recommend LOTR for children either for some of the same reasons.


    I must disagree with you here. Since kids see violence everyday at school, will shielding them from books that often describe their reality as normal rather than queer create a healthier atmosphere or more confusingly agitating atmosphere? That's just the way the world, and kids need to know about it in as many ways as possible. If we keep over-petting kids and blind ourselves into to believing that they cannot handle any type of violent image, they are going to explode with confusion when they see the real images as adults. We don't want to overprotect them. Frankly, if we stopped harping on books like Potter as being dangerous and stayed quiet, kids might do better. Why? Because it is our ultra-criticism that makes the fiction book more than it really is and agitates the children.

    It is true that these types of situations are part of reality. I think there is a danger in teaching kids that its OK to defy authority whenever you feel that you have a better reason to disobey. There are moral absolutes which must underly any decision to defy authority. Harry Potter is not a "Obey God rather than man" scenario. It is "Do what you feel is right" there is a big difference!

    It is not okay to defy authority. I agree with you. These books should not be used to teach that its OK to defy authority whenever you feel that you have a better reason to disobey. They could be used to show how worldly people think its OK to defy authority whenever you feel that you have a better reason to disobey. By looking at Harry, kids should be taught that doing what you feel is right should not dictate whether or not to carry out the decision. This choice should be based on what God's said.

    I agree, thats why I read a couple of the books for myself. I was not convinced by any of the really extreme rhetoric that I had read and seen about the books. I actually would say my position is that you can find much better material for your kids to read, not that I would condemn someone to burn in hell for reading them or allowing their children to. There are far more morally clear stories that can teach children about the lessons you say are important.

    Sounds like a great plan. Its like the same old saying: if you can't handle the heat stay out of the kitchen. [​IMG]

    Have a God Blessed Day, Superdave!
     
  15. Ransom

    Ransom
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    "Mark," who originated this thread, sent me an email last week with the subject "Harry Potter." Unfortunately, I accidentally deleted it; Mark, could you please resend if you have the original?

    My apologies for bringing this up here, as I know it's discouraged; I have been trying for a week to contact Mark privately, but the email keeps bouncing at the address given in his user profile. I give up. [​IMG]
     

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