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  1. #181
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    Oh, if we are bashing Harry Potter, I have one.

    What's the best way to tell if someone is a non-reader? If they read all the Harry Potter books. Seems like everyone I know who has read the HP series... all other books are like kryptonite to them. But if it gets illiterate people to pick up a book, more power to them.

    It's like entry level literature, for people who won't ever enter real literature.

  2. #182
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    So, let me get this straight... the man brings up the possibility that fairy tales might lead to irrational thinking, and suggests that research be done... and suddenly he's billed as trying to ban them like a religious fundamentalist?

    People really need to learn the meaning of "might" and "if." I have a major problem with people assuming I support a position simply because I acknowledge that if certain things are true, or certain assumptions are made, it might make sense. Often, I point this out even if I oppose the position in question.

  3. #183
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YWIR View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    Oh, if we are bashing Harry Potter, I have one.

    What's the best way to tell if someone is a non-reader? If they read all the Harry Potter books. Seems like everyone I know who has read the HP series... all other books are like kryptonite to them. But if it gets illiterate people to pick up a book, more power to them.

    It's like entry level literature, for people who won't ever enter real literature.
    -end of thread-

  4. #184
    figsfiggyfigs
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post

    It's like entry level literature, for people who won't ever enter real literature.



    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post

  5. #185
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by YWIR View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by YWIR View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by YWIR View Post
    Awww, sorry Random and YWIR, I forget how young HP fans are. You two look happy and that's all that counts.


  6. #186
    figsfiggyfigs
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    Awww, sorry Random and YWIR, I forget how young HP fans are. You two look happy and that's all that counts.



    I think I just fell in love. I should make that my sig...

    Random and I look hot.

  7. #187
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    Awww, sorry Random and YWIR, I forget how young HP fans are. You two look happy and that's all that counts.



    Where did you get this?!
    -end of thread-

  8. #188
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    So, let me get this straight... the man brings up the possibility that fairy tales might lead to irrational thinking, and suggests that research be done... and suddenly he's billed as trying to ban them like a religious fundamentalist?

    People really need to learn the meaning of "might" and "if." I have a major problem with people assuming I support a position simply because I acknowledge that if certain things are true, or certain assumptions are made, it might make sense. Often, I point this out even if I oppose the position in question.
    He's just an annoying, fun-killing geezer.

    He's not a fundamentalist, but he's like one in all of the ways that actually matter.

  9. #189

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    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    He's just an annoying, fun-killing geezer.

    He's not a fundamentalist, but he's like one in all of the ways that actually matter.
    I think its possible to just get obsessive and single issue, so he's like that and its at the expense of anything else or other diversions. I used to know Marxists who'd never bother reading any books which wherent marxist or didnt in some way relate to marxism, still do, and they can be pretty boring one dimensional people.

  10. #190
    Member IntrovertedThinker's Avatar
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    I really doubt fantasy novels have any real effect on one's capacity for rational thought. As someone said, they are merely a minor, temporal slip out of reality for those who really enjoy imagination. And the enjoyment of imagination—or even the need or desire for such things—does not constitute some serious break with reality. If this were true, going to the movie theater to watch a movie about some imaginative scenario some screenwriter conjured up in their mind would indicate that people are inherently breaking with reality in some way which is indicative of some mental illness—but such a thought is clearly absurd. Additionally, is it not possible to both accept reality and entertain one's own mind with a bit of fantasy every now and then? Are children in danger every time they are read some imaginative story before bed every other night?

    The only way I could see the existence of fantasy as even remotely detrimental to the public is if people were seriously led to believe that what is written in these books is somehow authentically related to physical reality, so that they should indeed take them a bit more seriously; but, no one does this. We are all clearly aware (or at least the lot of us should be) that there is a clear distinction between objective reality and what we read in books as children. Surely some of us may become a big imaginative at times and play out these scenarios about which we read, but I truly doubt many children actually lose their grip on reality in any significant way due to the reading of imaginative literature.

    Thus, clearly there must an element of persuasion involved in fantasy and science fiction which actually makes the reading of such material potentially detrimental to rational persons and one's capacity for rational awareness. On it's own, however, fantasy and science fiction—even if such things aren't necessarily scientific—do not seem to pose any serious threat to the rationality of the common person. Not everything in life need be scientific anyhow, and a bit of imagination is actually a good thing, in my opinion. It allows temporary escapes from reality which amount to truly interesting entertainment for many people. Finding effects of fantasy on the rational mind would be similar to finding effects of music on the mind: certainly they probably aren't at all that serious.

    Although, as Dawkins said, it can be looked into. I just think it'd amount to a giant waste of time.
    There seems to be a clear distinction between mass delusion in the form of religious instruction of deities and the mere reading of fantasy stories.
    For instance, very few people actually believe Frodo Baggins is a real boy or that that Star Wars planet "Hoth" is actually a real place somewhere in the universe.
    Yet, how many people believe in God?

    Ultimately, I think Dawkins is speculating about a connection which doesn't at all seem likely. [In fact, my response to whatever he seems to have been asked would have been, "It could have a real, pernicious effect on rational thought, but it doesn't seem likely."] There are distinct reasons why people who read religious literature actually begin to lose their break with reality by believing in such things, despite and to the contrary of physical and scientific evidence—and these distinct reasons (adults indoctrinating children to believe them) seem virtually non-existent in the simple leisurely reading and enjoyment of fantasy stories.

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