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The Golden Compass (Merged
Posted: 30 November 2007 07:22 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Okay, who wants to talk about “The Golden Compass”?

http://www.usatoday.com/life/movies/news/2007-11-28-compass-controversy_N.htm

I think it is extremely unfair that everyone calls it an Atheistic book.  It’s NOT!  The story proceeds on the assumption that God does exist, that he did create the universe (it calls him the Authority).  How can it be an Atheist book?  Granted, it paints God as the bad guy, but the whole point to Atheism is that we do not even believe that God exists!  All this controversy is only deepening the conviction among Christians that we Atheists are Satan-worshippers or something.  We should be protesting this as hard as we can.

I personally wrote a novel for my own amusement once (a comedy), in which God, the Devil, and the angels do exist, but they all turn out to be extraterrestrial aliens.  They had arrived on Earth several thousand years ago and, lacking anything more intelligent to do, they had decided to take on the roles of various dieties that humans had already invented.  I would consider that an Atheistic book, but not “The Golden Compass”.

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Posted: 30 November 2007 07:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I haven’t read the books, nor have I seen the movie. But one of my favourite writers, Karel Capek (the guy who invented the word “robot”), often uses god in many of his stories to demonstrate how illogical religion can be. I remember one instance where some men asked god to help them to judge a person on a trial. He replied that he couldn’t judge anybody because he knew everything about everybody. He was basically saying that we don’t have free will, therefore he cannot find us guilty of anything. Capek here used god to argue against the existence of a personal god. Even god can be an atheist! :grin:

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Posted: 30 November 2007 09:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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My daughter (age 21, in her Junior year in college) said that she has heard it was written by an Atheist and made into a movie as a sort of counterbalance to “The Chronicles of Narnia”, which has many Christian references throughout.  Hopefully its still in theaters when she gets home for her semester break so we can see it together.

Of course, she goes to a state college with all those left wing liberal, secularist intellectuals that are poisoning her mind, but I value her opinion none-the-less. :grin:

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Posted: 30 November 2007 10:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Haven’t read the book or seen the movie.  But the author was interviewed by Matt Cherry on the Humanist Network News podcast (I just listened to it!)

http://www.humaniststudies.org

Linda

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Posted: 30 November 2007 06:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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advocatus - 30 November 2007 07:22 AM

Okay, who wants to talk about “The Golden Compass”?

http://www.usatoday.com/life/movies/news/2007-11-28-compass-controversy_N.htm

I think it is extremely unfair that everyone calls it an Atheistic book.  It’s NOT!  The story proceeds on the assumption that God does exist, that he did create the universe (it calls him the Authority).  How can it be an Atheist book?  Granted, it paints God as the bad guy..

I’ve read the trilogy. The first book sets the stage and introduces you to this amazing world the author has invented.
I think it is best of the three books.

I found the final volume very moving. It is ultimately a frightenly anti-religious trilogy but there is only a hint of this in the first volume.  To some extent religion is ridiculed at the end and shown to be “the root of a lot of evil”.

I thank advocatus for starting the thread and recommend the book.

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Posted: 03 December 2007 07:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I completely agree with George that supernatural beings can be used in fiction to good effect.  I’m saying that as far as I can tell, “The Golden Compass” does not attempt to do that.  It’s just an adventure story about a war against the Authority.  Somewhere in there might be a good point—that freedom of choice is a thing to be fought for rather than a sin to be punished for—but if it is, it is buried too deeply.  I’ve read the first two books in the trilogy, and have no desire whatsoever to slog through the third.

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Posted: 03 December 2007 12:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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We’ve made plans to have a mother and sons night just to go see this movie.  smile  We plan on having fun and IF there are Christians picketting the movie, they can just go pick their noses, because we want to enjoy ourselves.  Talking animals seem like a lot of fun.  Besides, my older son wants to know how a donkey managed a saw and hammer.  That donkey was an amazing carpenter, according to my son.  LOL

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Posted: 03 December 2007 03:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I saw a preview of it last week, and it seemed exceedingly violent.  The books may be worthwhile, but we agreed that this wasn’t a movie we would bother seeing.

Occam

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Posted: 03 December 2007 04:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I read the first two books, then got bored and didn’t read the last. I don’t see the stand taken on religion particularly strong either way. Though the organization most people see as a stand-in for the Catholic Church is a nasty one, it could just as well be a stand-in for governement, corporate oligarchy, or any large malign organization you choose to see there. But it sounds like the point is made more strongly in the last book.

We’ll probably see the movie since it looks well done and the universe presented in the first book was clever and interesting, though I ultimately lost interest in the characters.

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Posted: 03 December 2007 05:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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mckenzievmd - 03 December 2007 04:24 PM

I read the first two books, then got bored and didn’t read the last. I don’t see the stand taken on religion particularly strong either way. Though the organization most people see as a stand-in for the Catholic Church is a nasty one, it could just as well be a stand-in for governement, corporate oligarchy, or any large malign organization you choose to see there. But it sounds like the point is made more strongly in the last book.

We’ll probably see the movie since it looks well done and the universe presented in the first book was clever and interesting, though I ultimately lost interest in the characters.

When I first read the Lord of the Rings I found the Two Towers to be slow going…

As the NY Times noted last Sunday
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/02/movies/02mcgr.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

by the time you get to the end it aims at nothing less than to reimagine the story of the Fall in a way that does away with the notion of original sin. God eventually turns out to be a pathetic imposter,.... [not exactly right]

And what about American Humanist Assocation giving it an award? Does that count?
http://www.americanhumanist.org/press/GoldenCompass.php

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Posted: 04 December 2007 03:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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HappyHumanist - 30 November 2007 10:50 AM

Haven’t read the book or seen the movie.  But the author was interviewed by Matt Cherry on the Humanist Network News podcast (I just listened to it!)

http://www.humaniststudies.org

Linda

It was a good interview—I hadn’t seen this post until I came back to comment…
http://humaniststudies.org/enews/?id=325&article=0

Actually the guy doing the interview had named his daughter Lyra, after the heroine in the book….
so he asked where the name came from….

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Posted: 07 December 2007 07:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I didn’t mean to put anyone on the defensive.  I’m just saying that I spend a lot of time on Internet forums with Christians who insist that everybody believes in God, only we atheists are perverted enough to deny what everybody knows is the truth.  I didn’t see anything particularly atheistic in the book (or fun to read—I didn’t even think Lyra was a likeable character).  But other people obviously disagree.  I see that the new Prometheus Books catalog offers a 375 page book praising the trilogy (by Leonard F. Wheat)— (I always dread getting that catalog in the mail, because there are so many great books, I end up unable to narrow my choices down!).

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Posted: 07 December 2007 08:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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advocatus - 07 December 2007 07:53 AM

I didn’t mean to put anyone on the defensive.  I’m just saying that I spend a lot of time on Internet forums with Christians who insist that everybody believes in God, only we atheists are perverted enough to deny what everybody knows is the truth.  I didn’t see anything particularly atheistic in the book (or fun to read—I didn’t even think Lyra was a likeable character).  But other people obviously disagree.  I see that the new Prometheus Books catalog offers a 375 page book praising the trilogy (by Leonard F. Wheat)— (I always dread getting that catalog in the mail, because there are so many great books, I end up unable to narrow my choices down!).

I saw the movie tonight, liked the book (as I remember it) better.  The first volume has some suspense as a book and the movie tries to explain things (that maybe aren’t even explained in the first book) to make it easier to follow (like TV).

I had never heard the argument put forward that advocatus describes above—maybe it needs to be turned around—they really know deep down there isn’t a Santa {I mean God}, they are just afraid to admit to themselves.

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Posted: 07 December 2007 08:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Posted: 08 December 2007 08:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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I seen the movie tonight. I thought it was great.

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Posted: 09 December 2007 07:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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I too have seen the movie. It almost bored me to death. My kids didn’t like it either.

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