The Instigator
arrivaltime
Pro (for)
Winning
15 Points
The Contender
RMK
Con (against)
Losing
12 Points

The Golden Compass is not an Atheist movie

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/31/2007 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,219 times Debate No: 1198
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (9)

 

arrivaltime

Pro

OKAY SO

God is part of Golden Compass, which is a movie that has widely been criticized as "atheist".
And God gets killed.
God having been there makes it not Atheist. Were the movie to find that God never existed, then you could say it is Atheistic.

However, movies where there is no mention of God, such as Bring it On or The Nutty Professor or Moulin Rouge, etc, those are more correctly atheist or at least nonspecific to any religion.
RMK

Con

The freedom of speech, our First Amendment. This is something Philip Pullman uses to voice his opinions/beliefs/agendas. Philip Pullman (the author of His Dark Materials trilogy), is a self-proclaimed atheist/agnostic (he has stated both in different sources which is odd).

In his final book of the trilogy, God (or the idea of God) is killed. Without God, we are all then atheist in the nature of our beliefs.

Here is a quote from Pullman himself during an interview:

PTC: I finally got a copy of Killing the Imposter God yesterday -- thanks again for the tip! -- and while I have only had a chance to read bits of it so far, they draw parallels between your book and a movement among theologians during the mid-20th century that sought to do away with the "medieval" understanding of God and replace it with something more sophisticated. The authors of this book say they are reading the trilogy on its own terms, without looking at it through the grid of comments you have made in essays and interviews, and they say "we find some of the most eloquent testimony against Pullman-the-atheist in Pullman-the-writer". They also write, "Even as Pullman is killing off his medieval imposter God, he raises up for his readers a divinity fit our age". This then ties in to their reading of Dust. Their approach leads me to wonder ... if, as you (quoting Blake) have said, Milton was of the devil's party and didn't know it, is it possible you are of God's party and don't know it?

Pullman: That would be embarrassing, wouldn't it? But I think this question touches something that I answered in my previous email, namely the tendency among Christians (and no doubt other religions too) to think that anything they like in the work of an avowed atheist or agnostic is a sign that really the said a. or a. is deluding himself, and that he's really Christian, only he doesn't know it. But I resist that interpretation, as you'd expect me to. I'm not deluded: Christians are. There is no God.

"a key scene in Pullman's trilogy shows a former nun telling two children that she left the Christian faith because it's "a very powerful and convincing mistake, that's all."" (Chattaway)

"The death of God

Some Christians have expressed concern that if The Golden Compass is successful, it will lead to films based on the other two Dark Materials books, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass—both of which traffic much more explicitly in the death-of-God theme.

In these books, Lyra discovers that Lord Asriel is mounting a war against God, and she meets a boy from our own world named Will, who acquires a knife that can cut through anything, including the barrier between universes. The knife even has a prophetic name, �sah�ttr, which means "god-destroyer." By the end of the trilogy, God is dead, and Will and Lyra have reenacted the Fall in the Garden of Eden—but in doing so, they save the universe rather than destroy it.

In Pullman's story, the God of the Bible is not really the Creator, but simply the first angel who emerged out of what Pullman calls "Dust." When other angels emerged, he lied and said he had created them—and he went on to set up churches in multiple universes, to assert his control over them. But now this angel, who is called "the Authority," is old and weak and faces a rebellion by angels and humans alike." (Chattaway)

When the author of the story is an atheist and uses his books to express his point of view, the material being made (book/movie) reflects the creator.

With the agenda of his writings, the atheist tone and subtle underlyings of a "God-less" world, the movie is a work of atheist implications.
Debate Round No. 1
arrivaltime

Pro

The only relevant part of your argument is:

"In his final book of the trilogy, God (or the idea of God) is killed. Without God, we are all then atheist in the nature of our beliefs."

I do not argue that Pullman is an atheist or that he has an atheistic agenda.

I am arguing that the existence of god is in itself not atheist. Because these books/films acknowledged that God at one point existed in them, they can't be an atheist book or movie.

"Without God, we are all then atheist in the nature of our beliefs" - No, because if God was killed that means there was evidence he did exist.

"a�the�ist : [ey-thee-ist] –noun; a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings." (dictionary.com)

Atheism is not living in a world where God at one time existed but no longer does, because there would be factual evidence to support he was once there. Atheism would be living in a world where god never existed and there was no evidence he ever did.

"When the author of the story is an atheist and uses his books to express his point of view, the material being made (book/movie) reflects the creator."

Then Pullman is more anti Christianity than he is Atheist.
RMK

Con

Your latest argument is full of contradictions. I'm not even sure to begin, since there is no clear direction in your beliefs or thoughts.

"I am arguing that the existence of god is in itself not atheist. Because these books/films acknowledged that God at one point existed in them, they can't be an atheist book or movie."

The whole point of this series (books & movies) is to promote the atheist agenda. Pullman is taking his target to the innocence of children. The point of these books has nothing to do with the existence of God, as you state. The purpose behind this series is to make God a mythical being. Something that is fictional and able to be killed off. Thus, atheism is present because it has created an illusion of the realism of God.

"Then Pullman is more anti Christianity than he is Atheist."

This is highly false. In fact, there are Christian themes throughout Pullman's series: Self-sacrifice, love, compassion towards others. The main point of the argument is that the Golden Compass is not an Atheist movie, when it is clearly setup to promote the atheist way of thinking. If a child, who does not know the love of God, watches this movie...their train of thought can be impacted by the idea of killing God, making the all-living mythical for the fact that he/she could be killed.

I'm not really sure you understand the themes of the series or the ideaology behind atheism.
Debate Round No. 2
arrivaltime

Pro

My argument is not full of contradictions. You don't understand what I'm saying. Pullman may be attempting to promote atheism but he failed miserably. What he did was NOT promote atheism as he may have wanted.

"This is highly false. In fact, there are Christian themes throughout Pullman's series: Self-sacrifice, love, compassion towards others."

Those aren't Christian themes. Those belong to any religion or non Religion. Are you seriously arguing that Christians are the ones who created the ideas of self-sacrifice, love, or compassions towards others? GOOD PEOPLE follow that behavior and it is not exclusive to Christianity.

But that isn't the atheist way of thinking. Atheists almost always rely on scientific evidence, and creating a fictional story where you kill god is not at all any kind of realistic way to promote atheism because you're doing exactly what you believe the Bible did. If a child never knows the "love of God" as you call it, they probably will not be affected that much, either.

"I'm not really sure you understand the...the ideology[sic] behind atheism."
Excuse me? Are you kidding? I know exactly what Atheism is. Its the lack of belief in god. Exactly that. By being a Christian you're an atheist to Hindu gods. The Golden Compass clearly sets up a story where there is at one point a god. Pullman may have wanted to make it an atheist series but he failed. It would have been atheist had god never been there.

As for my original argument, again, this movie is much more AntiChristian than it is atheist merely for the existence of god (angel or not) being there and the attempt to kill him. It is fictional. Atheists, like the thousands I talk to on atheistforums.com, would probably agree that a fictional story to promote and idea or refute what we believe is fiction would be failing.

So Pullman may have wanted to write a book that promotes Atheism but he didn't.
RMK

Con

"Atheists almost always rely on scientific evidence, and creating a fictional story where you kill god is not at all any kind of realistic way to promote atheism because you're doing exactly what you believe the Bible did. If a child never knows the "love of God" as you call it, they probably will not be affected that much, either."

I'm not sure if you attended public school, private school, or home schooling, but there is a basic freshman literary term known as symbolism and/or analogies that help drive a point through characterization and plot. Do you not understand that the story, plot, characters, theme, setting, and theatrical appeal to the senses is nothing more than a costume to the central point of this series.

"I know exactly what Atheism is. Its the lack of belief in god. Exactly that. By being a Christian you're an atheist to Hindu gods. The Golden Compass clearly sets up a story where there is at one point a god."

Ummm...no. By being a Christian, I am NOT an atheist to Hindu gods (one of the worst statements I have seen around these debates). An atheist denies ALL gods of spiritual belief, not just ones that a person may pick and choose. You may want to refer to the term humanist if you want the real meaning of atheism. Again, I believe you are confused.

"It is fictional. Atheists, like the thousands I talk to on atheistforums.com, would probably agree that a fictional story to promote and idea or refute what we believe is fiction would be failing."

Yes, because that is where I too gather all my pertinent information????

"So Pullman may have wanted to write a book that promotes Atheism but he didn't."

You keep getting caught up (for some reason) in the fact that this movie could not be of atheist intention because it has God in it at some point. What you are obviously continuing to miss, is the fact that God is killed. It does not matter that he was there, it matters that he was killed. God being killed (remember He is, theist speaking, all-knowing, ever-present, undestructable), shows that he (again) is nothing more than a fictional character.

WHICH MEANS, he never existed as God in the first place. How is this still not seen?
Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Masterworks 9 years ago
Masterworks
The little girl is fighting against the Magisterium. In the real world, the Magisterium is the governing authority (notice, not our sole thing to believe in) of the Catholic Church. And they kill God or the idea of God. So, while it may not be completely Atheistic, it is certainly heavily anti-Catholic and/or anti-Judeo-Christian.
Posted by mmadderom 9 years ago
mmadderom
"but I do feel that anyone who says a book, movie, tv show, radio broadcast, etc, etc, is atheist in concept is wildly blind to the entertainment value and concept of these products."

Dan Brown and his Da vinci code is a perfect example of fiction propagating an agenda through the premise of "entertainment". The book, and subsequent movie, were both put out as works of fiction, but then Brown offered his "research" to give the impression his novel was actually fact based.

Unfortunately, the line between fact and fiction is already blurred. When an author, screenwriter, etc. writes anything that seems plausible it's taken as factual. To believe otherwise is very naive. We live in an age where people are duped daily based on some email they received. Where it's near impossible to distinguish between a legitimate news program and a tabloid show. People are not more informed today, they are less informed because their information is coming from much more dubious sources and the difference between news and entertainment is practically non-existent.
Posted by roman.legion 9 years ago
roman.legion
I don't know why I'm bothering talking to you. You clearly haven't read the books or even my arguements about them.
Posted by RMK 9 years ago
RMK
Roman,

I'm sorry for your misguided interpretation of atheism. The fact that this series kills God explains everything we need to know. By killing God, it makes him/her a mythical or fictional "character." Thus, with God out of the equation as an ever present spiritial being, not arguing his/her existence, atheism is ever more present.
Posted by roman.legion 9 years ago
roman.legion
I've actually read all three books, and they are NOT atheistic. They are most definately anti-religion, but that doesn't mean that they are anti-theistic. I'm sure many liberal Christians cheered as they read the books.

And to be quite honest, the anti-religion stuff is so nuts that I forgot I was supposed to be offended by the second book.

I even made a debate about this topic, if the pro wants some more arguements or arguements phrased in another way: http://www.debate.org...

Oh, and if you wouldn't mind reading the arguements and voting for me, that'd be good too.

GO PRO!
Posted by arrivaltime 9 years ago
arrivaltime
I am arguing against the common ciriticism that it is atheist because they kill (or try) to kill God (Christian God). THAT is not atheistic, that is Anti-Christianity.
Posted by Raisor 9 years ago
Raisor
I agree that The Golden Compass MOVIE is not atheistic in content. It was specifically designed to be like that. They intentionally cut the theological issues out in order to make it more neutral and acceptable to the public.

HOWEVER

The Golden Compass BOOK is definitely atheistic in nature, and was intended to be.

The Golden Compass is the first part of a trilogy. In the later books, we find the Church to be plotting to kill a small girl, to be funding spiritual labotomies, and to be supressing all sorts of philosophical and scientific information. The main characters also try to kill God (he eventually dies simply because he is old and frail).

Id like to point out to the Pro that the "God" in the book isnt really God, he is actually an arrogant and powerful angel. So really, in the Golden Compass universe, there is no God as Christians conceive him (omnipotent, omnibenevolent,omniscient, the creator).
Posted by Retrospace 9 years ago
Retrospace
You spoiled the movie!!!!!

I'm going to go cry now.

But in all seriousness I whole hearted ly agree with you, on the subject of a movie not being atheist.

I've never seen The Golden Compass, so i can't comment on it, but I do feel that anyone who says a book, movie, tv show, radio broadcast, etc, etc, is atheist in concept is wildly blind to the entertainment value and concept of these products.

Sure they can be used as a tool to influence the peoples, but in concept they are merely entertainment.

The same goes for such people against having homosexual themes in these products.

It's fake, made up by someone with too much time, and the desire for large amounts of money.

And...thats a huge lengthy comment, that probably doesn't make a lick of sense..
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