Friday, July 24, 2009

New Debate Topic

I thought of a debate topic that I think will be a long one:

Is Harry Potter Occultic?

Now, I know that some of you like Harry Potter, and some of you don't. Just remember, don't take anything personal. :-)


Old Fashioned Liberal said...

I've heard that there are seven differences between the magic of Harry Potter and the magic of Lewis and Tolkien. Let's see how many I can remember.

1. Rowling includes the technichal details of the magic in her books. Tolkien and Lewis do not. (Unless you read Unfinished Tales, but I bet my source hadn't.)

2. The magic portrayed as good in Lewis and Tolkien is limited to supporting characters that do not overly grab the readers' sympathies, while in HP it's the main characters that engage in magic.

3. Magic is not portrayed as a power normal for humans in Tolkien and Lewis, while it is in HP. (is this true, HP fans?)

4. Former occultists say that Harry Potter includes genuine occult elements in the technichal details, even the actions of the good characters, while Tolkein and Lewis do not. You'll have to trust them on this one. I don't know the technichal details of the occult, and I'm sure you don't either. And I don't want to know.

5. Magic is dangerous in LOTR and Narnia, but not HP.

6. HP's heroes are amoral and power-oriented, while Tolkein's and Lewis's heroes are moral or repentant and exercise their magical powers by legitimate authority. (would you agree, HP fans?)

I don't know the last difference. Personally, I think that in asking whether a book is occult or not, only #4 need be considered. The rest might help make a book still less dangerous or more moral, but that's not the subject that AGP proposed. Though we could talk about that too.

And HP fans, I've never read the books. So please don't let me do all the talking!

Everglade said...

Oooooooh boy, what a heated discussion you have released!

In response to your points...

1. Yes she does, but there's nothing really wrong with that...

2.I would argue that Gandalf engages my sympathies. : D

3.Partially true... not every human can perform magic, it's usually a hereditary trait, though sometimes children from non-magical parents have magical abilities.

4. Hmmm, I wouldn't know... it all seemed pretty fantastical to me, not like what little I've heard about stuff like Wicca, etc.

5. Ooooooooooooooooh, no. : ) Magic can be used for trivial little things, but it can definitely be dangerous.

6. And also, oooooooooh no. : ) In Hogwarts school, students are divided into "houses" based on their personalities. The house that focuses on ambition and lust for power is held in high disdain (I actually think they scoff it too much, a healthy ambition is good!) And I definitely don't think the characters are immoral! Trust me, if you read the books you will find they have great values. I'd even go as far as to say they have a Christian world view.

And another note, during an interview with J.K. Rowling, the reporter asked if she considered herself a Christian. She said (And I paraphrase) "Yeeeeeeeeees, though I do admit I'm very doubt-ridden about some things, but I would consider myself to be one, yes."

Estrellita Lenore said...

In addition to what Monica said, there is a clear fight between good and evil in the books. The HP heroes use their powers to defeat the evil wizards.

Ancient Greek Philosopher said...

I found a particular revealing paragraph on Wikipedia:

"..The world J. K. Rowling created is both completely separate from and yet intimately connected to the real world. While the fantasy world of Narnia is an alternative universe and the Lord of the Rings’ Middle-earth a mythic past, the Wizarding world of Harry Potter exists alongside that of the real world and contains magical elements similar to things in the non-magical world. Many of its institutions and locations are in places that are recognisable in the real world, such as London.[11] It comprises a fragmented collection of hidden streets, overlooked and ancient pubs, lonely country manors and secluded castles that remain invisible to the non-magical population of Muggles."

Old Fashioned Liberal said...

#5 was one of those I remembered incorrectly. And I disagree with #2 as well. I agree that 1 and three are irellavant to what we're talking about and not a significant problem. I don't think I'm qualified to discuss 6, not having read the books.

For #4, I'll provide a harmless but revealing example (I didn't find this out myself, by the way). The station which has platform 9 and 3/4 does really exist. There is no platform 9&3/4, but inbetween platforms 9 and 10 is a spot memorable because of some heroic action of the pagan Queen Boudicea, a heroine for modern occultists and radical feminists.

Old Fashioned Liberal said...

I had a dream last night that Harry Potter was occultic, but that it was Rowling's mother's fault, not Rowling's fault. In my dream, Rowling's mother loved an occult book and left it open on the dining room table (which looked just like the dining room table at my house). JK read it, didn't know that there was anything wrong with it, and, knowing that her mother liked it, proceeded to imitate it. Her mother congradulated her, and JK immediately became addicted to writing occult books.

Everglade said...

AGP---I still don't understand how that's significant... explain?

Everglade said...

Okay, so consider this:

Someone reads Harry Potter, and wishes they could perform magic. According to the books, everyone with the "magic gene" gets a letter from Hogwarts school when they are twelve. So, even though this person obviously didn't receive such a letter, they still think they can be magical. So they make a wand (though they are quite hard-pressed to find either a dragon heartsting, unicorn hair, or phoenix feather to put inside it, and a wand must have one of these magical elements to work). They say a spell and wave their wand, and nothing happens. They've heard a lot of people say that Harry Potter is occultic, and maybe they want to have magic powers so badly, that they get involved into the occult. And now their "magic" is no longer Harry Potter magic.

Now I know you are all thinking "Aha! Harry Potter was still the catalyst for their involvement in the occult!" But Harry Potter was only the catalyst for a few silly attempts at performing impossible stunts. It was the fact that everyone was claiming Harry Potter to be occultic that drove them to look into the occult.

Old Fashioned Liberal said...

Yes, if it were impossible to find a real link from Harry Potter to the real occult, than HP would possibly be harmless, even if such a link existed but could not be found. That's why I provided evidence of a link. I obviously was able to find it. Actually, somebody else found it for me, but you get the point :).