Talk:His Dark Materials (novel)

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The "God" (The Authority) is a maniacal, power-hungry liar. There is no escaping that. However, the benevolent and omniscient presence in the Trilogy is Dust. Dust, surely, is the presence you should see as your God, not the intentional misdirection: the Authority.


Here's my take, and I haven't even read the book, so I'm insulated from all bias by my sheer ignorance. ;-)

The author thinks he can pull a fast one on us. He has created a satire of God and Christianity with the world's best "deniability" clause; see plausible denial.

He portrays God and Christians as viciously cruel. Any criticism that he has portrayed God in a bad light can be dismissed simply by denying that he was talking about God at all. --Ed Poor Talk 16:29, 10 December 2007 (EST)

Interesting point, and it's one that the Archbishop of Canterbury raised when he was interviewed alongside Pullman - that this otherworldly church has no element of redemption, that it is purely a matter of control. Pullman's response was interesting, too - he said that Jesus' core teachings are antithetical to the organisation itself:
"I think he's mentioned once, in the context of this notion of wisdom that works secretly and quietly, not in the great courts and palaces of the earth, but among ordinary people and so on. And there are some teachers who have embodied this quality, but whose teaching has perhaps been perverted or twisted or turned, and been used in a fashion that they themselves didn't either desire or expect or could see happening."

It's definitely worth a read, if you haven't gotten around to it yet. :-D Underscoreb 22:43, 10 December 2007 (EST)

"Interesting to note"

"It is interesting to note the change in attitude over time that a work that tries to destroy God is considered to be an exemplary example for children in the minds of those who make the decisions. It is similar to Al Gore writing about global warming, and somehow being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize." - this is supremely unencyclopedic. I see no reason not to remove this - it's clearly editorial content. Unless someone can come up with a reasonable defense of including it, I'm going to remove it within a few days. Wandering 20:27, 29 July 2008 (EDT)

We are allowed to point out odd choices that would be of interest to conservative thought. That such a thing is even possible would be of interest to our demographics. To not put it in would be more of an oversite than its inclusion. Learn together 22:42, 29 July 2008 (EDT)
So personal insight (in the form of editorial commentary like "odd choice") in articles is a special feature of Conservapedia? Well, I suppose that's the choice of the people who run the site, but I hope you'll agree that it creates an uncomfortable grey area for an encyclopedia. Wandering 22:58, 29 July 2008 (EDT)
I fear I may have started this thing by removing a sentence that was much worse than that Wandering is now complaining of. Perhaps if Learn Together explained exactly what the resemblance between this award and Al Gore's award we might be in a better position to evaluate the situation.--MCrowe 23:03, 29 July 2008 (EDT)
I've just done a quick clean-up & removed this bit. For one, there's no real "change in attitude over time". The same voices which praised HDM on publication still praise it now, the same voices which condemn it do so still. The only change has been a gradual increase in awareness & popularity, as happens with any fiction like this which gradually develops a cult popularity and is then adapted for cinema. Also, the false analogy with Al Gore really doesn't make any sense. Achievements by unconnected individuals in thoroughly different fields. Whatever your opinion on either subject, there is no connection between ecology and "killing God". (NB. I also removed the silly claim that it is "implied" that Will & Lyra have sex). BeReasonable 14:27, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
The change in attitude over time is what is acceptable and praiseworthy in society. Killing God at one time wasn't praiseworthy for a children's book. Gore shows how prizes can be twisted to award an agenda, instead of what the prize is supposed to reward. In my time even most of the atheists I have met wouldn't have thought it was proper to attack God in a children's book, but that critical thinking of that level which has a strong personal component is best considered in maturity. It's a usurption of previous values and will be noted as such. Learn together 15:14, 7 August 2008 (EDT)

Some points in response:

  • Conservapedia Commandment 5 says "Do not post personal opinion on an encyclopedia entry". This comparison looks like a personal opinion, and editors have already objected to it as unencyclopedcic.
  • The 'killing God' aspect of His Dark Materials is grossly exaggerated. The story does not comtain a God figure in the conventional definition (I.E. omnipotent, omniscient & benevolent). There is a Creator, who is weak and frail, who is not intentionally killed but is unable to survive. And there is a usurping angel who has taken command of heaven. It is this Authority which Lord Asriel sets out to destroy.
  • I have removed again the suggestion that Will & Lyra fornicate. Remember they are children. Please do not reinstate this unless you can cite exactly what in the books implies this.
  • Please look at what edits have been made before you simply revert them. In each case I have corrected spelling errors which you have put back in by reverting them.
  • The administration guidelines state that users should only be blocked without prior warning or discussion for obscenities. Please keep this in mind before you block me again, Learn Together. BeReasonable 16:55, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
Our #1 concern is truth and the ability to discuss what is not politically correct. When a value system has been changed so abruptly from what was once held in high regard, we are allowed to recognize and comment on that change.
Ah, I did not see this talk before I edited it. Does my version sound more encyclopedic? It acknowledges the shift in values while removing the little "nudge nudge, wink wink" about Al Gore. JK899 21:40, 15 August 2008 (EDT)
Of course God is not omnipotent - then they couldn't kill him. He is a liar, a deceiver, and a mere whisp of a creature who is better off dead so that everyone can live better lives. Great stuff for kids.
Google it. The original writer of the plot section was a fan of the book, and he put it in. Many reviewers comment on the same. And Pulman, when asked, simply replied coyly with "I don't know". Apparently the "moral" repulsion that you feel doesn't affect Pulman the same way. Would you have expected any different? Who are you to impose your value structure to say it is wrong for kids to have sex?
   -  Read a little more closely: I don't know [if they have sex], but they're probably a bit young. Also, have you read it? The kiss is so clumsy that I doubt sex would be a realistic option. XD
I have reinstated the 'modelled' spelling. While it is incorrect in the United States, it is understood that British spelling is acceptable and, I see, used in other areas in the article. Learn together 10:40, 8 August 2008 (EDT)

"and resume their normal lives, basing them around teaching other people to live their lives to the fullest and not bother with faith." As far as I can recall, the books end rather abruptly, and don't go into what Lyra and Will do with their lives after they go back to their Oxfords. Should this be removed, or am I missing something?

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