Discuss Is Harry Potter evil?

dDave

Guardian of the Light
V.I.P.
#1
This discussion has recently surfaced in real life and I'm wondering what GF thinks about this.

I've been told very recently by several individuals that Harry Potter is evil. With that you get the standard words thrown around, warlocks, dark magic, occult, satanic, wands, etc.

While I understand that many people tie this to religious beliefs I have to say that I don't quite understand it. I do understand that actually practicing witchcraft, wizardry, magic, etc. is wrong in real life because of the supernatural implications of those acts, but reading about it in a fantasy setting? I see no problem with it.

Being a Christian myself I have to say that I actually appreciate the fine line between light and dark that is drawn in the story. There's a certain level of heroism, courage, friendship, and nobility that is expressed throughout the stories that I feel brings a positive message in a powerful way. It's just that though, a story. It's a fantasy world augmented into the real world to make it more relatable.

I actually wasn't allowed to read Harry Potter growing up because my parents believed it was evil (they were told this by others). One day I just sort of decided to go out and buy the books after one of my friends (who happens to be a devout Catholic) was shocked to find I hadn't read them. I bought and read the books soon afterwards and I don't regret that decision at all.

I find that everyone I've met that doesn't like Harry Potter hasn't read even one of them. How can anybody be making judgment calls on something like a novel if they haven't even read it. It's a children's story, it's not communicating how to do witchcraft or that you should do witchcraft (I would be upset with that).

I think the real problem many religious groups have with it is the fact that they are drawing power from something that isn't from God. By that same logic we shouldn't have anything to do with Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, or any other stories that


Fantasy has powers that aren't of God, they're not real, that's an essential part of the genre and I think as long as that is clearly communicated that they make for great stories that are not at all dangerous to read for an overwhelming majority of the population. The founding fathers of fantasy, Tolkien and C.S. Lewis were Christians, what does that say about the genre?


What do you think about this?
 

Shwa

Gay As Fuck
V.I.P.
#2
Recently surfaced? This controversy has been going on during the whole Harry Potter crazy. I know you weren't trying to make this into a religious themed discussion, but with the background exposure you had around the book and your personal upbringing it's hard not to separate the two. But, you were able to at least try something new despite what you were taught as a child, and I'm happy that you enjoyed one of America's generational stories.

That being said, during the production of the Harry Potter books and movies they have been attacked by many religious groups for the mention and/or confirmation of witchcraft being mentioned and used by the people of the fictional wold. Devout or not, it's not a practice that's highly favored. Another reason why the series was attacked non stop was because it brought a lot of children to read it, meaning they will mimic anything that they like, and honestly they [churches and affiliates] had it spot on, it was mimicked and milked for all its worth. Children are easily susceptible to the media, and all the rage during the time was Harry Potter.

But you're right when you say it was just literary fantasy, it was just a story. However parents and mostly religious sections frowned upon it's creation and even attacked the creator with harsh criticism for even putting pen to paper. I honestly believe religion blew the whole thing out of proportion, but it's not like this was the first time they've done that in the sake of their beliefs.

~Shwa
 

Taliesin

Registered Member
#3
I think you hit the nail on the head. It's fiction. Not real. Nothing supernatural is going to happen to anyone who reads these books.

I would sooner be alarmed by moral crusaders trying to dictate what everyone else around them can or can not be permitted to read.


If some of these critics could be bothered to read the books in question, they would see a story that's about the nature of evil but also how love and friendship can be the ultimate weapons against evil. The magic is more like window dressing.
 

Crouton

Ninja
V.I.P.
#4
Jo Rowling herself put a lot of Christian metaphors in the books, and there is evil in the books, but also good, a lot of good. Anyone who says the books themselves are evil are delusional, or just really stupid, or as Eph suggested, probably haven't even read the books which makes anything they say invalid.
 

idisrsly

I'm serious
V.I.P.
#5
I received some slack from some of my family members when I was reading Harry Potter as well. What I don't like about people saying bad things about the story is that they haven't read it for themselves and they just hear someone say something about the book and assume it must be so. I'm not going to force anyone to read the books if they aren't interested, but keep your uninformed opinions to yourself.

One ridiculous argument that surfaced when Deathly Hallows came out was that the book was thicker than the bible. What does that proof? I don't follow the bibles teachings as truth because it's a thick book. And if the argument was that people can read that but not the bible, it still doesn't apply to me, as I've read the bible too.

I think some people look for the devil in everything. You'll find him if you keep looking for him, but that doesn't mean that the book itself or story it tells is evil in any way.
 
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Merc

Certified Shitlord
V.I.P.
#6
As it has been said, most of this concept of Harry Potter being evil (see "Jesus Camp" for a truly disturbing example of adults berating children for liking it) is spread by hearsay and usually by people that have not read it. There is no 'occult', there is no 'Satan', those are the favorite labels of extremists who think that their flock is going to be lead astray by something.
 

Hilander

Free Spirit
Staff member
V.I.P.
#7
Its a work of fiction, meant for entertainment like so many books and movies. I'm not a Harry Potter fan and haven't read the book but I remember the uproar over it. I don't know why some people find the devil in everything. I wish they would read it before they pass judgement on it.

I had a very religious neighbor that wouldn't let her kids read a lot of the popular comics because she thought they were satanic but of course she never read them, she was judging the book by its cover.
 

Taliesin

Registered Member
#8
I think some people look for the devil in everything. You'll find him if you keep looking for him, but that doesn't mean that the book itself or story it tells is evil in any way.
^ This.

I had a very religious neighbor that wouldn't let her kids read a lot of the popular comics because she thought they were satanic but of course she never read them, she was judging the book by its cover.
I have a friend whose mother was the same when he was growing up. She thought that the superheroes in his comics looked demonic (of course, she hadn't bothered to read any of them). It really is all in the eye of the beholder.
 

dDave

Guardian of the Light
V.I.P.
#9
I only say that it surfaced recently because it came up in my life, I'm well aware that this so called "controversy" has been around for a very long time.

I wish that there was some way to convince those that don't like them to read at least one of them. They really are excellent stories that are very entertaining to watch/read. I see no reason why anybody should be afraid to read them, there's nothing evil about the books, this is very clear when compared to other books.

One argument in particular I've heard is that it's demonic because they have to actually speak the spells out loud. While I can sort of understand how this gives a slight connection to the occult I don't see it as a strong argument at all. Wizards and witches in the way they are presented in the stories are a work of fantasy literature, one that is quite fun I might add.

GF seems to have the opinion I would have expected but I just wanted to make sure I wasn't the only one that thought it was strange that a lot of people don't like them and haven't even read them.
 
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Merc

Certified Shitlord
V.I.P.
#10
Honestly I think it's deeply rooted in fears of Paganism.

But other than that, I think it was perfectly worded by idi. Some people simply look for the devil everywhere and when the devil is all you look for, you're bound to start seeing him everywhere.
 
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