Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

What exactly is in that preview that you find offensive? The scene where he addresses Congress seems pretty badass.

I'm replying frommy iPod so I don't have the resources at hand to point you in the right direction, but research the director's quotes concerning his concept for these aliens. When you do you will no longer doubt why I dubbed them with the pejorative term of "noble savages" , because Cameron has sought to impersonate that bankrupt philosophical notion through them and paint all industrialized civilization as evil and destructive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm replying frommy iPod so I don't have the resources at hand to point you in the right direction, but research the director's quotes concerning his concept for these aliens. When you do you will no longer doubt why I dubbed them with the pejorative term of "noble savages" , because Cameron has sought to impersonate that bankrupt philosophical notion through them and paint all industrialized civilization as evil and destructive.

I think he was referring to the Iron Man 2 trailer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Avatar looks better and seems more Oist friendly than the new Iron Man 2 movie that's coming out. Check out this mess; http://link.brightcove.com/services/player...tid=57699172001

You're either being sarcastic or you're trolling.

But as far as the visuals of Avatar goes, it does look amazing and I'll give props to the team and individuals behind all that. Also, on the discussion of real life versus CGI I think CGI can definitely enhance a film, but I think sometimes it's too heavily relied on.

I'd also like to see more all CGI action films. I think a lot can be achieved with animation other then kids stuff. One thing I like about Avatar is that it takes that attitude. Although it presents something not very good plot wise. Hopefully we will see something in the future as visually advanced without a horrid plot and premise. Maybe I'll make something.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've always maintained that properly utilized animatronics/puppets like in JP or the creatures in Jim Henson movies look much more realistic than a lot of CG. I mean after all they... really exist. As good as computer animation looks it is still ANIMATED by someone. The motion, texture, and the way it looks within the scene just still don't quite approach the level of believability. When you see a reptiles skin in reality, the color is a little dull, it has erratic scratches and folds, and it's dirty. But most CG is so streamlined and given such unrealistic "flow" in it's movement. It really takes me out of the illusion. Especially when the movie approaches the level of damn near everything being CG like is the case with Star Wars I-III, and apparently this thing.

I wouldn't be surprised if it turns out to be as boring and predictable as everyone is saying. Seems like all it has going for it is loads of superficial glitz and meaningless action. That's enough for many people (Spiderman 2/3).

All of the aspects you point out can be achieved with CG. The "flow" you call unrealistic is actually alot more realistic than the motion of puppets/animatronics. The motion is quite often based on motion capture data(when it comes to humans whole scenes can be shot that way). Texturing and rendering can be made photorealistic, and that includes scratches and skin folds. It is, of course, difficult and challenging and it's not like the end result is always perfect, but it's not like it's outside the reach of CG technology(I think it's more a question of time, money and talent, really). If puppets were a better choice they would be used instead.

A huge issue though is actually knowing that it's not real. Everyone knows that an alien monster with funny colored skin is CG-animated, which somewhat destroys the illusion right there. Making it a little more dull and gritty could perhaps help sell the illusion, but people are still going to be a little reluctant to buy it because it's so obviously not real.

CGI always seems out of place

I think it's more an issue of CG getting noticed when it's out of place. It can either be fantastic effects, creatures and landscapes based on fantasy, or simply poorly executed. However, there's also a ton of CG that doesn't even get noticed - from small details to complete landscapes and environments. Perhaps not so much the case in this movie though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The movie is visually stunning as advertised, and there really wasn't a philosophical cringe moment in it.

The thing that makes me want to scream though, is as Far as the Plot goes its not horrid, its just stolen.

Any Science Fiction Fan that doesn't walk out of that movie, as I just did, and say, I just saw Dune (with elements from the Game Alpha Centauri too no less) is deluding themselves.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm replying frommy iPod so I don't have the resources at hand to point you in the right direction, but research the director's quotes concerning his concept for these aliens. When you do you will no longer doubt why I dubbed them with the pejorative term of "noble savages" , because Cameron has sought to impersonate that bankrupt philosophical notion through them and paint all industrialized civilization as evil and destructive.

I was actually referring to someone else's statements on the preview for Iron Man 2.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So has anyone seen the movie?

I saw it, I kinda like it. It is a mixed bag. Avatar is anti-fascism and anti-industrial, with similarities to Tolkien themes. The blue people of Pandora are science fiction versions of Tolkien elves, most of the humans present are cast in the role of orcs, and just a few scientists act as human beings. I'll write more later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I'm going to skip Avatar until the Blu-Ray is available from Netflix.

I'm interested in the visual effects, of course, but I'm not shelling out an extra dime for yet another "white guilt" movie.

The "evil" corporate thugs go to pillage an otherworldly resource that is so valuable... err.. more valuable than the cost of getting there, and having a planetary war over?! No trade is possible? No rational communication might save money, equipment, lives, etc? We have become technological genius' but reverted to savage killers at the same time? That can't be it, I hope.

I thought along the same lines when I read the setup synopsis.

I mean, why go to the trouble of implementing the avatar tech if they're just going to go in guns-a-blazin' anyway? If the corporation is so evil, why not just slaughter the aliens and mine their 'whateverite' willy-nilly? Why send in one of their own to try to persuade the aliens to move, someone who knows their tactics and weaponry? And why is it that the 'whateverite' they need is ONLY available on the aliens' land? Surely such a resource would be abundant enough to warrant an expensive and time-consuming journey through space to acquire it ...

Maybe they have plausible answers for these questions in the near 3 hour movie, but the "white guy goes native, learns the ways of the noble savages, and fights his former comrades to save his new friends" story is not only way too played out, but based on a politically-correct revisionist history of American settlement and expansion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Minor spoilers, not much more than reading the rest of this thread plus reviews and seeing the trailer.

Well, I thought this movie was a fantastically well executed idea, but the message it sent was one I dislike intensely. The effects lived up to the hype in my opinion (I saw some problems, but I think that was the 3D not the CGI). The acting was good. Writing was good, except a couple instances where the message seemed to get too heavy handed (i.e. "Shock and Awe" "fight terror with terror"). But overall writing was really good. And the world of Pandora was beautiful and interesting. Not sure how it would evolve, but the world seemed well thought out.

As for "how is this substance so valuable it can finance all this" etc. criticism: It is stated in the movie that the material, unobtainium (obviously a tongue-in-cheek name for it, even in the world of the movie), is worth 20 million dollars a kilogram. A couple thousand tons and it is equal to the entire gross domestic product of the Earth in 2009. So, it can definitely finance all these operations.

Now, the idea/message itself: not so good. I can give it some excuse because the native's religion had some basis (apparently all the trees on Pandora are connected, like a giant computer network or global brain) and the people and animals can tap into it and connect with each other, etc. So, its got some basis. So, there is some basis in their "nature is awesome" attitude. But, that does not mean that it justifies the plot. Humans offer the Na'vi, the aliens, anything they want to move away from their tree-city thing, and they decline (the settlement lies right on top of the biggest deposit of unobtainium for 200km, perhaps as far as they've surveyed, though they don't say that; I presume that going further would be very dangerous, as the local life is quite hostile). Okay, and I understand the humans deciding to just kick them out of the area, after all, they don't have property and are a bunch of collectivists anyway, so whatever. However, they don't give diplomacy much of a chance, and I think their attack is needlessly violent. Anyway, the humans succeed in their endeavor.

And then the human-traitor, the main character, decides to lead the locals into battle (totally ridiculous, and pointless, humans got what they wanted, so we won't bother them any more). Humans decide to blow up this sacred tree thing (really important to the natives). How do they do this? A simple nuke? Nope. A gravity bomb, just a big rock dropped from orbit? Nope. They fly a giant-ass pile of high explosives in, and release it in a ridiculously stupid way. Anyway, the humans whoop up on the natives and just smash them to bits, but then the planet's consciousness or whatever makes all the animals attack, and the human warriors die. Then the rest pack up and leave. End of story.

Now, this doesn't make any sense. I'm sorry, but humans won't just stop. They just know that they'll have to go bigger in the future. More guns, more bullets, more bombs, and let's just drop a nuke from orbit and take out that tree. Use bio-weapons to wipe out all life within a hundred kilometers of our base. But at 20 million a kilo, humans won't stop. A big war could easily be financed. And we'd almost certainly win.

Oh, I forgot something. The human-traitor main character says at one point "their world has no green, they killed their mother" i.e. nature/forests/animals/etc. This is apparently a bad thing. Even though humans now can travel between star systems and have super-advanced technology. So this movie's message was: "Nature is awesome and sacred, man is evil, civilizations slaughter all the natives, corporations are evil, money is evil, let's all go live in the forest, f*** technology." And that is absolutely terrible.

At least I have the consolation that in the sequel in my head, the locals get de-stroyed and humans win. And then human civilization spreads, and the locals get to have the benefits of technology (including the fruits of experiments with their neural connection ability). Yay civilization.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay...So despite the fact that CGI and animation keep me in a job (well not currently) but knowing a little bit about the new software that was developed for JUST this film and the 30 hours it took to render ONE frame of this movie...I would say that the CGI is a liiiiiitle bit better than Jurassic Park. Excuse the sarcasm, but common!! Some of the newest, and most optimized facial motion capture was used a long with new photo realistic lighting techniques...This can hardly be related to Jurassic park. Don't get me wrong, I love me some Jurassic Park, and the visual effects still hold up, but the tech. used in the post and Pre-Production of Avatar is currently in my opinion unsurpassed...

As the far as the plot line I totally agree it's lame.

I would suggest seeing this movie for the visual effects alone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am just coming from the movie theater.

To me, the plot can be totally compatible with Objectivism and can be fully explained to our children and teenagers on Objectivist Ethics.

The film is about people A inititating violence against people B. As almost always happens in these circumsntances, it is A wanting to take something from B by force.

In this case, people A happen to he members of Homo sapiens species, while people B happen to be from an alien species.

One people is far more technologically advance than the other, as it is expected to be when two species so distant in space and time will be.

People A want the precious mineral below the giant tree where people B live, and to get it, they don't care about destroying people's B dwellings, or lives.

avatarmovieposterd.jpg

When I read people here describing this film as "anti-man" I think we should think twice the words we are picking. This is not an anti-man film, just as it is not an anti-man film a one that presents Nazis looting and plundering Jews, or Portuguese conquerors looting and plundering Guarani homes in Brazil.

Every time Ayn Rand refers to "man" she is always basing her arguments within the context of life on Earth, in this era. She didn't mean to exalt man above any other possible rational creature of the universe. That was beyond her scope, as Homo sapiens was (and still is) the only species known to her/ to us, who needs a rational mind as a tool of survival. Certainly, all individuals needing conceptual thinking to survive, whatever their genetic configuration or the planet they inhabit, will qualify as "man" for philosophical purposes.

In the film, the aliens, while technologically primitive, use their mind as a way to survive just as hunters-gatherers societies used their mind for survival in our own planet not so long ago (and Ayn Rand recognized hunter-gatherer's use of a rational mind).

The film has an important lesson for all of us to understand.

Initiation of force from one rational being against other rational being is wrong. It is inmmoral. It doesn't matter if the agressor belongs to our family, our nation, our group of friends, of our species. It doesn't matter if the victim is a collectivist, a Muslim, a hippie under the effects of LSD, a person with an IQ of 60, a bushman in the Kalahari, or an alies species.

In fact, some humans in the film realized that, and rebelled against the fascist commander, and even perished in defending liberty and justice. The main hero in the film, indeed, is not an alien but a member of the Homo sapiens species (Jake Sullivan). When the other heroic human, the scientist played by Sigourney Weaver, tries to explain what is wrong with destroying the trees, she does not appeal to any mystical or sentimental argument, but to scientific curiosity, the hunger of knowledge that has lift humans to the heights of civilization.

I repeat: this is not an anti-man film. On the contrary, it exalts freedom, reason and self-esteem as the essence of mankind, as well as the essence of all ultimately rational beings, wherever they live in the universe.

Edited by Hotu Matua

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I repeat: this is not an anti-man film. On the contrary, it exalts freedom, reason and self-esteem as the essence of mankind, as well as the essence of all ultimately rational beings, wherever they live in the universe.

There is no freedom on Pandora, there is no need for it when the ideal is to conform to your social role in the tribe. There is no reason either, there is no progress when you already live in utopia.

I agree only for so far as I took it literally and accepted the science fiction premise. But allegorically it is all wrong. In the big picture, the movie inverts the usual (natural!) order of things by making the primitives virtuous and the technology loving humans evil. Humans that incompetent at managing large projects would have never gotten off the planet. And to compare with another film about going native, the na'vi people like the samurai in The Last Samurai are never depicted doing a bad thing. This degree of virtue is "unrealistic", but Avatar is completely made up so that is a worthless charge to make. But the halo of virtue about the tribal culture sticks in the subconscious anyway, which is what I don't like.

Utopia is for non-humans.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
But the halo of virtue about the tribal culture sticks in the subconscious anyway, which is what I don't like.

That's a good way of explaining that.

I don't think people will analysis this as much as people on this board or other thinkers. They basically see the shallow aesthetics -- humans, with guns, ships, civilization is BAD; tribal, primitive, mystic aliens are GOOD.

If Cameron wanted to be pro-freedom or whatever, he could choice to use different characters and a different settings. He choose what he did for a reason. He's an open advocate of environmentalism. This is his way of presenting it. Romanticized to utopia as always.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There is no freedom on Pandora, there is no need for it when the ideal is to conform to your social role in the tribe. There is no reason either, there is no progress when you already live in utopia.

I agree only for so far as I took it literally and accepted the science fiction premise. But allegorically it is all wrong. In the big picture, the movie inverts the usual (natural!) order of things by making the primitives virtuous and the technology loving humans evil. Humans that incompetent at managing large projects would have never gotten off the planet. And to compare with another film about going native, the na'vi people like the samurai in The Last Samurai are never depicted doing a bad thing. This degree of virtue is "unrealistic", but Avatar is completely made up so that is a worthless charge to make. But the halo of virtue about the tribal culture sticks in the subconscious anyway, which is what I don't like.

Utopia is for non-humans.

I see your point, Grames.

Almost all epic or epic-like films strain to make clear which side is evil and which is virtuous. And yes, as in any other film presenting stronger people looting or attacking weaker people, the stronger are pictured as evil and the weaker as virtuous.

In films like "Independence Day" extraterrestrials are all villains and humans are all heroes. But few think that, becasue the ETs are so superior, we should let them destroy our cities and loot our properties. The emphasis is in the violence excercised against us, not in the comparison of virtues and vices between the species, and how those virtues or vices have determined the difference in technological development.

While going back to a primitive condition is both absurd and immoral, as it opposes the nature of man, judging the moral status of a primitive tribe by what it is, according to the opportunities to evolve or learn it has had, should not lead us automatically to consider it less moral.

There should be at least something virtuous enough about our original tribal condition, that allowed us to become civilized. As others have stated in the thread about how A becomes B, it is in the nature of A to become B, under the proper conditions. So it was in the nature of the caveman to become a Mozart, an Einstein, an Ayn Rand. We should look our past tribal state not just with horror and despise, but also with admiration and respect. The seeds of both fascism and objectivism were already there.

There is one thing that I don't agree with, Grames. It is about thinking that stupid or evil people would not have got off the planet in the first place.

Evil people, or stupid people DO sometimes get a lot of power, technology and capabilities. They can do it by copying, stealing, persuading, or leveraging on random events The Soviets did get the bomb, did put a man and a woman in the space, did built MIR as a spacial station. THey did crash Prague's and Budapest's liberation movements.

When we encounter a strong technologically advanced army, we have no basis to automatically believe that, since they have reached that level of development, they must be guided by free, rational individuals.

Edited by Hotu Matua

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
In films like "Independence Day" extraterrestrials are all villains and humans are all heroes. But few think that, becasue the ETs are so superior, we should let them destroy our cities and loot our properties. The emphasis is in the violence excercised against us, not in the comparison of virtues and vices between the species, and how those virtues or vices have determined the difference in technological development.

This is all wrong. The humans on Pandora were attacked first, and defended themselves. It's why they have all those marines, and why they need all those guns: the natives are hostile, and the fauna wants to rip you to shreds. More importantly, their mining activities, up until the destruction of the Home Tree or whatever it was called, did not displace the Na'vi. They just destroyed some plants (and I don't care if they are part of a global network of life, so what? I've got me 20 million dollars a kilo minerals to mine, a few plants can get killed. Any decent "network" has backups anyway).

Now, I will grant you that the destruction of the Home Tree or whatever by the people might have been a step too far (I am unsure of the provocation that came before), but given that the Na'vi don't have property rights, it seems, and no formal government (a tribal leader certainly doesn't count). So, they don't own that tree. And they were given fair warning, and offered all the stuff in the world that humans could possibly provide. If I am willing to pay you a million dollars to leave that hut you're in in the middle of the forest in some unclaimed territory, and tell you exactly when I am going to come in with a bulldozer, if you don't leave then it is not my fault that harm may come to you when I come through. You were given fair warning.

And the attack on the Tree of Souls was perfectly justified. The Na'vi were, according to them, at war with the humans. The humans weren't going to touch them any more (they'd gotten what they wanted), but the Na'vi were going to launch a full attack anyway. In a war for survival, I can do anything I need to in order to win. If the Tree of Souls had been destroyed, the humans would have been safe. So that attack was fine.

The only questionable part of the movie, on the part of the humans, was the attack on the Home Tree, and I think it is at least understandable and partially justified.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Now, I will grant you that the destruction of the Home Tree or whatever by the people might have been a step too far (I am unsure of the provocation that came before), but given that the Na'vi don't have property rights, it seems, and no formal government (a tribal leader certainly doesn't count). So, they don't own that tree.

This argument works on nomads that claim all of the lands over which they travel, but not a city-state like the Hometree. Possession definitely counts in the common law, and even if no individual na'vi can be said to own the tree it is certainly true that no human had any claim at all.

And they were given fair warning, and offered all the stuff in the world that humans could possibly provide. If I am willing to pay you a million dollars to leave that hut you're in in the middle of the forest in some unclaimed territory, and tell you exactly when I am going to come in with a bulldozer, if you don't leave then it is not my fault that harm may come to you when I come through. You were given fair warning.

Trade needs to be voluntary. There would be no legal doctrine of eminent domain in a rational world, even a libertarian could understand that. Are you being intentionally argumentative for some reason, is this a rhetorical gambit?

One thing the movie gets right is that the aliens should be regarded a persons in the moral and legal sense. No being that speaks intelligently should be regarded as a "blue monkey".

And the attack on the Tree of Souls was perfectly justified. The Na'vi were, according to them, at war with the humans. The humans weren't going to touch them any more (they'd gotten what they wanted), but the Na'vi were going to launch a full attack anyway. In a war for survival, I can do anything I need to in order to win. If the Tree of Souls had been destroyed, the humans would have been safe. So that attack was fine.

The na'vi are perhaps wiser than some humans in that they are not pragmatists. The continued existence of the humans on Pandora under their fascist regime was unacceptable on principle. The humans predictably would continue to touch whatever the hell they wanted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tried to go see it a couple nights ago, but our great nation's capitol apparently shuts down when we have more than a few inches of snow. What a bunch of sissies.

It reminds me of this scene:

Jack Ryan in DC to a guy from Maine: "Look out the window. It should remind you of home."

Guy from Maine: "Huh. Back home they'd call it a flurry."

Jack: "Here they call it the Ice Age."

I'll probably skip Avatar. Stunning visuals are all well and good, but they're hollow if they don't support a well-told story that is worth telling. I loved Star Wars when it first came out, but I was about ten at the time. Later I relaized the story was a harmless adventure story told, and shown, remarkably well. The prequels on the other hand are neither, even if they beat the original at visuals.

Reminds me of a Babylon 5 scene in "The Deconstruction of Fallings Stars"

Delenn: John Sheridan was a good and decent man (turns to leave)

Deconstruction Crew Gal: You came all the way here to say just that?

Delenn: (turns back) You came just as far to say less.

BTW: Capitol is a building where the legislature meets. Capital is the city where the nation's or state's central government is placed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
given that the Na'vi don't have property rights, it seems, and no formal government (a tribal leader certainly doesn't count). So, they don't own that tree.

As Grames has accurately stated, this is wrong, nanite.

One thing is the existence of property rights, and another thing how these property rights are made known to others.

Our current ways to document property could be seen as very primitive by some extraterrestrial standards.

For example, ET can argue that a land you claim property for must be measured by the scale of nanometers in three dimensions (i.e. including height and depth). In other words, you have to ascertain which section of the planet's cortex and nucleus and atmosphere you own. And since our current documents are far from being so accurate, they are regarded as invalid for ET standards. So they can come and feel free to rob your property.

Same with government. Obama's government could be found so primitive for ET standards (e.g. elected by a voting system that is highly vulnerable, by people who did not prove they knew the candidates or understood how government works) that they could just say it is not "formal" and therefore, invalid.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it was hinted in the movie the the Ey'wa tree was a rational entity whose brain and nervous system consited of and located in the local plant life. Except for the scientists the humas were pretty much ignorant to this possibilty. What if this was true, that Ey'wa tree is a rational being. What if bulldozing part of the forrest was in essense destroying part of an Ey'wa's tree nervous system/brain. How would the Ey'wa's tree rights be handled, would it have rights?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Oh, I forgot something. The human-traitor main character says at one point "their world has no green, they killed their mother" i.e. nature/forests/animals/etc. This is apparently a bad thing. Even though humans now can travel between star systems and have super-advanced technology. So this movie's message was: "Nature is awesome and sacred, man is evil, civilizations slaughter all the natives, corporations are evil, money is evil, let's all go live in the forest, f*** technology." And that is absolutely terrible.

Amazing how much technology gets used to spread the message that technology is bad ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As for "how is this substance so valuable it can finance all this" etc. criticism: It is stated in the movie that the material, unobtainium (obviously a tongue-in-cheek name for it, even in the world of the movie), is worth 20 million dollars a kilogram. A couple thousand tons and it is equal to the entire gross domestic product of the Earth in 2009. So, it can definitely finance all these operations.

Doesn't that make it even worse? How would that work? If you have a product that the entirety of your potential customers cannot even come close to being able to afford?

I saw the film in IMAX 3D and I thought it was a great moving going experience overall. I liked the film a lot because of all the little things that worked... But the overall plot was simply stupid. As soon as they set up the story, you know exactly how it will end. With no logic in the premise, the pre-determined show (of how business and military are innate evils) had no chance to stray from the obvious outcome.

(minor, slight, possible spoiler?)

...btw, the unobtanium isn't even rare on that planet... there are whole mountains of it floating in the sky! There is absolutely no way they'd bomb the crap outta this one area, when they could have been mining the stuff for years in other areas

. But no matter how many gyrations you might go through trying to imagine something more valuable than any valuer could ever trade for, you're still going to be left with a flawed premise.

I really enjoyed the film and will get the Blu-ray when it comes out. I just wish he'd have created a better overall conflict. The antagonistic force in the film was represented by just two people. A war-monger military commander, and a "greedy" corporate shill (a completely irrational one). A more believable way to show the same ends would have made for a truly great film. (i.e. When the bad guys are just bad guys with no philosophy, they just seem like movie characters instead of actual threats)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This argument works on nomads that claim all of the lands over which they travel, but not a city-state like the Hometree. Possession definitely counts in the common law, and even if no individual na'vi can be said to own the tree it is certainly true that no human had any claim at all. ...Trade needs to be voluntary. There would be no legal doctrine of eminent domain in a rational world, even a libertarian could understand that. Are you being intentionally argumentative for some reason, is this a rhetorical gambit?

No, actually, it isn't a rhetorical gambit. The statement you quoted was based on my analysis of their property rights to the Home Tree. In my analysis, they said it was somehow "their's" and thus we could not take it. Well, if they don't actually have property rights, then they don't own it, and it is analagous to a guy living off in the middle of nowhere in a hut on property which is not his. In that situation, he has no property rights to the land, and so I can push him off if I wish (provided I gain legal right to it). I certainly can if I've offered him millions of dollars and anything else he can name in order to incentivize him to leave, and I've told him when I'm going to come in to destroy the hut. At that point, his fate is no longer my responsibility, I gave him every warning, and he had no right to the property in the first place.

So, no, that wasn't intentionally argumentative, I was stating my actual position. As to your argument that they have rights to the tree, I'm not so sure. If no one can be said to own something, then no one owns it, period. So no one has any rights to it. So I can do anything I like with it. Either some entity owns the Tree, or I can do anything I like, it cannot be something in between. Now, since it is clear that no Na'vi individually owns the Tree, and there is no system of ownership over the tree that we've seen as a collective structure (shares and the like), then either the chieftain can be said to own the tree, or no one owns the tree at all. I question the authority of any chieftain, whatsoever. They likely do not obey objective laws, and they have arbitrary hereditary power exchange. Laws are not codified and written down in any form to be shown to people, etc. That is not a legitimate government, and any claims it makes only have as much weight as the so-called "government" has guns to back its claims up, because without rights and reason on their side, the only thing left is force.

And so, since no individual Na'vi owns the Tree, since the tribe collectively cannot own it (since it is not a legitimate government by any stretch of the imagination), and since the humans had a legitimate government and that government gave them mining rights to the whole of Pandora, I think there is a strong argument that the relocation of the Na'vi from the Tree was legitimate. Now, the method was probably more rough than necessary, but considering the fact that the Na'vi would likely have killed the humans if they had done anything less forceful, it is possibly justified, though I am not certain of that by any stretch.

One thing the movie gets right is that the aliens should be regarded a persons in the moral and legal sense. No being that speaks intelligently should be regarded as a "blue monkey".

Agreed, though they can be regarded as "flea-bitten savages" as the leader of the human operation said, because they have no government, no industry, no legitimate law, etc.

The na'vi are perhaps wiser than some humans in that they are not pragmatists. The continued existence of the humans on Pandora under their fascist regime was unacceptable on principle. The humans predictably would continue to touch whatever the hell they wanted.

The humans were not under a fascist regime. It was a corporation. And the humans had no intention of instituting a fascist regime over the Na'vi, or any sort of regime over them. They simply wanted them to leave the Tree, to keep away from them, and not attack them. Sure, the Na'vi weren't pragmatists, but even so, they were wrong. Adopting human civilization would be better for them then living in forests and trees. They could get all the benefits of their network of trees if they studied it and figured out how to reproduce it in a more condensed manner through technology.

This movie is an allegory for the case of the Native Americans. European civilization was assuredly better than their "civilization", and life would have been better they had adopted European ways of life and left their superstitious stuff in the past. Same with the Na'vi. The fact that they refused caused them many problems and a lot of strife.

Edited by nanite1018

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...