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If Cameron meant the Nav'i as an allegory for how man ought to live, then it fails tremendously. If he meant them to be a very different kind of creature that can survive in ways man can't, then I have no problem with this aspect of the story.

Last night in his Golden Globe acceptance speech he said:

"
Avatar
asks us to see that everything is connected, all human beings to each other, and us to the Earth. And if you have to go four and a half light years to another, made-up planet to appreciate this miracle of the world that we have right here, well, you know what, that's the wonder of cinema right there, that's the magic."

-James Cameron

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Last night in his Golden Globe acceptance speech he said:

"
Avatar
asks us to see that everything is connected, all human beings to each other, and us to the Earth. And if you have to go four and a half light years to another, made-up planet to appreciate this miracle of the world that we have right here, well, you know what, that's the wonder of cinema right there, that's the magic."

-James Cameron

Well then he did mean it as an allegory. It doesn't take very much thought to realize that it won't work, that man would suffer and perish under such a system.

You can use "the magic" to sell poison, too.

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Last night in his Golden Globe acceptance speech he said:

"
Avatar
asks us to see that everything is connected, all human beings to each other, and us to the Earth. And if you have to go four and a half light years to another, made-up planet to appreciate this miracle of the world that we have right here, well, you know what, that's the wonder of cinema right there, that's the magic."

-James Cameron

Right, without the magic of the 'all mother' life spirit, we need an authoritarian technocratic eco-state to help us stay connect. Thanks Mr. Cameron.

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Cameron is being stupid. Human beings are not connected to each other or the earth in the way Pandora is interconnected, and cannot become so any more than cat can turn into a dog. Pandora is fiction, there is no basis for regarding it as even possible let alone an ideal to strive for.

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Well then he did mean it as an allegory. It doesn't take very much thought to realize that it won't work, that man would suffer and perish under such a system.

You can use "the magic" to sell poison, too.

The quote is just generic enough that you can place any meaning you want to it.

For instance, I can agree and say, "Yes, we are all connected to each other and the earth via our existence in the universe and our dependence on reason. If we abandon that that connection to reason and existence, then we shall perish."

I'm guessing that isn't how Mr. Cameron would put it though.

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Now, maybe I'm missing something. But I believe there was an essay (I think by Rand) where the issue of the trail was addressed, and that it would be perfectly fine for me to go in and put a toll on it, because nobody owned it. Perhaps I am mistaken, and I can't remember where it was. Maybe you remember something about it? The individual Na'vi did not create that Tree, all of them did without ever really meaning to. As it stands, they had no real right to it.

You could put a toll on it, if you were willing to thuggishly charge money for its use. In the absence of legitimate government. With legitimate government, the standards for ownership will have been established. The difficulty lies with transitioning to legitimate ownership from illegitimate. If you could enforce your toll, and applied to the government, they might grant you legal ownership over a road originated by no one.

But as I said, if a man is on the trail already, and it isn't owned, you can't kick him off. That is, if he entered the trail before your toll was set up. Likewise, if a man lives in a cave he is using it. You have to use your mind to choose the cave as a shelter, to use your feet to go there, to identify it as a good place to stay. This requires building of anything. But, naturally, if you leave the cave you have undone what you began. Vacated, it wouldn't be yours. If no one had ever owned it, and you live in it, no once could apply to a government for its ownership, then legally and violently force you out.

The Na'vi built hammocks in the tree, decorated it, moved domesticated animals into it (yes, they had to do something in order to get control over the birdies, even with the link thingy) and so forth.

Consider this: you live on a farm, which land you have cultivated. Underneath is oil. Can someone claim ownership of your farm because it is a necessary obstacle to unused oil?

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Cameron is being stupid. Human beings are not connected to each other or the earth in the way Pandora is interconnected, and cannot become so any more than cat can turn into a dog. Pandora is fiction, there is no basis for regarding it as even possible let alone an ideal to strive for.

Exactly. If we're as connected to each other and the planet as Cameron seems to believe, then why does he need not just fiction, but fantastical fiction in order to make the point?

'Scuse me while I hook up to my dog, since I'm sure he has some important thoughts on this matter.

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But to say there was nothing rational or moral about their lives is hyperbole that if taken literally is a denial that they are human beings.

Godd thing that I didn't say that. You've been putting words in my mouth the whole thread, and I'm pretty sure that means you skipped over considering my actual position. The description of the idealized "individual" Maximus is making in his post is neither moral nor rational. That's not how an individualist would live, despite his claim that the Indians were the supreme individualists. He's just being a Romantic Primitivist.

Edited by Jake_Ellison
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While there may be a lack of a legitimate governing body to grant rights

Government does not grant rights. Rights exist where rational individuals exist living in society. Whether these rights are recognized or not, protected or not, is another issue.

Despite the alien-ness, despite the ability to communicate mentally, the Na'vi are portrayed as idividuals. In no moment does the "connection" force a Na'vi to act other than according to his own will. Thus they are individuals (albeit with an additional sense of perception, granting an inhuman means of communication). They have rights like any human. Proper understanding of what rights are and what they require makes this obvious.

While discussing a fictional setting is, ultimately, not very relevant - the posts on tribal groups and native americans here show how much the confusion extends to actual human scenarios. I refer to the topic What is a human being?, where the essence of what is required to be considered a "human being" in the context of rights is discussed.

Edited by mrocktor
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Government does not grant rights. Rights exist where rational individuals exist living in society. Whether these rights are recognized or not, protected or not, is another issue.

Well ok you are right, and 'grant' is definitely a poor choice of word. What I was getting at is that the lack of rigorous laws/constitution to safeguard individual rights does not negate the principle itself (the principle of how you should treat others, which is essentially synonymous with 'rights,' although I was using the word to refer to the legal implementation)

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Well ok you are right, and 'grant' is definitely a poor choice of word. What I was getting at is that the lack of rigorous laws/constitution to safeguard individual rights does not negate the principle itself (the principle of how you should treat others, which is essentially synonymous with 'rights,' although I was using the word to refer to the legal implementation)

Quite correct. That is one word you want to be very wary of though <_<

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On the issue of Na'vi rights and whether the humans were justified in attacking their home tree. I think the issue comes down to whether on not the Na'vi were a species like humans that have rights, or not. The issue of whether they understand the concept of rights, whether they are collectivists or not does not matter. If you think that they are people and have rights then the attack is morally wrong. It doesn't matter if they understand the concept of rights or not, they possess the rights by their nature, and the only way they can loose their rights is through the initiation of force. Just because someone doesn't understand rights doesn't give someone else the moral right to attack them anytime they want. If you think that they are not like people and don't have rights then the attack is fine. It is then equivalent of cutting down a tree that has some birds or monkeys living in it. Though you might consider it cruel to the animals its no longer a rights issue.

Pandora is an environmentalists fantasy world, and how they think humans should live on earth. The following is a excerpt for an article called the danger of environmentalism that appears on ARI website originally published in 1989.

-"The ideal world of environmentalism is not twenty-first-century Western civilization; it is the Garden of Eden, a world with no human intervention in nature, a world without innovation or change, a world without effort, a world where survival is somehow guaranteed, a world where man has mystically merged with the "environment."-

If this is not a 20 years earlier prediction of Pandora I do know what is.

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Indeed, the Na'vi forest is like the Garden of Eden and they even live under the Tree of Life. The Na'vi have never been tempted by the proverbial tree of knowledge (technology) so continue to exist in blissful peace and harmony.

Now that's a new insight here, and a good one.

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Avatar has officially been banned in China, due to the government fearing people will figure out these things called "property rights" start wanting them respected (can't imagine why)(and also that it will detract from the latest Chow-Yun Fat flick. Can't have that now can we?):

http://uk.movies.yahoo.com/blog/article/11...d-in-china.html

Avatar has become China's most successful movie after making nearly £47 million, but that hasn't stopped the country's government pulling the film from some of its cinemas over fears that it could cause political unrest.

The China Film Group, which is run by the state, believes the plot of human colonists attempting to demolish an alien village for its resources steers too close to a very sensitive issue in China at the moment.

Millions of Chinese people have been evicted from their homes to make room for high rises and government infrastructure projects, reports The LA Times. Avatar's success has also angered some Chinese officials, who fear the film's popularity takes too much market share from their domestic films.

2D showings of Avatar will now be pulled from Chinese cinemas, but film fans can still see 3D showings of the sci-fi epic. However, there are so few 3D cinema screens in China, it's essentially a theatrical ban for the Golden Globe-winning movie.

So, instead of Avatar, Chinese film fans can look forward to the Chow-Yun Fat biopic of the ancient philosopher Confucius in its place.

An Asian media consultancy, Wolf Group Asia, however, insists that the decision to choose Confucius in favour of Avatar was all to do with the Chinese New Year holiday, which begins in the middle of February.

A spokesperson added, "There are certain windows in the year that are held for domestic films. We're coming up on Chinese New Year, so this can be expected."

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When Alexander the Great entered India he was brought to "The Speaking Tree" that the Indians believed could speak all the languages of the world and foretell the truth. Check this video out. The key part is at about 1'20" in and only lasts a few seconds. The tree they filmed looks quite a bit like the tree in Avatar.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9o07JqxM6M

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When Alexander the Great entered India he was brought to "The Speaking Tree" that the Indians believed could speak all the languages of the world and foretell the truth. Check this video out. The key part is at about 1'20" in and only lasts a few seconds. The tree they filmed looks quite a bit like the tree in Avatar.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9o07JqxM6M

That should read "foretell the FUTURE". Arrrrrrgggggh.

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Here is an excellent break down of Avatar. This guy is a little odd, but very insightful:

Same as above.

RedLetterMedia has some modest internet fame for his

which has over a million views.
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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

All you need to understand in this movie is simply “symbolism”. Symbolism is the most straightforward and obvious method of expressing metaphysical judgment. It’s been used long before the adoption of written language; most people in the past couldn’t read, and most people today can’t reason properly, but how can one propose value systems to these people? One can’t simply tell them what’s good or what’s bad literally, because the natural response will be suspicion, nor can one explain it in “ivory tower” language, because most people lack the ability to understand abstract concepts directly. What you need is an escapist story with characters that represent certain qualities of whatever category or collective they belong to. If you want to support a certain category, then you make the representational character only inherit the positive quality of that category; vise versa you make the representational character in the suppressed category only inherit the negative quality of that category. Actually what you should do is just make the characters inherit the good or bad quality that never belonged to their species, this works better and takes less effort to study the collectives. This is the intention behind all one-dimensional characters, they are not a part of the fictional universe, but are impossible creatures hard-programmed by their master philosophy. To make a long story short, these monsters behave exactly the same way no matter what kind of fictional universe they been thrown in to. To make “it” even better, you spice it up with clichéd romance, dramatic action, and cheap horror. People who do not know better, will read it, accept it and more importantly, stop questioning it. The goal of all these efforts is to make sure the audience cannot draw any alternative conclusion. Even today, symbolism is still the most powerful form of propaganda used by major religions, as was the case centuries ago. Let us look at Avatar again: humans, technology, and business were portrayed as ugly, rude, insensitive, and unrealistically stupid; on the other hand the Na’vi, primitives, and religion were portrayed as beautiful, noble, friendly, and unrealistically smart. Oh and don’t forget: humans that support Na’vi are also good, and Na’vis support human SHOULD (in such case, according to our fundamentals) also be evil. See, I know where this is going; when a human being switches sides to the Na’vi, the human will lose all the bad identities when he/she was human, and obtain all the good identities from the Na’vi. This principle can also work in reverse if the author knows what he is doing. Feel free to interpret it any way you like, but remember, the primary audience for this movie is what James Cameron cares about. He implements his radical eco philosophy in a way that it’s understandable to “them” not you and not me. After the fundamental layout, all that is left is just some soup romance, dramatic action, and cheap horror. People who do not know better, will watch it, accept it and, more importantly, not question it. I mean, just feel it, and don’t think too hard.

Edited by mynameisyang
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  • 1 month later...

Here is what James Cameron said about those who don't go along with the AGW hysteria.

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/lachlan-marka...n-beck-f-hole-0

Cameron said at a news conference that he would like to shoot "those boneheads," referring to skeptics of anthropogenic global warming. "Anybody that is a global warming denier at this point in time has got their head so deeply up their a** I'm not sure they could hear me," Cameron added.

and

"That's right," Cameron said. "I want to call those deniers out into the street at high noon and shoot it out with those boneheads."
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