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Do you encourage children to watch cartoons?

Any topics that are primarily about humanism or other non-religious life stances fit in here.
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Re: Do you encourage children to watch cartoons?

#21 Post by andrew_peacock » July 30th, 2010, 7:44 pm

Latest post of the previous page:

Emma Woolgatherer wrote:If I had children, what I would want to encourage is their imaginations. I think that teaching children to believe that certain old, stale myths [---][/---] the baby Jesus was born in a manger in a stable on 25 December; Santa Claus/Father Christmas brings gifts to good little children on Christmas Day, etc. [---][/---] are true is wrong, but I also think that the repeated telling of such myths stifles the imagination.
One of my daughters asked me a while back what killed Jesus, was it a spinning needle or a poisoned apple?

I think fantasy stories are great for kids. Watching TV is a bit dull though, I would prefer them to be in the garden making mud pies.

But for some reason they do love hearing the same story again and again (and again...) I guess it is more comfortable when you are wee to know in advance that Red Riding Hood will be ok in the end.

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Re: Do you encourage children to watch cartoons?

#22 Post by getreal » July 31st, 2010, 1:27 am

I like to think I am a very rational person.

I love "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Being Human". Doesn't make me less rational, though.
"It's hard to put a leash on a dog once you've put a crown on his head"-Tyrion Lannister.

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Re: Do you encourage children to watch cartoons?

#23 Post by CurtisB » July 31st, 2010, 2:04 pm

Marian wrote:Not sure if you can generalize to all humanists that we don't like fantasy but speaking for myself, I think there is a distinction between TV cartoons and mythology and fantasy,even though they often are used interchangeably.

Just as I am discriminating in my taste of food (I'll fit your stereotype of a westerner who dislikes spicy food :) ), movies and books, I equally demand a high standard for TV programs. As you've likely guessed, I watch little to no TV. Why? Because it's mostly crap! :)
"If'its not Scot'ish, it's crap!" - oops, sorry... a little Mike Meyers sneaking out there...

Agreed, that cartoons (at least what I've been exposed to) are typically fantasy but have naught to do with mythology, although some crossover does, of course, occur. Personally, I do like all of the above - sometimes I even enjoy a good escape via television or book, but that doesn't happen often these days as life keeps me fairly busy on the reality side of the universe (i.e. it's taken me a couple months to read a single fantasy book - granted, I'm not a fast reader).
Marian wrote:Not much has changed in the last decade in terms of improving standards so if I were to have children now, I wouldn't even get a TV until they were significantly older. We'd be outdoors or reading together. Any cartoons, if I were later persuaded to get a TV, would be vetted first and what is most likely is that I would watch the cartoons with my kids and talk about what they were seeing and how that translates to real life. Thinking comes first. Escapism much later. Running away from reality(our uncomfortable thoughts, pain, boredom etc) doesn't make reality ultimately disappear; we're here for a very short time, might as well face it all. :)
This is a concept that I'm working to incorporate myself - learning to embrace all of life, not just the warm-fuzzy parts, but the course, abrasive, and uncomfortable bits too -- it's all a part of our one chance at existence and so I (intellectually, right now) feel that it should all be embraced in all it's glory *and* all it's distress. I suppose a part of my predilection for 'going to my happy place' is a limited ability to cope with pain and suffering, be it direct or observed, and so this - i suppose - gives me an idea of where I need to "work-out" my psyche (sp?) in order to strengthen my character and get all there is to be obtained from this short life... (thanks for the thoughts!)
Marian wrote:Fantasy is one tool in which mythology can be transmitted but the same can be said of story-telling and poetry for example. None of these have to be irrational or ineffective depending on their ultimate aim ie. teaching people to think.
One could think of religion, say xianity, as just a series of stories transmitted through the bible but I have to look at why they were created and perpetuated to understand there's more to the picture in terms of controlling people, having them turn away from conscious, rational thought etc.

My favourite fantasy series is: Forgotten Realms -The Legend of Drizzt by R.A. Salvatore. It incorporates a commentary about conformity, ostracism, life choices and morality into a terrific storyline with wonderful imaginative characters.
Good books! Where did you stumble into those? :)

I feel that story-telling and mythology (as story telling, not as religion) are indeed very useful -- they incorporate ideas into the 'language of life' that allow us to share and connect with others with a -- shall we say, efficiency... Language is terribly lacking, really, for all that it's done for us; words and sentences are so easy to read out of context, but as you build higher and deeper layers (i.e. mythology) you are concentrating the base notions into clearer and clearer concepts. Therefore, if I speak of Romeo, Sisyphus, or the like, I can be communicating about certain life-notions in a fairly consistent way...

oh shoot - I'm out of time! by for now!
"Be who you are, and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind"
-Dr. Seuss

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Re: Do you encourage children to watch cartoons?

#24 Post by Manuel » July 31st, 2010, 4:15 pm

Me and my family sit down to watch one episode of The Simpsons most days, after dinner. They are 7 and 8 and we've been doing it for at least a year. Sometimes I cringe and want to put my fingers in their ears when some adult stuff is discussed, and I occasionally worry about the Itchy and Scratchy violence, but there is so much that we all laugh at and enjoy together. I often wonder though whether I am doing the right thing. Not really fantasy though is it, more of a sit com comedy series.

The fantasy they do watch I largely encourage, providing it isn't Transformers or certain others where 50% of the show appears to be attempting to smash the hell out of each other to a rock music soundtrack. I hate those.

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