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Toy Stories for Atheists/Humanists - Journal of Omnifarious

May. 15th, 2008

07:39 am - Toy Stories for Atheists/Humanists

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This is copied from memegarden. An interpretation of Toy Story as a story about atheism and humanity. Very well done.

Toy Stories for Humanists — the Toy Story movies' powerful humanist messages:

"...human beings have worth and meaning even if they are 'nothing but' material objects."

"...toys are meant to be played with, even broken, because that's the price you pay for the privilege of being alive and loved."

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Comments:

From:catherinew
Date:May 15th, 2008 03:08 pm (UTC)
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Thanks for that link.

"Toy Story," and more especially "Toy Story 2," always bothered me. For years I had a really hard time letting go of material objects, even objects that had no sentimental value to me whatsoever. I felt an artificial sense of obligation to the objects themselves, and that tear-jerking music video to "When You Loved Me" made me feel horribly guilty for all the things I threw away.

I see now that I was interpreting the movies incorrectly, as though the lessons actually applied to physical objects. While clearly they were really about people, and how throwing people away is wrong. And I agree with that.

It all makes sense to me now. :-)
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From:omnifarious
Date:May 15th, 2008 05:33 pm (UTC)
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I felt an artificial sense of obligation to the objects themselves, and that tear-jerking music video to "When You Loved Me" made me feel horribly guilty for all the things I threw away.


That seems an amusing affectation from the outside, but it sounds really irritating to have.

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From:catherinew
Date:May 15th, 2008 06:46 pm (UTC)
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It sure was! I'm over it now, thank goodness :-D
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From:eonen
Date:May 15th, 2008 03:23 pm (UTC)
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Well...yeah! :)

It's funny...scientists and biologists are actually starting to suspect that there is a "gene" (which is to say, a congenital predisposition; blaming everything on genes is popular these days, but this is what people REALLY mean when they say that) for religiosity. I'm quite certain that, if I have it, it is in such a minute dose that it may as well not exist.
That said...I grokked these messages in both Toy Story movies on a nearly instinctive level; this article felt, to me, like pointing out the obvious. But I'm willing to bet there are some people out there who are shaking their heads right now, going, "No. Freakin'. WAY!" Heh.

I actually have a project planned--and kinna begun, a bit--that will do something similar, though it's more about illustrating the dangers of faith versus critical thinking...
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From:omnifarious
Date:May 15th, 2008 05:35 pm (UTC)

Well, it wasn't a revelation exactly

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But it had never occurred to me to think of Buzz Lightyear's belief that he was a real-live Space Ranger as being religious in nature. Now I'm thinking I might want to watch the movies again. :-)

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From:eonen
Date:May 15th, 2008 05:44 pm (UTC)

But it sure was cool!

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Well, I admit, I have a weakness for stories about secret societies, post-apocalyptic tribes, secret cults, etc...they amuse the hell out of me.

Now, Toy Story certain has elements of that in it. I mean, Buzz's delusion amuses me greatly, and the toys in Sid's room definitely have the look at feel of post-apocalypse survivors who form a mutant tribe...the aliens in the claw machine have formed a cult of worship.
That stuff fascinates me. Not because I want to join, but rather because it's a very interesting psychology, one I don't quite get...and it also has some appealing counter-culture elements that amuse.

Compare it to the Farscape episode "Taking the Stone", my favorite episode. Not only is it Chiana-centric (my favorite character), but it's also the same sort of story as, say, Sid's room: lower-class citizens left for millenia on a barren planet used as a burial ground for royalty where radiation slowly kills the inhabitants before they reach about 25. So they've developed a culture and rituals based around drug-taking and worship of an activity that is half religious worship and half extreme sport: jumping from a cliff toward a sonic net that catches them...only it doesn't always work, and those who die "take the stone". VERY interesting episode and I love it a lot.

The similarities between that episode and Toy Story are not immediately apparent, but under the surface...

Well, anyway, I think it's rad.

Edited at 2008-05-15 05:45 pm (UTC)
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From:omnifarious
Date:May 15th, 2008 06:25 pm (UTC)

Re: But it sure was cool!

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Well, anyway, I think it's rad.


I assume that no pun was intended? ;-)

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From:eonen
Date:May 15th, 2008 09:30 pm (UTC)

Re: But it sure was cool!

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...though heavily implied. ;)
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