Plato Essay

And Conservative Christians
The views of Plato back in Ancient Greece and that of conservative
Christians today about education for children have surprisingly similar views.

Plato thought it to be most beneficial for children, if their learning consisted
of music and poetry to shape the soul, and of physical training to shape the
body. However, only stories that were fine and beautiful should be selected.

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Stories that co ained falsehoods should be banned along with passages that teach
fear of death. The teaching should be done in moderation, only the good endings
should be taught and only good deeds of heroes should be told. Conservative
Christians today believe in many of the same ideas as Plato. Instead of music
and poetry to shape the soul, the Bible should be the primary learning tool.

Only shows that are non-secular and do not contain references to evolution
should be allowed for children to watch. Shows that portray death to children
should be monitored by parents. At the heart of these ideas, is the concern with
cartoons and the effect they have on young children. This way of thinking does
more harm to children then it does to protect them. By shielding them from what
actually goes on in this world, i.e. death, sex and non religious views, you are
setting them up for a harder time of understanding these concept when they are
faced with them in real life. Cartoons can be a wonderful way of exposing
children to the evils of this world in a less harmful way. Children are able to
relate to cartoons in a special way that we as adults are unable to do. Because
of the young age of the children in question, eir innocence is not lost and
cartoons have a magical way of relating issues on a program to those that are
prevalent in real life. Take for instance the idea of death that is seen in
?The Lion King’ or ?Bambi’. This is the perfect segway for parents to
start to teach their children about death. This allows children to see death in
a non-realistic way and also gives them the curi ity to ask their parents about
it. Parents should not shy away from a subject like this. Death is such a part
of life that it needs to be explained to children at the earliest possible time
that they are able to comprehend it in just the least. Just ink how much more
difficult it would be trying to explain to a five year old that his mother has
died, if you as a parent have never even mentioned the notion of death and what
it entails to that child. That child would have such more difficulty unders
nding that his mother is never coming back if he had been shielded from ever
seeing death. There is the argument that you should protect a child’s
innocence for as long as possible because once its gone it will never return.

There is merit in this argument. However, you have to make the decision on
whether you want protect a child for a couple of more years, or explain to them
the trials of life and in doing so, making it easier for them to comprehend this
world when they are older. A child that never learns about death, will never be
able to embrace it and to realize that death is not an ending but a new
beginning. Everyone is going to experience death at some point in there life and
by learning at a young age what death actuall entails will make it easier for
that child when faced with the situation. Cartoons are given too much credit for
shaping the way that young children think and behave. Adults are giving cartoons
this credit because they can look at them and see subtleties because they are
older and have so much more education. Children on the other hand are watching
these cartoons solely as entertainment. They are not comprehending any
underlining political or social message these cartoons may be conveying. If
there are any political or social messages contained in cartoons, then they e
intended for adults and will only be understood by adults. This also can be
applied to the issues regarding death, sex, and violence in cartoons. A good
majority of children don’t watch cartoons to learn, but rather as a form of
entertainment. Violence that is seen in cartoons by children is very rarely, if
er emulated by them. If it is in fact emulated by children, it is the fault of
the parents and not the cartoons themselves. Parents are responsible for
teaching their children what is real and what is fiction. Parents that rely
heavily on cartoons as “babysitter” for their children and do not take the
time to talk and educate their children are why children sometimes mimic what is
seen in cartoons. Adults, and in particular conservative Christians are the ones
to blame for the beliefs that cartoons are harmful and inappropriate for young
children. Take for instance the controversy surrounding Disney cartoons.

Conservatives have said that the proportion between the breast size and waist
size of Disney’s’ female characters is too out of proportion and that Disney
is deliberately creating these characters to be sexy. Because of this,
conservatives have called for a boycott of Disney cartoons cause they portray
the wrong message to our children. Children are not worried about trivialities
like this. They are watching these cartoons purely for entertainment. Adults
read too far into situations like this. The children do not even notice th gs
like that. And if they don’t even notice it, then these adults are using the
excuse that it is harmful to our children to benefit their own position. There
is a growing debate on whether certain cartoons are appropriate for young
children. Not all cartoons are acceptable for children. However, not all
cartoons are intended for children and are geared more for adolescents. These
cartoons, such as, ?South Park’ and ?The Simpsons’, should not be
condemned because their target audience is not young children but rather young
adults. These shows should be treated like other shows which are intended for
young adults. Just because they are in anim ed format, does not necessarily mean
that they are intended for children. Adults need to realize this and to stop
unnecesaringly branding these cartoons. As for the fact that some cartoons are
inappropriate for young children and yet the children are still being exposed to
them is not the fault of the cartoons directly but that of their parents. If the
parents deem certain cartoons to be inappropriate r their children then it is
their responsibility to make sure their children do not watch those shows. If
parents are around early in their children’s’ life to educate them about
what is real and what is entailed in life, then the problems with cartoons is
virtually eliminated. The reason that parents have a problem with what is
depicted in cartoons, i because they are too busy to deal with the issues that
are portrayed in cartoons and they feel that cartoons is not the place for their
children to learn about the perils of life. If parents would just take to
initiative to explain to their children ab t what they are watching in these
cartoons, then parents would be a lot more comfortable in allowing their
children to watch them. Cartoons can not be expected to eliminate every subject
that certain adults or organizations deem to be offensive or controversial. If
this was to happen, then children would receive a diluted and false sense of
what this world is actually about. By xposing them to nothing offensive or
controversial by way of cartoons would be detrimental to children’s’ growth
and development. By shielding children of the ways of the world, which includes
death and violence, they will be ill-prepared to face the ac alities of our
world when they need to. The violence that is seen in cartoons can be a good
learning tool to show children on how they are not supposed to behave. The
violence that is portrayed in cartoons in purely fiction and even the youngest
of children can separate the fact that what they are watching in these cartoons
is pretend. No child is ever going to believe that he can freeze someone with an
ice gun like some cartoon character did. Adults in today’s world grew up with
violence in cartoons and it is doubtful that any adult could honestly say that
the violence they saw in cartoons as a child geared them to violent adults. An
if the biggest argument against violence in cartoons is that it give children
nightmares then you have to realize that nightmares are a part of growing up and
will happen with or without the effect of cartoons. Cartoons should not be the
primary form in educating children. It should be used as a supplement. It is a
supplement that children can easily relate issues in cartoons to those of the
real world. Parents and teachers need to educate children. If a c ld is learning
too much from what he/she sees in cartoons, then it is the fault of the parents
for not spending the time needed to insure that their child knows what is
actually being said and depicted in the cartoons. By trying to shield children
from the death and violence that is seen on cartoons is not going to stop them
from experiencing death or from being violent. Those two things are a part of
life. If this is the objective behind the argument that cartoons e detrimental
to our children’s development then you have to ask yourself how people became
violent or learned about death before cartoons were around to help in the


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