Dangerous Ideas YKTTW Discussion

Dangerous Ideas
(permanent link) added: 2011-05-12 19:00:32 sponsor: neoYTPism (last reply: 2011-05-26 16:57:41)

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"I never knew that idea would grow in her mind like a cancer..."
- Dom Cobb, from Inception, on suggesting to his wife the idea that perhaps the world they lived in was All Just a Dream, which led to her killing herself to "wake up" because she found it so convincing that even Cobb himself could not talk her out of it.

Do We Have This One?... oh, and I am open to title suggestions.

This is for the notion expressed by characters in a story (and in some cases, even by the author) that specific ideas are, well, dangerous.

There are different varieties of this.

The story itself presents the idea as dangerous.

The characters refer to the idea as dangerous but the story does not.

  • In Beauty and the Beast, Gaston and the townspeople seem to treat in general as dangerous. Gaston saying "it is not right for a woman to read because she will start getting ideas, and thinking" may make him seem like a Politically Incorrect Villain, but he says to Lefou later on "I am afraid I have been thinking" and agrees when Lefou calls that a dangerous past times, so it is easily up to interpretation.
  • The Shawshank Redemption: Red's assertion earlier on that "hope is a dangerous thing." He changes his mind on that one later on.
  • In Babylon5, Earthforce establishes a volunteer militia-like group akin to rent-a-cops on Babylon 5 to "keep an eye on things, and protect the populace from dangerous ideas."
  • "A Man Can't Be Too Careful What He Signs These Days" from Stan Freberg Presents the United States of America paints the idea of the Declaration of Independence as analagous to declaring oneself a communist.
    Thomas Jefferson: You're so skittish / Who possibly could care if you do [sign]?
    Ben Franklin: The Un-British / Activities committee, that's who!
    • On a sidenote, there are several examples of researchers asking people on the street (or at a mall) what they think about passages from the Declaration of Independence or Bill of Rights (without identifying where they are from) and having Americans tell them that they are communist trash.
  • More parodical/deconstructive examples of Appeal To Consequences would belong here.
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