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Harry Potter Movies

Ethics & Morality

By Angela SchnaubeltPublished about a year ago 3 min read
Harry Potter Movies
Photo by Frida Lannerström on Unsplash

Diving deep into the morality and ethics of the Harry Potter movies is a fun excursion into philosophy and humanity of the fiction series. It's wholesome. It's heartwarming, and it's relatable!

For parents who want to know if Harry Potter is appropriate for children, then I DO highly recommend this series as wholesome, healthy, age-appropriate, and morally aligned with all religions (author's opinion, of course. Please read the entire series of articles to find out for yourself if the content is great).

Good versus Evil According to the World of Harry Potter

One of the main ethical themes of the series is the struggle between good and evil. Throughout the movies, the characters are faced with moral dilemmas and must make difficult choices, often in the face of great danger. For example, Harry (the protagonist) must decide whether to follow the rules and avoid Voldemort (the antagonist) or to take action to stop him, even if it means breaking the rules and risking his own safety.

This raises questions about what constitutes right and wrong, and whether certain actions are justified in the pursuit of a greater good. The series portrays different characters taking different ethical stances in response to these questions.

For instance, Albus Dumbledore is a character who is often seen making choices based on what he believes is morally right, even if it means putting himself or others in danger. In contrast, characters like Dolores Umbridge and Cornelius Fudge make decisions based on their own interests and beliefs, even if they go against what is commonly understood as right and wrong.

Moral Responsibility & Harry Potter Characters

The theme of moral responsibility is a prominent one in the Harry Potter series. Throughout the series, characters are faced with difficult choices and must grapple with the consequences of their actions.

For example, Harry learns that his parents' death was caused in part by his father's behavior towards Severus Snape, which raises questions about the ethical implications of one's actions towards others. Conversely, Snape's decisions had great consequences -- his were numerous, duplicitous, and complex.

Here are some examples of the theme of moral responsibility in the Harry Potter series:

  • The importance of personal choices
  • The consequences of actions
  • The dangers if inaction (e.g. Neville Longbottom)
  • The importance of forgiveness

Fairness, Power, & Justice in the Harry Potter Movies

Another ethical theme in the series is the importance of fairness and justice. The characters often find themselves fighting against oppressive systems and injustices, such as the persecution of Muggle-borns by the Ministry of Magic. This raises questions about the relationship between power and justice, and whether those in power have a moral responsibility to use that power for the greater good.

The imbalance of power, as illustrated by Delores Umbridge's character in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, was an obvious strong theme. This entire movie illustrated the abuse of power and gross injustices.

Dumbledore also presents appropriate and (some could interpret) inappropriate use of power. These themes are explored further in another article.

All of the Harry Potter books and movies are rich in complexity of philosophical themes that we all grapple with in life. The series is appropriate for both children and adults, and provides fodder for productive conversations amongst friends and family in terms of morality, ethics, decision-making and life skills.

Overall, the Harry Potter movies raise important ethical questions about the nature of right and wrong, moral responsibility, and the relationship between fairness, power, and justice. These themes make the series a rich source of philosophical reflection and discussion.

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About the Creator

Angela Schnaubelt

Stage 4 cancer survivor and thriver. Marketing strategist and business development coach for alternative health practitioners. World traveled, intelligent and ambitious yet heart centered. Lover of nature, animals, and life!!

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