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posts by Replay Auditor | joined 18 Mar 2004 | 127


posted 18 Mar 2004, 15:03 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Replay, Auditor

[quote:284cpxn6]I would have to say yes, all morality is just a social construct. However, that doesn't demean it in any way, to my thinking.[/quote:284cpxn6] I think this is quite a common argument made by many these days, and it is very easy to see how people come to such a conclusion. The problem comes when you try to lump all of morality (or value which morality is an extension of), into one group. Whereas in reality is does not really work like that. By looking at morality from only a social point of view, you miss the morality/value of the intellect. And if you look at it from only an intellectual point a view, you can miss the social (and then theres the biological and inorganic etc). For instance, theres been talk of whether animals have morality/value. Well, from an intellectual--and to a smaller extent, social--it may seem that they dont. But from a biological? Well thats another matter. Does not an animal do all it can to survive? And are not those who do survive those of biological higher value? I guess you could say that is what the whole survival of the fittest is about (though perhaps a better name would be survival of the best, or even survival of the highest value). From this i guess you could say that evolution is just a movement to higher forms of value. Which brings up and interesting point, and that is that value is not a fixed thing (well, in the relative world anyway). I suppose this is the cause of most of the problems when you try to define it (i certainly had a lot of problems just typing out this small post on the subject). view post


posted 18 Mar 2004, 17:03 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Replay, Auditor

Yes, the i-am-right-you-are-wrong attitude is one of biggest causes of problems in the world today. But people love to set ideas and truths in concrete and cling on to them. I guess its a way to try and fend off the uncertainty of the world. The thing is though, its in that uncertainty that true learning comes. Knowing that you can never have all the facts and that logic is not infallible, you can easily accept that what you hold true now, may not be so. You are not only open to any new information that comes along, but also open to the wonder of the world as it unfolds, instead of trying to force it into something else (which in the end never works). p.s. I dont really agree with you that this is not a religious issue. This topic is at the very heart of religion. But then yours and my idea of what religion is probably differs quite a bit. view post


posted 18 Mar 2004, 23:03 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Replay, Auditor

Ah i see what you mean. Yes, that has been a problem with alot of religions over the years (not all though), and it is probably one of the major causes for people turning away from it. It certainly turned me away from Christianty, what with all the dogma and asking you to accept their word as law just on faith. Funny thing is, it was that turning away and looking at other religions that finally allow me to understand Christianity alot better. It's not all that bad a religion once you cut away most of the crap (if your interested, you might want to check out some of stuff by the Christian mystics on the web). Plus from speaking to a couple of Christians lately, i think things are changing. They didnt seem so interested following the dogma layed out for them, and instead were investigating reality for themselves (or getting in contact with face of god as they like to call it). Guess that's that evolution at work again. view post


posted 31 Mar 2004, 18:03 in Author Q & AThe conditioning of Kellhus by Replay, Auditor

Theres an old saying that goes something like "When you understand yourself, you understand others". This would certainly be true for Kellhus who, having spent time observing his own mind in action, would come to understand how others minds work as well (though it is over exaggerated a little in the book). Deep down humans are all pretty much the same, and all our thoughts spring from the same roots (it is only the individual thoughts which are different). Once you have observed and understood them for yourself, it is easy to see how they affect others actions. So, just because the Dunyain have not been in contact with anyone for a while, it does not mean they would not understand them. The only thing they would be a bit puzzled at at first would be the other land's culture. But with a bit of observation that would soon change (as i believe it does in the book) My only problem with Kellhus is that i dont really believe he has understood these roots all that well (if he had, he would not be acting the way he is). Plus, while i understand where the author was coming from when he talking about that which comes before, if Kellhus had really understood himself, he would have had at least an idea of that which truely comes before. But hey, hes only a character in a story (and one of the best i have ever read), so these things are not really that important. view post


posted 31 Mar 2004, 18:03 in Author Q & AHello to the author and everyone... by Replay, Auditor

Zen and the art of motocycle maintenance is not so much a walkthrough of philosophical thinking, as it is an attack on it (well, on commonly held philosophy anyway). It really is a great book though, and is in easy to understand language (Prisig uses his motocycle and the relationship of its parts to explain some points, which works well). It should interest anyone wanting to learn more about philosophy, or certainly those who wish to know more about value/morality, or perhaps just life in general. I would advise reading it with an open mind though (and that also means not just accepting everything he says). Also remember that even though it is a very nice picture that he paints, it is still only a picture. p.s. If you dont want to buy it, you can find it online in many places such as [url=http://bonigv.tripod.com/toc.htm:1wracemr]here[/url:1wracemr] view post


posted 31 Mar 2004, 19:03 in Author Q & AThe conditioning of Kellhus by Replay, Auditor

Yes, i can understand how you'd be concerned with that. I have been working on the idea for a series over the past couple of years (its about all layed out, i just dont have the skills to write it yet), and have come across a similar problem. It has a character who, much like Kellhus, has spent years training himself and has come to certain understandings, yet has misunderstood some vital points. The question becomes how to make that misunderstanding believable (as once a person reaches a certain point in self examination, it is almost impossible for them to act in certain ways). I think that i may have worked that out for the most part, but have taken some liberties with it. After all, its is a fantasy book. p.s. Forgot to mention it before, but congratulations on such a great first book. I don't read all that much fantasy, but when i do i like it to be of very high quality, and the TDTCB certainly has that. view post


posted 31 Mar 2004, 19:03 in Author Q & AHello to the author and everyone... by Replay, Auditor

In Lila he did seem to go against what he was arguing for in the first book (not defining it, which i think he should have stuck with (though can understand why he did)). Have you checked out any of the stuff on [url=http://www.moq.org:t4lvz6ak]MOQ[/url:t4lvz6ak]? Its been a while since i last looked there, but there was some interesting stuff presented. view post


posted 31 Mar 2004, 23:03 in Author Q & AThe conditioning of Kellhus by Replay, Auditor

I agree that believability plays a big part in what makes an epic fantasy great, and it is also one of the reasons that i do not read all that much in the genre. There is nearly always some dark lord who has lived for millenia, yet never changes and continues to act evily just for the sake of acting evily. I guess its a common problem with the fantasy genre, in that the writers can get so caught up in the great freedom they are allowed when creating their worlds and characters, that they often overlook just how believable what they have created really is. The genre can be pretty forgiving though, esepcially if you have believability in other areas. Steven Eriksons books are a good example of this, where he has created such a vivid world and history, that you can overlook the fact that some his characters are hundreds of thousands of years old yet still act like spoilt teenagers (Kallor for example). As for myself, the series i have been planning will be as real as i can make it in every single area. Even what you would call the magic can be considered in the realm of possibility. Of course, readers will still have to suspend belief while they consider the possibilites presented in the book, but i think thats a good thing as it is often where the wonder and awe of the world/story you have created seeps through. view post


posted 05 Apr 2004, 14:04 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Replay, Auditor

What is the fittest if not the best able to survive? As for morals/value being a social contsruct, well your free to believe that if you want-- i doubt anything i say will change your way of thinking. All i would ask is for you to have an open mind and try an experiment: put your hand in a fire, and then keep repeating that there is no value. Of course, youll probably come up with an answer to that that fits into your world view, the logical mind is clever like that (and also why it should never be relied on). view post


posted 05 Apr 2004, 20:04 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Replay, Auditor

First off, want to apologize for my comment about the logical mind. I wanted to make a point about logic but it came out totally wrong, and in the end turned out to be more an attack than anything (which it shouldnt be, as i know i am just as susceptible to falling into its traps). Secondly, you asked what does that experiment have to do with value? Well, i would have thought it has everything to do with it. If there was no value, you could keep your hand there and let it burn. Of course, that would not happen--you would remove your hand without even thinking about it. Why? Because your hand is more useful (more valuable) if is able to operate properly (which it couldnt if it was burnt to a crisp). The pain sensors in your body were developed for this, so that the body would know when it is being damaged and be able to do something about it; so that it could continue to operate better (value again) than it could if injured. In a way though, your right--morality is kind of a social construct (well a certain type of morality anyway). It is a way of behaving that makes a society better. But it is not the individual rules made up by society that are so important (though they are in a way), as these are sometimes open to change. It is the "makes a society better" part that is important. Because if there is no value, why bother making a society better? Because if there is no value, [b:qe8vjm6d]how[/b:qe8vjm6d] is it even possible to make a society better? (especially since better just about equals value). I could say alot more but im not sure if it would be good to do so. Its a very hard topic to discuss (you can get too caught up arguing over the individual manifestations of it, and end up ingnoring the source) and im certainly no expert on it. It might be worth you reading Zen and the Art of Motocycle Maintenance, as the author of that has a good outlook on value and morality (though i often felt there was something he was missing) and he explains it really well. If you dont want to buy the book, theres a link to an online version of it in another thread on this board. view post


posted 06 Apr 2004, 15:04 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Replay, Auditor

[quote="Iceman":rcxtz54u]I never claimed that there were no values; of course there are values out there. I only said that there were no intrinsic values in evolution. You can’t say that a lion is better than a Tyrannosaurus Rex just because the lion exist today while the T Rex is extinct. They were adapted to completely different environments. But to go from “there are no values in evolution” to “there’s no values period” is a bit of a stretch.[/quote:rcxtz54u] This is why i said value is such a hard topic to discuss. You get caught up in individual manifestations of value, and if you try and compare them you always run into problems. Is a t-rex better than a lion? I've no idea about that. What i was trying to get at is that if you look at just the T-rex iteself, you can see how it evolved to become a better killing machine. Again, it is this 'better' that is important. Being better means its of a higher value than an earlier version of whatever the T-rex was doesnt it? Basically, what i am saying is that nothing can evolve if there is no value. What is evolution except moving towards something better than it was? [quote="Iceman":rcxtz54u]Are you confusing ‘social construct’ with ‘social constrain’. That would make your apparent disgust about morality being a social construct meaning. But in case you don’t and actually think that the idea of morality as a social construct is repulsing, let me ask you a few questions. Do you consider culture to be repulsive? I don’t mean a specific culture, but the concept of cultures. Cultures are clearly a social construct.[/quote:rcxtz54u] Im not really sure what you mean by this. I have no disgust about morality being a social construct, and certainly dont find cultures replusive (nor the concept of them). Perhaps the problem is that we both have different meanings for the word morality? If you mean the laws, and what people would call the 'acceptable way of behaving' , then yeah, i can agree with you that they are social constructs. But the thing is, what is this morality except an extension of value? What are these laws and ways of behaving except an attempt to make the society better (of higher value)? Of course, you can run into problems again at this point by looking at the individual manifestations. For example, a hundred years ago, the height of morality was acting like a snob, not having sex before marriage and adding flowery words to your speach. So you could say that since moral rules seem to be changing, they are therefor an illusion and worth nothing. The thing is though, these moral rules are just as subject to evolving into something better as anything else is. It is that underlying value at work again. view post


posted 06 Apr 2004, 20:04 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Replay, Auditor

[quote="iceman":2zqkw7bi]If you leave out the ‘laws’ part, then that is an apt definition on what I mean by ‘morality’. What I don’t agree with is that there are some fundamental values behind. These ‘values’ are also just social constructs. If these values were universal, then every society would move towards the same goal. [/quote:2zqkw7bi] Theres the problem i was talking about before, if you try and compare values or morals against others, then you find that they are not universal. The thing is, i agree that their not universal. People and societies are for the most part always acting out of conditoning, so as conditions differ, so will what people feel is better. Again though, this still does not negate that there is something there called Value at work. Perhaps the problem is, is that it is very parodixical in nature, so very hard to grasp/explain. And who knows, perhaps most societys are moving towards the same goal (if that goal is just to impove; to make life better for its citizens). As the saying goes, there are many roads that lead to Rome. This does not mean that those roads have to look alike though. Perhaps some roads even take two or three times as long to get to same point. [quote="iceman":2zqkw7bi]I also disagree with your statement that the society is evolving towards something better. That’s not always the case. Sometimes a society evolves into something worse. It’s now ten years since the Rwanda Genocide. If a society always moves towards something better, this would never have happened. [/quote:2zqkw7bi] Your right its not always the case, sometimes it happens that dangerous people get ahold of power and then abuse it. But i bet over time this has, and will continue to, get harder and harder to do. When people realise they dont have to stand for it, and that there are better ways that they can adopt. A great example of this is what has happened in China over the past 50 or so years. Theres alot more i could add to this, such as how their are differing viewpoints etc, but i think its best to stop here. I think that this is a subject where if you think to much about it, you could end up going mad :) view post


posted 06 Apr 2004, 22:04 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Replay, Auditor

[quote="iceman":35hlf9to]I think where we might differ, Replay, is that I consider both Value and Morale as something that differs from society to society based on their spesific cultural history, environment, etc. [/quote:35hlf9to] No i dont think we really differ on that point all that much. All i was trying to do was point to the source of those values/morals, though im not sure how well i succeeded with that. I think perhaps its best we end this particular discussion here though. Its been nice talking about the subject, but i don't really think either of us will really end up agreeing. Besides, i try not to be too attached to any belief or outlook--they tend to get in the way of learning and cause more problems than they are worth--and this particular one is one that i have been trying to drop for a while now (though i did enjoy exploring it whilst posting here). Better that i don't continue to feed it :) view post


posted 07 Apr 2004, 16:04 in Off-Topic DiscussionThe LOTR Films by Replay, Auditor

I liked the first film, but the other two did nothing for me. Whilst i can see that they did a fairly good job with them, i think the director just overplayed some of the scenes too much. There were just too many cheesy emotional moments in them for my taste. Plus some of his changes were a bit dubious. He would have done better sticking closer to the book in some parts. view post


posted 07 Apr 2004, 21:04 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Replay, Auditor

I think things will always be in a muddle as well. I dont really think the logical mind can ever come close to grasping "it" (or whatever you want to call it: god, nature, the source, the unknown, or even that which comes before - though i think "it" serves better). Sure it can paint some pretty pictures, but that is all they are and not reality itself. That is not to say it cannot be experienced though, especially if we are "it" made manifest. In a way, that is what most religions are about at their core (though some have strayed from it): reconnecting with reality/the universe through practice. Even the word religion basically means this in its anceint Latin form. Philosophy can have its uses though--it can often point to the truth, even if it cannot grasp it--and i think it would be good to have a philosphy section on this site. Plus i think man has a natural love of wisdom and likes to discuss it. view post


posted 13 Apr 2004, 17:04 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Replay, Auditor

Cu'jara, from a few of your other posts i figured you didn't agree with nihilism, yet wasn't what you described in your last post exactly that? Or am I missing something? view post


posted 13 Apr 2004, 19:04 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Replay, Auditor

So do you believe that morality is an illusion and meaningless then or not? view post


posted 15 Apr 2004, 13:04 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Replay, Auditor

Ok, thanks for making that clear. There was some confusion over the way you actually wrote that recent post--it seemed more like you were arguing for nihilism. I can agree with you that nihilism is a scourge of our day, but am not sure why you would say that evolutionary accounts of morality come down to that. Would you mind explaining a bit more? Perhaps the problem is we both have different views on what evolution is, or are perhaps looking at it from different angles. That is always the problem with the discussions such as these--especially on a internet forum--it is always hard to know where the other is coming from. p.s. Norsirai: Nice analogy with the stepsister. view post


posted 15 Apr 2004, 19:04 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Replay, Auditor

[quote="Cu'jara Cinmoi":3j3oo7ux]The evolutionary side is easy: no matter how much we 'affirm' our moral intuitions, the fact remains they're simply arbitrary, subreptive artifacts of an arbitrary evolutionary history. The social context side is somewhat more tricky. But in the end, I would argue, it all comes down to games of power and control. Rightness and wrongness become the determination of dominant groups and their memes - nothing more.[/quote:3j3oo7ux] I can kind of see what you are saying, especially from the social context side. For instance, just because someone in power says something is moral, it does not have to mean that it is. The problem i have though is that these points seem too much like blanket statements that leave out more than they include. At a basic level i think morality is not really about power or control, but more about a way of living that benifits not only yourself, but others also. Deep down everyone wants peace, happiness, and to suffer as little as possible, and because we recognise that others are really no different from ourselves, we know that they also want these same things. So we have these guidelines which we call morality; guidelines that help make everyones lives better. For instance, you would not like to be robbed, killed or abused in any other way, so you do not do these things to others. Im not saying that these guidelines are set in stone though, in fact i think they are as open to change as anything. We are always having new experiences and gaining new information that we did not have before, so can continue to refine what it means to act morally. Again, on the evolutionary side i can kind of see where your coming from e.g. Just because evolution has made us act a certain way to help propagate the species, it does not mean we have to continue acting that way. But then is that not evolution in itself? Once, all we cared about was surviving and did whatever was necassary, whereas today we care abit more about how our actions affect others (though there is still some conditioning left over from earlier times). So even though you could say evolution tells us to have offspring, is this really true? If it is, would it not also be true to say that evolution has made us see that perhaps having offspring wouldnt be the best thing? That our views have evolved and we can see that adding more to this already overcrowded planet might not be quite so good? This is what i trying to get at earlier when i was talking about evolution. I think the problem is though that when you mention the word, most people tend to think of it in just a biological sense. But really, it is hard to see that there is anything that evolution does not touch. view post


posted 15 Apr 2004, 22:04 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Replay, Auditor

Yeh, i guess you could call it progress (though to me something does not seem right about that). It is like if you have a view on something and then someone comes along with information that you did not have before. When you include this new information, your view evolves into something better than it was before. Science is a good example of this. A while ago, what Newton said about gravity was the truth, but then along came Einstein who looked at it with a different view and gained more information. He then added this to the already established truth, and made a stronger truth about gravity. And then of course along came the modern physicists who have even more information about the world than Einstien, and are working to make an even stronger truth. The same goes for societies: There is some kind of change, and if that change works out to be better, then it is adopted. It is perhaps alot more complicated than that, but at its core, i dont think it is really all that different from the evolution that takes place in biology. view post


posted 16 Apr 2004, 15:04 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Replay, Auditor

[quote="Sovin Nai":3ruo2xyt]After reading the rest of the posts, I mus say I agree with you, RePlay. Cu'Jara, I don't think that is or ever will be a way to KNOW because there is nothing to KNOW. It all comes down to belief.[/quote:3ruo2xyt] I can agree that in the ultimate sense, there is nothing to know (not that there is nothing there, just that it is unknowable--if that makes sense :)) Im not sure it comes down to belief though. Perhaps what it really comes down to is experience/action. The problem is that it is nigh on impossible to accurately describe any experience. Even if you take something simple such as a nice cold and refreshing drink on a hot sunny day, can you really explain that experience to anyone? Can words really grasp the fullness of what that drink was like? Sure, the logical mind can cut the experience to pieces; can perhaps start talking about how tastebuds work, or how the temperature of the drink lowered your own, but does any of this ever get close to how the drink actuallly refreshed you? how the drink actually tasted? And what if that drink was lemon flavoured, and the person you were explaining it to had never even tasted lemon? How do you explain that? Of course you could bring up some similarities; some frame of reference from other tastes, but does that really tell you what lemon tastes like? The only real way for someone to understand what that drink was like is to drink it for themselves. Years of debating over what it is really like is never going to compare with that actual simple experience. All you would really have is, as you said, a belief over what it is really like. Now try and imagine what it must be like to try and describe something that has very little frame of reference. Something that doesnt really fit into our normal way of thinking/looking at the world. And just how do you go about explaining it to someone who has not had anything close to the same experience? view post


posted 18 Apr 2004, 22:04 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Replay, Auditor

Hmm not really. If the sun is shining and your arms are warming up, is that a belief? Or is it just a simple experience? Simple experience/action always comes before any kind of intellectualization or any kind of belief. Its when you try and intellectualize/grasp the experince with words that you run into problems. If you try and it explain it to someone who hasnt experienced it before, they could of course say its just a belief (and perhaps theyd be right to doubt you instead of blindly believing what you say), but if you place them in the sun and let them experience if for themselves they will say "oh, your right its not a belief, thats just the way it is". I was not trying to compare the drinking analogy with anything, just trying to point to this very thing. view post


posted 20 Apr 2004, 18:04 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Replay, Auditor

[quote="Sovin Nai":1c70q29z]OK, I see now. The problem is that there is no control over perceptions of ideas. You can't make someone experience one, only attmpt to guide them. That is belief, I think, although I must admit that I feel very unsure of the ground on this particular facet of our debate.[/quote:1c70q29z] Yeah you can never really explain an experience to anyone, only point to it and let them experience it for themselves. It is also possible that two people can experience the same thing and different interpretations of it. Then belief can come into it--each thinking their view of what happened is right. But this is only because of the intellect trying to grasp something that it cannot grasp. Its quite likely that before intellectualization the experience was exactly the same for both. Also don't worry about being unsure of the ground on this subject, as you would not be the only one. After all we are talking about something which cannot be really talked about (not that we shouldnt try tho). From our normal way of looking at the world this doesn't make much sense, yet when we pay close attention we can get a hint of the truth of it. [quote="Sovin Nai":1c70q29z]Actually, almost this exact topic came up in my government class yesterday. A girl in the glass had an interesting idea: what if morals stem from evolution? We talked about similar ideas, but not this. That there is a higher moral law we all must obey, but it is dictated not by a higher being but by our evolutionary history. I found it an interesting thought and thought (no pun intended) I'd share it.[/quote:1c70q29z] I would say evolution has some to do with it, though not sure about it being dictated. Also as i said before, from a certain point of view you could say that morals [i:1c70q29z]are[/i:1c70q29z] evolution itself. But i think we have said enough on this subject and if we were to carry on we would most likely end up going around in circles. Perhaps time for a new subject for discussion? view post


posted 21 Apr 2004, 19:04 in Philosophy DiscussionTruth, Lies by Replay, Auditor

What is truth? Well for a start i guess it all depends on your point of view. You can look at something from relative, the absolute, the subjective, the objective, even the pre subjective-objecive. For instance, from a subjective point of view you could say that you create the world, since without you there would be noone to experience it. And from an objective point of view you could say that the opposite was true--that the world creates you, as without any world to experience there could be no you. So which is the truth? Well perhaps in a way perhaps both are even though they contradict each other. They are both valid ways at looking at the world (as are others) and shouldnt be thrown away because of some conflict. Infact the more views you have (and perhaps the more contradicitions), the better. You can jump from one view to the next, and each one gives you a better picture of what you are discussing/looking it. Each view kind of acts like an arrow pointing inwards and outlines what is there. As for truths such as the ones in science, well i would say that they are agreed upon facts of the highest value that are always open to change if new information comes along (that sentance is a bit of mouthful huh?). Like i said in the other thread, truths such as gravity are always changing/being made better as people start to look at them in new ways. Whether there are any truths that are more concrete than that, i dont know. Simple truths such as "everything changes" certainly seem to be though. What constitues a lie? Well theres not much to say on this one. I think we all understand what a lie is even from an early age. Though i suppose there can be many different types of lies, such those that have intent to harm, those that have intent to spare a person suffering, or even those that you tell just because you have no wish to give another person certain information. Because of this, I don't think theres anything really bad about lying--it all really depends on the circumstances. view post


posted 22 Apr 2004, 21:04 in Writing TipsHistory by Replay, Auditor

I think it is something that needs to be done over time, as it is very hard to just sit down and create a history from scratch. The first thing i did was to look at the history of a country in our world, and see if there is anything that i could use (after chaging it a bit). After that i just payed attention to things i saw on tv/read online and thought about how these littles bits of info would help flesh out the history of my world (again after changing) e.g. you watch a modern drama and wonder if it would work in a historical setting, and if does, you can use it as part of your history. Another good way of fleshing out the history is to create a couple of well known writers and painters like shakesphere or picasso in our world. You can then reference to their works in your story, and its even possible to let their works be of historical importance e.g. a painting of one nation surrendering to another. Robert Jordan does this well in his WOT books. view post


posted 18 May 2004, 21:05 in Philosophy DiscussionFantasy and Philosophy by Replay, Auditor

Well i dont really think it gets people into reading fantasy, but in some ways i expect it can keep them reading it. The good thing about fantasy (and scifi) is that it has such a wide range--almost anything is possible in a fantasy book. Because of this, authors can use just about any plot device they can come up with to explore an issue that interests them. They are not constained to using just the world as we currently know it (they can even change such things as the laws of physics if they wish). Of course there are downsides to this, in that if you take it too far it can become too unbelievable. I think also another part that appeals to people is the setting of fantasy books. Even though the modern world has a lot of wonders, i think deep down people feel that it is missing something; that perhaps this fast paced way of life isnt the best way things can be, and something about the ancient settings in fantasy books appeal to this part of them. Is this just an escape though? I dont know. Perhaps for a lot of people it is, even if they dont realise it for themselves. By reading a fantasy book they can lose themselves in a world of wonder for hours on end and do not have to face the real world which they do not find as interesting. This does not really apply to all though, and i've never been a fan of blanket statements. For a lot of people i expect they just like a good story every now and then and find fantasy a good genre to explore various ideas. view post


posted 29 May 2004, 18:05 in Interviews and ReviewsMore shameless self-promotion... by Replay, Auditor

Interesting that you mentioned Dune as the book you would most like to rewrite. That is one of the few books that i feel would not need changing all that much if you were given the opporunity to have a crack at redoing it. I know what you mean about seeing possibilites in books that the author missed though. There are quite a few i would love to get my hands on and be able to rewrite. The WOT series probably being at the top of that list. Even though it has its flaws (and quite a lot of them), it does have a lot of promise that the author never really lived up to. I think you could cut out alot of the crap and run off on different tangents with some parts and still condense the series in half. Then again, perhaps it wouldnt work. Im not sure i could work with a series that had some much duality in it (creator/darkone, male/female halfs of the source etc) without pulling the foundations of it apart :) view post


posted 05 Jun 2004, 11:06 in Author Q & AOther authors you enjoy by Replay, Auditor

Neal Stephenson wrote Snow Crash didnt he? If so its the only book of his ive read. Wasn't bad though, but think it could have been better if it wasnt all written in the present tense (it works well in some places, but a whole book of it can begin to give you a headache). As for Mieville, i think hes more style of substance than anything else. Its a shame as well, as he certainly has some talent. The worlds/places he creates are extremely well done, and he seems to have a good imagination. Having to sit through 200 pages of description is too much though - hes even worse than Jordan in that respect. Plus, even though he writes his characters well, he doesnt flesh them out enough or make them all that interesting. It just always feels like he writes only to try and show off his literary skills, and that everything else is secondary. view post


posted 16 Jun 2004, 13:06 in Philosophy DiscussionFantasy and Philosophy by Replay, Auditor

Personally, i don't see the need to ever have faith in anything. Something either is or it isn't, and if you are unsure which of the two something is, then your are just unsure. No need for faith to really come in to it. Like others have already said, faith is often just an excuse to not bother investigating the truth for yourself. Perhaps you could say that you have faith in say the Christian teachings enough to spend a lot of your time studying them, but is there really a need? Jesus either knew what he was talking about or he didn't. Just investigate it and find out for yourself. Perhaps faith (and belief which is basically the same thing) is useful to a lot of people in the beginning of their search for the truth, as it certainly can help to sustain them a little where they may have faultered. In a way it is kind of like a blind man who uses a walking stick to help him stay up right and to prod things so that he gets a better idea of what is around him. But what that man really needs is for someone else to come along a kick that stick away so that they are left fumbling in the darkness. Then the search really begins. view post


posted 16 Jun 2004, 14:06 in Philosophy DiscussionFantasy and Philosophy by Replay, Auditor

[quote="Cu'jara Cinmoi":snvk01ab]But faith, in its myriad forms, is inevitable isn't it? Part of being human consists in not knowing, yet acting nonetheless. [/quote:snvk01ab] I agree that part of being human is not knowning yet still acting, but i still don't think faith is inevitable. When you don't know, you act in a way which you feel is most right. There is no need for faith. It either turns out right or it doesn't. Your faith in the action really affects nothing. All you can really do is pay attention and learn from what you did. As for certainty, do you honestly really need it? I can understand where you are coming from though, as i used to be the same. I often used to wonder what the meaning of life was, but not so much for the truth, but for an answer that would justify everything. I think this is a very common thing among people who ask this type of question, where what they are really asking is for an answer that will say that their lives have had meaning. Over the years though, this question has dropped away. Life having meaning really no longer has any meaning (if that makes sense), and im just happy to [i:snvk01ab]live[/i:snvk01ab]. And it is because of this, that in many ways i have answered my original question. Certainty is nothing to chase after anyway, especially as i doubt you'll ever find it. Even if you did, who would really want it? Who would want to live in a world where everything is known and there are no surprises? A world where you already have everything labled so that you no longer have to pay attention to it? Uncertainty on the other hand is a lot better than people may think. When you don't know, there can be wonder when something happens that you didn't expect. In uncertainty you are open to anything that will happen. And in uncertainty, everything can take on new meaning as you no longer have everything pigeon-holed in to some box or labled. Even something as simple as seeing the plants that you walk past on the way to your car can take on new meaning and become fresh in your mind again. In Zen, there is a thing called Don't Know Mind (or perhaps sometimes called Beginners Mind or Primary point mind). In it there are no prejudgements and there is no certainty. There is no faith or beliefs. There is just a spaciousness that flows with what ever happens, and learns from the experiance. It is something all Zen students try to attain, and you be surprised at just how richer life can become the more you live in this state. view post


TWP In Canada posted 16 Jun 2004, 14:06 in The Warrior ProphetTWP In Canada by Replay, Auditor

Where's the cheapest place to pick up TWP from Canada that ships to the UK? Amazon.ca? And has anyone had any experiance with doing this? What kind of wait can you expect for the deilvery? Cheers. view post


posted 16 Jun 2004, 16:06 in Philosophy DiscussionFantasy and Philosophy by Replay, Auditor

Yeh it is a tough thing to pin down. In your example, in a way there is an assumption that the guy will give you the ticket. But is it really needed? He either gives you the ticket or he doesn't, your assumption or faith will not change the outcome. And even if he doesn't, then all you can really do is deal with that situation when it arises. There is also a problem with assumptions in that if you think you know what is going to happen, then you are not really ready for when something that you did not expect comes up. Quite likely, if the guy did not give you the ticket you would become flustered or angry as it has knocked you off balance. And if after shouting you are finally given your ticket, more than likely the film will be a lot less enjoyable for you. Lets look at it from a different angle though, and say that you went to the ticket guy with no expectations. You are just open to whatever will happen in the situation. You know there is a very high chance that there will be no problems, but if there are you are ready to deal with them with a cool head. Even the problem itself can become something worth experiencing as there is always something to learn. Perhaps this is not the greatest example, but basically, when your open and are happy to live in uncertainty, you can experiance joy even from situations that would have before pissed you off. As for being baffled, i agree with you. I also don't think either Zen or Cartesian (though unsure what that is - are they followers of Descartes?) claims to dissolve perplexity. Infact in Zen, students are given koans which promote perplexity. They are basically unsolvable (by the logical mind at least), and when used correctly, put a student in a state where they no longer have anything to stand on. They are completey stumped and perplexed as they cannot answer the question, and are too far in to it to let it go. And it's at this point that they finally begin to get it. But then i think assumptions are different to perplexity/being baffled. Being perplexed is being in a state where you are open to learning. Assumptions on the other hand get in the way as learning as they make you pay less attention to things as you already have them labled. It is good that you are suspicious of a teaching though, even if it is about something else. I think you should always have doubt and suspicion of any claims to truth until you verify it for yourself. Even if it looks to make sense and you think it maybe worth the time looking in to, it is still always good to carry the doubt with you. Infact in Zen, the teachers even promote this. They don't want you to believe everything they say, they want you to doubt it and find out for yourself. It is really the only way to learn. Anyway, i hope that explained a little more about what i meant. As i said at the start, it is very hard thing to pin down (though still good to try). view post


posted 17 Jun 2004, 15:06 in Philosophy DiscussionFantasy and Philosophy by Replay, Auditor

Some good points you brought up there Peter, and i'll do my best to try and respond to them and expand on what i was trying to say. First off, when i said something either is or it isn't, i was not trying to make a profound statement. Infact i was just trying to keep things simple. I actually agree with you that this is not always so (and probably more often than not). I cannot really discuss shrodingers cat with you, as i am not really sure on the specifics of that, but would like to explore some other things on this topic. Perhaps this thread is not the best time for it though, and might be better to start another one in the near future. Back to assumptions - you bring up an interesting point. You said that assumptions can be useful and you are right, and perhaps my mistake was trying to tie the word 'assumptions' down to one meaning. But it is still a tricky thing, and il try to give an example of why. Let's say that you make an assuption about something in physics, then try to prove it right. If it turns out to be true, then you have done something of great value. But what if it is not true? How does the physicist handle that situation? Becuase he assumed he was right in the first place, he will most likely hang on to that assumption and wont let go until hes faced with too much evidence to otherwise. This could cause a lot of problems for him. Now on the other hand, lets say the same physicist instead of assuming some idea he has is the truth, just decides to investigate it and see if it is. He will be objective about the things he finds and note everything (where as the one with the assumption will perhaps ignore things that seem to say otherwise). He will also most likely see things the other did not and if by some chance stumbles across something else of use that contradicts the first idea, will explore it instead of ignoring it. Maybe i am once again trying to tie assumptions down to one meaning again, but im finding it hard not to. It just seems to me that assumptions really are not needed, even in science. For example, if you have the idea and you think there maybe a good chance its right, you investigate it. I'm not sure any assumption needs to come in here. If you do assume, it is basically saying you think you are 100% right and are not open to the possibility that you are wrong. You could perhaps argue that the 'think there maybe a good chance its right' is an assumption, but i don't really agree with that. I think that is something else entirly (won't go in to it here though). [quote="Peter":2bkaa2f5]When you mention the Zen Don't Know Mind state of mind (if I may call it that), isn't there a certain normative content implicit in such a doctrine. What I mean is, you mention the richness it gives life, would followers of Zen attempt to achieve such a state unless there was the belief that attaining the Don't Know Mind gave them such an a perspective on life etc. People try to enter the Don't Know Mind state to attain this way of life, so the state is not really empty, or at least the run up to and the run down from such a state is not. I may well have misunderstood what it was you were saying, so please forgive me if I have missed your point there. [/quote:2bkaa2f5] This is why its a tricky subject. It is easy to think you have to have belief in something to go after it. But is this really so? As i have been trying to say, if you keep an open mind you should be open to the possibilty that perhaps what you are trying to attain won't turn out to be what you thought it was. You just take your chances. I expect many do make assumptions about things such as this though - believing it is true and trying to attatin it. And if im honest, i do as well a lot of the time. I mean, i certainly haven't reach a point where i am assumption free. The thing is though, the more i look in to this subject, the more it becomes clear that is definately something worth aiming for. As for the Don't Know Mind not being empty, you are correct on that. Even when zen students/masters say that they abide in emptiness, they don't really mean something that is totally empty, but something else. If you want me to expand on this i would be happy to try. Finally, on your point that with no assumptions there could be no learning, i have to disagree. Perhaps it comes back to what the word assumption means, but from my point of view i find it hard to see why they are needed. For instance, all that is needed is for someone to have an idea and then think "Well, this seems to have value, perhaps i'll explore it". I cannot see why there would be any need to assume anything. view post


posted 17 Jun 2004, 15:06 in The Warrior ProphetTWP In Canada by Replay, Auditor

Ok thanks. Guess i all grab it from there. Better than waiting till novemeber anyway. Besides, i have a birthday coming up this weekend and they're all complaining that they never know what to buy me as i rarely want anything, and this'll make a good present. view post


posted 17 Jun 2004, 15:06 in Off-Topic DiscussionNow Reading... by Replay, Auditor

I'm currently rereading TDTCB and enjoying it once again. The series i read before that though was Steven King's The Dark Tower. Not a bad set of books, and certainly different. Enjoyed it on a whole, though there were some bad parts in it. I have to agree about Hobb's Farseer trilogy. That has always been perhaps my favourite trilogy. There are not many books that come close to the charactirization achieved in them. The 3rd series (Tawny Man) wasnt bad either, but i think she lost some of the atmosphere that was present in the first books. There was some returns to old form in places though, especially in the second one. As for Liveship Traders, i am not really all that big a fan. I enjoyed it the first time through (though some characters annoyed me), but seem to have problems rereading it. Think i have tried quite a few times to get through the first book once again but have always ended up putting it down. It's the same problem i have with Martin's ASOIAF: liked it the first time through, but just cannot reread it. view post


posted 18 Jun 2004, 13:06 in Philosophy DiscussionFantasy and Philosophy by Replay, Auditor

You're right, most scientists don't really work like that. And in trying to make a point, i perhaps skipped over a few facts that i shouldn't have (though perhaps for a few the descriptions i made were acurate). Trying to prove themselves wrong seems like a good thing though - it means there is really no assumption there. It shows they are open to the fact that their idea may not be true, and are willing to explore this possibilty. On subconcious assumptions, I have to ask: Are they really assumptions at all? Peter brought up a good point in his post, where he said that subconciously you assume that everyone hasn't lost the ability to speak english when you press the submit button after typing out a post. But again, can it really called an assumption? In such a case, there is no thought about it - you just post. It is so unlikely that everyone would lose the ability to read you post all of a sudden, that there is no need to think about it. Im not sure what you would call such a thing though if not assumption (if it should be called anything at all). Perhaps what it really comes down to is probabilities. For instance, you have so many memories of different situations to call on, that you make a pretty decent prediction of what will happen in quite a lot of situations. I guess it is a lot like poker. A good player never assumes, he predicts. He adds up all the maths and looks at what his chances are. If they are good, he gambles; if they are bad, he folds. Some odds are so small that are just not worth ever thinking about though, such as the one about people losing their ability to speak english. But like i said, i not sure you can really call it an assumption just because you never think about it. In the end, i really suppose it all comes back to what this word assumption means. I guess there are really two ways you could use it: 1- The act of accepting something as the truth without validation/proof. or 2 - A prediction based on certain facts/history. To me though, the meaning of assumption is held in the first one. Whilst the second may be what some mean when using the word--due to the way language changes and intertwines over the passage of time--i am not sure it is right to call that an acurate description of assumption. The second desctiption is more one of prediction itself. And to me, predicition and assumption are two very different things. Maybe neither of those are good descriptions, but I think the main thing though is that if you try to be as open as you can to the possibility that your precitions may turn out to be wrong, then it cannot really be called an asumption. view post


posted 19 Jun 2004, 13:06 in Philosophy DiscussionFantasy and Philosophy by Replay, Auditor

Yep, it is something i have noticed in discussions such as these that, more often than not, the discussion becomes difficult because people are using different meanings for the same word. I can remember watching a conversation recently where they were discussing religon and a similar thing happened. You would think that something as simple as the word religion would not cause such problems. Every understands what this is right? But it seems that is not so. On one side you had a person who thought of religion as a system of faith, and that if you were religious you [i:1cfvp43p]had[/i:1cfvp43p] to believe in some kind of creator/all powerful being. The other person though disagreed and said that religion is a practice - a path that you can follow to realise the truth. There was no need for any of the things the other person mentioned, you could be religious without them. Neither would budge from their point of view, so the discussion came to impass. How can you talk about something when the very thing you are talking about means totally different things to both people? And then theres the word God which a whole other can of worms I suppose this is always going to be a problem though. Language can be very flexible at times, and due to different conditioning, people are nearly always going to have different ideas about the same thing. Plus there is also the problem that language can never really be acurate. Language only describes a thing as best as it can, it is the never the thing itself. view post


Descartes posted 19 Jun 2004, 13:06 in Philosophy DiscussionDescartes by Replay, Auditor

Descartes said "I think therefor I am". The question is though, what is philosophy's stance on this these days? Having never really read all that much philosophy, it would be interesting if someone who has could explain how modern day philosophers feel about this. Would be also nice to see what the other forum members think of the saying. view post


Couple of questions after a reread posted 19 Jun 2004, 14:06 in Author Q & ACouple of questions after a reread by Replay, Auditor

First off, just want to say that i probably enjoyed the book even more on the reread. And I have always felt that the reread is the test of a good book. Perhaps the thing is that on the second time through you already know what will happen, so have no expectations. I know the first time that i read it, I did feel it took a bit too long for Kellhus to show up again, and perhaps this did spoil my enjoyment of the other characters a little. On the reread though, this was not a problem. There were still a couple of things i wasn't all that keen on (specifically character based), but i think they mainly come down to personal preference. Other than that I thought the book was outstanding, especially the interaction between characters such as Kellhus and Cnaiur. Anyway on to my questions. The first is, did the Dunyain have any dealings at all with people from the outside (such as for trade)? The reason i ask is because if they have not, it seems strange that they spend so much time learning to read peoples faces. Unless of course not all of them undergo such training to mask their own. The second is that it would be interesting to know what sources you drew on whilst writing the Kellhus flashback scenes. Or was it more from personal experience? Either way i thought you handled the scene extremely well, and were fairly accurate it what it is like. It was certianly one of my favourite parts of the book. view post


posted 20 Jun 2004, 12:06 in Author Q & ACouple of questions after a reread by Replay, Auditor

Well that is certainly possible. Deep down people are not all that different, and once someone begins to understand who [i:2bscl40p]they[/i:2bscl40p] are, then they also begin to understand others extremely well (and often much better than the others understand themselves, much like Scott depicted in the book). There are also the children there who the Dunyain seem to have problem reading, and i guess a lot could come from that. I just found it a little strange they would spend so much time on it, that was all. But i expect that is just me nitpicking :) view post


posted 23 Jun 2004, 12:06 in Philosophy DiscussionDescartes by Replay, Auditor

Well i had heard that quote spoken often, but did not know about the rest of it. So thanks for filling me in on that. One point though is that you said [i:10kauier]"There is no way for this statement to be false when uttered."[/i:10kauier] - but is this really true? Would not a more truer statement be "I think, therefore i [i:10kauier]think[/i:10kauier] i am"? You also said that Descartes analysed his previous views looking for certainty, yet found none. So you would think he would do the same for the saying that he is known so well for, yet it does not seem like he did. For instance, after saying "I think, therefore I am", you would have thought that the next thing to come to him would be: "Then what am I when I am not thinking?". It is hard to say (since who knows that went on in his head at the time), but it does appear that he got so caught up in his search for certainty that, when he finally thought he had found it, he refused to tear it apart to see if it was true. view post


posted 23 Jun 2004, 17:06 in Philosophy DiscussionDescartes by Replay, Auditor

Yep thats the thing. In a way there really is no such thing as a thinker - only thinking itself. If you just quiet your mind and watch, you can easily see this for yourself. Of course, then you have the problem of trying to work out just what it is that is watching (which isn't you either). But then asking yourself "just who/what am I" is perhaps the hardest (and greatest) question anyone could ever ask. view post


posted 27 Jun 2004, 15:06 in Philosophy DiscussionDescartes by Replay, Auditor

Your right, and if you could argue yourself out of existence (though i don't think argue is the right word here), then perhaps this thing called self is not as real as you would first think. The important thing to notice though is this nothingness that the layers cover. Just what it is? It's certainly not empty, as even if you were to reach a point where there was nothing left of what was originally considered [i:3rcw0z2q]you[/i:3rcw0z2q], there still would be something that sees; something that responds when your name is called; something that [i:3rcw0z2q]acts[/i:3rcw0z2q]. So again, what is it? There is certainly no easy answer to such a question. view post


posted 27 Jun 2004, 19:06 in Philosophy DiscussionDescartes by Replay, Auditor

Well self-conciousness to me seems like nothing more than thought. Very subtle thought, but thought none the less. Same for self - just thought that misunderstands its origins. Of course that is a simplistic view of it and there is more to it than that, such as the conditions that made such a thing arise e.g. self references that make things easier in language. But you could perhaps write pages on that and still have a lot left to say. I'm a little unsure at what you meant in your last couple of sentences though. Would you mind elaborating a little? p.s. Also tried to quite smoking a few times over the years and know just how hard it is. So congrats on that. Despite a few months here and there where i have managed it, I haven't had all that much luck myself in that regard. view post


posted 27 Jun 2004, 20:06 in Philosophy DiscussionDescartes by Replay, Auditor

Ok, that makes a bit more sense. And id agree with you that it does seem a lot harder for the brain to track internal changes than external. I know from experience just how much work it is pay attention to what is happening inside - mainly because we are just not used to doing it (though there are other reasons). It takes a hell of a lot of conditioning before such a thing becomes natural. Would like to read what you have written on it sometime, especially the bit about evolution which seems to make sense. Still a little unsure what you are trying to say about free will though, especially in your previous post about standing outside the world. Also, what did you mean about a brain trying to think itself free? view post


posted 27 Jun 2004, 21:06 in Interviews and Reviewswotmania Interview with Scott by Replay, Auditor

Good to see an interview with more than just a couple of word answers. Some very nice response in there. You could also almost sense that Scott enjoyed the interview and was willing to give his time to the questions (whereas from others you often feel as though they think of it as a chore more than anything). Perhaps after a few years of having to answer the same questions over and over and over will change things though ;) view post


posted 27 Jun 2004, 21:06 in Author Q & ACurious if you... by Replay, Auditor

Well the out-Tolkien's Tolkien seems to appear on every fantasy book these days. I dont think many take it very seriously anymore. The quote i thought most strange though was the one that said it was a "top-notch exemplar of the fantasy romance sub-genre". view post


posted 28 Jun 2004, 14:06 in Philosophy DiscussionDescartes by Replay, Auditor

The point of tracking internal changes? To understand of course. When you pay attention to what goes on inside, it is amazing at just what you can learn. Plus just by the simple fact of being more aware of what is happening internally, you actually negate a lot of what is happening internally, which clears the mind and leaves you more open. So really you could say that by tracking [i:a1nmbd2s]internal[/i:a1nmbd2s] changes, you in a way give yourself the ability to see more clearly [i:a1nmbd2s]external[/i:a1nmbd2s] changes. [quote:a1nmbd2s] The idea is that since the brain can't process its own causal processes, they don't exist for it, so that where it assumes that events in its external environment are caused, it assumes internal events are not. It literally can't fit itself in the picture of events it sees around it. [/quote:a1nmbd2s] Yes that is good point, and would explain why man often thinks himself apart from the world. He's making a huge mistake to do so, but it is easy to see how man can come to such conclusions. As for tracking the internal causal process, well, I don't really agree that it is not possible. If what you are talking about is trying to track it with thought, as we often do with external changes, then id agree with that. Thought cannot really see itself, nor track itself. Awareness, on the other hand, can. Of course the internal process is often not as clear as the external, which makes it difficult to see, but i would say that it certainly is possible. view post


posted 28 Jun 2004, 22:06 in Philosophy DiscussionDescartes by Replay, Auditor

Yeah, we certainly do that. Not sure if its due to lack of resources though. I would say that they are certainly there if you want to use them, though perhaps you do need someone to point such resources out (I don't know about anyone else, but i didn't even used to even think about such things, let along know they were possible). I guess there is also the problem of it being so much hard work. I mean, who wants to spend hours struggling to just sitting there, watching what goes on internally, when they could be off finding stimulation elsewhere with very little effort? And what with todays technology such as TV and the Internet, being fed stimulation becomes such a constant thing that taking a break from it is like trying to take a break from any other addicition. view post


posted 02 Jul 2004, 18:07 in Philosophy DiscussionThe Case of the Blind Brain and Other Strange Tales by Replay, Auditor

Seeing as you have spent so much time on your post, i thought it only fair that someone respond to it in someway. What i wanted to discuss with you is what you said about sentience. Personally, i have no problem with the apparent contradiction of there being sentience and non-sentience without moving into dualism, but before i say more on that, it would good if you could say just exactly what you feel sentience is. view post


posted 03 Jul 2004, 15:07 in Philosophy DiscussionThe Case of the Blind Brain and Other Strange Tales by Replay, Auditor

[quote:2aotnggy]By sentience, I mean the "something it is to be like" - or, the "inside" of a living thing. Like, for example, you have an "outside" (your body, your brain, etc.) and an "inside" (your mind, feelings, memories, etc). If an object only has an "outside" (a "vacuous entity"), then it is considered insentient. Objects with and an "inside" as well as an "outside" are considered sentient. [/quote:2aotnggy] Ok that makes sense. And whilst I have a different idea of what sentience is and think it is a mistake to really think there is such a thing as an inside and an outside, I have no problem with such a classification. From a certain point of view, it can certainly be helpful in describing it in such a way. The problem comes though when we get caught up in these classifications and begin to think they are real things by themselves. Due to all the classifications we have in the world today, such as night and day, hot and cold, static and dynamic, inside and outside, sentience and insentience, it can often seem like we live in dualism. When you look closely at them though, you can see that this just isn't so. They are just labels we put on things to make it easier for us to discuss them. And as I said, the problem only comes when we take the label for something concrete, instead of looking closely at the thing it describes. For instance, hot and cold are not really two different things, they are just different phases of heat. And heat is not something that stands by itself either. The same goes for night and day, static and dynamic, inside and outside or sentience and insentience. They are all just phases. Basically what i am trying to say is that nothing stands by itself and that even though it is hard to see, everything can be tracked back to see how it interrelates. This is why i said in my previous post that I really have no problem with there being insentience and sentience without moving into dualism, as to me, they are just labels. Reading the rest of what you said, i think you pretty much grasp this though. Especially the bit about saying rocks have some primordial sentience; something that makes them really no different to us, just at a lower stage of development. So the question once again becomes the one I first asked you: Just what is this sentience? Don't worry about answering that though as i don't really expect an answer. Its one of those questions that runs far deeper than it first appears and can perhaps take years to answer (and even if you do, there is always room to deepen that understanding). I am just hoping to point out that perhaps it is a question worth spending more time on. The only other thing i would say is that while from a certain point of view i would agree that things are composed of "occasions of experience", i don't really agree that they are only made up of what you call external objects such as colours, sounds, mass etc. Whilst they are certainly a part of what makes a thing what it is, i think you would find your time much better spent looking for the source of these attributes. view post


posted 03 Jul 2004, 21:07 in The Darkness That Comes BeforeTWP Spoilers? by Replay, Auditor

Better not to post spoilers on here as there will be many who have only read the first book and not the second. Perhaps if anything does tie into what someone asks, then it maybe best if we could somehow hide what is typed i.e. require the readers to highlight the text to see it. Not sure if it is possible with this forum, but it does work well elsewhere. Perhaps you can do a search for a plugin. view post


posted 04 Jul 2004, 14:07 in Philosophy DiscussionThe Case of the Blind Brain and Other Strange Tales by Replay, Auditor

Nice reply, and this Whitehead you mention seems to have some interesting ideas. I still think your focusing too much on external objects though. I don't really agree that they are timeless nor irreducible, and that instead, they all interelate and come about due to the manifestation of something else. What this something is though is a tough question, and it is one that can really only be answered by each person by themselves. Just to pick up on something you said to Scott [quote:1m23duuo]You're right in that in we can't know (or know for certain, at least), but I feel safe in stating that the true metaphysic will be, in some form, one of these three "frames": Physical World (w/ intrinsic "experience" (*) )->-(creates)->- Mental World = Panexperientalism Physical World --(interaction)-- Mental World = Dualism Physical World --(created by)-- Mental World = Idealism[/quote:1m23duuo] Im not keen on any of those, so i'll give you another one to think about: Physical World-<-("It" creates)->-Mental World Not really sure what you would call that though. [quote="Aldarion":1m23duuo]Okay, reading this and almost being able to follow some of the subcurrents that are implied has made me acutely aware that I need to read up more on this. So if you guys would please help me here, what are some of the texts that would explain "mental monism," among other things?[/quote:1m23duuo] Don't worry you are not alone on that. Having really no background in philosophy, I often have no idea what they are talking about either when they use terms such as these either. Infact a lot of the time I have to read through what they are saying about five times before I get an idea of what they are trying to say. Sometimes its enough to make me suspect that philosphy student are actually given lessons in making things more complicated that they ever need to be ;) view post


posted 04 Jul 2004, 18:07 in The Warrior ProphetMy thoughts on TWP by Replay, Auditor

The nonmen are from another planet. I think it is in the first book that it is mentioned. Its the part where they are talking about how each star is like their own sun with their own planets around them. Whoever was discussing it said the nonmen told them this, and that the nonmen had sailed to Earwa from one of those planets. Don't remember anything about an asteroid though. All that i can remember is bit at the end of book 2 where the creature says he was brought down from the void. Think there was also mention of a brother. view post


posted 05 Jul 2004, 13:07 in Philosophy DiscussionThe Case of the Blind Brain and Other Strange Tales by Replay, Auditor

[quote:3a8fv28x]Eternal objects, not external. [/quote:3a8fv28x] My mistake. [quote:3a8fv28x]Well, they are timeless in that they do not "age," nor do they change with "time" (which is an EO itself). They are, basically, "outside" our time and space coordinences (which are manifestations of EO themselves). Mountains rise and fall; the experience of "red" is eternal. [/quote:3a8fv28x] Interesting. I can see what your saying, but have to wonder if this is necessarily true. For instance, from a certain point of view red did not exist back when there were only primative lifeforms on the earth. It was only until animals with eyes developed that red actuallly appeared (and perhaps not even then as quite a lot do no see colours the way we do). Red is just a part of our developed ability to see light in different phases. You have to wonder though if we had developed differently wether we would see something else (quite possible as there a people who are colourblind who already do this). Whether the experience of red is eternal or not though does not matter all that much in the end. As I said it is just a function of light and our ability to see it, and as such is interconnected. I think it would be a mistake to focus on things such as this whilst not looking for the very thing that gives us the ability to percieve red in the first place. The same thing can also be said of time. It is just a function of the what you could call the movement of the universe. It is not really something that stands "outside". Again, it would be much to look at what it is that moves the universe and not the byproducts of it. [quote:3a8fv28x]It sounds like dualism to me. Presuming the "It" isn't the material world itself, then the "It" would have to be an outside agency that interacts with the physical to "create" the mental world. [/quote:3a8fv28x] No it's not dualism. I know it can seem that way though as on one hand you have this "force" and then it seems on another you also have this energy that it interacts with. It is something i used to struggle alot with, but it can be resolved. You might want to check out 'Zen and the art of motocycle maintenace' by Robert M, Prisig (can find it online in a lot of places). He had some interesting ideas on this, and whilst I don't think he truely grasped it, from an intellectual point of view he certainly came up with one of the better theorys. [quote:3a8fv28x]You should read Whitehead; he is the epitome of philosophical jargonized frustration. He had the annoying tendency to make up his own terminology (as there were no pre-existing words for the concepts he described - ex. "Actual Entity," "Aggregated Society", etc) and then not explain what he meant by them. Or, if he did explain what they meant, he did so in an earlier work and assumed anyone who was reading his current work had read those previous ones. That's why it's best to read Whitehead only after you've read some descriptions of his terminology.[/quote:3a8fv28x] Think I'll pass :) Can understand that is neccersary though. Language was never really designed to explain the underlying nature of reality and instead is more used to describe just the surface of it. I doubt Whitehead is as hard to read as Dogen though. Not only does he use new words, he combines existing ones, twists sentances around, and even contradicts himself on purpose. It makes for very hard reading. Once you get a sense of what he is doing though, its almost enough to make you stand in awe of the way he does it. Perhaps I'll post something on him soon. view post


posted 06 Jul 2004, 13:07 in Philosophy DiscussionThe Case of the Blind Brain and Other Strange Tales by Replay, Auditor

[quote:1ergydh6]As to colors existing only in our minds (and not necessarily being the same in different minds - ex. colorblind people), I agree, but it is these very "occasions of experience" that is what reality is composed of.[/quote:1ergydh6] Don't get me wrong, i agree that these things are part of what makes up the reality we experience. I just don't really see the point in focusing on them, as to me they are all just manifestations/effects of the movement of the universe. I'm personally much more interesting in knowing what creates this movement and allows us to experience in the first place is. [quote:1ergydh6]I'll check it out, though it sort of sounds like "Triasm," or a three sided ontology. You have the physical world, the mental world, and a "go between" force that works to generate the mental world from the physical. [/quote:1ergydh6] Yeah as i said before it can certainly seem that way, and even though really in some ways it is a very simple thing, it is very hard to put into words. I'm trying to think up a good example of something that is similar that i could give, but just cant seem to find one at the moment. All i can really say is that it is all one thing, and that even though it is useful to talk about a physical world and a mental thing, in a way there really is no such thing. It kind of goes back to what we were saying about sentience before, and about how rocks have it in some primordial way. I know that doesnt make things much clearer, but I don't fully understand it myself and have more of a sense of it than anything. I'll try and be more precise though in another post after i've had a think about it. [quote:1ergydh6] In any case, Mr. Bakker is right when he says that we just don't know.[/quote:1ergydh6] I think the word that needs to be focus on here is "know". If you mean in an intellectual sense then i would agree. I would argue that reality can never be truely understand purely from the intellect. No matter how solid an intellectual view of reality we create, it is still just a view. Its a bit like painting in that you can be the greatest artist on earth and capture a scene perfectly, but in the end it is still just a painting and not the very thing you were trying to capture. [quote:1ergydh6]However, I feel safe in saying that experience is, in some form, fundamental to reality. It certainly isn't some curious after-effect that pops up ex nihilo - and if it is, then reality is dualistic in that a outside agency is required to attach the experience. Consciousness and volition are not something that can be explained away - something is missing from the materialist metaphysic.[/quote:1ergydh6] Id agree that experience is fundemental to reality. Infact id say the only way to really "know" reality is to experience it. You could also say that experience is the very thing that creates everything else. The question is of course, just what is experience? [quote:1ergydh6]Postscript: This is why I am interested in parapsychology, because reason and logic are all well and good, but to actually have hard evidence of mental causation (and perhaps backwards causation) is something else.[/quote:1ergydh6] I think your certainly heading on the right path after reading this. At some point I think a lot of people who hunger for the truth realise that philosophy can never really satisfy them. It like being a starving man and all anyone will give you is menus instead of the food itself. Not that philosophy doesnt have its uses--and it certainly can be fun to discuss--it is just that at some point, when you realise explainations are no longer enough for you, you really do have to move beyond it. view post


Idea for this forum posted 06 Jul 2004, 15:07 in Member Written WorksIdea for this forum by Replay, Auditor

Was just thinking about how I really should get back to teaching myself how to write (not that I did much before) and had an idea of how this forum could be put to use. Instead of members just posting the odd bits from storys they have written, such as it is done on many other forums out there, I figured it might be put to better use by having everyone interested write a short scene that has been specified before hand i.e. everyone has to write a couple of pages about a man at a cemetary. There are many reasons why this could of use as stated below: - Members do not have to worry about coming up with ideas as the scene is already chosen. They only need to think up a way to approach it. - It will not take long to write. Perhaps half an hour to an hour is all it should take (though of course you can spend more on it). - It will not take long for others to read and analyze what you have wrote. This way you get much more feedback. - Writers will be able to compare their own approach to others as it is on the same subject, and thus could perhaps pick up a few extra tips. Another good part of such a thing would be that each writer would submit a lot of varied work instead of just updated chapters of the same thing, especially if a new subject/scene is chosen each week (or two weeks). I have some other ideas for how such a thing could work and be formatted, but it all depends on whether anyone is interested or not. It may not be worth doing if only a couple are willing to take part. So if you are interested please say so, and feel free to post any other ideas you have. view post


posted 07 Jul 2004, 11:07 in Member Written WorksIdea for this forum by Replay, Auditor

[quote:10ewz06m]I am interested. Are you thinking of within this forum, or as a separate site when you say 'I have some other ideas for how such a thing could work and be formatted?' [/quote:10ewz06m] It would be within this forum, though I could visualise it working well with a seperate site which would have lots of features. Best to start small though. When i mentioned formatting, what I meant was how we would go about making each post/topic so that everything is clear i.e. topic title is "Week 1: Replay's Submission". Also was thinking about a basic guide/format for people to respond and give critique. [quote:10ewz06m]Im quite interested in it. I really want to improve my writing technique, one of the main things that I have a problem with is writing Speech for characters. Writing a sword fight I find easy to do, which most people would find hard but making it believable is something I can visualise, just the characters speech just doesnt sound right when read back.[/quote:10ewz06m] Yeh? For me it's the other way around. Have no problems with dialogue, it's the details where i get a little bit stuck. The good thing about this thing though is that we can put emphasis on certain parts such as characterization, detail, plot, and dialogue for different weeks. view post


posted 07 Jul 2004, 13:07 in Philosophy DiscussionThe Case of the Blind Brain and Other Strange Tales by Replay, Auditor

[quote:nhavz921]I don't know. This is connected to the question: "why is there something instead of nothing?" - Whatever lies behind this question is not likely to be known to us - not in this world, anyway. As to what creates the movement? What is the First Cause? Who knows?[/quote:nhavz921] I don't agree with you that it cannot be known (though perhaps not in an intellectual sense), you just have to know where to look and how to approach the questions. As to what creates the movement, I was not really talking about First Cause (though I suppose that could be part of it depending how you meant it), but more about what continually moves everything. It once again goes back to what I was trying to point out about sentience, in that it is something that pervades everything. Or perhaps from another point of view, that there is nothing else but "it". The question is of course what i've have been mentioning beforet: Just what is this "it"? Just what is this thing called sentience? And just what is this thing called experience? Even though each question may appear different, they all point at the same thing. I've never really expected answers to any of the above by the way. I've only been asking them in the hopes of pointing out another track of thought that anyone may wish to follow (though if they don't, thats no problem either). Besides, these are questions that can only really be answered by yourself and not by anyone else. For instance, even if I could put into words my own understanding of them, what would be the point? It would still be just my understanding and not someone elses. Theyd just be words that, whilst perhaps pleasing to the intellect for a while, are still just words and have little effect on anyone elses understanding at a deeper level. That kind of understanding can only come from realising/actualizing the truth for yourself. [quote:nhavz921]I plan on conducting my own investigations this summer. The easiest experiment I can conduct is to test for Electronic Voice Phenomena (or EVP). EVP is a phenomena where someone starts a tape recorder and starts asking questions into the mic. If all goes well, when one rewinds the tape and starts playing, they'll hear strange voices, either answering the questions or making some sort of comment. It supposedly works best in "haunted" places, such as old houses or graveyards. [/quote:nhavz921] Whilst I find such things interesting, I have to wonder at what you hope to get out of it. Even if such things as spirits exist (which I doubt, though never like to dismiss anything out of hand), what makes you think that they will have the answers? And even if they did, what use will they be to you? It goes back to what I was just saying above, that words from another will never really bring true understanding. I suppose it's a hard fact, but there are never really any easy answers (though we often love to think that somewhere there must be). It is really only through our own efforts can we ever really begin to actualise anything. It's funny you mention this subject now though, as I have just yesterday finished a book that gives a good example of this. It is about a English woman who even as a young girl had lots of questions about the nature of existence. She would always ask others her questions but none seemed to know the answers to them and thought she was bit weird for thinking such things. Her mother didn't mind though despite not having the answers, as she was a spiritual person. Infact she used to hold a seance once a week with friends. Anyway, one day where the kid got tired of the stupid questions they kept asking the spirits, such as how their relatives were doing, she decided to ask them some of her own. The first thing she asked was "Is there a God?". The spirits replied that they did not think there was some being out there, but more a force that was of good, love and perfection. She was a bit doubtful of this answer so asked another question: "How do we become perfect? How do we return to being like this force?" and their answer was that you just had to be good and kind. As she listened to this answer she thought "They don't know either!", so gave up ever trying to talk with them again. It wasn't until years later that the woman found a path worth walking that suited her, and at around the age of 20 found herself living 13000 feet up a mountain in a cave (not as bad as youd think as it had walls built around it and became more like a very small house). She spent most of her adult life in that cave (nearly 20 years) by herself in the search for the truth, and whilst she never really talks about her realisations (though does give talks all over the world on some parts that would help others in their own quest), she does admit that the time spent there was worthwhile. Now I'm not trying to say you that anyone who wants to realise the truth needs to go live in a cave (or even spend that much time), as that was just one path that happened to be right for her. But the story does show what kind of effort is required if we ever hope to truely understand anything for ourselves. view post


posted 07 Jul 2004, 22:07 in Philosophy DiscussionThe Case of the Blind Brain and Other Strange Tales by Replay, Auditor

[quote:rbmnm6co]Well, I have doubts about their existence as well, but this is not so much due to a lack of evidence (there's plenty of that, though mostly anecdotal) as it is that I find the concept of the personality surviving bodily death as metaphysically extravagant. The personality is a finite structure that develops through life. It seems that reality would be more "cleaner" if the personality "defocuses" at death and dissolves back into the "it" from which is came. Sort of like a whirlpool breaking up and going back into the ocean. Not really the "extinction" of materialism, but more of a great merging. [/quote:rbmnm6co] Yeh i agree with what you say about it being cleaner, and I especially like your whirlpool analogy. To me it doesn't make much sense that a personality would survive after the physical death, but the thing I always try to keep in mind is that there is nearly always some piece of information you do not have, so to totally dismiss it would be unfair I feel. [quote:rbmnm6co]Well, their very existence would answer a lot of questions.[/quote:rbmnm6co] They certainly would at that, but you would have to be careful of making too many conclusions from such an existence. For instace, if a personality does survive after death, perhaps it is because the person was far too attached to life to fully let go. So their existence would not really mean that the process is the same for everyone when they die. And also, if the personality was that attached to life, it may well be because they had very little understanding of it. So again, if any answers were forth coming, you would have to be careful with them. [quote:rbmnm6co]Well, if I can really conclude that I'm actually communicating with "dead" people, this would surely be a eye-opener for me. I wouldn't answer all of the questions, of course, but it will answer some. [/quote:rbmnm6co] Yeah it would be an eye opener, and certainly would be interesting to find out. The only thing I question is how much value the information would be, especially for the amount of time spent gathering it (though if you enjoy the search, it is perhaps not time wasted). Perhaps something to consider is that even if you do fiind out that [i:rbmnm6co]some[/i:rbmnm6co] personalitys survive death, just how is such information going to affect the way you live your life? [quote:rbmnm6co]I might do this, but only if I had access to the internet, and could receive all the books I want. [/quote:rbmnm6co] I think it does have a certain appeal. Even though it would be harsh to start with, I think once you got used to the rawness of such a life, youd never really want to go back and live in the muffled world that is todays civilization. Not that i really think such a life is necassary though, because as the saying goes "No mattter where you go, there you are". As long as you're disciplined and don't get too distracted by everything going on around you, there is no real reason why either way of life should be all that different. [quote:rbmnm6co]I believe that to actually understand things, one must go out and find the truth. This finding may be sitting in a cave, meditating, whatever. IMO, parapsychology is a good place to look. Philosophy can only point one in the right direction.[/quote:rbmnm6co] Yeh I agree the only way to understand is find the answers for yourself. And I whilst I have doubts about the usefulness of paraphsycology, if you feel it is the path for you, then walk it for a while. Who knows where it may lead you? As long as you enjoy yourself during the journey, that is all that really matters. [quote:rbmnm6co]P.S. - What was the title of the book?[/quote:rbmnm6co] It's called A Cave In The Snow. And even though I wasn't keen on all the Tibetan cultural baggage it at times carried (if you do read it, you might want to take those parts with a pinch of salt), I did enjoy the book. If anything, it certainly can inspire you to put more effort into your own quest when you know just how much she was willing to go through in her own. view post


posted 08 Jul 2004, 14:07 in Member Written WorksIdea for this forum by Replay, Auditor

Yeah could be worth starting just to get the ball rolling. Even though there maybe only a couple of us to start with, I think others would soon join in. If you want, I can post the first weeks scene later on today or tomorrow along with few rules/outlines. We will then have a week to submit it. view post


posted 09 Jul 2004, 12:07 in Literature DiscussionA Game of Thrones by Replay, Auditor

I have a strange relationship with the ASOIAF series. It has just about everything I want in a book: good plot, interesting characters, some of the best prose i've seen, pretty decent world building, and scene construction that is nearly unrivaled, yet even with all that I just can't seem to reread it. Must have tried a good few times over the past couple of years, yet everytime I do I always seem to end up putting the book away half way through (and it's not just the first one, as I have tried starting with the others). Perhaps the problem is Martins insistance on changing pov's every single chapter. Just when you are getting into one characters story, he swaps to another who, though well written, just doesn't engange me. Plus because of the way he has layed his book out, he has set himself into a mold which requires him to write a whole chapters worth for the character he switches to when only a page or so is needed. I feel the book could have been far better if he had stuck with having one or two main characters, and then sometimes flicking to others to see what they up to. view post


posted 09 Jul 2004, 13:07 in Philosophy DiscussionDrug Legalization by Replay, Auditor

The funny thing about discussions such as these is that they nearly always bring out biased opinions i.e. those who take or have taken drugs want it legalised; those who haven't want them to stay illegal. It is not really suprising though, as those who do take drugs obviously feel there isn't much wrong with it, especially the lighter ones. They haven't had any side effects with them, so why should they be made to feel like a criminal when others can freely drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes? And on the other side, legalisation won't really affect those who don't take drugs, so they are not really for it. Plus, since they have never had any interest in drugs, they are usually misinformed about them and base their decisions about legalisation just on their own assumptions. I don't think either side should be ingored though because they are biased, infact I think both sides bring up good points and offer unique views that should be listened to. Because it is really only though seeing as many views as possible that an informed decision can be made. Personally, I don't think they should be legalised. As someone who used to be heavily into the drugs scene ten or so years ago and now no longer touches them (though still smoke, which is my only vice), I think I have a pretty good perspective on drugs. I've seen just how much they can mess with people's lives - even the so called soft drugs such as cannabis which can not only mess with your memory and make you depressed, but can also bring on paranoia and even phsycosis. The thing is though, this does not happen to everyone. I know a lot of people who smoke it every day for years and have no ill effects at all. So what we get is a lot of people saying that there is nothing wrong with it. But just because this is so, it doesn't mean it's the same for everyone, and it is for this reason (along with others) that I feel they shouldn't be made legal. You could of course argue that alcohol also affects a lot of people in bad ways, but just because we have one drug legalised doesn't really mean we should legalise another. As the saying goes, two wrongs don't make a right. I agree that the punishment for drugs is far too severe than it should be. A fine or at the most community service is enough for possesion of any drug. And if it is a harder drug, rehabilitation is what is needed, not a prison sentance - that is only really needed for those are push huge amounts of it. Still, keeping it illegal is enough to stop a lot of people from trying them, no matter what the sentance is. And this I feel is a good thing. Even though I would not have agreed all those years ago when I took them myself, I now think it is a sad state of affairs when a country thinks about making something legal that promotes escape from everyday life. But then its not really suprising in this day and age when everyone thinks the only way to find happiness is by chasing one pleasure after another, be it through drugs, adrenline rushes or even passive entertainment. And the saddest part of it is that not only does it takes a hell of a lot for someone to realise just how futile it is, but it takes even more to actually do something about it and change. view post


Week One Scene posted 09 Jul 2004, 14:07 in Member Written WorksWeek One Scene by Replay, Auditor

Let's start of with the scene i mentioned as an example in the other post: A man in a graveyard. Or to be more specific, a man visiting his wifes grave. Now it can either be the funeral of his wife, or perhaps he is visiting it a few years after she has passed away, either is fine. The thing to focus on for this scene is the man's internal dialogue and how he feels being there, and whilst you could also throw in a twist to the scene, it is not all that important. Rules: - Try and keep the scene to about two pages in Word (or whatever program you prefer) using a size 12 font. If you go over by a page it's not that big a deal, just don't go to far over. Remeber that others don't really want to spend a lot of time reading your work and critiquing it. - When submitting, start a new topic entitled "Week One: Name's submission". Copy and paste (and tidy up) your text into the post so noone has to download anything. - For formating, keep a space between paragraphs as I do not think these forums allow the tabbed spacing usually used. - You may add a small note at the top of your submission explaining what you were trying to achieve, or perhaps even to say it is copywrited if you feel inclined to do so. - When critiquing, add your replys to the submitted thread as we don't want lots of them all over the place. - Critquing can be divided into catorgories such as prose, scene building, description, characterization, tone, corrections, or any other. There is no need to use them all though if you do not want to. - If you sumbit a scene, you have to critque at least one of the other members scenes. It's only fair. - The dealine for submissions is next Friday (though may extend to the weekend). Once a piece is submitted though, anyone can begin their critque, even if they have not submitted one themselves. If anyone has any other suggestions for rules, be sure to mention them. view post


posted 09 Jul 2004, 17:07 in Philosophy DiscussionDrug Legalization by Replay, Auditor

Grantaire: Perhaps, but I didn't say all, I said most. This is just from my own experience of talking to people about this subject btw and wasn't really aimed at what had already been discussed on this forum, as everyone here seems to be making informed comments. Maybe it was an over-generalization though (something I tend to call others up on) and as such shouldn't have been made. view post


posted 09 Jul 2004, 17:07 in Philosophy DiscussionFree Will by Replay, Auditor

Do we have freewill? Sure. But then we also don't have it. :) Sorry I know thats not much help, but I don't have any time to make a better reply at the moment. Besides it's another one of those questions that runs deep and touches on so many other subjects. view post


posted 11 Jul 2004, 14:07 in The Thousandfold ThoughtLike father like son? by Replay, Auditor

I think that Mohengus is at war with the consult and has been for some time. We know the Cishaurim assasinated the leader of that sorceror school (forgot their name) 10 years ago, and my guess is that it is because Mohengus knew him to be one of the consult. I also expect there has been a lot more assasinations by that small group within the Cishaurim that Mohengus seems to have set up. And as the consult cannot get their skin spies close enough to do anything about it (since the members of that group have been trained to see them), they finally resorted to other methods - the holy war. view post


posted 11 Jul 2004, 22:07 in Author Q &amp; AOn the subject of Chorae by Replay, Auditor

Im sure it says that the Chorae are actually mounted on the arrows, as there's a couple of scenes which show them passing through wards. Most likely the archers carrying them as well to stop themselves being wiped out before firing. view post


posted 12 Jul 2004, 22:07 in Member Written WorksWeek One: Wil by Replay, Auditor

Pretty good, and though it appeared short at first glance, I don't think the scene really needed anymore. Anyway, here's my critique which I'll try and break down into sections: Prose: Not bad. There were some very good bits such as the internal dialogue, but there where a few areas where you seemed to suffer from the same thing I often do, in that it becomes a bit dry and doesn't flow very well. I think it may be because there are too many short and sharp sentances. Would perhaps be better if they were mixed up a bit with longer ones. Also, there are a few repeats of words/phrases from one sentance to the next which may detract from the reading experience a little. The first paragraph is a good example of both of these: [quote:4ruy9udd]The small gravel path seemed to stretch on forever, as it always did. Norman Bales slowly trudged along this path, as he did every Sunday. He passed the small pond with the ducks and the old oak tree. He noticed that someone had carved something in the tree. He stopped and peered at it, apparently someone named Lisa was a whore. He sadly shook his head and continued on down the path. [/quote:4ruy9udd] This bit on the other hand is excellent: [quote:4ruy9udd]He closed his eyes, and heard laughter. It seemed to be hers; a light jingle like a tiny bell. He remembered her smile, and how she always complained that her front teeth were too big. And her eyes, those marvelous green eyes, with the left slightly higher on her face then her right. He would tease her mercilessly about that.[/quote:4ruy9udd] It has a much better rythm to it. Characterization: Even though it was pretty short, we got a fairly good idea of what the character is like. Just from those few paragraphs you could pretty much guess how he will respond to situations in the future. Description: A little light on this, but then I'm not sure if it was really needed for this scene. Perhaps just a couple more sentances on what he could see, smell, hear or feel would have drawn readers in a little better though. Overall scene construction: Good. Can picture the guy delaying himself from reaching the bench because he knows the pain it will open once again, and yet at the same time being drawn towards it. view post


posted 13 Jul 2004, 14:07 in Author Q &amp; AWomen In the Three Seas by Replay, Auditor

Personally I don't get why people make such a big deal out of things such as this (not aimed at the original poster, just others in general (mainly reviewers)). Quite often they are not even consistant as well as one hand they complain about the portrayal of women in fantasy books (which is acurate and what it was like back then), whilst on the other hand, they complain when someone creates a nation that doesnt exactly emulate the ones on this planet (such as in their governement and military). I think sometimes people forget that fantasy books are not set on earth, and that being on another planet the civilizations are bound to have a different history and a different development. view post


posted 13 Jul 2004, 14:07 in Philosophy DiscussionThe Case of the Blind Brain and Other Strange Tales by Replay, Auditor

Well it really comes to just what you mean when the subject of a soul if brought up. If you mean that each of us has some individual thing that doesnt change and moves from life to life, I would argue against that. But if you are talking about something that is inate to all of us, then I would perhaps agree. Keeping with the whirlpool analogy, you could say that the universe (or more specifically, that which moves it) is like a river (though i prefer to think of it more as an ocean) and that when certain conditions arise, a whirpool is formed in it just like a normal river. This whirlpool travels along the river for a while, moving around and changing shape as other bits of the river come into contact with it. Soon though it begins to run out of energy and starts to disipate. And where there was once a whirlpool, now there is just the river again. What I am saying is that the soul or spirit is the river itself, and that deep down, all we are are just manifestations of it. It also shows an interesting point that in a way there really is no such thing as death, because if we are the river itself, we know that we will born again in infinite different forms. Now how this relates to the afterlife, i've no idea. If there is such a thing, it could perhaps be that when the main body of the whirlpool disipates, some residual energy is left over, and thus we have what are called spirits. But I would perhaps argue that in the end, even these will finally disipate and one again become part of the great river of life. view post


posted 13 Jul 2004, 16:07 in Philosophy DiscussionFree Will by Replay, Auditor

Been thinking about this subject for the past couple of days and it's amazing at just how many angles there are that you can approach it from, and how many tracks of thought there are to follow (including all the other subjects such a question touches on). So instead of even attempting to explain it (which I doubt I could) and just rambling on forever, I'll instead just add a few questions that may or may not be of use to the discussion. The first one is just what do we mean when we say free will? Free from what exactly? Is it just the freedom to choose? And if it is, then what makes that choice freer than any other action? After all, even though we have the ability to look back to see how we been controlled by our past actions and then change, even that choice is influenced by our past and present conditioning in some way. Perhaps some people are freer than others since they are not as controlled as much by their past, and even if we were able to wipe out all our past conditioning, would there still not be something governing those choices? And if so, just what is it? What is it that makes one choice better than other? Is there even such a thing as a person to be free? It has been mentioned that we cannot know what free will is, and you could also say that it is the arrogance of humans to that think they can know everything, especially things such as this. Well perhaps it is, but is it not also arrogance to think something cannot be known just because we haven't figured it out for ourselves yet? Finally, a lot of people often harp on about freedom (especially in the states), but do they really understand just what it is they are after? You often see a lot of people fighting the establishment because they want to be free and not controlled, but just whatt kind of freedom is it that they hope to gain? And would they not be freer if they were to instead accept that they are often controlled and influenced by others? Freer to influence the direction of the currents if they were just to float along with them instead of trying to stand still and hold them back? Freer to admire the scenery of life as it goes past instead of constantly fighting and worrying about it? view post


posted 13 Jul 2004, 16:07 in Interviews and ReviewsAddendum to the wotmania Interview: Re: Monkeys by Replay, Auditor

Would someone mind doing a brief overview of Ayn Rand (perhaps in the philosphy section)? Not read any of her stuff because the small bits I did see seemed pretty laughable. Would be interesting to know just what it is she thinks she is trying to convey though. view post


posted 13 Jul 2004, 23:07 in Author Q &amp; AWomen In the Three Seas by Replay, Auditor

I don't know, for me it's just no problem which ever route they take. And I can't see why anyone would need the author to explain it to them. It's like when people complain the woman are too dominant in the WOT series, but if you look at the conditions shown, or even give thought to the ones that are not, then it's more than plausable. Plus who's to say that something such as a feminist revolution is even needed? I think back in even some of earth's very early civilizations women were fairly dominant before it swung more towards to the males. view post


posted 14 Jul 2004, 13:07 in Member Written WorksWeek One: Gurgeh by Replay, Auditor

Nicely done. You kept the tone consistant throughout (something I've been struggling with for mine), and put in some great details. Like the twist at the end as well. Prose: Seems like you have been writing for some time. Don't think you have any problems in this area. The only thing I would comment on is that there is the odd time where a word is added that really isn't needed, or a comma that could perhaps be removed. Characterization: Even though you did well describing how he felt at the gravesite, I'm not sure we really got a good picture of what the man was like. Admitidly that wasn't something to really focus on this scene, but I had to find at least one thing to be critical of in all this ;) Detail: You did a good job here. Your descriptions painted a very good picture of what it was like there, that helped to draw you into the scene. The only thing that might have improved it a little is if you described a little more of what his other senses were experiencing. Overall Scene Building: Again, you did a good job on this. The way he drew close and the murmers came into ear shot, slowly followed by the sight of them worked well. Also the way they ignored him which could have easily meant that they wanted to leave him along in his grief. It set the twist at the end up very well. view post


posted 14 Jul 2004, 13:07 in Member Written WorksIdea for this forum by Replay, Auditor

Yeah, everytime I try and get back into teaching myself how to write something always seems to crop up that takes me away from it. Hopefully this will help to keep me coming back to it more regularly. [quote:206g8sqt]I would add that people should try to critique as many of other people's submissions as possible. [/quote:206g8sqt] Definately. The more critiques a writer gets, the better. That way he can get a better picture of which areas he needs to work on more. view post


Week One: Replay posted 14 Jul 2004, 13:07 in Member Written WorksWeek One: Replay by Replay, Auditor

[i:2cibchow]Note: I struggled a little with this, especially keeping the tone consistant throughout, but I think I got there in the end (be sure to tell me if I didn't though). There are still a few bits in it that I'm not sure work very well, so if you see any, please point them out and give a suggestion on how it could have been done better. Don't mind if you're harsh as I won't be offended. I just hope you give good reasons so that I can learn from them.[/i:2cibchow] A short gust of wind whipped over the cemetery’s high walls, causing those gathered around the gravesite to momentarily clutch their cloaks a little tighter. The sky above was iron-grey and it was beginning to rain. Intermittent drops fell onto the top of Gabe’s head, flattening his dark brown hair to his skull and running down the back of his neck, as he stared down at his wife’s final resting place. He hardly noticed. Around him, the others stood in solemn silence as the priest finished reading the final rights of the dead. The words made as little an impact on his consciousness as the rain. He felt numb; the darkness that was his thoughts toying with the idea that someone had reached into his chest and removed some vital part of him. He wondered what it was that still animated him. How was he supposed to go on now that Dani was gone? She had been such a huge part of his life that he now felt incomplete. Halved. Broken. How was he supposed to go on without the other half of himself—the better half of himself? It was Dani who had turned him away from the destructive path he had been on all those years ago. Dani, who had shown him that there were better things in life out there. Dani, who had made him feel truly alive. And now she was gone, lost in a senseless act of violence, and somehow he was supposed to find a way to go on living without her. Someone placed a hand on Gabe’s shoulder and he looked up. It was an old friend of his wife—Lacy, he thought her name was—who wanted to offer their condolences once again. He nodded as she told him how wonderful a person Dani had been, and how she would be missed by so many. Gabe mumbled his thanks, then watched as she walked away, gripping her coat tightly to keep out the wind and rain. The other guests were slowly making their way towards the exit of the cemetery. Gabe glanced from face to face, trying unsuccessfully to put names to them. Dani would have known who they were. She had always been good with names; always had given people her undivided attention and got to know them properly, no matter who they were. And now he no longer had her to turn to. Gabe turned towards the priest, ready to thank him, when something else catch his eye. It was a tall man, dressed in black, who stood leaning against an old oak tree on the far side of the grounds, studying him. A strong sense arose in Gabe that he should know this man, and as their eyes locked for a moment, that sense grew. He was sure that they had crossed paths in the past, but when? And where? The man’s name seemed to flicker across the back of Gabe’s mind somewhere, just out of reach. He tried to grab it, only to have it continually slip through his fingers. The only thing he could be certain of was that, this time, it was not someone who Dani could have put a name to. Some sign of recognition must have been visible on Gabe’s face, for the man gave a small smile and tipped his head in acknowledgement. Gabe gave no response; only stood there, dumbly watching as the man calmly strode away. All the others had left now. Only the priest remained, who waited patiently a few steps away. It was time for Gabe to start thinking about leaving as well. He tried to think of some final words he could say, but nothing would come to him. “She was a good woman,” the priest kindly prompted him. “The best,” replied Gabe. “Better than I ever deserved.” The priest made no reply, but compassion shone from his eyes. Gabe turned away from that look that reminded him so much of her, as tears that he tried to suppress now rose within him for the first time. “I’d better get going,” he said softly. The priest only nodded. He knew there was something else Gabe wished to say. Gabe cast his eyes down and took a deep breath. “How—“ He swallowed and started again. “How am I supposed to go on without her?” The priest was silent for a moment. “I cannot really answer that for you,” he finally said. “All I can say is, try not to hold back or cling to your grief. Let it play out its natural course and, in time, things will get better.” “In time,” Gabe morosely repeated. A sad smile spread across the priest’s face. “I know it may not seem like it right now, but yes, in time, things will get better.” Gabe stood there staring down at her grave, letting that point sink in. It did not seem like anytime soon the emptiness he felt would pass. He supposed he would have to take the priests word for it. He tried to think of what Dani would have said to him if she were here now. Most likely she would have said the very same thing. He often used to joke that she must have been some religious figure in a previous life. Gabe finally looked the priest in the eyes again. “Thank you,” he said. “For everything.” The priest placed a hand of Gabe’s shoulder. “If you ever need anyone to talk to, about anything, my door is always open.” “Thank you, Father.” Gabe gave Dani’s grave one last look then turned and made his way along the muddy path towards the exit. And for the first time in days a new track of thought began to play out in his mind. Just who was the man in black? view post


posted 14 Jul 2004, 20:07 in Author Q &amp; AWomen In the Three Seas by Replay, Auditor

I think another problem that authors face with things such as this is that if they go to deep into the subject and portray it as harshly as it can be in real life, people will often think the writer has a few screws loose and is only writing to satisfy his own perversions. This means that authors have to often walk on eggshells at times which is a bit of a shame, especially if what they are trying to portray would help in making a certain point. Perhaps another part of the problem is that many read books to escape from reality, and when the harshness of it is brought before them in the storys they read, they tend to get a bit upset. If there is to be some line to be walked though, I think the TDTCB and TWP did well in this regard. Both books showed what it was like for women in that world without going to far in either direction, and I felt it was all entirely plausable. If I'm honest though, I did skip Esmenets chapters when i reread TDTCB (and probably will when I reread TWP), but that is mainly down to personal preference more than anything else. I'm just not a fan of characters who continually feel sorry for themselves, no matter how justified they are. view post


posted 14 Jul 2004, 23:07 in Off-Topic DiscussionYour top 5 fantasy series... by Replay, Auditor

Well I can only put two on my list: Robin Hobb (Farseer and Tawny Man trilogies - Not keen on the liveship ones) and Steven Erikson (Malazan Book Of The Fallen) I did think about adding WOT as well since I've reread that a few times, but there's just to much wrong with it to be part of any top list (I think if it wasn't the very first series I had ever read, I would have given them away by now). The Prince of Nothing may also go on that list, but it's too early to tell at the moment. Other honorable mentions go to Gene Wolfes books and the Dune saga, but then they are not strictly fantasy and if we move into scifi as well, I could perhaps add a couple more. view post


posted 14 Jul 2004, 23:07 in Member Written WorksWeek One: Replay by Replay, Auditor

Thanks for taking the time to critique it. [quote:2emv6k3v]Ok, writing a critique of someone else’s work is very very new to me, so if this isn’t helpful, or isn’t what you want, or you want more in a particular vein, please let me know. [/quote:2emv6k3v] It's the first time I have done it as well, so I guess we'll just have to feel our way along. What you said was helpful though. [quote:2emv6k3v]“A short gust of wind” is redundant, gust implies a brief change in the wind. I think this would be stronger if you dropped the word “short”. [/quote:2emv6k3v] Yeah that makes sense, and I agree it would be stronger without it. [quote:2emv6k3v]The fragment in p3, “the darkness that was his thoughts toying with the idea that someone had reached into his chest and removed some vital part of him” seems to be missing a subject. I’m not sure how to fix this, although I think I see what you are trying for. It’s a good image, I just think it needs some restructuring. Maybe something like “his thoughts filled with darkness, he toyed with the idea that someone had reached into his chest and removed some vital part of him” [/quote:2emv6k3v] I did spend a few minutes on that sentance when I wrote it because I felt maybe something was missing. I thought it might just be me wondering if it should be "was" or "were" though. [quote:2emv6k3v]There are some minor punctuation and grammatical errors, should we go into those here, given that these stories are rough? [/quote:2emv6k3v] If you have the time, I'd be more than happy for you to point them out. It's one of the areas i struggle with having never really written anything before. [quote:2emv6k3v]At the end of p7, “And now he no longer had her to turn to” implies a relationship to the previous sentence “She had always been good with names; always had given people her undivided attention and got to know them properly, no matter who they were” but I think it might be stronger if the tie was explicit. Maybe, “Now he no longer had her to turn to when a name or face slipped his mind.” That may not be the best solution, but I think it shows what I’m getting at. [/quote:2emv6k3v] Agreed. [quote:2emv6k3v]“catch” should be “caught” in the first sentence of p8. [/quote:2emv6k3v] That was due to a rewrite of that paragraph. Amazing how they slip through even when you read over them again at least twice. [quote:2emv6k3v]I like the way you contrasted Gabe’s inability to place the man in black with the earlier paragraph about Dani’s facility with names. It made me feel that though you had been building a picture of how incomplete he was without her, here was something entirely other, which she couldn’t have helped him with. Overall very good. I felt the tone was consistent through the whole piece. The mysterious stranger fit the scene but also left it open and created a tension that could go almost anywhere. I was annoyed at the end that it wasn’t the beginning of a story so I could see where it ended up. :)[/quote:2emv6k3v] Thanks. I did have an idea for continuing this scene into a short story, but not sure if I will continue with it. Perhaps at one point I'll pick it up again though. [quote:2emv6k3v]As I said above, I liked the imagery at the beginning, but I felt that the rest of the piece was light on descriptive detail. This may have been intentional, as his attention is directed inward, but I think some more details on his surroundings would help to anchor things.[/quote:2emv6k3v] Yeah I find it hard to add detail -, it's just not something that comes naturally at the moment (when I first wrote this scene it had even less than it does now, and had to keep going back and adding bits where I could). We will have to have one week where we focus a lot more on this. view post


posted 14 Jul 2004, 23:07 in Member Written WorksWeek Two Scene Nominations [CLOSED] by Replay, Auditor

Two guys breaking into a house. view post


posted 15 Jul 2004, 15:07 in Literature DiscussionOther Literature Forum by Replay, Auditor

I think what might be better is if we had yet another sub forum, this time one for just book reviews. That way if anyone wants to know anything about a title they have seen they can take a quick peak to see if anyone has reviewed it. Plus if the writers of the review were to put say their three favourite and three most disliked books at the bottom of it, it would give those reading it a better idea of whether the reviewers tastes are similar to theirs. view post


Babylon 5 posted 15 Jul 2004, 15:07 in Literature DiscussionBabylon 5 by Replay, Auditor

Has anyone else been fortunate enough to pickup the books based on Babylon 5? Normally I'm a bit wary when it comes to spinoffs, so when I picked these up I was a little sceptical as to whether I would like them. I can say though that they turned out to be great reads - infact I'd even go so far as to say they are some of the best series I have read. If anyone is even a mild fan of the show, I would definately recommend they pick them up. There are two series out there, one based on the Centari by Peter David (who does an amazing job in capturizing the characters), and the other is about the Technomages (cannot remember the authors name). view post


posted 15 Jul 2004, 21:07 in Member Written WorksWeek One Scene by Replay, Auditor

Sunday sounds fine. view post


posted 15 Jul 2004, 21:07 in Philosophy DiscussionAyn Rand by Replay, Auditor

And just what is being true to yourself? view post


posted 16 Jul 2004, 13:07 in Philosophy DiscussionAyn Rand by Replay, Auditor

Well the problem of being true to oneself is that you can end up basing a lot of decisions on the delusion that there really is such a thing as a fixed self that never changes. It's like when someone is pulled up about a certain action (such as making someone else angry for very little reason) and they reply "Well that is who I am, I can't change that", not realizing that they are telling one of the biggest lies there is. Human beings can do nothing else but change. It is impossible not to. To give a clearer example, just how much of your personality is the same to when you were five, perhaps even ten years old? Very little I expect. You are now a totally different person to whoever that was back then, because you cannot help but change. Perhaps the common answer here would be "Well perhaps I do change, but I have to be true to who I am [i:2j2kge9i]now[/i:2j2kge9i]." But is this really so? If it is, then that means it would be fine for anyone to do anything, no matter who wrong, because they are "just being true to themselves". Im not saying we shouldn't act in the way we feel is best due to our previous experiences (which I get the impression you may have meant), as that is often all we can really do. It is just that when you do so, you should do it with an open a mind - a mind that is receptive to the possibility that your action may not be the best one, and are willing to learn and change in accordance if this turns out to be so. If on the other hand you approach everything with the idea of being true to oneself, then you are basically closing off a part of your mind. You are dividing the world into what is you, and what isn't, and you are basically saying that you have nothing else to learn because you think there is no need for you to change anymore. But if you do try and hold onto some fixed idea of self, then all you are really going to get for your troubles is a lot of struggle. And that is a shame because we are given so many opportunities to learn new things and perhaps change into something better. It really would be such a waste to spend this wonderous thing we called life on such a fools errand. view post


posted 16 Jul 2004, 17:07 in Philosophy DiscussionAyn Rand by Replay, Auditor

Nice post Scott, and you reminded me of something else I was going to mention - that of catchy slogans/quotes. When you first see something such as "Be true to yourself", the first impression can often be "Hey, that sounds good and seems to make sense". And on the surface, perhaps it does. But when you stop for a moment and really look at it, you often find the opposite to be true. It's why I tend to be especially wary of any quotes I read these days--no matter how good they first appear--because it is incredibly easy to accept them just on surface impressions. view post


posted 17 Jul 2004, 12:07 in Literature DiscussionBabylon 5 by Replay, Auditor

Yeah I only have the Centari and Technomages one. Personally, I had heard the telepath trilogy to not be very good. Those two are extremely well written though. Usually when you have spinoffs they often tend to read like fan art with not very good prose (such as the Starwars ones - though I have only read a couple). But both excel in this area, and I'd perhaps go so far as to say Peter David is one of the better writers on a technical level that I have read. As he was a screen writer for the actual show, he also captures the characters extremely well, getting every nuance right so that you cannot help but read the characters lines in their own voice. Id highely recommend anyone to pick them, perhaps even if they are not a fan of the show since they are very good storys in their own right. view post


posted 17 Jul 2004, 13:07 in The Thousandfold ThoughtLike father like son? by Replay, Auditor

Your right we don't know much about Moenghus' motivations, but I would think there could be plenty of reasons for him to start a war against the consult. It may have been at one point he met a Mandate sorceror, listened to his story, and believed him - as Kellhus did Archamian. I doubt then it would take that much to motivate him if he thought the Consult were intent of wiping all of man off the face of the world. Or perhaps when he came to the Cisharium he found skin spies there and cleaned them out because they were in the way of his own plans. That could have easily started a war that escalated. As for the head of the Scarlet Spires being a skin spies, I would now agree that it is unlikely he was one. But the timing of it does seem to indicate that Moenghus was involved in that assasination in some way. Just what that involvment was though is open to question. On Akka's felling betrayed by Kellhus, I think there maybe a good chance he will become much more suspicious of him from now and perhaps even start to see him for what he was because of this. Of course knowing AKka, there is also a good chance he won't as well (I don't know about anyone else, but I found it a bit dissapointing that Akka soon reverted to his previous behaviour after returning. Being a prisoner had seemed to finally make him stop feeling sorry for himself and grow up a little). view post


posted 17 Jul 2004, 13:07 in Philosophy DiscussionAyn Rand by Replay, Auditor

[quote:1api9815]That leads, of course, to the question of what role do you ascribe to axioms in ethics? Kant had his categorical imperatives, axioms like "do not kill" that he considered to be unrealisable, which he considered to be the basis for all ethics (which for him was centred around duty). [/quote:1api9815] I think they can be important, as long as you realise that they are more guidelines to living a better life than anything else and not rules carved in stone. view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 12:07 in Literature DiscussionBabylon 5 by Replay, Auditor

drosdelnoch: Crusade was shown here in the UK years ago. Dont worry though because you didn't miss much. Atanvarno: I've only read Zahn books (well those and I, Jedi) since those were the most recommended. And seeing as though I didnt think much to them, I've very little interest in any of the others. view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 12:07 in Literature Discussiondark tower? by Replay, Auditor

Yeah they're not bad books. I especially like the tone of the first one (which many seem to be not keen on), and the others aren't bad either (though they do tend to get a bit bogged down in places). view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 12:07 in Member Written WorksWeek One : Drosdelnoch by Replay, Auditor

Have to echo what Sovin Nai said, that the sentances do tend to run on a bit long. I think if you went back and edited it, keeping some, but cutting down others, you would get a much better overall flow. Other than that it wasn't bad. There were some good details, and some nice bits of info about the character. view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 13:07 in Philosophy DiscussionThe problem of evil by Replay, Auditor

Nice thought Grantaire - it's always good to see someone questioning the dogma that is thrown down throats since birth. You're right that when you really get down to it, the idea of an all powerful creator being doesn't seems to hold up, and you have to wonder at times how so many people can believe in such a thing. Of course, many will say 'well you just have to have faith', but I think you have gone past just accepting that. Since the idea doesn't hold up, does this then mean that there is no God? Perhaps, perhaps not. Perhaps the problem is that the idea itself of what God is is wrong. There is an old saying that goes, "To meet God, you must first kill him," which means that you should let go of any thoughts you have on just what God is, as only then will you be open enough to get a true understanding of it. Keep on doubting, and don't accept any easy answers. Searching for an answer to this question can be one of the greatest things anyone can do with their life. view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 15:07 in Philosophy DiscussionThe problem of evil by Replay, Auditor

I can agree that on one hand organised religions can be detremental to your own search, because so many require that you accept things on blind faith rather than finding out for yourself (perhaps because the ones in power refuse to put in the work themselves). On the other hand though, it is very difficult to come to any true realization without others to point the way, and believe it or not, most organised religions can do this is if you manage to cut away a lot of the crap that surrounds them. Of course, this is no easy task either. If you're still have some feeling towards Christianity, you might want to check out [url=http://www.christianmystics.com/index.shtml:1nwid4vr]this site[/url:1nwid4vr], and read some of the articles on there. They seem to be much more interested in finding out the truth for themselves rather than just taking things on blind faith. If like me that's not really your cup of tea though, there's no need to worry as there are many other paths out there - it's just a matter of finding one that's right for you. There's a good saying that goes: "All paths are like sets of clothes - don't worry so much about which one is the best, just chose the one you are most comfortable with." Though even if you do find one your comfortable with, always keep that doubt with you. view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 20:07 in Philosophy DiscussionThe problem of evil by Replay, Auditor

[quote:1c5u6ket]Originally, to be "perfect" meant that nothing more could be done; the object was complete and whole. [b:1c5u6ket]Humans can't by that definition ever be perfect[/b:1c5u6ket][/quote:1c5u6ket] Are you sure of that? view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 21:07 in Philosophy DiscussionThe problem of evil by Replay, Auditor

Well I was refering to you mentioning "was complete and whole", which deep down, humans are. Plus you could also say that humans are perfect [i:33hj9mb6]because[/i:33hj9mb6] we change. But as you said, it really depends on how you want to define perfect. view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 21:07 in Philosophy DiscussionThe problem of evil by Replay, Auditor

Hard to say, as there can be many different uses for the word. I guess it really all depends on the context. All I was trying to say in the last post was that perhaps everything is perfect just the way it is - including having the ability to change into something better (or worse). view post


posted 23 Jul 2004, 14:07 in Author Q &amp; AYour thoughts on Postmodernism in The Book of the New Sun by Replay, Auditor

[quote:38v1bvc1]If life is about making the right decisions, and school is supposed to prepare you for life, then why o' why is no one taught anything about the rules of reasoning in school? [/quote:38v1bvc1] Sounds good - as long they teach them the flaws of reasoning as well. view post


posted 24 Jul 2004, 15:07 in Philosophy DiscussionThings I will not accept in an argument by Replay, Auditor

Things I will not accept in an argument? Actually being in one :) Seriously though, I think it maybe a good idea whenever you do find yourself in an argument to pause for a moment and think about what you are trying to achieve. It's all to easy to fall in to the trap of just arguing to prove you are right and the other is wrong. It just becomes a game of oneupmanship, and has very little other value. Another thing I am not that keen on in any kind of debates is when someone takes it all to personally. If they come on and say that "grass is the colour red", and you say "no, it's not", it is just pointing out the fallacy of that paticular view and is not an insult aimed at them. Unfortuantly though, many do tend to be overly attached to their views and beliefs, so do not see it this way. view post


posted 24 Jul 2004, 15:07 in Member Written WorksWeek Two Scene by Replay, Auditor

Been a bit busy this week so haven't had time to submit a piece for this weeks scene yet. And whilst I do have an idea for it and maybe able to get something done by tomorrow, I think it maybe worth extending this weeks scene until next Sunday (since it seems everyone else is in a similar predicament). view post


posted 25 Jul 2004, 21:07 in Literature DiscussionBabylon 5 by Replay, Auditor

Like Atanvarno says, it really depends on how much you want spoiled. It would be much better to watch the show, as some of the best episodes are ones that reveal a lot of what would be included in any overview of it. If you do order the DVD's, you could perhaps skip the first series as the main storyline doesnt kick off until the second one. Plus apart from a couple, none of the episodes are all that great at the start (though I'm sure some will disagree with that). And if you do like the show, you could always go back and order that first set. view post


posted 26 Jul 2004, 19:07 in Author Q &amp; AKarma? by Replay, Auditor

I would say it's partly similar to Karma. As for drawing parallels with Buddhist thought, yeah, there are a few similarities in there. But there is also a lot that is different. Perhaps the main thing is is that the Dunyain think they can reach some kind of enlightenment through the logos, whereas a Buddhist would say that that is impossible. If anything, in many ways it is the logos itself that needs to be woken up from. view post


posted 26 Jul 2004, 21:07 in Literature DiscussionBabylon 5 by Replay, Auditor

Some of Crusade was alright, but the directing on just about all of them was very poor and not up to B5 standards. Plus as someone has already said, there was the whole problem of the tv execs trying to force JMS out by making him add things to the show. For those in the UK who are interested though, it starts a rerun on Sci-fi channel this wednesday (just saw advert for it). view post


posted 26 Jul 2004, 21:07 in Author Q &amp; AKarma? by Replay, Auditor

Well I always figured the logos was to do with the intellect (as in logic). Looking it up though, it does appear as though it can have more than one meaning. Im sure Scott can clear it up for us. view post


posted 27 Jul 2004, 17:07 in Author Q &amp; AKarma? by Replay, Auditor

[quote="Cu'jara Cinmoi":1qqheagc]...the Dunyain seek to master or extinguish the appetitive soul to better master the origins of their thought - to become a 'self-moving soul,' one free of the myriad darknesses that come before. [/quote:1qqheagc] Would you mind expanding on what you mean by this? Especially the bit about a 'self-moving soul'. [quote:1qqheagc]The Logos, or Reason, is their principle instrument. [/quote:1qqheagc] That's the thing though, trying to master thought with even more thought (Reason) just isn't going to happen. I guess you could say it's like trying to wash off mud with mud. [quote:1qqheagc]Unlike the Buddhists, the Dunyain draw no line between what must be mastered and what must be accepted. For the Dunyain, [i:1qqheagc]anything[/i:1qqheagc] that impacts the origins of our thoughts, be it animal lust, historical caprice, or the words of another, must be mastered.[/quote:1qqheagc] Well Buddhists don't so much accept things, as try to see through them. As it's only through this that true mastery comes. I may be reading this wrong, but you what you said about the Dunyain almost makes it seem as if they are afraid of uncertainty and are in an endless struggle to try and force their will or control over everything. But if they truely wish to be free from all that comes before, should not they also try to rid of themselves of this very need to be certain? Of this need to be in control of everything around them? view post


posted 27 Jul 2004, 21:07 in Author Q &amp; AKarma? by Replay, Auditor

[quote:2hy7qnst]What impresses them so much about the Logos (and its brethren, geometry, mathematics) is it's [i:2hy7qnst]its timelessness[/i:2hy7qnst], the fact that it does not seem to fall within the 'circuit of before and after.'[/quote:2hy7qnst] Whilst I agree the Logos is impressive, I can't really see how it can be said that it doesnt fall into the circuit of before and after. And even though the Logos is very useful tool for examing the relative world around us, when it comes to absolute, all the Logos can do is paint pictures of what it like and never actually touch apon it. [quote:2hy7qnst]Only if you look at thought in performative terms. If thought is representational (or something like it), then this isn't the case. Just think of the way various insights over the course of your life led you to greater self understanding and self-control. This is implicit in your comments regarding the Buddhists achieving mastery by 'seeing through.'[/quote:2hy7qnst] Even though that does make sense, it's not quite as simple as that (I wish it was!). Yes, there are times when you read something and it can have an impact on you. You may even act a little different afterwards. But all that is happening is that one set of conditioning (or programming) is being replaced for another. And besides, even if you understand something intellectually, that does not necessarily mean you totally understand it. A good example of this is the subject of thought. Intellectually, it is not all that hard to see that there really is no such thing as a thinker - that thought arises by its own volition (mainly due to cause and effect). I mean, if you spend a lot of time looking in to it it doesn't take long for you to agree with what those old spiritual masters having been saying about the illusion of self. But to understand this with your whole being, so that every moment you live with this truth, is another matter entirely. For that to happen requires a lot more, and no amount of words (however wise) or thinking (however deep) will ever get down to the root of it. Only awareness can do that. It's only through perhaps years of paying attention to say the motion of thought, until something finally clicks and your perception does a total flip, can it be said that you understand it with your whole being. And this is more what I meant by 'seeing through' than anything. I'm not saying the Logos isn't useful - infact it can be very helpful in pointing the way and quickening the path - it's just that I would say it can only take you so far. It's like in sports if some top player writes a book on everything he has learnt: even if digest everything in it and understand all that he says, it doesnt really make you into a better player. Whilst what he said will obviously be useful to show you the way to be better, it is only through years of practice that you can ever really achieve this. [quote:2hy7qnst]For the Dunyain, certainty or knowledge is just a means to the end of becoming the Absolute - or a self-moving soul. In more philosophical terms, you might say their primary concern is ontological (the attainment of a certain mode of unconditioned (which is to say, transcendent) being), and that the epistemology has value only as a primary means to this end.[/quote:2hy7qnst] Well it's certainly a noble goal, it's just the means that I question. For instance, what does certainty have to do with the absolute? How do their attempts to control everything around them bring them closer to their goal? view post


posted 27 Jul 2004, 21:07 in Philosophy DiscussionStatistical Sprirtuality by Replay, Auditor

[quote:160wumek]Thank you for the responses, and no one has ripped me apart yet![/quote:160wumek] /rubs hands togethor, grins, and thinks [i:160wumek]Right, where to start?[/i:160wumek] Nah only joking, was some interesting stuff in there. Was an article in the paper not long ago about this sort of thing. It showed that more often than not, even though things seem improbable, the odds for them to happen were not all that great. For instance, at a party there is actually a fairly good chance that two people will have the same birthday. Not only that, but having dreams about someone dying is not as improbable as youd first think (they even had a lot of maths that showed--due to the amount of people in a country--how often it actually should happen). view post


posted 28 Jul 2004, 14:07 in Philosophy DiscussionStatistical Sprirtuality by Replay, Auditor

Grantaire: You can try searching the [url=http://www.dailymail.co.uk:39nv9drv]Daily Mail[/url:39nv9drv] site, though am unsure whether the article is on there (had a quick look myself but found nothing). Other than that, you could always put 'coincidence', 'chance', 'odds' etc in to Google as I'm sure that would bring up a fair few articles on such things. view post


posted 30 Jul 2004, 13:07 in The Darkness That Comes Beforeodd by Replay, Auditor

[quote:c3bcmgf2]My definition of Canadian would involve the fact that we "colour" our spelling with the letter "u" from time to time :)[/quote:c3bcmgf2] No, Canadians have it right as that is the correct spelling in English. It's Americans who change it - perhaps because it's too complicated for them ;) view post


posted 03 Aug 2004, 11:08 in The Darkness That Comes BeforeRelease Dates by Replay, Auditor

Yep, the second one is the Uk version (which I have). It's not a bad cover though, and is certainly better than what most fantasy books have. view post


posted 05 Aug 2004, 22:08 in The Warrior ProphetKellhus, Achamiam, and Emotion by Replay, Auditor

Nice ramble. And you brought up a good point about consequences: that Kellhus isn't being as mindful of his own saying "that which comes before, determins after" as he should. Of course, being a ficitional book there is a chance he may not reap what he has sown, but let's hope not eh? view post


posted 06 Aug 2004, 15:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionNow Reading... by Replay, Auditor

Just reread Midnight Tides, and am currently waiting for the K-Pax trilogy to be sent from Amazon (its taking weeks for some reason). Saw the film of this which was pretty good (with Kevin Spacey), and the books are supposed to be even better. view post


posted 06 Aug 2004, 18:08 in Literature DiscussionThe Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Replay, Auditor

Didn't really like - bit too much whining and self pity for my tastes. But even without that I don't think it would have been great, as I didn't think much to the story and the actual writing was of a very low standard (though many often site it as a series with great prose, which i've never been able to work out). view post


posted 13 Aug 2004, 10:08 in Philosophy DiscussionMy odd perspective on myself and the universe by Replay, Auditor

Nice post. And it is amazing how easy it to miss just how wonderous this world/universe/life can be when you are constantly occupying yourself with other things, and don't take the time out to just sit still for a moment and pay attention. But perhaps to some extent it is kind of defense mechanism - that if that wasn't a slight barrier between all that we could take in, all that beauty the world has to offer, we wouldn't get anything else done (and who knows, perhaps that is the problem with some autistic people). view post


posted 14 Aug 2004, 11:08 in Philosophy DiscussionMy odd perspective on myself and the universe by Replay, Auditor

Perhaps. And whilst those certainly aren't important or needed, there are still things such as eating, making sure you have a safe place to rest, or the many other simple things that make up life such as being able to communicate with others to share ideas. The reason I mentioned autistic people is that, with some of them, the problem is that they see to much. Their senses get so overloaded with everything that is going on around them that they have little room left in their conciousness to do those things that we take for granted. The only thing I wonder about though, is whether some of them are actually enjoy life more than most. view post


posted 20 Aug 2004, 12:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionBook Club Talk by Replay, Auditor

Congrats Grantaire. view post


posted 20 Aug 2004, 14:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionNow Reading... by Replay, Auditor

Just finished the K-PAX trilogy and am now halfway through Wolfe's Book of the Long Sun series. view post


K-PAX posted 20 Aug 2004, 15:08 in ReviewsK-PAX by Replay, Auditor

[url=http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/074756695X/qid=1093010570/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl/026-8880637-9889215:w2x0us59]K-PAX Trilogy Feat. Prot's Report[/url:w2x0us59] - By Gene Brewer K-PAX is the story of man, Prot (ryhmes with goat), who claims to be from another planet. Of course, no one believes him, so he soon finds himself a patient of the Manhatten Phsyciatric Insititute, where phsyciatrist Dr Gene Brewer (who's point of view the whole story is told from in first person narrative) does his best to try and cure him. Whilst in the institute, Prot does and says many things that puzzle the phsyciatrist. For one, he seems to have an uncanny ability to get through to even the most deluded of patients in the intistute. He even starts to cure some of them. Prot also seems to have the ability to see light in the ultra violet range, something no human should be able to do. Not only this, but Prot's descriptions of his home solar system and his knowledge of the stars surrounding prove to be correct when checked up (and even give the scientist new information they didn't have before which also appears to be correct). All of this is enough to make Dr Brewer pause and perhaps wonder for a moment if Prot is telling the truth, but he soon dismisses this and believes instead that Prot is perhaps a savant. When, under hypnosis, Prot talks about another man who seems to be occupying his body, Dr Brewers beliefs are solidified. During the rest of the book, a search is begun for the identity of this man, hoping that a confrontation with who he was will force Prot to accept that he really his human. Whilst the storyline of the book is well done, this book is more about Prot's observations on the human condition than anything else. Through all three of the books, Prot continues to point out the stupidity of many of the things humans do, and shows just how brainwashed we can be in to doing and beliving in things with little consideration. In this version of the books, there is even a small addition added on the end called Prot's report, which is a transcript of Prot's thoughts on this planet which he has been adding to his note book throughout the storyline. All in all, this a very good book, and one definately worth picking up. However, there are a few bad points that should be mentioned. The first is that, whilst technically the quality of the writing is not so bad, it does not involve you all that much. Also, even though most of the time he does offer some good opinions on the human condition, a few of his ideas are fairly niave and not very well thought out (something he would look down on others for not doing). Still, neither of these points are enough to detract from enjoying this story. [url=http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000087I3F/qid=1093010626/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl/026-8880637-9889215:w2x0us59]K-Pax - The Film[/url:w2x0us59] For those interested, the first part of the trilogy has recently been made into a film starring Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges. Not only does it follow very closely to the book (much more than most other adaptions), but I feel the director actually improved upon it. Perhaps it was the ability to inject much more emotion into it (due to some very good directing) that makes the film perhaps even better than the book. Or perhaps it is just the great acting by both Spacey and Bridges that brings it more to life. If your hesistant about picking the book up, I would definately suggest watching this first (as I did). And even though many have said that the ending left the unsatisfied because they wanted more, that is not a problem if you plan on picking up the trilogy, as you have the two more books in the story to do just that. view post


The Identity of Relative and Absolute posted 26 Aug 2004, 19:08 in Philosophy DiscussionThe Identity of Relative and Absolute by Replay, Auditor

Spotted this earlier today on the internet and figured a few here may also enjoy it. "The mind of the Great Sage of India was intimately conveyed from West to East. Among human beings are wise ones and fools But in the Way there is no northern and southern Ancestor. The subtle source is clear and bright; the tributary streams flow through the darkness. To be attached to things is illusion; to encounter the absolute is not yet enlightenment. Each and all the subjective and objective spheres are related, and at the same time independent. Related and yet working differently. Though each keeps its own place, form makes the character and appearance different. Sounds distinguish comfort and discomfort. The dark makes all words one; the brightness distinguishes good and bad phrases. The four elements return to their own nature as a child to its mother. Fire is hot, wind moves, water is wet, earth hard. Eyes see, ears hear, nose smells, tongue tastes the salt and sour. Each is independent of the other. Cause and effect must return to the great reality. The words high and low are used relatively. Within light there is darkness, but do not try to understand that darkness. Within darkness there is light, but do not look for that light. Light and darkness are a pair like the foot before and the foot behind in walking. Each thing has its own intrinsic value and is related to everything else in function and position. Ordinary life fits the absolute as a box and its lid. The absolute works together with the relative like two arrows meeting in mid air. Reading words you should grasp the great reality. Do not judge by any standards. If you do not see the Way, You do not see it even as you walk on it. When you walk the Way it is not near, it is not far., If you are deluded, you are mountains and rivers away from it." view post


Battleground God posted 04 Sep 2004, 12:09 in Philosophy DiscussionBattleground God by Replay, Auditor

Have a go at [url=http://www.philosophers.co.uk/games/god.htm:yxqendkz]this[/url:yxqendkz] Bit the bullet twice myself (and would happily do so again). view post


posted 04 Sep 2004, 21:09 in Philosophy DiscussionBattleground God by Replay, Auditor

Yeah i was caught out by the Loch Ness one as well, because the problem is with how they worded the questions. Also, there have been extensive tests to find the Loch Ness monster, such as sweeping the lake, and nothing has been found. No such test can be done with something such as God (well not scientifically anyway). Was a few other things in the test that I did not really agree with either, but still, it was a fun way to spend 5-10mins. view post


posted 06 Sep 2004, 21:09 in Author Q &amp; AConcerning Chapter Quotes by Replay, Auditor

[quote:1mr6mr2a]Ayuh. This touches on something that's puzzled me over the past months: I've actually been expecting - perhaps even hoping - to receive some trenchant criticisms on the question of religion. So far nada... Only stuff that strikes me as spurious (like, 'tries too hard to be GRRM,' 'is misogynistic'), or stuff I'm more or less willing to bite the bullet on.[/quote:1mr6mr2a] There are problems with this though. The thing about critisms is that they are often to do with personal taste, so what is really served by giving them? Even though I think PoN is an exceptional series, there are still quite a few things about it that I am not keen on. I'll admit that at one point I did think of mentioning some of them, but then realised that the things i did not like were things that others enjoyed. So again, what point in posting them? After all, you can never please every one (and it'd be pointless to try). Another problem is that by pointing out critisms, people will read them and perhaps pay attention to what you mentioned the next time they read the book. This could in turn perhaps spoil their enjoyment a little. view post


posted 06 Sep 2004, 22:09 in Author Q &amp; AConcerning Chapter Quotes by Replay, Auditor

Yes, but how can you really say whether a part is a success or a failure? For instance, i did not think your use of a zero perspective narrator to describe the battle scenes in the TWP really worked. I wouldnt have minded one page of it, but a whole chapter was far too much. Yet i've noticed that some others really liked those bits. So who's right? Like you said, its a very murky area. But as long as you are happy with what you have written, that is all that matters. view post


posted 07 Sep 2004, 09:09 in Author Q &amp; AConcerning Chapter Quotes by Replay, Auditor

[quote="Cu'jara Cinmoi":34857waw]That's a perfect example because it shows just how opining and evaluating break down into two separate questions (there's actually more, but I think this illustrates the difference clearly): 1) What was your personal response? 2) What was the author trying to accomplish (in narrative terms, thematic terms, etc.)? Did he or she succeed? Note that with (2), what any author tries to accomplish will be relative to a certain 'ideal audience' (in this case, those who enjoy historical narratives).[/quote:34857waw] Well that's the thing, if you are not a part of that audience, would a critism be valid? Plus we often don't know just what you were trying to accomplish with a lot of the book, and without you saying so there can really only be assumptions. That being said, if you do ask whether a specific part worked, perhaps we can give something constructive to think over. Im not saying that any old critism isn't helpful as, if you pay attention, a lot of truth can be gleemed from them. And I'm certainly not saying that is all relative - it is just that it is very a murky area and, without writing a lot and explaining your own reasons for each and every critique, anything you do say isn't all that valuable. And it is for this reason that I expect many just don't bother. view post


posted 07 Sep 2004, 10:09 in Philosophy DiscussionIs the idea of a &quot;god&quot; inherent in our minds? by Replay, Auditor

[quote:yy6ffwf5]This is the old Laplacian thesis (which as far as I know, has been thoroughly discredited by modern physics), isn't it? In principle, there's no way of knowing the exact state of any part of the universe at any given time. [/quote:yy6ffwf5] And even if you could map the entire universe (which I agree is impossible), that does not have to mean that you could predict what would happen next. Not unless you really believed that all the universe is is a bunch of matter/energy randomly bouncing into itself. view post


posted 07 Sep 2004, 10:09 in Philosophy DiscussionBattleground God by Replay, Auditor

There is a part on that site where they say if that you do not talk rationally/logically or contradict yourself, there can be no real discussion. But could not the same be said for them? There can be no real discussion if you define some narrow boundaries and refuse to step outside of them. And besides, what is wrong with contradictions? For instance if I hold up a stick and say this is the top of it, then flip it over and now say that the other end is the top, where's the problem? A contradiction is often nothing more than looking at a truth from multiple angles, each as valid as the other. [quote:2voeso2z]If we could have a mathematical description of God, that would be excellent, because mathematics is the only unarguable thing there is.[/quote:2voeso2z] Interesting. But let's try a little experiment. One hundred multiplied by zero equals zero right? And thirty three multiplied by zero also equals zero? If that is so that, then are not one hundred and thirty three equal? view post


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