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posts by Israfel Peralogue | joined 16 Oct 2007 | 55

posted 16 Oct 2007, 16:10 in The Great Ordeal [supposed]"Murderous Children" by Israfel, Peralogue

Ok, I'm new here, but just thought I'd offer my two pence here. Apologies if it's a bit presumptive to jump in here... If it had just been 'murderous child' I would actually have assumed it was Kellhus' child with Esmi, although it could be either, whether they've been trained in the ways of the Dunyain or not - They would have to be convinced of Kellhus' divinity to be of use to him (think Moe-elder and the rest of them being a danger - with Dunyain training they'd be in the same position), and indoctrinating them in his divine nature before they're conditioned would probably impede their conditioning, possibly making conditioning impossible. So I see them as probably limited to only being as competent as Maithenet if they're not to turn on Kellhus. However it turns out though I'm intrigued to see how the author will resolve that issue. As a side point there, if they have some of the Dunyain ruthlessness, that could be at the heart of any antagonism between the two children, or at least fuel it. Perhaps doubts over Moe junior's parentage might give rise to thoughts from the younger one that Moe's not fit to carry on the mantle, not being a real Anasûrimbor and/or not quite as competent... I'm not sure I'd agree with Madness that Kellhus will be softened and made wiser by his emotions. Remember that emotions aren't all soft and cuddly... And even people whose emotions are strong can be cold and ruthless in pursuing the goals their emotions dictate. Do you think Kellhus would pass up a greater chance to defeat the No-God by not using his children at all? I actually incline towards the opinion of Moënghus (elder) - that Kellhus is actually mad, in one way or another. Given Kellhus' difficulties in predicting Cnaiür's actions due to his madness, it would be a way of standing outside the Dunyain's predictive ability while still being deluded into thinking he'd found an expanded Thousandfold Thought including himself as divinely inspired that placed him outside of the Dunyain's predictions and made him something more. However, I'm definitely with Mysterious and others on the capabilities being fairly close - as has been stated, once freed from Scylvendi traditions Cnaiur's (self-taught) intelligence and perception was astounding, and his reflexes startled Kellhus. So while the Dunyain blood may give the natural child the edge, I'd say Moe jnr isn't going to be very far behind... view post

posted 22 Oct 2007, 15:10 in Off-Topic DiscussionYour First Time by Israfel, Peralogue

Mmm, some interesting sounding things here, shall have to check them out. For me, definitely the Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe. Absolutely amazingly well crafted book with an engaging main character, great storyline, subtle points to consider and with random words for things that you can actually look up if confused... view post

posted 08 Nov 2007, 10:11 in The Thousandfold ThoughtFinished TTT today - my thoughts... Holy War as training - by Israfel, Peralogue

[quote="Callan S.":1tbch80l] Anyway, in terms of the war remember Moenghus realised the spiritual world (or whatever you'd call it) existed - and that by killing enough people, the link to it could be severed. Removing the potential for salvation...and more importantly, damnation. And Moenghus knew he was damned. The war was the first staging ground of mass butcherings for this purpose.[/quote:1tbch80l] Ok, I'll have to go back to the book to be sure, but I'm pretty sure this was Kellhus's reasoning about why Moenghus had to die - because he [i:1tbch80l]would[/i:1tbch80l] realise this, not because he had. In fact, I got the distinct impression that Moenghus was going "wtf is he talking about?" when Kellhus went off on his "when you realise you're damned" speech. It's part of what he sees as Kellhus's madness, so I wouldn't agree that it was Moenghus's rationale for the holy war... view post

posted 08 Nov 2007, 10:11 in Philosophy DiscussionFree Will by Israfel, Peralogue

I'm afraid I'm of the opinion that the question is a pointless one. Without accepting the idea of free will the whole background behind human interaction and one's idea of self ceases to have meaning - it literally is a question without meaning, because it negates both the self and others, and the world as seen through human eyes. I can't remember which philosopher it is, but the person I agree with most on this debate essentially says that even if determinism is true, it's not something that can mean anything to us because all our actions in effect are predicated on the truth of free will. It is impossible to truly believe or act as if free will doesn't exist, and is therefore irrelevent to pursue the matter of whether our actions are actually free. Also if anyone mentions compatibilism they deserve a slap... view post

posted 08 Nov 2007, 15:11 in Philosophy DiscussionFree Will by Israfel, Peralogue

[quote="jub":2sy15dp9]Pointless because you don't like the answer? Or pointless because you fail to gain anything from it? The way I see it, I gain a whole lot from the discussion of free will, in the same way people gain a lot from their belief in a god. [/quote:2sy15dp9] No, not pointless because I don't like the answer, I fully accept that people could get a whole range of subjective bonuses from the discussion of free will. What I don't think is that the question can have any real meaning (see my points below). [quote="jub":2sy15dp9] How does anything change by accepting that we have no free will?[/quote:2sy15dp9] [quote="jub":2sy15dp9]It isn't impossible to believe anything, I could wholeheartedly believe that the sun rotates around the earth; I could believe any number of things. I fail to see how my belief in the non-existence of free will changes anything.[/quote:2sy15dp9] I think you're missing what I'm saying, which is that the way we regard people, and ourselves as people necessarily involves us believing that people are making their own choices and have responsibility for their actions. The way we think every day, the decisions we make, our judgements of others, our justifications to ourselves depend entirely upon the notion of ourselves as free beings. It is impossible to truly accept that you yourself are a robot-like being driven only by causal levers that you have no control over, and, I would suggest, to apply this to others and be an absolute solipsist in this way. The point is that the way we think and act every day depends absolutely on a whole range of assumptions that directly and indirectly assume the existence and force of free will in both yourself and others. Next time you have a negative thought about someone's decision, "I wouldn't have done that, that's a stupid thing to do" for example, you assume that you have a choice and that they do too, as they are morally/otherwise culpable for the action, which they would not be in any real way if determinism was true. So therefore, whether determinism is an actual fact or not, one cannot truly act as if it was true, and thus for me the question is literally a non-question. It is not one that the human mind and english language are equipped to deal with and cannot legitimately be answered in a way that affirms determinism given these contraints upon the human mind and our language, [i:2sy15dp9]regardless of whether or not determinism is a fact[/i:2sy15dp9]. Hope that helps clarify the position I hold on this issue. view post

posted 12 Nov 2007, 01:11 in Philosophy DiscussionFree Will by Israfel, Peralogue

It's true determinism isn't the only thing out there, but the forms of compatibilism I've seen all reduce the concept of "free will" or, in the more sophisticated forms, "choice", to something far less than the everyday understanding. To my mind denying this form of free will is what is in essence nonsensical in the most basic way. There literally is no honest way we can begin to consider ourselves without effective choice, for the reasons I've mentioned, and still less is there a way you could begin to apply that in social relations. Therefore, since even were we able to seriously consider the idea of free will not actually existing (which I would argue against, as stated), it would not be something that would have any ramifications for social matters, and I'd call that a pretty perfect case of a non-question. A question that is possible, perhaps, semantically speaking but makes pretty much no sense investigating from any philosophical or sociological perspective beyond, perhaps, a mere thought experiment. So to me it's a question that's a little like Ryle's Category Error (e.g. someone being shown round all of Oxford University's colleges and buildings and saying afterwards, "yes, but can I please see the [i:oex3zu45]university[/i:oex3zu45], all I've seen are these colleges and facilities") - a basic error in mistaking a semantically possible quesion for one that actually makes sense. I'm not sure what aspect of personal identity you're getting at, could you clarify? But I would mention that I'd probably come at it from a perspective much like Heidegger and perhaps Husserl; that the way we've become used to looking at ourselves in the world, that of a detached observer looking out onto a world of qualia, is a mistaken way of going about it. view post

posted 16 Nov 2007, 22:11 in Philosophy DiscussionFree Will by Israfel, Peralogue

I suspect that the response doubters would leap at is that all that would be a test of is how and to what degree societies conditioned their citizens to cope with the unknown in its different forms. So perhaps someone from an incredibly remote (perhaps, say, prehistoric) tribe, who cast everything in terms of a rigidly ordered world where nothing changed and this was the uncontestable will of their god, would be utterly baffled by being plunged suddenly into modern western society, whereas someone from a more globalised culture, or even simply a more imaginative one, would be better prepared to deal with the situation. view post

posted 17 Nov 2007, 17:11 in Philosophy DiscussionAre depressed people more realistic? by Israfel, Peralogue

Ok, perhaps a slight change in direction, but the original statement sounds like it coulda come more or less out of Heidegger... He doesn't mean entirely the same thing I suspect, but the similarity amuses me nonetheless. For those interested; Heidegger's idea is that we see everything through the context of the Mood we're in, and although the context of Mood isn't very well defined, he basically says that the way we see things in most moods is loaded with background assumptions - a chair is not just an inanimate lump of wood we have no clue about, but something to sit on, etc, but that this tendency leads us to forget that we're all actually locii of possibilies. So we tend to get along by doing things because that's what one does. One sits on the chair and not the table, and sits facing the teacher/lecturer/whatever in educational places. And, to get to the point, he says that there's a certain Mood that makes us realise about the reality of the many possibilities that continually face us, a Mood that serves to shake us out of our everyday rut. This Mood is translated as 'Angst', or 'Anxiety' and has been compared to depression. So if you'd agree with him, then depressed people actually are getting closer to the reality of things. Of course, for Heidegger it is a state that passes, and I suspect that he'd agree that someone who felt it near-constantly would not be better off for it... view post

posted 18 Nov 2007, 03:11 in Philosophy DiscussionFree Will by Israfel, Peralogue

That's pretty much a statement of the more plausible compatibalist theories I've heard. But I can't see how you can argue that the mere act of making a choice can be free if there's no way you could or would ever make a different choice - that seems to me to be reducing the concept of free will far below any rational use of the phrase; saying that you have a choice but will (and can) never choose any other way is to me simply a more dishonest version of determinism. 'Choice' in those terms is not a choice at all. I understand your point about reasons playing the predominant, but in the process of deliberation, one may weigh many reasons against another, and the ability to judge either above the another at a certain moment I would not call random chance. To toss out an example (forgive me if it's overly complex or mildly retarded), if one supposes a case where one is deciding whether to condemn a murderer to death or life imprisonment, there may well be many varying reasons for either side. And while one's past experiences will necessarily have influenced how one views the options, I would suggest that to say that one would always make the same decision is to believe wholeheartedly in determinism - and if that's your point of view you'd do best to leave free will out of your conception at all. However, to believe in the concept of free will, and the possibility of either choice being made, is not to say that it comes down to random chance. It's a case of making a decision that is informed by and probably strongly influenced by the past and reasons, but not being utterly constrained by them. So in this example I can recognise (for example) my great fury at this murderer for killing someone, who perhaps reminds me of a person who killed a relative of mine, and that society would be better off with this person dead, thus. causing me to want to put the killer to death. I can feel there are compelling reasons to put this man to death. However, I nonetheless recognise that the evidence is not entirely fool-proof and perhaps I believe that rehabilitation works better as a penal system than simply locking them away. Or perhaps balancing these reasons I simply weigh up the concept of justice against mercy. The reasons do not change, but which ones I ultimately accept as more convincing is something that I can debate in my mind and decide on through deliberation. The fact that reasons exist and provide motivation does not therefore mean that these reasons compel us to accept them. So I would agree that causes are very often found within our character, but deny the assertion that these causes shackle us to a certain path. And it is that assertion that I believe stands at the centre of the point I made earlier about the lack of sense in asking the question as we do. Added to that, I'd add that the principles of causality aren't quite as rock-solid at their foundation as we'd like to believe. Tossing out things I'm definitely not the best person to elaborate on (but hoping you take the point in the spirit in which it's offered), quantum theory and the idea that if you ran into a wall enough times, theoretically you'd eventually pass through it (something to do with alignment of particles or the like, I believe - sue me, not a scientist...) alone should make us pause and think that perhaps we should not take as coldly mechanical a point of view as I would suggest is taken in the above post. Okay, that was possibly an overlong way of saying, "good points, but I still disagree". Beg pardon. I'll try to think on it some more and come up with some points that will perhaps do your argument more justice. view post

posted 21 Nov 2007, 18:11 in Philosophy DiscussionFree Will by Israfel, Peralogue

[quote="Randal":3emwejj1]The problem is, I fail to see the distinction. The causes do not shackle us to a certain path? What -then- are your choices [i:3emwejj1]based[/i:3emwejj1] on? If you choose to execute the murderer in your example, why? And if next you do not, why not?[/quote:3emwejj1] The answer here would be, the way I see it, if you choose to execute the murderer, that would be because you let your anger overcome your beliefs, or upheld one reason for doing it over another. There are motivating reasons that could push you either way. [quote="Randal":3emwejj1]Why would you choose differently if the circumstances are the same? I honestly see no reason why anybody ever would. Or should. What meaning do our choices have, after all, if they can change... for no discernable reason?[/quote:3emwejj1] You would choose differently because you have reasons on both sides, that often struggle against each other. What tips the balance can be many things, a surge of anger, a moment of clarity or inspiration that comes to you regarding the morality of your acts, a resolution one way or the other that depends on your volition and will-power. It seems to me that you're assuming that people's reasons for doing things are always reasonable. Which is blatently untrue - someone might kill another for sport, stop an argument by force because they're bored, do something they regret later while angry, depressed and so forth, and so I can see many reasons why people would make different decisions given the same reasons and time to reason in. [quote="Randal":3emwejj1]However, I also think that your deliberations would bring you to the same result in the end in any and all possible paralel universes provided the circumstances remain the same. You would think the same thoughts and arrive at the same conclusions. Why? Simply, because you are doing the best you can given your capacities. So you always choose what you think best or most pleasant, etc.[/quote:3emwejj1] This strikes me to be so overly optimistic I'm astounded - and I'm a liberal and oft-time optimist myself. People don't always do what they think is best or most pleasant. People often drift through life without thinking, without challenging social norms with their beliefs even when they're deliberating. People often do things they regret, sometimes only seconds later, and to say that they were doing the best they could according to their capacities strips away any kind of notion of moral responsibility you could possibly have. If everyone is doing the best they can, and it's the only thing they can, or ever could, do, there's no way on earth you could possibly blame them. As well as 'choice' being bereft of meaning in your interpretation, then, you also have stripped the idea of responsibility for one's actions of any kind of relevence. If all we are doing is determined by internal systems of reasoning within our head, and these in turn are caused by a multitude of other factors, also unable to be anything but determined by their causes, then you are left with full blown determinism and no matter how much you claim it for this theory, the idea of 'choice' and, as mentioned above, 'responsibility' has no place within it. We might have an illusion of choice, but this in no way affects the fact that there's no way you can legitimately blame, criticise, praise, appreciate anyone, and many other things besides. All you are doing is acting out the result of many causal levels upon your brain. I'm not sure determinists and compatibalists realise the extent to which they are attempting to strip the world of meaning... [quote="Randal":3emwejj1]I suppose I am not very much hung up on the question of whether the choice is "free" or not. I don't care, as long as I am still exercising judgement, still trying to find the best path. That to me is a lot more relevant than any ephermeal concept of "free will."[/quote:3emwejj1] But this is exactly what you're [i:3emwejj1]not[/i:3emwejj1] doing by your account... You are not "exercising" judgement at all. Your brain is merely following a path laid out for it in advance, and your brain is simply experiencing something that is essentially an [i:3emwejj1]illusion[/i:3emwejj1] of judgement. No analysis is taking place, no choice is the end result, that isn't entirely set up in advance - because the importance of different reasons is set by your experiences (and can't change, which is the key point in your argument), things that have caused you to think in certain ways determine what you'll do in advance, and so you're no more "trying to find the best path" and "exercising judgement" than a robot programmed to move in certain ways. [quote="Randal":3emwejj1]PS: Quantum theory is a nice one, often pushed forward by people advocating free will. Unfortunately, quantum universe does not support a truly free will either, as all it allows for in the way of undetermined events is random chance.[/quote:3emwejj1] I'm not saying quantum theory on its own proves free will. What I'm saying is that the purely deterministic and mechanical conception of the universe has taken a hit with Quantum theory - why shouldn't it take another hit by acknowledging free will :wink: I'm sure finding new laws for it would be difficult, but not necessarily impossible. That's conjecture of course, but I'm essentially pulling a Hamlet without resorting to religion; "There are more things in heaven and earth..." etc. But also, I personally wouldn't be averse to a conception of consciousness in which the role of chance played its part. Why shouldn't things like inspiration, of whatever kind (musical, artistic, social), genuinely new ideas that strike out of the blue, and perhaps other things too, have a certain element of chance? Maybe (to take it further, though I wouldn't necessarily agree with the following) your account of having to act a certain way is true, but certain realisations only come to me randomly, and it is this randomness that causes parallel universes. And what would be wrong with this compared to your purely mechanical version where we can do nothing but what we do? Either way we have no genuine control over our actions, but in one version those actions are fixed and in others there's a degree of chance. It seems to me you have no legitimate way of criticising one without criticising the other. view post

posted 21 Nov 2007, 21:11 in The Warrior ProphetLogos is theft by Israfel, Peralogue

Not sure I'm getting the way people are construing the issue here, but the way I saw it, the Logos, or rather the Dunyain's use of it to make the rest of the world [i:1ypwem2m]their[/i:1ypwem2m] slaves rather than just "slaves of the world" (as they put it) was not so much theft - though they are certainly stealing other's usual volition, as far as that goes - as getting ignoring/doing away with a problem of morality that crops up sometimes; that there is a difference for you morally between killing someone yourself and letting them die. Or of someone else killing someone or you killing them. It says if someone else isn't as aware of their actions as you, or if their actions can be manipulated by you instead of by events that just happen, you are fully justified in taking advantage of that and using any means to achieve your aims. So I'd say the theft comes from a deeper source really... view post

posted 22 Nov 2007, 01:11 in Philosophy DiscussionFree Will by Israfel, Peralogue

[quote="jub":mz77zt58]So how does this make us any less of a 'robot programmed to move in certain ways'? Are you suggesting at some point in your judgement you way up the possible decisions, and act on what you [i:mz77zt58]feel[/i:mz77zt58] is best? So to put it crudely, you systematically eliminate possible decisions until you find the most probable action for success. Or do you somehow avoid using any form of judgement in your decision making?[/quote:mz77zt58] Not sure I understand the question you're asking here; The reason you wouldn't be like a robot if you had free will would be the existence of a genuine choice. Battling internal causes that depend on an exercise of will, or at least acquiescence of an intellect with the capacity for choice, to motivate action is the very opposite of a robot. Hence my confusion with your question. Judgement is of course exercised in choice, but it is not the systematic elimination of possibilities whereby we eventually come to one answer - that seems to me to be what is being suggested in the deterministic/mechanical conceptions of human action. Nor, I would argue, is it simply the stronger feeling that wins out. We decide which arguments persuade us, or at least whether we act upon the contradictary dictates of our different feelings and rational judgements (which both often conflict amongst aspects of themselves as well as each other), and to conceive of judgement in the above ways seems to me to be demonstrably incorrect and overly simplistic, as well as condemning one to a coldly deterministic world whereby you're placed in the odd predicament of having to disbelieve in meaning while living in a world full of it... I would say one's judgement is composed of many aspects, both emotional and rational, with some of those aspects hidden even to ourselves at first glance as well as the usual elements we are aware of. When we are considering whether to give money to a beggar, there's (for example) the sympathy we feel for another being in distress, the consideration that they might spend the money on booze, any moral code we follow that might dictate kindness to strangers or those in need, perhaps even a feeling of mild revulsion at their appearance, which we might not even admit to ourselves. These all combine in different ways, and then you get onto issues of self-analysis, or aims you have (other uses for the money?) and other beliefs about society, yourself, and so forth. These combines to form various arguments for and against. How you finally act, what final weight you give to them is what I would suggest is not (and cannot sensibly) be determined. Do you side with certain feelings over others (revulsion vs empathy), rational reasons over others (giving money to charity vs money that will help individuals now), all of which have a certain weight beforehand in your mind, perhaps, but with the myriad interpretations and complexity (as well as lack of certainty) it's nothing so simple as weighing two scale in your head and the result that wins dictates your actions. God, listen to me ramble on. Apologies if my replies aren't always amazingly insightful, but I'm still exploring the issue myself and trying to weigh up what I actually think as well as argue the point :) view post

posted 29 Nov 2007, 11:11 in Philosophy DiscussionFree Will by Israfel, Peralogue

An action is free (in the sense of free will) if in making a decision about actions, there is a genuine choice about which action we will in fact take. If there is not an actual sense in which another decision could have been made then the action is purely determined by other factors, both inside yourself and out - you put in certain stimuli and through a complex reaction inside of you (elements of which are structural and all of these are themselves determined by outside factors according to a determinist viewpoint) a certain action results. Essentially mine is a conception of action in which the consciousness has a choice to make, and can genuinely decide which way to go. Further ideas of mine about how the internal process works I included in my posts above. view post

posted 02 Dec 2007, 17:12 in Philosophy DiscussionFree Will by Israfel, Peralogue

Then there's no genuine choice or decision being made, because everything about the decision is predetermined - it's saying that our consciousness runs down predetermined paths, so there is no way that person can genuinely make the decision to do another thing. Therefore determinism can't say that the consciousness has a choice and a genuine decision to make. Our consciousness might believe that it has the decision, but would not actually have it if there was never any possibility that another action would take place. The idea of a genuine decision nowhere enters determinism, because by the model you give, we must accept that past habits of thinking and information of which we are aware completely control how our thoughts will go and which decision we will make. This is clearly not compatible with the idea of a genuine choice to be made by our consciousness; In that case our consciousness is like a cog in a machine that can only turn one way given the pressures put on it. I'm struggling to see how one would conceive of this as anything resembling an actual choice (beyond the simple impression that you're making a choice). view post

posted 03 Dec 2007, 18:12 in Literature DiscussionWho is most offensive. by Israfel, Peralogue

My favourite offensive bit in Terry Goodkind is when the main character is dissing a mildly disabled person begging for food for his children, responding to his plea for money with "well, your bad back obviously didn't prevent you from having children, did it?". His constant wittering on about his anti-religion-and-communist-and-fascist-and-anything-I-hate polemics did annoy me by the end of the series. As a bit of a fan of Heinlein, I didn't find his stuff offensive, I just think he went a bit soppy at the end with his universe as myth stuff - since they exist somewhere else, it would be terrible not to have them live happily ever after. Also, a lot of the writing in that series isn't nearly as good as his other works. But I'm in agreement with Dassem Ultor that he was writing about stuff that was totally out there from his cultural stand-point, and in exploring those taboos was raising a lot of interesting points, which he does fairly tastefully (if not always well). Plus I'm a sucker for redheads. Haven't read any Hubbard but I assume I'd hate him. And the Seer King stuff I thought was mostly harmless. A little overly teenage, but harmless. view post

Re: Just finished Thousandfold Thought posted 05 Dec 2007, 16:12 in The Thousandfold ThoughtJust finished Thousandfold Thought by Israfel, Peralogue

[quote="JGoose":1pmtmz1t]2. I got the idea that Kellhus brought about the "Apocalypse" with the end of the old ways and the beginning of the new ways under the new Aspect-Emperor Kellhus. But with all of this...where does the Consult and the No-God fit in? I understand Kellhus's apocalypse is a metaphorical apocalypse but I was expecting a big showdown between Achiamian and Kellhus vs. the No-God...was anybody else? [/quote:1pmtmz1t] Erm, I think that the actual second Apocalypse is still to come... The Thousandfold Thought isn't the last book that follows this storyline, it's just the last in the first trilogy. So I'd expect the No-God to make an appearance eventuallly. There are loads of people here who can answer the other questions far better than I can, so I'll leave it to them to do so. view post

posted 06 Dec 2007, 03:12 in Literature DiscussionR Jordan passed away by Israfel, Peralogue

Book 10 was so-so, but book 11 was fantastic. It's just terribly sad that he died before he could finish 12. I suspect leaving a grand project unfinished must be one of the worst things that could happen to an artist. view post

posted 11 Dec 2007, 00:12 in Author Q & AAny up coming Novels with entirety Of THe Apocalypse? by Israfel, Peralogue

I for one am not disappointed in the least by the sci-fi/fantasy mix that seems set up. Bakker could easily make this series into something as great as the Book of the New Sun, which is an example of how to mix the two well, and the magic seems real enough so I'm happy... And I'd imagine that any questions that are left unanswered could easily be answered by a prequel of some description, possibly a set of short stories or something. I'm confident we'll be happy by the end, though obviously more reading material is always good :) view post

posted 11 Dec 2007, 02:12 in The Thousandfold ThoughtJust finished Thousandfold Thought by Israfel, Peralogue

Though what the book directly states is at least ambiguous enough to have spawned this topic... view post

posted 12 Dec 2007, 01:12 in The Great Ordeal [supposed]Top 10 list of things to do while waiting on Great Ordeal. by Israfel, Peralogue

Maybe get a quick shot off while trying it on in a shop? Then everyone can see your new affiliation... American sports stuff is confuzzling. view post

posted 13 Dec 2007, 19:12 in Literature DiscussionPulp Fiction (No, not the movie) by Israfel, Peralogue

Wasn't stuff like the Barsoom originally pulp fiction? Astoundings and the like. I really need to read more of the pulps... view post

posted 21 Dec 2007, 00:12 in The Warrior ProphetCnaiur question by Israfel, Peralogue

Can't recall the broken pieces reference, but the someone he's forgetting to hate is surely Kellhus? view post

posted 03 Jan 2008, 06:01 in Author Q & AWhy did the Dunyain learn how to fight? by Israfel, Peralogue

Well, I saw it as partly a side-effect of their philosophical system, partly a way to test that under extremely distracting conditions and partly a way to protect themselves and their way of life should they be discovered at some point in the future - a form of insurance as they are essentially creatures of rationality and wouldn't get as complacent as others might in their situation... view post

posted 05 Jan 2008, 19:01 in The Thousandfold ThoughtAre Humans aliens on this world. by Israfel, Peralogue

That would be "raises the question"... /pedantry It could just that the Inchori landed there because there was life on it when they came across it... view post

Re: Is Kellhus really a prophet? posted 12 Jan 2008, 14:01 in The Thousandfold ThoughtIs Kellhus really a prophet? by Israfel, Peralogue

[quote="Mandati Wannabe":2y5knz62]And finally, the haloes on his hands, which everybody who believes he's a prophet sees, sometimes constantly, usually in glimpses. However, after reading this wonderful trilogy for the fourth time, I noticed one little line in TWP that made this whole theory come crashing down for me..... When Serwe is getting raped/interrogated by the skin-spy posing as Kellhus, [i:2y5knz62]she still sees the haloes around his hands[/i:2y5knz62] Could this simply be a mass hallucination? As in, everybody sees these haloes because they [i:2y5knz62]want[/i:2y5knz62] to see some visible sign of him being a prophet, stemming from a belief that Inri Sejenus had haloed hands as well? [/quote:2y5knz62] Although I thought Akka also saw the halos even though he didn't believe Kellhus was a prophet... I'd have to reread it to be sure though. view post

posted 12 Jan 2008, 18:01 in The Warrior ProphetLogos is theft by Israfel, Peralogue

Yeh, it's a totally silly point of view though... People die every day, killed by the world in earthquakes and such. Many are killed by other people in many different situations. All of which detracts not a jot from the fact that you're still morally responsible when you yourself kill them. Agency is a pretty key concept in moral thought... view post

posted 21 Jan 2008, 22:01 in The Thousandfold ThoughtKelhus vs ... by Israfel, Peralogue

[quote="Warrior-Poet":3icams9p]The only person that could probably defeat Kellhus, is someone from the Dune series, whether it be the Bene Gesserit, a mentat, Paul Muad'Dib, or one of his various descendants, in a universe where manipulation is everyone's game and nearly everyone is a super genius he would be doomed[/quote:3icams9p] Kinda agree - I'd only give even odds on Paul Muad'Dib though. The fact that he has the weirding way, the great control (with Voice) and can see into the future(s) just about counteract the dunyain conditioning, analysis and mandate sorcery in my book. Even if the other people in the Dune series were able to resist his manipulation, he'd tear them to pieces with sorcery before they got close. I suppose a Bene Gesserit mother who also possessed the great control might stand a bit of a chance though. I actually can't think of anyone else I'd send against Kellhus - the whole sorcery being a violation of reality kinda suggests to me that even gods/spirits etc wouldn't stand too much of a chance given Kellhus can adjust to read intention in the smallest of actions (even if some could keep emotion off their face, simple physical action and patterns of behaviour tell him bags), is an absolute master swordsman because he doesn't rely on skill but placing himself in the correct moment (kinda an advanced form of the void from WoT), as well as his ridiculously powerful sorcery. I'd place something close to even odds if he was jumped, though - by an Aes Sedai/Ashaman who wasted no time for example... view post

posted 21 Jan 2008, 23:01 in The Judging EyeMaithanet by Israfel, Peralogue

Bear in mind that Maithenet had 20 years of following his father's directives; is it not likely that either he recognised the validity of the TTT (not necessarily had grasped it himself, but was prepared to follow someone who had), or that Moenghus had indoctrinated him at some level to enable him to be controlled by an actual Dunyain? Either he's been used to following a 'real' Dunyain as the possessor of a truth that's beyond him, or he's able to be manipulated. I don't really see any other reason for him going along with Moenghus's plans for his whole life given he's had some Dunyain training himself... view post

posted 22 Jan 2008, 18:01 in The Judging EyeThe Judging Eye by Israfel, Peralogue

I'm just getting flashbacks to that penny arcade strip, personally. And yes, hurrah for there being three books instead of 2. Can't wait. view post

posted 25 Jan 2008, 20:01 in The Thousandfold ThoughtWhat drove Kellhus mad? by Israfel, Peralogue

It was the time on the Circumfix, I'm pretty sure. Moenghus, when he meets Kellhus, says his probablity trance failed him at that point, and comments a little later that he didn't forsee that it would break him rather than enlighten him. It's from that point onwards that he starts to see halos around himself, I believe. Although I personally am coming round to the view that being mad, he has opened himself to the outside and the divine (see Cnaiur's report of what Akka says about the connection between madness and divinity), I'd say it was definitely that point (when he weeps onwards, essentially) that he starts going mad, and the voices convince him of 'destiny' and that damnation and salvation are facts. view post

posted 28 Jan 2008, 01:01 in Literature DiscussionBarker, Butcher, Gaiman by Israfel, Peralogue

Don't believe I've read the first two authors. But of Gaiman's work Neverwhere is my favourite. Might have something to do with living in London though... view post

posted 30 Jan 2008, 03:01 in Philosophy DiscussionEvolution vs Creation by Israfel, Peralogue

[quote="dirk69er":350p1rt3]Ok, I will just say one thing about this subject. Whether you agree or not evolution is a religion. It is governed by a set of beliefs. It is taught dogmatically as a doctrine. It has elements within it that cannot be explained completely yet. It is based on faith, many of the things that I have learned in college never seemed to have a concrete basis which led to much confusion on my part.[/quote:350p1rt3] I think you'll find that how it's taught depends on the teacher. And there are elements in all parts of science (of course!) that can't be completely explained - anywhere there isn't a theory that seems to adequately explain the facts. But it's based on accumulated evidence and our best guess at theories based on that, rather than straight 'faith'. Science is a collection of theories that haven't been disproved, that most seem to fit the facts at the time. Of course, we can perform certain tests that may indicate a state of affairs one way or another, but if concrete evidence came along that disproved a favoured theory then it would have to be abandoned. And I think any scientist who was asked wouldn't say that science as it is currently has all the answers (though some might say it will get there eventually), especially on evolution where you require lots of evidence that's difficult to get hold of. I certainly haven't met any scientists who claim that evolution is necessarily true in all respects as it is presented today. However, the current balance of evidence supports evolution as a general theory, despite many wranglings over specifics, and so that's the generally accepted theory. There may well be people who cling to science as they were taught it as dogma, insisting there was no evidence that could sway them otherwise, but I don't think you'd find many who could be correctly described as scientists. view post

posted 30 Jan 2008, 03:01 in Philosophy Discussionthe bible is the solution by Israfel, Peralogue

The same reason he allows human beings to kill and torture each other in his name? Surely whatever reason/s cover/s that would do fine for human beings altering holy texts... view post

posted 30 Jan 2008, 20:01 in Philosophy Discussionthe bible is the solution by Israfel, Peralogue

Yup, give me Quakers any day. view post

posted 30 Jan 2008, 20:01 in The Thousandfold ThoughtKelhus vs ... by Israfel, Peralogue

I fink Kellhus would poke his eyes out wif a pointy sword. view post

posted 31 Jan 2008, 12:01 in Philosophy Discussionthe bible is the solution by Israfel, Peralogue

[quote="Harrol":1knkomby]Israfel could you please explain your post I am dense therefore I missed your point.[/quote:1knkomby] It was just a flippant reply to Mandati Wannabe :) [quote="Mandati Wannabe":1knkomby]It's for this same reason that I believe that no one religion, or spiritual text for that matter, is even capable of being 100% Truth. We are all fundamentally different from each other, so how could just one interpretation of God suffice for all of us? If you choose to truly believe, then I believe God will show itself to you, as you need to view it. This doesn't make your view of God any more correct, or any more false, than anyone else's.[/quote:1knkomby] This could be a loose statement of what the [url=]Quakers[/url:1knkomby] (that's a link btw) tend to stress. Or for those who dislike following links, a bit of background. To quote from wiki: [quote:1knkomby]George Fox and the other early Quaker preachers believed that direct experience of God was available to all people, without mediation (e.g. through hired clergy, or through outward sacraments). Fox described this by writing that "Christ has come to teach His people Himself."[/quote:1knkomby] Generally the Quakers are a very nice organisation of mostly non-hierarchical Christian folk who are and have been very active in campaigning for people around the world, especially on issues of conscience. They were greatly involved in ending slavery in Britain and nowadays often are involved in anti-torture, anti-arms trade stuff. Their meetings consist of a lot of silent contemplation and waiting to be moved by God. The nicest Christians you'll encounter today, in my experience. Hence my comment... :) view post

posted 01 Feb 2008, 01:02 in Philosophy Discussionthe bible is the solution by Israfel, Peralogue

Quakers (in England anyway, I hear some do in America) don't have a clergy (I said non-hierarchical, remember) and I haven't noticed any sacraments. It's all about Christ/God inside you. So I don't know what you're getting at with that point, Mandati :) view post

posted 01 Feb 2008, 02:02 in Philosophy Discussionthe bible is the solution by Israfel, Peralogue

Ah, thought you'd spotted something in there I hadn't... You had me worried for a moment :) view post

posted 02 Feb 2008, 18:02 in Author Q & AGnosis vs. Anagogis, and sorcery in general by Israfel, Peralogue

I don't know if we get hints during TTT that it's some kind of liberation from encumbent reality towards the truth - I seem to recall that at one point it rather seems to suggest that it's not that they reveal the truth behind reality so much as play with the idea of reality given by the dead language. And that's tied into why sorcery has a mark and appears as a disruption of 'God's universe' - reality may be manipulated but it's not covering all the angles, possibly due to the fact that the language (and philosophy/poetry behind it) hasn't encapsulated all there is. Then there's the Psuhke, which is about direct comprehension of the world through feeling and blinding yourself to the angle you're so used to that obscures all the others. *Goes off to write a treatise on how the Psuhke resembles so-called continental philosophy, while the Anagogic and Gnostic sorceries correspond to the 'analytic' school* And just to comment on the post above the last (whoo, necromancy); [quote="Cynical Cat":1ydp6uj2]3) The Psuhke is an intuitive and emotional, rather than intellectual attempt at sorcery. The blinding they undergo is to help the sorcerer perceive the appearance of the Onta through his connection to the Outside. It's why their sorcery appears like the work of nature, they have the feel of reality. It does mean that they don't have an intellectual understanding of magic and it appears to be weaker as well as less complex.[/quote:1ydp6uj2] I'm pretty sure the Psuhke wasn't weaker - the Scarlet Spires say it's pretty damn strong. It's just that it's horrendously unsubtle, the battering-ram of the magic world. view post

posted 05 Feb 2008, 01:02 in Philosophy DiscussionEvolution vs Creation by Israfel, Peralogue

And that's why socio-biology/evolutionary psychology is a load of tosh. While individual parts of it are occasionally falsifiable, as a whole it's unprovable. Bah to bad science. view post

posted 06 Feb 2008, 16:02 in Philosophy DiscussionThe Reaction of a New Religion by Israfel, Peralogue

Isn't Atheism more or less a rude word in the US? That was the impression I've been getting over the years... I mean, forget a black or female president, an atheist president would be a start. view post

posted 10 Feb 2008, 21:02 in General DiscusssionWhat if Kellhus was one of us? by Israfel, Peralogue

That's a lot of optimism, and I've gotta say, it reads to me like you've deliberately thrown that in to get a heated argument going :D "I think that the only reason that Khellus (and his father) were able to control people was because peoples convictions weren't that strong" - I think you'll find that in TTT Kellhus manages to control people whose convictions are incredibly strong. In fact, he seems to use them even easier because that strength of conviction gives him an especially powerful level in their psyche. Also, modern understandings of human rights doesn't prevent a lot of dodgy morality play going on, and even now people can be subtly manipulated through use of flattery, contrariness, etc if you know how they'd react - and Dunyain do. Kellhus doesn't always just read people, state his knowlede of inside their head and then say a new belief that they then follow, he uses their beliefs and fears etc and then subtly guides them around to a useful way of thinking. He finds arguments that will have the most impact and then sets them up in ways that you'll find convincing. People are open books to Kellhus, but that doesn't mean he just reads them - he has methods of manipulation that draw out people's doubts, and plays on their thoughts and feelings until their ways of thinking have been subtly misdirected. I think 20th Century people would be just as vulnerable as any other. view post

posted 16 Feb 2008, 19:02 in General DiscusssionWhat if Kellhus was one of us? by Israfel, Peralogue

Well, think of the election process in America. Primaries, but especially caucuses still go gaga over that whole personal touch. And we know Kellhus can work crowds. Plus I'd echo Harrol in pointing out that it's not like demagogues or popular politicians have disappeared... We may be more cynical in some respects but there are still millions of gullible people out there. I think he'd just need someone to teach him mass-marketing or propaganda tools (like Cnaiur taught him war) and then he'd be made... Once he's elected or whatnot, all he's got to do is keep individuals and corporations happy and we know he could do that. It might be the first time a leader of one of our 'democracies' wasn't bound on all sides by corporate interests... view post

posted 19 Feb 2008, 18:02 in The Thousandfold ThoughtKelhus vs ... by Israfel, Peralogue

Although if said pointy sword penetrated to the brain then even Oracular vision might not be so useful... It'd probably come down to whether the Logos's ability to determine the best course for action given what's gone before could trump oracular prediction, or if the oracular sight can work as efficiently as the Logos - certainly for Paul Maud Dib it wasn't the super weapon it's being made out as, and if Kellhus is fast enough and the logos is useful enough then all possible futures might lead to death... view post

posted 25 Feb 2008, 17:02 in The Thousandfold ThoughtWhat drove Kellhus mad? by Israfel, Peralogue

Well, my suspicion is that even in The Prince of Nothing world, all madmen don't have exactly the same insights or opinions or perceptions of the nature of the world and the 'outside', etc. And that their delusions wouldn't always be benign or helpful. So in my opinion, while being mad might indeed mean they're influenced by the outside, this is not necessarily a good thing, and having a madman in charge is still going to be a serious problem... view post

posted 28 Feb 2008, 02:02 in Philosophy DiscussionDo you believe a God exists? by Israfel, Peralogue

Although if I recall, many religions have deities that are supposed to be responsible for nasty stuff, or reflect the negative side of a good/evil dichotomy, from Set to Loki... view post

posted 10 Mar 2008, 17:03 in Philosophy DiscussionDo you believe a God exists? by Israfel, Peralogue

[quote="jub":jlyhxjod]The link provided before is as useless attempt to hurt current religions and beliefs in a biblical God. It is a pointless rant, backed up by a biased view, by some atheist with a grudge. And please, for future discussion, can we refrain from using a biblical account of God? It is flawed, we all know it, it's been known since antiquity.[/quote:jlyhxjod] I believe that the problem there comes from the fact that most Christians I know object to the accusation that they are 'picking and choosing' their Christianity. However, unless you are taking the bible in its entirety (at least the sections Jesus doesn't openly say he's revoking) completely literally then in a sense you are indeed just picking and choosing* and you have very little ground to stand on when you criticise other variants of Christianity, or even the other Abrahamic religions. You're relying on flawed human reasoning to pick and choose which parts of the good book/equivalents you believe... Of course, if you're fine with that, then there's no problem in not using biblical accounts of God. * (although from the arguments I've seen about how apocrypha got labled as such probably even if you are taking it literally, but that's a different argument) view post

posted 14 Mar 2008, 12:03 in Philosophy DiscussionDo you believe a God exists? by Israfel, Peralogue

I always thought it was a bit rich of Hermes there, since the Greek Gods show favour right left and centre. And of course, the 'make others angry' justification is only one that works for polytheism. I do of course realise you didn't mean that part literally, however... My problem with the fact that it would turn heads by having solid evidence of divine intervention is that it comes down to who arranged things so that they would seem to be 'evidence' - why, it turns out to be God. This is a God who could just have easily have placed a few loopholes in his creation to allow him to effect cures for cancer patients, amputees, sick babies etc, while keeping everything else the same and leaving people to wonder. It doesn't matter if we ourselves can't immediately think, or even ever conceive of such a way. Because this is an [i:3sobvj3m]all-powerful[/i:3sobvj3m], [i:3sobvj3m]all-knowing[/i:3sobvj3m] God who could do things like that, not just some hack off the streets of the Norse pantheon... :wink: view post

Re: interesting posted 23 Mar 2008, 13:03 in Philosophy DiscussionDoes every individual share the same basic rights? by Israfel, Peralogue

[quote="JGoose":23a7crk8]This subject can go anywhere you want. If you believe in Tabula Raza where when you are born you are born as a blank slate then yes everyone is equal and everyone deserves the same rights, but if you believe in Tabula Raza then your environment determines who you are and because not everybody lives in the same environment with the same circumstances, not everybody believes in the same things as rights.[/quote:23a7crk8] That would be 'Tabula Rasa' :) Personally I think rights stem from the fact that there's no way we can be sure in judging between rival systems of values. Even if there [i:23a7crk8]is[/i:23a7crk8] a way to do the judging, we can never be sure we've got the right one. And yet humans require justification for the things they do. Since we lack the means to judge between cultural ideas of morality, let alone individual ones, therefore, the only way to legitimise anything is through consent. This effectively works out as a right to live, and probably several others too once you've cashed it out fully... view post

posted 25 Mar 2008, 02:03 in Literature DiscussionTerry Goodkind engages in rape fantasy? by Israfel, Peralogue

A Moral Unknown = Terry Goodkind himself come to make the case for his polemics? Is it just me that had to skip several sections at the end of the last book because he'd started repeating himself? My favourite part of Richard advancing Terry's views in the series comes in the 6th one, Faith of the Fallen, when he refuses to help a disabled man because his disabilities didn't stop him from siring children and thus his troubles were brought upon himself... Broadly speaking, Moral Unkown is right; Goodkind occasionally makes very good points, but his love of stating the obvious in bombastic tones tends to put me off even when I agree with him. Engaging with interesting and important themes isn't always engaging in a readable manner with faultless, utterly impeccable logic... view post

posted 29 Mar 2008, 23:03 in General DiscusssionWhat is the name of Kellhus's sword? by Israfel, Peralogue

I'd completely forgotten it had a name, but I believe Cohen's right... My copies of the books are several hundred miles away or I'd go check for you. view post

posted 01 Apr 2008, 11:04 in Philosophy DiscussionDoes every individual share the same basic rights? by Israfel, Peralogue

David Carr's Virtue ethics, if I had to choose any of the main(ish) schools of thought... >_> Actually, Peter Railton's form of consequentialism is pretty nifty, though not technically Utilitarianism. But as I see it, Utilitarianism and Kantianism are both jokes by any sane standard of ethics. See Bernard Williams' arguments on the matter. My favourite point he makes is that they both fail to incorporate the means to justify their own appeal... view post

posted 05 May 2008, 21:05 in The Thousandfold ThoughtAchamian and the Ciphrang by Israfel, Peralogue

anor277 has it right, I believe. Possibly the wounds Achamian inflicted got the demon eventually, or it broke free of the orders it'd been given and ran off elsewhere, dropping Akka in the sea. view post

posted 06 May 2008, 23:05 in Philosophy DiscussionIs God Flawed??? by Israfel, Peralogue

Do you mean John Milton? Okay, not a Christian really, so I may be wrong, but though I think you're right in saying that the war in heaven and satan's rebellion isn't directly in the bible, it's part of established christian myth that was there long before either great poet, and is often linked to passages in revelations and genesis, for example. view post

posted 19 May 2008, 22:05 in Philosophy DiscussionWhat happens when your soul leaves your body? by Israfel, Peralogue

I'd be happy with the whole What Dreams May Come account... view post


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