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Curious if you... posted 12 February 2004 in Author Q & ACurious if you... by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Probably for the best. It's never nice seeing someone getting flamed, particularly when it's my ass on the BBQ! view post


On The Warrior Prophet posted 12 February 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

And I (almost) completely agree with you Jack. As Johnny Cochrane might say, truths that flatter rarely matter. People regularly choose the simplistic over the complex, the certain over the uncertain, and the flattering over the troubling.

The problem arises when you realize just what the 'evidence' you speak of implies. For instance, the are you willing to surrender your belief in free will (which grounds responsibility which grounds morality)? If so, then you're a nihilist. If not, then you're a 'there's-gotta-be-morist' like me. Free will, I'm afraid to say, is every bit as spooky as God from a thoroughgoing scientific perspective.

When it comes to the production of reliable truth-claims I'll be the first to admit that science is the only game in town. But that doesn't make it any less pernicious to all those things we cherish as 'human.' As a species, we really find ourselves in a pickle, knowledge-wise.

Get a load of this: the more we come to know, the more it seems that knowledge (which depends on 'right and wrong') is an illusion.

I think this is why fantasy is as compelling as it is: it gives us worlds that intrinsically MEAN something at a time when it's becoming more and more apparent that our world is meaningless.

People will argue against this, of course, but who are you going to bet on, traditionalists with their grandiose flatteries, philosophers with their endless circles of reason, or the guys whose methodology has made things like thermonuclear explosions and computers possible? Seems like a no-brainer to me... view post


Other authors you enjoy posted 12 February 2004 in Author Q & AOther authors you enjoy by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

GRRM is king, no doubt about it. Whether he's built that bridge or not remains to be seen!

Leibniz is the very model of clarity when it comes to the Germans. Wait till you sink your dentures in Hegel. He and Spinoza are just so alien because in the great battle of who-would-define-modern-thinking, Descartes won...

You gotta think like a Scholastic. view post


On The Warrior Prophet posted 12 February 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Wil, Head Moderator

I must admit that this is all a new concept to me.

You've mentioned things off-handedly that I've never even considered.

I've never considered science as an "unraveling character".

Personally I am agnostic. It doesn’t make sense that there is nothing out there, but I just haven’t figured out what it is yet. It seems to me that if God really did want all of us to believe him and join his True Church (Whatever it may be) the skies would open and a loud, thundering voice would say "HELLO, HERE I AM".

I was raised LDS (Latter-Day Saint AKA Mormon), but many of the beliefs that were given to me were contradictory and just seemed wrong. Anyway, I love reading all this new information on a subject I've never carefully considered, and I encourage you to get all of your "writing need" out right here on the board. It's fascinating. view post


On The Warrior Prophet posted 13 February 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Shael, Commoner

Let me join in the fun. I think this topic is really interesting. Let me throw something out there.

I am a Christian, but i'd like to talk about atheism, because it is an interesting concept. If God does not exist then that means that science is the only thing that governs the universe. Because we live in the universe, our lives must be a product of science. If you've ever taken science in school, you'll realize that biology is really just a form of chemistry, which is a form of physics, which is math, which is all a bunch of numbers and variables.

That would mean life is really just a bunch of numbers. The interesting thing about this is that if we knew exactly how the universe began, then we would have all of the variables for how the universe works, and could predict the future exactly. Obviously this is impossible for us to do, but its just a fun little theory. view post


Other authors you enjoy posted 13 February 2004 in Author Q & AOther authors you enjoy by delavagus, Commoner

For some reason I heard your last line to the tune of "Walk Like An Egyptian."

Other bits of Leibniz I've read make more sense than this fricken essay. Try this on: "I believe that the nature of body does not consist in extension alone; in unraveling the notion of extension, I noticed that it is relative to something which must be spread out [extendi], and that it signifies a diffusion or repetition of a certain nature. For every repetition (or collection of things of the same kind) is either discrete, as, for example, in things that are counted, where the parts of the aggregate are distinguished, or continuous, where the parts are indeterminate [indeterminata] and one can obtain parts in an infinite number of ways." Come again? Later in the paragraph: "Since extension is a continuous and simulataneous repetition (just as duration is a successive repetition), it follows that whenever the same nature is diffused through many things at the same time, as, for example, malleability or specific gravity or yellowness is in gold, whiteness is in milk, and resistance or impenetratability is generally in body, extension is said to have place. However, it must be confessed that the continuous diffusion of color, weight, malleability, and similar things that are homogeneous only in apperance is merely apparent [diffusion], and cannot be found in the smallest part [of bodies]."

The problem isn't that I'm incapable of wrapping my mind around any individual sentence (although it can be tough), it's that every single sentence is like that, layering translucent upon translucent until the whole thing is rendered opaque.

(This is way off topic, huh? School's making me even more boring than I was before...) view post


On The Warrior Prophet posted 13 February 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Hi, Shael! Welcome to the mess!

There's probably as many interpretations of what science is as there is of Christianity, but they pretty much all agree that science simply DESCRIBES the physical laws that govern the universe. Many of these descriptions, such as General Relativity, the Standard Model of Particle Physics, Evolution, are immensely successful, and have provided the foundation for whole sciences.

The type of deterministic prediction of the future that you describe is most famously associated with Laplace, and has long since been abandoned - ever since the successes of quantum mechanics made it plain that randomness is essential to whatever it is that reality is.

But something to think about is that God, by definition, DOES know all the variables (quantum or otherwise), and as such possesses complete knowledge of the future. At the same time, God is also the creator of all those variables, a collection of which happen to constitute me. I've always taken heart in the fact that if there is a God, then he must have known exactly where I'd end up when he created me, so that by doubting his existence I'm just doing the very thing he created me to do! <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: --> view post


Other authors you enjoy posted 13 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; AOther authors you enjoy by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Oi vey... Let me dust off my Leibniz cells and see if I can't remember what the hell's going on here. Take the following with a grain of salt... or maybe a mine (since I'm reading out of context).

It strikes me as a standard deducing-the-structure-of-reality-from-rational-principles-alone schtick. The first passage refers to the standard dilemma (which is being argued to this day) of whether space is discrete or continuous. The problem, the second passage seems to suggest, is that although space SEEMS continuous in every day items, closer examination reveals that this isn't always the case. The suggestion is, and I'm just guessing here since it's only implied, is that this might be the case with EMPTY space as well (as indeed many modern physicists argue).

Make sense?

BTW: you were a bore before; now you're just a dreadful bore (which is a mite better than being an intolerable bore like me!) view post


On The Warrior Prophet posted 13 February 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Fade, Commoner

Quote: &quot;Wil&quot;:2yhtji26
It seems to me that if God really did want all of us to believe him and join his True Church (Whatever it may be) the skies would open and a loud, thundering voice would say "HELLO, HERE I AM".[/quote:2yhtji26] That may seem the solution, but even if God would do that, there would still be people who would refuse to believe in him, writing it off as a anomaly, or something else. And even if they believed he was God, some may still reject the God concept, or anything attached to it. I personal don't think it would be that easy.

Carry on the discussion. It's a relief it is not a flame war about religion. view post


Other authors you enjoy posted 13 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; AOther authors you enjoy by Fade, Commoner

Is this a contest about who's the embodiment of boredom? <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: -->

Quote: &quot;Cu'jara Cinmoi&quot;:7zspinuq
Because it would be bad form for me to trash other writers, I'm sure most would expect me to soft sell my negative opinions, and perhaps I should.[/quote:7zspinuq] As author you have to be careful what you say. Before you know it, you will get some serious bashing. I noticed that authors only say what they like in books and what they read. I suppose that is some sort of courtship to fellow writers.

GRR Martin king? I don't think I know any writer I would bow for and crown her or him for best work. GRR Martin is definite good. He's one of the few writers who to me have a enjoyable writing style. Eddings and Brooks tend to lapse in similar concepts a little too often. Eddings God theme's should know a end and Brooks has written too many books where a quest is too much of a central plot. view post


Other authors you enjoy posted 13 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; AOther authors you enjoy by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

The problem is that we get together on a fairly regular basis. I could find myself on a panel with say, Goodkind, at the next Worldcon or something.

That said, I personally could care less whether other authors hated my books or not. I'm not writing for everybody, so why should I get upset when someone else dislikes my books? As a newbie, I'm still going through that phase where my family members are tiptoeing around the 'book issue,' either because they found it unreadable (for people who don't read, I can only imagine what it must be like), or because it simply wasn't their cup o' tea. Maybe it's because I've spent the last eight years having my writing torn to shreds as a philosophy grad student, but it doesn't bother me a whit.

So my instinct is to not self-censor myself at all. But then again, it is a political world out there...

Of all the criticisms I've received, I have to admit the one that made me see red was Carolyn Cushman's review in Locus back last August. Her complaints regarding the complexity of TDTCB, I can understand. Victoria Strauss made the same complaints in her SFSite review and I still think her review is the one that most closely approaches my estimation of the book. What bugged me was her complaints against the 'cliched female types' I used and the implication of sexism. I couldn't understand this because ALL the characters, male and female, are cliched types (because that was my point: to explore the existing conventions), and because in the revision of TDTCB I actually considered going through the manuscript to remove all the overtly feminist moments, thinking I was being too preachy and heavyhanded!

I just think it's obvious that either she didn't read very carefully, or she pigeonholed me as a certain 'type' (the irony!) from the beginning, and read TDTCB through the lense of that bias.

But I could be wrong: Isn't it obvious that an unsanitized fantasy world would also be a sexist fantasy world (which is far cry from a sexist story, or even worse, author)? If fantasy is a return to ancient contexts in the attempt to rehearse/remember all those positive things modern life has rendered irrelevant or problematic (such as heroism, moral certainty, purposiveness, and so on), shouldn't we also explore all the NEGATIVES of those contexts as well?

Personally, politically correct fantasy worlds strike me as silly. My credo is to confront the bad with the good without flinching, and to explore the bad through the distortions they inflict on my characters.

Isn't this obviously what I'm doing? I'm too close to the books to tell up from down anymore. view post


On The Warrior Prophet posted 13 February 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Anonymous, Subdidact

Yes, that is very similar to what is prophied in Revelation. Some people believe that when the Rapture occurs and all of the Christians are taken up to be with Christ that everyone left on Earth will still not believe, or they won't be able to. Also, at some point the Lamb (Christ) is supposed to return in His full glory. I'm at work, so I don't have m Bible with me at the moment. I haven't been through Revelation in a while, so i'm a little rusty. view post


On The Warrior Prophet posted 13 February 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Sovin Nai, Site Administrator

I agree with Scott that numbers provide a model of reality, but they do not make up reality. He said it very well.

Scott, I don't think I see what you were saying about relinquising free will. I assume you mean that if science can predict neurologically what we are going to do then we actually make no choices but just follow through on action-reaction type behavior. That may be, but each of is genetically/biologically/raised in a way different enough to provide differing action-reaction chains. This is then what free will would be reduced to, and I think it quite possible.

You were also talking about responsibility and morality. You as an entity are responsible for your behavior, whether you can help it or not. We already see this in psychopaths, who are deranged and relaly cannot control themselves. However, that does not keep them out of jail. Morality also does not have to be based on a supernatural power. The Natural Rights philosophists came up with a model of rights, admittedly based on their western cultural and therefore religious beliefs. Morality can be described as the mean (as in average) behavior of a society. We have different moral standards than did ages, even decades past. I think it is possible to have a cohesive society with sound moral footing without any kind of supernatural power involved.

(by the way, I am LOVING this discussion!) view post


Other authors you enjoy posted 13 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; AOther authors you enjoy by Sovin Nai, Site Administrator

It didn't come across to me as sexist, but it did show women in roles they would most likely be in living in a male dominated older society. view post


On The Warrior Prophet posted 13 February 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

I'm loving it as well (though I have this damn synopsis of TDTCB to finish)! The tactic you're taking is a tried and true one in the free-will/determinism debate: simply redefining 'free will' so that it accords with the mechanistic descriptions of science. 'Compatibilism,' they call it.

I have a number of problems with this strategy. It's clever because it forces the determinist (which I'm not, BTW, I just don't see any convincing arguments against them) into a classification debate, which are notoriously treacherous, and make the issue unresolvable.

Given the regresses of endless argumentation that lurk about every corner in this debate, I simply opt for a commonsense approach and ask the question, How can your position make sense of choice, given that the brain is simply a vastly complicated mechanism, without at the same time glossing over or erasing the obvious, commonsense antagonism between these two concepts (choice and mechanism)? Anyone can redefine; the challenge is to redefine in a manner that either perserves or explains the force of the original (if troubling) insight, which is in this case is the incompatibility of mechanism and choice.

Think of ADHD and the problem of character dilemma again. In practice, we no longer hold kids with ADHD responsible for their inattention, because now we know they have no choice - they're victims of their neurophysiology. We deal with them in an entirely different way. If we redefine choice to be compatible with neurophysiological determination, then the suggestion is we shouldn't treat them any differently at all, and once again hold them accountable for their inattention. And why not, when they 'choose' (in the redefined sense) not to pay attention. Obviously, this is absurd.

Do you see the pickle? Kellhus stands astride this problem.

Once again, I DO believe we have choice, I just have no bloody idea as to how we can honestly argue for it. All I have is faith. Against all odds, it sometimes seems... view post


On The Warrior Prophet posted 13 February 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Shael, Commoner

Think of ADHD and the problem of character dilemma again. In practice, we no longer hold kids with ADHD responsible for their inattention, because now we know they have no choice - they're victims of their neurophysiology.


I think there is an issue with how far can take this idea. I think humans are made up of both mechanism and choice.

If humans acted on instinct and mechanics alone then we couldn't hold anyone responsible for anything, since everyone's action are predefined and we have no control over our lives.

We can't be made up of just choice either. I think everyone acts instinctively in many ways. If we were an organism without mechanism then our choices would be infinite. Our minds would be forced to think about every thing we do, questioning every motion our body makes. view post


On The Warrior Prophet posted 13 February 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by banditski, Candidate

Quote: &quot;Cu'jara Cinmoi&quot;:259wscf6
Once again, I DO believe we have choice, I just have no bloody idea as to how we can honestly argue for it. All I have is faith. Against all odds, it sometimes seems...[/quote:259wscf6]

this may seem (and indeed it is) the backdoor cop-out of someone long away from scholastic debates, but i think you hit the nail on the head here, scott.

i heard an argument a while ago - concerning physics, in this case, but i can extrapolate it to this discussion. it was simply that the human brain is not 'powerful' enough to understand the answers to the questions we are asking, if indeed we are asking the correct questions.

consider a duck. in this case a duck smarter than average, who wishes to understand how he can fly. he can debate (to himself, in his little bird-brain) about how flight works, and can come up with some theories. but he is (i think we would all agree) incapable of understanding the fluid dynamics associated with flight. not to mention all the levels of physics that fluid dynamics is based on.

not that i could understand them either if i was left to my own devices from a baby, so let's assume that we can try to explain it to him. you could sit him down in front of a chalk board for hours, talking in the universal language of mathematics, and he still wouldn't get it. where i might eventually.

but my point is that i think it's rather arrogant (and also a huge cop-out, as i've already stated) to think that the human brain is capable of understanding everything, even if it was spelled out for us in a language we could understand.

so scott's statement "I DO believe we have choice, I just have no bloody idea as to how we can honestly argue for it," makes perfect sense to me. view post


The Title posted 13 February 2004 in The Thousandfold ThoughtThe Title by Fade, Commoner

I agree there banditski. Nothing more to ad <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) -->

So....is it unanimous (sp) decided that we agree for TTT as title? <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) --> view post


On The Warrior Prophet posted 13 February 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Fade, Commoner

Guest (Shael?) if you want to look into Revelations, you can use a online Bible also, if you want to look something up. Tip/reminder <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) -->

Quote: &quot;banditski&quot;:1pkjsfwr
but my point is that i think it's rather arrogant (and also a huge cop-out, as i've already stated) to think that the human brain is capable of understanding everything, even if it was spelled out for us in a language we could understand.[/quote:1pkjsfwr] banditski for president! [img:1pkjsfwr]http&#58;//www&#46;hardwaregeeks&#46;com/board/images/smilies/7&#46;gif[/img:1pkjsfwr] view post


On The Warrior Prophet posted 13 February 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by banditski, Candidate

Quote: &quot;Fade&quot;:2t8k2kb3
banditski for president! [img:2t8k2kb3]http&#58;//www&#46;hardwaregeeks&#46;com/board/images/smilies/7&#46;gif[/img:2t8k2kb3][/quote:2t8k2kb3]

prime minister okay with everyone?? <!-- s8) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_cool.gif" alt="8)" title="Cool" /><!-- s8) --> view post


On The Warrior Prophet posted 13 February 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

PM? Fine by me, so long as I get to be Pope!

And I agree with you Banditski. It's one of the reasons I'm so terrified of AI. Think of the ease with which Kellhus manipulates people. In a matter of a few decades we'll have CPU's with far, far more transistors than we have neurons, and working at the speed of light no less! We're already 'evolving' programs in artificial environments that produce better results than any human design, and with structures no one can understand... We live in a creepy world.

Which might be why I spend so much time in Earwa. view post


What are you most looking forward to? posted 14 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; AWhat are you most looking forward to? by Priest, Candidate

I'm curious about what people are most looking out for in WP and TTT. Could be something general, or perhaps very specific things? view post


What are you most looking forward to? posted 14 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; AWhat are you most looking forward to? by Wil, Head Moderator

I want to learn more about the Magic of the land. Also, the whole Kellhus is something I want to see! view post


The Title posted 15 February 2004 in The Thousandfold ThoughtThe Title by Sovin Nai, Site Administrator

So far it's 7-0 for TTT, so it is looking that way. However, only 7 of our 17 members have voted, so we still don't have a clear majority... view post


What are you most looking forward to? posted 15 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; AWhat are you most looking forward to? by LooseCannon, Peralogue

I'm looking forward to learning more about the history of the world, i.e. more about the First Apocalypse. Also, more info on Kellhus' father, Maithanet, the Kianese, Non-men, No-God, Gnostic of the North, and Golgotterath. Or to sum it up: everything! <!-- s;) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- s;) --> view post


About the books posted 15 February 2004 in The Warrior ProphetAbout the books by LooseCannon, Peralogue

I read it pretty slowly as well. I think you can compare it to really good food as you want to take your time eating and enjoying every last bite. My apologies for the analogous cliche <!-- s:P --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_razz.gif" alt=":P" title="Razz" /><!-- s:P --> view post


What are you most looking forward to? posted 16 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; AWhat are you most looking forward to? by Sovin Nai, Site Administrator

Yeah. To me, much of the world is still hidden from understanding, and the excitement of goint new places and being introduced to new cultures draws me. view post


On The Warrior Prophet posted 16 February 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Sovin Nai, Site Administrator

I still believe that evrything can be rationalized without the requirement of faith, however. Even the duch should theoretically be able to understand that there ARE principles behind flight, even if he himself is incapable of following the math. view post


What are you most looking forward to? posted 16 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; AWhat are you most looking forward to? by Mithfânion, Didact

I agree that possible new places are on of the most tantalizing things, but at the same time I hasten to add that I'd rather have a few exquistitely crafted and finely detailed people and places than a very large cast of characters and cultures which are only superficially touched upon. It's very important to really put a lot into such a culture, because it's one remarkable people that you will remember much sooner than a whole slew of superficial ones.

In general, things I am very interested in range from the Anasurimbor line to the Nonmen, to the Nonmen city and the magic in Earwa, to the religious forces coming to the fore as well as specific individuals which may emerge. And of course Mog-Pharau himself.

Edit:

That was one horribly structured post but I can't be bothered to re-write <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) --> view post


On The Warrior Prophet posted 16 February 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

How about scientific rationalization? Don't you have to have FAITH in reason and observation (since grounding these in reason and observation would just be begging the question)?

But this question is rhetorical. There really seems to no way to escape some minimal form of faith: philosophy is littered with failed attempts to absolutely ground knowledge in first principles.

I guess the hard question (the one that torments me at night, anyway) would be this: What are your grounds for believing in morality and purpose?

Whatever those grounds are, they can't be scientific (which is why I bite the bullet and opt for faith). You might have faith that science will someday account for them, but from what we know so far, it seems more and more likely that science will simply explain them away. view post


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