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Anonymous Subdidact | joined 26 May 2008 | 175 posts


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


How did you get here? posted 03 March 2004 in Off-Topic DiscussionHow did you get here? by Anonymous, Subdidact

Found out from Loose. view post


Release Dates posted 03 March 2004 in The Darkness That Comes BeforeRelease Dates by Anonymous, Subdidact

the canadian cover for TDTCB is awesome, highly recommended. amazon.ca is a good bet.

publishers in the US always insist on lame "fantasy-ish" covers, maybe it translates into sales? i dunno view post


Now Reading... posted 05 April 2004 in Off-Topic DiscussionNow Reading... by Anonymous, Subdidact

I have Chasm City by Alastair Reynolds, The Gunslinger by Stephen King and Last Light of the Sun by Guy Gavriel Kay on the way from Amazon.ca.

Like you, Edge, I was trying to decide between a Reynolds book and Illium. Heard a lot of good things about it but decided to go with Reynolds as Revelation Space was amazing.

Also currently rereading the Return of the King. Love seeing how Jackson threw in so many lines from the book, and even gave them to different characters if the original character didn't make it to the big screen. Definitely shows that Jackson and his crew were faithful to the books even if they couldn't adapt it scene for scene. view post


On The Warrior Prophet posted 05 April 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Anonymous, Subdidact

Morality is a social construct. It’s a necessity for the continued survival of that society. The morality of an individual is usually based on the ‘inherited’ morality of the society, adjusted for personal experience. If your individual morality is too far from the moral of the society, like with Ted Bundy, you end up in conflict with that society. Sometimes you manage to convince everybody (or enough) that you are right and they are wrong (i.e. the US Civil Rights Movement) but mostly you end up dead, in jail or excluded from that society.

So ‘rightness’ and ‘wrongness’ is not just personal, but influenced by the rest of society. When you judge that something is right or wrong, whether it’s something done by yourself or your neighbour, or someone in another time/place/culture, you do that based on your personal moral which in turn is influenced by the morality of your society.

If you personally believe that killing someone because they irritate you is acceptable, it would be hypocritical of you to say that that doing so is wrong just because everyone else thinks so. You might choose not to kill people irritating you because you know that otherwise you’ll end up punished by the society. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t do it because it’s ‘wrong’, but because it’s ‘inconvenient’ to do so. view post


Release Dates posted 09 April 2004 in The Warrior ProphetRelease Dates by Anonymous, Subdidact

It looks like TWP was moved back to June, does anyone know the revised release date? view post


Stephen Erikson's Books posted 24 April 2004 in Literature DiscussionStephen Erikson's Books by Anonymous, Subdidact

MOI is really cool. You can't go wrong with holy knights (i.e like the Grey Swords).
<!-- s:D --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- s:D --> view post


Stephen Erikson's Books posted 26 April 2004 in Literature DiscussionStephen Erikson's Books by Anonymous, Subdidact

just finish it once, you'll like it. view post


A quick question. posted 03 May 2004 in Author Q &amp; AA quick question. by Anonymous, Subdidact

How are ya? <!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: -->

It was really nice chatting with you at Genrecon! We'll have to meet up again sometime soon! Prefereably not Sarnia. <!-- s;) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- s;) --> Hope you had a pleasant drive home.

Marcy view post


A quick question. posted 03 May 2004 in Author Q &amp; AA quick question. by Anonymous, Subdidact

Quote: &quot;Sovin Nai&quot;:ofvg0w9i
Welcome! While not the author (obviously), I would like to extend a welcome and hearty handshake. I'd add a laurel, but we're fresh out.[/quote:ofvg0w9i]

Well, thank you! It's always nice to find a nice, new forum of folks. I don't know how much I'll be able to hang out here, but when I'm deep in procrastination mode, I'll make it one of my stops.

What does that tell you about what I'm doing right now? LOL!

Nice to meet y'all. <!-- s;) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- s;) -->

Marcy view post


How did you get here? posted 01 June 2004 in Off-Topic DiscussionHow did you get here? by Anonymous, Subdidact

Recommended by none other than Steven Erikson....how could i refuse?! view post


Just bought my beautiful hardcover posted 09 June 2004 in The Darkness That Comes BeforeJust bought my beautiful hardcover by Anonymous, Subdidact

I agree with pretty much everything said so far <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) --> The British cover of tDtCB isn't as good as the original, though still ok...

and yes, the US GotM cover is crap <!-- s;) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- s;) --> view post


Now Reading... posted 16 June 2004 in Off-Topic DiscussionNow Reading... by Anonymous, Subdidact

Picked up Shadowkings by Michael Cobley and Assasins Apprentice by Robin Hobb yesterday.

About 100 pgs into shadowkings and its fairly standard fantasy so far, but ive heard there are some cool twists in this book, so should be good to see what happens.

Also, what are all your opinions on the Farseer Trilogy? I heard good things about it at the Malazan board, so i picked up the first book as well.

One last thing....Amazon is now saying A Feast For Crow will be out August 2005! Anyone here as furious about this as me? I really hope this is a mistake on amazon's behalf.... view post


OS's and Browsers posted 16 June 2004 in Off-Topic DiscussionOS's and Browsers by Anonymous, Subdidact

I started with Slackware back in 96 when the installation interface was a nightmare. I've since used Redhat (And the majority of ppl I have talked to still say version 7.0 is the best), Gentoo, Fedora, Corel (no more), Mandrake and Debian. Most of those I haven't used very much, though. I like Gentoo as it has some neat features that it borrowed from BSD.

For all my classes that involve Linux we use Redhat 7.0 view post


On The Warrior Prophet posted 27 June 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Anonymous, Subdidact

I can't remember the specifics of the SI critiques, but on the basis of your description of the debate, I'll definitely keep the door open on psi. Given the success of the etiological picture of the world that science has sketched for us, and the tendentiousness that seems to invariably dog research into the paranormal, I have to say I'm pessemistic. At the very least, the burden of proof lies with the psi realists. Backwards causality at the level of dried goods? Claims that big require exhaustive experimentation and review.

A couple quick questions regarding your idealism: 1) What do you make of the intentionality or aboutness of experience? and 2) Given that we all have perspectives, just what would you say our perspective is on? view post


On The Warrior Prophet posted 29 June 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Anonymous, Subdidact

I should have said 'anomolous' causality. (Backward causality has to do with the precognitive stuff, doesn't it?) Either way, the sheer chutzpah of these claims makes Ockam's razor an enemy of parapsycologists (bigger even than the Amazing Randi!).


Heh, Randi is as much a threat to parapsychologists as Uri Geller is a threat to CSICOP. <!-- s;) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- s;) -->

All things being equal, the simplest most mundane explanation wins (pending further data, of course) - which in this case, is some version of experimental error.


In the case of the ganzfeld, though, even Ray Hyman admits that the results are unlikely to be the result of chance or error. He claims it's due to some design flaw, such as an inadequate randomization of the targets. This claim has been argued against adequately, IMO. [url:1x1o0or2]http&#58;//comp9&#46;psych&#46;cornell&#46;edu/dbem/response_to_hyman&#46;html[/url:1x1o0or2]

Scroll to the bottom of this page for more articles (pro and con) on the ganzfeld. [url:1x1o0or2]http&#58;//www&#46;parapsych&#46;org/full_papers&#46;html[/url:1x1o0or2]

I too believe there simply HAS to be intentionality, I'm just not sure there's any convincing way to silence the meaning skeptic.


The argument for intentionality is similar to the argument against solipsism. While we cannot completely justify these positions, people will live their lives as if they have intention and as if other minds exist; regardless whether or not philosophers and scientists choose to recognize these characteristics. These notions are hard core common sense - a theory that does not take these into account lacks explanatory value and is inadequate, IMO.

But this actually wasn't the thrust of my question. I actually have a hard time understanding how idealism can make sense of intentionality. What are our experiences ABOUT? Other 'meta-experiences'? Or nothing at all?


As to what our experiences are on, well, physically . . . nothing. Imagine you are in an extremely vivid dream where you are in a room with a table with an apple on it. When you look at the table, what is the experience of the table "about"? What is it on? The space of the room, the feel of wood floor boards on bare feet, the taste of the apple . . . all of these are mental constructs. These experiences, in the dream, supervene entirely upon your mind (*). The objects in your dream can be said to be mental objects.

While people don't usually think about it, even in waking life all qualia, sense of space, even the sense of the passage of time, are mental constructs as well. The only discernable differences between dreams and reality can be measured in degrees of intensity, coherence, and consistency.

People assume that a physical world underlies their everyday experience and that all experiences supervene upon this world. People believe this, even though they can never directly observe this physical world, primary because of an argument from orderliness. If I were to leave the room I am in now, take a walk around the block, and come back, my computer would (hopefully) still be sitting on my desk. If I were in a dream, this would not necessarily be so. People maintain the existence of a physical world to explain the consistency of their everyday experiences.

However, to use this consistency to conclude that there must be an ontologically distinct, ultimately unknowable physical world in which all of our experiences subsist on is a non-sequitor. As a working model, it unnecessarily splits the world in two and begs the question: How can this unknowable, ontologically different, and insentient world produce qualia?. We know qualia exists, but this physical world can only forever be an unobservable abstraction. And anyone who is familiar with the brain-in-a-vat thought experiment would realize that what we experience doesn't necessarily entail anything about the nature of what the experiences subsist on.

While it is unreasonable to assume we are brains hooked up to electrodes, there is no real reason to assume our experiences are based upon an ontologically distinct physical world either. Idealism has an advantage on realism in that idealism allows for consciousness to exist as we know it without any of the mind/body problems that materialism faces.

As to what our experiences are "about", well, just as an object in a dream is an mental object (with, admittingly, "unreal" and inconsistent characteristics) that has no physical substance behind it, an object in waking life can be described as a "metamental object", or an object generated and maintained within the metamind. To use Berkeley's terminology, we are in "God's mind". A modern analogy would be to say we are in a Matrix-like virtual reality world (that is not supervening on a computer).

For instance, I believe I have a perspective IN the world ON the world. I'm not sure where to fit your metamind. Are you saying our perspectives are perspectives ON some kind of perspective? I'm not sure it’s possible to salvage an intelligible concept of perspective from this. A perspective, to be a perspective on something, must be one of many possible perspectives on something that transcends it - doesn't it?


Well, back to the dream analogy: When we dream, the objects in our dreams are not necessarily on any real objects - the dreamworld is "internal", so to speak. Conceivably, with much dedication and patience, a lucid dreamer could create a dreamworld with at least a somewhat coherent consistency. This self-created, consistent world would contain objects, an extension in space, and (possibly) a flow of time that would be "about" nothing other than the dreamers own mind.

The universe (metaverse?) is the "dreamworld" of the metamind. Objects, extension in space, passage of time . . . it's a consistent dream. Our perceptions are within the metamind.

One possible argument against mental monism is that when we dream, all of the objects that we dream about originate from our perceptions in waking life. Even unreal objects, such as monsters or unicorns or other impossibilities, are constructed from objects perceived in the real world. If this is true, then where does the metamind get all of its ideas?

One answer would be to postulate the existence of platonic "archetypes" or Whiteheadian "eternal objects" (the color red, the sound of a dull hum, the taste of sweetness, etc.). All metamental objects are combinations of these eternal objects or archetypes. I suppose the "rock bottom" foundation of reality could be said to be the eternal objects themselves.

But if you acknowledge that our perspectives are on something that transcends them, my question would be: Then why not simply say 'world' like the rest of us? Are you willing to trust philosophical discourse (with its lack of regress enders) so far as to give such an extraordinary ontological content to what we experience?


I would, if the physical world (or at least the variant put forward by mainstream materialists) could allow for the "hard core" common sense notions of consciousness and volition. Science has made remarkable progress in many fields over the last four hundred years, but consciousness is as mysterious now as it was in the time of Descartes. Sure, we've discovered many of the correlates of mind in the form of brain states, but these contain no explanatory value as to how or why qualia should be connected to neural structures. I like how Lloyd put it when he wrote:

They [mental states] are inherently incapable of being predicted within physics, as the terms that denote mental experiences simply do not occur in physics and are not derivable from physical terms - Consciousness and Berkely's metaphysics


Consciousness (and, possibly, psi) is a huge right in the center of modern science's worldview. And I don't think we're going to find the answer by discovering more neural correlates. Or by trying to eliminate it away either.

Whether or not mental monism is true or not (panexperientalism is appealing as well), I have no idea. But I feel confident in stating that consciousness (or at least experience, or awareness) must be a foundation of reality, much the way gravity is - a law of nature, irreducible and undeniable.

I must say I am enjoying this discussion immensely. It's been a while since I've talked with someone interested in this subject.

*-Some would say they supervene on neural correlates, but there is nothing about the structure of the brain that would explain the qualia. Not to mention that the objective existence of neural activity is inferred entirely from our conscious experiences. A mental monist would say that the perceptions of brain activity (and the experiences of mental correlatives between the two) are metamental objects maintained in the metamind view post


On The Warrior Prophet posted 29 June 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Anonymous, Subdidact

I'm enjoying this as well!

Just a few more questions: You say its the recalcitrance of intentionality thats the chicken bone in the throat of materialism - you'll get no argument from me there (though I more interested in talking naturalism than materialism)! But I have to admit, I no longer have any clue just what you mean by intentionality. You acknowledge that aboutness is a decisive characteristic of experience, and yet you seem to alternately suggest that our experiences are 1) about nothing at all, and 2) about 'mental constructs.'

If (1) is the case, then you're arguing that intentionality (understood as aboutness) is in fact illusory. In other words, you seem to kill intentionality in the name of saving it.

(2) just strikes me as incoherent. 'Mental constructs' are presumeably things constructed by my mind, and as such exist only within my mind. So precisely WHERE is my mind? It can't be in my head, because 'head' is just a mental construct existing in my mind. It can't be in your head for the same reason - in fact, if I take what you're saying right, you're nothing more than a mental construct in my nowhere-dwelling mind.

You make an appeal to common sense in rejecting materialism - once again I'm sympathetic - but I'm not sure where the rubber of your appeal hits the road.

I have to admit my cynicism here, and I should explain so that you can see the much different tack I take to this debate. Any position can be rationalized given enough time and ingenuity: there really are no regress enders for philosophical discourse (and I take the fact that we can argue this point infinitely without arriving at a compelling conclusion to be a demonstration of this). Add the intrinsic need humans seem to have for things like meaning, morality, and purpose, and all these arguments start sounding more like apologia than anything else.

The only theoretical truth-claims that really impress me anymore are 1) scientific, 2) those that cut against the grain of our conceits, 3) those that are intuitively forceful prior to philosophical training (like determinism, for instance).

None of this means that philosophy doesn't have interesting and worthwhile things to say - what it means is that philosophy lacks the institutional, conceptual, and methodological resources to offer anything resembling a compelling, regress-ending, answer.

This just seem obvious to me. And this, by the way, is why I see modernity as a time of profound crisis: in our society only scientific institutions have the ability to make truth-claims stick - so successfully that they've utterly transformed the world - and yet they seem fundamentally antagonistic to meaning and value, to the way we humans understand ourselves in the first instance. When the most powerful instrument of discovery in the history of the human race insinuates the meaningless of existence - well, that strikes me as cause for concern.

So when I approach arguments at the metaphysical level of monisms, dualisms, and whatnot, there's a sense in which I'm muckraking more than anything else. I can see the interest of such debates, but I can't understand the commitment. Such commitment, it seems to me, stems from an unwarranted optimism in the capacity of philosophical argument. view post


The value of a life posted 01 July 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionThe value of a life by Anonymous, Subdidact

You make excellent points.

As for myself, I don't believe in the death penalty for a few reasons:

1. Mistakes in convictions are often made and the death penalty can't be undone. (Obvious, but very important).

2. It is assumed that extreme punishments act as deterrents, but they only do if the person committing a crime considers whether they will get caught. Many people committing crimes never consider the possibility of getting caught, so the deterrent effect is useless in their cases.

3. Justice shouldn't be the same as punishment or revenge (moral grounds).

I don't think it is a waste of tax-payers dollars to have a truly just justive system. That is one of the things civilisation is all about. view post


Do you believe a God exists? posted 05 August 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionDo you believe a God exists? by Anonymous, Subdidact

Hi folks, I have been lurking here for awhile and decided to give my two cents on this topic.

With most organized religions there have been people who have interpreted the word of their "God" or have said that there "God" says this and believes that. I beleive that this is the downfall of these religions and with religion itself. To me this act of relaying "God's" word or intent through man is not a reasonable way to set one's beliefs. It was an easy way to scare the living crap out of the illiterate population during the dark ages, but for reasonably intelligent human beings to rely on another "man" for their spiritual guidance is totally irresponsible of the entire race. Spirituality has never come from another, it has only come from within. This false sense of "faith' has led not toward enlightenment, which one would hope for, but towards self induced ignorance and the regression of the human mind.

I will not pretend to speak for others, but life to me is learning. And to adhere to an article of "faith" to the exclusion of any other seems to me to be the opposite of learning. How can one learn when one will not accept that they could be wrong? The dismissal of just some possibilties is the dismissal of all possibilities. The teachings of organized religions may be noble, but in this day and age I think we have all seen just how much total faith has been turned into hatred and is now a game of who is right. Jihad, crusade, it is all ignorance in silver wraping.

Back to the original question, I believe that a "God" does exist. I do not however, pick his/her/its brains in the evening. view post


Release Dates posted 05 August 2004 in The Darkness That Comes BeforeRelease Dates by Anonymous, Subdidact

what is trade and HB mean?? view post


Release Dates posted 05 August 2004 in The Warrior ProphetRelease Dates by Anonymous, Subdidact

can anyone tell me why WP is already out in Canada but not in the US until next year? view post


Dan Brown posted 14 August 2004 in Literature DiscussionDan Brown by Anonymous, Subdidact

Just a suggestion. Read Holy Blood, Holy Grail. Non-Fiction. Deals with subjects of The Da Vinci Code.


Listen to Grave. view post


Now listening to... posted 21 August 2004 in Off-Topic DiscussionNow listening to... by Anonymous, Subdidact

Quote: &quot;Orion_metalhead&quot;:3rdwjh0f
Lugubrum
Taake
Drudkh
Entombed
Iced Earth
Deathchain

good shit for the metalheads out there.[/quote:3rdwjh0f]

You, sir, have good taste in music. view post


Now listening to... posted 22 August 2004 in Off-Topic DiscussionNow listening to... by Anonymous, Subdidact

Quote: &quot;Orion_metalhead&quot;:1z8tdhwx
thank you unknown guest.

NP:

Morgoth
Winds
Viking Crown
Gorgoroth[/quote:1z8tdhwx]

No to VIking Crown <!-- s:P --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_razz.gif" alt=":P" title="Razz" /><!-- s:P -->

The rest is top notch. <!-- s:twisted: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_twisted.gif" alt=":twisted:" title="Twisted Evil" /><!-- s:twisted: --> view post


Battleground God posted 11 September 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionBattleground God by Anonymous, Subdidact

Quote: &quot;Cu'jara Cinmoi&quot;:2qx33e22
Our purpose isn't to be fruitful and multiply. We have no purpose whatsoever, even as we're condemned to look at the world in purposive terms.

This is what science - the most powerful instrument of discovery in the history of humankind - implies. [/quote:2qx33e22]

I agree with most of what you said, but not this supposed implication. Atleast if "what is the purpose of mankind" is to be (roughly) the same question as "what is the meaning of life".

Science does not answer these questions at all since they are meaningless withing that system. It's like asking what the density of impressionism is.

It seems to me that asking for a purpose, in science, has no answear since it really cannot be asked. view post


Now Reading... posted 13 September 2004 in Off-Topic DiscussionNow Reading... by Anonymous, Subdidact

I am reading Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.
I got a rare advance copy, it is awesome. view post


Free Will posted 20 September 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionFree Will by Anonymous, Subdidact

Opinion: If an omniscient, omnipotent entity exists then no other (lesser) entity can have free will. It can revoke your choices at its discretion, perhaps even retroactively.

Further Opinion: The existence or nonexistence of free will (and my possession or nonpossession of it) would likely make no (little?) difference to the living of my life. Either I cannot choose to change it, or I already try to make the best choices I can and can do no better with that knowledge. view post


Bad, bad book. BAAAD. posted 20 September 2004 in Off-Topic DiscussionBad, bad book. BAAAD. by Anonymous, Subdidact

Question.

I read the first few books in the WoT, the first FIVE actually, and I heard they get considerably worse from there, so I dropped it.

Whats everyones biggest problems with the series, from start to finish and with the most recent ones, which seem to get nothing but negative reviews(so I will not be taking the time, seen as how I am already terribly under-read in more important areas right now)? view post


A Game of Thrones book club discussion open posted 29 September 2004 in Book ClubA Game of Thrones book club discussion open by Anonymous, Subdidact

I have to say I loved A Game of Thrones.

Martin can write very detailed and believable characters. He is also not afraid to stray from genre "traditions," and in the process does a gust of fresh air into the fantasy genre and literature in general. This is no Lord of the Rings clone like so many other fantasy books out there, and no ultimate evil. Instead the "evil" characters are only "evil" because they simply look out for number one.

I think the the "sexual episodes" of the books give a huge amount of detail about the chracters and because of this were kinda of necessary. I am thinking of Dany and Drogo and Tyrion and Shae. Without the episodes of Dany and Drogo we would not see the how the character of Dany changes from a very passive person to the strong willed person she becomes. Also the Tyrion and Shae shows Tyrion's ultimate weekness. view post


Free Will posted 30 September 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionFree Will by Anonymous, Subdidact

If we accept the implication of science (sounds like we are talking about a person <!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: --> ) about are lack of free will, would that still apply to, for example, a disembodied consciousness?
It seems to me that whatever form the mind takes the decisions it makes depend upon the inputs (stimuli?) that prompt the decision. That the result depends on the input and, therefore, the mind does not have free will because what it does is predetermined by external factors. And if it it does not base its decisions on this basis and instead chooses randomly, is it really making decisions at all.
That was messy. I think my argument could be summarised thus: A process of evaluation is inherently deterministic. view post


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