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Replay Auditor | joined 18 March 2004 | 127 posts

Babylon 5 posted 20 July 2004 in Literature DiscussionBabylon 5 by Replay, Auditor

drosdelnoch: Crusade was shown here in the UK years ago. Dont worry though because you didn't miss much.

Atanvarno: I've only read Zahn books (well those and I, Jedi) since those were the most recommended. And seeing as though I didnt think much to them, I've very little interest in any of the others. view post

dark tower? posted 20 July 2004 in Literature Discussiondark tower? by Replay, Auditor

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

Week One : Drosdelnoch posted 20 July 2004 in Member Written WorksWeek One : Drosdelnoch by Replay, Auditor

Have to echo what Sovin Nai said, that the sentances do tend to run on a bit long. I think if you went back and edited it, keeping some, but cutting down others, you would get a much better overall flow.

Other than that it wasn't bad. There were some good details, and some nice bits of info about the character. view post

The problem of evil posted 20 July 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionThe problem of evil by Replay, Auditor

Nice thought Grantaire - it's always good to see someone questioning the dogma that is thrown down throats since birth.

You're right that when you really get down to it, the idea of an all powerful creator being doesn't seems to hold up, and you have to wonder at times how so many people can believe in such a thing. Of course, many will say 'well you just have to have faith', but I think you have gone past just accepting that.

Since the idea doesn't hold up, does this then mean that there is no God? Perhaps, perhaps not. Perhaps the problem is that the idea itself of what God is is wrong. There is an old saying that goes, "To meet God, you must first kill him," which means that you should let go of any thoughts you have on just what God is, as only then will you be open enough to get a true understanding of it.

Keep on doubting, and don't accept any easy answers. Searching for an answer to this question can be one of the greatest things anyone can do with their life. view post

The problem of evil posted 20 July 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionThe problem of evil by Replay, Auditor

I can agree that on one hand organised religions can be detremental to your own search, because so many require that you accept things on blind faith rather than finding out for yourself (perhaps because the ones in power refuse to put in the work themselves). On the other hand though, it is very difficult to come to any true realization without others to point the way, and believe it or not, most organised religions can do this is if you manage to cut away a lot of the crap that surrounds them. Of course, this is no easy task either.

If you're still have some feeling towards Christianity, you might want to check out [url=]this site[/url:1nwid4vr], and read some of the articles on there. They seem to be much more interested in finding out the truth for themselves rather than just taking things on blind faith. If like me that's not really your cup of tea though, there's no need to worry as there are many other paths out there - it's just a matter of finding one that's right for you.

There's a good saying that goes: "All paths are like sets of clothes - don't worry so much about which one is the best, just chose the one you are most comfortable with." Though even if you do find one your comfortable with, always keep that doubt with you. view post

The problem of evil posted 20 July 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionThe problem of evil by Replay, Auditor

Originally, to be "perfect" meant that nothing more could be done; the object was complete and whole. Humans can't by that definition ever be perfect

Are you sure of that? view post

The problem of evil posted 20 July 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionThe problem of evil by Replay, Auditor

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

The problem of evil posted 20 July 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionThe problem of evil by Replay, Auditor

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

Your thoughts on Postmodernism in The Book of the New Sun posted 23 July 2004 in Author Q & AYour thoughts on Postmodernism in The Book of the New Sun by Replay, Auditor

If life is about making the right decisions, and school is supposed to prepare you for life, then why o' why is no one taught anything about the rules of reasoning in school?

Sounds good - as long they teach them the flaws of reasoning as well. view post

Things I will not accept in an argument posted 24 July 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionThings I will not accept in an argument by Replay, Auditor

Things I will not accept in an argument? Actually being in one <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) -->

Seriously though, I think it maybe a good idea whenever you do find yourself in an argument to pause for a moment and think about what you are trying to achieve. It's all to easy to fall in to the trap of just arguing to prove you are right and the other is wrong. It just becomes a game of oneupmanship, and has very little other value.

Another thing I am not that keen on in any kind of debates is when someone takes it all to personally. If they come on and say that "grass is the colour red", and you say "no, it's not", it is just pointing out the fallacy of that paticular view and is not an insult aimed at them. Unfortuantly though, many do tend to be overly attached to their views and beliefs, so do not see it this way. view post

Week Two Scene posted 24 July 2004 in Member Written WorksWeek Two Scene by Replay, Auditor

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

Babylon 5 posted 25 July 2004 in Literature DiscussionBabylon 5 by Replay, Auditor

Like Atanvarno says, it really depends on how much you want spoiled. It would be much better to watch the show, as some of the best episodes are ones that reveal a lot of what would be included in any overview of it.

If you do order the DVD's, you could perhaps skip the first series as the main storyline doesnt kick off until the second one. Plus apart from a couple, none of the episodes are all that great at the start (though I'm sure some will disagree with that). And if you do like the show, you could always go back and order that first set. view post

Karma? posted 26 July 2004 in Author Q &amp; AKarma? by Replay, Auditor

I would say it's partly similar to Karma.

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

Babylon 5 posted 26 July 2004 in Literature DiscussionBabylon 5 by Replay, Auditor

Some of Crusade was alright, but the directing on just about all of them was very poor and not up to B5 standards. Plus as someone has already said, there was the whole problem of the tv execs trying to force JMS out by making him add things to the show.

For those in the UK who are interested though, it starts a rerun on Sci-fi channel this wednesday (just saw advert for it). view post

Karma? posted 26 July 2004 in Author Q &amp; AKarma? by Replay, Auditor

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

Karma? posted 27 July 2004 in Author Q &amp; AKarma? by Replay, Auditor

Quote: &quot;Cu'jara Cinmoi&quot;:1qqheagc
...the Dunyain seek to master or extinguish the appetitive soul to better master the origins of their thought - to become a 'self-moving soul,' one free of the myriad darknesses that come before. [/quote:1qqheagc]

Would you mind expanding on what you mean by this? Especially the bit about a 'self-moving soul'.

The Logos, or Reason, is their principle instrument.

That's the thing though, trying to master thought with even more thought (Reason) just isn't going to happen. I guess you could say it's like trying to wash off mud with mud.

Unlike the Buddhists, the Dunyain draw no line between what must be mastered and what must be accepted. For the Dunyain, anything that impacts the origins of our thoughts, be it animal lust, historical caprice, or the words of another, must be mastered.

Well Buddhists don't so much accept things, as try to see through them. As it's only through this that true mastery comes.

I may be reading this wrong, but you what you said about the Dunyain almost makes it seem as if they are afraid of uncertainty and are in an endless struggle to try and force their will or control over everything. But if they truely wish to be free from all that comes before, should not they also try to rid of themselves of this very need to be certain? Of this need to be in control of everything around them? view post

Karma? posted 27 July 2004 in Author Q &amp; AKarma? by Replay, Auditor

What impresses them so much about the Logos (and its brethren, geometry, mathematics) is it's its timelessness, the fact that it does not seem to fall within the 'circuit of before and after.'

Whilst I agree the Logos is impressive, I can't really see how it can be said that it doesnt fall into the circuit of before and after. And even though the Logos is very useful tool for examing the relative world around us, when it comes to absolute, all the Logos can do is paint pictures of what it like and never actually touch apon it.

Only if you look at thought in performative terms. If thought is representational (or something like it), then this isn't the case. Just think of the way various insights over the course of your life led you to greater self understanding and self-control. This is implicit in your comments regarding the Buddhists achieving mastery by 'seeing through.'

Even though that does make sense, it's not quite as simple as that (I wish it was!). Yes, there are times when you read something and it can have an impact on you. You may even act a little different afterwards. But all that is happening is that one set of conditioning (or programming) is being replaced for another. And besides, even if you understand something intellectually, that does not necessarily mean you totally understand it.

A good example of this is the subject of thought. Intellectually, it is not all that hard to see that there really is no such thing as a thinker - that thought arises by its own volition (mainly due to cause and effect). I mean, if you spend a lot of time looking in to it it doesn't take long for you to agree with what those old spiritual masters having been saying about the illusion of self. But to understand this with your whole being, so that every moment you live with this truth, is another matter entirely.

For that to happen requires a lot more, and no amount of words (however wise) or thinking (however deep) will ever get down to the root of it. Only awareness can do that. It's only through perhaps years of paying attention to say the motion of thought, until something finally clicks and your perception does a total flip, can it be said that you understand it with your whole being. And this is more what I meant by 'seeing through' than anything.

I'm not saying the Logos isn't useful - infact it can be very helpful in pointing the way and quickening the path - it's just that I would say it can only take you so far. It's like in sports if some top player writes a book on everything he has learnt: even if digest everything in it and understand all that he says, it doesnt really make you into a better player. Whilst what he said will obviously be useful to show you the way to be better, it is only through years of practice that you can ever really achieve this.

For the Dunyain, certainty or knowledge is just a means to the end of becoming the Absolute - or a self-moving soul. In more philosophical terms, you might say their primary concern is ontological (the attainment of a certain mode of unconditioned (which is to say, transcendent) being), and that the epistemology has value only as a primary means to this end.

Well it's certainly a noble goal, it's just the means that I question. For instance, what does certainty have to do with the absolute? How do their attempts to control everything around them bring them closer to their goal? view post

Statistical Sprirtuality posted 27 July 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionStatistical Sprirtuality by Replay, Auditor

Thank you for the responses, and no one has ripped me apart yet!

/rubs hands togethor, grins, and thinks Right, where to start?

Nah only joking, was some interesting stuff in there. Was an article in the paper not long ago about this sort of thing. It showed that more often than not, even though things seem improbable, the odds for them to happen were not all that great. For instance, at a party there is actually a fairly good chance that two people will have the same birthday. Not only that, but having dreams about someone dying is not as improbable as youd first think (they even had a lot of maths that showed--due to the amount of people in a country--how often it actually should happen). view post

Statistical Sprirtuality posted 28 July 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionStatistical Sprirtuality by Replay, Auditor

Grantaire: You can try searching the [url=http&#58;//www&#46;dailymail&#46;co&#46;uk:39nv9drv]Daily Mail[/url:39nv9drv] site, though am unsure whether the article is on there (had a quick look myself but found nothing).

Other than that, you could always put 'coincidence', 'chance', 'odds' etc in to Google as I'm sure that would bring up a fair few articles on such things. view post

odd posted 30 July 2004 in The Darkness That Comes Beforeodd by Replay, Auditor

My definition of Canadian would involve the fact that we "colour" our spelling with the letter "u" from time to time <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) -->

No, Canadians have it right as that is the correct spelling in English. It's Americans who change it - perhaps because it's too complicated for them <!-- s;) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- s;) --> view post

Release Dates posted 03 August 2004 in The Darkness That Comes BeforeRelease Dates by Replay, Auditor

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

Kellhus, Achamiam, and Emotion posted 05 August 2004 in The Warrior ProphetKellhus, Achamiam, and Emotion by Replay, Auditor

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

Now Reading... posted 06 August 2004 in Off-Topic DiscussionNow Reading... by Replay, Auditor

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

The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant posted 06 August 2004 in Literature DiscussionThe Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Replay, Auditor

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

My odd perspective on myself and the universe posted 13 August 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionMy odd perspective on myself and the universe by Replay, Auditor

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

My odd perspective on myself and the universe posted 14 August 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionMy odd perspective on myself and the universe by Replay, Auditor

Perhaps. And whilst those certainly aren't important or needed, there are still things such as eating, making sure you have a safe place to rest, or the many other simple things that make up life such as being able to communicate with others to share ideas.

The reason I mentioned autistic people is that, with some of them, the problem is that they see to much. Their senses get so overloaded with everything that is going on around them that they have little room left in their conciousness to do those things that we take for granted. The only thing I wonder about though, is whether some of them are actually enjoy life more than most. view post

Book Club Talk posted 20 August 2004 in Off-Topic DiscussionBook Club Talk by Replay, Auditor

Congrats Grantaire. view post

Now Reading... posted 20 August 2004 in Off-Topic DiscussionNow Reading... by Replay, Auditor

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

K-PAX posted 20 August 2004 in ReviewsK-PAX by Replay, Auditor

[url=http&#58;//www&#46;amazon&#46;co&#46;uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/074756695X/qid=1093010570/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl/026-8880637-9889215:w2x0us59]K-PAX Trilogy Feat. Prot's Report[/url:w2x0us59] - By Gene Brewer

K-PAX is the story of man, Prot (ryhmes with goat), who claims to be from another planet. Of course, no one believes him, so he soon finds himself a patient of the Manhatten Phsyciatric Insititute, where phsyciatrist Dr Gene Brewer (who's point of view the whole story is told from in first person narrative) does his best to try and cure him.

Whilst in the institute, Prot does and says many things that puzzle the phsyciatrist. For one, he seems to have an uncanny ability to get through to even the most deluded of patients in the intistute. He even starts to cure some of them. Prot also seems to have the ability to see light in the ultra violet range, something no human should be able to do. Not only this, but Prot's descriptions of his home solar system and his knowledge of the stars surrounding prove to be correct when checked up (and even give the scientist new information they didn't have before which also appears to be correct).

All of this is enough to make Dr Brewer pause and perhaps wonder for a moment if Prot is telling the truth, but he soon dismisses this and believes instead that Prot is perhaps a savant. When, under hypnosis, Prot talks about another man who seems to be occupying his body, Dr Brewers beliefs are solidified. During the rest of the book, a search is begun for the identity of this man, hoping that a confrontation with who he was will force Prot to accept that he really his human.

Whilst the storyline of the book is well done, this book is more about Prot's observations on the human condition than anything else. Through all three of the books, Prot continues to point out the stupidity of many of the things humans do, and shows just how brainwashed we can be in to doing and beliving in things with little consideration. In this version of the books, there is even a small addition added on the end called Prot's report, which is a transcript of Prot's thoughts on this planet which he has been adding to his note book throughout the storyline.

All in all, this a very good book, and one definately worth picking up. However, there are a few bad points that should be mentioned. The first is that, whilst technically the quality of the writing is not so bad, it does not involve you all that much. Also, even though most of the time he does offer some good opinions on the human condition, a few of his ideas are fairly niave and not very well thought out (something he would look down on others for not doing). Still, neither of these points are enough to detract from enjoying this story.

[url=http&#58;//www&#46;amazon&#46;co&#46;uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000087I3F/qid=1093010626/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl/026-8880637-9889215:w2x0us59]K-Pax - The Film[/url:w2x0us59]

For those interested, the first part of the trilogy has recently been made into a film starring Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges. Not only does it follow very closely to the book (much more than most other adaptions), but I feel the director actually improved upon it. Perhaps it was the ability to inject much more emotion into it (due to some very good directing) that makes the film perhaps even better than the book. Or perhaps it is just the great acting by both Spacey and Bridges that brings it more to life.

If your hesistant about picking the book up, I would definately suggest watching this first (as I did). And even though many have said that the ending left the unsatisfied because they wanted more, that is not a problem if you plan on picking up the trilogy, as you have the two more books in the story to do just that. view post

The Identity of Relative and Absolute posted 26 August 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionThe Identity of Relative and Absolute by Replay, Auditor

Spotted this earlier today on the internet and figured a few here may also enjoy it.

"The mind of the Great Sage of India was intimately conveyed from West to East. Among human beings are wise ones and fools But in the Way there is no northern and southern Ancestor.

The subtle source is clear and bright; the tributary streams flow through the darkness. To be attached to things is illusion; to encounter the absolute is not yet enlightenment. Each and all the subjective and objective spheres are related, and at the same time independent. Related and yet working differently. Though each keeps its own place, form makes the character and appearance different. Sounds distinguish comfort and discomfort.

The dark makes all words one; the brightness distinguishes good and bad phrases. The four elements return to their own nature as a child to its mother. Fire is hot, wind moves, water is wet, earth hard. Eyes see, ears hear, nose smells, tongue tastes the salt and sour. Each is independent of the other.

Cause and effect must return to the great reality. The words high and low are used relatively. Within light there is darkness, but do not try to understand that darkness. Within darkness there is light, but do not look for that light. Light and darkness are a pair like the foot before and the foot behind in walking. Each thing has its own intrinsic value and is related to everything else in function and position.

Ordinary life fits the absolute as a box and its lid. The absolute works together with the relative like two arrows meeting in mid air. Reading words you should grasp the great reality. Do not judge by any standards. If you do not see the Way, You do not see it even as you walk on it. When you walk the Way it is not near, it is not far., If you are deluded, you are mountains and rivers away from it." view post


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