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Iceman Candidate | joined 05 April 2004 | 18 posts


On The Warrior Prophet posted 05 April 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Iceman, Candidate

Quote: "Replay":2atrdf2f
I guess you could say that is what the whole survival of the fittest is about (though perhaps a better name would be survival of the best, or even survival of the highest value).[/quote:2atrdf2f]

This is a common mistake. The survival of the fittest is just that, survival of the fittest not survival of the “best”. It does not assign a value to those that survives or doesn’t survive. Survival is a consequence of the shifting environment. What was best in one environment might be lethal in another environment.

This is my first post in this forum, and I didn’t expect it to be on this subject, but…

Personally, I’m an atheist. I don’t think there is a God or a Supreme Being out there, not because I haven’t seen any evidence on that, but because, based on our current knowledge of science, I fail to see the reason why there should be.

I don’t have any problem with the fact that something is moral to some people are morally wrong to others. To me there is no ultimate right or wrong, but there are things that I consider being right or wrong based on my own moral concept.

Morality is relative. The morality of a society is the average of the individual morality of the members of that society, and will shift over time. It’s not that long ago that ‘racial hygiene’ and measures to improve that were considered as morally right. I’m not talking about just the Nazis, but the entire western world. In my country forced sterilisation of people with ‘undesired genetics’ (usually people belonging to the travelling people) continued for decades after WWII. Some of the strongest supporters of this policy were also among the most ardent adversaries of Nazism. view post


On The Warrior Prophet posted 05 April 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Iceman, Candidate

That was my reply above. Didn't realise I was logged out. view post


On The Warrior Prophet posted 05 April 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Iceman, Candidate

It’s true that what is fittest is best able to survive, but only in any given environment. If the environment changes so does the ability to survive, and the environment is constantly changing.

What has the fire experiment to do with morals/value? Doesn’t seem like it comes from someone with an open mind. I believe that morals are a social construct, and can’t see anything wrong with that. You can’t reject something just because it’s a social construct. view post


The Title posted 05 April 2004 in The Thousandfold ThoughtThe Title by Iceman, Candidate

I really feels that this ought to be up to that poor guy who's actually writing the books <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: -->

But I do prefer TTT (apparently like everyone else that has voiced their oppinion) view post


On The Warrior Prophet posted 06 April 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Iceman, Candidate

I think there might be some misunderstanding here.

I never claimed that there were no values; of course there are values out there. I only said that there were no intrinsic values in evolution. You can’t say that a lion is better than a Tyrannosaurus Rex just because the lion exist today while the T Rex is extinct. They were adapted to completely different environments. But to go from “there are no values in evolution” to “there’s no values period” is a bit of a stretch.

Are you confusing ‘social construct’ with ‘social constrain’. That would make your apparent disgust about morality being a social construct meaning. But in case you don’t and actually think that the idea of morality as a social construct is repulsing, let me ask you a few questions. Do you consider culture to be repulsive? I don’t mean a specific culture, but the concept of cultures. Cultures are clearly a social construct. (If you don’t agree with this statement please feel free to explain how you believe cultures came around.) True, there are cultures out there that we might find wrong or repulsive. Cannibalism or human sacrifice has been part of several cultures. I think we can all agree that these practices are wrong, and that cultures with these traits are ‘bad’ as long as they continue with these practices. (I’m here excluding cannibalism as a last resort for survival in extreme cases, since this is open for discussion.) But the concept of cultures can’t be wrong; otherwise we would never have this discussion. If cultures as a social construct are OK, why is morality as a social construct so bad?

I have a few more points to argue, but this post is long enough as it is so I better get back to those later. view post


On The Warrior Prophet posted 06 April 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Iceman, Candidate

I’m just stating how I see things. I don’t make any claims that I’m the one with the right answer, and that all others are wrong.

I consider ‘rightness’ and ‘wrongness’ when it comes to morality to be relative. There are, as I mentioned in my previous post, some things that most agree on, but I’m not sure that makes it an absolute right.

And to repeat what I previously said about ‘values’, just because I consider it to be no absolute ‘rightness’ and ‘wrongness’ when it comes to morality, doesn’t mean that there are no ‘rightness’ and ‘wrongness’ on other issues. Or, for that matter, that I can’t have an opinion on what is right on wrong in moral questions.

All of my reply in my previous post was directed at Replay. Even if Ted Bundy consider ‘social construct’ as a ‘prison’, there was nothing in your post to indicate that you necessary did so. view post


On The Warrior Prophet posted 06 April 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Iceman, Candidate

Perhaps the problem is that we both have different meanings for the word morality? If you mean the laws, and what people would call the 'acceptable way of behaving' , then yeah, i can agree with you that they are social constructs. But the thing is, what is this morality except an extension of value? What are these laws and ways of behaving except an attempt to make the society better (of higher value)?


If you leave out the ‘laws’ part, then that is an apt definition on what I mean by ‘morality’. What I don’t agree with is that there are some fundamental values behind. These ‘values’ are also just social constructs. If these values were universal, then every society would move towards the same goal. They are not. I also disagree with your statement that the society is evolving towards something better. That’s not always the case. Sometimes a society evolves into something worse. It’s now ten years since the Rwanda Genocide. If a society always moves towards something better, this would never have happened.

To go back to evolution of animals. Those traits in among an animal species that makes it best capable of surviving and reproducing, are what is going to be most common in the next generation of that species. Say that those trait are more common in the new generation than the previous generation, does that makes the new generation ‘better’ than the previous? Only if the environment are exactly the same. If there have been drastic changes in the environment, that trait might actually be a bad trait causing large portion of that generation to succumb before they are able to reproduce. Evolution only evolves towards something better as long as the environment stays the same. As soon as the environment changes, which it does constantly, what have been gained by evolution could be lost in a heartbeat.

So you don't think all normativity is a social construct, that the rightness and wrongness pertaining to argument transcends social contexts, while the rightness and wrongness pertaining to morality does not?


I’m afraid you lost me somewhat there, Scott. I’m not a native English speaker, nor have I studied philosophy. I’m not sure what you mean by ‘normativity’. To me there are no rightness or wrongness pertaining arguments on issues that can’t be proved. The statement ‘the sable-toothed tiger is extinct’ is ‘right’ in the sense that the tiger is actually extinct. The statement ‘boys wearing long hair’ cannot be proven to be right or wrong in the same sense. view post


On The Warrior Prophet posted 06 April 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Iceman, Candidate

If I understood your post correct, Scot, then you believe that I tend more towards ‘contextualism’. That might be. Since my argumentation is not based on any formal education, I’m only trying to explain my position. I might not use the ‘correct’ terms all the time.

The two MAJOR weaknesses of the position, however, have to do with accounting for the apparent objectivity of statements like those you made regarding sabre-tooth tigers, and the difficulty of making cross contextual judgements that seem otherwise obvious, like 'No matter what your point of view, the Holocaust was wrong.' It seems pretty clear that Hitler was off his rocker, no matter how many likeminded people he surrounded himself with.


Ah, but the Holocaust is only wrong based on the morals of the societies of today (in most societies going back at least to the turn of the previous century). You might claim that Hitler was ‘off his rocker’. But you have to remember that only a few decades before, the Turks got away with another genocide. Hitler knew this and expected to get away with this, just like the Turks did. In fact the worldwide moral outcry didn’t start until after the German defeat. In the years before the war, and during the war, the voices decrying this were a meagre minority. At best it was just another point of the long list turning Hitler into a ‘devil’. His warfare and occupations were much higher on that list.

Throughout history, the group of people that were considered among ‘us’ as opposed to ‘them’ have steadily increased. Bad thing happening to ‘them’ was not as bad as bad thing happening to some of ‘us’, in fact it could be a good thing. Canada and the US were founded on a Genocide that ended less than 150 years ago.

Disclaimer: I by no means condone the Holocaust, or any other Genocide throughout history. view post


On The Warrior Prophet posted 06 April 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Iceman, Candidate

I think where we might differ, Replay, is that I consider both Value and Morale as something that differs from society to society based on their spesific cultural history, environment, etc.

Edit:

I would never have guessed you weren't a native speaker, BTW. But then you guys have quite an education system in Norway - or so I'm told.


Yeah, definitely the worst education system in Northern Europe. <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: -->

Edit2:
Just read this from the author profile at <!-- w --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.princeofnothing.com">www.princeofnothing.com</a><!-- w -->:
In the winter of 2000, he moved back to London, Ontario, to complete his dissertation, which is entitled Truth and Context.

Should have known better than to start this kind of discussion with this guy... <!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: --> view post


Truth, Lies posted 22 April 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionTruth, Lies by Iceman, Candidate

I’d like to throw in this quote from Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People (1882):

Dr. Stockman. Good heavens – of course I am, Mr. Hovstad! I propose to raise a revolution against the lie that the majority has monopoly of the truth. What sort of truths are they that the majority usually supports? They are the truths that are of such advanced age that they are beginning to break up. And if a truth is as old as that, it is also in a fair way to become a lie, gentlemen. Yes, believe me or not, as you like; but truths are by no means as long-lived as Methuselah – as some folks might imagine. A normally constituted truth lives, let us say, as a rule seventeen or eighteen, at most twenty years – seldom longer. But truths as aged as that are always worn frightfully thin, and nevertheless it is only then that the majority recognises them and recommends them to the community as wholesome moral nourishment. There is no great nutritive value in that sort of fare, I can assure you; and, as a doctor, I ought to know. These “majority truths” are like last year’s cured meat – like rancid, tainted ham; and they are the origin of the moral scurvy that is rampant in our communities.


Since then, the lifespan of a ‘truth’ has likely been reduced.

Due to time constrains, I have to come back with my view on the matter. I would just like to state that I believe there are few absolute truths out there. view post


Stephen Erikson's Books posted 27 April 2004 in Literature DiscussionStephen Erikson's Books by Iceman, Candidate

It's a common problem, Atanvarno. Lot's of people have a hard time getting into GoTM. Those that does get thorugh it seldom regret it though. The following books makes things a bit clearer. view post


Moenghus = Mallahet? posted 13 May 2004 in The Darkness That Comes BeforeMoenghus = Mallahet? by Iceman, Candidate

Yes, but how to convince the different factions not only that the Consult exists, but that they ought to combine forces and fight him as well? view post


Apocalypse Now posted 12 July 2004 in The Warrior ProphetApocalypse Now by Iceman, Candidate

To me this whole reasoning of Kellhus seemed like him trying to convince himself that he really wasn't the Harbinger, as that was something he didn't want to be. Unless the Dûnyain consider the idea of prophesies as false, unlikely since everything that comes before determine what comes after, there is no logic in the claim that the Anasûrimbor prophecy can’t be anything but false. view post


Your top 5 fantasy series... posted 12 July 2004 in Off-Topic DiscussionYour top 5 fantasy series... by Iceman, Candidate

Since the question was about “fantasy series” and not “epic fantasy series”, that’s what I’m going to answer. In no particular order (I’m not listing the name of the series as I assume everyone knows them anyway):

George R.R. Martin
Robin Hobb
Steven Erikson
Steven Brust
R. Scott Bakker view post


Like father like son? posted 21 July 2004 in The Thousandfold ThoughtLike father like son? by Iceman, Candidate

I consider it more likely that the Consult considered the Cisharium and Moënghus as an obstacle. First trying to control them, and when that failed it gradually turned into outright war. At the moment I can’t see why Moënghus would initiate a war against the Consult.

As for the previous leader of the Scarlet Spires, he probably wasn’t a skin spy but he could have been cooperating with the Consult. Perhaps he was promised the secret of the Gnostic? view post


Bad, bad book. BAAAD. posted 31 May 2005 in Off-Topic DiscussionBad, bad book. BAAAD. by Iceman, Candidate

Been awhile since my last post here, but I thought I chime in with the crowd on Jordan's CoT. I'd lost faith in him ling before I read this book, but silly me thought it couldn't be worse than PoD that at least was somewhat readable.

The only book I never finnished (besides Ulysses) is Kim Robinsons' The Years of Rice and Salt . I enjoyed the Mars trilogy, but this crap? view post


It's true! posted 01 June 2005 in Off-Topic DiscussionIt's true! by Iceman, Candidate

The release date is set at late September, or October. view post


Kellhus, his divinity, and his &quot;good guy&quot; status. posted 03 March 2006 in The Thousandfold ThoughtKellhus, his divinity, and his &quot;good guy&quot; status. by Iceman, Candidate

The obvious lack of humanity in Kellhus means that he'll never be a 'good guy' in my eyes. A neccessity for the survival of the human race, perhaps, but never the good guy.

At the end of TTT I was actually rooting for his enemies, even knowing that they could never succeed (at least not in TTT). view post


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