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Will Peralogue | joined 20 March 2006 | 37 posts

Glowing Hands posted 20 March 2006 in The Thousandfold ThoughtGlowing Hands by Will, Peralogue

I'd like to put forward a theory of hand glowy from these bits of evidence.

Potential Theories I came up with off the top of my head:

A. Glowy is a delusion/subjective, you can see haloes around anyone's hands if you believe hard enough.

B. Glowy is a revelation/objective, if you believe hard enough about the right guy, the Gods will make you see haloes there.

C. Glowy is a trick/subjective reversed, if they use the right trick anyone can make you see their hands as glowing.

D. Glowy is a way of looking/filter theory. If you believe hard enough you notice the actually existing haloes that everyone else disregards.

"Facts" (sorta)
1. Serwe + other Kellhus faithful see Kellhus' hands glowing after she/they have decided he is the God/the Prophet/deserving of glowy.

2. Serwe sees Sarcellus' hands glowing when she thinks it is Kellhus.

3. Kellhus sees his own hands glowing after the Tree, in his confrontation with Moenghus.

4. The halo sheds no light on its surroundings. Kellhus remarks on this in his mind during his confrontation with Moenghus.

5. People saw haloes on Inri Sejenus' hands back in the day, as depicted in religious works.

6. Cnaiur never sees them.

7. No one is convinced by them to believe in Kellhus as a prophet. We never get the "OMG Halos!" scene. People only see them once they've reached a state of mind where their existence isn't surprising.

It isn't an objective effect because nothing is actually revealed. Light that cannot illuminate isn't objective light. However it makes sense that light that exists only in the viewer's mind wouldn't illuminate its surroundings, since the viewer doesn't know what those surroundings are. Thus, if Kellhus sticks his hand in a dark box I may see his hands as haloed, but in the absence of any real light I can't see the contents of the box. My beliefs don't provide me with information about the world, rather they are an attempt to define it.

It isn't a revelation from the Gods/Kellhus' oversoul idea because it can be seen on the hands of the soulless abomination Sarcellus. It is difficult to imagine a less holy creature.

It seems that in this world once you accept someone as a Prophet/God you are able to trick yourself into seeing them with haloes on their hands. Serwe can put them on Sarcellus's hands because she has faith in the semblance it has assumed, but Cnaiur can't see them on Kellhus' hands even after he has repeatedly demonstrated prophetic insight, because he is completely skeptical of Kellhus. The Tribe of Truth can see them, but the Orthodox don't see them. (This isn't explicitly stated, but It seems likely that there would have been a much earlier mass conversion if the Orthodox could see them, and the Tribe's mantra of "Truth Shines" is pretty revealing).

To sum up: in Earwe you can see haloes on the hands of anyone you wholeheartedly believe is a prophet, even if that is yourself, and even if you are completely wrong. view post

Free Will posted 21 March 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionFree Will by Will, Peralogue

First, to state the question of Free will as I shall be attempting to answer it.

Q1: Can the universe's next state U1 be determined by the complete knowledge of the universe's state and rate of change at U0?

Imagine an omniscient and omnipotent observer, he freezes (in time, not ice) the universe and understands its totality.

Then he does the same thing a minute later.

Next he resets the universe to the first, and lets it run to the second. He repeats infinitely. Will he ever miss the second slice? That is, will the same inputs ever produce different outcomes?

The only way to answer Yes to this question is to posit inputs which cannot be observed by an omniscient and omnipotent observer, which nevertheless act upon matter and energy.

Consequently, I have 2 choices.

If I reject the belief of unobservable inputs upon matter and energy we have precisely as much "free will" as a can of soda. Human thoughts and actions are more complicated examples of rocks falling down hills, controlled completely by our past actions and the world around us. Humans are lightning in meat.

If I accept the existence of unobservable inputs upon matter and energy, and further posit that those inputs act upon the "lightning", then it is those inputs which constitute free will. In that case I consider myself precisely as free as the degree to which my consciousness is composed of these phantom inputs.

I believe in the first of these hypotheses. Thus, I believe that I have no free will. view post

Female Dunyain? posted 22 March 2006 in Author Q & AFemale Dunyain? by Will, Peralogue

I looked through the Q & A forum, but didn't see this one. My apologies if it has been asked before.

Are there women among the Conditioned? view post

Female Dunyain? posted 23 March 2006 in Author Q & AFemale Dunyain? by Will, Peralogue

I concur, it seems that it would double their number of potential non-defectives, but I could see it either way. The Dunyain aren't completely rational, after all, they DID seal themselves away from the world for a few thousand years and convince themselves that sorcery doesn't exist.

It would be interesting to see if a female Dunyain was more or less successful than a male one in Inrithi society. view post

The problem of evil posted 24 March 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionThe problem of evil by Will, Peralogue

I'll attemp to answer this question from two perspectives. There are clearly far more than two, but I'll just use these two.

Perspective one, the universe is deterministic. In this perspective the problem of evil has no meaningful answer, because the answer depends upon an arbitrary definition.

Perspective two, this universe's actions are determined by an omniscient omnipotent omnibenevolent being.

This being can perceive all possible universe's. It, being omnibenevolent chooses for us the very best. We exist in this the best of all possible worlds. Our belief that evil exists is proof of our lack of understanding, not a failure of this being's benevolence. view post

The problem of evil posted 27 March 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionThe problem of evil by Will, Peralogue


I concur with your assessment of my first statement. Thanks for rephrasing.

"The second one doesn't cut it, because it has "omnibenevolent" in the description. This makes for circular reasoning."

This isn't actually a circle, I'll illustrate.

"Why is it good? Because god wants it, and god is good."


"Why is god good? Because he does good things. "

False, he is good because that is part of the assumptions. Your statement is equivalent to stating in the first assumption "Why is the universe deterministic?".

Its not circular reasoning, its linear deduction. God being good, all-powerful and all-knowing implies that no evil as God defines it exists.


I like your idea of a definition of a morality without relying on divine fiat, but I don't think it can be anything but a consensus. God being in the equation is the equivalent of an expert, in the absence of expert testimony you are essentially argueing legs on unicorns. My notion is as true as I can persuade everyone that it is. If our notion of good is a consensus, then likewise our notion of evil ought to be. Thus the problem of evil is simply a case of minority action. Its reasons will be specific to each act of "evil".

I agree that the Best of all Possible worlds deduction is not persuasive to someone who rejects its assumptions. In my experience that is true of all arguments that cannot be demonstrated experimentally. If you are looking for a persuasive argument for God's existence I like to use the Watchmaker.

You reject BOAPW, so your assumptions include that God isn't preventing all evil as he defines it, then you derive from evil's existence as a human defines it that a God who prevents evil as a human defines it doesn't exist? view post

halloed hands posted 24 May 2006 in The Thousandfold Thoughthalloed hands by Will, Peralogue

This question has been examined under the "Glowing Hands" topic on this forum. I think Serwe seeing the haloes on Sarcellus' hands when he is raping her proves that they exist in the eye of the beholder. If you believe hard enough in the world of the books you can see them on anyone's (or anything's) hands. view post

The problem of evil posted 21 June 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionThe problem of evil by Will, Peralogue


You've pegged precisely my next statement, " I think the best plqce to target me is the claim that there is evil in the world. " As you say, I don't believe that, given a omniscient, omnibenevolent, omnipotent God there can be evil in this world. I am thus, an optimist. You'd never know it from talking to me though.

I'm interested in your notion that freedom is action udner some set of rules. Can you give me a better description/elaboration on this? Or perhaps, just point me towards some learned sage who has set down this position's definitive stated if you don't have the time or inclination to write it out. view post

"Have you ever met someone who is smarter than you?&quo posted 27 September 2006 in Philosophy Discussion"Have you ever met someone who is smarter than you?&quo by Will, Peralogue

I have met no one who has told me that they have a higher IQ than I. (obviously this is a statement loaded with qualifiers) view post

Perceptions of Reality posted 27 September 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionPerceptions of Reality by Will, Peralogue

It seems self-evident, at first, that the world is objective and human beings are merely pieces thereof. This would lead directly to the conclusion that the math which describes that world (physics) is the deepest "truth" that exists. There are, however, pieces of evidence weighing agaisnt this, the quantum slit experiment comes to mind.

I personally stop at Descarte, I think therefore I am, the rest of you, and obviously the world itself, may or may not be, and it doesn't make any particular difference to the only piece of reality I can know (me). view post

Right thing to do? posted 26 October 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionRight thing to do? by Will, Peralogue

I was approaching a gas station and a young man asked me to buy him a pack of cigarettes. It was unclear whether he lacked the funds, the age, or simply wished not to expend his funds. What is the most moral course of action I could take? view post

Right thing to do? posted 29 October 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionRight thing to do? by Will, Peralogue

Yes, I usually give people money for pan-handling. I probably wouldn't have bought him a sandwich/coffee/soda, but I'd have given him money for that. (I'll give money, not time)

Thanks for the feedback. view post

Gnosis vs. Anagogis, and sorcery in general posted 30 October 2006 in Author Q & AGnosis vs. Anagogis, and sorcery in general by Will, Peralogue

Well, to answer the question of whether or not there is something that Anagogics can do that Gnostic sorcerer's can' seems likely but we don't get a specific example. As you mention, it seems unlikely that you could get an Anagogic teleport, given that the Divinely crafted world contains no examples thereof.

Iyokus mentions that the Daimotic arts are exclusive to the Scarlet Spires, which is consequently an Anagogic only power. That seems to imply that each "School", rather than each mode of sorcery, has their own specialties that they alone can do.

As for why Sorcery isn't used for constructive things, as you mentioned earlier its seen as damned. A road constructed by the Few would be similarly damned. It took a Holy War to make the followers of Sejenus hold their noses enough to let the Scarlet Spires save their lives from the Cishaurim. The aristocracy will risk their souls at the command of Maithanet, but I don't see them risking them to spare their servants the effort of breaking through a mountain. It seems to me significant that the decision makers in a Dark Age society are herediary nobles, not tradesmen. Their actions aren't necessarily in their economic best interest, since the level playing field necessary for the operation of the free market doesn't really exist. view post

No-God's questions posted 30 October 2006 in The Thousandfold ThoughtNo-God's questions by Will, Peralogue

Several times in the books Sarcellus is described as a well trained animal. What passes for thoughts pass through what passes for its soul, etc. It seems that creations of the Tekne are as self-aware as your dog, just far better trained. It lacks the complexity of a human mind, being entirely concerned with achieving climax, which it can do only at the bidding of its masters.

Kellhus recognizes that the face-changers bear a relation to the Sranc, wishing to rut with their knives. From this it seems that the Sranc are mentally similar to the face changers, although that is admittedly somewhat of a leap. It feels like they got a good suboradinate mind going in their creations and stuck with it. (Subsequent versions of an OS?)

I don't have any real idea what is up with the No-God though, as a creation of the Tekne it seems like it would resemble Sranc/Skin-changers, but as I recall the No-God is described as being "awakened" by the Inchoroi and consequently it may be fundamentally different from their creations. view post

Speculation on Iyokus' future role posted 07 November 2006 in The Thousandfold ThoughtSpeculation on Iyokus' future role by Will, Peralogue

Iyokus seems tailor made, at the end of TTT, as an enemy of Kellhus. There are several reasons that it seems this way to me.

1. As a blind man Iyokus is immune to a substantial portion of Kellhus' posessing arsenal. Kellhus' appearance, his haloes, his perfectly crafted expressions, all useless.

2. As a chanv addict (chanv is believed to extend life and kill the emotions) he is presumably harder to posess. Kellhus controls people primarily by revealing truths to them which prompt emotions of gratitude and adoration. Iyokus's emotions are so dead that when Akka is coming to kill him he feels a memory of fear, and not actual fear.

3. Iyokus has a power that Kellhus most likely lacks. The Mandate do not have Daimotic sorcery, thus Kellhus cannot improve on it unless he derives it himself, or learns it from a Scarlet Spire. While I don't doubt he'd do that in a second if he knew of the Daimos, I don't recall Akka ever telling him about it, and I certainly can't see Nautzera et al spoiling their moment of triumph by admitting that those feeble Anagogic sorcerers can do something the Mandate doesn't yet know how to do.

4. Iyokus has a faction, but not such a great faction that Kellhus MUST posess him. At the end of TTT he's wearing Elezearus' robes, so he's the SS grandmaster, but they have been decimated. He's probably the Grandmaster of the weakest school in the Three Seas.

5. As a person with no emotions who has done awful, awful things he is a prime candidate for Moenghus/Consult's belief system. The rational thing to do to escape damnation is to close the world. I don't see the SS former spymaster as someone who would let scruples prevent him.

Thus, I think Iyokus will be one of the only disloyal folks in Kellhus' court. I seem to recall there was a similar cadre in Paul's court in the dune books. view post

Question about the Tekne and soulled beings posted 07 November 2006 in The Thousandfold ThoughtQuestion about the Tekne and soulled beings by Will, Peralogue

Its reasonable that Inchoroi creations can reproduce, see the Sranc. Its reasonable that they can simulate human beings, like the skin spies. Heck, with more effort the Tekne may be able to reliably produce skin-spies with souls like Simas. Thus I'd say that the Tekne can create souled or soulless "humans" (just skin spies without the face trick). I don't know whether one created without a soul can grow one though, that seems unlikely to me. view post

Speculation on Iyokus' future role posted 08 November 2006 in The Thousandfold ThoughtSpeculation on Iyokus' future role by Will, Peralogue

I concur that demons might be ineffective against Kellhus' person, but as Aspect Emperor his designs will doubtless include many people far less invulnerable. It might even be that his role is to get chumped to show how cool Kellhus is.

As to the why, if one has escaped posession there is little reason to follow Kellhus. Universally the reaction to discovering his "true motives" is abject horror and rejection. Cnaiur, Akka...upon awakening they repudiate him. In the chanv-enforced calm Kellhus' claims to salvation may ring less clear than the Consults. Another possibilty is that Iyokus has enough emotion to remember hate. Now this is sort of me trying to have it both ways, but Kellhus had his minion take the man's eyes. Iyokus might not be able to forgive that, or alternatively he could be simply power hungry. He might blame Kellhus for the near-extinction of the SS. There are many reasons to oppose Kellhus. I like your idea about the chanv supply also, I had missed that. view post

Question about the Tekne and soulled beings posted 08 November 2006 in The Thousandfold ThoughtQuestion about the Tekne and soulled beings by Will, Peralogue

Well, the skin-spies lack free will in that they are incapable of true logical thought. The captured one knows it will be tortured and not rescued, and simultaneously knows it will be rescued. The ones talking to Cnaiur tell him that they are "dogs that would rather starve than eat from a hand besides their masters", or some such. Without independent thought, that is, without the ability to check their premises, it doesn't seem like it would be a good thing.

My reading has been taht they simulate thoght well, but they are basically robotic. Their programming is geared towards achieving ejaculation, and could probably be written as a state machine. Sarcellus' POV chapters describe his thought process.

The broader question of whether or not Tekne style software can create consciousness is not answered in the Prince of Nothign, but it seems to me that the Outside is needed. Skin-spies aren't part of God/Oversoul/Here, they lose.

Ahem, after that rant, to answer your statement. I think that, with sufficient Conditioning, it would be indistinguishable to an observer from a human. I see this as being like the Melissa bot though, just a well trained animal/program. It wouldn't be good to be one, because as a thinking being the idea of lacking self-awareness is terrifying. view post

Speculation on Iyokus' future role posted 09 November 2006 in The Thousandfold ThoughtSpeculation on Iyokus' future role by Will, Peralogue

From an "in-book" stance I've already given my reasons I don't think Iyokus will be posessed.

From an "out-of-book" stance:

I don't think that is likely, given that Kellhus has many minions already. From a narrative standpoint Iyokus' development to this point is squandered if he becomes basically a different colored Nautzera. view post

Will anything change? posted 09 November 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionWill anything change? by Will, Peralogue

I voted "No", but that is intended to be an answer to a simpler question, that being "Will the democrats change anything before the next election". Currently the US legislative branch is deadlocked, Reps can't pass anything, Dems can't beat the Rep President's veto. Dems can't get their agenda going unless they make further gains, including the White House, in the next election. view post

Nationhood posted 11 December 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionNationhood by Will, Peralogue

I'm always a bit leery of defining something which actually exists as being "illogical" and especially of saying that it "shouldn't" exist.

Should is a bit of a silly word for conversation of the level you seem to want to have. What do you mean by "should"? Are you religious, in which case your "should" might be translated to be "Divinely commanded"? Are you an atheist (humans are lightning in meat) in which your "should" comes out as something like "I prefer that".

You state that : "their (their refers to nations) existence is irrational and hence that they should not exist. " You base the irrationality of nations upon the foundation that you have not been able to rationalize their existence. I imagine that you are also (offhand) unable to explain the full workings of your computer, or your local hospital. Clearly its irrational and shouldn't exist. The idea that your idea of rationality is the litmus test that all human institutions must pass in order to be justified (with the almighty should!) in their existence is hilarious, but oddly attractive.

Accepting then, as read, the idea that nations are not inherently logical by virtue of having come into existence and endured thousands of years of stress testing we come to the conclusion that further proof is necessary. I propose that you accept nations as rational based upon their utility. I think if you examine the actions of nations you will have some difficulty in determing another group which could and would take on those actions if nations were to be dissolved. view post

Life and Death posted 11 December 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionLife and Death by Will, Peralogue

Well, it seems likely that we have the will to live because all beings without a will to live have died off. That is, imagine you have a set of ten children. Lets say 5 have the will to live and 5 don't. You probably end up with 4 children, one having died in spite of trying its best to live and the other 5 having died off from choosing not to eat. Those who arrive at the age where they can post on internet forums have presumably affirmed thousands of times that they choose life over death.

Thus asking the question of this particular audience is much like seperating people by left-handedness or right-handedness and then going into the right handed set and asking why we favor our right hand. view post

Iyokus as enemy in new book? posted 16 December 2008 in The Thousandfold ThoughtIyokus as enemy in new book? by Will, Peralogue

So, I was rereading the Prince of Nothing in preparation for the Aspect Emperor starting up, and I noticed that Iyokus doesn't seem to have a distinct ending.

I could totally see him as some manner of antagonist figure in the AE.

#1: He's blind, and hence immune to portions of the Dunyain mind control
#2: He's a Scarlet Spire, and presumably they lose everything in the reorg of the schools.
#3: He's a chanv addict, and presumably harder to control due to deadened emotions + longer life
#4: He has the Daemonin, which no protag is known to possess.
#5: He has a grudge vs. the good guys (lost eyes), which is a narrative incentive to keep him around.

Seem plausible? view post

No-God theory, or another theory posted 19 December 2008 in The Great Ordeal [supposed]No-God theory, or another theory by Will, Peralogue

I think Cnaiur is dead. Killing Moenghus is the end of his arc. I guess the consult could use him vs. Kellhus, but that's not the sense I got from that last scene. view post

Damnation (spoilers) posted 06 February 2009 in The Judging EyeDamnation (spoilers) by Will, Peralogue

I dunno, it looks like damnation through the Judging Eye. Why would the objective mind doubt that it is as it seems? You can't go doubting your senses without getting into the Great Deceiver loop. view post

The Curse of the Judging Eye (SPOILERS!!!!) posted 06 February 2009 in The Judging EyeThe Curse of the Judging Eye (SPOILERS!!!!) by Will, Peralogue

Indeed, I think that's the root of the matter. We have the connection that Damnation is eternal torment delivered in answer to some transgression. In Earwa, however, I think it might just be the torment part, the transgression may be entirely in the eye of the Outsider. Thus women, sorcerers, etc. are guilty of being what they are. Soldiers who slaughter cities or what have you are only guilty if slaughter is a problem for the Outsider doing the tormenting. It might dig that sort of thing. view post

Spoiler: Kelmonas' Voice posted 06 February 2009 in The Judging EyeSpoiler: Kelmonas' Voice by Will, Peralogue

So, is the voice that speaks to Kelmonas part of his own twisted spirit, or does it come from another entity? Also, what does it mean by the Strength? view post

Would you... posted 10 February 2009 in The Judging EyeWould you... by Will, Peralogue

No, it's inherently immoral. I'd prefer to avoid damnation. view post

Kellhus vs Whiteluck -<SPOILERS>- posted 10 February 2009 in The Judging EyeKellhus vs Whiteluck -<SPOILERS>- by Will, Peralogue

Anybody else think the Whiteluck could be Cnaiur reborn? He killed the last dunyain, after all! view post

Is Kellus insane or not posted 02 March 2009 in The Judging EyeIs Kellus insane or not by Will, Peralogue

I think the point that Kellhus made to Moenghus at the end of TTT was that eventually logic and reason would see anyone switch sides and work with the Consult. Thus, no Dunyain can be trusted (by foes of the Consult) as ultimately reason will cause them to betray.

I think the question of Kellhus's sanity or lack thereof, however, is merely one piece of a larger question. To wit, what does Kellhus strive towards, ultimately? I take it as read that he's sane in the sense that he takes pragmatic steps to accomplish his ends. What those ends are, however, will ultimately determine whether we regard him as sane or insane. view post


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