The Second Apocalypse

Earwa => General Earwa => Topic started by: Callan S. on August 07, 2013, 02:08:47 am

Title: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Callan S. on August 07, 2013, 02:08:47 am
My overall prediction is that the genre will literally leap from fantasy to sci-fi.

That the world is actually far future - that various technological societies developed the means to cast a sort of damnation internet not just across a world, no just across many worlds, but across whole milky ways. They thought this mechanism would make everything 'right'. Possibly the one god is a super computer. They set up some sort of hippy-esque low technology life on the planet we know as Earwa, which is actually nestled amongst their frightening cthulu-tech damnation internet.

Then eventually some sort of catasrophe occured where the humans on earwa were nearly wiped out. The remaining ones, out of denial mostly, simply didn't teach new generations about the past. Thus it was forgotten. With the Inchoroi are actually another branch of human beings (originally) - though a quite widely distributed, given how long it took them to find Earwa.

But yeah, not a twist on ye old days, but instead its sci fi, dragged down to the genre of fantasy by the pure force of fictional events and the qualities of forgetting.

I was already surprised about having space aliens in fantasy - with that, this doesn't seem so implausible to me.
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: locke on August 07, 2013, 05:39:57 pm
I wouldn't be surprised at any of that.  It's similar enough to Dune.  In fact, you could almost argue that the series is in response to the question posed by the end of the final Dune novel, wtf are the honored matres running from?
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Somnambulist on August 08, 2013, 12:41:29 pm
Clarke's Third Law:  Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Why not?  Though now I've got this uncomfortable association forming with The Matrix.  Kellhus = Neo?  :)
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Callan S. on August 09, 2013, 01:19:57 am
Sufficiently advanced sci-fi is indistinguishable from fantasy.

I'd liken Kellhus more to agent Smith. Particularly in regard the self duplication of the latter movies (the thousand fold thought...one thought, rerendered a thousand times over? Cloud computing, man...)
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Somnambulist on August 09, 2013, 03:28:53 am
Touché
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Wilshire on August 09, 2013, 08:38:23 pm
Sufficiently advanced sci-fi is indistinguishable from fantasy.


That is awesome. I'm writing that down and putting it somewhere so that I won't forget it.
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Madness on August 13, 2013, 02:15:46 pm
Lol.

+1 for Quotes, Somnambulist.

I wouldn't be surprised at any of that.  It's similar enough to Dune.  In fact, you could almost argue that the series is in response to the question posed by the end of the final Dune novel, wtf are the honored matres running from?

+1 for Something Worse than Inchoroi.
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Baztek on August 20, 2013, 08:36:56 pm
I'm all for the inchoroi being the descendants of humans/human-like species. Totally bracing for a Planet of the Apes-esque moment in TUC when Kellhus or whoever braves the depths of Golgotterath and finds stylized depictions of a curious blue planet or some shit.
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Callan S. on August 21, 2013, 02:25:20 am
Probably makes the non men the genetically modified transhumans of humanity - whether they brought humans with them forceably or regular humans came along and then the relationship fell into what we see in the current timeline, who knows?

Reminds me of how Eskimo's used to think they were the only people in the whole world - till some dude came and stole their meteorite metal. And their children.
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Francis Buck on August 21, 2013, 10:27:07 pm
Man, I sure hope it's not going that way, considering I've been writing a novel for almost a year with almost the exact same premise (epic fantasy that turns out to be totally science-fiction).

Well, not exactly the same. No damnation or gods or what have you. But the whole "religious people not passing knowledge through the generations" thing is there. Everything that appears magical is in-fact based in science (futuristic science, anyway). And it was all done by transhumans. Obviously there's hell of a lot more to it than that, but yeah.

I've never even considered the possibility that Bakker's story might be going in the same direction. It certainly is possible, though there would be a lot that needs explaining. Why would the cultures have developed in such similar ways to past human society? And the distribution of the races with such similar religious and cultural backgrounds (in the broad sense)? Unless everything was being "guided" to go that way by the God or something, it would be an absolutely massive coincidence.
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Madness on August 22, 2013, 01:54:43 pm
I've never even considered the possibility that Bakker's story might be going in the same direction. It certainly is possible, though there would be a lot that needs explaining. Why would the cultures have developed in such similar ways to past human society? And the distribution of the races with such similar religious and cultural backgrounds (in the broad sense)? Unless everything was being "guided" to go that way by the God or something, it would be an absolutely massive coincidence.

I've often thought I'd 'figured Bakker' in the past number of years... He's always surprised me. Though, you can see me for MONTHS harping on Zombie Three-Seas about Achamian going to Ishterebinth.
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Baztek on August 22, 2013, 07:03:55 pm
I'm kind of a book snob but even I'll admit the complexity of TSA is staggering. And a lot of that has to do with the particular lens of interpretation you guys see Bakker through. For me, this forum has enriched what is an already fascinatingly complex story into something beautiful and truly literary. Maybe the prose* isn't necessarily on par with Ulysses or Grapes of Wrath but the kind of academic clout you guys bring the table really helps it transcend its genre.

I'd love to pick your brains about some of my other favorite authors.

*in the first trilogy. The second trilogy is a whole other beast so far. Dude really hit his stride. Bakker is ferociously readable.
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Callan S. on August 23, 2013, 10:30:07 am
Why would the cultures have developed in such similar ways to past human society? And the distribution of the races with such similar religious and cultural backgrounds (in the broad sense)?
Because they are using the same brain we all had back in the stone age and even before that? We are number sticks, yet in the end we fall in the same ways...
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Madness on August 23, 2013, 01:20:07 pm
I'm kind of a book snob but even I'll admit the complexity of TSA is staggering. And a lot of that has to do with the particular lens of interpretation you guys see Bakker through. For me, this forum has enriched what is an already fascinatingly complex story into something beautiful and truly literary. Maybe the prose* isn't necessarily on par with Ulysses or Grapes of Wrath but the kind of academic clout you guys bring the table really helps it transcend its genre.

I'd love to pick your brains about some of my other favorite authors.

*in the first trilogy. The second trilogy is a whole other beast so far. Dude really hit his stride. Bakker is ferociously readable.

+1 for you and +1 for your Avatar. I'm midway through Season 2 for the first time ever, though I had roommates who watched it religiously.
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Francis Buck on August 23, 2013, 05:28:23 pm
Why would the cultures have developed in such similar ways to past human society? And the distribution of the races with such similar religious and cultural backgrounds (in the broad sense)?
Because they are using the same brain we all had back in the stone age and even before that? We are number sticks, yet in the end we fall in the same ways...

That logic only really works if the conditions are identical or very, very, similar, which I would say is not the case with Earwa. It's a world with magic, inhuman races of equal or greater intelligence, and well-known existential threats. I mean we're talking really direct parallels here. The Circumfix? Obviously Earwa and Earth are different, but the similarities are a bit too much for me to take that idea seriously. I'd be really disappointed if that was Bakker's explanation, and I'm not just saying that because of my own story (honestly I couldn't care less in that regard, I was more just being silly earlier; the actual story I'm telling and the world it takes place in are extremely different from the style of Earwa, they just happen to share the core twist you mentioned).
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Baztek on August 23, 2013, 05:51:58 pm
In Callan's defense, the original human tribes across the Kayarsus probably had no clue about the existence of Nonmen, so the rise of agriculture, religion, and all that would have presumably proceeded in much the same way as we see here on Earth. Sorcery is a bit trickier, since the capacity of humans to perform sorcery would have had profound existential implications, but given the rarity of the Few, in the end it just contributed to the creation of extremely devout and dogmatic religious systems, and not totally alien societies.

Quote
+1 for you and +1 for your Avatar. I'm midway through Season 2 for the first time ever, though I had roommates who watched it religiously.

Madness watching The Wire? Be still, my heart. Be still.
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Francis Buck on August 23, 2013, 08:46:01 pm
I guess it's just a difference in opinion. Certainly there would be similarities that would arise, cultural themes and archetypes and so on, but the idea that a group of humans with no concept of their history, and presented with such a different set of circumstances (even down to the differences in physical environment), would eventually end up having societies and historical events that so closely mirror earth...I don't know, it's just really pushing logic to me. I mean even here on earth we have examples of peoples that evolved in the same type of climate and terrain, yet possessed a radically different culture and society. The sheer amount of differences between the Far East and the West alone point to that idea. There are just too many variables. Even look at the languages and races of Earwa. Why did all the tribes perfectly fall into line with the environments suited to their historical origins? Why did the Norsirai inhabit the north while the Ketyai inhabited the south? Why do the Xiuhanni live in the east, largely isolated from Earwa, just like real life China? Why do the cultures align with skin-color so much like they did on earth? They didn't evolve that way, since we're told they came fully formed with Angeshrael across the Kayarsus. Just too many variables for so specific an outcome, in my opinion.

I'm not saying it's impossible, or that there couldn't be some other reasonable explanation for it, but that particular one isn't especially believable in this case.
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Madness on August 24, 2013, 03:53:15 am
Quote
+1 for you and +1 for your Avatar. I'm midway through Season 2 for the first time ever, though I had roommates who watched it religiously.

Madness watching The Wire? Be still, my heart. Be still.

I try and to indulge a show every once and awhile. I'm still hoping that Sons of Anarchy pans out.
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Callan S. on August 24, 2013, 10:23:28 pm
Magic is, as said, a kind of technology. How much did our societal patterns change around the invention of gunpowder? Or even today? Never mind many would never have seen magic worked. The nonmen are also relatively rare. And a big part of the premise is no one knows what the true religion to follow is - how can the existential be that well known when that is the case?

Quote
Even look at the languages and races of Earwa. Why did all the tribes perfectly fall into line with the environments suited to their historical origins?
Conditioned...

That's part of the premise itself...it's not 'our' history. It's a history environment imposed upon us. Earwa has deserts. So you get desert peoples.

Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: sciborg2 on August 25, 2013, 01:56:29 am
This actually could explain the five nations being of different races but existing on the same continent.

It's still unknown to what extent evolution played a part on Earwa, but if you had transplanted humans from different nations that might help explain things.
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Francis Buck on August 27, 2013, 05:35:18 pm
@Sci

Well we already have the explanation for that, since we knew Angeshrael led the Five Tribes of Men across the Kayarsus. But even if that were not the case, Earwa's pretty damn huge. It's not hard to believe for me that there would be different races there (although perhaps not so many).

@Callan
I guess I'm still just missing something. I mean by that logic then, Bakker would basically be saying that people with Arabic features are somehow naturally inclined towards Islam-esque religions and living in the desert? And also forming languages similar to Arab tongues? And this also applies to every other race?

Like I said earlier, we already have examples of this not being true on Earth. You say that Earwa has deserts, and so we get desert people. If that's the case, then why aren't all of earth's desert people almost identical? Why do they have such a range of cultures and beliefs? I mean obviously certain behavioral systems would remain, but again, taking that all the way into language and culture, and up to the point of events as specific as the Vulgar Holy War or the Circumfix...I just don't get it.
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Wilshire on August 27, 2013, 05:51:57 pm
Well earwa might be big, but its not that big. If you have essentially 5 races move into an area and then separate, then I don't get why its surprising that there are not 100 different ones at this point.

Its also a matter of POV. As an example, someone from Europe that has never been to America may believe that Everyone there is essentially the same. That could be correct, or false, depending on were you sit. If, for example, you compare the societal difference of those inside america to those in a similarly large geographic space, like Europe, then you could say that yes, most of America is the same. The diversity in USA is way different the the diversity in the EU. However, I bet that if you told someone from south Texas that they were culturally similar to people in Maine, they'd disagree with you.

Also, if a group of people with Arabic features, who also help similar scio/ecomoic and religious beliefs, went off somewhere and established their own colony, I'd imagine they would end up with similar beliefs 100 years down the road. So it is entierly possible that a group of people with similar physical features would have similar beliefs.

We only get flawed perspectives, so actual diversity may simply be obscured. 

Hope that fit somewhere into this discussion :P I can't saw I was reading too closely.
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Somnambulist on August 27, 2013, 06:55:25 pm
While I'm not an anthropologist by any stretch of the imagination, I do have a broad (one could almost say 'shallow') understanding/interest in the dispersions of peoples and the subsequent formation of tribes and then into civilizations.  It's a hobby.  I'm a nerd.  The existence of five distinct tribes is not at all out of the question.  Earth-centric tribes exist in abundance, and often a lot closer to each other than you might think.  Some European 'tribes' and/or ethnicities, however you choose to view them, are Gaels, Angles, Jutes, Normans, Thracians, Macedonians, Slavs, Finns, Andalusians, Danes, to name a fraction of them.  You could argue they are all part of the Caucasian group (or Norsirai, in terms of this discussion).  Then you have Middle-eastern cultures, which are again divided into regional nationalities such as Hebrew, Arabic, Turkic, Palestinian, etc.  Many of these share a common heritage (i.e., Semitic or 'Ketyai'), but some don't or are only partially genetically related.  The list goes on with the various sub-cultures in Asian, Indian, Oriental and African cultures, to a staggering degree, not to mention the multitude of New World tribes in the Americas.

In reference to the tribes of Earwa, then, five tribes is practically nothing on a world-scale.  I see no reason why there couldn't be five tribes.  The reason there were 'only' five tribes is more problematic.  Cross-culture mixing happened all the time, either where one tribe was subsumed by another, or simply by trade (think the Silk Road from China to Europe).  There must be some sort of prohibition, on a broad scale, to discourage interbreeding.  That's not surprising, either, though.  Many religions prohibit or at least frown upon cross-culturization (is that even a word?).  The thing that occurs to me as most troubling is why five disparate tribes, obviously having evolved along similar lines as earth tribes, came together under a leader from one tribe alone, in one specific geographic location.  Why would five dominant groups of ethnically different backgrounds (I'll use real-world analogies here) congregate and cooperate on a mass scale?  African, Semite, Caucasian, Scythian and Chinese (assumedly) tribes all banded together under one man and said "Yeah, let's do that."  The reason for that is the real question in my mind.

If I've made any gross errors in here, it was not my intent to offend anyone.  As I said, I'm not an expert.  Simply an amateur with no formal training in anthropology, but an intense interest in this subject.  If anyone can clarify or debunk any of the crap I just spouted, please do!
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Wilshire on August 27, 2013, 07:20:04 pm
Thanks for that explanation Somnambulist. First of all, I just learned that your name is actually something because google didnt underline it in red. Cool :P

But seriously, the first bit of what you said is a way better explanation of something I might have been trying to say. I should probably just delete my post.

One tiny little thing that i might question though. Why would the 5 tribes represent dominant groups (its possible I am misinterpreting what you meant)? The 5 separate tribes could have just been small subsets of their dominant ethical groups.  Or, they could all be minor players in whatever world scheme was happening, and they all were looking for a way out. A common enemy and all that.

Or this scenario (might help answer your question about "Yeah, lets do that"):
Say, each of the 5 groups all consisted of extremest (within their own populations) who had a a tiny overlapping of belief. Like if an Inchoroi flew over the mountains, introduced some wacky religion to each of the separate tribes, and the ones that became followers of this new 'religion' eventually found themselves all wanting the same thing (in this case, to pass through the mountains). After they crossed the mountain the groups were too dissimilar to stay as a cohesive unit, and splintered back into their old tribal ways.
I think that sounds semi reasonable

I certainly agree that there needs to be some kind of mutual prohibition of cultural interaction in order to keep them separate for a long time, but this doesn't seem too difficult to imagine. Presumably, before the breaking of the gates, the tribes had little interaction and probably warred with each other. After the tribes went their own ways, there was a log of distance and geographical barriers that prevented interaction, not to mention old feuds and decades of bloody history.
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Somnambulist on August 27, 2013, 09:17:00 pm
Thanks for that explanation Somnambulist. First of all, I just learned that your name is actually something because google didnt underline it in red. Cool :P

There is meaning in everything  ;)

One tiny little thing that i might question though. Why would the 5 tribes represent dominant groups (its possible I am misinterpreting what you meant)? The 5 separate tribes could have just been small subsets of their dominant ethical groups.  Or, they could all be minor players in whatever world scheme was happening, and they all were looking for a way out. A common enemy and all that.

Yours is definitely a valid point.  That could absolutely be one scenario.  I have a tendency towards the over-dramatic, though, so my assumption was that mass immigrations of various peoples were displaced for some reason or another.  I have this image of Exodus in my head, but on an enormous scale.  Purely my own invention.  I think part of it is also rooted in the sheer numbers (I believe) of humans needed to actually 'break the gates' and put to the torch nonman mansions, armies, etc.  I think it would have taken multitudes of men to do that, even if half the nonmen welcomed the end.  Hence large, dominant tribes.

Or this scenario (might help answer your question about "Yeah, lets do that"):
Say, each of the 5 groups all consisted of extremest (within their own populations) who had a a tiny overlapping of belief. Like if an Inchoroi flew over the mountains, introduced some wacky religion to each of the separate tribes, and the ones that became followers of this new 'religion' eventually found themselves all wanting the same thing (in this case, to pass through the mountains). After they crossed the mountain the groups were too dissimilar to stay as a cohesive unit, and splintered back into their old tribal ways.
I think that sounds semi reasonable

Sounds reasonable, as well.
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Wilshire on August 27, 2013, 09:25:29 pm
That is a good point. Even if there were only a few Nonman defending a fortress, many, many men would die trying to climb over those walls.
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Francis Buck on August 27, 2013, 10:20:35 pm
Why would five dominant groups of ethnically different backgrounds (I'll use real-world analogies here) congregate and cooperate on a mass scale?  African, Semite, Caucasian, Scythian and Chinese (assumedly) tribes all banded together under one man and said "Yeah, let's do that."  The reason for that is the real question in my mind.

This actually is a very good question, one I never really considered and which a lot of people probably take for granted, because it has the ring of scripture. By which I mean, it's a multifaceted issue in that, with Bakker's world, we don't know how much is legend and how much is reality. Did Angeshrael actually bow his head into the fire when told to do so by Husyelt? Why should we doubt it? This was apparently the time when the gods had "not yet left the World in the charge of men", similar to the Golden Age of Greek myth. But Bakker's universe is one that makes you second-guess everything. The initial knee-jerk reaction is to say that it's myth, but then those of us who have read and speculated on the series have resistance to that (considering how "real" the gods have become).

This also brings up another question. If we assume that the gods did indeed "mingle with men", in the way Angeshrael's story describes, why aren't there any stories of them doing the same with the Nonmen? By the time Husyelt was having his little camp-fire conversation with Angeshrael, the Nonman were already fighting the Inchoroi, correct? This ties back into the higher concept of what the relationship between the Nonmen and the gods is. Did the gods make the World? I personally think they did, in a Demiurgic sense. But then where do the Nonmen fit in?
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Somnambulist on August 28, 2013, 02:12:10 am
This also brings up another question. If we assume that the gods did indeed "mingle with men", in the way Angeshrael's story describes, why aren't there any stories of them doing the same with the Nonmen? By the time Husyelt was having his little camp-fire conversation with Angeshrael, the Nonman were already fighting the Inchoroi, correct? This ties back into the higher concept of what the relationship between the Nonmen and the gods is. Did the gods make the World? I personally think they did, in a Demiurgic sense. But then where do the Nonmen fit in?

I've been re-reading WLW, and there was a conversation between Kellhus and the Nonman envoy.  The Nonman expressed that they didn't worship the gods, but the spaces in between the gods, and that was the reason they were damned.  So, either the nonmen rejected the gods at some point in their history, or they were not created by the gods (who eventually gained ascendancy and provenance over the world), and thus were damned (either way).  Still doesn't explain their provenance, but it's another piece to the puzzle, I think.
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Callan S. on August 28, 2013, 03:00:28 am
@Callan
I guess I'm still just missing something. I mean by that logic then, Bakker would basically be saying that people with Arabic features are somehow naturally inclined towards Islam-esque religions and living in the desert?
Other way around - arabic features are naturally inclined to show up in latter generations as the best performing features in that environment.

Quote
And also forming languages similar to Arab tongues? And this also applies to every other race?
Now that I'm not sure about. Keep in mind though that the Inuit (Eskimo's?) in real life have about 40 different names for snow. That's certainly language shaped by environment.

What do we have in the books that shows a direct similarity between arab tongues and the Ketyai?

Quote
Like I said earlier, we already have examples of this not being true on Earth. You say that Earwa has deserts, and so we get desert people. If that's the case, then why aren't all of earth's desert people almost identical? Why do they have such a range of cultures and beliefs? I mean obviously certain behavioral systems would remain, but again, taking that all the way into language and culture, and up to the point of events as specific as the Vulgar Holy War or the Circumfix...I just don't get it.
Again, the other way around - your perception of arabic features - why couldn't that one come up as much as any other? If Bakker had chosen another race of RL desert dwellers for the features, would you argue why is this race the only type of desert race? Pot luck. Well okay, the author chose it, but chose it on the basis of it being pot luck in the world. Or so I hypothesize.

I'm not sure why your saying the
(click to show/hide)
is super specific somehow? Nor the circumfix - it's not a perfect cross, and it revolves around the human body (when not dismembered), so it has to conform to some similarity to any other device one might pin a person upon. Ironically there ideology must condition itself to the enviroment that is the human body (when not dismembered!)
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Wilshire on August 28, 2013, 03:29:21 am
Nor the circumfix - it's not a perfect cross, and it revolves around the human body (when not dismembered), so it has to conform to some similarity to any other device one might pin a person upon. Ironically there ideology must condition itself to the enviroment that is the human body (when not dismembered!)

There is more than one way to skin a cat, but alas, in the end, you are always simply removing the skin from the cat. :P
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Francis Buck on August 28, 2013, 04:02:47 am
@Callan
I guess I'm still just missing something. I mean by that logic then, Bakker would basically be saying that people with Arabic features are somehow naturally inclined towards Islam-esque religions and living in the desert?
Other way around - arabic features are naturally inclined to show up in latter generations as the best performing features in that environment.

Quote
And also forming languages similar to Arab tongues? And this also applies to every other race?
Now that I'm not sure about. Keep in mind though that the Inuit (Eskimo's?) in real life have about 40 different names for snow. That's certainly language shaped by environment.

What do we have in the books that shows a direct similarity between arab tongues and the Ketyai?

Quote
Like I said earlier, we already have examples of this not being true on Earth. You say that Earwa has deserts, and so we get desert people. If that's the case, then why aren't all of earth's desert people almost identical? Why do they have such a range of cultures and beliefs? I mean obviously certain behavioral systems would remain, but again, taking that all the way into language and culture, and up to the point of events as specific as the Vulgar Holy War or the Circumfix...I just don't get it.
Again, the other way around - your perception of arabic features - why couldn't that one come up as much as any other? If Bakker had chosen another race of RL desert dwellers for the features, would you argue why is this race the only type of desert race? Pot luck. Well okay, the author chose it, but chose it on the basis of it being pot luck in the world. Or so I hypothesize.

I'm not sure why your saying the
(click to show/hide)
is super specific somehow? Nor the circumfix - it's not a perfect cross, and it revolves around the human body (when not dismembered), so it has to conform to some similarity to any other device one might pin a person upon. Ironically there ideology must condition itself to the enviroment that is the human body (when not dismembered!)

Like I said earlier, I think you and I just have very different opinions on how this sort of situation would play out. Given this set of circumstances:

A:) A large group of humans of different races (though race really doesn't even matter at this point).

B:) Placing them onto an only vaguely Earth-like environment, in the sense that there are similar climates, but with a very different terrain that also contains many wildly exotic features (magic, gods, non-human intelligences).

C:) Taking said humans and erasing all memory of their history...

...And then, after several thousand years, having all of that reorganize itself into a set of civilizations that racially, culturally, and linguistically mirror the same set of events based on the planet and history that the races initially evolved on, despite all of the environmentally unique factors of Earwa...just makes no sense to me. And, as I've said, it's not like these are broad strokes. It comes down to some incredibly specific points: very similar religions (a bible analogue, a christ analogue, a crucifixion analogue, several biblical character analogues), and then specific historical movements of those religions and cultures, then extremely specific events within those specific historical movements -- I mean, what's the likelihood that not only would a Holy War happen, but also another Vulgar Holy War (I.E. the People's Crusade, which the VHW was based on)? And, again, I cite the fact that we have evidence that this doesn't happen here on earth. I don't really get your arguments against that particular point (why didn't people living in temperate regions all across the earth develop so similarly as you propose they would when put on earwa?). So given all of that, I'm assuming we're just approaching this from very different points of view. Which is fine, nothing wrong with that.

For what's it worth, since this thread is actually about trying to guess what the overall end-result of the setting is, I actually think the Bakkerverse will become more like our world, rather than starting from our own and working forward. In other words, my wager is that, somehow or someway (likely through some pseudo-victory of the Consult, or otherwise through the efforts of Kellhus), the universe becomes disenchanted, cutting off the Outside and "dis-ensouling" (there's a word) all life within, thus rendering the humans therein applicable to his blind-brain theory. And, of course, eliminating sorcery.
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Callan S. on August 28, 2013, 06:25:17 am
Nor the circumfix - it's not a perfect cross, and it revolves around the human body (when not dismembered), so it has to conform to some similarity to any other device one might pin a person upon. Ironically there ideology must condition itself to the enviroment that is the human body (when not dismembered!)

There is more than one way to skin a cat, but alas, in the end, you are always simply removing the skin from the cat. :P
Schrodinger begs to differ!  ;)
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Madness on August 28, 2013, 03:16:43 pm
If I've made any gross errors in here, it was not my intent to offend anyone.  As I said, I'm not an expert.  Simply an amateur with no formal training in anthropology, but an intense interest in this subject.  If anyone can clarify or debunk any of the crap I just spouted, please do!

Lol. Cultural and human migration are very complex beasts. You're missing a great swatch of commentary but seriously good for someone who's not been fed the academic diet, which is just a bulkier meal.

But you're guilty of another crime, Somnambulist. Ignorance of Earwan history...

There is a Chieftain-King named for all Four Tribes who "break the gates" between Eanna and Earwa. The Burnt Prophet is only the "most famous" Prophet of the Tusk.

Say, each of the 5 groups all consisted of extremest (within their own populations) who had a a tiny overlapping of belief. Like if an Inchoroi flew over the mountains, introduced some wacky religion to each of the separate tribes, and the ones that became followers of this new 'religion' eventually found themselves all wanting the same thing (in this case, to pass through the mountains). After they crossed the mountain the groups were too dissimilar to stay as a cohesive unit, and splintered back into their old tribal ways.

Whole tribes can subsist in very small areas of land. There's a number somewhere.

But +1 again to Inchoroi being digested culturally by humans as "of the Gods" - not all, certainly one.

I certainly agree that there needs to be some kind of mutual prohibition of cultural interaction in order to keep them separate for a long time, but this doesn't seem too difficult to imagine. Presumably, before the breaking of the gates, the tribes had little interaction and probably warred with each other. After the tribes went their own ways, there was a log of distance and geographical barriers that prevented interaction, not to mention old feuds and decades of bloody history.

We're definitely missing the Book of Tribes and the historical notation on the war between Shamans and Prophets.

This also brings up another question. If we assume that the gods did indeed "mingle with men", in the way Angeshrael's story describes, why aren't there any stories of them doing the same with the Nonmen? By the time Husyelt was having his little camp-fire conversation with Angeshrael, the Nonman were already fighting the Inchoroi, correct? This ties back into the higher concept of what the relationship between the Nonmen and the gods is. Did the gods make the World? I personally think they did, in a Demiurgic sense. But then where do the Nonmen fit in?

I've been re-reading WLW, and there was a conversation between Kellhus and the Nonman envoy.  The Nonman expressed that they didn't worship the gods, but the spaces in between the gods, and that was the reason they were damned.  So, either the nonmen rejected the gods at some point in their history, or they were not created by the gods (who eventually gained ascendancy and provenance over the world), and thus were damned (either way).  Still doesn't explain their provenance, but it's another piece to the puzzle, I think.

+1.

Something more is happening. I do like the elegance of assuming FB's distinction of cultural digestion above. Inchoroi fighting Nonmen/Gods visiting Humans could very well be two sides of the same coin. But as of the narrative, it seems 'gods' actually exist and "walk the world" (Yatwer visiting Sorweel).

A:) A large group of humans of different races (though race really doesn't even matter at this point).

B:) Placing them onto an only vaguely Earth-like environment, in the sense that there are similar climates, but with a very different terrain that also contains many wildly exotic features (magic, gods, non-human intelligences).

C:) Taking said humans and erasing all memory of their history...

...And then, after several thousand years, having all of that reorganize itself into a set of civilizations that racially, culturally, and linguistically mirror the same set of events based on the planet and history that the races initially evolved on, despite all of the environmentally unique factors of Earwa...just makes no sense to me. And, as I've said, it's not like these are broad strokes. It comes down to some incredibly specific points: very similar religions (a bible analogue, a christ analogue, a crucifixion analogue, several biblical character analogues), and then specific historical movements of those religions and cultures, then extremely specific events within those specific historical movements -- I mean, what's the likelihood that not only would a Holy War happen, but also another Vulgar Holy War (I.E. the People's Crusade, which the VHW was based on)? And, again, I cite the fact that we have evidence that this doesn't happen here on earth. I don't really get your arguments against that particular point (why didn't people living in temperate regions all across the earth develop so similarly as you propose they would when put on earwa?). So given all of that, I'm assuming we're just approaching this from very different points of view. Which is fine, nothing wrong with that.

For what's it worth, since this thread is actually about trying to guess what the overall end-result of the setting is, I actually think the Bakkerverse will become more like our world, rather than starting from our own and working forward. In other words, my wager is that, somehow or someway (likely through some pseudo-victory of the Consult, or otherwise through the efforts of Kellhus), the universe becomes disenchanted, cutting off the Outside and "dis-ensouling" (there's a word) all life within, thus rendering the humans therein applicable to his blind-brain theory. And, of course, eliminating sorcery.

+1 for thoughts. That is almost word for word a plot a friend of mine and I tried to write a couple years ago, btw ;). Except A) was with anthropomorphized animals and B) was minus the exotic features (like magic).
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: locke on August 30, 2013, 06:29:44 pm
Thanks for that explanation Somnambulist. First of all, I just learned that your name is actually something because google didnt underline it in red. Cool :P

Really?  Oh man, if you haven't seen The Cabinet of Dr Caligari and you're reading Bakker, you're missing out on something you will REALLY Like.


***
I don't even believe that the Gates in question (the Breaking of the Gates) are remotely physical.  Everything in Aspect Emperor indicates Gates are metaphysical.

Follow that line of thought long enough and you get to my crackpot that Earwa is HEAVEN, the Nonmen are seraphim, and the inchoroi have succeeded in waging war on heaven, ala Satan in Paradise Lost.  The humans in Earwa are the ones who have already attained salvation, thus the need to avoid getting kicked out of Heaven. 

or at least, that's my spoil it all take on the overall setting.
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Somnambulist on August 30, 2013, 06:52:06 pm
I don't even believe that the Gates in question (the Breaking of the Gates) are remotely physical.  Everything in Aspect Emperor indicates Gates are metaphysical.

Follow that line of thought long enough and you get to my crackpot that Earwa is HEAVEN, the Nonmen are seraphim, and the inchoroi have succeeded in waging war on heaven, ala Satan in Paradise Lost.  The humans in Earwa are the ones who have already attained salvation, thus the need to avoid getting kicked out of Heaven. 

or at least, that's my spoil it all take on the overall setting.

To expand on your theory (which I like very much btw), the Inchoroi (demons/devils) 'crashed' Heaven, found they couldn't destroy the Nonmen on their own, so looked to Eanna (Purgatory) to the humans there (who had not YET attained salvation like the Emwama had) and convinced them to storm Heaven, breaking the seals (gates) between realms, thus damning everyone for their transgressions in the process.

Or maybe Earwa is Eden instead of heaven itself.  The Inchoroi would then become the serpent.  If I remember correctly, before they birthed mouths, the Inchoroi spoke in the 'gasping tongue,' which sounds like how someone might describe the voice of a talking serpent.  Either way, I think the invading tribes damned themselves by breaking the gates.  I wonder what the Judging Eye would see when gazing upon a Xiuhianni in Eanna.  Did they escape damnation, I wonder, by refusing to enter Earwa?
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Wilshire on August 31, 2013, 02:35:31 am
Wow! I did NOT see that coming. Imagine Bakker being some kind of religious propagandist.

But seriously, that little theory there ties in a lot of stuff. Bravo Locke/Somnambulist
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Triskele on November 25, 2013, 02:51:57 am
I just found this thread for the first time.  Very cool stuff. 


I do have to say that I hope it's not going to shift to major Sci-Fi.  I'd prefer it remain largely fantasy with the metaphysical stuff.  The ideas about Earwa being Heaven or Eden or something like that would be really cool.

I get the feeling that most readers expect some kind of major reveal eventually, but I have no good working theory of what it will be.  I sometimes feel like some of the most major reveals won't be that Earwa is Heaven or what have you but reveals about how much we've been deceived by aspects of the plot; like Seswatha fucking with us all from the beginning.
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: locke on November 25, 2013, 09:06:52 am
It's worth noting that I have a companion theory that Earwa is Hell (or Earth, but since Earth has it's fair share of weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth, is there really that much difference between Hell and Earth?).

In this companion theory.  The Cunoroi are fallen angels.  They have been kicked out of heaven/paradise and Cujara Cinmoi is famous for believing that it is better to reign in hell than to serve in heaven. 

But these fallen angels need servants of their own--because they are trying to be like God themselves, they want worshippers and followers in the little realms they're creating for themselves--So they stole mankind from heaven. they robbed the emwamma of their salvation, they were all saved souls who were kidnapped from heaven by the cunoroi so the cunoroi could torture them or make them into slaves/worshippers. 

The Inchoroi are angels who have not fallen, they are still filled with pure abiding infinite love, and have been sent to rescue the humans from the cunoroi or to exterminate the rebel fallen cunoroi, but because hell is a poisoned place when the inchoroi manifest on earwa (which angelic ciphrang are not supposed to do), their pure love manifests in sexual--over sexual--form.  The inchoroi fail to exterminate the cunoroi rebels, but perhaps humans can succeed where they can not.  So they go to humans that still have salvation, humans in heaven, and say to those five tribes of human souls, why don't you guys leave heaven, you guys need to go break the gates, your emwamma bretheren need you, they need you to save them.  You must stop the cunoroi, you must end the hell they have inflicted. 

So the saved souls leave heaven and then cannot get back.  The scylvendi realize this, and call the world a lie, it is not where they are supposed to be, it is nothing more than a deception, and death is the only way back (so long as you don't get recycled)

The inchoroi are desperate to shut off hell, to reseal the gates, only then can the cunoroi threat be contained and heaven restored to its former glory, the cunoroi have been contained because all their women are dead, but unfortunately, now their solution of using humans has backfired and they have to figure out a way to return the humans to heaven and prevent them from continually reincarnating in hell to suffer again and again.  they build a vehicle to stop the reincarnation recylcing that has kept mankind in hell for millenia, and they move this vehicle to pull in all of man's souls so they can be returned to heaven--it's sort of like being vaccumed and then 'beamed up' in star trek.  Unfortunately it didn't work the first time, but they're hoping to pull it off the second time.
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Cüréthañ on November 25, 2013, 09:54:24 am
Lol, if Earwa is a heaven metaphor, Bakker really has no defense against claims of misogyny.
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Callan S. on November 26, 2013, 12:37:38 am
Depends on whether he supports that heaven as being good and the only way to go, I'd think.


Locke, I think that's worthwhile as it's own interesting and engaging plot. I'm not sure it's what's happening, but as its own story it sounds like a very good story. How'd they steal the emwamma?
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Wilshire on November 26, 2013, 02:17:41 am
How'd they steal the emwamma?
A la Eve's sharing of the Apple (knowledge). By relieving the emwama of their ignorance, they were stolen from heaven?

Or did you mean physically steal them? They just abducted them and brought them to the other side of the mountains, raised them, nurtured them, and then unleashed them back unto Earwa.

Or at least thats my best guess.
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: locke on November 26, 2013, 07:38:35 am
Oh I haven't fleshed it all out yet, but I really need to start collecting my various crackpots and collecting them into a coherent plot of their own. I drew several maps many years ago for a secondary world creation but got distracted when I started working out tectonic plate locations, followed by the trade balances and carrying capacities of the population centers (including the ones I wasn't planning on using). Died in the details.

The conceit of the series would be metaphysics made flesh, and I'd play with the ideas that there are metaphysical interacts with the mundane, for example, adoption, which we here on earth ascribe an idealistic metaphysical component (saying we're "Really" family when someone is adopted, "exactly the same,") in this example, adopting someone is not an idealistic thought coupled with legal force, adopting someone has both legal and genetic force, as the metaphysics causes the physical world to comply and they become your child.  But it should work in reverse too, and I haven't thought beyond this, but therein lies the fundamental tension, eh?  The enchanters vs the disenchanters...
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Madness on November 26, 2013, 02:04:24 pm
Oh I haven't fleshed it all out yet, but I really need to start collecting my various crackpots and collecting them into a coherent plot of their own. I drew several maps many years ago for a secondary world creation but got distracted when I started working out tectonic plate locations, followed by the trade balances and carrying capacities of the population centers (including the ones I wasn't planning on using). Died in the details.

Lol. I would have very much wanted to see those mindmaps as well as the one Jorge had mentioned having done a few times on Old SA.

Though it won't stop me from trying to make your theory stronger by poking holes in it :).
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Francis Buck on November 26, 2013, 10:46:24 pm
I just found this thread for the first time.  Very cool stuff. 


I do have to say that I hope it's not going to shift to major Sci-Fi.  I'd prefer it remain largely fantasy with the metaphysical stuff.  The ideas about Earwa being Heaven or Eden or something like that would be really cool.


I get the feeling that most readers expect some kind of major reveal eventually, but I have no good working theory of what it will be. I sometimes feel like some of the most major reveals won't be that Earwa is Heaven or what have you but reveals about how much we've been deceived by aspects of the plot; like Seswatha fucking with us all from the beginning.

Agreed on both accounts. I like that the series is a fantasy with some interesting elements sprinkled in that usually reserved for straight up sci-fi. Genetic engineering space aliens are an awesome thing to drop into an epic fantasy LOTR-subversion. It's the kind of thing that sounds absurd and would never work, but ends up being amazing and very appropriate in context.

As to the second point, I also don't think there will really be any massive, mind-shattering twists in the vein of Earwa being earth or heaven or something, but rather just a lot of "smaller" ones, including answers to much of the metaphysics, which to me is really no less dramatic than the alternative.
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: locke on November 26, 2013, 11:25:17 pm
an author causing readers to commit transgressive behavior by participating in said transgressions innocently thinking they were only repeating the ritual, not realizing they were reading science fiction all along and violating the ritual by their very participation...  how delicious. :-p
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Francis Buck on November 27, 2013, 03:31:01 am
an author causing readers to commit transgressive behavior by participating in said transgressions innocently thinking they were only repeating the ritual, not realizing they were reading science fiction all along and violating the ritual by their very participation...  how delicious. :-p

Stop stealing my ideas! ;)
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Madness on November 27, 2013, 11:37:21 am
Lol - I expect to self-flagellate in the future, probably while burning the books for revelations found in flames ;).
Title: Re: Speculation on the end of the Unholy Consult
Post by: Francis Buck on November 30, 2013, 01:38:15 am
So awakening God is the same as killing it?

Eh? No, quite the opposite. Awakening the God is bringing it to life (or at least, into existence) in the first place. Although I don't know if you could truly consider it "living", certainly not in the way a human is.

snip

Fair points. What do you mean by obliterating the Absolute, out of curiosity?

In the end, the stuff I'm less certain of is Kellhus becoming the No-God, the No-God being a mechanism for creating the Solitary God, and all that. What I do feel rather confident about is that the Hundred are indeed demiurgic entities, and that the God is how Kellhus describes it -- splintered among all the ensouled beings of the cosmos (and also that the Dunyain's Absolute, and the process of achieving it, is one-and-the-same with awakening the God). There are just too many ties to real-world Gnostic Christianity to ignore the implications. I also feel pretty certain that the Hundred are going to be painted as something much worse than the Consult, with no real redeeming qualities. I think a lot of this stuff especially makes sense when you consider Bakker's upbringing and the things he has spoken about in regards to Judeo-Christian religion and myth. The series is as much a response to that as it is to the fantasy genre.
Title: Re: Re: Speculation on the end of the Unholy Consult
Post by: locke on November 30, 2013, 07:37:36 am
The absolute worst tortures the Consult could conceive are nothing compared to damnation, and damnation is on a scale that utterly dwarfs the atrocities the Consult has committed.
Interestingly, Mark Twain makes the same point in Autobiography of Mark Twain vol 2, he says something along the lines of, "man could never in all their lifetimes combined work as much evil on their fellow man as God will work upon mankind in condemning men to hell, therefore I think God is a fraud, because nothing could be more evil than sending almost everyone to hell."
Title: Re: Re: Speculation on the end of the Unholy Consult
Post by: Madness on November 30, 2013, 02:07:41 pm
snip

Fair points. What do you mean by obliterating the Absolute, out of curiosity?

It is awakened by Kellhus becoming the No-God, merging all of the souls in the universe, and then closing the Outside (and him, now the Awakened God, still in the Outside). It leaves the universe essentially the same as our own; purely material. No souls, no sorcery.

I don't think Bakker could leave the conglomerate souls in culminated seclusion like that - it doesn't seem Bakkerish enough that even though souls are barred from the world, they at least are Redeemed. Though, if I've assumed the Reemed aspect and you meant that the Awakened God is also Damned for the sake of saving all souls from the possibility of Damnation...

Well then. Kudos, Bakker.

Kill the ghost in the machine so the machine can exist without the threat of Damnation...

The absolute worst tortures the Consult could conceive are nothing compared to damnation, and damnation is on a scale that utterly dwarfs the atrocities the Consult has committed.
Interestingly, Mark Twain makes the same point in Autobiography of Mark Twain vol 2, he says something along the lines of, "man could never in all their lifetimes combined work as much evil on their fellow man as God will work upon mankind in condemning men to hell, therefore I think God is a fraud, because nothing could be more evil than sending almost everyone to hell."

Big +1. That's a thing now.

How could Bakker not reference Mark Twain.
Title: Re: Re: Speculation on the end of the Unholy Consult
Post by: Francis Buck on December 01, 2013, 12:05:22 am
I don't think Bakker could leave the conglomerate souls in culminated seclusion like that - it doesn't seem Bakkerish enough that even though souls are barred from the world, they at least are Redeemed. Though, if I've assumed the Reemed aspect and you meant that the Awakened God is also Damned for the sake of saving all souls from the possibility of Damnation...

Well then. Kudos, Bakker.

Kill the ghost in the machine so the machine can exist without the threat of Damnation...

Gotcha. To clarify, all of my ideas here are also working off the fact that damnation is not some "natural" part of reality, but only something persecuted unto souls by the Hundred and other agencies. The default state of a soul after bodily death is oblivion (Bakker has actually confirmed this anyway).

And yeah, Locke's Mark Twain post gets directly at what I'm implying with regards to the gods. It's similar in spirit to the infamous quote by Epicurus:

Quote
“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”

I feel almost certain that the Hundred are basically Bakker's response to what the Judeo-Christian idea of God is. Something that damns people to unimaginable agony for petty, selfish, and ultimately absurd reasons. There is no objective morality, such a thing cannot exist. The Hundred are nothing more than bullies, albeit very powerful ones. As far as I'm concerned, they're the most evil beings in the Bakkerverse, no question.
Title: Re: Re: Speculation on the end of the Unholy Consult
Post by: Madness on December 01, 2013, 01:51:29 pm
(Bakker has actually confirmed this anyway).

Putting your soul into play and having god-like demons intercede on my behalf in the mortal realm. It's like Daimos through prayer. I don't know how I'd react but being rewarded eternally for acting in a certain fashion sounds like an attractive prospect over oblivion.

And yeah, Locke's Mark Twain post gets directly at what I'm implying with regards to the gods. It's similar in spirit to the infamous quote by Epicurus:

Quote
“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”

Good quote. Problem of Evil is hard for people to get around.

I feel almost certain that the Hundred are basically Bakker's response to what the Judeo-Christian idea of God is. Something that damns people to unimaginable agony for petty, selfish, and ultimately absurd reasons. There is no objective morality, such a thing cannot exist. The Hundred are nothing more than bullies, albeit very powerful ones. As far as I'm concerned, they're the most evil beings in the Bakkerverse, no question.

He always said he was more worried about the religious backlash. I'm sure it'll flame up once he pours TUC gas all over it ;).

Posted this to the turtle thread at the other forum in a longer form, but it goes here too, my spoil it all prediction for how it all ends:

We readers just willfully misinterpret Kellhus because we are primed by genre and history to expect him to take the path of saving the world.  But what if Kellhus takes the dead twig because killing off the world, letting humanity become extinct is the only way to end the cycle of damnation?
 
The only end game is xenocide, it's the merciful death, quick euthanasia.  Because Kellhus weighs the value of making humanity extinct and finds that that will reduce human suffering more because it won't subject infinite future generations to damnation as well. 
 
Making humanity extinct puts a finite end to previously infinite suffering.  They are not equal, the dead twig is the better outcome.  He's searching for meaninglessness in a meaningful world.

It's a neat thought.

More importantly, congratulations on the thread title at Westeros - genius and I'm upset for those few members who haven't read Pratchett (or played Mario) :(. I'd have mentioned something there but I just can't convince myself to keep facilitating the nonsense that transpires there.
Title: Re: Re: Speculation on the end of the Unholy Consult
Post by: Cüréthañ on December 02, 2013, 12:50:01 am
Personally, I don't subscribe to Good and Evil as a thing in Earwa. 

There's morality and piety on one side, the immoral and depraved on the other and the amoral and abstracted discipline of the dunyain carving up the middle.
Damnation/'redemption' seems to be something you bring upon yourself.
e.g. Psatma indicates that you must reach for Yatwer in order for her to intercede and take your soul - otherwise she is happy for you to fall into damnation.

Anyway, we should probably split this discussion into another thread or take it to the 'overall metaphysical setting' one if you want to discuss this further.
Title: Re: Re: Speculation on the end of the Unholy Consult
Post by: Francis Buck on December 02, 2013, 05:27:31 am
Personally, I don't subscribe to Good and Evil as a thing in Earwa. 

There's morality and piety on one side, the immoral and depraved on the other and the amoral and abstracted discipline of the dunyain carving up the middle.
Damnation/'redemption' seems to be something you bring upon yourself.
e.g. Psatma indicates that you must reach for Yatwer in order for her to intercede and take your soul - otherwise she is happy for you to fall into damnation.

Anyway, we should probably split this discussion into another thread or take it to the 'overall metaphysical setting' one if you want to discuss this further.

But that's the thing that always gets me. Why is the pious side (I.E. those who subscribe to the religion of the Hundred) the moral one? Is it moral that women are considered inferior to men? Is it moral that a sorceror like Inrau should be tortured with incomprehensible agony for all eternity?

To me that's the whole point Bakker's making. These gods and their "morality" is complete nonsense. It's absurd. They're literally making up arbitrary rules so as to punish ensouled beings. Why are snakes holy? Are snakes morally superior just because a more powerful entity has decided they are? What makes the Hundred special?

To me the whole point is that morality cannot be objective. Period. There's no such thing. That's why it's such a difficult issue in the real world.
Title: Re: Re: Speculation on the end of the Unholy Consult
Post by: Cüréthañ on December 02, 2013, 10:39:20 am
But that's the thing that always gets me. Why is the pious side (I.E. those who subscribe to the religion of the Hundred) the moral one? Is it moral that women are considered inferior to men? Is it moral that a sorceror like Inrau should be tortured with incomprehensible agony for all eternity?

To me that's the whole point Bakker's making. These gods and their "morality" is complete nonsense. It's absurd. They're literally making up arbitrary rules so as to punish ensouled beings. Why are snakes holy? Are snakes morally superior just because a more powerful entity has decided they are? What makes the Hundred special?

To me the whole point is that morality cannot be objective. Period. There's no such thing. That's why it's such a difficult issue in the real world.

I use the term morality, not as a placeholder for good or right action, but for a mode of being true to one's own ideals.
Proyas is a moral and pious individual, seeking to uphold the things which he believes in. 
The Inchies deliberately transgress - they are bored nihilists.  They don't just destroy stuff to achieve their objectives, they defile in every way they can.

In all the examples Bakker gives us where people are damned, it is because they have transgressed in a manner where they have done things that they themselves believe are wrong.  Inrau believes he should be damned as soon as he uses sorcery.  People in Earwa are convinced women are worth less spiritually than men.
In this, I believe Bakker explores intentionality and the importance of an individual code of ethics that informs 'right action' of self actualizing people.  Your position seems to be that these things are self-evidently not good, but that entirely depends on your subjective frame.

Is it really that impossible to imagine that Ciphrang might simply be a metaphysical version of sharks?  Choose to swim in their lake and you get chomped.  Why should snakes not be possessed of some simple purity?

Just because Bakker presents a world with objective morality doesn't mean he subscribes to that.  It's more effective if the morality is somewhat objectionable to the reader, don't you think?
Quote from: Bakker
-Are there specific themes you wanted to explore in this second series?

Specifically, I’m interested in what it means to live in a world where value is objective - which is to say, to live in the kind of world our ancestors thought they lived in. Could you imagine, for instance, what it would mean to live in a world where, say, the social and spiritual inferiority of women was a fact like the atomic weight of uranium. Biblical Israel was such as world, as were many others.

We have a hardwired predisposition to "naturalize" our values, to think what we value things is the way things are - it’s one of many liabilities we can chalk up to our stone-age brains. This is why fantasy worlds are our doubles, our psychology writ in geographical stone, and so worth exploring in their own right.

Other than that, there’s a number of carry-over themes dealing with belief and faith as the levers of action.

I don't think the hundred have any say in what is moral. Neither is there any indication that the hundred are responsible for damnation.  Rather they can intercede and derive some kind of power from souls that dedicate themselves to them (at least in the case of the compensatory gods).

I highly doubt that the Inchies are the secret 'good' guys.
Quote from: Bakker
The Inchoroi are the flip side of the Inrithi and the Fanim. You could read them as a vision of the nihilistic implications of unrestrained desire. They are simply another dead end in the book’s thematic labyrinth.
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Callan S. on December 02, 2013, 04:08:46 pm
Quote
In all the examples Bakker gives us where people are damned, it is because they have transgressed in a manner where they have done things that they themselves believe are wrong.  Inrau believes he should be damned as soon as he uses sorcery.  People in Earwa are convinced women are worth less spiritually than men.
Inrau also thinks if he prays about it real hard, he should be saved.

Something is picking and choosing between such self beliefs. And getting a free pass in regards to being judged itself (or even noticed)
Title: Re: Re: Speculation on the end of the Unholy Consult
Post by: Francis Buck on December 02, 2013, 10:53:57 pm
But that's the thing that always gets me. Why is the pious side (I.E. those who subscribe to the religion of the Hundred) the moral one? Is it moral that women are considered inferior to men? Is it moral that a sorceror like Inrau should be tortured with incomprehensible agony for all eternity?

To me that's the whole point Bakker's making. These gods and their "morality" is complete nonsense. It's absurd. They're literally making up arbitrary rules so as to punish ensouled beings. Why are snakes holy? Are snakes morally superior just because a more powerful entity has decided they are? What makes the Hundred special?

To me the whole point is that morality cannot be objective. Period. There's no such thing. That's why it's such a difficult issue in the real world.

I use the term morality, not as a placeholder for good or right action, but for a mode of being true to one's own ideals.
Proyas is a moral and pious individual, seeking to uphold the things which he believes in. 
The Inchies deliberately transgress - they are bored nihilists.  They don't just destroy stuff to achieve their objectives, they defile in every way they can.

In all the examples Bakker gives us where people are damned, it is because they have transgressed in a manner where they have done things that they themselves believe are wrong.  Inrau believes he should be damned as soon as he uses sorcery.  People in Earwa are convinced women are worth less spiritually than men.
In this, I believe Bakker explores intentionality and the importance of an individual code of ethics that informs 'right action' of self actualizing people.  Your position seems to be that these things are self-evidently not good, but that entirely depends on your subjective frame.

Is it really that impossible to imagine that Ciphrang might simply be a metaphysical version of sharks?  Choose to swim in their lake and you get chomped.  Why should snakes not be possessed of some simple purity?

Just because Bakker presents a world with objective morality doesn't mean he subscribes to that.  It's more effective if the morality is somewhat objectionable to the reader, don't you think?
Quote from: Bakker
-Are there specific themes you wanted to explore in this second series?

Specifically, I’m interested in what it means to live in a world where value is objective - which is to say, to live in the kind of world our ancestors thought they lived in. Could you imagine, for instance, what it would mean to live in a world where, say, the social and spiritual inferiority of women was a fact like the atomic weight of uranium. Biblical Israel was such as world, as were many others.

We have a hardwired predisposition to "naturalize" our values, to think what we value things is the way things are - it’s one of many liabilities we can chalk up to our stone-age brains. This is why fantasy worlds are our doubles, our psychology writ in geographical stone, and so worth exploring in their own right.

Other than that, there’s a number of carry-over themes dealing with belief and faith as the levers of action.

I don't think the hundred have any say in what is moral. Neither is there any indication that the hundred are responsible for damnation.  Rather they can intercede and derive some kind of power from souls that dedicate themselves to them (at least in the case of the compensatory gods).

I highly doubt that the Inchies are the secret 'good' guys.
Quote from: Bakker
The Inchoroi are the flip side of the Inrithi and the Fanim. You could read them as a vision of the nihilistic implications of unrestrained desire. They are simply another dead end in the book’s thematic labyrinth.

Some excellent points there dude. I have a few responses but not enough time to do it justice, and thus, I shall return. Do you have the link to that interview by chance? I'd very much like to read it.
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Cüréthañ on December 02, 2013, 11:22:58 pm
Sure thing, Francis. 

Madness has kindly collected a list of interviews here:
http://second-apocalypse.com/index.php?topic=34.0 (http://second-apocalypse.com/index.php?topic=34.0)

There are relevant tidbits in most of these about the various themes, all worth reading when you have the time.

The larger, overarching quote is from here (http://"http://fantasyhotlist.blogspot.com.au/2009/01/new-r-scott-bakker-interview.html")

Good points on both sides, I think. These are definitely the types of questions RSB wants us to ask ourselves.

@ Callan; the point I was suggesting is that knowing you have done wrong seems like a part of the mechanism.  Galian's murder of the little girl is clearly shown to be damnation material - but Mimara kills with a sense of righteousness and that seems okay? 
Also note that she tells Galian that its not too late...  does she mean he can repent or is she suggesting he can seek intercession? 
Title: Re: Re: Speculation on the end of the Unholy Consult
Post by: Wilshire on December 05, 2013, 12:15:18 am
But that's the thing that always gets me. Why is the pious side (I.E. those who subscribe to the religion of the Hundred) the moral one? Is it moral that women are considered inferior to men? Is it moral that a sorceror like Inrau should be tortured with incomprehensible agony for all eternity?

To me that's the whole point Bakker's making. These gods and their "morality" is complete nonsense. It's absurd. They're literally making up arbitrary rules so as to punish ensouled beings. Why are snakes holy? Are snakes morally superior just because a more powerful entity has decided they are? What makes the Hundred special?

To me the whole point is that morality cannot be objective. Period. There's no such thing. That's why it's such a difficult issue in the real world.
I really like this post, and feel very similarly.

I'm not quite sure I understand the real difference between yours and Curethan's opinions, or at least not enough to jump into the middle more than I am lol. I'm looking forward to lurking.
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Francis Buck on December 05, 2013, 03:12:53 am
I had a much bigger response written but my computer ate it, so I'll just over the basics.

Quote
In all the examples Bakker gives us where people are damned, it is because they have transgressed in a manner where they have done things that they themselves believe are wrong.  Inrau believes he should be damned as soon as he uses sorcery.  People in Earwa are convinced women are worth less spiritually than men. In this, I believe Bakker explores intentionality and the importance of an individual code of ethics that informs 'right action' of self actualizing people.  Your position seems to be that these things are self-evidently not good, but that entirely depends on your subjective frame.

I'm not sure I totally get what you're saying here. I realize the concept of subjectivity as it comes to morals (for example, women being inferior to men). The point I was trying to make rests solely on the "objective morals" thing. Maybe I'm just getting caught up with the terminology, but when Bakker says that the idea of women being inferior to men is a "fact" of that world (the Bakkerverse), like atomic weight...it just doesn't make sense to me. The very concept of "objective morality" doesn't make sense to me. All it is is a punishment and reward system, applied by powerful beings unto lesser ones, based on arbitrary rules. What makes these imposed morals objective? Where does that come from?


Quote
Is it really that impossible to imagine that Ciphrang might simply be a metaphysical version of sharks?  Choose to swim in their lake and you get chomped.  Why should snakes not be possessed of some simple purity?

Not impossible, in fact I agree with you. But my point about the snakes is that their "purity" is nothing. It's bullshit. The gods decided they're holy, so they are. That's it. Maybe there's some metaphysical stuff associated with that holiness, but it makes no difference. It's all arbitrary.

Quote
I don't think the hundred have any say in what is moral. Neither is there any indication that the hundred are responsible for damnation.  Rather they can intercede and derive some kind of power from souls that dedicate themselves to them (at least in the case of the compensatory gods).

Definitely gotta disagree with you here. I think the Hundred are absolutely enforcing their made up morality, and that somehow souls are a source of power for them. I also 100% believe that they are the ones causing damnation. There's a Bakker quote in the 'Sayings of Cujar Cinmoi" where he explains that the default state of a soul after death is oblivion. Damnation (or otherwise redemption) only comes about from agencies in the Outside interfering. So it follows, I think, that the Hundred are intentionally damning souls.

Quote
I highly doubt that the Inchies are the secret 'good' guys.

I was hesitant to use a phrase like "good guys" because it's not really what I mean. What I'm trying to say is that the Consult's goal of ending damnation IS a good thing, in particular if it involves saving the universe's souls from interference by the Hundred. Of course, the Consult's methods of going about it are very evil, and they likely could care less about any one else as long as their own souls are saved. So I don't think they're actually going to be "the good guys" in the end, but I definitely think they're supposed to be yet another subversion of the reader's expectations: they're painted as being the most evil, horrible thing possible, almost comically so, only to be trumped by something much worse, which they themselves happen to be fighting against. It fits pretty damn well into the style of genre subversion that Bakker's going for. The almost comically evil bad guys are in fact fighting against the gods themselves, who are in turn inverted from being figures of ultimate morality into giant cosmic torturers, who damn almost an entire universe of beings solely for their own benefit. Again, this also fits with the idea that Bakker is playing with Judeo-Christian myth, and showing how a god like the one in the Old Testament is not particularly righteous. He asks extreme sacrifices of people just to make them prove how superior he is. He makes completely absurd and arbitrary rules that, if broken, leads to someone being damned for all eternity. He's petty and jealous and angry, and yet he's supposed to be the epitome of goodness. The Hundred are exactly the same.
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Callan S. on December 06, 2013, 08:43:53 am
I had a much bigger response written but my computer ate it, so I'll just over the basics.

Quote
In all the examples Bakker gives us where people are damned, it is because they have transgressed in a manner where they have done things that they themselves believe are wrong.  Inrau believes he should be damned as soon as he uses sorcery.  People in Earwa are convinced women are worth less spiritually than men. In this, I believe Bakker explores intentionality and the importance of an individual code of ethics that informs 'right action' of self actualizing people.  Your position seems to be that these things are self-evidently not good, but that entirely depends on your subjective frame.

I'm not sure I totally get what you're saying here. I realize the concept of subjectivity as it comes to morals (for example, women being inferior to men). The point I was trying to make rests solely on the "objective morals" thing. Maybe I'm just getting caught up with the terminology, but when Bakker says that the idea of women being inferior to men is a "fact" of that world (the Bakkerverse), like atomic weight...it just doesn't make sense to me. The very concept of "objective morality" doesn't make sense to me. All it is is a punishment and reward system, applied by powerful beings unto lesser ones, based on arbitrary rules. What makes these imposed morals objective? Where does that come from?
Aye, I'm right there with you, Francis! And I feel for your lost post, too! If you're using firefox, there's an add on called lazerus that helps with that.

I'll quote something (http://rsbakker.wordpress.com/2011/07/25/walking-in-the-shadow-of-the-george/#comment-2156) from TPB, back when it had amorphism's of the day:
Quote from: Me
I’m still skeptical of the notion of ‘objective morality’ in the world. Like I said on the westeros forum, if an author says in his fantasy world that, objectively, 2+2=5, then my very perception of 2+2=4′ism is a destroyer of worlds. I think you have to have a sense of objective morality to percieve it. Though as I also said, when I first read (I think a sample page) of Mimara looking at Akka with the judging eye, I had about 10 seconds of thinking shit, Akka’s damned…it was an interesting 10 seconds. That capacity is there, lurking away.
Quote from: rsbakker
You gotta explain this objective morality thing to me, Cal. Are you suggesting that ‘objective morality’ is impossible in principle across all possible worlds?
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Madness on December 06, 2013, 11:57:12 am
I had a much bigger response written but my computer ate it, so I'll just over the basics.

And I feel for your lost post, too!

While I've tried maintaining this habit and failed before, I've got a long, unbroken chain going of copying my posts before trying to do so.
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Cüréthañ on December 07, 2013, 02:07:02 am
I had a much bigger response written but my computer ate it, so I'll just over the basics.
Curses!

Quote
I realize the concept of subjectivity as it comes to morals (for example, women being inferior to men). The point I was trying to make rests solely on the "objective morals" thing. Maybe I'm just getting caught up with the terminology, but when Bakker says that the idea of women being inferior to men is a "fact" of that world (the Bakkerverse), like atomic weight...it just doesn't make sense to me. The very concept of "objective morality" doesn't make sense to me. All it is is a punishment and reward system, applied by powerful beings unto lesser ones, based on arbitrary rules. What makes these imposed morals objective? Where does that come from?

Heh, I don't really understand why people struggle with this idea of objective morality.  I feel like I am the only one to see it as a straight forward thing (possibly excepting Bakker).   

objective
    1.
    (of a person or their judgement) not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts.
   
morality
    1. The quality of being in accord with standards of right or good conduct.
    2. A system of ideas of right and wrong conduct: religious morality; Christian morality.


Objective simply means that it is the same for everyone and it doesn't change.  This adjective means that the laws of morality in Earwa obeys the same rules of application as the laws of physics.  It seems clear the second definition of morality is being employed in this case.  So there are moral laws that could be deduced if the consequences of actions are revealed in the same manner that science explores physical laws.

A physical law is a theoretical principle deduced from particular facts, applicable to a defined group or class of phenomena, and expressible by the statement that a particular phenomenon always occurs if certain conditions be present.

Science in Earwa is somewhat forestalled by the fact that sorcerers can use subjective manipulations of soul power to bend physical laws to their advantage.  Which interestingly breaks one of the moral laws (at least in the manner that most sorcerers do it) and pollutes their soul and the soul of the world.

How does the idea of moral laws differ from other physical laws? 

Quote
Not impossible, in fact I agree with you. But my point about the snakes is that their "purity" is nothing. It's bullshit. The gods decided they're holy, so they are. That's it. Maybe there's some metaphysical stuff associated with that holiness, but it makes no difference. It's all arbitrary.

Do you think there is some kind of reason behind physical laws? Sure, they are consistent - but this is true of any system that arises from chaos - this is just how self organizing systems work.

Quote
Definitely gotta disagree with you here. I think the Hundred are absolutely enforcing their made up morality, and that somehow souls are a source of power for them.

I am really interested in why you believe the hundred gods decreed the laws of morality?  I have overlooked any indication that they can change the metaphysical laws rather than being bound by them.  If you assume that the gods are a different species of ciphrang, then the Daimos provides proof that they are bound by metaphysics at least as much as men are bound by the laws of physics.  Given that the laws of physics yield to them completely within their mini-dimensions they have to be bound by metaphysica; laws, yes?

Also, what of the solitary God?  If he is the creator rather than simply the soul of the universe, then surely you should blame him.

Quote
I also 100% believe that they are the ones causing damnation. There's a Bakker quote in the 'Sayings of Cujar Cinmoi" where he explains that the default state of a soul after death is oblivion. Damnation (or otherwise redemption) only comes about from agencies in the Outside interfering. So it follows, I think, that the Hundred are intentionally damning souls.

Well, I read that quite differently.
Quote
there's three basic options: Oblivion, Damnation, or Redemption. The idea is that without the interest of the various 'agencies' (as the Nonmen call them) inhabiting the Outside, one simply falls into oblivion - dies. Certain acts attract the interest of certain agencies. One can, and most Inrithi do, plead to redeemed ancestors to intercede on their behalf, but most give themselves over to some God. Doing so, however, puts their souls entirely into play, and the more sketchy one's life is, the more liable one is to be 'poached' by the demonic, and to live out eternity in everlasting torment.

My interpretation: 
Using sorcery gets you damned. Behaving like the skin eaters or the inchies gets you damned. 

poach -  To take or appropriate something unfairly or illegally.

Only Daimos wielding nutbags promise their souls to ciphrang.  Like sharks, they can get your soul its the way to oblivion.  If you are a murderous child rapist then you smell delicious.  In text examples describe ciphrang feasting on these experiences as they torment the souls.

If you pledge your soul to a god however, then they can judge you and 'redeem' you if they think you worthy. Seems fair to me.  So, if Yatwer rewards those who give selflessly, then what type of experience does she feast upon and what 'torture' is she likely to inflict?

I think access to the hundred gods' mini realities may not be 100% great (who wants to live for ever in Akkeägni's sub reality) but they beat the shit out of where the ciphrang live (damnation).
Given that people are quite fond of the idea of everlasting life after death, its not surprising that this is a popular option.
I'll take giving Gierra foot rubs for eternity over a 70% chance of everlasting torment too thanks.

Psatma says it best - without one of the hundred men play number sticks with their souls.

This is how I see what is presented.

I believe you are saying:
The hundred (and redeemed ancestors) can intercede and save some otherwise damned souls therefore they are responsible for damnation and do so intentionally.

If that was the case wouldn't they just damn everyone and accept anyone who put their hands up?  I'm sorry, I can't really follow the logic there.

Quote
I was hesitant to use a phrase like "good guys" because it's not really what I mean. What I'm trying to say is that the Consult's goal of ending damnation IS a good thing, in particular if it involves saving the universe's souls from interference by the Hundred. Of course, the Consult's methods of going about it are very evil, and they likely could care less about any one else as long as their own souls are saved. So I don't think they're actually going to be "the good guys" in the end, but I definitely think they're supposed to be yet another subversion of the reader's expectations: they're painted as being the most evil, horrible thing possible, almost comically so, only to be trumped by something much worse, which they themselves happen to be fighting against. It fits pretty damn well into the style of genre subversion that Bakker's going for. The almost comically evil bad guys are in fact fighting against the gods themselves, who are in turn inverted from being figures of ultimate morality into giant cosmic torturers, who damn almost an entire universe of beings solely for their own benefit. Again, this also fits with the idea that Bakker is playing with Judeo-Christian myth, and showing how a god like the one in the Old Testament is not particularly righteous. He asks extreme sacrifices of people just to make them prove how superior he is. He makes completely absurd and arbitrary rules that, if broken, leads to someone being damned for all eternity. He's petty and jealous and angry, and yet he's supposed to be the epitome of goodness. The Hundred are exactly the same.

What rules aren't absurd and arbitrary?  Is our godless world fair?
I don't subscribe to the idea that Bakker is engaging in simply Dawkins style Christian bashing here.  It isn't hard to see that Judeo Christian god is a douche.  Imo Bakker's themes on human morality are a lot more complex than calling out religious types.  Look at Akka for example.  An excellent example of a self professed critic and cynic who is always completely caught up in his own lies and hubris.

Its being eaten for eternity that the Consult want to avoid.  The gods want nothing to do with them. 
There has never been any indication that the gods are trying to stop them nor that the consult give a shit except about anything other than closing of the conduit to the outside and then making their own little version of damnation where they wield the pitchforks.

They even made their own god, which they are completely subservient to and who will very likely effectively claim Earwa as his own pocket dimension after they reduce the population sufficiently.  The things that you attribute to the hundred are exactly the described aims of the consult to my mind.
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Callan S. on December 07, 2013, 04:34:11 am
Quote
So there are moral laws that could be deduced if the consequences of actions are revealed in the same manner that science explores physical laws.

A physical law is a theoretical principle deduced from particular facts, applicable to a defined group or class of phenomena, and expressible by the statement that a particular phenomenon always occurs if certain conditions be present.
So why don't you presume gravity is actually a moral law and everyone who's apparently fallen to their death accidentally actually deserved it?

They're only 'moral laws' if and when YOU want them to be moral laws. You're just picking and choosing.

But for not having any perspective on when you project your preference, you confuse your projection to be a property of the observed phenomina.

How do you know what is supposedly a moral law, and what is just gravity?
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Cüréthañ on December 07, 2013, 06:02:01 am
'Moral law' is a bad term - transpose metaphysical or supernatural.

Those theoretical principles that deal with the soul and existence beyond the physical and precede it.

I am not picking and choosing anything - I'm bemused as to why you think I am.

Gravity is a natural phenomenon.  The 'law of gravity' refers to the relative method of calculating gravitational force or the idiom that what goes up must come down iirc.

Some observed metaphysical phenomena:

We have the case where using anagogic sorcery always results in damnation.  Ciphrang flock to the mark and display it in spades when they are summoned.  (Note that god magic does not cause the mark - an interesting point of difference)

Murder may or may not result in damnation.  Internal perspective seem more important according to Mimara's abilities.  Theoretically it seems like ciphrang are attracted to souls wracked by remorse and guilt.

Little 'g' gods can intercede and prevent ciphrang claiming souls but will only do so if said soul has other qualities they esteem.

Souls that do not transgress a set of obfuscated spiritual rules that the World remembers (and escape physcological trauma) may transcend existence.

All these things depend on the soul and are not physical phenomena.  We depend on accounts from figures with perceptions beyond the mundane for their veracity.

Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Madness on December 07, 2013, 01:22:26 pm
I'm only reading this thread haphazardly (and personally, I care very little for my soul).

But the crux betwixt FB and Curethan seems to be:

Quote
All it is is a punishment and reward system, applied by powerful beings unto lesser ones, based on arbitrary rules. What makes these imposed morals objective? Where does that come from?

Heh, I don't really understand why people struggle with this idea of objective morality.  I feel like I am the only one to see it as a straight forward thing (possibly excepting Bakker).

...

Objective simply means that it is the same for everyone and it doesn't change.

Quote
Definitely gotta disagree with you here. I think the Hundred are absolutely enforcing their made up morality, and that somehow souls are a source of power for them.

I am really interested in why you believe the hundred gods decreed the laws of morality?

Objective is a term to which, in our world, we seem to attribute as those things that cannot have been "decided" by an entity. However, should our existence not be bottomless, then there are objective constraints in our existence that would have been arbitrary at some point and "ordained" by some entity. So objectivity in either way continues to be "the rules of the game," "the state of affairs," or "the cards we're dealt."

I think the two of you need to discern how or why Francis has it in his head that the Gods decide who is Damned?

Not impossible, in fact I agree with you. But my point about the snakes is that their "purity" is nothing. It's bullshit. The gods decided they're holy, so they are. That's it. Maybe there's some metaphysical stuff associated with that holiness, but it makes no difference. It's all arbitrary.

I'm not sure how familiar either of you are with Plato's Euthyphro but Bakker has essentially reversed the question from that text.

Where the original asked: Do the Gods love Good because it is Good, in and of itself where it manifests, or is the Good Good because the Gods love it?

Bakker is now asking: Do the Gods "eat" the Damned because the Damned are "tasty" or are the Damned tasty because the Gods "eat them?"

Essential-ly... feel free to offer criticisms.

Also, I feel like Curethan has yet to decide just "who" or "what" has "ordained" the Objective Rules whereas FB is wrestling with the unease of believing that the Inrithi Gods are in fact the final arbiters of Judgment in the Outside - where otherwise Curethan's suggested that the Outside is like a lake filled with sharks between the Mortal Realm and "Redemption" or "Oblivion."

Do I have it kind of right?
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Triskele on December 07, 2013, 04:22:14 pm
Or perhaps the Gods eat the damned because Earwa is a place where BBQ sauce objectively exists and makes the damned extra tasty?
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Cüréthañ on December 07, 2013, 11:41:32 pm
Sounds like a fairly pat summation, Madness.

In the absence of any suggest of an act of creation, I don't feel that anyone had to ordain the metaphysical laws.  I'm happy with the idea of self organising systems arising from chaos.  As you say, I'm not convinced there is any indication in text to believe otherwise.

Also, I see that physical 'laws' in Earwa are somewhat subjective. Sorcerers routinely change the laws of gravity and thermodynamics according to their whim, for example.
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Callan S. on December 07, 2013, 11:47:30 pm
'Moral law' is a bad term - transpose metaphysical or supernatural.
Then you retract from the claim, but without admitting any error or change.

That was the discussion I was having, should it be of interest - somewhat like a cage match. You can't leave like that, unless you throw in the towel first. Ignoring that? Well, I wont be acknowledging we had any discussion on yours and RSB's 'objective morality', then. Some text flowed around, but nothing more.

Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Cüréthañ on December 08, 2013, 12:28:41 am
They're just semantics, Callan.  Am I allowed to elaborate my meaning if I don't feel like you understand my intended communication?

Given that I find it extremely difficult to parse what you are trying to say, I am happy to concede that you win whatever is at stake in this cage-match.

If you feel like the term objective morality implies that every act or situation must be decided on it's own merit by some external entity, then I can't argue in favor of that because I don't agree.
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Wilshire on December 08, 2013, 12:35:01 am
'Moral law' is a bad term - transpose metaphysical or supernatural.
Then you retract from the claim, but without admitting any error or change.

That was the discussion I was having, should it be of interest - somewhat like a cage match. You can't leave like that, unless you throw in the towel first. Ignoring that? Well, I wont be acknowledging we had any discussion on yours and RSB's 'objective morality', then. Some text flowed around, but nothing more.
lol wow.
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Cüréthañ on December 08, 2013, 03:18:43 am
lol wow.
Eh, I think I can appreciate Callan's blunt manner.  If we aren't talking about the same thing the point is moot.

Perhaps I can encapsulate my subjective definition of 'objective morality' better.

objective - having universally constant attributes subject to mathematical analysis.

morality - a set of metaphysical attributes and relationships shared by all frames of subjective experience.  (souls, agencies and the physical world (i.e. 'the ground'))
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Callan S. on December 08, 2013, 05:36:35 am
They're just semantics, Callan.  Am I allowed to elaborate my meaning if I don't feel like you understand my intended communication?
When it just seems to me you are giving up without actually admitting an error/without giving up a point, no.

That's where I was left. You can chase this up if you want to continue discussing with me. But that's where it ended for me - not at an elaboration.

Quote
Given that I find it extremely difficult to parse what you are trying to say, I am happy to concede that you win whatever is at stake in this cage-match.
I don't acknowledge such a match even occuring for anyone to have won anything. Nothing happened.


Wilshire,
To me, 'lol wow' seems the harsh remark to give.

I'm being straight with Curethan. I'm not hitting any balls that he is incapable of catching. What does 'lol wow' even mean, in terms of being straight with me?

Yeah, holding people to standards screws up the going with the flow. Surely you've found that that is necessary at times? Or not? Do you think we can keep the flow of the status quo, yet also change that flow somehow? I dunno, maybe there is a way and I don't know it?

Edit: fixed a broken quote mark
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Duskweaver on December 08, 2013, 12:01:51 pm
I can see how treating the terms 'metaphysical' and 'moral' as interchangeable can be problematic. Unfortunately, it seems from that interview that was quoted that Bakker conflates the two as well.

An internally consistent system of metaphysical laws that determine inescapably what happens to a person's soul by reference to what that person did in life is not necessarily the same thing as a logically sound objective moral system.

Showing that the former can theoretically exist is pretty easy. Using that to try and claim the latter can also theoretically exist is, at best, a bit of a cop-out, at worst an outright bait-and-switch. Or so it seems to me. ???
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Madness on December 08, 2013, 02:42:21 pm
Or perhaps the Gods eat the damned because Earwa is a place where BBQ sauce objectively exists and makes the damned extra tasty?

I think this falls under "the Gods 'eat' the Damned because the Damned are 'tasty,'" suggesting that the Gods do not decide who is Damned.

Sounds like a fairly pat summation, Madness.

In the absence of any suggest of an act of creation, I don't feel that anyone had to ordain the metaphysical laws.  I'm happy with the idea of self organising systems arising from chaos.  As you say, I'm not convinced there is any indication in text to believe otherwise.

Also, I see that physical 'laws' in Earwa are somewhat subjective. Sorcerers routinely change the laws of gravity and thermodynamics according to their whim, for example.

+1

I can see how treating the terms 'metaphysical' and 'moral' as interchangeable can be problematic. Unfortunately, it seems from that interview that was quoted that Bakker conflates the two as well.

An internally consistent system of metaphysical laws that determine inescapably what happens to a person's soul by reference to what that person did in life is not necessarily the same thing as a logically sound objective moral system.

Showing that the former can theoretically exist is pretty easy. Using that to try and claim the latter can also theoretically exist is, at best, a bit of a cop-out, at worst an outright bait-and-switch. Or so it seems to me. ???

+1 - But Bakker is riffing off the Bible so your unease might be a reflection of that text's poor internal logic?

They're just semantics, Callan.  Am I allowed to elaborate my meaning if I don't feel like you understand my intended communication?
When it just seems to me you are giving up without actually admitting an error/without giving up a point, no.

That's where I was left. You can chase this up if you want to continue discussing with me. But that's where it ended for me - not at an elaboration.

Given that I find it extremely difficult to parse what you are trying to say, I am happy to concede that you win whatever is at stake in this cage-match.
I don't acknowledge such a match even occuring for anyone to have won anything. Nothing happened.


Wilshire,
To me, 'lol wow' seems the harsh remark to give.

I'm being straight with Curethan. I'm not hitting any balls that he is incapable of catching. What does 'lol wow' even mean, in terms of being straight with me?

Yeah, holding people to standards screws up the going with the flow. Surely you've found that that is necessary at times? Or not? Do you think we can keep the flow of the status quo, yet also change that flow somehow? I dunno, maybe there is a way and I don't know it?

Callan - the onus is on the writer to make him/her/itself understood, neh?

In terms of being straight honest, I find both what you and Curethan are writing back and forth to be mostly unintelligible. This may have to do with my very little interest in the metaphysical or moral mechanisms of Damnation but, personally, I think you could both work to be a little clearer on what connotations you are both bringing to the table.

The rest of us don't have Callan to English or Curethan to English dictionaries on hand...
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Wilshire on December 08, 2013, 06:17:39 pm

Wilshire,
To me, 'lol wow' seems the harsh remark to give.

I'm being straight with Curethan. I'm not hitting any balls that he is incapable of catching. What does 'lol wow' even mean, in terms of being straight with me?
I find most everything you say unnecessarily confusing. The fact that you are surprised that you spent 10 posts arguing with someone and then realized that neither of you are talking about the same thing is comical, and affirms my sentiments.

My specific comment "lol wow" was just my voicing more surprise (and hilarity). I dunno why the validation from your opponent is so important to you, or that the lack of it makes you so upset. So, to translate, I found your response both funny (lol) and surprising (wow).  ;)
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Cüréthañ on December 09, 2013, 12:13:17 am
Fair does.  I'll avoid making elaborate posts in future.

I can see how treating the terms 'metaphysical' and 'moral' as interchangeable can be problematic. Unfortunately, it seems from that interview that was quoted that Bakker conflates the two as well.

An internally consistent system of metaphysical laws that determine inescapably what happens to a person's soul by reference to what that person did in life is not necessarily the same thing as a logically sound objective moral system.

Showing that the former can theoretically exist is pretty easy. Using that to try and claim the latter can also theoretically exist is, at best, a bit of a cop-out, at worst an outright bait-and-switch. Or so it seems to me. ???

Meh.  The idea is that the metaphysical laws are applied to individual moral frameworks.  If you can quantify the level of guilt or righteousness or whatever that a person feels, then there can be a tipping point for relative consequence.  Like if you are holding on to the edge of a cliff and your weight to strength ratio determines you must fall.

With that, I am out of this thread.
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Callan S. on December 09, 2013, 04:15:27 am

Wilshire,
To me, 'lol wow' seems the harsh remark to give.

I'm being straight with Curethan. I'm not hitting any balls that he is incapable of catching. What does 'lol wow' even mean, in terms of being straight with me?
I find most everything you say unnecessarily confusing. The fact that you are surprised that you spent 10 posts arguing with someone and then realized that neither of you are talking about the same thing is comical, and affirms my sentiments.
I spent time playing chess, then the pieces were swept from the board before game completion. It's something else.


Mike,
Quote
Callan - the onus is on the writer to make him/her/itself understood, neh?
I'd take it as being more like a tango. It takes two to do it - not just one.

Or if that's confusing, I'll just answer no.
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Callan S. on December 09, 2013, 08:32:33 am
Back on topic,

I had a thought about reworking Curathans idea it's what people 'believe they should be damned for'. The idea is that people don't figure out any sort of salvation method for themselves - they think there is salvation, but they don't figure a method for it. This leaves how you are saved up in the air and ambiguous - which makes for pretty odd stuff if belief makes for existance.

The idea is that this up in the airness is what creates the 100. They are the fragmentary nature of a belief in salvation, without any concrete notion of how it comes about, solidified/coallesced into the 100 gods. That's why all the gods have their themes going on - they formed out of salvation fragments along that theme (kind of like a planet forms out of space dust).

All because folks don't think about how they can be saved - they leave it up in the air, and things form out of the fragments in the air. And rule like angry gods...err, because they are angry gods!
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Duskweaver on December 09, 2013, 09:04:07 am
+1 - But Bakker is riffing off the Bible so your unease might be a reflection of that text's poor internal logic?
That's no excuse. If the effing Bible is going to be Bakker's standard for internal consistency, then there's no point in me waiting around for The Unholy Consult. I might as well bug out now and save myself the frustration. :P

IMO, it's a pretty glaringly unfair comparison. The Bible was cobbled together from the work of multiple authors writing over several centuries, with each part subjected to generations of translation, possible transcription errors, and outright political manipulation. It's frankly amazing it makes as much sense as it does. A series of novels written by one guy over a decade really ought to be held to a higher standard, don't you think? Even if he's consciously going for a 'Biblical feel'.

Quote
In terms of being straight honest, I find both what you and Curethan are writing back and forth to be mostly unintelligible.
I find a good 80% of the stuff in this entire forum to be completely unintelligible. The remaining 20% is interesting enough to make up for that, though. ;)

If you can quantify the level of guilt or righteousness or whatever that a person feels, then...
(Emphasis mine.)
...the system is no longer objective by definition.

And that's without even getting into the question of whether a true psychopath would be immune to damnation in this system.

I do think you're onto something, though. I think that's essentially the loophole the Cishaurim use to avoid the Mark: not that they themselves feel no guilt (although that also seems to be true), but that their sorcery is based on manipulating the God's subjective 'feelings' and therefore cannot be objectively quantified and therefore 'judged'. I'm not sure that actually makes any sense, though, but maybe Bakker thinks it does?

All because folks don't think about how they can be saved - they leave it up in the air, and things form out of the fragments in the air. And rule like angry gods...err, because they are angry gods!
That's pretty neat. We're essentially back to Warhammer cosmology, though... :-\

("...My loss of faith replaced by doubt..." (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Wh_WPX3iD4) See what waiting so long for UC has done to me? I'm drowning in cynicism, arbitrary skepticism and Scandinavian gothic metal. It is too far... :P )
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: locke on December 09, 2013, 09:04:07 am
I've always found the utter hysterics over 'objective morality' to be pretty impenetrable reading.  Never been able to follow the mental convolutions necessary to share their universe shaking outrage over what is a pretty simple concept.  it's like getting angry at pi, or i.

No.  No, you cannot exist square root of negative one.  You are an outrage to existence, you are foul and hideous, go away now!
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Madness on December 09, 2013, 03:23:39 pm
Fair does.  I'll avoid making elaborate posts in future.

Not that I had intentions (other than demanding some more rigourous communicative efforts) but this outcome is unacceptable to me. Just sayin'.

Mike,
Quote
Callan - the onus is on the writer to make him/her/itself understood, neh?
I'd take it as being more like a tango. It takes two to do it - not just one.

We've had versions of this conversation before. You can call it a dance, insist that we're doing the tango, but then you always seem to step as if you're expecting me to do the waltz (my understanding of traditional dance is spotty so apologies to anyone reading with a more relevant understanding than mine own)...

I work very, very hard in my day to day life and, probably even more so, here to be clear as to what exactly it is I'm trying to communicate. I know, only too well, many of the subtle ways in which communication fails and so I try to be clear about my connotations (the inutterals, which serve to fix the meanings of my utterals, in TSA parlance).

Do really you think you work equally as hard to make sure that what you think and say are what others take from your words? Do you even attempt to find out what other people take from your words (if anything) or do you constantly turn around and claim that the other side has committed a communicative foul?

Think on it.

That's no excuse. If the effing Bible is going to be Bakker's standard for internal consistency, then there's no point in me waiting around for The Unholy Consult. I might as well bug out now and save myself the frustration. :P

IMO, it's a pretty glaringly unfair comparison. The Bible was cobbled together from the work of multiple authors writing over several centuries, with each part subjected to generations of translation, possible transcription errors, and outright political manipulation. It's frankly amazing it makes as much sense as it does. A series of novels written by one guy over a decade really ought to be held to a higher standard, don't you think? Even if he's consciously going for a 'Biblical feel'.

Uh... +1 for historical notation.

Lol - I was only offering a suggestion. It could very well be that Bakker's committed the fallacy that you've posited. Or, perhaps, TUC changes the rules of the game once again...

Quote
In terms of being straight honest, I find both what you and Curethan are writing back and forth to be mostly unintelligible.

I find a good 80% of the stuff in this entire forum to be completely unintelligible. The remaining 20% is interesting enough to make up for that, though. ;)

Absolutely. It still doesn't follow that we shouldn't strive for unreachable communicative ideals, even in our nerdanels.

("...My loss of faith replaced by doubt..." (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Wh_WPX3iD4) See what waiting so long for UC has done to me? I'm drowning in cynicism, arbitrary skepticism and Scandinavian gothic metal. It is too far... :P )

+1 - I think, many of us are here with you, Duskweaver. In my quest, I've also tried burning Bakker's existing books in a ladle and tapping the soupy remnants intravenously but the meanings are never so clear as when I smoke them in a broken lightbulb ;).

I've always found the utter hysterics over 'objective morality' to be pretty impenetrable reading.  Never been able to follow the mental convolutions necessary to share their universe shaking outrage over what is a pretty simple concept.  it's like getting angry at pi, or i.

No.  No, you cannot exist square root of negative one.  You are an outrage to existence, you are foul and hideous, go away now!

Lol - perhaps, it reflects a ratio by which outrage is proportionate to an individual's remaining commitment to their worldly faiths?
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Francis Buck on December 09, 2013, 08:57:49 pm
Right then, so this was originally going to be directed at Curethan, but since he has left the thread I'll just post my thoughts, maybe he'll see them, maybe not. I realize it takes me a while to respond here, and this is primarily because my desktop computer only stays on for about twenty to forty minutes, if that, before just shutting off with zero warning. Thus, writing up long posts is a pain in the ass (at this point I'm just doing it in a word document and hitting "ctrl+s" every few seconds). I can use my Kindle, which is what I've mostly been using for browsing the interwebs at the moment, but that too is a huge pain in the ass to write anything of decent length. If I was writing what I just wrote here, but on my Kindle, I might be done the first two sentences. It has an extremely annoying "auto-correct" feature, which is difficult to circumvent even when writing something more mundane, let alone a piece where every tenth word is Nonman or No-God or Sranc or some crazy shit that doesn't exist in the dictionary, even though I try to add them as I go along...but even this is very unreliable -- certain words seem to "stick", and others don't. For example everytime I start to type "google", fucking Gin'Yursis comes up, of all the random names for the damn thing to remember, and it seems very fond of reminding me that it has done so.

ANYWAYS

So over the last few days, I've actually pretty radically altered some of my thoughts on the metaphysics. This came through a combination of doing sporadic re-reads of semi-random parts from the books, and from re-reading old threads here, including the Thorstein's amazing write-ups, which I actually agree with largely, with some discrepancies.

To start with, I no longer think the gods are enforcing damnation per se, nor that they made up the rules of damnation in the first place. I do still believe, however, they are in no way worthy of any admiration, and that any plans/goals/missions to cut the bonds between the gods and the World (or just the Outside and the Wolrd) are, ultimately, a "good" thing. I use the word "good" lightly. To put it another, I think that shutting off the Outside is overwhelmingly beneficial to the sentient life of the Bakkerverse, human, Inchoroi, whatever.

I should probably outline my thoughts so as to better argue my point: I think Thorstein's ideas on the relation between quantum mechanics, and the concept in the Bakkerverse of the "circuit between watcher and watched being the foundation of reality", are pretty spot on. I already believed that the Bakkerverse is supposed to be, in a weird way, what our universe would be like if it was truly as anthropocentric as many religions (in this case, primarily Abrahamic ones) imagine it.

Earwa is, in perhaps a very literal sense, the center of the Bakkervese. We know that Earwa is special. Sorcery, it seems, can only be used there. In addition, we know the Bakkerverse is populated with non-human life, and these beings are very alien, which includes alien morals. And yet, the gods are incredibly anthropomorphic, as are the "rules of morality" that outline damnation. This means an entire universe of ensouled beings are being subjected to a purely anthropocentric set of morals, and being -- quite unfairly -- punished for it.

So, I think that the gods quite literally arose from the noosphere of Earwa's conscious beings (humans, who I suspect have always outnumbered Nonmen). Humans themselves aren't particularly special in-and-of-themselves, but Earwa is. The gods would have reflected whatever the noosphere of Earwa's dominant inhabitants held. Damnation, too, is a relfection of this noosphere, reflection of the collective consciousness of the Earwans.

I believe that the "circuit of watcher and watched" is what pins these things into existence. Ensouled beings, fragments of the God, watching each other (collapsing the wave function, if you will). This is why Cishaurim have no mark -- they've removed themselves from the circuit. This is why the gods can't see the No-God -- it was never part of the circuit of the to begin with. Once that circuit is broken, the rules no longer apply quite the same. The pin has been removed.

The problem is that the gods themselves are only interested in Earwa. They want the devotion of humans, Earwans, because they're the ones who matter. All the ensouled beings in the universe don't offer anything. Thus, they're never given revelations. They didn't have Inri Sejenus, or prophets. They're damned without even knowing it, because they could never know otherwise.

Again, I think all of this stuff really hits home for people who grew up with a religious background (particularly an Abrahamic one), as Bakker did. It this on all these ideas that would crop up. If Jesus is real, he revealed himself to humanity as to save their souls, then what about the entire universe of sentient beings that didn't have a Jesus? Who, by their very nature, could not have anthropocentric morals, and so are doomed to damnation? It's just as the Inchoroi said -- they were born for damnation.

This also ties into why the number 144,00 is important. One of the chapter quotes in WLW is from "The Third Revelation Ganus the Blind" (hey, there's that blindness again), and it says:

Quote
The last of the wicked stand with the last of the righteous, lamenting the same woe. One Hundred and Forty-Four Thousand, they shall be called, for this is their tally, the very number of doom.

So, what happens when the population is ed to 144,000? This is the goal of the Consult, so obviously it must be something related to the Outside, or the gods, and the blocking/closing/ending there of. I suspect that by reducing the population of Earwa's dominant collective consciousness (humanity)...something important happens. The boundaries between the World and the Outside break. The gods lose their power. I don't know exactly what, but I do think that's where this story is headed.

I'll post more about how I think the No-God fits into this later.

But I digress.

To loop back around to the whole "objective morality" thing, I don't feel like I have many other ways of explaining my feelings on it. It just...I don't know. What people here are describing as objective morality seems to have virtually nothing to do with actual morality. There are "rules" underwriting existence. These rules, when broken, lead to punishment. Some of the people in this universe consider these rules to be a moral-framework. Alright, cool. It's still not some objective morality. It just...it doesn't make sense. Morality transcends these notions. I wish Sci was posting on this thread, because back on westeros when this was being discussed, he gave a very succinct explanation of my feelings on it, but I have little hope of ever finding that particular random post.
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Callan S. on December 10, 2013, 01:07:01 am
Think on it.
Again, alone. Not us thinking on it. Just me.

What, do you want me to decide for you that I've put in enough effort, Mike? Are you allowing me to decide that for you?

Give me a metric for the effort you want. I want to rant on the time I spend on posts, even the time on paragraphs that I then delete anyway as they might just have convoluted things. Any appearance that I just type and type until I hit post is purely illusory - there are so many pauses.

This is just closing a door - as if there's a way out of 'think on it'. When there is no way out (unless I decide your own mind for you somehow?)
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Callan S. on December 10, 2013, 01:21:57 am
I've always found the utter hysterics over 'objective morality' to be pretty impenetrable reading.  Never been able to follow the mental convolutions necessary to share their universe shaking outrage over what is a pretty simple concept.  it's like getting angry at pi, or i.
It's like encountering someone who says they can measure 10cm, but if you actually compared their ruler to others, their 10cm is some other rulers 4cm.
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Francis Buck on December 10, 2013, 01:54:17 am
I've always found the utter hysterics over 'objective morality' to be pretty impenetrable reading.  Never been able to follow the mental convolutions necessary to share their universe shaking outrage over what is a pretty simple concept.  it's like getting angry at pi, or i.

No.  No, you cannot exist square root of negative one.  You are an outrage to existence, you are foul and hideous, go away now!

Can you elaborate on this in some way? I honestly don't know if you're arguing against the people stating the plausibility of OM (that's what I'm calling it now because I'm tired of typing it) or those stating the implausibility of it.

Regardless, what strikes me as interesting is that we have people on both sides of the fence here. Some people (myself) just flat-out don't get it. I genuinely don't understand how people are looking at the situations proposed here and can say, "Yeah, that's objective morality". Likewise, there are people on the other side of the fence arguing the exact opposite, "Why is this such a hard concept to grasp?".

Why is that?

All I know is -- and I've basically said this same thing twenty times in twenty different threads -- every single argument I see somehow explaining how this OM works...has nothing to do with morality. It's like saying there's a universe, we'll call it Francoverse, and in Francoverse, there is, "Musical Objectivity". In this universe, some music is objectively better than other music. The reason for this is, because, if you don't like the music that has been labeled "good music", you get punished for it, because that's how the Francoverse works. But what is this actually saying? It has nothing to do with music, or the appreciation or interpretation of music. It's just one superior force, subjugating another, weaker force, based on arbitrary rules set by...whatever. The Subjugators, the universe itself, it doesn't matter. It's still all bullshit. It has nothing to do music, because music, and the enjoyment of it, is inherently subjective. That's it. Sure, we can rant on about the logical quality of the music. We can talk about how me throwing my feces against the wall and recording the sound it makes is nothing compared to the blood, sweat, and tears Beethoven put into his work...But it's still fucking subjective. And here's the big kicker: it's all based on the observer.

This is why different cultures have different conceptions of morality. This is why the Inchoroi feel injustice at being damned, when they're being punished by anthropomorphic rules. Because objective morality DOES NOT EXIST. It cannot exist, by virtue of what it is. This is what I was hinting at with my concept of an anthropomorphic universe filled with non-anthropic creatures. The OM we see here is not actual morality. Morality is nebulous. It changes. It has no definite structure. It. Is. Subjective. This is the nature of consciousness. It doesn't matter if you're a human, a dog, an Inchoroi, one of the Hundred, or Jesus Christ himself. Morality transcends all of it, because it's only relevance is upon the observer.

It's because we're dealing with something that is inherently subjective. You cannot make it objective. Period. Like...that's it. It doesn't suddenly become objective just because the universe bends to those particular rules.
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Royce on December 10, 2013, 12:39:07 pm
Quote
DOES NOT EXIST

Right there. Few words and to the point.

You just have to answer the question: How can it exist? How can countless subjective opinions become "the objective morality" unless they all state the
exact same thing? Which is impossible, so it can not exist.
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Madness on December 10, 2013, 01:25:20 pm
I realize it takes me a while to respond here, and this is primarily because my desktop computer only stays on for about twenty to forty minutes, if that, before just shutting off with zero warning. Thus, writing up long posts is a pain in the ass (at this point I'm just doing it in a word document and hitting "ctrl+s" every few seconds). I can use my Kindle, which is what I've mostly been using for browsing the interwebs at the moment, but that too is a huge pain in the ass to write anything of decent length. If I was writing what I just wrote here, but on my Kindle, I might be done the first two sentences. It has an extremely annoying "auto-correct" feature, which is difficult to circumvent even when writing something more mundane, let alone a piece where every tenth word is Nonman or No-God or Sranc or some crazy shit that doesn't exist in the dictionary, even though I try to add them as I go along...but even this is very unreliable -- certain words seem to "stick", and others don't. For example everytime I start to type "google", fucking Gin'Yursis comes up, of all the random names for the damn thing to remember, and it seems very fond of reminding me that it has done so.

Lol'd. You have my condolences, FB. Affect change, you need to keep writing.

ANYWAYS...

It has the making of a sound nerdaneling, FB, observers fixing reality in place and such BUT... for me there still remains a distinction between the Mark and Damnation as per the sight of the Judging Eye, that I don't think you, or anyone, has adequately addressed.

Quote
To loop back around to the whole "objective morality" thing, I don't feel like I have many other ways of explaining my feelings on it. It just...I don't know. What people here are describing as objective morality seems to have virtually nothing to do with actual morality. There are "rules" underwriting existence. These rules, when broken, lead to punishment. Some of the people in this universe consider these rules to be a moral-framework. Alright, cool. It's still not some objective morality. It just...it doesn't make sense. Morality transcends these notions. I wish Sci was posting on this thread, because back on westeros when this was being discussed, he gave a very succinct explanation of my feelings on it, but I have little hope of ever finding that particular random post.

It's because we're dealing with something that is inherently subjective. You cannot make it objective. Period. Like...that's it. It doesn't suddenly become objective just because the universe bends to those particular rules.

Quote
DOES NOT EXIST

Right there. Few words and to the point.

You just have to answer the question: How can it exist? How can countless subjective opinions become "the objective morality" unless they all state the
exact same thing? Which is impossible, so it can not exist.

I think, I've got it, FB. It has come to me while reading your posts.

You've either never been inside such a system, really, or you've forgotten what it was like to believe but God, not humans, decides what satisfies moral conduct...

This whole shtick about "This is why different cultures have different conceptions of morality" (FB (http://second-apocalypse.com/index.php?topic=990.msg11572#msg11572)) is such historically disparate conception and, in fact, you'd still probably be hard pressed to convince many persons living that this is the case.

Think of Cnaiur's thoughts on the Warrior-Prophet/Dunyain.

In theological frameworks, God decides morality, therefore it is objective, neh?

I think you've simply struck upon faith, FB.

Think on it.
Again, alone. Not us thinking on it. Just me.

What, do you want me to decide for you that I've put in enough effort, Mike? Are you allowing me to decide that for you?

Give me a metric for the effort you want. I want to rant on the time I spend on posts, even the time on paragraphs that I then delete anyway as they might just have convoluted things. Any appearance that I just type and type until I hit post is purely illusory - there are so many pauses.

This is just closing a door - as if there's a way out of 'think on it'. When there is no way out (unless I decide your own mind for you somehow?)

Callan, you decide your own level of participation. These are simply things I don't need to address.

But all I really did ask of you was to answer a couple questions that you ignore:

Do really you think you work equally as hard [as others] to make sure that what you think and say are what others take from your words? Do you even attempt to find out what other people take from your words (if anything) or do you constantly turn around and claim that the other side has committed a communicative foul?

No one is going to censor you or demand that you communicate a certain way. But people will just choose to stop engaging you.
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Francis Buck on December 10, 2013, 08:48:10 pm
Quote
I think, I've got it, FB. It has come to me while reading your posts.

You've either never been inside such a system, really, or you've forgotten what it was like to believe but God, not humans, decides what satisfies moral conduct...

This whole shtick about "This is why different cultures have different conceptions of morality" (FB) is such historically disparate conception and, in fact, you'd still probably be hard pressed to convince many persons living that this is the case.

Think of Cnaiur's thoughts on the Warrior-Prophet/Dunyain.

In theological frameworks, God decides morality, therefore it is objective, neh?

I think you've simply struck upon faith, FB.

Eh, it's possible, but I'm not sure. For what it's worth, I did grow up in a semi-religious household, and I went to extremely strict fundamentalist Baptist high-school (which was a major influence on my current beliefs). Before going to that school, I believed in God, in some form. I had "faith". It wasn't nearly as strong as what a fundamentalist might feel, but even so, it was there.

But again, I feel myself looping back to the idea that, even if a God existed, and even if that God laid out the rules of morality...they're still not objective. If that God says that women are spiritually inferior to men, then I disagree. Because they're not my morals. This goes back to the quotes from Epicurus, and Mark Twain. A God setting up rules of morality doesn't mean anything about real morality. They're just the arbitrary rules the God set. His omnipotence and omniscience is irrelevant. He can punish me for not following his way, but that doesn't change the basic nature of morality. Just like if a God said, "This is piece of art is objectively superior." Well, maybe for God it is. For me it sucks. I don't follow the line of reasoning that a being of great power, setting a punish-reward system based his own conception of morality, suddenly makes that moral framework objective.

In the case of Earwa this is even more so dramatic, since the gods, are neither omnipotent nor omniscient. Again, it's one powerful being saying that its morals are the right ones, and then punishing people for it. That doesn't make those morals objective in any way, shape, or form.

Now, from that quote Curethan posted, where Bakker says how the inferiority of women to men was a fact, like atomic weight, as it was in Biblical times, THAT makes sense to me, because it's just the people of that time thinking these morals are objective. But they're not ACTUALLY objective. It's a delusion. That's what I'm confused about, to some extent. I don't know if Bakker's trying to say the former -- that it's simply the Earwans' idea of morality being objective, or whether he's saying these morals in Earwa are in some way literally, metaphysically objective.

Hopefully I'm making some kind of sense here.
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: locke on December 10, 2013, 08:55:55 pm
he's saying in earwa, the delusion is not a delusion.
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Madness on December 11, 2013, 02:21:43 pm
But again, I feel myself looping back to the idea that, even if a God existed, and even if that God laid out the rules of morality...they're still not objective. If that God says that women are spiritually inferior to men, then I disagree. Because they're not my morals. This goes back to the quotes from Epicurus, and Mark Twain. A God setting up rules of morality doesn't mean anything about real morality. They're just the arbitrary rules the God set. His omnipotence and omniscience is irrelevant. He can punish me for not following his way, but that doesn't change the basic nature of morality. Just like if a God said, "This is piece of art is objectively superior." Well, maybe for God it is. For me it sucks. I don't follow the line of reasoning that a being of great power, setting a punish-reward system based his own conception of morality, suddenly makes that moral framework objective.

...

Hopefully I'm making some kind of sense here.

You can only make that commentary because you've found a way outside of the belief system, FB... I don't really know what else I might say to highlight this further.
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: MG on May 06, 2014, 02:16:59 pm
Callan, your op made me think of this SMBC comic:
http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=2244#comic

Maybe the Inverse Fire shows you what is outside of the matrix?  You can look and see that everyone is 'damned' in the sense that life is ultimately meaningless outside of the Bakkerverse?  This might mean that the Inchoroi's ultimate aim is the perpetual maintenance of the operating system.  The No-God may be their method for prolonging the narrative world indefinitely or preventing it's demise.  They necessarily war against Kellhus because he is that guy seeking to convert the whole world to meaninglessness.

The timeline would be: 20?? humans realize life is meaningless but we have complete power to alter our perceptions.  So as a way to cope with reality, we create a super elaborate matrix to give us the illusion of purpose.  Maybe Earwa is everyone's delusion, maybe just a small group of perverts, maybe just one persons.  On a long enough timeline, all of the participants (if there is more than one) can rotate through all of the lives (those weird hints that reincarnation maybe at play in Earwa).  If so, I guess TUC will reveal if the matrix is actually in danger or if the events are just part of the narrative that give the world the semblance of meaning.

As for the 5 tribes, that it is only 5, no more no less, I have no idea.  But I wonder if it has something to do with the 5 tribes being engaged in some kind of super-long migration.  That Eanna isn't there birth place but just a way station from somewhere else.  I'm thinking of all the varied elf migrations in the Silmarillion. 

Morality in Earwa--I suspect Bakker is trying to make a point about the pointlessness of fixing morality to super-human agents.  Basing morality on the Hundred or Jesus ultimately comes down to an arbitrariness that is nothing more than a food chain of powerfullest to leasternest.  Meybe?

@ Madness, fuck yeah Euthyphro!!!  :)

@ Duskweaver, lol to what you said

Quote
IMO, it's a pretty glaringly unfair comparison. The Bible was cobbled together from the work of multiple authors writing over several centuries, with each part subjected to generations of translation, possible transcription errors, and outright political manipulation. It's frankly amazing it makes as much sense as it does. A series of novels written by one guy over a decade really ought to be held to a higher standard, don't you think? Even if he's consciously going for a 'Biblical feel'.

Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Callan S. on May 09, 2014, 06:45:28 am
After considering things further I want to add this to the prediction: It is the future and the human race is actually extinct. What we take for humans are simply the simulations a grand AI creates - somewhat like in the story 'I have no mouth but I must scream', but no humans remains, only simulations (ie, crossed with Red Dwarf's holograms/dirty deadies). Qualia zombies, of course, of course. The people we see are genetically modified humans but they cannot function without the AI's go ahead (as shown by the still borns during the no-gods reign, the bodies lack any capacity to indipendently offer brain function). Lacking the genetic instructions for being a human that grows a brain that indipendently thinks and stuff, they aren't human and taking it this is all there is, the human race is extinct, even if our bodies are still being reproduced (so retro!). The inchies then simply want to make a harem of a bunch of bots - and is that so bad? Could no more sin against dirt and all that! No, I'm asking provocatively - I don't agree with my question. Futher, the inchies are essentially the more legitimate beings involved (even as self modified as they are). And after all, it's like they are just fucking a museum full of wax dolls, aren't they?

So that's my update, in case it gets me bragging rights.

Edit: Also the lost password function isn't working/isn't sending any e-mails. In the end I just got lucky and remembered my password.
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Wilshire on May 09, 2014, 02:05:35 pm
No problem making a harem out of robots, unless they really do have consciousness. In which case, aside from biological technicalities, they might as well be considered people. I haven't thought about this problem long enough, I'm sure there is a loophole in there somewhere

Edit: Also the lost password function isn't working/isn't sending any e-mails. In the end I just got lucky and remembered my password.

Thanks, will look into it.
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: Wilshire on May 09, 2014, 02:16:02 pm
Edit: Also the lost password function isn't working/isn't sending any e-mails. In the end I just got lucky and remembered my password.

Thanks, will look into it.

Sorry but I could not replicate the issue. I made a new account with a new email, logged out, went to recover password, and it sent me an email.

Possible solutions:
1) You forgot which email you had/have linked to your account
2) You didn't wait long enough for the page to load after you submitted the request. It took at least 2 minutes, maybe even longer, after I hit "submit" for a new page to load that told me an email was sent to my account. It is possible that if you don't stay on the page and wait for it to load fully, then the system doesn't have enough time to process your request and it cancels it.
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: MG on May 27, 2014, 02:36:23 am
After considering things further I want to add this to the prediction: It is the future and the human race is actually extinct. What we take for humans are simply the simulations a grand AI creates - somewhat like in the story 'I have no mouth but I must scream', but no humans remains, only simulations (ie, crossed with Red Dwarf's holograms/dirty deadies). Qualia zombies, of course, of course. The people we see are genetically modified humans but they cannot function without the AI's go ahead (as shown by the still borns during the no-gods reign, the bodies lack any capacity to indipendently offer brain function). Lacking the genetic instructions for being a human that grows a brain that indipendently thinks and stuff, they aren't human and taking it this is all there is, the human race is extinct, even if our bodies are still being reproduced (so retro!). The inchies then simply want to make a harem of a bunch of bots - and is that so bad? Could no more sin against dirt and all that! No, I'm asking provocatively - I don't agree with my question. Futher, the inchies are essentially the more legitimate beings involved (even as self modified as they are). And after all, it's like they are just fucking a museum full of wax dolls, aren't they?

So that's my update, in case it gets me bragging rights.

Edit: Also the lost password function isn't working/isn't sending any e-mails. In the end I just got lucky and remembered my password.

It would be neat if there were aliens who tinkered with reality trying to simulate what kinds of life forms would exist under different conditions.  Run that experiment enough times and you get both Earth and Earwa!  We are in the Matrix with no body to wake up into!
Title: Re: My spoil it all prediction for what the overall setting is
Post by: MG on July 01, 2014, 04:36:16 pm
Couldn't think of the right thread for this:

From the beginning of chapter 15 of WLW:

"In life, your soul is but the extension of your body, which reaches inward until it finds its centre in spirit.  In death, your body is but the extension of your soul, which reaches outward until it finds it circumference in flesh.  In both instances, all things appear the same.  Thus are the dead and the living confused.

-Memgowa, The Book of Divine Acts"

So the ultimate setting is...EVERYONE IS ALREADY DEAD!  The world is the Outside and what everyone in the book refers to as the Outside is really the world of the living!  Yatwer is a alive and Akka is dead :)