"If you wouldn't buy it, you should probably sell it."

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obstinate

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« on: November 10, 2017, 04:30:08 am »
"If you wouldn't create it, you should probably destroy it."

I haven't been able to bring myself to reread TUC yet. But a thought does cross my mind from time to time as I consider the No-God, Kellhus, and Resumption.

So, in the world of Earwa, at least according to the glossary, most are damned to eternal suffering. Certainly, we are aware of only two or three who are saved, according to the Judging Eye. It may be that this is partly because we are around so many warlike men through the course of the story. For the sake of argument, though, let's assume the ratio of damned to non-damned is at least 6:4. If you, behind the veil of ignorance, had the choice to come into existence in Earwa, or not, you'd probably choose not. Simply on the basis of the likelihood of damnation, you probably wouldn't even accept 50-50, or 25-75 odds. I know I wouldn't.

To my knowledge, nowhere in the text is it hinted that Kellhus has a plan to change this state of affairs. Indeed, toward the end, he claims that he sees himself descending "as a Hunger." I know not whether this outcome was averted by his destruction at the end of the story. But even if it wasn't, there is no sign that he is going to use his status as a hunger to create better outcomes for all the poor souls who spring off the mortal coil into the Outside. I assign some probability to the idea that he has a plan for that, but not a high one.

So, I'm left with an uncomfortable realization. If the "bad" guys win, then almost everyone now alive dies, and nobody else ever gets born. But at least no more damned souls are created. Meanwhile, if the "good" guys win, the appalling status quo remains in force.

There is a saying in personal finance that mostly pertains to the buying and selling of stocks, particularly ESPP and RSU stock received from an employer. "If you wouldn't buy it, you should probably sell it." The idea is that the execution of an act and the non-execution of its negation are nearly identical in outcome. If you would do one, you should do the other (or want that it be done). If you wouldn't do one, you shouldn't do the other.

I would not create Earwa, in the form described in the novels, had I the power. It would not even tempt me. So, the question I have is, should I be happy that the enemy seems to be within striking distance of victory?

If this is already being discussed in another thread, feel free to point me that way.

SmilerLoki

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« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2017, 10:48:47 am »
So, the question I have is, should I be happy that the enemy seems to be within striking distance of victory?
There is no certainty that the Consult is "the enemy", nor that the protagonists are "the good guys".

This is quite deliberate on Bakker's part.

H

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« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2017, 12:47:43 pm »
To my knowledge, nowhere in the text is it hinted that Kellhus has a plan to change this state of affairs. Indeed, toward the end, he claims that he sees himself descending "as a Hunger." I know not whether this outcome was averted by his destruction at the end of the story. But even if it wasn't, there is no sign that he is going to use his status as a hunger to create better outcomes for all the poor souls who spring off the mortal coil into the Outside. I assign some probability to the idea that he has a plan for that, but not a high one.

Well, I think part of it also is that Kellhus doesn't seem to ever have really had a "master plan" in the sense that he was going to "fix" everything.  Rather, he seems to be trying to gain control over the whole system.  To what end though?  That's something of the "greater mystery" but we could presume that once he ended the Consult, the battle with the Hundred could begin.  To what end?

Well, the same end he pursued the whole time in Eärwa, the accumulation and consolidation of power.  Why not conquer Hell and, so, choke out the Hundred?  Why not become the master of the gods?
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasûrimbor . . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury.” -Cet’ingira

TaoHorror

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« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2017, 02:47:05 pm »
To my knowledge, nowhere in the text is it hinted that Kellhus has a plan to change this state of affairs. Indeed, toward the end, he claims that he sees himself descending "as a Hunger." I know not whether this outcome was averted by his destruction at the end of the story. But even if it wasn't, there is no sign that he is going to use his status as a hunger to create better outcomes for all the poor souls who spring off the mortal coil into the Outside. I assign some probability to the idea that he has a plan for that, but not a high one.

Well, I think part of it also is that Kellhus doesn't seem to ever have really had a "master plan" in the sense that he was going to "fix" everything.  Rather, he seems to be trying to gain control over the whole system.  To what end though?  That's something of the "greater mystery" but we could presume that once he ended the Consult, the battle with the Hundred could begin.  To what end?

Well, the same end he pursued the whole time in Eärwa, the accumulation and consolidation of power.  Why not conquer Hell and, so, choke out the Hundred?  Why not become the master of the gods?

Love would be a risk to this agenda - does he love Esmi or not? His stammering about Kel's arrival in GR and his apparent genuine love for Esmi suggests more is amiss.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2017, 02:49:09 pm by TaoHorror »
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H

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« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2017, 04:02:40 pm »
Love would be a risk to this agenda - does he love Esmi or not? His stammering about Kel's arrival in GR and his apparent genuine love for Esmi suggests more is amiss.

Well, then we are back to where MSJ and I always disagree.  Is the "love" for Esme what drives him, or is it just a factor among all of them?  Or is it even just a distraction?
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasûrimbor . . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury.” -Cet’ingira

TaoHorror

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« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2017, 07:38:41 pm »
Love would be a risk to this agenda - does he love Esmi or not? His stammering about Kel's arrival in GR and his apparent genuine love for Esmi suggests more is amiss.

Well, then we are back to where MSJ and I always disagree.  Is the "love" for Esme what drives him, or is it just a factor among all of them?  Or is it even just a distraction?

Since we lacked POV from Kellhus, too hard to tell. I got the sense his love for her didn't "drive" him, but it was strong enough he let his guard down with her - remarkable for someone so inured with precision. Me thinks this is evidence he wanted more than just save humanity, but to elevate us.
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TaoHorror

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« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2017, 07:46:14 pm »
"If you wouldn't create it, you should probably destroy it."

If this is already being discussed in another thread, feel free to point me that way.

Back on topic - I with you, the logic of hell is hell - cannot be argued 80 years ( if you're lucky ) is worth an eternity of torment. Any fixed amount compared to infinity is equal to any other - so it doesn't matter if you got to live 80 or 80,000 years, if the risk is eternal damnation, it ain't worth it. So if there is a hell, I for sure would've preferred not to have been born. You may be on to Bakker making a statement about hell - if there's a hell, then the god/gods must be evil. This resonates with Kellhus's breaking of Proyas.

It kinda was with a thread I created month+ back, but we can bring it up again.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2017, 07:49:19 pm by TaoHorror »
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Yellow

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« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2017, 09:20:34 pm »
Love would be a risk to this agenda - does he love Esmi or not? His stammering about Kel's arrival in GR and his apparent genuine love for Esmi suggests more is amiss.

Well, then we are back to where MSJ and I always disagree.  Is the "love" for Esme what drives him, or is it just a factor among all of them?  Or is it even just a distraction?

Since we lacked POV from Kellhus, too hard to tell. I got the sense his love for her didn't "drive" him, but it was strong enough he let his guard down with her - remarkable for someone so inured with precision. Me thinks this is evidence he wanted more than just save humanity, but to elevate us.

My impression was that it was just a plot device. He needed a way to get Kelmomas to Golgotterath. Not that I'm against plot devices - they make for good plots.
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Yellow

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« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2017, 09:24:17 pm »
On the nature of the gods and "evil", what is evil? Is a lion evil because it eats a zebra? Or is it just a lion?
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TaoHorror

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« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2017, 12:04:03 am »
On the nature of the gods and "evil", what is evil? Is a lion evil because it eats a zebra? Or is it just a lion?

Maybe I give animals too much credit, but I believe ( er, suspect since I don't have objective evidence, just my perception of behavior ) that mammals are conscious and therefore can be evil. When a male lion stumbles upon a pride without a leader, he kills off the cubs in taking over ... think we can call that murder. But on to your point, no - a lion eating a zebra is not evil or murder, he/she is doing it to eat. Evil is "wronging" another for something other than subsistence. If the gods cannot subsist on something other than souls, then maybe they're not evil.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2017, 12:07:53 am by TaoHorror »
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Dora Vee

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« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2017, 12:25:22 am »
The lions kill the cubs so the mother can get in heat again. It has nothing to do with evil.
Faith is the truth of passion. Since no passion is more true than another, faith is the truth of nothing.   
                          -Ajencis, the fourth analytic of man

obstinate

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« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2017, 04:49:42 am »
On the nature of the gods and "evil", what is evil? Is a lion evil because it eats a zebra? Or is it just a lion?
When I say "evil," you may read it as "very strongly opposed to the things I value," and you'll be close enough to be going forward with 99% of the time.

obstinate

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« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2017, 04:58:43 am »
"If you wouldn't create it, you should probably destroy it."

If this is already being discussed in another thread, feel free to point me that way.

Back on topic - I with you, the logic of hell is hell - cannot be argued 80 years ( if you're lucky ) is worth an eternity of torment. Any fixed amount compared to infinity is equal to any other - so it doesn't matter if you got to live 80 or 80,000 years, if the risk is eternal damnation, it ain't worth it. So if there is a hell, I for sure would've preferred not to have been born. You may be on to Bakker making a statement about hell - if there's a hell, then the god/gods must be evil. This resonates with Kellhus's breaking of Proyas.

It kinda was with a thread I created month+ back, but we can bring it up again.

On the subject of infinities: by this logic, any murder of someone who might conceivably reproduce or aid someone else in reproduction can be justified in a utilitarian schema, via a formula something like this:

x's impact on reproduction odds * (chance child goes to hell - 0.5) * infinity = moral value of killing x

That is to say, killing someone who would increase the probability of a marginal person being created has an infinitely positive moral value in Earwa. (Supposing a soul is more likely to be damned than not, and eternal bliss and eternal damnation are equally and oppositely weighted infinities.)
« Last Edit: November 11, 2017, 05:01:36 am by obstinate »

SmilerLoki

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« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2017, 10:56:05 am »
On the subject of infinities: by this logic, any murder of someone who might conceivably reproduce or aid someone else in reproduction can be justified in a utilitarian schema, via a formula something like this:

x's impact on reproduction odds * (chance child goes to hell - 0.5) * infinity = moral value of killing x

That is to say, killing someone who would increase the probability of a marginal person being created has an infinitely positive moral value in Earwa. (Supposing a soul is more likely to be damned than not, and eternal bliss and eternal damnation are equally and oppositely weighted infinities.)
Morality and probability don't mix very well. Morality is famous for dealing in absolutes.

MSJ

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« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2017, 12:24:42 pm »
Quote from:  Yellow
My impression was that it was just a plot device. He needed a way to get Kelmomas to Golgotterath. Not that I'm against plot devices - they make for good plots.

Bad impression, ;) !!!

I have tons of posts here and at the other side, how Kellhus did indeed love Esme and Serwe. And, I would go further and are with Tao, that he wanted to uplift humanity. There are hints and clues, from Kellhus's POV throughout the series that shows his feelings and emotions for Esme. And, this was my pet theory before even TGO. TUC, all but confirmed it, when he said he kept her in Momemn to save her soul, keep her ignorant. At one point he calls Esme the World. She's special, he knows it and loved her for it.
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,