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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

mcbernier

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Everything posted by mcbernier

  1. Howdy. I only have about two minutes to spare, so I hope what I say is coherent. Interesting. I was only attempting to defend a very flat understanding of basic libertarian freedom. But you are right to call attention to other concepts. I don't know Schopenhaur, but I have some knowledge of Kierkegaard's freedom--somewhat radical stuff, actually (the self IS freedom, not just an activity of an agent). Your suggestion on Kant is interesting, given that time is not metaphysically absolute on his account--it's more a condition for experience. Also, I think Augustine had a conception of the so
  2. Your argument goes something like this (very roughly stated): (1) Foreknowledge requires a "deterministic universe" (2) If a universe is "deterministic," then there are no other ("real?") possibilities (i.e., there is only one causal line of events exists?) (3) If there are no other possibilities, then there is no libertarian freedom (4) Hence, foreknowledge entails that there is no libertarian freedom. There are a few difficulties with this argument. The whole thing hinges on the claim that the universe must be deterministic for there to be foreknowledge, and that this deterministic s
  3. Your argument goes something like this (very roughly stated): (1) Foreknowledge requires a "deterministic universe" (2) If a universe is "deterministic," then there are no other ("real?") possibilities (i.e., there is only one causal line of events exists?) (3) If there are no other possibilities, then there is no libertarian freedom (4) Hence, foreknowledge entails that there is no libertarian freedom. There are a few difficulties with this argument. The whole thing hinges on the claim that the universe must be deterministic for there to be foreknowledge, and that this deterministic s
  4. This argument reminds me of the theological debate about the concept of free will being incompatible with the concept of an omniscient Creator. Suppose that you accept the free will hypothesis. There are two different cereal boxes in front of you, and you are able to use your free will to choose what you have for breakfast today. Now think back to what you ate for breakfast yesterday. Can you change yesterday's decision? No. Does that disprove free will? No. Similarly, something outside of time (or, in the case of the 'finns, somehow able to see outside the confines of time) is not inc
  5. This argument reminds me of the theological debate about the concept of free will being incompatible with the concept of an omniscient Creator. Suppose that you accept the free will hypothesis. There are two different cereal boxes in front of you, and you are able to use your free will to choose what you have for breakfast today. Now think back to what you ate for breakfast yesterday. Can you change yesterday's decision? No. Does that disprove free will? No. Similarly, something outside of time (or, in the case of the 'finns, somehow able to see outside the confines of time) is not inc
  6. This argument reminds me of the theological debate about the concept of free will being incompatible with the concept of an omniscient Creator. Suppose that you accept the free will hypothesis. There are two different cereal boxes in front of you, and you are able to use your free will to choose what you have for breakfast today. Now think back to what you ate for breakfast yesterday. Can you change yesterday's decision? No. Does that disprove free will? No. Similarly, something outside of time (or, in the case of the 'finns, somehow able to see outside the confines of time) is not inc
  7. Hello Plato. Nice name for this sort of discussion I still don't think this is correct. Knowing what will happen does not entail that there is no (libertarian) freedom. Such knowledge is of the future, but knowledge itself does not determine the future, or fix it. Perhaps: my having pancakes for breakfast tomorrow is a free choice I make at breakfast tomorrow. It may be true today that "tomorrow I will have pancakes for breakfast," but what makes that true, what determines that this will be true, is not God's knowledge, or the supercomputer, but my making the choice tomorrow morning. We c
  8. This argument reminds me of the theological debate about the concept of free will being incompatible with the concept of an omniscient Creator. Suppose that you accept the free will hypothesis. There are two different cereal boxes in front of you, and you are able to use your free will to choose what you have for breakfast today. Now think back to what you ate for breakfast yesterday. Can you change yesterday's decision? No. Does that disprove free will? No. Similarly, something outside of time (or, in the case of the 'finns, somehow able to see outside the confines of time) is not inc
  9. I know, in the real world commanders don't have the ability to send instant orders to the field, or watch a battle from above, or send immediate orders to correct something, or...hey, wait a minute! If you think about modern warfare, there is a lot of similar stuff, when you consider the level of fire power we can bring to a fight, or the way we can watch ("real time") what is happening on the battlefield. And yet, we still study the great battles of history. Why? Because the principles still apply. What Alexander the Great did is still relevant. Modern day commanders have this abilit
  10. I know, in the real world commanders don't have the ability to send instant orders to the field, or watch a battle from above, or send immediate orders to correct something, or...hey, wait a minute! If you think about modern warfare, there is a lot of similar stuff, when you consider the level of fire power we can bring to a fight, or the way we can watch ("real time") what is happening on the battlefield. And yet, we still study the great battles of history. Why? Because the principles still apply. What Alexander the Great did is still relevant.
  11. I guess I see it differently. The way Mat was written was the biggest disappointment. But I'm glad you liked it. You bring up an interesting point about tactics and "out-general-ing" Demandred. I don't have a lot of knowledge about military history, but I do know that battles have been won through tactics. Go back to Alexander the Great, and some of the stuff he pulled off, while leading the cavalry on the battlefield, at times against absolutely horrible odds. That's how I always pictured Mat. So I sort of expected Mat to do something similar, and "out-general" Demandred on the field of b
  12. I guess I see it differently. The way Mat was written was the biggest disappointment. But I'm glad you liked it. You bring up an interesting point about tactics and "out-general-ing" Demandred. I don't have a lot of knowledge about military history, but I do know that battles have been won through tactics. Go back to Alexander the Great, and some of the stuff he pulled off, while leading the cavalry on the battlefield, at times against absolutely horrible odds. That's how I always pictured Mat. So I sort of expected Mat to do something similar, and "out-general" Demandred on the field of b
  13. I guess I see it differently. The way Mat was written was the biggest disappointment. But I'm glad you liked it. You bring up an interesting point about tactics and "out-general-ing" Demandred. I don't have a lot of knowledge about military history, but I do know that battles have been won through tactics. Go back to Alexander the Great, and some of the stuff he pulled off, while leading the cavalry on the battlefield, at times against absolutely horrible odds. That's how I always pictured Mat. So I sort of expected Mat to do something similar, and "out-general" Demandred on the field of b
  14. What was bullshit is Demandred's claim of: AMoL Demandred is centuries old but the War of Power only lasted around 10 years(before that it was unknown during the AoL). The Great Captains should have more practical experience in warfare than he does. Wow, I hadn't thought of that. Seems like a big mistake (but maybe there is a way to explain it?)
  15. I disagree with you. I loved the Mat of the last three books. Boy, it's funny how two people can see things so differently. I completely agree with Suttree, that mat is no longer a rogue but a court jester. I think that's perfectly stated. It felt like I wasn't even reading the same character. Even if the new "mat" were a good character, it was not Mat. This is one of the biggest disappointments I had with BS's writing, since Mat was one of my all time favorite characters (in any book). I can see why it might be difficult to write mat, though, since what was really interesting and enjoyab
  16. My thoughts on the "body switch" thingy. Isn't Moridin they guy who craves oblivion? Doesn't he want to completely cease to exist? So, maybe that's what happened. Maybe Rand helped him, mercifully, into oblivion, and his soul was snipped from the pattern (or something). His body then became "available" to Rand. And wasn't it already established that there was some kind of strange link between Rand and Moridin, so that we don't need to appeal to a warder bond between them to explain Rand switching bodies? If Rand had in that moment the power to kill the DO, this doesn't seem like it would be mo
  17. How is that different from the previous 11 books though? C'mon, be honest, on re-reads don't tell me you don't skip/skim some of the "wonder twin" scenes or Elayne solo scenes or a good bit of the Faile is captured arc among other scenes and arcs that while, are well written, don't progress the story/plot one iota for 100's of pages. I think, after about books 6-7 there has always been some criticism to be made. The difference though is that the nature of that criticism has changed. And please don't bring up the KoD argument again. Yes it was a step in the right direction to righting the
  18. Hey, thanks for the reply. Let me respond to some of the above (remember, I qualify everything I say with "I am not an expect on Wheel of Time"). First, I don't think it's a stretch to say that Demandred, with the proper motivation (whatever that might be), would pursue LTT. That seems to be all he cares about. Suppose this was worked into Mat's strategy to appear like he was losing the battle, and when all "seems lost," LTT (Logain) shows up on the battlefield for a "seeming" last ditch effort to wipe out Demnadred. It fails, LTT (Logain) pursposefully retreats. Demandred follows. Mat lea
  19. Hey, I just started lurking (again) after reading the final book. Overall: I was pretty disappointed. But I'm not laying the blame on anyone. It's a very tough job to take over for another author who has tragically died. And there were a few moments that were enjoyable. Now, about the "Lan killing Demandred" thing. I'm nowhere close to an expert on these books, but I have some thoughts. Forgive me if what I say is uninformed. First, it's not just this particular sword fight, its the entire way that Demandred was handled. And we, as readers, are left to fill in the missing explanations.
  20. I've never liked the term "homophobia" or "homophobe," which has always struck me as trying to sound like some sort of clinical diagnosis of mental health (or lack thereof). The wikipedia definition mentioned earlier seems pretty good, but who is to decide what an "irrational fear" is in this case? We examine the logic of it. If homosexuality bothers you...is there a logical reason for it? If not, then it's irrational. But 'aversion' is much easier to define. Ah, and that's part of why I suggested that it is problematic to include "irrational" in the definition. Who decides what is "irr
  21. I've never liked the term "homophobia" or "homophobe," which has always struck me as trying to sound like some sort of clinical diagnosis of mental health (or lack thereof). The wikipedia definition mentioned earlier seems pretty good, but who is to decide what an "irrational fear" is in this case? We examine the logic of it. If homosexuality bothers you...is there a logical reason for it? If not, then it's irrational. But 'aversion' is much easier to define. Ah, and that's part of why I suggested that it is problematic to include "irrational" in the definition. Who decides what is "irr
  22. I've never liked the term "homophobia" or "homophobe," which has always struck me as trying to sound like some sort of clinical diagnosis of mental health (or lack thereof). The wikipedia definition mentioned earlier seems pretty good, but who is to decide what an "irrational fear" is in this case? The problem seems to be that the word carries with it a normative element: when a person is named a "homophobe" he or she has a moral failing which ought to be rectified. It is not just an "illness," it is moral turpitude. That is the connotation of the word "homophobe." And because of this, it is n
  23. Pygmalion79, what a great post. Very thoughtful, deep analysis based on the mechanics of the story. Thank you.
  24. I personally still think it seemed stupid. I couldn't believe it when Rand destroyed them. It didn't seem justified, or reasonable. It did indeed feel as though he were destroying his best weapons. The point of the OP is, I think, that they really were the best weapons he had, and to destroy your best weapons requires A LOT of CLEAR justification to the reader. The CK cannot really be compared to Sauron's Ring, people--the Ring was corrupt in itself, forged through Sauron's malice, and thus was an active force of evil on whomever possessed it. But the CK was not corrupt in this sense at all.
  25. How very strange this is. If you dislike Egwene you obviously have problems with women. If you like Tuan you obviously have no problem at all with slavery. WTH? This is fiction, people, FICTION, where you get to like bad people and societies without having it necessarily be a moral problem. Liking Tuan as a character is different from accepting slavery, or implicitly accepting moral relativism. Even in the real world--you know, the one outside of books--it is far from uncommon for us to like people who do nasty things. Do any of you like Conan? You know: the thief and murderer? You must o
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