God Learners

From: Peter Metcalfe <metcalph_at_voyager.co.nz>
Date: Sat, 21 Feb 1998 13:41:04 +1300 (NZDT)

David Cake:

>>> Maybe its because I work in a university (though not for much
>>>longer, today was resignation day) that I find the reasoning that 'degrees
>>>churned out by the thousands' implies 'intellectual unity' rather

>>Do they teach Gnosticism at the university? Or perhaps Taoistic
>>Alchemy? Tantric Sex? Haruspicy? Charismatic Healing? Or
>>perhaps they inculcate the Wisdom of the West (and its take on all
>>the other traditions)?

>To actually address Peter's point however - does 'embodying one
>intellectual tradition' imply 'intellectual unity'?

Yup. The God Learners had some Blindness which made them unable to forsee the results of their experiments. Now for the God Learners to have multiple viewpoints implies that they could spot the blindess in other God Learners. Which I do not think is true.

>>> And as for unified politically? I deliberately defined 'God
>>>Learner' to include not just the Jrusteli, but all the other allies of the
>>>Middle Sea Empire who had access to their magic techniques, many of whom
>>>owed no direct allegiance to the Emperor (ie the Six Leggeds, the pirates
>>>of Teleos, the early FDR).

>>And what did they do that screwed up the Cosmos? Ergo there's no
>>reason for including them in, is there?

>Really? Or are you just defining God Learner narrowly in such a way
>that it makes your argument a truism? Straw men burn well.

Answer the question. What did the False Dragons Ring and the Six Legged Empire do that screwed up the Cosmos? You included them in there as people who had access to their magical techniques. But if they had access to their magical techniques, they would have also screwed up the Cosmos because of the acquired blindness. Since they didn't screw up the Cosmos the way the God Learners did as far as anyone could tell, perhaps they didn't have access to their magical techniques.

Now I do not consider this sort of reasoning to be a straw man nor a narrow definition of God Learner.

>>> Rather, its because they have universities that I imagine constant
>>>intellectual debate. Which in turn encourages them to test their theories.

>>And experimentation is inherently evil? How else where they supposed
>>to find the truth?

>I never said experimentation is evil. Merely that some God Learners
>will consider the actions of other God Learners to be misguided.

And I have repeatedly asked you on what grounds the Good God Learners would have opposed the actions of the Big Bad God Learners. You have failed to mention one and sprout off on how the God Learners must have been intellectually divided (whereas they sought a _Unity_)

>>>But take, for example, the current cloning humans debate.

>>A new way to make identical twins. Which is somehow supposed to
>>lead to The End of the World as We Know It.

>Exactly. To some people, in possession of the relevent facts, it is
>science god mad and society as we know it is threatened. To others, its
>completely innocuous, and we really should do it just to show that we can
>(future uses to follow). I imagine the God Learners are similarly divided
>on numerous theological engineering possibilities.

This is so off-base. I am in possession of the relevant facts and I fail to see how Society can be threatened unless several laws (regarding the rights of a person) were completely and utterly warped. Nor do I see people arguing that we should do it because we can. There was a purpose for the God Learner experiments, a well defined need. Everything that they did would have been justifiable - I've already mentioned the effort to recreate the cult of the Elder Gods as an explanation for the Goddess Switch.

To reduce the error of the God Learners to a bunch of stupid unprincipled jerks who screwed the universe because it could be done reduces the tragedy of the God Learners to a stupid farce.

>>> And the good reasons for the Manhattan project have not stopped
>>>people from condemning it.

>>But they condemn it out of _ignorance_.

>To assume that anyone whose opinion differs from your speaks from
>ignorance is intellectual arrogance at its most blatant and pointless.

Go read up on the circumstances of the Manhatten Project (something about a war on and fears that the enemy might use them) and then come back and provide coherent objections as to why the Manhatten project should not proceed. Also reread the portion that you snipped which pointed out that the scientests and engineers who were invited onto the project did not condemn it as immoral.

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