Gods, Logic and Chaos

From: Peter Metcalfe <metcalph_at_bigfoot.com>
Date: Sat, 30 Sep 2000 18:13:08 +1200

Andrew Larsen:

> > The existance of Yelm, Elmal and Kargzant giving differing
> > answers is not sufficient [to indicate that Gods do not know
> > who they are or how they relate]?

>This can only be true if you make the assumption that this reality
>is subjective.

No. It can also be true for gods to have a subjective take upon an objective reality (i.e. in which they have an imperfect understanding of who they are or how they relate). You have no way of knowing the truthfulness of the God's answers.

>I'm challenging that assumption, so this issue isn't really

If you think I or anybody else is claiming that there is no objective reality in glorantha (aka pseudo-berkeleyism), you are mistaken.

> > BTW how do you explain the chaotic Red Goddess _not_ being
> > destructive and essentially evil?

>I sure this may outrage a few people on the list, but I think the
>Red Goddess is corrupt. That's certainly the perspective on the
>Lunars in RQ2,

The Lunars are depicted as corrupt because they are typically met as rulers of dreary backwaters, namely Pavis. It is a mistake to infer from this that the Goddess is "corrupt" (which certainly isn't the same as "destructive or essentially evil" BTW) since _all_ governments have their worst elements ruling over dreary backwaters. But I don't see how Paulis Longvale, the author of Cults of Terror, could be considered "corrupt".

Furthermore this argument confuses theory and practice. The corrupt practices of the US Federal Government are surely not proof that the principles of democracy are similarly "corrupt", let alone "destructive and essentially evil".

>Either Chaos is inherently evil or it isn't. Either the Orlanthi are
>right and the Lunars are wrong, or vice versa.

Why don't you consider the following possibilities:

Any one of these along make deciding whether the Orlanthi or the Lunars are right or wrong to be an impossible task.

>The two cultures hold incompatible beliefs on this issue.

Correct. It's been that way before RQ.

>So the whole subjective issue
>founders here, because both positions cannot be true simultaneously.
>You've made an objective decision that Chaos is not inherently evil.

On what "objective" basis are you defining evil? As far as I can tell, moral judgements of this nature are hugely subjective and dependent on the precepts of those making them. The Orlanthi know that Chaos is essentially evil because it has been defined that way.

> > Ompalam is not a chaotic deity. See the Glorantha: Intro for
> > details on his followers. He's only described as "evil" in the
> > RQ3 materials (RQ3 Book 5 and Gods of Glorantha), but then the
> > people who studied this in detail (the God Learners) were also
> > the same people whom Ompalam fought against.

>I wasn't aware that he was retconned into being unchaotic.

He never was retconned into being unchaotic. He's always described as "evil" and not "chaotic" in the above sources (like Malia, Gbaji and Ikadz). But his religion is an excellent example of the subjectivity of moral judgements.  From Orlanthi and Malkioni eyes, it looks evil but the Fonritans do not think so. How do we decide who is evil?

Carl Fink:

>Now the attitude seems to be that even pointing out the
>contradictions is somehow foolish. The idea that it doesn't have to
>obey Aristotle's Law of Contradictions is just *weird* to me.

Logic and Philosophy have moved a long way since Aristotle. It is possible for some things to be true according to one set of axioms or false according to another.

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