Realy real

Date: Tue, 3 Oct 2000 07:49:08 -0400 (EDT)

Alex Ferguson :

> > Score a big enough success in imposing your perception on the other
> > two, and not only do they see the sun _that_ way, but (for a
> > sufficiently high degree of success) that viewpoint may be
> > permanently imposed on them, _completely_ screwing up at least part
> > of their own way of viewing the world.

Coo... a subjectivism bunfight. can I join in?

Carl Fink :

> Wow, so you *concede* that the Sun doesn't have a "real" nature that
> can be counted on? You think that the nature of the Sun depends on
> what you're expecting to see?

He concedes no such thing. I'm afraid tactics like this do your argument no favours.

  1. The Sun is just a big ball of fire in the sky.
  2. The Sun is the source of the power of life.
  3. The Sun gives us the light to see the truths of the world.

Each of these is in some sense true in our own world, let alone Glorantha.

The question is not which is true - they all are - but which is important? Which of these has the superior moral force? Many of these arguments aren't about literal, rational scientific truth, but moral truth.

The question of whether it's possible to consort with darkness to gain power and to survive isn't realy an issue for Dara Happans. Of course you can, and it is due to certain truths about the world, however they believe that doing so is immoral and corrupt. They are literaly true, but moraly wrong.

Moral truth in Glorantha is the equivalent of scientific rational truth in the real world. If you can prove something to me moraly true in Glorantha, then it becomes materialy true. That's how a lot of magic works, perhaps all of it.

If a Dara Happan heroquester proves that Yelm is the Sun, and the source of justice in the universe, then we see the Sun manifest and enthroned as Emperor of the Cosmos. If a Malkioni proves to us that the sun has no inherent moral authority and is just a ball of light and heat, then that's all we see it as. In Glorantha, at some level of analysis both of these are literaly true, but at a specific time, for specific people, which becomes manifest depends on which of these is proved to be moraly right and true at that time, and for those people.

True beliefs are percieved truths. True religeious beliefs are percieved moral truths. But perception, and hence belief, does not creat that which is percieved. Heroquesting can allow a hero to not just percieve a truth, but to embody it. A noble Dara Happan judge can embody the justice of Yelm. A malkioni wizard can embody the laws of thermodynamics (or rather the Gloranthan equivalent thereof, which are quite different to ours.)

What happens when they both clash? Perhaps the Wizard can prove that the Dara Happan has done something unjust. Perhaps the Dara Happan can prove that the Wizard is expressing personality. Either of these could lead to a win by discrediting the other's worldview.

I haven't even begun talking about metaphors yet. I Don't think I've got the time at the moment, which is a shame. I like a good punch-up on the digest as much as anyone.

Simon Hibbs

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