Rasha

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  1. I feel that we don't have the same definition of compassion then. Compassion is a virtue by which an individual is prone to percieve or feel a stranger's pain, and is pushed to remedy it. There is no compassion when there is no bridging of the divide between oneself and the unknown. And there is no compassion without actions to actually solve what is causing pain. There is a difference between pity and compassion. For Shallan, she simply apologize because she realize that she was wrong, and then offers an apology. That's it. It's an every day act that requires no compassion. For Taravangian, she only have access to his kind side, and doesn't see the atrocities he has committed. She knows he is not a fool, because of the discussion they had in Karbranth. She know his reputation and actions in Karbranth, which all paint him as a Kind man. Of course she is going to describe him as a kind man, that is the projection that mister T. sends to the world. It doesn't take compassion to consider T. a kind mind. As for Renarin, how could would you have to be to kill your own cousin, kneeling before you and crying because he thinks he is a vector of evil ? Jasnah changes her mind only when she sees that Renarin is willing to die, so that humanity has a better chance of surviving. Wanting to save humanity when one is human is not an act of compassion. What would be compassion would be wanting to save the Parshendi while being human. It takes an action to bridge the divide to an unknown, considering how things stand for them, feeling what they feel and then acting on it. Jasnah is not compassionate. No compassionate person would have killed the tugs in Karbranth like she did. What she did was a very logical solution, but it was not compassionate. A compassionate person would have acted on what caused these men to become robbers / murderers, tried to solve the problems leading to criminality, offered reinsertion into society after the purging of a sentence. Jasnah tried nothing to solve the problem, but directly tried the fastest way. Efficency and necessity are cold and harsh mistresses, but in this case, necessity was a lie. How can you call yourself compassionate when you use murder as a lesson to your ward ? At least Nalan knows what he is doing and purposedly rejects compassion as a virtue. Do not mistake me, I love Jasnah. Because I am drawn to selfless extremist personalities that know what they are doing, and that are able to justify their extreme actions coherently. I love Taravangian too. Because it takes an amazingly strong person to see that the end of world is coming and deciding to salvage most of what you can. They both are very selfless persons, that act not to further their gain, but on behalf of others. But there is a differance between being selfless and compassionate. One can commit atrocities while being selfless.
  2. Jasnah is not compassionate. Yes, she spared Renarin, but only because it was Renarin, who she had known her entire life. If it wasn't someone of her family, crying and kneeling before her, I would say that Jasnah wouldn't have hesitated. She has other qualities though, she is intelligent, logical and resolute. But she doesn't possess an ounce of compassion.
  3. Hello, This is an update on a theory I built in a previous post. The goal of this theory is to analyze the Shin society, based on their relation to Stone or their inherent pacifism. For those not willing to click the link I posted, I will just quote the theory into spoilers. The first part of the update is the most obvious, as we get new shiny text evidence that establishes a link between the Heralds and the Shin, which is a pretty nice confirmation that there was at least relation of worship between the Honorblades as a symbol and the Shin. Note that the Shin walking up to the Honorblades and kneeling happens after Jezrien announces that the Desolation is over. The second part is more tenuous. With Oathbringuer, we didn't get many insights into the Shin society. There was a post postuling that Stone was holy for the Shin, because it was a reliquat of the era when Parshendi forbid the Shin to walk out of the mountains. I like this a lot, as it is a phenomen that exist in our world. For exemple, the prohibition to eat pork stemed from the fact that pork spoils very fast when you can not refrigerate it. Other reasons may include the fact that unlike many other forms of livestok, pigs are omnivorous scavengers, eating virtually anything they come across, including carrion and trash. This restriction on pork carries still into our modern day, when most Muslim and Jews don't eat pork. Even in countries where the sanitory reasons are moot, the religious tabou is still strong, and the rule is still obeyed as an absolute unbreakable rule. What is the link with the Shin ? Well it is simple. Being prohibited to walk out of the mountain, they decided that the most effective and simple way to respect the agreement with the Parshendi was to create a religious interdiction to walk out of the mountains. With time, this degraded to an interdiction to walk into the mountains, and as the mountains are pretty much the only thing made of stone in Shinovar, it soon began to be seen as forbidden to walk on stone. Now, the initial reason of the prohibition has disapeared, as humanity is all over Roshar, but the tabou and religious beliefs are still present in the Shin society. As an aside, I wonder if the propention of the Shin to keep to their agreement flawlessly is what drove Honor to the humans.
  4. I'm getting my copy on the 21-22th. So until then, I'm off the 17th Shard. Enjoy your reading!
  5. Gardens of the Moon symptom. Well, if we arrive to it with the Stormlight Archive, it would mean that Brandon has done a fantastic job, I have no complaint about that.
  6. I knew I should have gone to my local library, instead of relying on Amazon who will send it to me two weeks late. Curse you Amazon.
  7. Utilitarianism is not very useful here. The basic tennet of utilitarianism, is that good actions are actions that maximize utility. Expecting utilitarism to define what is moral is a circular argument. What is moral is what maximize utility. How to maximize utility ? Well that depends of what you value above all else. What do you value ? Well that depends of your morality. Mill has a view of Utility that is one of a liberal (and I mean a 19th century liberal, not a US democrat). For Mill, to maximize utility, you have to maximize individual interest. For him, the public interest is no other than the sum of all the private interests. Thus, according to Mill an ideal utilitarist society is an individualist society. Of course, we now know that maximizing individualism in the hope of greater common utlity is utter rubish. If everyone only acts upon his personal utility, then society is globally screwed. Plus this theory was rebutted by both Kant and Arendt, with very convincing arguments. Kant argued that the human mind creates the structure of human experience and that reason is the source of morality. He argued that hypothetical moral systems cannot persuade moral action or be regarded as bases for moral judgments against others, because the imperatives on which they are based rely too heavily on subjective considerations. Kant is a bit the Father of Moral Relativism. He develops an exemple of the deontological theory, which states that the rightness or wrongness of actions does not depend on their consequences but on whether they fulfill our duty (Categorical Imperative). On what is duty: Ethical Essentialism, is the basis of the position adopted by monotheistic religions on Morality. The view of Morality by Chrisitanism dates back to the 13th century by Aquinas and Augustus. These two authors found the Basics concepts of Essentialism, created by Aristotle and Plato and attempted to reconcile Christian Theology with the theory. I think there is a divide between the two positions that we will not be able to gap with rationnal arguments. Beside, refuting Essentialism is well outside my capacities. But if Aquinas and Augustus never existed, we probably would not have this debate as the Christian view on Morality may have been very different and may even not have been based on Divine Essence. You phrased with much tact what I have not been able to say for fear of not being polite. Thanks. If it is not too touchy a subject, could you elaborate on that point ? Of course you are free to tell me to storm off with my (very) unpolite request, but I am curious. I had some thoughts in the past, but managed to get rid of them, hopefully permanently. I am glad that for you Religion has been a positive influence. Although we could debate that "better or worse person" is a matter of morality and... No, I am kidding, and it is a bad jest, Congratz on your progress. As for paradise, I would like to say that I do not want to commit my actions in view of getting a higher reward once I am dead. I find the notion of acting good to expect divine rewards profoundly cynical (careful now I don't say that every Christian or monotheist does that), and I would rather like to find out that Paradise doesn't exist. I would be perfectly happy to slide into nothingness. Of course this is my personal view and as such it is subject to subjectivity (ah!).
  8. Does identity need a human to be created or change ? The stick was persuaded to be a sick, and I doubt many humans saw it in a lost part of the Frostland. It didn't need humans to persuade him that it would stay a stick, it just was a stick because its form and essence matched one of a stick. If Identity is an innate attribute, it should be able to change on its own, reguardless of human presence. When the Physical form doesn't match the Cognitive Identity there is a conflict and I would hazard that after long enough, the Cognitive Itentity changes to match the Physical form.
  9. It could be interpreted as such: the 9 Unmade are all active on Roshar just before a Desolation, before the 10 Heralds return. That is what happened on Roshar this time: the Thrill and Death Rattles were all active way before the Desolation started, and way before Taln returned from Damnation. If we haven't seen the other Unmades, it may be because like Re-Shephir, they are hidden or biding their time before accomplishing their purpose.
  10. The forum ate my previous response, and so I am 2hours late, and the debate on morality moved on to Shalan. I will post it regardless, but in spoiler so it will not derail too much the topic:
  11. Well, I slept through the whole morality debate, but that may be a good thing, given that Calderis advanced similar views in a fashion that is far more tactful than I managed to be on the same subject in the past. @Scriptorianthe blind zealot accusation, as harsh as it is, is a valid criticism in this case. Accepting one's morality as unquestionable is a slippery slope that leads to unquestionable actions. On the other hand, one needs to hold himself to a moral code that is a minimum static. If your (general you, not you personally) moral code changes every two weeks, it is not a moral code anymore, but a paved road to hypocrisy to justify your actions. That's why I think a lot of the religious people on the thread have a issue with our moral relativism. But accepting that morality is a product of our time and society doesn't mean that we are ready to change our morality to suit our actions. It just mean that if someone commit an act that is anathema to what we perceive as moral, we may (not every one does it) take the time to judge him by taking into account the circumstances and pressures that led him to act. It is the principle of saying that murder is not always wrong, for example when it is committed according to the principles of self defense (which include the necessity of a proportional response: you don't shoot someone with a gun because he threatened you with a stick, it's not proportional). Absolute rules avail us nothing, which is why when you are judged by a tribunal, the judges will examinate the circumstances of your actions, instead of automatically applying a sentence to a crime. I think that the most important thing to keep in mind is to value compassion above all in our relationship with others. Because compassion is independent of the moral compass of a society or an individual. Reading fiction or fantasy is a wonderful thing to develop empathy and compassion. It takes us to unfamiliar settings, in the head of people that act strangely according to a bizarre and unknown moral compass. And somewhere along the way, we say to ourselves "hey, maybe they have a point there, maybe I should do things differently. Maybe spiking someone in a Dark Alley is acceptable. Well, tomorrow I will change."
  12. These books have spent centuries being in a dust/blank state. I doubt they have retained enough of their Identity to the extent that a Radiant could even restore partially the text.
  13. Oh, I am not criticizing any of the theorycrafting, as I am aware most people (me included) are on the 17th shard to have fun building theories and discussing things. As for the theory, I think I read it somewhere, but I don't think I have the Realmatic Knowledge to judge if it is sound or not. I was just saying that building theories based on a previous theory is shaky at best. That doesn't mean that I judge it strictly forbidden, it was just a reminder that a theory built on fact is more sound that a theory built upon a previous non verified theory. But please, continue to have fun and build theory, it is why we are all around here
  14. After centuries decaying in the Library, the Identity of the books is probably dust, or blank pages with holes in them. Thus Regrowth may not be that useful. As for the surges, we never had any confirmation in-world or per WoB that they can be divided as your theory states it, and I would take it with a grain of salt until official confirmation.
  15. There is also the classic three questions / three answers that sends the protagonist into her hero's journey. It's the Rule of Three, and it's very common in popular myths. Everything worth saying must be said thrice, because it can be denied twice. It is also a reliquat of the old times, were tales were told by voice, and never written. The Rule of Three allowed an easier memorization, which is why it is present in all the old myths, and still used now as a reference. http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RuleOfThree There, I send you on a TVtropes journey, may the Allmighty save you from spending your whole day on it.