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Ripheus23

Bajerden, Bavadin, and Beyond

34 posts in this topic

No, the first two words in the title aren't really useful except in order to make a really obliquely bad pun.

So, question: do you think Sanderson will really leave the question of the Beyond ambiguously/ambivalently unresolved, or do you think that in the nick of time (at the end of time) the black sphere (or whatever) will at last intervene and we will get a twist-ending explanation instead? Like, I feel telling Hoid's story from the inside-out is going to require stepping at least right on to the exact threshold of this question. And I don't know that even IRL humans are so epistemically limited that we really won't ever find a way to know about our own IRL "Beyond" question.

Edited by Ripheus23
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I totally thinks that the Beyond is just going to stay that way. I see the concept of the Beyond as Brandon saying well yeah I play “god” but I don’t play “God.”

I honestly have no idea what you mean by the black sphere. The only thing I can think of is Gavilar’s sphere but I’m fairly positive that been confirmed to be void light and has nothing to do with the Beyond.

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5 minutes ago, Truthwatcher_17.5 said:

I totally thinks that the Beyond is just going to stay that way. I see the concept of the Beyond as Brandon saying well yeah I play “god” but I don’t play “God.”

I honestly have no idea what you mean by the black sphere. The only thing I can think of is Gavilar’s sphere but I’m fairly positive that been confirmed to be void light and has nothing to do with the Beyond.

I mean Gavilar's sphere, which according to a very amusing thread on this website has not been explicitly accounted for yet, despite Sanderson's claim otherwise. Due to an accident of my profile picture, the sphere has become a recurring site-trope for me :P

And what I suspect is that Sanderson doesn't want to get into overly technical philosophical discussion just yet. He's gone farther than many fantasy writers, maybe even all of them, in posing questions of this order, without providing a (say) Terry Goodkind diatribe as a settlement. But he might just be laying the groundwork, at least for a technical demonstration of the inaccessibility of the Beyond (in terms of the formal paradox of knowledge/the incompleteness theorems, for example).

Edited by Ripheus23
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Hmmm...

Random crackpot hypothesis.

The beyond is the equivalent of a Spiritual realm Black Hole (or Event Horizon in some capacity). I mean, if you can't come back from it, and it's where your spirit goes. If that's the case then who KNOWS what sort of spiritual mumbo-jumbo goes on in there.

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58 minutes ago, Ripheus23 said:

.So, question: do you think Sanderson will really leave the question of the Beyond ambiguously/ambivalently unresolved

Yes. I've emphasized the most important bit but this entire WoB makes the answer crystal-clear and is worth reading in full.

Quote

Questioner

After people die, in this universe, where exactly do they go? Because, at first they appear in this one world, and then they go somewhere else.

Brandon Sanderson

So where do people go when they die. *laughter* In the cosmere. One of the things that's very important to me as a writer, when I am writing stories, is when we get to these kind of fundamental questions about faith and religion and things like this, that the narrative is allowing multiple characters' viewpoints to be plausibly true, if this makes sense. For instance, I am not gonna come out and say, "Is there a capital-G God of the cosmere, is there an afterlife?" These are not questions I'm gonna answer, because in-world, they can't answer them. What they can say is, your Investiture will leave what we call a Cognitive Shadow, which is an imprint of your personality that can do certain things. And that most of those fade away, and you can see them, glimpse them, and then watch them go. But, are they going somewhere? Or are they not? Is that simply the Investiture being reclaimed, Is it more of a Buddhist thought, where your soul is getting recycled and used again? Is it nothing, you return to, you know, being-- yeah, is it a different type of matter? Or is there a Beyond, is there a capital-G God? Things like this. These questions are not answered. I'm never gonna answer those.

Now, the characters will try to answer them. But it's important to me that both Dalinar and Jasnah can exist in the same universe, and that the story is not saying "This one is right, and this one is wrong." The story is saying "This is how this one sees the world; this is how this one sees the world." It's very important to me from the beginning to do that, just because-- Like, I hate reading a book where someone espouses my viewpoint only to get proven wrong by the entire structure of the narrative, and in that universe, that person is wrong. But I'm like, "In our universe, I don't think that I am. Just the way you constructed everything makes it so that I have to be wrong, if I were living in your universe, even if it's a universe that's not a sci-fi/fantasy one." If that makes sense.

This is just kind of for respecting my characters and for the people who hold the viewpoints of my characters, in particular if they happen to be different from my own viewpoints. I feel there are certain lines I'm not gonna cross.

So, the answer is: who do you believe? Which of the philosophies in the books do you look at and say "Yeah!" Or, even better: listen to lots of different ones, and maybe these different viewpoints are all gonna have interesting points that'll give you things to think upon.

JordanCon 2018 (April 21, 2018)

 

Edited by Weltall
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37 minutes ago, Weltall said:

[quoting Sanderson] I'm never gonna answer those.

Yeah, but just because he says this now, doesn't mean he won't change his mind later.

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1 hour ago, Ripheus23 said:

Yeah, but just because he says this now, doesn't mean he won't change his mind later.

Did you actually read the entire WoB before flippantly dismissing it? The odds of him changing his mind on something this big are about the same as the odds that I'll wake up tomorrow and find a gift-wrapped copy of Dragonsteel Prime on my doorstep, signed by Brandon and personalized with the names of all the currently unknown Shards.

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7 hours ago, Weltall said:

Did you actually read the entire WoB before flippantly dismissing it? The odds of him changing his mind on something this big are about the same as the odds that I'll wake up tomorrow and find a gift-wrapped copy of Dragonsteel Prime on my doorstep, signed by Brandon and personalized with the names of all the currently unknown Shards.

I don't like being overly assertive but your probability claim is mathematically ill-founded and we're talking about a timeframe going decades into the future, plenty of time for Sanderson to change his mind to some extent. Besides which, didn't you read what I said about incomplete knowledge in general.

EDIT: I mean Kant spent a huge chunk of his life saying we couldn't know virtually anything about the 'Beyond'/noumena but he had doubts about his doubts near the end, in the Opus Postumum iirc.

Edited by Ripheus23
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38 minutes ago, Truthwatcher_17.5 said:

@Ripheus23 the WoB is him explaining one of the underlying philosophical parts of him being a writer. He not going to change his mind.

Well I'm glad we discovered how to read people's minds in the distant future but sadly I personally lack that power so I'm going to be more realistic and admit that Sanderson can change his mind.

Oh and since this has escaped the convo radar, I did qualify my question by pointing out a sophisticated adjustment to his Beyond position, that Sanderson could make, without violating his position.

Edited by Ripheus23
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8 minutes ago, Ripheus23 said:

Well I'm glad we discovered how to read people's minds in the distant future but sadly I personally lack that power so I'm going to be more realistic and admit that Sanderson can change his mind.

Oh and since this has escaped the convo radar, I did qualify my question by pointing out a sophisticated adjustment to his Beyond position, that Sanderson could make, without violating his position.

What do you think would need to happen to cause Brandon to change his mind on this?

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The issue is that Brandon doesn't want to address that issue as he likes to give the freedom to make a choice to the reader - if any position can be changed given enough time as you say, wouldn't that also include the position that positions can change? If truth is, as some people say, subjective, does that statement actually have value - that is, is it true? Sophestry! Pure delusion! There is objective reality, and subjective experience of that reality, but the subjective view doesn't define the objective truth - so long as Brandon doesn't say what the Beyond is, anyone is free to decide what they think it is, because he likes readers being able to guess and theorise. On some issues in his fictional worlds he makes statements of how they are, but for others he leaves questions. And some questions he doesn't want to give an answer to, either so as not to offend, or to give more options for those reading.

Brandon has his own beliefs, and probably has an internal idea of what he wants the Beyond to be like, but that is something he is letting others choose to wonder about as well. Thus no-one can say what the Beyond is except Brandon, and he isn't going to say it, because once he does that closes the number of options.

 

A magic trick has a solution - and objective method of how it was done. A magic trick's solution which hasn't been revealed is still done in a certain way, but the audience can remain interested, talking to each other about how they think it was done.

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There's a theory based on The Traveler IIRC about whether Hoid wants to bring someone back from Beyond. If that was true, Hoid probably has a reason to think there is a Beyond, and that it's at least worth trying to bring someone back from it. Then there's his convo with Jasnah about God.

So, when we finally get a massive Hoid POV section of text, I imagine there could be a debate about the Beyond. And even if the answer is still 'we don't know the answer,' I think this will be shown instead of told to us. Sanderson being as knowledgeable as he is, I can see him bringing up the incompleteness doctrine in mathematics, or Kantian idealism, or whatever. But there won't just be a flat claim that the Beyond is unknowable. And in the meantime, maybe Sanderson will learn an argument in philosophy that adjusts his definition of the question.

Edited by Ripheus23
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1 hour ago, Ripheus23 said:

There's a theory based on The Traveler IIRC about whether Hoid wants to bring someone back from Beyond. If that was true, Hoid probably has a reason to think there is a Beyond, and that it's at least worth trying to bring someone back from it. Then there's his convo with Jasnah about God.

But the traveler is non-canon, and there is no canon evidence that supports it, so I suspect it will stay that way. Even if it is canon you said it yourself Hoid thinks. Hoid is knowledgeable but he is not all-knowing. Furthermore I would predict that if he is trying to bring someone back he will fail because of the inscrutable nature of the Beyond. To sum it all up there is zero evidence that Brandon will ever elaborate on the Beyond and a ton (the aforementioned WoB, and Preservation’s and Harmony’s on words) that he will never elaborate.

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1 hour ago, Truthwatcher_17.5 said:

To sum it all up there is zero evidence that Brandon will ever elaborate on the Beyond and a ton (the aforementioned WoB, and Preservation’s and Harmony’s on words) that he will never elaborate.

The WoB doesn't count as evidence that he won't change his mind, though. And the fact that Sanderson is philosophically articulate is evidence that he *can* change his mind.

Edited by Ripheus23
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26 minutes ago, Ripheus23 said:

The WoB doesn't count as evidence that he won't change his mind, though. And the fact that Sanderson is philosophically articulate is evidence that he *can* change his mind.

Earlier you mentioned the conversation with Jasnah as being a reason. What do you mean?

Also, what would you consider valid evidence that he would not change his mind? What level of proof would be required?

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34 minutes ago, Ripheus23 said:

The WoB doesn't count as evidence that he won't change his mind, though. And the fact that Sanderson is philosophically articulate is evidence that he *can* change his mind.

He said “I’m never gonna answer those” that’s pretty definitive evidence. You are yet to provide any evidence.

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14 minutes ago, Pathfinder said:

Earlier you mentioned the conversation with Jasnah as being a reason. What do you mean?

Also, what would you consider valid evidence that he would not change his mind? What level of proof would be required?

I'm pretty sure I don't have the ability to predict whether someone will make a minor adjustment to their philosophical worldview 25 years from now, and if someone else claimed that ability, I would be suspicious. IOW there's no real way to know, unless we assume that Sanderson only says things that are true or correct or infallible or whatever.

Also, even if Hoid isn't all-knowing, don't you think he has reasons for believing what he believes?

@Truthwatcher_17.5 what do you mean by 'evidence' or what do you think I'm even arguing about?

Edited by Ripheus23
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@Ripheus23 you said

19 hours ago, Ripheus23 said:

And what I suspect is that Sanderson doesn't want to get into overly technical philosophical discussion just yet.

and have provided no evidence for the “just yet.” There is nothing indicating he will ever change his mind. 

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16 minutes ago, Ripheus23 said:

I'm pretty sure I don't have the ability to predict whether someone will make a minor adjustment to their philosophical worldview 25 years from now, and if someone else claimed that ability, I would be suspicious. IOW there's no real way to know, unless we assume that Sanderson only says things that are true or correct or infallible or whatever.

Also, even if Hoid isn't all-knowing, don't you think he has reasons for believing what he believes?

@Truthwatcher_17.5 what do you mean by 'evidence' or what do you think I'm even arguing about?

So there is nothing that could be hypothetically provided that would be valid to you to show that Brandon would not change his mind. Gotcha. Thanks!

edit: or I should say the purpose of this thread is not to argue whether or not Brandon would change his mind. It is to do a "what if" he did change his mind. Is that correct?

Edited by Pathfinder
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15 minutes ago, Truthwatcher_17.5 said:

@Ripheus23 you said

and have provided no evidence for the “just yet.” There is nothing indicating he will ever change his mind. 

You mean besides the fact that he already retconned the afterlife remark Harmony made in HoA? Besides the fact that people change their beliefs over time, all the time? Besides the fact that philosophical debate is especially conducive to changes in belief about things like the Beyond, which are philosophical issues? One WoB trumps normal reality? But @Pathfinder yeah, the joking tone of the OP signaled that the thread idea was more what-if than a prediction. The only prediction I made was that the Beyond will be openly debated in some book and that Sanderson would probably not assert direct knowledge of the actual Beyond, but indirect knowledge related to its pure possibility, still consistent in any event with the WoB in question.

Sheesh!

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39 minutes ago, Ripheus23 said:

The only prediction I made was that the Beyond will be openly debated in some book and that Sanderson would probably not assert direct knowledge of the actual Beyond, but indirect knowledge related to its pure possibility, still consistent in any event with the WoB in question.

Wait wait wait

39 minutes ago, Ripheus23 said:

Sanderson would probably not assert direct knowledge of the actual Beyond

So now you agree with me? But I’m still wrong?

I give up and cite this lovely YouTube video as to why I’m giving up.

 

Edited by Truthwatcher_17.5
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3 hours ago, Truthwatcher_17.5 said:

So now you agree with me? But I’m still wrong?

Did I say you were wrong? You seemed to jump into the discussion as if it was some debate about some WoB, all by itself, when in all actuality, all along, I said:

23 hours ago, Ripheus23 said:

He's gone farther than many fantasy writers, maybe even all of them, in posing questions of this order, without providing a (say) Terry Goodkind diatribe as a settlement. But he might just be laying the groundwork, at least for a technical demonstration of the inaccessibility of the Beyond (in terms of the formal paradox of knowledge/the incompleteness theorems, for example).

12 hours ago, Ripheus23 said:

Besides which, didn't you read what I said about incomplete knowledge in general.

EDIT: I mean Kant spent a huge chunk of his life saying we couldn't know virtually anything about the 'Beyond'/noumena but he had doubts about his doubts near the end, in the Opus Postumum iirc.

 

8 hours ago, Ripheus23 said:

So, when we finally get a massive Hoid POV section of text, I imagine there could be a debate about the Beyond. And even if the answer is still 'we don't know the answer,' I think this will be shown instead of told to us. Sanderson being as knowledgeable as he is, I can see him bringing up the incompleteness doctrine in mathematics, or Kantian idealism, or whatever. But there won't just be a flat claim that the Beyond is unknowable. And in the meantime, maybe Sanderson will learn an argument in philosophy that adjusts his definition of the question.

 

I'm pretty sure it's not my fault that you didn't read my posts, and I doubt that your decision not to read my posts makes me an idiot...

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@Ripheus23 your tone implies that he will change are some point and make a defiant answer but as we all know "the future is forbidden"

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28 minutes ago, stormbourne said:

@Ripheus23 your tone implies that he will change are some point and make a defiant answer but as we all know "the future is forbidden"

I understand that my tone might make it sound like I'm accusing Sanderson of lying or something, except I then explained my actual point, so...

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