Oltux72

Jasnah's religion

120 posts in this topic

20 minutes ago, Pathfinder said:

In this case I disagree. I believe what the person is putting forward is:

1. what must be presented for Jasnah to recant her atheism and state God exists. 

The something the person is putting forward that she is looking for, is the "if this can be shown, then I will recant and state god exists", thereby having the "gotcha!" moment of "well this shard can do that, so that shard is god, so gotcha! you have to admit god exists!". The, Jasnah is looking for "x" and since she has not found "x" then god does not exist. That if she were to discover "x", then she would admit god exists. This is ultimately pointless because as I said, Brandon has gone on record saying that question will never be answered so that theists, agnostics, and atheists can all co-exist and be right at the same time. They will never know for sure. 

 

As for the rest of what you wrote, I will put forward again what I have twice now done so. Anyone can pick up a shard. They just need the know how. So I pick up a shard. I ascend. I literally just did it. Bow down to me and worship me for I am now your god. If someone irked me on the boards, I can use my cosmic powers to destroy them. Their family should bow down to me, and say "welp, thats an act of god. god is good". Forgetting that just moments ago I was an average mortal with average problems like anyone else, with nothing saying I was worthy or more able to decide people's lives. I have a shard. I am immortal. I have power. So I am God and should be worshiped?

For your first part, I do agree with what you're saying there.  Yes, there has to be something that (to Jasnah) means X is a god, but Y is not.  I don't think we are saying she must go looking for something, but to make that decision she must have some criteria.  I do understand and agree that we will never have a situation where Jasnah's beliefs will be either fully validated or invalidated.

As for the second part, I will answer that yes you would be a god if you picked up a shard.  A "small g" god, a member of a pantheon.  No, I would not worship you, but that would not change your status as a god.  Cultivation is not all that dissimilar from Persephone or Demeter in the Greek Mythology.  No one would dispute that either of those two figures is a god.  I don't think it makes sense to say that Demeter is a god, but Cultivation is not.  

Essentially, what happened is that Sanderson had to create a loophole.  In his fictional world, gods exist.  He wants to fairly represent the opinion of an atheist in his work.  The way he did it was to create two layers of "gods."  He has the shards, which would be considered "gods" by most standards, that make physical appearances and have clear evidence of their existence.  He also has the "God Beyond" which will never be confirmed or denied.  And Jasnah, who is partially right and partially wrong in keeping with Sanderson's goals. 

 

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11 minutes ago, Honorless said:

You can message Chaos to change your name back to what it was before Ookla season

 

@Ixthos, if it comes down to personal or societal interpretation, which is what I was arguing for to begin with, that still leaves Jasnah's argument perfectly valid. 

Agreed. As I said, Jasnah and I are in agreement on the shards not being gods. Whether or not that means she worships anything, or will worship anything, knowingly or unknowingly, who can say, but we do agree the shards aren't gods.

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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, Pathfinder said:

Why must there be something that is God?

In the quote Jasnah acknowledges such beings with power may exist, but she has no reason to worship them.

Why must she be looking for something? What has been presented her is not sufficient. 

Why must she be looking for something?

The list I provided all use power beyond time and space, can all create planets, and are all immortal. You also did not answer my assertion. If joe schmoe can attain a shard and ascend, why should Joe Schmoe be worshiped. If I got my hands on a shard, would you be expected to worship me? Call me God?

I don't think you fully understand what I am saying so I will attempt to explain here.

 I am simply saying that if Jasnah knows a Shard exists, yet still doesn't think God exist then what is she looking for? What is a god in her mind if not a Shard? When I say what she is looking for that's what I mean. What would it take for her to identify something as god? It is a common tactic in discussion like this to simply acknowledge what it would take to change your mind, if nothing would change your mind at all then what is even the point of discussing it?

 Now as to the list that is not what you initially said. Initially you had said 

Quote

Beings in the cosmere that are immortal, powerful and can move planets but are not shards number five and that is just off the top of my head

Which is not on the list. As such I responded by merely pointing that out. Now yes they are all immortal but as to the other stuff I'd disagree and need a source because I can not recall any instance of a planet being made by them or them being capable of transcending our understanding of space and time. All five of those entities may be immortal but they have never done feats like that. Only Shards have created planets and they are the closest we have to transcending time and space.

 Also I never once said Shards should be worshipped. Or any of the five you listed. All I ever asked was if they aren't counted as a god what else are you looking for? What is God if not a shard?

 Additionally religions do exist that do worship such individuals. Having some guy be god is a thing some Religions do have and are or were worshipped. An example that comes to mind immediatley for me is Celtic Mythology especially the Irish variant. The God's in those myths got their powers from going to a school. They were all just ordinary people with the know how. That is one example of a religioun worshipping some guy. To my recollection Mormonism also holds that those who work hard at something can become divine. Their may be more examples outside of a Western sphere I am unaware of at the moment but the fact still stands, religions exist that do worship "some guy" as you put it.

Also @Weltall thank you for pointing out the eqilogue as that had slipped my mind. Also thank you for the wonderful comment s it was very informative. :)

 Thank you also @agrabes for putting what I meant down in words in a very nice and clear manner. It is greatly appreciated and thank you for the answer.

Edited by Debarra
Catching up on thread and thanking and acknowleding stuff other people said.
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Posted (edited)

34 minutes ago, agrabes said:

For your first part, I do agree with what you're saying there.  Yes, there has to be something that (to Jasnah) means X is a god, but Y is not.  I don't think we are saying she must go looking for something, but to make that decision she must have some criteria.  I do understand and agree that we will never have a situation where Jasnah's beliefs will be either fully validated or invalidated.

As for the second part, I will answer that yes you would be a god if you picked up a shard.  A "small g" god, a member of a pantheon.  No, I would not worship you, but that would not change your status as a god.  Cultivation is not all that dissimilar from Persephone or Demeter in the Greek Mythology.  No one would dispute that either of those two figures is a god.  I don't think it makes sense to say that Demeter is a god, but Cultivation is not.  

Essentially, what happened is that Sanderson had to create a loophole.  In his fictional world, gods exist.  He wants to fairly represent the opinion of an atheist in his work.  The way he did it was to create two layers of "gods."  He has the shards, which would be considered "gods" by most standards, that make physical appearances and have clear evidence of their existence.  He also has the "God Beyond" which will never be confirmed or denied.  And Jasnah, who is partially right and partially wrong in keeping with Sanderson's goals. 

 

Jasnah knows the Almighty based on Vorin beliefs. She knows of the other religions on Roshar. She has been to the cognitive realm, and has spoken to the highspren. At no point after this did Jasnah ever state "hey i changed my mind!". To Jasnah, the shards are beings with power. Not something to be worshiped. So she defines herself as an atheist. 

What I am trying to get across is for Jasnah there is a difference between "God I worship" and "beings with power". Jasnah is a being with power. She has powers other people do not have, but that does not make her worthy of worship. Someone who knows how to make fire next to cave men who did not know at the time will seem as a god to them. Perspective to me and Jasnah does not make deity hood. Capitalize or not, if anyone can pick up a shard and become a "god" then no one is a god. 

33 minutes ago, Debarra said:

I don't think you fully understand what I am saying so I will attempt to explain here.

 I am simply saying that if Jasnah knows a Shard exists, yet still doesn't think God exist then what is she looking for? What is a god in her mind if not a Shard? When I say what she is looking for that's what I mean. What would it take for her to identify something as god? It is a common tactic in discussion like this to simply acknowledge what it would take to change your mind, if nothing would change your mind at all then what is even the point of discussing it?

Yeah that is no different than what I said. You are looking for the "gotcha!" moment. Brandon has stated that will never happen. 

edit: I will take this further and say let us apply the same rationale to another character. Dalinar. What is he looking for? What would it take for him to admit God does not exist? He sees Honor is dead, and thinks that is not god because he died. He then saw a light and thinks that is god. Odium shows a light, and Odium is like Honor. So why would this light be any different? What would it take for Dalinar to admit God does not exist? 

It will never happen, because Brandon confirmed it won't. He wants Dalinar to be able to believe there is god, and Jasnah to believe there is not, and both be equally right. 

Quote

 Now as to the list that is not what you initially said. Initially you had said 

Which is not on the list. As such I responded by merely pointing that out. Now yes they are all immortal but as to the other stuff I'd disagree and need a source because I can not recall any instance of a planet being made by them or them being capable of transcending our understanding of space and time. All five of those entities may be immortal but they have never done feats like that. Only Shards have created planets and they are the closest we have to transcending time and space.

All five of those beings can do everything listed. They can create matter out of nothing. They use powers beyond space and time (spiritual). And they are immortal. Regardless still does not change as per Brandon, there will never be a "gotcha" moment. 

Quote

 Also I never once said Shards should be worshipped. Or any of the five you listed. All I ever asked was if they aren't counted as a god what else are you looking for? What is God if not a shard?

Brandon said there would be no "proof" of God. 

Quote

 Additionally religions do exist that do worship such individuals. Having some guy be god is a thing some Religions do have and are or were worshipped. An example that comes to mind immediatley for me is Celtic Mythology especially the Irish variant. The God's in those myths got their powers from going to a school. They were all just ordinary people with the know how. That is one example of a religioun worshipping some guy. To my recollection Mormonism also holds that those who work hard at something can become divine. Their may be more examples outside of a Western sphere I am unaware of at the moment but the fact still stands, religions exist that do worship "some guy" as you put it.

And the

Spoiler

court of the gods

are like the celtics. So are the radiants. But Jasnah does not feel either should be worshiped. Which is why she terms herself an atheist. Yet again, there will be no "gotcha" moment. There will never be a piece of information that will prove the existence or non existence of "God" in the cosmere, as per the author. 

Edited by Pathfinder
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Any sufficiently advanced piece of technology will be indistinguishable from magic.

My corollary to that is:

Any sufficiently advanced or powerful being will be indistinguishable from a god. But that does not mean they are God.

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2 minutes ago, RShara said:

Any sufficiently advanced piece of technology will be indistinguishable from magic.

My corollary to that is:

Any sufficiently advanced or powerful being will be indistinguishable from a god. But that does not mean they are God.

Exactly. Especially when Brandon intends for magitech to be a thing. So one day anyone will be able to use gravitation, progression, etc. Everyone will be "god"

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1 minute ago, Pathfinder said:

Yeah that is no different than what I said. You are looking for the "gotcha!" moment. Brandon has stated that will never happen. 

Okay?? I don't fully understand your point here. I don't recall ever saying anything about a gotcha moment. The earliest instance is you claiming someone wanted to do it and by this stage I presume you mean me? In which case I find putting words into my mouth and acting like it's something I want, even though I never stated it's what I want, very dishonest. So to make it clear I will spell out here clearly; No, I am not looking for a "Gotcha" moment with Jasnahs religion. It anyone's religioun for that matter.

 All I've done is ask that if Jasnah isn't accepting a Shard as a God then what does she want? What is God to her? Asking that isn't a "gotcha" it's just a question. I see it as a very honest question as I am confused what Jasnah is expecting God to be if not a Shard.

 Also onto the point of Brandon saying whether or not God exists won't be answered, fair enough but we can still discuss it. It's no reason to shut down a conversation. We can still discuss the topic in relation to the Cosmere, we are free to discuss it still and share our opinions and views on it. I don't see why we can't discuss the topic even knowing that it won't be confirmed or not. We can still give our thoughts and opinions on the topic.

Quote

All five of those beings can do everything listed. They can create matter out of nothing. They use powers beyond space and time (spiritual). And they are immortal.

Again can I please have a source? When can they do this? When can they move and create planets? When do they transcend time and space? I don't recall any of that in any book, so when do they do it?

Quote

And the

Spoiler

Court of the gods

 

are like the celtics. So are the radiants. But Jasnah does not feel either should be worshiped. Which is why she terms herself an atheist. 

 Okay?? Again I am confused about what you mean. Yes that's great she feels that way, I wouldn't worship them either. I never said I would. All I ever asked is if she doesn't see a Shard as a god then what is a god in her mind.

 Also to say the Radiants or 

Spoiler

Court of Gods

so like the Celtic pantheon is a massive misrepresentation of what the Celtic Religion was actually like. Those two groups don't really have anything in common with a Celtic pantheon beyond having some magical powers. So I don't even think that is a far comparison to make as it entirely misrepresents what a religion was about.

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7 minutes ago, RShara said:

Any sufficiently advanced or powerful being will be indistinguishable from a god. But that does not mean they are God.

Well, if they are truly indistinguishable yet not gods, then how would you falsify the hypothesis that there are no gods? It seems to me that if you take that position, atheism will become an article of faith, not reason.

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10 minutes ago, Debarra said:

Okay?? I don't fully understand your point here. I don't recall ever saying anything about a gotcha moment. The earliest instance is you claiming someone wanted to do it and by this stage I presume you mean me? In which case I find putting words into my mouth and acting like it's something I want, even though I never stated it's what I want, very dishonest. So to make it clear I will spell out here clearly; No, I am not looking for a "Gotcha" moment with Jasnahs religion. It anyone's religioun for that matter.

By stating you are looking for "x" that would have Jasnah say god exists, that is the "gotcha!" moment. I edited my post before you posted to include the analogue with Dalinar. Then tell me what it would take for Dalinar to renounce God. That God does not exist. 

It will not happen. Brandon confirmed it will not happen. 

10 minutes ago, Debarra said:

 All I've done is ask that if Jasnah isn't accepting a Shard as a God then what does she want? What is God to her? Asking that isn't a "gotcha" it's just a question. I see it as a very honest question as I am confused what Jasnah is expecting God to be if not a Shard.

It will not happen. Brandon confirmed it will not happen

10 minutes ago, Debarra said:

 Also onto the point of Brandon saying whether or not God exists won't be answered, fair enough but we can still discuss it. It's no reason to shut down a conversation. We can still discuss the topic in relation to the Cosmere, we are free to discuss it still and share our opinions and views on it. I don't see why we can't discuss the topic even knowing that it won't be confirmed or not. We can still give our thoughts and opinions on the topic.

Brandon confirmed there will never be proof that God exists or does not exist. So "x" will never occur for Dalinar nor Jasnah. 

10 minutes ago, Debarra said:

Again can I please have a source? When can they do this? When can they move and create planets? When do they transcend time and space? I don't recall any of that in any book, so when do they do it?

Read the books. They can transfer from one place to another instantaneously transcending space and time. They can create matter out of nothing. 

10 minutes ago, Debarra said:

 Okay?? Again I am confused about what you mean. Yes that's great she feels that way, I wouldn't worship them either. I never said I would. All I ever asked is if she doesn't see a Shard as a god then what is a god in her mind.

It will never happen

10 minutes ago, Debarra said:

 Also to say the Radiants or 

  Reveal hidden contents

Court of Gods

so like the Celtic pantheon is a massive misrepresentation of what the Celtic Religion was actually like. Those two groups don't really have anything in common with a Celtic pantheon beyond having some magical powers. So I don't even think that is a far comparison to make as it entirely misrepresents what a religion was about.

Every religion on our planet is represented on Roshar. Monotheism and polytheism. Jasnah has researched them all, and is an atheist. What is difficult about the concept that just because other people may term something a god, does not mean she will?

8 minutes ago, Oltux72 said:

Well, if they are truly indistinguishable yet not gods, then how would you falsify the hypothesis that there are no gods? It seems to me that if you take that position, atheism will become an article of faith, not reason.

Neither theism or atheism will be confirmed in the cosmere. That is the whole point. 

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2 minutes ago, Pathfinder said:

By stating you are looking for "x" that would have Jasnah say god exists, that is the "gotcha!" moment. I edited my post before you posted to include the analogue with Dalinar. Then tell me what it would take for Dalinar to renounce God. That God does not exist. 

I am attempting here to be friendly here. If in some way I am being rude I apologise as that's not my intention. I'm just trying to have a friendly discussion.

 Now again as I clearly said last time I'm not looking for a gotcha. I will say it clearly again, I don't want a gotcha moment. I don't care about that. I would appreciate if you stopped insisting that's what I want when I have twice now stated it's not. I don't care about a gotcha moment.

 All I have asked if what Jasnah would expect god to be if not a Shard. That's not a gotcha moment it's just a question. I don't care about gotcha moments so again I'd appreciate if you stopped insisting that's what I want. In just trying to discuss and understand what Jasnah would want a God to be.

 As to your edit I didn't see it. Dalinar seems to want an all powerful diety. As to what would take to disprove that for him I don't know. Maybe someone else do or it will be answered later, it's a good question. I don't know though.

12 minutes ago, Pathfinder said:

It will not happen. Brandon confirmed it will not happen

[...]

Brandon confirmed there will never be proof that God exists or does not exist. So "x" will never occur for Dalinar nor Jasnah. 

[...]

It will never happen

[...]

Neither theism or atheism will be confirmed in the cosmere

Okay I'll just reiterate what I said before:

Quote

Also onto the point of Brandon saying whether or not God exists won't be answered, fair enough but we can still discuss it. It's no reason to shut down a conversation. We can still discuss the topic in relation to the Cosmere, we are free to discuss it still and share our opinions and views on it. I don't see why we can't discuss the topic even knowing that it won't be confirmed or not. We can still give our thoughts and opinions on the topic.

 We can still discuss this. If you yourself don't want to that's fine, just say so or just stop responding. Let someone else who does respond, presuming that anyone does want to. You don't have to keep responding and trying to shutdown a conversation by just reiterating that same point. It's done you've said it. If you don't want to be still part of that discussion then that's fine, just stop being part of it. We can still discuss it though nevertheless.

18 minutes ago, Pathfinder said:

Read the books. They can transfer from one place to another instantaneously transcending space and time. They can create matter out of nothing. 

I have read the books. I don't recall any of this happening for all five members. When do they do it? When do they create stuff out of nothing? And how does that translate to planets? When do they teleport? And how does that translate to transcending time and space? Can you please just tell me when these moments happen as after having read the books I recall no such thing having happened.

Quote

Every religion on our planet is represented on Roshar. Monotheism and polytheism. Jasnah has researched them all, and is an atheist. What is difficult about the concept that just because other people may term something a god, does not mean she will?

Again I would kindly ask you stop insisting I am saying stuff which I am not saying.

 Firstly it's entirely irrelevant to the quote you are responding to since I was just pointing out that your comparison or Radiants to the Celtic Pantheon was flawed as it over simplified what the Celtic Pantheon is. So apologies but I don't see how it relates to your response.

 Secondly as I already said, great she's an Athiest. I'm not disputing that at all or in denial about it. I dont have any issue with other people having different terms as to what God is, sure I study religioun I'm well used to it, all I've ever done and asked is what does Jasnah define a God as? Nothing is difficult with that concept, I've never said anything to imply it was. All I've asked is what is her definition of a God if not a Shard?

 Now I'm happy to continue discussing this if you want to. But you just can't keep trying to shut down a conversation by stating it will never be explained, you've said it and that's fine. If you don't want to continue the discussion either don't respond or just say so. Either is fine, just let people who want to still discuss the topic do so.

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4 minutes ago, Debarra said:

I am attempting here to be friendly here. If in some way I am being rude I apologise as that's not my intention. I'm just trying to have a friendly discussion.

 Now again as I clearly said last time I'm not looking for a gotcha. I will say it clearly again, I don't want a gotcha moment. I don't care about that. I would appreciate if you stopped insisting that's what I want when I have twice now stated it's not. I don't care about a gotcha moment.

 All I have asked if what Jasnah would expect god to be if not a Shard. That's not a gotcha moment it's just a question. I don't care about gotcha moments so again I'd appreciate if you stopped insisting that's what I want. In just trying to discuss and understand what Jasnah would want a God to be.

 As to your edit I didn't see it. Dalinar seems to want an all powerful diety. As to what would take to disprove that for him I don't know. Maybe someone else do or it will be answered later, it's a good question. I don't know though.

Okay I'll just reiterate what I said before:

 We can still discuss this. If you yourself don't want to that's fine, just say so or just stop responding. Let someone else who does respond, presuming that anyone does want to. You don't have to keep responding and trying to shutdown a conversation by just reiterating that same point. It's done you've said it. If you don't want to be still part of that discussion then that's fine, just stop being part of it. We can still discuss it though nevertheless.

Jasnah listed the religions on Roshar. Among them are the analogues of religions on our planet. None of those religions, including religions that worship shards, as well as the being Dalinar thinks is god causes her to have any inclination to worship. Can you provide a religion that does not exist, that does something different or has a different structure than all the world religions that currently exist? 

4 minutes ago, Debarra said:

I have read the books. I don't recall any of this happening for all five members. When do they do it? When do they create stuff out of nothing? And how does that translate to planets? When do they teleport? And how does that translate to transcending time and space? Can you please just tell me when these moments happen as after having read the books I recall no such thing having happened.

Spoiler

In the flash back for Raoden being injured. Instantaneous teleportation, and matter creation. 

The heralds are cognitive shadows and have done all of the above

Spoiler

The returned are immortal and have created new life with nightblood

Spren are immortal and have created new life in the form of more spren

4 minutes ago, Debarra said:

 Secondly as I already said, great she's an Athiest. I'm not disputing that at all or in denial about it. I dont have any issue with other people having different terms as to what God is, sure I study religioun I'm well used to it, all I've ever done and asked is what does Jasnah define a God as? Nothing is difficult with that concept, I've never said anything to imply it was. All I've asked is what is her definition of a God if not a Shard?

What is Dalinar's definition of God? What is Navani's definition of God? What is Kaladin's definition of God? We have a theist, a orthodox believer, and an agnostic. What are their definitions?

4 minutes ago, Debarra said:

 Now I'm happy to continue discussing this if you want to. But you just can't keep trying to shut down a conversation by stating it will never be explained, you've said it and that's fine. If you don't want to continue the discussion either don't respond or just say so. Either is fine, just let people who want to still discuss the topic do so.

Jasnah has made it clear that religion as it stands does not fit to her. Brandon said there would never be a proof that would prove or disprove the existence of god. Now before you ignore that, let me explain again why I wrote that again. 

If there is the variable X. And we have solved for A through Z sans X, and the author has stated there will never be an X, then how through discussion can be possibly figure out what X is? The author says X does not exist. So there is no definable way to solve for X. That help? And that stands for Dalinar as well. 

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11 minutes ago, Debarra said:

what does Jasnah define a God as?

I think the point is that she doesn’t. God doesn’t exist thus it has no definition. You want there to be (or think there must be) some level at which she will agree that god exists. But, to her, there it is a moot point. There is no use in contemplating what would constitute a god because it would change nothing. It’s a term that doesn’t mean anything to her and therefore it’s just irrelevant? 

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24 minutes ago, Pathfinder said:

Jasnah knows the Almighty based on Vorin beliefs. She knows of the other religions on Roshar. She has been to the cognitive realm, and has spoken to the highspren. At no point after this did Jasnah ever state "hey i changed my mind!". To Jasnah, the shards are beings with power. Not something to be worshiped. So she defines herself as an atheist. 

What I am trying to get across is for Jasnah there is a difference between "God I worship" and "beings with power". Jasnah is a being with power. She has powers other people do not have, but that does not make her worthy of worship. Someone who knows how to make fire next to cave men who did not know at the time will seem as a god to them. Perspective to me and Jasnah does not make deity hood. Capitalize or not, if anyone can pick up a shard and become a "god" then no one is a god. 

 

And I think it's perfectly reasonable for Jasnah or anyone else to believe that.  I think there are definitely solid and logical arguments you can use to support your position.  But you should also recognize that it's a minority view (in the sense that only a small portion of Rosharans would agree with Jasnah that the shards are not gods) and that you are arguing a technicality.  To go back to my Greek mythology reference, you could make an argument that Demeter or really the vast majority of that pantheon, should not be considered a god.  You could make technical arguments - they aren't that powerful, there are too many of them, they aren't "holy" or sacred because they spend time among the people and act like petulant children, etc.  And you might be right, if there was an ultimate arbiter of the facts.  But that doesn't change the fact that 90% of the world defines them as gods.  It's like a person who insists that a tomato is a fruit.  They are technically correct, but practically wrong.  No one will put a tomato in a fruit salad.

I do understand your point - Jasnah considers the shards to be very powerful beings, but not "Gods".  My point is that this is a semantics argument which, for the shards, she is on the losing side.  The shards are gods.  Insert beings equivalent to the shards into any similar fantasy work and they would be called gods.  Insert the shards into any pantheon from any real world (polytheistic) religion and they would blend right in.  It's perfectly valid for Jasnah to argue by logic that the shards shouldn't be considered gods, just like it's perfectly valid to say that scientifically a tomato is part of the fruit family by genetics.  The only problem is that most people aren't talking about genetics when they say a tomato is a vegetable, they're talking about its properties as a food.  

I understand your point about anyone picking up a shard.  However, it's not right to say that anyone can pick up a shard.  At most, 16 people in the cosmere can pick up a shard.  Now it's less than that with Harmony's creation and Odium's actions.  It's not like you can walk down to the store and pick one up.  Opportunities come less than once in a thousand years.  And it's not like picking up a shard is the same thing as going to the gym and working out - it's not just a strength increase.  Taking a shard fundamentally alters who and what you are.

Jasnah did study the organized religions of Roshar and did not believe any of them.  At that time, it made perfect sense for her to be an atheist just like any atheist in our real world today.  Now, beings that nearly everyone would consider gods have appeared.  This is a test of her "faith" (or logic if you prefer) similar to Dalinar's test when he was presented with the fact that "The Almighty" was dead.  Just as equally as the fact that Jasnah's lack of religious faith will never be disproved, so too will Dalinar's possession of religious faith never be disproved.  Both are undergoing a crisis of faith.  Jasnah's response is to assert that though godlike, the shards are not gods.  Dalinar's response seems to be that while "The Almighty" and vorinism were not the true faith, that one still exists if he can find it.

This is a long winded way to say that atheism vs. theism is a hard discussion to have in regards to a fantasy novel where godlike beings provably exist.  I consider the comments from Sanderson regarding this topic to tie back to concepts like "The God Beyond" and the afterlife, which is the context he's made them in.

 

1 minute ago, Bliev said:

I think the point is that she doesn’t. God doesn’t exist thus it has no definition. You want there to be (or think there must be) some level at which she will agree that god exists. But, to her, there it is a moot point. There is no use in contemplating what would constitute a god because it would change nothing. It’s a term that doesn’t mean anything to her and therefore it’s just irrelevant? 

This is bad logic.  In order to say that God doesn't exist, there must be a definition of what God is.  Otherwise, you could not say that it doesn't exist.  For example, I don't believe that ghosts exist.  I have a clear definition of what a ghost is.  If I did not, it would be meaningless for me to say that I don't believe in ghosts.  If a ghost were to appear in front of me, with credible evidence, I would change my beliefs.  As has been stated numerous times, Sanderson will not provide a definitive answer on the question of theism vs. atheism in the cosmere so no one expects that to happen in the book series.

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5 minutes ago, Bliev said:

I think the point is that she doesn’t. God doesn’t exist thus it has no definition. You want there to be (or think there must be) some level at which she will agree that god exists. But, to her, there it is a moot point. There is no use in contemplating what would constitute a god because it would change nothing. It’s a term that doesn’t mean anything to her and therefore it’s just irrelevant? 

Perhaps that could be it. I would still disagree with it though as even though say I wouldn't think fairies exist I'd still have a definition for them. If someone was trying to proof to me say they exist I'd have to have a definition so that they can actually attempt to proof it. 

 If Jasnha lacks such a definition of God then I'd find that very out of character for her. To have a character who usually acts so logical to hold onto a foregone conclusion seems very off for her character to me. It's a possible explaination but I do find it an odd one I must say.

Now @Pathfinder I have made it clear multiple times by this stage and have requested you stop insisting I am saying or asking for stuff which I am not. All I have done is ask what would Jasnah want for God.  This would be the third time now where I am requesting you to do this and would be the third time now why I would have to explain again how if you don't want to discuss this topic because Brandon won't ever confirm it then you should stop being part of that discussion. Seeing as how you have now just ignored me three times I am sad to say I see no reason to continue this discussion if you insist upon still doing the above. I am writing this solely so you know I saw your post and this is why I won't respond. My apologies but I have no interest in continuing this discussion if you just want to continue doing both of the above. 

 Thank you however for the discussion up to now and I hope you have a good day.

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Posted (edited)

19 minutes ago, agrabes said:

In order to say that God doesn't exist, there must be a definition of what God is. 

Yes if you’re debating or if you’re a philosopher this is true. But in text we see that she just doesn’t care to think about it. It would be illogical for her to spend time constructing a definition that just doesn’t matter. What is “god”? All of those religions disagree. Based on their definitions, she doesn’t believe. Could you hypothetically spend time constructing some definition that she might accept? Or that could be proven? Sure. But why? Only if you seek out a “gotcha” moment where Jasnah would be faced with the “truth”, which we all agree won’t happen. 

im not one to shut down conversation, but I think i channel Jasnah when I say: “this conversation is illogical because it serves no purpose. Why does it matter? I’ve canvassed the definitions of god on Roshar and found all religions wanting. I do just fine without them. The existence of god is irrelevant.”

Edited by Bliev
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Posted (edited)

41 minutes ago, agrabes said:

This is bad logic.  In order to say that God doesn't exist, there must be a definition of what God is.  

I think this is a misnomer based on an assumption that does not apply. Jasnah has viewed many religions. Some of which do not have a classical "God" or "gods" in their structure, yet she still does not prescribe to them. They lack a definition of "God" or "gods" and yet they are still religions. I will further elaborate in my response to Debarra

30 minutes ago, Debarra said:

Perhaps that could be it. I would still disagree with it though as even though say I wouldn't think fairies exist I'd still have a definition for them. If someone was trying to proof to me say they exist I'd have to have a definition so that they can actually attempt to proof it. 

 If Jasnha lacks such a definition of God then I'd find that very out of character for her. To have a character who usually acts so logical to hold onto a foregone conclusion seems very off for her character to me. It's a possible explaination but I do find it an odd one I must say.

Now @Pathfinder I have made it clear multiple times by this stage and have requested you stop insisting I am saying or asking for stuff which I am not. All I have done is ask what would Jasnah want for God.  This would be the third time now where I am requesting you to do this and would be the third time now why I would have to explain again how if you don't want to discuss this topic because Brandon won't ever confirm it then you should stop being part of that discussion. Seeing as how you have now just ignored me three times I am sad to say I see no reason to continue this discussion if you insist upon still doing the above. I am writing this solely so you know I saw your post and this is why I won't respond. My apologies but I have no interest in continuing this discussion if you just want to continue doing both of the above. 

 Thank you however for the discussion up to now and I hope you have a good day.

Hopefully this attempt will clarify. In order to find a religion that Jasnah would believe in, we must discount any religion that:

1. is monotheistic

2. is polytheistic

3. has a creator god

4. has a adversarial force

5. has spiritual beliefs

6. has nature beliefs

7. is philosophical

8. has reincarnation

9. has an after life

10. has a deity that is a mortal holding power

11. has a deity that is just pure power with sapience

12 has deities in mortal flesh

13. has deities that are natural forces given personification

14. has deities that are living creatures (animal)

 

I think that covers all the religions on Roshar. If @agrabes or @Debarra can think of a religion either in the series or on earth that a single aspect on this list does not apply to, please let me know because I am pretty sure that covers all of them. But I can always cross reference whatever you present with the religions on Roshar and I think I can confidently state that an aspects probably exists there and has been discounted by Jasnah. So "X" is unsolvable. 

Edited by Pathfinder
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7 hours ago, Bliev said:

I think the point is that she doesn’t. God doesn’t exist thus it has no definition. You want there to be (or think there must be) some level at which she will agree that god exists. But, to her, there it is a moot point. There is no use in contemplating what would constitute a god because it would change nothing. It’s a term that doesn’t mean anything to her and therefore it’s just irrelevant? 

[...]

Yes if you’re debating or if you’re a philosopher this is true. But in text we see that she just doesn’t care to think about it. It would be illogical for her to spend time constructing a definition that just doesn’t matter. What is “god”? All of those religions disagree. Based on their definitions, she doesn’t believe. Could you hypothetically spend time constructing some definition that she might accept? Or that could be proven? Sure. But why? Only if you seek out a “gotcha” moment where Jasnah would be faced with the “truth”, which we all agree won’t happen. 

im not one to shut down conversation, but I think i channel Jasnah when I say: “this conversation is illogical because it serves no purpose. Why does it matter? I’ve canvassed the definitions of god on Roshar and found all religions wanting. I do just fine without them. The existence of god is irrelevant.”

That first part is the most anti-intellectual thing I have ever read. There are countless things we think don't exist, but all of them are well defined and thus can be clearly stated to exist or not exist. Ghosts, leprechauns, the kraken, all these are defined and so can be stated whether or not to exist, but that assessement you gave ... is like saying governments don't exist because some people believe a government is a monarchy, others a dictatorship, others believe in group consensus, etc. - they are focusing on the finer details without looking at the commonality. That would be like Jasnah saying she doesn't believe in paying taxes because she has yet to find a consistent definition of government.

 

If I may, what do you believe the term god and worship mean - you personally?

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12 hours ago, Ixthos said:

That first part is the most anti-intellectual thing I have ever read. There are countless things we think don't exist, but all of them are well defined and thus can be clearly stated to exist or not exist.

Thanks? lol (I can honestly say I've never been called anti-intellectual and I kind of like it!)

Yes, based on in-world definitions of god, she doesn't believe. Thus any further definition would seem ridiculous. Indeed, that wasn't enough for the conversation on this post--the conversation then went to "well, then what definition of god WOULD she agree with?" which I stated is irrelevant and moot. Why would she waste time thinking about such a hypothetical philosophical exercise. It's illogical. God is a term that has infinite meanings philosophically (hyperbolic, but still), but very specific definitions in her world. That's why I say the hypothetical definition is irrelevant because it's an exercise that doesn't matter. Unless your purpose is to debate, which hers isn't. (but apparently mine is, because here I am.)

12 hours ago, Ixthos said:

If I may, what do you believe the term god and worship mean - you personally?

My personal definition of god hews to the Judeo-Christian definition because that's how I was raised--in a society that values this and in a household that values this, and as an incredibly devout evangelical Christian for 25 years of my life. I have studied the world's religions in two college courses and various books (during my decade of college haha) and never found a definition otherwise that I'd have believed in alternatively. I can say that I find my self squarely in a Jasnah camp.

1. I have canvassed the world's religions and was raised in one and found the definitions of god they use to be not compelling or believable.

2. I find the existence of god to be irrelevant to my daily life--if "god" as defined here existed, it wouldn't change my life as a professor, a mom, a wife, a weightlifter, a friend, a reader, etc. etc. 

3. Thus it is nonsensical for me to spend any time thinking about hypotheticals under which god (defined in certain on uncertain ways) exists. It is unimportant.

I realize, however, that for people who are religious (as I once was) this seems like a stretch. How can you just not *think* about it, ever? Well, I just don't. I don't care. 

 

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20 hours ago, Debarra said:

 Secondly as I already said, great she's an Athiest. I'm not disputing that at all or in denial about it. I dont have any issue with other people having different terms as to what God is, sure I study religioun I'm well used to it, all I've ever done and asked is what does Jasnah define a God as? Nothing is difficult with that concept, I've never said anything to imply it was. All I've asked is what is her definition of a God if not a Shard?

It seems highly unlikely to me that she would make up her own definition. Why bother? She did not look at the Iri religion or something else. She looked at Vorinism primarily.

Now Jasnah is a scholar. I doubt she would make an unfalsifiable hypothesis. It would seem to me that she would indeed consider her original hypothesis refuted and refusing to speak about this because then she would need to assert that they have to defeat a god. She is certainly ready to go to extremes.

 

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Posted (edited)

20 hours ago, Pathfinder said:

Hopefully this attempt will clarify. In order to find a religion that Jasnah would believe in, we must discount any religion that:

1. is monotheistic

2. is polytheistic

3. has a creator god

4. has a adversarial force

5. has spiritual beliefs

6. has nature beliefs

7. is philosophical

8. has reincarnation

9. has an after life

10. has a deity that is a mortal holding power

11. has a deity that is just pure power with sapience

12 has deities in mortal flesh

13. has deities that are natural forces given personification

14. has deities that are living creatures (animal)

Jasnah has not discounted those beliefs because of their specific beliefs, but because of their lack of evidence, or, in the case of Vorinism, their "god" not being a god. In my opinion, for a being or beings to be a god, they must meet these requirements:

1. Infinite power, able to do anything unless directly opposed by another god

2. immortal, unkillable except by other gods.

3. immune to being affected in any way except by other gods.

Neither the shards nor Adonalsium meet these requirements, as Adonalsium was killed and splintered by regular humans, and therefore they are not gods.

Edited by Llstml
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2 hours ago, Llstml said:

Jasnah has not discounted those beliefs because of their specific beliefs, but because of their lack of evidence, or, in the case of Vorinism, their "god" not being a god. In my opinion, for a being or beings to be a god, they must meet these requirements:

1. Infinite power, able to do anything unless directly opposed by another god

2. immortal, unkillable except by other gods.

3. immune to being affected in any way except by other gods.

Neither the shards nor Adonalsium meet these requirements, as Adonalsium was killed and splintered by regular humans, and therefore they are not gods.

Jasnah acknowledged beings like the heralds, the stormfather, and honor can exist. Just she has no compunction to worship them. So it has nothing to do with evidence of existing or non existence. She mentioned numerous religions on Roshar and that she researched them all. Of the list I put forward, all are contained in those religions in various permutations. So unless there is a religion that does not have a single trait among those 14 traits, Jasnah has already considered it and found it personally wanting. 

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48 minutes ago, Pathfinder said:

Jasnah acknowledged beings like the heralds, the stormfather, and honor can exist. Just she has no compunction to worship them. So it has nothing to do with evidence of existing or non existence. She mentioned numerous religions on Roshar and that she researched them all. Of the list I put forward, all are contained in those religions in various permutations. So unless there is a religion that does not have a single trait among those 14 traits, Jasnah has already considered it and found it personally wanting. 

Just because a religion shares characteristics with another religion doesn't mean they are the same religion. For example, Christianity and Islam are both Monotheistic, yet they are vastly different in their beliefs. Jasnah does admit that Honor, the Heralds, and the like can exist, she chooses not to believe that they are gods:

Quote

“You’re so sure he isn’t real,” Shallan said. “The Almighty.”

“I have no more proof of him than I do of the Thaylen Passions, Nu Ralik of the Purelake, or any other religion.”

“And the Heralds? You don’t think they existed?”

“I don’t know,” Jasnah said. “There are many things in this world that I don’t understand. For example, there is some slight proof that both the Stormfather and the Almighty are real creatures—simply powerful spren, such as the Nightwatcher.”

“Then he would be real.”

“I never claimed he was not,” Jasnah said. “I merely claimed that I do not accept him as God, nor do I feel any inclination to worship him. But this is, again, a tangent.” Jasnah stood. “You are relieved of other duties of study. For the next few days, you have only one focus for your scholarship.” She pointed toward the floor.

She chooses the correct view of Honor, which is that he is not a god, merely a being of great power.

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Posted (edited)

20 minutes ago, Llstml said:

Just because a religion shares characteristics with another religion doesn't mean they are the same religion. For example, Christianity and Islam are both Monotheistic, yet they are vastly different in their beliefs. Jasnah does admit that Honor, the Heralds, and the like can exist, she chooses not to believe that they are gods:

She chooses the correct view of Honor, which is that he is not a god, merely a being of great power.

Both religious analogues are present on Roshar and actually both religions (Christianity and Islam) are quite similar on many many levels. They both believe in a creator god. They both are monotheistic. They both view their deity as the sole deity that is all powerful. They both have creation myths. They both hold holy days They both require worship and prayer (in manners and practice that are quite similar). They both have a religious structure that include priests and religious leaders (also quite similar). They both have a holy book (very similar in structure). They both have religious "laws" and "morals" (both very similar). My point is every permutation of religion is present on Roshar. There are ones that treat the almighty as monotheistic, benevolent and as an ultimate all powerful. There are ones that worship the heralds thereby being polytheistic and are mortals with great power. There are ones that worship a monotheistic god that is benevolent, but have to pay lip service to the adversarial god. There are religions that worship spren. Religions that are philosophical and based on emotions. There are religions that believe everyone are pieces of god and will be united one day. There are religions that worship the stormfather, an entity/power with sapience. There are religions that worship a great shell. And so on

So I do not see how there can be a religion that Jasnah has not already considered and found wanting when she herself says she has researched Roshar's religions and found them not for her. 

 

edit: a means of clarification that hopefully will not be taken offensively. Just calling a monotheistic god a different name does not make it a different religion when considered by an atheist. Having a holy day on a different day does not make it a different religion when in regards to an atheist. Having a different food that one must abstain from does not make it a different religion. If both say "thou shalt not kill", why is it different because the name of the deity is different, or the wording is different? Both has a monotheistic deity, that is an all powerful god that must be worshiped alone. Just like Vorinism, which Jasnah has discounted. As well as the one that only worships the stormfather. Or the one that they worship the deity behind closed doors. The motions may be different, but the core tenants are the same. 

edit2: oh yeah! and Azir with the prime aqueix (or however it is spelled). Reincarnation. Buddism

Edited by Pathfinder
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1 minute ago, Pathfinder said:

Both religious analogues are present on Roshar and actually both religions (Christianity and Islam) are quite similar on many many levels. They both believe in a creator god. They both are monotheistic. They both view their deity as the sole deity that is all powerful. They both have creation myths. They both hold holy days They both require worship and prayer. They both have a religious structure that include priests and religious leaders. They both have a holy book. They both have religious "laws". My point is every permutation of religion is present on Roshar. There are ones that treat the almighty as monotheistic, benevolent and as an ultimate all powerful. There are ones that worship the heralds thereby being polytheistic and are mortals with great power. There are ones that worship a monotheistic god that is benevolent, but have to pay lip service to the adversarial god. There are religions that worship spren. Religions that are philosophical and based on emotions. There are religions that believe everyone are pieces of god and will be united one day. There are religions that worship the stormfather, an entity/power with sapience. There are religions that worship a great shell. 

So I do not see how there can be a religion that Jasnah has not already considered and found wanting when she herself says she has researched Roshar's religions and found them not for her. 

Christianity and Islam may share many similarities, but saying that if you reject one, you will reject the other is like saying that because you hate baseball, you will hate football as well, or saying that because you dislike chicken, you will dislike beef as well. They are not the same, and their core ideals are completely different, Christianity's being salvation through the grace of God, and Islam's being salvation through a good life. You cannot say that because Jasnah rejected one religion, she will reject all other religions that share similar characteristics. Also, where does Jasnah reject a religion based on its values, as opposed to the simple lack of evidence? The only rejection of a god or gods that I have seen from her is based on either lack of evidence, or rejection that a being is a god. 

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Posted (edited)

29 minutes ago, Llstml said:

Christianity and Islam may share many similarities, but saying that if you reject one, you will reject the other is like saying that because you hate baseball, you will hate football as well, or saying that because you dislike chicken, you will dislike beef as well. They are not the same, and their core ideals are completely different, Christianity's being salvation through the grace of God, and Islam's being salvation through a good life. You cannot say that because Jasnah rejected one religion, she will reject all other religions that share similar characteristics. Also, where does Jasnah reject a religion based on its values, as opposed to the simple lack of evidence? The only rejection of a god or gods that I have seen from her is based on either lack of evidence, or rejection that a being is a god. 

Actually a more apt comparison would be saying if you dislike sports you will dislike football. If you dislike meat you will dislike chicken as well. The core ideals from the perspective of an atheist are the same. Both seek salvation and both have a monotheistic god. Just because the name of the god is different does not change that. If she acknowledges the potential existence of an all powerful deity found in vorinism and states she does not need such a god, nor have any inclination to worship said god, then why would by changing the name, but still presenting an all powerful deity would her answer change? 

As to the evidence requirement you are claiming:

“I simply claim that morality and human will are independent of him too.”

“If you say that,” the king said, chuckling, “then you’ve removed all purpose for the Almighty’s existence!”

“Indeed.”

and

And what I feel is that spending my life trying to earn the favor of an unseen, unknown, and unknowable being who watches me from the sky is an exercise in sheer futility

 

The deity can exist. It can go up to her and say hi, but that still does not mean she feels any compunction to worship it, or spending her life trying to make it happy. The deity for her has no purpose. And that would stand for monotheistic, polytheistic, animalism, naturalism, philosophical, and so on

Edited by Pathfinder
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