Oltux72

Jasnah's religion

120 posts in this topic

4 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

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.

 

I'm not saying she'd make up her own definition. However she asserts God does not exist, she now knows Honour exists who is what Vorinism worships. The being the religioun she doesn't belief in does actually exist. So if she still rejects that being as God then what definition is she using? What would she need to see to know God exists?

 Now perhaps she does consider her idea refuted but I'd find that odd considering Sanderson wants it to remain ambiguous. So to have her admit she was wrong seems to go against that desire. So it's a possible explaination but I find it highly unlikely myself giving what we know of Sanderson intent.

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

2 minutes ago, Debarra said:

I'm not saying she'd make up her own definition. However she asserts God does not exist, she now knows Honour exists who is what Vorinism worships. The being the religioun she doesn't belief in does actually exist. So if she still rejects that being as God then what definition is she using? What would she need to see to know God exists?

 Now perhaps she does consider her idea refuted but I'd find that odd considering Sanderson wants it to remain ambiguous. So to have her admit she was wrong seems to go against that desire. So it's a possible explaination but I find it highly unlikely myself giving what we know of Sanderson intent.

She never asserted such entities do not exist. She merely asserts they are of no use to her, and she holds no compunction to worship or make them happy. Rshara and I have quoted her saying as much.

Edited by Pathfinder
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Pathfinder said:

She never asserted such entities do not exist. She merely asserts they are of no use to her, and she holds no compunction to worship or make them happy. 

Where did I say she rejected Honour existed? I said she rejected calling Honour god. So then therefore what is God to Jasnah?

4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

3 minutes ago, Debarra said:

Where did I say she rejected Honour existed? I said she rejected calling Honour god. So then therefore what is God to Jasnah?

No problem I will quote you below where you said it

8 minutes ago, Debarra said:

The being the religioun she doesn't belief in does actually exist.

She never contended its existence or non existence. She literally stated that she feels no compunction to worship said entity

 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Pathfinder said:

 

No problem I will quote you below where you said it

She never contended its existence or non existence. She literally stated that she feels no compunction to worship said entity

 

Jasnah is an atheist.

 Atheism is generally accepted as the belief that no deity exists. I do sincerely hope that is not ground I need to cover.

 So if Jasnah is an atheist then therefore she would reject that a god exists. 

So therefore she'd reject the Vorin god. That the Almighty is not real. He does not exist according to Jasnah.

 She has since learnt that Honour is the Vorin god, the almighty. Such a being does exist.

 However Jasnah is still an atheist.

 Therefore the question that is being asked is that if she still rejects the notion god exists what does she think God is? Because otherwise by acknowledging the being God exists she wouldn't be an Athiest anymore.

 Her need to worship such a being doesn't matter in if shes an atheist or not. Plenty of Theists don't worship God, many Catholics don't anymore for instance go to church. Even Theists who don't follow a religion don't worship a god. So worship has no bearing on if Jasnah is an atheist or not. Atheism just means if she thinks a god exists or not.

 So what is Jasnah expecting?

4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you are misunderstanding Jasnah here. 

To use a real world example, in Christianity, Jesus is God. However, in Islam, he is a prophet. One born of a virgin who had the capacity to perform miracles and who was taken bodily into heaven, but nevertheless human. A Muslim would say they believe Jesus exists, but not that he is a God because to them he wasn't. 

Similarly, Jasnah said she was unsure of the reality of the Almighty; there was a possibility of his existence - but she would still consider him a spren like the Stormfather and Nightwatcher. Not God. Just because someone else believes Honor to be God has no relevance to Jasnah. Regardless of his reality, to her, he is merely a powerful entity, not God. 

I think the difference involves her discussion with Taravangian - regardless of Honor's reality, he does not define her morals. She does. And so to her, a being who defines reality and morality does not exist. There is no being she calls God. And she's not wrong - it is a subjective definition here. 

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

4 hours ago, Debarra said:

Jasnah is an atheist.

 Atheism is generally accepted as the belief that no deity exists. I do sincerely hope that is not ground I need to cover.

 So if Jasnah is an atheist then therefore she would reject that a god exists. 

So therefore she'd reject the Vorin god. That the Almighty is not real. He does not exist according to Jasnah.

 She has since learnt that Honour is the Vorin god, the almighty. Such a being does exist.

 However Jasnah is still an atheist.

 Therefore the question that is being asked is that if she still rejects the notion god exists what does she think God is? Because otherwise by acknowledging the being God exists she wouldn't be an Athiest anymore.

 Her need to worship such a being doesn't matter in if shes an atheist or not. Plenty of Theists don't worship God, many Catholics don't anymore for instance go to church. Even Theists who don't follow a religion don't worship a god. So worship has no bearing on if Jasnah is an atheist or not. Atheism just means if she thinks a god exists or not.

 So what is Jasnah expecting?

That is a common misunderstanding and oversimplification of atheism. 18thshard did a pretty good job but here I go.

Atheism is generally accepted as the non belief in deities. 

So if Jasnah is an atheist, then therefore she does not believe in any deities

So therefore she chooses to not worship the Vorin god. The Almighty could or could not be real, that does not make it a being she would worship because she sees no reason to worship such a being

She has learnt that Honor is a Vorin god, the almighty, and despite the teachings of the religion stating that Honor is all powerful, she learns he is dead and not the only one. That there exists other entities like it, at its same level of power

Jasnah who would not have worshiped the entity known as the almighty to begin with, continues to not worship the dead individual that held the shard.

Jasnah is not expecting anything other than her own sense of morality, mathematics, and understanding. These exist outside any entity claiming to be god, or labeled as god by other people. Because these exist outside any such entity, such entity is not necessary, and certainly does not need to be worshiped.  

 

Edited by Pathfinder
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Pathfinder said:

That is a common misunderstanding and oversimplification of atheism. 18thshard did a pretty good job but here I go.

Atheism is generally accepted as the non belief in deities. 

So if Jasnah is an atheist, then therefore she does not believe in any deities

So therefore she chooses to not worship the Vorin god. The Almighty could or could not be real, that does not make it a being she would worship because she sees no reason to worship such a being

She has learnt that Honor is a Vorin god, the almighty, and despite the teachings of the religion stating that Honor is all powerful, she learns he is dead and not the only one. That there exists other entities like it, at its same level of power

Jasnah who would not have worshiped the entity known as the almighty to begin with, continues to not worship the dead individual that held the shard.

Jasnah is not expecting anything other than her own sense of morality, mathematics, and understanding. These exist outside any entity claiming to be god, or labeled as god by other people. Because these exist outside any such entity, such entity is not necessary, and certainly does not need to be worshiped.  

 

That is not what Athiesm is defined as. What you have described is Agnosticism which is what Kaladin and I am. Not Atheism. Agnosticism is stating that God may or may not exist, atheism is stating god does not exist. 

 Now an easy source of this would be the Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philsophy which helps explain it here:

Quote

Atheism” is typically defined in terms of “theism”. Theism, in turn, is best understood as a proposition—something that is either true or false. It is often defined as “the belief that God exists”, but here “belief” means “something believed”. It refers to the propositional content of belief, not to the attitude or psychological state of believing. This is why it makes sense to say that theism is true or false and to argue for or against theism. If, however, “atheism” is defined in terms of theism and theism is the proposition that God exists and not the psychological condition of believing that there is a God, then it follows that atheism is not the absence of the psychological condition of believing that God exists (more on this below). The “a-” in “atheism” must be understood as negation instead of absence, as “not” instead of “without”. Therefore, in philosophy at least, atheism should be construed as the proposition that God does not exist (or, more broadly, the proposition that there are no gods).

This definition has the added virtue of making atheism a direct answer to one of the most important metaphysical questions in philosophy of religion, namely, "Is there a God?” There are only two possible direct answers to this question: “yes”, which is theism, and “no”, which is atheism.

Now however it may be useful to show this is the definition used by consulting the various experts and professors in the field who study this for a living. For example Kai Nielson a professor of philsophy and an Athiest themselves gives us a handy definition. Also they wrote the Encyclopedia Brittcania online edition article on the topic as well.

Quote

atheism, in general, the critique and denial of metaphysical beliefs in God or spiritual beings. As such, it is usually distinguished from theism, which affirms the reality of the divine and often seeks to demonstrate its existence. Atheism is also distinguished from agnosticism, which leaves open the question whether there is a god or not, professing to find the questions unanswered or unanswerable.

Now William Leonard Rowe is also a professor in Philsophy and he also has given us a handy definition as to what atheism is.

Quote

As commonly understood, atheism is the position that affirms the nonexistence of God.

Van Harvey is also a professor if Religious studies and gives us two definitions of atheism here.

Quote

The terms ATHEISM and AGNOSTICISM lend themselves to two different definitions. The first takes the privative a both before the Greek theos (divinity) and gnosis (to know) to mean that atheism is simply the absence of belief in the gods and agnosticism is simply lack of knowledge of some specified subject matter. The second definition takes atheism to mean the explicit denial of the existence of gods and agnosticism as the position of someone who, because the existence of gods is unknowable, suspends judgment regarding them

Now when Sanderson told us Jasnah is an atheist we can conclude he meant the second definition because he also called Kaladin an Agnostic in relation to his fate.

Quote

Questioner

I have to say, I find more gospel conversations after going through The Stormlight Archive with people than any other fictional book I've ever read. Does that intentionally bleed in, or is that just part of who you are?

Brandon Sanderson

It's a little of both. I don't preach in my books. What I am determines part of what I find heroic. But I'm very fascinated by religion. So I like to have lots of different people in the books who have lots of different viewpoints on religion that talk about it, like we kind of do in real life. So, you know, you have someone like Dalinar, who is kind of very... almost revolutionarily faithful. And you have Kaladin who's just straight-up agnostic, "Don't know, don't care." You have Jasnah, who's an atheist. You have someone more like Navani, who's a classic conservative faithful. I just like having all of these different people interacting.

Idaho Falls signing (July 21, 2018) 

So by informing us that Kaladin is an Agnostic we then know he must be using the second definition. Because the first definition would lump him in with Atheists like Jasnah.

So from all this I hope it's cleared up as to what an atheist is commonly defined as. By being an atheist Jasnah does not belief in gods existence. Her need to worship it is irrelevant on to whether or not it exists. Otherwise as I stated earlier you'd have just counted most Catholics as Atheists despite their belief in a God. Same with most non religous theists.

 Jasnah does not think the Almighty exists, or that God does not exist. So therefore in her mind a Shard is not a deity. So then what in her mind consitutes a god?

10 hours ago, 18th Shard said:

I think you are misunderstanding Jasnah here. 

To use a real world example, in Christianity, Jesus is God. However, in Islam, he is a prophet. One born of a virgin who had the capacity to perform miracles and who was taken bodily into heaven, but nevertheless human. A Muslim would say they believe Jesus exists, but not that he is a God because to them he wasn't. 

Similarly, Jasnah said she was unsure of the reality of the Almighty; there was a possibility of his existence - but she would still consider him a spren like the Stormfather and Nightwatcher. Not God. Just because someone else believes Honor to be God has no relevance to Jasnah. Regardless of his reality, to her, he is merely a powerful entity, not God. 

I think the difference involves her discussion with Taravangian - regardless of Honor's reality, he does not define her morals. She does. And so to her, a being who defines reality and morality does not exist. There is no being she calls God. And she's not wrong - it is a subjective definition here. 

Now you bring your an interesting situation with Christianity and Islam. The answer to that though is the question I've been asking all along, definition of God.

 For Islamic faith they have a definition of God that does not include Jesus. They worship Allah and don't have the holy Trinity. Meanwhile Catholics have the Holy Trinity and worship God of which Jesus is part. It is the definitions of God that allows us to take a figure like Jesus and acknowledge he exists but not say he is god. The same can be said of Juadaism in which Jesus is acknowledged to exist but since they don't define god with the holy Trinity don't see him as a part of God.

 This is my question of Jasnah. She has knowledge Honour exists who is the Vorin God. She acknowledges he existed but doesn't think he is god. Therefore what is a God to Jasnah? Much in the same vein that Islam has a god but still acknowledges Jesus existed how then does Jasnah acknowledge Honour but still reject the notion god exists?

  Your answer here is one that makes sense considering the dialogue. Jasnah may think that God is one that defines morality in which case as she cleverly demonstrates there God still does not exist despite Honours existence. Thank you for suggesting that as I think that could be the actual definition she is using here.

5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, Debarra said:

That is not what Athiesm is defined as. What you have described is Agnosticism which is what Kaladin and I am. Not Atheism. Agnosticism is stating that God may or may not exist, atheism is stating god does not exist. 

See I am confused now. I thought you said you were not trying for a gotcha moment? That the point was to see how Jasnah would react to the shards? Because we have all referenced what she has said numerous times. So now you are saying Jasnah does not believe what she said she believed? You are telling her how she is allowed to be an atheist? And thereby stating what you believe atheism is, thereby saying she is wrong? Jasnah very clearly stated what her atheism is to her. So we can very clearly see how she would confront such issues. 

Quote

 Now an easy source of this would be the Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philsophy which helps explain it here:

Now however it may be useful to show this is the definition used by consulting the various experts and professors in the field who study this for a living. For example Kai Nielson a professor of philsophy and an Athiest themselves gives us a handy definition. Also they wrote the Encyclopedia Brittcania online edition article on the topic as well.

Now William Leonard Rowe is also a professor in Philsophy and he also has given us a handy definition as to what atheism is.

Van Harvey is also a professor if Religious studies and gives us two definitions of atheism here.

Now when Sanderson told us Jasnah is an atheist we can conclude he meant the second definition because he also called Kaladin an Agnostic in relation to his fate.

We know how Jasnah is an atheist based on what she says she views atheism is.

Quote

So by informing us that Kaladin is an Agnostic we then know he must be using the second definition. Because the first definition would lump him in with Atheists like Jasnah.

that is faulty because it conflicts with what Jasnah herself has said. 

Quote

So from all this I hope it's cleared up as to what an atheist is commonly defined as. By being an atheist Jasnah does not belief in gods existence. Her need to worship it is irrelevant on to whether or not it exists. Otherwise as I stated earlier you'd have just counted most Catholics as Atheists despite their belief in a God. Same with most non religous theists.

No this has cleared up nothing because as I have said we see from Jasnah's own mouth how she sees atheism, which I believe the problem is how you approach religion. I will clarify below

Quote

 Jasnah does not think the Almighty exists, or that God does not exist. So therefore in her mind a Shard is not a deity. So then what in her mind consitutes a god?

Again your phrasing is the problem. I will explain below

Quote

Now you bring your an interesting situation with Christianity and Islam. The answer to that though is the question I've been asking all along, definition of God.

Again the question you are posing is the problem. it is not accurate

Quote

 For Islamic faith they have a definition of God that does not include Jesus. They worship Allah and don't have the holy Trinity. Meanwhile Catholics have the Holy Trinity and worship God of which Jesus is part. It is the definitions of God that allows us to take a figure like Jesus and acknowledge he exists but not say he is god. The same can be said of Juadaism in which Jesus is acknowledged to exist but since they don't define god with the holy Trinity don't see him as a part of God.

This logic is faulty to an atheist

Quote

 This is my question of Jasnah. She has knowledge Honour exists who is the Vorin God. She acknowledges he existed but doesn't think he is god. Therefore what is a God to Jasnah? Much in the same vein that Islam has a god but still acknowledges Jesus existed how then does Jasnah acknowledge Honour but still reject the notion god exists?

  Your answer here is one that makes sense considering the dialogue. Jasnah may think that God is one that defines morality in which case as she cleverly demonstrates there God still does not exist despite Honours existence. Thank you for suggesting that as I think that could be the actual definition she is using here.

Ok lets see if this will make sense. Let us say I am a vegen. I don't eat meat or any meat by products. You say well what about chicken? I say no. You say what about eggs? I say no. You say well what about some dish that I have never heard of? I say no. You say well how can I say no when I have never seen nor tried said dish? And I say, because I am vegan. That help? You keep saying that a non belief in god, means that it is stating that there is criteria that would result in belief in god and that that criteria has just not be presented yet. That is not how it works. There will not be a moment that if you say Allah instead of God that will suddenly change things. That if the deity has three eyes instead of two, that changes things. That is the whole point of the spaghetti monster in the sky. It equates to the same thing to an atheist. Whether a all powerful being or not exists is immaterial, it is useless. It does not deserve her worship or her care. You may think a deity can create morals or math, but she does not. So whether the deity exists or not is immaterial. She is not questing for a god that fits some rule brick. She does not need "god" by how you or anyone defines it. When people try to convert her, she explains why. She does not need a god to pray to to feel better at night. She does not need a god to pray to to know right from wrong. She does not need "god". And further trying to define god in the way you suggest is disingenuous because it then claims that some other religion is invalid. Because invariably there will be a religion where that definition of god does not apply. If you say that god is an all powerful being, and is only one, then that is you claiming that polytheistic religions are not valid to those that believe that. If you define god as a force beyond that does not take a direct hand, then that is claiming that some monotheistic religions are not valid to those that believe that. Jasnah has said that if the religion brings other people peace, then good for them. It does not for her. So it is not her "god". Jasnah does not "have" a "god. So god does not "exist". Jasnah simply does not believe, what is so hard about that? Or another tact. Religion as a function is useless to Jasnah. Thereby any manifestation of religion is useless to her. So any religious structure, or "belief" system does not fit for her. Because it is religion itself that she does not believe. The necessity of a higher power or entity. There isn't one for her. That is why you trying to come up with a definition for god is useless. It does not matter what the name is, how it is worshiped, what it teaches, whether it can come up and say hi, or blow up the whole universe, or never appears. There will never be a permutation to solve for. It is the equivalency of the question to atheists of what will they do if they die, and meet "god"? What would they do? And Stephen Fry, and Andy Gervais answer that pretty easily. Tell this "entity" what the storms is wrong with it? There is no sudden recanting. There is no sudden oh no I was wrong. This being is not god. It is a being. It has power. So what?

Edited by Pathfinder
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Pathfinder You seem to have a fundamental misunderstanding of the meaning of theism and atheism, or knowing the accepted definition, you have intentionally chosen a definition that does not align with the accepted one.  The definition of atheism is very simple.  And no one here is attacking people who personally hold the philosophy of atheism, nor are they attacking Jasnah, nor are they attempting to find a way to disprove her beliefs.  We are simply trying to understand her beliefs, with the assumption that her philosophy of atheism is the standard philosophy - i.e. that she believes divine beings do not exist.

You are introducing additional elements into the equation.  Your personal definition of atheism seems to be that the only being that would count as a god is one that acts according to a morality system that you approve of.  If a being that would be otherwise considered divine exists, but does align with your moral beliefs, then that being cannot be a god in your personal view.  Respectfully, this belief, while totally valid to hold as a personal philosophy, is not the accepted definition of atheism in modern society.  If Ares, God of War, were to appear in Times Square tomorrow and prove that he is real and his history is exactly as described in Greek Mythology, then atheism would be proven false.  Your personal philosophy that it is not good to worship Ares would remain intact.  They are two separate elements and we are only looking at one of them here.

Another element you are introducing is that you are confusing the question of "What would it take to prove that a deity exists?" with the question of "How could a religious person convince someone to convert to their religion?"  Those questions are very different, but you are treating them as if they are the same.  It is not necessary to follow a religion to believe that its god exists and is a god. 

Setting aside your personal beliefs and your personal interpretation of Jasnah's character, we would like to look at Jasnah's beliefs relative to the accepted standard definition of atheism.  As Debarra helpfully wrote above while citing many authoritative sources, atheism is defined as a belief that theism (the belief that divine beings exist) is false.  It is not tied to any form of religion or religious worship or even the idea of religion at all.  It is simply a belief that divine beings do not exist.  The question we are facing in the cosmere is that there are numerous beings that appear to be divine and Jasnah has direct evidence of some of these beings.  Jasnah is an atheist and we must assume she and/or Brandon Sanderson mean this in the standard definition.  Therefore, by definition her core belief is that divine beings do not exist.  She responded in the book to Shallan's question about this apparent contradiction by saying that she believes these powerful beings are merely powerful, but not divine.  That is a fair argument.  However, by necessity if Jasnah has identified beings like the Stormfather as not divine, then she must have a definition of what a divine being is.

This is the only thing we are asking.  What is Jasnah's definition of a divine being?  She must have one, or she could not say if something is or is not divine.  Her acceptance of any religion is irrelevant to this question.  We have also already agreed that it will never be definitively answered whether Jasnah's atheism is "right" or "wrong", so we don't think that there will ever be a moment when a being meeting Jasnah's definition of divine will appear in the cosmere.  This is not a "gotcha" moment.  The answer may be the one you seem to be putting forward: a divine being according to Jasnah is only one that has a religious faith and morality system built up around it that Jasnah personally agrees with and finds to be good.  If that is what you think, then just say that directly.  If you don't think that, say what you do think she would define as a divine being.  If you don't know or don't think we have enough information to say at this point, that's also fine.  But the answer can't be "it's impossible for there to be a divine being, so the question is moot" because that answer is not logically valid.  To truly debate this topic, you MUST have a definition of what a god is.  Atheists do this often.  An example is the argument from evil: 1) If God exists, he must be all powerful, all knowing, and all good. 2) A God that is all powerful, all knowing, and all good would not allow evil to exist. 3) Evil exists.  4) Therefore, God does not exist.  This is a stock argument used by atheists when debating the existence of God and it does not work without stating the nature of God.  Theists argue against this by challenging the nature of God, or the nature of what is good, or the nature of good relative to evil.  I am sure that Jasnah has some similar arguments that she uses herself and I am certain she has a definition of what, to her, would constitute a god.

 

On 1/3/2020 at 5:16 PM, Bliev said:

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.”

Hate to double post, but I just saw this response.  It was a good and meaningful response so I wanted to answer back and keep it separate.  I'll answer in two parts:

1) You're right that we've probably wasted more time on this argument than it's worth!  And to Jasnah, the existence of god is irrelevant in the sense that she doesn't have a desire to follow any of the religions of Roshar even if they did turn out to be correct.

2) The reason why we discuss it and want to know is because it's an interesting question.  Jasnah is an atheist in a world where beings that the vast majority of people would call gods provably exist.  If Angels and Demons were provably walking around the Earth today, or if the Greek Pantheon were out partying on a mountaintop that you could climb up to if you wanted to hang with them, the position of an atheist becomes a lot different.  Sanderson thought it was interesting enough to at least have a few lines of dialog to address it in tWoK.  I think enough has changed in the world now with beings that are much more godlike (the Shards) appearing on screen that it would be interesting to hear Jasnah's opinion on it again.  Does she just feel the same way about the shards as she does the spren or the Stormfather?  Or does it give her a little bit of pause, like learning of the death of "The Almighty" did for Dalinar?  If it's ok for theists to doubt their beliefs and try to re-evaluate in light of new information as has happened in the books, then it's also OK for atheists to do it.  It makes even more sense for someone like Jasnah to do so, because she is a person who forms her opinions based on facts and logic.  And maybe she learned the shards were real long ago and has already struggled with that issue and formed her conclusion.   Maybe she's just a stubborn person like the Vorin orthodox people and isn't willing to examine her own beliefs.  If so, then fine.  My goal isn't that Jasnah convert to a religious faith during the series, it's that we learn and understand better how she maintains her atheism in the face of direct exposure to beings most people would call gods and how their appearance affected her on a personal level.  I honestly think we will see some of this in the "back 5" of Stormlight Archive.

5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

@Pathfinder for the fourth time now you are trying to claim that I am saying stuff of which I'm not. I have requested you stop doing this three times before. By this stage I am forced merely to conclude you aren't capable of continuing this discussion in a respectful manner. I have politely requested you stop this behavior three times and you continue to do it. As such it does not seem to me that I can continue this discussion with you.

 I simply stated this:

Quote

That is not what Athiesm is defined as. What you have described is Agnosticism which is what Kaladin and I am. Not Atheism. Agnosticism is stating that God may or may not exist, atheism is stating god does not exist. 

And somehow from those brief statements you have managed to pull out a whole barrel full of accusations of what I am trying to say. The logic of these statements you are making is never explained by you nor do they logically follow from what I said. The only thing I am forced to conclude is that your just trying to pretend I'm saying something I'm not, after my politely asking you to stop this behavior three times now.

Quote

See I am confused now. I thought you said you were not trying for a gotcha moment? That the point was to see how Jasnah would react to the shards? Because we have all referenced what she has said numerous times. So now you are saying Jasnah does not believe what she said she believed? You are telling her how she is allowed to be an atheist? And thereby stating what you believe atheism is, thereby saying she is wrong? Jasnah very clearly stated what her atheism is to her. So we can very clearly see how she would confront such issues. 

As for the rest of your post well I'll be honest, I'm just confused. I can't see the point your trying to make anymore nor can I decypher it. It just comes across as confused and disagreeing for the sake of disagreeing to me. I can't find any clear point being made here anymore. From what I can gather it's built up from the false conclusion that I am stating any of the stuff you accused me of attempting to do.

Now I have also clearly explained with sources that Athiesm means as commonly accepted by experts in this field. @agrabes also has quite nicely written up a wonderful explaination about what I am saying and explaining the actual question being asked. If you still want to argue atheism is something else which experts disagree with you on then I have no interest in trying to continuing this discussion.

 For the fourth time now you've just decided to accuse me of stuff I never said or even implied. You have also been given a brilliant explaination of the question by agrabes. If you still do not understand the question being asked then I don't think it can be explained in any easier manner. My apologies but from all of the above I see no reason to be continuing this discussion with you.

I do recommend reading more on this topic because you seem quite interested in it and I do think it is a topic you may enjoy from this discussion. I hope you have a good day and thank you for your time.

Edited by Debarra
4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

@agrabes and @Debarra

I think there is a fundamental problem with the arguments you both are making. If you would like to discuss atheism versus theism, that is an entirely different thread on an entirely different forum. This thread is asking how would Jasnah, the atheist, respond to the shards. Approaching this question from the perspective of a theist is faulty. It assumes things that for an atheist are simply not true. Need a definition of god? Why? It does not exist. By defining it, it would exist. You could say define mxhdprgtl. And Jasnah would say why? It does not exist. You made it up. So to requesting she define god. God does not exist for her, so why would there be a definition for an entity? Define light. Well light is blah blah blah. It exists. For an atheist, god does not exist. You can have beings with power. Great. Congrats. That still changes nothing. Say to a vegan to define the meat they would eat, and they would say, I don't eat meat. How can you say you cannot define meat you would eat? Because I don't eat meat!

I think that is the disconnect. Trying to rationalize atheism from the perspective of a theist. There is no pursuit of god. Atheism is not "I just have not found the right god yet". God does not exist. That is the perspective of an atheist. I mean seriously, everything I have stated, Jasnah has stated in the book. If you want to argue against atheism, that is an entirely different discussion. The question is, Jasnah, the atheist, meets the shards, what happens to her atheism? And the answer has been written across the books. She is still an atheist. The only thing the books definitively proved is Vorinism as a religion is false. It teaches God exists, he is all powerful, all good, and his name is the Almighty. The reality is Honor is not all powerful. Not all good. And he is dead. Jasnah has spoken to Ivory. Jasnah has spoken to Dalinar at length. It did not change anything. At this point I will just have to quote each and every instance backing up what I have said repeatedly across this entire thread. 

 

Way of Kings page 458

“Is it hard for you, Jasnah? Painful, I mean?”

“Atheism is not a disease, Your Majesty,” Jasnah said dryly. “It’s not as if I’ve caught a foot rash.”

“Of course not, of course not. But … er, isn’t it difficult, having nothing in which to believe?” Shallan leaned forward, still sketching, but keeping her attention on the conversation. Shallan had assumed that training under a heretic would be a little more exciting. She and Kabsal—the witty ardent whom she’d met on her first day in Kharbranth—had chatted several times now about Jasnah’s faith. However, around Jasnah herself, the topic almost never came up. When it did, Jasnah usually changed it. Today, however, she did not. Perhaps she sensed the sincerity in the king’s question.

“I wouldn’t say that I have nothing to believe in, Your Majesty. Actually, I have much to believe in. My brother and my uncle, my own abilities. The things I was taught by my parents.”

“But, what is right and wrong, you’ve … Well, you’ve discarded that.”

“Just because I do not accept the teachings of the devotaries does not mean I’ve discarded a belief in right and wrong.”

“But the Almighty determines what is right!”

“Must someone, some unseen thing, declare what is right for it to be right? I believe that my own morality—which answers only to my heart—is more sure and true than the morality of those who do right only because they fear retribution.”

“But that is the soul of law,” the king said, sounding confused. “If there is no punishment, there can be only chaos.”

“If there were no law, some men would do as they wish, yes,” Jasnah said. “But isn’t it remarkable that, given the chance for personal gain at the cost of others, so many people choose what is right?”

“Because they fear the Almighty.”

“No,” Jasnah said. “I think something innate in us understands that seeking the good of society is usually best for the individual as well. Humankind is noble, when we give it the chance to be. That nobility is something that exists independent of any god’s decree.”

“I just don’t see how anything could be outside God’s decrees.” The king shook his head, bemused. “Brightness Jasnah, I don’t mean to argue, but isn’t the very definition of the Almighty that all things exist because of him?”

“If you add one and one, that makes two, does it not?”

“Well, yes.”

“No god needs declare it so for it to be true,” Jasnah said. “So, could we not say that mathematics exists outside the Almighty, independent of him?”

“Perhaps.”

“Well,” Jasnah said, “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.”

“Well,” Taravangian said, “I must say that you make your points quite effectively. I don’t accept them, though.”

“My intention is not to convert, Your Majesty,” Jasnah said. “I am content keeping my beliefs to myself, something most of my colleagues in the devotaries have difficulty doing.

 

As I said Jasnah has no need of a "god". It is useless to her. There is no need to think about it. Worship it. Try to make it happy. A being you call god can exist or not, that does not mean she will call it god. You can come up with every single name in the book, and it will still not be god, because "god" does not exist. Let Taravangian have his god. That does not mean that god is hers, nor that she calls it god. 

 

Way of Kings page 458 (same section)

“Our hearts, Brightness. I believe because I feel something, a closeness to the Almighty, a peace that comes when I live my faith.”

“The mind is capable of projecting expected emotional responses.”

“But didn’t you yourself argue that the way we act—the way we feel about right and wrong—was a defining attribute of our humanity? You used our innate morality to prove your point. So how can you discard my feelings?”

“Discard them? No. Regard them with skepticism? Perhaps. Your feelings, Shallan—however powerful—are your own. Not mine. 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.” She pointed at Shallan with her pen. “But your rhetorical method is improving. We’ll make a scholar of you yet.”

 

Shallan can feel as she does. She can in her heart feel there is god. That is great for her. Congrats. Have fun with that. Jasnah does not. There is no compunction, need nor desire for Jasnah to earn, locate, or appease some entity. She lives her life. Does not matter if that entity that someone else calls god shows up. It is still not god to Jasnah, because god to Jasnah does not exist. 

 

Way of Kings page 530

"The older we grow, the more likely we are to reject the simple answers. Unless someone gets in our way and demands they be accepted regardless.” Jasnah’s eyes narrowed. “You wonder why I reject the devotaries.”

“I do.”

“Most of them seek to stop the questions.”

 

Crystal clear. Religion for Jasnah stops questions. Why does the sun shine? God did that. But If I use a telescope, and scientific research, I find out that the sun is a star. It radiates light, that travels through space. The sky is blue due to how that light impacts the ozone. Well god made it that way. But I can research and find out how the sun and earth was formed. How the ozone came to be. Why those particular chemicals in the atmosphere result in the light making the sky blue. Well god made it that way. So is that what god is? The god of the gaps? Anything we do not know, god did it? Well if everything god did so far, has a reason outside of god once it is discovered, then I will continue to research and find answers. Not just "god did it"

 

Way of Kings page 635

“Don’t you see?” he said. “She’s trying to prove that the Voidbringers weren’t real. She wants to demonstrate that this was all a fabrication of the Radiants.” He stepped forward and turned to face her, the lantern light rebounding from the books to either side, making his face pale. “She wants to prove once and for all that the devotaries—and Vorinism—are a gigantic fraud. That’s what this is all about.”

“Maybe,” Shallan said thoughtfully. It did seem to fit. What better goal for an avowed heretic? Undermining foolish beliefs and disproving religion? It explained why Jasnah would study something as seemingly inconsequential as the Voidbringers. Find the right evidence in the historical records, and Jasnah might well be able to prove herself right.

 

Kabsal assumes Jasnah is trying to prove the Voidbringers are not real to prove Vorinism is false. This is ultimately laughable because:

1. She is not doing so

2. Vorinism is false, and proven all on its own

The perspective of the theist assumes there is a pursuit of god that has not been attained yet. That it is a continual quest where reasons are found for the non-existence till that non-existence is then invalidated. That is a theist perspective. Theists seek god. Dalinar believed in the Almighty. When he found out the Almighty is dead, he sought what he felt god was. He found god in that golden light. There is no more proof that that golden light is any different than Honor, Odium, and so on. Yet for Dalinar he believes. Because for Dalinar, deep down he believes god exists. So he seeks that god. Jasnah does not, so she seeks nothing. It does not exist, so what is she seeking?

 

Way of Kings page 679

“I hadn’t thought to find ardents who were willing to question their own beliefs.”

Jasnah raised an eyebrow. “You will find wise men in any religion, Shallan, and good men in every nation. Those who truly seek wisdom are those who will acknowledge the virtue in their adversaries and who will learn from those who disabuse them of error. All others—heretic, Vorin, Ysperist, or Maakian—are equally closed-minded.”

She took her hand from the book, moving as if to stand up. “He’s wrong,” Shallan said suddenly, realizing something. Jasnah turned to her. “Kabsal,” Shallan said, blushing. “He says you’re researching the Voidbringers because you want to prove that Vorinism is false.”

Jasnah sniffed in derision. “I would not dedicate four years of my life to such an empty pursuit. It’s idiocy to try to prove a negative. Let the Vorin believe as they wish—the wise among them will find goodness and solace in their faith; the fools would be fools no matter what they believed.”

 

Again right from Jasnah's lips. Let the Vorin have their god and have their goodness and solace. That is not for her. The Almighty is not her god. Because she has no god. She cannot have something if for her it does not exist. It does not matter if the Almighty showed up and said hi to her and Shallan. She would say "That is great for you Shallan. Enjoy time with your god". And that is that. The Almighty is not her God. God does not exist. 

 

Words of Radiance page 38

 “Luck, Brightness!” one of the sailors said. “It is a good omen for your trip, don’t you think?”

“I shall take any fortune provided me, Nanhel Eltorv,” she said. “Thank you for the seat.” The sailor bowed awkwardly before retreating.

“You think they’re superstitious fools,” Shallan said softly, watching the sailor leave.

“From what I have observed,” Jasnah said, “these sailors are men who have found a purpose in life and now take simple pleasure in it.” Jasnah looked at the next drawing. “Many people make far less out of life. Captain Tozbek runs a good crew. You were wise in bringing him to my attention.”

Shallan smiled. “You didn’t answer my question.”

“You didn’t ask a question,”

 

Again, The sailors religion or superstition is good for them. It brings them solace. It does nothing for Jasnah. Let them have their religion. If the sailing trip went well, then great. It does not change Jasnah's convictions. The sailors would believe it went well because of their beliefs. Jasnah would believe it just went well. Simple

 

Words of Radiance page 38

“They’re living ideas.” Jasnah spun on her. “What?” Shallan said, jumping. “Am I wrong?”

“No,” Jasnah said. “You’re right.” The woman narrowed her eyes. “By my best guess, spren are elements of the Cognitive Realm that have leaked into the physical world. They’re concepts that have gained a fragment of sentience, perhaps because of human intervention. “Think of a man who gets angry often. Think of how his friends and family might start referring to that anger as a beast, as a thing that possesses him, as something external to him. Humans personify. We speak of the wind as if it has a will of its own. “Spren are those ideas—the ideas of collective human experience—somehow come alive. Shadesmar is where that first happens, and it is their place. Though we created it, they shaped it. They live there; they rule there, within their own cities.”

“Cities?”

“Yes,” Jasnah said, looking back out over the ocean. She seemed troubled. “Spren are wild in their variety. Some are as clever as humans and create cities. Others are like fish and simply swim in the currents.”

 

This is what spren are. They are no more gods to Jasnah than anything else. Horneaters revere such things. Good for them. That does not instill any compunction in Jasnah to do so.  

 

Words of Radiance page 69

The Stormfather, of course, is a strange offshoot of this, his theoretical nature changing depending on which era of Vorinism is doing the talking. . . .” She trailed off. Shallan blushed, realizing she’d looked away and had begun tracing a glyphward on her blanket against the evil in Jasnah’s words. “That was a tangent,” Jasnah said. “I apologize.”

“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.

 

Yet again. People can call the heralds god. Thaylens can believe the passions. Purelakers can worship Nu Ralik. Or any other religion. The beings they worship can either show up individually, all together, or not at all and it changed nothing. They are not god to Jasnah, because god does not exist. 

 

Oathbringer page 399

“You have given the world a grand gift. A man can be brave in facing down a hundred enemies, but coming into these—and recording them rather than hiding them—was bravery on an entirely different level.”

“It was mere stubbornness. I refused to believe I was mad.”

“Then I bless your stubbornness, Uncle.” Jasnah pursed her lips in thought, then continued more softly. “I’m worried about you, Uncle. What people are saying.”

“You mean my heresy?” Dalinar said.

“I’m less worried about the heresy itself, and more how you’re dealing with the backlash.” Ahead of them, Navani had somehow bullied the Radiant into letting her look at the fabrial. The day was stretching toward late afternoon, the canyon falling into shadow. But this vision was a long one, and he was content to wait upon Navani. He settled down on a rock.

“I don’t deny God, Jasnah,” he said. “I simply believe that the being we call the Almighty was never actually God.”

“Which is the wise decision to make, considering the accounts of your visions.” Jasnah settled down beside him.

“You must be happy to hear me say that,” he said.

“I’m happy to have someone to talk to, and I’m certainly happy to see you on a journey of discovery. But am I happy to see you in pain? Am I happy to see you forced to abandon something you held dear?” She shook her head. “I don’t mind people believing what works for them, Uncle. That’s something nobody ever seems to understand—I have no stake in their beliefs. I don’t need company to be confident.”

“How do you suffer it, Jasnah?” Dalinar said. “The things people say about you? I see the lies in their eyes before they speak. Or they will tell me, with utter sincerity, things I have reportedly said—even though I deny them. They refuse my own word against the rumors about me!”

Jasnah stared out across the canyon. More men were gathering at the other end, a weak, beleaguered group who were only now discovering they were the victors in this contest. A large column of smoke rose in the distance, though he couldn’t see the source. “I wish I had answers, Uncle,” Jasnah said softly. “Fighting makes you strong, but also callous. I worry I have learned too much of the latter and not enough of the former. But I can give you a warning.” He looked toward her, raising his eyebrows. “They will try,” Jasnah said, “to define you by something you are not. Don’t let them. I can be a scholar, a woman, a historian, a Radiant. People will still try to classify me by the thing that makes me an outsider. They want, ironically, the thing I don’t do or believe to be the prime marker of my identity. I have always rejected that, and will continue to do so.” She reached over and put her freehand on his arm. “You are not a heretic, Dalinar Kholin. You are a king, a Radiant, and a father. You are a man with complicated beliefs, who does not accept everything you are told. You decide how you are defined. Don’t surrender that to them. They will gleefully take the chance to define you, if you allow it.”

 

I mean, do I really have to explain this? I have been repeating it constantly. There is no pursuit of god for Jasnah. She does not need others to be confident that god does not exist. Jasnah has read Dalinar's visions. Honor is dead. Honor is Tanavast is the Almighty. Vorinism is false. Does that mean she stops those that believe in Vorinism from worshiping Vorinism? No! Let them find what comfort they wish where they wish it so long as they do not hurt others because of it. Dalinar is the perspective you both are taking. That if the Almighty is not god, then there must be god out there. He just has not found it yet. So for Dalinar the golden light is god. That light could be no different than Honor, Cultivation, or Odium. It could be more powerful than them. It could exist or not exist. That still does not mean it is god to Jasnah. Because god does not exist. So if Jasnah were to find out honor was dead (which she did because she read the visions), it changes nothing regarding her atheism. Almighty the all powerful was not god, so why would almighty the fallible and dead be god?

 

Oathbringer page 520

For over a decade, she’d dreamed of uniting the best minds of the kingdom in a coordinated effort. She’d been ignored; all anyone had wanted to discuss was her lack of belief in their god.

 

Jasnah laments that when she wants to unite the best minds of the Kingdom to prevent a desolation, all they seemed to care about was her non-belief in their god. Again, she is not pursuing some definition of a deity. God does not exist. Why search for something that does not exist? It is incredibly frustrating for her. She does not believe. Can't people just accept that and move on so they can focus on the desolations? Worship how you wish, she does not care. 

 

Oathbringer page 520

“We need to discuss your uncle. The rift between our houses serves nobody. I wish to bridge that chasm, and Dalinar listens to you. Please, Jasnah. You can steer him properly.”

“My uncle knows his own mind on these matters, and doesn’t require me to ‘steer’ him.”

“As if you haven’t been doing so already, Jasnah. Everyone can see that he has started to share your religious beliefs.”

“Which would be incredible, since I don’t have religious beliefs.”

 

See? This is Amaram approaching Jasnah from the perspective of a theist. But Jasnah is an atheist. She has no beliefs. God does not exist. So how is she convincing anyone to share her beliefs? She does not have any. 

 

I think that is all the main ones. There may be more. But in summation, I think the logic of @agrabes and @Debarra in discussing Jasnah as an atheist is faulty. We are asking what Jasnah, as an atheist, would do in view of these entities. So to answer that question, you must approach the question as an atheist. 

If you approach it as a theist, you get Dalinar. For Dalinar, if this is not god, then what is god? That golden light feels right. It feels like what I think god is. So the golden light is god. 

For Jasnah, if you approach it as an atheist, and you show something that is not god. She goes ok. It isn't god. God doesn't exist, so what is revolutionary about that? All you did was prove that this god is not god. This god was not god to Jasnah when other people thought it was god. It is still not god now that the people that thought it was god, no longer think it is god. 

 

 

edit: ok here is an idea. Maybe if I break it down for you both this way

 

1. Assertion: God does not exist

2. Vorinism states that: Almighty exists. The Almighty is all powerful. He is all knowing. He is eternal. The Almighty is God. He will hear you if you burn glyphs in prayer

3. Jasnah: God does not exist. So the Almighty cannot be God. The Almighty can show up, be all powerful, all knowing, and eternal, and that entity is still not God. Because god does not exist. 

4. It is revealed that the Almighty is Honor. Honor is not all powerful. He is not all knowing. He is not eternal. And since he is dead, he is not hearing your glyph prayers. 

5. All this has proven is that those that believed the Almighty is all powerful, all knowing, and eternal is false. He is none of those things. 

6. The people that believed Vorinism can then either choose to seek god in another manner (alter their vorin beliefs so they still stand as true for themselves, or seek an entirely new religion), or become an atheist and believe there is no god. 

7. Either way, Jasnah is still an atheist. Nothing changed. God does not exist. The Almighty's stature in his followers view changing, does not affect Jasnah. It affects the followers of Vorinism because their belief structure is false, but not Jasnah. The Almighty was never god to Jasnah regardless its stature to those that worship it. 

Edited by Pathfinder
3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Pathfinder  This will be my last post on this topic.  I am not approaching this argument from the perspective of a theist, I'm approaching it as someone familiar with the proper way to make arguments about whether or not a god exists.  In your argument to disprove the existence of a god, you are starting with the assumption that god does not exist.  This is a completely invalid way to look at this topic.  Equally invalid is for a theist to start their argument in favor of the existence of god with the assumption that god does exist.  In the vegan example you keep going back to, we are not asking a veganwhat kind of meat they might be tempted to eat.  We are asking the vegan the question "What do you consider to be meat and why did you decide not to eat it?"

If you want to have a debate, you have to start with the assumption that it is equally possible for both positions to be true and the burden is on you to prove that your position is correct and the other position is incorrect.  You generally do not do this - you tend to start your argument with the assumption that your position is correct and then use that assumption to prove the other position is incorrect.  For example, look at item 3 from your list - it's completely flawed because it starts with the assumption that god does not exist and uses that assumption to prove that Honor is not god.  In particular, look at the first and last sentence.  You are saying "God does not exist because God does not exist."  That is circular logic.  To use the idea that god does not exist as a basis for argument, you have to prove that it is correct which you have not.

We know that Jasnah believes that god does not exist.  In the same way, we know that Dalinar believes god does exist.  It's not the topic of this thread, but it's equally valid to ask him why he believes god does exist.  If you are trying to discuss the point of whether or not god exists, no one gets to start from the position that their belief is already right.

Jasnah is a smart person who makes decisions based on logic.  She evaluated many, many religions and philosophies and made the conscious choice to be an atheist.  She has almost certainly used logic to decide whether or not she believes god exists.  We are trying to understand the logic she used to make that decision and how she applies it to the godlike beings she encounters.  I believe that Jasnah's logic is something like this:

1) If there is a god, it must have X properties.

2a) I have logically considered whether a being with X properties can logically exist and have concluded it is not possible.

2b) I have also done extensive research into this topic and have not found evidence of a being that has X properties.

3) Therefore, god does not exist.

 

We want to know what "X" is for Jasnah.  You aren't willing to go there and I don't want to push you to go somewhere you don't want to go, this is a topic that can be pretty personal.  For me personally, I took a few philosophy classes in college so it is interesting to me to examine these issues and my own beliefs.  To truly talk about these issues, you have to question things you believe as fundamentally true (the existence of god, most people fundamentally believe god exists or doesn't as a fundamental truth).  But it's not for everyone.

7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Pathfinder said:

I think there is a fundamental problem with the arguments you both are making. If you would like to discuss atheism versus theism, that is an entirely different thread on an entirely different forum. This thread is asking how would Jasnah, the atheist, respond to the shards.

 

On 5 January 2020 at 5:57 PM, agrabes said:

we would like to look at Jasnah's beliefs relative to the accepted standard definition of atheism.  As Debarra helpfully wrote above while citing many authoritative sources, atheism is defined as a belief that theism (the belief that divine beings exist) is false.  It is not tied to any form of religion or religious worship or even the idea of religion at all.  It is simply a belief that divine beings do not exist.  The question we are facing in the cosmere is that there are numerous beings that appear to be divine and Jasnah has direct evidence of some of these beings.  Jasnah is an atheist and we must assume she and/or Brandon Sanderson mean this in the standard definition.  Therefore, by definition her core belief is that divine beings do not exist.  She responded in the book to Shallan's question about this apparent contradiction by saying that she believes these powerful beings are merely powerful, but not divine.  That is a fair argument.  However, by necessity if Jasnah has identified beings like the Stormfather as not divine, then she must have a definition of what a divine being is.

 

On 5 January 2020 at 0:17 PM, Debarra said:

Jasnah does not think the Almighty exists, or that God does not exist. So therefore in her mind a Shard is not a deity. So then what in her mind consitutes a god?

 

On 5 January 2020 at 0:17 PM, Debarra said:

This is my question of Jasnah. She has knowledge Honour exists who is the Vorin God. She acknowledges he existed but doesn't think he is god. Therefore what is a God to Jasnah?

 

On 5 January 2020 at 5:57 PM, agrabes said:

And no one here is attacking people who personally hold the philosophy of atheism, nor are they attacking Jasnah, nor are they attempting to find a way to disprove her beliefs.  We are simply trying to understand her beliefs

 

4 hours ago, Pathfinder said:

Need a definition of god? Why? It does not exist.

 

On 5 January 2020 at 5:57 PM, agrabes said:

But the answer can't be "it's impossible for there to be a divine being, so the question is moot" because that answer is not logically valid.  To truly debate this topic, you MUST have a definition of what a god is.  Atheists do this often.  An example is the argument from evil: 1) If God exists, he must be all powerful, all knowing, and all good. 2) A God that is all powerful, all knowing, and all good would not allow evil to exist. 3) Evil exists.  4) Therefore, God does not exist.  This is a stock argument used by atheists when debating the existence of God and it does not work without stating the nature of God.  Theists argue against this by challenging the nature of God, or the nature of what is good, or the nature of good relative to evil.  I am sure that Jasnah has some similar arguments that she uses herself and I am certain she has a definition of what, to her, would constitute a god

 

On 5 January 2020 at 0:17 PM, Debarra said:

Now you bring your an interesting situation with Christianity and Islam. The answer to that though is the question I've been asking all along, definition of God.

 For Islamic faith they have a definition of God that does not include Jesus. They worship Allah and don't have the holy Trinity. Meanwhile Catholics have the Holy Trinity and worship God of which Jesus is part. It is the definitions of God that allows us to take a figure like Jesus and acknowledge he exists but not say he is god. The same can be said of Juadaism in which Jesus is acknowledged to exist but since they don't define god with the holy Trinity don't see him as a part of God.

 This is my question of Jasnah. She has knowledge Honour exists who is the Vorin God. She acknowledges he existed but doesn't think he is god. Therefore what is a God to Jasnah? Much in the same vein that Islam has a god but still acknowledges Jesus existed how then does Jasnah acknowledge Honour but still reject the notion god exists?

 

4 hours ago, Pathfinder said:

You can have beings with power. Great. Congrats. That still changes nothing.

 

On 5 January 2020 at 5:57 PM, agrabes said:

If Ares, God of War, were to appear in Times Square tomorrow and prove that he is real and his history is exactly as described in Greek Mythology, then atheism would be proven false.  Your personal philosophy that it is not good to worship Ares would remain intact.  They are two separate elements and we are only looking at one of them here.

 

4 hours ago, Pathfinder said:

As I said Jasnah has no need of a "god". It is useless to her. There is no need to think about it. Worship it. Try to make it happy. A being you call god can exist or not, that does not mean she will call it god. You can come up with every single name in the book, and it will still not be god, because "god" does not exist

 

On 5 January 2020 at 5:57 PM, agrabes said:

This is the only thing we are asking.  What is Jasnah's definition of a divine being?  She must have one, or she could not say if something is or is not divine. Her acceptance of any religion is irrelevant to this question.

 

On 5 January 2020 at 0:17 PM, Debarra said:

This is my question of Jasnah. She has knowledge Honour exists who is the Vorin God. She acknowledges he existed but doesn't think he is god. Therefore what is a God to Jasnah?

 

On 5 January 2020 at 0:17 PM, Debarra said:

 Jasnah does not think the Almighty exists, or that God does not exist. So therefore in her mind a Shard is not a deity. So then what in her mind consitutes a god?

 

4 hours ago, Pathfinder said:

If you want to argue against atheism, that is an entirely different discussion.

 

On 5 January 2020 at 5:57 PM, agrabes said:

And no one here is attacking people who personally hold the philosophy of atheism, nor are they attacking Jasnah, nor are they attempting to find a way to disprove her beliefs.  We are simply trying to understand her beliefs

 

4 hours ago, Pathfinder said:

The question is, Jasnah, the atheist, meets the shards, what happens to her atheism?

 

On 5 January 2020 at 5:57 PM, agrabes said:

Setting aside your personal beliefs and your personal interpretation of Jasnah's character, we would like to look at Jasnah's beliefs relative to the accepted standard definition of atheism.  As Debarra helpfully wrote above while citing many authoritative sources, atheism is defined as a belief that theism (the belief that divine beings exist) is false.  It is not tied to any form of religion or religious worship or even the idea of religion at all.  It is simply a belief that divine beings do not exist.  The question we are facing in the cosmere is that there are numerous beings that appear to be divine and Jasnah has direct evidence of some of these beings.  Jasnah is an atheist and we must assume she and/or Brandon Sanderson mean this in the standard definition.  Therefore, by definition her core belief is that divine beings do not exist.  She responded in the book to Shallan's question about this apparent contradiction by saying that she believes these powerful beings are merely powerful, but not divine.  That is a fair argument.  However, by necessity if Jasnah has identified beings like the Stormfather as not divine, then she must have a definition of what a divine being is.

 

On 5 January 2020 at 0:17 PM, Debarra said:

This is my question of Jasnah. She has knowledge Honour exists who is the Vorin God. She acknowledges he existed but doesn't think he is god. Therefore what is a God to Jasnah?

 

On 5 January 2020 at 0:29 AM, Debarra said:

The being the religioun she doesn't belief in does actually exist. So if she still rejects that being as God then what definition is she using? What would she need to see to know God exists?

 

On 5 January 2020 at 5:57 PM, agrabes said:

The answer may be the one you seem to be putting forward: a divine being according to Jasnah is only one that has a religious faith and morality system built up around it that Jasnah personally agrees with and finds to be good.  If that is what you think, then just say that directly.  If you don't think that, say what you do think she would define as a divine being.  If you don't know or don't think we have enough information to say at this point, that's also fine.  But the answer can't be "it's impossible for there to be a divine being, so the question is moot" because that answer is not logically valid.  To truly debate this topic, you MUST have a definition of what a god is.  Atheists do this often.  An example is the argument from evil: 1) If God exists, he must be all powerful, all knowing, and all good. 2) A God that is all powerful, all knowing, and all good would not allow evil to exist. 3) Evil exists.  4) Therefore, God does not exist.  This is a stock argument used by atheists when debating the existence of God and it does not work without stating the nature of God.  Theists argue against this by challenging the nature of God, or the nature of what is good, or the nature of good relative to evil.  I am sure that Jasnah has some similar arguments that she uses herself and I am certain she has a definition of what, to her, would constitute a god

 

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, agrabes said:

This will be my last post on this topic

 

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/3/2020 at 0:42 PM, Debarra said:

But then my question still remains, what is God then? If a being like a shard that literally is capable of creating entire planets, can see the future, is connected to all things is not considered a god then what is? What is Jasnah looking for?

She seems to be defining God as one she considers worthy of determining her morality and deserves to be worshipped. 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

20 hours ago, agrabes said:

@Pathfinder  This will be my last post on this topic.  I am not approaching this argument from the perspective of a theist, I'm approaching it as someone familiar with the proper way to make arguments about whether or not a god exists.  In your argument to disprove the existence of a god, you are starting with the assumption that god does not exist. 

When did I ever say my argument was to disprove the existence of god? When did Jasnah ever say her argument was to disprove the existence of god? This thread is what would Jasnah, the atheist do if she found out about the Shards. Surprise! It already happened! She already talked to Dalinar! Honor is a shard and is dead. She knows about spren! Guess what? She is still an atheist! I have quoted her at length as to why she is still an atheist

She does not believe god exists. So it does not matter if what someone else calls a god is monotheistic, polytheistic, a feeling, the sky, an animal. Call whatever you want god, and that is great for you, but for Jasnah god does not exist. You can define light. If you say god made light. Then Jasnah researched and proved light was such and such process, then does god no longer exist? Or do you say well god made the process that is light. Well if Jasnah then researches and proves how the process that light is came about, then does god no longer exist? Or do you say god is behind that? Is god nothing more than what is not known yet? For an atheist that is not the case. God does not exist. There is always room for questions. There is always room for a theory to be proven wrong. There is always more information. More learning. 

Quote

This is a completely invalid way to look at this topic.  Equally invalid is for a theist to start their argument in favor of the existence of god with the assumption that god does exist.  In the vegan example you keep going back to, we are not asking a veganwhat kind of meat they might be tempted to eat.  We are asking the vegan the question "What do you consider to be meat and why did you decide not to eat it?"

But the assertion of the vegan is not what it considers or does not consider meat. The assertion of the vegan is that it does not eat meat. So you are asking the vegan to define meat he or she would eat. By asking an atheist to define god, is asking an atheist to assert they believe a god exists. An atheist believes god does not exist. So why would there by a definition for it? As I have said already, it would be the equivalency of you asking someone on the street to define mdopgknat. There is no definition, because it does not exist!

Quote

If you want to have a debate, you have to start with the assumption that it is equally possible for both positions to be true and the burden is on you to prove that your position is correct and the other position is incorrect.  You generally do not do this - you tend to start your argument with the assumption that your position is correct and then use that assumption to prove the other position is incorrect.  For example, look at item 3 from your list - it's completely flawed because it starts with the assumption that god does not exist and uses that assumption to prove that Honor is not god.  In particular, look at the first and last sentence.  You are saying "God does not exist because God does not exist."  That is circular logic.  To use the idea that god does not exist as a basis for argument, you have to prove that it is correct which you have not.

That is why I am saying you and @Debarra 's logic is flawed. You both are trying to debate the validity of atheism versus theism. That is not the question here. You want to discuss whether you think atheism is right or not? Sure! Lets go to general discussion and talk there! Here the query is how would Jasnah, the atheist, deal with the shards existence. I have quoted her word for word on numerous occasions. You accuse me of ignoring your points, yet when have you or @Debarra even once responded to Jasnah's own words? 

Jasnah

Does 

Not

Believe

God

Exists

So why would any being of power, any structure, any definition of anyone of what god is change that? 

Quote

We know that Jasnah believes that god does not exist.  In the same way, we know that Dalinar believes god does exist.  It's not the topic of this thread, but it's equally valid to ask him why he believes god does exist.  If you are trying to discuss the point of whether or not god exists, no one gets to start from the position that their belief is already right.

But we are not discussing whether or not god exists. This is theism versus atheism, and is an entirely different discussion. That is the disconnect I am trying to get across. You are acting as if you are arguing with an atheist that they are wrong. The question is what would Jasnah, the atheist do in view of the shards. And that is clear as day and has been said in the books, and repeatedly here. Nothing. She would still be an atheist. The shards did not change anything. 

Quote

Jasnah is a smart person who makes decisions based on logic.  She evaluated many, many religions and philosophies and made the conscious choice to be an atheist.  She has almost certainly used logic to decide whether or not she believes god exists.  We are trying to understand the logic she used to make that decision and how she applies it to the godlike beings she encounters.  I believe that Jasnah's logic is something like this:

1) If there is a god, it must have X properties.

2a) I have logically considered whether a being with X properties can logically exist and have concluded it is not possible.

2b) I have also done extensive research into this topic and have not found evidence of a being that has X properties.

3) Therefore, god does not exist.

That is faulty logic. It starts with the assumption that god exists, and every practice, every test is only discovering that that version of god does not exist, but an "actual" god does, it just has not been proven yet. That is not what Jasnah believes. Jasnah believes god does not exist. All the whole shard business proved was to those that believed Vorinism, that Vorinism is false. Jasnah never believed Vorinism in the beginning, so why would its disproof change anything?

Quote

We want to know what "X" is for Jasnah.  You aren't willing to go there and I don't want to push you to go somewhere you don't want to go, this is a topic that can be pretty personal.  For me personally, I took a few philosophy classes in college so it is interesting to me to examine these issues and my own beliefs.  To truly talk about these issues, you have to question things you believe as fundamentally true (the existence of god, most people fundamentally believe god exists or doesn't as a fundamental truth).  But it's not for everyone.

The thing that seems to be the continual brick wall both you and @debrra are going against is this idea that if one thing is not god, something else must be. Jasnah is asserting there is not. She literally says:

Jasnah sniffed in derision. “I would not dedicate four years of my life to such an empty pursuit. It’s idiocy to try to prove a negative. Let the Vorin believe as they wish—the wise among them will find goodness and solace in their faith; the fools would be fools no matter what they believed.”

What is alien about this?

 

Ok, maybe if I try this tact. 

Jasnah: God does not exist

Vorinism, this is our definition of god. The Almighty is all powerful, and eternal. He listens to glyphwards

Jasnah: that is great for you. Worship as you wish. God does not exist, so what you worship is not god. It is for you. Have fun

Horneaters: Spren are gods. 

Jasnah: That is great for you. Worship as you wish. God does not exist, so what you worship is not god. It is for you. Have fun

Pure Lakers: Nu Ralik is god

Jasnah: That is great for you. Worship as you wish. God does not exist, so what you worship is not god. it is for you. Have fun

 

Vorinism is proven wrong. Almight is not all powerful, and eternal. He cannot listen to glyphwards because he is dead

Jasnah: I am sorry for your loss. 

Horneaters: Vorinism is wrong! That means Horneaters are right!

Pure Lakers: No that means Nu Ralik is right!

Jasnah: No all that means is the belief structure for those that prescribed to that belief structure are wrong. It does not make any other entity exist or not exist. Just that specific instance of that specific belief was proven false. Vorinism could just as easily change their definition of the Almighty for it to be valid for them again. Then god exists for them again. They could easily change their definition of the almighty, or say that being is not the almighty, something else must be (like Dalinar). That is where you get different "branches" of faith. For myself god does not exist. So nothing has changed. 

20 hours ago, Debarra said:

 

 

20 hours ago, Debarra said:

 

So you just rewrote what you already wrote that I already responded to, so I guess go back to my last post?

17 hours ago, ChickenLiberty said:

She seems to be defining God as one she considers worthy of determining her morality and deserves to be worshipped. 

Defining it as such would mean that there is a god that exists that does determine morality and deserves to be worshiped. Just that that deity has not been discovered or proven yet. That every proof of the non existence of god, is the proof to a "false" god, and the true "god" that holds to this definition is "still out there". She believes god does not exist, so this would be incorrect. 

To put this portion another way. If someone defines god as determining morality and should be worshiped. Then I can say my lord cat determines morality and should be worshiped. My lord cat exists, and he is mighty as he feasts on friskies. Thus god exists! You said the definition of a god that can determine morality and should be worshiped! I say my lord cat can determine morality and should be worshiped! You see he exists! Ah ha! So you cannot be an atheist anymore! You must now worship my cat! But that is not how it works. I think that my cat determines morality and should be worshiped. That is great for me. That does not mean Jasnah does. To Jasnah God does not exist, so it does not matter whether that I do or do not think that my cat determines morality and should be worshiped. It is not god. And if someone comes along and is able to definitively prove that my cat cannot define morality and should be worshiped, does not mean some other entity can. It does not mean some other entity cannot. All it proves is my cat can't, and I need to re-examine my own faith. To either then prescribe to another faith, or alter my existing to say that my cat is still god, just he can't determine morality. Even though he cannot determine morality, I think he should still be worshiped, so I worship him. Or I decide a bird can do it. Or I decide Yahweh can do it. Or Vishnu. Or Allah. It is all the same to an atheist. 

Edited by Pathfinder
2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Pathfinder said:

Defining it as such would mean that there is a god that exists that does determine morality and deserves to be worshiped. Just that that deity has not been discovered or proven yet. That every proof of the non existence of god, is the proof to a "false" god, and the true "god" that holds to this definition is "still out there". She believes god does not exist, so this would be incorrect. 

I'm confused... I can define "fairy," but I don't think they exist. 

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

57 minutes ago, ChickenLiberty said:

I'm confused... I can define "fairy," but I don't think they exist. 

And I can find 100 other people and cultures with different definitions of fairy than you. What makes your definition correct? It does not exist, so we cannot compare. We cannot take your definition and put it side by side with what a fairy actually is, because it does not exist. So we cannot confirm that your definition is correct or accurate. 

 

edit: to expand on the example. Let us say you define fairy as a tiny woman with wings. Then a tiny woman with wings appears. You say "see! I was right! Right here is one!" Someone from Russia, or Africa, or the Artic will look at you and go "that's not a fairy!". They have a different definition of fairy, so regardless the existence of that "fairy" that you call a fairy, it is still not a fairy. Then let us say the tiny woman with wings is revealed to be the result of a holographic projection (the method or cause is immaterial, just the result) thus proving that thing you called a fairy is not a fairy. That did not suddenly make the Russian, or African, or Inuit right by you being wrong. That does not make their fairys exist any more or less than before. It could just as easily come to pass that their definition of fairy spontaneously appears validating their definition, and then that fairy is definitively proven to not be a fairy invalidating their definition. Just in that instance what your definition of that entity was inaccurate. You either revise that definition so in your mind it is accurate, till it is again potentially revealed to be inaccurate, or you assert fairies do not exist. There will always be a possibility that whatever definition you come up with for fairies will be wrong or disproved. That does not mean fairies exist. It just means that specific definition is proven wrong. 

Edited by Pathfinder
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Jasnah doesn't "have" a religion. She doesn't believe that Honor, or any of the Shards, or even Adonalsium, is a deity. It just means that she believes they are natural beings that do not need to be worshipped. You simply treat them as very powerful beings. That's what atheism essentially is. Even if there was some super powerful being that is capable of shaping planets and creating life, worshipping them is not necessary. Worship is a choice.

Edited by Vissy
3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, ChickenLiberty said:

She seems to be defining God as one she considers worthy of determining her morality and deserves to be worshipped. 

She is a Knight Radiant with a Blade at least. Hence she has sworn at least the third oath. The oaths have been imposed by a Herald whom in turn Honor had created. I am sorry, but if that is the only criterium then Honor is a god. NOw considering the worshipping aspect, well that is of course entirely subjective. Her other attitudes are determined by science. Of course she considers the Allmighty unnecessary. Otherwise she would need to conclude that he exists. But you cannot conclude that something that does not need to exist does not exist. That is just not logical.

18 minutes ago, Vissy said:

Jasnah doesn't "have" a religion. She doesn't believe that Honor, or any of the Shards, or even Adonalsium, is a deity. It just means that she believes they are natural beings that do not need to be worshipped. You simply treat them as very powerful beings. That's what atheism essentially is. Even if there was some super powerful being that is capable of shaping planets and creating life, worshipping them is not necessary. Worship is a choice.

Turning atheism into just another religion by imposing an unfalsifiable condition upon it. One may do so. But for a scientist to do so is distinctly odd.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Oltux72 said:

She is a Knight Radiant with a Blade at least. Hence she has sworn at least the third oath.

This is potentially true and can be verified. 

Quote

The oaths have been imposed by a Herald whom in turn Honor had created.

This we do not know. Some will and have debated this. 

Quote

I am sorry, but if that is the only criterium then Honor is a god.

It is not the only criteria. It is some of the criteria for the Vorin Faith. Jasnah is responding to the Vorin faith. Not her own. Her offering commentary (when pressed) that disproves Vorinism does not mean she would worship a god that can provide morals. She is stating the Vorin god can exist without providing morals. She has no need of it. She at no point says Taravangian cannot worship such a being that to him is god. Just to her it is not.

Quote

NOw considering the worshipping aspect, well that is of course entirely subjective. Her other attitudes are determined by science. Of course she considers the Allmighty unnecessary. Otherwise she would need to conclude that he exists. But you cannot conclude that something that does not need to exist does not exist. That is just not logical.

The existence of the Almighty is entirely subjective. There can always be a sliding scale. Proof this aspect of Vorinism wrong, and the devout can state god is not that, so god still exists. An Atheist asserts god does not exist. So the Almighty can require worship or not, it is still not god. 

Quote

Turning atheism into just another religion by imposing an unfalsifiable condition upon it. One may do so. But for a scientist to do so is distinctly odd.

At what point has Jasnah stated to anyone else, ever, that they are wrong to believe in what they believe in? At what point did she ever tell anyone they are wrong to believe the Almighty is their god? All she has stated is it is not her god. As she cannot have a god, because she believes god does not exist, so she cannot have something that does not exist

To put it another way. If Jasnah were to define what god is, when god does not exist, then it would be asserting a truth that would invalidate other people's definition of god. It would be saying their definition is verifiably wrong, because her definition is right and if your definition is not her definition, then you are wrong. This cannot be true because her definition nor yours can be verifiably right. To which one would respond "then what was she doing with Taravangian?! She said his definition of god was wrong!". No she did not. She stated Taravangian's belief is not her own. You can not verify something that does not exist. You cannot prove a negative. So it would be distinctly odd thing for Jasnah as a scientist to define what she believes god is. She can based on Taravangian's belief structure say why what Taravangian believes in is not god to her, but that does not mean that what Taravangian's god is not, is the definition of god. As there cannot be a definition to that which she believes does not exist. 

Edited by Pathfinder
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel like the last page or so has devolved into extensive and unnecessarily pedantic discussion on what (a)theism is, to the point where I feel it bears very little relevance to the thread's original intent. Maybe I can refocus this by sharing my view, which I've always thought is super obvious, and you can all tell me why it is so wrong that it requires thousand+ words essays?

I've always thought that Jasnah's reaction to Honor's existence would be to 1) readily recognize his existence, 2) acknowledge that he was a Shard, and therefore incredibly powerful, but 3) not accept him (or any of the other Shards) as a god. 

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, Argent said:

I feel like the last page or so has devolved into extensive and unnecessarily pedantic discussion on what (a)theism is, to the point where I feel it bears very little relevance to the thread's original intent. Maybe I can refocus this by sharing my view, which I've always thought is super obvious, and you can all tell me why it is so wrong that it requires thousand+ words essays?

I've always thought that Jasnah's reaction to Honor's existence would be to 1) readily recognize his existence, 2) acknowledge that he was a Shard, and therefore incredibly powerful,

Yes.

46 minutes ago, Argent said:

but 3) not accept him (or any of the other Shards) as a god. 

Feels like a cop out. Her original hypothesis was that he does not exist. It has been disproven. Jasnah is too rigid to react to this with an adaption. There has been new evidence, so believes have to be adjusted.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quick follow up to Argent's post - just a gentle reminder for everyone keep in mind that people will define religious beliefs and lack of religious beliefs differently. There is no one objective definition to any of these beliefs and they can be highly personal depending on the individual. Please be respectful when discussing how religions are defined and remember that someone else’s definition doesn’t invalidate your own or vice versa. The different views and interpretations expressed here can be discussed and explored in regards to Jasnah without any one view being proven to be the most correct.  

My two cents on the topic at hand: I think the fact that the Vessel's of the Shard's can die would be enough for Jasnah to conclude that they're not the equivalent of God. Knowing that she's gaining information about the cosmere from Hoid as well, and likely will hear the story of Adonalsium and how the Shard's came to power, I think this would further her conviction that the Shard's are powerful but not divine beings. 

Overall though, I can see her not looking at the the Shards or Adonalsium in the context of religion and God. She's content with her beliefs and her conversation with Taravangian in WoK says to me that she isn't interested in engaging with the idea of disproving religion as she doesn't see the onus as being on her to do so. I think she'll be highly interested in the Shards from an academic standpoint, but not from a religious one. 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.