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Anarchism in the cosmere

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2 hours ago, Pathfinder said:

I have to check for sure, but here are examples of magic users that have nothing to do with their shard's intent (as in, have to act a certain way in order to use the power)

1. mistborn

2. feruchemist

3. misting

4. ferring

5. hemalurgy

6. forgery

7. bloodsealing (potentially. it seemed to have been presented like forgery. It can be trained and depends on living in an area)

8. dakhor (like hemalurgy, you just have to do the ritual to get powers. nothing requires you to be dominiony to have the power)

9. All the knights radiant for two reasons:

    a. spren do not only bond the higher class. they have bonded peasants, thieves, bridgemen, deserters, and etc. 

    b. following the oaths is determinate on how the individual interprets them. The fact that knights of multiple orders can be on either side of the current conflict and still hold to their oaths proves this as well as WoB supporting it. 

10. awakening

11. sand mastery

 

So personally I do not see anything about the magic systems that require those that use it to be authoritarian and have to prescribe to the shard's way of seeing things. The only one I can really think of are elantrians and that is only because we don't fully know how they are chosen. I feel I remember a WoB as well as a mention in the book that being extra devoted doesn't mean you become an elantrian. Just where you live. 

In terms of anarchism, most of the magic systems you listed are hereditary, which does not help the whole equality bit and one requires murder which I think limits it’s praxis. I can’t speak for the Elantris systems since I haven’t read the books.

For SA, the magic system explicitly penalizes Kaladin for acting against the upper class and it grants god like power to the Kholins. While it may not necessarily be an inherent part of the magic system, in practice this is what it does and I think Honour, with his focus on oaths, militarism, and loyalty, does lean authoritarian in tendency. 

Edited by CamilleDesmoulins
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Posted (edited)

16 hours ago, CamilleDesmoulins said:

In terms of anarchism, most of the magic systems you listed are hereditary, which does not help the whole equality bit and one requires murder which I think limits it’s praxis. I can’t speak for the Elantris systems since I haven’t read the books.

For SA, the magic system explicitly penalizes Kaladin for acting against the upper class and it grants god like power to the Kholins. While it may not necessarily be an inherent part of the magic system, in practice this is what it does and I think Honour, with his focus on oaths, militarism, and loyalty, does lean authoritarian in tendency. 

So the reason I listed the magic systems I did was in response to the belief that the shard they are associated with as a national religion would employ these abilities as a means of control on society. I was presenting that the means of attaining as well as the maintenance of these abilities prevents that.

Now having said that, let us take the examples of hereditary magic, such as mistborn/feruchemists/ferrings/mistings. After the end of the world, there was a significantly smaller population left over to re-populate the world. Wax even comments to Wayne how it is because of all the intermarrying with such a small population, everyone in modern day is in one manner or another related. That Wax, a noble, bears some relation to Wayne, working class. Further we have WoB stating that the mistborn and feruchemical traits have diluted as much as they are going to. It has reached a form of homeostasis. Edward Ladrian had no powers to speak of. Other noble families mentioned at the parties lacked any abilities. There hasn't been a mistborn in hundreds of years. So although the society applies preference to employing the metalurgically abled as it were, the nobility is not purely based on having abilities. If anything the nobility was built around the houses of individuals that were close to Vin and Elend. That is no different than a war hero in european countries being awarded land and a title, that the issue of that estate could ride on for some time. So my point is the nobility is more by association than magical ability. As to the murder portion, the point is anyone theoretically could do it. Noble, or pauper. All you need to know is the proper bind points. 

For SA, I disagree. the magic system penalizes Kaladin for acting against his own personal interpretation of his oaths. He felt he made an oath to Dalinar to protect Elhokar. He then agreed with Moash to kill Elhokar. Hence the problem. To take an extreme example and fall to Godwin's law, windrunners could have been just as easily been on the nazi side as on the allied side. All based on the perspective of the knight. I would go into detail into the rationale but I do not want to digress. Suffice it to say, being a windrunner does not require you to obey or maintain royalty. And that is not even counting all the other orders of knights that are under no compunction to do so either. 

I think the issue is Honor is being lumped in with Vorinism. The belief structure and functioning of the knights radiant in ancient times is really quite different than the Vorinism we see in modern times. Classical knights radiant did not care whether you were male or female. If you wanted to fight, you could fight. Classical knights radiant saw fighting as a burden one voluntarily undertakes. A burden that must be trained to help handle. Not something to pursue for the sake of "being the best". In books as well as in WoB, many knights radiant did not fight. It didn't even matter if the order you belonged to had an especially destructive ability. It was not automatically expected that you would be martially inclined, nor were you forced to do so. At Tanavast's end, he was more focused on keeping to the express letter of an oath, than anything to do with the actual content. That can thereby be applied to anything. You could make an oath to never obey anyone. You could make an oath that all governments are bad. So long as you keep to it, honor gives you a thumbs up. 

edit: Ah yes and one more thing. It has been covered in WoB as to why the Kholins are mostly radiants and it has nothing to do with them being royalty. Alethkar had a higher concentration of radiant spren because of its historical location being where most radiants set up shop other than Urithiru. Secondly, spren tend towards individuals involved in "big" things, insofar as can take action to effect change. A peasant from a farm community in the middle of no where became the first windrunner in ages. Finally spren tend to bond into families already with a radiant, not because the family is now royalty, but because if your father is a radiant, you can assume the parent is going to impart at least some of his beliefs onto his child. Which would then cause the child to lend towards the behavior most likely to attract that kind of spren. But it is not always so. A father windrunner, could have a kid that bonds an elsecaller spren. Or no spren at all. 

(adding the WoB as I pull them up)

 

Questioner

Why are there so many Kholins that are Radiants? Is there a story reason or...

Brandon Sanderson

There is a story reason, kind of. So the Kholin family is in Alethkar, which was the hereditary-- one of the homes of the Knights Radiant. It's still kind of in the forefront of the-- how shall we say-- the collective unconscious and things like this. Plus there's--

Questioner

And then they are on the forefront of that.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. I mean-- Yeah. And so the spren, some of them are naturally looking for where a lot of Radiants used to be. So it's just a higher concentration of spren around the area, if that makes sense?

Shadows of Self London UK signing (Oct. 19, 2015)

 

 

Argent (paraphrased)

Did all orders of Knights Radiants use Shardplate?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

It was available to all of them, and they could (all) use it. Many Knights (not Orders) chose not to. There were Knights who were not soldiers and had not interest in wearing Shardplate.

Steelheart Chicago signing (Oct. 1, 2013)

 

 

Soni

Is there a reason for why so many early Radiants were family? Including theorized ones, we have Tien and Kaladin, Jasnah and Elhokar, Dalinar and Renarin, Shallan and Helaran...

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, so I can give you the "how the sausage is made," I call this the narrative reason vs the in-world reason. I can give you both.

In-world reasoning is that, when these bonds are forming, these human beings have bonds to other people, and that naturally leads the spren along those bonds. When Kaladin is forming a bond with a windspren [honorspren], and windspren [honorspren] start looking, or even other sapient spren start looking for people, they're going to notice. Remember, they're coming into the Physical Realm, it's very hard for them. They're doing this partially from the Cognitive Realm, searching and trying to get pulled through by the attention and the bond that is forming. They're naturally led to other people who are related. You could even say that, because of Tien, Syl found Kaladin.

I built this in for a narrative reason, and the narrative reason is: we generally are going to want to have a larger than average number of people among the core characters, who are involved in the magic system, and involved in the narrative. Because the magic system is so important in my books, I knew that I was gonna have a lot of friends and family of main characters end up with spren bonds.

But I don't think this is unusual. In fact, I think this is more true to life. It's not one of those coincidences we make up for a book; it's one of those coincidences that happens in life that seems unusual. It seems unusual if you look at it and say, "There are five people who became full-time in the publishing industry during the year Brandon was a senior at BYU. And they are all friends; in fact, they were all friends before they got published." This seems unusual; like, why didn't anyone else? There is nobody else that I know that broke in into the industry from that year. Maybe it happened, but nobody I knew who wasn't in our immediate friend group. Well, this is not that surprising if you actually look at it, because when one person breaks in, it becomes so much easier for everyone else that knew that person. Not just for networking reasons. (Networking reasons: obvious). The other obvious one is: the people are gonna know each other because they're all gonna be moving in the same circles, looking for each other without knowing it. They're gonna be looking for other good writers, and they're gonna be making connections with them. They're gonna notice when people ask questions in a class that are the right kinds of questions to be asking about getting published.

But even beyond those two things, once I broke in, Dan Wells has said before he realized, "Brandon did this; this is real. He actually did this. I can do this." And indeed, he went and broke in. Once this thing that seems impossible, whether it's becoming a full time novelist, or forming a spren bond and becoming a Knight Radiant; once you've seen somebody do it, it becomes way easier for you to conceive of yourself doing it. This is why C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien were in the same writing group. This is why you see this sort of thing happening all around the world and in all sorts of professions, that people who were friends together... Every time that people are like, "Wow, these three major Hollywood stars knew each other in high school." Well, yes, that is actually more likely to happen than not, because of all these reasons I've talked about.

YouTube Livestream 23 (Dec. 17, 2020) Edited by Pathfinder
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Posted (edited)

 

On 25/08/2021 at 1:24 AM, Oltux72 said:

Now you are discussing the ethics. But the point was the practical implications.

I have never sad that. To reduce confusion let me again restate what I said.

In the Cosmere the Shards are real and they have real powers and, most importantly, can grant extreme powers to their followers. Just consider the atrocities Paalm managed with a few spikes of trellium. Now from an ethical view point you would say that the people can believe what they want but are obliged to heed the law. But you need to enforce that. And you need to enforce it in a situation where belief can grant arcane powers. Hence I said that the dominant religion can't afford to grant religious freedom due to security reasons. Ethics never came into play.

I think there's a probably a few things to untangle. This moves the goal posts, because I think there's a few incorrect assumptions. It's worth threading this back from your beginning points about freedom of religion and understanding how we got here.

On 17/08/2021 at 6:59 AM, Oltux72 said:

I am afraid the term you are looking for would be secularism. In the Cosmere religion is partially a matter of empirical and natural sciences. They cannot have what we would term freedom of religion. If you pray to Odium on Roshar, if you are human you are a traitor and the other way round. But while the existance and commandments of the deities are a matter of science, the question whether humans should heed Shardic commandments is political.

 

On 19/08/2021 at 7:50 PM, Oltux72 said:

But they do. Allowing people on your wold to give allegiance to other Shards would give those Shards agents in your home base. You cannot allow that.

The argument that you're making is that freedom of religion is impossible in the Cosmere, and you've essentially combined religion and the Shards. But this doesn't work with an actual definition of freedom of religion and that's why these debates about definition and ethics are coming up.

We know for example that the majority of shard worlds contain a plurality of religions with a varying degree of freedom of practice that is not unlike our own history considering the religious sectarianism on Nalthis and Sel, the more pluralist experience on Scadrial, or in between experiences like Roshar where atheism and other religious practices (for e.g Horneaters) are permissible if disdained. There's no reason that the peoples of the Cosmere can't experience freedom of religion as we understand it since many of these conflicts seem as much driven by feudalism and sectarianism as anything else, and that's a very human problem.

Even in circumstances where Shards actively intervene as religious figures a measure of the religious freedom principle does remain intact. Sazed stewards a world where the most popular figure of worship is Kelsier who has dramatically changed the trajectory of South Scadrial (granted extreme powers as it were), and despite his mild disapproval he allows it, and he only begins to intervene in regards to Trell's violent incursion which is a matter of invasion not worship. On Roshar we have Cultivation as a marginal figure of worship at best amongst humanoids with the majority of people worshipping either spren, a splintered shard, a rival imprisoned shard, or some combination. The issues you've cited from your examples are not a given even if they are possible.

Your examples and arguments about Shards making freedom of religion impossible therefore only really holds in the very specific situation where there are at least two Shards in one society and they are violently in opposition to one another and are actively involving themselves in religious practices. As we know that not all planets have Shards let alone multiple ones, not all Shards are violently in opposition to each other, and not all are inclined to religious activity, then this argument doesn't really work.

Edited by Proletariat
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16 hours ago, CamilleDesmoulins said:

For SA, the magic system explicitly penalizes Kaladin for acting against the upper class

No it really doesn't

16 hours ago, CamilleDesmoulins said:

it grants god like power to the Kholins.

The same way it would for any other family

16 hours ago, CamilleDesmoulins said:

While it may not necessarily be an inherent part of the magic system, in practice this is what it does and I think Honour, with his focus on oaths, militarism, and loyalty, does lean authoritarian in tendency. 

Well so do humans.

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2 hours ago, Proletariat said:

On Roshar we have Cultivation as a marginal figure of worship at best amongst humanoids

Supposedly she's worshiped more out in the west, though we haven't actually seen this yet despite Jasnah saying it so who knows

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8 hours ago, Pathfinder said:

So the reason I listed the magic systems I did was in response to the belief that the shard they are associated with as a national religion would employ these abilities as a means of control on society. I was presenting that the means of attaining as well as the maintenance of these abilities prevents that.

So it is true that not all magic systems necessarily facilitate an Intent based dictatorship, but the other systems you listed simply facilitate other types of tyranny: aristocracy for feruchemy and allomancy, and some kind of murderous state for hemalurgy. In fact, we already see that play out in the final empire. Obviously not every noble is an allomancer and vice versa but allomantic bloodlines legitimize nobility.
 

8 hours ago, Pathfinder said:

For SA, I disagree. the magic system penalizes Kaladin for acting against his own personal interpretation of his oaths. He felt he made an oath to Dalinar to protect Elhokar. He then agreed with Moash to kill Elhokar. Hence the problem. To take an extreme example and fall to Godwin's law, windrunners could have been just as easily been on the nazi side as on the allied side. All based on the perspective of the knight. I would go into detail into the rationale but I do not want to digress. Suffice it to say, being a windrunner does not require you to obey or maintain royalty. And that is not even counting all the other orders of knights that are under no compunction to do so either. 

I think the issue is Honor is being lumped in with Vorinism. The belief structure and functioning of the knights radiant in ancient times is really quite different than the Vorinism we see in modern times. Classical knights radiant did not care whether you were male or female. If you wanted to fight, you could fight. Classical knights radiant saw fighting as a burden one voluntarily undertakes. A burden that must be trained to help handle. Not something to pursue for the sake of "being the best". In books as well as in WoB, many knights radiant did not fight. It didn't even matter if the order you belonged to had an especially destructive ability. It was not automatically expected that you would be martially inclined, nor were you forced to do so. At Tanavast's end, he was more focused on keeping to the express letter of an oath, than anything to do with the actual content. That can thereby be applied to anything. You could make an oath to never obey anyone. You could make an oath that all governments are bad. So long as you keep to it, honor gives you a thumbs up. 

edit: Ah yes and one more thing. It has been covered in WoB as to why the Kholins are mostly radiants and it has nothing to do with them being royalty. Alethkar had a higher concentration of radiant spren because of its historical location being where most radiants set up shop other than Urithiru. Secondly, spren tend towards individuals involved in "big" things, insofar as can take action to effect change. A peasant from a farm community in the middle of no where became the first windrunner in ages. Finally spren tend to bond into families already with a radiant, not because the family is now royalty, but because if your father is a radiant, you can assume the parent is going to impart at least some of his beliefs onto his child. Which would then cause the child to lend towards the behavior most likely to attract that kind of spren. But it is not always so. A father windrunner, could have a kid that bonds an elsecaller spren. Or no spren at all. 

(adding the WoB as I pull them up)

 

Questioner

Why are there so many Kholins that are Radiants? Is there a story reason or...

Brandon Sanderson

There is a story reason, kind of. So the Kholin family is in Alethkar, which was the hereditary-- one of the homes of the Knights Radiant. It's still kind of in the forefront of the-- how shall we say-- the collective unconscious and things like this. Plus there's--

Questioner

And then they are on the forefront of that.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. I mean-- Yeah. And so the spren, some of them are naturally looking for where a lot of Radiants used to be. So it's just a higher concentration of spren around the area, if that makes sense?

Shadows of Self London UK signing (Oct. 19, 2015)

 

 

Argent (paraphrased)

Did all orders of Knights Radiants use Shardplate?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

It was available to all of them, and they could (all) use it. Many Knights (not Orders) chose not to. There were Knights who were not soldiers and had not interest in wearing Shardplate.

Steelheart Chicago signing (Oct. 1, 2013)

 

 

Soni

Is there a reason for why so many early Radiants were family? Including theorized ones, we have Tien and Kaladin, Jasnah and Elhokar, Dalinar and Renarin, Shallan and Helaran...

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, so I can give you the "how the sausage is made," I call this the narrative reason vs the in-world reason. I can give you both.

In-world reasoning is that, when these bonds are forming, these human beings have bonds to other people, and that naturally leads the spren along those bonds. When Kaladin is forming a bond with a windspren [honorspren], and windspren [honorspren] start looking, or even other sapient spren start looking for people, they're going to notice. Remember, they're coming into the Physical Realm, it's very hard for them. They're doing this partially from the Cognitive Realm, searching and trying to get pulled through by the attention and the bond that is forming. They're naturally led to other people who are related. You could even say that, because of Tien, Syl found Kaladin.

I built this in for a narrative reason, and the narrative reason is: we generally are going to want to have a larger than average number of people among the core characters, who are involved in the magic system, and involved in the narrative. Because the magic system is so important in my books, I knew that I was gonna have a lot of friends and family of main characters end up with spren bonds.

But I don't think this is unusual. In fact, I think this is more true to life. It's not one of those coincidences we make up for a book; it's one of those coincidences that happens in life that seems unusual. It seems unusual if you look at it and say, "There are five people who became full-time in the publishing industry during the year Brandon was a senior at BYU. And they are all friends; in fact, they were all friends before they got published." This seems unusual; like, why didn't anyone else? There is nobody else that I know that broke in into the industry from that year. Maybe it happened, but nobody I knew who wasn't in our immediate friend group. Well, this is not that surprising if you actually look at it, because when one person breaks in, it becomes so much easier for everyone else that knew that person. Not just for networking reasons. (Networking reasons: obvious). The other obvious one is: the people are gonna know each other because they're all gonna be moving in the same circles, looking for each other without knowing it. They're gonna be looking for other good writers, and they're gonna be making connections with them. They're gonna notice when people ask questions in a class that are the right kinds of questions to be asking about getting published.

But even beyond those two things, once I broke in, Dan Wells has said before he realized, "Brandon did this; this is real. He actually did this. I can do this." And indeed, he went and broke in. Once this thing that seems impossible, whether it's becoming a full time novelist, or forming a spren bond and becoming a Knight Radiant; once you've seen somebody do it, it becomes way easier for you to conceive of yourself doing it. This is why C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien were in the same writing group. This is why you see this sort of thing happening all around the world and in all sorts of professions, that people who were friends together... Every time that people are like, "Wow, these three major Hollywood stars knew each other in high school." Well, yes, that is actually more likely to happen than not, because of all these reasons I've talked about.

YouTube Livestream 23 (Dec. 17, 2020)

So I don’t think Brandon or Honour intentionally  decided to promote tyranny but this is definitely what the revival of the Knights Radiants ended up doing by vesting power in the ruling class. Stormfather himself seems to be pretty authoritarian in general, since he was okay with Dalinar burning Rathalas for rebellion.

Kaladin had to have a reason for deciding something was right or wrong, and obviously Kaladin’s reasoning (unstated though it may be) aligns with the honourspren’s, since he is basically the archetypal windrunner. So I don’t think we can say “it’s just Kaladin following his heart”. Even if his reasoning was unstated, he evidently had some reasoning, which precluded him from violence against the state but not for it.

Also, a system which awards power to the friends and family of the powerful is inherently nepotistic and contrary to equality.

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1 hour ago, CamilleDesmoulins said:

So it is true that not all magic systems necessarily facilitate an Intent based dictatorship, but the other systems you listed simply facilitate other types of tyranny: aristocracy for feruchemy and allomancy, and some kind of murderous state for hemalurgy. In fact, we already see that play out in the final empire. Obviously not every noble is an allomancer and vice versa but allomantic bloodlines legitimize nobility.
 

Except in the books as I showed with Wax and Wayne, the powers are so diluted, and everyone is related, so the aristocracy is associated with houses close to the saviors of the world. Not individuals with allomancy or feruchemy. Anyone with the know how can conduct hemalurgy. It has no connection to your status monetarily wise. 

1 hour ago, CamilleDesmoulins said:

So I don’t think Brandon or Honour intentionally  decided to promote tyranny but this is definitely what the revival of the Knights Radiants ended up doing by vesting power in the ruling class. Stormfather himself seems to be pretty authoritarian in general, since he was okay with Dalinar burning Rathalas for rebellion.

Kaladin was a doctor's son from a backwater village. Lift was a thief. Ym was a shoemaker. Stump ran an orphanage. Vathah was a deserter. Radiants continue to pop up across the globe, from other walks of life. The WoB showed it had nothing to do with royalty or nobility. It had to do with location, and association. People that tend to exemplify windrunner ideals tend to hang out with each other. Same thing with lightweavers, and elsecallers, and willshapers and edgedancers, and etc. The first radiant to truly "pop up" was Kaladin. 

You can certainly interpret the sprens actions in whatever light you wish. Personally I disagree. And I am not touching Dalinar and Rathalas with a 10 foot pole

1 hour ago, CamilleDesmoulins said:

Kaladin had to have a reason for deciding something was right or wrong, and obviously Kaladin’s reasoning (unstated though it may be) aligns with the honourspren’s, since he is basically the archetypal windrunner. So I don’t think we can say “it’s just Kaladin following his heart”. Even if his reasoning was unstated, he evidently had some reasoning, which precluded him from violence against the state but not for it.

Also, a system which awards power to the friends and family of the powerful is inherently nepotistic and contrary to equality.

Kaladin and Syl stated in the book why the oath was nearly broken. It is because he gave an oath to Dalinar to protect Elhokar. Then he made an oath to Moash to let Elhokar die. Hence the conflict. Had nothing to do with the fact that Elhokar was a king, and Dalinar was royalty. 

People on both sides of a war will want to protect. People on both sides of a war will feel their cause is just. People on both sides of a war will feel like their own people are vulnerable. What is seen as evil by one side, is understandable and worthy of defending by the other. It was Kaladin's entire arc. 

It rewards those who hold similar values. Those values are not themselves intrinsically authoritarian. They can be interpreted by some individuals and represented as such, but that is not indicative of the structure. 

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13 minutes ago, Pathfinder said:

Except in the books as I showed with Wax and Wayne, the powers are so diluted, and everyone is related, so the aristocracy is associated with houses close to the saviors of the world. Not individuals with allomancy or feruchemy. Anyone with the know how can conduct hemalurgy. It has no connection to your status monetarily wise. 

I don’t think it’s true that a noble is just as likely to become an allomancer than a skaa, and a bloodline power inherently lends itself to formation of an aristocracy.

58 minutes ago, Pathfinder said:

Kaladin was a doctor's son from a backwater village. Lift was a thief. Ym was a shoemaker. Stump ran an orphanage. Vathah was a deserter. Radiants continue to pop up across the globe, from other walks of life. The WoB showed it had nothing to do with royalty or nobility. It had to do with location, and association. People that tend to exemplify windrunner ideals tend to hang out with each other. Same thing with lightweavers, and elsecallers, and willshapers and edgedancers, and etc. The first radiant to truly "pop up" was Kaladin. 

It doesn’t matter what class they belong or belonged to, what matters is the class they currently fight for, and all of them currently fight for the aristocracy. Also, again, a system which gives power to the associates of the powerful is inherently nepotistic and contrary to equality.

 

1 hour ago, Pathfinder said:

You can certainly interpret the sprens actions in whatever light you wish. Personally I disagree. And I am not touching Dalinar and Rathalas with a 10 foot pole

Kaladin and Syl stated in the book why the oath was nearly broken. It is because he gave an oath to Dalinar to protect Elhokar. Then he made an oath to Moash to let Elhokar die. Hence the conflict. Had nothing to do with the fact that Elhokar was a king, and Dalinar was royalty. 

People on both sides of a war will want to protect. People on both sides of a war will feel their cause is just. People on both sides of a war will feel like their own people are vulnerable. What is seen as evil by one side, is understandable and worthy of defending by the other. It was Kaladin's entire arc. 

It rewards those who hold similar values. Those values are not themselves intrinsically authoritarian. They can be interpreted by some individuals and represented as such, but that is not indicative of the structure. 

Alright so why did Kaladin swear to Dalinar to protect Elhokar? It was because Dalinar was in a position of power over Kaladin; that is the nature of most feudal oaths. Peasants swear fealty to the lord, who swears fealty to the King, etc., A system which is based on enforcement of and adherence to existing social obligations and power dynamics is inherently reactionary and in the world of SA (and our own) that is authoritarian.

As for Kaladin’s arc about who to protect, I feel like that is largely unfinished or aborted, since Kaladin decides to continue to protect the powers that be, even after the encounter with the Singers. Why not protect the darkeyes from Kholin tyranny? Why not protect the Listeners the Kholins were slaughtering? By choosing to protect the existing power dynamic, Kaladin was actively harming more marginalized groups and that is just never addressed.

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2 hours ago, CamilleDesmoulins said:

I don’t think it’s true that a noble is just as likely to become an allomancer than a skaa, and a bloodline power inherently lends itself to formation of an aristocracy.

As of Era 2 it is. As I said, as per WoB and the book everyone is related. The genes have diluted as much as they are going to. Its been confirmed. 

2 hours ago, CamilleDesmoulins said:

It doesn’t matter what class they belong or belonged to, what matters is the class they currently fight for, and all of them currently fight for the aristocracy. Also, again, a system which gives power to the associates of the powerful is inherently nepotistic and contrary to equality.

See you keep saying that, but as I mentioned before, what about Lift? Ym? Vathah? and so on? 

Associates of radiants. Doesn't matter whether they are rich or not. Kaladin was a bridgeman, amongst the lowest of the low. The rest of the bridgecrew's association led to them bonding spren. 

2 hours ago, CamilleDesmoulins said:

Alright so why did Kaladin swear to Dalinar to protect Elhokar? It was because Dalinar was in a position of power over Kaladin; that is the nature of most feudal oaths. Peasants swear fealty to the lord, who swears fealty to the King, etc., A system which is based on enforcement of and adherence to existing social obligations and power dynamics is inherently reactionary and in the world of SA (and our own) that is authoritarian.

Dalinar said Kaladin and his men were free to go. Kaladin could have walked away. No power over him. Also if you recall Kaladin specified that he swore to Dalinar, not the kingdom. There was a rather in depth convo on the subject. 

Again, it seems like you are focused on Vorinism, not the knights radiant. If you take issue with that religion, then totally to each their own. But regarding the knights radiant of old, that is not how things worked. 

2 hours ago, CamilleDesmoulins said:

As for Kaladin’s arc about who to protect, I feel like that is largely unfinished or aborted, since Kaladin decides to continue to protect the powers that be, even after the encounter with the Singers. Why not protect the darkeyes from Kholin tyranny? Why not protect the Listeners the Kholins were slaughtering? By choosing to protect the existing power dynamic, Kaladin was actively harming more marginalized groups and that is just never addressed.

You are totally entitled to feel however you wish about his arc. For me, that still doesn't change the nature of the knights radiant. 

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8 hours ago, CamilleDesmoulins said:

I don’t think it’s true that a noble is just as likely to become an allomancer than a skaa, and a bloodline power inherently lends itself to formation of an aristocracy.

I'm not sure this is a huge obstacle given that the metallic arts can already be used via feruchemical fabrials. As a result there might be some people who are more adept at using them (the rare person who can use multiple abilities on their own), but if the technology is democratised than there's no reason it'd be anything different than having an education in a specific field like a nurse as opposed to a teacher or a mechanic. 

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On 26.8.2021 at 3:18 PM, Proletariat said:

The argument that you're making is that freedom of religion is impossible in the Cosmere, and you've essentially combined religion and the Shards. But this doesn't work with an actual definition of freedom of religion and that's why these debates about definition and ethics are coming up.

The Shards are the major religions of the Cosmere. Even Survivorism, as Preservation let Kelsier continue. They uniformly see themselves as gods.

On 26.8.2021 at 3:18 PM, Proletariat said:

We know for example that the majority of shard worlds contain a plurality of religions with a varying degree of freedom of practice that is not unlike our own history considering the religious sectarianism on Nalthis and Sel, the more pluralist experience on Scadrial, or in between experiences like Roshar where atheism and other religious practices (for e.g Horneaters) are permissible if disdained. There's no reason that the peoples of the Cosmere can't experience freedom of religion as we understand it since many of these conflicts seem as much driven by feudalism and sectarianism as anything else, and that's a very human problem.

Freedom of religion does not come with a list of permissible or inpermissible religions.

 

On 27.8.2021 at 4:18 AM, Pathfinder said:

As of Era 2 it is. As I said, as per WoB and the book everyone is related. The genes have diluted as much as they are going to. Its been confirmed. 

Well, no. If that were the case the Set's plan that involves abducting women closely related to the Lord Mistborn wouldn't make sense.

On 27.8.2021 at 4:18 AM, Pathfinder said:

See you keep saying that, but as I mentioned before, what about Lift? Ym? Vathah? and so on? 

Five Kholins and one spouse of a Kholin? Out of millions of people on Roshar?

On 27.8.2021 at 4:18 AM, Pathfinder said:

Associates of radiants. Doesn't matter whether they are rich or not. Kaladin was a bridgeman, amongst the lowest of the low. The rest of the bridgecrew's association led to them bonding spren.

Before that he was a doctor's son. Upper middle class I'd say.

 

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42 minutes ago, Oltux72 said:

Even Survivorism, as Preservation let Kelsier continue.

Survivorism grew out of Kelsier's (intended) sacrifice as a martyr, not his preservation. The faith is, as far as we know, wholly unconnected to his actual persisting.

44 minutes ago, Oltux72 said:

They uniformly see themselves as gods.

I don't think that's a statement we can make so certainly, we've not met all the Vessels yet.

47 minutes ago, Oltux72 said:

If that were the case the Set's plan that involves abducting women closely related to the Lord Mistborn wouldn't make sense.

Yes, it's not that the genes are distributed across the entire population, just that the level of power won't dilute more.

50 minutes ago, Oltux72 said:

Five Kholins and one spouse of a Kholin? Out of millions of people on Roshar?

And a bunch of people who aren't Kholins. 

Shallan should be discounted (assuming that she's the spouse) as she was Radiant before her marriage was even thought of, ergo her radiance is not tied to the Kholin family.

I'm not saying that the Kholin cluster of Radiants doesn't look anomalous, but we've really not seen how bonds are developing at large, so it might be that a lot of people suddenly find themselves with a spren once a family member has sworn some oaths.

Also, pretty much every surviving member of Bridge 4 bonded a spren, which is also a weird statistical cluster of people with a close connection.

1 hour ago, Oltux72 said:

Before that he was a doctor's son.

Pedantry, surgeon's son.

Do you know what he wasn't as a surgeon's apprentice? A Windrunner.

1 hour ago, Oltux72 said:

Upper middle class I'd say.

Ohh, this is interesting, because social class is wonky under Vorinism.

We know Kaladin was a citizen, so someone with rights, of the next highest rank within the lower class.

We know that he could have theoretically married low nobility.

So far, so good.

However, according to the highly available Wikipedia:

Screenshot_20210828-130235_Chrome.thumb.jpg.599f2df47a0732a89e0efd2009fc5149.jpg

I think that Lirin's household would not qualify for comfortable income.

I think Lirin wanted Kaladin to attain something like upper middle class, getting properly educated in fancy abroads parts and all, but he never got there, on account of joining the army.

I'd hazard middle class, personally, though it's somewhat complicated by the fact that Lighteyes of poorer economic standing still have a higher status and such.

The whole Lighteyes/Darkeyes setup complicates the middle social rung especially.

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

 

The Shards are the major religions of the Cosmere. Even Survivorism, as Preservation let Kelsier continue. They uniformly see themselves as gods.

Freedom of religion does not come with a list of permissible or inpermissible religions.

The evidence for this assertion seems a bit weak. There are no known religions built around Endowment on Nalthis. The majority of religious people on Scadrial worship Kelsier, not Sazed. Cultivation was the only active Shard on Roshar for some time and wasn't a mainstream figure of worship. Autonomy is worshipped on Taldain, but equally it seems like Autonomy is not worshipped in the Drominad system. Obviously the situation is more complicated with dead Shards as in the situations of Threnody and Sel. Having power and being the centre of a religion are not the same thing.

And no, but you don't have to have a society without any expectation about behaviours in order to have freedom of religion. It's still freedom of religion even if far right Christians can't ban gay people from school, right. Freedom of religion is not the freedom to impose religion on others.

 

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Posted (edited)

5 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

 

The Shards are the major religions of the Cosmere. Even Survivorism, as Preservation let Kelsier continue. They uniformly see themselves as gods.

They are not the major religions. The court of gods was the major religion of nalthis. The two major religions of sel speak nothing of the shards. The steel inquisition was a major religion for ages but no mention of preservation and ruin.

Quote

Freedom of religion does not come with a list of permissible or inpermissible religions.

But it does come with societal regulations.

Quote

Well, no. If that were the case the Set's plan that involves abducting women closely related to the Lord Mistborn wouldn't make sense.

It didnt make sense. Wax said as much. And its confirmed not to be the reason at the end of the book 

 

"Waxillium closed his eyes, feeling a dread. I’ve been chasing chickens this entire time, he realized. While someone stole the horses.

It wasn’t about robberies, or even kidnappings. It was insurance fraud.

“We needed only the temporary disappearance of goods,” Edwarn said. “And everything has worked out perfectly. Thank you.”

 

Quote

Five Kholins and one spouse of a Kholin? Out of millions of people on Roshar?

And what about the individuals i mentioned?

Quote

Before that he was a doctor's son. Upper middle class I'd say.

 

Nope. They were in a farming town in the middle of no where.

Edited by Pathfinder
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52 minutes ago, Pathfinder said:

The two major religions of sel

The two major religions of a few countries on Sel, it should be noted. The Dula religion is vaguely based on the Dor but doesn't seem to grasp its true nature, the Mysteries don't seem to have much to do with anything real besides in name, the MaiPon religion doesn't seem to be connected to the Shards at all (from the little we know), the dominant religion in the Rose Empire doesn't seem to have to do with the Shards at all (from the little we know), Shu-Keseg doesn't seem to have much to do with the Shards (its child religions vaguely align with the Intents, but don't really seem to have much to do with the actual Shards beyond that, and the base Shu-Keseg itself doesn't seem to align even in that way), etc.

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6 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

The Shards are the major religions of the Cosmere. Even Survivorism, as Preservation let Kelsier continue. They uniformly see themselves as gods.

A third of Sel practices a religion untied to a Shard, and Sel is the largest Cosmere world by population.

6 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

Five Kholins and one spouse of a Kholin? Out of millions of people on Roshar?

Once Gavilar started down the path to Bondsmith it became much easier for his family to be bonded.

I see this complaint all the time but we have WoB's saying why it works that way.

Spoiler

Soni

Is there a reason for why so many early Radiants were family? Including theorized ones, we have Tien and Kaladin, Jasnah and Elhokar, Dalinar and Renarin, Shallan and Helaran...

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, so I can give you the "how the sausage is made," I call this the narrative reason vs the in-world reason. I can give you both.

In-world reasoning is that, when these bonds are forming, these human beings have bonds to other people, and that naturally leads the spren along those bonds. When Kaladin is forming a bond with a windspren [honorspren], and windspren [honorspren] start looking, or even other sapient spren start looking for people, they're going to notice. Remember, they're coming into the Physical Realm, it's very hard for them. They're doing this partially from the Cognitive Realm, searching and trying to get pulled through by the attention and the bond that is forming. They're naturally led to other people who are related. You could even say that, because of Tien, Syl found Kaladin.

I built this in for a narrative reason, and the narrative reason is: we generally are going to want to have a larger than average number of people among the core characters, who are involved in the magic system, and involved in the narrative. Because the magic system is so important in my books, I knew that I was gonna have a lot of friends and family of main characters end up with spren bonds.

But I don't think this is unusual. In fact, I think this is more true to life. It's not one of those coincidences we make up for a book; it's one of those coincidences that happens in life that seems unusual. It seems unusual if you look at it and say, "There are five people who became full-time in the publishing industry during the year Brandon was a senior at BYU. And they are all friends; in fact, they were all friends before they got published." This seems unusual; like, why didn't anyone else? There is nobody else that I know that broke in into the industry from that year. Maybe it happened, but nobody I knew who wasn't in our immediate friend group. Well, this is not that surprising if you actually look at it, because when one person breaks in, it becomes so much easier for everyone else that knew that person. Not just for networking reasons. (Networking reasons: obvious). The other obvious one is: the people are gonna know each other because they're all gonna be moving in the same circles, looking for each other without knowing it. They're gonna be looking for other good writers, and they're gonna be making connections with them. They're gonna notice when people ask questions in a class that are the right kinds of questions to be asking about getting published.

But even beyond those two things, once I broke in, Dan Wells has said before he realized, "Brandon did this; this is real. He actually did this. I can do this." And indeed, he went and broke in. Once this thing that seems impossible, whether it's becoming a full time novelist, or forming a spren bond and becoming a Knight Radiant; once you've seen somebody do it, it becomes way easier for you to conceive of yourself doing it. This is why C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien were in the same writing group. This is why you see this sort of thing happening all around the world and in all sorts of professions, that people who were friends together... Every time that people are like, "Wow, these three major Hollywood stars knew each other in high school." Well, yes, that is actually more likely to happen than not, because of all these reasons I've talked about.

YouTube Livestream 23 (Dec. 17, 2020)

 

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1 hour ago, Pathfinder said:

It didnt make sense. Wax said as much. And its confirmed not to be the reason at the end of the book 

I'd argue that the quoted section doesn't invalidate the presumed plan.

It doesn't make sense for Wax to conclude that the plan is to breed allomancers if there's no basis for the conclusion.

If any random pregnancy is just as likely to produce an allomancer then why is that seen as a plausible motive?

Also, the kidnappings were legit, IIRC, it's not like they were just a smokescreen for the insurance fraud.

1 hour ago, Pathfinder said:

The steel inquisition was a major religion for ages but no mention of preservation and ruin.

Building on this, in Secret History Leras mentions that Ati is changing "our religion," (or something like that) implying that the Terris religion on Classical Scadrial was started by the Shards, but from the few glimpses we get it doesn't seem like it was exactly a majority faith, even if their prophecy became a big deal.

And even then, in however many thousand years, they apparently only started one religion, which doesn't really scream "WE ARE THE TRUE GODS, WORSHIP US EXCLUSIVELY!" 

1 hour ago, Pathfinder said:

Nope. They were in a farming town in the middle of no where.

Indeed

Moash's grandparents, being silversmiths in the capital, might be a better pick than the overqualified backwater surgeon, though as I observed earlier, social class gets complicated under Vorinism.

 

 

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37 minutes ago, Inquisitor #5 said:

in Secret History Leras mentions that Ati is changing "our religion," (or something like that) implying that the Terris religion on Classical Scadrial was started by the Shards

This line is actually rather interesting to me, because the Terris religion is very strongly focused on Preservation being good and Ruin being bad — they have prophecies about the Hero as an heir to Preservation, the very name of the religion comes from their word for “to preserve” ("Terr"), their core tenet was about preserving over destroying, etc. So Leras ranting at Ati saying "you make our religion all about you"... doesn't actually make sense in the context of the Terris religion, and in fact is what Leras himself did to it. So is there a version of their ancient co-founded religion (likely on the southern continent, which seems to maintain to a large extent the idea of balance and the two Shards, though greatly twisted and changed and no longer really matching either) that is focused on Ruin?

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4 minutes ago, LewsTherinTelescope said:

So Leras ranting at Ati saying "you make our religion all about you"... doesn't actually make sense in the context of the Terris religion, and in fact is what Leras himself did to it.

Hmm, fair.

While I was aware of the linguistic root I hadn't considered just how Preservation-focused the Terris faith was.

The implication is then that Terris is an offshoot of an earlier dualistic faith (eventually) founded by Shardic intervention, one that has at least one other extant descendant at the end of the Era of Ash, as otherwise Leras' statement makes no sense.

10 minutes ago, LewsTherinTelescope said:

So is there a version of their ancient co-founded religion (likely on the southern continent, which seems to maintain to a large extent the idea of balance and the two Shards, though greatly twisted and changed and no longer really matching either) that is focused on Ruin?

If one exists it has to be in the South, religions didn't really survive in the North after all.

That is, while knowledge of the religions, rituals, etc. survived, the faiths themselves didn't.

So there might be a Ruin-focused offshoot, though a recent one, or it might not have persisted, or the faith might have died.

It is a very interesting thought that the Jaggenmire might be another descendant of the pre-Terris faith.

 

In any case, this doesn't invalidate my argument, Leras mentions "our religion" singular, which is the most important part.

It has given me a very interesting perspective, so thanks for that. :)

 

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5 minutes ago, Inquisitor #5 said:

In any case, this doesn't invalidate my argument, Leras mentions "our religion" singular, which is the most important part.

Oh yeah no I wasn't trying to argue against you, it's just one of those weird little things I'm far too obsessed with lol.

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19 hours ago, Inquisitor #5 said:

I'd argue that the quoted section doesn't invalidate the presumed plan.

It doesn't make sense for Wax to conclude that the plan is to breed allomancers if there's no basis for the conclusion.

If any random pregnancy is just as likely to produce an allomancer then why is that seen as a plausible motive?

Also, the kidnappings were legit, IIRC, it's not like they were just a smokescreen for the insurance fraud.

The reason for the targets as mentioned in the books as well as in WoB (ill provide the quotes later) is because if they targeted allomancers of other classes, then it would be obvious they were going after allomancers. They needed it to be covert so they targeted affluent women making it look like they were going for money, and they did that knowing they could get it wrong and grab people without allomantic ability anyway.  

 

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On 2021-08-29 at 2:30 PM, Pathfinder said:

ill provide the quotes later

Please do, while I've read Alloy something like nine times it's definitely been a while since I properly read Era 2.

On 2021-08-29 at 2:30 PM, Pathfinder said:

if they targeted allomancers of other classes, then it would be obvious they were going after allomancers

But why target allomancers?

If any given pregnancy is just as likely to produce an allomancer, why conclude that they plan to breed allomancers?

I'm not saying that the conclusion is correct, I'm saying that the conclusion should make sense.

So if there's not a higher likelyhood that these women would bear allomancer children then the breeding conclusion makes no sense.

The genes being evenly distributed accross the entire population and the conclusion being plausible can't both be true simultaneously.

 

 

¤_¤

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2 hours ago, Inquisitor #5 said:

Please do, while I've read Alloy something like nine times it's definitely been a while since I properly read Era 2.

But why target allomancers?

If any given pregnancy is just as likely to produce an allomancer, why conclude that they plan to breed allomancers?

I'm not saying that the conclusion is correct, I'm saying that the conclusion should make sense.

So if there's not a higher likelyhood that these women would bear allomancer children then the breeding conclusion makes no sense.

The genes being evenly distributed accross the entire population and the conclusion being plausible can't both be true simultaneously.

because you can still hit maximum dilution without it being an even distribution.

Lerasium popping up again for instance would solve it quite easily.

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Posted (edited)

13 hours ago, Inquisitor #5 said:

Please do, while I've read Alloy something like nine times it's definitely been a while since I properly read Era 2.

But why target allomancers?

Alloy of Law page 137

"He's building an army. he picks the people he does because he suspects that they're secretly Allomancers. The fact that they aren't open about it makes it harder to recognize what he's doing"

 

Then as I said before, at the end of the book, it is revealed the focus was the insurance fraud.

Quote

The genes being evenly distributed accross the entire population and the conclusion being plausible can't both be true simultaneously.

 

 

¤_¤

I understand the point you are trying to make, but what is plausible for a freelance investigator (who specializes in genology, correction, an uncle who specialized in genology) versus what is plausible for the general population (and police force mind you) are two entirely different matters. The police assumed it was for ransom. They made no attempt to consider the idea that the nobility could have any connection to allomancy. So it can be true simultaneously. 

 

also WoB supporting what frustration said:

 

Yoonseo Chang

Looking at Allomancy, you've mentioned that over time the power dilutes and each ability becomes less powerful. (for example a Tineye in Era 2 will generally be less powerful than one in Era 1) Does the same effect happen in Feruchemy as well? How would Feruchemy become less pure or diluted (other than Ferrings appearing)?

Brandon Sanderson

I have not gone as far with Feruchemy in that regard. I would say that if you're going to get a weakening of Feruchemy, which you're asking about, is the amount of stored attribute you get for lost attribute. There is decay there, you don't get a 1:1. Feruchemy generally I would say is not much weaker than it was before, a little bit but not much. This was done partially for narrative reasons. I wanted Allomancy... I wanted to back off a little on Allomancy and tell stories with it a little bit weaker. Again, mostly narrative reasons at this point. At this point on Scadrial, it's weakened about as much as it's going to because by this point people are having children that are more powerful because of the certain mixing. I'm not saying it's going up, I'm saying they have hit an equilibrium on Scadrial for the most part, at least in the Basin.

YouTube Livestream 32 (June 3, 2021)

 

Questioner

In Mistborn, as the Eras are going on, the powers get diluted because of people passing down the bloodlines. Once we reach the Third and Fourth Era, the powers are going to be--won't they be a lot weaker, and not very useful?

Brandon Sanderson

They will become weaker, but there's a maximum level of dilution... There's a maximum level that you can reach pretty quickly, if you're only counting the northern continent. Because of the limited number of progenitors.

So, Era 3 we're not going to have a problem. And they're also trying to figure out ways around this.

Legion Release Party (Sept. 19, 2018) Edited by Pathfinder
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8 hours ago, Pathfinder said:

The police assumed it was for ransom. They made no attempt to consider the idea that the nobility could have any connection to allomancy. So it can be true simultaneously. 

Hmm, maybe.

8 hours ago, Pathfinder said:

also WoB supporting what frustration said

We must interpret the WoBs very differently then, I see a loss of power, which is a known property of enhanced allomantic lineages.

The original mistborn made with lerasium gave rise to lineages that eventually mostly produced non-allomancers, the power weakening over generations until it hits an equilibrium is a known property.

So those WoBs don't imply a statistically even distribution of allomantic heritage to me, just that allomancy has hit its natural power level.

Brandon even says that the limited number of progenitors is a factor, which implies few allomantic lines, not that everyone is part of an allomantic line.

Does that make sense?

 

¤_¤

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