Would you be an atheist in Westeros?Religion the Seven Rhllor the Old Gods the Drowned God the Many-Faced God the Great Stallion the Great Shepherd Mother Rhoyne
Posted 03 March 2012 - 01:32 PM
Posted 03 March 2012 - 01:54 PM
Why are you quibbling over narrow definitions of the word "god"? I merely called him an "entity". And I see no evidence that he has not told his followers exactly what he needs them to know to accomplish exactly what he wants them to accomplish. The fact that he may tell them less than they WANT to know, or, perhaps, even LIE to his followers (though there is no evidence he has done so) to get what he wants, is irrelevant.
Seriously? Is that the best real-world example you can think of? All the humans schemers in the story withhold information from their servants and puppets. Why should a non-human entity be 100% candid, just because you arbitrarily declare it must be so.
No. I am saying it may be considered an "entity" actually exists in the context of the story, just as Dragons, and perhaps R'hllor, exist in Westeros. You are the one who keeps harping on the word "god" and it is a total straw man, because your position is that R'hllor does not exist at all.
The musical "Little Shop of Horrors", by the way, is essentially a remake of the Faust legend, and Audrey II is a stand in for the Devil.
Are you saying Varys and Littlefinger don't exist either, because we don't understand their schemes?
Right. You are merely projecting your own ideology onto the story, and not even in a logical fashion.
Posted 03 March 2012 - 02:10 PM
You keep claiming that you know better than Melisandre about R'hllor being an entity, and presenting absolutely nothing to back it up.
Sure, it is POSSIBLE that she is wrong, just as it is POSSIBLE that you are wrong. But I trust her judgment more than you, because she is in a better position to judge whether or not R'hllor exists. (Sure, her MORAL judgment sucks, but that's a whole other subject).
All of them are working to destabilize the Iron Throne. Where is the conflict, at this stage of the game? I just don't see it.
Sure, they all may have different ideas about what the ultimate game plan may be, but so what?
So wait. Now Queen Cersei does not exist either? I never advocated the worship of R'hllor. You keep trying to change the subject.
Okay. So if her priests lie, then perhaps R'hllor can do the same.
When did I ever suggest that R'hllor was a worthy god who was interested in justice? I think the evidence suggests he is an evil demon.
Now please stop these pathetic attempts to change the subject, and back up your claim that R'hllor does not exist.
Posted 03 March 2012 - 09:18 PM
I won't discuss them all, but rather just point out that it falls upon those who believe that R'hllor exists (be it as a god or just an "entity") to provide evidence that he does indeed exist.
As long as it is reasonable to be uncertain of his existence (which is the case in Westeros; we know that his priest have access to magic, but it is not at all clear that R'hllor exists) he is not a good reason to avoid Atheism in Westeros.
Posted 03 March 2012 - 09:50 PM
Why are you so certain there are no gods or God in real life?
Posted 03 March 2012 - 09:58 PM
Dude. You are the one who claimed to know better than Melisandre. I asked you to back this up. Instead of backing up your bold claim, you are instead trying to shift the burden of proof to me. I will accept the above LOAD OF NOTHING as your concession of defeat.
Melisandre clearly has real paranormal powers. She believes they are granted her by an entity. Since she understands her own powers better than I, then it seems to me that to accept her at her word is appropriate deference to expert opinion. This in turn is supported by the fact that R'hllor appears capable of sending and receiving messages. Sure this MIGHT conceivably be wrong, but that hardly means Melisandre's expert opinion, nor the nature of the powers R'hllor seems to grant, cannot be cited in support of the proposition.
[shrug] It depends upon how you define "Atheism". But if your definition of "Atheism" requires you to disbelieve in something until you see it with your own eyes, then it is a bizarre and irrational approach.
If you lived in the Star Trek universe, would you refuse to believe in Vulcans until you saw one with your own eyes? Even if you began sending and receiving messages from them?
Posted 04 March 2012 - 03:32 PM
Otoh, R'hollor has never been seen? If we take the scientific approach of Old Town and they actually have evidence of the existence of "magic" and that would be reasonably explaining the stuff Melisandre&co are doing... yeah I can see myself doubting the existence of gods (even though you don't know that magic isn't a divine phenomenon).
In the end, the situation isn't any different in Westeros than it is in our world. Either you believe, or you don't. As a commoner I'd probably be hailing the seven, to, ya know, pick up that cute neighbour after church.
Edited by Early Earl, 04 March 2012 - 03:33 PM.
Posted 04 March 2012 - 04:29 PM
Black holes have never been seen either. Modern science asks us to believe in them nonetheless. And even if I were to doubt black holes, I would not deny that there is some evidence for their existence.
Similarly, some people are alleged to have seen the giant squid. But I am not among them. So it is theoretically possible for me to doubt the existence of the giant squid as well. Even if I had seen them myself, I could doubt my own eyes. But to deny that the (possibly mistaken) eyewitness testimonies and the (possibly doctored) photographs can be considered "evidence" seems silly.
Similarly, I am not objecting to the idea that it is possible to doubt the existence of R'hllor. I am objecting to the silly claim that there is NO evidence for R'hllor's existence, and that we the reader can actually say we know better.
Well. That's also true of rabbits. Either you beleive in them or you don't.
I don't really want to make any theological analogies. I am merely pointing out that, in the fictional context of this story, there is some small evidence for R'hllor's existence, and no evidence whatsoever to the contrary. We need not be 100% certain of Melisandre's judgment, but it is arrogant and baseless to claim we know better.
Posted 04 March 2012 - 04:37 PM
I have no idea what you are talking about. I suspect you don't either.
What do you claim my definition of "believe" is? And what is so interesting about it?
Edited by Fearsome Fred, 04 March 2012 - 04:39 PM.
Posted 04 March 2012 - 04:38 PM
Well under what definition of belief would you need to believe in rabbits? Certainly not the one most people use.
One that require belief in things that are factually obvious. And it interesting because more people would consider that strange.
Edited by TrueMetis, 04 March 2012 - 04:43 PM.
Posted 04 March 2012 - 04:39 PM
And as coincident has it, I don't belive in rabbits. I mean c'mon, martens, can't you come up with a better disguise?
Posted 04 March 2012 - 04:44 PM
Again. I have no idea what you are talking about. I said either you believe in rabbits or you don't. In short, you are either one or the other. That is true even if the second category contains zero members (Which it doesn't. Believe it or not, there ARE such beings as nihilists, though of course I could not prove it to a nihilist). So what is your objection? Do you deny the existence of nihilists?
Again, I have no idea what you are talking about. I never expressed an opinion about whether one should or should not believe in rabbits. I merely said that either you believe in them or you don't. For the record, I DO believe in rabbits, and think it is silly not to. I also agree that nihilists are strange.
Hey. I even believe in black holes and giant squids. I'm a reasonably trusting guy.
Edited by Fearsome Fred, 04 March 2012 - 04:57 PM.
Posted 04 March 2012 - 04:57 PM
Being one of course not, I try never to believe preferring evidence. My objection is that using the term belief isn't something you should use for factually verifiable things. When most people use the term belief they are referring to things that are impossible to prove like deities, or philosophical concepts like morality.
And I don't but then I wouldn't even bring it up since talking about something that obviously exists in terms of beliefs doesn't make any sense.
Posted 04 March 2012 - 05:00 PM
So you only use the word "believe" for things you don't believe in. And you called my usage strange. I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on this.
Now it's true that I ordinarily would not go out of my way to assert my belief in rabbits. It is not something that normally needs to be said. Which was my point, really. In this case, I was merely pointing out that statements like "Either you believe in X or you don't," are true but trivial and meaningless. You could substitute any word for X and it would be just as true.
Edited by Fearsome Fred, 04 March 2012 - 05:07 PM.
Posted 04 March 2012 - 05:10 PM
I use belief for things that aren't verifiable one way or the other. IE I would say whether I believe in Unicorns or not but not whether I believe in gravity or spontaneous generation. The first one isn't provable one way or the other so is belief, the second is verifiably right so I accept it, and the third is verifiably wrong so I don't. But even when it is verifably accurate I still don't believe in it, I don't believe in rabbits, gravity, or electricity. I know all this things are real and accept them.
Posted 04 March 2012 - 05:12 PM
Edit: Out of curiosity: what (if anything) do you believe in?
Edited by Fearsome Fred, 04 March 2012 - 05:19 PM.