Pyramids Discussion *Spoilers*

Moderators: Jason, Toothy, Tonyblack

Postby Tonyblack » Mon Jan 25, 2010 8:57 am

You now have one week to read or reread Wyrd Sisters for the discussion on Monday 1st February. :D
"Goodness is about what you do. Not what you pray to."
User avatar
Tonyblack
Moderator
 
Posts: 28671
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 4:29 pm
Location: Cardiff, Wales

Postby kakaze » Tue Jan 26, 2010 5:46 am

Doughnut Jimmy wrote:
kakaze wrote:
poohcarrot wrote:If nobody was brainwashed as a child and everyone decided for themselves, then it'd be just like Japan, where most people are atheists.

So how many atheists do you think there'd be? I think they'd probably in the majority.


I think they're in the majority now. There's people who admit they're atheists, and people who claim to be religious, but don't follow the tennants of their religion (sometimes known, here anyway, as "Sunday Christians").


I think there's a big difference though Kakaze between people who don't practise their religion on a day to day basis and atheists, if you believe there's a "higher being" and an afterlife it give you a different perspective on some things - or at least that's what I've found when you run an innocent conversation into a deep, deep hole by assuming friends have the same basice beliefs (or lack thereof) as you :o


But that's just it. When someone says "I'm a Christian/Muslim/Buddhist/Scientist/etc, but then acts in a manner incompatible with their religion, it's just lip-service.

A religion is a collection of practices, based on beliefs and teachings that are highly valued or sacred or, as you said; basic beliefs. It's more than just a "higher being"; that's just the object of the belief. Therefore, acting in a manner inconsistent with your religion indicates that you don't really believe in the basic beliefs on which the religion is built.

To paraphrase Kim Stanly Robinson, "I call this 'the church of wouldn't-it-be-nice-to-think-so.'"

The difference between people who don't practice their religion on a day to day basis and atheists, is that atheists admit that they don't know what to believe in.

The real reasons (in my opinion) that most people attend their church/mosque/temple/whatever are:
* Guilt
* Fear of death and/or old age
* Because their parents did
* To socialize
* To meet a new woman/man/friend
* To network for business
* To prove to themselves that they're better than other people

Of course, I've meet many people who really do believe, and make every day of their lives an act of worship. This rant was not intended to reflect negatively on them.
kakaze
Member
 
Posts: 534
Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2009 11:42 am

Postby Dotsie » Tue Jan 26, 2010 6:19 am

kakaze wrote:The difference between people who don't practice their religion on a day to day basis and atheists, is that atheists admit that they don't know what to believe in.


No that's agnostics. Atheists don't believe in gods in any form (higher beings, beards in the sky, space turtles etc).

I agree with you on everything else though. I have more time for those that actually practice religion than those who just can't bear the thought that they won't go to heaven, and think that saying they believe in God will get them in.
What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!
User avatar
Dotsie
Member
 
Posts: 9387
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 11:07 am

Postby kakaze » Tue Jan 26, 2010 7:44 am

Dotsie wrote:
kakaze wrote:The difference between people who don't practice their religion on a day to day basis and atheists, is that atheists admit that they don't know what to believe in.


No that's agnostics. Atheists don't believe in gods in any form (higher beings, beards in the sky, space turtles etc).

I agree with you on everything else though. I have more time for those that actually practice religion than those who just can't bear the thought that they won't go to heaven, and think that saying they believe in God will get them in.


Yeah, I guess agnostic is a better term. What I was trying to express is that there isn't actually any such thing as "atheist", except as a term used to describe a person who's chosen Science as his religion.
kakaze
Member
 
Posts: 534
Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2009 11:42 am

Postby poohcarrot » Tue Jan 26, 2010 7:57 am

Wrong!

I passionately believe there is no god of any description whatsoever, so I'm an atheist, but my knowledge of science is practically zero. :P
"Disliking Carrot would be like kicking a puppy."
"You kicked a puppy," Lobsang said accusingly.
User avatar
poohcarrot
Member
 
Posts: 10425
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2009 12:11 pm
Location: NOT The land of the risen Son!!

Postby Doughnut Jimmy » Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:04 am

kakaze wrote:Yeah, I guess agnostic is a better term. What I was trying to express is that there isn't actually any such thing as "atheist", except as a term used to describe a person who's chosen Science as his religion.


Science is not a religion, if you accept theories unquestioningly you are not being scientific, the point of science is that the knowledge it provides is constantly changing and all theories could be disproved.

Atheism is a seperate thing, a belief (not knowledge) that there is no "god or gods". Quite distinct from agnostics.

What I was trying to say was that it is surprising what people do believe strongly in. Everyone is entitled to practise their beliefs in their own way whether that is very openly and in your face or very privately without an outward show. The demands of religion and interpretation of what is required and mandated in scriptures is constantly changing anyway.
"when the gods made sheep they must've left their brains in their other coat"
User avatar
Doughnut Jimmy
Member
 
Posts: 1472
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2010 9:51 pm

Postby Dotsie » Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:14 am

Doughnut Jimmy wrote:Atheism is a seperate thing, a belief (not knowledge) that there is no "god or gods". Quite distinct from agnostics.


I still disagree. Atheism is a complete lack of belief in gods of any kind, which is a bit different from what you have said. To illustrate, someone brought up in an enclosed society which has no religion, who has never even heard of gods, will be an atheist, but it wouldn't be correct to say he believes there is no god.

Also, to say that an atheist believes (but doesn't know) that there is no God, is to compare this with scientific belief - I know that there isn't a giant invisible rabbit in my office with me, because there is absolutely no evidence for it. In the same way, I can say that I know there is no God. If new evidence presents itself (giant rabbit droppings suddenly appear), I am prepared to re-evaluate what I know to be true.
What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!
User avatar
Dotsie
Member
 
Posts: 9387
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 11:07 am

Postby poohcarrot » Tue Jan 26, 2010 12:06 pm

This annoyed me recently and as people are talking about God I thought I'd mention it.

An 84 year-old woman was pulled alive from the wreckage that used to be Haiti, 11 days after the earthquake. "It's a miracle!" the media screams. "This proves there is a caring and just God," the Fundis scream.

However, as TP points out, a miracle doesn't have to be good. The earthquake itself was a miracle. An act of God. Therefore surely a God that can kill up to 200,000 of the poorest people on the planet, most of who were Catholics, has just proved that he/she isn't a caring and just God. You want concrete proof there is no God? There it is.

And pur-lease don't anyone say "But God moves in mysterious ways."
"Disliking Carrot would be like kicking a puppy."
"You kicked a puppy," Lobsang said accusingly.
User avatar
poohcarrot
Member
 
Posts: 10425
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2009 12:11 pm
Location: NOT The land of the risen Son!!

Postby raisindot » Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:09 pm

poohcarrot wrote:An 84 year-old woman was pulled alive from the wreckage that used to be Haiti, 11 days after the earthquake. "It's a miracle!" the media screams. "This proves there is a caring and just God," the Fundis scream.

However, as TP points out, a miracle doesn't have to be good. The earthquake itself was a miracle. An act of God. Therefore surely a God that can kill up to 200,000 of the poorest people on the planet, most of who were Catholics, has just proved that he/she isn't a caring and just God. You want concrete proof there is no God? There it is.


Well, see, Pooh, you're just showing your theological ignorance again. Why, if you had taken just one moment to read the wise and ecumenical words of that great American pastor, the Reverend Pat Robertson, you would have known that the earthquake was God's punishment of the Haitian people for their centuries-old practice of voodoo. That it took a hundred years from Haiti's last major earthquake for God to show his wrath is, again, one of those mysterious things. Then again, it took the Almighty 400 years to get around to slapping around the Egyptians for enslaving the Hebrews, and, 2010 years since the birth of His Son, we're still awaiting for the Day of Judgment. Vengeance, like revenge, is best sold cold, apparently.

:cry:

Oddly enough, in terms of earthquake damange, God apparently and mysteriously chose to give a pass to the Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, even though voodoo is quite prevalent among the Dominicans as well. Mysterious, indeed.

J-I-B
raisindot
Member
 
Posts: 3110
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 3:28 pm
Location: Boston, MA USA

Postby Tina a.k.a.SusanSto.Helit » Tue Jan 26, 2010 6:01 pm

Aargh!!! It Does Not Matter!!! We are all headed in the SAME Direction ANYWAY! This is about the Book Pyramids.................
Aha! So, Bob's yer uncle... very clever.
User avatar
Tina a.k.a.SusanSto.Helit
Member
 
Posts: 3885
Joined: Tue May 05, 2009 7:25 pm
Location: Byron IL USA and The Quirm School for Young People ... it's genetic, you know

Postby Tonyblack » Tue Jan 26, 2010 6:51 pm

Tina a.k.a.SusanSto.Helit wrote:Aargh!!! It Does Not Matter!!! We are all headed in the SAME Direction ANYWAY! This is about the Book Pyramids.................
:lol: I quite agree!

Does anyone think that Terry is parodying the British Royal family when Teppic does his tour of the embalmers/model makers/pyramid builders?
"Goodness is about what you do. Not what you pray to."
User avatar
Tonyblack
Moderator
 
Posts: 28671
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 4:29 pm
Location: Cardiff, Wales

Postby Jan Van Quirm » Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:38 pm

Tonyblack wrote:Does anyone think that Terry is parodying the British Royal family when Teppic does his tour of the embalmers/model makers/pyramid builders?

Definitely! But possibly not Prince Philip - he wasn't 'innocently' rude enough... :lol:

And swiftly back to religion once more, but the one we're supposed to be looking at. :wink: You can believe in gods on the disc of course, 'cos they live on the highest mountain on the planet and the 'specialist' ones like Teppic and his family do tend to 'manifest' occasionally, like when his dad dies and he's still in A-M. I expect most of us recognised the first exploration (yet another ground-breaking 1st :P ) of god-like splurges of fertility in his case with the wheat which also happened later on in Wintersmith for Tiffany (aside from the cornucopia, when she had to wear extra socks - was it to stop flowers bursting out all over)?

That only happened the once for Teppic of course and presumably on the later expanded principle of gods needing belief to be gods on discworld. With his dad dead presumably the whole kingdom of Djelibeybi started to believe very strongly that Teppic was the new god so the sun would come up the next day? So he was a god in that sense and in that only, meaning Dios did really create the godhead for the kings of the Djel valley, unlike the ones he simply dreamed up as those were made 'real', not through belief, but through the pyramid 'magic' carrying them all to the plane of existence where they'd function. I use inverted commas for magic there, as we also have the astral plane with the Sphinx that You Bastard strays into with Teppic before getting it right, which does seem to confirm that mathematical magic is not confined to pyramids - in other words camels are better at it. :twisted: :lol:

Skipping blithely on (because the month's nearly done and we all know the case for disc-gods is mostly unassailable) there's the matter of Teppic being sent to learn how to be an Assassin. Far from being an idle plot device for Terry to parody Tom Brown's Schooldays this is in fact crucial to Teppic 'saving' his country. The Assassin's Guild creates killers essentially, but their graduation tests use dummies (because the apprentices aren't being paid to kill presumably, so using real people is simply 'not done'). This also means that the novices go through a crisis of confidence over whether they can in fact kill somebody. Teppic realises he can't kill a real person, but finishes the course anyway because he's reasoned that it is a dummy and so safe. Because he hesitates before stabbing the dummy (or whatever he did) thinking about this seems to be why Mericet is so grudging in his congratulations aside from loathing Teppic. The whole Ankh-Morpork section then seems pointless therefore except when we get to the critical point in the nightmare version of Djelibeybi where Teppic realises he has to inhume the great pyramid and that is why his Assassin training - or rather his climbing prowess is needed to stop the power off and return the kingdom to normality (and throw Dios literally into the time loop again).

Well it works for me as a theory anyway :wink:
"Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.” George Bernard Shaw
User avatar
Jan Van Quirm
Member
 
Posts: 10325
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:07 pm
Location: Dunheved, Kernow

Postby Tonyblack » Tue Jan 26, 2010 9:50 pm

A small point Jan - Teppic doesn't know for sure that it is a dummy. He decides that he can't kill anyone and therefore decides to fire his crossbow away from the target, effectively failing the test. It's chance that causes the crossbow bolt to ricochet and hit the target. Merocet thinks Teppic is showing off rather than failing the test. :)
"Goodness is about what you do. Not what you pray to."
User avatar
Tonyblack
Moderator
 
Posts: 28671
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 4:29 pm
Location: Cardiff, Wales

Postby Jan Van Quirm » Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:24 pm

Thanks for the clarification Tony - I got really confused with that bit when I was re-reading it and it still kind of makes sense :lol:
"Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.” George Bernard Shaw
User avatar
Jan Van Quirm
Member
 
Posts: 10325
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:07 pm
Location: Dunheved, Kernow

Postby Tonyblack » Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:48 pm

I had the same trouble. :wink:
"Goodness is about what you do. Not what you pray to."
User avatar
Tonyblack
Moderator
 
Posts: 28671
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 4:29 pm
Location: Cardiff, Wales

PreviousNext

Return to Discworld novels

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests