February 22, 2019, 05:11:01 PM

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Messages - Neveesandeh

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I don't want to drag out the religion thing further, but I've never thought of faith as 'belief without proof'. That's a fairly recent idea and one I consider pretty harmful. It encourages people to never question their beliefs.

Please expand on this.

I think people regularly fail to comprehend what they profess to believe and will largely go to great lengths to avoid actually admitting that they have faith but not proof of what they believe in usually using terms like know and proof when actually they believe and faith means they don't require proof.

I am totally in favour of questioning everything, but then I am an ancient sceptic who has had the optimism beaten out of me and takes very little at face value.

From what I've read, 'faith' as a virtue is considered to be something like loyalty. With regards to the existence of God, for example, a lot of ancient and medieval philosophers derived a variety of proofs. (Which is ironic, considering there were very few atheists around in those days, but that's beside the point). I think this is why terminology referring to faith is used in the context of, say, marriage.

I feel that the reason why so many people have abandoned religion in recent times is because misunderstandings about these concepts become very widespread among our community and people realised they didn't add up.

A lot of people think of the soul as a sort of ghost separate to the physical body, or of God as being a human being with superpowers. If I were one of those people, I would consider myself an atheist because there is no evidence for either of those things.

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I don't want to drag out the religion thing further, but I've never thought of faith as 'belief without proof'. That's a fairly recent idea and one I consider pretty harmful. It encourages people to never question their beliefs.

As to whether atheism counts as a religion, I would agree with Eli that atheism isn't a religion. There are belief systems that could be considered religions that incorporate atheism, but atheism itself doesn't really have any ideology or principles. There are as many different forms of atheism as there are atheists.

I think I mentioned John Gray on another post. He wrote a whole book about this which I unfortunately have never had a chance to read because I lost my job a few months back and can't afford to buy so many books anymore.

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General Discussion / Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« on: February 21, 2019, 05:54:51 PM »
Also, I second (third?) the anarchism in fantasy thing. It sounds really interesting.

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General Discussion / Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« on: February 21, 2019, 05:51:49 PM »
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So are we supposed to destroy these systems completely and live in a state of anarchy?

If you like, I am a big fan of dystopian futures, or maybe just question everything. Faith is belief without proof and if that works for you fine, but please think about your faith don't blindly follow.

I would count atheism as a religion it has the inverted belief structure of one after all.

Firstly, thanks to JR for the post about anarchy, that was really enlightening to read.

Secondly, the belief that faith is belief without proof isn't universal to all religions. It's probably an idea that comes from that Danish existentialist philosopher whose name I won't embarrass myself by trying to spell. I wasn't really a religious person until a few years ago and it was only because of thinking through these things that I ended up that way.

Please don't think I'm unaware of the issues within the Church. It's completely riddled with corruption and that has had some horrifying results. Believe me, there is nothing I would like more than to see the vile people responsible for the abuse and the cover ups defrocked and thrown to the dogs and it infuriates me how the Church has spent decades relying on the secular authorities to resolve this issue instead of doing it themselves. But they are making some progress recently.

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I also recommend Monstress. It's great.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Black Leopard Red Wolf
« on: February 21, 2019, 12:14:59 PM »
 I really liked 'A Brief History of Seven Killings' and I was ecstatic to hear about this. I'm really hoping to get my hands on it when I have more money.

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General Discussion / Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« on: February 21, 2019, 12:13:45 PM »
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I think there's a difference between what corrupt people and groups within the Church have done and what it actually teaches.

Take any social or political system and show me where that is not the case. It's like an iron law time corrupts. There are also the absolutist teachings that get quietly ignored largely because they were ridiculous when written and utterly irrelevant now.

So are we supposed to destroy these systems completely and live in a state of anarchy?

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General Discussion / Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« on: February 20, 2019, 09:15:30 PM »
In non-political scandal news: It comes to light that the Vatican has a secret rules for handling priests who father children, which apparently happens quite a lot. There is also recent discussion about widespread abuse of nuns by priests.

Why do people still stick with this institution? Just how rotten is it? They've fought against condom use in HIV-stricken countries, they've molested children on a massive scale and covered it up for decades at the very least, they cling to medieval sexism, their decades-long control of Ireland was a nightmare of slut-shaming and dead babies. I could go on and on, without even getting into all the historical horror.

I can't stand religious horror movies, because they depict the Catholic Church as some kind of sole bulwark against evil. More and more skeletons keep dropping out of their gold-plated closets, yet they remain the most powerful religious institution on Earth, even in the face of raging hypocrisy and corruption.

I think there's a difference between what corrupt people and groups within the Church have done and what it actually teaches.

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General Discussion / Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« on: February 20, 2019, 04:01:16 PM »
Three Conservatives left today to join the independent group, plus one more from Labour.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: New Tropes and Cliches
« on: February 18, 2019, 12:35:22 PM »
I would definitely agree that the subversions of various tropes have become tropes in their own right, but I would only go as far to call them cliche if the same subversion of a trope is seen over and over again, as is the case with the overly grimdark protagonist as a subversion of the heroic farm boy. (Another subject Terrible Writing Advice did a great video on.)

Right now I'm thinking an interesting way to subvert the standard grimdark protagonist would be by giving him a few redeeming features, (Something well written dark stories tend to do already) and a dull way to subvert it would be to replace him or her with the standard farm boy we've seen a thousand times before.*

I definitely think that overly cliched works have seen a marked decline in recent years, which I'm very happy about, but while I'm fine with being influenced by someone else's ideas, I don't want to shamelessly copy them with no thought of my own.

*I'm pretty sure there's a few stories that go the other way and give the farm boy hero a few serious drawbacks. I think the 'Wheel of Time' series does this, but I've only read the first book.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: New Tropes and Cliches
« on: February 16, 2019, 12:55:39 PM »
I should probably clarify I don't have a problem with dark or violent books, but that the only example I could think of for a more recent cliche is often found in poorly written grimdark where the writer is just trying to be edgy rather than use the violence to serve the themes and story. But I'm on relatively familiar ground with overused grimdark tropes, Terrible Writing Advice did a fantastic video and article on the subject. I'm more interested in tropes from across the fantasy genre as a whole that have only become prevalent more recently.

One is the world being post-apocalyptic, or having been post-apocalyptic at some time in the past. The Broken Empire, The Demon Cycle and The Broken Earth a;; come to mind. I enjoyed all three of those series, but often setting the story in a post-apocalyptic world doesn't really add anything to it.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / New Tropes and Cliches
« on: February 15, 2019, 11:18:32 AM »
It's long been an ambition of mine to write something subverting fantasy cliches, but I've noticed something. A lot of the traditional fantasy tropes, even if they are still overused in games and films, aren't really seen in books that much anymore. There are still lots of chosen one stories, for example, but the authors now nearly always know to do something creative with it.

This is excellent, but I can't help but wondering if there are any new cliches and overused tropes in more recent works. I haven't had the chance to read more recent fantasy for a while and I was curious as to whether anyone who has might have noticed a few reoccurring themes.

The only one I can think of off the top of my head is grimdark stories throwing in gratuitous violence and misery for pure shock value.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: The Painted Man / The Warded Man
« on: February 08, 2019, 06:34:28 PM »
I read these books a few years back and loved them, but as I look back now I'm a little less forgiving of their flaws. The 'rape as character development' thing doesn't end with Leesha, and is just as unnecessary in book two.

As for the portrayal of Krasia, I've spent three years at university learning about Islamic cultures and it does recycle the same (inaccurate) orientalist tropes. To his credit, Brett does portray a lot of Krasians as sympathetic in the later books, but even so, it's uncomfortable. I've often checked the map on his website of all the countries where the first book is available, and there aren't too many predominantly Islamic countries on it. I think it's available in Turkey, though. I'm curious as to what people there think of it.

If you didn't like the soap-drama-ish elements of the first book I wouldn't recommend reading the others. That kind of thing pretty much becomes the story. I still quite liked them, but if you're after the demon slaying bits alone then I wouldn't bother.

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I feel a little guilty confessing that the only characters that instantly spring to mind are those I detest.

Caul Shivers, especially in 'Best Served Cold'. I thought Abercrombie ended up letting him off far too lightly in the later books.

Marith from 'The Court of Broken Knives'. I liked pretty much everything about that book, but the guy is pure evil of the worst kind with absolutely no redeeming qualities and somehow we're supposed to root for him.

Micah from the YA 'Wormweald' books. He wanders around like a lovesick puppy obsessing over his love interest when I just want to read about dragons and scavengers attacking each other. Then he stumbles across her when she's traumatised and barely aware of what she's doing and thinks it's a good time to get laid. What a creep.

And of course almost every character in the 'Inheritance Cycle'.

As for my favourite, I like Jorg Ancrath. I liked Tyrion in the first few 'Song of Ice and Fire' books. There's probably a fair few others I'm forgetting.

I guess I just like to rant.

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