Profile for Thunvael


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Root of all evil in General
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Profile Homepage #338
quote:
Logic says that I must accept a starting point...
I understand the utility axioms provide for a working system of knowledge, and yet for those same reasons when they produce discrepancies it would contradict their intended purpose to insist on expediency.

quote:
Also, the claim that things do not come from nothing is a groundless assertion(especially considering that positron-electron pairs seem to do just THAT(pop into and out of existence uncaused)).
not really since relative terminology is employed when explanations are provided that quantum fluctuations emerge from 'nothing'. Using a definition that in effect is the opposite of the essential meaning implied does nothing to resolve the surest example of the chicken and egg dilemma.

Our seemingly intrinsic logical capacities and how we are to reconcile them with the contradiction of existence.

[ Monday, February 21, 2005 11:10: Message edited by: Thunvael ]
Posts: 36 | Registered: Sunday, March 28 2004 08:00
Root of all evil in General
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Member # 4162
Profile Homepage #325
quote:
I have switched to 'strong atheism' recently because of teh reasons I have outlined here, namely that I see no difference between asserting that round squares cannot exist and asserting that gods cannot exist. Since I absolutely know that there can be no such thing as a round square, for logical reasons and I say as much, I am no longer beating around the bush with logically inconsistent "gods" either.
does not the very fact of existence defy our absolute and necessary notions of logic ? Something is needed for something else, yet things do not come from nothing etc ?
Posts: 36 | Registered: Sunday, March 28 2004 08:00
Ethics? in General
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Member # 4162
Profile Homepage #38
A moral system could be compared to a scientific outlook. Just because I believe the sun travels around the Earth, does not make it equally 'true' with all other 'opinions'.

Thus if morality can be justified by degress of objectivity ( i.e. using a more impersonal basis for the justifications involved - which by default we are necessarily comprised of) then it would imply that in theory a universal morality could be established.

To avoid confusion, morality I think consists of different levels. Some are abstract values which may or may not be relatable to our fundamentally physical nature. Although these questions depend on other subjects of inquiry independent of ethics.

Yet if we even assume a rational basis to any degree of our scientific knowledge, then types or levels of morality are not beyond objective criteria, they just happen to be inhumanly complex. Please consider how appeals to ignorance will not suffice for questioning this point.

Which is not to say that we have the criteria to ascertain such a basis, only that it follows that it is possible and perhaps necessary depending on our beliefs regarding our capacity for types of knowledge.
Posts: 36 | Registered: Sunday, March 28 2004 08:00
Morality in Avernum in The Avernum Trilogy
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Profile Homepage #7
Good question. If Im working with a good character/team then stealing by default is prohibited. Unless the story, conditions warrant it. In ad@d Im typically neutral good alignment, which tends to carry over to just about any rpg.

If my character/group happens to be evil, well it all depends. Often items available for stealing particularly at the start or early levels of the game are transparent options for power gamers. As such while their may be no ethical quandries for this course of action, extraneous considerations (e.g. challenge) may inhibit these activities.
Posts: 36 | Registered: Sunday, March 28 2004 08:00
Religion, Homosexuality, the Usual in General
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Member # 4162
Profile Homepage #203
quote:
More to the point, Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed for sins, and I think the Bible even says something about sexual immorality being involved, but to the best of my knowledge, it does not explicitly say that homosexual practices of any kind were involved in its destruction.
As I live, saith the Lord GOD, Sodom thy sister hath not done, she nor her daughters, as thou hast done, thou and thy daughters. Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good. Ezekiel 16 : 48 - 50

In context the Israelites are charged with the "abomination" of idolatry. It's fair to maintain that the condemnation of Sodom and Gomorrah was not homosexuality per se, nor the certain catalyst.

Whereas excess pride and lack of charity are specified. A fateful combination given the accentuation of both throughout the Bible.
Posts: 36 | Registered: Sunday, March 28 2004 08:00
dragons?love em hate em? in The Avernum Trilogy
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as a rule, humans should never have the means to engage dragons. With respect to conventional definitions of the nature and power of the differing species it is nothing but egotistical to assume humans (the mortal kind at least) have a chance.

It would be more consistent and less infantile if dragons were something of an assured death event. As such only the brave or exceedingly foolish and likely both would actively seek them out. This is not to say all dragons are evil, but as a whole they prefer to be left alone to begin with.

I'll cease rambling.
Posts: 36 | Registered: Sunday, March 28 2004 08:00
Religion, Homosexuality, the Usual in General
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Member # 4162
Profile Homepage #142
quote:
Actually, I've heard that studies generally find that homosexuals self-report being less happy with their lives than heterosexuals. Then again, it's hard to be happy when a significant portion of the population sees you as evil, disgusting or both.
do you think these lower levels of well being are exclusively related to social conditions ?
Posts: 36 | Registered: Sunday, March 28 2004 08:00
Concerning Mage and Priest Spells after creation screen? in Blades of Avernum
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Member # 4162
Profile Homepage #11
quote:
It just doesnt fit into my playing style..... but thats just me.
Was thinking the same thing, but you have to distinguish between personal preference and possible functional realities. I think most games allow too much of the latter at the cost of the former. By former I mean not having jack of all trade characters which tend to detract from the sense of group effort resulting from specialised characters.

Of course this gets tricky because overly generic and one dimensional characters are not that much fun either.

Anyway at a later stage I have not inhibitions over raising my fighter, fighter/archer/trap disarmer and mage cleric levels to 1 or 2. But initially it just weakens the sense of customising specific characters (main draw to rpgs for me).
Posts: 36 | Registered: Sunday, March 28 2004 08:00
Koala Cull in General
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Member # 4162
Profile Homepage #54
Im not sure if anyone said humans and other animals are equal. I dont think they are. But more objectively, what we should recognise is as we want to live, this desire is shared by other life-forms. That we are in many ways smarter (although alternate life-forms are advanced in their own ways) does not negate the ethics of taking from others what we value in ourselves.

Claims of greater capacity for thought and estimation of this quality are no less contingent on what we value most about ourselves - 'our' existence.

An inverse way of sizing up the rational is to reverse the situation. Aliens considerably smarter than ourselves decide snuffing out our existence makes for a good time. They are by definition superior (or advanced anyway, "superior" seems value laden for perhaps the wrong or debatable reasons, especially when complete sentience is a factor). Have we no basis to contend this situation, is it their right to take our lives ?

There is no connection between needlessly taking the life of others, for the simple reason that we may have advantages over them. Just because we can is not a justifiable reason of itself.

It seems this attitude of superior entitling what is right, especially as it relates to our natural provenance, is becoming more prevalent. But I dont think the logic of this thinking is really internally necessary or as with the example of aliens consistent.

Rather because we can know better, because of our greater capacities we can observe this affinity between sentient-sensate existence. The diametric conclusion, namely respect for life in itself, would be more consistent with the causes of our own inherent self justification for existence. As such I think this is more reasonable and consequently more ethical.
Posts: 36 | Registered: Sunday, March 28 2004 08:00
Koala Cull in General
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Member # 4162
Profile Homepage #43
You are entitled to your perspectives, whether you would adhere to them we cannot really test. However animal behaviour tends towards preservation throughout the gamut of undesirable conditions. Thus with our limited knowledge of what an animal may truly want, it would be more consistent to preserve life in hope of better circumstances.

Im not even sure what the issue is Im disagreeing with IMAGE(smile000.gif) Been a long day, but if I am discerning the general theme correctly, then it is disconcertingly narrow to assume killing things is the most ethical action available.
Posts: 36 | Registered: Sunday, March 28 2004 08:00
Koala Cull in General
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Member # 4162
Profile Homepage #41
Im not sure what you find unreasonable, if we have the means and resources to save lives, at least a number of them, ethically it should follow.

While some may need to be killed for the present situation because of overall population dynamics, culling is only a temporary solution. It becomes an unethical one if we fall back on it, to 'save the Koala's' because we keep endangering them.
Posts: 36 | Registered: Sunday, March 28 2004 08:00
Koala Cull in General
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Member # 4162
Profile Homepage #39
Well firstly my comments are best understood in relation to the quote cited, since there was a hope people might learn responsibility if they experience the reality of taking life. Unfortunately I dont think those sentiments would be shared by the typical shooter.

The motive of people who make it a game to kill other sentient life forms is questionable in itself. A hypocrisy of values, what we want preserved for ourselves, but are happy to ignore when it comes to other life forms for the sake of bloodsport.
Posts: 36 | Registered: Sunday, March 28 2004 08:00
Koala Cull in General
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Member # 4162
Profile Homepage #38
I found this information which seems a more comprehensive and long term in solution. The problem, or a significant contributor there to, apparently was caused by human deforestation.

http://www.savethekoala.com/mediarelease.html
Posts: 36 | Registered: Sunday, March 28 2004 08:00
Koala Cull in General
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Member # 4162
Profile Homepage #34
dont Koalas eat gum leaves..maybe Ive missed something but Australia might be able to fit them in somewhere ?

ok Im obviously missing something vital

anyway, I happened to hear on the radio the other day how culling does not work for a number of populations. Obviously it does work to an extent, but the solution is only temporary, whereas sterilization seems to work better. Probably because the size of populations is a constraint of sorts (dont know). But then, in this specific case, these animals would need to reallocated too.

is it certain there is nowhere to accommodate them ?

quote:
we will finally gain a sense of the great responsibility we hold as stewards of our planet.
If only, but this is sport to people, many volunteer for these opportunities.
Posts: 36 | Registered: Sunday, March 28 2004 08:00
I have AUD$3.87 to my name in General
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Member # 4162
Profile Homepage #42
quote:
affluent students can pay fees beforehand and save 25%. This means that the more affluent students study cheaper than the less affluent - it's like a tax on poorer students.
It is the same for those who can not afford shinier cars, bigger houses etc Our society allows personal wealth; freedom creates distinction, inequality even. Yet this same society accommodates other values in the form of providing access to all (or most, in theory) the possibility of improved standards.

Of course between theory and practice nothing is perfect, yet hecs is designed to help rather than hinder anyone. It does benefit -all- more than detract from any, the bigger losers are the government and thus the less educated majority who collectively pay the most for our education.

quote:
recent studies have shown that graduates are deferring starting families. This has quite serious implications for future population levels, especially given Australia's aging population.
Since the 70's Australia has faced an overall fertility decline, unsure about current marriage patterns. Anyhow hecs is not necessarily the specific cause, I suspect it is the greater economic potential for personal investment keeping graduates (especially female graduates) away from past trends in child rearing.

Social norms are being revised, increasingly more of the once average are becoming the 'jet setter'(loosely intended) type. They dont settle down and have children a little over 20 anymore. Personally I have no intention to have children until late 30s.

quote:
graduates with HECS bills are reluctant to take on further debt, such as loans for a new car or home purchase.
The minimum eligibility income is 25k, at which stage a graduate pays under 1000 per year. If they earn approx 40k it's roughly 2000 one way or the other depending. These types of obligations (especially with the average income for tertiary educated qualifications) cannot realistically be claimed as responsible for how a graduate chooses to not spend their money.

A degree including the cost of hecs ensures that a person will earn more than they otherwise could. Substantially more. Hecs facilitated education does not hamstring the economy.

quote:
it could be argued that graduates are good for the economy. Over their working lives they will pay more taxes, consume more goods and services, etc than non-graduates. This all benefits the economy. These extra benefits to the economy far outweigh the cost to the state of a degree.
Yes, but..

quote:
there is a perception that HECS is a burden and does deter people from study. When I advised people I was going to study, the first question from most of them wasn't 'what course?' it was 'what about the HECS bill?'
this perception is wrong, hecs benefits -everyone- (besides the uneducated lower income earners majority who collectively pay the most), the student is provided with an education which ensures a higher than average income. Furthermore it is true that graduates who earn and spend more money than non graduates benefit the economy. Nonetheless graduates who spend more money and pay back less than 1/4 of their education directly benefit the greater public while still facilitating the economy.

There seems to be this wide spread misconception about what hecs really is. Admittedly I was not to sure exactly what the hecs requirements were, after looking they are better (for the student) than I previously assumed.

Students do not pay up front, they pay once their education is earning at roughly the very least 20x the amount required to be paid annually. For the average student and individual in our economic climate, there is nothing wrong with this.

There may be individual circumstance which complicate an otherwise over-simplistic picture, for those Im not disagreeing. But the blanket censure of hecs is something I do not understand.

It seems to me, to be almost a smoke screen "we're struggling students" etc Well that I can perfectly sympathize with, one would think this to be the more tenable and present issue. Poorer individuals find everything in society more complicated. It is difficult to balance everything (finances, family work and/or study etc) out and transcend the cycle which creates these distinctions. It is really these social factors that show the over generalisation of theory into practice.

Actually you've probably heard some dont believe centrelink is paying enough to eligible full time students, because of the work load. I certainly hope that was (someone in government) their point and not the opposite.

I think about how friends from high school did not go on to uni. A number of those in the top 10 for instance. Compared to the group of socialites, who's enduring contributing to everyone else was to make our high school years miserable. Once high school finished their daddies stopped buying them ponies and sent them to uni. Good for them, I want the same for my children but there are instances were a lack of monetary backing complicates life for the poorer ones.

Indeed this example seems to me at least to be something of an anomaly. Poverty usually inhibits better grades and overall possibilities well before tertiary education.

To me, the aforesaid issue are a real problem when people whether getting exceptional grades or otherwise, are by default stunted and/or less able to continue education. Yet hecs is entirely the other way around, these 'oppressed' graduates come out with greatly enhanced economic potential, they become the above average income earners. It does not prevent potential students or can be seen as having any adverse affect on graduates. Instead it requires once they graduate they pack back a little of where their good fortune came from.

Hecs is only unfair in the sense of there being inequality between persons of a society which promotes personal wealth, but that applies to everything. Hecs is not intrinsically unfair in -any sense- of handicapping anyone from getting an education. That matter is a distinct problem which should be addressed. Such issues constitute a significantly different concern which I should think for the less wealthy who have seen this reality most clearly, ought not be confused for the sake of rallying against hecs.
Posts: 36 | Registered: Sunday, March 28 2004 08:00
I have AUD$3.87 to my name in General
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Member # 4162
Profile Homepage #33
In my experience the minority are those without cars. And furthermore those with cars are at least 5000, while there are numerous expensive (30 000+) cars as well. The era of poor, financially struggling or less affluent students seem to be becoming something of the past.

Only recently did I have enough to buy text books for the semester. At the same time buying a car anytime soon has been set back yet again.

For the earlier comments in this thread, Im yet to see a good reason why uni graduates should not pay for their education or think a raise in fees is somehow an unfair burden.
Posts: 36 | Registered: Sunday, March 28 2004 08:00
More classical music and such... in General
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Member # 4162
Profile Homepage #42
Does anyone have suggestiosn for organ music ?

I have Toccatta and Fugue, something else, a bit of Haendal (sp). But Im not an especially avid listener to music. Classical music is probably the most frequent of my choices, because it's more preferable as background noise.
Posts: 36 | Registered: Sunday, March 28 2004 08:00
Avernum 2 keyboard problems in Tech Support
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Member # 4162
Profile Homepage #4
Patch :)
Posts: 36 | Registered: Sunday, March 28 2004 08:00
Cleric/Sorcerer Combination in Blades of Avernum
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Profile Homepage #8
I think a cleric fighter combination is usually more strategically economic. Because both mages and clerics have veru useful spells, so if you converge all your high level spells into one character you will often be faced with a choice between both spell trees.

Because there is not a lot of demand on group formation (there is some degree of formation tactics), you have a greater window of opportunity pre-engagement to fire arrows and cast a spell or two. For this reason I usually make a typical fighter with some bow skills, a second level fighter with high level cleric skills, an archer with weak melee and healing/curing capacity and a pure mage with first level healing/curing.

Thiuus way formation comes natural in most situations and a combination of innate enhancement spells (cleric spells) and raw offensive can be accomplished with the first round.

Although Im inclined to use haste as my first spell on my mage. Personally I think haste being such a useful innate enhancement should be a cleric oreintated spell. Whereas slow can be thought of as an alteration (external physical affecting) spell.
Posts: 36 | Registered: Sunday, March 28 2004 08:00
Avernum 2 keyboard problems in Tech Support
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Profile Homepage #2
No what I mean is even taking into account the slightly of centre view, my character will still walk 'diagonal'.

To avoid confusion this problem does not happen in Avernum 3 where my direction keys and correspnding actions are in sync. Whereas Avernum 1 & 2 both have this diagonal walking problem.
Posts: 36 | Registered: Sunday, March 28 2004 08:00
Avernum 2 keyboard problems in Tech Support
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Member # 4162
Profile Homepage #0
Hello, simply enough my keyboard direction keys dont seem to function properly. They operate as though Im moving diagonal to the direction I intend.
Posts: 36 | Registered: Sunday, March 28 2004 08:00
Suicide in General
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Member # 4162
Profile Homepage #150
quote:
Concerning the not thinking after suicide: That is presuming that Deity is non-existant, which is what I presume most suicidal people hope - because most religions believe that suicide will be punished in an afterlife
This is a very sensitive topic given it's implications..yet I would say it is not an intrinsically Christian view point, whether it is Catholic (i.e. 'inspired doctrine') or what be it, maybe so. However there is no actual condemnation of suicide in the Bible.

Personally I dont see how anyone who because of their obviously immense despair takes their own life is deserving of punishment. Generalisations about being weak tend to look at all human experience as being relatively equal, which does not appear to be the case.

One person can endure the loss of a friend or a difficult situation whereas another will find the experience tragic beyond words. So comparisons based on classification of 'weak' have the inarticulate lack of tending to suggest that the individual's level of resistence was below average. Whereas it may well be that the magnitude of personal experience cannot be compared between individuals.

In sum I would reserve judgement of others, on most topics for lack of knowing better, but especially in areas of suicide where it is callous to judge them so negatively after such tragedy.

On a slightly different note, predictors of happiness place belief systems as one of the highest sustainable factors. Ironically, I suppose in our society, income and other materialistic based values are not scored as highly on what determines sustainable happiness.

Additionally, in light of the above, it's quite possible that if someone has a world view where meaning is a little less arbitrary. Then this combination of potential levels of happiness and personal philosophy may infuse a type of predispostion which is more resilent (by virtue of perspective, rather than claims of personal strenght) to suicidale inclinations.

quote:
If afterlife does exist, thinking still exists and thus the pain may still exist, except this time there WILL be no end.
Slightly off topic but this interpretation of Hell is based on mistranslation and persistent solecism. Instead of diverting the subject, since you are somewhat interested please go to this thread and read from the second page on (my user name is Thun) - http://www.rottentomatoes.com/vine/showthread.php?t=317287&page=2&pp=30

If you have any questions, please ask away, as Im rather ardent on this topic since it causes so much misunderstanding and suffering. I suggest either posting in the forwarded thread or emailing me. Im presently occupied with uni obligations (yes I see the contradiction IMAGE(smile003.gif) ) until friday.
Posts: 36 | Registered: Sunday, March 28 2004 08:00