Author Topic: WOT Help  (Read 54146 times)

IngtarWhoStoleChristmas

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Re: WOT Help
« Reply #105 on: December 19, 2008, 08:26:43 PM »
Just to help kill any discussion about there not being a religion in WoT

http://linuxmafia.com/jordan/2_nondark/2.7_generalities/2.7.4_religion.html

RJ pretty clearly states that there is only one and it is not gone to in great depth because the characters in the store relate to their deity in everyday life.

mtbikemom

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Re: WOT Help
« Reply #106 on: December 20, 2008, 12:02:30 PM »
   Respectfully, BanD, I did not say there was no religion in WOT, I said that certain characters seemed to have no explanation for their innate morality.   Curious that so many fantasy novels are set in medieval-like settings, yet lack a key part of that culture: churches.  Hmmm... makes me think of a certain John Lennon song which I despise.

   JoeC, if you are not going to miss Rand's pov (point of view) and you actually enjoy RJ's endless descriptions , you will do just fine finishing TWoT, methinks.  You may even enjoy the two books I could not abide.  Don't forget to use http://www.encyclopaedia-wot.org/ (carefully) if you come across a character that you need a reminder about.  It lists everything that every character ever said and did, but don't read too far down to avoid spoilers.  You may need this for books 8-11.

   Hooray, Brandon, for coming to the close of the first draft of book 12!  What discipline!  I can't wait.

douglas

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Re: WOT Help
« Reply #107 on: December 20, 2008, 06:41:50 PM »
   Respectfully, BanD, I did not say there was no religion in WOT, I said that certain characters seemed to have no explanation for their innate morality.   Curious that so many fantasy novels are set in medieval-like settings, yet lack a key part of that culture: churches.  Hmmm... makes me think of a certain John Lennon song which I despise.
Any thoughts about my proposed reason in the last post on page 6?

I think that morality is really tied more to culture than religion, it's just that religion tends to be a major part of culture.  In the case of the WoT, the (single) religion is really little more than the acknowledged facts that the Creator and Dark One exist, are good and evil respectively, and that the Dark One is constantly trying to break free from his prison and destroy/remake the world.  There is no real religious doctrine that I've noticed aside from "oppose the Dark One" (also "don't name the Dark One", which makes you wonder how his name seems to be universally known) and the basic tenets of the religion are universally accepted as fact, so there is no need for churches or priests.

   JoeC, if you are not going to miss Rand's pov (point of view) and you actually enjoy RJ's endless descriptions , you will do just fine finishing TWoT, methinks.  You may even enjoy the two books I could not abide.  Don't forget to use http://www.encyclopaedia-wot.org/ (carefully) if you come across a character that you need a reminder about.  It lists everything that every character ever said and did, but don't read too far down to avoid spoilers.  You may need this for books 8-11.
Or just ask here if the delay is acceptable.  I'm sure there are plenty of people here (myself included) who would be happy to provide spoiler-free reminders about characters.

   Hooray, Brandon, for coming to the close of the first draft of book 12!  What discipline!  I can't wait.
Actually, that progress bar is based on a 400k word estimate for the book which is now known to be too low by 200-300k.  He kept it at 100%=400k words mainly because that seemed an achievable end-of-year goal, I think, though also to prevent getting bombarded by questions about why the progress indicator went down by 1/3 or so.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2008, 06:43:23 PM by douglas »

CharlesMahan

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Re: WOT Help
« Reply #108 on: December 21, 2008, 05:42:04 AM »
Curious that so many fantasy novels are set in medieval-like settings, yet lack a key part of that culture: churches. 

Wheel of Time isn't really set in medieval-like setting. The tech level and societal level is more or less at that stage that comes right before an industrial revolution.  Indeed I would expect an industrial revolution to occurr early in the fourth age, assuming there is a fourth age...
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mtbikemom

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Re: WOT Help
« Reply #109 on: December 21, 2008, 12:40:02 PM »
     Hmmm... makes me think of a certain John Lennon song which I despise.
Any thoughts about my proposed reason in the last post on page 6?

  Again, it's just another secular fantasy, a world without an active Creator in which there are no temples of worship, no clergy (speaking of the Two Rivers culture) and no basis for the strict codes by which they live.  You'll have to find me an example on earth of a culture devoid of a codified belief system in which human rights, especially rights of lower classes and women, prevail.  Go ahead, I dare ya!

   Now, at least two other cultures have well-defined religions in WOT.  For certain city states (Tear and that place where Cadsuane was from) RJ gave excellent background for their beliefs and it helped explain their sometimes strange behavior throughout.  But the Two rivers folk just seem to be humming "Imagine" throughout, but acting like good Mormons, Baptists, Quakers... you-name-it benevolent belief system that emphasizes respect for all life.  I'll say it again one more time, that is not within human nature for that kind of a system to develop in a religion-free environment. (Wikpedia says, "A religion is a of way of life based on tenets (or a belief system) about the ultimate power. It is generally expressed through conducts such as prayers, rituals, or other practices, often centered upon specific supernatural and moral claims about reality (the cosmos, and human nature) which may yield a set of religious laws.")  Anyone care to defend my opinion?

   I will try to move this thread elsewhere as it is continuing to intrigue some and I think JoeC would rather we ramble about his delightful journey through WOT rather than philosophize endlessly about things he'd rather not think about.  Right?

I think that morality is really tied more to culture than religion, it's just that religion tends to be a major part of culture.  In the case of the WoT, the (single) religion is really little more than the acknowledged facts that the Creator and Dark One exist, are good and evil respectively, and that the Dark One is constantly trying to break free from his prison and destroy/remake the world.  There is no real religious doctrine that I've noticed aside from "oppose the Dark One" (also "don't name the Dark One", which makes you wonder how his name seems to be universally known) and the basic tenets of the religion are universally accepted as fact, so there is no need for churches or priests.

"... imagine all the people living for today..."   Imagine chaos, rampant slavery, tyrants' rule and all the evils of the Soviet Union and North Korea covering the globe.  That is what happens when religion and worship are removed, not "living life in peace," Mr. Lennon.



Actually, that progress bar is based on a 400k word estimate for the book which is now known to be too low by 200-300k.  He kept it at 100%=400k words mainly because that seemed an achievable end-of-year goal, I think, though also to prevent getting bombarded by questions about why the progress indicator went down by 1/3 or so.
Quote

   I know, I know, I'm just being enthusiastic about any and all progress.  By this time next year, if I am not mistaken, those of us who have invested ourselves in this story will probably be reading its hopefully-satisfying conclusion with a lovely hardcover book in our eager hands.     

mtbikemom

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Re: WOT Help
« Reply #110 on: December 21, 2008, 12:59:32 PM »
Sorry about the format of my last post.  I've got to learn how to utilize separate quotes.  My additions are in purple and in the final paragraph.   

And, BanD, I finally read the excellent link you included in your post and I respectively disagree with Mr. Rigney.  It is his world to build, but I think it is lazy to portray innate moral beliefs without a system to perpetuate and encourage those good things. 

Man's nature is to go "Lord of the Flies" without the mature guidance of a benevolent faith system to follow.

I will try to sart a new thread about religion within fantasy novels sometime soon.  For now, this will end my replies on the subject here!  Please "pm" me with any more challenges: respectfully, please!
« Last Edit: December 21, 2008, 01:08:42 PM by mtbikemom »

TyranAmiros

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Re: WOT Help
« Reply #111 on: December 21, 2008, 06:56:16 PM »
Curious that so many fantasy novels are set in medieval-like settings, yet lack a key part of that culture: churches. 

Wheel of Time isn't really set in medieval-like setting. The tech level and societal level is more or less at that stage that comes right before an industrial revolution.  Indeed I would expect an industrial revolution to occurr early in the fourth age, assuming there is a fourth age...

I agree, the main continent is definitely on the verge of an industrial revolution--as Rand's latest trip to the Academy and Mat's experiments with cannon demonstrate.  But could Aiel carry guns, that is the question.

To go back to why there are no churches in Randland, I think Jordan said something about this a while ago.  I can't find the original quote, but religion isn't like our world because the Blight, Trollocs, Myddraal, and thousands of other creatures created in the War of Power serve as daily reminders that the Dark One and the Creator are real.  There isn't the need to affirm their belief, because the theology of Randland is empirically visible.  I'd also argue that the Aes Sedai fill most of the holes typically served by a religion--serving as moral advisors, preserving the land's philosophy, history, and knowledge, connection to a preternatural force.

mtbikemom

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Re: WOT Help
« Reply #112 on: December 21, 2008, 10:33:11 PM »
To go back to why there are no churches in Randland, I think Jordan said something about this a while ago.  I can't find the original quote, but religion isn't like our world because the Blight, Trollocs, Myddraal, and thousands of other creatures created in the War of Power serve as daily reminders that the Dark One and the Creator are real.  There isn't the need to affirm their belief, because the theology of Randland is empirically visible.  I'd also argue that the Aes Sedai fill most of the holes typically served by a religion--serving as moral advisors, preserving the land's philosophy, history, and knowledge, connection to a preternatural force.

Good point!  I can sort of see that to a certain extent.  I mean, the Creator of Randland is actually Robert Jordan and the creator of RJ is James Rigney and the... etc...    It would be just weird if RJ had sudenly inserted himself into the story unless

!!! SPOILER ALERT!!!











Verin is actually the Creator as has been surmised by some kook somewhere. 

  I have been so amused by certain forums, not here, that contain frustrated querries like, "If Rand can do this and Nynaeve can do that, then why don't they..."  I just want to gently remind them that Randland is a limited world created by a finite human.  There are inconsistencies and mistakes.  On the other hand, our world does not contain flaws in the laws of physics or general design, being created by an all-knowing, all-powerful infinite being.  All the flaws are due to sinful human behavior, according to the Bible.

   It is to RJ's credit that he created a world that, if one does not over-analyze (have I done that?), one can get lost in the many intricacies that border on perfection but don't really achieve it.  And now Brandon has to put all the pieces together.  Whew!

CharlesMahan

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Re: WOT Help
« Reply #113 on: December 22, 2008, 03:01:23 AM »
I think the reason there are no churches in RandLand has a lot to do with the fact that as has been said, the Creator is real and there are plenty of reminders laying around.  Just as importantly, the creator has not expressed an interest in being worshipped.  Only the Dark One has expressed an interest in being worshipped.  At least in this age, there has been only one divine intervention on the part of the Creator, and in that one moment of intervention, the Creator basically said that he would not intervene.  The Creator, the Dark One... they are not elements of faith, they are facts of life.

All that said, I think it's important to remember the Prophet and his rather large following.  They sound like religious fanatics to me.    They are certainly not an organized religion, but they are something of a disorganized religion.  As for organized religions, the Children of the Light and the Aes Sedai probably come the closest to being religious orders.

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mtbikemom

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Re: WOT Help
« Reply #114 on: December 22, 2008, 03:56:20 AM »
I think the reason there are no churches in RandLand has a lot to do with the fact that as has been said, the Creator is real and there are plenty of reminders laying around.  Just as importantly, the creator has not expressed an interest in being worshipped.  Only the Dark One has expressed an interest in being worshipped. 

Another good point, IMO.  This is what I'm talkin' about... lively discussion, but we (I, someone) really must move it.


leiftinspace

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Re: WOT Help
« Reply #115 on: December 23, 2008, 06:38:26 PM »
But why would we do that when we're having so much fun? ;)

Seriously, I do believe that religion can have a major effect on people's lives. It has had a major effect on mine recently in overcoming some personal problems. However, even before I became active again I still tried to be nice, and generally decent, and I hadn't gone to church or had anything to do with my faith in years. I didn't even think about what God would have me do, or anything like that. I just respected people for who they were, people, with thoughts and feelings as poignant as my own, and being nice to them generally made my life easier. I think both sides of this debate have merit. for some people, religion may be a necessity to help them do good, if only due to fear of punishment in the afterlife. Other people simply have a high regard for life and try to be good because that is how they want to live. Basically, religion may be a necessity for some to live a good life, but not necessarily for all, and everyone has the right to believe what they wish.

OK, I said my two crowns worth on that subject. As for the series in general, to reiterate what others have said, loved it, very complex  and incredible depth. Books 1 and 10 do move rather slow I feel, but work great as preludes to books 2 and 11. My favorites are 6, 9, & 11.
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Reaves

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Re: WOT Help
« Reply #116 on: December 23, 2008, 07:31:56 PM »
...I think most religions would tell you that the point of religious belief is not to be a "good" person.
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Peter Ahlstrom

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Re: WOT Help
« Reply #117 on: December 23, 2008, 10:02:02 PM »
What do you mean, Reaves?
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Reaves

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Re: WOT Help
« Reply #118 on: December 24, 2008, 02:57:54 AM »
I guess I suppose I am a bit off on that, as far as "most" religions go. But I believe that there is only one true God and one true faith, and that being a "good" person is not enough. "All men have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God"- which is what God requires for eternal life- perfection. It's impossible to achieve- we can't do it. And so God sent his son to do it for us.
Yeah, now that I think about it Christianity is really the only religion that says that. Islam and Judaism both focus on works and good deeds, Bhuddism...well, I don't really know much about it, just that it focuses on respecting life, being a good person, etc.
I am well aware that my beliefs are not shared by everyone on these boards. Please do not think I am trying to disparage your beliefs or say that I am better than you somehow. That is quite the opposite of what I am saying- I am the worst sinner I know  :P

And now I really must agree with mtbikemom; this conversation has lost all pretense of being related to the WOT  :P
Quote from: VegasDev
RJF: "AHA! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is never get involved in a land war in Cairhien, but only slightly less well-known is this: never go in against a warder when he is only the distraction! Get him Rand! Buzzzzzzz!

mtlhddoc2

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Re: WOT Help
« Reply #119 on: December 24, 2008, 05:06:19 AM »
Since people are STILL on religion, let me point this out to you. The real reason most people of European descent are Christian is because Roman Emperor Constantine converted and forced everyone in the Roman empire to convert. If he had converted to Judaism, the majority here would be jewish, not Christian. Religion has as much to do with tradition and upbringing as it does with "faith".

and I personally refuse to believe that a "loving god" would be so cruel as to force everyone to prostrate themselves before him in order to ascend. mtbikemom sent me a couple pms, but this should suffice for an answer.

I know you all think I "cannot be saved" because I do not believe, but I look at religion this way:

If you were told that all the food in the world was poisoned and the only way to survive was to drink this antidote which had a side effect of making you sing songs for 2 hours a week praising the antidote and believe that everyone who didnt take the antidote was going to die. Yet, some people choose not to take the antidote, and live anyway, without any side effects. But you all take it anyway, even though you cannot see any benefit from it other than the fact that you get toigether often with people who take the same flavor antidote and spend your lives putting down people who take other flavors, or take none at all. Religion is like any business, being a good person will never be part of their plan, for if that was the case, they would be OUT of business. whenever you sell a product, you have to make people believe they cannot live without it, this is no different.

and for Reaves: Islam is an offshoot of Christianity, much like Mormonism is. The Torah and the New Testament are part of their holy books, they just believe that Mohammed is another prophet who came after Moses and Jesus (they think Jesus was a prophet, not the son of God).

As for Wheel of Time: they interact with their "creator" ofetn in the books, what do you need churches for when you can interact directly with your diety? Churches and religion are only viable when people CANNOT interact with their deity (see Children of the Light).