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A Theory for Each Faction

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AttilaSquare

AttilaSquare

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I've been working on a new planar theory and magic theory thread and have run into a problem that I want to share with you all: theories of ultimate things, like THE WORLD (planar theory) or LIFE (theories of anima) or BEING (magic theory?), provide the whole context and fundamental concepts of our lives - they are a lot more like religions than sciences.

Science often claims to be objective, but science also rarely speaks clearly on ultimate things. The Big Bang is pretty mysterious. The theory of evolution doesn't give meaning to life. Science presupposes a certain account of being; it doesn't provide one. Whenever science does address these more directly, it too sounds less than scientific and more religious.
In fact, I think this is a misleading dichotomy anyway, but I won't discuss that here.


So, planar theory and magic theory also struggle to be "objective." Instead, their concepts end up sounding like religious concepts. I want to get a sense from the lorehounds: does this sound right to you?

And if so, would we be surprised if there emerged a more Armadylean-sounding planar theory, and a more Saradominist-sounding planar theory, and a more Zarosian-sounding planar theory, and a more Zamorakian-sounding planar theory, etc.? Maybe they would overlap significantly, but I'm sure they might also diverge. The same goes for magic theory, etc.

Would you want to see the various esoteric theories developed this way? I think this might bring life back into these parts of the lore again. It allows the mods to incorporate them into their storytelling without risking overdetermining the laws of Gielinor.

Please let me know what you think!

10-Nov-2016 19:23:37

Solanumtinkr
Jul Member 2009

Solanumtinkr

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Magic would be a sticky one to tackle as a lot of it maybe greatly effected by perception. If spellbooks only being usable one at a time, like prayer books, is more than just a mechanic that would suggest that each book has it's own way, it's own lens of perception with which to view and manipulate that power. A specific format that uses the mental tools provided to achive it's end goal.

The question I'd ask then is just how separate is that kind of perception from the power itself?

If sentience generates more anima, could it be our anima is more complex and that those perception tools may in fact help shape that complex anima in a way that reforms the power they are reaching for in specific ways?

It would be hard to put forward theories of magic when anima is so tightly bound to it and so little is truly known about anima other than it being generated by living things.

An interesting point from there would be that if perception just change the nature of magic then how far does religious belief contribute in that reforming(?)? If a fair bit, then indeed any magical theory would be incomplete without including it. If not then you have to ask why those mental tools w do so when belief does not.

Could belief be only tied to the spiritual? But if it is only tied to the spiritual when both magic and prayer are anima based, then why are they different? It could be taken to be obvious there is a difference when magic, summoning and prayer all dip into different personal reservoirs. Reservoirs that are nothing but mental constructs?

Could it be that the base power underpinning it all is just easier to use in segregation? Could all those threads be woven into one? A unified theory of magic could have far reaching implications.
The purpose of adventure is to shine light into dark places,
Poke monsters with a sharp stick, Then steal anything that isn't nailed down!
To the Manor Born QFC 185-186-367-65788716

10-Nov-2016 21:05:00

Cthris

Cthris

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AttilaSquare said:

Science often claims to be objective, but science also rarely speaks clearly on ultimate things. The Big Bang is pretty mysterious. The theory of evolution doesn't give meaning to life. Science presupposes a certain account of being; it doesn't provide one.


Looking to find the second best explanation eh? ;) Knowing your love of Plato it doesn't really surprise me your ran into this problem. Personally, as a nihlist I prefer objective accounts with no meaning :P but I would also love to see how you develop your theories in respect to each factions cultural goals and values to give it meaning. (Especially Zamorak)


Roland Lyons said:
You mean like a creation story for each religion or something?

I think Attila means that he wants to develop an account for "how things are" using the universally true knowledge that has been revealed to us (ie elder gods) but not strictly that. I think he wants an element of "Why things are" (as in why 1 plus 1 equals 2, rather than what happens when its 1 plus 1)

Of course each culture values different things. A good real world example is that during the 20th century Western science and Eastern science were developing parallel ideas about the family structures of certain primates. While both accounts were objective and both sides did "good" science, the empirical data that each side came up with differed immensely. The Eastern side characterized the family power structures as much more lateral, while the Westerners characterized them as hierarchical and way more vertical.

Its interesting to note that their data reflected how each culture creates their own society, leading some to wonder if science tells us more about ourselves then it tells us about truth.

For the record, neither account of the primates in necessarily true, we still don't know which one is more true and it has everything to do with "why" things happen

10-Nov-2016 21:12:32

Cthris

Cthris

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For example, the Easterns looked at the primate behavior where say one primate shared its food with another. The Easterners might look at this and say "This primate shared its food because it values communal ties" The Westerners might say "This primate shared its food because it respects authority."

Both assumptions would lead to very empirical data.

10-Nov-2016 21:16:28

Solanumtinkr
Jul Member 2009

Solanumtinkr

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Cthris said:
Both assumptions would lead to very empirical data.
Yet both would be based on cultural assumptions and not truly be objective. But they are the tools we have and all we have to frame the world with. The trick is to keep an open mind and not close off ideas of what may be purely due to it violating your own personal world view of how the universe works.

Take Einstein's theory of Gravity. People hold that as true, it matches what is observed...except when it rams up against quantum mechanics where it falls apart. That is why people search for a theory of everything that would combine the 2. Yet the more we find out, the weirder the universe seems to become. Wrinkles that potentialy allow for warp drives, teleporters and light sabres, where as not so long ago those researching such things were driven from the scientific community like there were heretics. A definite lack of objectivity there.

Though things seem to be a little calmer now. At l;east some are now wiling to wait for full theories and equations before ripping them apart. Dark matter/energy comes from a lack of gravity and the quantum realm theories being able to meld...at least these days some may be willing to see if revered titans of their field were wrong. It doesn't detract anything from their achievement as it still allowed people the tools to reach further and discover new wrinkles in how things work. That there is objectivity, to seek to learn and to keep an open mind about what you think you know, to it's a strange world we live in and embrace it when it surprises us.

The first part of any objective study is to acknowledge that we all have a bias and to work to avoid it shading the study. You only have to look at gender bias and attempts at equality to see that it set back parts of neurological and medical research back about 70 years. Dogma is objectivity's greatest enemy. :|
The purpose of adventure is to shine light into dark places,
Poke monsters with a sharp stick, Then steal anything that isn't nailed down!
To the Manor Born QFC 185-186-367-65788716

11-Nov-2016 06:10:43

AttilaSquare

AttilaSquare

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Hey, Solanumtinkr, I think magic theory and anima theory have to be developed together - I posted on Last Prophet's On Chaos Druids a draft of a headcannon history of magic that examines several different versions of those concepts intertwined. I've tied spirits and the spiritual into the definitions of anima too. So I hope it will amount to a historically developing unified theory, set somewhat within an intellectual/cultural Armadylean tradition.

Socrateaus, yes, that's the right track. I'm skeptical of speaking of pure objectivity.

I also think that this is perhaps overstated: Solanumtinkr said:
Dogma is objectivity's greatest enemy. :|
Without some dogma, or at least shared presumptions, science doesn't get off the ground. Instead we need a balance between open inquiry and established assumptions, geared toward a systematic appreciation of all the ways and conditions under which various phenomena can appear.

13-Nov-2016 15:00:09

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