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Puzzled by the main concept of the game....


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Darth Trethon is on target here. Let me rephrase part of what he seems to me to be saying:

 

If your soul isn't you, then why should you care about its eventual fate?

 

---

 

Also, reincarnation is something of an affront to the uniqueness and individuality of each person.

 

The concept of reincarnation has historically been used to justify awful things like caste systems, but then so has the concept of the immortal individual soul (God will save your soul if you're innocent, etc).

 

I hope that the writers leave much of specific concerning the reality of souls, the afterlife, and reincarnation ambiguous and mysterious (tho exploring the particulars of the beliefs of the inhabitants of the world is welcome). The concept of the soul as the source of magic does not require an explicit explanation of these things. I hope that direct "divine intervention" is rare and the "gods" are distant (which seemed to be the general concept put forth in at least one of the updates).

Edited by ddillon
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Darth Trethon is on target here. Let me rephrase part of what he seems to me to be saying:

 

If your soul isn't you, then why should you care about its eventual fate?

 

---

 

Also, reincarnation is something of an affront to the uniqueness and individuality of each person.

 

The concept of reincarnation has historically been used to justify awful things like caste systems, but then so has the concept of the immortal individual soul (God will save your soul if you're innocent, etc).

 

I hope that the writers leave much of specific concerning the reality of souls, the afterlife, and reincarnation ambiguous and mysterious (tho exploring the particulars of the beliefs of the inhabitants of the world is welcome). The concept of the soul as the source of magic does not require an explicit explanation of these things. I hope that direct "divine intervention" is rare and the "gods" are distant (which seemed to be the general concept put forth in at least one of the updates).

 

Precisely. Although I am, always have been and always will be one for specifics so I do hope they develop more upon this concept since as the core of the lore it is the key that holds it all together.....the plot, the conflicts and the source of power.

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In the interview here: http://www.gamesindu...-on-kickstarter

 

Chris Avellone said:

The whole premise of the lore and the magic system is that souls get inherited, and then when you pass away the souls wait for a time and then come back to another body. The question is how much of your own behavior is being governed by your own free will or the influence of the soul inside you and all of its history?

 

This seems a bit nonsensical to me in that it separates the self or the individual from his or her soul. To me the notion of the self, the part that thinks and reasons and chooses is the soul. The soul is that which animates an otherwise useless object. I can get behind the idea of reincarnation which leaves the issue of the memory wipe to contend with but still...that part is reasonable.

 

 

 

How is it nonsensical in the context of fantasy? I mean this whole discussion is really pointless and nonsensical if you ask me.

 

I've been explaining throughout the first page and a half or so. If none of that helps understand the point do not trouble yourself too much with it. It's all abstract philosophy anyway, it can get(and often does) very messy.

 

Let me get this straight, we're arguing about what it means to have a soul in a fictitious universe that is in the nascent stages of development?

 

Christ I need more booze for this.

 

Yes that is the idea... :grin::wowey:

 

Philosophy has always been an interest of mine and I figure that since the lore is in the early stages of development now is the best time to have this discussion while our opinions, thoughts and ideas can still matter and make a difference rather than later in development when most of the content has been created and the central concepts of the lore are largely unchangeable. :sorcerer:

Edited by Darth Trethon

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Darth Trethon is on target here. Let me rephrase part of what he seems to me to be saying:

 

If your soul isn't you, then why should you care about its eventual fate?

 

---

 

Also, reincarnation is something of an affront to the uniqueness and individuality of each person.

 

The concept of reincarnation has historically been used to justify awful things like caste systems, but then so has the concept of the immortal individual soul (God will save your soul if you're innocent, etc).

 

I hope that the writers leave much of specific concerning the reality of souls, the afterlife, and reincarnation ambiguous and mysterious (tho exploring the particulars of the beliefs of the inhabitants of the world is welcome). The concept of the soul as the source of magic does not require an explicit explanation of these things. I hope that direct "divine intervention" is rare and the "gods" are distant (which seemed to be the general concept put forth in at least one of the updates).

 

 

The Caste system ion the Indian Subcontinent evolved from the concept of Varna or color (which in turn cane from the concept of Jati which were related to occupation or tribal affiliation) which served as a way for the Aryan invading peoples into the sub-continent to keep separated from the darker Dravidian indigenous peoples. The castes were also more flexible in the origination and became more rigid over time. Much of this change, again had more to do with population segregation than any religious doctrine.

 

With regards to the OP's post; You seem to be caught up in the language CA used to describe the soul mechanism; which I admit is a bit awkward. that said, I think it has more to do with the PC interior monologue as a writer (CA) might imagine it to be in a world where one not only knows of the existence of one's soul but also of its general typology, and can even draw power from it. It is a bit of an existential quandary who is the actor in any given moment? Not that the soul & the individual it inhabits are 2 separate entities, but that there is a manifest (me) and a latent (it). The latent doesn't get hungry, sleepy, need to take a sh*t, does it? So the Manifest part of the PC can often see a bifurcation where one doesn't really exist.

 

BTW, these are pretty common tenets of most reincarnation philosophies. Nothing really new here.

Edited by curryinahurry
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The Caste system ion the Indian Subcontinent evolved from the concept of Varna or color (which in turn cane from the concept of Jati which were related to occupation or tribal affiliation) which served as a way for the Aryan invading peoples into the sub-continent to keep separated from the darker Dravidian indigenous peoples. The castes were also more flexible in the origination and became more rigid over time. Much of this change, again had more to do with population segregation than any religious doctrine.

 

With regards to the OP's post; You seem to be caught up in the language CA used to describe the soul mechanism; which I admit is a bit awkward. that said, I think it has more to do with the PC interior monologue as a writer (CA) might imagine it to be in a world where one not only knows of the existence of one's soul but also of its general typology, and can even draw power from it. It is a bit of an existential quandary who is the actor in any given moment? Not that the soul & the individual it inhabits are 2 separate entities, but that there is a manifest (me) and a latent (it). The latent doesn't get hungry, sleepy, need to take a sh*t, does it? So the Manifest part of the PC can often see a bifurcation where one doesn't really exist.

 

BTW, these are pretty common tenets of most reincarnation philosophies. Nothing really new here.

 

I like this and I honestly hope you are right. I just thought the issue is worth discussing so they have more ideas on the table and early feedback on the core driving elements of the lore since in that same interview CA did say they were interested in player feedback early on while things are still being molded rather than after the fact.

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Well how exactly does reincarnation work? If someone needs to die in order to have their soul pass into new life, wouldn't that render population growth stagnant? Or do plants and animals also have souls? Can souls be created or destroyed?

 

There might be a much greater pool of souls than there are people at any one time. Also, we don't know how souls are created, evolve, devolve, splinter, re-combine, etc. And personally, I would prefer if they kept these things a bit vague.

 

 

To Darth Trethon; I hope so as well, but I'm also drawing these conclusions from characters CA has written before, and some themes that are pretty common in the Obsidian oeuvre. the latest incarnation of such a character was Anjali in DS3. Her story was actually the most interesting aspect of the game, and I wish it had been expanded upon.

Edited by curryinahurry
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How exactly does reincarnation work? If someone needs to die in order to have their soul pass into new life, wouldn't that render population growth stagnant? Or do plants and animals also have souls? Can souls be created or destroyed?

 

That is assuming that all souls are capable of being incarnated at once....my perception of this is that there untold numbers of souls and no matter how large the population gets only a relatively small portion of them are alive at once.

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The 'person' seeing his own soul as an external being is totally normal.

 

Think about it: For most people, they grow up and becomes who they are with only minimal influences from their past lives. However, there is always a 'danger' of their soul emerging and their past lives overwriting their current life.

 

This means that, for example, a young dwarf wife could, for example, believe she is a human king that died a couple of years ago and try to get back his wife, thus endangering a conflict both within the person but also in the lives of everyone around.

 

In practicality, it's normal for people to be very, very worried about their souls.

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The 'person' seeing his own soul as an external being is totally normal.

 

Think about it: For most people, they grow up and becomes who they are with only minimal influences from their past lives. However, there is always a 'danger' of their soul emerging and their past lives overwriting their current life.

 

This means that, for example, a young dwarf wife could, for example, believe she is a human king that died a couple of years ago and try to get back his wife, thus endangering a conflict both within the person but also in the lives of everyone around.

 

In practicality, it's normal for people to be very, very worried about their souls.

 

It's something I have been pondering and perhaps one of the best way to look at the issue. The soul in this case is something that I believe is more commonly known as the subconscious.....the totality of who and what we are. The part of us that drives our actions and choices but is always out of the reach of the conscious mind. There ought to be plenty of rich lore as to why a soul does not remember all of its existence as both prior lives and time spend in the afterlife between lives is this is what they are going for.

 

My main fear with what CA has said is that they may try to go for a literal separation of the self and the soul as actually being two separate entities.

Edited by Darth Trethon

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My main fear with what CA has said is that they may try to go for a literal separation of the self and the soul as actually being two separate entities.

I don't think that's the case in Project Eternity. One of the lore updates from Kickstarter describes a phenomenon capable of shearing souls away from the bodies of their owners, the "biamhac". Those so affected are immediately reduced to a catatonic state. From that description I gather that a person's consciousness is part of their soul, meaning that when a soul is removed from the body the result is an empty shell. The body won't die straightaway because basic processes such as breathing are automatic, but eventually it will die from exposure or lack of water and food.

 

Actually, "die" may not be the right word here; in my opinion the individual died as soon as their soul was severed from their body, the body just keeps functioning for a little while longer.

Edited by faeriehunter
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Many people make a confusion between spirit and personality. I agree that by choosing the word "soul" Obsidian is a little at fault as in different cultures it has a very different meaning. I would count the spirit as the summum of experiences from all incarnations that goes trough reincarnation and the personality something that lingers on into the next lives at a maximum trough some complicated consequences but only by coincidence it would be similar.

Edited by Gicusan
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Let me get this straight, we're arguing about what it means to have a soul in a fictitious universe that is in the nascent stages of development?

 

Christ I need more booze for this.

 

Amen brother. Mind you, do you think souls will have a cool-down mechanic?

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With notion that souls can splinter or a body can have multiple souls I almost envision a sort of metaphysical DNA that can mutate and recombine.

 

Bit whatever they do I hope the mechanics of souls in this game world are never fully explained... just like the real world. Characters in the game should able to argue over and wrestle with issues of the spiritual realm. Explicit explanations of the planes and spirituality in most CRPGs usually kills the sense of wonder and mystery that the topic should possess.

Edited by nikolokolus
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...snip...

 

The concept of reincarnation has historically been used to justify awful things like caste systems, but then so has the concept of the immortal individual soul (God will save your soul if you're innocent, etc).

 

...snip...

The Caste system ion the Indian Subcontinent evolved from the concept of Varna or color (which in turn cane from the concept of Jati which were related to occupation or tribal affiliation) which served as a way for the Aryan invading peoples into the sub-continent to keep separated from the darker Dravidian indigenous peoples. The castes were also more flexible in the origination and became more rigid over time. Much of this change, again had more to do with population segregation than any religious doctrine.

 

...snip...

 

That is a probable origin of the system, but it does not change that religion was later used to justify the system. However, bear in mind that my intent was not to insult or lay blame solely upon the religions in question (just as I don't hold the whole of Christianity responsible for the witch hunts I referenced in that post). I hold *people* accountable for evil, not the excuses under which they perpetrate their evil. ;)

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:getlost: Gromnir repplying only to the first half sentence I wrote, ignoring the rest and missing the plot of another game while making wild claims of the validity of my points(I hereby pronounce your points invalid type deal).....yep still just trolling.

Then a term like 'ancestral spirit' might be more suited to describe the phenomenon that is called 'soul'. The quality of the sentient human brain that distinguishes it from others is called personality; a soul is the essence of a person/personality.

 

Personality is also fictional. We use the term personality loosely; it does not cover as much ground as a mile and air floats through it unhindered.

 

Personality is the unique set of traits and characteristics that make each individual unique.....

 

Yet these traits and characteristics change constantly. When a person believes in personality and indeed in personhood, it seems they're deluded in other ways too, much in the same way that people who believe in souls are deluded. Yes, everyone is different much in the way that every body is different, but we can examine the world for every minute difference and try to describe it this way, but it bogs down and inaccuracies occur eventually. To be accurate with such a low technology as we have, we sometimes must be succinct and we must sometimes generalize, but eventually personalities will be described as atomic variations. These variations can be put to good use.

 

given that it's near impossible to find two identical individuals kind of makes a strong point for the existence of personality. You can say one straight forward thing to ten different people and get ten different answers....every one of them thinking and reasoning in different ways. I can say a simple word like "apple" and most people will have different ideas....some will think of different colored apples, others will think liking/disliking certain apples, others will think of apple pies.....etc. This applies to everything, without personality all would be identical as they would not have any personal ideas or desires of their own to make them individuals.

 

Yes. Inaccuracy blooms all around us. The Technocracy will eventually eradicate inaccuracy. The term "humankind" is also too generalized. Eventually humankind will perish -- as a term -- and be replaced by quantum definition of substance. We will be cogs in the Great Machine.

"This is what most people do not understand about Colbert and Silverman. They only mock fictional celebrities, celebrities who destroy their selfhood to unify with the wants of the people, celebrities who are transfixed by the evil hungers of the public. Feed us a Gomorrah built up of luminous dreams, we beg. Here it is, they say, and it looks like your steaming brains."

 

" If you've read Hart's Hope, Neveryona, Infinity Concerto, Tales of the Flat Earth, you've pretty much played Dragon Age."

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@septembervirgin But we(our souls) constantly learn and have to adapt to new challenges and situations so change is inevitable. That does not mean that each person does not have a personality....it may not be static but it is there. Our body replaces every last cell over a period of something like ten yeas if I remember correctly....that includes vital organs like the brain and the heart. Just because your body changes does it then mean that you do not have one or that it is fictional? I don't see where change has anything to do with something existing?

 

Also your view of inaccuracy is rather off....what is there to be accurate? Only the word "apple" was said....no question involved. You can do a million things with one and it's not right or wrong to think of any of them. Beyond that your view of technocracy is rather disturbing......no power can eve have absolute control over everyone's thoughts and actions unless that which it controls are merely robots. I could go on for pages on the topic but let's keep this PE related shall we.

Edited by Darth Trethon

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I think that the argument on its face is, questionable, clearly. There is no evidence of soulds period beyond faith and blind speculation.

 

Combined, this is a made up universe, which is made up, and still being made up.

 

Beyond that, this quote immediately struck me as WoT. This is a central theme to the series, really, while most people arent affected by their..past selves, clearly these 'select' few are, and in Rand's case, to maddening effect.

 

Is this system any more logical than another metaphysical, theological system? Nope. As long as it is consistent, and follows it's own internal logic then all is well.

 

That really is all that matters here.

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Let me get this straight, we're arguing about what it means to have a soul in a fictitious universe that is in the nascent stages of development?

 

Christ I need more booze for this.

 

Amen brother. Mind you, do you think souls will have a cool-down mechanic?

 

It's unclear whether the soul can get exhausted or not but the body through which it acts certainly does need to rest....hopefully this answers your question. :thumbsup:

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I think that the argument on its face is, questionable, clearly. There is no evidence of soulds period beyond faith and blind speculation.

 

Combined, this is a made up universe, which is made up, and still being made up.

 

Beyond that, this quote immediately struck me as WoT. This is a central theme to the series, really, while most people arent affected by their..past selves, clearly these 'select' few are, and in Rand's case, to maddening effect.

 

Is this system any more logical than another metaphysical, theological system? Nope. As long as it is consistent, and follows it's own internal logic then all is well.

 

That really is all that matters here.

 

The key here is that it's still being made up and hopefully discussion on the topic can have some positive influence on this. I'd argue against the point that all faith systems are equally logical or that they all lack logic but I rather not chase that topic.

 

With notion that souls can splinter or a body can have multiple souls I almost envision a sort of metaphysical DNA that can mutate and recombine.

 

Bit whatever they do I hope the mechanics of souls in this game world are never fully explained... just like the real world. Characters in the game should able to argue over and wrestle with issues of the spiritual realm. Explicit explanations of the planes and spirituality in most CRPGs usually kills the sense of wonder and mystery that the topic should possess.

 

But it's a game and fantasy.....in this setting we can explore a ton of questions on the subject by adding more details and fleshing it out in game. I sincerely hope Obsidian don't waste this opportunity.

Edited by Darth Trethon

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I think a good analogy to the real world would be genetics. We know now that genetics can leave you predisposed to any number of things, from alcoholism, to cancer, even emotions I do believe. From this, how do you know what you decide to do and what is simply dictated by your DNA? It's the same question, but with regard to past lives. Am I me, or just the result of the collective experiences of my past lives?

 

As to the issue of the after life. Just because it's transitory doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Perhaps each god has it's own little afterlife, where it takes souls it can claim/cajole/convince. For a 'nice' god, perhaps the soul dies, decides to hang out with this guy and starts liking him, and when he's reincarnated he finds himself drawn toward that god without knowing why. Other possible motivations for both sides besides influence in the world - perhaps worship gives the gods power, perhaps it's the god's job, perhaps gods can influence reincarnation.

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