I'm a history geek who loves pretty anime boys being gay, so inevitably I love Hetalia. However, I also have a long-standing obsession with Tolkien, so this blog is now ninety percent Tolkien, heavy on the Silmarillion. I've been hanging around fandom for over a decade now, and I'm lazy, so my actual fic and cosplay and such you'll find at my livejournal ( yavieriel.livejournal.com ) and at fanfiction.net ( http://www.fanfiction.net/u/763283 /Yavieriel_Tarandir ). I may bounce back to Hetalia eventually, but don't hold your breath for it.
If you are a Tolkien RP blog and I've recently unfollowed you, it's because I'm now following you on my RP account, ingwe-ingweron.tumblr.com and I try to keep this dash pruned so I can get through it quickly.
So I’ve been teaching some Quenya to a few people at my school for a while (apparently it’s more of a mainstream interest than I thought it was?), and one of them comes up to me the other day to tell me that she ‘knows someone else who knows it and they say I’m teaching it incorrectly.’ Their complaint?
I’ve taught them all to keep þ.
I don’t think she understood why I found this funny.
I tried writing my thoughts about this. It ended up thirty pages long. Not even kidding.
Here’s the bullet-points version (warning: very few Elves):
- Most people are profoundly confused about free will
- By which I mean if you ask them “What would the world look like if we didn’t have free will? How would we know?” they can’t answer
- And by most people I mean including lots of professional academic philosophers
- This sucks.
- When there’s a question I can’t answer, I find it useful to replace it with the related question “Why does [original question] seem meaningful?” and “What would the world look like if [one answer to original question] was true?”
- So for free will, ask “Why do I feel like I have free will?” instead of “Do I have free will?”
- The feeling of free will comes from my ability to evaluate the choices available to me, predict their future consequences, and deliberate over them and then act on the one that seems best.
- In a lawless universe - one where there was no conceivable way of predicting the consequences of our actions AT ALL - there would be no free will.
- Because you couldn’t choose anything based on reasonable expectations of consequences.
- So free will exists within physics - it is because the universe is fundamentally lawful that “choice” is even a meaningful idea.
- The experience of free will is also not lessened in the slightest if you tell me that hundreds of copies of me would have made the same choice as I did, because the experience of free will is grounded in my own experience of choosing, not in how well an external actor could predict my actions.
- Determinism is true so all actions are predictable and there is no free will, just the illusion that people are making free choices. (Human consciousness and therefore the concept of free will are emergent properties/products of the environment of the known universe.)
- Determinism is true but people can still have free will
- Determinism is false; there is built-in randomness to the Universe allowing people the room to have free will. (Behaviour at the atomic level is fundamentally indeterminate)
- Determinism is false, but people still don’t have free will since events happen so randomly that people have no more control over than they would if they were predetermined.
- Eru’s secretly schizophrenic.
- Quantum physics is time-symmetric, so people are as justified in saying that their choices set the cosmic initial conditions as the other way round.
- John S. Bell blew minds, even his own. HA.
~*Casually contributes with no intention of conflict.*~
This is excellent, thank you!
So in real life I believe a combination of your (2) and your (4): the universe isn’t precisely deterministic because of quantum weirdness, but for purposes of thinking about free will the universe is effectively deterministic. People still have combatibilist free will because compatibilist free will is an experience.
In Tolkien’s world, I think 3) is true of Men, although I wouldn’t call it “randomness” - there is something built into the world that permits the room for Men to have free will.
And I think Tolkien may have intended (1) to be true of Elves, but the combination of (2) and (4) is maybe a better way of looking at it for all the people inclined to get into moral-responsibility debates.
(The difference between (1) and my combination of (2) and (4) is mostly a difference of perspective and emphasis, not an empirical dispute.)
Your last three answers had me laughing out loud, though. (Now I’m imagining trying to explain all this to Melkor: “No, no, you shouldn’t feel trapped because all of your actions were predetermined by the music. You see, quantum physics is time-symmetric, so really it would be equally valid to say that the music is determined by your choices!”)
Bizarrely enough, the time-symmetric theory (if I’m understanding it right, I hadn’t run across that description of the theory before) is pretty much how I’ve always seen the whole issue since I was a kid. And that probably says a lot about how weird a child I was. (It hasn’t abated any. >.>)
The longer version of /my/ answer is “actions are predetermined from an external-to-time p.o.v. and you have free will while functioning inside time.” So of course the Music shows what will happen, but only because it happened outside of time, but that in no way annuls the free will of entities functioning inside of time.
Admittedly the bit about Men having free will but the Music being Fate to all else never made a whole lot of sense to me (I’m groping my way to an answer, but not there yet), since I was very much raised to believe that God gives /all/ sentient beings free will, men and angels and whatever else might exist (elves, nature spirits, what-have-you).
OMG THERE IS A SHERLOCK ON THE BALCONY AT WONDERCON AND HE’S MAKING A PHONE CALL EVERYONE IS YELLING ‘DON’T JUMP!’
THIS IS WHY YOU CAN’T TRUST COSPLAYERS.
Thank you so much, your answer was really sweet! :D So, welcome to the club of cat gifs and elf feels. It might be a dubious life choice, but rest assured, you are not alone. XD And if you want to share your elf-feels, well, my inbox is always open! I love discussing stuff, so feel free to talk to me! ;)
Ahhh, thanks! ^_^ We have pretty different opinions on a lot of things, so I may not be the chattiest, but you think things out so well and write so well that I really enjoy seeing what you have to say. And of course the cat gifs are always adorable. :D I come from a pretty different side of Tolkien fandom and have only just started getting in to the fandom here on tumblr, so it’s been a bit of an adjustment, but I’m definitely enjoying meeting everyone!
What is your roleplay account? Can I have the link?
As a general response to anyone who’s interested:
My one not-really-active-yet roleplay account is http://ingwe-ingweron.tumblr.com/
Make sure you copy and paste, there’s someone else’s inactive Ingwe RP blog that’s a one-letter misspelling of the same url. Not that I realized that until too late, and I’m terrible at coming up with clever names anyway. I can’t promise to be terribly active though, real life tends to get in the way. (Okay, and also other things. My tabletop RP character eats a weekend every month as well, for one.)
I’ve been meaning to update both blogs so people can find me from one to the other anyway, hopefully once summer’s here (I’ve got a few more weeks of work/school) I’ll have some more energy for stuff here on tumblr. Generally I only follow people on one or the other, for the sake of keeping my dashes sorted out and down to a manageable level to read through.