Calculated use of Divination.

From: Alex Ferguson (abf@interzone.ucc.ie)
Date: Sun 18 May 1997 - 03:37:52 EEST


Plaudits for eloquent defences of "subjectivity" from Pam Carlson and
Martin Laurie, and particularly to TTrotsky, when he hits a nail I've
been attempting to pound away at, right on the head:

> But more important to me is the fact that it doesn't really matter.

Absolutely. Unless of course one not only believes that there exists an
Objective Invisible World, but insists on ones own particular stance as
to what it is, and then either decides that all Gloranthans believing
different are Wrong, or what's worse, that Chaosium must immediately
retract everything they've ever published that ever implies they might
so believe (which is where this whole debate started off, sadly).

> 2) Nobody's thought to ask. Or one or other group hasn't done so. Somebody
> (sorry, I forget who) proposed this as an explanation, on the grounds its
> like taking a calculator into a maths exam.

That was me, but that wasn't my point at all. I wasn't making a
Glorantha-level argument that if Divination worked that way, it wouldn't
be used as such. Obviously it would, though in the case where it was
brought up, going to a Sun Dome Temple and asking the god in residence
was Elmal would be be asking for a Sunspear up the jacksie, rather than
a neat yes/no answer. Gloranthan theologians don't use it for such not
so much as because they don't get what some would call "useful" answers
 -- they'd get answers they found perfectly reasonable, by and large.
Rather, they don't do so because (say) a Yelmalio priest already _knows_
the answer to this question, and would be seen as vasciliating-going-on-
apostate if he expressed such doubts as to require having to ask.

What I was rather whimsically expressing was that a world where
theological questions were "objectively" answerable in this way would be
as interesting and meaningful a situation as where one's ability to do
mental arithmetic is measured by key-pressing ability. To wit, a
shockingly game-level (or world design level) argument.

Shamelessly,
Alex.

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