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The Holy Writ - Something's Bugging Me

This fascinating series is a combination of historical seafaring, swashbuckling adventure, and high technological science-fiction. Join us in a discussion!
Re: The Holy Writ - Something's Bugging Me
Post by PeterZ   » Tue Dec 13, 2016 10:35 am

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thanatos wrote:That was the original plan but that just went out the window with the Inner Circle's support of Duchairn's coup and seizure of power in the Church. As they say in that final debate before the coup, Duchairn would give them everything they wanted where reforming the Church is concerned yet their true goal was always the dismantlement of the Church and the elimination of the Proscriptions of Jwo-Jeng. Couching their dispute with the Church in terms of reforming its corruption was something most Safeholdians can agree to yet that would not be the case for revealing the full truth to Safeholdians at large.

And the reason Clyntahn was able to believe the file footage was because it resembled displays that were available in the Temple itself. He needed that mental toehold in order to accept what they showed him. Regular people on Safehold, who never get to see the marvels of the Temple, would not so readily accept it.


Indeed the corruption was one way to separate the G4 from the Writ while using the Writ. The next stage requires separating the archangels from God. The Writ and the Proscriptions must be tainted with the archangels fallibility. Different sorts of evidence will work on the different segments of Safehold society. Temple archives will work on the clergy and theological arguments from well accepted premises will work on the laity, if argued by respected theologians.

So, while the original plan was discarded when the Inner Circle helped Duchairn, the moral authority the CoC and EoC gained by extending that help is massive. That authority can be used to promote the theological argument that must be made to prepare Safehold for the Return and the Great Reveal.
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Re: The Holy Writ - Something's Bugging Me
Post by thanatos   » Tue Dec 13, 2016 4:08 pm

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PeterZ wrote:
thanatos wrote:That was the original plan but that just went out the window with the Inner Circle's support of Duchairn's coup and seizure of power in the Church. As they say in that final debate before the coup, Duchairn would give them everything they wanted where reforming the Church is concerned yet their true goal was always the dismantlement of the Church and the elimination of the Proscriptions of Jwo-Jeng. Couching their dispute with the Church in terms of reforming its corruption was something most Safeholdians can agree to yet that would not be the case for revealing the full truth to Safeholdians at large.

And the reason Clyntahn was able to believe the file footage was because it resembled displays that were available in the Temple itself. He needed that mental toehold in order to accept what they showed him. Regular people on Safehold, who never get to see the marvels of the Temple, would not so readily accept it.


Indeed the corruption was one way to separate the G4 from the Writ while using the Writ. The next stage requires separating the archangels from God. The Writ and the Proscriptions must be tainted with the archangels fallibility. Different sorts of evidence will work on the different segments of Safehold society. Temple archives will work on the clergy and theological arguments from well accepted premises will work on the laity, if argued by respected theologians.

So, while the original plan was discarded when the Inner Circle helped Duchairn, the moral authority the CoC and EoC gained by extending that help is massive. That authority can be used to promote the theological argument that must be made to prepare Safehold for the Return and the Great Reveal.


I doubt they got as much moral authority as you seem think they did. Obvious, the successful secession from the Church in Zion will have given Cayleb, Sharleyan and Staynair enormous prestige in the eyes of every Old and New Charisian throughout the Empire. That prestige, coupled with a general sense of repugnance with the CoGA, will stand them in good stead as they continue to remain independent of the Temple's political and religious authority. The same is true to a similar degree with Siddarmark, though the epilogue of AtSoT alludes to the trouble Stohnar will face in maintaining that independence. But gradually shifting the message from the corruption of the church (which supposedly is no longer relevant) to a message that undermines the fundamental teachings of the church is something that is likely to generate a lot resistance, even in the EoC.

Moreover, I can imagine the coalescence of a group of devout vicars in the CoGA, who respectfully petition Grand Vicar Rhobair to do something about the emerging heresy in Charis, especially when he and Vicar Allayn are continuing to embrace the innovations they need to maintain an army and a navy that could at least hold its own against a potential Charisian or Siddarmarkian assault on the Temple Lands - A necessity given that neither is going to subject themselves to the authority of the Temple any time soon and are therefore both outside its ability to stop any innovation there. Coupled with the fact that the economies of Charis and Siddarmark are likely to bounce back a lot faster than that of the Temple Lands, Desnair, Harchong or Dohlar and you get a recipe for a lot of faith-based resistance to innovation. The seeds of the next war are already sown.
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Re: The Holy Writ - Something's Bugging Me
Post by PeterZ   » Tue Dec 13, 2016 4:25 pm

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thanatos wrote:I doubt they got as much moral authority as you seem think they did. Obvious, the successful secession from the Church in Zion will have given Cayleb, Sharleyan and Staynair enormous prestige in the eyes of every Old and New Charisian throughout the Empire. That prestige, coupled with a general sense of repugnance with the CoGA, will stand them in good stead as they continue to remain independent of the Temple's political and religious authority. The same is true to a similar degree with Siddarmark, though the epilogue of AtSoT alludes to the trouble Stohnar will face in maintaining that independence. But gradually shifting the message from the corruption of the church (which supposedly is no longer relevant) to a message that undermines the fundamental teachings of the church is something that is likely to generate a lot resistance, even in the EoC.

Moreover, I can imagine the coalescence of a group of devout vicars in the CoGA, who respectfully petition Grand Vicar Rhobair to do something about the emerging heresy in Charis, especially when he and Vicar Allayn are continuing to embrace the innovations they need to maintain an army and a navy that could at least hold its own against a potential Charisian or Siddarmarkian assault on the Temple Lands - A necessity given that neither is going to subject themselves to the authority of the Temple any time soon and are therefore both outside its ability to stop any innovation there. Coupled with the fact that the economies of Charis and Siddarmark are likely to bounce back a lot faster than that of the Temple Lands, Desnair, Harchong or Dohlar and you get a recipe for a lot of faith-based resistance to innovation. The seeds of the next war are already sown.


And?

Of course there will be pushback. I would be shocked if there wasn't. The argument doesn't have to immediately become universal doctrine. The argument must simply gain credibility. To do that all it requires is to begin with an accepted premise and follow clear logic to a conclusion that supports the idea that the archangels can be as fallible as humans. Not that they are as fallible, but only that they can be.

That conclusion invariably leads to personal human responsibility to follow God's will being equal to that of the archangels. We aren't equating the wisdom of the archangels to human wisdom but their responsibility to human responsibility. God holds all moral beings equally and personally responsible to follow His Will. Everything else but God's Will becomes guidelines to proper behavior, even the Writ. God's will then becomes a matter of personal conscience. The archangels were in error trying to assert their responsibility to guide humanity before humanity's responsibility to accept His Will by themselves.

The only refutation of that logic is to prove the archangels as infallible. The Writ and Safehold history asserts that is simply not true.
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Re: The Holy Writ - Something's Bugging Me
Post by thanatos   » Wed Dec 14, 2016 12:20 pm

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PeterZ wrote:The only refutation of that logic is to prove the archangels as infallible. The Writ and Safehold history asserts that is simply not true.


I'm not so sure about that part at least. RFC has noted that the Holy Writ underwent substantial editing following the "War Against the Fallen". Chihiro, who had authored the original document, had made it seem like the signs of Shan-wei's perfidy were there from the start and that Langhorne had suspected it from the start. He also commented that the Book of Chihiro and the Book of Schueler were both later additions. And now, almost 1,000 local years since then, no one remembers the original Writ. History was after all written by the winners of that war and the Inner Circle already has evidence of rewrites in the form of the diary of St. Khody.

It is this last point that I think might work in getting the point (the "angelic fallibility") across. If his diary is made common knowledge, it would challenge the Church's official version of the events. Given that Duchairn is now Grand Vicar, It is safe to say he wouldn't be inclined to dismiss this automatically, especially if all the artifacts (the physical diary, sword, armor and tomb) were made accessible (I doubt the Sisterhood would allow them to be removed and risk them "disappearing"). Or perhaps they might use some publishing house owned by the Sisterhood to publish "Untold Stories of Seijin Khody" with far less levity and clarity and far more moral ambiguity about his role in the war. They could also start publishing science fiction from 19th century Earth, adapted to Safehold, that would tell of submarines, flight and travel to space, from some front man named Zhulez Vyrn. Despite its supposedly heretical content, it would have the ability to fascinate people enough and capture their imagination to seek these things out.
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Re: The Holy Writ - Something's Bugging Me
Post by eldrwyrm   » Tue Dec 27, 2016 7:15 pm

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evilauthor wrote:
PeterZ wrote:I wonder if Shan-wei used those names when terraforming as a very subtle reminder that Safehold was created in the image of simething else? Wouldn't put it past her.


Also, I get the impression that naming stuff "near-anything" was just Federation colonization cultural habits.


These are succinct explanations of the major issue I've had with one key piece: time.
The inclusion of "Langhorne's Watch" always bugged me. It was lazy on the part of the crew. They modified the length of the week, why not modify the standard clock. Modifying the standard clock accomplishes a couple of things:

1. It establishes that time on Safehold is the only thing that matters. There is no "variance" that might encourage someone to wonder 'why do we have this spare X minutes everyday?'

2. It changes all the variables for time based calculations. Imagine trying to calculate muzzle velocity in comparison to Terran weaponry if time has to be divided by 1.08 seconds.

I'm sure there are other obstacles that it creates as well, but I can't seem to find them in the dusty corners of my brain.
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Re: The Holy Writ - Something's Bugging Me
Post by evilauthor   » Tue Dec 27, 2016 7:24 pm

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eldrwyrm wrote:These are succinct explanations of the major issue I've had with one key piece: time.
The inclusion of "Langhorne's Watch" always bugged me. It was lazy on the part of the crew. They modified the length of the week, why not modify the standard clock. Modifying the standard clock accomplishes a couple of things:

1. It establishes that time on Safehold is the only thing that matters. There is no "variance" that might encourage someone to wonder 'why do we have this spare X minutes everyday?'

2. It changes all the variables for time based calculations. Imagine trying to calculate muzzle velocity in comparison to Terran weaponry if time has to be divided by 1.08 seconds.

I'm sure there are other obstacles that it creates as well, but I can't seem to find them in the dusty corners of my brain.


Because the "Angels" didn't want to go to the trouble of reprogramming all the clocks in all their computer systems (especially when the top IT people apparently belonged to Shan-Wei's faction).

It's likely that variable day/week/year lengths are a standard part of Federation computer systems. But hours and minutes are standardized and non-variable because the Federation never needed to vary them. It's just much easier to rename "Comp Time" than much with your hardware, especially when the people you're selling this to DON'T use your hardware.
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Re: The Holy Writ - Something's Bugging Me
Post by Bluesqueak   » Wed Dec 28, 2016 9:55 am

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eldrwyrm wrote:
These are succinct explanations of the major issue I've had with one key piece: time.
The inclusion of "Langhorne's Watch" always bugged me. It was lazy on the part of the crew. They modified the length of the week, why not modify the standard clock. Modifying the standard clock accomplishes a couple of things:

1. It establishes that time on Safehold is the only thing that matters. There is no "variance" that might encourage someone to wonder 'why do we have this spare X minutes everyday?'

2. It changes all the variables for time based calculations. Imagine trying to calculate muzzle velocity in comparison to Terran weaponry if time has to be divided by 1.08 seconds.

I'm sure there are other obstacles that it creates as well, but I can't seem to find them in the dusty corners of my brain.


Langhorne's Watch does quite a few things that are likely to hold back technical progress. Firstly, it de-secularises time. Time is something given by the Archangels, with a period every day specifically reserved for prayer and meditation.

Time, on Safehold, is also not uniform. Instead of one hour following another hour, until the end of time, there's this little Watch period in the middle of the night - a subtle blow to thinking of things as predictable and regular. One of the foundations of science is starting to think of the universe as being full of things that are regular, can be predicted and can be easily measured. There's a reason initial models of the universe often used a 'clockwork' metaphor.

It makes clock-making a difficult, highly specialised task that turns out expensive things.
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Re: The Holy Writ - Something's Bugging Me
Post by DMcCunney   » Sun Jan 29, 2017 2:08 pm

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Bluesqueak wrote:I do wonder if the thousand year return was planned by Schuler, not the Langhorne's/Chihiro Archangels. That would explain why only the Wylsynns know about it.
I think it more likely that Schueler was in on the plan, but not the main planner. Being in on it would let him inform the Wylsynns. (And I wonder if Chihiro or any of the other Archangels/Angels were aware that Schueler mated with a colonist and produced offspring? I doubt it's something Chihiro would have approved of.)

It's clear from textev that Chihiro eventually emerged as the main leader of the remaining Angels and Archangels following the chaos caused by Commodore Pie's strike on Langhorne's HQ.

And it's also clear that Chihiro had been maneuvering to supplant Langhorne from well before Pei's strike on Langhorne and Bedard, so he'd be positioned to do something like this.
______
Dennis
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Re: The Holy Writ - Something's Bugging Me
Post by DMcCunney   » Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:10 pm

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thanatos wrote:
PeterZ wrote:I'm not so sure about that part at least. RFC has noted that the Holy Writ underwent substantial editing following the "War Against the Fallen". Chihiro, who had authored the original document, had made it seem like the signs of Shan-wei's perfidy were there from the start and that Langhorne had suspected it from the start. He also commented that the Book of Chihiro and the Book of Schueler were both later additions.

(Italics mine above)
Textev, please? We know Langhorne signed off on the original version of the Holy Writ, but I don't recall any statements that Chihiro wrote it

And now, almost 1,000 local years since then, no one remembers the original Writ. History was after all written by the winners of that war and the Inner Circle already has evidence of rewrites in the form of the diary of St. Khody.
For that matter, there was a copy of the original version Langhorne approved in the downloads provided to Nimue when she awoke in Nimue's Cave.

It is this last point that I think might work in getting the point (the "angelic fallibility") across.
The War Against the Fallen was proof of that, with the explicit statements that even Archangels could fall into evil and rebel against God. If that's nor fallibility, what is?

If his diary is made common knowledge, it would challenge the Church's official version of the events. Given that Duchairn is now Grand Vicar, It is safe to say he wouldn't be inclined to dismiss this automatically, especially if all the artifacts (the physical diary, sword, armor and tomb) were made accessible (I doubt the Sisterhood would allow them to be removed and risk them "disappearing"). Or perhaps they might use some publishing house owned by the Sisterhood to publish "Untold Stories of Seijin Khody" with far less levity and clarity and far more moral ambiguity about his role in the war.

At a con last year, RFC mentioned something that hasn't appeared yet - the discovery of the Gospel of Scheuler, which would apparently be his first hand vewrsion of what transpired. The reaction of the Church of Charis will be carefully noncommittal at first, shifting to "There might be something in this..." as time passes.

We know from textev that Chihiro emerged as the uncontested leader of the Angels following Commodore Pei's strike on Langhorne and Bedard, and that Schueler seems to have been his second in command. And we know that Chihiro had been actively conspiring to supplant Langhorne well before Commodore Pei's strike took out he and Bedard.

And we know via RFC that Chihiro was the one who actually ordered the Rakurai strike on the Alexandria Enclave, and that the orbital bombardment platform had been produced on Hamilcar by Angels loyal to Chihiro, and had been deployed just before use to give Pei no times to intervene.

But we don't know what Schueler knew at the time. Was he aware it was Chihiro who ordered the strike on the Alexandria Archive, or had the books attributed to he and Schueler inserted into the Writ by the remaining lesser Angels? He might not have known during the War Against the Fallen, and the question might be what he would do if he found out. He might have been unhappy, but decided that opposing Chihiro would be doomed to fail and simply make things worse.

Given how conflicted Paityr Wylsynn is at discovering through Merlin and Nahrman that he really is descended from Schueler, given that Schueler gets painted as a bad guy, what Schueler thought he was doing is an interesting question.
______
Dennis
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Re: The Holy Writ - Something's Bugging Me
Post by Randomiser   » Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:19 am

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DMcCunney wrote:
And we know that Chihiro had been actively conspiring to supplant Langhorne well before Commodore Pei's strike took out he and Bedard.

And we know via RFC that Chihiro was the one who actually ordered the Rakurai strike on the Alexandria Enclave,
Dennis


Dennis can you remind me , with textev, just how we know these two things, Please? I haven't been around much lately, but AFAIR they are both just speculations from the forum.
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