Author Topic: Demons - what are they?  (Read 7773 times)

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Offline Human No More

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Re: Demons - what are they?
« Reply #40 on: November 26, 2011, 07:57:22 pm »
Not quite.
They might not understand the principle of superconductivity, but they aren't going to think it's magic.
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Offline ExLibrisMortis

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Re: Demons - what are they?
« Reply #41 on: November 27, 2011, 12:02:07 pm »
Why not? I mean they have a shaman that "interprets" the will of Eywa, no? From a conceptual standpoint, they are modeled to be parallel to human culture. Where do we come from? Eywa. Where do we go when we die? Back to Eywa. I mean its the same thing like human religions, Christianity to pick a specific one.

Science, and the understanding of the world around you, doesn't necessarily disprove God/Eywa. Science is merely placing a model of the happenings around you. Most of Science, if not all, is always subject to change. What may be regarded and Scientific fact is merely one experiment away from disproval. Science is just giving name and voice to things that happen. You don't create anything with Science that's not already there and able to happen. Some may say that man's Science is just purely the understanding of God's "Magic".

Considering how the Na'vi are following a parallel path, why would they not go through the same ages of discovery as humans, with minor tweaks to fit their progressive paths? I'm pretty sure they look at the helicopters and weapons the humans have as some form of magic, one way or another.
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Re: Demons - what are they?
« Reply #42 on: December 09, 2011, 08:27:04 am »
It's nothing like human mythology at all. It's not hierachical, not dictatorial, there is no assumption of expectations past their own.

If you think 'fact is merely one experiment away from disproval', then you don't understand the scientific method, as you are confusing fact with theory - a fact is directly derived from observation.

The helicopters still use the same basic principles - lift, aerodynamics. Indeed, they are far more likely to have an udnerstanding than someone with the same technololgical level form Earth thanks to the biological connection of the fan lizards and ayikran showing clear structural/mechanical similarities, in lift and aerodynamics respectively.
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Offline ExLibrisMortis

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Re: Demons - what are they?
« Reply #43 on: December 10, 2011, 01:45:00 am »
You are looking at their perceptions from the perceptions of our levels of technology. You're not looking at it in the sense that a culture from such an un-advanced level would look at something. There are multiple accounts of relatively less technologically advanced cultures that would calssify things like armor plating and metal swords as things of "magic" or explained via terms they knew. "Silver skin, hard as rock, impenetrable by arrow." "Big roaring bull, skin of blackened rock, on metal colored path" (train).

Human mythology is not simply based out of religion, or there being some higher power. Human mythology is the explanation of what they dont understand by using things that would make sense to them. Thus, in essence, making sense of the things that don't. The Na'vi showed all the tell tale signs of that. They revere Eywa as their Deity. She is made up of all living things, is the line, but do the Na'vi conceptually understand that? I seriously doubt they can understand that Eywa literally is the combination of everything on Pandora. They will see it more as a meta-physical principle, kind of like the explanation of the force in Star Wars IV. "It surrounds us, binds us, and penetrates us." Mysterious in nature, harassed as a power, but not fully understood.

Yeah they can look at the fan lizards and the many ikrans and see some similarities, but I'm pretty sure before the school was around, and right at the first meeting of RDA/Na'vi, the Na'vi were like, "wtf is all this?" Calling the humans as little creatures wearing a mask of water, because of its reflective qualities. Calling the helicopters and winged beasts, making the noise of many devil bees, bearing the teeth of the largest Ikra (painted teeths) spouting out fire and smoke. etc etc. People on earth, indigenous tribe explained flying craft as dragons making wide noises and spouting out flame and fire. And they experienced things like birds and other fouls.

And to expound on the fact/theory thing, Science is observation. Fact is defined as what is perceived to be "true". But perceptions change all the time. It was scientific fact to think the Earth was round. It was scientific fact the think that the Earth was the center of the universe. It was also scientific fact to think that bloodletting kill the plague. Yet the perception of the scientists change so often, that was may be fact now, may not be fact in the future. Even now we are on the verge of finding out that the speed of light is no longer the universe's speed limit, but that the speed of light just is. The Scientific method only shows consistency in certain observations. But if one can fin inconsistency, then that particular science is no longer fact, but flawed. It is no longer law, but theorem. Or it is no longer theorem, but falsified theory.

 The stuff that scientists and science perceives is already happening around us. Yet, even in our advanced society, we still are only able to perceive the universe in what limits we currently have to our perception. You ma say we dont have limits, but I cant guarantee that if we do actually discover that one can truly go faster than the speed of light, the way we perceive things today can and will most definitely change. Science, as it stands, should almost never be considered law. Because it is always shifting.

EDIT: I should note that I am not discrediting science at all, calling it false or heretical. I'm just saying that what science is now, may not be.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2011, 02:19:11 am by ExLibrisMortis »
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Offline Carborundum

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Re: Demons - what are they?
« Reply #44 on: December 11, 2011, 04:50:27 am »
And to expound on the fact/theory thing, Science is observation. Fact is defined as what is perceived to be "true". But perceptions change all the time. It was scientific fact to think the Earth was round. It was scientific fact the think that the Earth was the center of the universe. It was also scientific fact to think that bloodletting kill the plague. Yet the perception of the scientists change so often, that was may be fact now, may not be fact in the future. Even now we are on the verge of finding out that the speed of light is no longer the universe's speed limit, but that the speed of light just is. The Scientific method only shows consistency in certain observations. But if one can fin inconsistency, then that particular science is no longer fact, but flawed. It is no longer law, but theorem. Or it is no longer theorem, but falsified theory.
Scientific fact is anything that is verifiable by means of repeatable experiments. The basic laws that govern the universe do not change, even though our understanding of them do. Experimental results (facts) are therefore objective and not subject to change.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2011, 04:52:23 am by Carborundum »
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Re: Demons - what are they?
« Reply #45 on: December 11, 2011, 09:47:59 am »
Yes, the workings of the universe will always be there, and won't be subject to change. But, our understanding of how they work, aka science, can change. What one experiment today confirms an observation, another experiment in the future can radically change that observation purely on the fact that the point of observation, and the perception going into it, has shifted dramatically. The key part of "science" is the position and state-of-mind of the observer. Through what he knows, he/she bases his experiments on that knowledge, and then pushes forward. Or, if that person discovers something new, in terms of something that hasn't been quite observed before, those conjectures onto "why?" are based on that persons previous knowledge.

It's much like the Na'vi and Native Americans alike. At the moment of first introduction to vastly greater technology, they will look at the stuff and completely be confused and try to explain the things based on what they know. Just because they can see fan lizards flying and ikrans flying, doesn't necessarily mean that they will understand the concepts of aerodynamics and lift forces. It's like when I was volunteering to teach elementary kids derivatives. Sure they know how to do the power rule and the quotient rule, going through the steps and coming out with an answer, but it took a very long time to teach them the concept of what a derivative was and why we would need it.

That right there is the reasons why the Na'vi would go through the periods of "Just So" stories as mentioned before. They don't understand something, so they look to their Shaman or Olo'Eyktan for answers. If that person doesn't have an answer, and they would want to try to save face, they will just say its the will of Eywa, or Eywa's doing, and move on.
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Offline Carborundum

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Re: Demons - what are they?
« Reply #46 on: December 11, 2011, 12:26:48 pm »
Yes, the workings of the universe will always be there, and won't be subject to change. But, our understanding of how they work, aka science, can change. What one experiment today confirms an observation, another experiment in the future can radically change that observation purely on the fact that the point of observation, and the perception going into it, has shifted dramatically. The key part of "science" is the position and state-of-mind of the observer. Through what he knows, he/she bases his experiments on that knowledge, and then pushes forward. Or, if that person discovers something new, in terms of something that hasn't been quite observed before, those conjectures onto "why?" are based on that persons previous knowledge.
Yes, science changes. I said as much, and I don't think anyone disagrees. Facts, on the other hand, do not change.
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Re: Demons - what are they?
« Reply #47 on: December 11, 2011, 01:09:52 pm »
Well to be a stickler, the operations of the universe never change. Fact is merely a label we give something that we feel we are more than sure about. It was -fact- that the earth was flat in the old days. It was also -fact- that the earth was the center of the universe too. Yes there are some irrefutable truths about what we know about the universe, but the facts are labeled as such because we've given it that label. 

What I guess I'm saying is that I accept that there have been experiments to show that certain things act they way they do and operate the way they do. Yet, I am one that is more than willing to accept changes to the understood norm purely because the perceptions of man are always changing too.

And in extension to that, the Na'vi are also along those same lines too, where their perception is ever changing but is still in a state of primitiveness.
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Re: Demons - what are they?
« Reply #48 on: December 11, 2011, 02:32:55 pm »
Well to be a stickler, the operations of the universe never change. Fact is merely a label we give something that we feel we are more than sure about. It was -fact- that the earth was flat in the old days. It was also -fact- that the earth was the center of the universe too. Yes there are some irrefutable truths about what we know about the universe, but the facts are labeled as such because we've given it that label. 
Words like fact and theory have very specific meanings in science, and those meanings can be quite different from those used in everyday speech. It has never been scientific fact that the Earth was flat. What is fact is that the Earth looks flat from the point of view of a human standing on its surface.
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Re: Demons - what are they?
« Reply #49 on: December 11, 2011, 09:46:22 pm »
Yet another thing about perception. Understandings of how physics worked change dramatically between Aristotle and Newton. Purely based on perception. And I do exactly know the differences in every day speech of the usage of certain words compared to that of the science community, my major is Aerospace Engineering and its heavily into the physics realm of science. Most of my conceptual ideas regarding physics come from very intellectual discussions with my physics teachers over Science and its many limits.
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Offline Teylar Ta Palulukankelku

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Re: Demons - what are they?
« Reply #50 on: December 18, 2011, 07:41:18 am »
So to sum up what you guys have been talking about in the last couple of posts in this thread: There is a fundamental difference between scientific fact and reality: Scientific facts are what is believed to be true, reality is what is true, i.e: We are 100 % sure gravity exists, since we know that if we jump we eventually come down to the ground again. That is a thing that is reality. However, we may or may not be correct about what physical forces cause gravity; Our understanding of how gravity works may be wrong and thus it is a fact.

BTW: Why do you write the word ``science´´ with a capital first letter, ma ELM  ????

I know we're trying to figure out what the Na'vi's perception of reality is but don't you think this thread has gone a bit off topic  ???? The discussion about what it is that the Na'vi call ``vrrtep´´ seems to have gotten lost somewhere  :-\.
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Re: Demons - what are they?
« Reply #51 on: December 18, 2011, 07:43:10 am »
Off topic agreed, and me capitalizing Science is a habit of mine to emphasize a certain word. I use that in very specific situations, otherwise i will surround a word with dashes. like -this-.

EDIT: And you hit it right on the head with your assertion.
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Re: Demons - what are they?
« Reply #52 on: December 18, 2011, 08:02:52 am »
Irayo for clearing that up, ma 'eylan  :)! And i'm glad that you liked my assertion  :). For that i give you kxukxi  :).
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Re: Demons - what are they?
« Reply #53 on: December 18, 2011, 08:21:34 am »
Scientific facts are what is believed to be true, reality is what is true
No. Scientific fact is objectively true, because it has been observed.
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Offline ExLibrisMortis

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Re: Demons - what are they?
« Reply #54 on: December 18, 2011, 11:06:00 am »
Observations are relative though. Just because something is seen to happen one way does not instantly mean that it happens just because it was seen from that one angle. Like right now we all thought that the sore of light was the universal speed limit. Now, that may not be so true anymore.
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Offline Carborundum

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Re: Demons - what are they?
« Reply #55 on: December 18, 2011, 11:23:35 am »
Observations are relative though.
No they are not. Interpretations of observations are subjective, but the observations themselves are not.
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Re: Demons - what are they?
« Reply #56 on: December 18, 2011, 11:43:12 am »
Yea they are. Example, someone is raised under the light given Off by our sun, they see a red rose, they will say that rose is red. A person is raised under another sun that gives off a different color, they will say that that same rose is not red, but whatever the color is given off based on the light they are given.

The system there is purely the light given with considering neither parties know about light refraction and/or color spectrum changes.

But yes it is the interpretations that are always changing. Yet remember that scientific fact becomes as such because of te interpretation given to the original observation. And it's that interpretation that can,and often considering human history, do change.
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Re: Demons - what are they?
« Reply #57 on: December 18, 2011, 02:58:36 pm »
Yea they are. Example, someone is raised under the light given Off by our sun, they see a red rose, they will say that rose is red. A person is raised under another sun that gives off a different color, they will say that that same rose is not red, but whatever the color is given off based on the light they are given.

The system there is purely the light given with considering neither parties know about light refraction and/or color spectrum changes.

But yes it is the interpretations that are always changing. Yet remember that scientific fact becomes as such because of te interpretation given to the original observation. And it's that interpretation that can,and often considering human history, do change.

Interesting example with the rose's color, ma ELM  :).

So, if we were to apply the scientific model we've been talking about in the most recent posts in this thread to the thread's original topic; What it is that the Na'vi call ``vrrtep´´, what would you say a ``vrrtep´´ is  ???? A tangible creature known to the Na'vi through observation  ???? A theory  ???? A metaphor  ????
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Re: Demons - what are they?
« Reply #58 on: December 18, 2011, 05:35:40 pm »
Honestly to come up with a definitive answer will be beyond us, or anyone that isn't Cameron. As ultimately, he is the one that controls what they think or how their culture is. We can definitely make good guesses, or come up with answers that we believe to be fact, but its not going to be correct until Cameron states specifically.
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Re: Demons - what are they?
« Reply #59 on: December 19, 2011, 01:43:44 pm »
Yea they are.
No they are not. ;D

I created a new thread over in Science where we can continue our off-topic discussion about facts.
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