Greetings! (I apologize if this post is out of place as I did not see a "Welcome" section .) My name is Brian and I'm new to this forum. *crosses fingers this is a friendly place* I wanted to post to seek out the wisdom of those more experienced than myself.
I recently took the time to set out a list of goals that I wanted to accomplish in my life, and one idea I happened upon was writing a novel. I have zippy formal training in writing. I have no illiusions or dreams of being published. I just want to create story, a little something for me, and to be able to say that I did it. I also harbor no illiusions about how hard this task can be.
Over the last few months I've taken the time to read a number of "How to" books on the subject of story creation. I've recently attempted to broaden my experience by reading different types of literature as well. And so, I wanted to take another baby step toward making this goal of mine come to life by posting here.
I want to ask a question. The answers to this question I hope will help spur the brainstorming/creative process I've been going through over the last few months. I would greatly appreciate any feedback and look forward to being a regular participant here.
With that said, here's the question:
"Suppose a being existed that had the power to create life whose wisdom came not from being omniscient, but simply from the sheer amount of years lived. Suppose further that this being creates a council charged with looking over creation with one rule: "Never shall a member of the council interfere directly with the lives of those created". To break this rule is to suffer some great consequence. With this in mind, why would a being such as this create such a rule?"
I have left this with much ambiguity so as to not color your perspective. Assume anything you want to provide an answer. I would love to share more details of my story but would love more to see how the answers take shape given the above premise.
Much thanks in advance and I look forward to potentially an on going discussion. :)
June 25th, 2007, 07:39 PM
We've got a pretty friendly bunch here. Congratulations on daring to embark on one of your life's goals.
To answer your question:
I think that would have to do with why he or they would bother to create anything or anyone in the first place. Perhaps he's running some sort of experiment and interference would contaminate the results. Perhaps interfering with them, tarnishes them in some way. Or perhaps the created people have to potential to become stronger or greater than the individual members of this council. If one or more council members were to "sway" the created in some way, they could be turned against other council members and power would shift.
Just a few thoughts.
June 25th, 2007, 08:04 PM
You came hoping for a friendly place. Clearly you didn't see the town sign. You know, the one where "HELL" is painted in menacing red letters over the original name.
Now that the mob's arrived, listen to their cry and know true terror.
Mob: "Tear him! Tear him for his bad verses!"
I'm just screwin' with ya, pal. ^o^ (Only I would mix Shakespeare with spaghetti westerns. ^_^; )
I think you'll be happy with the community here. However, I must warn you against alluding to your illusions and illuding with your allusions. You'll overthrow the universe doing things like that. :P
So, on to your question: Why does the Prime Directive exist?
It's quite simple, really. There ain't no free lunch. We spent five hundred years developing peanut butter and we're dang well not going to just give it to those whippersnappers, dagnabbit. They can do the work themselves. That way they'll appreciate it. Why back in my day...
For a less curmudgeony take on it, look at it like this. If we directly interfere, they will become little more than imperfect copies of us. Without our involvement, who knows how they could develop? They could become something that goes beyond even our imagination.
And for a loftier view... The child races must prove themselves worthy of approaching us. They must develop under their own power. They will prove their worth by seeking us out or they will live out their existence in ignorance. If we aid them, they cannot prove their worth. Our place is to watch and wait. One day, there may be some among them who can join our fellowship, or perhaps take our place as we depart into Infinity.
Now for one that addresses the "great consequences"... All Creation is ruled by Law. All Creation must obey the Law. The Law is absolute. Though we are the greatest among all Creation, we are still created beings. We must obey the Law. If we break our covenant, all will be undone. Not only will we face calamity, but all Creation will be destroyed. That is the price of disobedience. We must obey the Law.
Okay, I could do this all day. There are endless iterations of the argument for and against the Prime Directive. I imagine you're wanting a "sugao" answer, but you'll just have to deal with me speaking through my masks. One of the consequences of dealing with a professional storyteller. ^_^
June 25th, 2007, 09:18 PM
Perhaps old n' knowledgeable creates lifeform to explore the dark spots of his knowledge. Or to explore roads he never traveled. Certain paths in his life, understanding of life, eliminated others. Creating an unbiased life form would allow the chance to travel all roads, albiet voyoristically. without the interference of previous bias/experiences.
Naturally the "touch and die" rule would make perfect sence. The creation must walk blindly down paths that are forbidden to the "enlightened/evolved".
Could go on if neccessary.
June 25th, 2007, 10:57 PM
what is the purpose of the council? Are they suppost to just monitor life or carry out the creator's intentions, or just sit around being tempted to interfere but knowing that they will be in big trouble if they do
June 26th, 2007, 03:03 AM
The "rule" doesn't matter. He just likes to punish people for breaking it. :cool:
June 26th, 2007, 05:23 AM
Welcome to sffworld bluekswing :) Our general 'greeting' thread is in the General Discussion section if you want to say hi twice.
My immediate response to your question was 'Because the creator didn't want his creations to have irrefutable knowledge of someone/thing managing them. Such knowledge would likely lead the creations to search for the council and maybe because of the nature of the creations they have the potential to destroy/usurp the council giving them 'hands-on' with all of creation. Obviously this is a human power thing in that regard, find god, kill him, replace him. Ultimate power. Vive le revolution.' :D Welcome to the madhouse :D
June 26th, 2007, 06:51 AM
What if its the other way around? The big cheese TOLD the council they were to protect and grow humanity, what if humanity was created to teach the council about themselves? If they directly interfered then they would have missed the point of the lesson?
Or what if the point was to make them (the council) break the law-not sit idly by and let evil reign, but take the risk of their own destruction to make things right. Trite, but "evil only truly wins when good men do nothing" or some such.
Couple of ideas for you. Hope they weren't too crap:)
June 26th, 2007, 11:42 AM
Hi, Bluekswing, well to the Association of Madmen and Prophets. You'll find lots of ideas here; continue at your own peril.
On to your question. Some people have already hit on my thoughts at various times in this threads, but never all at once. So here goes.
First, as was asked earlier, what exactly is the Council for? The Creator isn't omniscient, so its possible he needs the Council to gather data for him. They'd be spread out over the face of Creation, living among the people, learning as much as they could. Every so often they'd have to have a meeting with the Project Leader and discuss the findings of their research. I think the idea of the Council as a Research Team works better than having them "overlook" Creation. To me, "overlook" implies "oversee," implies "manage," implies "interfere." Of course, depending on how the Council members go about gathering data, the Uncertainty Principle might have something to say about them "interfering."
Also, what is the Council composed of? Is it made up of immortal beings created specifically for this task, in which case why didn't the Creator hardwire each of these guys with the Prime Directive and be done with it. For example, a camera hidden in a room isn't going break the Directive; make the camera intelligent and it'll get you the best shot, but still not break any rules. (of course, if someone finds out theres a camera in the room, that might indirectly break the Directive, but that's not the point of this metaphor. Carry on. Nothing to see here). Perhaps the council is made up of mortal beings that the Creator has appeared before and struck a bargain. He gives them supernatural abilities to help them gather information for him, extended life, etc., on the condition that they don't use their powers to interfere with the project.
Which leads into the idea that the Experiment is really being conducted on the Council rather than Creation. How long with the Council members sit on their hands while wars rage. Perhaps a famine strikes and thousands, maybe millions, could be saved if a council member suggests to a merchant caravan that he should take an alternative route. In a way, the Prime Directive is immoral. It outlaws the good Samaritan. Maybe the Creator really wants to see which on the Council will do the right thing first, or do the wrong thing last (the Prime Directive also prevents someone setting themselves up as a tyrannical God-king). But why? If the Creator isn't an omniscient god, maybe he's not immortal either. Could he be looking for a replacement in the style of Willy Wonka?
Finally, there's a loophole in your Rule.
Never shall a member of the council interfere directly with the lives of those created
A member of the council can't interfere, but what about the Council as a whole? What if they were all in agreement that now was the time to act? Just a thought.
June 26th, 2007, 12:55 PM
Pure collective genius! I do believe I have stumbled upon a gold mine of creative people!! :)
Absolutely blown away by the ideas set forth. Such creativity coming out of such a vague and open ended question. I've racked my brain for months struggling to find different reasons behind the answers to the scenario posed.
I have been perusing the forum and I find myself excited and thrilled to see the wealth of ideas and knowledge shared by all.
Carmak: "Glad to meet you all! *Waves at Carmack's torch holding, pitchfork weilding grammarama crew* I know you're all terribly upset, but my intentions with the universe are purely honorable. Besides, allusions, illusions....tomato, toe-mah-to...I mean....the English language eludes me sometimes, 'tis true. "
If this be a house of madmen and prophets, count me in! :p