+ Reply to Thread
Page 5 of 5 FirstFirst ... 3 4 5
Results 101 to 110 of 110

Thread: Gunslingers - discussion of their roles, social positions and functions

  1. #101
    Army of the 12 Monkeys pathoftheturtle is a glorious beacon of light pathoftheturtle is a glorious beacon of light pathoftheturtle is a glorious beacon of light pathoftheturtle is a glorious beacon of light pathoftheturtle is a glorious beacon of light pathoftheturtle is a glorious beacon of light pathoftheturtle's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    6,129
    My Mood
    Stressed
    Country
    Country Flag
    Gender
    Gender

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RainInSpain View Post
    I keep thinking and thinking about the fall of Gilead, with questions far outweighing the answers.

    On the one hand, the gunslingers rule had served the baronies relatively well for, what, a few centuries? Which means that it wasn't all that bad, and it must not only have served the purposes of the ruling class, but also matched the then-current stage of the societal development. Sure, they must have had their share of internal 'opposition', for lack of a better word, but would their government have fallen when it did, had it not been for the outside intervention?

    Or, on the other hand, we do not know much about their society as a whole, so perhaps, it was just that the time had come for the political system to change because it became obsolete for the needs of the society, and it would have changed even without the aid of an outside force? (With Farson and his master being just agents of change in this case - and this touches another huge question of whether there is a greater force in their world that's beyond the Crimson King and Gan.)
    I guess so, if Gan is one with the White, Gilead's ideal of civilization. But then, that leads in turn to the question of whether that greater force is amicable to humanity.
    In TDT, Arthur Eld apparently received commision at the Dark Tower to rebuild society, and presumably authorization to establish the gunslingers... so we're left to wonder whether imposing order is Gan's whole idea of goodness, or possibly a corruption of their mission that they might have brought to it.
    If we feel that a revolution like Farson's should have led to social progress, rather than simply leading to complete destruction of that society, then we might say that King is not such a good writer, or just that he's not writing about such a good multiverse. Since the books may suggest that Gan is also a creature of the Prim, it could be that the Prim, and not Gan, is the actual God in the DT cosmology; but if this God (the Prim) is impartial regarding conflict between the humans and the demons then what hope is there really for human social progress?
    Insomnia says that there may be no Random above a certain level of the Tower: we can imagine the Red being made to serve the Purpose of a God who favors mankind, yet wants us to be strengthened by adversity. On the other hand, if Gan is fallible and limited and the true power belongs to something mindless, then the painful rise and fall of various empires might just go on and on.

    It comes to whether Gan is a type of being who is constantly trying to promote the White, or one who chooses a strategy meant to promote it in an ultimate sense.
    Does war serve heaven, or does heaven serve war?

  2. #102
    Demon of the Prim RainInSpain is a glorious beacon of light RainInSpain is a glorious beacon of light RainInSpain is a glorious beacon of light RainInSpain is a glorious beacon of light RainInSpain is a glorious beacon of light RainInSpain's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    1,262
    Country
    Country Flag
    Gender
    Gender

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pathoftheturtle View Post
    In TDT, Arthur Eld apparently received commision at the Dark Tower to rebuild society, and presumably authorization to establish the gunslingers... so we're left to wonder whether imposing order is Gan's whole idea of goodness, or possibly a corruption of their mission that they might have brought to it.
    Exactly. We may argue till we are blue in the face if it's the idea that is flawed or the implementation, but I do not think there is a lot in the books supporting either opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by pathoftheturtle View Post
    If we feel that a revolution like Farson's should have led to social progress, rather than simply leading to complete destruction of that society, then we might say that King is not such a good writer, or just that he's not writing about such a good multiverse.
    That's what I tend to think, too. At least from the short-term perspective, Farson's actions were detrimental to the society, much like the war of the Great Old Ones that had brought the demise of their world. However, perhaps in a much longer term, looking back upon both events a later civilization will use them as examples of certain dangers to avoid. (Although I must say I do not have high hopes for that - neither for their part of the multiverse nor for ours.)

    Quote Originally Posted by pathoftheturtle View Post
    I guess so, if Gan is one with the White, Gilead's ideal of civilization. But then, that leads in turn to the question of whether that greater force is amicable to humanity.
    <skip>
    Since the books may suggest that Gan is also a creature of the Prim, it could be that the Prim, and not Gan, is the actual God in the DT cosmology; but if this God (the Prim) is impartial regarding conflict between the humans and the demons then what hope is there really for human social progress?
    Does social progress always have to be a product of a higher power being interested in (and amicable to) the mankind?
    That force can very well be indifferent - after all, there are representations of the White and the Red already in Gilead's universe, so it might be that the greater force is the balance between various opposing entities/forces/etc. It's the conflict that is the driving force behind progress.

    As a side note: Perhaps we overestimate the amount of attention God pays us or the amount that we need for survival and development; perhaps God is just a scientist who grows civilizations in the multiverse as a bacteria culture in a Petri dish - seed it, give it enough food, leave it alone for a while and it might grow into something interesting. There may or may not be a greater purpose for this experiment, it might well be that the growth process itself is purpose enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by pathoftheturtle View Post
    Insomnia says that there may be no Random above a certain level of the Tower: we can imagine the Red being made to serve the Purpose of a God who favors mankind, yet wants us to be strengthened by adversity. On the other hand, if Gan is fallible and limited and the true power belongs to something mindless, then the painful rise and fall of various empires might just go on and on.

    It comes to whether Gan is a type of being who is constantly trying to promote the White, or one who chooses a strategy meant to promote it in an ultimate sense.
    Insomnia also says that two 'creatures' from higher up than the Random/Purpose level were interested in Ed D, and it was their interest and struggle that brought on the chain of events - isn't this an example of a conflict similar to 'the White vs. the Red' but at a different level? Maybe at that higher level it's not Random and Purpose that are the opposites, but something entirely different that we aren't aware of or don't have a name for, but still there are 2 forces.
    So yes, I believe that the 'rise and fall' cycle is doomed to repeat, for what may well be the eternity.

    Quote Originally Posted by pathoftheturtle View Post
    Does war serve heaven, or does heaven serve war?
    Stating an opinion on this would imply that I have a clear concept of what heaven is (as it applies to TDT universe, as well as in a general sense) - and I don't, although this is something that interests me greatly.
    Iron Maiden be my witness

    "...We'll go dancing in the dark
    Walking through the park
    And reminiscing..."

  3. #103
    Army of the 12 Monkeys pathoftheturtle is a glorious beacon of light pathoftheturtle is a glorious beacon of light pathoftheturtle is a glorious beacon of light pathoftheturtle is a glorious beacon of light pathoftheturtle is a glorious beacon of light pathoftheturtle is a glorious beacon of light pathoftheturtle's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    6,129
    My Mood
    Stressed
    Country
    Country Flag
    Gender
    Gender

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RainInSpain View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by pathoftheturtle View Post
    I guess so, if Gan is one with the White, Gilead's ideal of civilization. But then, that leads in turn to the question of whether that greater force is amicable to humanity.
    <skip>
    Since the books may suggest that Gan is also a creature of the Prim, it could be that the Prim, and not Gan, is the actual God in the DT cosmology; but if this God (the Prim) is impartial regarding conflict between the humans and the demons then what hope is there really for human social progress?
    Does social progress always have to be a product of a higher power being interested in (and amicable to) the mankind? ...
    Well, I keep trying to point out that there's a big difference between a world where vampires exist and one where they do not. The ideas of natural rights developed here on this earth might very well not apply if nature and its contents were completely different than what we have observed throughout our history due to supernatural intervention.
    Quote Originally Posted by RainInSpain View Post
    ...yes, I believe that the 'rise and fall' cycle is doomed to repeat, for what may well be the eternity.
    Maybe so. Yet that would render "progress" essentially meaningless, wouldn't it?
    Quote Originally Posted by RainInSpain View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by pathoftheturtle View Post
    Does war serve heaven, or does heaven serve war?
    Stating an opinion on this would imply that I have a clear concept of what heaven is (as it applies to TDT universe, as well as in a general sense) - and I don't, although this is something that interests me greatly.
    I used the word poetically. I don't think a term necessarily implies precise understanding when written outside of a science report. I guess I could rephrase what I was asking, though: I wonder whether it is indisputable that, in the big picture, conflict is always a driving force for progress. Is it not possible for conflict to be simply meaningless conflict? Why do we assume that it inherently produces positive side effects?
    Quote Originally Posted by RainInSpain View Post
    As a side note: Perhaps we overestimate the amount of attention God pays us or the amount that we need for survival and development; perhaps God is just a scientist who grows civilizations in the multiverse as a bacteria culture in a Petri dish - seed it, give it enough food, leave it alone for a while and it might grow into something interesting. There may or may not be a greater purpose for this experiment, it might well be that the growth process itself is purpose enough.
    I'm afraid we're drifting off topic. Perhaps you'd like to summarize your general speculations for The (amicable) Religious Discussion Thread?

  4. #104
    Demon of the Prim RainInSpain is a glorious beacon of light RainInSpain is a glorious beacon of light RainInSpain is a glorious beacon of light RainInSpain is a glorious beacon of light RainInSpain is a glorious beacon of light RainInSpain's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    1,262
    Country
    Country Flag
    Gender
    Gender

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pathoftheturtle View Post
    Well, I keep trying to point out that there's a big difference between a world where vampires exist and one where they do not. The ideas of natural rights developed here on this earth might very well not apply if nature and its contents were completely different than what we have observed throughout our history due to supernatural intervention.
    I must be missing your point. Sure, there is a difference between such worlds. However, it appears that in Roland's world there were at least some of the natural rights that are similar to our concepts - inhabitants of the Callas weren't indifferent to the Wolves taking their children's personalities along with whatever it was they fed to the Breakers. There was freedom of faith - as Roland mentioned, there were worshippers of Man-Jesus in his world, and he never mentioned that they were persecuted. Although I can see that at least in Gilead there was something that resembles our idea of absolutism, with the rights given to the king (originally Arthur Eld) by the Tower, but since Farson did find enough followers (e.g. Hax) there must have been quite a few who did not like that - perhaps they felt that some of their rights had been usurped that way.


    Quote Originally Posted by pathoftheturtle View Post
    Maybe so. Yet that would render "progress" essentially meaningless, wouldn't it?
    Perhaps. Although I do not think that a rise and fall of one empire means that the next one will repeat its history and disappear at exactly the same stage (history - although ours, not All-World's - looks like a spiral to me). However, this might be where All-World's universe is different from ours - Mid-World had not achieved anything greater than the Great Old Ones before it was wiped out by the revolution.

    Quote Originally Posted by pathoftheturtle View Post
    I used the word poetically. I don't think a term necessarily implies precise understanding when written outside of a science report. I guess I could rephrase what I was asking, though: I wonder whether it is indisputable that, in the big picture, conflict is always a driving force for progress. Is it not possible for conflict to be simply meaningless conflict? Why do we assume that it inherently produces positive side effects?
    Yes, I understand that you used it that way, I just have a bad habit of answering poetic questions in mundane prose, and here I could not do even that.
    It is not indisputable, of course - I only pointed out that there seem to be opposing forces at play everywhere. What are other possible drivers of progress, besides 'amicable greater force' and 'conflict'? I am genuinely interested.

    My apologies for being off-topic (and it wasn't the first time, either) - these were, just as you said, only speculations. Soul searching sometimes shows through in unintended ways.
    Iron Maiden be my witness

    "...We'll go dancing in the dark
    Walking through the park
    And reminiscing..."

  5. #105
    Along the Path of the Beam Babymordred121 is on a distinguished road Babymordred121's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Oregon City, Oregon
    Posts
    32
    Country
    Country Flag
    Gender
    Gender

    Default

    I REALLY don't mean to step on anyone's toes religiously, but the system of Gunslingers and their faith-based system of control reminds me somewhat of the pre-reformation Catholic Church. While it may have been founded with the intention of upholding the ways of the White, it was still run by fallible human beings, and as such, eventually grew into something unrecognizable. It doesn't really matter one way or the other whether they were inspired by a true religious power or not, because when power is gained due to something intangible, the intangible element eventually just becomes an excuse to amass more power.

    This doesn't mean that they weren't people that had true faith in that they were doing the right thing, but if the option of exerting power over others exists, it will eventually be abused. Just because their reign was long-lived doesn't mean that it was necessarily just; it just means that they were able to balance out the threat of violence with the people's genuine faith in the Gunslingers' divine right to rule.

    I guess my point is that it doesn't matter if ruthless, self-serving monsters like Roland were the norm or the aberrations among the Gunslingers; as long as no one within the Gunslinger system stood in the way of people like Roland from forcing their wills on others, the Gunslingers would continue to be seen as a potentially dangerous and unrestrained system.

    Inevitably, some revolutionary came along and started pointing out all the problems with the old system and started preaching of a new one full of ideals of freedom. Even if this new system was completely flawed and self-contradictory, the people started overlooking all the horrific implications in favor of the romanticized ideal. In this way, Farson was a little like William Wallace: "Sure, he may stitch belts from the skins his enemies, but he's on the little-man's side, so he must be alright."

    If he'd had a bit more of a firm grasp on his followers, he might have been able to start sowing the seeds of his own Gunslingers. As it was, after the common enemy was taken out, it seem as though all the revolutionaries must have turned on each other. The infighting continued until everything devolved back down to the feudal system of each town running themselves, like we see in Lud and the Callas.
    "I serve only one masta: DAAKNESS" - Peter Boil, Swashbuckler

  6. #106
    Army of the 12 Monkeys pathoftheturtle is a glorious beacon of light pathoftheturtle is a glorious beacon of light pathoftheturtle is a glorious beacon of light pathoftheturtle is a glorious beacon of light pathoftheturtle is a glorious beacon of light pathoftheturtle is a glorious beacon of light pathoftheturtle's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    6,129
    My Mood
    Stressed
    Country
    Country Flag
    Gender
    Gender

    Default

    Actually, I just wonder if the norm was MORE self-serving than Roland. I don't really see him that way. He does plow through people in his way to reach the Tower, but that's not all. He also sacrifices his own chances to settle down somewhere and amass wealth. I'm not so sure that he does so because he expects some greater reward: I think he feels that the quest is his duty. A burden he often resents.

    Aside from that, you could be correct, but you do seem to be rather pessimistic about human nature in general. Not saying that's wrong, I just thought I'd point it out. What you've said is all pretty depressing

  7. #107
    Along the Path of the Beam Babymordred121 is on a distinguished road Babymordred121's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Oregon City, Oregon
    Posts
    32
    Country
    Country Flag
    Gender
    Gender

    Default

    I am pretty pessimistic about human nature in general.

    When I started the series it seemed pretty vague about Roland's motives for wanting to reach the Tower, but by the time it got to the last three, it struck me that Roland was pretty much completely out of his mind. He states several times that he has no interest in saving the universe from the clutches of the Crimson King; just that the Crimson King was an obstacle in his path to the Tower. That the Crimson King happened to be evil was pretty much incidental.

    When I brought up Roland, I was using him as an example of a person who puts his own interests above the well being of others. Whether that desire is for power, wealth, immortality, or an all-consuming quest is kind of beside the point. If no group existed to restrain and counterbalance the Gunslingers, then they could have hypothetically done whatever the hell they pleased, answering only to the king.
    "I serve only one masta: DAAKNESS" - Peter Boil, Swashbuckler

  8. #108
    Army of the 12 Monkeys pathoftheturtle is a glorious beacon of light pathoftheturtle is a glorious beacon of light pathoftheturtle is a glorious beacon of light pathoftheturtle is a glorious beacon of light pathoftheturtle is a glorious beacon of light pathoftheturtle is a glorious beacon of light pathoftheturtle's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    6,129
    My Mood
    Stressed
    Country
    Country Flag
    Gender
    Gender

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RainInSpain View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by pathoftheturtle View Post
    Well, I keep trying to point out that there's a big difference between a world where vampires exist and one where they do not. The ideas of natural rights developed here on this earth might very well not apply if nature and its contents were completely different than what we have observed throughout our history due to supernatural intervention.
    I must be missing your point. Sure, there is a difference between such worlds. However, it appears that in Roland's world there were at least some of the natural rights that are similar to our concepts - inhabitants of the Callas weren't indifferent to the Wolves taking their children's personalities along with whatever it was they fed to the Breakers. ...
    No, but then, I don't believe that cattle are indifferent when we humans harvest their children, either. Yet we believe that we have that right. If there were another intelligent species with an inborn drive to prey upon us, are we so entitled that we could deny them any right to do so, just because of how we might feel about it?

    John Locke wrote about a liberal God who created all men equal. Even if the universe is an experiment which the Creator no longer deals in directly, the people within it still deal with His Nature constantly, as they are affected by the parameters placed upon them.

  9. #109
    Traveler MiguelElutt is on a distinguished road

    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Togo
    Posts
    1
    Country
    Country Flag
    Gender
    Gender

    Default How do you put pictures in forum posts?

    Hello.
    Does anybody know how to put pictures in a forum post? Please help!

  10. #110
    T E N E T fernandito has a reputation beyond repute fernandito has a reputation beyond repute fernandito has a reputation beyond repute fernandito has a reputation beyond repute fernandito has a reputation beyond repute fernandito has a reputation beyond repute fernandito has a reputation beyond repute fernandito has a reputation beyond repute fernandito has a reputation beyond repute fernandito has a reputation beyond repute fernandito has a reputation beyond repute fernandito's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    27,032
    My Mood
    Inspired
    Country
    Country Flag

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MiguelElutt View Post
    Hello.
    Does anybody know how to put pictures in a forum post? Please help!
    You can not post images on the site until you have 5 posts;

    Please see this thread for further details, let me know if you have any questions!
    What the hell happened here? It hasn't happened yet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Girlystevedave View Post
    I'm just nodding my head the whole time thinking "ok, stop now, please."

+ Reply to Thread
Page 5 of 5 FirstFirst ... 3 4 5

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts