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The Ghost of Theseus Problem

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Michael View Post

    That's the essential mistake the Ship of Theseus critiques. You're just stating that certain elements of identity are essential without actually justifying it. Like, how impaired or altered does your brain have to be before it's no longer you?
    To be fair, the Ship of Theseus question is not quite intended for these sort of frameworks.


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    • #17
      Someone has a car crash, is in a coma for a month and in a wheelchair for the rest of their life - a ghost of them appears during the crash, and haunts their living counterpart's bedside.

      Ten years later, the person dies of cancer.

      The two ghosts meet. Which one of them is the real person?

      Neither in one sense (they're both copies) the older ghost in another sense (they have continuity of conciousness, while the comatose one didn't) the younger ghost in another (they're the closest to the living person) and both in another (they're both different versions of them).

      The book mentions it because we knew the metaphysical quirk of the CofD setting that allows for ghosts of living people, ghost buildings, etc means characters in the setting who are reasonably knowledgable about ghosts will have wrestled with this kind of conundrum. Sin-Eaters come firmly down on the side of "it doesn't matter, ghosts are thinking, emoting, self aware beings, ergo they're people," but this kind of thing allows room for antagonists to believe they aren't harming real people when they abuse the dead.

      It absolutely has the potential to reduce sympathy for ghosts - that's the *point*, that Sin-Eater culture has sympathy for ghosts *anyway*.
      Last edited by Dave Brookshaw; 07-04-2018, 05:48 AM.


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      • #18
        Originally posted by Dave Brookshaw View Post
        The book mentions it because we knew the metaphysical quirk of the CofD setting that allows for ghosts of living people, ghost buildings, etc means characters in the setting who are reasonably knowledgable about ghosts will have wrestled with this kind of conundrum. Sin-Eaters come firmly down on the side of "it doesn't matter, ghosts are thinking, emoting, self aware beings, ergo they're people," but this kind of thing allows room for antagonists to believe they aren't harming real people when they abuse the dead.

        It absolutely has the potential to resuce sympathy for ghosts - that's the *point*, that Sin-Eater culture has sympathy for ghosts *anyway*.
        Gods I love this game.


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        • #19
          Originally posted by Second Chances View Post
          Gods I love this game.
          Same, the more I read about it, the more I remember why I liked it in the first place.

          Also, credit where it's due, because these 2nd Editions keep breathing new life and power in these games in such a way the best cinematographic equivalent I could think of is the scene in the first Matrix where Trinity helps Neo resurrect and he proceeds to kick ass. I mean, I was always fond of Geist and had fun writing about it, but the game is back, improved and ready to usher in all sorts of ghostly goodness in the CoD as a whole.

          I'm both impressed and glad that I paused some things I was working on in order to write them with the new Geist
          Last edited by Cinder; 07-04-2018, 04:31 AM.


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          • #20
            Originally posted by Michael View Post
            That's the essential mistake the Ship of Theseus critiques. You're just stating that certain elements of identity are essential without actually justifying it.
            On the contrary, that's what you're doing here:
            Or, they both have a legitimate claim on that originality.
            ... implicitly making that claim about memory (since that's all the ghost and the living person would have in common). If someone cloned my body, that clone wouldn't be me - but they would be another person in their own right. Why should I see it any differently with a clone of my mind?

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Dave Brookshaw View Post

              The book mentions it because we knew the metaphysical quirk of the CofD setting that allows for ghosts of living people, ghost buildings, etc means characters in the setting who are reasonably knowledgable about ghosts will have wrestled with this kind of conundrum. Sin-Eaters come firmly down on the side of "it doesn't matter, ghosts are thinking, emoting, self aware beings, ergo they're people," but this kind of thing allows room for antagonists to believe they aren't harming real people when they abuse the dead.

              It absolutely has the potential to reduce sympathy for ghosts - that's the *point*, that Sin-Eater culture has sympathy for ghosts *anyway*.
              Many mages seem like they're purpose-built antagonists for sin-eaters. I hope the Awakened get called out by name, and not just generic necromancers, in the Antagonist section of the corebook.

              You can never have too much crossover...
              Last edited by branford; 07-04-2018, 03:11 PM.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Dave Brookshaw View Post
                It absolutely has the potential to reduce sympathy for ghosts - that's the *point*, that Sin-Eater culture has sympathy for ghosts *anyway*.
                Hasn't it been stated that the Bound are themselves (two) ghosts? Because that would mean they aren't the original version of the inhabitant of their body either. Which is interesting

                It also makes me think of a scenario where someone eaten up enough with something to cause a ghost has a near-death experience - but as a result, they realise that life is too short and move on. However they also leave a ghost behind, which retains the full obsession - and now regards their living counterpart as betraying the core (as the ghost sees it) of themselves.

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                • #23
                  Okay, thanks for the replies.

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