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From: David Duffy <davidD@qimr.edu.au>
Subject: (urth) Great chain of beans, theo-idiocy and all that
Date: Mon, 22 Nov 1999 10:19:24 +1000 (EST)

I've commented before on what I thought of as a medieval (Christian) world
view in Wolfe, in that the pain and suffering in this antechamber to
eternity is really not that important, it's your attitude while suffering.
If you regard the drowning of Urth as an unethical and inefficient use of
power, then you must feel the same about the earlier Flood.  Severian has
to have a belief that this is the only way to do things correctly in the
long run, even if he doesn't understand why.  Wrt miracles and technology,
several people have already made the point that the actual mechanism for
the workings of providence is not important (ObSF one might compare Frank
Herbert's _The Godmakers_ which has the same mechanism for miraculous
powers).  And finally, I think that for a long time, there was room in
Christian theology/natural philosophy for heirarchies of beings between
the level of humans and angels -- one might look to djinns in Islam (who
of course can choose to be good Muslims) for a comparison.  This comes
back to the ``reality'' of the Greek gods, the imperfection of the
heirodules etc. I push all these points because I think they influenced
the design of this particular universe we're discussing.

David Duffy.                                                       ,-_|\
| email: davidD@qimr.edu.au  ph: INT+61+7+3362-0217 fax: -0101    /     *
| Epidemiology Unit, The Queensland Institute of Medical Research \_,-._/
| 300 Herston Rd, Brisbane, Queensland 4029, Australia                 v 

*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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