Twilight Universe General Philosophical Musings

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Re: Twilight Universe General Philosophical Musings

Postby Twilight<3 » Sat Jul 31, 2010 1:01 am

No, I know. That's the exact point I was trying to make about Alice's visions. That the future isn't constant and her visions change as people's decisions change. I was just relating that back to Bella's decisions because if there is free will demonstrated in Alice's visions, then that would mean Bella would have free will, as well. So it wouldn't be fate, but free will. Haha, I wasn't bringing up Alice's visions randomly. I was only trying to prove a point - sorry if there was a misunderstanding!

Oh, there is no "right" or "sane" answer. It's all very subjective and we are just having a discussion where we both view things differently, that's all. But, see, I would say our actions or decisions have consequences, whether good or bad, and that's what Alice sees. The consequences of our actions, so we would have free will. And I would say fate is following a "line" of events, if you will, where you can't stray from that path. So, if Alice can see several pathways, I wouldn't say life is predetermined in the way Stephenie Meyer has set it up. Fate doesn't consist of multiple possibilities.
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Re: Twilight Universe General Philosophical Musings

Postby GrayceM » Mon Aug 02, 2010 2:03 pm

Twilight<3 wrote:No, I know. That's the exact point I was trying to make about Alice's visions. That the future isn't constant and her visions change as people's decisions change. I was just relating that back to Bella's decisions because if there is free will demonstrated in Alice's visions, then that would mean Bella would have free will, as well. So it wouldn't be fate, but free will. Haha, I wasn't bringing up Alice's visions randomly. I was only trying to prove a point - sorry if there was a misunderstanding!

Oh, there is no "right" or "sane" answer. It's all very subjective and we are just having a discussion where we both view things differently, that's all. But, see, I would say our actions or decisions have consequences, whether good or bad, and that's what Alice sees. The consequences of our actions, so we would have free will. And I would say fate is following a "line" of events, if you will, where you can't stray from that path. So, if Alice can see several pathways, I wouldn't say life is predetermined in the way Stephenie Meyer has set it up. Fate doesn't consist of multiple possibilities.


Ok. I think I can see where the confusion came in to this discussion. I do no think that fate and destiny are the same thing. I agree that fate doesn't consist of multiple possibilities. It is a unchanging path of events that impact the subject that lead to a predetermined outcome. But I believe that destiny is where the subject, in this case Bella, actively participating and making decisions that will lead to a predetermined or desired outcome.
I also happen to think that people over use the word destiny so that it sounds "cheesy" :roll: so I hesitate to use the term. But since I'm going to use it...I'll go all out. You can change your destiny by choosing a different path but you can not escape your fate.
My reasoning, even with Alice's visions, is that there is never a point where Alice doesn't see Bella becoming one of them, well, except at the beginning when she sees her dead and probably during New Moon when they are gone. But in all the other futures, that we know of, she see multiple possibilities of when it will happen and how, but not that it will. Because Bella has chosen and she never wavered in that decision knowing that it is the only way that she can be with Edward.
I don't believe that she ever gives up on the determination that her destiny is to be with Edward, even in New Moon. She believes that he leaves her because she can't keep up with him, is too soft...fragile. In her mind, that means she is not good enough for him. Why would an extraordinary creature like Edward want an ordinary human?? But if she is turned he'll be "forced to deal with her" (or rather his feelings for her) because he won't be able to leave her behind. She won't let him...
"If Alice made good on her promise - and if she didn't kill me - then Edward could run after his distractions all he wanted and I could follow. I wouldn't let him be distracted. Maybe, when I was beautiful and strong, he wouldn't want distractions."
I suppose that I just couldn't see their story ending without a better resolution, so I knew that somehow they would be together because I knew that Edward wasn't leaving because he didn't love her. He was leaving because it's what was best for her, what would keep her safest. But he changed her as much as she changed him, so reasoning is that her delusions not only brought her temporary relief from the pain, which is all she thought she wanted, but also permanent relief in the inevitable reunion with Edward, which was her "destiny". So the decisions she made, even subconsciously, were drawing her towards a reunion. I think that's why she wouldn't let herself forget anything about him. In Twilight she states, "I do a good job of blocking painfull, unnecessary things from my memory." But though painful, she wouldn't block the memory of him because she needed to know that he existed to survive. By not blocking that memory, she allows the path to him to remain open.
Am I really the only one that sees this? :oops:
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Re: Twilight Universe General Philosophical Musings

Postby Knives » Tue Aug 03, 2010 4:24 am

Warning - Within the next 72 hours, I will once again post on this thread with some musings about morality, religion, and how our own paradigms on these concepts affects how we read the books.

That is all.
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Re: Twilight Universe General Philosophical Musings

Postby Twilight<3 » Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:20 am

GrayceM, I can definitely see where you are coming from and where you might think that but I think you may be misunderstanding the definition of destiny. Pick your dictionary, but dictionary.com's definition is as follows: "the predetermined, usually inevitable or irresistible, course of events." Destiny and fate are synonyms for each other.

I know definitions shouldn't be a big deal but I don't know what else it could be that you are thinking is happening with Edward and Bella. There are about four different categories that go along with the Free Will vs. Determinism discussion (and then several sub-categories): determinism (cause and effect), indeterminism (fate, destiny), free will, and compatibalism (sorry for the misspelling). With your theory and Alice's visions, it really doesn't fit any category. They just don't logically match up. So, I can see what you are saying, but Alice's visions show Stephenie Meyer believes in free will and that her characters have free will - not that it was their destiny to find each other.
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Re: Twilight Universe General Philosophical Musings

Postby chewie1bernie » Thu Aug 05, 2010 5:02 am

Carlisle is one of my favorites in the Twilight world and I don't honestly think he really did anything wrong. I say that with some kind of hesitation. With Edward, Edward never wanted to die, either. His mother, on top of that, basically told Carlisle to do anything he could to save her son and he did. Carlisle's reasons for creating Edward for himself were selfish, but he also partly did it because of Edward's mother and that's not selfish in my opinion.

With Esme, yes she wanted to die. Yes, she did jump off that cliff for a reason, but she also had lost her son and was insane with grief and wasn't thinking clearly when she did that. She had met Carlisle years earlier and had never forgotten him. So, she loved him from the beginning right up when he changed her and they both fell in love. Rosalie is a little more hard to figure out. Lets see, she endured a very brutal assault from her soon to be husband and his drunken friends, she was left to die. Carlisle found her and transformed her. During that period, she begged for death. But we all know that vampire venom is supposed to be extremely painful. I'm not surprised half of them didn't beg for death! Yes, she said she wanted to die, and her wishes were being ignored, but is it possible Carlisle knew she take it back when it was all over? Perhaps. Carlisle had no emotional attachment to Rosalie like he did Esme or even Edward, so why did he change her? Because he thought she might make a suitable companion for his lonely son and he also wanted to save the life of a woman who was so severely victimized.

That doesn't really make Carlisle selfish. To me, anyway. He created Emmett for Rosalie after she brought him back. Thus securing Rosalie her ideal mate. Carlisle is anything but selfish, sure he was selfish once or twice, but his reasons for changing them, were anything but in my opinion.

And, I don't think he could have controlled whether or not they killed humans or not. Obviously, he sat each of them down and talked with them about his beliefs, but he cannot control what they decide. But obviously, he made leaps and bounds in convincing each of them of his convictions.
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Re: Twilight Universe General Philosophical Musings

Postby December » Thu Aug 05, 2010 5:49 am

Twilight<3 -- I may have got this wrong, but I think GrayceM is using "destiny" here in a personal, non-technical sense -- because she wants a term for her idea of the life-path which a person sets themself on (consciously or unconsciously) and then doggedly pursues. Sounds to me like both of you actually agree that people in Stephenie's universe are free to make meaningful choices which affect how their future unfolds. Neither of you thinks Bella HAD to choose to be with Edward (though of course Bella herself puts it that way when she tells Jake "I never had a choice"...).

What Grayce seems to be getting at, though, is that when we make major choices about what we want in life, that overarching goal (or "destiny") may then express itself in a thousand tiny choices we make from minute to minute, often without our realizing it. So you might casually decide "I think I'll go to that dance tonight" -- but it's really because you're secretly hoping to run into that guy you've been half in-love with since childhood. And from that small, seemingly unimportant decision, love, marriage and a whole lifetime of consequences can follow. Or you'll idly decide "maybe I will put in an application for that overseas scholarship" -- because deep down you've always REALLY wanted to get a million miles away from your family. At the moment we make these decisions, they might seem like a casual choice, or something we're doing for some other reason ("my best friend really needs me to keep her company at the party"), but our deep desires are shaping our actions in ways we're not aware of. So in THAT sense...we may indeed be stumbling down a determinate path, all the while believing our actions to be random. But the point is...what determines our path (as I understand Grayce's point) isn't an external Fate or Karma or whatever, but our own (possibly unrecognized) desires.

So to get back to her original thought...Bella is destined to be with Edward not because the gods (or the author!) have decreed it, but because Bella has. And so her seemingly random choice to jump off a cliff is actually a working out of that desire. Now I'm not sure if Grayce is feeding in the additional idea of some external hand of Fate which is helping Bella to achieve her desire: prompting the little choices (jump off a cliff without Jake) which will fulfill the big one (marry Edward). I think Grayce might need that for her analysis of Bella's actions to make sense (how could Bella herself have known, even unconsciously, that cliff jumping would bring her back to Edward?). But either way, the big choice, the choice to be with Edward, remains Bella's alone: determined, if you like, by the sort of person she is and the kinds of choices she makes, but not by an impersonal Fate.

Does that make sense? Grayce, have I understood what you were getting at?
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Re: Twilight Universe General Philosophical Musings

Postby GrayceM » Fri Aug 06, 2010 9:01 am

That's it exactly, December. For the reason of not wanting to seem uneducated...I did look up destiny before I posted about any of this. This is what these terms mean to me. I don't choose to use either term because they can be so easily misunderstood, but in choosing that, I ran the risk of not explaining my theory as intended. Thank you for putting it in a different light.
Wikipedia:
"Different concepts of destiny and fate
Destiny may be seen either as a sequence of events that is inevitable and unchangeable, or that individuals choose their own destiny by choosing different paths throughout their life. In the sense of being unchangeable it is said that the different courses of action people take may still lead to a predetermined destiny.
Destiny versus fate
Although the words are used interchangeably in many cases, fate and destiny can be distinguished. Modern usage defines fate as a power or agency that predetermines and orders the course of events. Fate defines events as ordered or "inevitable". Fate is used with regard to the finality of events as they have worked themselves out; and that same sense of finality, projected into the future to become the inevitability of events as they will work themselves out, is Destiny."


We can't go back to change the past so there's no way to know what would have happened had you chosen; a different path, a different route to work this morning in a literal sense or from an emotional standpoint, if you choose to help a random stranger stranded on the side of the road who ends up becoming your spouse. But if your "destiny" is to be healthy, happy, married with four children, then "fate" or "karma" will lead you to make the decisions necessary so that is where you end up.
Reading New Moon, even without knowing there are 2 other books, I knew that the story was not over. There was no resolution, no closure. That being a constant for me, the signs are there. Bella chose over and over again to be with Edward. Even when Edward wasn't there, she chose the hallucinations over nothing. In Eclipse, when it seems that she "wavered" for lack of a better term because she could see a possible new "destiny" or future with Jacob, it was still always Edward.
She states:
I could see what he saw, and I knew that he was right. If the world was the sane place it was supposed to be, Jacob and I would have been together. And we would have been happy. He was my soul mate in that world - would have been my soul mate still if his claim had not been overshadowed by something stronger, something so strong that it could not exist in a rational world.
She tells him "The worst part..." I hesitated, and then let the words spill out in a flood of truth. "The worst part is that I saw the whole things - our whole life. And I want it bad, Jake, I want it all. I want to stay right here and never move. I want to love you and make you happy . And I can't, and it's killing me. It's like Sam and Emily, Jake - I never had a choice. I always knew nothing would change. Maybe that's why I was fighting against you so hard.

There are some stories I've read that I wish the writer could have given everyone a HEA, but realistically, life doesn't always work out that way. Those stories end the way they should, not always the way I want them to. That's what makes them great stories. For Bella and Edward, they were supposed to be together and every choice or action led them to that.
IMHO, it wouldn't have been as dramatic if it had any other ending. If you change the ending, you change the story.
Think about an alternative end...I'd be interested to hear what you can come up with, other than Bella and Edward being together...
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Re: Twilight Universe General Philosophical Musings

Postby Knives » Fri Aug 06, 2010 10:46 am

Quick cut in - regardless of one's philisophical stance on destiny, introducing Alice or any other precognitive of her calibur is, essentially, stabbing your plot until its various holes bleed all over the reader, which is why we get all these precog-paradoxes and what-ifs.

That is all ^_^

Wait, I lie - apply the same concept to travelling backwards in time.

NOW that is all ^_^
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Re: Twilight Universe General Philosophical Musings

Postby Openhome » Fri Aug 06, 2010 11:01 am

Knives wrote:Quick cut in - regardless of one's philisophical stance on destiny, introducing Alice or any other precognitive of her calibur is, essentially, stabbing your plot until its various holes bleed all over the reader, which is why we get all these precog-paradoxes and what-ifs.

That is all ^_^

Wait, I lie - apply the same concept to travelling backwards in time.

NOW that is all ^_^


:lol:
I agree. Believe me, I wrestle with it every day that I write fanfic.

But if we didn't have these sci-fi plot tools, we wouldn't have great stories like Dr. Who and all those twisted Star Treks. 8-)
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Re: Twilight Universe General Philosophical Musings

Postby December » Fri Aug 06, 2010 8:35 pm

On a slightly off-topic note, Knives, I'm wondering if you found the time travel in The Time Traveller's Wife well done, or still paradoxical and frustrating (certainly it was much more painstakingly thought out than Stephenie's).

Wait, I can't believe I'm asking this. I HATE getting snarled up in time travel paradoxes.... Don't answer that!!! Back to Edward, Bella and Fate everyone please.... (*grin*)
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