Doctrine proposal on defining the force .

08 Dec 2019 13:10 - 08 Dec 2019 13:13 #346973 by Alethea Thompson
Two things:
1) Alexandre is wrong because the process of defining is not from a place to limit.
2) His choice of word was wrong because it doesn’t actually mean what he was trying to communicate.

I was able to figure out his meaning because I’ve had years of experience in trying figuring out what non-Native English (Japanese, Iraqi, even Russians online) speakers are trying to communicate. If I did not have that understanding, I would probably be here scratching my head.

So no, his choice of word is not the reason he’s wrong, the reason he is wrong is because he’s assuming that defining the Force is about limiting its scope. It’s not, and time and time again everyone here has said they are looking for something which helps the beginner begin to define the Force for themselves. Furthermore, he was completely ignoring the top choice words within the poll which had no real limitations built into their definitions. It’s not like he couldn’t see what the results were. So by applying a motivation which was clearly not in the scope of anyone actually voting, he was wrong AGAIN.

Now, if he had said “if *I* were to add to this discussion, I feel like *I* would be parsimonious in doing so.” Then I wouldn’t have even bothered with the problem of his choice of word. Not because it was used properly (it still wouldn’t be, btw), but rather because he would not have been assigning that motivation to everyone else that has participated in the pro-organizational definition camp.

So let’s go back (paraphrased): We shouldn’t be doing this from a place of parsimony.

No one is approaching this with the intention of reducing the Force, and no one is doing it from a place of unwillingness to allow others to form a personal opinion of what the Force is (That unwillingness is another frequent trait of definitions for “parsimony” btw). To assign it to the motivations of the various people in this discussion when all the evidence speaks against it is wrong.

And just in case anyone reading this thinks for one moment I believe he was intentionally being mean about it: I DON’T. Such was not the intention of the author, he wasn’t trying to be inconsiderate which is why I addressed the misuse of the word with a very short “wrong word” statement.

Communication. Best done in common language. If that means writing more words to get your point across, then write more words. But communication requires listening, which Alexandre wasn’t doing- otherwise he wouldn’t have seen anyone as trying to reduce the Force or even trying to make it so that others couldn’t define it on their own.

Still love you, Alexandre. Even when I disagree with you. :)
Last edit: 08 Dec 2019 13:13 by Alethea Thompson. Reason: Minor grammar issues- there’s probably more XD
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08 Dec 2019 13:52 #346975 by Alexandre Orion
Thank you, Ally ; I still love you too. ;)

I rarely do that silly "I feel... X" or "To me, it's ... Y" because that is a silly way of expression. Certainly it "feels" one way or another or it is interpreted one way or another to/by me. But it seems prudent to merely state things in a way that can open the inter-subjective dialogue and not shut it down by merely exposing something as it is in my own existential landscape. How things are 'to me' (regardless of what/who the "me" is doing the speaking) cannot be refuted, no matter how wrong "I" may be about them.

Just a matter of clarity here : English is my native language ; so is French. I didn't use the word parsimony incorrectly. And definitions do limit. In this case, it doesn't limit the Force, but having a definition does limit the understanding. It is better to have just descriptions - allegory, metaphor, proverb - than a clear (and reductive) definition. Dictionaries are not sources of "Truth." :)

Figure that one out ... :P

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08 Dec 2019 15:36 #346979 by steamboat28
Words mean things. What does the Force mean to you?
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08 Dec 2019 17:41 #346984 by Alethea Thompson
I know it’s your native language- my apologies if that’s what you thought I was inferring. I stand by “you didn’t use it correctly”, the definition simply doesn’t meet what you were trying to say.

Ironically, the whole discussion on the definition of parsimony even gives you a good argument pertaining to the definition of the Force itself XD. Because without one, no one can argue with you about whether or not you’re wrong. lol. Though, they’d probably just fall back on what is in the fiction if we don’t have a definition of our own...

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08 Dec 2019 18:02 - 08 Dec 2019 18:15 #346987 by steamboat28
Also, he totally used that word right. Just because a word has a specific denotation, doesn't mean it can't be used in other contexts with different connotations or even denotations. Not every word needs to be used literally; despite my insistence that "words mean things", their meaning is agreed upon by context and participants in the conversation.

That's why I'd like a baseline meaning of "the Force", and simultaneously why Alexandre isn't wrong about "parsimony."
Last edit: 08 Dec 2019 18:15 by steamboat28.
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08 Dec 2019 18:14 - 08 Dec 2019 18:27 #346988 by Alexandre Orion
Thank you, Mitchell... :cheer:

Ally, I accept your apology, though none is needed. It is still hard to concede that my use of the word is wrong. It is often used in philosophy, para-philosophical disciplines (comparative religion, say) and other humanities to talk about a particular position only being valid if one 'Okham's razors' away too much so that one is no longer talking about the same thing, having most of its qualia removed in the normalising process.

With regard to the subject matter : no theologians have ever mustered an acceptable "definition" of God. For that matter, finding "definitions" for any god/gods/deities is a pretty stiff order.

Now, what is going to make a "definition" of the Force even more tricky is that we are not bound by the concerns of particular religions' theologies. We do not know whether we are talking about an intelligent and creative deity, a particularly flighty aspect of phenomenology/anthropology (even just basic humanism) or with just the movement of energies (nebulous term there, sorry) in the known (sic) universe. So, as it is true that "words mean things", we must not fail to consider that words only mean certain things in certain contexts used with other words (syntax, semiotics, symbolism) according to a certain hegemonic acceptation in a certain era and in a certain geography. In short, meaning-making is not a simple affair. That is why the theologians have spent a millennia on this and not gotten very far off the starting block (although leaving thousands of heads off the chopping block). It is why philosophers can bang on for a thousand pages about conscience and perception and what might be real but that is never quite ever settled either.

Moreover, we do not want to get to a settlement. Metaphysics, ontology, epistemology ... there is probably not an ultimate discovery to be made. On that note, we need to concede that our sciences are temporary ; the things we know will be revealed false or incomplete as we continue to explore and learn about our environment. There is no ultimate answer (except "42" :P )

If you want a base-line definition (which I will still stubbornly accept only as a sort of description B) ) then certainly, fall back on the fiction. Old Obi-Wan's and Yoda's description from Episodes IV and V work beautifully. They have done for 40 years (as the same basic description of the tao has done for 2400 years or so). It isn't not having a definition of the Force that hinders us ... it is the arguing about the unknowable that contravenes our ethics.

Chaque homme a des devoirs envers l'homme en tant qu'homme.
~ Henri Bergson
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Last edit: 08 Dec 2019 18:27 by Alexandre Orion.
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08 Dec 2019 19:18 #346989 by Carlos.Martinez3
I am totally under this light currently : what is being done here is a great thing. I love to see others take a more direct approach to their own faith. What’s hard for me is to take all that time and effort and “think” that every one -should - be like me. It’s tough in modern day Jediism. There’s a saying Luke says in the new movies something like (not verbatim) “ jedi think the force needs em”... Every one should take time to find out their own faiths and hone them and define them and make actual practices that fit their own life. If that’s the case then definitions can come in their own time as well as our own time too which - may not be the same. Just because we are at a point in our faith some times doesn’t mean every one else is caught up with us and vice versus or even that it’s the same value as the next Jeddist. This is a hard fact in modern day Jediism that’s hard to add into ones path. Levels. Places in paths. Maturity. Things like that. Real talk , your asking to re- define something that obviously in its definition can’t. Do you personally need a better definition? If so - make it so. We can do it for us but for others... that’s a whole other can of worms. What about others? Can we leave room for others to apply it the way they need? The way where it’s all them and not ... us? Wouldn’t that last longer? Just saying. People get upset when others say teach to fish or give a fish when things like this come up but if you do this every whim... every need for everyone - ya may go crazy. Wouldn’t it be easyer to teach others they can apply on their own so it’s real, rather than here’s how step by step. Isn’t that what most here are trying to change? That type of idea? Why trade one tyrant far away for a few closer? Then what’s the difference? Just my thoughts still. Feel free to disagree. That’s ok too. Food for thought.

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08 Dec 2019 19:44 - 08 Dec 2019 19:45 #346991 by Alethea Thompson
I had some stuff written up about the positive and negatives of having a definition...even dove into the inclusivity of the definition for god and how the KJV uses it to include the angels in some Exodus verse...but I lost it.

Of note, 6 votes in, the leading answer is to not define the Force at all. In case anyone needs the link I’ll provide it here too :)
Last edit: 08 Dec 2019 19:45 by Alethea Thompson.

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08 Dec 2019 20:27 - 08 Dec 2019 20:41 #346993 by Rex
Any definition is an attempt at playing telephone with the concept which is really difficult with abstract concepts like the force. Defining it isn't quite the same as pointing towards it in my opinion if that makes sense. Definitions pragmatically work in terms of comparing and contrasting against something else: narrowing down the idea.

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Last edit: 08 Dec 2019 20:41 by Rex.
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