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The Belief of Men

Grond

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Aragil.... the "perfect sense" comment was mega-sarcasm on my part. *smiles deviously*

Your comments concerning the HoMe are well taken and I agree with your esteemed opinion in some circumstances; however, let us not forget that the Silmarillion (while even being written and rewritten up to the author's death) was a near complete work. He intended for it to be published in conjunction with the LotR in 1953, even going so far as to contemplate changing publishers from Allen/Unwin to Harper/Collins (if the Letters of J. R. R. T. are to be believed.) I know the CT did much editorial work on the Sil but in doing so he never editorialized in the text. He simply gave us what his father wrote.

In the HoMe (I have all 12) CT seems to INTERPRET and MIND READ much more than was done in the Sil. Unfortunately, as with all posthumous publications, we'll never truly know what JRRT's definitive word was on many things. He was constantly trying to bring his world of Middle-earth into harmony and consistency. Since the job was never completed by him, we'll never know what he truly intended.

As for the HoMe having greater weight in Middle-earthly matters. I will agree with you that in many instances HoMe gives us a deeper insight into the mind of the author; unfortunately, rarely does it give us concrete evidence that the author truly intended to change this or that. Tolkien was the consumate story teller and as is evidenced by the voluminous material in the HoMe, he would write what his heart told him and then try to tie it apropriately into the FLOW of the magical world logic. Sometimes he succeeded, sometimes he failed and on a few occassion he didn't seem to care. :)
 

aragil

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Mega-sarcasm? No wonder my sarcasto-meter had to be sent to the shop!

I agree with pretty much everything you said, but in my above post I was just trying to stress that not everything in HoME was part of the Quenta Silmarillion proper. For that matter, not everything that went into the published Sil was part of the Quenta proper- the Ainulindale, the (2nd book who's name I cannot remember), the Akalabeth, and Of the Rings of Power and the third age were all outside the Quenta proper, but included in the published Sil (I haven't read whether or not this was at the request of JRRT, but I suspect that it was). While the majority of HoME deals with the various versions of the Quenta, a substantial portion of the series is dedicated to what I must consider 'supplemental material on Middle-earth'. I include in this category The Akalabeth, the Ainulindale, the various stories published in UT (although I'm unsure about the Narn i Nan Hurin), the various Annals (Aman, Grey, the Tale of Years), and the other miscelaneous stories that Tolkien wrote- The New Shadow, essays on Glorfindel and Cirdan, etc. I think that the Athrabeth falls into this category- I assume it was written as a supplement to the Silmarillion, and was never intended to be included with the published version. As a supplement, I think it is unfair to say that it should carry less weight than what was published- I can't remember how many drafts there were, but it is distinctly possible that JRRT considered the Athrabeth to be in more 'complete' form than the Quenta, the latter stages of which appear to have been neglected after the publication of LotR. My approach is that the Athrabeth should be regarded as a true account of the debate between Andreth and Finrod, but that the two legends (that's how I'll refer to them) regarding the original nature of Men should be regarded as mythic- possibly based on fact but equally possibe that they are 100% fiction. The Quenta is (supposed to be, internal conceipt) the history of the Eldar, recorded by the Eldar, and communicated to Men at some point. As such, I consider the information on the fate of Men to be the same legend espoused by Finrod in the Athrabeth- it carries a lot of weight because it come from the 'wise' (Finrod, those clever Elves, and especially the Valar). But it is possible that this information is incorrect- I think that it is pretty explicitly stated that the Valar did not know the fate of men, so the legend is only their (considerably qualified) speculation.

That being said, I think there is considerable evidence that Morgoth has messed with Men at some point prior to the Edain's arrival in Beleriand. There was certainly a first 'fall from grace', and with all the available information it looks like Morgoth played a prominent role in bringing the fall about. Again, I also see evidence that even the very early men were concerned with their own mortality, so it is entirely possible that Morgoth played upon this concern in order to bring about the fall. I (like Finrod, and from what I can tell Grond and Anc) find it too hard to believe that Morgoth was able to change the 'immortal' nature of man to be 'mortal', nor do I believe that Morgoth was able to con Iluvatar into doing this. That's just my opinion though, I could be wrong.
 

Maedhros

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I (like Finrod, and from what I can tell Grond and Anc) find it too hard to believe that Morgoth was able to change the 'immortal' nature of man to be 'mortal', nor do I believe that Morgoth was able to con Iluvatar into doing this.
Well, that was the Belief of Men.
From Morgoth's Ring: ATHRABETH FINROD AH ANDRETH
The first Voice we never heard again, save once. In the stillness of the night It spoke, saying: 'Ye have abjured Me, but ye remain Mine. I gave you life. Now it shall be shortened, and each of you in a little while shall come to Me, to learn who is your Lord: the one ye worship, or I who made him.'
Then our terror of the Dark was increased; for we believed at the Voice was of the Darkness behind the stars. And some of us began to die in horror and anguish, fearing to go out into the Dark. Then we called on our Master to save us from death, and he did not answer. But when we went to the House and all bowed down there, at last he came, great and majestic, but his face was cruel and proud.
It was the belief of Andreth, or do you think that she was lying. Ah Manwë where were you then? :(
 

Grond

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Originally posted by Maedhros

Well, that was the Belief of Men.
From Morgoth's Ring: ATHRABETH FINROD AH ANDRETH

It was the belief of Andreth, or do you think that she was lying. Ah Manwë where were you then? :(
Again, see my opinon on using HoMe works to support new ME theories at http://www.thetolkienforum.com/showthread.php?s=&postid=133040#post133040 . I just don't think we can take new information from these works and consider them as authoritative. Look at how many different names good JRRT gave the Istari and how many different origins. You get different information from LOTR, SIL, UT and HoMe.
 

aragil

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D'oh! There really is a lot of crossover between this thread and The Rejection of the Secondborn. Summary of my reply to Grond's opinion over there: there is evidence throughout Tolkien's work for a fall of man occuring before the Edain arrived in Beleriand, and presumably this fall is attributable to the actions of Morgoth, therefore I don't think this passage is in conflict with the published Sil.
 

Maedhros

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D'oh! There really is a lot of crossover between this thread and The Rejection of the Secondborn.
You're right. I had to edit my last post in there because it was meant for here.:) Probably my fault for quoting Home in the Sil section.
therefore I don't think this passage is in conflict with the published Sil.
I don't see how a belief that early men had is in conflict with the Sil.
 

Grond

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Originally posted by Maedhros
I don't see how a belief that early men had is in conflict with the Sil.
My apologies to both you and Aragil. I thought both of your were forwarding this idea as a truth of Middle-earth. If early Man chose to believe this, then there is no real conflict with the works but if it is portrayed as a truth, then it would create a significant rift in the concordance in my humble opinion. :)
 

aragil

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Originally posted by Maedhros
You're right. I had to edit my last post in there because it was meant for here.:)
I ain't gonna be so careful:

HoME v. 11, Part II- the Later Quenta Silmarillion, chapter 14, 'Of the Coming of Men into the West and the Meeting of the Edain and the Eldar', §8-9:
But when Felagund questioned Bëor concerning the arising of Men and their journeys, Bëor would say little; and indeed he knew little, for the fathers of his people had told few tales of their past and a silence had fallen upon their memory.
'A darkness lies behind us,' Bëor said; 'and we have turned our backs on it, and we do not desire to return thither even in thought. Westwards our hearts have been turned, and we believe that there we shall find Light.'
HoME v. 11, Part I- The Grey Annals, YotS 60, §78-80:
Moreover, he (Morgoth) was not encircled upon the uttermost north; and though the ice and snow restrained his enemies from keeping watch in the frozen wilderness, it hindered not his spies and messengers from secret going and coming.
Nor himself, an he would go. Indeed we learn now in Eressëa from the Valar, through our kin that dwell still in Aman, that after Dagor-nuin-Giliath (so that's where they got their guild name -aragil) Melkor was so long in assailing the Eldar with strength for he himself had departed from Angband, for the last time. Even as before at the awakening of the Quendi, his spies were watchful, and tidings soon came to him of the arising of Men. This seemed to him so great a matter that secretly under shadow he went forth into Middle-earth, leaving the command of the War to Sauron his lieutenant. Of his dealings with Men the Eldar knew naught at that time, and know little now, for neither the Valar nor Men have spoken to them clearly of these things.
But that some darkness lay upon the hearts of Men (as the shadow of the kinslaying and the doom of Mandow lay upon the Noldor) the Eldar perceived clearly even in the fair folk of the Elf-friends that they first knew. To corrupt or destroy whatsoever arose new and fair was ever the chief desire of Morgoth; but as regards the Eldar, doubtless he had this purpose also in his errand: by fear and lies to make Men their foes, and bring them up out of the East against Beleriand. But this design was slow to ripen, and was never wholly achieved, for Men (it is said) were at first very few in number, whereas Morgoth grew afraid of the tidings of the growing power and union of the Eldar and came back to Angband, leaving behind at that time but few servants, and those of less might and cunning.
Before Grond can say this is HoME material, here is the corresponding passage (single, because it combines the above two HoME passages) from the Silmarillion:
The Silmarillion, Chapter 17, 'Of the Coming of Men into the West'
But when he (Finrod) questioned him (Bëor) concerning the arising of Men and their journeys, Bëor would say little; and indeed he knew little, for the fathers of his people had told few tales of their past and a silence had fallen upon their memory. 'A darkness lies behind us,' Bëor said; 'and we have turned our backs on it, and we do not desire to return thither even in thought. Westwards our hearts have been turned, and we believe that there we shall find Light.'
But it was said afterwards among the Eldar that when Men awoke in Hildórien at the rising of the Sun the spies of Morgoth were watchful, and tidings were soon brought to him; and this seemed to him so great a matter that secretly under shadow he himself departed from Angband, and went forth into Middle-earth, leaving Sauron the command of the War. Of his dealings with Men the Eldar indeed knew nothing, at that time, and learnt but little afterwards; but that a darkness lay upon the hearts of Men (as the shadow of the Kinslaying and the Doom of Mandos lay upon the Noldor) they perceived clearly even in the people of the Elf-friends whom they first knew. To corrupt or destroy whatsoever arose new and fair was ever the chief desire of Morgoth; and doubtless he had this purpose also in his errand: by fear and lies to make Men the foes of the Eldar, and bring them up out of the east against Beleriand. But this design was slow to ripen, and was never wholly achieved; for Men (it is said) were at first very few in number, whereas Morgoth grew afraid of the growing power and union of the Eldar and came back to Angband, leaving behind at that time but few servants, and those of less might and cunning.
Two purposes in posting these quotes-
1) to remind Grond that HoME does not necessarily conflict with the published Silmarillion, and that HoME v10-11 in particular were most often taken word-for-word into the published Sil.
2) I think this passage sets the background for the discussion of the Athrabeth. We see clearly that Morgoth did something bad after the awakening of the Atani, and that whatever happened haunted the Secondborn as much as the Doom of Mandos and the kinslaying haunted the Noldor. We also see that one of the main aims of Morgoth in this mischief was to estrange the Eldar and the Edain. Finally we say that the Atani were retiscent to speak of the events, and that it appears that in many points their memories might have been forgotten on purpose. I think this deserves special consideration when we discuss the Atanic legends of the origins and original nature of Man that Andreth relays to Finrod. There are holes in the collective memories of the Edain, and much of their original 'knowledge' could have come from the lies of Morgoth, aimed at estranging the Edain and the Eldar.

Now for my interpretation- I think that the large part of Andreth's wisdom comes directly from Morgoth. These are the lies that Morgoth has sown in attempt to turn them against the Valar and the Eldar. I think both of the voices which Maedhros quoted were Morgoth- it seems to me unlikely that Illuvatar would speak directly to his children, and even less likely that he would make the spiteful (IMO) utterance 'Now you're going to die and learn who the real powerful one is'. Morgoth knows that when the Edain meet the Eldar the second kindred will soon learn of the immortality of the firstborn. It seems that this would create enmity (at least so Morgoth could expect) between the two races, and so this would be a good candidate for the lies which Morgoth told to estrange the two. As Grond pointed out (Mega-sarcastically, it turns out) this difference in nature is exactly what Sauron exploited to bring about the fall of Numenor, so I don't feel like I'm coming from left field here. Finally, I don't see any evidence to support Andreth's claims of an immortal past and then a (great) reduction in life span. I think that the Atani lifespan had become very slightly reduced by their association with Morgoth, attributable to 'sinful living', if you like. However, I think this reduction was very mild, perhaps from an average of 90 years to an average of 70 years. I also think that the average of 90 was re-attained when the Edain first entered Beleriand- Beor and his offspring at least lived into their 90s. I think that as much as anything this re-attainment o the longer lifespan was due to the association with the Eldar, which would have led to the dropping of many Morgothian lies that had been adopted into their lifestyle. At least, that's my opinion.
 

Melian Le Fay

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Why does anyone think that Eru would give Men both immortality and the power to shape their own destiny, and give the Eldar only immortal life?! I believe that Tolkien had in mind that mortality of men, but also a chance to be masters of destiny gives some kind of bitter-sweet sense to it...It is kind of poetic, don't you think?
 

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Originally posted by Maedhros
Did Melkor use that fact that he could "toy" with men regarding their livespan and therefore using it to enslave the race of men or a great part of them?
I think that Morgoth did use that belief of men to toy with them. Look how it was "toying" with Andreth...and she had never even spoke with Morgoth, but only learned these beleifs that had been passed down by her own people.

Andreth looked up and her eyes darkened. 'The Valar?' she said. 'How should I know, or any Man? Your Valar do not
trouble us either with care or with instruction. They sent no
summons to us.'
'What do you know of them?' said Finrod. 'I have seen them
and dwelt among them, and in the presence of Manwe and
Varda I have stood in the Light. Speak not of them so, nor of
anything that is high above you. Such words came first out
of the Lying Mouth.
'I see,' said Andreth, 'that in this ye of the High-elves do not
differ from your lesser kindred whom we have met in the world,
though they have never dwelt in the Light. All ye Elves deem
that we die swiftly by our true kind. That we are brittle and
brief, and ye are strong and lasting. We may be "Children of
Eru", as ye say in your lore; but we are children to you also: to
be loved a little maybe, and yet creatures of less worth, upon
whom ye may look down from the height of your power and
your knowledge, with a smile, or with pity, or with a shaking of
heads.'
It would easy for Melkor to manipulate someone who already held those beliefs. People who think like that would be quicker to turn against the Valar and the Eldar and even join forces with Morgoth if not out of love for him but hate of the Eldar.
I am not sure that Morgoth started these as lies that eventually made their way to Andreth, it could be that men just figured this on their own, but either way it must have pleased Morgoth. he knows all about jealousy and envy from experience and he would know how to use those two things to turn men against the elves.
 

Lhunithiliel

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First of all, I’d like to congratulate Anc for bringing forth (AGAIN!!) such an interesting topic!
However, before I go into the topic itself, I’d like to share an opinion, which you may comment or you can just ignore. It’s JUST some thoughts that this discussion (and a few others) arose in my mind.
It has to do with a world-wide and a long-existing tendency of how art is understood and interpreted.
You see, every piece of ANY art is at a certain moment offered to an audience. Art is for the people, right? Then, every one who is part of this audience perceives this piece of art through his/her own personal and individual understanding and criteria of good/bad, beautiful/ugly, appealing/boring etc… BUT! There comes a special group within our society – the critics, who, although individuals themselves, start telling us (the rest) of HOW we MUST (and not even “SHOULD”) understand this very same piece of art! Based on THEIR individual understanding and/or criteria, they try to convince us of what EXACTLY the author wanted to show/say/express by writing/painting/composing etc. this or that! The strangest thing of all is, that we let them do it and so, gradually, we start to believe what THEY are saying, forgetting OUR own understanding and/or criteria! So was born this world-wide and long-existing tendency of art-criticism I’m talking about.
What does this “philosophy” of mine lead to? The way art criticism is done, the same pattern, is being strictly followed in many other fields – politics, history etc. Therefore all of a sudden it turns out that people start repeating what OTHER people have said, not even trying to look for their own inner perceptions and/or believes…. This is easier and more convenient! “Why should I “discover the Americas” if they were discovered lo-o-o-o-ng ago?!”
So, what is then becoming of the human mind? It turns into a folder of patterns! So, people start following the “Matrix” and never bother to change anything. This, I suppose, is what we call “BELIEF”.
Now speaking on the topic, but following this theory, I would say that people’s minds have always been strongly “patterned” by all those races superior to the race of Men – Eru, the Valar, Melkor incl., all the mighty Maiar, the Elves … Therefore, how can one of us, MEN, tell FOR SURE where the truth lies? Are you sure our minds are FREE of patterns?
Well, I know that what I’ve written is just a scratch on the surface….But, hey, I suppose you’ll let me be around in this thread a little longer, so I might in a couple of days provide you with some further observations, going deeper into the subject.

Once again, I apologize for being sort of "away" from the topic....yet am I? ;)
 

Maedhros

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First of all, I’d like to congratulate Anc for bringing forth (AGAIN!!) such an interesting topic!
And I thought I made the topic.:(
Therefore, how can one of us, MEN, tell FOR SURE where the truth lies? Are you sure our minds are FREE of patterns?
Yet they are not necessarily truths but it was the Belief of Men!:)
 

Lhunithiliel

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Shame on me!:eek:
Forgive me, Master Maedhros!
Let me paraphrase..
I'd like to congratulate MASTER MAEDHROSfor bringing forth AGAIN such an interesting topi!!! :p
Now, back to the topic.
Maedhros: Yet they are not necessarily truths but it was the Belief of Men
Me: .....people start following the “Matrix” and never bother to change anything. This, I suppose, is what we call “BELIEF”.
My point : don't people confuse truth with belief ?
I personally believe it is so. Then could anyone relly be able to exit the "matrix " and have a realistic view over the things?
 

Confusticated

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Originally posted by Lhunithiliel

My point : don't people confuse truth with belief ?
I personally believe it is so. Then could anyone relly be able to exit the "matrix " and have a realistic view over the things?
First, who's to say what a realistic view is? It is what we know it to be, anything beyond our ability to imagine will be unknown to us. We may know there is something there but because do not have the ability to see it, can it really be called a part of reality? Maybe not. Maybe the fact that it is assumed to exist is all the reality there is to it.

People often confuse truth with belief, but to fuction a human must treat certain beliefs as truth. If someone is ever aware that the things which they believe are not fact then they may end up inactive. An amount of belief is required for every little action we take. I press down on the "P" on my keyboard with the belief that a P will show up on my screen though this isn't truth until it has happend. Why? Who knows? Maybe my brother's cat will dash through and unhook the wire. Maybe the power will go out. Maybe my keyboard is flawed and the P will suddenly cease to function for reasons I will not understand because I do not know the innerworkings of my keyboard. I may take it apart and a have look at it but blah blah blah....
Involuntary things that happend such as our heartbeats are a different story and I don't know enough to go into that.
In this post the word belief could be replaced with faith, and truth with fact.
When a person dwells too much of such things as this they may continue to be disatisfied, and that disatisfaction may even grow.
If someone looks too closely into these things they could find that it is a trap of the mind and maybe even spirit if you believe in such a thing. One may find that all the things going on around them are petty, and that existance and all that we know can not in truth by considered a complex thing until you fully understand it, and that, I have faith that no one will ever do. From the most straightforward questions will arise endless ones if someone seeks them. These can be deducaed and deduced and you know what?
I believe that Nothing good comes of this other than the enjoyment of digging for answers.
Bad things will come of it though, if it goes too far.
Or so my experiences have shown me.
 

Lhunithiliel

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First, who's to say what a realistic view is? It is what we know it to be, anything beyond our ability to imagine will be unknown to us. We may know there is something there but because do not have the ability to see it, can it really be called a part of reality? Maybe not. Maybe the fact that it is assumed to exist is all the reality there is to it.
I think, this is the fundamental difference in the two basic trends in philosophy - does something exist if we can't see it?! - a question that can cause a great headache, can't it?! :p
I, however, as brought up with the philosophic views of the Materialism, believe that a thing can exist perfectly well even if I can't see it. Which means that this thing is a part of the existing reality! The fact that I don't see it does not mean that this thing is not there.
On the other hand, if I have no information about the existence of a thing, I can't know that it exists, which means that I can't believe in it! And if I don't believe in something, how can I consider it to be a truth?
You can see the "P" on your keyboard, and you know it exists and therefore you believe that when you hit it a "P" will le be shown on the screen.. and you are going to pronounce it as "[p]". But what you certainly don't know is what this letter means in another alphabet (for example in the Cyrilic, where this letter is pronounced [r]). So, it means that your truth and your belief are NOT valid for someone who knows only the Cyrillic alphabet.
See the point?
"Belief" is NOT the "truth".
 

Confusticated

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Originally posted by Lhunithiliel
You can see the "P" on your keyboard, and you know it exists and therefore you believe that when you hit it a "P" will le be shown on the screen.. and you are going to pronounce it as "[p]". But what you certainly don't know is what this letter means in another alphabet (for example in the Cyrilic, where this letter is pronounced [r]). So, it means that your truth and your belief are NOT valid for someone who knows only the Cyrillic alphabet.
See the point?
"Belief" is NOT the "truth".
The meaning of the letter P is irrelevent in the point I was making. In my example my faith was not in the meaning of P, but my faith that if pressed it would show up on my screen.
As for belief not being truth I already spoke of that but I will go further.
You'd have to define truth. I was using the word truth synonymously (sp?) with fact. I did this to avoid further deduction and to keep on track. I had faith ;) that truth was to mean fact in these last few posts.
If that is ot your intention of the word, let me know in truth what truth means to you.
 

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I think I've said before, but just incase I wasn't clear, I will say it again: Yes Maedhros, I think that it was.

In fact I think it was the major thing which he used.
It in fact (as I see it) enabled men to be in a state of mind whereat he woud more easily decieve them later on too.

I was going to open a new thread for the following but it relates so closely with Maedhros' opening question here that I figured it belongs in this thread.

Here goes:
From Athrabeth Finrod Ah Andreth Commentary
This is not presented as an argument of any cogency for Men in their present situation (or the one in which they believe themselves to be), though it may have some interest for Men who start with similar beliefs or assumptions to those held by the Elvish king Finrod.
It is in fact simply part of the portrayal of the imaginary
world of the Silmarillion, and an example of the kind of thing that enquiring minds on either side,the Elvish or the Human,
must have said to one another after they became acquainted.
We see here the attempt of a generous Elvish mind to fathom the
relations of Elves and Men, and the part they were designed to play in what he would have called the Oienkarme Eruo (The One's perpetual production),which might be rendered by 'God's management of the Drama'.

The following is a summary of my current interpretation of Finrod's line of thought,(it is based on what I read in the Athrabeth, and greatly based on both The Author's notes and CT's notes)about why men fear death.

Finrod thought that seperating on hroa and fear was unnatural, so he concluded that the separation was not of Iluvatar's design but is rather caused by the marring of Arda by Melkor. He seems to think that the belief of men that they (before the marring) were like the evles in that they never die (leave Arda) can not be the truth since if it were so, it would mean that men and elves were at first the same. He does not think men and elves could have at first been the same since there seems to be no reason that Iluvatar would have introduced them at differnt times had this been so. So Finrod then figures that the belief of men that they were once as elves in that they didn't ever die is based rather on the fact that men fear death because it is separation of fea from hroa. That would mean that men who hadn't been currupted or hadn't "fallen" would (as Finrod reasons) take with them their hroa as the fea leaves the world.

What do you think of his line of thought?
Do you think his conclusion is correct?
What do you think of the tale of Adenel?
Did these things (or some of them) really happen?
If you think none of those things did happen, then you probably think Morgoth caused them to think they had. If not, please tell what you think caused the beliefs. If so, will you share ideas on how, but more importantly why Morgoth set up the false story (story of Ardenel) the way that he did. There are some interesting points in her story, so if it is not true, what caused them.
 

Aiwendil2

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Quothe Nom:
What do you think of his line of thought?
That is what I have always made of Finrod's reasoning as well.

Do you think his conclusion is correct?
Well, Finrod is the wisest voice through which Tolkien discusses the question. I also think that, within the context of Tolkien's world and its physical/metaphysical laws, his reasoning is very good. I'd be inclined to say that his conclusion is correct.

What do you think of the tale of Adenel?
If we are to accept the above analysis, we must accept that Andreth's theory concerning the original nature of Men is incorrect. Insofar as her argument is representative of a commonly held belief among Men, we must assume that this belief is also incorrect. This casts serious doubt upon the tale of Adanel, in my opinion. Nonetheless: we also see that there is a grain of truth in Andreth's account (if Finrod's analysis is to be trusted). So it is likely that there is truth too in Adanel's story. It agrees, at any rate, as far as I can see, with Finrod's analysis.

f so, will you share ideas on how, but more importantly why Morgoth set up the false story (story of Ardenel) the way that he did.
I don't think that Adanel's story is necessarily inconsistent with the propositions set forth by Finrod. That is, I don't think there is anything in it that implies that Morgoth was able to change the nature of Men. There is a middle ground between saying that Morgoth was responsible for the change and saying that the whole thing was a lie: the change was made by Iluvatar, as punishment for the fall, which was precipitated by Morgoth. Morgoth's lie is then that he was directly responsible for the change. I think this middle road agrees with Finrod's account as well as with Adanel's story.

People often confuse truth with belief, but to fuction a human must treat certain beliefs as truth.
I disagree. As I press the P on my keyboard, there is no need for me to treat the belief that it will work as truth. You are right in pointing out that the P may not function - even if all the variables you mention were removed, there is the uncertainty of quantum mechanics. You argue that this means that I must make a leap of faith, transforming my belief that the key will work into truth, i.e., a certainty that it will work. I do not think this is correct. There is no reason to suppose that I cannot press the P key, with full knowledge of the relative probabilities that it will function correctly and that it will not - i.e., treating as "true" the probabilities only, not the belief. I can do so because I know that it is probable that the key will work. This is a truth, not a belief, nor a belief transformed into truth.

When a person dwells too much of such things as this they may continue to be disatisfied, and that disatisfaction may even grow.
Not necessarily. I am a devoted admirer of quantum physics, and I frequently think about the fact that none of my actions have deterministic consequences. When I press the P key on my keyboard, I may very well be fully cognizant of the possibility that it will not work. I am not dissatisfied by this. Why? Because the probability of its functioning is so high that I know (don't believe, but know) that it is a worthwhile gamble. The probability of things functioning in the ordinary, expected way is so high that we can act as if they are certainties, even without making any leaps of faith to eliminate the improbabilities.

Quothe Lhunithiliel:
I think, this is the fundamental difference in the two basic trends in philosophy - does something exist if we can't see it?!
There are really two questions here. 1. Does something exist if it is not observed? 2. Can we know that something exists when it is not observed?

The answer to the first question is one to be answered by Quantum Mechanics rather than by philosophy. Of course, it has tremendous philosophical implications and as such it is a philosophical problem - but it cannot be tackled without an understanding of Quantum Mechanics. Unfortunately, right now no one in the world has a sophisticated enough understanding of QM to tackle it.

The answer to the second question is "no". If we are absolute in our analysis, we must conclude that only one thing can be known in the classical sense of the word: cogito, ergo sum. I really should say, I can know only one thing; at this most basic level, truth is individual. I cannot know that you exist, that you perceive, that you think. All that I know is that I exist, and the only proof of this is my own consciousness. Even direct observation cannot generate absolute knowledge, because first of all our senses are fallible and second it is possible that the perception of an object is a random quantum event. We can be even less sure when the object in question is not being directly observed. Of course, the probabilities here are again incredibly high. They are so incredibly high that we can act as if we know that things exist.
 

Confusticated

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts Aiwendil, I do amire your thinking.

It is truth that pressing the P key will probably put a P on the screen, but I view a person as acting on belief that it will work when they do this. I agree with what you say in that we don't make this belief into a truth though. What I should have said is that we treat it as we would treat a truth. But who knows, maybe that isn't exactly true either.
I don't think anything in the future will happen in truth. But I behave in life as I probably would if I knew things were truth, because I am not constantly thinking about the fact (as I see it) that these things are not true.

Though I did say that dissatisfaction might result, so when you say "Not necessarily" do mean that "dissatisfaction will never result from such a thing". Or, that it is not necessarily true that it might.

There is a middle ground between saying that Morgoth was responsible for the change and saying that the whole thing was a lie: the change was made by Iluvatar, as punishment for the fall, which was precipitated by Morgoth.
After reading the conversation between Finrod and Andreth I was not convinced that men had changed, but after reading notes and commentary I'm leaning in the direction that the nature of men was changed. This is mostly because I at first didn't understand how Finrod concluded that the seperating of hroa and fea is unnatural.

I Agree that there is middle-ground. If it was changed then it makes sense to me that the tale of Adanel is true, I mean that the events in it did happen, or something much like them did happen. I don't see why else Iluvatar would have changed their nature.

Those who agree with Finrod's reasoning:
Do you think it is true that men as they first were, or who hadn't been touched by the this change, would infact take their body with them when they leave the world?
Also, this reminds me of Beren and Luthien. Could it be that them being the only (as far as I know) to be rehoused as mortals means that perhaps they were as men unfallen?
If so, maybe that is why no one saw them leave the world, or knows where the bodies lay. Maybe the bodies did leave the world?
 

Aiwendil2

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What I should have said is that we treat it as we would treat a truth.
Okay, I agree with this. "Belief" in this sense means an approximation, not actually taken to be the truth. My only hesitancy was that you equated this with "faith", a word often used in quite another sense: belief that a thing is the single and absolute truth.
 

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