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CrackedInkWell


"Inspiration does not come to the lazy. It only comes to those who call it." - P. I. Tchaikovsky

E

This story is a sequel to The Philosophical Substitute: Discord


Warning: The following you're about to read contains philosophy in plain English. If you do not like this, you know where the exit button is.


After the events of "The Philosophical Substitute," Discord is now taking on as a full-on teacher in Twilight's School of Friendship. Even though his past students (the Young Six) have technically graduated his class, they still come to him time to time to ask him some of life's toughest questions. Eventually, even their teachers come to him for guidance.

What follows is an anthology series of what each character learns from the Ex-Lord of Chaos.


A special thanks to Azaclop for proofreading.


Lesson Plan (in no particular order):

Sandbar - On Fate and Free Will (Dealing with cutie marks? Do ponies have a choice in what they can or can’t be?)

Smolder - On Life and Death (possibly afterlife? Cost of longevity?) ✅

Silverstream - Should Power Belong to the Few or Many? ✅

Yona - What’s the point of Spirituality? ✅

Gallus - On Envy and Jealousy. ✅

Ocellus - On Identity and the Self. ✅

Twilight - On Balance of Governing. ✅

Applejack - Why do nice people lie? Why does dishonesty exist?✅

Rainbow - On Bad Faith (Sartre)

Rarity - What Luxury Couldn’t Buy (Epicurus? Diogenes?)

Fluttershy - Why Others are Mean?

Pinkie Pie - On Cheerful Sadness.

Starlight - If worse comes to worse.

Discord - Know thy Self. A Philosophical Mediation.

Chapters (11)
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Comments ( 71 )

But the funniest one I’ve heard is that there is this big giant universe that’s expanding, and it’ll eventually collapse on itself, and we’re all here just – 'cause.”

Man, all those silly physicists with their dumb "Math" and "Quantifiable Information" hahahaha :rainbowlaugh:
imagine believing in an epistemological evolution towards truth that parallels the Hegelian Dialectic instead of simply creating an arbitrary criterion :rainbowlaugh:


Discord did a good job explaining the bare-bones fundamentals of subjectivisim, and the pragmatist's justification for following a false belief-system, but I really feel like, as a teacher and a professional, he should have at least mentioned oh ever popular Kierkegaard's "Critique of Pure Reason" where he (Kierkegaard) commented on the futility of meta-philosophies, and self-referential thinking proposing that you must instead "Take a Leap (of faith)" towards philosophical axioms and/or belief structures, and away from 'pointless' skepticism.

tl;dr I have a bias towards positivism, and discord should have mentioned some popular theories about the relation between existential nihilism and faith... it seems like he skimped out a little on this lesson, and only taught like one or two simple concepts.

Round 3, FIGHT! ... I mean, DISCUSS!

Discord in this fic is Bob Ross tier niceness

I like how you started out this story. Especially since you tackled something that can definitely be touchy to many people, myself included. I like how simple & thought-provoking this was. You went over things that many people-religious or not- must have thought of at one point.
You presented it in such a way that explains why spirituality and religion began & why it's still here. Sure, you could've gone deeper into it if you wanted to, but you didn't need to. Which, honestly, I appreciate. Because again, it was thought provoking. You provided us the necessary foundations & allow us to look deeper into our own thoughts of spirituality with this information- just like Yona in a way. Whether that was your intention or not- I still appreciate it & is definitely gonna get my brain thinking for a while.
I can't wait to see what you'll come up with next! Great job!

Interesting. Though the word is "deceased".

philosophy in plain English

Why wouldn't somebody like that?

Great job! I really like how you did this chapter! It was really creative and interesting. Very different than what I expected and I appreciate the "twist" you gave us. Having Smolder feel like she's talking to "Death" instead of Discord. Because, unlike Discord, Death knows & sees both the real and spiritual world, therefore giving his words a lot more depth & having Smolder really consider what it means to live. Amazing job as always & I can't wait for the next chapter!

I can certainly see Discord was really trying to do his best here, and as such reached a portion of the truth.
Only a portion though.
For you see, there is a point where science and religion meet, one that bypasses all of these "reasons for beliefs", one that shows something has to exist in that whole nature: something colloquially called "The First Cause Argument". Taken to its logical extreme, the only way a world with stable, unchanging rules such as ours (or any world we've envisioned) can ever come to be is if either:

1. The Universe is Eternal, and thus didn't need to "come to be" because it always "has been". This idea has been utterly rejected, since we've been able to measure the expansion of the universe.
2. A supernatural mind set the rules in place, and thus they remain stable by the will of that entity. By definition, that would be a God.

All other possibilities either just delay the question (aliens, "universe generators"), deny reality itself (we're just "dreaming" this reality), or are literal, not-scientific-at-all magic, which would be a type of Chaos even the most powerful Discord would consider far too random.
Of course, The Argument doesn't specify which God(s) is the right one, but there are ways to narrow it down. Pretty sure my icon makes it clear what my conclusion was on the matter.

So true, so true. So many spend years of their lives worrying about health in order to eke out another year or two, without realizing that they've essentially wasted that time with said worrying.

Honesty and truth are two different but similar things. Truth is an absolute, and is thus not to be trusted. One may be honest with someone without telling them the truth, who walks down the street saying the first thing that comes to his mind? I once heard it said that "that which may be destroyed by the truth should be", but anyone who has ever taught children knows that telling them exactly how capable they are at the start won't do their confidence much good.

Absolutes cause trouble, I am always wary of messing with them.

“Wind Carrothill,” she nodded, “at the time he meant that as a way ta keep really big secrets against enemies. However, when Ah heard it at school long ago, it gave me a new idea that Ah never considered before.”

Winston Churchill?

A lot of times, there are ways to not "lie" and still fall under this strategy. For instance, the pair of statements "that smells nice" and "tastes just as I thought" implies it tastes good, even if you know from looking at it that it'll be horrible. Of course, that requires wordsmithing levels not everyone can possess.
It's also the principal behind my theoretical "introductions for interdimensional travelers", saying you come from "far away" instead of "another world" and things like that. By the time the friendlies notice there's something deeper, they'll already have learned who you are, and are ready to learn what.

and burning your message will be received by a god because he prefers communication through burnt mail

Somewhere in Equestria, Spike sneezes up a letter.

Well said. We are who we are, nothing more and certainly nothing less.

The way I see it is as follows:
First, Body over Mind loses, obviously. Too much fiction has been devoted to transformation, willing or otherwise, where none of it affects "who" the subject is for that idea to be true.
Second, Performance by Society also loses. There are many degrees of caring or lack thereof about social expectations, so how could they be integral to the self?
Finally, the Mind and Personality sides. I think of them, together, as the complete "body", with memories as the limbs and personality as the head and torso. You can technically live without limbs, but that renders you incomplete. Fortunately they can be replaced, and maybe be better in the long run, but they'll never be the same. The torso and head though? They are the physical and spiritual aspects of personality, both absolutely irreplaceable.
Now, in the case of limbs, torso, and head, one can find more minor issues that impair functionality. These tiny increments can be altered to accomplish what is desired, but only with conscious choice and plenty of effort. Again, torso and head are more difficult to change, but at that level even they can be altered.

9771597
Now, now good sir, that is a bit manipulative and truth bending? perspective bending? out of you in that part about the universe and creation.

No science and religion do not meet, religion explains things science hasn't explained properly yet, everything else science can explain to a point granted, but there is no reason to try to claim that all after that point that we can't explain, can be explained by "!! GOD did IT!!" just because we don't know the answers yet.

As for this part

1. The Universe is Eternal, and thus didn't need to "come to be" because it always "has been". This idea has been utterly rejected, since we've been able to measure the expansion of the universe.
2. A supernatural mind set the rules in place, and thus they remain stable by the will of that entity. By definition, that would be a God.

All other possibilities either just delay the question (aliens, "universe generators"), deny reality itself (we're just "dreaming" this reality), or are literal, not-scientific-at-all magic, which would be a type of Chaos even the most powerful Discord would consider far too random.

Well, well you miss this point
3. it is actually just random chance...
I know it seems crazy how could this whole world happen like it did, with all those perfect rules for us to live and so on and so forth without someone behind the scenes to make it so...
but the reality is... it actually can...

the thing about random chance... and near infinite amount of time is that you should stop thinking about if something can realistically happen and simply how often it happens. The chances of winning the lottery are small until you have infinite tries... then its only matter of time

Our understanding of how the universe worked after a certain point, and in certain defined periods of time after the big bang is pretty good, the things we don't know is how to connect those two areas of knowledge, and everything before that.
And as far as we know, time might have not even existed before the event known as big bang making it... in fact, almost certain that eventually a universe seemingly perfect for our civilization to exist to spring out form just random chance... although technically speaking in this context its neither random nor a chance actually... but rather, certainty its a matter of perspective really

As for any scientific proof to serve as a poor facsimile of solid argument I remember reading I think about the Hadron Collider, about a particle that seemingly exist and ceases to exist without any observable cause, if that is true even the big bang the seemingly beginning of the universe may have been in fact just random chance
... granted, there may be a cause we simply can't observe or it can be an error of equipment, but the same can be actually applied to any theory involving god, yes god may have done it but he also may not have done it...

Until further proof for or against is discovered the correct answer is that there is not one yet....
We may not like it but yes sometimes the correct answer is just "I dont know"

I think you handled this quite well, after all at the end of the day, we are ourselves, I am me and you are you, nothing more nothing less, and nobody but you can change who you are as a person.

9799378
Huh, funny, I could have sworn that the chapter about Yona was about something completely different. Perhaps that's just me.

9799699
was responding to the comment itself didn't get to the chapter yet
I like to read stories with sequels form beginning, but when I get to it and decide I made a mistake fear not i will correct mysself

“Let’s count them.” I said, “There is the Monarchy, aka, royalty should be the ones to rule. Then there is the Constitutional Monarchy, where the royals are more of a figurehead and the real power is with another group of ponies. Then there’s the Republic in which a small group that represents different parts of the country rule. Then there’s a Democracy in which everybody is in charge and decided by voting. Then there’s an Empire in which a single guy is in charge while the groups are more like advisors to him. Then there’s Communism in which only small communities are in charge of their own lands. There's also Dictatorial rule in which just one guy has absolute power. Anarchy in which no one’s in charge. And then there’s the impossible one.”

"Democratic Republic" doesn't nicely fit into either of its constituent categories... though I guess maybe "Republic" does a good enough job of it? Still, that flavor sidesteps a ton of the issues a vanilla Republic would have.

Edit: Surprisingly, several of the Democracy issues do still apply to the USA system... but I have two rebuttals:

1. Our tech levels facilitate much more communication of everything than a place like Equestria. Maybe they're barely at 1776 levels, but I doubt it. The system really needs that to function properly.

2. There are indeed problems that can't be fixed... but every system can have that said of it. Democratic Republic just has the least significant amount/severity.

9777659
Well, technically that's "lying by omission".

Cornual? Do you mean "Colonel"?

Delightful things like: be be Bleep be Bleep Bleep Bleep be Bleep be Bleep Bleep be be Bleep ; the succulent Bleep be Bleep be be Bleep be be be be Bleep Bleep Bleep be Bleep Bleep be be Bleep be Bleep Bleep be ; with a fresh bowl of Bleep be be be be be be be be be ; which is preferred to be dipped with a be be Bleep be be be ; a high pile of be Bleep salad; and a plate of cold be Bleep Bleep Bleep Bleep Bleep Bleep Bleep be Bleep Beep with whipped cream.

Is this Morse code

9816046
There's a joke in here. The coding or whatever wouldn't allow me to make it clear.

9816066
So far ive got:
Delightful things like: FORGA ; the succulent Bleep be Bleep be be Bleep be be be be Bleep Bleep Bleep be Bleep Bleep be be Bleep be Bleep Bleep be ; with a fresh bowl of Bleep be be be be be be be be be ; which is preferred to be dipped with a be be Bleep be be be ; a high pile of A salad; and a plate of cold be Bleep Bleep Bleep Bleep Bleep Bleep Bleep be Bleep Beep with whipped cream.

And that's why I don't trust democracies, they turn into a glorified popularity contest.

9816184
i want updates...
this is really interesting and thought provoking
has this been featured yet?

9816707
There will be updates. And to answer a question, no, I don't think so.

You've got translaating and tihs in there still, got me going off in a loop for a while.

For those interested (who shouldn't be, really, the joke is part of the overall story, not the morse code) the full morse reads Forget translating this, it's a joke

Cornual Ocellus

I see what you did there.

(At least I think I did: Is it a play on Cornwallis by any chance? )

Comment posted by Azaclop deleted September 9th

“ And how did they get to be canadiens in the first place? ”

You have to be bitten by a radioactive beaver coated in maple syrup.

You're just cranking these out at a fever pitch. Can't wait for the next chapter.

9834964
That's the "hobby" part of the image, silly! I couldn't just post a cross by itself and call it a day!

Gallus took one look at the line delineating "ruler" from "crazy Roman emperor territory", backed up, and took a running jump over it.

Ri2

Did Discord really need to disguise himself? I mean, he's immortal so he can theoretically sympathize. Or...so could Twilight? I mean, this is something she's agonized over in countless stories.

Ri2

I dunno. I can see where you're going, but...not sure Applejack was in the wrong regarding the lie about the food? I mean, what if Granny'd put something really bad in?

Then again, I once had an idea for a story where Applejack wishes that everyone was completely and utterly honest. Society promptly collapses as everyone tells each other the absolute truth, friendships break, relationships shatter, the economy tanks, the government falls apart, most world religions self-destruct, and Twilight loses her mind because she's no longer able to read most of her books. Discord was involved there, too.

Ri2

9836669
At least he hasn't set his city on fire for a good violin backdrop.

Not many style of government left. What will be next I wonder.

Yeah, your right, if I tried to comment on all of this I would write a 300 page thesis, then have an aneurysm and die. :yay:

Would you lie to your enemy? Or to avoid undue or ill timed pain? One should only lie when the damage it does grossly outweigh any "justice" or good it intends

To quote a certain Blues Brother, we took the liberty of bamboozling ya.
9777480

who walks down the street saying the first thing that comes to his mind?

Me. I don't think about about anything. Wisdom gushes forth as soon as the words hit my brain

Well there's also Deiocracy, rule by one or more immortals. That's what Equestria has actually had for the past two thousand years or so, enjoying the stability of an unchanging ruler who continually gets better at their task as they amass experience. It does tend to cause cultural stagnation though, Immortals are generally very bad at altering their routines/opinions, and the citizenry will insist on emulating their unchanging ruler.

9897871
Now I wonder what other nation in the real world that isn't imaginary would fit that description?

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