My first response to the question as pertaining to the Heresy dragon is rather simple: it is beyond question. The dragon’s existence is predicated upon the existence of the Heresy program, which is itself an identity separate from any direct physical bonds, and therefore a ‘mind’ of its own.
If the mythos of the fiction presents as factual that one or more ‘minds’ can maintain an autonomously incorporeal existence, then in the absence of specific denials, it may be assumed that other sentient ‘minds’ are similarly non-dependent. However I still see a theme of metaphysical interdependence - even reinforced by those latest translation pages - whereby the high energy levels the Heresy program itself may require to retain its own integrity, and influence over this plane of existence, are supplied by the infrastructure of Sestren itself, and all the lifeforms that sustain it.
As also in the case of Guardian D, if it truly “cannot die” it is because of a direct lifeline to Sestren, which will artificially preserve its identity even beyond the ‘natural’ traumas of disintegration and death.
Yet as I’ve alluded to once already, I can no longer quite agree with the view that Orta’s dragon merely represents the ‘body’ of the creature as contrasted to a ‘mind’ entity. Indeed if we stretch that conceit to its logical extreme, we are then effectively describing Orta’s dragon as mindless are we not? It is still a delineation of natures, in one sense, rather than identities, but consider it more like: Sestren returns to Sestren, and dragon becomes dragon again…
So Orta’s dragon has much the same mind / minds of the Heresy dragon of yore, only that mind is perhaps now more confined to the physical vessel… it is quite simply the life-force that once made it effectively immortal even when “out there” has now been “destroyed”; or rather more that it has been restored to the natural state and cycles. I have no reason to commit to this yet but: I find that I prefer to believe the “other half” of the dragon is literally Sestren in that context. Perhaps in the sense that the dragon’s defeat of the Sestren entity was a reconciliation of sorts, whereby the competing realities of the Heresy conception overpowered the restrictions of Sestren’s protocols, and their experiences became once more shared and united.
At the time I also didn’t remember the fact of our own dragon’s Sestren form still being black in the Azel ending… but the actual text of that exchange struck me as odd right away. Both the “fragile and mortal now” part, and also that the Sestren form says “your mission is completed”… not our mission? Touching on my own recently restructured theory for everything; there is still a great question left hanging about the discrepancy between the otherwise evident nature of the Heresy program and that entity’s professed subordination to the Divine Visitor. No matter what there must be two distinct levels to this reality, yet even if the Light Wing is accepted as the… parallel mediator in that dynamic, there is a fundamental ambiguity about what precise mission may have belonged to whom.
[quote=“Geoffrey Duke”]I think you should focus on this topic first because it’s so relevant to reality.
The Ancients more or less became a force of nature in order to protect itn[/quote]
I might even up combining the article with Craymen’s political philosophy, since the two topics are so entwined, but we’ll see. There’s lots of talk about and I don’t want to make it too long.
Depending on theory of the mind you subscribe to, we would only rule out Orta’s dragon having a mind under dualism if the Heresy rogram was the only thing that was classed as a mind. As mentioned in the article, I think we can rule that out.
But if dualism/interactionism is true, then the mind would be a separate entity from the physical dragon’s body but something separate from the Heresy Program. If materialism is true then the mind is part of the body - for example, the dragon’s brain. So, in either case we wouldn’t be saying that Orta’s dragon is mindless, we’re merely disagreeing on what this thing called mind is. As mentioned in the article, if we consider dualism our theory of mind, I think we need to add a third entity so that we have the Heresy Program, the physical dragon’s mind, and the physical dragon’s body as the three entities.
I actually subscribe to a different theory of the mental than both of these, but I wanted to focus on the two main opposing theories to keep things less confusing.
Hmm, the way I interpreted it was that the Heresy Program was somewhat independent of Orta’s dragon. The two could have a conversation, and were able to split (the Heresy Program says “farewell” to his other half, presumably just before he deactivated). Was this essentially what you meant, or did you mean that Orta’s dragon was the same as the whole Heresy Dragon (both halves)?
Or perhaps a program working quite closely with the overall Sestren operating system? I see the Heresy Program as something added to Sestren, like one of those pesky extra processes running in the background that you can’t terminate with Windows Task Manager but is slowing your whole computer down.
I think the Heresy Program was talking about their shared mission, but omitting an explicit mention of his own mission because he was focusing on what was going to happen to his other half. In a way, the physical dragon was forced into the mission; the Heresy Program was giving him the option if he wanted to live past the completion of that mission, now that he had the intelligence to choose - essentially death now or later.
Not sure if anyone’s reading these articles apart from you two, so I’ll likely just write one more. I’ve just published the environmental ethics article, which I agree with Geoffrey was the most important. The list is now down to these four topics:
Drones, Autonomy, and Free Will (metaphysics)
Craymen’s Political Philosophy (political philosophy)
Abadd and Nihilism (ethics)
The Identity of the Dragon (metaphysics)
Also, there’s this new topic which might be of interest:
The Sky Rider, Intentionalism, and Suspension of Disbelief (aesthetics)
Let me know if there’s any preference for the next article.
Other than that, it’s a very interesting read. Like you pointed out, all factions are really somewhere in between the main ideologies you described. While the Destruction faction didn’t want humanity to interfere with the planet’s ecosystem, would they actually have been willing to let humanity become extinct? Its not entirely clear if they believed such an outcome was a possibility.
Great point. I had forgotten about the relationship between Mobo and his baldor. I’ve updated the article to the following:
[quote]It is important to note that this does not confirm where the Wormriders sat on the continuum between anthropocentrism and sentiocentrism. They may still have leant towards anthropocentrism if they saw coexisting alongside the bio-engineered creatures as beneficial to them in a primarily instrumental way. However, we do know from Panzer Dragoon Orta Sub Scenario Mission 2, “The Fury of Mobo”, that Mobo placed considerable non-instrumental value in the baldor he rode.
Hamah-hamah was Mobo?s mount, and life-long friend. The tamed Baldor was now a short distance from Mobo, its tattered body quivering in the snow of the icy fields. Mobo reached out a hand to comfort the ailing beast. ?Poor thing, look what they did to you??
Indeed, and if they didn’t believe humanity could become extinct by the resource consumption and overpopulation in the Ancient Age they were possibility a bit naive (if those were problems in the Ancient Age - it seems likely). Even if we don’t agree with the Preservation Faction’s methods, their biocentric point of view has at least some merit. An anthropocentric value system without any regard for the environment would end up being bad for humans in the long run.