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Sundiata last won the day on December 10

Sundiata had the most liked content!

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About Sundiata

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  1. @Genava55, I really enjoyed watching Keralis play and listening to his commentaries in ep.01 and 02. Surprisingly entertaining. I was thinking about posting it myself... Just saw that ep.03 is out, so I'm watching that tonight . The game looks really interesting. I like the slower pace. Like a more organic stone age banished. Lovely details. Lovely amount of depth. It would be a bit much for 0AD, but I don't think we should be shy to take some inspiration from it nonetheless. I like the naturally replenishing wildlife, and natural population growth combined with new arrivals. Seasonal farming. Options... The tech tree was nice too, and the minimalistic UI is nice. Pretty graphics as well. Needs a mini-map though.
  2. Sundiata

    What is the basis for good?

    I agree That's why I believe in the importance of universal human rights. The UN might be a bit of a bogged down bureaucratic mess, but together with it's even more troubled predecessor, the League of Nations, have served and continue to serve humanity for the better. Concepts like democracy, collective security, written constitutions, separation of church and state, freedom of speech etc have done a lot of good, and we must guard against those forces that wish to undermine this progress. I do actually believe in specific universal morals, it's just that they are rooted in my faith, which is something I understand not everyone shares, and therefore difficult to use as the basis for arguing for the existence of moral absolutes. But it is obvious to me that we do indeed need some global set of morals that we can all agree on, otherwise we're right back to the default settings of "might makes right", mentioned by Loki in another thread. Well, humanism in large part evolved from a strong Christian substrate, so... Of course not every atheist is a humanist, but most secular traditions are at least superficially rooted in their religious predecessors. I'm not saying atheists wouldn't be able to independently construct strong moral codes, just that they are influenced by their environment. As societies become less religious, the collective of atheist moral codes also becomes more divergent.
  3. Sundiata

    What is the basis for good?

    Absolutely. One of those things that separates us from animals. Just notoriously difficult to define.
  4. Sundiata

    What is the basis for good?

    Nope, lol, but reading a bit about the concepts he writes about (wikipedia ), I can definitely relate... I should probably give his works a proper read. So, true... There is so much to be said here, I'm not even going to start. The implications for morality in the dystopian future we seem to be heading for are scary. Another Israeli writer, Dan Ariely, actually fundamentally influenced my views on human nature, and our programming and motivations behind our decisions. He's not some great philosopher or anything, bringing him up here might even be a bit silly, and the implications of his writing on morality might not be immediately apparent, but fundamental nonetheless, imo. The modest little book was called Predictably Irrational, and illustrates how nonsensical much of our decision making process is, especially in a modern market. We're not nearly as rational as we like to think. In fact, we are literally predictably irrational, in ways that can be easily manipulated, especially for profit. We're in large part just input/outputs. Cave man logic kind of thing. I think that morality is more of a hind sight thing we use to rationalize our actions. We're not nearly as conscious of our own mind as we like to think, and if we can't even correctly assess our own actions, how could we accurately judge the actions of others? I'd argue that there are indeed moral truths, but I'd be arguing from the perspective of a theist who believes in something absolute. Something perfect. But those things are highly contentious, and from a philosophical perspective, comparing moral truths to mathematical proofs sounds kind of metaphysical. I don't think there have been many other constants in moral truths other than the morals derived from the basic survive and reproduce. In the past, human sacrifice was a common practice, and considered moral. Some cultures even practiced cannibalism, and it was considered moral. Expansionist wars and even genocides have been moralized to various degrees during history. Extreme forms of oppression of women in some parts of the world, or even slavery and caste systems are still unpleasantly common place today. Within those societies those acts are often considered moral. Disregarding the draconian rules of some cast systems is considered so immoral that it will get you publicly lynched. Of course these are extreme examples, like female genital mutilation, most of us can agree that they are a crime against humanity. But what about male circumcision? Some people consider it just as bad as FGM, while other people consider it an integral part of their culture, good for hygiene, a harmless religious commandment... I think examining moral truths is interesting from a philosophical perspective and necessary to continue developing our moral codes, but they're also very difficult to apply universally to the infinite complexity of the human experience. The codes would need to be infinitely complex themselves, to be correct, and it would somehow end up subtracting from our humanity. Man, that druggist is a d*ck... Considering a human life is worth far more than 1000 dollars... Dead people can't pay interest on a loan either... If she dies, he looses a potential life time customer... If the husband steals the drug and gets caught, he should be released under mitigating circumstances.
  5. Sundiata

    What is the basis for good?

    Although I would agree that this often the case, that is a matter of opinion, and another person would claim that you yourself are in fact misinterpreting the rule. It's like some kind of a weird catch-22. Do you now add rules to interpreting rules? Where does that stop? Everything needs to be evaluated on a case by case basis. The moral code uses human language, not some kind of absolute mathematical algorithm. Language can be pretty abstract, changes over time and place. Laws are supposed to be clear and understandable, but they often become very elaborate and complex to cover all the possible nuances. This in turn makes them more difficult to understand for non-specialists. If somebody doesn't understand the rules, how liable are they really? I would definitely agree that a (strong) moral code is a good thing, but how would it apply to people who can not survive without breaking it? For example homeless people born and raised in cities or countries that passed strong anti-homeless legislation. Man needs to sleep, but you have no place to legally rest your head... I think this is the point. Perfection is a divine quality, that we, mere mortals, are not imbued with. Human nature is primarily geared towards survival, not living up to a moral code. Human nature is also inherently corruptible. Respecting a moral code is a side-effect of society/culture. If the conditions for basic survival aren't met, the moral code flies out the window. Under ideal circumstances, laws might work as intended, but as of now too many people are forced into impossible situations (poverty, war, disease, natural disasters, various forms of persecution and repression). People in those kind of extreme situations, of which there are many, can't be expected to be pre-occupied with not breaking the rules when it's a matter of survival. Rule based society is a necessary evolution in the human condition. Since we don't live in small semi-nomadic family groups anymore, but in a large urbanized world. We need rules to survive as a group, a country, a global society. I just fear that our technological developments have far outpaced our biological evolution, and we simply aren't as physically and mentally adapted to the modern world as we like to think. There are a lot of unexpected and misunderstood side-effects of the modern world, which makes interpreting the rules or anything else we take for granted a lot more difficult. Creating rules implies that you know what is right and what is wrong, but so many things in this world are counter-intuitive. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Most people believe that their doing the right thing, yet we live in world with a lot of suffering. Quark: "Let me tell you something about hoomans"
  6. Sundiata

    Zapotecs 1.0

    Interesting... I just realized that that fancy church in downtown Accra is actually a Mormon Temple... Similar architecture... Always creeped me out...
  7. Sundiata

    What is the basis for good?

    There is truth in all of the above. I think context and perspective are everything. I believe that there can be good and bad in everything. Everything needs to be evaluated on a case by case basis. Sometimes there aren't any straight answers.
  8. Sundiata

    Portraits for Heroes

    It looks more than ok! Fantastic work! Thank you! I really love how much work the community has put into visualizing such a rarely visualized history. This is really valuable...
  9. Sundiata

    Mac OS Mojave

    @ClemHD, Welcome to the forums! There is a bug that causes the Mac OS version of alpha 23 to crash when joining a MP game. There is a new release candidate for a re-release of alpha 23 which fixes that problem and other bugs. You could actually be of help by testing it and letting us know if there were any problems (but it I think it should work fine). Check out:
  10. Sundiata

    Zapotecs 1.0

    Jesus speaking Zapotec language (Don't know why I think it's so funny. It's not like English makes any more sense or anything...) It reminds me lot of that time those 2 American Mormon missionaries showed up at my door here in Ghana. They had pamphlets depicting Jesus Christ in the Americas. They claimed that after his resurrection, Jesus visited the Americas. Some of the Native Americans were supposedly beautiful white people, but because of their wickedness, God cursed them with a dark skin instead... They also claim that the Garden of Eden was somewhere in North America... I said I wasn't interested in pamphlets, only original material. So they actually gave me the Book of Mormon. I tried reading it, but it's honestly just an unreadable piece of fraudulent garbage. At least they were friendly fellows. I mean, what the fudge...?!
  11. Wow, it just hit me why the ancient region of Ariana (which includes Bactria) was named as such... Interesting read...It always surprises me how complacent so many people are when they believe that the lies will benefit them.
  12. Irredentism can be an ugly thing... Even the different types of genetic studies are so varied and difficult to interpret, even by the experts. Different researchers can sometimes come up with wildly differing conclusions from one and the same study. There are just too many factors. Samples are often suspiciously small, ignore "outliers", use questionable "proxy populations", focus too strongly on lineal descendants, and ignore collateral kin and stuff like that... Then there's wild card concepts like genetic drift, which can cause gene variants to disappear and completely obscure certain ancestries, or "cause initially rare alleles to become much more frequent and even fixed", resulting in the possible "over-estimation" of certain ancestries. Genetic studies are interesting, but they're also a mess... Right back where we started... Has it ever really been any different though?
  13. It actually has very little to do with Nazism, and everything to do with the Khazar Hypothesis of Ashkenazi Ancestry, and the possible implications for political Zionism. Some of the prominent proponents of the theory were/are actually Jewish themselves. This Khazar Hypothesis states that the Ashkenazim are largely, or in part descended from Khazar Jews. This potentially undermines one of the fundamental pillars upon which the modern state of Israel is founded, as it questions the Middle Eastern origin of many of the European Jews. ("one nation solemnly promised to a second nation the country of a third."). Therefore people studying, or even discussing the theory are automatically branded anti-semitic, for political reasons. Of course, the fact that there are also anti-semites promoting the theory doesn't help either... That having said, genetic studies don't really seem to back up the Khazar Hypothesis. Any admixture seems to have been marginal. Although I'm very confused what exactly they were testing Ashkenazim genes against, because ancient Khazar ethnicity is exceedingly obscure, complicated and heterogenous... If they don't know who the ancient Khazars were from a genetic/ethnic point of view, how in the world do they test the Hypothesis (no verification samples)? Anyway, it seems obvious that all the historical Jewish populations of the world, including Ashkenazim are at least somewhat related to each other, as well as to the people of their host-countries, as well as to the Arabs of North Africa and the Levant, including Palestinians. Anybody making absolute claims about Ashkenazim solely being descendants from Khazars, or Central/East Europeans vs Ashkenazim solely being descendants from levantine Jews, is bound to be wrong. Genes and population movements are always really complicated.
  14. Sundiata

    Portraits for Heroes

    @Victor Rossi Woooow I love it! That scarred eye looks badass! I think it looks great as it is, but if you want to push the accuracy even further, *Puts on my Captain Nitpick-cape: My only suggestion would be to add some more detail to the jewelry (earrings and necklace), which look a little generic now. Here are some authentic Meroitic examples:
  15. Hahaha I know right, Turkic Nomads, converting to Judaism and establishing the only Jewish Empire in history, on the Pontic steppe... One of those untold histories...