Defining omnipotence

27 November, 2007 at 6:49 pm (definition, philosophy) (, , )

This is a sufficient definition and from human POV; that is, if something like what is described existed, we would call it omnipotent.

Let U be a closed universe, or something very near closed. Closed means that the things inside it can’t get to or sense the outside, and hence are unlikely to know anything about it. Let G be an undefined entity (you can read it as God if you really want to).

G is omnipotent with regards to U if G can shape U into whatever native form it could encompass. So, for example, in our universe an omnipotent G could create and remove physical objects at will, but it would not be necessary for G to be able to create things fundamentally beyond our understanding (I have a few problems with trying to create examples for certain reasons), because they are not part of our universe as is.

From this basis, a theorem: G must be outside the conception of time (or entropy or another measure of change, with apologies to everyone who knows physics for probably misusing “time” and “entropy”) that exists in U.

If this was not the case, G could first (within the dominant measure of change) create the indestructable wall and then create a cannonball that destroys everything it touches, third make them touch, which results in impossible outcome, and hence is not true. This does not happen when G is outside the conception of change as it applies in U, because then G would both create something and cancel it at the same time, which amounts to not creating the thing to start with, which leads to no paradox, because G didn’t actually create one of the conflicting absolutes after all.

The definition also assumes G is omniscient, but when talking about omnipotence, that is kinda trivial.

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Defining roleplaying

20 November, 2007 at 6:56 pm (definition, rpg theory) (, , , )

A perfect definition of roleplaying has the following features:

1. It includes everything that is roleplaying.

2. It includes nothing that is not roleplaying.

3. It uses no jargon.

4. It does not refer to “roleplaying games”, or provides a noncircular and perfect definition for them, too. Ditto story-games and other closely related concepts.

My definition fails on the second criterion, IMO. I still consider it a fairly good one, if not the shortest possible.

An activity is roleplaying if and only if all the following criteria apply to it.

1. It is social in that there are at least two persons whose activity qualifies by the other two criteria. (If an alien, a sufficiently advanced AI, or a supernatural but intelligent entitity happen to roleplay, they qualify, too.)

2. The aforementioned participants make decisions for characters. (Thinking in character is sufficient but not necessary.)

3. The aforementioned decisions matter in the fiction of the game in a way that the players care about.

That’s it. Most, if not all, forms of miniature/war/figure gaming are included, which is the major flaw of the definition. Or just an observation on the similarity of such games and rpgs. Whichever way one wants to take it.

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