[LMB] The Fate of Demons

WILLIAM A WENRICH wawenri at msn.com
Thu Jul 18 22:39:19 BST 2019

I believe Desdemona has a soul. Maybe it has grown over the years and maybe it’s her contact with Penric.

Christian, husband, father, granddaddy, son, American. Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me.
William A Wenrich
From: lois-bujold-bounces at lists.herald.co.uk <lois-bujold-bounces at lists.herald.co.uk> on behalf of M. Haller Yamada <thefabmadamem at yahoo.com>
Sent: Wednesday, July 17, 2019 8:50:30 PM
To: Discussion of the works of Lois McMaster Bujold. <lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk>
Subject: Re: [LMB] The Fate of Demons

On Thursday, July 18, 2019, 12:36:10 AM GMT+9, Gwynne Powell <gwynnepowell at hotmail.com> wrote:

We're told that demons go back to a sort of formless pit of energy. Splashes of
this energy, dropping into the world, become demons and start the process all
over again.

So when a demon is finally taken by the Bastard, they're finished.

But what happens when a demon is named, like Desdemona? Animals that are
in contact with humans take on different behaviours, and mental processes,
from animals in the wild; they even have different 'languages' for humans, and
for their own kind. A named demon is a melding of all previous personalities, but
becomes a person in their own right. An identity.

Can you grow a soul? If a demon can become a god, can it grow a soul and
retain that spark in the afterlife, instead of being dissolved?  Is Desdemona a
person now? She certainly seems to qualify.
Micki: I don't know if naming a demon changes anything in the eyes
of the gods, really. It seemed to mean the world to Desdemona, though.
Penric encourages that sorcerer that Velka dug up to name his demon,
even though he was that demon's first rider.

It's interesting that we name stuff. I would have a very weird relationship with
my pets if I didn't name them (and nickname them). Even Adam in Good Omens
named his hellhound something, even though it was "Dog".

I'm still unclear about what happens to the soul in the afterlife. Somewhere in the
books they used the analogy of a garden . . . but I felt that it was something like
becoming compost for the beautiful flowers grown there. I need to re-read the
earlier books, I guess, but I feel the human souls ARE dissolved and remade
into order and beauty, whereas the demons are dissolved, and nobody
cares what happens to the chaos they become.

The question of Desdemona's personhood is a hard one. In Pen's eyes, she is
totally a person (both several and one at once). In the eyes of the law, she isn't.
She's definitely an entity, though, in scholarship, if not in the eyes of the law.

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