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Philosophical Buddhist who is still an atheist
#51
RE: Philosophical Buddhist who is still an atheist
(September 2, 2012 at 8:02 pm)TaraJo Wrote: Might be cheap and easy and simple, but it's all works better than the garbage you'd find in most holy books.

I guess that would depend on the user. Buddhism doesn't do it for me any more than christianity or islam. It doesn't do it any less either.



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#52
RE: Philosophical Buddhist who is still an atheist



The validity of Buddhism's moral viewpoint, that under-girds its behavioral prescriptions, is, imo, its metaphysics. And I rather suspect its metaphysics (including its psychology) is a load of horeshit. You don't need to be a Buddhist to be compassionate. You don't need to be a Buddhist to be reasonable. But Buddhists imply that they know how to be truly compassionate and reasonable, and that you can't be equally reasonable and compassionate without drinking their koolaid. If there were some substantial evidence for their metaphysics and their psychology, that would be one thing. But when I engage with Buddhists, I get nothing but, "Well some Buddhist who was smarter than me says it makes sense." That's hardly persuasive. (There is an article in Wikipedia on the role of faith in Buddhism, and I think it's worth reading.)

When Buddhists started migrating to China, their teachings had a profound impact upon the philosophical and religious situation in China, and since that's where my Taoism originated, the two have interacted over the centuries. As a result, I've done some studies on that confluence. Some of the things revealed are instructive. (And thanks to books like God Is Not Great, religions like Buddhism which once got a pass for being peaceful religions are getting a second look as to the truth of their peacefulness, and rightly so.) One quote sticks out in my mind, from a 10th or 11th century Buddhist monk. His comment, upon someone observing the good character of a particular Taoist sage, was that he was very good, all that he lacked was the perfection that the Dharma (the Buddhist teachings) could bring him. And I interacted with a Buddhist here this past year who claimed that Buddhists did not claim any kind of moral superiority, in response to which I quoted the chapter titled "The Flower" in the Dhammapada which showed otherwise. Buddhists of course are blind to this, but Buddhism, and especially institutionalized Buddhism, is very elitist (you can easily find it in the Dhammapada and the sutras, if you bother to look for it, not to mention modern writings). It is this combination of asserting a moral superiority on the basis of a questionable set of metaphysical and psychological beliefs that I find somewhat repugnant. (Not that Taoists, Hindus, and so forth aren't equally guilty; perhaps. I'll have to think about looking in the mirror later. Oh. Wait. I broke all my mirrors. Nevermind.)


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#53
RE: Philosophical Buddhist who is still an atheist
(September 3, 2012 at 11:33 pm)apophenia Wrote: When Buddhists started migrating to China, their teachings had a profound impact upon the philosophical and religious situation in China, and since that's where my Taoism originated, the two have interacted over the centuries.
-I enjoyed that wiki article you cited.
-You might enjoy this.
So these philosophers were all like, "That Kant apply universally!" And then these mathematicians were all like, "Oh yes it Kan!"
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#54
RE: Philosophical Buddhist who is still an atheist
I found Dalai Lama on facebook and he's had some good stuff to say there. The beauty of the philosophy is that as long as you have an open mind, you can fit it into the context of any religion or lack thereof. For example:

Quote:Along with love, compassion is the face of altruism. It is a feeling from deep in the heart that you cannot bear others’ suffering without acting to relieve it. As compassion grows stronger, so does your willingness to commit yourself to the welfare of all beings, even if you have to do it alone. You will be unbiased in your service to all beings, no matter how they respond to you.

and

Quote:Although we are all the same in not wanting problems and wanting a peaceful life, we tend to create a lot of problems for ourselves. Encountering those problems, anger develops and overwhelms our mind, which leads to violence. A good way to counter this and to work for a more peaceful world is to develop concern for others. Then our anger, jealousy and other destructive emotions will naturally weaken and diminish.
I live on facebook. Come see me there. http://www.facebook.com/tara.rizzatto

"If you cling to something as the absolute truth and you are caught in it, when the truth comes in person to knock on your door you will refuse to let it in." ~ Siddhartha Gautama
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