Spiritual fascism

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by foundationist.org, Mar 22, 2003.

  1. louis

    louis New Member

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    sin


    From Louis...
    As an outsider to all religion, I don't really understand
    "sin" either. According to an encyclopedia, the word "sin"
    comes from the root word "sunder", as in "put asunder"
    or "break apart". Thus "to sin" means CHOOSING to break apart from a pre-established set of rules - a universal standard of behaviour, if there IS such a thing.
    It means being AWARE OF and COMMITING TO such a
    standard, except when it comes in conflict with something
    YOU want to do.
    Then you have some choices ....
    DON'T do what you want and stay "righteous".
    DO what you want, then hope to get away with it by
    being "forgiven".
    DO what you want and blame it on "the Devil".
    Does that clear up anything ?
     
  2. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste Louis,

    thank you for the post.

    clear as mud, as they say :)

    though, in all honesty, this seems like a doctrine that is predictated on a large group of a priori assumptions that cannot possibly be proven in any type of objective fashion.

    if one doesn't have those assumptions, then the whole underlying concept of sin is cut off at the knees, so to speak.
     
  3. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    sin

    I often resist using the word sin myself and haven't liked it because it often seems to get used to describe someone else's actions. However, as I grow older lots of my ideas change, and I've also found a place for the word sin in my vocabulary. It really does sum up the act of doing something that you know, either premeditatedly or after the fact, is wrong. From my monotheistic view sin is whatever I do that takes me further from God, rather than closer to Him, and of course that is a very subjective measure of things. However, just quickly thinking of all the civil laws that can be broken I'd say that breaking most of them also is a transgression against other people, and so a "sin." But, I would not classify nonviolent civil disobedience as a sin, and perhaps there are other exceptions. I think of it as either living up to, or not living up to, my potential as a human being. Because I was raised in a monotheistic faith my brain calculates this as how well I am living up to the ethical teachings of my religion.

    Vaj--is there a similar concept in Buddhism? What is the term for not following the right way?
     
  4. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste lunamoth,

    thank you for the post.

    well... this is an interesting question, to my way of thinking.

    "sin" per se, does not find an analog in Buddhist thought. our actions, according to Buddha, are usually of two types... skillful and unskillful. skillful actions are those actions that are condusive to the religious life and the spiritual path and lead us towards awakening whereas unskillful actions are those which directly or indirectly inhibit those things.

    the other idea behind sin is that there is an objective moral law that one is either in compliance with or not. this idea also finds no soil in Buddhist teachings with which to grow. the Buddhist idea of karma is not that of an objective moral law imposed upon us by a judge/creator being, karma, in the Buddhist sense is a completely natural law and requires no law giver.

    so... i would have to say that in either sense, i.e. that of violation of the will of a divine being and that of an eternal law being broken, are not viable from the Buddhist view.

    having said all of that... there can be, for many of the ideas that we share, very little real difference in how we approach them... i.e. sexual abuse. we both consider this type of action to be sinful/unskillful, though the implication is obviously a bit different in the ramifications of said actions.
     
  5. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    Dear Vaj,

    Thank you for your clear (and quick!) reply. It is very helpful.

    V: "having said all of that... there can be, for many of the ideas that we share, very little real difference in how we approach them... i.e. sexual abuse. we both consider this type of action to be sinful/unskillful, though the implication is obviously a bit different in the ramifications of said actions.[/QUOTE]

    Yes, at the end of the day I think there is little practical difference with repsect to living life on this plane. "Unskilled" is a bit drier word than "sin," but perhaps it is by taking the emotion out that we can clear the way for peace and justice.

    Cheers!
     
  6. Pet Zepi

    Pet Zepi Dog Star Dissident

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    Yes, I think Hitler had a similar pitch.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Muhammad-Khalifa

    Muhammad-Khalifa New Member

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    The first sin that ever existed, according to the monotheists, was arrogance. We are all brothers and sisters on this world, no one should think they are greater or lesser than anyone else. We are EQUAL human beings; We should recognize each other as human beings before faith.
     
  8. Pet Zepi

    Pet Zepi Dog Star Dissident

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    It would seem much more profitable to glorify diversity.

    One could make billions.

    :)
     
  9. FeuerFrei!

    FeuerFrei! New Member

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    i dont see what everyone has agenst this so called "spiritual fascism"


    if someones being a jerk and their all dissing your religon, its only natural to feel angry and like your beter than them, if theyre not being a jackass and u just think oh im beter than them, well than u got some problems.. :p
     
  10. Sacredstar

    Sacredstar New Member

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    Dear Vajradhara

    I have a different understanding of the words 'as to sin' the original term came from archery. So like the arrow missing the bullseye.

    I can imagine Jesus saying 'you have missed the point of creation, you have missed the whole point of life on earth and your reason for being' `does this make more sense? and doing so they were transgressing the spiritual laws.

    Dear All

    hmm...superiority hats and professional masks we can view it throughout modern day society, but yet when we see all through GOD's eyes everything and everyone is just perfect. So let us blossom into the fullness of GODs perfect creation, allow others to BE and not judge our brothers and sisters...for everything and everyone IS perfect......

    Love beyond measure

    Sacredstar
     
  11. Blue

    Blue Member

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    Originally Posted by foundationist.org
    I have met quite a few people in life who claimed to be spiritual … even somewhat enlightened – yet these people I know have the very nerve to regard themselves as superior also – and even state that those who are not as enlightened as they have no particular right of life.
    ==============


    I agree.

    They simply assume that because they affirm their beliefs, they are therefore - somehow - bearing some inbuilt necessity as a truth beyond themselves and that is therefore right for all, because, presumeably they think it is a universal ultimate truth.
    They think... "It is right for me, so it must be right for everyone else, because I say so!"

    What a burden human pride carries! (OR my 'God' says so?)
     
  12. Death by Coleslaw

    Death by Coleslaw New Member

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    I agree with you guys. I live in a very Conservative town. There is constant "spiritual fascism" among adults and even students. What disturbs me most about this belief in ones superiority is that most of them do not understand the teachings of Jesus on any basic level. These Christians tend to look past the words of Jesus(or twist them), and focus on the Old Testament. For example, my towns big obsession is putting a stop to homosexuality or as they call it,"those damn queers". Bible Studies often focus on the subject, with members spending hours digging through the Holy Texts looking for anything to deal with the subject. I have never taken part in this practice, and for good reason. When Christians, or any religious group, digs to deep into the text, the group or individual loses the basic concepts like "loving one's neighbor. It seems like many Christians find it less desirable to be Christlike, and emulate instead the Pharisees which Jesus took issue with. Overall, Christians in my town "know" that Homosexuality is "wrong"(a belief I do not share), yet still are ignorant to the basics.

    Why are homosexuals denied the right to worship Christ while other sinners are welcomed with open arms? My point is, there should be no one turned away from Christ. Nor anyone forced to go towards Christ.-Death By Coleslaw
     
  13. Awaiting_the_fifth

    Awaiting_the_fifth Where is my mind?

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    There is a growing theme throughout this thread that it is wrong to think that one is correct in one's beliefs.

    I think that all Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, Zoroastrians, baha'is, druids, taoists, pagans, luciferians, shintoists, and confutionists are wrong. I believe that only Buddhists are on the right path.

    I dont think this makes me a facist, otherwise every religious person in the world is a facist.

    And it is a part of some people's faith to make these beliefs known to the rest of us (jehovas whitnesses for example).

    I know that it can be irritating at times when other people voice their religious convictions in a knowing way, but that note of absolute knowledge in their voice is surely just faith. If they believe that it is wrong even to discuss other possibiliies, again, that is their faith and we should respect it.
     
  14. Awaiting_the_fifth

    Awaiting_the_fifth Where is my mind?

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    Re: Sin = injustice

    I do this, I also quite often call out "OH FOR F**K's SAKE!!"

    By doing this I am not suggesting that I am doing anything relating to loveless sex.
     
  15. Scarlet Pimpernel

    Scarlet Pimpernel demned elusive

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    Could be that I'm misinterpreting what you're meaning, but I don't see this as contradictory to the Christian idea of sin, at least as how I was taught it. In the church I was a member of as a child and young adult, we began every service with a "Confession and Forgiveness of Sins" - the idea being that we were then able to worship God with a clean heart. Part of the text of that Confession ran, "We confess that we have sinned against You in thought, word and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone. We have not loved You with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves." What I was taught was that the second of those sentences was the definition of sin, the first sentence was just the ways in which sins were committed (i.e., all over the place). In other words, "sin" is either moving away from God (actively rejecting God's will or being selfish, arrogant, etc.) or behaving in a way that is less than perfectly loving towards another person, whether you intended that or not. As far as I know Buddhism doesn't accept the idea of a personal Deity, but I think even without that idea, "sin" in the sense I have given certainly can be said to "directly or indirectly inhibit the religious life, the spiritual path, and awakening".

    My two cents.
     
  16. Paladin

    Paladin Purchased Bewilderment

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    In this sense, whether it is intended or not, the concept of "sin" is still punitive in nature. In other beliefs there are times of purification. In Tibetan Buddhism we used to have special times of meditation on Vajrasatttva as a way of cleansing ourselves of negative thoughts which lead to negative results and actions. Cultivating right thinking, right understanding etc. takes time, and one isn't blamed for not yet being a Buddha, that would be antithetical.

    Similarly we never blame a child for not yet understanding higher math, or its inability to master several languages, we know that in time the child will learn. To scold or blame is considered dysfuntional and would damage the child we love.
     
  17. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste Scarlet Pimpernel,

    great nick name, by the by :)

    thank you for the post.

    Christian theology is not my strong suite, please pardon my misconceptions upfront...

    the main way that these two ideas are not in harmony with each other is, not so much in the doing of the thing, per se, rather, in the reaping of the fruit.

    it is usually held within the Christian tradition that "sin" is a mark against you that will need to be atoned for so that one can partake of the afterlife which Jesus secured for you with his sacrifice on the cross. thus, sin is something that one must atone for and, if not, they will be punished for.

    within the context of Buddhism, there is no idea of a being that rewards or punishes a being for its' unskillful actions. the unskillful action, itself, produces the fruit that the being will harvest.

    is this due to your traditions belief that God cannot stand the presence of sin or for some other reason?

    so, in your tradition, sin is simply the lack of love for ones neighbor and lack of love for God?

    interesting.

    correct... no creator deity in Buddhism... though, some individual buddhists may have particular beings with which they resonate more strongly.

    your idea of sin is still, however, tied to the notion of a being that will sit in judgement of our actions at some point during the afterlife. this is simply a foreign concept to Buddhism and as such, finds no analog in our tradition.
     
  18. spiralthought

    spiralthought New Member

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    ..And to top it off ..in America right now those are the people making decisions for us..
    reason i looked elsewhere is the same; and; followers of what religion in the world have taken taken " thow shalt not kill", crumbled it up and set it aside as it suited needs? what theological domain passed judgement on indigenous tribes around the world, used torture to convert those peoples, and brought their own believers to colonize?
    spiritual fascism is what happens when minds close to anything other than what they feel is right; forget truths..they wanna judge others to further their own needs, period.
     
  19. Abogado del Diablo

    Abogado del Diablo Ferally Decent

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    While I agree that this is "usually held within the Christian tradtion" it is not unversally held, nor is it strictly necessary for a Christian to view "sin" in such a way.

    My understanding of Christianity is more akin to the latter than the former. Though I admit, this view is non-mainstream (though I wouldn't necessarily say "non-traditional").

    That's one way of putting it. I prefer to say that it's separating one's self from God (and, indeed, separating one from ones' own self) by believing that one has the knowledge to judge good and evil. This perceived knowledge of good and evil is turned against the self in the form of shame and against others (including other people, God, the Universe, whatever) as blame. But it's all an illusion of separateness.

    And some Christians don't believe in an anthropomorphic creator deity. I view "God" as a linguistic placeholder for the inexpressible All or Oneness or the entirety of being. All the assigned attributes: appearance, power, judgment, justice, anger, etc . . . are projected into this linguistic symbol by its beholder. But they too are an illusion of separateness.

    Not necessarily.
     
  20. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste Abogado,

    thank you for the post.

    i'm aware of a few traditions within the Christian paradigm that don't view sin in this manner... they are, of course, not the norm of the tradition. naturally, when we speak in this manner we are using a generalization to facilitate our conversation, clearly, as demonstrated on this very forum, Christians can have a wide variety in their beliefs.

    interesting. is this due to your own personal searching or due to the adoption of a different religious paradigm?

    granted. of course, this was the Scarlet Pimpernels response to the question :)

    ah.. interesting. isn't that what got Adam and Eve in all that trouble... eating the fruit of knowledge and now being able to discern good and evil?

    generally speaking, good and evil are concepts which we don't really use in Buddhism

    are you familiar with Vedanta? what you have explained above has some commonality. the Buddhist tradition does not teach monism, however we do have the concept of illusion (maya) and the way in which our perceptions are conditioned into a dualistic mode of operation.

    i've not run into many of them... however, i'm sure they exist :) i would tend to agree with your view that these attributes are simply imputed unto that which is beyond conception... some beings, it seems, have a very difficult time understanding that their imputation does not the being make.

    clearly, as this was in response to SPs explanation :)
     

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