Points of Intersection?

Discussion in 'Comparative Studies' started by Pilgram, Dec 19, 2003.

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  1. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Pilgram wrote:

    If all one has to do to establish that he or she has received a "revelation" as opposed to an inspiration is to say so and get others to second the motion, what distinguishes that from Hitler's revelations from God? He certainly believed that God had spoken to him and told him what needed doing. Likewise he also had a following he thought he was indeed God's prophet.

    Reply:

    I was currious if you had read this somewhere?

    "He certainly believed that God had spoken to him and told him what needed doing. Likewise he also had a following he thought he was indeed God's prophet."

    Not to disagree with you... but I'd like more information on your sources for this.

    Pilgram:

    If it is not a popularity contest what then is revelation? When I say God revealed something to me, it appears that I will be faced with many who say, "no, revelation is rare. What you perceive is merely inspiration. Go back and meditate some more."

    Reply:

    This a good question Pilgram... Is a divine revelation a "popularity contest"? What would constitute actions that would suggest someone was simply trying to promote themselves and win a following and what wouldn't? I think that would be something worthy of study.

    Pilgram:

    Revelation is only revelation to those who believe it so. There are many devout Jews who do not believe that the new testament were revelations. So what then is a revelation other than what someone says it is? Numbers? If only I believe God has revealed something to me, does it become a revelation after a certain number of followers also believe it? How many must believe? 100? 1 million?

    Reply:

    Again, an excellent question. The Baha'is would say a Revelation is something more than a matter of convincing others to believe... and something other "than what someone says it is". Mere numbers alone are not a measure of a Revelation from God in our view.

    Pilgram:

    That is why I asked earlier does Bahai include any myth. Myth, as I use it is not a bad word. Myth is a learning tool. But myth is not fact. If Bahai claims God said this and God said that, why should anyone believe that without proof?

    Reply:

    Exactly! Hence the need to investigate.


    In friendship,

    - Art
     
  2. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    i would be careful here if i were you. by your logic, judaism would be "exclusive" and therefore responsible for creating all the things you ascribe to "otherness". in my experience of inter-religious dialogue exclusivity need not create otherness. in fact, universalism may also create "otherness", by saying "everyone has to join" - this is the basis for saying "believe in our Truth or be damned to hell". "otherness" comes from the human instinct to divide into "us" and "them" and then refuse to take responsibility for "our" problems, by blaming external "dark forces" and the like. as a jew, i am amongst the groups that are still being accused of causing other people's problems when, in fact, it is a matter of facing up to the reality of one's situation.

    the problem is not "the jews", "the muslims", "the fundamentalists", "the pagans", "the immigrants", "the government", "capitalism", "dogma", "exclusivity" and so on. the problem is US and the solution is to GROW THE FECK UP AND STOP WHINING THAT IT'S EVERYONE ELSE'S FAULT. *that's* what creates "otherness" - *ME*.

    btw: the traditional position about the revelation at sinai is that 600,000 people witnessed it and accepted its results, so it doesn't depend on one person's opinion. this must also be balanced with the consideration that just because a lot of people believe something, it doesn't make it "true". however, i don't think anyone's in a position to prove whether revelations are "true" or not, so it's a bit of a waste of time to argue about it.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  3. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep New Member

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    Please rephrase...

    Banana says:

    the traditional position about the revelation at sinai is that 600,000 people witnessed it and accepted its results, so it doesn't depend on one person's opinion.

    Please, Banana, can you do me a favor, and give me the main thrust of the above paragraph?

    this must also be balanced with the consideration that just because a lot of people believe something, it doesn't make it "true".

    What is this in the above sentence?

    however, i don't think anyone's in a position to prove whether revelations are "true" or not, so it's a bit of a waste of time to argue about it.

    Do you mean in the above sentence that the fact of the events covering revelations and the revelations themselves as contents are matters of religious beliefs, so let's not argue about them?

    In which case I agree with you. Do you have that belief as part of your religion?

    Susma Rio Sep
     
  4. Pilgram

    Pilgram New Member

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    Oh, I'm being very careful, thank you, Judaism does create otherness. Have you ever heard of the gentile or the goyim? Let us look at the old testament and how the goyim were treated as "others." Jews were forbidden to charge interest on loans to other Jews, but not to the goyim! You probably overlooked this accidently, no?

    Universalism says no such thing. There is no mandate to join. Where did you pull this one from? (or should I take your word "may" and run with it as it applies to Judaism as well, hmmm?)

    Although Universalism doesn't say that, Catholicism and many Christian denominations say just that. Our way or the hell way. But the Jews don't get any stars here either.



    So which is it? Is it YOU who creates the problem or is it EVERYONE like you'd like it to be? Please leave me out of your analysis of how YOU are the problem and how YOU need to grow up. Speak for yourself. Your simplistic "grow up ... and stop whining" solves nothing since no one is making any moves in that direction. Least of all YOU. (Perhaps you weren't whining?)

    Well this solves everything! We have hearsay that's thousands of years old that 600,000 witnesses ... blah, blah, blah. It's still hearsay, not evidence.

    You are very wrong about revelations and those who claim them as true. The person making any assertion BEARS THE BURDEN OF PROOF. I, as the one hearing it, have no burden at all. I don't have to disprove it. The asserter has the burden. Otherwise I can just say God told me that you are full of ... now you have to prove that you are not. God has told me that all religions are nonsense, you have to prove that they are not.

    Do you see how that works? I didn't make up the laws of logic and rational argumentation. I simply try to follow them. They beat the ... out of whatever is in second place.

    Peace and Love,
    Pilgram
     
  5. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste all,


    iirc, it's the positive claimant that has the burden of proof upon them, not the negative.

    in any event....

    the problem with a 'world' religion is that there are religious traditions that have no belief in a Creator God whatsoever. how one would find the common ground betwixt them and those that do believe in a Creator Deity remains to be seen.

    from our point of view, this is a "one size fits all" approach and would not be something that we'd endorse. people are differing in their capacites, to pretend otherwise is a fallacy. people, therefore, need teachings that are appropriate for them and can help them make spiritual progress. this is specifically why the Buddha proclaimed that there are 84,000 entry ways into the Dharma.
     
  6. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Exclusivity vrs. World Connectedness:

    You know at certain stages in the world's history exclusivity was probably necessary to preserve the religion and culture from being destroyed or absorbed by other larger groups....

    Also, in history exclusivity or rather ghetoeism was enforced by the larger society..

    From my understanding the stereotype of the "Shylock" and interest charging Jews goes way back to European life before the Rennaissance when the ONLY occupations left open to the Jews were the financial ones...They were forbidden to posses lands and other properties in those days.

    So the developement of finance and Banking in Europe before say the seventeenth century or so largely grew out of excluding the Jews from all other occupations...at least that is the impression I've had.

    That today we think in terms of "the planet" and such concepts as inter dependence, ecology, etc. is really very recent...

    We Baha'is like to think that "Revelation" and inspiration from God had something to do with stirring these concepts of world connectedness and so on. That already there in some form maybe in a seed state waiting to blossom.

    - Art
     
  7. Darkwolf

    Darkwolf Kemetic

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    Some general comments on the thread:

    To me, a religion without myths and symbols would feel very empty. There seems to be an assumption by some people (and not just on this forum) that because my myths are different from other's myths, I must think I am right and they are wrong. This is not the case. I simply accept that they see things differently. I like it that way. I like diversity.

    I don't like the idea of a universal religion. Peace between different religions is a good ideal, and one I work for. But trying to eliminate differences in belief and mythology in the name of unity is just as bad as trying to convert someone because you think your particular religion is the only right one.
     
  8. Pilgram

    Pilgram New Member

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    I believe that is what I said, is it not?

    The belief in a god is not the big deal to atheists and agnostics, never has been. It's all the other baggage that come with each deity. That is why the American founding fathers were not Christians but rather deists. (I know there are about a billion Christians who are spitting and tearing out their hair but history is history. Christians will not let the facts get in the way though!)
    Very few atheists or agnostics would have a problem with the mere mention of a god or gods IF it were left right there. But nooooo, then the religionists have to add on all their particular favorites. God doesn't like us to eat pork, god doesn't like us to eat beef, god doesn't like us to eat brussel sprouts, oh wait, that was King George the first.

    God is not the problem. All the myth, arbitrary rules of what to eat, how to have sex, with whom you're allowed to have it with, blah, blah, blah, is the problem. Deists simply said: yeah, there's a god, great. Now let's get some good work done.

    I don't know to whom"our point of view" and "we'd" refers in the preceding paragraph but be that as it may, one size fits all works just honky dorey with the overwhelming majority of things pertaining to humans as I've said before in so many ways. What is one more time?

    The god/gods that humans choose to place their faith in is a lot less important to them than their necessity to eat, drink, sleep, have adequate medical care, have a job that affords them a livable wage and have a government that affords them real justice and protection rather than simply holy words (while the rich always obtain all the justice and protection they can afford).

    THERE ARE ALWAYS EXCEPTIONS but most people really are more concerned with thier daily lives than with their religions and gods. I'm not really concerned about the real saints in any religion who are more concerned with their god than their daily lives. They are not a problem. And the kind of "one size fits all" (I like your description since I think it's true) religion that I envision does not prevent them from doing whatever it is they want to do. Just don't go spouting off all the things that other people "shouldn't" do. (Real saints don't do this, only the fakes do)

    The sad thing is that the majority's religious leaders understand how valuable their votes are and so the simple are led into placing their trust where it ill serves them. But this is a long and complex issue. Perhaps better for politics than here.

    The current issue still revolves around whether the human race is better served by joining one religion (voluntarily of course, I can't believe I had to address someone's suggestion that it was to be mandatory! sheesh!) where everyone is a brother and a sister, rather than six billion religions where each is the competitor of the other. Six billion little gods just aint gonna cut it!

    Cultural diversity is one thing (a good thing as I said in a post yesterday - I love tasting new cuisine, hearing new music, viewing different art) but religion is something that is more than just a flavor of the month or of the district.

    When two thousand denominations of the same "religion" create two thousand different ways to be "right", wars happen. Unlike the bumper stick of a similar phrase, wars don't just happen. We know what causes them now. Percieved differences that come down to nothing short of different OPINIONS. I guess the human race values its opinions so highly that it finds them worth fighting for and dying for. So be it.

    All this talk of religions coming together in unity is just that: talk. We can assemble all the WORLD COUNCILS ON RELIGION and give them even more impressive names, assign "blue ribbon panels", but nothing will change. Nothing has changed since we had them. And we've had them now quite a while. Talk, talk, talk, with smiles, handshakes and pats on the backs. Then comes the fighting and the dying. Joe, say it isn't so!

    We can't afford to entertain six billion gods and six billion religions. They are killing us, literally.

    But as I said yesterday here or elsewhere, I have despaired [please, no more psychiatric diagnoses, thank you] of believing that it will change volutarily and with wisdom. I do believe it will change though. Perhaps like China chased out a whole gentle people and turned them into refugees, maybe other countries will follow suit. Perhaps we are seeing the first signs in France's dress code. What's next? Catholics and Protestants killing each other? Oh, wait, that's really happening. How about Jews and Moslems? Again, well how about Buddhists? Surely the peaceful Buddhist would never lift a hand to kill a fly! Sorry, even the peaceful Buddhist has a tarnished record when it comes to NOT turning the other cheek.

    But you see, I have no problem with Buddhists or anyone else defending themselves against an agressor. The only problem I have is with the hypocrisy that attends religions that say one thing and do another. As long as we pretend that we are not hypocrites (think about that one for awhile) we can never see the flaws in our religions's dogma. Until we see the flaws, we can't fix them. Until we fix them, they will get us and others killed. And, although I know I don't speak for her, I wouldn't be surprised if this saddens the Goddess.

    Religionists: keep your dogma, your rituals, your special decoder rings. All it costs is human suffering and death. And you get to see yourself as a martyr too!

    Vanity, all is vanity.

    Peace and Love,
    Pilgram
     
  9. Pilgram

    Pilgram New Member

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    I think you misunderstand how I am using the term "exclusivity." With the exception of the Nazis, KKK and other groups that required certain physical traits (unchangeable) most religions were always "open" to an outsider "joining" their little club. Of course during many historical times one could not simply join without putting one's life in danger as a traitor to the group one was leaving.

    The exclusivity of which I speak is that inflicted by way of the dogma of each and every religion. If there was nothing different (exclusive) about a religion, it would be identical to one that already existed and therefore unnecessary!

    I do not know whether you wrote this in response to my pointing out that Jews were forbidden by Jehovah to charge interest to Jews but they were allowed to charge it to the goyim (non-jews). But if you wrote it in response let me point out that this practice predated the Renaissance by at least one or two thousand or years!

    I brought this up somewhere else to demonstrate how a religion teaches that "others" may be dealt with in ways that they may not treat their "brother/members." The goyim, btw, is still a term used by many Jews about non-Jews. But it's "just a joke", like calling a black person a ... ?

    P.S., Jews, as well as every other enslaved people throughout history were never restricted to only one or two "professions." They, like so many other peoples who had been enslaved, were always to be found in the crafts and unskilled labor areas. The overwhelming majority of the world's population were unskilled laborers at one time or another and STILL ARE!

    Peace and Love,
    Pilgram
     
  10. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Pilgram,

    I do think it's very important to be aware of the social and historical backgrounds of the various religions because a lot can be explained as well as understood, otherwise, if forgotten they're kind of lumped together in a confused sort of general misinformation in a discussion.

    For the benefit of those who might be interested I'll post some of that here:

    "Before the 19th century, anti-Semitism was largely religious and was expressed in the later Middle Ages by sporadic persecutions and expulsions—notably the expulsion from Spain under Ferdinand and Isabella—and in severe economic and personal restrictions (see ghetto). However, since the Jews were generally restricted to the pursuit of occupations that were taboo, such as moneylending, the sentiment was also economic in nature."

    The Columbia Encyclopedia, Fifth Edition Copyright ©1994, 1995 Columbia University Press.

    A source about the history of Judaism in Britain:

    They were useful to the King for dealing in matters of money because Christians were prevented from carrying out usary (lending money for a rate of interest). However, Jews were classsed as Serfs of the Royal Chamber which meant that their property actaully belonged to the king. He could take this back at any time. They were heavily charged on an irregular basis by what were called tallages, which provided up to one seventh of the Crown's taxation income - from between three and ten thousand people.

    Because the Jews leant money, the Barons owed them it. When there was a crusade, or a child murder that was unexplained, the Jews were subjected to massacres. This meant that the Barons no longer owed anything because they were dead.

    The continuous extraction of money meant they became financially weak, and of no use to the Crown, so Richard I expelled them in 1190 from England and then from his Norman possessions. From then on entry of Jews into England was illegal.

    Source:

    http://www.change.freeuk.com/learning/relthink/jewsengland.html

    Jews in Poland in the late eighteenth century:

    They restricted the number of occupations that Jews were allowed to perform (for example they were forbidden to be chemists, brewers or flour-millers), engaging in trade was limited and some of the Jews were forced to move from country to towns. It should be added that some towns still enjoyed the privilege of de non tolerandis Judaeis, such as Biala, Jaslo, Wieliczka and Zywiec. In others, the occupation authorities forced the Jews to live in special quarters, ghettos, in the cities of Lvov, Nowy Sacz and Tarnow.

    Source:

    http://members.core.com/~mikerose/history2.htm
     
  11. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep New Member

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    Kudos to Pilgram

    To Pilgram:


    Thanks for the reminder that the issue so much words have been expended so far and without arriving at a consensus is the following:



    I agree with your position completely.

    There is just that value now inculcated and accepted in democratic societies today of religious liberty, understood as everyone can embrace the peculiar religion he prefers.

    You and I, do we abolish that human right of religious liberty now universally propounded in democratic societies, and put in its place the obligation of doing with only one religion that has the best of all religions of all times?

    Yes, I think we should do that, we who are advocates of a universal religion.

    How? Here are some suggestions:

    1. Make it a required course of studies from the very first day of schooling to the graduate levels and to even post schooling years and outside schooling premises, namely, studies of the evils of religion, and also its beneficial contributions if any to mankind; so that you cannot enjoy all the civil and political rights of citizenship unless and until you pass successfully an examination on the evils and goods of religion, which examination is administered periodically in the life of every citizen.

    2. Organize all governments of democratic states into a world body to assume and exercise the office of determining what is good and what is evil in religion for mankind, like a religious food and drug authority.

    3. Impose trade sanctions and other disincentives on governments and states which do not join the above organization to determine a common list of what is good and what is evil in religion, and promulgate it on the citizenry.


    These three principles will lead to a very generic religion where all the beliefs and practices are good or at least not inhibitive of the pursuit by every man for life, peace, and happiness among mankind and for every individual, and the observance of liberty, equality and fraternity.

    What about those people who still would not want to accept the universal religion worked out by the world body for religion? Like for example, Buddhists?

    I don’t see any difficulty with Buddhists, they believe in Buddha don’t they? They give honor to Buddha, don’t they? So in practical terms whatever the protestations of Buddhist connoisseurs, Buddha is their god.

    The universal one world religion containing all the good things about religion and excluding all the evils is very generic, so it can include very fine tuning for each individual adherent, just that any fine tuning should not verge into the evils of religion as we know from history past and present.

    Susma Rio Sep
     
  12. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste pilgram,

    thank you for the post.

    when i say "we" and "our view" i'm meaning to indicate that of the Buddhists in general and that of my school in particular. i apologize if that was not made clear.

    in reference to my positive claimant statement, it was in reference to this statment of yours "The person making any assertion BEARS THE BURDEN OF PROOF" which isn't the case, as you correctly assert in your response to me.

    not a big deal there.. just pointing it out for educational purposes for the interested reader.

    since we are talking about religion and a world religon at that... what roles doe atheists or agnostics play in it and what is the purpose of bringing them into the discussion? no matter how you craft it, there will be some that don't choose to join the club, not matter how "inclusive" it claims to be.

    Some of the founding fathers of America were deists, this is true.. of course some were also Freemasons and others were Christians... heck, perhaps they simply said they were deists and were, in reality, part of the Illumaniti?

    now, regarding "one size fits all" that certainly doesn't apply in organ transplants, does it? it most certainly doesn't apply in tastes.. not everyone agrees that apples are delicious (of course, they are heathens ;) ) really.. where in our day to day life do you find "one size fits all"? heck.. my feet are two different sizes and there on the same body! this is like making a hat with a bunch of holes in the band and saying that it fits everyone just fine. the truth is that on small heads the hat looks odd and on large heads the hat won't fasten. incidently, this is why "fitted" hats are quite popular... they fit you "exactly". i don't find that one size fits all in my car seat... i need to have the seat up and the back tilted, whilst my spouse, needs the seat back and the back straight. i note that my neighbor has a 9' ceiling whereas mine is 10'. further, i see that i've got many, many drill bits for my drill... each for a different sized hole.

    now this statement of yours i find very interesting:

    "....And the kind of "one size fits all" (I like your description since I think it's true) religion that I envision does not prevent them from doing whatever it is they want to do. Just don't go spouting off all the things that other people "shouldn't" do."

    so.. they can do whatever they want provided that don't do something that you don't agree with? i hope that you see the irony of this statement :)

    again, i feel compelled to point out in your example of 6 billion gods that not every religion has this belief and it's a fallacy to argue that this is correct. moreover, this would imply that every human has their own god that they worship. the last time that i checked, this was not the case. if you have some source material on this i'd be quite happy to read it.

    fortunately, Buddhism doesn't pin itself into a corner with some sappy morality play that isn't in touch with reality. according to our teachings, you use the methods necessary to prevent harm and suffering to beings...and sometimes that may be violence to prevent greater harm. if i may be so bold... i'd say that a Buddhist wouldn't have any problem assassinating Hitler during WW2 to prevent the harm to the other beings.

    you do know, do you not, that Buddhism has no dogmas to uphold, no creed to die or kill for? perhaps, a study of the teachings themselves would be of some value to you in your research rather than generalizations that don't seem to be applicable to the teachings.

    eh.. perhaps you aren't really including Buddhism at all in this religion of yours since it seems to be foucsed on some type of god or deity worship, i can't really say.

    good luck in your task, i think it will be difficult to say the least.
     
  13. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste Su,

    what do you mean by "believe"? do you mean to say that we believe that he existed as a human being, born in Lundi and all of that? well... given the nature of documents and so forth from 500 B.C.E. we may have to take some accounts of him as metaphor and allegory, though, there is little doubt that he existed.

    ah.. i see it now... if you "honor" someone or something you worship it.. is that how it goes? well... i've got some bad news for you sunshine... that's not how it is.... and i've been telling you this for nearly 5 months now and still it's unclear to you. i apologize, i must be doing a terrible job of explaning the most basic facts of our tradition that i've left you hopelessly confused about the whole thing.

    here's a great site to visit that should be able to explain what i've failed to:

    http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/basic-guide.htm

    i would be quite interested to know from whence you've formed your opinions of Buddhism. i'd hazard, given your Catholic nature, that you've read the Papal Bull "Crossing the Threshold" and have derived your information from that. i'm sorry to have to say this, but the Pope is wrong in his understanding of Buddhism.

    it is my opinion, based on the errorenous information that you continually post, that you are making things up as you go without putting the time into properly understanding what the various traditions are trying to say. further, when someone does correct you, you simply ignore them. your posts don't change to reflect the correct information.. why is that? are you so convinced that you have the only correct understanding of the Buddhist tradition or the Jewish tradition for that matter?

    i don't get it... in your posts you imply that you are happy to learn and to get new knowledge yet, despite this, your subsequent postings reflect none of this learning that you are claiming. what gives? you aren't really trying to learn what others believe, are you? you are trying to pursuade others to agree with your point of view and that is it, from what i can tell.
     
  14. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Susma's principles:

    Well my friend Susma while i do admire your spunk in offering these principles...I have deep reservations about them.

    Susma wrote:

    Here are some suggestions:

    1. Make it a required course of studies from the very first day of schooling to the graduate levels and to even post schooling years and outside schooling premises, namely, studies of the evils of religion, and also its beneficial contributions if any to mankind; so that you cannot enjoy all the civil and political rights of citizenship unless and until you pass successfully an examination on the evils and goods of religion, which examination is administered periodically in the life of every citizen.

    My reply:

    Problem is Susma...someone's going to write those text books and decide what are the evils and good things about religion and this smacks of maybe a Soviet type education.... also an attempt to regiment peoples' spiritual life.

    2. Organize all governments of democratic states into a world body to assume and exercise the office of determining what is good and what is evil in religion for mankind, like a religious food and drug authority.

    Comment:

    While i myself believe that a world parliamentary system would be beneficial, I don't think it's task should be to determine "what is good and what is evil in religion for mankind, like a religious food and drug authority". The priorities of a world government would be maintaining peace and security... as well as issues concerning monetary systems and trade regulations, not what the religion for mankind should be...

    3. Impose trade sanctions and other disincentives on governments and states which do not join the above organization to determine a common list of what is good and what is evil in religion, and promulgate it on the citizenry.

    Comment: Yeh, using a world government for this purpose would be contraproductive i would think.

    Susma:

    The universal one world religion containing all the good things about religion and excluding all the evils is very generic, so it can include very fine tuning for each individual adherent, just that any fine tuning should not verge into the evils of religion as we know from history past and present.

    My reply:

    As a Baha'i I want you to know that while we do advocate a world government as well as international court of arbitration we are very careful to say that this world government should be setup by the governments themselves something like the League of Nations or the United Nations and not deal with religion per se... other than encouraging rights to freedom of religion:

    "Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance."

    - from the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights

    There are already today many religious groups recognized as nongovernmental associates that regularly consult with the UN and this i think has been a beneficial arrangement.

    I think the solution here is for enlightened people of whatever belief system to work together cooperatively on issues that face humanity and not to impose a Soviet type authority that dictates what is evil or beneficial in religion.

    - Art
     
  15. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep New Member

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    Woe is me.

    Dear Vaj:

    I am giving everything here that I write my own impressions of things and my own conclusions, faulty as they might appear to other people.

    On the other hand, there is no one here who is possessed of infallibility and omniscience.

    I haven't not read any papal Bull since I postgraduated myself from Roman Catholicism.

    I am not spreading wrong information, but my impressions and my conclusions. We are in a forum where everyone is at least knowledgeable about everyone else writing from the standpoint of his own impressions and conclusion, again, however faulty to others they appear or shortsighted or lopsided.

    If you can't accept my ascrbing to Buddhists a belief in Buddha as some god, then you have all the right to not be able to -- what a sentence! Buddha himself would not be perturbed in the least....

    I am sure you are aware that it's not only me, but a lot of observant people like for example, Arthra, our Baha'ist brother poster here also do. And people who have been to lands where Buddhism is the native dominant traditional religion reach the same conclusion.

    Let's have a good laugh together, inviting also Buddha to join in:

    HAAAAAAAA HAAAAAAA HAAAAAAA HAAAAAAA HAAAAA HAHAHAHAHAHAH...!/B]

    Dear Vaj, even a Buddhist you do have a sense of humor....

    Namaste.

    Susma Rio Sep
     
  16. Pilgram

    Pilgram New Member

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    Greetings Vajradhara,

    You seem to continue to harbor some misunderstanding about a matter of logic and valid argumentaion. You quote me correctly in your first paragraph above but immediately go on to say "which isn't the case, as you correctly assert in your response to me."

    Vaj, you are wrong. It is the case. The assertor of any statement DOES bear the burden of proof. And this is what I asserted BOTH times I spoke of it. Where do you find me ever contradicting that?

    If you believe that by modifying the assertion with the word "positive" or "negative" you somehow escape bearing the burden, you are incorrect. No matter how you phrase an assertion (in the negative or in the positive) the one making the assertion bears the burden. You cannot shift the burdern by phrasing ithe assertion in some seemingly clever fashion.

    There are 50 states in the U.S.A. is an assertion.
    There are NOT 50 states in the U.S.A. is an assertion.
    They are both assertions even though one is phrased positively and the other negatively. The person making the assertion bears the burden of proving either assertion.

    If I were the asserter of the first assertion I bear the burdern of proving that there are 50 states.

    If I were the asserter of the second assertion I still bear the burden of proving that there are NOT 50 states.

    The burden doesn't shift to someone else in either of my assertions to prove me wrong. I bear the burden of proving my assertion correct.

    You say that it is "not a big deal there" but I disagree. It is precisely because one does not have a firm grasp of logic and valid argumentation that one is able to say anything (whether valid or not) one wishes and believe that it is on equal footing with a valid argument. This is exactly why it is so difficult to get others to see a point. If someone has no understanding of what makes for valid reasoning it becomes impossible to validly reason. It is a VERY BIG DEAL!

    I too am "just pointing it out for educational purposes for the interested reader."

    Peace and Love,
    Pilgram
     
  17. Pilgram

    Pilgram New Member

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    Greetings Susma,

    As much as I would like all people to live in peace and love I do not beleive we will get there by abolishing religious liberty. It is tempting and in my younger days I would have said it is the only way. It appears that many human beings must be led by the nose into heaven. But I am not that leader.

    I believe in open and free debate such as this one. The problem (the very large problem) is that so many people cannot recognize the difference between opinion and fact.

    I do not see how we will ever obtain peace and loving coexistence on this planet until valid reasoning is taught and understood. In its place we now have "it's all good" "whatever you believe is just as true as whatever anyone else believes"

    This gross ignorance of logic and valid argumentation is what allows our religious and political leaders to use us against each other and maintain "otherness" with its corresponding fear, prejudice, hatred, and war.

    No, friend Susma, I would not take away any rights of man even if man is abusing the right. It is up to each and every individual to answer some day about how she or he tried to understand and tried to cooperate with others, or didn't.

    It's ironic that billions of "monotheists" can have so many different gods, is it not?

    Peace and Love,
    Pilgram
     
  18. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste su,

    i just don't understand you at all. you claim to be interested in learning about other traditions and practices, yet, when people do explain what they believe, it either doesn't get transmitted properly.. or something... honestly, i don't know what it is.

    depending on when you graduated from Catholism to...? you could have read the Bull, it was written in 1979.

    you, of course, have every right to say that we worship Buddha as a god, we worship idols, we eat babies... really, whatever you'd like. none of it would be correct but if that's not important to you, then it really shouldn't matter that we protest.

    yes, i'm quite aware of the Baha'i belief regarding Buddha and, as i have said in my postings to them, that it isn't a correct point of view. in any event, they can believe what they choose as well.

    let me provide an analogy that may help explain my point..

    for the sake of our analogy, you will be an expert car mechanic and i am a consumer. when i come to your repair shop because my car isn't working and you tell me what's wrong, wouldn't you find it quite odd for me to disagree with you and then go about explaining what i think is wrong with the car?

    eh.. perhaps it's a poor analogy.

    :sigh: there are some men that you just can't reach. if you honestly believe that the Buddha wouldn't mind if someone ascribed some type of "god-hood" to him then i really have no idea what to say. you could, of course, read his own words on this subject and see for yourself, however, i think that you couldn't be bothered and would rather keep your already set opinions about how things are and how they should be. this is your right, but that doesn't make you right.

    i'm not joking, not kidding around or being jocular in any sense. i'm serious about my practice and my beliefs. you don't have to share them or agree with them, however, i would think it common curtesy to at least consider that you could be incorrect in your "conclusions" of Buddhism which are based on none of the Buddhas teachings.

    if you cannot find it in you to accept the explanations of myself and other Buddhists that post on this site, or others, then i would heartily encourage you to do the work yourself and try to come to a well reasoned opinion.
     
  19. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste Pilgram,

    thank you for the response.

    any retort to the rest of the post?

    now... it is quite possible that i could be incorrect... i'm frequently wrong about a great many things...

    here's pretty much how i see the whole burden of proof argument:

    In debates, one side of the argument often carries the burden of proof, rather than the other. In philosophical debates, often various arguments have the effect of shifting burden of proof from one side to the other. How would we decide who carries the burden of proof?

    In a dispute between a theist and an agnostic – between someone who wants to show that God exists, and someone who is as yet undecided whether God exists, we would take the burden of proof to be on the theist. This is because the person who wants to show that God exists is making a significant claim about the world, which is in most people’s views somewhat contentious.

    In a philosophical dialogue concerning the existence of an external world that gives rise to the sensory experiences we have, we might suppose that the person who doubts that such an external world exists bears the burden of proof.

    What these cases have in common is that they are positive arguments, making some significant claim, and as such it is the place of the advocates of such claims to defend them, and not the place of the audience to show that they are or might be false. The basic rule of burden of proof is he who asserts must prove. (Walton). It is the person who is advocating a thesis – even if the thesis is one of doubt, such as the argument that our sensory experiences do not prove that external objects exist – who bears the burden of proof. This basic rule is intended to show that when one offers an argument or claim, it is your job to establish it, not your audience’s job to prove you wrong.

    http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~cnm1/Handout%20Mark%20Two.htm
     
  20. Darkwolf

    Darkwolf Kemetic

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    You are JUST AS BAD as the people you dislike so much. You suggest taking away religious freedom and imposing your ideal of religion on everyone, JUST LIKE extremist Christians, Muslims, ect. If you and your supporters try to implement such a plan, I will fight you every step of the way.

    I will worship my Gods as I see fit.
     
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