Points of Intersection?

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

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  1. Pilgram

    Pilgram New Member

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    Not at this time unless there is a particular point upon which you wish to know my thoughts.

    Generally, the burden only shifts when one party (the one who did not first bear the burden) introduces something new that is not agreed upon by the other. This doesn't remove the first asserter's burden, it merely places a different and additional one on the new (second party) asserter. The first asserter still has to carry her burden and the second has to carry his.

    I agree with you but not for the reason given. I agree that the burden of proof is on the theist because she is MAKING THE ASSERTION i.e. God exists. It doesn't matter that "most people" may find that view contentious. In fact it appears that most people believe that god/gods exist. But belief is a far cry from proof and so the burden of proof is upon the asserter (as it always is).

    I am sorry but you lost me here. You seem to be referring to a true skeptic but since there is no ASSERTION being made, no one has, as yet, any burden of proof. What would be the assertion and who would be the asserter?

    I agree totally with Walton's basic rule. However, perhaps you could clarify this example you've chosen concerning the skeptic and some other? What is the assertion/s being made and who is/are making them?

    Again, you italicized the term "positive" but I think I am beginning to see what you might mean. Correct me if I am wrong. If by "positive" you simply mean the one who first asserts something, then I agree that that person has the burden of proof if the second person does not agree.

    But if by positive you mean that the assertion must be worded in a "positive" fashion rather than a negative, then I disagree for the same reasons stated in my last post. A person asserting that there are not 50 states in the USA bears the burden of proving that. It is still a positive statement even though the asserter is saying "not 50". If you agree that the asserter still has the burden of proof even though she uses a "negative" term i.e. "not 50", then I think we are in agreement. But then the word "positive" becomes superfluous, does it not? They are arguments period, no?

    Perhaps this may be of help also: where there is agreement, there is no burden of proof on either side since there are then "stipulations" of this or that.

    Are we in agreement about who has the burden of proof or do we need further clarification?

    Peace and Love,
    Pilgram
     
  2. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    OK, susma:

    i'm saying that the traditional position is that our revelation is unique in being a collective one as opposed to coming via one prophet. now, this traditional position may have been very useful in mediaeval apologetics like the kuzari but it's hardly going to lay the modern sceptic in the aisles. my own position is indeed in agreement with you 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?" it's not actually a commandment to hold this PoV, but it's the one that works for me and enables me to avoid embarrassment in front of people that disagree with me!

    great sarcasm there. look, pilgram, you obviously don't know anything about how this text works in practice via the oral tradition. quote me a verse and i'll explain it to you, but i'm not going to address inaccurate generalisations based on your ignorance of what you're criticising.

    er. surely if something is "universal" then it applies to everyone? or are you referring to a specific group like the perfectly inoffensive unitarian universalists?

    i think you ought to explain this.

    another generalised accusation. show me the textual evidence, please.
    i am simply saying we all bear responsibility for our own actions and should grow out of blaming other people. i didn't start this by blaming your belief system for all the wrong in the world. you made the first accusation. and your tone is hardly conducive to spreading tolerance. you seem to have arrived at this site expecting everyone to be so impressed by your insight that we all buy your book or something. so far, i've seen very little sign of your convincing anyone of anything they didn't already believe - and your reaction to this seems to be to throw your toys out of the pram! don't be so petulant. after all, you *do* want us to buy your book, don't you? *grin*

    discussion about the rules of argument is one thing, but you're kind of assuming our format here is one of traditional debate, where we have a "motion", people "for" and people "against", where, as you point out, the assertor probably has the burden of truth. what we are doing here IMHO is *dialogue*. this is not about proving points. it is about understanding the other person's point of view, not gaining disciples. i'm not trying to prove anything to you, as a careful reading of what i wrote would have revealed (susma seems to have understood it, for example) i'm just saying - for interest and information - that that's what *we* believe. i'm not out to convince anyone to agree with me, just to improve knowledge of judaism. by the sounds of some of the things you're saying, it's about time somebody did!

    quite. elegant solutions are inevitably procrustean.
    and this is why we say that "the Torah has 70 faces".

    i think i'll take my discussion of this over to the "G!D or money" thread, where it belongs.

    at least as far as the general public are concerned. mystics have been thinking in these terms for centuries.

    quite right. the beginning of dialogue is the idea that "there are many paths up the mountain" and that "because i am right does not mean you are wrong". philosophically this can be based on the principle that human perception is by definition limited and therefore objectivity is impossible. this realisation frees us to recognise our own subjectivity and understand the subjectivity of others. in effect, it is this which enables the growth of compassion for every human being.

    that's what i meant by universality creating otherness, but you've put it much better than i did.

    i agree. the subsidiarity of human freewill means that the only valid rules are those that you accept and take upon yourself rather than trying to force upon others. this is what judaism teaches and is, incidentally, incompatible with missionary work, which we realised 2000 years ago - we're not saying that everyone should do what we do! the Torah is a set of laws for the jewish people, not for general use. they only become arbitrary when misapplied and i think it is this that causes the problem.

    you can say it as many times as you like, but it doesn't sound any more convincing to me. sorry.

    what about religions that tell them that these things are important? judaism certainly says all these things, but you won't pick that up from reading english translations of the "old testament". that bears the same relationship to practical rabbinic judaism as copied out shorthand notes do to hearing the original lecture.

    surely a "one size fits all" religion would not be able to avoid doing this either?

    and a religion which says "no denominations" will do the same thing. that's how the inquisition got going.

    yeah, because "non-religionists" don't suffer and die.

    again, quote me the verse and i'll explain it. if you think it means we're supposed to swindle people who aren't jewish, you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about.

    oh, there are jewish arseholes????? my goodness me, what a surprise!!!!

    this is because they wished to prevent us poisoning the wells and and using the blood of christian babies to make bread. so it had a kind of logic, even if it was based on lies.

    it's working extremely well in france at the moment, isn't it?

    quite!

    of course, if everyone's lying about everything, it makes for an interesting world, don't it?

    i agree. nor does judaism in my experience.

    quite. if you want to know how a car works, ask a mechanic. similarly, if you want to know about buddhism, a [knowledgeable] buddhist should be the first person you ask. ignorance doesn't make you more of an expert than someone who knows more than you.

    and my point from the beginning was that this has been tried many times and has never, ever, ever worked. people aren't like that.

    hear, hear!

    and we sure as hell have exactly the same problem with people telling us that judaism says all sorts of things when in fact they are talking complete bollocks.

    ditto.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  3. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Bananabrain wrote:


    "....discussion about the rules of argument is one thing, but you're kind of assuming our format here is one of traditional debate, where we have a "motion", people "for" and people "against", where, as you point out, the assertor probably has the burden of truth. What we are doing here IMHO is *dialogue*. this is not about proving points, it is about understanding the other person's point of view, not gaining disciples. .... i'm not out to convince anyone to agree with me, just to improve knowledge of judaism."

    My comment:

    Yes, that's where i'm also coming from also on this forum.... dialogue and understanding are more important than mere debate. Of more value here is appreciating varying points of view rather than "making points".

    Maybe there are those drawn here though who learn by debate and i think that may be alright for itself but dialogue should be valued above mere debate.

    - Art
     
  4. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep New Member

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    Knotty tangle

    Dear Vaj, you tell me:

    Is our impasse as bad as that between Protestants accusing Catholics of idolatry in their devotion to Mary and the saints, and Catholics insisting what they give to Mary and the saints is veneration of hyperdulia and dulia, but not the worship of latria.

    On my part, I just smile, because they are both right in their respective minds and observations. We would need a judge trained in logic and in language and thought and the world outside the mind to unravel their knotty tangle.


    Best regards,

    Susma Rio Sep
     
  5. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep New Member

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    Hornet's nest

    Well, I guess I did manage to stir up the hornet's nest with that earlier post about an obligatory one world religion. Regrets all around.

    I had asked myself the question:

    And I answered it myself thus:

    Darkwolf tells me:

    Well said, Darkwolf, my sincerest commendations to you. I can't agree with you more. Don't be alarmed when I get carried away by my sometimes fervid enthusiasm.


    Listen, everyone here, I must correct my words, for my thoughts and sentiments are not really what those words in the earlier post denote.

    Here is my definitive and absolutely unchangeable position about all the goods of religions -- let's not talk about a one world religion:

    For the rest of my disturbing earlier post, I invite all of us here to consider that in religion we are situating ourselves in a domain of discourse not like that of car maintenance and troubleshooting. (No, that's not my business, just my weekend chores on occasions.)

    May I also propose that we all here ascribe to the aspiration:

    Peace on earth to men of good will, that good will that does not in any way manifest itself in violence whatever.

    Namaste all.

    Susma Rio Sep
     
  6. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Well my friend Susma,

    I admire your well meaning enthusiasm anyway... I think your intentions are good and that's important.

    There are some good things happening i think with Non-governmental organizations and the UN...also there's was the World Parliament of Religions around 1993 that made some good pronouncements.

    I think the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is also very good in principle.

    Susma wrote:

    May I also propose that we all here ascribe to the aspiration:

    Peace on earth to men of good will, that good will that does not in any way manifest itself in violence whatever.

    Comment:

    That also sounds good Susma...

    - Art
     
  7. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep New Member

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    Violence in self-defense

    Dear Art:

    Can you ever imagine that one day in some very strange permutation of fate which is forgive me another name for God, some people would want to persecute you or your religion for being true to your religion, and you have to defend yourself and your religion with resorting to violence?

    Susma Rio Sep
     
  8. Pilgram

    Pilgram New Member

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    Greetings banana and Art,

    Instead of paying any attention to those pesky rules of "mere" debate (like valid and invalid arguments) why don't we all just smoke a big fat joint and say whatever pops into our heads? (Not that there's anything wrong with that in the proper setting!) But this is not that setting.

    And it's not about "making points," Art. What kind of points would one even get on this website?! We don't know the real identity of each other. What would these "points" you ponder be worth to you or anyone else? Could I buy a Harry Potter chocolate frog if I accumulate 10 of these points? Okay, I don't mean any harm, I'm just adding what in my warped mind resembles levity! Don't get all offended. I took no offence by your belittling mere rules of debate. You just don't know any better, right? (Another joke! HaHa)

    Now, it's not about making points but it is about "proving" points. Otherwise what's the sense of communicating? Just to hear ourselves talk (or type)?

    No, some of us are not just blowing hot air out of our fingers? Some of us really want to make human contact and discuss things that are of great importance to us. But I am also certain that there are some who are just "hanging out" and banging away on the keys for ... what? Points? To impress the chicks at Borders? I'm not mentioning any names so don't jump to conclusions, guys.

    Debate and logical argumentation was an art form known to the Greeks from whose serious and "logical" efforts you enjoy many luxuries (like your computer) and pleasures that you would no doubt never have acquired by just sitting around the fire eating magic mushrooms and "dialoging with God." (Don't anyone jump to the conclusion that I am not in favor of using botanicals in a reverent fashion.)

    At least three or four of us here are having a discussion that includes the importance of how and why words and word constructions are used. It might amuse you to know that some of us realize that we can learn a great deal about each other by carefully considering the words and word structures used by each other.

    "Dialoguing" is only the beginning of worthwhile conversation. ["Dialogue and understanding are more important that MERE (emphasis mine) debate" - Art] Clearly "understanding" each others' terms of dialogue is for intermediate and advanced spirits trying to help each other to a better place.

    You can disparage logic and valid argumentation all you want. Ignorance, like Wisdom, is its own reward, and punishment.

    Love and Peace,
    Pilgram

    P.S. bananabrain, I had a much more positive view of Judaism BEFORE I read your "knowledge of Judaism." So if your goal is to improve our knowledge of it, perhaps you might find another voice. I loved the kind and (in my opinion) wise rabbi in Fiddler on the Roof. I hope you don't find this too mundane or parochial but if you do, that's okay. I still loved him and always will. I'd like to love you too.
     
  9. Pilgram

    Pilgram New Member

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    Susma,

    I have not forgotten you. I owe you a post reply. Please be patient.

    Love and Peace,
    Pilgram
     
  10. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Dear Art:

    Can you ever imagine that one day in some very strange permutation of fate which is forgive me another name for God, some people would want to persecute you or your religion for being true to your religion, and you have to defend yourself and your religion with resorting to violence?

    Susma Rio Sep

    Thanks for your question my good friend!

    Baha'is are not permitted to defend their religion by resorting to violence or organizing say some sort of defensive Jihad:

    "Beware lest ye shed the blood of any one. Unsheathe the sword of your tongue from the scabbard of utterance, for therewith ye can conquer the citadels of men's hearts. We have abolished the law to wage holy war against each other. God's mercy hath, verily, encompassed all created things, if ye do but understand."

    - Baha'u'llah


    Baha'is have lived in very oppressive societies such as in Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia and in Iran and other Moslem countries where being a Baha'i would be enough to be imprisoned and sometimes executed. Moslems who become Baha'is can be considered "apostates" in Islam, but we are not permitted to use any violence to counter violence to defend our Faith...

    Primary place in the world where Baha'is are oppressed today is probably in Iran where it is prohibited for Baha'i to enter higher education.

    Baha'is as a group are not afforded any rights in society as say Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians are.

    Baha'i Holy Places have been seized as well as all Baha'i properties including cemetaries which were desecrated.

    Baha'i marriages are not recognized and the children of Baha'is are removed from their parents' custody and placed with Moslem families. Married Baha'is have been accused of immorality for "living together" and imprisoned or punished.

    Baha'is who teach other Baha'is about the faith can also be imprisoned...and so on.

    So it is not just some weird permutation of a future possibility it's already happened and we Baha'is do not resort to any violence of any kind to defend our Faith.

    We apply normally to the international community hoping that through moral suasion or international law (Universal Declaration of Human Rights) the persecution and oppression of Baha'is will cease...

    Personal self defence however is permitted in the event of a break down in law enforcement but not for religion.

    - Art
     
  11. Pilgram

    Pilgram New Member

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    Post #42 by bananabrain quotes are from different people!!!

    Greetings All,

    Just thought I'd mention this to keep things straight. Bananabrain starts post #42 by saying: okay Susma, thus giving readers the idea that he is addressing one called Susma. Fine.

    But then his quoted material is taken not only from Susma but from 1, 2, 3 or more different sources.

    Just thought readers might like to know that if they hadn't noticed. It took me one or two of his posts before I noticed.

    Any reason you like to shift between sources without crediting them by name?

    Peace and Love,
    Pilgram
     
  12. Pilgram

    Pilgram New Member

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    Arthra says:
    What society are you now talking about? Iranian? German? American?
     
  13. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep New Member

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    Slated for extinction?

    This is really something new for me -- and your religion is still around and growing, and there are people like you with evidence of learning (no patronzing intended) around and joining.

    Are you guys not slated to be the "remnant of Israel' to last to the end of times with the privileged label of "remnant"? that is, unless you get treatment of extinction before those days.

    Of course, I don't give serious attention to such "remnant of Israel" and end times fantasies. Just being sardonic.

    Congratulations to you and your religion.

    Being an observer I do claim the right and the role of some kind of judge: you deserve some kind of Oscar, and certainly not for acting but for being sincere to the price of possible self-extinction.

    Susma Rio Sep
     
  14. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep New Member

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    To each his own agenda?

    I think, Pilgram, I can get your prevailing concern and I admire it, though you give me the picture of Don Quixote de la Mancha.

    Vaj is very knowledgeable about a lot of things also, like you, but he sometimes get a bit miffed with some posts here and there, then he seems to suffer a slight diminution of his Nirvanic equanimity. But he is certainly an authority on Buddhism, and an apologist and even at times a polemicist.

    Art is a good exponent of Baha'i of which he is a committed sincere adherent, without any guile, a man of transparency.

    Banana, I have the impression that he is a professional defender of Jewish beliefs and observances and of Jews in general. Professional? Well, as in a lawyer is a professional, so also an accountant.

    Now, I am ready to be hit with brickbats, unless Brian delete this post before enough people get to read it.

    Susma Rio Sep
     
  15. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    susma, what the arse are you on about? i don't even understand what point you're making. if i see someone talking bollocks about judaism, i try to set them straight. i am as entitled to do so as you would be if i started ascribing beliefs and practices to another group. there's nothing "professional" about it.

    without "attack", there is no need for "defence".

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  16. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste pilgram,

    thank you for the post.

    <b>

    Again, you italicized the term "positive" but I think I am beginning to see what you might mean. Correct me if I am wrong. If by "positive" you simply mean the one who first asserts something, then I agree that that person has the burden of proof if the second person does not agree.</b>

    it's more than a simple assertion, it's an assertion about something significant about the world... but... yes, that's the gist of it.

    <b>
    Are we in agreement about who has the burden of proof or do we need further clarification?

    Peace and Love,
    Pilgram[/QUOTE]</b>

    i believe that we are in agreement...hopefully, others are as well :)
     
  17. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste Su,

    thank you for the post.

    you ask:

    Is our impasse as bad as that between Protestants accusing Catholics of idolatry in their devotion to Mary and the saints, and Catholics insisting what they give to Mary and the saints is veneration of hyperdulia and dulia, but not the worship of latria.

    to which i respond:

    it is my opinion that these are apples and oranges we are talking about. it's not like you and i are disagreeing about how a certain Sutra is understood or if the rules of the Vinya should be updated, you are seemingly making judgements predicated on your understanding of something else entirely.

    if you believe that you are right in your assertions, despite all the textual evidence to the contrary, then i guess we are at that impasse. if you cannot or are unwilling to accurately understand our tradition then there seems to be little room for dialog.
     
  18. Darkwolf

    Darkwolf Kemetic

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    The idea of someone imposing their religion on me is guaranteed to get my hackles up. :) Freedom of religion is something I hold very high in my ideals.

    While I wouldn't go so far as to require a test on religion, I do think there should be more education, such as a world religions class in high school.
     
  19. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep New Member

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    Action, affection, cognition

    Dear Vaj:

    It is my impression that masses in Buddhism actuate themselves in acts that indicate they have a belief in some god, and Buddha is that god for them. God is understood here as an unknown power, the way I use the word in my definition of religion:

    Who are these masses in Buddhism? The general populace in Vietnam, Burma, Thailand, Tibet...

    Vaj, you are not one of them.

    But I do suspect you have some godly regard for Buddha, even though on the witness stand you would declare that you don't believe that Buddha is any kind of a god.


    I think the impasse between you and me, Vaj, about Buddhism and a god -- you insisting that Buddhists don't believe in any god, I seeing some god in Buddhism -- is due to the fact that I am talking on the levels of action and affection, while you as a connoisseur adherent of Buddhism are talking on the cognition level.

    Insofar as the cognition is concerned there is no god, not for you, Vaj, and fellow Buddhist connosseurs.

    But on the levels of action and affection, I am very inclined to maintain that:

    If we look at the visible actions or external behavior of the Buddhist masses in regard to Buddha, and also reproduce in visible advancing graphic lines on a screen their inner affective stances; then those visible actions or external behavior and the graphic lines representing the affective stances of Buddhists are no different from similar manifestations of believers in God like Jews, Christians, and Muslims in regard to their God.

    Now, my point is that in many instances: concepts in the mind are not necessarily faithful or can be faithful to the actions and affections of people talking about concepts.

    Actions and affections say one thing; talk representing concepts can and does very often say another thing maybe even the direct opposite.

    As far as I can see, the Buddhist masses give worship to Buddha as some kind of a god; even though they might not be able to produce a definition of god the way intellectualized monotheists do.

    Now, about the Buddhist connoisseurs of the West, of which, Vaj, you are a very concrete example, I am inclined to seriously suspect their actions and affections are in line with the idea of Buddha as a god, whatever their articulate cognition says otherwise.

    On my reading about Buddhism, I think I have read enough to know its bare bone didactics.

    Buddhist ideas of how to live life without being overwhelmed by the incident of suffering makes a lot of sense in terms of theories and in terms of practices. Although there is a lot to be said in sound critique against its attitude of counter poising suffering exclusively to desire.

    Beyond these down to earth directives of living life to be in control of oneself and to transcend one's more unruly passions, its metaphysics of human existence and the universe is speculative philosophy.


    Now, may I invite you, brother Vaj, to join me in a good hearty laugh:

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

    Well, at least, a smile then?

    Susma Rio Sep
     
  20. Pilgram

    Pilgram New Member

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    Vajradhara says:

    Namaste pilgram,

    thank you for the post.

    Pilgram said: "Again, you italicized the term "positive" but I think I am beginning to see what you might mean. Correct me if I am wrong. If by "positive" you simply mean the one who first asserts something, then I agree that that person has the burden of proof if the second person does not agree."

    Vaj said: "it's more than a simple assertion, it's an assertion about something significant about the world... but... yes, that's the gist of it."

    Pilgram said: "Are we in agreement about who has the burden of proof or do we need further clarification?"

    Vaj said: "i believe that we are in agreement...hopefully, others are as well :)


    Begining of new post:
    Greetings Vaj,

    I believe we are almost there, my friend. The only hesitation I have before agreeing with you on our definition is that I am not so sure why an assertion would have to be "about something significant about the world?" I think anyone making any assertion bears the burden of proving her assertion be it something as significant as the existence of god or the existence of a chocolate bar in one's pocket.

    And if you can find it in agreement with your spiritual and mental integrity to add that ANY assertion (even the seemingly "insignificant") places a burden of proof on the assertor, then I believe we are in total agreement. Of course, if you have a reason why only significant assertions should be proven by the asserter, I would be most interested in knowing it.

    Love and Peace,
    Pilgram
     
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