Sunday School

Sunday School 27th December 2020.

This topic contains 73 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  TheEncogitationer 3 months, 1 week ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 74 total)
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  • #35744

    _Robert_
    Participant

    Speaking of waves, here on the florida east coast the inlets become a ‘washing machine’ when big wind-born waves clash with the outgoing tide flow. Early on in this video, watch a girl go flying right out of her boat.

    #35745

    Unseen
    Participant

    THE KING OF ASIDES IS HERE WITH…

    an interesting Youtube documentary about the Indian Ocean Tsunami (aka the Boxing Day Tsunami) providing a lot of information and insight into the Thai and international response. Information overlooked or censored out of Western news sources.

    Several highlights most people probably don’t know: 1) Australia swiftly responded with large numbers of Australian police and disaster responders to supplement the understandably overwhelmed Thai authorities with professional policing. They were welcomed in. 2) Less welcome were authorities from mostly white outside countries who parachuted in metaphorically to try to recover the bodies of their own citizens, creating racial tensions. 3) Despite Thailand’s initial desire to identify all recovered victims, the situation soon became hopeless. The number of bodies that had to be dealt with was enormous and, of course, Thailand isn’t Norway in the dead of winter and in a matter of 3 or 4 days, in the tropical heat, it became clear that this was hopeless.

    Anyway, here it is if you’re interested:

    #35746

    _Robert_
    Participant

    I was wondering about this….as we begin that slide into less favorable conditions for life..

    Can Climate Affect Earthquakes?

    https://climate.nasa.gov/news/2926/can-climate-affect-earthquakes-or-are-the-connections-shaky/

    #35747

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Reg and Fellow Unbelievers,

     

    Hoping everyone had and is having  a Happy Holiday Season and will have a Happy New Year!

    Other than Rudolph, I’ve never heard any of the reindeer names attributed to any human, regardless of sex or gender identity, so I’m not sure if any SJW huckle-buck about assuming the gender applies.

    Also, in the cartoon, Rudolph’s antlers are kinda stubby, sooo…Who knows?  Rudolph did have the hots for Clarice who definitely was, (to all appearances,) female, sooo,,,Sapphic love in a kid’s story?… Hmmm…

    Anywho, none of them existed any more than a God, so I guess all biological rules about reindeer behavior do not apply.  😁

    #35748

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Simon,

     

    If Buddhism is a religion that you do by living, I’d rather neither do nor live it, at least as it is done and lived by too many Buddhists.  And if it is a “science,”  Buddhism gives actual science as bad a name as too many have given science in this COVID-19 crisis.

    According to Christopher Hitchens’ God Is Not Great, the Buddhist priest hierachy in Japan were fully behind Emperor Hirahito’s attempt to “Bring the eight corners of the world under one roof.”  Presumably, this includes Japan’s atrocities in Manchuria and the rape of Nanking and numerous atrocities against both civilians and POWs.  (The “eight corners of the world” kind of ties in with The Eightfold Pathway of Buddhism rather nicely.)

    The Dali Lama seems like a friendly, rolly-polly, all-around Teddy Bear of a guy, but the horrors his Buddhism inflicted in Tibet tell a very different story.  The Tibet his fellow Lamas presided over had compulsory foot-binding for women, which, of course, distorted beautiful feet beyond recognition and, with diabetics, equalled gangrene and amputation.  His Tibet had chattel slavery, including slaves pulling rickshaws in the streets for the priestly elites.  I think there were even allegations of human sacrifice.  Here’s the Wiki page on the subject.  Between the Lamas, the Kuomintang, and the Chinese Communists, it is truly six of one, half a dozen of another, and two trios of still another:

    Human Rights in Tibet–Wikipedia

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_Tibet

    Here is yet another article on life in Tibet under the Lamas:

    Tibet: The Dali Lama, Feudalism, Slavery, and The Great Game

    https://medium.com/race-class-history/tibet-the-dalai-lama-feudalism-slavery-and-the-great-game-10dd833272ac

    And then there is the Buddhist Kingdom of Bhutan, which once billed itself as the happiest nation on Earth, yet it banned television and expelled Indians and Nepalese who had lived there for centuries;

    Human Rights in Bhutan–Wikipedia

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_Bhutan

    Yeah, I’ll pass on the Lama’s idea of Total Consciousness.

     

    #35749

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    Yes, but anything can get corrupted or misused.  That in itself doesn’t invalidate the original practice.  If Tibet had slaves – that doesn’t mean I have to.  If Buddhists behave badly – that’s their lookout.

    I understand that the Buddha invented mindfulness meditation.  I like this.  I’m free to pick and choose what I like from the whole philosophy or religion.  To suggest that I have to bind women’s feet, or whatever, otherwise I’m being hypocritical – would be ridiculous.

    Most religions, beyond those in very simple societies, are heavily patriarchal.  That’s a problem with all of them that I acknowledge.

    #35750

    Davis
    Moderator

    Yeah Simon…if that is the case then you don’t have to say that Bhuddism is useful. You can say that “meditation” is useful. And even then meditation wasn’t invented by Bhuddists but are carried out by Hindus, Jains and people of other religions. The same goes with mindfulness. I am…in fact…completely at a loss to guess what could be taken from Bhuddism that couldn’t be taken from several other sources nor could I divine how Bhuddism has, over all…done things better than several other religions nor how it could compete with say secular humanists who contemplate the human condition and take care of their mind and body.

    #35751

    Unseen
    Participant

    Does Buddhism have a God? Arguably, it didn’t when Gautama invented it. Gautama didn’t concern himself with a god or gods. However, today many Buddhists use the term (or a term for) what can be described as a monotheistic deity.

    Of course others talk of deities of various sorts, as Buddhism has adapted to polytheistic local cultures largely at the cost of the original principles Gautama propounded.

    The monotheistic deity, when spoken of, tends to strongly resemble the Hindu Atman, a concept of a god so abstract and featureless as to be the theological equivalent of vaporware.

    As the linked article by an atheist explains, the biggest flaw in Buddhism—and one which still adheres to every known form of Buddhism—is its oppressive belief in reincarnation. Whatever your lot in life you deserve because you earned it in your prior life. Why are you poor or crippled or a member of a lower caste or class? Because you were bad. And your dog? Your animal, according to some Buddhists, may have the soul of someone who did very bad things in the previous life. So, be good or you could end up a dog or a gnat!

    The Problem with Buddhism

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by  Unseen.
    #35753

    _Robert_
    Participant

    Taking good from any of the various religions to build some improved ethical system is like having the buggy pull the horse. Skip the middleman, they always take a cut.

    #35754

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    I think if there have been problems with the ways that Buddhists have practiced Buddhism, then it’s been for cultural reasons, and it’s possible to take those cultural factors out of the picture, leaving an abstract philosophy and the practice of its knowledge and principles that anyone can use.  The overriding principle is supposed to be compassion and happiness for all, at least according to the Dalai Lama, so if suffering is allowed to go on, it goes against this fundamental doctrine.

    nor could I divine how Bhuddism has, over all…done things better than several other religions nor how it could compete with say secular humanists who contemplate the human condition and take care of their mind and body.

    There’s nothing wrong with “horses for courses”.  If they all do a similar thing, but in different ways – not everyone’s the same in the world.

    #35755

    Unseen
    Participant

    Simon, what about the problem of reincarnation based on Karma? If you are born into a lower class family with a birth defect, it would seem only logical that you earned this state of affairs by wrongdoing in the previous life. Belief in reincarnation is in every form of Buddhism because Buddhism is always about ridding oneself of the curse of rebirth.

    #35756

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    I think that is a danger with Buddhism – like you say, a lot of people would think that, and sometimes do.  This is not compassionate.

    I don’t believe in literal death and rebirth in reincarnation.  But I do believe in everyday, earthly karma where we reap what we sow in life.

    As I understand it, working towards a state of enlightenment is to work towards achieving a kind of freedom from life and its restrictions.

    #35757

    _Robert_
    Participant

    …. But I do believe in everyday, earthly karma where we reap what we sow in life…

    That seems obvious…however the exceptions are so common that they hardly seem like exceptions. Bad shit happens to good caring people and good shit happens to the morally corrupt all the time. This is why western religions call for a reckoning after death.

    Karma also has some implication that there is some great force monitoring and correcting. This is false;  the corrections are simply enforced by our society of primates. Basically “karma” is meaningless and useless.

    #35758

    Davis
    Moderator

    There is a little truth to Karma in that yes you’ll face some social repercussions and benefits for doing stupid and kind things, you’ll face better prospects if you’re to some extent more careful and thoughtful in your choices and planning ahead and that having a kinder mindset (though not walk-all-over-you kind) will give you a better chance at happiness. I don’t think we need to give any of this a name. This should all be totally self-evident and I don’t think that any religion has commented on this in any way that doesn’t involve a confusing supernatural aspect to it (which is all bullshit). You can still do everything right and suffer from terrible circumstances. You can also do terrible things and yet be rewarded from them (that may not mean happiness but the everything you do comes back to you in similar proportions does NOT work out in practice).  The concept of Karma can easily be replaced with:

    Don’t be a dick, be proactive and sensible.

    I don’t think Bhuddism can improve on that without muddying things.

    #35759

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Simon,

    One problem with Buddhism that would cross the lines of culture and how practitioners practice it lies in it’s core tenets:  Buddhism has it that suffering comes from our craving and that we must overcome our craving via The Eightfold Pathway to achieve Nirvana. Wouldn’t this include a “craving” for freedom and justice as well?

    Also, doesn’t preoccupation with an alleged Supernatural realm of existence equal neglect of and even disdain for the conditions of existence in the Natural Universe, including ethical, social, and political life among fellow humans?

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