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Old 04-10-2001, 08:31 PM   #1
Bill
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Smile Welcome Hindus, Buddhists, and Eastern Mystics!

The freethinkers on this board thought that we were giving short shrift to adherants of Eastern religious and philosophical systems by forcing them to do battle in amongst the Jews, Christians, Muslims, and other proponants of Western ways of thinking. So, we are reaching out to you, and giving you a place to discuss YOUR belief system(s) here on our discussion board.

So, Welcome!

== Bill
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Old 04-10-2001, 09:02 PM   #2
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I hope we don't see many Christian fundie flamers here. They have a particularly violent aversion to Eastern ways of thought, probably because many of them are so very...beautiful, bridging the gap between religion and secular philosophy.

If Man must be religious, then this is religion's highest form.
 
Old 04-10-2001, 09:46 PM   #3
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It will be up to the moderators to control this aspect of things.

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Old 04-10-2001, 10:41 PM   #4
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Do we Westerners find Buddhism and other Eastern religions to be more attractive only because they aren't being shoved down our throats the way Christianity is?
 
Old 04-10-2001, 11:37 PM   #5
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I'd love to see a wider variety of discussions on this website. It's getting boring to debunk the xians.

lets see if there are any of them here.

Jonathan
 
Old 04-11-2001, 12:53 AM   #6
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Yet another forum! This place is really expanding!
 
Old 04-11-2001, 02:55 AM   #7
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I like the new thread
 
Old 04-11-2001, 08:04 AM   #8
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<<<Do we Westerners find Buddhism and other Eastern religions to be more attractive only because they aren't being shoved down our throats the way Christianity is?>>>

For me the answer would be yes! Plus, the eastern religions generally don't tell me I have free will, yet I'm going to hell if I don't believe.

Also, many of those systems started out as ethical systems without religion. (Confucius, etc.) Later on they may have became religions.

I have ran across bits and pieces of these ethical systems in the martial arts. Over all I have more respect for most of these systems as they teach respect for humankind, harmony with the body, and non-aggressive techniques.

I am by no means an expert on eastern religions so if I misrepresented a system I apologize in advance. As I said, I have had a very topical exposure. Ironically, I live in a town that has a Buddhist temple. The few times I have interacted with these people I have been left with the impression that they are truly "good persons". More importantly, they don't shove their system down my throat!

As opposed to the fundys in my town who:
*Line up and protest the abortion clinic
*Have bill boards
*Post Jesus flyers all over town and leave on cars which tell me I'm going to hell.
*Stand in the intersections with buckets collecting donations.

But now I rant and risk going off-topic!

Anyhow, I'll be interested in learning more about the eastern religions so this should prove to be an interesting addition to the site!

-T
 
Old 04-11-2001, 08:05 AM   #9
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"Discuss those worldviews that are based upon a religious and/or philosophical point of view other than a Western, Christian, Islamic, and/or a Jewish one. "

Does this not include western mysticism? I'm not a hindu, a buddhist or an eastern mystic. My views are based on science and maths - all I know about the above religions is what I have learned *since* I realised that they were related to my own worldview. I think what I am trying to say is that there is a Western movement that is mystical but different to the Eastern religions. The updated version of "The Tao of Physics" even says this - that some traditionalists in the East do not like the Westernisation of their worldview, and find the attention from physicists like Capra unwelcome.

Any chance we could remove 'Western' from the subtitle? My worldview is Western.
 
Old 04-11-2001, 05:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by gcameron:
Do we Westerners find Buddhism and other Eastern religions to be more attractive only because they aren't being shoved down our throats the way Christianity is? </font>
I would say that this is only part of it. Another part of it is that we truly do not understand Eastern ways of thought. This became obvious to me the more I personally tried to understand Buddhism during my deconversion from Christianity.

I mean, we all seem to inherently feel that EVERYBODY HAS TO BELIEVE SOMETHING, and the old saw of I believe I'll have another beer just doesn't work for those of us who are interested in a serious point of view to contemplate. To those who are uninitiated in the rules of logic, there is a strong tendency to believe that if so many hundreds of millions, or even billions, of people all believe in Eastern religion, there has to be some kernel of truth buried deep down within it somewhere, since by the act of deconverting from Christianity, we have discarded the only other conceivable common worldview. But of course, if six billion people all believe a wrong thing, it is still a wrong thing.

I came away from my toying with Buddhism with the clear impression that most of those who are possessed of a logical and rational Western mind can never begin to grasp the fundamentals of Eastern thought, and that most of the Westerners who thought that they could do so were mostly deluding themselves. To make a serious stab at it, you have to learn at least one of the key languages in which the basic books are written, and you have to immerse yourself in that language until you gain at least some ability to think in that language. Then, you just might begin to understand what it is that is being said by those ancient texts. English translations of said texts are simply incapable of conveying the fundamental truth of their meaning. The English language and Western-trained minds are not good tools for gaining a deep understanding of Eastern religious teachings.

And while others on this Board have disagreed with me when I've said something like the above before, I still have to wonder upon what they base their disagreement. Its always possible that they are deluding themselves into believing that they understand that which they are incapable of understanding.

I could say a lot more about this, but it would be wandering too far off-topic, so I will save it for another thread.

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