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Can you choose atheism.
Posted: 08 May 2007 01:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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Wordy,

Welcome to the forum!


As you’ve already noted we disagree about Buddhism. Granted there is much supernatural nonsense about it, as with all religions. I just find more useful things in it, in terms of practices or strategies for dealing with everyday life. Of course, religions are human creations, and as such they all contain both good and bad human ideas, expressed in the metaphors each particular tradition favors. I just find the metaphors and the actual ideas about how to function in daily life presented in some buddhist traditions, especially Zen and the Western expressions such as Thich Nhat Hanh’s more appealing and more useful than those of other religious traditions. In any case, we each pick and choose the bits of wisdom from whatever source (religion, science, philosophy, art, etc) that suit us.

Which leads to my other disagreement, about whether we make choices. You might want to look at the interminable threads on “free will” for more on this, but it sounds like you don’t believe in conscious choice and follw and notion of determinism that is incompatible with any meaningful idea of deliberate choice. I do believe that we have the capacity to select among options and so in some meaningful sense we make choices, Our choices are often constrained by circumstances, our own biology, etc, but not so far as to render then meaningless.

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Posted: 08 May 2007 07:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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So Brennen, what is your take on that there is sites for ex-christians, christians that have left the faith and not support each others?

I have searched for hours to find a single person who has left buddhism and has enough compassion to help his or her brothers and sisters who also has left it online.

These circumstances makes me very skeptical to buddhism. To me it indicate that buddhism is one of the most manipulative faith ever constructed. There is no escape from it. Those who have entered is changed forever, lost so to say.

Or how else to interpret them not having any altruism in them after leaving it.

It is spooky and scary to me. Reminds me of Sci-Fi movies on indoctrination from aliens. smile

Even you seems to not be able to take the good things in it without giving buddhism cred. Why not refer to the acts and views without labeling them as buddhist such.

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Posted: 08 May 2007 08:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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This what I shall label myself as from now on.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apatheism
Should cause a bit more confusion when I am asked “the question” next time :twisted:

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Posted: 09 May 2007 04:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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Wordy,

Well, first I would say that since most of Buddhism (with the most notable exception of the Tibetan form) is not especially sturctured/institutional/hierarchical compared to Christianity, ceasing to practice Buddhism is not exactly the same as leaving a Christian denomination. Perhaps the lack of support groups indicates that leaving is easier and less support is needed, rather than that the indoctrination is more effective and intense than in Christianity.

I do believe I emphasized in my last post that the ideas I take from Buddhism are fundamental human ideas, common to many faiths and non-religious ideologies, so I am not labelling them as Buddhist except in so far as that is where I find forms and expressions of the ideas that are personally appealing. I’m not sure why you think this makes me a apologist for Buddhism as a religion. I could also point out similar ideas and metaphors I appreciate in Christianity, but I do not chose the label of Buddhist or Christian since I don’t think the picking of congenial bits and pieces from various sets of beliefs/practices makes me a fopllower of any one of them. I do think that it is possible to forthrightly and honestly criticise the dangers and idiocies of religion without demonising it as totally without anything of worth. You seem, and forgive me if I am wrong here, to believe that either no good idea can come from any religion, or if one does it must be stripped of any association with the religion to be of value. I respectfully disagree.

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