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Cat Religions vs. Monkey Religions
Posted: 16 April 2008 08:48 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Think of how a mother cat carries its kitten.  Now think of how a mother monkey carries her young.  They are very different.
The mother cat does all the work, the kitten does nothing.  The baby kitten passively hangs from the mother’s gentle grip on the nape of its neck.  On the other hand, A baby monkey has to hold on for the ride.  The baby monkey makes all the effort or gets no ride from the mother.

Theism has a God who cares & intervenes.
But what would you call sustainment which does not intervene nor care?

Self-Help (Monkey) faiths and Other-Help (Cat) faiths are very different from one and other.
I am not sure where I heard this classification of religions—but it was years ago.  Yet it has served me well.

If an Other-Help believer asks a Self-Help believer if they believe in God, the answer would be meaningless.
If the self-help believer says “Yes”, the other-help believer walks away assuming far too much.  Likewise if the he/she says, “No.”
But then, one has to wonder why they are talking at all, then, I guess.

Take a step further and eat away at the deluded notion of self, then try to answer the question.

Atheists are busy fighting against the myopic pressures of those in the Cat faith.
One does not have to be defined by the interrogator.
Did that make any sense?

[ Edited: 17 April 2008 08:39 AM by Shay ]
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My favorite web site: The Sewickley Go Club: Weiqi ain’t for wimps !
“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.”—the Dalai Lama

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Posted: 17 April 2008 04:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Shay - 16 April 2008 08:48 PM

Did that make any sense?

I’m not sure.  It sounds as if you are bothered by the fact that atheists are in disagreement with theists.  No?

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Posted: 17 April 2008 04:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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How is atheism a “faith”?

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Posted: 17 April 2008 05:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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dougsmith - 17 April 2008 04:44 AM

How is atheism a “faith”?

I’d like to know that too.

Kyu

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Kekerusey

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Posted: 17 April 2008 05:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Shay - 16 April 2008 08:48 PM

Did that make any sense?

You lost me at the first sentence: Monkey carrying a kitten?

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Posted: 17 April 2008 07:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Hey!  Don’t make fun of Bast and Hanuman.  They are cool deities!  Heck, Hanuman could not only bring the mountain to Muhammad, but drop it on his head.  LOL  Hanuman is just that bad.  Bast, would stomp anyone who sacrifices animals, esp cats.  :D And why would Hanuman carry a kitten?  That’s not his job.  That’s Bast’s job.  He takes care of the cats.  I’m telling you, those cool dudes don’t sit around and do nothing.  They kick butt!  Now those are great stories for animal lovers.  wink

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Posted: 17 April 2008 09:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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George said: You lost me at the first sentence: Monkey carrying a kitten?

Thanx George, I fixed it.  I shouldn’t write when I am rushing out the door.  cheese

Erasmusinfinity said: It sounds as if you are bothered by the fact that atheists are in disagreement with theists.  No?

No, actually, I too am in strong disagreement with theists.  I define “theist” as someone who believes in an unobservable/unmeasurable/unverifiable entity/spirit/god who intervenes in the world.  Atheists should disagree with theists.  Theists make all sorts of empirical claims that just can NOT be shown true (or at least not in this life hmmm ). 

Instead, I was pointing out a third option—but I don’t know what to call it.  Let’s call it “a principle”—then the jargon would go something like this: “By resting one’s mind in “the principle” [clinging to the mother monkey], one finds happiness or peace or whatever.  But “the principle” is NOT an active deity, it is not intervene in the world or in the person’s life, it is not personal.

So, I would imagine that such an internal practice would not be viewed as consistent with Theism or Atheism.  Thus my point, is that the dichotomy of Theism vs. Atheism may be too narrow.

DougSmith said: How is atheism a “faith”.

I must be re-reading my writing incorrectly, I don’t think I said that.  And I hope the above better explains the idea I was trying to communicate with the Cat/Monkey allegory.  If someone else understands and can explain, please jump in.

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My favorite web site: The Sewickley Go Club: Weiqi ain’t for wimps !
“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.”—the Dalai Lama

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Posted: 17 April 2008 09:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Could you try to explain what this principle is that we are supposed to cling to? I’m not getting your third option.

If it’s some sort of Buddhist notion of the impermanent self, that is perfectly consistent with atheism.

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Posted: 17 April 2008 09:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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For Buddhists:  Buddha-dhatu (Sanskrit), 佛性 (Chinese)
For Quakers: Inner light
For Advaita Hindus: Paramatman

But you see, these are all religious traditions.  Thus not secular.  And, jeez, you really can’t call them “Atheistic” to people who aren’t philosophy types—to the average person “atheist” implies “anti-religion”.

But I think the above notion could even be cultured in non-religious settings.

Hope that helps

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My favorite web site: The Sewickley Go Club: Weiqi ain’t for wimps !
“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.”—the Dalai Lama

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Posted: 17 April 2008 10:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Shay - 17 April 2008 09:56 AM

For Buddhists:  Buddha-dhatu (Sanskrit), 佛性 (Chinese)
For Quakers: Inner light
For Advaita Hindus: Paramatman

But you see, these are all religious traditions.  Thus not secular.  And, jeez, you really can’t call them “Atheistic” to people who aren’t philosophy types—to the average person “atheist” implies “anti-religion”.

But I think the above notion could even be cultured in non-religious settings.

Hope that helps

Those sound an awful lot like theism or at least deism to me. Buddha Nature (Buddha Dhatu) is a quasi-theist or -deist sort of Buddhism, which I don’t even believe is in the spirit of the Buddha’s original teachings, so far as we can figure those out.

Paramatman is similar—a doctrine of the “supreme spirit”—although in the context of Hinduism this at least is less jarring, since Hinduism is explicitly theistic in spirit.

NB: the difference between a “theistic” or “deistic” interpretation of these concepts depends on whether one believes they refer to personal deities or not. None of them are compatible with atheism.

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Posted: 17 April 2008 10:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Actually my previous reply was a bit too quick. Deistic interpretations of God can be compatible with atheism if the God is simply another way of speaking about the natural world. The problem, however, with the way some people take Deism is that it is a backdoor way to smuggle in a sort-of-somewhat-personal God. That is, deistic talk can confuse people and be easily misconstrued. I do believe that some Mahayana Buddhists do this. It’s less clear that Hindus are, since as I say, they’re already explicitly theistic as it is ...

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Posted: 17 April 2008 10:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Doug,
My intent is not to discover how theistic my particular elaboration sounds to you, nor to explore “original” Buddha teaching vs. those of another thinker.  Do you see what I am saying that there may be models that are not really atheistic and not really theistic?  You can use any model that you find fitting to your preferences.  If not, do any other folks?
—Shay (PS - like you, I have training in Philosophy and Asian languages.  But if you don’t mind, I prefer to stick to my simple intent and not get lost in elaborate details when possible.)

[ Edited: 17 April 2008 11:00 AM by Shay ]
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“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.”—the Dalai Lama

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Posted: 17 April 2008 11:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Shay - 17 April 2008 09:56 AM

But you see, these are all religious traditions.  Thus not secular.  And, jeez, you really can’t call them “Atheistic” to people who aren’t philosophy types—to the average person “atheist” implies “anti-religion”.

“Atheist” means no more or less than not with god (claims of) ... IMO it isn’t even a philosophy (no more than “theism” is). What “atheism” is though is utterly dependent of the definition of “theism” ... IOW if “theism” were to definitively embrace the concepts you outlined then yes “atheism” would exclude them, since (IMO) “theism” doesn’t “atheism” isn’t smile

Ultimately I consider the definition of “atheism” to be based on the definition of “theism” and the use of English grammar.

You could believe in ghosts and still be an “atheist” although I am of the opinion you couldn’t be what I call a “rational atheist” (an “atheist” who arrives at “atheism” through reason and logic).

Kyu

[ Edited: 17 April 2008 02:36 PM by Kyuuketsuki UK ]
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Posted: 17 April 2008 11:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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dougsmith - 17 April 2008 10:09 AM

Those sound an awful lot like theism or at least deism to me. Buddha Nature (Buddha Dhatu) is a quasi-theist or -deist sort of Buddhism, which I don’t even believe is in the spirit of the Buddha’s original teachings, so far as we can figure those out.

I know little about these weird and whacky concepts but I believe there is a difference between a theist and a religionist with the latter being a far more inclusive concept embracing all non-evidence based religious claims. That would also make me an areligionist smile

Kyu

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Kekerusey

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Posted: 17 April 2008 01:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Shay - 17 April 2008 09:56 AM

For Buddhists:  Buddha-dhatu (Sanskrit), 佛性 (Chinese)
For Quakers: Inner light
For Advaita Hindus: Paramatman

But you see, these are all religious traditions.  Thus not secular.  And, jeez, you really can’t call them “Atheistic” to people who aren’t philosophy types—to the average person “atheist” implies “anti-religion”.

But I think the above notion could even be cultured in non-religious settings.

Hope that helps

Well, all joking aside, here are my issues with Buddhism and Hinduism- they are both just as superstitious and irrational/illogical as other forms of theism, including Xianity.  Quakers are a branch of Xianity, last time I look, EXCEPT they are a little more liberal than other Xtian sects.  Almost like the U.U.  However, I have not studied the Quakers enough to know for sure what they teach exactly.  Now, I could go a little more in detail concerning why I see them as being like other forms of theism, but that could be an extremely long post.  It all depends on how much detail you are looking for.

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Posted: 17 April 2008 01:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Shay - 17 April 2008 10:53 AM

Do you see what I am saying that there may be models that are not really atheistic and not really theistic?

I really don’t think there are.  A theist is a thing.  An atheist is not a thing.  It is only the lack of the thing that the theist is.  If a model is not theistic, then it is by definition atheistic.  In other words, “not theistic.”

Shay - 17 April 2008 10:53 AM

You can use any model that you find fitting to your preferences.

A rose by any other name is still a rose.  Call it what you will.  You are still either a theist or you are not one.

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