Wednesday, December 26, 2007

GO BLUE! GO DIE!

Wow. The amazing Jeffro Smull of the amazing Missile Toe (see them Friday at the Davenport in Parma, Ohio) and the even more amazing CD TRUTH (see them again... when, Jeffro?) and, of course, 0DFx just sent me an MP3 of a rough mix of one of the songs 0DFx recorded in November. And here it is:

Go Blue Go Die!

For the story of how this song came into being lookee here:



The song was first performed by 0DFx when Johnny Phlegm played bass and then ownership was transfered to Agitated when Johnny joined that band. I don't think we did this song in 0DFx when I was in the band. But, as you can see in the video, I served as bassist for Agitated in 2005. The hardcore punk scene in Akron was a very incestuous place.

The new version, by the way, is the very first instance of a hardcore band ever having a modulation in a song. We're hoping to get this out on a CD next year along with several new 0DFx songs and remakes of all your old favorites.

Gosh dang, but there's some activity going on in the comments section of my latest Suicide Girls article. Here I go insulting Christians and Jews and Jolly Old Saint Nick*, yet who pipes in loudest to defend their faith but the atheists! It's pretty funny.

I have some thoughts on the subject and maybe I'll write them down one of these days. But I really feel like atheists behave in exactly the same way as any other religion. Sure there's no church of atheism and there's no agreed upon set of dogma or holy books (though there does seem to be an emerging general consensus on those matters) but when you see folks rushing to defend their faith the moment it even appears to have been insulted you know you're dealing with a religion. To me, religion is a state of mind that includes, among other things, the impulse to attack anyone who questions your faith.

Anyway, whatever. Like I give a shit.

Oh! My sister wanted me to point out that it was she who gave me the KISS DVD and not Santa (although the tag on the present said "from Donner") and that Skylar only just gave up on her belief in Santa this year.

Peace out!


* Actually, I don't think I insulted any of these things or even insulted atheists. Which makes me feel even more strongly about the knee-jerk reaction certain atheists had to the piece.

197 comments:

Anonymous said...

From your SC piece: "Buddhism is often cited as being atheistic. But I prefer to think of it as non-theistic. My teacher always says, "God is the universe, the universe is God." I can't believe in any God who exists outside of the universe, or in a God who created the universe. I don't believe in a God who can bend the rule of cause and effect. I don't believe in a God who can intervene in human affairs. But I do believe in God."

Well damn Brad.. You have me thoroughly confused. How can a Buddhist think of Buddhism as being non-theistic but still believe in God? If God is the universe and the universe is God, why the need for both monikers? And just stating that you prefer to believe in God isn't one of your better arguments.

Blake said...

I don't have a membership to SG. Not because of ethics but because I'm cheap. Blame it on my Scottish ancestry! But I would LOVE to comment!

The way I see it, and perhaps this is what you were saying, atheism takes just as much faith as any religion or even science. As I sit here, there may be a god and there may not be a god.

God could exist. Everything at this moment may have been set in motion by God. It really could have. It also may have been all started by the Big Bang and evolution without a God. It really may have.

Now, I could use science to figure out which is more likely. Of course, I have to have faith in the scientific method as well as numbers (which don't "really" exist).

Faith faith faith. It's ALL faith.

If I believe in God, I have faith that God exists. If I don't believe in God, I have faith that God doesn't exist. I really have no evidence either way. Nobody does have evidence either way.

It's all circumstantial. We'd walk away with a hung jury.

keishin.ni said...

I always wrapped my human brain around GOD by having that word represent Everything All Of It TODOS to say "God is All" is kinda like saying "water is wet" duh!

Blake said...

OH! And "non-theistic" means it doesn't require the existence of a god (nor does it required the non-existence). "Atheistic" requires the non-existence of a god.

Anonymous said...

Most atheists are just agnostics who
can't stomach the obnoxiousness of
most Judaeo-Christian-Muslims.

Atheism is really just a way of saying
"fuck you" to all the religious
asshole-idiots. Of course, the decent
religious people don't take this
insult seriously and are not offended.

BTW, I have zero faith in zazen, but
I sit here every day just in case
I'm wrong.

Thank God I'm an atheist.

Yudo said...

As Brad pointed out about Santa, a god's existence is triggered by the mere need for a name and form put upon a concept. God's (like George W's, for one) are essentially the concept of the superiority of one given group or person over another. They damn well exist. Ask the Iraqi!

We just don't need a god to have created all this, acting like some sort of a puppeteer somwhere over the rainbow.

Yudo

Anonymous said...

First they invent a God;
then they proclaim they are
"The Chosen People". What will
those Judaeo-Christian-Muslims
think of next?

Anonymous said...

You might even fly a couple of airplanes into some big buildings just to prove to everyone you really believe in some bizarre fantasy although you know perfectly well you don’t.

Yeah, I want to believe that the
US government is well-intentioned,
but the facts, unfortunately, say
otherwise...

Now, kids, don't try smoking this shit
at home with a fine-point oxyacetylene
torch:

unreacted thermite found in
four different samples of WTC dust.

aumeye said...

Being that science is about empiricism, I think the statement atheism takes just as much faith as any religion or even science, is fundamentally wrong. One dictionary definition of faith is firm belief in something for which there is no proof.

Empiricism (greek εμπειρισμός, from empirical, latin experientia -the experience) is generally regarded as being at the heart of the modern scientific method, that our theories should be based on our observations of the world rather than on intuition or faith; that is, empirical research and a posteriori inductive reasoning rather than purely deductive logic.
Empiricism is contrasted with continental rationalism, epitomized by René Descartes. According to the rationalist, philosophy should be performed via introspection and a priori deductive reasoning. Names associated with empiricism include St. Thomas Aquinas, Aristotle, Thomas Hobbes, Francis Bacon, John Locke, George Berkeley, and David Hume. Empirical is an adjective often used in conjunction with science, both the natural and social sciences, which means an observation or experiment based upon experience that is capable of being verified or disproved
.

In addition, if we are to leave the definition of god up to the individual, how can one ever reasonably argue for or against a belief in the existence of god? If we are, for instance, going by this quote from Brad (who is quoting another), My teacher always says, "God is the universe, the universe is God." I can't believe in any God who exists outside of the universe, or in a God who created the universe. I don't believe in a God who can bend the rule of cause and effect. I don't believe in a God who can intervene in human affairs. But I do believe in God, then how are atheists supposed to argue with that?

Oh, my atheist friend, you say you don't believe in god? But when I say god, I mean chocolate. Are you telling me you don't believe in chocolate?

Anonymous said...

We are "The Chosen People".

That's a very dangerous
idea, no matter whether
it's "Jews" or "Aryans",
"Christians" or "Muslims",
"Indians" or "Cowboys",
"Terrorists" or "Patriots",
"the rich" or "the poor",
et cetera ad infinitum...

There ain't no "them"
--it's all just us.

Anonymous said...

Be Mindful in these troubled Times. As a Zen guy and bassist if you fall into Unskillful(ll?) Practices you could suffer reincarnation as a Les Claypool, and be Doomed to an Eternity of Incomprehensible Virtousity--and no one wants that! Books (yours) have been truly helpful in beginning my practice. Thanks.

Owen said...

I have to agree with Brad about the people on the board getting upset as Athiesm not being a good religion, and the fact that they treat it as a religion.

From the SG piece
"But faith and belief are important aspects of Buddhism. Human beings need faith and belief. This is one of the many reasons atheism is such an unsatisfactory alternative to religion"

When people get upset with this statement, they are getting upset because they are using Athiesm as a low fat substitute to religion. After all if they were not using it as a replacement then they wouldn't get upset because Brad told them its not a good religion.

If its not a religion and you don't want it to be a religion why would you get upset that its a bad religion. Its like getting upset that your low fat sugar is a bad paprika.

element said...

Why don't you say, you believe in the universe, instead of using the word god God?
I prefer atheism to any religion. For me, Buddhism is no religion. If it's about believing in the universe or reality then again it is no religion for me.

I think many of the problems about this issue, stem from the different understanding and using of words like god, religion, atheism, belief.

Anonymous said...

As a wise man once said...

"How can a society that exists on instant mashed potatoes, packaged cake mixes, frozen dinners, and instant cameras teach patience to its young?”

Anonymous said...

"I can't believe in any God who exists outside of the universe, or in a God who created the universe.
I don't believe in a God who can bend the rule of cause and effect. I don't believe in a God who can intervene in human affairs. But I do believe in God."

With all respect, why bother believing in anything so unnecessary then? Believe in the universe, but why drag God's name into this? It just causes all kinds of problems. I'm baffled..

Anonymous said...

I find it funny that everyone is so very interested in discussing God, without first agreeing on the definition of God.
We would never even venture into any intellectual discussion without first defining the very concept that we wish to discuss.
This being said, I have never heard of a definition of God (including the above mentioned "God is the Universe, and the Universe is God") that does not fall into the "Turtles all the way down" catagory from hc zen.
So if anyone has anything that isnt in this catagory. Lets hear it, and have a discussion on it, maybe we can learn someting. If not, maybe it would be better if we all just sit down, shut up, and pay attention.

Anonymous said...

one definition of 'God':

the Big, Bad-Ass Monkey in the Sky

Mysterion said...

"Thank God I'm an atheist:"
The surrealistic cinema of Luis Bunuel

Robert G. Ingersoll
Why I Am an Agnostic (1896)

Sakyamuni had no word in his language to express the idea of 'God.' All living things are manifestations of (the one) supreme - or grand - being. This idea is abstract only in simplicity - that bird, cat, dog, horse, cow, man, woman, child are all just the one (god).

'God' is merely a job description like 'general manager.' Thor, thunder, (German) Donner, (Dutch) donder, (Swedish) tordön and (Danish and Norwegian) torden are all like YHVH - just the 'general manager of storms.

When you call the atheist hot line, nobody answers.

friendly neighborhood anonymouse said...

my man frank zappa said it best:

Whoever we are
Wherever were from
We shoulda noticed by now
Our behavior is dumb
And if our chances
Expect to improve
Its gonna take a lot more
Than tryin to remove
The other race
Or the other whatever
From the face
Of the planet altogether

They call it the earth
Which is a dumb kinda name
But they named it right
cause we behave the same...
We are dumb all over
Dumb all over,
Yes we are
Dumb all over,
Near n far
Dumb all over,
Black n white
People, we is not wrapped tight

Nurds on the left
Nurds on the right
Religous fanatics
On the air every night
Sayin the bible
Tells the story
Makes the details
Sound real gory
bout what to do
If the geeks over there
Dont believe in the book
We got over here

You cant run a race
Without no feet
n pretty soon
There wont be no street
For dummies to jog on
Or doggies to dog on
Religous fanatics
Can make it be all gone
(I mean it wont blow up
n disappear
Itll just look ugly
For a thousand years...)

You cant run a country
By a book of religion
Not by a heap
Or a lump or a smidgeon
Of foolish rules
Of ancient date
Designed to make
You all feel great
While you fold, spindle
And mutilate
Those unbelievers
From a neighboring state

To arms! to arms!
Hooray! thats great
Two legs aint bad
Unless theres a crate
They ship the parts
To mama in
For souvenirs: two ears (get down!)
Not his, not hers, (but what the hey? )
The good book says:
(it gotta be that way!)
But their book says:
Revenge the crusades...
With whips n chains
n hand grenades...
Two arms? two arms?
Have another and another
Our God says:
There aint no other!
Our God says
Its all okay!
Our God says
This is the way!

It says in the book:
Burn n destroy...
n repent, n redeem
n revenge, n deploy
n rumble thee forth
To the land of the unbelieving scum on the other side
cause they dont go for whats in the book
n that makes em bad
So verily we must choppeth them up
And stompeth them down
Or rent a nice french bomb
To poof them out of existance
While leaving their real estate just where we need it
To use again
For temples in which to praise our god
(cause he can really take care of business!)

And when his humble tv servant
With humble white hair
And humble glasses
And a nice brown suit
And maybe a blond wife who takes phone calls
Tells us our God says
Its okay to do this stuff
Then we gotta do it,
cause if we dont do it,
We aint gwine up to hebbin!
(depending on which book youre using at the
Time...cant use theirs... it dont work
...its all lies...gotta use mine...)
Aint that right?
Thats what they say
Every night...
Every day...
Hey, we cant really be dumb
If were just following gods orders
Hey, lets get serious...
God knows what hes doin
He wrote this book here
An the book says:
He made us all to be just like him,
So...
If were dumb...
Then God is dumb...
(an maybe even a little ugly on the side)

go to YouTube and check this out:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=RodRD4-sQ2s

anonymous said...

As I drift toward my last sigh, I often imagine a final joke. I convoke around my deathbed my friends who are confirmed atheists as I am. Then a priest, whom I have summoned, arrives; and to the horror of my friends, I make my confession, ask for absolution for my sins, and receive extreme unction. After which I turn over on my side and expire. But will I have the strength to joke at that moment? - Luis Bunuel

thanks mysterion..

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
friendly neighborhood anonymouse said...

care to translate that for us mysterion?

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mysterion said...

Sorry: The Reader's Digest version:

Im ersten Kapitel des "Te-Tao Ching" steht geschrieben: Das Tao, das man in Worte fassen kann, ist nicht das ewige Tao. Der Name, der gegeben werden kann, ist nicht der ewige Name. Das Namenlose ist der Anfang von Himmel und Erde. Das Benannte ist die Mutter von 10.000 Dingen. Wenn man einmal ohne Verlangen ist, dann kann man das Mysterium erkennen. Wenn man verlangt, dann kann man nur die Manifestationen sehen. Diese zwei aber entspringen der gleichen Quelle, sie unterscheiden sich jedoch im Namen. Dies erscheint uns als Dunkelheit. Als eine Dunkelheit in der Dunkelheit. Das Tor zu allen Mysterien.

In the first chapter of the "Te-Tao Ching," it is written: The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao. The name that can be named is not the eternal name. The nameless is the beginning of heaven and earth. The named is the mother of ten thousand things. Ever without desire, one can see the mystery. Ever desiring, one can see the manifestations. These two spring from the same source but differ in name. This appears as darkness. Darkness within darkness. The gate to all mystery.

Matt said...

"Oh, my atheist friend, you say you don't believe in god? But when I say god, I mean chocolate. Are you telling me you don't believe in chocolate?"

::appause::

i love it, aumeye!

Matt said...

appLause,too!

babbles said...

I was reading an article somewhere - online or in Newsweek; who knows where I get my information - that some atheists were grouping up to essentially form Sunday School groups for their children.

Atheist Sunday School.

Which is fair enough I suppose. However I am sure that at some point, if it has not yet happened, the 'leadership' of these atheist groups will probably determine what are appropriate stories for children to be told and which are not. This would be no different than canonization of the Bible that has occurred in the past with the Christian church(s).

I see atheism as essentially a religion. There are groups, hierarchies, spokespeople, evangelism, lobby groups, and hell now even Sunday School. How is this not religion?

Matt said...

My girlfriend is a pretty strong atheist. It's not that she's super angry or anything, she describes it like this: "I'm not angry at God--I wish I COULD believe in God! My whole life it's like someone's been telling me there's a baby monkey sitting on my kitchen table--so obviously there but I can't see it! That sucks, cuz I would LOVE to see a baby monkey on my table! But I can't.."

We're having a pretty good discussion about it a la Facebook. Here's something I wrote:

" But faith and belief are important aspects of Buddhism. Human beings need faith and belief. This is one of the many reasons atheism is such an unsatisfactory alternative to religion. When we try to completely give up on faith and belief we feel empty and discontented. Like that poster on Agent Mulder’s wall says, we all want to believe. And like Agent Mulder, when traditional religions fail we’ll turn to UFOs, or Comet Hale-Bopp, or the The Dear Leader, or just about any whacky thing just to satisfy the very deep desire we all have to have faith in something."

Okay, my (probably) final diagnosis on this fairly controversial piece of writing is this: Brad made a bit of a slip in first calling atheism an alternative to religion. Atheism kinda sorta IS a religion. And that IS different than non-theism after all. There are non-theistic religions as there are theistic religions. Atheism (in my view) falls into the religion category. That being said, one can be "anti-religion" and not be atheist. To call someone a "spiritualist" implies that it's possible for someone to not be concerned with such matters, and to my mind that's kind of as ridiculous as calling someone a "body-ist" or a "mind-ist." Atheist is one of those terms like anarchist or feminist: opponents to the idea have turned the word into a curse word. I agree there are fervent atheists out there, but I think really atheists are pretty damn tired of having to explain that they aren't terrorists. By and large they're good people, same as anyone else.

Better to not use the word at all? I like the term "humanist." It's hard to refute: "what, are you against humans or something?"

I think the sentences after Brad drops the "A-bomb" are more important. Giving up on faith and belief results in emptiness and discontent. I don't think I'd argue with that. As my good friend was saying, just because you're atheist doesn't mean you don't have a fulfilling belief in humanity or the universe. So I think really what Brad is saying is that not believing in anything is potentially dangerous as well--ask someone who's contemplated suicide.

He also makes an interesting statement in "when traditional religions fail we'll turn to UFOs, or Hale-Bopp, etc..." Is the failure of traditional religion a prerequisite for this? Perhaps, perhaps not. I think these are just obvious examples, kinda like citing the holocaust or something, for what happens when we have faith without doubt.

The Buddhist stance on dualism and resistance often produces discussion like those found on Brad's latest Suicide Girls article. That's one thing about talking to a Buddhist--there's literally a different system of rules and logic they sometimes operate under, and that can get under the skin of those operating under another no less valid system.

---Okay, I think I can stand by that lol.

Anonymassface said...

cool, dudes & dudettes. Hope everybody has a good newyear. :)

Jinzang said...

When you see folks rushing to defend their faith the moment it even appears to have been insulted you know you're dealing with a religion.

You don't even have to criticize atheism. All you have to do is mention one of their bugaboos: ESP, astrology, or alternative medicine is some less than sneering way and watch them rush to attack you. If someone thinks they live in a cuckoo clock mechanical universe, more power to them. But give me my space to express my views as well without insulting me.

Jinzang said...

Why don't you say, you believe in the universe, instead of using the word god God?

Because the universe is not what you think it is. It's beyond even what you CAN think it is.

Anonymous said...

Still no reason to call it God. And confuse it with Yawheah, Zues, Jupeter, Allah, Zoro-Astor, Thor, Jesus, The Holy Spirit, The Flying Speggetti Monster, The Pink Unicorn, and innumerable others.

Anonymous said...

goddamit mysterion. quit deleting shit before i can read it. what is up with that?

myteriondan said...

Whomever - Why don't you say, you believe in the universe, instead of using the word god God?

jinzang - Because the universe is not what you think it is. It's beyond even what you CAN think it is.

ok jinzang - your implication is that you are enlightened. The universe is beyond what we all CAN think it is. To say that you must know what it really is. So why keep it a secret? unless you are just talking out your ass..

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

fuck you mysterion, you pretentious prick! you are worse than jinzang! I might be kidding. not!

David said...

any publicity is good publicity. good job, sir.

David said...

(that was for brad)

blake said...

anonymous typed...

"fuck you mysterion, you pretentious prick! you are worse than jinzang! I might be kidding. not!"

That is not very charitable. Take a look at his own Blog. You will see that he has fuck all of worth on it, and (being one of those people that seems to crave attention) has decided instead to latch on (like some kind of parasite) to this blog instead.

He is obsessed with APPEARING to be very clever indeed. Buddhism attracts these kinds of people like flies around shit.

Blake said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Blake said...

The above "blake" is a troll and NOT me. I would never make a personal attack on anyone.

Except the evil blake. You are a coward and a douche. May you be forced to watch The Secret for all eternity.

Anonymous said...

god is form (all of them)
god is emptiness (all of it)
god is formandemptiness
god is allofit
god is the name of allofit: the universe
universe is a name for allofit
universe is one name, god is another name for the same thing
reality is the name for how the universe manifests itself and reality is god's true face, moment by moment
universe is formandemptiness in a hot locked tango

do words help get closer to IT
or do words add yet another veiled layer?

While philosophers bend their heads over tables, laptops lit screens--and gesticulate
Lets you and me put on some music, get naked and DANCE....
To Frank Zappa!

Mysterion said...

Jinzang sed...
"mention ...astrology"
ROFLMAO
MORE (from the archives)

Anonymous said...

er, sorry about the angry anonymous comment directed at you mysterion. That was me. I was under the influence of alcohol last night and was actually angry about something else and it carried over onto me calling you a pretentious prick. I don't think you are a prick this morning.

duckett said...

Go have some tea.

Anonymous said...

Agnosticism is not too far away from Buddhism, but then again, am I near Buddhism if I check this blog and read Mysterion posts 24/7? God knows! Hell yeah!

He is pretentious, but we all are. We pretend to be some alleged fixed personality, someone who knows right and owns something or the other. Get rid of your properties, I say.

Brad said that most enlightened beings have some materialism issues, so dearest Mysterion has his theories. It's okay if you are aware of your so-called story. But you AREN'T your story. It's not Aspirin.

Calm down, digest your tofu turkey and consider: Opinion is optional.

--IceBucket

Anonymous said...

Aumeye said:
"Being that science is about empiricism, I think the statement atheism takes just as much faith as any religion or even science, is fundamentally wrong. One dictionary definition of faith is firm belief in something for which there is no proof."

Another definition could be the belief in something that cannot be proven.

Or something that cannot be expressed.

Or something that can neither be expressed nor not expressed.

I'm keeping the faith. My wife thinks that's a good thing.

Love, wax, and poetry.

--IceBucket

Mysterion said...

Ice:

My theory is simple:

"There is no degree of certainty in anything. There is no degree of certainty in nothing. There is only some degree of certainty in the emptiness of nothing."

Anonymous said...

Mysterion, yes, that's another way to say (ro rather not say) it.

Still, one should watch out to not become arrogant, because he or she talks about the alleged emptiness. We don't need another cult with UFOs, dear Tom Cruise.

Cloudy spaces, connected with random flickering neon lines, pasley-shaped cell cultures revealing and hiding. Who wants to be a billionaire?

Oh, I think the baby woke up again. Not really, acoustic illusion.

Quality Languedoc wines are underrated.

--IceBucket

vinegar said...

Atheist believe there is no god, agnostics believe you can't really know. I suppose non-theist is a way of saying you are an atheist without being militant about it.

Of course it all turns on what you mean by "god".

Many people in many professions throw the term around in a very loose fashion and it becomes very confusing.

To say the universe is "God" with a capital "G" evokes the idea of a personal entity something like the "GOD" of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

If you simply mean that the universe fulfills the function or role "God" plays in religion, well fine but it's a misleading.

vinegar said...

If there is a reality apart from our perception of reality then God either is or is not. If you can know reality then you can know if God is or is not.

God is not outside the relm of perception, empiricism or logic in the view of the atheist. So if there is a God there must be evidence. If there is evidence why can we not percieve and weight that evidence?

vinegar said...

It isn't just about faith. One does not have faith in the scientific method, one demonstrates that it works through experience, that is not faith.

Mysterion said...

I don't thing any discussion of god is complete without including temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE).

Ramachandran may have the key.

Buddhism is often mentioned as a 'scientific approach.' At least most of the Buddhists I know seem to be doing their own thinking.

Recently there has been an interesting meeting between Neurology and religion, especially Buddhism . Although not a widely accepted discipline within religious studies, neurological findings in regard to religious experience may very well become of more widespread interest to scholars of religion. Scientific investigators have used a SPECT scanner to analyze the brain activity of Buddhist meditators (Newberg, et. al.). Fritjof Capra (The Tao of Physics ) and others have noted parallels between Quantum Mechanics (particularly Bell's theorem ) and various religious traditions, especially Vedanta. Philosopher Ken Wilber states that modern physics neither proves nor even supports a mystical worldview. However he also states that the founders of relativity and quantum theory were nearly all mystics. (Wilber, preface)

source

PhilBob-SquareHead said...

Jinzang said:

"You don't even have to criticize atheism. All you have to do is mention one of their bugaboos: ESP, astrology, or alternative medicine is some less than sneering way and watch them rush to attack you. If someone thinks they live in a cuckoo clock mechanical universe, more power to them. But give me my space to express my views as well without insulting me."

Please do not confuse the COMMON-SENSE of a skeptic with an atheist, Jinzang.

And to the fella who mentioned Frank Zappa, Frank and his wife Gail explored the power of prayer the last few months of his life.

There are NO atheists in the trenches! Just ask any war vet.

Mysterion said...

PhilBob-SquareHead said...
"There are NO atheists in the trenches! Just ask any war vet."

Another myth bites the dust.

Also HERE

The longer boys & girls (a.k.a. men & women) are deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, the more likely they are to become atheists.

Join me in supporting IAVA. These young men & women need resocaliztion when they return home from an alien culture. Better yet, take a few to dinner and see what they do (or do not) talk about.

Jinzang said...

Why don't you say, you believe in the universe, instead of using the word god God?

Because when Brad said God, it got you to sit up and pay attention. If he had said any of the Zen buzzwords, you would have nodded and not paid attention.

Your implication is that you are enlightened. The universe is beyond what we all CAN think it is. To say that you must know what it really is. So why keep it a secret?

No, I'm not enlightened. On this, as in so much else, I rely on my teacher's instruction. But it's no secret to anyone who has read a little that Zen and Buddhist philosophy say that reality is beyond concept.

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Mysterion, ole chap, quote whoever you like but in my opinion Ken Wilber is the L. Ron Hubbard of "Modern Spirituality".

Quirky, uneducated, populist, weird, verbose, and eventually superficial. Do not even call Ken Wilber a philosopher, please.
He hangs out with Mr. "What is Enlightment?" Andrew Cohen who is a scam at worst and a bad-tempered fake-ass-monk at best. Chose your friends wisely.

Philosophy ain't intrinsically easy, but whilst people accept that they don't have to contribute anything sensible to current "material" science they feel totally capable to discuss philosophy issues as it was some given thing. They are not. 3500 years of history requires some work to get into it. I do not claim I had done my fair share, I'd recognize my low education.

Stop being a broom. Where did you put those keys, dammnit?

--IceBucket

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jinzang said...

If you can know reality then you can know if God is or is not. So if there is a God there must be evidence.

Can you know if a painting is beautiful or utter crap? Can you know if an action is just or not? I think so. But does either kind of knowledge come through the scientific method? No.

Why try to fit reality on the Procrustean bed of science?

PhilBob-SquareHead said...

Mysterion,
"No atheists in the foxhole/trenches" refers to those unfortunate enough to be at death's door when a religious conversion takes place.
I got my info firsthand from accounts of those, from your generation, who served in Vietnam.
But who knows how one will believe at the END?

I am behind freedom of/from religion in the US military 100%.

Mysterion said...

Jinzang said...
"If you can know reality..."

THAT is the crux of the matter. Can we know reality? To what extent do our perceptions deceive us? This is the 'just a little pregnant' question which hides at the heart of the matter.

That is why, for some, dogmatic religions have appeal. You are either clear or pre-clear, for or against Jesus, saved or damned, 'of the temple' or profane.

'First, reject dualism."

Our perceptions are neither perfect nor completely errant. Our reading of the tea leaves can be neither profound nor perfunctory. While we may be in this place, can we sincerely say we are of this place?

Anonymous said...

gone gone gone to the other shore to beyond the other shore having never left

Anonymous said...

Funny how, in this whole theist/atheist debacle, no-one has mentioned anything about Deism-- seems to me to be about the most sensible thing you Yanks have ever come up with on the subject....

friendly neighbor yadda yadda anonyMouse said...

the word God is not God
the idea, concept, belief in, etc., is not God.
and yet, not to sound all cheesy and hippy drippy but, God is all around.

aint that a bitch?!

Doh!!

Yudo said...

Another nymouse wrote:

"Funny how, in this whole theist/atheist debacle, no-one has mentioned anything about Deism-- seems to me to be about the most sensible thing you Yanks have ever come up with on the subject...."

Sanskrit "deva", going west gives ==>>
"dewos" => Greek "Thewos" and then "theos"
=> Latin "Deus".
So disquisiting between "theism" and "deism" is a bit of tetratrichotomia.

Note that Farsi (the language of Iran) has Goda, just as English God and German Gott. Why not "Godism" ?...

wangchuk said...

jinzang wrote: Can you know if a painting is beautiful or utter crap? Can you know if an action is just or not? I think so.

I think not.
No artwork is ever without faults or on the other hand completely without beauty. It is ALWAYS somewhere in between and containing both extremes. And you can believe whatever you want about an action, but unless it was a non-action, it was flawed somehow. Thinking that your action was something or the other is all about the thinking and not about the action.

vinegar said...

jinzeng said:

"If you can know reality then you can know if God is or is not. So if there is a God there must be evidence.

Can you know if a painting is beautiful or utter crap? Can you know if an action is just or not? I think so. But does either kind of knowledge come through the scientific method? No.

Why try to fit reality on the Procrustean bed of science?"

I hardly think whether someone is or is not an entity in the real world is the same as a question of aesthetics or justice.

It's more a matter of whether a particular rock exist or does not exist. That's assuming you accept the existence of an objective reality outside of yourself independent of your perception of that reality.

misunderstood prophet said...

How will Mysterion explain away his Ken Wilber citation?

The line direct from Vegas:

5-1 odds: it was irony

4-1: you misread it

2-1: you wouldn't possibly understand, dear child

3-2: Jesuit conspiracy

4-3: I'm a scholar, dammit!

SRI SYADASTI said...

All affirmations are true in some sense, false in some sense, meaningless in some sense, true and false in some sense, true and meaningless in some sense, false and meaningless in some sense, and true and false and meaningless in some sense.

Hail Eris!

Anonymous said...

"Can you know if a painting is beautiful or utter crap? Can you know if an action is just or not? I think so. But does either kind of knowledge come through the scientific method? No."

That's because the examples you give are not actual knowing at all. They're just subjective opinion. One may 'know' that it is just to kill thousands of innocents for a higher goal while another equally 'knows' this is unjust. If a person simply has the opinion that God exists, by that criteria they would also know God.

I'm not suggesting that Reality itself is not beyond conceptual thought...I agree it is. But your examples were themselves subjective.

Ratboy

Mysterion said...

misunderstood prophet sed...
"How will Mysterion explain away his Ken Wilber citation?"

There is no explanation necessary. It was part of a corpus of material from which I quoted: SOURCE

Opinions are like assholes, everyone should have one in working order, even (say) a Ken Wilber, Alan Watts, Aleister Crowley, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, or Dalai Lama. I may not subscribe to a Watts' alcoholic lifestyle, a Crowley thelema, a Rajneesh Rolls Royce, or a Dalai Lama veal dinner, but they each are entitled to some opinion. I would claim none of these (or any others) as 'an authority.' They might share an opinion, they might not: it doesn't matter. Well, there is one authority: Professor Irwin Corey.

Crowley HUMOR

Buddhism is the rejection of authority (starting with the Brahma priestcraft).

I claim no authority - do do so would reduce me to theocracy or worse - Republicanism.

Smoggyrob said...

Hi everyone:

Here I am NOT commenting on any of this, and not one of you has complimented me on my profound enlightenment. Bastards.

Rob

P.S. There's zazen tomorrow at the Hill Street Center.

Mysterion said...

Smoggyrob said...
"Hi everyone: ...not one of you has complimented me on my profound enlightenment."
Rob
"P.S. There's zazen tomorrow at the Hill Street Center."

I would remind everyone in the LA area that if they don't make it to Zazen, they will be reborn as cabbages, mushrooms, or foxes. If they DO make it to Zazen (and don't RSVP) there may not be enough fallen angle's (drum roll, rimshot) food cake or whatever. But stay for tea, read the tea leaves and tell me the winnin' super lotto #s.

If you are in the bay area, stay out of the rain & try to keep warm.

AND Smoggyrob, my compliments to you on the occasion of your profound enlightenment. Was it a 40W, 60W, or 100W enlightenment?

LUX und PAX
Chas

p.s. 25W is only a satori

the one and only anonymouse said...

sri syadasti! FNORD!!!!

and
hail eris!

after all, tis an ill wind that blows no minds.....

give ya three guesses said...

after all we're all just a bunch of anony mice, or , meece's if you prefer anyway

we're all just many expressions of the ahem, One True expression...

ooh

ahh

getting just a little ridiculous now... said...

word

ZARATHUD THE INCORRIGIBLE said...

“The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed, in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a wide-spread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible” - Bertrand Russell

And our own dear Mysterion holds the following to be true...

“Make sure you have a different opinion and people will talk about you” - Arab Proverb

I find wisdom in the words of Saint Robert Anton Wilson...

“Belief is the death of intelligence. As soon as one believes a doctrine of any sort, or assumes certitude, one stops thinking about that aspect of existence.”

...and...

“If you think you know what the hell is going on, you're probably full of shit.”

Rich said...

MAY I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE

This is a test of the God Early Warning System.

eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

If this were a real emergency and you thought you were coming to the end of your existance/time you would yell God help me or God have mercy on me. God would then take the appropriate action to end your emergency.

dan said...

i havent read all the comments but for blake and all those who said that we cant know there is no god and we cant know there isnt. this is true. but at the same time i cant know there is an invisible pink unicorn that follows me around everywhere i go and i cant know that there isnt. however, until i see any evidence that this invisible pink unicorn exists i will by default not believe in it.

the same applies to all the definitions of god that i have come across. so by default i'm an atheist. as for brads whole god is the universe thing. i think aumeye nicely summed up why that is stupid:


"Oh, my atheist friend, you say you don't believe in god? But when I say god, I mean chocolate. Are you telling me you don't believe in chocolate?"

spot on. this is one of things that set a bullshit woo woo alarm in my head when i read sit down and shut up. you cant just change the meanings of the words brad. saying god is the universe is meaningless unless you ascribe some special attribute to the word 'god' that is not adequately covered by the word 'universe'.

otherwise why have two words?

just say 'i believe in the universe'. which is of course a silly thing to say akin to 'i believe stuff exists'

Anonymous said...

"all those who said that we cant know there is no god and we cant know there isnt. this is true. but at the same time i cant know there is an invisible pink unicorn that follows me around everywhere i go and i cant know that there isnt. however, until i see any evidence that this invisible pink unicorn exists i will by default not believe in it."

Great point. I think this is also called Russell's Teapot argument. Also Brad's suggesting that atheism is a religion is like suggesting that non-buddhism is a religion. It's a negative term just like that. You can be nonbuddhist and hindu or athiest or christian, etc. You can be a-theist and communist, humanist, buddhist, etc.

Believing in Zeus is a religion, therefore not believing in Zeus (A-zeus) must also be a religion. It's the old game of calling lack of belief just another form of belief. Rather like calling honesty another form of lying or black a special form of white.

I'm glad you see through Brad's faulty reasoning on this topic at least.

Ratboy

mondrian5 said...

What if it's like everything else? It's never always.
What if there is a God sometimes?
Sometimes I'm hungry. Sometimes I'm not. Sometimes I'm wise. Sometimes I'm not. It's certainly not a matter of convenience. That would be nice.
This is for the most part, beyond conception.

This suggests that whether there is or isn't a God, it is beyond our faculties to know. And doubt, as much as faith, becomes salvation.

Just a thought.

Garrett said...

Am I the only one who reads these comments from the bottom up? It's like time travel. I like comparing atheism to religion, it's a fun, logical f-you to both. Ever see that South Park where in the future there are only atheists and every one says "praise Science," or ,"Science damn it!" They're still all fighting over their particular answers to the "big question," but in the name of Science. Whether you like the show or not satire is alive and well in South Park.

dan said...

ratboy,

yeh the whole 'atheism is a religion' thing... i think it comes down to the difference between 'hard' and 'soft' atheism. i learnt about this ehen atheism came up on flapping mouths blog a few years a go.
this is a difference that i had some trouble with but its basically like this as far as i can make out:

soft atheism: i dont believe that god exists

hard athiesm: i believe that god doesn't exist

so the first is a lack of belief and to call that a religion would be silly. the same way that calling someone who doesn't believe there is an invisible pink unicorn following them a 'believer' would be silly.

the second is a claim that makes the proponent sound certain that they are right. this could be construed as a religion since it sets up the hard atheist as someone who is claiming absolute knowledge of how the world is. they KNOW that there is no god just as the christian KNOWS that there is.

of course brad does have a point that many atheists do seem quite religious in there ways since it seems a great many fall into the 'hard' category. but i think the vast majority of atheists fall into the soft category and to say they are following a religion because they LACK a belief just doesn't make sense.

esmerelda_verde said...

Face it everyone is really an angnostic, no one knows, most people don't even bother to think about it. They just go to church, temple, watch football(major religion in USA), buy real estate or bow to Mecca or don't depending on which is socially convient/acceptable.

Some people admit it ie 'Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light (Doubleday)', consisting primarily of correspondence between Teresa and her confessors and superiors over a period of 66 years, provides the spiritual counterpoint to a life known mostly through its works. The letters, many of them preserved against her wishes (she had requested that they be destroyed but was overruled by her church), reveal that for the last nearly half-century of her life she felt no presence of God whatsoever — or, as the book's compiler and editor, the Rev. Brian Kolodiejchuk, writes, "neither in her heart or in the eucharist."

and some people fake it.

Garrett said...

Dan,
The same could be said for different views within religions. I've a few friends who are religious, believe in God and attend the church that gives them a sense of community. Some of these folks are totally unwilling to push their religion on anyone but enjoy discussing their faith with others of differing opinions --believeing it helps strip away dogma to get to the crux of the human experience of the "divine." These could be said to belong to a "soft" catagory of church goers. Other's are brain-dead zealots who got hot at anyone with a different idea or belief, walk away when challenged, burn abortion clinics, or fly plains into buildings. Admittidly, I have far fewer friends that would belong to this "Hard" catagory. Then, of course, there is a whole gammut of positions in gradation between. Religion and Atheism have some similarities --they're both 'isms-- and some differences --obviously. Saying that one is the other is a more a metaphore than a truism and no metaphore is perfect. The cool thing about metaphores is that they get us thinking of old things in new ways.

courtesy flush for the post board said...

Mother Theresa had what she described as a very powerful religious experience early in her life.

When she later wrote about the absence of God in her life, she was referring to the fact that she hadn't had another experience similar to that of her youth. She was _not_ saying that she saw no God in her world (in her eyes, not ours).

If you read her letters, this is unmistakably clear.

Her search for a transcendental experience is a fascinating insight into the complex motivations you would expect of anyone of any religion-- or of no religion-- who devotes her or his life to the service of others.

Unfortunately, all of that gets lost in the rush to quote her out of context. People are so quick to force their own worldviews on the world, instead of actually trying to see what's really there.

misunderstood prophet said...

mysterion, if you're so willing to find the good in Ken Wilber, why don't you extend the courtesy to the posters on this board? We're not all idiots, you know. So don't treat us like it.

by the way, mysterion, you're getting into a really nasty habit. You talk a bunch of b.s. and then hide behind weaselly non-answers when someone asks you what the hell you're talking about.

Shouldn't you be in Iowa or NH? You could teach those politicians a thing or two about backtracking.

Roman G. said...

"To me, religion is a state of mind that includes, among other things, the impulse to attack anyone who questions your faith."

I read the SC piece and the resulting commentary. My opinion is this:

Any atheist who comes to the blog of a clergyman, such as a Zen monk, and expects to find support of atheism is an idiot.

You want atheism ? Read that asshole Christopher Hitchens' blog.

Garrett said...

Dan,
There are two words for alot of things. Some even have different connotations. There are many different "gods" in the history of humans. Some look and act different, some are called by different names. Why should we disregard the idea of God being the universe? It's not a new name for God, it's a way to explain a certain understanding of God. I too liked Aumeye's comment, it seems the most complete uderstanding possible. However, I'd like to add that some scientist do have a certain faith that one day science will be able to explain everything. You can't have faith as part of the method but you can have faith in the method itself.

Ratboy,
Saying that every non-religion is a religion or that black is a special form of white isn't faulty reasoning. Maybe faulty logic, but logic is a limited system... so is reasoning for that matter. "Form is emptiness, emptiness is form. But form is form and emptiness is emptiness." Is a one-sided coin still a coin?

Garrett,
Why are you so compelled to voice your opinions here. Are you realy trying to cut to the heart of the matter or are you playing a kind of blog-comment checkers? It's kind of addicting isn't it? Is that good?

Mysterion said...

Garrett said...
"There are two [three, or four] words for alot of things. Some even have different connotations."

I'll say amen to that! The closer you examine ANYTHING for definition, the fuzzier that definition becomes. The 'magic formula' or mantra of the Heart Sutra being just one of 10,000 examples (but at least an example associated with Zen Buddhsm).

In Sanskrit, GATE (pronounced gah-tay) literally means gone (something once imagined is no longer there, something once there is no longer there) , but it also means realize (observe, see) or understand (mentally digest). BODHI (pronounced bo-dee) means illuminate (as in a lamp), enlighten (as in easing a lift or burden), or awaken (as from a sleep). So there are 3 x 3 or 9 possible translations - none a bit more correct than the eight others.

Whether an individual Buddhist believes there is no god, a god, ten gods, or a plethora of gods is of no consequence to the sangha. This subject (god) is traditionally irrelevant because in the Buddhist tradition, there is no noun, word, label, or job description for a deity. It is really an individual choice (as I think it should be). It is not up to you or I to convince someone else that there is or isn't a god, Flying Spaghetti Monster, a Jesus, a pink unicorn, etc.

The 'Flying Spaghetti Monster' is mighty handy to have around when one of the preemptive religions start harpin' at you and traditional responses (Q: Have you found Jesus? A: When did he wander off?) cease to operate effectively.

EXAMPLE:

Q: Have you found Jesus?
A: I'm not lookin', but have you found the 'Flying Spaghetti Monster' ?
- Shifts the spotlight from you back to them!

d dupuy said...

Sure there's no church of atheism.....

but there is this church...
http://www.apatheticagnostic.com/

daiji said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Anyone with half a brain knows
that God exists.

Behold...

The Face of God!

Yudo said...

I somehow have a problem with Brad's use of the word "god" all the time, especially because, beign a Quebecker living in Europe, the notion of a "god" is much less culturally pregnant for me than for an Amriccan (EA Poe quote).
Same with "religion". Christians, Jews and Muslims tend to hold it that a "religion" necessarily is about the cult of a single deity. Until quite recently, Europeans explorers tended to hold that polytheistic people had no religion.

The problem essentially lies upon recent and limited definitions of the words. Our Western definition for "religion" is largely indebted to Tertullian, a Christian author of the 3rd c. CE, who imposed a false etymology for it, relating it to the verb "religare" "to tie with". Whereas Cicero gave a much more valid etymology, having to do with "religere", that is "re-read", having a lot to do with rites. Modern research has shown that Cicero was right, but people keep flauting the wrong version.

A "god" is the embodiment of a concept for which we need an image. As wrote Brad in his Santa Claus paper on SG, "Santa, she said, is just a name for the spirit of free giving that exists in all of us. The image of Santa as a fat man in a red suit is just an image we’ve created to express that spirit of free giving."
It is for that reason that gods exist, even though this is in no way an "objective existence". It is also for that reason that they are subject to the law of impermanence.

dan said...

'Face it everyone is really an angnostic, no one knows, '

esmerelda,

the soft atheist agrees that no one knows but they merely point out that because there is no evidence for God existing there is no reason to believe in God so they dont believe in him. this lack of belief is compatibible with the fact that no one knows for sure whether God exists so you are incorrect to say that we are all agnostic.

´The same could be said for different views within religions.'

garrett,

it could be but i dont think the analogy quite holds up because a 'soft' christian still defines themselves through a belief system where as a soft atheist is defined because they lack a belief meaning that the group is far less formalised.

it is difficult to ascribe characteristics to a group who share in common the fact that they lack a certain belief and many who lack that belief would be unwilling to put themselves in a group that is defined by their lacking a belief.

Rich said...

My God
In the land of my ego self which I inhabit most of the time, I need God or a power greater than myself to help me with the aloneness, separateness and helplessness I sometimes feel.

When I visit the land of no self, its Oh what is this? and I don't know. Call it reality, or better the universe, Oh this is everything, including God
So I could say god is the Universe, the Universe is god. but I won't.

Gerry Gomez said...

God said:

"God is a concept
By which we measure
Our pain"

Smoggyrob said...

Hi everyone:

The conversation on this blog led me to search Nishijima Roshi's blog using these search terms on Google:

God site:http://gudoblog-e.blogspot.com/

I found the info useful, and thought some of you might as well.

Rob

Anonymous said...

100

Gerry Gomez said...

God 101:

"I am 'the hungry mouse with beautiful eyes which now lives in your brain'."

Anonymous said...

well....I don't look at the blog for a coupla days and
EEK! a whole buncha anonymouses have multiplied and vie with mysterion for most posts.
isn't it wonderful
this one bright pearl rolling on the knife's edge
set all words to one side
what is left? or for that matter right?
just like this
is under our very noses right here and now

it's been a year!--may we be healthy, may we be happy, may we help each other and where a kick in the behind is needed: may it come swiftly!

Thanks Brad!

Thanks to all who take the time to be here!

PS Thanks Rob for the Dogen Sangha Gudo Blog link!

Garrett said...

Dan,
I see your point, kind of. A "soft" athiest lacks a belief in god and a "hard" athiest believes that god doesn't exist. Isn't the soft variety nearly an agnostic? Could it not be said that someone who ademently believes that god does not exist also lacks a belief in god? Are we just splitting erroneous hairs with this hard/soft buisness? It seems that the willingness or need to impose one's view on others is a more tangible division. Where did the hard/soft idea come from? It sounds like you heard a compelling argument somewhere.
--G

Anonymous said...

A brief comment HERE

esmerelda_verde said...

courtesy flush for the post board said... 'Mother Theresa had what she described as a very powerful religious experience early in her life.'

You are quite right I did not read all the letters. Sounds like one of those little flashes of Satori that Soto Zen people are warned not to get too hung up about.

gunderloy said...

Nice song Brad. I love the Ghoulardi-like title but the music doesn't measure up to my favorite band, The Death Killers heard here performing their single, "Why does the Purple Dog Sing?" They are composed of a six year old suicide girl vocalist and lyricist, who also named the band, and her twelve? year old brother providing the music.

Oh, by the way.. Paul Thomas Anderson, director of the films "Boogie Nights" and "Magnolia", is getting great reviews for his new film, There Will be Blood. He is the son of the great Ernie Anderson. (Check out the name of Paul's film company)

popejoeratz said...

esmerelda_verde sed...
'Mother Theresa'...

you mean the skeptic?

she was just another tool of the Vatican - which collected a fortune on her behalf and is unaccountable for the distribution of the collected monies (if any).

Gerry Gomez said...

popejoeratz:

Thanks for the link on Mother T.
Interesting.

I missed that story.

bravefart said...

auld lang syne
Scots 17th century:
literally ‘old long since'

Roughly equivalent to 'times gone by' but it more properly just means 'long ago.'

Nello said...

The funny thing about aetheists is the Evangelical Atheists out there these days. Everybody's got their thing. I just find evangelical aetheism to be something of a contradiciton.

Anonymassface said...

Yes! The evangelicals! The stigmata have been hit right on the hole! My brother is an Evangelical Atheist Libertarian. If anything will make you say, "JesusFuckingChrist, dude, lighten up with the third-rate Internet manifesto!", it's him.

dan said...

"If someone thinks they live in a cuckoo clock mechanical universe, more power to them. But give me my space to express my views as well without insulting me."

straw man fallacy there jinzang.

the one the only, anonymouse said...

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Smoggyrob said...

Hey everyone:

We're going to be sitting at Hill Street next Saturday (1/5/08). The zazen schedule on the website blows, don't it? No Brad, but extra zazen-y goodness.

Happy New Year!

Rob

Ratboy said...

Evangelical Atheists. I assume we might find them hanging out on street corners with pamphlets, yelling at passersby. Or maybe going door to door on bikes giving away copies of The God Delusion. Or at least berating all their friends and neighbors with the good news of atheism.

Sorry, but I've not seen any of these things. Have seen lots of christians doing these things though. What most seem to call evangelical atheism is simply authors writing books putting forth a pov and daring to criticize religion. There's the tacit understanding (fostered by believers) that unbelievers should be quiet, go along and not make waves. When any atheist writes a book, gives a talk (even on invitation) or gives a pov when asked, believers become offended and begin to refer to them as evangelical, militant or fundamentalist. Or else refer to atheism as a rival religion like Brad.

Gerry Gomez said...

See Door to Door Atheists here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7wOz5a6yns&feature=related

This is good!

Gerry

Roman G. said...

gerry gomez wrote:
See Door to Door Atheists here: [YouTube link]

Great ! Another group of organized in-your-face nut jobs insisting that their viewpoint is the only correct one. Another group I have to tell to get the fuck off my doorstep.

Anonymous said...

That was a funny clip, gerry. And Roman, I hope you realize it was a joke for edification and entertainment. Point being, how do the mormons like it when others do the same to them. I've never heard of actual evangelical athiests.

Brad does have a point though. People that identify with the label / group called 'atheist' do get offended when that group is criticized. It has nothing to do with it being a religion though, it's just the nature of ego to identify with groups, labels and ideas. Why do americans often become offended and lash out in return when someone from another country says "Americans are so stupid!"? Why do hispanics (or whites, blacks, etc) get angry when someone makes a racist remark or joke? Why do many of Brad's own followers get defensive when he is criticized here? All ego identification. It can be religion, nationality, race, political party, family or I may identify with my pet idea and feel hurt when I perceive these to be attacked. Ego is funny that way.

Don't even think of disagreeing with me or I'll be really pissed. Since I'm idenfified with the words I just wrote. Funny; )

Gerry Gomez said...

Roman said: Another group of organized in-your-face nut jobs...

As anonymous pointed out, the YouTube clip was a joke, a spoof. It was supposed to be funny.

courtesy flush said...

Papajoeratz, that CBS story is a great example of someone picking quotes with no understanding of the context.

I'm merely suggesting that you do make an attempt to understand the actual documents before you take the CBS interpretation on faith. Seems reasonable enough.

We've all noticed that sometimes news coverage gets tweaked a little for ratings, ideology, whatever. Just ask the Fox News Channel.

I never understood the rush to condemn Mother Theresa anyway. I guess it's that people believe that by disparaging her, they've proven something about nuns, or Catholics, or religious people in general.

Which is strange, but the alternative is that people get off on attacking an old dead lady who tried to help people.

Anonymous said...

All anonymous posts are either Mike Cross or Jundo Cohen!

Roman G. said...

gerry gomez:

the YouTube clip was a joke, a spoof. It was supposed to be funny.

Actually, I didn't bother to watch the clip because I thought it was another "preachy atheist" clip that actually was serious. So, I went back and took a look. Now, that one IS funny.

dan said...

garrett,

"Isn't the soft variety nearly an agnostic? Could it not be said that someone who ademently believes that god does not exist also lacks a belief in god?"


the soft variety does share similarities with an agnostic. in fact, according to wikipedia, many theists have attempted to lump agnostics in with the soft atheists.
but there is a difference between the two.
the difference boils down:

if you ask a soft atheist whether they believe in god they will answer 'no'.

if you ask an agnostic the same question they will say 'i dont know'

the soft atheist acts like a sceptic and by default starts from a position of disbelief until presented with convincing evidence.

the agnostic starts from a position of neutrality refusing to say they believe or disbelieve until presented with convincing evidence.

You are right that a hard atheist requires also shares the lack of a belief in God like the soft atheist. They are required not to have this belief by definition of being an atheist.

However, the hard atheist goes one step further than the soft atheist by agreeing with the statement
' there is no god' or ' god definintely doesn't exist'.

This claim is stonger or harder since it is a claim of knowledge about the way things are.

So there is a valid difference between the two categories of atheism. The soft atheist would say 'i dont know that god whether the statement 'god doesn't exist' is true or not but until i see convincing evidence to the contrary i will assume he doesnt since no convincing evidence exists at the moment. it is always up to the claimant to prove something exists rather than the doubter to prove that it doesnt.

"Where did the hard/soft idea come from? It sounds like you heard a compelling argument somewhere."

i first heard about it through the blog flapping mouths which is linked to this one.

you can find out about the history of the distinction on wikipedia etc.

Jinzang said...

Ratboy said:
They're just subjective opinion. One may 'know' that it is just to kill thousands of innocents for a higher goal while another equally 'knows' this is unjust.


I'm shocked a long time Zen practitioner can believe that whether killing thousands of people is right or wrong is a matter of subjective opinion. I think that says something pretty shameful about the state of Zen in America.

Jinzang said...

authors writing books putting forth a pov and daring to criticize religion

If they're criticizing your point of view and trying to convince you to theirs, that's evangelism, whether it's between the covers of a book, on a blog, or on your door step.

Ratboy said...

"I'm shocked a long time Zen practitioner can believe that whether killing thousands of people is right or wrong is a matter of subjective opinion."

You seem to have completely misunderstood my point. I definitely was not asserting any sort of moral relativism or that whether an action is ethical or not is only subjective.

My point was that people
think they 'know' these things. Not whether they are actually true. The guys that flew the planes into those buildings probably really thought they were doing what was just. Just like that Tibbits guy thought dropping the A bomb on japan was just and good. It's not my own judgement of what they did, it's about theirs. That's why it's subjective.

In the same way, a muslim may claim to 'know' that the only god is allah. The christian may claim to 'know' that jesus is the only way to salvation. Or Brad may claim to 'know' that you can only do real zazen if you sit in his prescribed manner. These various claims can be and often are contradictory, even though each is claiming knowledge and not just subjective opinion. Again, I'm not suggesting it isn't possible to know (in some sense of that word) the absolute, ultimate reality, or whatever you choose to call it. But suggesting that it's like knowing good art from bad or just from unjust isn't quiet right, imo.

As to evangelism, if that's the way you choose to define it, anyone writing a book about nearly any factual subject would be considered an evangelist. If I suggest a new hypothesis accounting for fruitfly mutation or the mating habits of aardvarks and write a book about it trying to point out why previous theories are mistaken and my hypothesis is correct, then I too would be an evangelist. Every author of every paper in every scientific journal would be an evangelist by this criteria.

Religious people make a claim about the empirical world when they suggest it was created by a diety or that a diety acts upon the physical world in some way. This claim should be subject to scientific scrutiny just as any other claim about the nature of physical reality. If I write a paper criticizing the beliefs of the Heaven's Gate people as deluded and dangerous and suggesting that they are mistaken, again I'd be engaging in evangelism from your pov. Please think this over.

dan said...

"If they're criticizing your point of view and trying to convince you to theirs, that's evangelism,"

if you look up a few dictionary definitions of evangelism
you'll see the emphasis is on the way that it is preached rather than the fact that it is at all. the word 'zealous' appears a lot in many of the definitons.

Anonymous said...

A good question to ask a believer in anything is:

'What evidence would satisfy you that you are mistaken in your current beliefs?'

For many there is no evidence that they would ever accept as falsifyng their belief system. They are close minded in this resepct.

But to convince a non-believer is much easier. All you have to do is provide reliable and objective evidence that your claim is true.

Anonymous said...

Too many words!

Has this discussion solved anything? Or changed in any way your day to day life?

One fantasy is as good as another - until the inquisition, the crusades or until you are flying planes into buildings.

Think I'll go sit for a while.

Ratboy said...

I was just watching a program on evolution vs creationism in schools. Creationists usually assert that evolution is a religious belief or is founded upon faith just like theirs. They attempt to make them equivalent. This claim is very similar to Brad's suggestion that atheism is just another religion.

Sorry for all the mis-spelled 'dieties'. That should've read deities. Duh.

allornothing said...

Atheism simply means you don't believe in a god. Buddhism is atheistic. Buddhism is more of a psychotherapy than anything - at the very basic level it is meant to overcome suffering, much like psychotherapy.

As existentialists said, there is a void, it is up to us to fill it, you have filled it with Buddhism.

What you are complaining about is tribalism, which happens independent of belief. People consider themselves part of the 'atheist' tribe and get offended. Part of Buddhism is awarness, that is observing. Observe the tribalism involved here. Tribal references are made. Zen tribe, atheist tribe, religious tribe. These terms just disconnect us.

Look at cultures from around the world throughout history and you have understanding, everyone, zazen, tao, sufi, christian, muslim, or those who mix all of them, or come up with their own systems, have something to offer. The only reason for anger and anger about anger is ignorance.

yours truly, anonymouse said...

132 bee Yotches.

p.s. brad please oh please post a new article soon.

Anonymous said...

Two minor points regarding the post by allornothing.

1) Buddhism 'is' to some people atheistic. To others it 'is' theistic.

2) Buddhism does not fill the Void. It is a diversion from the Void. Just like sex, drugs, rock & roll, alcohol, chocolate, TV, movies etc etc

dan said...

"Buddhism does not fill the Void. It is a diversion from the Void. Just like sex, drugs, rock & roll, alcohol, chocolate, TV, movies etc etc"

To some it fills the void, to others it is a diversion from the void.

Anonymous said...

*is* void

anicca - no things, only change
anatta - no things, no self
dukkha - suffering resulting from deluded clinging to idea of self

Anonymous said...

Mysterion, you're a nice guy but you do talk such bollocks (the right word, no darts needed). Throw away everything you think you know; you really don't know what you're on about. Buddhism is concerned with simple reality; the truth which is right in front of you, which is infinitely more profound than your ramblings. Stop telling, and ask, because you really, really, don't know. The truth is much mre simple and profound that you can imagine, and much more important than games to get people to admire and value you. Do you sit? Every day? Give yourself to your practice and forget about "Buddhism" forget what you really don't know, and your excellent intellect will become genuinely of benefit to the world. I'm picking on you in particular because you are so talented, and lonely. Stop telling, and ask as if you don't know but want to; you will create a space in your full mind for the truth to realise itself. I remain, your anonymous friend.

Mysterion said...

Anonymous sed...
"Mysterion, ...you do talk such bollocks. Throw away everything you think you know..."

Anonymous, you're such an anglican. Take the queen's panties off your head and throw them away.

Seriously Anony - you control yourself and I will think for myself. Thanks so much.

allornothing said...

Take Madhyamika thought which is the ancestor of zen:

http://sped2work.tripod.com/nagarjuna_2.html

"If one understands Sunyata-sunyata, the Voidness of the Void, one recognizes that it is not any 'nothing' one knows or can imagine. Being truly unknown, there is no sufficient reason to dread it."

Compare this to Nietzsche:

"When you stare into the abyss the abyss stares back at you."

Nietzsche's non-duality similar to that of Buddhism:

"What is done out of love always takes place beyond good and evil."

The original complaint is born out of a need to understand and go beyond mere criticism of a belief, which many people calling themselves atheist tend to do. I think these atheists do in fact have thoughts about existence, but they suppress them, so perhaps the complaint is about these people calling themselves atheist suppressing questions.

IceBucket said...

Hello, dear diabetic deities.

I recall good ole Mysterion got bashed for being a prick and talking bollocks just the other week. You are getting boring guys...

Anyway, in my experience, it's not too uncommon for people during their journey to assume that other people's different behaviour can only mean that they are spiritually inferior.

So anony number 89273 says Mysterion doesn't KNOW. Many regulars (I think even Mysterion himself) here have "attacked" people like "if you only sat more, you KNEW" etc. Brad has also a mild tendency of superficial dogmatism (no KNOWING without Zazen, best teacher/school etc.), but normally he puts that in relatives after a short ammount of time. I remember acting like that more than I like to admit, too...

The issue: Attacking people for their inferior spritual "attainments"...

I am not sure if that is really the idea of Buddhist pratice. The Diamond Sutra is a good help for me in case I get too arrogant every now and then.

I think it's generally a good idea to not assume any spiritual "progress" whatsoever of someone else unless you know him personally for some longer time (physical presence tells more than Internet blah blah).

Even than you can never be sure what happens in another person. Be careful. The alleged "levels" are interconnected and people are "jumping" within them. Even great masters told us about how they lived "through all of it" again and again. Well, remember the vows...

Zen teachers of the past are well known for their "weirdness" and their infamous agressive behavious. Imitating that is very shallow.

Take care and stop playing video games.

--IceBucket

Rich said...

This blog is exactly like my mind. A constant stream of endless bullshit. OK maybe 90% bullshit. Because I cannot accept the don't know reality of what it is, where it came from, and where its going; it's not enough for me to just eat when hungry, sleep when tired etc. that is too boring. This is much more entertaining. But because of the law of cause and effect nothing is free, there is a price to pay.
So I've already said too much and I'm going to put this down and let it go.

Gerry Gomez said...

Icebucket:

You are getting boring, and sounding pretty preachy while your are at it.

If you want to be Mysterion's butt boy, that is fine. Rent a room.

:)

IceBucket said...

Gerry, I don't understand what you are saying. Do you feel insulted by what I say? Are you angry?

I regret if I offended you and hope that this will not happen again. My apologies.

Still I hope that you will find your peace and get over whatever makes you express in such manner.

--IceBucket

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mysterion said...

corrected type o's

I dunno gerry, a Priest can metaphorically sleep with an altar boy or a mobster but IceBucket ain't me butt boy. He obviously has a mind of his own and uses it as he alone decides. He is his own authority.

As (1)Buddhists are advised to compare their own (developing) views with the 'wise ones' and (2)Ice does not know enough about me to consider me (or anyone else in the Blogisphere) a 'wise one' then maybe (3)you are barking up the wrong tree. Besides, no reader that attends to what I have written would take me (or anyone) as an 'authority.' You are your own authority, there is no other authority.

While it is true than an altar boy can be a priest's 'butt boy,' I am no priest and Ice is no altar boy. In all fairness, JW have (in their smaller membership) about as many child molesters as yer Cat-o-licks.

notice the formula:
O'om muni muni mahamuni shakyamuniye svaha
from HERE

dan said...

"Nietzsche's non-duality similar to that of Buddhism:"

Buddhist philosophy first became widely popular in the West in Germany. I may be wrong but I think Schopenhauer was the first to give his take on it. So it's not really suprising that Buddhist ideas are found within Nietzsche's writing as well.

"I think these atheists do in fact have thoughts about existence, but they suppress them, "

I'm an atheist. I have thoughts about existence. I don't suppress them it's just that I don't believe in magic. Besides, introducing the idea of God into the pondering of one's existence raises a lot more questions than it answers.

Gerry Gomez said...

NO, Icebucket.

I am not angry.

I just find you, and Mysterion, boring. I am not saying that is a bad thing. It is just my opinion.

What I am trying to do is inject some humor here, simply because I have nothing better to do. When something better comes along, which is most of the time, I simply don't bother to comment.

This particular thread is particularly boring.

Gerry

Mysterion said...

boring is o.k.

THIS adheres to the pattern of starting with O'om (the sacred breath) and ending with svaha (finished, done, so there). And, like many mantras, there are three meanings to the words and 3X3 or 9 possible translations. The puns contained in nearly all sacred literature have 'the pros from Dover' rolling on the floor in laughter. This stuff (folklore) is not meant to be taken literally so the fundies (even Buddhism has some fundies) are really up a deep creek without a paddle. This introduces the sacred postulate.

3.13 "Taboo/Sacred" means subject to which access is restricted to any degree. Such subjects can include places, names, knowledge, oral traditions, objects, and practices.

Hmmm... universal folklore?

pooyan said...

First time poster, I hope I am posting to the right place.

This book meant alot to me. I was involved in the "rave scene" during my late teens. I appreciated the section on drug use. I sought enlightenment thru LSD, and managed to have an elightenment experience that was "real", however it lasted about 48hrs and was followed by months of horror, depression and delusion and it nearly cost me my life.
I haven't used drugs since, and I have had my sanity back for 12+ years now. I would give almost anything to experience reality with the clarity I did for those 2 or so days, but I know that LSD is the worst possible way to go about getting there.
Your book struck a major chord and I am glad you chose to write it.
-rg

Jinzang said...

You seem to have completely misunderstood my point. I definitely was not asserting any sort of moral relativism or that whether an action is ethical or not is only subjective. My point was that people
think they 'know' these things. Not whether they are actually true. That's why it's subjective.


You can find people who passionately believe evolution is true and those who believe it is not. That doesn't make evolution subjective. Similarly, ethics isn't subjective because you can find people on both sides of an ethical issue. One or the other side is correct, just as with evolution.

You're using a bad definition of subjective.

Jinzang said...

f you look up a few dictionary definitions of evangelism you'll see the emphasis is on the way that it is preached rather than the fact that it is at all. the word 'zealous' appears a lot in many of the definitions.

Of course, no one would ever accuse Richard Dawkins of being zealous.

dan said...

Jinzang,

My reply was in response to this:

"If they're criticizing your point of view and trying to convince you to theirs, that's evangelism"

So what the hell has Richard Dawkins being zealous in his assaults on religion got to do with the fact that you are using evangelism incorrectly?

allornothing said...

"I don't believe in magic."

That is not part of Buddhism at its core. Buddha didn't want to be worshipped, he didn't want statues made of him, he made it known he was not a fantasy supernatural God, there is no pink unicorn with Buddhism at its core. That is why people call it the atheist religion. Buddha taught others to be wary of the senses so you can truly observe the world, that is in a nutshell all there is to the Buddhist notion of "awarness." So there you have the scientific method. In fact many eastern religions like Taoism are based on observation with no hokus pokus magic involved.

Mysterion said...

Three easterners drank a clear liquid:

1) 'That is Bitter!' (Buddha)
2) 'That is sour!' (Confucius)
3) 'That is vinegar.' (Tao - Lao Tsu)

It's a little more than just observation or scientific method, it is also an interpretation of wisdom.

Note: all three spoke the truth - a different truth.

castle said...

can anyone who signs their posts "anonymous" really have a clue about anything? I dont know, but I have resolved to only read the blue name postings in 2008.

Anonymous said...

Boy, isn't that "castle" an assface? IF that's even his real name...

allornothing said...

Thank you, you are very wise.

Anonymous said...

Brad,

Please come to Vancouver. We need you.

DM

dan said...

That is not part of Buddhism at its core. Buddha didn't want to be worshipped, he didn't want statues made of him, he made it known he was not a fantasy supernatural God, there is no pink unicorn with "Buddhism at its core. That is why people call it the atheist religion. Buddha taught others to be wary of the senses so you can truly observe the world, that is in a nutshell all there is to the Buddhist notion of "awarness." So there you have the scientific method. In fact many eastern religions like Taoism are based on observation with no hokus pokus magic involved."

Right, but what's that got to do with the original claim that atheists have thoughts about existence but they suppress them?

Also don't the taoists believe in immortality or do they use it like a metaphor? I've always understood that taoism ws all about achieving immortality but maybe i'm mistaken.

Jinzang said...

So what the hell has Richard Dawkins being zealous in his assaults on religion got to do with the fact that you are using evangelism incorrectly?

Angry much?

IceBucket said...

Gerry, I apologize that you are not angry. But you are not really funny, too.

I try to keep myself bored as much as possible. The urge for excitement had too many negative side-effects in my life already. I am a slacker, I regret.

Buddhist literature is extremely boring for example. Pages and pages of Boddhisattva names, repeating all the stuff over and over again. Bad style!

Zazen is extremely boring. Sesshin is probably the most boring experience in my life.

Then again... Taking care for a baby is boring. Cleaning the house is boring most of the time. Sleeping is pretty boring, too.

Being an average person is very boring. You could have been so important after all as you are gifted.

BUT there is also "Call of Duty" on XBox 360 I heard. And I pirated the latest DIVX moviez that you don't even know about!

Guess what, Gerry's got a NEW ringtone on his shiny sexy iPhone!!! WANT THAT, TOO!!! Otherwise *I* get angry.

--IceBucket

mysteriondan said...

Some of the HZ regulars seem to believe that their passive-aggressive anger is somehow better than some anonymous whozit's unpretentious anger. That is just hilarious. Ignorance is ignorance is ignorance brothers and sisters.. "angry much?" indeed..

dan said...

Questions:

1. Will Jinzang admit he was talking bollocks when he said,

"If they're criticizing your point of view and trying to convince you to theirs, that's evangelism" ?


2. Will he also admit that Richard Dawkins' zeal has nothing to do with a definition of what constitutes evangelism?

3. Will he admit that asking whether I was angry or not when I wrote my last question also has nothing to do with the correct usage of the word evangelism?


No, no and no it seems.

[sigh]

courtesy flush said...

When I learned a little about Zen Buddhism, I was so impressed by people who committed themselves to facing reality.

What a great contrast to the BS, office politics, and petty ego trips you see everywhere else! (Yeah, I know-- grass is greener, right?)

So I was surprised that Brad Warner sometimes seemed so hostile to other Zen types.

Then I started reading some of the blog comments. Nestled in amongst the insightful commentators is a handful who extrude a constant stream of crap.

I'm starting to understand why Mr Warner gets so pissed off!

Meanwhile, more than a few posters say they can hardly read the comments.

So let's all get pissed off! Don't give up, people! Defend the comment board!

Gerry Gomez said...

IceBucket said...

"Gerry, I apologize that you are not angry."

huh?

"You could have been so important after all as you are gifted."

what?

"Gerry's got a NEW ringtone on his shiny sexy iPhone!!! WANT THAT, TOO!!! Otherwise *I* get angry."

confused?

As I said, boring is not a bad thing, and I am in agreement with your list.

But I really don't know what you are talking about when you referenced the things above. But that doesn't matter; it doesn't matter to me, and I am sure it doesn't matter to you.

Gerry

Mysterion said...

Anonymous sed...
"A good question to ask a believer..."

There is no question which a 'believer' can be asked. A believer will replay whatever has been programmed into his/her bot brain. Beliefs are merely crystallized brain structures which are resilient to any changes whatsoever.

The term 'shattered beliefs' is appropriate because, in deprogramming therapy*, belief structures are first broken up before they are dissolved - like a lump of sugar in your english tea or continental coffee. *(I posted a long article - it is a complex topic - for example, the Cult Awareness Network has been taken over by Scientology)

On the upside related to Zazen and ones expectations:
"The most effective way of creating a strong sense of efficacy is through mastery experiences. Successes build a robust belief in ones personal efficacy. ...If people experience only easy successes they come to expect quick results and are easily discouraged by failure. A resilient sense of efficacy requires experience in overcoming obstacles through perseverance. Some setbacks and difficulties in human pursuits serve a useful purpose in teaching that success usually requires sustained effort. After people become convinced they have what it takes to succeed, they persevere in the face of adversity and quickly rebound from setbacks. By sticking it out through tough times, they emerge stronger from adversity. The second way of creating and strengthening self-beliefs of efficacy is through the vicarious experiences provided by social models. Seeing people similar to oneself succeed by sustained effort raises observers beliefs that they too possess the capabilities master comparable activities to succeed. ...The impact of modeling on perceived self-efficacy is strongly influenced by perceived similarity to the models. The greater the assumed similarity the more persuasive are the models successes and failures. ...Modeling influences do more than provide a social standard against which to judge ones own capabilities. People seek proficient models who possess the competencies to which they aspire. Through their behavior and expressed ways of thinking, competent models transmit knowledge and teach observers effective skills and strategies for managing environmental demands. Acquisition of better means raises perceived self-efficacy.
...Successful efficacy builders do more than convey positive appraisals. In addition to raising peoples beliefs in their capabilities, they structure situations for them in ways that bring success and avoid placing people in situations prematurely where they are likely to fail often. They measure success in terms of self-improvement rather than by triumphs over others. People also rely partly on their somatic and emotional states in judging their capabilities. They interpret their stress reactions and tension as signs of vulnerability to poor performance. ...Mood also affects peoples judgments of their personal efficacy. Positive mood enhances perceived self-efficacy, despondent mood diminishes it."

from: (Albert Bandura)
Self-efficacy defined
Another long article and complex issue.

There ARE simple answers for everything. Most of those simple answers are just outright incorrect.

Anonymous said...

wtf...

Anonymous said...

damn mysterion.. are you an insurance salesman?

Mysterion said...

Anonymous sed...
"damn mysterion.. are you an insurance salesman?"

No, I have retired from neural networks in the public sector and moved into wired and optical networks in the private sector.

anonymouse said...

can anyone who signs their posts "anonymous" really have a clue about anything? I dont know, but I have resolved to only read the blue name postings in 2008.

thats funny castle, cause your name isnt even in blue

castle said...

I am not planning on reading my posts either. There is no need to do that, I just wrote it after all. It is just that if a name isn't in blue, I will just skip the post. It's nothing personal, but who has time to read 170 some posts. I'm only going to read the blues and I suggest that everyone else do the same. :)

ZEnnui said...

"When I learned a little about Zen Buddhism, I was so impressed by people who committed themselves to facing reality."

I did the whole 'sangha' thing, and eventually got disillusioned with the buddhists and myself.

But I am a first-truth buddhist at heart :)

ZEnnui; the careful practice of eliminating attachment, non-attachment and detachment from life is my current practice.

mysteriondan said...

mysterion, You were a bureaucrat! An unelected official in a system of administration marked by officialism, red tape, and proliferation and inefficiency.
Not that that is a bad thing.. What would the Soviet Union have done without them! But now, the knots are starting to untangle.. The clouds are parting.. I'm.. becoming.. enlightened!

roger said...

"Go Blue! Go Die!"

How edgy and rebellious. Ahem.

That song and the explanation behind it seem very much like what a bunch of spoiled brat rich-kids would say and do. Weak, and not very "hardcore" in my opinion.

As far as atheists go... well, those people can be very sensitive.

gunderloy said...

woger, It is not only what what a bunch of spoiled brat rich-kids would say and do. It is what the great ghoulardi would say and do. It only makes sense to a tiny group of enlightened people. what you don't get is that virtually everyone brad's age in neo was influenced by the great master ghoulardi. "go blue, go die" is a very similar phrase to ghoulardi's epic "turn blue knif".. it contains the same general sentiment anyway.

Mysterion said...

mysteriondan said...
"mysterion, You were a bureaucrat! An unelected official in a system of administration marked by officialism, red tape, and proliferation and inefficiency."

In one word: Yep.

I wouldn't call it "a proliferation of inefficiency." The bureaucracy is modeled somewhat after the classical model - Rome in which the PONTIFEX MAXIMVS (Caesar) was later replaced by the Pontificus Maximus, the Father-of-Fathers. The clerics (about half of whom were qualified to work) would ask the bishops (who were usually selected from the qualified) who would ask the archbishops (who were occasionally qualified) who would ask the cardinals (who were promoted because they weren't qualified) who would ask the (clueless) pope. Then he would say: "Huh? I dunno." Then papa would read a prepared statement that one of the bishops had written but for which he (the clueless pope) claimed authorship. He somehow forgets that he is just an ordinary cleric, a detail obscured in history.

But above is skirting the ever so slightly realm of inflammatory (for those driving in the slow lane in the blog).

dood said...

here's to Courtesy Flush for having the best screen name EVER!

take care,
dood

ps - did my name so up in blue???

dood said...

it did - sweetness!

ps - I'm cool.

Jules said...

Brad wrote: I can't believe in any God who exists outside of the universe, or in a God who created the universe. I don't believe in a God who can bend the rule of cause and effect. I don't believe in a God who can intervene in human affairs. But I do believe in God.

anonymous wrote: With all respect, why bother believing in anything so unnecessary then? Believe in the universe, but why drag God's name into this? It just causes all kinds of problems. I'm baffled..

Maybe he does that because when most people think of the word "universe," they aren't thinking of something that's capable of loving you.

Matt said...

200!

wait..too soon, damn...

courtesy flush said...

thanks, Dood!! Seriously, you made my day. But your screen name is is cooler anyway.

Unfortunately I used up all my wit coming up with my screen name. Not much left for my posts!

I don't know how to blue my name. I guess I need a blogger account? (Those are free, right?)

Ratboy said...

"Maybe he does that because when most people think of the word "universe," they aren't thinking of something that's capable of loving you."

Are you then suggesting that this god is capable of loving you? The flip side is that when most people think of god they are thinking of the judeo christian islamic dude totally separate from his creation that speaks via prophets and sacred books.

Universe, Reality, Ultimate, Absolute, Nirvana...all these sound impersonal, like the force from star wars. God sounds personal as mentioned above. So which is this so-called ultimate ground of being or Big Mind (not genpo's)? Is it personal? Impersonal? Have a good laugh!

allornothing said...

"Right, but what's that got to do with the original claim that atheists have thoughts about existence but they suppress them?

Also don't the taoists believe in immortality or do they use it like a metaphor? I've always understood that taoism ws all about achieving immortality but maybe i'm mistaken."

I said 'these atheists'.. a subset of atheists. Nietzsche, an atheist, certainly didn't suppress thoughts about existence, neither did Sartre.

Some people interpret Taoism to support immortality. In its purest form, Taoism is about the link between man and nature. The Tao Te Ching is the de-facto book on this subject, it's online and free:

http://acc6.its.brooklyn.cuny.edu/~phalsall/texts/taote-v3.html

It's very practical:


Act without doing;
work without effort.
Think of the small as large
and the few as many.
Confront the difficult
while it is still easy;
accomplish the great task
by a series of small acts.

The Master never reaches for the great;
thus she achieves greatness.
When she runs into a difficulty,
she stops and gives herself to it.
She doesn't cling to her own comfort;
thus problems are no problem for her.

gniz said...

If WE are the universe, and the universe is god, then doesnt your mom or your sister or brother love you?

Then, naturally, doesnt the universe love you?

Maybe it also hates you, and also its indifferent to you, and also might toss you into the ocean like no more than a toothpick, but thats beside the point!

Jinzang said...

Will he admit that asking whether I was angry or not when I wrote my last question also has nothing to do with the correct usage of the word evangelism?

The literal use of the term evangelism is limited to Christian theology. Any use outside of that is metaphorical. Metaphors do not have precise, hard edged definitions and to search a dictionary for the meaning or correct use of a metaphor is silly.

If I or someone else calls Richard Dawkins an evangelist for atheism, everyone knows what the metaphor means. It's surprising that you would care so much about what is only a figure of speech.

Jinzang said...

when most people think of the word "universe," they aren't thinking of something that's capable of loving you.

My teacher says that love and wisdom are inseparable. The greater your understanding of emptiness, the greater your love, and the reverse is also true. The more the artificial conceptual barriers between yourself and the universe come down, the more everything will seem filled with joy and love. Still, it's important not to become fixated on this, because it's still a limited dualistic understanding.

Anonymous said...

gniz wrote: If WE are the universe, and the universe is god, then doesnt your mom or your sister or brother love you?

Then, naturally, doesnt the universe love you?

Maybe it also hates you, and also its indifferent to you, and also might toss you into the ocean like no more than a toothpick, but thats beside the point!


I don't think it's necessary or useful to speculate. I believe that the real situation becomes apparent if you settle down and pay attention for a while.

pooyan said...

A pet peeve of mine: when people say, "I did the whole... thing, and, (insert dismissive comment). Like, I did the whole zazzen thing, and it was just too boring. or I did the whole church thing and it was way too whatever.
Maybe it's just me but what these people really mean is, I sorta dabbled in something and I quit for whatever personal reason.

To presume that you did the whole thing, is silly. I know it's mostly just used as a figure of speech but I wouldn't mind never hearing it again. Especially because people seem to use it often when talking to someone who is involved in whatever activity is being blown off, as in:
(Joe)-"Yeah, I've been doing some meditating and its really helped my stress levels." (Steve)- "I did the whole Meditation thing, but, I don't have time for that stuff anymore."

It comes of to me like, " Oh your going thru that phase, I grew outta
that .
Is it just me?

gniz said...

"IT isn't useful to speculate.."

Damn and i thought i was so freaking clever!!

courtesy flush said...

I hear ya, pooyan. But I still thought it was interesting to hear another POV about the sangha.

I'm working on facing the reality that any group of people has its share of people problems.

But it pisses me off so much someone says (or posts) "this is the truth, I'm Zen, learn from me!" and then launches into their BS manifesto.

I'm totally OK with BS manifestos, by the way. (I have one too! I'll put it on my blog!) I just don't like snake oil salesmen.

mysteriondan said...

when most people think of the word "universe," they aren't thinking of something that's capable of loving you.

jules.. holy shit! maybe you should should explain a little here. why do you think anyone should think that, if you do.

dood said...

yeah i guess the blogger account is free - if you don't mind being tracked by "the man"

peace,
dood

dan said...

"The literal use of the term evangelism is limited to Christian theology. Any use outside of that is metaphorical. Metaphors do not have precise, hard edged definitions and to search a dictionary for the meaning or correct use of a metaphor is silly."

Metaphorical or not will you admit that you were talking bollocks when you defined evangelism as:

"If they're criticizing your point of view and trying to convince you to theirs, that's evangelism" ?

Still no it seems.


"If I or someone else calls Richard Dawkins an evangelist for atheism, everyone knows what the metaphor means. It's surprising that you would care so much about what is only a figure of speech."

Yes but you introduced Richard Dawkins for seemingly no reason. I said that to use the word evangelist correctly you must be using it to decribe someone who has a certain amount of zeal in their attitude to putting forward their arguments. I did this to show that your original defintion was bollocks.

In reply to this you basically said,

" But Richard Dawkins is an evagelist!"

What?

Here's an analogy:

Jinzang: If it tastes sweet that means it's ice cream.

Me: Actually it is generally agreed that as well as being sweet, it must also be cold and made of cream.

Jinzang: But rocky road is ice cream!

Me: What?

Jinzang: Now you're getting angry!

Me: What?

Jinzang: I'm suprised you would care so much about me saying that rocky road is ice cream!

Me: What?

Ratboy said...

"Yes but you introduced Richard Dawkins for seemingly no reason."

Not sure, but jinzang probably has a special distaste for Dawkins because prof Dawkins not only is 'zealous' in his criticism of religion, he's also pretty zealous in his criticism of practices like homeopathy. Dawkins is just very anti woo woo. I've been a fan of Richard Dawkins' writings since the 90's. Back when he was primarily known for his writings on evolutionary theory. The Blind Watchmaker is an excellent introduction to evolution.

While Professor Dawkins is anti-woo woo all the way, he has no criticism for the practice of zen and a couple of his friends that share his skepticism of religion actually practice zazen. Susan Blackmore, a longtime zazener and Sam Harris, author of The End of Faith

Jules said...

mysteriondan said... jules.. holy shit! maybe you should should explain a little here. why do you think anyone should think that, if you do.

I do, but I don't think anyone else SHOULD believe it, especially not based on some random person's assertions on the Internet. People should investigate for themselves and come to their own conclusions.

courtesy flush said...

we still haven't quite made it to 200 posts yet. And we had such good momentum!

dan said...

Well if I get a straight answer out of Jinzang then we could well make it to 200.

courtesy flush said...

still no 200th post? Too bad, this had such great promise for a while.