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graham christian
07-07-2013, 04:53 PM
I see that those who do study the relationship between spiritual and Religious and Aikido are still questioning what it is.

Well, I find it interesting that the thread on no competition and then the column By Peter Goldsbury mention it too.

So first, Peter Goldsbury. A great historian. What do I like about him? He does what a good historian does as far as I am concerned....he compares and contrasts 'scholarly' opinions and even offers more potentially interesting and related sources. He does too but in a humble manner offer his own personal opinions as to where all this leaves his view.

His style of writing and presentation is of itself in essence non competitive.

So to shinto and indeed omoto. Not being of the scholarly and intellectual 'crew' for those who are I would say to understand O'Senseis religious (spiritual) views it is best to understand the basic difference religion wise when comparing what those of western religion think they are comparing to.

Western religions and thus cultures brought up with them are used to them being competitive. They compete and fight and war with each other and thus see themselves as superior. Of course thus they see the other as inferior. This is thus called 'normal' and considered normal alas.

Scholars probably have words for all this and for me if they have the right words for it then they may see the important and thus when it comes to Aikido the pertinent differences. Personally I find the Omoto type religion and Buddhist generally far in advance Ethically than the well known western ones. Why? Well I actually don't think it's the religion itself but rather the use or portrayed meanings given to the religions and so basically the people running and promoting them and giving others to feel superior to others.

Omoto is seen as far as I can tell by any comments I've seen before generally as some nationalistic type thing. This only shows to me a lack of understanding. It is called a 'monotheism' ( a scolarly term) but so is christianity etc. So what's the difference? Well it is also called an inclusive monotheism where the christian religion is called an exclusive monotheism. Therein lies the important difference and indeed the major fault with such 'exclusive' religions.

Nowadays there is an attempt at 'getting together' with interfaith etc. Very wise. But far from new. In fact omoto promoted this way back, not to mention historical rulers who did the same. No wonder O'Sensei said Aikido would improve all religions for it is based on all inclusiveness by the principle of love as has omoto. (As has christianity et al in truth, if only they could remember)

An inclusive religion like shinto for example is thus one of no competition....until man with his ego interferes of course.

Murray just won wimbledon...Brilliant!!! Great competition. The semi finals were outstanding too.

Competitions are great but only when non competition is understood.

Aikido is thus all inclusive and the discipline of those devine principles of non competition which indeed would correct and improve all religions.

Peace.G.

bkedelen
07-07-2013, 11:04 PM
So to shinto and indeed omoto. Not being of the scholarly and intellectual 'crew' for those who are I would say to understand O'Senseis religious (spiritual) views it is best to understand the basic difference religion wise when comparing what those of western religion think they are comparing to.

No words.

Bernd Lehnen
07-08-2013, 03:19 AM
No words.

All those efforts and in the end this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMT15qZ9LsU

TeaBag Sutra

:D

Bernd Lehnen
07-08-2013, 07:25 AM
All those efforts and in the end this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMT15qZ9LsU

TeaBag Sutra

:D

If the TeaBag Sutra isn't self-evident, please read my following attempt at a summary and then watch again.
Have fun!

" So we've chosen a way and the practice resembles the dismounting of a tea-bag.

In the beginning we tend to read everything available. We read and read and fathom out less and less. After a few years we might remember an old masters sayings that intelligence doesn't help but that foolishness will help even less. Then we give up reading.

Now we may find out that all those enthralling rules and pieces of advice,that we thought would give us freedom, will bind and entrap us more and more. One day we may be prepared to cut the moorings and let the hawsers fly.

But there is still something little noticed which keeps us tied; it's very subtle, one scarcely becomes aware of it and it's so tiny that we have difficulty in removing it, and this is our attachment to our sublime Guru, the master. In the end we may succeed and let go.

Now we can open up the bag and we see that there is a lot inside, a whole bag of psychological problems we can get rid of and things will get a lot easier.

Of course there is still the wrapper. As we continue our practice we can stretch and loosen it up, make it more flexible. We can make it straight and upright.

As we continue practicing, on a certain point of time something marvelous might happen."

Keith Larman
07-08-2013, 08:26 AM
No words.

Actually I was struck with the words of Stephen Hawking.

"The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge."

The mind boggles.

Fred Little
07-08-2013, 09:46 AM
"Das ist nicht nur nicht richtig, es ist nicht einmal falsch!"

Keith Larman
07-08-2013, 09:57 AM
"Das ist nicht nur nicht richtig, es ist nicht einmal falsch!"

:D

Krystal Locke
07-08-2013, 01:38 PM
Yeeeaaahhhhhh, or we can stick the thing, with all its limitations, constraints, failings, history, inconsistencies, conflicts, internalized and self-generated bindings, in some hot water and get a very nice cup of tea.

Our usefulness (call it a purpose, if you must, but I dont think it would be true) is just as much in the ways we are constrained as it is in our degrees of freedom.

If the TeaBag Sutra isn't self-evident, please read my following attempt at a summary and then watch again.
Have fun!

" So we've chosen a way and the practice resembles the dismounting of a tea-bag.

In the beginning we tend to read everything available. We read and read and fathom out less and less. After a few years we might remember an old masters sayings that intelligence doesn't help but that foolishness will help even less. Then we give up reading.

Now we may find out that all those enthralling rules and pieces of advice,that we thought would give us freedom, will bind and entrap us more and more. One day we may be prepared to cut the moorings and let the hawsers fly.

But there is still something little noticed which keeps us tied; it's very subtle, one scarcely becomes aware of it and it's so tiny that we have difficulty in removing it, and this is our attachment to our sublime Guru, the master. In the end we may succeed and let go.

Now we can open up the bag and we see that there is a lot inside, a whole bag of psychological problems we can get rid of and things will get a lot easier.

Of course there is still the wrapper. As we continue our practice we can stretch and loosen it up, make it more flexible. We can make it straight and upright.

As we continue practicing, on a certain point of time something marvelous might happen."

graham christian
07-08-2013, 01:47 PM
The above answers seem to make my point. ;)

Peace.G.

Keith Larman
07-08-2013, 04:21 PM
No.

Demetrio Cereijo
07-08-2013, 04:40 PM
Phnglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!

Marc Abrams
07-09-2013, 08:01 AM
No.

Keith:

People keep on trying to use reason, facts, etc. to respond to the poster and always seem to end up in the same place..... One definition of insanity is engaging in the same behaviors that lead to same results, while expecting different results.....

END THE INSANITY!

Marc Abrams

Keith Larman
07-09-2013, 09:08 AM
Keith:

People keep on trying to use reason, facts, etc. to respond to the poster and always seem to end up in the same place..... One definition of insanity is engaging in the same behaviors that lead to same results, while expecting different results.....

END THE INSANITY!

Marc Abrams

Oh, I'm not expecting a different response from the OP, that *would be* insane after all this time. And when something posted is, well, wronger than wrong (how does one do that so consistently?) I thought that a least a few people should point that out. But when things are this far off there really is nothing left to talk about. We might as well be arguing about a cosmic teapot. Hence the first statement (the mind boggles) followed by the second (no). Really that is all that is necessary.

Marc Abrams
07-09-2013, 09:43 AM
Oh, I'm not expecting a different response from the OP, that *would be* insane after all this time. And when something posted is, well, wronger than wrong (how does one do that so consistently?) I thought that a least a few people should point that out. But when things are this far off there really is nothing left to talk about. We might as well be arguing about a cosmic teapot. Hence the first statement (the mind boggles) followed by the second (no). Really that is all that is necessary.

I am in TOTAL agreement with you. I think that a simple statement/disclaimer response to these types of posts is all that should happen. Any more attention is simply encouraging the continuance of this proliferation of inane, useless strings of words.

Marc Abrams

Krystal Locke
07-09-2013, 10:00 AM
Ia! Ia! Cthulu fhtagn!
Ia! Ia! Shub Niggurath!

Go pods!

Phnglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!

fnord

Demetrio Cereijo
07-09-2013, 10:01 AM
People keep on trying to use reason, facts, etc.
Reason and facts .... bah!

END THE INSANITY!

No way. Praise be to Cthulhu!

Keith Larman
07-09-2013, 10:41 AM
FWIW, WRT Russell's cosmic teapot.

If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense.

Emphasis added.

James Sawers
07-09-2013, 01:56 PM
That's a powerful "teapot"..........

aiki-jujutsuka
07-09-2013, 02:06 PM
Western religions and thus cultures brought up with them are used to them being competitive. They compete and fight and war with each other and thus see themselves as superior. Of course thus they see the other as inferior. This is thus called 'normal' and considered normal alas.



Please could you define "western" religions? By this I infer that you are refering to Christianity in its many denominations and traditions. However, if I have understood you correctly I would point out that Christianity is originally a near eastern religion, indeed the early Church was a branch of messianic Judaism.

Moreover could you please support your assertion that western religions promote and encourage competition and war. Certainly there have been religious wars within Europe and initiated by Europe but this is not a result of an inherent disposition or inferior moral and ethical code from the doctrines and teachings of Christianity itself. In fact Jesus' teachings can be cited in contradistinction to the violence perpetrated in his name.

Omoto is seen as far as I can tell by any comments I've seen before generally as some nationalistic type thing. This only shows to me a lack of understanding. It is called a 'monotheism' ( a scolarly term) but so is christianity etc. So what's the difference? Well it is also called an inclusive monotheism where the christian religion is called an exclusive monotheism. Therein lies the important difference and indeed the major fault with such 'exclusive' religions.

Define "inclusive monotheism" as Christianity could also be considered "inclusive" insofar as it does not discriminate between nationality, ethnicity, gender or age. In fact Jesus' last instructions to his disciples, known as the Great Commandment, were to go and make disciples of all nations. By "exclusive" Christianity often means that Jesus is the sole source of salvation for a fallen, sinful humanity. In this respect yes Christianity is exclusive in its teachings, but is this a major fault of the religion to believe it has the truth (with reason)? Whether the exclusivity of Christianity is a fault all depends on whether its claims stand up or not. I personally believe these claims do stand up.

Thank you, I look forward to your reply. :)

lbb
07-09-2013, 02:29 PM
For that matter, there certainly appears to be a religious war happening right now in Myanmar. Guess who the aggressor is?

Bernd Lehnen
07-09-2013, 03:09 PM
Marc Abrams wrote: 
People keep on trying to use reason, facts, etc.
Reason and facts .... bah!

END THE INSANITY!

No way. Praise be to Cthulhu!

Nineteenth-century rationalists predicted that superstition and irrationality would be defeated by universal education. However, this has not happened.

http://www.csicop.org/si/show/belief_engine

Fred Little
07-09-2013, 04:48 PM
For that matter, there certainly appears to be a religious war happening right now in Myanmar. Guess who the aggressor is?

One could make a good case that the aggressor was the British Empire, which encouraged the movement of the Muslim Rohingya into Buddhist Burma as part of a textbook "divide and conquer" program of colonial economic exploitation, grabbed everything it could, and at length, when managing the territory became more expensive than the diminishing economic returns it produced could warrant, walked away from the festering mess of inter-communal conflict it had quite consciously, cynically, and purposefully created by encouraging the mass movement of the Rohingya into the region in the late 19th Century in the first place. I believe the British Empire was ostensibly Christian.

Not that this excuses the behavior of contemporary Buddhists in Myanmar, but context does matter.

;)

FL

aiki-jujutsuka
07-09-2013, 05:24 PM
One could make a good case that the aggressor was the British Empire, which encouraged the movement of the Muslim Rohingya into Buddhist Burma as part of a textbook "divide and conquer" program of colonial economic exploitation, grabbed everything it could, and at length, when managing the territory became more expensive than the diminishing economic returns it produced could warrant, walked away from the festering mess of inter-communal conflict it had quite consciously, cynically, and purposefully created by encouraging the mass movement of the Rohingya into the region in the late 19th Century in the first place. I believe the British Empire was ostensibly Christian.

Not that this excuses the behavior of contemporary Buddhists in Myanmar, but context does matter.

;)

FL

Well if it was part of a textbook operation then it certainly wasn't taken from the Bible. In fact this would support the Bible's teaching that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. British imperialism was not modelled on Christianity.

graham christian
07-09-2013, 05:28 PM
Please could you define "western" religions? By this I infer that you are refering to Christianity in its many denominations and traditions. However, if I have understood you correctly I would point out that Christianity is originally a near eastern religion, indeed the early Church was a branch of messianic Judaism.

Moreover could you please support your assertion that western religions promote and encourage competition and war. Certainly there have been religious wars within Europe and initiated by Europe but this is not a result of an inherent disposition or inferior moral and ethical code from the doctrines and teachings of Christianity itself. In fact Jesus' teachings can be cited in contradistinction to the violence perpetrated in his name.

Define "inclusive monotheism" as Christianity could also be considered "inclusive" insofar as it does not discriminate between nationality, ethnicity, gender or age. In fact Jesus' last instructions to his disciples, known as the Great Commandment, were to go and make disciples of all nations. By "exclusive" Christianity often means that Jesus is the sole source of salvation for a fallen, sinful humanity. In this respect yes Christianity is exclusive in its teachings, but is this a major fault of the religion to believe it has the truth (with reason)? Whether the exclusivity of Christianity is a fault all depends on whether its claims stand up or not. I personally believe these claims do stand up.

Thank you, I look forward to your reply. :)

Hi Ewen,
nice post. I'll endeaver to explain.

First let's clear up what I mean by western religions. Basically I meant those religions controlling Europe as the predominant ones in the last few centuries at least namely forms of christianity. In other words the ones most of us from these here parts were brought up with.

Your citing of Jesus and his words I fully agree with. I did point this out in the op and said cheekily if only they remember. So I also pointed out that the religion itself is not at fault but only the egos of men in them.

So, to the crux of the matter, given by me so as to anyone else saying it or having said it before well I would assume someone must have some time or other. The crux being this: on the concept of no competition and the concept of transcending competition it brings me to a couple of fields where this is stated quite regularly and those fields are spiritual and also religious.

Now, in history shinto on the whole was very tolerant religion as was Buddhism. In fact I would say Buddhism spread and covered a great part of the world at one point but did so without war which was very unusual for a religion. But as with most things those of ego and power hungry tend to take positions of Authority in such things and in comes the ego and there goes the peace and harmony.

So I think you'll get a gist of where I'm coming from.

So being an inquisitive kind of chap I ask questions and also leave unanswered questions hanging in the ether until one day I come across something that answers them. So, always wondering how a religion could fall to such lows of promoting wars and all kinds of horrific things I would leave that hanging too for the what I call egocentric, 'intellectual' reasonings never satisfy my curiosity. They do make sense though because they are made by unenlightened people. Then there are many, in fact the majority of normal sensible people who I have met from various religions and daily life who all say they know true religion wouldn't do or promote such things so to me Bill the dustman can therefor be much more enlightened than Professor blog.

Now to 'inclusive monotheism' and 'exclusive monotheism' . As I said they are 'scholarly terms', little ole me using such.......blasphemy!!! ;)

Anyway, having a reality on no competition spiritually and then coming across these terms and what they mean finally answered a few questions. Shinto, omoto and such were called inclusive and christianity and such were called exclusive.Now the reason for this was indeed to do with the religions themselves. Shinto has many Gods and yet they originate from one, thus one true source God. Thus it is natural for those of such culture and belief to acknowledge all other faiths and their God too. So when one comes along and says they only believe in the one true God then that's fine also for it means the source God, the original creator. Thus these type of religions are called inclusive.

Now the interesting bit is the label exclusive. So remember these are 'man made' labels of course as usual, but as a label it says such a religion believes their God is the real and only God and thus other religions are inferior. Their God is the ONLY God. That calls to ego like a plate of food to a starving man. That breeds competition.

So you can see it's nothing to do with the enlightened, divine persons within the religion but only of the manipulators of the religion. For in true religion I would say there cannot be competition unfortunately there is heaven, earth and man and man is still not too bright.

It is interesting to me that all those past enlightened folk tended to mention the same things, namely love etc. as being the way yet all the followers end up .....well, I don't think I have to tell you.

I don't know if you ever watched the old David Carradine Kung Fu Series but it reminds me of the two where he meets the blind priest. Wisdom from both sides, excellent.

So to me as with true budo is love so it is with true religion too and thus both should be all embrasive. Both are beyond egotistical competiton and duelism (spelt that way on purpose) ;)

I think O'Sensei thought similarly. :)

Peace.G.

Demetrio Cereijo
07-09-2013, 06:27 PM
British imperialism was not modelled on Christianity.

Even if wealth and prestige were the primary driving forces behind imperialism, evangelical motivations were important too.

lbb
07-09-2013, 07:12 PM
One could make a good case that the aggressor was the British Empire, which ...context does matter.

I'm aware of the history of colonialism, but it seems like you're teetering towards being an apologist for irredentism and/or falling into the trap of trying to isolate the blame. Go back far enough, and except for some folks living in the Rift Valley, it's guaranteed that none of us are living where our ancestors started out, and we can't exactly go back. No more can the Rohingya - look at the "welcome" they've been getting in Bangladesh, even if we accept the probably-fiction that that's where they all came from. So what's the point? It doesn't matter if colonialism created the conditions; the facts on the ground right now are that Buddhist monks, speaking from a position of authority, are inciting violence against Muslims. To rescue the train from this derail and get it back on the tracks: this is a simple counterexample of various assertions about Buddhism made by OP. There have been Buddhist wars of conquest, Buddhist forced conversions, and violence done in the name of Buddhism. I'm totally uninterested in a debate about whether Buddhism serves as readily as Christianity as a tool for identity politics, because any difference is a difference in degree only. It's also debatable whether a religion, once made such a tool, really is a religion at all any more, but that's again a completely different topic. OP clearly has a romanticized view of "Asian religions", ascribing to them characteristics that could not possibly be universal in such a diverse set of belief systems.

Fred Little
07-09-2013, 07:34 PM
.... it seems like you're teetering towards being an apologist for irredentism.....

"Teetering" sounds both better and worse than the arguably more accurate verb "posing," for which you get additional style points!

It doesn't matter if colonialism created the conditions; the facts on the ground right now are that Buddhist monks, speaking from a position of authority, are inciting violence against Muslims. To rescue the train from this derail and get it back on the tracks: this is a simple counterexample of various assertions about Buddhism made by OP. There have been Buddhist wars of conquest, Buddhist forced conversions, and violence done in the name of Buddhism. I'm totally uninterested in a debate about whether Buddhism serves as readily as Christianity as a tool for identity politics, because any difference is a difference in degree only. It's also debatable whether a religion, once made such a tool, really is a religion at all any more, but that's again a completely different topic. OP clearly has a romanticized view of "Asian religions", ascribing to them characteristics that could not possibly be universal in such a diverse set of belief systems.

While I don't disagree with a single point you make in the graph above and find your dedication to reason against idiocy commendable, you may need St. Jude on your side if your observations are directed to OP.

Best,

FL

Krystal Locke
07-09-2013, 08:04 PM
Angus sure puts a lot of sugar on his porridge.

aiki-jujutsuka
07-10-2013, 02:28 AM
Now to 'inclusive monotheism' and 'exclusive monotheism' . As I said they are 'scholarly terms', little ole me using such.......blasphemy!!! ;)

Anyway, having a reality on no competition spiritually and then coming across these terms and what they mean finally answered a few questions. Shinto, omoto and such were called inclusive and christianity and such were called exclusive.Now the reason for this was indeed to do with the religions themselves. Shinto has many Gods and yet they originate from one, thus one true source God. Thus it is natural for those of such culture and belief to acknowledge all other faiths and their God too. So when one comes along and says they only believe in the one true God then that's fine also for it means the source God, the original creator. Thus these type of religions are called inclusive.

Now the interesting bit is the label exclusive. So remember these are 'man made' labels of course as usual, but as a label it says such a religion believes their God is the real and only God and thus other religions are inferior. Their God is the ONLY God. That calls to ego like a plate of food to a starving man. That breeds competition.

So you can see it's nothing to do with the enlightened, divine persons within the religion but only of the manipulators of the religion. For in true religion I would say there cannot be competition unfortunately there is heaven, earth and man and man is still not too bright.

It is interesting to me that all those past enlightened folk tended to mention the same things, namely love etc. as being the way yet all the followers end up .....well, I don't think I have to tell you.

I don't know if you ever watched the old David Carradine Kung Fu Series but it reminds me of the two where he meets the blind priest. Wisdom from both sides, excellent.

So to me as with true budo is love so it is with true religion too and thus both should be all embrasive. Both are beyond egotistical competiton and duelism (spelt that way on purpose) ;)

I think O'Sensei thought similarly. :)

Peace.G.

Hi Graham, thank you for taking the time to respond to my questions I appreciate it. :)

Regarding the virtue of inclusive religions, while in Japan visiting my fiancee at New Year we visited, with her family, the city of Beppu in the southern island of Kyushu famous for its hot springs. We went on a sight-seeing tour around the city and were taken to a temple situated above the city on the mountain side. The temple was dedicated to a snake god, a gold coloured python. The original snake was brought over by Japanese merchants who worshipped it because of its colour believing that it would make them rich. The priests had bred the snake ever since and kept it in a glass case at the front of the temple for visitors to see.

We were taken inside by the priest where he conducted a ritual for my fiancee's family in which he prayed to the snake and allowed them to rub it. Apparently the snake has healing properties and it is believed that if you rub the snake and then touch your own body where it hurts it will heal you. My fiancee and I stood back and watched as her family members followed the priests instructions, we refused to bow to the snake when instructed. The priest said something to us which I did not understand but my fiancee later told me that the priest was basically unhappy we refused to bow and told her that our devotion to our religion was unhealthy and we had offended the snake.

This does not strike me as being enlightened at all. My fiancee's family are actually buddhist but revere the shinto gods as is the Japanese custom of syncretism (the inclusivity you refer to). To watch them bow to a snake and then rub it believing it could actually heal them was the most bizarre thing I've seen from a religious stand point. I believe this kind of practice is completely misguided and even harmful. Rather than enlightening this approach to religion is demeaning to us as humans. I am not ashamed of the fact that the God as revealed through the Bible and in the person of Jesus Christ calls me to eschew idol worship. I would ask you to consider this anecdote Graham and think through the implications of this form of "inclusive" religion.

Chris Li
07-10-2013, 03:15 AM
This does not strike me as being enlightened at all. My fiancee's family are actually buddhist but revere the shinto gods as is the Japanese custom of syncretism (the inclusivity you refer to). To watch them bow to a snake and then rub it believing it could actually heal them was the most bizarre thing I've seen from a religious stand point. I believe this kind of practice is completely misguided and even harmful. Rather than enlightening this approach to religion is demeaning to us as humans. I am not ashamed of the fact that the God as revealed through the Bible and in the person of Jesus Christ calls me to eschew idol worship. I would ask you to consider this anecdote Graham and think through the implications of this form of "inclusive" religion.

Hmm, doesn't seem any odder than Christian snake handling as a religious practice - or the huge market for fragments of the "true cross" or the bones of saints that used to be common in Christianity. In the Middle Ages there were even a number of churches who claimed to be in possession of Christ's foreskin - and that it had magical powers.

For war in Christianity you just have to look to the crusades - or the longest war in history, the Thirty Years War, which all started with Protestant/Catholic squabbling.

As far as that goes, Buddhism in Japan has a long history of armed military conflicts (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S%C5%8Dhei).

Shinto was never really organized enough to get into conflicts on that scale - but played a major role in the ultra-nationalist movement of pre-war Japan.

Omoto-kyo itself dabbled quite a bit with the far right wing before the war - and of course, Deguchi's plan to invade Mongolia really wasn't all that peaceful either, if you happened to be Mongolian.

Best,

Chris

Carsten Möllering
07-10-2013, 04:26 AM
Now, in history shinto on the whole was very tolerant religion as was Buddhism.Hm? When I read my books about Japanese history I find a lot of rivalry and competition between those two. There where bans, takeovers of shrines and temples and so on.
True: There was also blending. But this same blending of religions also has taken place in the West: Ostara is not a christian goddess ... And the mistletoe at christmas also does not have it's roots in christian beliefs ...

In fact I would say Buddhism spread and covered a great part of the world at one point but did so without war which was very unusual for a religion. This is a common prejudice: There has been mission and there have been wars in the history of buddhism. The truly can in no way be compared to the crusades. But they did exist.

... Their God is the ONLY God.
True. But.
Is there something that has "created" the dao? Can there be an alternativ way besides the dao?
Can the truth of Buddha's enligthenment be relativised by different truths?
And so on ...

I think I understand what you hope and what you want your personal religion to be. But I also think that you idealize religious history.

I don't know if you ever watched the old David Carradine Kung Fu Series ...I have come to think that this series is one of the true sources of both buddhism and chinese internal arts here in Europe ...

I think O'Sensei thought similarly.
Maybe o sensei thought this way. But Ueshiba Morihei in 1924 set off to conquer a shambala.
As far as I know it was not as a soldier at war that he experienced hand-to-hand combat. But it was during this religious endeavor?

Bernd Lehnen
07-10-2013, 04:57 AM
Hmm, doesn't seem any odder than Christian snake handling as a religious practice - or the huge market for fragments of the "true cross" or the bones of saints that used to be common in Christianity. In the Middle Ages there were even a number of churches who claimed to be in possession of Christ's foreskin - and that it had magical powers.

For war in Christianity you just have to look to the crusades - or the longest war in history, the Thirty Years War, which all started with Protestant/Catholic squabbling.

As far as that goes, Buddhism in Japan has a long history of armed military conflicts (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S%C5%8Dhei).

Shinto was never really organized enough to get into conflicts on that scale - but played a major role in the ultra-nationalist movement of pre-war Japan.

Omoto-kyo itself dabbled quite a bit with the far right wing before the war - and of course, Deguchi's plan to invade Mongolia really wasn't all that peaceful either, if you happened to be Mongolian.

Best,

Chris

We are what we are.

Anyway, as soon as human beings on grounds of their belief- system feel that they have a mission ( a form of competition) or in consequence those on the receiving end feel that intolerance has become intolerable, both sides may tend to make a public appeal to so called "Sanctity" and/or "Righteous indignation" with sometimes long lasting competitive consequences, including war.

Best,

Bernd

aiki-jujutsuka
07-10-2013, 05:30 AM
Hmm, doesn't seem any odder than Christian snake handling as a religious practice - or the huge market for fragments of the "true cross" or the bones of saints that used to be common in Christianity. In the Middle Ages there were even a number of churches who claimed to be in possession of Christ's foreskin - and that it had magical powers.



Absolutely, I would agree there were some incredulous superstitions perpetuated by Catholicism in the Middle Ages and in some denominations today. However, the tradition of buying sacred relics purported to have efficacious qualities was put to an end through the Reformation in Protestant countries that adopted the religious reforms. The Reformers understood that the Bible was a higher authority than the traditions of the Catholic Church and purged practices that did not conform to Scripture. The Catholicism of the Middle Ages was not true Christianity.

As for the snake handling, the irony of their misguided practice is that the particular part of Scripture they appeal to in defence of their practice is not even considered canonical. The passage comes from Mark 16:18 about handling serpents and drinking deadly poison but the earliest manuscripts of Mark's Gospel do not include chapter 16:9-20, which means most Christians now only recognize Mark 16:1-8 as being canonical. It is widely accepted that verses 9-20 were added later and not originally written by the author of Mark's Gospel.

I don't deny that Christianity has its fair share of misguided practises but these practises when scrutinised by the authority of Scripture are shown to be fraudulent and worthy of rejection.

lbb
07-10-2013, 08:06 AM
"Teetering" sounds both better and worse than the arguably more accurate verb "posing," for which you get additional style points!

Apologies - I didn't mean to impugn your footwork! :D

While I don't disagree with a single point you make in the graph above and find your dedication to reason against idiocy commendable, you may need St. Jude on your side if your observations are directed to OP.

Or at any of us, probably. This thread had the objective at its origin of prying the heathen free of their misguided beliefs, and has continued in that vein - with courtesy, but nevertheless...

So I'll just address Graham directly and say: I believe (and the historical record supports this belief) that you view "Asian religions" through rose-colored glasses, to say the least. Rose-colored glasses distort, but if you don't care to abandon them in order to get a less distorted view, would it help if you saw that they're simply not necessary? The value of a spiritual tradition such as Buddhism isn't diminished by looking at it warts and all - far from it, learning to see things as they are rather than as we would have them is central to Buddhist thought.

Chris Li
07-10-2013, 10:17 AM
Absolutely, I would agree there were some incredulous superstitions perpetuated by Catholicism in the Middle Ages and in some denominations today. However, the tradition of buying sacred relics purported to have efficacious qualities was put to an end through the Reformation in Protestant countries that adopted the religious reforms. The Reformers understood that the Bible was a higher authority than the traditions of the Catholic Church and purged practices that did not conform to Scripture. The Catholicism of the Middle Ages was not true Christianity.

As for the snake handling, the irony of their misguided practice is that the particular part of Scripture they appeal to in defence of their practice is not even considered canonical. The passage comes from Mark 16:18 about handling serpents and drinking deadly poison but the earliest manuscripts of Mark's Gospel do not include chapter 16:9-20, which means most Christians now only recognize Mark 16:1-8 as being canonical. It is widely accepted that verses 9-20 were added later and not originally written by the author of Mark's Gospel.

I don't deny that Christianity has its fair share of misguided practises but these practises when scrutinised by the authority of Scripture are shown to be fraudulent and worthy of rejection.

My point was not to argue over which of the ever-changing interpretations of scripture are "correct", but to point out that a single example (and I'm not even sure that you're not misunderstanding where they're coming from) can hardly characterize a religion as "inclusive", "exclusive, or anything else. Especially in Japan, where there is little uniformity of belief or practice.

Best,

Chris

aiki-jujutsuka
07-10-2013, 11:46 AM
My point was not to argue over which of the ever-changing interpretations of scripture are "correct", but to point out that a single example (and I'm not even sure that you're not misunderstanding where they're coming from) can hardly characterize a religion as "inclusive", "exclusive, or anything else. Especially in Japan, where there is little uniformity of belief or practice.

Best,

Chris

I understood your point and I know you were not trying to argue from Biblical exegesis the merit of snake handling. My response to Graham was to argue that if by "inclusive" we mean all accepting without judgement of the ethical and spiritual merit of such beliefs or practises then this is a cause for concern. To place the teachings of Christianity or any other major religion on a par with snake worship or similar forms of superstition is wrong in my opinion. I was not trying to argue from one example that Japanese religion was inclusive, exclusive or other.

:)

Chris Li
07-10-2013, 11:49 AM
I understood your point and I know you were not trying to argue from Biblical exegesis the merit of snake handling. My response to Graham was to argue that if by "inclusive" we mean all accepting without judgement of the ethical and spiritual merit of such beliefs or practises then this is a cause for concern. To place the teachings of Christianity or any other major religion on a par with snake worship or similar forms of superstition is wrong in my opinion. I was not trying to argue from one example that Japanese religion was inclusive, exclusive or other.

:)

So...you're saying that Shinto is a superstition, but that Christianity is a major religion?

Best,

Chris

bkedelen
07-10-2013, 11:52 AM
My point was not to argue over which of the ever-changing interpretations of scripture are "correct", but to point out that a single example (and I'm not even sure that you're not misunderstanding where they're coming from) can hardly characterize a religion as "inclusive", "exclusive, or anything else. Especially in Japan, where there is little uniformity of belief or practice.

Religion is exclusive by definition, and often violently so. Saying otherwise is as convincing as claiming vegetarianism to be inclusive. This is instinctively understood, since religions that make attempts at inclusivity quickly make everyone uncomfortable.

Japan is a reasonable (and utterly unique) exclusion from the above, however. Japanese culture is so laissez-faire and capricious about religion that, with a few notable outliers, when compared with fundamentalism they barely qualify. Furthermore Shintoism's status as a religion is quite debatable, and most of the folks I know who identify as Shinto do not think of it as such.

mathewjgano
07-10-2013, 01:26 PM
Religion is exclusive by definition, and often violently so. Saying otherwise is as convincing as claiming vegetarianism to be inclusive. This is instinctively understood, since religions that make attempts at inclusivity quickly make everyone uncomfortable.

Japan is a reasonable (and utterly unique) exclusion from the above, however. Japanese culture is so laissez-faire and capricious about religion that, with a few notable outliers, when compared with fundamentalism they barely qualify. Furthermore Shintoism's status as a religion is quite debatable, and most of the folks I know who identify as Shinto do not think of it as such.

That depends partly on one's semantics though, doesn't it? I'm certainly no expert, so please forgive any errors, but I'd label the Shinto of Tsubaki Okami Yashiro as an "inclusive religion." As I think I understand it, it's codified largely in terms of the practices/rituals (which still seems to fit the definition in Webster's for "religion") more than some exclusive point of view or belief, which seems to leave a lot of room for interpretation (and is inclusive to the extent it accepts the individual views of others; as anecdotal evidence, I've heard kannushi suggest that asking different kannushi about the meaning of Shinto will yield differing answers, and it was put forward to suggest this idea...or at the least, that's how my mind interpreted it at the time...I'll have to ask my teacher about his understanding of this now, since the more I write the less confident I feel :o ).

aiki-jujutsuka
07-10-2013, 02:13 PM
So...you're saying that Shinto is a superstition, but that Christianity is a major religion?

Best,

Chris

No I didn't say that, I said snake worship and similar forms of superstition. I was not judging Shintoism as a religion by one example of snake worship, I was expressing concern that a hypothetical all "inclusive" religion as Graham believes Shintoism and Omoto to be should exercise discernment and judgement before declaring all forms of religion as equal and thus believed to be more virtuous because of its non-competitive approach to differences within religions.

mathewjgano
07-10-2013, 02:44 PM
...I'll have to ask my teacher about his understanding of this now, since the more I write the less confident I feel :o ).

My teacher prefers to not use the term "religion" for describing Shinto, as Benjamin was probably alluding.

bkedelen
07-10-2013, 02:50 PM
This thread is evolving into a very strange thought experiment.

Graham, who is not shinto, is implying that shinto is better than other religions because shinto doesn't try to figure out which religion is better, while Ewen disagrees but is trying to talk around the fact that he thinks Christianity is better than other religions, despite (or perhaps because of) the readily available proof to the contrary.

I am interested to see where this goes.

Krystal Locke
07-10-2013, 03:28 PM
Those misguided practices came directly from scripture. Which interpretation is right? Which practice is true? Is truth absolute? Does truth matter? How can truth be ascertained?

Now, O-Sensei said what? In what language, in what society at which point in its history? Is his word truth or is his practice truth? Must we be exactly like him, must we copy his path, or must we do something else? Can we pull any of that off, if necessary?

Absolutely, I would agree there were some incredulous superstitions perpetuated by Catholicism in the Middle Ages and in some denominations today. However, the tradition of buying sacred relics purported to have efficacious qualities was put to an end through the Reformation in Protestant countries that adopted the religious reforms. The Reformers understood that the Bible was a higher authority than the traditions of the Catholic Church and purged practices that did not conform to Scripture. The Catholicism of the Middle Ages was not true Christianity.

As for the snake handling, the irony of their misguided practice is that the particular part of Scripture they appeal to in defence of their practice is not even considered canonical. The passage comes from Mark 16:18 about handling serpents and drinking deadly poison but the earliest manuscripts of Mark's Gospel do not include chapter 16:9-20, which means most Christians now only recognize Mark 16:1-8 as being canonical. It is widely accepted that verses 9-20 were added later and not originally written by the author of Mark's Gospel.

I don't deny that Christianity has its fair share of misguided practises but these practises when scrutinised by the authority of Scripture are shown to be fraudulent and worthy of rejection.

aiki-jujutsuka
07-10-2013, 04:52 PM
This thread is evolving into a very strange thought experiment.

Graham, who is not shinto, is implying that shinto is better than other religions because shinto doesn't try to figure out which religion is better, while Ewen disagrees but is trying to talk around the fact that he thinks Christianity is better than other religions, despite (or perhaps because of) the readily available proof to the contrary.

I am interested to see where this goes.

Christianity as an instituted form of religion is fallible, like all man-made institutions religious or otherwise, and as a Christian myself I have had to wrestle with and confront its many mistakes, errors and injustices throughout the ages and into modern day. I have not denied in this thread that there have been legitimate grievances against Christianity. But that does not mean the fundamental principles, morality, ethics, teachings and indeed truth (if I may be so bold) of Christianity as a spiritual path established by Jesus himself as preserved in the Bible are not correct and worthy of pursuit.

Those misguided practices came directly from scripture. Which interpretation is right? Which practice is true? Is truth absolute? Does truth matter? How can truth be ascertained?

Assuming these questions are genuine and not sarcastic or satirical I gave reason why snake handling is not considered orthodox practise within mainstream Christianity. While Mark 16:9-20 are still printed in Bibles, all versions of Bibles now bracket or at least footnote that these verses are not found in the earliest manuscripts of Mark's Gospel and are thus universally rejected by Bible scholars and translators as non-canonical, as they did not originate from the author himself. Only the writings of the authors of the books of the New Testament is considered inspired Scripture, not embellishment added later. To base a practise on the supposed teachings of Jesus is unwise and especially in the case of snake handling dangerous as these writings were not inspired by the Holy Spirit. The apostolic foundation of the New Testament writings creates an excellent criteria for how truth can be ascertained regarding so called Christian practises and traditions.

graham christian
07-10-2013, 05:18 PM
Absolutely, I would agree there were some incredulous superstitions perpetuated by Catholicism in the Middle Ages and in some denominations today. However, the tradition of buying sacred relics purported to have efficacious qualities was put to an end through the Reformation in Protestant countries that adopted the religious reforms. The Reformers understood that the Bible was a higher authority than the traditions of the Catholic Church and purged practices that did not conform to Scripture. The Catholicism of the Middle Ages was not true Christianity.

As for the snake handling, the irony of their misguided practice is that the particular part of Scripture they appeal to in defence of their practice is not even considered canonical. The passage comes from Mark 16:18 about handling serpents and drinking deadly poison but the earliest manuscripts of Mark's Gospel do not include chapter 16:9-20, which means most Christians now only recognize Mark 16:1-8 as being canonical. It is widely accepted that verses 9-20 were added later and not originally written by the author of Mark's Gospel.

I don't deny that Christianity has its fair share of misguided practises but these practises when scrutinised by the authority of Scripture are shown to be fraudulent and worthy of rejection.

Hi Ewen. Whether catholisism at a certain time was or was not true christianity I see people can debate and reason. The removal of one thing and concentration on another is fine but within that personally I still see a human trait of symbology. Therefor if symbols have such a rewarding effect then why say anyone can't have them? I haven't seen any religion or person or group that doesn't have some or many sybolic representation.

A symbol basically represents something, that's why it is a symbol. Letters are symbols too and so are words. So a snake, an idol, the M of macdonalds.....all symbols. So for me I never blame the symbol or put a symbol down for I only look at what it represents to me.

To do with 'other' religions I would err on the side of respecting what they do and if in 'their house' so to speak would thus follow the ritual or procedure out of respect. If I consider it breaks a firmly held rule of mine then of course I would politely refuse. Thus I see generally no problem there or need to be against.

Peace.G.

graham christian
07-10-2013, 05:30 PM
Hm? When I read my books about Japanese history I find a lot of rivalry and competition between those two. There where bans, takeovers of shrines and temples and so on.
True: There was also blending. But this same blending of religions also has taken place in the West: Ostara is not a christian goddess ... And the mistletoe at christmas also does not have it's roots in christian beliefs ...

This is a common prejudice: There has been mission and there have been wars in the history of buddhism. The truly can in no way be compared to the crusades. But they did exist.

True. But.
Is there something that has "created" the dao? Can there be an alternativ way besides the dao?
Can the truth of Buddha's enligthenment be relativised by different truths?
And so on ...

I think I understand what you hope and what you want your personal religion to be. But I also think that you idealize religious history.

I have come to think that this series is one of the true sources of both buddhism and chinese internal arts here in Europe ...

Maybe o sensei thought this way. But Ueshiba Morihei in 1924 set off to conquer a shambala.
As far as I know it was not as a soldier at war that he experienced hand-to-hand combat. But it was during this religious endeavor?

I don't think I idealize religious history. The beginnings of such religions were no doubt much much more ideal for real than later 'copies'. In fact Religion itself is about and should be about ideal....that's it's job. In essence it should be the moral compass of humanity which just shows how far from ideal we are in my opinion.

Peace.G.

bkedelen
07-10-2013, 05:54 PM
But that does not mean the fundamental principles, morality, ethics, teachings and indeed truth (if I may be so bold) of Christianity as a spiritual path established by Jesus himself as preserved in the Bible are not correct and worthy of pursuit.

You may not be so bold. The bible is, among many other abominable things, literally a pro-slavery document, so I am going to go ahead and call bullshit on this one.

graham christian
07-10-2013, 05:55 PM
This thread is evolving into a very strange thought experiment.

Graham, who is not shinto, is implying that shinto is better than other religions because shinto doesn't try to figure out which religion is better, while Ewen disagrees but is trying to talk around the fact that he thinks Christianity is better than other religions, despite (or perhaps because of) the readily available proof to the contrary.

I am interested to see where this goes.

Mmmm, better than? I am saying that a scholarly distinction was made which note the two differences of inclusive and exclusive monotheism. Both no doubt contain many religions.

Thus I make two points.

!) That the exclusive one and it's given meaning if adhered to is detrimental, divisive, competitive and egocentric.

2) That in essence none should be under that label anyway.

Saying one is superior to another or indeed all others is wholly detrimental in my opinion and indeed unreligious.

That would be basic step one which I doubt humanity could even handle. Then step two would be noticing that as religion in essence is inclusive that the only outness is not religion but man dressed up as religious.

Peace.G.

Krystal Locke
07-10-2013, 06:05 PM
Why would religion make a better moral compass than, say, the obligate social nature of the species?

I don't think I idealize religious history. The beginnings of such religions were no doubt much much more ideal for real than later 'copies'. In fact Religion itself is about and should be about ideal....that's it's job. In essence it should be the moral compass of humanity which just shows how far from ideal we are in my opinion.

Peace.G.

graham christian
07-10-2013, 06:14 PM
Hmmm. Tried to get a link to a pertinent page but it didn't work. Anyway an interesting page is on google entitled: Frequently Asked Questions About Oomoto.

Peace.G.

lbb
07-10-2013, 08:39 PM
A symbol basically represents something, that's why it is a symbol. Letters are symbols too and so are words. So a snake, an idol, the M of macdonalds.....all symbols. So for me I never blame the symbol or put a symbol down for I only look at what it represents to me.

Symbolism and idolatry are not the same thing. The Big Three Monotheisms all take serious issue with idolatry, for reasons that are at least logically consistent, I'd say. To worship an object as a god - that's idolatry. However, I don't think the shinto example of the snake qualifies. If a Big Three Monotheist wants to frown upon the snake worship on "thou shalt have no other gods before me" grounds, okay, that's their thing - but I don't think it's idolatry.

aiki-jujutsuka
07-11-2013, 02:09 AM
You may not be so bold. The bible is, among many other abominable things, literally a pro-slavery document, so I am going to go ahead and call bullshit on this one.

where's your proof? Please provide evidence.

Bernd Lehnen
07-11-2013, 03:51 AM
Quote:
Benjamin Edelen wrote:
You may not be so bold. The bible is, among many other abominable things, literally a pro-slavery document, so I am going to go ahead and call bullshit on this one.
where's your proof? Please provide evidence.

Evidence?

The only possible outcome in this case may be that the bible isn't an appropriate tool to rely on as a final source since it has been used to no avail in endless "pros and contras" not only between atheists and christians but also between "christian-hardcore-believers" themselves, depending on their view on slavery.

aiki-jujutsuka
07-11-2013, 04:17 AM
Evidence?

The only possible outcome in this case may be that the bible isn't an appropriate tool to rely on as a final source since it has been used to no avail in endless "pros and contras" not only between atheists and christians but also between "christian-hardcore-believers" themselves, depending on their view on slavery.

Not so, if you are going to claim the Bible condones slavery and then say but you can't argue from the Bible that this is not true then this is just special pleading. Either the ethical code of the Bible condones slavery or it doesn't. Now this argument has been used against Christianity before and it is a serious claim, especially since our connotations of slavery are so closely linked to the African Slave Trade of the 18th Century and human trafficking today. To say that the Bible could be used to justify such heinous acts of inhumanity and cruelty is very serious and needs to be supported.

Demetrio Cereijo
07-11-2013, 04:36 AM
Not so, if you are going to claim the Bible condones slavery and then say but you can't argue from the Bible that this is not true then this is just special pleading. Either the ethical code of the Bible condones slavery or it doesn't.

Leviticus 25:44-46

Carsten Möllering
07-11-2013, 05:07 AM
Manifold in the letters of Paul.
And not only there ...

I thought this would be obvious? And that the question is not whether it is there but how deal with it?

ahhhh ... I don't like those fundamentalist discussions regarding the texts of the bible. They simply were not meant and were not made to be understood this way ...

Demetrio Cereijo
07-11-2013, 05:13 AM
ahhhh ... I don't like those fundamentalist discussions regarding the texts of the bible. They simply were not meant and were not made to be understood this way ...

Discussion is futile... they have been assimilated.

aiki-jujutsuka
07-11-2013, 05:19 AM
Leviticus 25:44-46

and are we prepared to put this into historical context - even within Leviticus 25 itself?

"Slavery" as understood in the Bible was more like servanthood. Slaves had rights, they were not to be kidnapped, they were not to be beaten or killed and they were to be given their freedom after 7 years. They could also be redeemed if a member of their family had sufficient money to pay off their debt or they earned enough to buy their freedom.This in no way resembles the slavery practised throughout European colonialism or modern day human trafficking rings. Passages from the Bible must be interpreted within their context, not just pulled out of the page.

Demetrio Cereijo
07-11-2013, 05:35 AM
and are we prepared to put this into historical context - even within Leviticus 25 itself?

"Slavery" as understood in the Bible was more like servanthood. Slaves had rights, they were not to be kidnapped, they were not to be beaten or killed and they were to be given their freedom after 7 years. They could also be redeemed if a member of their family had sufficient money to pay off their debt or they earned enough to buy their freedom.This in no way resembles the slavery practised throughout European colonialism or modern day human trafficking rings. Passages from the Bible must be interpreted within their context, not just pulled out of the page.

You asked for proof about the Bible condoning slavery, not for an interpretation.

I'm not interested in biblical/christian apologetics, only in what the people did for centuries based on what an imaginary being is said to have told some primitive middle-east goat herders about how to behave.

aiki-jujutsuka
07-11-2013, 07:12 AM
You asked for proof about the Bible condoning slavery, not for an interpretation.

I'm not interested in biblical/christian apologetics, only in what the people did for centuries based on what an imaginary being is said to have told some primitive middle-east goat herders about how to behave.

Proof requires valid interpretation. To state the Bible condones slavery as we understand it today and then to make a moral judgement on the Bible's teachings requires justification. If you are not interested in discussing the topic objectively then this just reveals your prejudice. The criteria for slavery in the Bible is very clear and ethical within its context and cannot be used to condone slavery in its early modern and modern forms.

Demetrio Cereijo
07-11-2013, 07:36 AM
Proof requires valid interpretation. To state the Bible condones slavery as we understand it today and then to make a moral judgement on the Bible's teachings requires justification. If you are not interested in discussing the topic objectively then this just reveals your prejudice. The criteria for slavery in the Bible is very clear and ethical within its context and cannot be used to condone slavery in its early modern and modern forms.

Exactly, I am prejudiced against people who can state slavery is morally righ if it follows the rules established by a bunch of "I hear voices inside my head" bronze age guys.

Carsten Möllering
07-11-2013, 07:42 AM
Again:

Manifold in the letters of Paul.
Roman understanding of slavery.

aiki-jujutsuka
07-11-2013, 08:13 AM
Again:

Manifold in the letters of Paul.
Roman understanding of slavery.

Please show me where Paul's understanding of slavery was Roman.

Take the letter to Philemon regarding his bondservant Onesimus:

"I am sending him back to you, sending my very heart...For this perhaps is why he was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back forever, no longer as a bondservant but more than a bondservant, as a beloved brother—especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord." Philemon 1:12-15&16

Or again in Galatians 3:28

"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."

Paul did not discriminate against race or class. His teachings did not condone the mistreatment or abuse of "slaves". Paul did not teach inequality. To say Paul's understanding of slavery was Roman is misleading. The New Testament is not a political manifesto. Paul was not trying to overthrow the existing Roman authorities. But that does not mean he condoned Roman slavery or modern slavery.

lbb
07-11-2013, 08:24 AM
Perhaps it's time for those who want to argue about the Christian Bible's presentation of slavery to start a new thread on that subject - in the Open forum, maybe, as this seems to have nothing to do with aikido or even spirituality more generally.

Carsten Möllering
07-11-2013, 08:54 AM
As far as I'm concerned I'm not interested in keeping up this discussion.

Marc Abrams
07-11-2013, 09:50 AM
Aw, Shucks!

This thread was warming up to be a nice, new holy war.... ;)

Marc Abrams

Chris Li
07-11-2013, 11:28 AM
and are we prepared to put this into historical context - even within Leviticus 25 itself?

"Slavery" as understood in the Bible was more like servanthood. Slaves had rights, they were not to be kidnapped, they were not to be beaten or killed and they were to be given their freedom after 7 years. They could also be redeemed if a member of their family had sufficient money to pay off their debt or they earned enough to buy their freedom.This in no way resembles the slavery practised throughout European colonialism or modern day human trafficking rings. Passages from the Bible must be interpreted within their context, not just pulled out of the page.

Only seven years? It must be okay then, if it's regulated.... :D

That leaves out what happens to the gentiles, though, who can be enslaved for life and passed onto future generations, and Exodus does permit slaves to be beaten, with certain restrictions.

Best,

Chris

Janet Rosen
07-11-2013, 11:36 AM
Exactly, I am prejudiced against people who can state slavery is morally righ if it follows the rules established by a bunch of "I hear voices inside my head" bronze age guys.

{irony on}
Oh, you mean I shouldn't be happy to read that debt slavery is morally acceptable?
{irony off}

aiki-jujutsuka
07-11-2013, 12:13 PM
Only seven years? It must be okay then, if it's regulated.... :D

That leaves out what happens to the gentiles, though, who can be enslaved for life and passed onto future generations, and Exodus does permit slaves to be beaten, with certain restrictions.

Best,

Chris

Right so contracts and disciplinaries at work must also be morally reprehensible then too? Slavery as understood in the ancient near east was in the main voluntary. It was to prevent destitution and poverty or a way of repaying a debt. You have to consider the circumstances of the arrangements being made between master and slave.

jonreading
07-11-2013, 12:24 PM
What starts out as something...

I'll throw my thoughts into this:
1. Religion is often the common referral to organized faith. In some faiths, religion is claimed as doctrine direct from the idol(s). In most cases, there is a non-divine interpretation which impreaches the authenticity of the doctrine. For example, the Bible was not written by God but rather a collection of stories re-written many times by a collection of authors. As a segment of the faith, some believers transcend the argument of authenticity. Further, to argue out of context, perspective or consideration extractions of text from a document whose authenticity is impeachable is to present an argument which is unresolveable as a burden of proof.
2. As a matter of comment, I think there is some sensitivy right now to the issue of invalidation by association within the Christian Church. The argument appearing something like, "Once, in this passage, the Bible spoken favorably of slavery. Therefore the Bible condones slavery. Therefore the Bible is Bad. Therefore believers in the Bible are bad." The sensitivity is furthered heighted by the rather directed scrutiny at Christianity, without equal scrutiny in the other 7 major religions.
3. As related in the original post, this thread looks at the level of validation given to the argument of religion. As many of the initial comments indicated, I chose to ignore the thread because I believe that particular claim was not worthy of response. As the post matured, I think it maybe changed to be a more reasonable discussion... Personally, I am on the record as having no consistent understanding of "competition" as used by Graham. He [and everyone else] knows this. Religion is a administrative aspect of spirituality. I think most religions seek to disseminate, cultivate, and administrate their particular faith with the tools they believe accomplish those tasks. The level of success with which they accomplish these tasks is related to the perpetuation of their religion. The rise and fall of Shinto as the national Japanese religion would be some representation of the intial success and eventual dis-establishment of a religion.

I think to contend religion is a pure representation of faith is invalid. I think to content culture as a pure representation of faith is invalid. I think to content faith as a pure representation of divinity is invalid.

A friend of mine once remarked if future generations would perceive our athletic professions as we perceive gladitorial games of our past cultures. Similarly, I wonder what future generations will call our financially indebted individuals who are bound by their debt to house loans, school loans, credits cards, rich uncles.... I think we used to call them indentured servants...

God wills it!!

Fred Little
07-11-2013, 12:27 PM
Slavery as understood in the ancient near east was in the main voluntary. It was to prevent destitution and poverty or a way of repaying a debt. You have to consider the circumstances of the arrangements being made between master and slave.

Ewen,

With all due respect, you're not on a sound historical footing here.

Some slaves were prisoners of war, some became slaves as a result of criminal judgment, some became slaves because they were sold into slavery by parents. None of these categories can be considered remotely "voluntary."

If you want to have a fairly thorough understanding of the historical roots of slavery -- even those instances which you justify as "voluntary...to prevent desitution and poverty or a way of repaying a debt" in the Near East, you would do well to read David Graeber's recent masterpiece: Debt: The First Five Thousand Years (http://www.amazon.com/Debt-First-5-000-Years/dp/1612191290/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1373563394&sr=1-1&keywords=debt).

Best,

Fred Little

Mark Freeman
07-11-2013, 12:32 PM
Why would religion make a better moral compass than, say, the obligate social nature of the species?

A very good question!

there is an excellent debate to be seen and heard between Tony Blair and Christopher Hitchens:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xq2GmUa4s7Y

The motion is that "Religion is a force for good in the world"

This particular clip doesn't seem to have the final result attached, I have seen it elsewhere and Hitchens managed to sway the audience heavily to oppose the motion.

Blair is a consumate orator and a worthy spokesman for the religious argument, as much as I personally dislike the man for his actions whilst in office, you can't take away from him his forceful arguments. However, He is no match for Hitchens' humanity, reason, intelligence and brilliantly stated case. It is worth watching just for his opening 7 minutes, which brilliantly sums up why there is no chance of peace in the middle east, any time soon.

As far as I can see, the major religions are pretty much all competitive and exclusive and will remain so. I was under the impression that Buddhism is not a religion as there is no god to have faith in to start with.

And reading the debate on the thread here, competition is alive and well as usual. :)

regards,

Mark

bkedelen
07-11-2013, 02:17 PM
I would not lump Buddhism together for any substantive discussion. The different sects and cultures who practice it are diverse, and not without their own problems.

Tibetan Buddhism is absolutely a religion, with a boat load of gods, demons, dogma, superstition, and fundamentalism. They are currently participating in a holy war against the Chinese occupation of Tibet.

Other varieties of pure land Buddhism also have piles of dogma and although they seem to be less violent than the Abrahamic cults, there could be societal, geographic, and situational mitigating factors. There are a few holy wars going on with Islam in southeast asia, but Islam seems to be soliciting holy war with pretty much everyone right now.

Zen is, in theory, without dogma and formless enough to be disqualified as a religion, but in practice often shows up as an exploitative hierarchy supporting a variety of abusive situations. Since this is indistinguishable from other "in practice" religions, I would hesitate to give it a pass.

aiki-jujutsuka
07-11-2013, 03:17 PM
Ewen,

With all due respect, you're not on a sound historical footing here.

Some slaves were prisoners of war, some became slaves as a result of criminal judgment, some became slaves because they were sold into slavery by parents. None of these categories can be considered remotely "voluntary."

If you want to have a fairly thorough understanding of the historical roots of slavery -- even those instances which you justify as "voluntary...to prevent desitution and poverty or a way of repaying a debt" in the Near East, you would do well to read David Graeber's recent masterpiece: Debt: The First Five Thousand Years (http://www.amazon.com/Debt-First-5-000-Years/dp/1612191290/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1373563394&sr=1-1&keywords=debt).

Best,

Fred Little

Completely, thank you for balancing my statement and drawing attention to these other reasons. I did not mean to appear to be glossing over these important considerations. What I was trying to emphasize was that ancient slavery was not purely based on the financial exploitation and racial superiority of one group of people over another in contrast to the African Slave Trade and Human Trafficking. Certainly the Bible upholds the humanity and value of bondservants.

:)

graham christian
07-11-2013, 04:28 PM
A very good question!

there is an excellent debate to be seen and heard between Tony Blair and Christopher Hitchens:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xq2GmUa4s7Y

The motion is that "Religion is a force for good in the world"

This particular clip doesn't seem to have the final result attached, I have seen it elsewhere and Hitchens managed to sway the audience heavily to oppose the motion.

Blair is a consumate orator and a worthy spokesman for the religious argument, as much as I personally dislike the man for his actions whilst in office, you can't take away from him his forceful arguments. However, He is no match for Hitchens' humanity, reason, intelligence and brilliantly stated case. It is worth watching just for his opening 7 minutes, which brilliantly sums up why there is no chance of peace in the middle east, any time soon.

As far as I can see, the major religions are pretty much all competitive and exclusive and will remain so. I was under the impression that Buddhism is not a religion as there is no god to have faith in to start with.

And reading the debate on the thread here, competition is alive and well as usual. :)

regards,

Mark

Hey, welcome to the madness;) Good video by the way. Competing ideas. I find the subject called debating flawed though for as he describes in the beginning it itself is a competition with the rules of destroying the oppositions points.

Funny how I can for example have discussions with Bob for example on anything be it deep or trivial but we never destroy or make wrong each others views. We don't even contradict. Yet we gain.

So without competition real gains can be made....and thus harmony.:)

I'll let you into a little secret when it comes to folk asking or even telling me Buddhists don't believe in God. I tell them the true name of God is found by adding another 'o'.

Peace.G.

lbb
07-11-2013, 08:53 PM
Hey, welcome to the madness;) Good video by the way. Competing ideas. I find the subject called debating flawed though for as he describes in the beginning it itself is a competition with the rules of destroying the oppositions points.

Really? Never having been on a debate team, I can't say, but I always thought the goal was to offer the more persuasive argument. Destruction seems beside the point.

I'll let you into a little secret when it comes to folk asking or even telling me Buddhists don't believe in God.

I don't believe that was the statement, but I suppose it could be construed that way. The way that I'd describe Buddhism is as a philosophy and set of spiritual teachings and practices that do not address the question of whether or not there is a god, much less what its nature might be. Maybe because questions of the existence and nature of God are so central to the Big Three, those of us coming from a Big Three-dominated culture tend to see this as essential to a religion: different religions come up with different answers, but that's the question they all focus on. As Buddhism doesn't, maybe it's a religion and maybe it's not, but it seems to me fundamentally different than what we usually call "religion".

Krystal Locke
07-12-2013, 02:43 AM
Yup, I do loves me some good Hitch. Drunk as a bi.., ooh shouldn't say that, ok, a very drunk person, pissed in every sense of the word, completely mangling his lapel mic, extemporizing the way no other human could, unkempt beautiful Hitch.

A very kind couple of dojomates gave me his book Mortality as a good test gift a week before my nidan exam. I immediately read the first chapter, then put it away for when I had earned the gift.

Hitchen's rhetoric was a bit like I want my aikido to be, apparently sloppy but stealthily sharp, way over the top irimi, witty, and hopefully beautifully, incredibly human, honest, and real in the end.

Check out his answer to Dennis Prager's "test question" for atheists. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sYYZbZ8lDw

A very good question!

there is an excellent debate to be seen and heard between Tony Blair and Christopher Hitchens:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xq2GmUa4s7Y

The motion is that "Religion is a force for good in the world"

This particular clip doesn't seem to have the final result attached, I have seen it elsewhere and Hitchens managed to sway the audience heavily to oppose the motion.

Blair is a consumate orator and a worthy spokesman for the religious argument, as much as I personally dislike the man for his actions whilst in office, you can't take away from him his forceful arguments. However, He is no match for Hitchens' humanity, reason, intelligence and brilliantly stated case. It is worth watching just for his opening 7 minutes, which brilliantly sums up why there is no chance of peace in the middle east, any time soon.

As far as I can see, the major religions are pretty much all competitive and exclusive and will remain so. I was under the impression that Buddhism is not a religion as there is no god to have faith in to start with.

And reading the debate on the thread here, competition is alive and well as usual. :)

regards,

Mark

Mark Freeman
07-12-2013, 08:31 AM
Hitchen's rhetoric was a bit like I want my aikido to be, apparently sloppy but stealthily sharp, way over the top irimi, witty, and hopefully beautifully, incredibly human, honest, and real in the end.

Ah, the perfection of Hitchenage, truly a worthy practice.....deep bow...:cool:

Check out his answer to Dennis Prager's "test question" for atheists. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sYYZbZ8lDw

I did, excellent, thanks. The rational, secular world owes this man a debt of gratitude for being such an erudite and charismatic champion for the cause. :)

regards,

Mark

Mark Freeman
07-12-2013, 08:55 AM
I would not lump Buddhism together for any substantive discussion. The different sects and cultures who practice it are diverse, and not without their own problems.

Tibetan Buddhism is absolutely a religion, with a boat load of gods, demons, dogma, superstition, and fundamentalism. They are currently participating in a holy war against the Chinese occupation of Tibet.

Other varieties of pure land Buddhism also have piles of dogma and although they seem to be less violent than the Abrahamic cults, there could be societal, geographic, and situational mitigating factors. There are a few holy wars going on with Islam in southeast asia, but Islam seems to be soliciting holy war with pretty much everyone right now.

Zen is, in theory, without dogma and formless enough to be disqualified as a religion, but in practice often shows up as an exploitative hierarchy supporting a variety of abusive situations. Since this is indistinguishable from other "in practice" religions, I would hesitate to give it a pass.

Hi Benjamin,

As far as I understand things, Buddha did not want worship from followers, he offered a philosophy and teaching based on his own personal experience. Nothing was written down in his lifetime, all writing about his life happened many years after the event. So how accurate the reports are anybodies guess. Religions are based on the writings of men. I believe the same is true of the Christian gospels, all written after the event and subject to the writers own interpretations. There are no divine writings anywhere, every word man-made.

The fact that men twist and distort often sound teachings for their own ends is, it seems to me, the nature of 'men' through the ages (and it is mostly men) using the words to control and subjugate others .

On a demonstration in London not so long ago, a Muslim was waving a placard with the words "Kill all those who say that Islam is not a religion of peace"..... For me (apart from the delicious irony) it sums up all that is daft about blindly following belief, rather than looking for personal truth in the moment.

regards,

Mark

bkedelen
07-12-2013, 10:34 AM
Everyone will benefit from reading "What Makes You Not a Buddhist" by Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse.

Keith Larman
07-12-2013, 11:10 AM
Everyone will benefit from reading "What Makes You Not a Buddhist" by Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse.

I'll second that recommendation -- just finished reading it a few days ago.

FWIW I came across the book after reading his article What Makes You a Buddhist (http://khyentsefoundation.org/pdf/WMYNAB-shambhala.pdf). Good read.

graham christian
07-12-2013, 02:02 PM
Really? Never having been on a debate team, I can't say, but I always thought the goal was to offer the more persuasive argument. Destruction seems beside the point.

I don't believe that was the statement, but I suppose it could be construed that way. The way that I'd describe Buddhism is as a philosophy and set of spiritual teachings and practices that do not address the question of whether or not there is a god, much less what its nature might be. Maybe because questions of the existence and nature of God are so central to the Big Three, those of us coming from a Big Three-dominated culture tend to see this as essential to a religion: different religions come up with different answers, but that's the question they all focus on. As Buddhism doesn't, maybe it's a religion and maybe it's not, but it seems to me fundamentally different than what we usually call "religion".

If only destruction was besides the point. It's explained how 'needed' it is in the intro to Marks video.

Buddhism as a whole doesn't concentrate on God as the same way what you call the big three do. I know Buddhists who believe in God and others who don't. The main difference is on what the concentration is on apart from not being exclusive monotheism. Buddha or the one generally known as Buddha believed in God when he went on his course of meditations etc. Within Buddhism there are also Devine beings and 'Gods' but the emphasis is on suffering and the reasons for it and the disciplines to overcome it.

Buddha himself viewed not much differently to how many nowadays view religion. He saw many praying to their Gods and acting like theirs is the true one and the results were basically division and rule and suffering. As he believed God was Good then he saw the truths of why all this madness happens in the name of God needed to be understood. Hence his spiritual path.

O'Sensei used Buddhist divinities in his spiritual sayings too.

Peace.G.

graham christian
07-12-2013, 02:15 PM
Then also much in alignment with Ueshiba and his words is the factor of Kanagara. Being at the heart of shinto it is the non exclusive factor said to be necessary to all religions and said to be what is needed by them to make them better religions.

Now where have I heard that before?;)

Peace.G.

graham christian
07-16-2013, 12:04 PM
As this thread has been moved from spiritual...amazingly....I must share this little video.

I finally found an intellectual I love......it's a first! As this is open discussion then the video being a bit off topic doesn't matter......it's great and amazing though.....Enjoy. (It's only a couple of minutes):)

http://youtu.be/QeDm2PrNV1I

Peace.G.

lbb
07-16-2013, 01:13 PM
I think you're confusing your terms again. "Intellectual" and "Intelligent, well-informed and articulate (if we trust the translation) person" are two different things.

graham christian
07-16-2013, 05:07 PM
I think you're confusing your terms again. "Intellectual" and "Intelligent, well-informed and articulate (if we trust the translation) person" are two different things.

Well I'm glad you know the difference. No confusion this end. So does the little dude.;)

Peace.G.

lbb
07-16-2013, 07:37 PM
Well I'm glad you know the difference. No confusion this end. So does the little dude.;)

Peace.G.

So why did you call him an intellectual, then? Slip of the keyboard? That's cool, happens to the best of us.

graham christian
07-16-2013, 07:44 PM
So why did you call him an intellectual, then? Slip of the keyboard? That's cool, happens to the best of us.

He is that unusual thing...an intelligent, articulate intellectual. No slip.

Peace.G.