little lies, big lies

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: little lies, big lies

Postby rowyourboat » Fri Aug 12, 2011 9:59 pm

I think differences in empathy/compassion/friendliness levels are linked to 'distant' parenting styles vs the more attached loving responsive parenting style. These variations are seen between different cultures- those who have had more love as children rather than a relatively cold and boundaried upbringing are more likely to see human beings as essentially loving, therefore trust people more.

With metta
:anjali:


Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha
rowyourboat
 
Posts: 1949
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:29 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: little lies, big lies

Postby alan » Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:12 am

Dan and Dave:
I've read through your posts and they seem to be feeling-based opinions that are not backed up with facts.

Of course, I'm supposing that you value facts. Why this perverse anti-intellectualism?
Why are so many people afraid of a rational outlook?
alan
 
Posts: 2542
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:14 am
Location: Miramar beach, Fl.

Re: little lies, big lies

Postby alan » Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:34 am

If we accept evolution as a fact, other things necessarily follow. For instance: those who have a sense of compassion and generosity will be more likely to survive and care for their children. Can anyone show me a world where we evolve without these traits?

I'd like to hear from those who argue against rationality and logic as the main way of understanding our world. I'm not arguing against Kamma--but please do tell if you have an outlook you think is superior to reason. You'll have to prove it, of course. Using reason.
alan
 
Posts: 2542
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:14 am
Location: Miramar beach, Fl.

Re: little lies, big lies

Postby Dan74 » Sat Aug 13, 2011 6:47 am

It's hard to know how to reply to you, alan, because I don't know exactly where you are coming from with this. So most likely I won't make much sense to you.

Look, I am not anti-rational at all. Logic is what I do for work after all - I am a mathematician. What I caution against is a kind of intoxication with logic and rationality. They have their place, they are useful and important, but there is a lot more to life. I hope we all know that. We experience the world not as a binary string, not as a set of logical propositions, but as it is which is much more than facts, sensory data, and evaluation. What I call for is a simple recognition of our humanity which includes logic and so much more.

As for Harris, he seems to reduce religions to caricatures and then demolish them. Look at how he talks about Islam, about Judaism. He leaves out the core and then lambasts the shell. This is very common to these dry intellectual types because they feel uneasy with what they cannot fully grasp, so they ignore it. It's an impoverished sad way of being in the world - experiencing it solely through the cold prism of one's conceptual framework. Anything else is forcefully shut out. I can't be sure that Harris is truly like this - I may be drawing a caricature here too. But I am trying to make a general point really rather than carefully critique Harris.

Intellect and logic can be used to look at compassion and the evolutionary viewpoint can help us see how it may have developed but this is hardly the whole story.
_/|\_
User avatar
Dan74
 
Posts: 2630
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:12 pm

Re: little lies, big lies

Postby Ben » Sat Aug 13, 2011 7:44 am

Hi Dan

If you haven't already come across it, I recommend you read "End of Faith" by Sam Harris. "Letter to a Christian Nation" is also excellent but I found it a condensed version of "End of Faith". IMHO, I don't think he paints religions as caricatures. I think he does a pretty good job of grappling with some uncomfortable truths. Even if we find him disagreeable, his ideas none-the-less are worthy of sincere consideration.
kind regards

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 16059
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: little lies, big lies

Postby alan » Sun Aug 14, 2011 3:44 am

Good advice, Ben. "End of faith" is a must-read.
Dan, I'm coming from a position that says quantifiable thoughts should be subject to logical analysis, then accepted or rejected on that basis alone. I'm discounting emotional reactions. I'm arguing for a more structured, provable basis for our assertions. I don't see any conflict between this and the idea that we can come to an understanding of our experiences that is liberating, but I do have reservations about broad-based claims about, for instance, the is-ness of reality.
Don't mean to be cruel and cold hearted here. But my experience is that emotion is far overvalued, while rationality is often left to sit alone in the corner. I'm trying to correct that imbalance.
alan
 
Posts: 2542
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:14 am
Location: Miramar beach, Fl.

Re: little lies, big lies

Postby Kim OHara » Sun Aug 14, 2011 4:20 am

alan wrote:Good advice, Ben. "End of faith" is a must-read.
Dan, I'm coming from a position that says quantifiable thoughts should be subject to logical analysis, then accepted or rejected on that basis alone. I'm discounting emotional reactions. I'm arguing for a more structured, provable basis for our assertions. I don't see any conflict between this and the idea that we can come to an understanding of our experiences that is liberating, but I do have reservations about broad-based claims about, for instance, the is-ness of reality.
Don't mean to be cruel and cold hearted here. But my experience is that emotion is far overvalued, while rationality is often left to sit alone in the corner. I'm trying to correct that imbalance.

On the other hand, Alan, emotion is what dictates which questions one applies reason and logic to.
Reason is a tool - a wonderful tool, and one that I use wherever it seems useful, but only a tool.
You can wander around all day with a hammer in your hand but the hammer will not tell you what to hit.

:thinking:
Kim
User avatar
Kim OHara
 
Posts: 3046
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 5:47 am
Location: North Queensland, Australia

Re: little lies, big lies

Postby alan » Sun Aug 14, 2011 4:39 am

The application of reason is determined by our emotional response to the issue?
Recipe for disaster.
alan
 
Posts: 2542
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:14 am
Location: Miramar beach, Fl.

Re: little lies, big lies

Postby alan » Sun Aug 14, 2011 4:44 am

In the big ballroom of life, Emotion gets all the dances. Reason sits alone in the corner, thinking about things.
The hammer analogy is not a correct representation of the situation.
alan
 
Posts: 2542
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:14 am
Location: Miramar beach, Fl.

Re: little lies, big lies

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Aug 14, 2011 4:51 am

alan wrote:In the big ballroom of life, Emotion gets all the dances. Reason sits alone in the corner, thinking about things.
The hammer analogy is not a correct representation of the situation.
Does reason in one's life choices ever function without emotion?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19363
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: little lies, big lies

Postby alan » Sun Aug 14, 2011 5:01 am

No.
alan
 
Posts: 2542
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:14 am
Location: Miramar beach, Fl.

Re: little lies, big lies

Postby alan » Sun Aug 14, 2011 5:04 am

No. There is certainly an emotional aspect in our decisions. I'm arguing that the scales are often imbalanced.
alan
 
Posts: 2542
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:14 am
Location: Miramar beach, Fl.

Re: little lies, big lies

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Aug 14, 2011 5:17 am

alan wrote:No. There is certainly an emotional aspect in our decisions. I'm arguing that the scales are often imbalanced.
It is the nature of the beast.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19363
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: little lies, big lies

Postby alan » Sun Aug 14, 2011 5:20 am

So then let's not be beasts.
alan
 
Posts: 2542
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:14 am
Location: Miramar beach, Fl.

Re: little lies, big lies

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Aug 14, 2011 5:21 am

alan wrote:So then let's not be beasts.
Well, that is what the Dhamma is for, but it takes work, obviously.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19363
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: little lies, big lies

Postby alan » Sun Aug 14, 2011 5:34 am

Part of that work is determining what is true, and what is a false assumption based upon our emotional responses to what we want to believe.
alan
 
Posts: 2542
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:14 am
Location: Miramar beach, Fl.

Re: little lies, big lies

Postby Kim OHara » Sun Aug 14, 2011 8:04 am

Hi, Alan,
I am not saying we should ever abandon reason.
I am saying that reason is not what makes us choose the subjects or situations to which we apply our reasoning faculties.
Reason without emotion to direct it will not do anything, any more than a hammer will do anything without a hand, arm and brain to guide it - or a computer without a person to direct it to perform a task.
If you track any of your actions or choices back - from effect to its cause to its cause to its cause - you will always end up with 'because I wanted to' and that 'want' is a choice powered by emotion, not by reason. Even if you get to 'because otherwise I would die', the choice is driven by emotion - not wanting to die - because reason has no stake in your continued existence. After all, people die all the time, don't they? What's one more or less?

:thinking:
Kim
User avatar
Kim OHara
 
Posts: 3046
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 5:47 am
Location: North Queensland, Australia

Re: little lies, big lies

Postby alan » Tue Aug 16, 2011 4:31 am

I'm going to respectfully disagree, and try to show why reason is a neglected aspect of our outlook, and why placing reason above our emotions can be a useful strategy in many aspects of life.
The foundation of my argument is based upon the realization that we don't really know why we like what we like. We just like it, so we do it. But is that anyway to live? I say no. I'd rather have an understanding of my motivations. Maybe I used to like french fries, so I'd eat them. Or, I can read about health and understand it is much better to eat wholesome foods. Using reason, I construct a new, better diet. I do research, I find out which foods create energy and are most healthful. Eating those foods, I feel better, I get up earlier and try that Yoga stuff I've read about but wasn't emotionally interested in before. Recognizing the usefulness of that, I decide to start treating exercise as a fundamental good. Several years later I'm healthier and happier, and no longer held captive to what I used to consider my likes or wants. I've created a new way of understanding what should be considered good. I now like eating broccoli and doing yoga. I've changed my "likes" to better correspond with what is best for my body, and I've done it through a process that was based on rational decisions.
alan
 
Posts: 2542
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:14 am
Location: Miramar beach, Fl.

Re: little lies, big lies

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Aug 16, 2011 4:36 am

alan wrote: I've changed my "likes" to better correspond with what is best for my body, and I've done it through a process that was based on rational decisions.
And what is the underlying emotion for all these choices?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19363
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: little lies, big lies

Postby alan » Tue Aug 16, 2011 4:50 am

In this case, it would be the sensation of taste, and all the emotions that arise due to that feeling.
alan
 
Posts: 2542
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:14 am
Location: Miramar beach, Fl.

PreviousNext

Return to Open Dhamma

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Google [Bot], robertk and 8 guests