Why are we trying to protect religion?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
Saengnapha
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Re: Why are we trying to protect religion?

Post by Saengnapha » Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:38 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 10:14 pm
I guess if people are trying to protect their religion, most of them are doing it because they find their religion to be wholesome and valuable to them. A bit like trying to protect their health, or their natural environment, or their cultural heritage. It's a good thing.

Things get nasty, however, when that protection tips over into rigid identification, such that people see their religion as being necessary to sustain the idea they have of themselves. That's when they try to shut down criticism, or to ban alternative viewpoints. "Protection" can mean sustaining and cherishing, or it can mean aggression towards those who do not conform.
Sustaining and cherishing what, Sam?
Protection means both fear as well as well as sustaining. You cannot have one or the other. It is a package, a duality.
Do we need religion in order for us to have common sense and behave sensibly?

I see mostly people clinging to beliefs on this forum, not really enquiring into the nature of what they believe in. I'm not trying to exclude myself from this. It is what we do when we don't see the nature of our perception/cognition and how and why they keep this momentum of continuity going. Religion blocks this insight because it is conditioned and filters our experience through its dogmas.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Why are we trying to protect religion?

Post by Sam Vara » Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:51 am

Saengnapha wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:38 am
Sustaining and cherishing what, Sam?
What we value.
Protection means both fear as well as well as sustaining. You cannot have one or the other. It is a package, a duality.
Of course. One protects what one values against undesirable outcomes.
Do we need religion in order for us to have common sense and behave sensibly?
Who knows? Many people seem to need it. All common sense and sensible behaviour occurs within a context of norms, whether or not they are expressed religiously.
I see mostly people clinging to beliefs on this forum, not really enquiring into the nature of what they believe in. I'm not trying to exclude myself from this.
Your humility is as welcome as your insight, Saengnapha!

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Crazy cloud
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Re: Why are we trying to protect religion?

Post by Crazy cloud » Mon Apr 09, 2018 4:45 pm

You may remember the story of how the devil and a friend of his were walking down the street, when they saw ahead of them a man stoop down and pick up something from the ground, look at it, and put it away in his pocket. The friend said to the devil, "What did that man pick up?" "He picked up a piece of Truth," said the devil. "That is a very bad business for you, then," said his friend. "Oh, not at all," the devil replied, "I am going to let him organize it."
J.K.
If you didn't care
What happened to me
And I didn't care for you

We would zig-zag our way
Through the boredom and pain
Occasionally glancing up through the rain

Wondering which of the
Buggers to blame
And watching for pigs on the wing
- Roger Waters

Saengnapha
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Re: Why are we trying to protect religion?

Post by Saengnapha » Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:42 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:51 am
Saengnapha wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:38 am
Sustaining and cherishing what, Sam?
What we value.
Protection means both fear as well as well as sustaining. You cannot have one or the other. It is a package, a duality.
Of course. One protects what one values against undesirable outcomes.
Do we need religion in order for us to have common sense and behave sensibly?
Who knows? Many people seem to need it. All common sense and sensible behaviour occurs within a context of norms, whether or not they are expressed religiously.
I see mostly people clinging to beliefs on this forum, not really enquiring into the nature of what they believe in. I'm not trying to exclude myself from this.
Your humility is as welcome as your insight, Saengnapha!
Sam,
Clinging to beliefs and sensibility are often equated, but they are not the same. This is how most people are living. If there is to be some kind of deep realization of the way things are, this is not sufficient. It is only the factual that is sensible. Hoping that the conventional is going to lead somewhere where there is happiness and satisfaction is an illusion. Religion ties you to the conventional not the factual because it is organized in such a way that ensures its own survival, not the seeing of the way things are. I am not saying that one abandons the conventional as that would not be practical. It is the abandonment of what is not factual.

I don't know what humility is. It sounds nice. :D

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Sam Vara
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Re: Why are we trying to protect religion?

Post by Sam Vara » Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:49 am

Saengnapha wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:42 am

Clinging to beliefs and sensibility are often equated, but they are not the same.
Not in the English-speaking world. "Sensibility" is not the quality of being sensible in that sense, but is something else entirely. It means "sensitivity", or the capacity to respond to stimuli, as in the Jane Austen novel Sense and Sensibility.
If there is to be some kind of deep realization of the way things are, this is not sufficient. It is only the factual that is sensible. Hoping that the conventional is going to lead somewhere where there is happiness and satisfaction is an illusion.
My original post on this thread was not about this. It was about why people protect religion, not about the insufficiency of religion.

Your point about the insufficiency of religion is another matter entirely. My point is that the conventional does lead to happiness and satisfaction, at least in relative and temporal terms; and that anyone who has not seen this has the wrong conception of appropriate convention.

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Re: Why are we trying to protect religion?

Post by Saengnapha » Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:19 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:49 am
Saengnapha wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:42 am

Clinging to beliefs and sensibility are often equated, but they are not the same.
Not in the English-speaking world. "Sensibility" is not the quality of being sensible in that sense, but is something else entirely. It means "sensitivity", or the capacity to respond to stimuli, as in the Jane Austen novel Sense and Sensibility.
If there is to be some kind of deep realization of the way things are, this is not sufficient. It is only the factual that is sensible. Hoping that the conventional is going to lead somewhere where there is happiness and satisfaction is an illusion.
My original post on this thread was not about this. It was about why people protect religion, not about the insufficiency of religion.

Your point about the insufficiency of religion is another matter entirely. My point is that the conventional does lead to happiness and satisfaction, at least in relative and temporal terms; and that anyone who has not seen this has the wrong conception of appropriate convention.
Threads often warp into other areas from the original topic. I believe my posts are related to the question of protection of religion.
If Buddhism were about the conventional leading to happiness and satisfaction, it would have not gotten much traction after the Buddha disappeared. But, that is not really the message of the Buddha or any other religion that I am aware of. From what I understand, Theravada does not associate the conventional with happiness and satisfaction. That would contradict the 3 Marks of Existence. Perhaps your choice of words was not the best.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Why are we trying to protect religion?

Post by Sam Vara » Wed Apr 11, 2018 6:36 am

Saengnapha wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:19 am

Threads often warp into other areas from the original topic. I believe my posts are related to the question of protection of religion.
If Buddhism were about the conventional leading to happiness and satisfaction, it would have not gotten much traction after the Buddha disappeared. But, that is not really the message of the Buddha or any other religion that I am aware of. From what I understand, Theravada does not associate the conventional with happiness and satisfaction. That would contradict the 3 Marks of Existence. Perhaps your choice of words was not the best.
Of course, threads change. But look at what this one is about. It asks why people try to protect religion. That's a straightforward empirical or psychological question, just like "Why do people like dogs?" or "Why do we tend to think in terms of nationalities?"

To address this question by saying "Ah, yes, but dogs won't really take us to the transcendent, will they?" or "Nation States are merely conventions" is one of those positions that Ajahn Chah described as "True but not right". It might well be true, but it's really just shoe-horning a trope into a discussion where it doesn't contribute anything. This is especially evident when you yourself don't understand what it means. Hence my point about pseudo-profundity. If you yourself don't know what it means, it's just another received opinion.

Saengnapha
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Re: Why are we trying to protect religion?

Post by Saengnapha » Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:22 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 6:36 am
Saengnapha wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:19 am

Threads often warp into other areas from the original topic. I believe my posts are related to the question of protection of religion.
If Buddhism were about the conventional leading to happiness and satisfaction, it would have not gotten much traction after the Buddha disappeared. But, that is not really the message of the Buddha or any other religion that I am aware of. From what I understand, Theravada does not associate the conventional with happiness and satisfaction. That would contradict the 3 Marks of Existence. Perhaps your choice of words was not the best.
Of course, threads change. But look at what this one is about. It asks why people try to protect religion. That's a straightforward empirical or psychological question, just like "Why do people like dogs?" or "Why do we tend to think in terms of nationalities?"

To address this question by saying "Ah, yes, but dogs won't really take us to the transcendent, will they?" or "Nation States are merely conventions" is one of those positions that Ajahn Chah described as "True but not right". It might well be true, but it's really just shoe-horning a trope into a discussion where it doesn't contribute anything. This is especially evident when you yourself don't understand what it means. Hence my point about pseudo-profundity. If you yourself don't know what it means, it's just another received opinion.
What do you mean by 'contribute'? How am I not contributing to this discussion by giving you some things to mull over? If you don't agree with them, that is different. You haven't pointed out anything that I've said that I would take back.

I still don't understand what you are saying about the conventional giving happiness and satisfaction. You didn't address this at all except to point out my wrong position. Is something true not a fact? I'm not even sure about why are talking about profundity. Did I say anything about my posts being profound? Don't understand your antagonism.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Why are we trying to protect religion?

Post by Sam Vara » Wed Apr 11, 2018 8:46 am

Saengnapha wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:22 am

What do you mean by 'contribute'? How am I not contributing to this discussion by giving you some things to mull over? If you don't agree with them, that is different. You haven't pointed out anything that I've said that I would take back.

I still don't understand what you are saying about the conventional giving happiness and satisfaction. You didn't address this at all except to point out my wrong position. Is something true not a fact? I'm not even sure about why are talking about profundity. Did I say anything about my posts being profound? Don't understand your antagonism.
By "contribute", I mean to post a comment that is more than an all-purpose trope that the poster does not even understand; one that is "True and right".

Saengnapha
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Re: Why are we trying to protect religion?

Post by Saengnapha » Wed Apr 11, 2018 9:09 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 8:46 am
Saengnapha wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:22 am

What do you mean by 'contribute'? How am I not contributing to this discussion by giving you some things to mull over? If you don't agree with them, that is different. You haven't pointed out anything that I've said that I would take back.

I still don't understand what you are saying about the conventional giving happiness and satisfaction. You didn't address this at all except to point out my wrong position. Is something true not a fact? I'm not even sure about why are talking about profundity. Did I say anything about my posts being profound? Don't understand your antagonism.
By "contribute", I mean to post a comment that is more than an all-purpose trope that the poster does not even understand; one that is "True and right".
Good luck with that.

SarathW
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Re: Why are we trying to protect religion?

Post by SarathW » Sun May 13, 2018 7:33 am

I think what people are trying to protect is strong views.
What really matters is whether they are right views or wrong views.
Even as Buddhist some of us have the wrong views due to not fully comprehending the Buddha's teaching.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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