A Down-to-Earth Refutation of Spiritual Universalism???

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Bundokji
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Re: A Down-to-Earth Refutation of Spiritual Universalism???

Post by Bundokji » Sat Dec 14, 2019 8:39 am

chownah wrote:
Sat Dec 14, 2019 2:49 am
Bundokji wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 9:32 am
. To simply dismiss such questions as "i don't need to justify my beliefs" is as arrogant as "i am better than others by virtue of following a superior religion".
People feeling no need to justify their beliefs to others should not be taken as a sign of arrogance.....I think that usually it is not a sign of arrogance but I don't really know the state of others minds ususally.....
chownah
Hi chownah,

I think it can be both, depending on the context and intention. Examples of arguments and discussions between the lord Buddha and people from other sects is all over the zuttas. The very existence of this forum "Connections to Other Paths" implies that comparing/contrasting different doctrines is one way of learning.

That being said, if some people don't encounter circumstances when they are asked to explain their choices, or if they prefer not to talk about it, that does not make them arrogant by definition.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

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Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta
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Re: A Down-to-Earth Refutation of Spiritual Universalism???

Post by Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta » Sat Dec 14, 2019 8:51 am

DNS wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 8:33 pm
all roads lead to Everest base camp, but from there, Buddhism is the only route to the summit
Donald S. Lopez, Jr. from a Tricycle article
...
...
for nibbana, you need buddhism.
:woohoo:
.


🅢🅐🅑🅑🅔 🅓🅗🅐🅜🅜🅐 🅐🅝🅐🅣🅣🅐

Self ...
  • "an entirely and perfectly foolish idea" :D ~ MN22

binocular
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Re: A Down-to-Earth Refutation of Spiritual Universalism???

Post by binocular » Sat Dec 14, 2019 9:15 am

Bundokji wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 3:56 pm
And there is nothing intrinsically wrong with that. I would differentiate between "self defense" and "being defensive" of which, surprisingly, the criteria has to do with the extent the individual is justified. If i can justify my beliefs, i don't have to get defensive when my beliefs get challenged.
Again, justified on whose terms?

Why should your terms of justification (which you have probably learned in highschool/college in some secular course on critical thinking) be considered authoritative by everyone?
I still don't think truth can be reduced to power. History provides examples where individuals were proved to be true against the collective or the power structure in their times. Galileo is often provided as an example.

It's not that truth would be "reduced" to power. It's that power is what matters, in the end. Like with your boss, who has the final say.

Bundokji wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 4:03 pm
She is simply not skilled in the art of arguments/justifications. Her poor and incoherent justifications simply made her less persuasive to the audience.
On the contrary, I think she is skilled in the religious/spiritual art of arguments/justification. On principle, religious/spiritual apologists don't even aim to persuade their audience; they are just "doing their job" of being religious/spiritual apologists. If people don't believe the apologist, that is the problem and the fault of the people, not of the apologist; this is part of religious/spiritual apologetics.

The religious/spiritual discourse operates by different principles than the discourse in secular academia or in the secular legal system. The secular constitutions that have clauses on freedom of speech and freedom of religion protect this. The way you criticized that Catholic woman, you have denied her constitutional rights. She'd be justified to take you to court for that! This is both funny and not.

binocular
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Re: A Down-to-Earth Refutation of Spiritual Universalism???

Post by binocular » Sat Dec 14, 2019 9:45 am

chownah wrote:
Sat Dec 14, 2019 2:49 am
Bundokji wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 9:32 am
. To simply dismiss such questions as "i don't need to justify my beliefs" is as arrogant as "i am better than others by virtue of following a superior religion".
People feeling no need to justify their beliefs to others should not be taken as a sign of arrogance.....I think that usually it is not a sign of arrogance but I don't really know the state of others minds ususally....
I've noticed that religious/spiritual people tend to feel offended when justification of their religious/spiritual beliefs is asked of them. "Who do you think you are, that I should justify myself to you?!"

A few months back here at the forums, an educated member rejected my inquiry, saying that what I'm actually asking of him is justification of his beliefs -- and that he is just not going to give me that, nor that it is my place to ask such a thing.

In person, I've seen that their disdain upon justification being required of them borders on an expression like this. And they do have an army of fellow believers at their side. So, dangerous territory.

(But I love Mr. Pace's Thranduil, of course. :heart: )

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Bundokji
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Re: A Down-to-Earth Refutation of Spiritual Universalism???

Post by Bundokji » Sat Dec 14, 2019 10:15 am

binocular wrote:
Sat Dec 14, 2019 9:15 am
Again, justified on whose terms?

Why should your terms of justification (which you have probably learned in highschool/college in some secular course on critical thinking) be considered authoritative by everyone?
The terms are usually context sensitive, depending on how the discussion unfolds. If the discussion takes the form of formal debate for instance, the points of discussion can be agreed upon before hand. If the discussion unfolds spontaneously, the terms arise as the discussion begins to unfold.

And who said that one's input has to be considered authoritative by everyone? human experience has many similarities, one of these similarities is the ability to speak and understand language that conveys ideas which describes/shares our experience in the world. The Dhamma itself is an invitation to investigate, so is discussion can be one approach to investigate by comparing/contrasting different doctrines and how each can possibly contribute to human well-being.
It's not that truth would be "reduced" to power. It's that power is what matters, in the end. Like with your boss, who has the final say.
Not in all contexts. In the specific context i provided, power/authority plays a role, but in many other contexts, such as this one (two human beings engaging in a discussion) authority has very little role to play except what we decide to recognize.
On the contrary, I think she is skilled in the religious/spiritual art of arguments/justification. On principle, religious/spiritual apologists don't even aim to persuade their audience; they are just "doing their job" of being religious/spiritual apologists. If people don't believe the apologist, that is the problem and the fault of the people, not of the apologist; this is part of religious/spiritual apologetics.

The religious/spiritual discourse operates by different principles than the discourse in secular academia or in the secular legal system. The secular constitutions that have clauses on freedom of speech and freedom of religion protect this. The way you criticized that Catholic woman, you have denied her constitutional rights. She'd be justified to take you to court for that! This is both funny and not.
He appeal to her constitutional right to speak has no bearing to how persuasive her argument was, and based on this, she does not seem to be skilled in the art of arguing.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

binocular
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Re: A Down-to-Earth Refutation of Spiritual Universalism???

Post by binocular » Sat Dec 14, 2019 10:57 am

Bundokji wrote:
Sat Dec 14, 2019 10:15 am
The Dhamma itself is an invitation to investigate, so is discussion can be one approach to investigate by comparing/contrasting different doctrines and how each can possibly contribute to human well-being.
It has not been my experience that religious/spiritual people would generally be that open. I have found that in the context of religion/spirituality, "to investigate" usually means something like 'believe' or 'find a way to believe' (even if it is never actually directly stated).
Not in all contexts. In the specific context i provided, power/authority plays a role, but in many other contexts, such as this one (two human beings engaging in a discussion) authority has very little role to play except what we decide to recognize.
That's rather Aspergerian, I'm afraid. :tongue:
Seriously. My point is that one of the marks of Asperger Syndrome is that some people with it have a characteristic lack of regard for authority, unlike normal people who smoothly operate within the framework of power and hierarchy. Failure to operate this way will be recognized by normal people as a mental deficit/handicap, or just plain rudeness/bossiness.
Very rarely online, and never IRL have I encountered situations where discussing a religious/spiritual topic would actually take place on the terms of "just two humans having a discussion". The occurence of such situations seems so rare as to be negligble and not worth depending on.
He appeal to her constitutional right to speak has no bearing to how persuasive her argument was, and based on this, she does not seem to be skilled in the art of arguing.
I don't know what to say anymore. That woman's smug self-satisfaction certainly allowed her to leave the discussion feeling like a winner, while some of us were left wondering. At the end of the day, that self-satisfaction (preferrably, a smug one) seems to be what matters anyway.

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Will
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Re: A Down-to-Earth Refutation of Spiritual Universalism???

Post by Will » Sun Dec 15, 2019 5:18 pm

Dear Path,

Just mention this verse from Buddha, with a sympathetic tone:

To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one’s mind—this is the teaching of all Buddhas.

They should nod knowingly & smile. However, if they want details, be prepared...!
May all seek, find and follow the Path of Tathāgatas.

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