little lies, big lies

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
rowyourboat
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Re: little lies, big lies

Post by 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.

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alan
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Re: little lies, big lies

Post by 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
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Re: little lies, big lies

Post by 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.

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Dan74
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Re: little lies, big lies

Post by 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.
_/|\_

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Ben
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Re: little lies, big lies

Post by 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
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
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in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
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alan
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Re: little lies, big lies

Post by 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.

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Kim OHara
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Re: little lies, big lies

Post by 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

alan
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Re: little lies, big lies

Post by 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
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Re: little lies, big lies

Post by 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.

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tiltbillings
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Re: little lies, big lies

Post by 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?
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

alan
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Re: little lies, big lies

Post by alan » Sun Aug 14, 2011 5:01 am

No.

alan
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Re: little lies, big lies

Post by 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.

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tiltbillings
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Re: little lies, big lies

Post by 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.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

alan
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Re: little lies, big lies

Post by alan » Sun Aug 14, 2011 5:20 am

So then let's not be beasts.

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tiltbillings
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Re: little lies, big lies

Post by 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.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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