December 7, 2022 at 4:18 pm #237462rodshawParticipant
‘Rodshaw- ” I think some of the people who professed no religion still believed in angels, spirits etc. ”
To my way of thinking that is not an issue, in the same way that some people think their lucky underpants will help their football team to win, or that saying hello to a magpie when you see them is not an issue.’
Maybe if all party members were to wear their lucky underpants it would help to create more socialists. I’m not holding my breath though.
I remember a couple of years ago somebody wrote to the Party that they weren’t religious but believed in an all-pervading spirit or some such. They got mercilessly dissected in the next issue of the Standard.December 7, 2022 at 9:28 pm #237479Bijou DrainsParticipant
Re- “Maybe if all party members were to wear their lucky underpants it would help to create more socialists.”
I’ve been wearing my lucky 1904 “Jack Fitzgerald long johns” continuously without washing since 1982 and they don’t seem to be creating Socialist. They create a terrible stink, but not too many socialists!December 7, 2022 at 11:55 pm #237480alanjjohnstoneKeymaster
I long believe in karma – what goes around, comes around.
I know it is irrational because many don’t get the just desserts they deserve and end up getting rewarded by society
As one footballer manager said, yes we were lucky with the result today, but over the season, the bad luck will cancel out this good luckDecember 8, 2022 at 12:21 am #237484
Didn’t Glen Hoddle get the boot as English soccer coach for believing in karma?December 8, 2022 at 8:42 am #237507Bijou DrainsParticipant
Re Glen Hoddle getting sacked, it must have been karma.December 8, 2022 at 9:04 am #237510
The present British prime minister also believes in karma. He must regard himself as having led a very virtuous life last time to end up with so much money and as prime minister. And that all those in poverty must had been very bad in their previous life. Combined with re-incarnation, karma is a nasty and obnoxious doctrine.December 12, 2022 at 5:02 pm #237844rodshawParticipant
Just to throw a bit of dodgy science at it – as I see it, for reincarnation to happen, the atoms in a person’s body (or at least in enough of the brain to form a memory) must all reconvene in another person’s or animal’s body at a future date, such that a memory of the previous person is maintained.
Given that all our bodies supposedly contain at least one atom of Isaac Newton (or name your preferred grand person of history, maybe Mr Marx himself?), then there is maybe a trillions-to-one chance of a large group of atoms reconvening and some form of reincarnation happening.
Maybe there’s a scientific calculation to cover the chance of this, just as there is one by Feynman to work out the length of time it would take for an object to spontaneously disappear.December 12, 2022 at 7:31 pm #237852
Which is why reincarnation, on the part of the Buddhist missionaries, was a sop to the peoples they came across, who, like people in the West too, were and are desperate for the perpetuity of the self – which has no place in Buddhist philosophy. As Lafcadio Hearn elaborates: We consist of trillions of beings and will be part of trillions of beings, ad infinitum. There is no transmigration of any individual or “soul”/”self”, because such titles are human convention alone, and not separate material existences apart from their aggregates.December 12, 2022 at 11:05 pm #237853
As a matter of interest, do the Eastern religions that preach reincarnation say that it involves retaining memory of a previous life? I thought their assumption was that the “soul” (whatever that is) was immortal and moved from one body to another. If “souls” retained the memory of all their past lives the brain of their current life would be overwhelmed by this.
The whole doctrine is just mumbo jumbo but it did serve a social purpose for the privileged classes — by teaching the poor that they were poor because they had behaved badly in a past life and would in the next one too if they weren’t “good” in their present one. In other words, a similar social purpose as the doctrine of heaven and hell of christianity and islam. But in a sense it is worse as it also implies that the rich and powerful are this because they had been good in their previous life and so deserved to be rich and powerful. A very convenient doctrine for them.December 12, 2022 at 11:09 pm #237854
And karma too can be taken in the crude, popular, religious sense, or in a different sense, the sense of genetic “memory”, evolutionary “memory.”
Understood thus, it is crude indeed to equate it with “judgment”, “punishment”, “reward”, and such anthropocentric, unscientific notions – again related to human delusions of “the self.”December 13, 2022 at 12:40 am #237856alanjjohnstoneKeymaster
40% of the global population across 95 countries is convinced that witches exist.
In Tunisia, it is around 90%, in Germany just 13%.December 13, 2022 at 9:53 am #237863
ALB, you are right about what most people identifying as Buddhists believe and that includes the westerners who have adopted “Buddhism”. And, as I said, it’s all a sop given not only to the peasantry and the poor, but also to the rulers, so that “Buddhism” would be protected and furthered.
For example, the Dalai Lama is supposed to be the incarnation of Chenresig. And it’s mumbo jumbo.
But I will fish out something from a monk, who was recorded by Alexandra David-Neel, who trashes reincarnation as having nothing to do with Buddhism.
The Dalai Lama knows this too. Gautama believed in tailoring one’s language to suit the listener’s capacity for understanding. Crudely put, this could be considered hypocrisy, but in fact it accords with Buddhist doctrine.
Would a philosophy that denies immortality of the self, that denies the existence of soul and the perpetuity of the “person”, and even denies personhood in the first place, ever gain ground? It would have frizzled away and appealed to no one, neither prince nor slave. As it was, elements of the philosophy were preserved for the educated, distinct from the religion which satisfied most people. The concept of two Buddhisms was already established in Gautama’s lifetime.
Even the popular religion has never claimed a person can remember their “past lives”. In fact it says such would be overwhelming and is impossible.December 13, 2022 at 10:10 am #237864
Thanks. That was what I thought was the case. In an earlier post you said that
karma too can be taken in the crude, popular, religious sense, or in a different sense, the sense of genetic “memory”, evolutionary “memory.”
I don’t understand the word “genetic” here unless you simply mean the cultural heritage of humanity in terms of acquired technological and other knowledge that is passed down from generation to generation. I don’t see what this has to do with karma and certainly not with genes.December 13, 2022 at 11:10 am #237866
I was using “memory” in a biological, not cultural, sense; and certainly not conscious.
You know evolution works via inherited form and adaptation (I’m not putting it very well).
Sleep, for instance, is being debated by scientists today. The idea that it is to regenerate energy has been dismissed. We don’t really know why we sleep. Similarly, we don’t know why, millions of years ago, a marine organism “invented” sex, but then rejected it to return to non-copulative generation; nor why some animals took to walking on two legs but then returned to four.
Phobias are interesting: irrational fears which would have been rational millions of years ago.December 13, 2022 at 12:58 pm #237870
That seems a bit dubious and unscientific as it seems to be suggesting some purpose to evolution. But there isn’t. It just happened as life-forms became adapted to the circumstances in which they found themselves.
It is also not clear what you mean by memory in “a biological sense”. Humans and many other life-forms are born with the ability to “memorise” their experiences but not with particular memories. Perhaps you mean what used to be called “instincts” or biologically inherited behaviour patterns. We know that this scarcely applies to humans beyond bodily functions and that human behaviour, being biologically flexible, is overwhelmingly culturally determined. In fact, much of the behaviour of many other animals has to be learnt too.
Incidentally, what are the references to the view that “the idea that it [sleep] is to regenerate energy has been dismissed”.
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