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Posted by Whittier on November 28, 2003 07:18:18 UTC

Here's what I liked and a few comments about
ideas we differ about:
At http://www.astronomy.net/forums/god/messages/30465.shtml Glenn wrote and/or cited:
"...each of us lives, acts and thinks within a system of beliefs that is largely unconscious but without which we would be incapable of any thought or action."
"Our beliefs are already operating in the depths of our lives when we begin to think something," writes Ortega y Gasset.
...We can choose, however, what to believe...

"... The confusion of knowledge and wisdom, arguably, is at the root of our societal distortions."


"There are, indeed, fanatical religions in which faith opposes reason. But it is an erroneous leap of logic to assume on this basis, and without any evidence, that all religions are so. That itself is irrational, and can be characterized as a kind of blind faith in its own right.

"A higher religion does not negate rationality. No religion that suppresses human reason can earn the trust of humankind.


"Adhimukti literally means intent, that is, the orientation of one's mind or will. This is the mental attitude of deepening one's understanding, cultivating and polishing one's life ..."

"Bhakti, originally meaning "to become part of," is a faith associated with a practice of surrender to--and unification with--a transcendent deity. This term is seldom, if ever, used in Buddhist texts."

"Faith," in the Lotus Sutra's principle of substituting faith for wisdom, is sraddha."

"... reason must not be allowed to degenerate into a self-satisfied arrogance."

"The impulse of true reason is to continuously and eternally transcend the confines of the present self."


Whoa, there. I want to see what reason tells me, not have it dictated.

Glenn wrote or cited:

"The modern age seems convinced that intellect is an independent faculty, operating independently from feeling or belief."

"Yet it is becoming clearer that many trends, such as efforts to exert technological mastery over nature, rest on highly subjective beliefs or value judgements."

"What is called for now is new unification of belief and reason encompassing all aspects of the human being and society, including the insights achieved by modern science. This must be an attempt to restore wholeness to human society, which has been rent asunder by extremes of reason artificially divorced from belief and irrational religious fanaticism."


In my view, *primal greed* and *ignorance* are more likely causes of the "asunder-renting." Both can, under many circumstances, proceed from our natural condition (whose pathways of development are rooted in biological adaptation)
or mere *lack* such as lack of knowledge.... and I doubt if either primal greed or ignorance is transcended without a life condition which greatly appreciates the leisurely, contemplative activity of inquiry for its own sake -- which creates, I think, objective motives.
Glen wrote:

"This synthesis must grow from a dialogue based on mutual respect. Both sides must approach this dialogue, not with the desire to establish dominion over the other, but with a spirit of learning, of mining deeper and richer veins of truth. This will only be possible if all participants keep firmly in view the goal of human happiness."


Sorta like that. Still...
Synthesis can be bunk. Group-think can be bunk. What we need are some *right answers* that pass good-faith reason tests and the rigorous continuing attention of good-faith free inquiry.
These are accomplished, in part, by what you just described. The rest is mystery. Individuals must think deeply, communicate clearly, and deeply consider what the other has thought.

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