[Buddha-l] Speaking of simple minds

curt curt at cola.iges.org
Thu Aug 4 11:41:27 MDT 2005

One of the things I am reading right now is Cicero's
"On the Nature of the Gods". The reason I bring that
up is because the question of intelligent design is
addressed by Cicero (app. 2000 years ago). It turns
out that this was a question that Pagan philosophers
liked to kick around. Cicero's book is in the form of
a dialogue - so one can't absolutely say what Cicero's
own position was (he presents Epicurean, Stoic and
Academic positions - and maybe others). Anyway -
this just goes to show that there really is nothing new
under the sun - 2000 years ago some Pagans thought
that the order and beauty of the natural world could
only be explained by way of an "intelligent designer",
while others (Aristotle, most notably) held that such
an extravagant explanation was unecessary if one
simply sought to understood natural phenomena in
terms of natural laws and processes.

The thing that I think is relevant to Buddhism about
Cicero's book is that, like Buddhists, many Pagans
could be quite seriously "religious", and at the same
time appreciate the great beauty of the natural world -
but without insisting on the idea of a "Creator". There
is a tendency for Creationists to try to portray their
opponents as cold-hearted unfeeling ratioanlists who
want to take all of the mystery and beauty out of
things. Buddhism, I think, can match Christianity or any
other religion in terms of irrational mumbo-jumbo and
pomp and circumstance and all that - but without
positing an old white guy with a beard who's behind
it all.

- Curt

jkirk wrote:

> Bush Endorses Teaching 'Intelligent Design' Theory in Schools
> http://www.commondreams.org/headlines05/0802-01.htm
> He has no shame nor does his family for supporting this
> meretricious nonsense and caring only about their power and
> their money.  Actually, to call that mind simple is an insult to 
> people with truly simple minds (meaning uncomplicated thought patterns 
> and indifference to analytical thinking). The Bush mind is demonic.
> As far as I know, there are no Buddhists who support this ID theory.
> Is that right?
> Joanna
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