[Buddha-l] Enlightenment as dogma

Stefan Detrez stefan.detrez at gmail.com
Thu Oct 14 10:36:27 MDT 2010


> I take it what you are saying is that you don't like "postmodern"
> theology. I do. I find it quite demanding intellectually too. Maybe
> we don't read the same writers. Or perhaps I'm just slow.
> In the religious sphere DIY is a clumsy endeavour. I don't like its
inconsistencies, especially if they're supposed to form an ethics. Theology
shouldn't be demanding, it should be straightforward, clear and
comprehensible. With all the tools at hand, the rhetorics and logics and
freedoms, that shouldn't be so hard to do. Tough theology means thinkers are
doing intellectual(-istic) tours de force to 'think together' a utterly
inconsistent theory.

 >When it comes to Christianity, there ARE some basics which are to be

> >believed literally by literally all Christians.
> How in the world have you come to think you know what is to be
> believed by all Christians?
> Because to call yourself a Christian is to subscribe to basic tenets and
beliefs shared by supposedly all other Christians. That is belief in God,
belief in Jesus, in his death and resurrection, the Church and his Coming.
Drop one and you are not a Christian.

>The Buddha engaged in plenty of debating with other sects, trashing

>their theories. I also think of the elaborate and intricate polemics
> >between Madhyamika and Cittamatra-schools. Tsongkhapa's minute
> >analyses of opposing opinions and their subsequent destruction. I
> >don't see much respect there for other peoples' views. It's
> >hypocritical to leave someone in an erroneous view, even if caution
> >is warranted. Today, where we already deal with Islam's en
> >Evangelical Christianity's presence, wanted and unwanted, we should
> >for the sake of our future engage in discussion and not resort to
> >culturally relativist rhetoric, aborting any thorough discussion
> >about beliefs with which people shape their lives, but also the
> >lives of others, and maybe one day yours too. People who say they
> >respect other people's view show cowardice to differ in opinion,
> >don't care about other views or are not sure of the validity of
> >their own views.
> Did I say something about not engaging in discussion with those who
> had other views? Or not discussing other views? I certainly hope not.
> However, I do think that meaningful, productive discussion is
> possible only when showing respect. Part of showing respect, I'd
> think, is adhering to the principle of charity whereby, among other
> things, one takes the strongest construction of the other's position
> rather than some weaker construction. After all, one doesn't want to
> spend their time knocking down straw men.
> To show respect for people is a good thing, to show respect for an opinion
that contradicts yours is not very honest towards the person holding that
opinion, in my view. It's hypocritical. Your tactic of not spending your
time knocking down straw men is a good one. It should be a minimal standard
for quality of debate.

> Sorry if I expressed myself poorly on that. I'm all for discussion.
> While maintaining respect for others and their views.
> For persons, yes, unquestionably, for views, no, unless the views merit
respect. No sane person respects a view that has long time been demolished
or that is clearly false.


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