[Buddha-l] Return of blasphemy?

Vera, Pedro L. pvera at health.usf.edu
Wed Nov 9 04:06:45 MST 2011

Stephan wrote:

"I think the very allowance to believe whatever you wish is the cause of so
much misery. On what premise is someone allowed to belief whatever they
wish? Do you have a right to hold erroneous beliefs? What kind of right is
this? A legal right? A moral right?"

People will believe whatever they want, however (that was the part A) with or without much justification and in fact, there's not much that can or should be done about that (playing thought police is undesirable, in my opinion).

"In scientific circle, you can try to
believe whatever you like, but you'll be laughed away if you do not provide
sufficient reasons to do so. If there is some disagreement on an issue,
it's through dialogue that things are sorted out and any *rahula* is left
for what it was."

I agree with you and that's why I included that part B in my definition. That clause will allow for inquiry, discusion and rebuke of beliefs. 

"There are so many public debates which don't spare
sentiments. Why should this be different in the religious sphere? If for
anything a theology or a buddhology has evolved, it is exactly because
people disagreed and advanced more convincing arguments. I see nothing
wrong in demanding justifications for beliefs, especially if based on these
beliefs people are told what to do. In short, it's wrong to believe wrong

Again, I am in full agreement with you. I don't think religion should be held to a different level of scrutiny than any other claim, yet it often is. At least in the west, the tendency is to "respect" other people's religions. In this sense, respect does not mean respect they right to hold those beliefs (which I do think is their right de facto) but not criticize or dispute. That results in all kinds of outlandish claims, not just about how many angels can dance on a pin head, but even about the imminent destruction of this world. Fortunately, there are some boundaries, as seen in the Jeff Warren case (in case you are not familiar: guy sets up his own cult and "marries" multiple underage, way underage, girls) who is doing jail for his, so called, religious beliefs.

Anyway, we are probably just preaching to the choir in this particular group.



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