Divine Neutrality, Blog. Science, Philosophy

Innate Goodness

April 25th, 2009

mywayThe paragraph below is quoted from an interview with Jack Kornfield, one of the founders of Spirit Rock in Woodacre.

“Freud says, ‘Culture has to … erect barriers against the aggressive instincts of men … To love one’s neighbor as oneself is … completely at variance with original human nature ….’ From a Buddhist perspective, the opposite is true … aggression, hatred, and greed are … covering over our innate goodness.”

‘Original human nature.’ ‘Innate goodness’. Is there meaning attached to these phrases?

How measure what is ‘human nature’? How can one know what is at the core of all human activity? Is there a single ‘nature’ which drives the behavior of all humans? Is there any empirical foundation for the idea that ‘aggressive instincts are original human nature’ or for the opposite view that ‘aggression, hatred, and greed are … covering over our innate goodness.’?

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Why Is There Anything?

March 14th, 2008

richard.jpg
I am thinking about the functions of religion. What does organized religion give to people that drives them to suspend reason. What is the nature of man that religion exists?

I conclude that people need guided ceremony. And they need prayer: something to offer consolation in times of despair and celebration in times of joy. There exist organizations that offer prayers. Besides the prayers of traditional religions, there are many groups offering non-denominational prayers. Unitarians do this. I googled non-denominational prayers and was led here:

theGreenBelt blogspot, Non-denominational prayer

This site gives some examples of non-denominational prayers. I find them quite poetic. What disturbs the rather astute writer of that excellent greenbelt blog is the futility of the prayer. She is not so much disturbed by the references to deity, God and Creator. Here’s one of the prayers.

Let us pray. We meditate on the transcendental Glory of the Deity Supreme, who is inside the heart of the Earth, inside the life of the sky, and inside the soul of the Heaven. May He stimulate and illuminate our minds.

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From Mud, the Lotus

December 13th, 2007

Out of the Mud Comes the Lotus

bhudaLady “May all that have life be delivered from suffering”
Gautama Buddha

“Is it possible to conquer all suffering? Is that conquest even a rational idea?”
Marvin Chester

The foundational structure of Buddhism is enunciated in THE FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS:

  1. The world is full of suffering (dukkha).
  2. Suffering is caused by desire (tanha: craving, attachment)
  3. If one can eliminate desire, one can eliminate suffering.
  4. The Noble Eight-fold Path can eliminate desire.

Buddha’s idea:

  • Suffering is no good.
  • It’s caused by desire.
  • Eliminate them both.

Is this a sound philosophy? Does it even make sense?

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