Kim OHara wrote: Modus.Ponens wrote: Kim OHara wrote:
On the other hand, they can do the sensible thing and downplay or totally ignore the scriptures they disagree with, just as the rest of us do. I've been using Christianity as a convenient comparison and I could do so again but I will be more ecumenical and ask you to think about how many Western Buddhists are practising homosexuals (forbidden) and how many Jews eat pork (forbidden) or marry outside the faith.
Or I could use the argument from statistics: how many Muslims have not
attacked Christians, Hindus or Buddhists in the last year? How many Muslims live quiet, moral, law-abiding lives rather than going on jihad?
I was going to try to respond to your argument, but instead I'm going straight to the heart of the matter. Since you are buddhist I assume you don't believe in god. Therefore either you believe that mohammed was talking with some kind of deva or that he invented the whole thing. Being completely honest, which one you think is more likely? Exactly. Now why do you need to defend those "teachings"?
I don't defend the teachings. I defend the people
who (mostly) were born to them, grew up with them and live (mostly) reasonably moral and honest lives - just as I defend the people
who grew up with Christianity or Buddhism or any other religion, whether I believe their religion or not.
Respond to my argument if you like - I'm curious as to how you would go about it.
Well then we agree, to a point. And the problem with leting the right wing explore islamophobia is things like the war in Iraq, or the war in Afganistan. That's tragic. Americans probably don't like to think about this but, although 3000 people died in the twin towers atack, and it was tragic, the most conservative estimate for the number of iraqis killed is about 110 000 (the Lancet, a very respectable scientific publication, estimated about 600 000 deaths). In other words, it was like at least 36
twin towers atacks there. And there was absolutely no reason for the american population to allow this other than islamophobia. Many people were against that war, but not enough. I know you're australian, but this is a consequence of only leting fascists say what we all feel, to some degree. The fascists don't care about the human beings. At all.
But in response to your previous argument, they could do the sensible thing. But a lot of them don't. And radicalism seems to be spreading, at least in the middle east. How can this be dealt with?
Homosexuality is only forbidden in tibetan buddhism, afaik. And i think it's not even an imperative. What I know is that some of them think that homosexual acts (or even oral sexual acts between heterosexuals) lead to imbalance in the energy system. But I'm not aware of it saying anywhere that homosexuals should be killed, or some nonsense like that. But anyway, that's a good point. Let me tell you: the muslims who completely ignore the violent parts of the quran and hadiths are among the nicest people out there. And if islam could be turned into that, it would be a very positive force in the world. But in the present I don't think it is interpreted that way by too many muslims. And I don't know what the hell should we do except telling the truth with carefulness _ something that I very often wasn't able to do.
Those would be useful statistics to assess the situation. But it has to go a little deeper. How many muslims, although do not participate in violent acts, agree with them? This is very tricky and I don't know how to really deal with this. I only know that the present day attitude isn't working.
He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
(Jhana Sutta - Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation)