Thank you for all your replies!
I'm sorry I was late in providing the transcript, thanks acinteyyo and Blackbird!
Ben, I agree with you. But as a highly experienced pratictioner your fact, is my faith. And faith waivers, especially when the 'rational' mind knocks on the door. Due to my own shortcomings I am unable to see
Chris, as is evident, my take on this is of a confused person, lost in the 'thicket of views'. For me, the third and the fourth noble truths give the kind of comfort and purpose of life that Dawkins is talking about. Perhaps I've got it all wrong, that's why the doubt. I'll explain more below.
Blackbird wrote:Do we admire Hitler for his courage during those early years?
As for Dawkins himself, he clearly differs from Hitler in that he opposes all those things that are carried on in the name of religion that are not just illogical, but unjust and a lot of times fraudulent, not to mention violent. As far as I'm concerned, courage to stand up against what is wrong is admirable. Does the way he presents his views skilful? I don't think so, because a) people who don't base their lives on reason can't be reasoned with in hope of changing them, and b) his way is perceived to be harsh and disrespectful, even to some atheists. He argues in the same lecture in UC Berkeley (but in another video) that even critics for theaters, art, or restaurants are outright rude and it is socially acceptable.
Laurens and Tex, I see your point. But nevertheless, his vocal and straightforward ways don't make him wrong, and raising awareness about science and rationality in this way probably reaches a wider audience. I remember it's somewhere in the Suttas that the Buddha asked us to speak through logic and reason, even though others might not like to hear what's being said.
I do agree though that he does not appear to be so well-versed with Buddhist philosophy. But he's extremely vocal against some New-age gurus like Chopra who under the garb of Buddhism or Hinduism or some other mixture of esoteric eastern mystical traditions take huge amounts of money for 'spiritual healing'. He is perfectly justified in this in my view.
retrofuturist wrote:I don't see anything inherently incompatible between them.
The incompatibility lies in the problem of 'after-death'. He clearly advocates a nihilist point of view which the Buddha has denied. This of course doesn't effect the present moment. So it is not the incompatibility that is a problem, but to ask questions from one point of view to the other is. For a beginner like me, experiencing fleeting moments of profound peace has changed my world view completely. So much so that I'm strongly inclined to commit completely to the path. But, as he says, 'just because X is comforting doesn't mean X is true'...which I take to mean that I should question whether I should take as my goal a purported future enlightenment, for which I have not seen any evidence, just because I have an 'intuition' for it and the practice gives me peace and comfort in my life. This is the reason for my vicikicca
. The Kalama Sutta comes to mind, but if I am honest with myself, I have to say that I'm susceptible, like many people, to this 'need' for a higher purpose and following it through in this life. Through personal experience I do have a very strong feeling that I'm on the right path, but I have to keep asking questions to be sure that I'm not deluding myself.
Thanks again for all your comments. I'll of course keep practicing, and try to see
. I know of a particularly big giant whose shoulders I can stand on.