Originally posted by:paradelights
Originally posted by:crunkmoose
Originally posted by:paradelights
It's a good comparison and humanity acts the same way. There are certain ways of life that are intrinsic to humanity, that we all share, that if we don't follow them, we won't be as happy or we'll fail or whatever (there are varying ways levels of failing).
I'm sure you must believe that too since you chose Buddhism over any other religion. You must believe that Buddhism is better in some way.
I believe that buddhism makes sense to me and works for me. It is, after all, simply a tool itself.
When you talk about the essence of humanity, or whatever you want to call it on any particular day, it seems to just be rather obvious stuff about how the world works and how relationships with other people work... which is not something we need god to tell us or to compel us to respect and follow. In fact I would say that christianity in its alliances with the establishment of and continuance of nation states as well as colonialism has actually led it as a religion to often work against circumstances and relationships where people can and will more easily and thoroughly be able to practice these sorts of rules and relationships.
That is one reason why I pointed out that the argument you were making for christianity was so inherently statist.
I'm glad it works for you and makes you happy.
I think we do need God to tell us how to do it. I honestly don't think we by ourselves are wise enough to make this world a better place all by ourselves. Sure there are a few people, but us by ourselves is overstepping our bounds. If we could do it ourselves, after the many thousands of years (I'm using the evolutionary perspective) you would think we could simply stop racism or even stop arguing with other people just for a start. But we haven't been able to do that.
But regardless, I don't think it's just about rules either. I think rules are just the end result of God working in our hearts. For example, I'm might be compelled to love a homeless man because of God in me and the love he fills me with, and not by my own self.
I think the thing I love about following Jesus is that, we aren't supposed to put this weight of rules and things to do on ourselves. The biggest misunderstanding in my life was that I need to do it myself. Instead now I just say, "God I'm really not cool enough or humble enough to be filled with love enough to love that homeless man" and out of my humility, God fills me.
So... you need a big man in the sky to do it all for you. I do not. It can be a challenge at times, yes. You present a definite challenge to showing loving kindness, but I try. That doesn't mean I am always going to be polite to you, but it does mean I am not one of the people who even in jest wishes you ill... among other things.
That, as I see it, is one of the big differences between the two. In buddhism you have to work both in and out of meditation to realize and grow compassion for others. There is no just asking for it and it being given.
I would also point out that were we able to make a better world with god's help, given that christianity has been the dominant religion in the world for a couple thousand years we should have seen that already.... but we don't. In a nation far more religious than most in europe and elsewhere we in fact see a rather sick society with obscene rates of poverty, crime, violence, intollerance, etc...