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Anarchism and Buddhism

2

Comments

  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited November 2020

    @David said:

    @mindatrisk said:

    @David said:

    The only anarchists I personally knew wanted to overthrow the government with no alternative plan and were willing to be violent about it. Since then, I always thought it was kind of a knuckle headed view.

    That was in the late 80s and I had no internet to look into it.

    Apologies to any I may have offended.

    I think certain special interests did a very good job on 'anarchism'. In one sense you are right, because how you regard anarchism is pretty much how almost everyone does. In effect the word simply now means chaos. That, of course, is not at all what anarchism is. If I was an anarchist I'd ditch the word prompt.

    I would have to agree if the label no longer serves, it would be best to use another one.

    Either way, I am glad to learn something new but one fellow had something he printed off the computer (again, this is before the internet when computers were still in the Commodor 64 days) called the Anarchists Cookbook which had all kinds of recipes for bombs and things like that. I got a recipe for ninja camouflage smoke bombs.

    Well, feel free to do some more research on the political tradition and what their ideas are if you're interested in understanding what else it means. I suggest starting with modern-day anarchists such as David Graeber (Are You An Anarchist?, What is Anarchism?) and Noam Chomsky (On Anarchism, Notes on Anarchism).

  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran

    Thanks for the information but that's ok. Not interested.

  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran
    edited November 2020

    @Sam8 said:
    @David said "The solution or the problem, now which is best to focus on, let me see..."

    I'm still just seeing semantics here- to focus on a solution is to imply the existence of a problem, and to focus on a problem is to imply you are looking for a solution.

    @Kerome said "Perhaps if you choose to see the world as sides that is true."

    The sides exist whether or not we "see" them. And if we choose not to see them then no good would be championed, no evil would be opposed, and nothing would be done. Slavery, fascism, climate disaster et al can all happily continue unopposed.

    It isn't really like that though. It is like the difference between wishing someone like trumpty to die and go away and wishing he sees the light and wakes up to his connection with those he set himself up against.

    I choose the positive inclusive path, not the opposing and divisive path. Hey look, maybe I've picked a side after all.

    The side of no-sides.

    lobster
  • Sam8Sam8 Hamilton, NZ Explorer
    edited November 2020

    @David
    But that has been my point all along- that you do have a side, even if for some reason you don't want to call it a "side," which is semantics to me.

    "The side of no sides" is either self contradictory incoherence or it is a championing of neutrality and therefore complicity in the status quo.

  • Sam8Sam8 Hamilton, NZ Explorer
    edited November 2020

    @David Also, wanting Trump to "wake up and see the light" is still being, guess what, on a side against Trump and what he stands for. You don't have to want him to "go away and die" to be on a side against him.

  • JeroenJeroen Do it with a smile Netherlands Veteran

    @Sam8 said:
    @Kerome said "Perhaps if you choose to see the world as sides that is true."

    The sides exist whether or not we "see" them. And if we choose not to see them then no good would be championed, no evil would be opposed, and nothing would be done. Slavery, fascism, climate disaster et al can all happily continue unopposed.

    That’s not entirely true. All that exists is a collection of individuals. The organisation into groups is something you are doing in your mind, in reality these people may or may not choose to join a specific special-interest group, and especially not if joining that group requires them to get into conflict of some sort.

    I just prefer to see people as individuals, which does not mean that I agree with stupid attitudes. But I think dividing the world many times into us versus them is nonsense. If you start trying to fight groups what are you going to do, track down every member of such a group in order to eradicate it? These are just people, they should be treated with compassion.

    David
  • @David said:

    @mindatrisk said:

    @David said:

    The only anarchists I personally knew wanted to overthrow the government with no alternative plan and were willing to be violent about it. Since then, I always thought it was kind of a knuckle headed view.

    That was in the late 80s and I had no internet to look into it.

    Apologies to any I may have offended.

    I think certain special interests did a very good job on 'anarchism'. In one sense you are right, because how you regard anarchism is pretty much how almost everyone does. In effect the word simply now means chaos. That, of course, is not at all what anarchism is. If I was an anarchist I'd ditch the word prompt.

    I would have to agree if the label no longer serves, it would be best to use another one.

    Either way, I am glad to learn something new but one fellow had something he printed off the computer (again, this is before the internet when computers were still in the Commodor 64 days) called the Anarchists Cookbook which had all kinds of recipes for bombs and things like that. I got a recipe for ninja camouflage smoke bombs.

    Well, I'm sure there were many anarchists who got up to some very naughty things. But there's a difference between your ideas and the process you use to achieve your ideas. It would be like saying that democracy = invading other countries. It doesn't, of course, but sometimes that's what democracies do. Anarchism is a political philosophy, nothing more and nothing less. Some anarchists will simply try and live as anarchists, some will advocate for anarchism, and some will fight for anarchism, but what anarchism is and how some anarchists set about achieving it are two very different things.

    Davidlobster
  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran

    @Sam8 said:
    @David Also, wanting Trump to "wake up and see the light" is still being, guess what, on a side against Trump and what he stands for. You don't have to want him to "go away and die" to be on a side against him.

    How can I put this another way...

    Right now, you and I disagree. We have both made our points in such a way as to constitute an argument.

    I love you.

    Do you love me?

  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran
    edited November 2020

    @Kerome said:

    @Sam8 said:
    @Kerome said "Perhaps if you choose to see the world as sides that is true."

    The sides exist whether or not we "see" them. And if we choose not to see them then no good would be championed, no evil would be opposed, and nothing would be done. Slavery, fascism, climate disaster et al can all happily continue unopposed.

    That’s not entirely true. All that exists is a collection of individuals. The organisation into groups is something you are doing in your mind, in reality these people may or may not choose to join a specific special-interest group, and especially not if joining that group requires them to get into conflict of some sort.

    I just prefer to see people as individuals, which does not mean that I agree with stupid attitudes. But I think dividing the world many times into us versus them is nonsense. If you start trying to fight groups what are you going to do, track down every member of such a group in order to eradicate it? These are just people, they should be treated with compassion.

    Hold on a second here... What colour did you say your eyes are, again? I can't see from here and I need to know if I should include you or not!

    I tell ya, the list just keeps getting shorter and shorter all the time, I swear.

    Too extreme?

  • Sam8Sam8 Hamilton, NZ Explorer

    @David I don't know what your point is. Once again, you seem to be confirming my point- we are on different sides of an issue. It's obvious. I don't see why you would bother disputing it.

    Can I put it this way- will you commit to agreeing to the statement: "I am not against slavery." Because it seems to me that you have to agree with this statement to be logically consistent.

  • Sam8Sam8 Hamilton, NZ Explorer

    @Kerome said "If you start trying to fight groups what are you going to do, track down every member of such a group in order to eradicate it?"

    This is a strawman. No one's talking about "eradication" of people.

    I'll ask you the same question I've asked David: Will you commit to agreeing to the statement: "I am not against slavery." Because it seems to me that you have to agree with this statement to be logically consistent.

  • @Sam8 said:
    @Kerome said "If you start trying to fight groups what are you going to do, track down every member of such a group in order to eradicate it?"

    This is a strawman. No one's talking about "eradication" of people.

    I'll ask you the same question I've asked David: Will you commit to agreeing to the statement: "I am not against slavery." Because it seems to me that you have to agree with this statement to be logically consistent.

    @Kerome... are you pro-slavery?? Cos I'm not cool with that at all. I'm a pretty staunch anti-slavery kinda guy, and if you are pro-slavery or, god forbid, a slave trader or owner, then I'm gonna seriously consider telling on you to Federica.

  • JeroenJeroen Do it with a smile Netherlands Veteran

    Slavery is not a beneficial or wholesome attitude, and I’m certainly not in favour of it. I will do my level best to convince any slave-owner to set free his or her slaves, and encourage them to better their lives. I would also add that it is an attitude held by individual people.

  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator

    @Kerome said:
    Slavery is not a beneficial or wholesome attitude, and I’m certainly not in favour of it. I will do my level best to convince any slave-owner to set free his or her slaves, and encourage them to better their lives. I would also add that it is an attitude held by individual people.

    It also takes the form of systems and institutions.

    But back to the point at hand, if you knew someone who enslaved others and couldn't convince them the free those enslaved people, would you then just walk away leaving them to their bondage and telling yourself you did all you could? Would you consider the slave and slave holders position as equally valid? Our would you do more to seek their freedom and stop the exploitation and abuse?

  • JeroenJeroen Do it with a smile Netherlands Veteran

    It’s entirely hypothetical, I have no idea what I might do. I might spend my life crusading against slavery, and giving up the goal of enlightenment. Or I might do something entirely different.

  • Sam8Sam8 Hamilton, NZ Explorer

    @Kerome said: "Slavery is not a beneficial or wholesome attitude, and I’m certainly not in favour of it. I will do my level best to convince any slave-owner to set free his or her slaves, and encourage them to better their lives. I would also add that it is an attitude held by individual people."

    Well there you go- you just chose a side. Whether it is "an attitude held by individual people" is totally irrelevant.

    @Kerome said: "I might spend my life crusading against slavery, and giving up the goal of enlightenment..."

    These two things are not "either/or." In fact, I'd argue that anyone who would abandon people to misery, torture and death, in favor of pursuing personal enlightenment, could never possibly be enlightened.

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the liminal space Veteran
    edited November 2020

    I don't know that its the plain fact of choosing a side, it seems necessary at times and humans are a deeply tribal species so we do it all the time.

    To me its about what thinking of yourself as a member of a tribe leads to. To my knowledge tribal attitudes in people cause one to have more trust and a preference for others in that tribe, but it doesn't inherently lead to a dislike of those outside. If however there is conflict or hostility between groups that's when all the animosity and dehumanization begins.

    Maybe there is a large element of what social media and information bubbles are doing to us. But it looks to my eye that in groups, especially those in conflict, a few members take things too far, enough others probably don't fully agree but since they have greater trust in their own and can fear the potential of rejection if in opposition, things just keep ramping up.

    “Too often we judge other groups by their worst examples, while judging ourselves by our best intentions.” ~ George W. Bush

    I see the world as a jumble of competing and harmonizing values and inclinations. I think when values compete it is for the good, it keeps things checked and in balance. If left to their own devices any good can turn bad. The search for truth could stop caring about harm done in its pursuit. The value of liberty unchecked can lead to mass accumulations of power. Unchecked justice could lead to an oppression of individual talent and expression.

    IMO we're all too isolated from each other today, the checks and balances are being lost.

    lobsterSuraShine
  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran
    edited November 2020

    @Sam8 said:
    @David I don't know what your point is. Once again, you seem to be confirming my point- we are on different sides of an issue. It's obvious. I don't see why you would bother disputing it.

    I confess that I forgot I first responded to your point instead of the other way around. If I have seemed confrontational, I apologize and will only respond again if you ask a specific question, thus opening up respectful dialogue. I will close with this;

    Sides are all arbitrary and by picking a side, we use the same thinking to solve a problem that created it.

    You put yourself on an opposing side and I have stepped over the imaginary line you imposed and showed you that I am on the side of the whole.

    I am not just trying to be cute when I say that I love you. I don't love you like I love my wife and daughter or at least I don't feel as responsible for your well being but I do love you.

    Even those I consider the worst of us cannot be excluded from my compassion. So how can I rightly take sides? It just doesn't work anymore.

    This holds true even if one were to attack me and the only way to stop them is to take their life. I would not stop loving them or even love them any less and would hold them in my arms and try to comfort them as they took their last breath. Even if the tables are turned and they kill me, I will not take a side against. I will hold steady in my vow to save us all.

    Can I put it this way- will you commit to agreeing to the statement: "I am not against slavery." Because it seems to me that you have to agree with this statement to be logically consistent.

    I am for freedom.

    I am in love with life and that includes us all. If there is no hope for the lowest of us then there is no hope for any of us.

    In reality, there is only one side and all borders are convention, even the ones we make to allow for space. I live according to that truth.

    Opposition is an illusion.

  • Sam8Sam8 Hamilton, NZ Explorer

    @David said "I am for freedom."

    I take this to mean that you have chosen a side on the issue of slavery/anti-slavery. Which undercuts everything else you said. I cannot reason otherwise.

    I think if we continue this we'll just be repeating ourselves, so I'm just going to leave it there. Have the last word if you want, I'm going to move on now. Have a nice day.

    David
  • JeroenJeroen Do it with a smile Netherlands Veteran

    @Sam8 said:
    Well there you go- you just chose a side. Whether it is "an attitude held by individual people" is totally irrelevant.

    In your mind perhaps. In my mind I’m merely making a choice based on individual behaviour, and I might be trying to conquer the slave-owning world one person at a time. Further I think that a goal of that type is incompatible with a search for enlightenment...

  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran

    @Sam8 said:
    @David said "I am for freedom."

    I take this to mean that you have chosen a side on the issue of slavery/anti-slavery. Which undercuts everything else you said. I cannot reason otherwise.

    I don't suppose you can. That's too bad.

    I think if we continue this we'll just be repeating ourselves, so I'm just going to leave it there. Have the last word if you want, I'm going to move on now. Have a nice day.

    Good enough. I can't convince you that equanimity depends on not taking sides nor that everyone is deserving of compassion.

    In fact, I can't control what others do, I can only control what I do. My life is my example.

  • My life is my example.

    Ah ha! Actions are our loudest words ... I knew it! B)

    person
  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran

    @Jason said:

    @Kerome said:
    Slavery is not a beneficial or wholesome attitude, and I’m certainly not in favour of it. I will do my level best to convince any slave-owner to set free his or her slaves, and encourage them to better their lives. I would also add that it is an attitude held by individual people.

    It also takes the form of systems and institutions.

    But back to the point at hand, if you knew someone who enslaved others and couldn't convince them the free those enslaved people, would you then just walk away leaving them to their bondage and telling yourself you did all you could? Would you consider the slave and slave holders position as equally valid? Our would you do more to seek their freedom and stop the exploitation and abuse?

    Interesting question. I know what I hope I would do but in the moment I'm not sure I'd be so brave. Buddha help me find the strength to ask to trade places with the one in most jeopardy. I am a hard worker.

  • Sam8Sam8 Hamilton, NZ Explorer
    edited December 2020

    @David said "I can't convince you that equanimity depends on not taking sides nor that everyone is deserving of compassion."

    Well I thought of something new to say, so I'll jump back in (I know, that didn't last long, did it?)

    The idea that I don't believe that everyone is deserving of compassion is a strawman, and something you've decided I believe because I don't agree with you. Don't be that guy.

    What I do believe is that the only kind of equanimity you can have from not taking sides is the equanimity of an ignoramus or a sociopath. You have to either not know or not care either way. So perhaps I just don't want to reason the way that you are reasoning.

    And no, I don't believe you are a sociopath. I just believe you are really, really confused and overly hung up on semantics. That is, you would care about seeing someone enslaved, and you would take the side against slavery, you just don't want to call it being "anti-slavery." This is utterly meaningless, but this is at least what I want to think about you- because the alternative is much worse.

    David
  • This is utterly meaningless

    Ah ha! Talking of anarchy ... 🖤
    Here are some slavery systems I support or have engaged in ...

    • In the fridge and freezer we have some frozen enslaved animals, fish and meat. Yum! 🐑
    • In my practice I regularly call on my enslaved Buddhas for aid and free service. ☸️
    • In the dervish system we are thought of as slaves of Allah/womankind. Tsk, tsk how embarrassing ... ☪️
    • Some tea, coffee and chocolate is produced by indentured workers, in effect slaves. I likes a nice cup of tea. 🫖
    • Wage slaves. Thank you for your service. 🙈🙉🙊🐵

    I iz evil ... 🏴‍☠️

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the liminal space Veteran

    This video came across my feed from one of my favorite thinkers. He's expressing my ideal of some sort of transcending of the partisan divide rather than an apathetic neutrality.

    David
  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran
    edited December 2020

    @Sam8 said:
    @David said "I can't convince you that equanimity depends on not taking sides nor that everyone is deserving of compassion."

    Well I thought of something new to say, so I'll jump back in (I know, that didn't last long, did it?)

    The idea that I don't believe that everyone is deserving of compassion is a strawman, and something you've decided I believe because I don't agree with you. Don't be that guy.

    Ok.

    What I do believe is that the only kind of equanimity you can have from not taking sides is the equanimity of an ignoramus or a sociopath. You have to either not know or not care either way. So perhaps I just don't want to reason the way that you are reasoning.

    No, you don't understand my reasoning and to be honest, it doesn't even sound like you're trying.

    And no, I don't believe you are a sociopath. I just believe you are really, really confused and overly hung up on semantics. That is, you would care about seeing someone enslaved, and you would take the side against slavery, you just don't want to call it being "anti-slavery."

    But I am "anti-slavery" and "anti" racism. I am not "anti-slavemaster" or "anti-racist".

    Only love can beat hate and the kind of love that Buddha would have us live is all inclusive. Metta isn't just wishful thinking, it is a very liberating way to live.

    This is utterly meaningless, but this is at least what I want to think about you- because the alternative is much worse.

    That's a little extreme, don't you think? Like, wow. Tell the person you love them and they call you a sociopath, lol.

    I think I have consistently stated I am against the action, not the people because people get misguided but have the potential to wake up (or so I've heard and it makes sense to me).

    I am on the side of all of us because it is the only side there really is.

  • Thanks @person

    Great thinking/video.

    Passed it on to a few dividers ... B)

  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran
    edited December 2020

    Yes, @Person, that was pretty good.

    There's another one called ZDoggMD mainly aimed at the covid information and misinformation and only sort of caters to the left while admonishing the divide. Tonnes of interviews with actual doctors, scientists but they are quite lengthy.

  • @lobster said:

    This is utterly meaningless

    Ah ha! Talking of anarchy ... 🖤
    Here are some slavery systems I support or have engaged in ...

    • In the fridge and freezer we have some frozen enslaved animals, fish and meat. Yum! 🐑
    • In my practice I regularly call on my enslaved Buddhas for aid and free service. ☸️
    • In the dervish system we are thought of as slaves of Allah/womankind. Tsk, tsk how embarrassing ... ☪️
    • Some tea, coffee and chocolate is produced by indentured workers, in effect slaves. I likes a nice cup of tea. 🫖
    • Wage slaves. Thank you for your service. 🙈🙉🙊🐵

    I iz evil ... 🏴‍☠️

    You do a good job of lightening the mood. You have a nice touch.

    DavidJeroen
  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran
    edited December 2020

    @Sam8 said:

    And no, I don't believe you are a sociopath. I just believe you are really, really confused and overly hung up on semantics. That is, you would care about seeing someone enslaved, and you would take the side against slavery, you just don't want to call it being "anti-slavery." This is utterly meaningless, but this is at least what I want to think about you- because the alternative is much worse.

    I feel this could be gone over again because it really does illustrate my point. You readily admit you don't quite see where I am coming from but your mind is already trying to turn me into something very confused akin to a sociopath.

    I don't see your attitude as helpful to the situation of our constant struggle because instead of helping the situation, you are lashing out at it.

    We need to take care of our own anger before we worry about equanimity but acting out of compassion and tempering it with wisdom is always better than rage blinded by fear.

    SuraShine
  • Sam8Sam8 Hamilton, NZ Explorer
    edited December 2020

    @David said: "But I am "anti-slavery" and "anti" racism. I am not "anti-slavemaster" or "anti-racist"."

    This is not the first time you said you were against the action, not the person, but it is the first time you've explicitly said you're "anti-slavery"- which is all I was asking for, and which (I could be wrong) you seemed to be dancing around. I quite agree with the "hate the sin, not the sinner" attitude, but "anti-slavery" is still a side of an issue, and to try and say it is not renders words meaningless.

    "Only love can beat hate and the kind of love that Buddha would have us live is all inclusive."

    Again, agreed- but this doesn't preclude taking a side of an issue. Indeed, taking the side of love over hate is, itself, still a side.

    "Tell the person you love them and they call you a sociopath, lol."

    I literally said, "I don't believe you are a sociopath." The issue all along has been around semantics. That is, we appear to believe the same things in substance but are disagreeing on correct use of language, i.e. the word "sides."

    "...instead of helping the situation, you are lashing out at it."

    It's the nature of this medium of communication that we can't hear the actual tone of someone's words, and when someone strongly disagrees with us we hear rage, anger, etc. where none may exist. For example, I "heard" a strongly patronizing and passive aggressive tone in your posts, but being aware that that might just be my ego taking disagreement personally - and that your tone really doesn't matter with regards to the truth of the matter in any case - I just noted the feeling and let it go. Apologies, though, if that is how I sounded.

    David
  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran
    edited December 2020

    @Sam8;

    Thank you, I appreciate that post and I obviously was not being very skillful myself since I was obviously unclear.

    It's as you say and words are tricky sometimes. The last few months have been tough on us and it's just really important to me that we all refind our commonalities, ditch the hate and fear towards any other living being and get growing together.

    I didn't mean to come off so strong and I am doing my best to learn from all of these situations.

    Thanks again.

    lobsterSam8
  • This video came across my feed from one of my favorite thinkers. He's expressing my ideal of some sort of transcending of the partisan divide rather than an apathetic neutrality.

    @person my cousin says this guy was interviewed by Rebel Wisdom part of IDW (Intellectual Dark Web) which she is a member of ...
    They have some right wing Buddhists there such as the Ninja Sam Harris and Ken Wilbur

    Some Rebel Wisdom episodes here: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=rebel+wisdom

    ... might be of interest ...

    ... and now back to the anarchy ....

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the liminal space Veteran
    edited December 2020

    @lobster said:

    This video came across my feed from one of my favorite thinkers. He's expressing my ideal of some sort of transcending of the partisan divide rather than an apathetic neutrality.

    @person my cousin says this guy was interviewed by Rebel Wisdom part of IDW (Intellectual Dark Web) which she is a member of ...
    They have some right wing Buddhists there such as the Ninja Sam Harris and Ken Wilbur

    Some Rebel Wisdom episodes here: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=rebel+wisdom

    ... might be of interest ...

    ... and now back to the anarchy ....

    Correct, the interview was from Rebel Wisdom. I don't know how right wing it is, its not left wing and some of its interviews have been with more conservative people, or less progressive members of the spiritual and psychological world.

    And its really weird to me to hear people like Sam Harris and Ken Wilbur described as right wing. I mean the notion that lots of things exist on a spectrum rather than a binary should exist in the realm of politics and society too. What it kind of seems to me is that its a tactic of sorts that anyone who has any sort of criticism or disagreement with left orthodoxy gets associated with nazi's and white supremacists as a sort of ad hominem attempt to discredit anything they say, rather than addressing the substance of the argument. A paper came out recently that even put someone who has never voted Republican in their 50+ years of life and wrote in Bernie Sanders this last election as belonging to the far right. As well as Bloggingheads of whom Robert Wright, the author of "Why Buddhism is True", is head. I assume because much of the content is civil, open discussions between people on the left and the right. Perhaps that style treats a conservative person as if they or their ideas have any sort of legitimacy, and we can't have that.

    Sorry for the soapbox rant, its the end of the week and I get off balance. Your post was respectful, my disagreement has more to do with these social categorizations as a whole.

    lobster
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited December 2020

    @person said:
    And its really weird to me to hear people like Sam Harris and Ken Wilbur described as right wing. I mean the notion that lots of things exist on a spectrum rather than a binary should exist in the realm of politics and society too. What it kind of seems to me is that its a tactic of sorts that anyone who has any sort of criticism or disagreement with left orthodoxy gets associated with nazi's and white supremacists as a sort of ad hominem attempt to discredit anything they say, rather than addressing the substance of the argument. A paper came out recently that even put someone who has never voted Republican in their 50+ years of life and wrote in Bernie Sanders this last election as belonging to the far right. As well as Bloggingheads of whom Robert Wright, the author of "Why Buddhism is True", is head. I assume because much of the content is civil, open discussions between people on the left and the right. Perhaps that style treats a conservative person as if they or their ideas have any sort of legitimacy, and we can't have that.

    Sorry for the soapbox rant, its the end of the week and I get off balance. Your post was respectful, my disagreement has more to do with these social categorizations as a whole.

    It's true that politics is a spectrum, and from some people's POV, Sam Harris can easily be considered "right wing." For one, calling someone right wing isn't the same as calling them a nazi. But part of what's consider right wing in the US would include Harris, from his defense of torture and extreme views of Islam as being inherently violent and dangerous to his criticism of BLM and downplaying of the existence of racism. His dialogues with and defense of people who advocate for "scientific" forms of racism and sexism utilizing IQ such as Charles Murray is another (an idea that's used by people like Jared Taylor in their version of white supremacy).

    I certainly wouldn't say that Harris is a nazi, but his political beliefs do fall more into the right end of the spectrum in my POV. And I don't just say that because I disagree with him, but because these are things more associated with the right/conservatives than the left and the fact that he routinely criticizes the left in his podcasts, putting him in obvious conflict with what he perceives as "the left." And I've engaged his ideas in the past because I think some of them have legitimacy, but I also disagree with him a lot because I think he's wrong about a lot of things and wants to cause divisions in areas where I think we should find common ground (e.g., the US' relations with Islamic countries) and ignores the evidence right before his eyes (e.g., the existence of racial discrimination in the US).

    This also gets into the argument about censorship vs. free speech, which I think you allude to when you say, "I assume because much of the content is civil, open discussions between people on the left and the right. Perhaps that style treats a conservative person as if they or their ideas have any sort of legitimacy, and we can't have that."

    I don't personally dislike left/right dialogues, but the question is, should someone who expresses views that are racist, sexist, anti-gay, anti-Muslim, etc. have any platform they desire and should we amplify those views/voices? Harris likes to defend anyone having a say anywhere, even if they're a white supremacist. He doesn't think private institutions (e.g., colleges) should disinvite people who espouse extreme views from speaking even though that venue has every right to. Harris sees this as an attack on their speech, but it's not. It's simply not giving them every platform they desire. They can still say whatever they want, write as many books as they want, and appear on shows that will give them a platform, such as Harris', Molyneux's, etc.

    I think it's less about "orthodoxy" and more about effect. Generally speaking, if the effect of a view or policy is to target a group for discrimination and oppression, then it's something that will likely be challenged by the left. In the US, we see an increase in anti-Muslim sentiments after 9/11, an increase in violence against Muslims and those who appear to be Muslim/Middle-eastern, attempted bans on Muslim immigrants, etc., much of it coming from the right (i.e., Republicans and conservative Democrats, because Democrats can be right wing too). And I think people like Harris contribute to that with his attacks on Islam and defense of US policies targeting Muslims, the use of torture (of Muslim "terrorists"), etc., and I feel it necessary to argue against those views and policies.

    And that's the crux of the matter, I think. If you like Harris, nobody is stopping you from listening to his podcasts or reading his books or his blog. He's not being silenced or persecuted. He has ample platforms to say his piece, and he gets paid well for expressing his opinions. At the same time, his ideas are also open to criticism. And criticizing him (or anybody else) isn't the same as silencing them. And labelling him "right wing" isn't so much a tactic as a convenient compass of at least some of his political views. If you want a more detailed and accurate label that takes the entirety of the political spectrum into consideration, nobody is stopping you. Just don't be too surprised when someone labels a person who's vocally anti-Islam in the US "right wing."

    /rant because it's also the end of my week and I'm unbalanced as well.

    Shoshin1Davidlobster
  • Sam8Sam8 Hamilton, NZ Explorer

    @David And thank you too. I quite understand the need to find common ground, especially in this day and age.

    All the best.

    David
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the liminal space Veteran
    edited December 2020

    @Jason said:

    @person said:
    And its really weird to me to hear people like Sam Harris and Ken Wilbur described as right wing. I mean the notion that lots of things exist on a spectrum rather than a binary should exist in the realm of politics and society too. What it kind of seems to me is that its a tactic of sorts that anyone who has any sort of criticism or disagreement with left orthodoxy gets associated with nazi's and white supremacists as a sort of ad hominem attempt to discredit anything they say, rather than addressing the substance of the argument. A paper came out recently that even put someone who has never voted Republican in their 50+ years of life and wrote in Bernie Sanders this last election as belonging to the far right. As well as Bloggingheads of whom Robert Wright, the author of "Why Buddhism is True", is head. I assume because much of the content is civil, open discussions between people on the left and the right. Perhaps that style treats a conservative person as if they or their ideas have any sort of legitimacy, and we can't have that.

    Sorry for the soapbox rant, its the end of the week and I get off balance. Your post was respectful, my disagreement has more to do with these social categorizations as a whole.

    It's true that politics is a spectrum, and from some people's POV, Sam Harris can easily be considered "right wing." For one, calling someone right wing isn't the same as calling them a nazi. But part of what's consider right wing in the US would include Harris, from his defense of torture and extreme views of Islam as being inherently violent and dangerous to his criticism of BLM and downplaying of the existence of racism. His dialogues with and defense of people who advocate for "scientific" forms of racism and sexism utilizing IQ such as Charles Murray is another (an idea that's used by people like Jared Taylor in their version of white supremacy).

    I certainly wouldn't say that Harris is a nazi, but his political beliefs do fall more into the right end of the spectrum in my POV. And I don't just say that because I disagree with him, but because these are things more associated with the right/conservatives than the left and the fact that he routinely criticizes the left in his podcasts, putting him in obvious conflict with what he perceives as "the left." And I've engaged his ideas in the past because I think some of them have legitimacy, but I also disagree with him a lot because I think he's wrong about a lot of things and wants to cause divisions in areas where I think we should find common ground (e.g., the US' relations with Islamic countries) and ignores the evidence right before his eyes (e.g., the existence of racial discrimination in the US).

    And that's the crux of the matter, I think. If you like Harris, nobody is stopping you from listening to his podcasts or reading his books or his blog. He's not being silenced or persecuted. He has ample platforms to say his piece, and he gets paid well for expressing his opinions. At the same time, his ideas are also open to criticism. And criticizing him (or anybody else) isn't the same as silencing them. And labelling him "right wing" isn't so much a tactic as a convenient compass of at least some of his political views. If you want a more detailed and accurate label that takes the entirety of the political spectrum into consideration, nobody is stopping you. Just don't be too surprised when someone labels a person who's vocally anti-Islam in the US "right wing."

    /rant because it's also the end of my week and I'm unbalanced as well.

    I mean I've been listening to Sam regularly for several years and it's probably been several years since he's had much of anything to say about Islam. Over the past few months he's had two authors on talking about the negative side of meritocracy and all the many times he has guests on to talk over ethics. And you say you don't lump Sam in with Nazi's but then put him right next to Molyneux. What about putting Robert Wright in with the far right though, if you're unfamiliar he publishes a mindful resistance newsletter and is the author of "Why Buddhism is True"?

    I don't think the right measure of what is right and left to be what is right or left of any particular individual but rather where they sit on the overall cultural spectrum. And being critical of aspects of an ideology shouldn't mean you are opposite of that in your views. It's true that people used to hold more varying and heterodox views than they do today, where if you know one position someone holds you almost certainly know 10 others. I don't like that trend and find the polarization and purity standards one of the large problems we face today.

    It's not disagreement, even vigorous disagreement that I object to. It's dishonestly characterizing people who have views that maybe aren't completely aligned to one side or another as being completely tainted and the constant use of guilt by association. The group Braver Angels who focuses on bringing people together to bridge divides talks about honest disagreement.

    This also gets into the argument about censorship vs. free speech, which I think you allude to when you say, "I assume because much of the content is civil, open discussions between people on the left and the right. Perhaps that style treats a conservative person as if they or their ideas have any sort of legitimacy, and we can't have that."

    I don't personally dislike left/right dialogues, but the question is, should someone who expresses views that are racist, sexist, anti-gay, anti-Muslim, etc. have any platform they desire and should we amplify those views/voices? Harris likes to defend anyone having a say anywhere, even if they're a white supremacist. He doesn't think private institutions (e.g., colleges) should disinvite people who espouse extreme views from speaking even though that venue has every right to. Harris sees this as an attack on their speech, but it's not. It's simply not giving them every platform they desire. They can still say whatever they want, write as many books as they want, and appear on shows that will give them a platform, such as Harris', Molyneux's, etc.

    They don't have to invite speakers, but disinvitations are also a suppression of the student groups who invited the speakers in the first place. It's also about what defines anti/ist/phobe speech, the Nazi detectors seemed tuned way to sensitively to me. A world where its impossible to be even partially critical or skeptical of certain ideas can lead to some really bad ideas. And if you sift through years of someone's statements and ideas and take out a handful of the worst while neglecting any caveat's, context or statements contrary to them, then sure they're all problematic.

    I think it's less about "orthodoxy" and more about effect. Generally speaking, if the effect of a view or policy is to target a group for discrimination and oppression, then it's something that will likely be challenged by the left. In the US, we see an increase in anti-Muslim sentiments after 9/11, an increase in violence against Muslims and those who appear to be Muslim/Middle-eastern, attempted bans on Muslim immigrants, etc., much of it coming from the right (i.e., Republicans and conservative Democrats, because Democrats can be right wing too). And I think people like Harris contribute to that with his attacks on Islam and defense of US policies targeting Muslims, the use of torture (of Muslim "terrorists"), etc., and I feel it necessary to argue against those views and policies.

    Argue against those ideas as much as you feel necessary, that's not what this is about, its absolutely not about the challenging of ideas. It's mainly about guilt by association and dishonest characterizations. And what about the effect speech critical of Israel has? I mean there are anti semites who draw strength and succor from that, should that speech be banned too?

  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator

    @person said:
    I mean I've been listening to Sam regularly for several years and it's probably been several years since he's had much of anything to say about Islam. Over the past few months he's had two authors on talking about the negative side of meritocracy and all the many times he has guests on to talk over ethics. And you say you don't lump Sam in with Nazi's but then put him right next to Molyneux. What about putting Robert Wright in with the far right though, if you're unfamiliar he publishes a mindful resistance newsletter and is the author of "Why Buddhism is True"?

    He still writes and talks about it often. He's not shy about his feelings towards Islam and those who practice it. And I simply mentioned Harris and Molyneux as examples of people who have on guests who espouse versions of what many call scientific racism. I didn't say that they are identical. Whatever perceptions you have in that regard are entirely of your own making. As for Wright, I know little about him, so I would put him in the category of people I know little about.

  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited December 2020

    @person said:
    It's not disagreement, even vigorous disagreement that I object to. It's dishonestly characterizing people who have views that maybe aren't completely aligned to one side or another as being completely tainted and the constant use of guilt by association. The group Braver Angels who focuses on bringing people together to bridge divides talks about honest disagreement.

    I get that. But the question is, are people really being mischaracterized or do you just not like how they are being characterized because you like them?

    They don't have to invite speakers, but disinvitations are also a suppression of the student groups who invited the speakers in the first place. It's also about what defines anti/ist/phobe speech, the Nazi detectors seemed tuned way to sensitively to me. A world where its impossible to be even partially critical or skeptical of certain ideas can lead to some really bad ideas. And if you sift through years of someone's statements and ideas and take out a handful of the worst while neglecting any caveat's, context or statements contrary to them, then sure they're all problematic.

    I don't think that disinviting someone because the community is upset at what they're saying is suppression. Speech also has consequences. People can say whatever they want, but they don't have a right to say it wherever they want. And people can react to what is being said. A university can disinvite a speaker if it's obvious enough students and facility are against it, upset by it, it causes an unsafe situation, etc. The same with music venues who disinvite or cancel bands who espouse racist views, etc. These places aren't the commons.

    Argue against those ideas as much as you feel necessary, that's not what this is about, its absolutely not about the challenging of ideas. It's mainly about guilt by association and dishonest characterizations. And what about the effect speech critical of Israel has? I mean there are anti semites who draw strength and succor from that, should that speech be banned too?

    Nobody said anything about banning, so 🤷‍♀️.

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the liminal space Veteran
    edited December 2020

    @Jason said:

    @person said:
    I mean I've been listening to Sam regularly for several years and it's probably been several years since he's had much of anything to say about Islam. Over the past few months he's had two authors on talking about the negative side of meritocracy and all the many times he has guests on to talk over ethics. And you say you don't lump Sam in with Nazi's but then put him right next to Molyneux. What about putting Robert Wright in with the far right though, if you're unfamiliar he publishes a mindful resistance newsletter and is the author of "Why Buddhism is True"?

    He still writes and talks about it often. He's not shy about his feelings towards Islam and those who practice it. And I simply mentioned Harris and Molyneux as examples of people who have on guests who espouse versions of what many call scientific racism. I didn't say that they are identical. Whatever perceptions you have in that regard are entirely of your own making. As for Wright, I know little about him, so I would put him in the category of people I know little about.

    Alright, so Sam had Charles Murray, not "guests" plural, on once a few years ago and if memory serves they hardly talked about his book and I don't remember them talk about the ideas in it at all. And I couldn't say how often Molyneux talks about it but I imagine fairly frequently. And they are in the same group. This is a pretty perfect example of what I object to.

    I get that. But the question is, are people really being mischaracterized or do you just not like how they characterized because you like them?

    That's a good question to be self aware about and I'll be sure to ask myself that. But as of now, I do think they are being mischaracterized as in the above example. I think it falls into the category of black and white thinking.

    Nobody said anything about banning, so 🤷‍♀️.

    Fair enough, my own characterization was bad. Let's say then should anti Israel speech be subject to the same standards as other speech that can lead some to harm certain groups?

  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator

    You mentioned two people in the same sentence, I object! lol

  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited December 2020

    Funny that I simply said, "They [referring to people like Murray] can still say whatever they want, write as many books as they want, and appear on shows that will give them a platform, such as Harris', Molyneux's, etc." and somehow that equates to Harris and Molyneux are the same and it's objectionable. I think I'm being mischaracterized. It's not my fault they both had him on their show.

  • When do we get to blow something up? >:)

    Oh wait ... that is what we bubbles are doing ... B)

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the liminal space Veteran
    edited December 2020

    @Jason said:
    You mentioned two people in the same sentence, I object! lol

    Stalin was a Marxist too so I'm sure you won't mind if whenever I mention you I say @Jason and Stalin. I'm sure everyone knows you aren't responsible for millions of deaths so what's the harm?

    @Jason said:
    Funny that I simply said, "They [referring to people like Murray] can still say whatever they want, write as many books as they want, and appear on shows that will give them a platform, such as Harris', Molyneux's, etc." and somehow that equates to Harris and Molyneux are the same and it's objectionable. I think I'm being mischaracterized. It's not my fault they both had him on their show.

    Yes, that's how human psychology works. People tie those two together in their mind as being equivalent. I doubt its a conscious choice on your behalf, but I do think it is a dishonest tactic. Guilt by association is a logical fallacy.

    A guilt by association fallacy occurs when someone connects an opponent to a demonized group of people or to a bad person in order to discredit his or her argument. The idea is that the person is “guilty” by simply being similar to this “bad” group and, therefore, should not be listened to about anything.

  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited December 2020

    No, I don't mind, even though you're doing so just to score some points on me whereas I simply mentioned two people who had Murray on and didn't in any way compare them or engage in any logical fallacies. (Is this a debate club, or...?). Read that paragraph again in context—that of free sepech and access to platforms, not Harris and Molyneux are politically equivalent. You think you may know my mind, but perhaps I know it a bit better and don't think Molyneux and Harris are equivalent in any way except for the fact they both gave Murray a platform and people like him aren't having their free speech rights infringed, which was my main point. If we're rating them on the left-right spectrum, I'd say Harris is somewhat center-right and Molyneux far right, and I can tolerate the former but not the latter. But you never asked me how I viewed them, simply assumed. That says more about your psychology than mine.

  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator

    Jason and Stalin sitting in a tree, e-x-p-r-o-p-i-a-t-i-n-g

  • opiumpoetryopiumpoetry Delaware, Ohio, USA Explorer

    I think a true Buddhist is obligated to be SOME kind of Marxist, and anarchism is certainly good enough.

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the liminal space Veteran

    How about this? People are allowed to self identify in a way that they feel comfortable with, rather than having it imposed on them.

    DavidSuraShine
  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran
    edited December 2020

    @person said:
    How about this? People are allowed to self identify in a way that they feel comfortable with, rather than having it imposed on them.

    Now that right there opens a can of worms.

    I think that's pretty much the way to go as long as those in a position of public trust aren't misrepresenting their intentions with false labeling. The Nazis pretending to be socialist comes to mind quickly. I don't like to use the example but it is the perfect one.

    To your point though, I was on an Engaged Buddhism forum on Facebook the other day and somebody posted a so called "study" that basically says "white people" can't be blamed for their conditioned bias and racist outlook nor can they rise above it so it is best to just pre-forgive the "white people" as we work against systemic racism.

    I said that I was sorry but that that is actually racism and perpetuates the problem. Someone had the nerve to try and "whatever label"s'plain the difference between not being racist and being anti-racist. It boiled down to using the same thinking trying to fix a problem as that which started it.

    I told him he didn't really understand what anti racism is. I told him that I was anti racism. I don't identify by the shade of my skin and I don't judge anyone based on theirs (except in an admiring way but I do that with the other animals, plants and minerals as well).

    Anti racism is to promote the stopping of the racism game, not trying to win it.

    I had to remind him that the post alluding to the so called "study" plainly implied it is only wishful thinking that a person such as myself could ever possibly rise above conditioned racism because of the shade of my skin. Would the same be true if I was in China with the same skin?

    I guess the admin agreed with me because I didn't see the post citing the "study" the next day.

    I was on an online day retreat and they offered a BIPOC only class for those that weren't comfortable with "white" teachers and a mini-guidance course for those that identify as white. Obviously I just stayed where I was hoping there isn't just the 2 options.

    The first option, I fall into because I am indigenous to the world and I am colorful. I cannot choose that option and understand why. It is really for people that have unresolved suffering because of the reasons the acronym stands for. They don't get the privilege of not being marginalized on a societal level like I do.

    The second group I don't fall into because I don't identify by my shade of skin period and even if I did, it wouldn't be "white".

    But you know... People will tell you how to identify and then generalise you based on that.

    Thankfully, the session went on smoothly after that and I was not discriminated against. I may have been a little hurt if I was.

    The other side of the story still exists too though and it is pretty important.

    In regards ideology, we cannot expect others to classify us with labels that do not apply.

    Edit to qualify that last statement: it makes sense to me that gender based labels do indeed apply and that there is the same amount of genders as there are increments (or ratios) in any polar cycle (yin yang)

    person
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