I would like to mention my visit to Lourdes as a pilgrim. There, in front of the cave, I experienced something very special. I felt a spiritual vibration, a kind of spiritual presence there. And then, in front of the image of the Virgin Mary, I prayed. I expressed my admiration for this holy place that has long been a source of inspiration and strength, that has provided spiritual solace, comfort and healing to millions of people. And I prayed that this may continue for a long time to come. My prayer there was not directed to any clearly defined object, like Buddha or Jesus Christ or a bodhisattva, but was simply directed to all great beings who have infinite compassion towards all sentient beings.
I do not see any reason to spend one’s whole life tasting just one kind of fruit. We human beings can be nourished by the best values of many traditions.
Q:Just wanting to bring this full circle: '“Suffering exists,” however, implies that this is something that you have to deal with in life, but that it is neither good nor evil, it simply is. It exists.' Perhaps it is the western philosophy that has lost touch with truth's like these. I don't argue that it makes sense to have faith in God (and don't myself, but I like to toy with the idea), but it could be that we don't see the full picture because we hold fast to our beliefs. *no space to finish*
I think that’s true. I also think that contemporary Christianity has a lot of unexplored potential. I have often said to those who are interested to hear such things, that the Old Testament and the teachings of Jesus don’t belong in the same book together. From a Buddhist standpoint, this would be like grafting the Buddhist sutras onto The Mahabharata, one of the main sacred Hindu texts.
Buddhism was born from Hinduism, just like the teachings of Jesus were born in the context of a rules-governed Jewish culture, but that doesn’t mean they play well together.
There are signs that some contemporary Christians want to move away from the uneasy tension between the Old and New Testaments and emphasize the teachings of Christ.
Q:In response to the Problem of Evil, could not all these be true? Free will is a promise, what we do with it is our prerogative. He could smite thee, He knows it's there, and He wishes it not, but pain and suffering inflicted on his children is mortal. Beyond this earth, in their heavenly and eternal bodies they would be rid of ailment and this is the choice. Could it be it's not about the suffering, and to meddle is meaningless. It could be, but is it? PS I claim no understanding of christianity
Ah, it’s my favorite Tumblrosopher. How have you been?
I think you have captured the ideology of contemporary Christianity. However, from an analytical standpoint, I think the problem of evil example stands. Analytical philosophy is all about building logical premises, and if a being is “all good,” meaning unequivocally good, then he shouldn’t be okay with suffering, for suffering is not “good” from a moralistic standpoint.
The problem with the problem of evil example, however, is that Christianity is not a rational, analytical system. Philosophers, specifically metaphysicians, have been puzzling over the problem of evil for centuries, but none of the practitioners/devotees of Christianity really give two shits about whether or not a problem like this makes sense. I can’t imagine, for instance, trying to even introduce the problem of evil to the average Christian. Not that they wouldn’t understand it, but they would just quote scripture in response, which is their version of analysis.
Because of this, contemporary Christianity is a completely tautological system, and I say this having investigated Christianity fairly thoroughly over the past ten years or so, including speaking to many Christians, including some scholars of Christianity and members of the clergy. What I mean by this is exactly what I said about quoting scriptures. The “proof” of contemporary Christianity goes something like this:
1) The Bible is the word of God
2) Whenever some phenomena in the world needs explanation, see 1)
3) Whenever there is a contradiction between different premises in The Bible, during the act of 2), assume that your limited mind simply cannot understand the word of God
This is a classic tautology, meaning that it cannot be disproven, which also means that it can never be proven. Any solid premise can be disproven by the rules of logic. Tautologies create closed systems of logic that only make sense within them, however, leaving their adherents with only a kind of self-referential or circular logic by which to make premises (they can only make premises by adhering to the tautology).