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» True Ancestor: Christopher Hitchens reduces Buddhism to aphrase from Digital Dharma
The feared and renowned atheist Christopher Hitchens is featured in an article by Anthony Gottlieb (no relation) in the most recent New Yorker an article which reviews the surge in post-9/11 atheist literature and positions Hitchens as the post... [Read More]

Comments

perplexed

simplicity is the hardest thing to master

Steve

"Dalai Lama's (admittedly sometimes imbalanced) balancing act as both head of state and spiritual leader." ...you don't find it unsettling to have a head of state being a spiritual leader. I think maybe some Buddhists spend too much time in their meditative state to realize the ramifications of having a religious leader being in control of your state, much in the vein of the monarchy of England. Tibet is setup on the basis of Fuedlism, hardly seems like a spiritual journey into the past that I would want to take.

"If this seems easy to parody, it's only because it's almost impossible to do." easy to but impossible, which is it??

I think the problem Hitchens has with Buddhism also goes beyond their sayings, but into the religious dogmas that exist with it.

I find it odd that buddhist try to escape the confines of religion and say that buddhism is a "philosophy" yet look for transcendence and believe in reincarnation.

rational_buddhist

"...yet look for transcendence and believe in reincarnation." Buddha rejected reincarnation, and the official stance of buddhists is one of reBIRTH. Buddhistic metaphysics aren't really important anyway, since the Buddha focused on producing positive karma (literally "creating one's self") in the moment, and he kept a noble silence on the afterlife.

These militant atheists seem to me very silly in how they compartmentalize all religion and act as though since THEY haven't experienced it, it's wrong. Seems to me that that is exactly what Dogma develops out of. Dogma is simply clinging to your own closed mind. Atheists are not as undogmatic as they think.

As for the Dalai Lama...he is a loving man, a simple monk, and wants to end his people's suffering. He isn't perfect, but seriously, he is infinitely more rational and pragmatic than say *cough* George Bush.

The Pink Unicorn

Ah yes, the Dalai Lama - a loving man, a simple monk, and a homophobe. Filthy hypocrite. So much for spreading love and compassion.

John

Buddhism is, and will always be, a non-theistic philosophy. Buddhism does not set out to govern one's personal behavior, like Christianity or Islam, nor does it make any fervent claims to the existence of superfluous deities. Therefore, one can not be in the position to proclaim that it's a form of religion to begin with.

Christopher Hitchens even said, "It can even be argued that Buddhism is not, in our sense of the word, a "religion" at all." He was merely trying to point out the absurdity of faith against reason, and how dangerous unrelenting fanaticism is, which I wholeheartedly agree with.

Albert Einstein also spoke of Buddhism in a rather positive light.

"Buddhism has the characteristics of what would be expected in a cosmic religion for the future: It transcends a personal God, avoids dogmas and theology; it covers both the natural and the spiritual, and it is based on a religious sense aspiring from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual, as a meaningful unity." - Albert Einstein.

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