virus: The Fall of Buddhism and rise of .....{VERY LONG}

Wright, James 7929 (
Fri, 07 Mar 97 22:37:00 EST

David Rosdeitcher[] wrote:

<snip start, recognition of non-hostile intent of both proponents>
>Now that it's been established that we're "nice people but wrong" I'd
like to
>proceed with putting an end to the hoax of Buddhism and explain why
>will take over planet Earth.

At least you begin by stating your Objective! <VBG>

<snip two presentation questions>

> Buddhism is a form of pragmatism. Pragmatism is an ideology that
"comes to
>grips" with certain apparent human limitations, and does "what works"
>those limitations. For instance, once Tad gave an example of how people
>Communist Poland didn't believe in Communism, but joined the Communist
>because they thought that "I don't agree with communists, but in
>order to do something 'good' I have to be with them, as they are in
>otherwise I am nobody and I can be eaten by others and not able to do
>anything 'good' anyway". They were compromising honesty in favor of
"what works".

If Buddhism is pragmatic, then why would it attempt to prevent human
suffering at all? Even the most optimistic person would give up the
attempt after over three millenia of failure. Instead, Buddhism gives an
analysis of the problem, describes a method of dealing with it, and
details fairly clearly how to go about it. The most pragmatic thing about
Buddhism is the results it often provides.
No one takes up Buddhism as an attempt to "get in good" with the ruling
authorities; in fact, in many countries (China under Mao, Cambodia under
Pol Pot, North Korea and Vietnam, etc.) being Buddhist could well land
you in jail or dead. Your analogy with Communist Poland is irrelevant.
Also, no Buddhist compromises honesty for anything - truth is highly
prized in Buddhism, although rhetoric isn't.

> Buddhism accepts as a given that life is filled with inevitable
>and death. They are taking this so-called "given" and developing an
ideology and
>way of life that pragmatically relieves suffering and makes death
easier. The
>way Buddhism achieves this is by dishonestly inverting the objectivist
3rd axiom
>of identity, by claiming that since everything is changing, things have

Once again you miss the point - while Buddhism accepts that suffering
exists HERE and NOW, it most emphatically DOES NOT accept it as
"inevitable". In fact, if one reads the Four Vows that all students are
expected to observe, they include:

"Ordinary beings are innumerable - I vow to liberate them all
Defilements are endless - I vow to eliminate them all
Buddha's teachings are endless - I vow to learn them all
The ways of enlightenment are supreme - I vow to achieve them all."

David, does this sound like "acceptance of inevitable suffering" to you?
Please stop spreading false statements about Buddhism! I don't recall
Buddhism inverting your 3rd axiom of identity: Buddhism holds that
identity is an illusion, leading to other illusions.

>Here are some examples: <snip backquotes>
> To make things even more convincing for the Buddhists, various
>authors who want to sell stupidness to the public support the notion of
>reality with "contradictions" like "light is both a wave and a
particle" or
>"an atomic particles' position and momentum cannot be measured
>Heisenberg uncertainty principle).

David, do you have knowledge that disproves either of these two quantum
physical principles? If so, please present it. If not, how can you hold
that they are "contradictions" instead of contradictions? (the first
being a false appearance of contradiction, I gather, and the second a
genuine non-dual aspect of physical reality?)

> These clever notions suggest that nothing, including the 'self'
>exists and that the world of duality between self and non-self is an
>This "illusion", according to some Buddhists, can be transcended through
>teachings and methods such as practicing meditation or postures with an
>experienced "master". The notions of transcending duality are taken
beyond the
>confines of the 'dojo' (practice hall or monastery) and into daily life
>Buddhists perform many acts of selflessness such as charity.

FINALLY, a straightforward, nearly accurate description of some aspects
of Buddhist practice! I applaud you, David, at least you were listening!

>Before going further, what is wrong with this picture?

Too many extra quotation marks "" , giving some impression of falseness.
Vast areas of practice and principles ignored for simplicity of

> The 'law of identity' which is implicit in any statement or action
>anyone, including a Buddhist (even Tim who changes his opinions between

Buddhist does not accept the so-called "law of identity", as such. You
project your beliefs on the universe here, deceiving only yourself.

>states that, that which exists, exists as something and has a specific
>nature. For instance, at any given moment, there is a nature of the
light from
>the moon and a definite relationship between that light to the water in
a pail.
>And, a river changes from moment to moment, but at any given moment has
>definite nature. (So much for "A is not A" introduced by Heraclitus
>Gautama, the Buddha)

It appears you have defined identity as "a series of changes". At any
given moment, one is hard-pressed to express a statement about an
identity before the moment passes and the identity has changed. Is your
concept of identity sort of an integral, the "limit of sums of existence
taken over a given time interval"? How is this different from Heraclitus?
How does it say anything different than Buddhism, which denies identity?
Your glissando between the "nature of light from the moon" and
"relationship between that light to the water in the pail" begs the
question: which is the identity of the image, the nature of the light or
the relationship between the light and the water?

> What about that idea about the self being illusory? The 'self' is
real and
>has been described, accurately or not, in different ways such as an
effect of a
>'brain organization that generates metaphors such as 'I' ' or an
>'electrochemical potential', sort of like a continuous fire.

But the self is not real - it has no existence that can be shown, or
measured, or sensed. Buddhism would agree with the "or not", since that
would agree with Buddhism. It is accurately described as an illusion
created by ego without substance, form or reality. The pain created by
abandoning the mistaken idea of self is nothing compared to the suffering
the illusion creates - the need to defend one's own illusory existence at
any cost, the drive to perform questionable acts to glorify or praise
one's self, and the conflicts that one's self creates with other
"selves", strife and confusion flowing like a continuous fire.

>The 'self' or 'I', like everything else, has a specific nature, but
some aspects of this nature are
>not yet known.

I thought Objectivism was supposed to hold that reality can be known!
After hundreds of years of searching, why isn't something concrete known
about the existence of the "Self"?

>This is a case of having metaphysical certainty, but not
>epistemological certainty--certainty that a nature exists but
uncertainty of
>what that nature exactly is.

"Metaphysical certainty". Is that FAITH, or something similar? Buddhism
does not use FAITH.

> Other examples of this non-contradictory phenomenon
>are: 1) An exact nature of light exists, which is not known, but can be
>as either a wave or a particle depending on the model or point of view.

Your duality betrays you - the definitions do not allow diffraction of
particles, or quanta of waves. It is the dualistic mind-set that requires
light to be one nature, and cannot allow two.

>2) A particle's position and momentum cannot be measured simultaneously
>yet still has a definite position and momentum.

Are you certain? If you cannot measure them both, how can you be certain
that they have both? Again, your dualistic mind-set betrays you into
assumptions about the universe that cannot be proven or maintained.

> When the brain is infected with contradictions, it has problems
>integrating relevant pieces of information. For instance, Buddhism was
>by James as not being a political system. But, there are consequences to
>population of submissive Buddhists searching for a non-duality which
they will
>never find.

When a brain is infected with circular axiom sets, it has problems
integrating relevant pieces of information. For instance, Objectivism was
described by David as a system that best describes objective reality -
yet it has no way to deal with non-dual quantum physics, non-dual
Buddhist principles and any other phenomena that cannot be neatly fit
within three axioms.

Buddhists are not political because politics does not directly address
real problems of human suffering and existence. Buddhism does.

>Certain people catch on to the hoax and become exploitative rulers of
these submissive people.

How can you exploit someone who is not attached (to ANYTHING/ ANYONE/
ANYWHERE?) What is there to exploit? Charity? Yellow robes? How can
such people be ruled, by anyone?
A ruler: I'm going to take your possessions.
Buddhist: OK.
A: I'm going to take your money too.
B: Since it was all given to me, you are welcome to it.
A: I'm going to take your peace of mind.
B: How? I'm not even attached to my life, so if you're going to take
that, it's irrelevant!
A: (Hopelessly confused) Follow me! I ORDER you to obey me!
B: How? What can you do to make me?
And so forth......
Submissive people? Ask the Chinese just how submissive the Tibetans were!
The number of Mao's soldiers buried in the mountain passes is lower than
it might have been, because the Dalai Lama FORBID his people to resist!
(Some did anyway.)

>The Buddhists are all too happy to have a leader, since they are in a
confused "koan-ridden" state of >mind and are looking for guidance.

Confused? "Koan-ridden?" The Buddhists have a clear vision (after
enlightenment) of how the universe is put together, how it interacts with
itself and how to cope with it. No enlightened person would look to a
deluded person for guidance.

>The parasitical monasteries are often soul-mates of big oppressive

"Parasitical" upon what, David? The societies they enrich and nourish?
No Buddhist wishes to oppress anyone, David - even those who malign them.

> The philosophy of objectivism holds that such Buddhist pragmatism of
>reality to do what "works", is not only dishonest, but does not really

No Buddhist denies reality, they simply do not accept the Objectivist
version of what it is.
Honesty is a position that someone who maintains the existence of Self,
in spite of being unable to produce it or describe it clearly, is poorly
equipped to hold - but then, since such persons are deluded, it is
neither surprising nor objectionable that they should think themselves
honest, and that Buddhists were in some fashion "dishonest".

>Both Buddhism and Objectivism have in common the notion that initiating
>against someone is evil. But, Buddhism's regard for life is a respect
for the
>cycle of life and death, while objectivism's regard for life has to do
with a
>macho taking over and controlling life for an individual's sake.

Passing over the "wheel becoming" part of your second statement, until
the Objectivists learn to control their egos and determine what reality
is, there is little encouragement to expect them to "take over and
control" their own lives. When one is deluded about one's own basic
nature, proceeding further is a hazardous affair.

>So, what follows from objectivism is prolonging lives of individuals.

What increase in life expectancy can you expect as an Objectivist? Is it
proof against disease, aging and death?

>The 'self' is real and will not continue to exist if man lets nature
take its course as the body
>dies through disease and aging.

This is interesting: Objectivism as a route to immortality? Is Ayn Rand
still alive?

> Meditating, sitting in a posture, and living on a strict diet, will not
do anything to prevent disease, >aging, and death.

Let me know the name of the first immortal Objectivist. Actually,
meditation is shown to relieve both symptoms and progression of high
blood pressure, nervous anxieties of the mind and irregularities of
heartbeat, circulation and so forth.
Do not become attached to forms. You should be able to meditate sitting,
lying down , walking about, while working at routine menial tasks and
while mountain climbing, if you should choose.
Living on a strict diet is not necessarily a Buddhist requirement,
although many become vegetarians through increased respect for all life
forms, sentient and otherwise. The unfortunate side-effects of having a
strict diet can be seen in relief from allergies to food additives,
peaceful digestion, regularity, and so forth.
>Objectivism states that you learn by extrospection and that you can
>*do* things like learn about the body and how to increase longevity.
>techniques of longevity are becoming conceivable and possible, such as
>cloning, nanotechnology, etc. but the main problem with extending
>towards immortality is not technological but philosophical. Most people,
>infected with non-Objectivist ideas like Buddhism, would say there are
>with extending lives such as over-population or taking opportunities
away from
>younger people. However, objectivism will prevail in the end, because
the act of
>spreading ideas, like anything else, is based on objectivity.

Buddhism has its share of centenarians, so your argument that it opposes
longevity is spurious. Buddhism has no difficulty with any scientific
breakthrough, but suggests it is far more useful to understand yourself
first - sort of like learning to control your mind and emotions before
you speed your car into a tree. Your last sentence is a declaration of
FAITH that is also circular and skips over lots of questionable
intermediate premises.

> Early followers of Rand used objectivism just for a drug-like effect
ofbeing able to destroy any non->Objectivist in a philosophical argument.

They must not have run across any Zen Buddhists!

> But, now there is a life and death incentive to spread objectivism
throughout the
>population. It is like a Metasystems Transition Theory notion, that the
>energy or quality of the society is determined by the dominant ideas
held by the
>population in general.

This is bizarre on the face of it; why are we browbeating the Swiss over
Nazi gold? They weren't Nazis, tried to stay away from conflict, and did
so by convincing the most arrogant military leader of the time that
they'd be too costly to conquer. Their "philosophy" of defiant
self-reliance, military preparedness and neutrality in foreign conflicts
has generated a high standard of living, energy to continue and high
quality of social life. All this without a "dominant" meme of

>To show an example of how objectivist memes will beat out
>all others, let's compare objectivist memes with Buddhist memes and see
>ones you like better.

>Some Buddhist memes that are popular and used by Buddhist related
movements such
>as liberalism are:
> 'don't increase your possessions, decrease your desires', 'dissolve
your ego',
>'the sound of one hand clapping', 'become one with the universe',
'relieve human
>suffering', 'the 'self' is an illusion' 'transcend this duality', 'Zen
and the
>Art of Motorcycle Maintenance', 'there is nothing hidden in the closed
hand of
>the teacher', 'don't learn how to live, learn how to die', 'profound
>are achieved by sitting in zazen', 'everything is temporary', 'live
simply so
>others may simply live', etc.

What is liberalism, and how it is allied with a thought system over three
thousand years old? I think that "don't learn how to live, learn how to
die" meme must be Liberalism, since all Buddhism is ultimately about
learning how to live.

>These are all good memes which catch on through people's altruistic
>but, they don't compare with the memes of-
>Neo-Tech- <snip large advertisement for Zon & etc.>

>Which memes do you like better, Buddhist or Objectivist?

Buddhist, by a long measure. Relying on Zon or Zon's practices to save me
means I need do nothing to save myself.

<snip ending>
David, if this is the best that Objectivism can produce, Buddhism is
secure. I still wish you would learn more about Buddhist principles and
practices before you try to describe them to others - so far, the results
are not encouraging.

James Wright