virus: Buddhism

Eric Boyd (
Tue, 21 Oct 1997 06:09:23 -0400


quotations from:
Date: Sun, 19 Oct 1997 18:57:09 -0400
From: "D.H.Rosdeitcher" <>
Subject: virus: Re:Buddhism

> Whether Buddhism is ascetic, hedonistic or somewhere in between,
> necessarily determine whether it benefits its hosts. I suspect that
> Buddhism is a selfish meme because even though it has been around for
> centuries claiming to relieve suffering, it hasn't actaully relieved
> suffering as shown by the fact that cultures where Buddhism is popular
> as much suffering as other cultures. The way Buddhism supports the

Hmmm. I don't think "suffering" is an objective trait. Suffering is
not out there, suffering has to do with how we *feel* about "out
there"... the things that *cause* suffering are just as pervalent in
Buddhist countries, but I would maintain that *less* suffering results
becuase of them.

> State,for instance, indicates that instead of being any kind of cure,
it is
> just part of one big social control system--a control system which
seems to
> evolve by itself. .
> Buddhism has something in common with the Extropian/PCR idea
system in
> that it takes a not-so-cocky position that we're infinitely ignorant
> that we should focus on minimizing suffering instead of gaining
> But the Extropian system takes the confident active stance that we can

> still do things--we can make progress toward improvement while
> uses the complacent passive attitude, that we should just accept
things as
> they are and not strive for something better. If Buddhism isn't a
> meme, why would such an attitude which hasn't seemed to work, spread
> throughout society?

Again, it can be said to work. However, you have touched on a different
issue -- on which interests me far more. That of "hope" versus "no
desire"... What I'd really like to see is a religion which *does* find a
"Middle Way" between these two...

Christianity has a kind of unique way by using "hope" and then
*garanteeying* happiness (no suffering) by the necessity of *faith* --
it "ensures" that what we hope for will come true.

But I don't have strong enough "faith muscles" to do that. So "hope" is
"suffering"... which Buddhism sais can only be removed by lack of
desire... i.e. NO "hope"... damn them!

Like my good friend Eva Dillon sais: I've never found a religion that
recgonizes that we live *both* for the moment (like Zen) *and* for long
term goals (like Christainity). Perhaps I'll invent one!

... BTW, despite my objections, <Buddhism> can be viewed as a selfish