RE: virus: Re:Core beliefs

Robin Faichney (
Sat, 27 Dec 1997 17:02:23 -0000

> From: Wade T.Smith[]
> I don't for a second think beliefs are that causal. They are too
> fleeting, too artificial, too manipulatable.
So you don't think that Christianity has had much effect
on Western culture, then?

> And this sudden and hardly
> unnoticed elevation of Buddhism to the 'ultimate answer' is yet
> another
> obsequious proselytization, yes?
Sudden? I've been on this list for about a year, and my
first message was about the relationship between memetics
and Buddhism, as was this last one, and I must have
mentioned Buddhism in at least 20% of my not infrequent
contributions between them. And what on earth makes it

> No- I mean a dramatic presentation. Tragedy, in the Aristotelian
> sense.
> Yes, a specific 'meme-complex', although I do not accept the phrase,
> due
> to the inclusion of an unknown (meme).
Don't you think you might be wasting your time here, Wade?

> >But I still don't know why
> >some are true and others false. Unless it's because you
> >think that religions depend on people really believing, in
> >which case you'd be wrong in the case of Buddhism, but
> >right in my eyes to a significant extent about most/all of
> >the others! (Well, of the modern religions, anyway, but
> >let's not get into that one right now.)
> Again the inclusion of Buddhism as The Great And Unique Answer. Again
> the
> 'you must be wrong where ** is concerned' breathless knee-jerk.
> Are there Born Again Buddhists? May I nominate you for magnate?
> OK- putting aside my feeling that you are afflicted with a dogmatic
> blindness here- is buddhism really a willing suspension of disbelief,
> or
> is it, like every other religion, a willing submission to belief? (I
> actually think you are right about it being different in this
> regard....
> I just disagree as to _how_ different.)
There aren't actually all that many things you can say
about "Buddhism", due to the differences between all
the various varieties out there. But in addition to that,
we're up against the perennial problem with
arguments about any religion: as an adherent, I talk
about my conception of it, which is necessarily ideal,
because I take what suits me from it and disregard
the rest. While an outsider, looking in, necessarily
does not understand what the adherents see in it.
But I can say this: there's a book called "Buddhism
without Beliefs", whose title is not at all misleading,
and which is about as close to *my* variety of
Buddhism as you're likely to find between hard or
soft covers. It's just a pity you will almost certainly
never get around to reading it. But for anyone not
too prejudiced against religion: