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SAM ON BOOK TV - FEB 4, 2007
Posted: 08 February 2007 06:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]  
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What makes you think that most humans are not capable of higher levels of thought? What is it about YOU that gives YOU that capability? Do you come from a long line of geniuses?
I don’t. I come from a long line of peasants, criminals and cowboys. 
Yet I am capable of understanding Joseph Campbell. And Richard Dawkins. And Dainin Katagiri Roshi’s book ‘Returning to Silence.’ And ‘Charlotte’s Web.’
But then, I don’t live in Afghanistan.

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Posted: 08 February 2007 06:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]  
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I was referencing the “god exists” filter (of religious thinking) that was mentioned in earlier posts.

For some people to hold that notion throughout an intellectual conversation stops insight before the talk even begins. And for those who use such a “buffer” - they’re obviously not really open to an honest debate.

One thing that makes anybody special is our willingness to have our beliefs (and ideas) changed and shaped over the course of our discourse - something Sam has said for quite a while. To stringently hold onto one idea and to not allow observation and evidence to enter into discussion is the definition of ignorance.

They argue we can’t disprove god - we argue they can’t disprove all the other gods. And to dissavow knowledge of human history and our cultural myths is actually praised amongst the religious - it almost has to be, for if it wasn’t the case - the conversation WOULD be about observation and evidence instead of blatant ignorance.

In every area of our lives the central drive should be to gain as much perspective as possible, no matter what the topic. Unfortunately, this is blasphemy to the religious-minded.

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“All religions are valid, NONE are literal.” -Joseph Campbell

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Posted: 08 February 2007 04:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]  
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I think it’s really unfortunate that you equate ‘religion’ with dogma.
Easy to understand, of course, but unfortunate.
Many areas of human thought become obstructed by dogma, not just religion.
It’s very interesting to ponder why normal, intelligent people have such a strong tendency to promote dogma, isn’t it? Maybe it has something to do with fear.

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Posted: 09 February 2007 07:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]  
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A very good read on levels of spiritual understanding is in “Niche for Lights”, a hard book to get hold of (although now out in a new translation) by the 12th century Islamic theologian al Ghazali.  In the second part of the book he gives a classification of levels of religious belief with the atheists at the bottom and “the few of the few” (the most advanced mystics) at the top.  Each level is distinguished by what is worshipped at that level, that is, by the conception of God held by individuals at the level. 

The first part of the book gives what is, reading through the 12th century language, a very modern discussion of psychology and forms of knowing.

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Posted: 13 April 2007 08:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]  
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YouTube it folks.

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