Saturday, June 16, 2012

Vedanta Philosophy

Vedanta Philosophy Image
Vedanta is a philosophy taught by the Vedas, the most ancient scriptures of India. Its basic teaching is that our real nature is divine. God, or Brahman as it is called, exists in every living being.

Religion is therefore a search for self-knowledge, a search for the divine within ourselves. We should not think of ourselves as needing to be "saved." We are never lost. At worst, we are living in ignorance of our true nature.

Vedanta acknowledges that there are many different approaches to God, and all are valid. Any kind of spiritual practice will lead to the same state of self-realization. Thus Vedanta teaches respect for all religions.

The Main Ideas of Vedanta

Following are some of the main tenets of Vedanta:


"God is one without a second, absolute and indivisible. Though impersonal, beyond name and form, God assumes various personal forms to reveal itself to us. God is our soul. We are primarily consciousness, part of the cosmic consciousness. "

All of the incarnations (manifestations of God on Earth) are actual embodiments of Divinity. No one incarnation can be regarded as the only manifestation of that Divinity.

There is no accident in the cosmic universe. Human destiny is governed by the law of cause and effect.

We are born on earth repeatedly to finish the unfinished work of realizing our divinity. Although we suffer because of actions, we can control ourselves and hence our destiny.

There is a higher state of consciousness which can be achieved in this human birth.

There are many ways to achieve union with God, through the intellect, emotions, actions, and the will. A specific path or a combination should be followed to realize the aim and objectives of life.

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Friday, June 15, 2012

Agnosticism Dear God I Am Agnostic Is That Ok

Agnosticism Dear God I Am Agnostic Is That Ok Image
I was born into a family of believers (Catholic). My parents, grandparents, wife, in-laws, brothers, cousins, aunts, and uncles are all faithful people and I have not the slightest doubt that they believe in God. Sometimes I ask myself, "Am I some sort of mutation in the gene pool?" Everyone around me goes to church, say their prayers, have faith in God, and live good lives. There's probably something wrong with me.

Maybe I'm just a noninterventionist dumbass, but I think the only significant difference I found between me and my folks, regarding this issue, is that I asked "the question" and took it seriously. Everybody asks that question, right? What's the question? Oh, geez, you know what I'm talking about. Here, answer this by filling in the blank:

Is there a "Hint: It starts with the letter G and ends with a D.

Question: What reason do you have for being agnostic?

Answer: There are two sides of the coin. I just want to stay in between, if that's possible.

GOOD VS EVIL


I think good and evil are created illusions. When you do something positive to other people, then that is considered good. When you do something negative, then you're a bad ass person. But what if you don't do anything at all? Let's say that you go to a mountain to find a cave and spend the rest of your life just being there. There is no social interaction of whatsoever. Is that good or is that evil?

RELIGION VS SCIENCE


Roman Catholic, Anglican, Independent Catholic, Old Catholic, Lutheran, Reformed, Anabaptist, Baptist, Methodist, Adventist, Evangelical, Pentecostal, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Assyrian, and so on and so forth. These are just some of the denominations of the Christian religion. Wait till I enumerate the ones under Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, and the rest of the main religions on earth. Isn't it absurd for us to tag ourselves as a "human race" when we can't even find a unified belief system that can bring us all together?

On the other hand, some people put their faith in science. They say that as long as any phenomenon can be explained with empirical evidence, that's good enough for them. Are you telling me that you want to put your faith in the hands of scientists who, as much as any other person in the planet, have their own biases and inadequacies in perceiving reality? How clever.

MYSTICISM VS SKEPTICISM


Mysticism adds its own different shade of color to people's thought processes. The archenemies of mystics are skeptics. The former is trying to go beyond the five senses to explain reality, while the latter wants to remain conventional. If you're going to take sides, I suggest that you try Michael Jackson's medicine.

Will you be interested to know about your karma? Would you like to know how many reincarnations you've been through? Do you want to get out of your body and possess Brad Pitt's so you can play with Ms. Tomb Raider? The skeptics are saying, "STOP *lucid* DREAMING!"

MATERIALISM VS IDEALISM


Quantum physicists have concluded that matter is literally an empty vacuum. Experts are justified in regarding the atom as 99.9999999% empty. I nearly ruptured a vein in my head trying to answer this question, "If matter is empty and nothing really exists physically, what are quantum physicists? Are these people some sort of illusion?

An idealist walks over to a materialist and asks, "Hey, I know you're made of atoms and all, but does it really m-m-m-matter? The materialist responds, "Ideally, yes. We don't m-m-m-mind at all."

ATHEISM VS THEISM


There is no God! There is a God! There is no God! There is a God! Blah3x... Yada3x...

Jesus H. Christ! Would you self-absorbed and power-hungry mass butchers stop confusing people? There's already enough suffering in the world. Stop playing with their minds. Stop claiming that you know that truth when you clearly have no idea at all about what it is, where it is, and how to find it. Nobody really knows the truth, damn it. I don't even know if what I'm saying is true.

DETERMINISM VS INDETERMINISM


Imagine the chain of events that happened starting from the big bang (creation of the universe) until the point when you reach the end of this sentence. Ok, STOP. Think for a moment. Do you realize how everything almost seems to cause everything? Just look at the sun. Everything that the planet earth has gone through is undoubtedly caused by this massive ball of light. The sun was formed, then the solar system, then the planets, the life on earth emerged, your parents met, and then voila! Nice to meet you.

When there is a cause, there is an effect. When there's a beginning, there's an end. Everything happens for a reason and I am here because I was intended to be here. And, after all of this, my end will come. So what is my end? If everything in my life is determined by "you know who" then do I really have a choice? Does choice even exist?

Wahoo! I'm glad I reached the end of this article without experiencing symptoms of cerebral hemorrhage. Anyway, agnosticism is still a belief. It's a belief about not believing in anything. If I believe that I don't believe in anything, then I believe I'm probably screwed for the rest of my life? Noooooooooooooo...

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Monday, June 4, 2012

Religion Belief Hispanic Deluge Bad News For Jews

Religion Belief Hispanic Deluge Bad News For Jews Image
I recently had an interesting exchange with a Jewish reader concerning his perception of America's growing hostility toward Jews. He expressed a desire to leave the US for Israel or somewhere in Europe. I do not mean to impugn the validity of his personal experience, but I remain unconvinced. To the extent that there is a nascent anti-Jewish undercurrent gaining strength in the US, immigration is fueling it:

One of the most important findings of ADL's 2002 Survey of Anti-Semitism in America concerns Hispanic Americans, one of the most significant and fastest growing segments of the American population, in which the poll found an extraordinary gap between those born in the United States and those born abroad. The survey revealed that while 44% of foreign-born Hispanics hold hardcore anti-Semitic beliefs, 20% of Hispanic Americans born in the U.S. fall into the same category.Yet Foxman smears immigration reformists and opposes HR4437:

According to the ADL report, "extremist groups are seeking to exploit the flow of foreign workers into this country to spread a message of xenophobia, to promote hateful stereotypes and to incite bigotry and violence against Hispanics, regardless of their status as citizens."...

To make that point, [Foxman] said the ADL would be disseminating the report widely on Capitol Hill at a moment when Congress is wrestling with a controversial

immigration reform bill.

After accusing everyone from Tom Tancredo to Bill O'Reilly of being hate-mongering racists, Foxman expresses fear that white America's immigration truculence will be turned on American Jews in short order. White Americans are not specifically identified in the previously excerpted ADL release:

The findings in brief... Strongly anti-Semitic:17% of Americans

35% of Hispanics [44% foreign-born Hispanics; 20% of Hispanics born in the US]

35% of African-Americans

3% of U.S. college and university students Why no white breakdown? Extrapolating from these numbers reveals that only 12% of whites hold "hardcore antisemitic" beliefs. Digging into the actual report (p13) turns up the finding that "as a person's educational level increases, his or her tendency to hold anti-Semitic views decreases by 15%." Hispanic immigrants are far more anti-Semitic than other demographic groups--even more so than the black community, which wages a perpetual battle with Jews over who is the most oppressed and which also represents a large segment of the Islamic community in the US. Hispanics in the US are also far less likely to be college educated than whites.

Why, then, does Foxman want to increase the number and proportion of groups most hostile to Jews? He is, from a Jewish perspective, rightly concerned about Latin America's antagonistic attitude toward Jews:

It is not surprising yet very distressing that one of the fastest growing segments in America holds strongly anti-Semitic views," said Mr. Foxman. "There is no doubt that this is a reflection of what is being learned about Jews in the schools, churches and communities of Hispanic nations, which is anti-Semitism at its most basic. We need to re-focus our efforts on reaching out to these groups in addition to the larger American public." Let me try to make sense of this by humbly modifying Steve Sailer's consternation over a similarly illogical non-sequitur. Anti-Semitic sentiment is endemic in Latin America and nearly half of all foreign-born Hispanics are virulently anti-Semitic. Therefore, American Jews should support bringing another twenty million of these folks in?

According to a recent Zogby poll, they do--or at least they are less opposed to doing so than the rest of America. While only 2% of the country believes immigration levels are currently too low, 14% of Jews hold that position. And it's not just because they're rich--among those with annual incomes exceeding 75,000, only 1% believe immigration is too scant. Even more startling, 64% of Jews favor the Senate's amnesty proposal over deportation or HR4437--that's higher than Hispanics (54%), Progressives (47%), and people with incomes over 75,000 (33%).

I wish I better understood Jewish cerebration on demographics. It strikes me as quite irrational. My Jewish friend worries that anti-Semitism in the US is on the upswing and that Europe is the better place for an Ashkenazi to be. I wonder to what extent favorable opinions of Israel proxy for favorability of Jews in general. In an EU poll conducted in 2003, 59% of Europeans listed Israel as the greatest threat to world peace and stability.

Meanwhile, support for Israel in the US--historically always having been higher than the rest of the developed world--has spiked to 68% favorable, 23% unfavorable according to a Gallup poll conducted in February of this year. Corresponding to the rise in support for Israel has been a precipitous decline in America's perception of Islam. A CBS poll last month showed 45% of Americans have an unfavorable opinion of Islam (compared to just 19% favorable). Parenthetically, favorability toward Judaism runs at 47% compared to only 16% unfavorable--considerably more positive than the opinion of "fundamentalist" Christianity, which comes in at an even 31% favorable, 31% unfavorable.

Jews need to realize that much of the world detests them for a menagerie of reasons (economic and intellectual successes, religion, culture, etc) but that the US--at least a US composed of white goyim--does not. Because of a large (but shrinking) middle class, America celebrates economic success more than anywhere else in the world save maybe Hong Kong.

Purely out of self-interest, Jews should adamantly work to preserve America's traditional ethnic makeup--an America that has supported Israel at great expense to herself. An increased number of Hispanic voters will truncate America's tenacious support of Israel and increase hostility toward Jews in the US (due to both direct hostility and also to an augmenting of the wealth gap with Jews on one side and Hispanics on the other).

(Immigration)



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What Is Enlightenment

What Is Enlightenment Image


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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Religion Belief Musharraf End Defamation Of Islam

Religion Belief Musharraf End Defamation Of Islam Image
Venezuelan President Chavez is in the Western media limelight after his baffling excoriation of President Bush, where the neo-Castroite leader referred to his DC counterpart as "the devil" and the "dictator of the world". Hearing it live, it struck me as mostly self-projection--how the nation of Venezuela will derive benefit from cozying up to Iran and North Korea is difficult to figure out, although it's obvious Chavez wants to spread his influence widely. Picking up the support of these two international pariahs will probably cost Venezuela votes in its bid to beat Guatemala for non-permanent UN Security Council membership. (The 'winner' is chosen via a consensus of Latin American and Caribbean countries, including Mexico--if unanimity isn't reached, it goes to the General Assembly for a vote. With a leader as ostentatious as Chavez, the US will surely be able to get at least one country along the lines of Barbados, Mexico, or Jamaica that is on relatively good terms with Washington).

When oil is obselsced as a vehicle fuel or more deepwater discovery and eventual extraction pushes the barrel price back down, Chavez is finished. He's living on American dollars as it is (just over half of Venezuelan exports go stateside).

Words of more interest came from Pakistani President Musharraf, who called for a ban on the"defamation of Islam". He wasn't referring to an omerta in Pakistan. He was referring to a universal ban recognized by the UN:

"It is imperative to end racial and religious discrimination against Muslims and to prohibit the defamation of Islam."That sentence is about as risible as the now infamous statement from Pakistan's Foreign Ministry Spokesperson:

"Anyone who describes Islam as a religion as intolerant encourages violence."The Muslim world is far more discriminating than the Catholic countries Musharraf appears to be specifically swiping, and Islamic defamation of other belief systems is a numbing daily occurence all over the globe. A couple of the most recent stories:

A previously unknown Islamic group calling itself "The Army of Guidance" pledged Tuesday to strike at Christian targets in the Gaza Strip in retaliation for recent remarks by the pope deemed offensive by many Muslims....

"Every place relevant to Christians will be a target," said a statement from The Army of Guidance sent to news organizations in Gaza. "This will be until the accursed infidel, the Vatican, apologizes to Muslims."

Nevermind that these dunderheads are attacking Greek Orthodox churches. The intent is clear. Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox; what's the difference? All are infidels.

And:


A six-year-old girl was killed in an arson attack on her family home by men who disapproved of a relationship her older brother was having with a teenager, a court heard today.

The two accused, Hussain Ahmed and Daryll Tuzzio, were part of Birmingham's rich cultural mosaic.

These events all illustrate how incompatible Islam is with Western liberalism. Free expression is to be unlawful at best, and possibly a reason for death. The action of the individual is but representative of the larger group (be it a sibling of the perpetrator, the ecumenical Christian world, or the entire UN membership), not something to be judged on an individual level.

Unfortunately, Western liberalism has a tough time combatting this as the only effective way is by fighting fire with fire--become intolerant of the Islamic world and Middle Easterners, North Africans, and Central Asians (as well as their descendants in other places) by keeping them out of the West and keeping a close eye on any of their actions that might raise suspicion through wiretaps and complex algorithims.

Much of the West, especially ideologues in academia and the media, are repulsed by this refusal to treat individual Muslims entirely based on their previous, individual activities. But what else to do? Less interventionism would alleviate America's salience in the Muslim world, but it wouldn't fully solve the problem. Unfettered tolerance simply doesn't have an answer for aggressive intolerance.

I echo Steve Sailer. Let's disconnect. If the discrimination Muslims face is as terrible as Musharraf suggests, let's not subject the poor creatures to more of it.

(Terrorism)



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