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Is Christianity really 'just'?


PaulS
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A key plank for me initially questioning and then losing my traditional Christianity, was seeing God's 'justice', as taught to me through my fundamental & evangelical religion, as actually unfair and not just at all.  Eventually I understood it to be a man-made rule set, but initially I came to think that God was simply hideous & cruel. 

I was indoctrinated from birth to believe that all humans are born evil, that all require forgiveness from God via accepting that Jesus died for their sins (i.e. inherited simply by being born), and that failure to believe that Jesus was a human sacrifice to God, who was physically resuscitated 3 days later, meant that non-believers were rightfully sentenced to eternal pain and suffering in a existence separated from God and their loved ones and friends, forever and ever.  No extinguishment of life per se, just pain and suffering and separation for billions and billions and billions of years.

Looking back on it all now, I just can't imagine how an adult who has spent some time in this world, who has taken the time to know other human beings, can actually still view this theology as reasonable.  I used to think the core of Christianity was compassion, but it seems to me that religious belief in the theology expressed above, has the power to forgo true compassion in the name of religious doctrine. I even asked my mother once, who is a strong believer in traditional Christianity, how she thought she could live happily in an eternal heaven knowing her son was suffering in an eternal Hell.  Clearly she can't imagine it, which is why she just reassured me that I too was going to Heaven (as I had 'accepted' Jesus when I was an ignorant 14 year old).

I don't have the psychological know-how to describe how this works, but to me it seems the 'security' a believer gets from this theology is what keeps them in the belief, irrespective of who else it harms and hurts.  Proper compassion gives way to 'being right', and all because somebody told them that's how it is.  To me it is no surprise the world continues in the state that it is with all its fighting, pain and suffering, hunger and calamity - it is largely because we still adhere to a mindset that compartmentalizes compassion.

 

 

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Is Christianity "just"? 

The simple answer is that if it is not, then it is untrue. That is, if we have faith that Reality is compassion itself, wisdom itself, potential itself. 

Obviously, the theologians will wade in (orthodox, conservative, fundamentalist) with the suggestion that we, as finite human beings, simply cannot comprehend what "true justice" would be; with maybe an added epicycle that our "sin" clouds our minds and thus what we would understand as "just" is screwed up. Having argued such, the assorted evangelists will then present the doctrine of perpetual torment, now "justified", simply because that is how they interpret the text of the Bible and its message.

But I am more with John Stuart Mill, who said:-

  “To say that God’s goodness may be different in kind from man’s goodness, what is it but saying, with a slight change of phraseology, that God may possibly not be good?”

Yes indeed! 

But, anyway, hi Paul! I can understand your mother. "Once saved, always saved" and no matter how far you have drifted away you have your ticket to the Promised Land. A guy I knew back in the day had another take. I asked him once how he could be happy in heaven when others were suffering, eternally, beyond all hope. He took up his Bible and said that it had all the answers, and in this case the words from Revelations, that in heaven God " will wipe the tears from every eye". He then said:- "I don't know how He will do it, but I believe it." Faith. 

I am always hesitant in assessing another. All are unique, we all have our stories. But, that said, I think we can generalise in some ways. I see pure FEAR as dictating much belief. Once indoctrinated, once an eternal hell is accepted as "what the Bible teaches", then the only thing that saves us from such a fate is our "belief" - as handed down to us. To question anything at all, even so hideous a doctrine, is to open the way to our own damnation.

Getting back to the guy I spoke of, in a way I can see his understanding morphing more toward my own. All is a "becoming". While your mother looked at a doctrine to satisfy herself, this guy accepted his own ignorance. 

From my own Pure Land perspective, and that of the myokonin Saichi:-

 "Not knowing why! Not knowing why! That is my support, not knowing why! That is the namu-amida-butsu!"

 Obviously, that guy "did not know how" (or why) a particular doctrine could co-exist with his own self being "without tears" in heaven. While I simply do not seek to justify any doctrine at all. I just have a faith, a trust, that "all" are accepted. By Reality-as-is. Infinite compassion, infinite wisdom, infinite potential. To live likewise, or at least, to seek to, is to grow in union with such a Reality.

And of course, if we turn to Christianity in its full width, depth and breadth, Universal Salvation can be found. Taught and believed by numerous early Church Fathers, and found as minority strands throughout its 2000 years, particularly in the Eastern Orthodox traditions. And now growing in support from many, who, believe it or not, DO know their Bibles. And know them well.

Basically, I am out of it now. I have less and less time for Scriptures (holy or not) and more for people, just as I find them. 

As Thomas Merton has said:-

The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.
 

May true Dharma continue

No blame. Be kind. Love everything.

 

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12 hours ago, romansh said:

I think the question is flawed at some fundamental level.

Is anything just? Does "justness" exist? And then we can move on to: is any part of existence "just"?

As human beings, the principal of justice exists in our societies.  'Justice' forms part of our core behavior.  Obviously what actually is or is not just, and/or to what degree, is subjective.

My original post is referring to a penalty for an offence - a situation our society applies this consideration to - and whether that penalty makes any sense from what we otherwise consider 'just' and fair.

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Sorry Rom, I can't really hack your own approach. Any question for me is simply a sounding board for whatever ramblings come forth. Not a time for definitions, or even undue precision. 

I'm thinking now of my old mate Thomas Merton and a few sentences from his "Raids on the Unspeakable". I posted them before somewhere. Now the word "unspeakable" catches my mind. The inability of words to actually capture Reality, or set parameters. Unspeakable, and Wittgenstein said that "of which we cannot speak we must remain silent". I don't really agree, being non-dual. Is there "Reality" and words? The latter seeking to express the inexpressible? No, I don't think so.

It's more what Yun-men said (!) , when asked what were the teachings of a whole lifetime, and he answered:- "An appropriate statement". Quite profound. Appropriate there, then yet for no other time or place. To a certain extent this can be seen and understood as some sort of solution to the eternal "Relative" v "Absolute" conundrum. But I'll leave that and try to get back on topic......😀

 

From "Raids on the Unspeakable":-

 

...the deeper question is the nature of reality itself.

Inexorable consistency. Is reality the same as consistency?

The "reality" of the world of many is of consistency, but the reality of the real world is not consistent.

The world of consistency is the world of justice, but justice is not the final word.

There is, above the consistent and logical world of justice, an inconsistent illogical world where nothing "hangs together," where justice no longer damns each to their own darkness. This inconsistent world is the realm of mercy.

The world can only be "consistent" without God.

His freedom will always threaten it with inconsistency - with unexpected gifts.

 

Considering the above, would we actually want Reality (God) to be "just"? A great Christian George MacDonald gave a famous sermon once that insisted that Justice and Mercy were one and the same. It is a rather long sermon and when attempting to read it through I lost the thread of his argument. But I tend to agree with him anyway, lost thread or not. 

Another point is that surely we need to stop asking what Reality or God is, or does, or whatever, but ask ourselves what our own mind/heart is (or, as would be said by our "eastern" friends, ISN'T....😀) In our dealings with others do we look for an "eye for an eye", due recompense? Or does our mind/heart offer mercy?

So, "Is Christianity Just?" Well, I hope not. 

 

 Going back to Merton's words, of "unexpected gifts". I find that whole concept beautiful. Unexpected. Not currently part of my mental horizen. Novel. New. Gifts. Not earned, not attained. Not reached by dialectical reason. Or as Christianity would say, "not by works" (lest anyone should boast)

Grace.

Well, enough. I'm once more in McDonalds, my island of rest. My Pure Land. Very therapeutic sitting here, waffling and rambling. 

May true Dharma continue.

No blame. Be kind. Love everything.

 

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16 hours ago, PaulS said:

As human beings, the principal of justice exists in our societies.  'Justice' forms part of our core behavior.  Obviously what actually is or is not just, and/or to what degree, is subjective.

I think principles are just fine ... in the sense of rules of thumb. I would argue evolution has imbued us with the capability of having a sense of fairness, morality etc. Society, I suspect, fills in what to be moral about and gives guidelines to what is fair. Just because we have concepts of justness does not mean justness exists. Similar to a rose being red. The concept of red and even its perception exists. Does not mean objects are actually red. Similarly, for "just" actions.

What I am trying to say is modern interpretations of Christianity have got it wrong. Genesis counsels us not to think in terms of right and wrong (being unjust would be wrong). Today's Christianity is full of right and wrong. I am afraid the secular world is following in Christianity's footsteps.

@Tariki ... I am not sure where you are heading with your reply?

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5 hours ago, romansh said:

 I would argue evolution has imbued us with the capability of having a sense of fairness, morality etc. Society, I suspect, fills in what to be moral about and gives guidelines to what is fair. Just because we have concepts of justness does not mean justness exists. Similar to a rose being red. The concept of red and even its perception exists. Does not mean objects are actually red. Similarly, for "just" actions.

Absolutely.  Evolution has given us judgement, which we extend to matters of morality, which is really just societal concepts of what society generally thinks is best for itself.  What that morality looks like is clearly in the eye of the beholder, even though there are some less moral things we can easily judge as harmful to our society, so these are generally agreed as values to uphold (e.g. don't murder another without a very good reason).  I agree & disagree that 'justness' does not exist.  Our reality is that we do assess the just or unjustness of various situations.  So in that frame justness does exist.  Yet what is considered 'just' today, may be considered an injustice tomorrow, when societal opinions change.  So to that extent I understand you to mean that 'true' justice, a universal, unquestionable justice, does not exist.

5 hours ago, romansh said:

What I am trying to say is modern interpretations of Christianity have got it wrong. Genesis counsels us not to think in terms of right and wrong (being unjust would be wrong). Today's Christianity is full of right and wrong. I am afraid the secular world is following in Christianity's footsteps.

@Tariki ... I am not sure where you are heading with your reply?

Rather than right or wrong, black or white, I think justness exists on a linear scale of degrees, and takes into account mitigation.  I was thinking of 'just' and unjust' being more about the 'sentencing' than rather whether an action is right or wrong.  In the case in point, irrespective of whether one thinks a lack of Christian belief is right or wrong, I think the sentence per se, i.e. eternal torment and separation from God, strikes me as ludicrously evil, and it's that type of injustice that many Christians don't seem to be able to move past, but rather are stuck in the doctrinal belief system and too afraid to question or challenge it.

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On 11/10/2022 at 5:13 PM, PaulS said:

I think justness exists on a linear scale of degrees

The concept of "justness" is a human "construct". I remember watching a nature documentary and an ant colony decimated a termite mound. My sympathies lay with the termites, but I understand the two communities are competing for the same resources. When a cheetah chases down a buck, who are we rooting for? Or when we get a fungal infection, we understand that this is the order of things. We don't think it is unfair or just that the cheetah does or does not get the buck.

Yet when it comes to humans, we might place our actions in binaries, continuums, or whatever. We hold ourselves apart from existence. This is a product of Christian/Abrahamic thinking. We are chosen people. Remember "Interbeing"? 

While it is understandable that we divvy up the world into binaries or continuums, it does not necessarily make sense.

On 11/10/2022 at 11:26 PM, tariki said:

I'm not trying to head anywhere

Then are you content with where you are?

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On 11/13/2022 at 2:38 AM, romansh said:

The concept of "justness" is a human "construct". I remember watching a nature documentary and an ant colony decimated a termite mound. My sympathies lay with the termites, but I understand the two communities are competing for the same resources. When a cheetah chases down a buck, who are we rooting for? Or when we get a fungal infection, we understand that this is the order of things. We don't think it is unfair or just that the cheetah does or does not get the buck.

Justness is a human construct, but it also does come naturally to us - so I am not sure it can be dismissed as outside of reality.  Consciousness and justness have developed as part of our evolution.  I'm not convinced these are 'apart from existence' - It is part of our reality.

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1 hour ago, PaulS said:

but it also does come naturally to us

One of the tricks I use when evaluating ideas, take a look at adjectives and adverbs in the sentence people use. Usually, I put in the opposite or sometimes remove them and see how the sentence changes. Can "being just" come to us unnaturally? And what's the difference between coming to us and naturally coming to us?

1 hour ago, PaulS said:

so I am not sure it can be dismissed as outside of reality

I am not saying it should be dismissed as being outside of reality. Illusions are real, but we can treat something more appropriately by realizing something is an illusion.

Justness is not apart from reality. It is a rule of thumb ... We perceive fire engines as red. It does not mean they are red.

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35 minutes ago, romansh said:

One of the tricks I use when evaluating ideas, take a look at adjectives and adverbs in the sentence people use. Usually, I put in the opposite or sometimes remove them and see how the sentence changes. Can "being just" come to us unnaturally? And what's the difference between coming to us and naturally coming to us?

I am not saying it should be dismissed as being outside of reality. Illusions are real, but we can treat something more appropriately by realizing something is an illusion.

Justness is not apart from reality. It is a rule of thumb ... We perceive fire engines as red. It does not mean they are red.

Fire engines are red because that is the descriptor we use for the color that the majority of the population physically observe.  The illusion isn't the fire truck, nor is it an illusion that the fire truck is a different colour to say a tree. The only 'illusion' per say is the accuracy of the descriptor.  

So like most of us can differentiate a color and call it red, so too I think most of us can differentiate from what is just and what is unjust, with plenty of room for error and individual assessment.  No?

 

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22 hours ago, PaulS said:

Fire engines are red because that is the descriptor we use for the color

I must admit, I fundamentally and strongly disagree.  A majority vote does not decide reality, presidents perhaps. I am sure your high school education described colour sufficiently accurately. For example, does an object have the colour of the light it absorbs or reflects? Is the colour the photochemical reactions in your trichromat cones, or is it a product of processing in the prefrontal cortex and the other bits of the brain?

We can go through a similar process, though not as well studied for justness.

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2 hours ago, romansh said:

I must admit, I fundamentally and strongly disagree.  A majority vote does not decide reality, presidents perhaps. I am sure your high school education described colour sufficiently accurately. For example, does an object have the colour of the light it absorbs or reflects? Is the colour the photochemical reactions in your trichromat cones, or is it a product of processing in the prefrontal cortex and the other bits of the brain?

We can go through a similar process, though not as well studied for justness.

Without a doubt, fire engines are a color!  Can we agree on that?  What that color actually is, how it is received by the brain, differentiates it from other 'colours'.  Irrespective of whether your trichromat cones are reacting, or your brain is processing, clearly you are reacting/processing differently when you see the color 'blue' for instance.  That's why we have different names for different colours - they exist (in some way) and our brain can differentiate them to a large degree, and then matches to what our language has developed to 'represent' that perception.  It is no illusion - it exists.  

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10 hours ago, PaulS said:

Without a doubt, fire engines are a color!  Can we agree on that?

Definitely not! We experience them through chemical reactions, and our experience is brain-made.

10 hours ago, PaulS said:

reacting/processing differently when you see the color 'blue' for instance.

Our brains are experiencing a different set of photochemical reactions in our cones, yes! But we should not fall into the semantic trap of thinking our experience is the thing.

10 hours ago, PaulS said:

That's why we have different names for different colours - they exist

We have different names for different experiences that we label as colour.

10 hours ago, PaulS said:

It is no illusion - it exists.  

What is the difference between delusion and illusion? Both of them exist. I use illusion in the sense of something is not as it seems. Delusion would be believing something is as it seems, when it is not.

For example, some species of butterfly have transparent wings (no pigmentation) and yet appear brightly coloured and patterned. Do the wings have colour?

At best the concept of colour is a process: light absorbing, light reflecting, photochemical reactions, chemical reactions and somehow it ends up as consciousness of colour. Saying an object is coloured is a semantic shortcut.

Saying a fire engine is red, I know what you mean. You are describing a fairly consistent experience that I can relate to. Similarly thinking of something as just or unjust (desert so to speak) I understand the experience, but it does not make sense in a deterministic, indeterministic or mixed world.

 

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On 11/16/2022 at 1:08 AM, romansh said:

Definitely not! We experience them through chemical reactions, and our experience is brain-made.

But our brains are responding to existing external stimuli - stimuli that are different for a firetruck we perceive as red than they are for a tree that we perceive as green.  I get that what we call red is simply our perception and response to the external stimuli, so to that end I agree we could call it 'illusion', but I still maintain that they process/stimuli/occurrence is very real and so in other ways it is NOT an illusion.

On 11/16/2022 at 1:08 AM, romansh said:

Our brains are experiencing a different set of photochemical reactions in our cones, yes! But we should not fall into the semantic trap of thinking our experience is the thing.

Agreed - but the 'thing' is that it actually does exist, irrespective of what we want to call it.  Unless one is colour blind, the majority of the human species will only recognise the fire engine by what we recognise as the colour red.  And scientifically we know that 'colourblind' people will perceive red as a different shade.  The colour, or rather the cognitive processing of colour/light/reflection/refraction, is not an illusion.

On 11/16/2022 at 1:08 AM, romansh said:

We have different names for different experiences that we label as colour.

Yes

On 11/16/2022 at 1:08 AM, romansh said:

What is the difference between delusion and illusion? Both of them exist. I use illusion in the sense of something is not as it seems. Delusion would be believing something is as it seems, when it is not.

I consider 'illusion' to be an instance of a wrong or misinterpreted perception of a sensory experience.  Our perception or sensory experience of the colour we call red, is very real.  It exists.  We don't make it up physically, but we do label it different names.

On 11/16/2022 at 1:08 AM, romansh said:

Saying a fire engine is red, I know what you mean. You are describing a fairly consistent experience that I can relate to. Similarly thinking of something as just or unjust (desert so to speak) I understand the experience, but it does not make sense in a deterministic, indeterministic or mixed world.

I just don't know if that is always the case.  I think we can claim some things as just or unjust, and yes we will disagree, and yes when times change something that was considered just may now be unjust and vice versa.  But I don't think that takes away the 'justness' of something in the present because it is the present that we use to measure justness. 

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Paul ... you said

On 11/14/2022 at 9:48 PM, PaulS said:

fire engines are a color! 

I would agree if you said fire engines have a perceived colour.

The point I am trying to drive home is:

  • are they the colour they absorb?
  • are they the colour they reflect?
  • are they the colour of our photochemical reactions in our cones
  • are they the colour of our brain processing the signals from our optic nerves?

Here's a story from snowy Canada. One evening coming out of work it had snowed the day before. A workman had placed a dirty great big yellow bull rail behind my truck. With the sodium vapour lights on in the evening, all I could see was white that blended in with the snow. Reversing out I gave it a good clunk. 

Basically, any colour I "perceive" is produced in my brain. In philosophical circles this debate is summarized as: naïve realism (also known as direct realism, perceptual realism, or common sense realism) is the idea that the senses provide us with direct awareness of objects as they really are. from wiki.

Understanding the science behind colour vision tells me we don't experience things as they are. When you say, "Our perception or sensory experience of the colour we call red, is very real." I said earlier:

On 11/13/2022 at 6:37 PM, romansh said:

not saying should be dismissed as being outside of reality. Illusions are real, but we can treat something more appropriately by realizing something is an illusion.

Does not mean illusions can't be used or not be useful. Just that we might be cautious of thinking illusory "just" and "unjust". When we go to a magic show and the illusionist makes a woman disappear and woman disappear in a cage, does not mean the tiger and woman are somehow unreal.

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7 hours ago, romansh said:

I would agree if you said fire engines have a perceived colour.

Perception is one side of the coin, but what is actually happening to/with the firetruck is reality, not illusion.  Regardless of how we perceive light/refraction/reflection/whatever, the fire truck is the fire truck.  The colour that we label it, or how we come to see it as a colour, exists whether we perceive it or not.  That's what I meant when I said it was a different colour to a tree.  Both are what they are and the way light deals with them is what it is.  More precisely, if I close my eyes nothing changes to the fire truck or tree itself does it?  So for me, whatever happens to the fire truck to make it perceived by us as a colour, is a reality and not an illusion.

But I think we are probably talking about the same thing, just slightly differently explaining it.

7 hours ago, romansh said:

Basically, any colour I "perceive" is produced in my brain. In philosophical circles this debate is summarized as: naïve realism (also known as direct realism, perceptual realism, or common sense realism) is the idea that the senses provide us with direct awareness of objects as they really are. from wiki.

Again, yes it is produced in our brain, but brains don't typically have the ability to produce it in unlimited number of fashions.  Typically our brains produce it in the same, uniform way, with some deviations (e.g. colour blindness, and maybe degrees of that).  

7 hours ago, romansh said:

Understanding the science behind colour vision tells me we don't experience things as they are. When you say, "Our perception or sensory experience of the colour we call red, is very real." I said earlier:

But we are experiencing it as it is, we have no other choice, it's just that we need to recognise that our experience could be a different experience to that of how another experiences the very same thing.  But again, I think we are agreeing here. 

7 hours ago, romansh said:

Does not mean illusions can't be used or not be useful. Just that we might be cautious of thinking illusory "just" and "unjust". When we go to a magic show and the illusionist makes a woman disappear and woman disappear in a cage, does not mean the tiger and woman are somehow unreal.

So like the fact that the fire engine and the tree do exist and are physically perceived as a certain colour, as described by us but subject to different experiences of the very same thing, I wonder too if something being just or unjust can also similarly exist, its just that like colour our perception of how that actually looks can indeed be different.  Unlike physical objects though, here we are talking more about concepts and judgements which don't have a physical presence and so are subject to even broader perceptions.

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14 hours ago, PaulS said:

But we are experiencing it as it is

You know this how Paul? Here I assume you mean the colour of the fire truck.

14 hours ago, PaulS said:

Perception is one side of the coin, but what is actually happening to/with the firetruck is reality

I agree with you here. Paul, my question is what do we call it when perception does not match reality? I call my perception an illusion, what do you call it? I don't see it as a negative thing.

 

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On 11/21/2022 at 2:58 AM, romansh said:

You know this how Paul? Here I assume you mean the colour of the fire truck.

I may not be explaining it well - I didn't mean the actual colour is experienced as it is, but rather the reality that light is hitting paint, that the molecules of the selected paint are reflecting light in a certain manner, which is being received by our eyes and being processed by our brain.  So the process outside of our head is reality.

On 11/21/2022 at 2:58 AM, romansh said:

I agree with you here. Paul, my question is what do we call it when perception does not match reality? I call my perception an illusion, what do you call it? I don't see it as a negative thing.

:) Yeah, I don't know what I would call it!  I think I agree with you and understand why you call it 'illusion', but for me that word has connotations of false representation, or trickery, so yes, a negative thing.  Maybe our perception should just be called perception - the term in itself allows for us to regard, understand or interpret the same thing differently.

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3 hours ago, PaulS said:

but for me that word has connotations of false representation

We seem to be agreeing :) 

On 11/20/2022 at 10:58 AM, romansh said:

my question is what do we call it when perception does not match reality?

For me, once we understand reality and perception do not match is neither negative nor positive. In the case of red fire trucks close to 100 % of the time, it's irrelevant. For things like justness, a little bit of understanding of the underlying reality would be in order, I think. I get what you are saying, I feel the concept of justness too. Sometimes I feel retribution is justified too. And this comes from the feeling someone could have done otherwise. But that is for a different thread ;) 

It's tough to let go. I'm not there yet, and probably never will be and that too is OK.

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Nice to witness such a conciliatory ending to this debate. Settling down in McDonalds at the moment with burger, coffee and a muffin. 

Reading through, a few phrases catch my eye, or catch something at least, I'm not sure what. 

 "I'm not there yet, and probably never will be and that too is OK." Is there anywhere to get to? Is there any final place or conclusion to be reached. Will there ever be a final " theory of everything"? Would that not be hell?

Alfred North Whitehead, with his "process philosophy", came to the conclusion - backed up by much science and theoretical physics and such - that our home/universe/cosmos/chaosmos, was a constant advance into novelty. Which suggests that our "home" is a journey, and this not just in some poetic sense that leaves hard facts behind, but as the very heart/essence of Reality.

 

Myself, I feel a necessity to belong, and not to think of myself as simply an accidental by-product of random mutations. I have Faith that such is so and my faith seeks understanding. Clarity. Sadly, often, in seeking to express the clarity I find others often stagger away in incomprehension......😃

No matter, as I see it, I continually find much to support my instinct/intuition that existence has significance.

As posted elsewhere, Dogen remains my "man of the moment". Using philosophic jargon, in Dogen ontology, epistemology, and soteriology were inseparably united. Or as already said, we are what we understand. Yet such "understanding" is not fixed, and though - as Dogen himself was taught by his teacher in China - "the power of the present moment was the only moment", nevertheless this doesn’t mean that there is no future result from practice. There is forward movement. 

And what is our "practice"? Surely it begins with caring, with sincerity of purpose, simple mindfulness. Take it from there.

" In protecting oneself one protects others

In protecting others one protects oneself"

(Buddhist text)

 

Getting back on topic, I can see "justice" written all over this. Justice is not administered by some transcendent power. It is intrinsic to Reality-as-is. What you see is what you get. 

 

Edited by tariki
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17 hours ago, tariki said:

"I'm not there yet, and probably never will be and that too is OK." Is there anywhere to get to?

In Joseph's word - "acceptance" and here I think he means accepting things as they are, illusory or otherwise. For me it is understanding, and this may lead to acceptance. 

17 hours ago, tariki said:

Is there any final place or conclusion to be reached.

In an unfolding universe no. Acceptance and understanding.

17 hours ago, tariki said:

Nice to witness such a conciliatory ending to this debate.

Ending? you got to be kidding.

17 hours ago, tariki said:

Getting back on topic, I can see "justice" written all over this. Justice is not administered by some transcendent power. It is intrinsic to Reality-as-is. What you see is what you get. 

And yet (I would argue) justness is illusory. How do we apply justice to illusory good and evil?

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