Nicholas Lukowiak


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What "belief systems" seem to reoccur through out history? In religion, philosophy, and others. Why?

My answer: I find the philosophies/religions in the majority revolve around humanism. The idea we should treat others the way we want to be treated is as old as humans writings on walls. I find that the human NEED of practicing humility is in every major religion is no coincidence.

Christian/Muslim - Behaving as a "Prophet" to be with "God"
Buddhism - Following the path of Buddha and/or creating one's own path to "enlightenment"
Confucianism - Champions the "golden rule" to be equal
Taoism - The idea of balances to individuals as well as society to allow the "golden rule"

Religions taking their own paths to being humanitarians is no "chance" nor is it "fate"... It is because we all want the same things in relation to the hierarchy of needs.. We all want food, shelter, acceptance, "love", to fulfill a self-prophecy, and respect. We have a pattern to our behaviors and to look at them as being human and not as being "unique" allows you to share more with others. No one is truly unique, but everyone is human..


What do you believe are reoccurring themes of religions and philosophies throughout history? Which stand out the most and why? How do they relate? How do they differ?

Belief system - the patterns in which you follow in reflection to one's morality and/or considerations.

Examples: Atheism, theism, gnosticism, naturalism, humanitarianism, ignosticism, probablism, etc, etc, etc..

This conversation needs to get emotional or it is not truly a belief-based conversation.

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    Sep 15 2011: For those that dive deep into all religions the only difference is the story. The more you approach the abstract basis the more it becomes obvious that there is no difference. The same goes for philosophies except some newcomers perhaps like Dennet. They all conclude that we are a multitude of expressions of one being. A bit like smarties, you can discuss what colors you like best but underneath it is all chocolate.

    The problem with organized religions is that they hijack those stories for personal power or influence without even understanding them. As example: Constantine established the Christian religion just as political strategy. Popes followed up the tradition of Roman Emperors and so it went on and on. Political gain isn't the issue anymore but self preservation.
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      Sep 15 2011: Frans your ideas as expressed here remind me of the work of Joseph Campbell. He wrote extensively on the idea of foundational myths that are common to almost all cultures. I am out of thumbs up for you too!
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      Sep 17 2011: Hi Frans,
      Don't you think that there may be something real that sparked off all those diverse religions ? After all, if we saw a box of smarties we would not use it as evidence that chocolate didn't exist.

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        Sep 17 2011: Hi Peter
        "After all, if we saw a box of smarties we would not use it as evidence that chocolate didn't exist."

        If someone won't try and taste it this well may happen.

        With religion it is the other way round. Inspired people inspire others and point the way out of confusion. If they put this in written words others can take this as a mean to glorify themselves and corrupt it for earthly power. If they make it into an institution it will always corrupt because those that are responsible for the preservation of that institution use their intellect to manage it.
        Someone said: you can't serve two lords at the same time.
        For that reason Mother Theresa refused any kind of administration. Work of the heart can't be ruled by work of the mind and not be corrupted in the end.
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    Sep 19 2011: One facet that often forms religion is the same that forms culture. Often a series of customs and practices that separate one group from another and establish a unique identity for that group. Such as say the differences between say the Buddhism of Japan and that of maybe Vietnam. Or the unique cultural ethno-religious identity of Jewish people compared to all other peoples.
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      Sep 19 2011: Good addition James.. first to consider culture as equaling religion.
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    Sep 17 2011: Great questions, Nicholas. For me, an important answer to those question came from the book "Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis. Unfortunately for Lewis the impact his book had on me turned out to be precisely opposite of what he intended.

    Lewis begins his treatise by surveying morality among different cultures, concluding that the common moral themes of all cultures and religions must have a single (common) source. Something transcendent must account for why all people value and have valued the same basic moral principles, and in Lewis' mind, this transcendent something was God.

    This made sense to me at first, until later when I happened to re-read the Ten Commandments (Exodus chapter 20) in my Bible. It shocked me to see that only about half the commandments listed were universal in Lewis' sense. The others were very specific -- even unique -- to the Abrahamic tradition. Furthermore, the "universal" commandments were all related to how people relate with other people. The "unique" commandments were all related to how people relate with God.

    Like a lightning bolt, it suddenly occurred to me why this was true. We hold to these universal principles of morality because of how we ourselves wish to be treated! Why is it wrong to murder? Because no one wants to be killed. Why is it wrong to steal? Because no one wants to be robbed. Why is it wrong to lie? Because no one wants to be deceived. The transcendent origin of these precepts was our own human vulnerability.

    People who claim that all religions are essentially the same are referring to the humanistic aspects of religion. The theological and cosmological aspects of religions wildly contradict each other, but what is common among different creeds is common to humanity in general.
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      Sep 17 2011: Great answer Tony!!
      I love CS Lewis. I read all of the Narnia Series to all of my children. Did you ever notice that in the final battle (I forget which boo)k the mighty Muslim warrior steps through the gates of death and gains entry into heaven??
      I loved that. This did in the idea of only one interpretation of religion for my children.
      I loved Lewis's way of looking at the world. It was almost subtly subversive (or maybe my interpretation of it is).
      I struggle with belief systems. I am so unsure about it all that I have to say I do not know.
      One of my kids went to a Christian high school and I remember the day when he came home after his comparative religion class and told me that he thought his belief structures probably meant that the was a Budhist! How ironic is it that a Christian school turned a kid into a Budhist? I sort of love that too.
      I have written here before about my eldest son who after reading the old Testament came to me and said that he was certain that a human being should not be more moral than God and that he could not believe in any thing that directed the killing of entire villages, including women, children and animals. That was the end of his belief. He grew up to be a diplomat committed to a better world here and now.
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    Sep 16 2011: Nicholas --

    Recurring macro themes seem to parallel the micro themes of human life, as follows:

    Love from nurturing other(s)
    Perception of autonomous power
    Separation and individuation
    Psychic, spiritual, intellectual or physical death.
    Doubt, despair, loss, grief
    Awareness of vulnerability
    Engagement of Self/Other balance
    Love shared co-dynamically

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    Sep 16 2011: Hi Nicholas
    Just think of the time when religion / philosophy etc wasn't there among the homo spaiens, when they were roaming around as a group in jungles of planet, looking for hunt only to fulfill basic need of hunger..... reflect back how they treated each other? How they survived collectively?

    Hypothetically it seems to me right that time as species we were more empathetic more compassionate more humane....
    Don't want denounce the progress of human civilazation as we are today but what happened to our psyche meantime as a species to us , always pondering about that....
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    E G

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    Sep 15 2011: At your question : because we all have basically the same needs (I mean by all= the all human beings that existed/exist on earth)
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    Sep 15 2011: Hi Nicholas, I really had to give some thought to answering this. I think the primary pattern of thought that is almost foundational or primary is the primitive idea that we are the centre of the universe. Every individual's belief system seems to start from the 'I' position and only with enlightenment of some sort are we jarred out of this small perspective.
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      Sep 15 2011: Good one, thinking natural Debra.

      Indeed, self is the first place we think, so maybe that is the first place where a strong religion should look to philosophize over?
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        Sep 15 2011: I think it is the place all journeys start. If you think of the way an infant develops. It starts within the 'cosmos' warm and dark cradled with all needs met and then is thrust into separateness. This can be thought of as our own personal big bang. It starts life in pain from the birth process and often with bright light and sounds which bang on its senses - chaos. We cannot live in chaos so we bit by bit create an identity and a story to interpret the world and make sense of what we are experiencing. Where ever possible we look to others who are constructing stories too to see if their stories are more advanced than ours are or if they explain more of the chaos to us. I think this is where all of the religions and all of the philosophies start.
        Can we work from here?
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          Sep 16 2011: See the problem with chaos and order is... after you create too much order, the slightest thing can make it more chaotic than what exist naturally...

          A constant need of chaos in order must be allowed.. a balance

          We start as children with no perspective, but we develop it through cognition in nurture and naturally in our predisposed nature.. Thus we cannot look at self first, we always will look at others to be who we are, we are the other people whom we "want" or "need" to be like.. pretty much always, consciously or unconsciously..

          Goes into superego.. if your ambitions are as short sighted the people whom you put your trust of authority into, will pass down their delusions... the superego, is the reason criticism isn't allowed about that part of who they are, that delusion is now apart of that persons emotional well being...

          This is why superego needs to be abolished, being attached to ideas leads to being attached to more and more ideas..

          Let's say one idea is a brick. When you throw a brick at a brick the both explode. But when you start stacking bricks, it takes more bricks to destroy the wall.. If life goes on and the wall is never destroyed the wall will become reality, and only an army of breaks will destroy those held beliefs. An old Christian, will never be convinced their "God "is not "real". Because the emotions they felt for God are a wall of ideas so solid, it is like telling them their whole life is a lie...

          Superego needs to be dealt with, before the wall is finished and it is there forever..

          This is not just limited to passed down beliefs, but also in the beliefs we create in life as a result of unawareness. The idea we are not worth anything, the idea we are better then someone else, the idea we can do whatever we want with no consequences, the idea we will live forever... all either consciously or unconsciously creates cognitive biases towards reality and allows us to be "right" based on no foundation besides confidence..
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        Sep 16 2011: I see it a bit differently but I really enjoyed the way you constructed your exploration of this.
        People's minds are a lot like little snail creatures looking for a home. We are scared of being crushed out of existence. We know we need protection from the unpredictable chaos which feels like it can 'get us' at any moment with some random event. So we try to predict the world with rules that we set up for ourselves by trial and error.

        When we come across others we can have their rules imposed on us (as in parenting or religious teaching) as sort of hand me down shells but they never fit quite right. We still have our own sets of experience which either confirm or negate the truth of the effectiveness of the rules. Harsh imposition of the rules can make us fearful of challenging the rules but for most people overbearing superegos are eventually challenged and that can be painful because they are rigid and resist being shoved off.

        Throughout our lives we trade in old shells for new ones. Psychologist would call these schemas. We can have schemas within schemas and sometimes only part of the schema has to be demolished but at other times like after a trauma like a death of a loved one or a rape or a job loss we need a whole new shell. As long as the shell we are in is not too challenged we muddle along with it .This explains people who do not question their religious beliefs.

        Through out our lives we can see that there are people who aren't functioning well because their shells are chafing of stunting them but they are too scared to take their shell off long enough to find another. The chaos may be threatening but the shell can actually kill them too (as in coping mechanisms like alcoholism or risky behaviours). Some find ways to make a sort of peace with the really badly fitting shells but they lose all joy in life, all curiosity and spontaneity. Thoreau called these "lives of quiet desperation"

        Let me know if this is contructive and I will add or change dire
    • Sep 15 2011: "..Every individual's belief system seems to start from the 'I' position. . "

      Not necessarily. There are several languages that do not include the same syntax structure as the Romantic languages, and some that do not even incorporate the first person singular. "Don't Sleep, There Are Snakes" by Daniel Everett gives a good example of this. It is the story of a Christian evangelical and his time in the Amazon, attempting to convert the small indigenous Piraha Indians. Personal salvation was a hard sell, since they don't possess a linguistic conception of 'I'.

      I do agree that the phenomenon is recurs frequently enough in the applicable language blocs to demand consideration and explanation. Several philosophers have described the 'God reflex' as simply an over-projection of grammar, a metaphysical convergence of subject and predicate. Too often we forget that language is an improper description of Nature and not a perfect reflection of it, and are thus bound to make erroneous conclusions as to the components of reality. What funny animals we are.

      Anyway, I think a major recurring theme in nearly all religions is THE GOAL. Every religion I can think of presents itself as a solution to a problem, and solidifies it's ideal as the 'state of perfection' to be achieved. Very similar to... tragedy. But now I am really betraying my influences -

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        Sep 15 2011: Oh Seth! I love it so much when people bring me new thoughts and information that I have never known before. Thank you for correcting my misconception or generalization. I will be thinking about what you said. Please continue to betray your influences!
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        Sep 16 2011: What is the goal Seth? Simply to be the answer?
        • Sep 18 2011: "What is the goal Seth?"

          The actual concept and state of being defined as the goal differs from religion to religion. Compare nirvana in the Buddhist sense, the notion of being 'born again' in the Protestant sense, the idea of being an observant and practicing Jew, etc. There are peculiarities to each and every belief system. However, every religion does seem to have a goal. Moreover, the goal seems to be to solution to a seemingly pressing issue which the religious leader/elders themselves have astutely identified. Oddly enough, the fulfillment of the proposed solution generally involves the individual dying. There may be exceptions - I am failing to think of any at the moment.

          So - we have a PROBLEM (conflict), a GOAL (solution), and the proposed solution typically if not always involves the individual/hero to lose his life. Sounds very similar to tragedy.

          The question is - which is the light and which the shadow? Is it an innate religious sense and influence of God that brings about our artistic capacity for drama? Or is it our artistic capacity which brings about the necessity for God/religion? Or perhaps the situation is altogether different.

          What do you think?

          "Simply to be the answer?" I am not quite sure I understand what you mean. Are you putting forward the idea that the goal of the religion (any religion) is to be the answer itself, as a self fulfilling and circular argument, whose mere existence is enough to perpetrate it's legitimacy? If so, then I would agree to an extent. If not, please clarify. (my goal, the individual's goal, the religion's goal) Internet forums make it difficult to understand the concept behind the casual phrase.

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      Sep 15 2011: I think you nailed it Debra. From my understanding the thread of a human center world runs through so many cultures. Even science based belief systems ( I'm using the word belief only to convey what is believed indifferent to whether it is rational or not) put us in the center of the world. We judge life forms as intelligent or not based on how similar they are to us . Baboons are smart, while mushrooms are not. If we were truly objective we would not make these distinctions. Reality is bigger than we are and if we want any chance of understanding it we unfortunately need to limit it.
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    Sep 15 2011: The re-occurring theme of something "bigger".

    I think it's no coincidence that certain principles often appear in many ideologies, it's human nature to create such ideas.

    For example, when a family member or loved one is close to death, people seem to break down emotionally. This can leave one vulnerable to make irrational assumptions which are purely driven by emotion.

    The fact that we know we will die also acts upon us similarly, we just figured it must get better. "This is it? There has to be more."

    I think that kind of thinking is what generates many ideologies, theisms, belief systems, etc.
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      Sep 15 2011: Many philosophers find that thinking about death is how you can full understand life. Momento Mori - Remember morality..

      To think past death is to think purely ideological, and to think purely ideologically is good in exercise, but dangerous in everyday realities. Do you agree?
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      Sep 15 2011: @ Cole, I loved your posting. When traumatic or very painful experiences like the death of a loved one occur many people find that their existing beliefs or schemas do not adequately explain the situation. When our schemas break down it represents a time of crisis -sometimes major and sometimes more manageable. At times like this we tend to work very hard to find a schema or world view that works better and explains more. You are right that many turn to religions at times like this. Their history, their traditions, their certainty in the midst of personal uncertainty can be very comforting. Other people reject religions at times like this. What is common for many people is that the really big events of human life like the loss of someone well loved tests our conclusions about how the world works. Sometimes they hold fast and at other times they do not.
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    Sep 18 2011: When did I pick up my first shell, my first stone?
    taking my place in the forever of human history in
    direct succession from that first woman who
    in a moment of some shade of fear
    turned a palm sized stone to face the sun,
    got it at just the right angle to touch the light she did not have in herself,
    and brought heaven to earth
    through her own hand,
    so for just that moment, without thinking,
    the knot in her chest loosened
    tears could wash the ash from her chapped cheeks
    and she knew she was held,
    and home.

    Rev. Debbie Little Wyman, Founder
    Commn Cathedral, Boston
    Eccelsia Minsitries ( to the homeless) worldwide
  • Sep 15 2011: Religion in my opinion stops you from thinking outside of what is said in their teachings. That can be said as one common thing
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      Sep 15 2011: My money is on Nicholas on this one! I have found that he is consistently knowledgeable in this area because it is a deep and abiding interest of his. Just because someone thinks differently than you do does not mean that your rude rejections are valid. For someone who rails against having other opinions imposed on her, you sure insist with abrasiveness that we all kowtow to your view of things!
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          Sep 15 2011: ' I wished you knew what you're talking about.' - Birdia and now me.
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        Sep 15 2011: well, classifying "creating one's own path to 'enlightenment'" as "humility" is indeed a little far fetched, don't you think?
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          Sep 15 2011: **well, classifying "creating one's own path to 'enlightenment'" as "humility" is indeed a little far fetched, don't you think?**

          The topic here isn't enlightenment, but what has been used/done to achieve it.. therefore humility being the one of the paths is not far fetched... but just one type of "enlightenment"

          Christian enlightenment = behaving Christ-like to get to heaven. Answers the majority of the "big" questions of reality in the every day cultures of that religion.

          Consider again, the idea of being "enlightened" does fall short in Buddhism, because it is not one "enlightened" experience and/or epiphany that creates a truly "enlightened" person, but multiples of each.

          Another short coming is their life philosophy. Live and let live, is part of being humane, not all. Must create environments of open consensus to be truly humane, not just my opinion.

          To take the path of humility is not easy nor a 1, 2, 3 step. To say it is far fetched is to show lack of religious awareness. It shows... lack of self awareness to me. Since we're on opinions.
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        Sep 15 2011: nicholas, are you absolutely sure you haven't got lost somewhere? you just repeated that humility is one of the ways, i still claim it is not. then you go on and start to talk about what is enlightened, which has nothing to do with our discussion. then you go even further and start to talk about "another shortcoming", which is a total non sequitur.

        you are free to explain how "humility" is a central or even important point of buddhist teachings. i don't claim to be an expert on the topic, but certainly read a lot of material, and not some american wannabe buddhists, but the dalai lama himself, and the works of other monks. i don't recall any direct mentioning of humility, except if you mean rejecting physical pleasures, but it is not the primary meaning of the word. if we want to find one word to describe the buddhist way, it would be detachment, or possibly discipline.
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          Sep 15 2011: Indeed, but am I supposed to get from your one line beyond assumptions?

          I assumed a lot, no question.

          I see where I got lost, I have already connected the ideas of enlightened with humanitarian. To be "detached" is to be "free from bondage" and the idea of "discipline" is interesting now that you bring it up. But first. Attachment... is a path/degree of enlightenment. To be aware you are not an individual, is a tough idea to grasp with the rest of your logic... it does require natural philosophy, practice and education. The philosophy behind "discipline" for Buddhist, among other atheistic religions is to maintain "openness" while practicing a degree of scientific thinking towards the world (natural philosophy).

          I'm no expert either, but again. As I said to Birdia, that was MY answer thus my conclusion. Not THE ANSWER.

          There is no one answer to this, there is many values to consider here. History, modern, foundation... which are you saying I am wrong about? Because it is neither. Humility is do not to others what you not want done to you.

          If Buddhism does not teach such, why do they live in socialistic compounds? Why do they allow guest? Why do they care to have websites on the internet, made by the same monks you speak of? Because they want to share, and that is more humane than loving someone.

          I stand by humility is at the core of all the major religions of today. Just the teachings are unique as are individuals while still having similar needs in life.

          No one word can describe any thing that has history attached to it for thousands of years.
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          Sep 15 2011: Would not overcoming one's ego be an act of humility. We may have some semantic differences here, but I don't see how one can see past there ego and still not be humble.
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          Sep 15 2011: That's twice now that I have pressed thumbs up for you Anthony only to be told that I am out of them for you. Keep sharing!
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          Sep 16 2011: Indeed Anthony,

          but ego isn't bad. Just need a balance. The human's ability to conquer the impossible was done by driving the ego towards the conquest... Projecting oneself already accomplishing the goal, is how goals were met and are met constantly. It's like lying to yourself that you will make it through, and you do. But you lie so well, you are convinced and you enable all your thoughts towards that path. If the path is to abolish ego, fine. But good luck achieving greatness... To abolish ego, is to be a monk, a philosopher living to think, which sounds peaceful, but after all the information I cannot unlearn, it seems boring to have a traditionalized daily routine.Completely my opinions.

          The psychological idea of "super ego" is the enemy, not "ego". You can be humane with an ego. You can beat someone in a fight over something as simple as a parking space and become best friends after. The ego got ahead of you, but new bonds were made. That sounds like a better experience, then denial of natural mechanisms that produce "ego". Again opinions for a debate with you Anthony, and others.
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          Sep 16 2011: In my understanding, the superego is simply comprised of the rules of social life that we have internalized. They are for the most part helpful to us in making us 'do what is right" and set boundaries for our own behaviour. It is only when tyrannical parenting or other traumas happen and are encoded into our functions that the superego is a problem echoing directives and causing shame. The 'id' could also be blamed but should not be. This primitive or natural and unrefined part of us can be the source of much creativity and drive.
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      Sep 15 2011: "If Humility is what you want to preach, go ahead and preach it. However, a point to note is that, in the philosophy of the Buddha, Confucius and Tao, there isn't an omnipotent God there to humble anyone by scaring them to hell. I wished you knew what you're talking about."

      You created a trap for yourself, and went head first into it... nice...

      You are responding to MY ANSWER. THUS MY RESPONSE to my topic. THUS NOT THE POINT OF ARGUMENT. A logical fallacy must be highlighted...

      If you want to debate "God" again, I will. To Buddhist, their "God" is the path they follow to enlightenment. OR they create a self "God" (Self-Buddha) to try and achieve..

      I wish you knew what you were talking about before you dictate such to others whom enjoy reading religions and their histories. "God" is without definition until you dictate it. Indeed those 3 do not believe in a "being" but they believe in plenty of abstract philosophies that are sometimes just as non-foundational as the Judeo God. Karma... is silly to me. A 1, 2, 3 list of how to be civil, is silly to me.. Plenty of religions have non-sense. But Still NOT the point, the point is the SIMILARITIES. Not my opinions.

      MY POINT WAS, that went over your head... was they ALL have the "golden rule" at the core. Maybe not today, or yesterday. But in history. Thus the topic. Keep on track.
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          Sep 16 2011: You do not realize your quote is agreeing with my statements...

          Also the one? category? Humanitarianism? Oh, indeed, none of the leaders you stated would agree about being humane to others as being a degree of enlightenment or awareness.
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          Sep 16 2011: nicholas, it seems to me that you stretch the meaning of "humility" to the extreme, plus cherrypick religious teachings in order to fit in your categorization.

          what do you mean by humility? not being arrogant or selfish or hedonist? i think we need a much narrower interpretation than that.
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          Sep 16 2011: Modesty and respect create humility. Humble, low to earth... The idea of being equal with one another from the start. A new ego with every individual you meet. Is roughly the main focus of all the foundation in all the religions stated. Humanitarianism. How their current cultures are today is different, I agree. Was this constant in history? No. But it is the doctrines, the books, and the core. If a follower decides not to dig into their own culture, that is not the point here either.

          A professor of mine said to me today, when I brought this issue up, was "all religious philosophy is trying to be humanitarian.. because all philosophy is apart of nature and reality, apart of the humans connecting to them with thoughts." It was broad, I like it.

          How are all the "belief systems" (philosophical/religious) of history, majorly similar? What do they ALL share in a common factor? This is the main topic here.

          My answer is humanitarianism, because the "golden rule" (silver rule) are championed by so many religions as well as philosophers, most recognized in history.
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          Sep 18 2011: Kind of an over reaction. Still no argument against them being humanitarian... the fact they were naturalistic... just relates to being humanistic... and philosophy of humanism to be live humanism, humanitarianism... I will not respond to each point due the irrelevance.

          You still have yet to answer the question, thus being a giant waste of time. All this to say I am wrong is arrogant and sad.

          I wasn't saying Christianity is like Buddhism. I am saying the paths they take to being with God or "Enlightenment" are, and in both of their classical doctrines, that's exactly what they are, and that show you being bias to this religion, to a religion that far out numbers the ones being argued. Christianity... although it is easily argued that modern Christianity is no where near it's foundation in the larger percentile. This does not deny their history, in which is stated in the title of the topic.

          To say Jesus was not like Buddha... Is to deny a huge reality of history.

          This is my passion, this is my path to enlightenment you are walking across, walk with me, watch me walk, or don't, either are acceptable.

          Sophistry, nice try at sounding creative with diction. But I would of only been wrong if I did not leave myself as broad as I did. Part of critical thinking practices.

          I'm wrong in modern sense of these religions. Not, in foundations and history, which is part of my argument, thus making your argument misdirected, again.

          Oh and maybe you heard of Kabbalah? Which is what Judaism is based on, and those philosophy are on a parallel a "few" of the same philosophies you are defending as different.... No, they are not that different. They are very alike.

          Read some Jesus quotes some time. Pretty bright guy.
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      Sep 16 2011: Hi Birdia

      " there isn't an omnipotent God there to humble anyone by scaring them to hell. "

      I agree. My God came to earth as a human. was tortured, & died to show his love. Now that's what I call humility.

  • Sep 15 2011: According to me, its in the minds of people on what they think and how they act.

    Nothing seem to be religion matters. And even if it is prevailing , let it be with them and we never want it to impose on others.

    Olden times ofcourse, our ancestors followed all such religious thoughts and wanted us also to follow the same. But the trend at present is changing in fast pace as every single human is pondered by his own ways.
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    Sep 15 2011: There's one belief that keeps arising, over and over, and it keeps coming back. It's the belief that humans are somehow separate, special and above all other forms of life and all material reality. It's hard to imagine how someone can believe this and see themselves in any kind of unity with the rest of the universe, or even with their fellow humans. After all, if you're above 99.999% of all life, why not throw in a few heretics while you're at it? And then you can kill them.
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      Sep 15 2011: The illusion of superiority... Indeed a symptom of being human. When what is the correlation between culture and philosophies/religion.
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        Sep 15 2011: In a way, you've answered your own question. The "illusion of superiority" isn't genuinely "a symptom of being human" — at least, not genetically. It's a memetic inheritance we can get from our culture. Did I say "inheritance"? Perhaps I should have said "infection".
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          Sep 15 2011: It goes into how we think in general, patterns, most often with our emotions, thus our reasoning...It is a brain mechanism to keep us safe in emotion... Stick to what you know, is what your body and mind tell you constantly..

          I think the infection can be contained with CT.
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        Sep 16 2011: A "brain mechanism to keep us safe in emotion"? This is the first time I've heard of such a mechanism. I do know that memetic structures (such as religions) can persuade us to "stick to what you know", but I didn't know there was a "brain mechanism" associated with that.

        Can you tell me more about this?
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        Sep 16 2011: What part of that 20-page article do you want me to read?
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          Sep 16 2011: Well all, it is an easy read, and the citations are more interesting then the actual paper...

          There is no brief way to explain this (idea of cog. mechanisms)... Cognitive science and the sub-discipline cog. psychology are still relatively new fields in comparison to any other science field.

          All I really have are journals about anything, because they have citations. If you are really interested, just ask search engines about cog. science and read away...
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        Sep 16 2011: I AM "really interested"! Indeed, my blog (see my profile for link) revolves around the subject of cognition. Still, when somebody I don't know suggests I read a 20-page article to clarify their point, I begin to suspect they don't know that I've got other things to read.

        That list of cognitive mechanisms looks extremely interesting and could end up being useful for my writings. Thanks for the link.
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          Sep 16 2011: Cognition is what has been philosophized for thousands of years... just didn't call it cognition nor did they have cog. science. Which is by the far the most interesting science of today for the culture is so OPEN.

          All summer was spent reading about cognitive science and world religions (again), and I wonder what type of education you have in this area? Just interest, like me?

          tell me, what is your position on "emotions being the key to understanding perspectives?"

          This seems to be a pattern I found when reading about the neurological - psychology parts of cog. sci. discoveries. The pattern being, emotions first, always... Authors writing about education seem to always insist emotions are to be stimulated prior to the education. How do you feel about this idea of emotions > logic?
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        Sep 16 2011: The "type of education" I have in the area of cognitive science has been self-directed. I have received no formal schooling in this subject and must therefore be regarded with suspicion.

        My position on "emotions being the key to understanding perspectives" is that emotion can convey information to our consciouness about internal non-conscious evaluations. For example, I find it interesting that certain types of people (like the chronically close-minded) can make me angry. I expect myself to have more sense than that, but I don't.

        As for emotions being, in some sense, superior or antecedent to logic, perhaps NEITHER is primary. Assuming that when you say "logic" you mean rational thought, then I make the following observation: Thoughts can trigger or defuse emotion, and emotion can trigger or defuse thoughts. This might be a reflection of the fact that our brains have two hemispheres and multiple modules in contention.