Dharma government?

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Malcolm
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Re: Dharma government?

Post by Malcolm » Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:58 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:39 pm

I was pointing out that there are many moving parts. We don't really know what is going wrong. I tend to think that Islam is not particularly good as a personal or social value system, but that is admittedly an opinion, based on observation and experience.

Most of us here are pretty ignorant of Islam in general, so none of us are really in a reasonable place to offer much of an opinion about whether Islam is not a particularly good personal or social value system. But a third of the world adheres to Islam, so it is working for someone.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Virgo
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Re: Dharma government?

Post by Virgo » Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:01 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:56 pm
Virgo wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:45 pm
Dharma can thrive under non-Buddhist political systems as is obvious today in North America, Europe, Britain, Australia, etc., etc. etc. just fine.
Thrive? I wouldn't go that far.
That's interesting.

Kevin...
Last edited by Virgo on Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Dharma government?

Post by Queequeg » Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:03 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:54 pm
Since it depends on the munificence of kings, it does not really go very far at all.
Yes. This is a problem with it.

The values, though, could be drawn out as a political policy.

One of the recommendations that struck me when I first read it, and its still a point of fascination to me - He tells the king to build roads and line them with trees so that travelers are shaded. Its about going further than just function and considering the comfort of people.

Maybe it strikes me because so much public architecture where I am is just moderately functional and there is no indication that the designers considered that human beings would be using it.

Its that level of thoughtfulness that really strikes me, and which I read as founded on the Buddhist teachings that the text goes over in the first part.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Malcolm
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Re: Dharma government?

Post by Malcolm » Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:04 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:56 pm
I am advocating the introduction of Buddhist ideas and values into the public sphere and by extension into the political process and government policies.
Such as?
One of the problems with the secular governments we have now is that they are fundamentally materialist. There are historical reasons for this retreat. Little or no account is taken of the spiritual life, and this has been to our collective detriment. There were some bad ideas about spiritual life that needed to be pushed back, but in throwing everything out, we were left with materialism.
Yes, the constitution was written largely by colonial materialists[aka "Deists] who were enamored of Epicureanism via Lucretius' De Natura Rerum. Jefferson himself owned 13 copies of the text.
One thing that bringing Buddhism into the political sphere would do is to have at least one voice asserting that there is more to life than atoms bouncing off each other. If Buddhism has a voice, obviously other would too.
I don't want my government advocating any views at all not grounded in empiricism and science.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Virgo
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Re: Dharma government?

Post by Virgo » Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:06 pm

Virgo wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:01 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:56 pm
Virgo wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:45 pm
Dharma can thrive under non-Buddhist political systems as is obvious today in North America, Europe, Britain, Australia, etc., etc. etc. just fine.
Thrive? I wouldn't go that far.
That's interesting.

Kevin...
Perhaps you see "thriving" as something like Thailand, where millions of "Buddhists" do not study, believe in a soul, believe that the main reason for becoming a monk is because it guarantees that your mother will be reborn in heaven, make offerings to Hindu shrines equally as they do to Buddhist ones and so on. Of course this is not all Thais, there are many devout, well-studies ones as well (just as their are in "non-Buddhist" societies).

Just because "Buddhism" is "everywhere" in a place, does not mean it is thriving at all.

It is thriving, however, when you can easily get in your care and drive to any number of Buddhist centers within a few hours.

Kevin...
Last edited by Virgo on Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Queequeg
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Re: Dharma government?

Post by Queequeg » Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:06 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:58 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:39 pm

I was pointing out that there are many moving parts. We don't really know what is going wrong. I tend to think that Islam is not particularly good as a personal or social value system, but that is admittedly an opinion, based on observation and experience.

Most of us here are pretty ignorant of Islam in general, so none of us are really in a reasonable place to offer much of an opinion about whether Islam is not a particularly good personal or social value system. But a third of the world adheres to Islam, so it is working for someone.
Without irony, as a 'hereditary' Buddhist, I'll point out, some of us just take what we were given at birth and never think of wearing anything else.

That said, I'm fine with walking back my comments and limit my point to this: there are a lot of moving parts... we have no real idea why Iran is the way it is.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Malcolm
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Re: Dharma government?

Post by Malcolm » Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:09 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:03 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:54 pm
Since it depends on the munificence of kings, it does not really go very far at all.
Yes. This is a problem with it.

The values, though, could be drawn out as a political policy.

One of the recommendations that struck me when I first read it, and its still a point of fascination to me - He tells the king to build roads and line them with trees so that travelers are shaded. Its about going further than just function and considering the comfort of people.
Philosophers have all kinds of advice for rulers.

Maybe it strikes me because so much public architecture where I am is just moderately functional and there is no indication that the designers considered that human beings would be using it.
New York is not a well designed city. In fact it was not designed at all -- it just sort of happened over the past hundred years. The same with LA, etc. Of course, there are exceptions, but mostly, urban planning in America has been something of an afterthought.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Queequeg
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Re: Dharma government?

Post by Queequeg » Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:12 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:04 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:56 pm
I am advocating the introduction of Buddhist ideas and values into the public sphere and by extension into the political process and government policies.
Such as?
We could start simple: cause and effect. This one seems lost on a lot of politicians. Dependent arising / interconnectivity. I'd be very happy with that for now.

One thing that bringing Buddhism into the political sphere would do is to have at least one voice asserting that there is more to life than atoms bouncing off each other. If Buddhism has a voice, obviously other would too.
I don't want my government advocating any views at all not grounded in empiricism and science.
There is nothing preventing the scientific method from taking account and being applied to matters of the mind. There is a materialist assumption implicit in the practice of most science that simply circumscribes, unconsciously, the scope of inquiry.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Dharma government?

Post by Jeff H » Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:13 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:10 pm
Jeff H wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:52 pm
I didn't find the book (Beyond Religion) vague at all. The first two thirds of the book essentially exposes the way ego and attachment distort what should be commonly discernible ethical guidelines, utterly without regard to any particular religion or lack of religion. Toward the end of the book he does start providing some clearly identifiable Buddhist practices, but most of the book is quite specific while taking religion out of the picture.

I think he provides a profound conversation.
Have not read it. But I have read other statements of his on human rights.

He's proposing a secular ethics based on what he says are universal values - compassion, love, kindness, etc.

That's well and good, I agree those are values to build on - I've argued this extensively over the last few weeks down here in the lounge - and receiving considerable push back to my surprise.
...

[a] new arbitrary value just becomes another line demarcating polite conversation.

I'm not saying this is bad. I'm saying, hey, that's better than what we have, but don't kid yourself that this is going to get us past all the problems that have plagued us in the past.
Yes, this is samsara and it can't be fixed. But, in fact, I think you and HHDL are on the same page in this regard. My comment was not meant to disagree with what you've said, rather more to point out that HHDL is putting it in practice. This book is his attempt to demonstrate in detail that a little thought reveals how obvious the preference for loving kindness as an ethical basis really is. As you said later,
Queequeg wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:35 pm
But I'm not particularly interested in getting everything right. I full well accept that things will go wrong. I just want to push things in the right direction - more love, more compassion, more kindness, more smiling people. I'm a whole lot more pragmatic than other posters here, I think.
I have great respect for Malcolm and Greg, and I can see how fighting back in some circumstances is a necessary evil, but as Buddhists I think we need to put more emphasis on the mindset you and Dan -- and HHDL -- are advocating.
We who are like children shrink from pain but love its causes. - Shantideva

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Re: Dharma government?

Post by Queequeg » Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:19 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:09 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:03 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:54 pm
Since it depends on the munificence of kings, it does not really go very far at all.
Yes. This is a problem with it.

The values, though, could be drawn out as a political policy.

One of the recommendations that struck me when I first read it, and its still a point of fascination to me - He tells the king to build roads and line them with trees so that travelers are shaded. Its about going further than just function and considering the comfort of people.
Philosophers have all kinds of advice for rulers.
That's an awesome insight.

The point is, Nagarjuna was advising the king to consider the existential experience of his subjects and advised him to do what was in his power to make their lives comfortable and happy. That's advice to rule with kindness. That's revolutionary.

New York is not a well designed city. In fact it was not designed at all -- it just sort of happened over the past hundred years. The same with LA, etc. Of course, there are exceptions, but mostly, urban planning in America has been something of an afterthought.
The Oculus is, hands down, the greatest architectural achievement in NYC, ever (IMO :)). Function and aesthetics have never been brought together like that on that scale. It took the loss of the WTC, but they did not squander this chance to honor that with something great and awesome.

But to your general point, indeed. And that lack of basic concern for each other permeates government - the same ham handed approach can be found in almost every government policy.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Dharma government?

Post by Queequeg » Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:24 pm

Jeff H wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:13 pm
But, in fact, I think you and HHDL are on the same page in this regard.
I was a student of Bob Thurman's, so, I guess in a way, HHDL, is my teacher, too. Thurman is definitely one of the great influences for me.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Dharma government?

Post by Nemo » Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:25 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:39 pm
Nemo wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:25 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:29 pm


Their guiding creed is Islam, and a particular type . We don't know that it's the political system that is screwing things up.
Ya, and our plutocracy is so amazing with our thousands of nukes, fake democracy and imminent ecological catastrophe. Why would we ever want to imagine improving our perfect system. It's not like we are in the dying days of a sociopathic empire.
Compare Iran to the other ME countries. Syria, Saudi, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. They are a rising global power that has outlived hostile American administrations since the 70s.
I was pointing out that there are many moving parts. We don't really know what is going wrong. I tend to think that Islam is not particularly good as a personal or social value system, but that is admittedly an opinion, based on observation and experience.
Islam was surprisingly ahead of it's time in terms of social welfare and taxation. There was a system of taxation even more progressive than today as it demanded a percentage of assets not merely income to be redistributed. They had pensions for soldiers and widows that are good even by today's standards.They enacted property rights and a near universal rule of law which were quite rare. I also remember the Umayyad caliphate in Spain having some absolutely excellent policies on water rights and some aspects of local governance that have since been universally adopted in Europe. Compared to the ruthless monarchs it deposed it was an infinitely better system for the majority. Our conceit that we invented everything may be misplaced.

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Re: Dharma government?

Post by Queequeg » Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:34 pm

Nemo wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:25 pm
Islam was surprisingly ahead of it's time in terms of social welfare and taxation. There was a system of taxation even more progressive than today as it demanded a percentage of assets not merely income to be redistributed. They had pensions for soldiers and widows that are good even by today's standards.They enacted property rights and a near universal rule of law which were quite rare. I also remember the Umayyad caliphate in Spain having some absolutely excellent policies on water rights and some aspects of local governance that have since been universally adopted in Europe. Compared to the ruthless monarchs it deposed it was an infinitely better system for the majority. Our conceit that we invented everything may be misplaced.
Admittedly I know little about Islamic history, but there are certain impressions that line up with what you describe. Islam does seem to enshrine a very strong sense of right and wrong, justice and fairness and when it was ascendant the rule of law was secure. I don't know how that relates to Islam today, but women covered head to toe and peaking through lace just speaks volumes that I can't relate to. If people want to live that way... I guess that's fine. I can't relate, though. I would like to.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Malcolm
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Re: Dharma government?

Post by Malcolm » Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:37 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:19 pm

The Oculus is, hands down, the greatest architectural achievement in NYC, ever (IMO :)).
I would argue that the great architectural achievement in NYC, ever, is Central Park.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Re: Dharma government?

Post by Grigoris » Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:30 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:34 pm
... but women covered head to toe and peaking through lace just speaks volumes that I can't relate to. If people want to live that way... I guess that's fine. I can't relate, though. I would like to.
The burqa is a local dress, not an Islamic dress. Salafists have tried to export it as the correct attire for women, but in most Islamic countries women do not wear a burqa. They wear head scarves though. But head scarves for women were actually very common in Orthodox Christian countries too. And in Judaism.

Thing is, if you have ever been caught in a Gulf State sand storm (i have, during stop overs in gulf state countries on economy airlines that do not afford the luxury of an air conditioned corridor from the plane to the airport) a burqa is actually a very intelligent thing to be wearing. Don't forget that men also are covered from head to toe and sport beards in these countries for the very same reason. Let's not confound things.
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Re: Dharma government?

Post by Quay » Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:43 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:34 pm
Nemo wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:25 pm
Islam was surprisingly ahead of it's time in terms of social welfare and taxation. There was a system of taxation even more progressive than today as it demanded a percentage of assets not merely income to be redistributed. They had pensions for soldiers and widows that are good even by today's standards.They enacted property rights and a near universal rule of law which were quite rare. I also remember the Umayyad caliphate in Spain having some absolutely excellent policies on water rights and some aspects of local governance that have since been universally adopted in Europe. Compared to the ruthless monarchs it deposed it was an infinitely better system for the majority. Our conceit that we invented everything may be misplaced.
Admittedly I know little about Islamic history, but there are certain impressions that line up with what you describe. Islam does seem to enshrine a very strong sense of right and wrong, justice and fairness and when it was ascendant the rule of law was secure. I don't know how that relates to Islam today, but women covered head to toe and peaking through lace just speaks volumes that I can't relate to. If people want to live that way... I guess that's fine. I can't relate, though. I would like to.
Indeed there is a great deal of scholarship and recorded history regarding the Umayyad caliphate in Spain. It is generally thought that the Islamic rulers did a much better job than did their Christian counterparts before and after their reign. Some of it has to do with what is really Persian culture especially as regards concepts of hospitality and general fairness in treating with friends and strangers. However Islam's notions of general respect for fellow worshipers of the one true god led them to make the situation much better for Jews and Christians in many places. The saracenic history of Spain in particular is a rich vein of happenings that tend to disabuse anyone of the notion that Islam has always been some kind of bad force in the world. Quite the contrary.

In terms of a government founded on some kind of dharma (small d) you could also argue that the caliphate in Spain was run by Islamic dharma and in many respects did a much better job than its predecessors. To me this points to the general efficacy of a government founded and run on generally sound principles that involve (theoretically at least) respect for all its citizens and subjects.

In terms of a "Dharma government" I think that is impossible since Dharma is about liberating the mind of the individual while all governments are by definition legal fictions that generate shared concepts. You could try to implement policy by applying Dharma and that might have some good results but there is no way to liberate non-sentient laws and concepts.
"Knowledge is as infinite as the stars in the sky;
There is no end to all the subjects one could study.
It is better to grasp straight away their very essence--
The unchanging fortress of the Dharmakaya."

– Longchenpa.

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Re: Dharma government?

Post by Crazywisdom » Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:13 pm

Srivijaya

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Srivijaya

More like a league of CEOs with amazing garden mandala headquarters.
I got my Chili Chilaya.

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Re: Dharma government?

Post by Queequeg » Thu Aug 16, 2018 8:54 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:30 pm
And in Judaism.
To demonstrate that I am, in the least, an equal opportunity bigot, the wigs that orthodox Jewish women wear creep me out, too.
Thing is, if you have ever been caught in a Gulf State sand storm (i have, during stop overs in gulf state countries on economy airlines that do not afford the luxury of an air conditioned corridor from the plane to the airport) a burqa is actually a very intelligent thing to be wearing. Don't forget that men also are covered from head to toe and sport beards in these countries for the very same reason. Let's not confound things.
The confounding is not just on the side of us bigots. The fact that some sects insist on that attire, and will enforce the dress code with violence, even though they're not in the deep desert, establishes that at least some Muslims are doing the confounding. And there is no practical reason to dress like that in a place like NY. Its a choice, presumably for an array of reasons, but an elective choice.

There are no innocent lambs here.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Dharma government?

Post by Wayfarer » Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:36 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:50 am
Secularism is an ideal. In reality what we have is Christianity with references to God removed. The basic moral/ethical ideas of Christianity are still there. The influence of religion on daily life is still there.

Take the U$ for example:

73.3% of the population identifies as Christian and only 18.2% identify as having no religion.

The effect of this statistic is that although there is a split between church and state, in reality the U$ functions as a Christian nation.
I was just reading yesterday about the decline of Christian affiliation in the US, particularly amongst younger generations; I think the figures you're quoting there might be a bit dated.

But regardless, the main point of secular systems is to provide a governance framework which provides for all the services that a modern society needs, without imposing a belief system. The theory of secularism was mainly developed in the West, for complicated historical reasons, but I think the distinction between 'religious and secular' was always fairly clear. A secular culture allows its inhabitants to pursue any religion or none; however it doesn't necessarily then assert that 'none' is better than 'any' which is what in effect tends to happen in the 'secular West'.

So in the West 'secularism' has often morphed into an attitude which is antagonistic to anything other than utilitarian or pragmatic values; in other words, basically ant-religious. I have just permanently signed out of philosophyforum again because of this very conflict. So secularism really needs to work to be scrupulously non-committal or agnostic with respect to religion otherwise it too easily just collapses into plain scientific materialism which dominates Western culture. And that is not a framework, it then is a pseudo- or quasi- religion in its own right.

I have been reading up on the Renaissance Humanists, Pico Della Mirandola and Ficino. They both skirted heresy all their lives and had a rather uneasy relationship with the Church (Mirandola in particular), but they were completely different to today's secular humanists. Mirandola believed that all the great faiths and traditions represented underlying spiritual truths - he was a universalist - and Ficino was Platonist. So both of them, whilst not orthodox believers, still had an essentially spiritual philosophy.

Now, according to the mainstream 'secular' view, we're simply a hominid species and human intelligence an evolved adaptation. As far as it is concerned, Buddhism is simply a social construct which, at best, serves the purposes of helping people to get along, but there can't be anything in its fundamental tenets, as there's no conceptual space against which to map Nirvāṇa other than understanding it as a kind of state of subjective happiness (which is more or less how it is construed by the so-called 'secular Buddhist' movement.)

On the other hand, Buddhism has had a certain kind of 'secular' sensibility about it from the outset, in that the Buddha himself dispensed with reliance on rites and rituals and the trappings of cultural religion. He too was a pragmatist in that sense. But the goal of Nirvāṇa is outside any of the categories of the understanding of so-called secular philosophy in the West. I think if that is understood, then secular cultures can still accommodate such teachings but again only if they understand that it's about something out of range of scientific understanding.
Only practice with no gaining idea ~ Suzuki Roshi

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Re: Dharma government?

Post by boda » Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:19 am

Wayfarer wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:36 pm
the goal of Nirvāṇa is outside any of the categories of the understanding of so-called secular philosophy in the West. I think if that is understood, then secular cultures can still accommodate such teachings but again only if they understand that it's about something out of range of scientific understanding.
I don't believe that the concept of transcendence is necessarily religious or beyond the range of scientific understanding. Spirituality may fall within the secular sphere because it's an important aspect of human experience and doesn't rely on religious doctrine.

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