Atheist religions?
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03-09-2010, 05:29 PM
 
RE: Atheist religions?
(03-09-2010 03:25 PM)BnW Wrote:  
Quote:Additionally, the fact that certain major premises of Buddhism meshed so well with fascism, and the supposed "divinity" of the Japanese Emperor (who was Buddhist) led to Japan's involvement in World War II

Which aspect of WWII? Their attempts to subjugate their Asian neighbors? Maybe. Their attack on Pear Harbor? Absolutely not. That had nothing to do with Buddhism, Fascism or any other ism. The US supplied steel and oil to Japan. After they invaded China we pulled back. We then started supporting the Chinese fighting against the Japanese, and we finally not only suspended all oil sales from the US to Japan but were threatening to cut their supply lines to other sources of oil. We backed them into a corner and left them few options.

Japan did not really want war with the US because their leaders knew it would stretch them beyond their resource capabilities. Their plan was to take out the fleet and force us into a peace on their terms. They screwed up and missed the carriers, and then we anticipated them trying to cement their position at Midway. Once they lost at Midway, they were in deep trouble. I suppose they could have still won the war, nothing is certain, but once the US destroyed a larger part of their fleet at the battle of Midway and they did not have the means to really replenish what they lost, their defeat was pretty much inevitable.

I've justifiably been corrected several times here ... soooo ... I'd like to point out that this short summary is generally accurate but something of an oversimplification. Many Japanese military leaders, especially in the Army, were eager for war and considered themselves racially superior to Americans (interesting that both sides underestimated their opponents for this reason). The extent to which religion might have played into this, I can't say, but it wouldn't surprise me if their nationalism and their religion were intermingled, as they are to an increasing extent these days here in the good ole USA ....

Their loss of 4 Japanese carriers at Midway was indeed a major setback, but the efficacy of American submarines at interdicting Japanese shipping of raw materials was an important factor in making it hard for them to replace their losses. America replaced its lost carriers quickly and soon gained an overwhelming naval superiority. Again, the extent to which religious beliefs might have lead them to bad decisions, I can't say, but they failed almost completely at learning the lessons of anti-submarine warfare, which had been so important and effective for the British and Americans in the Atlantic.

The whole bushido/samurai warrior code was deeply intertwined with their religion.
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03-09-2010, 09:14 PM
RE: Atheist religions?
It's kind of tough to write the history of the WWII in the Pacific in a paragraph or two so I obviously just tried to hit the high notes.

However, while some Japanese leaders may have been eager for war with us, and while they did consider themselves racially superior, I don't think they really believed they would win a prolonged fight with us for the same reasons they felt compelled to attack us. They just did not have the resources to sustain that kind of war.

For some reason it's not widely discussed but there were trials of the Japanese leadership after the war similar to Nuremberg. What came out of that was an admission by Japanese leaders that they viewed the Americans as feckless, morally weak people who did not have the stomach for a prolonged fight with lots of casualties. They thought we would simply give it up, and if they had sunk our carriers at Pearl we may have been so hamstrung it would have been considered. Any desire the Japanese had to fight was tempered by the belief that we didn't have the stomach for a long one, as opposed to the belief that they really thought they had the resources to win.

No doubt their leaders of the time were arrogant, foolish and more than willing to send countless Japanese soldiers to a needless death, and believed in their own superiority. But, they weren't stupid, they just made a very fatal miscalculation as to the character of the American public.

This is getting off the point, though. I love this stuff but probably not the best place for it.

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03-09-2010, 09:38 PM
 
RE: Atheist religions?
(03-09-2010 09:14 PM)BnW Wrote:  It's kind of tough to write the history of the WWII in the Pacific in a paragraph or two so I obviously just tried to hit the high notes.

However, while some Japanese leaders may have been eager for war with us, and while they did consider themselves racially superior, I don't think they really believed they would win a prolonged fight with us for the same reasons they felt compelled to attack us. They just did not have the resources to sustain that kind of war.

For some reason it's not widely discussed but there were trials of the Japanese leadership after the war similar to Nuremberg. What came out of that was an admission by Japanese leaders that they viewed the Americans as feckless, morally weak people who did not have the stomach for a prolonged fight with lots of casualties. They thought we would simply give it up, and if they had sunk our carriers at Pearl we may have been so hamstrung it would have been considered. Any desire the Japanese had to fight was tempered by the belief that we didn't have the stomach for a long one, as opposed to the belief that they really thought they had the resources to win.

No doubt their leaders of the time were arrogant, foolish and more than willing to send countless Japanese soldiers to a needless death, and believed in their own superiority. But, they weren't stupid, they just made a very fatal miscalculation as to the character of the American public.

This is getting off the point, though. I love this stuff but probably not the best place for it.


No,actually, please continue. I am learning a lot. I think that this is informative enough to get its own thread.
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04-09-2010, 06:20 AM
RE: Atheist religions?
It doesn't go into all the details on this, but I recommend you read "Flyboys: A True Story of Courage" by James Bradley.

If you're not familiar with Bradley he also wrote "Flags of our Fathers", which tells the story of the 6 men in the famous photo who raised the flag on Iwa Jima. His father was one of those 6 men. Both books are fantastic.

"Flyboys" tells a bit of the story about the Japanese leadership. It also tells some interesting history as to the US's own atrocities against other peoples, the kind of stuff that didn't make it into the history books when I was a kid. The basic story is about a handful of pilots who flew missions in the Pacific, were shot down and captured, and eventually executed by the Japanese. Along the way he weaves a lot of other things in to it.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
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08-09-2010, 02:00 AM
 
RE: Atheist religions?
(03-09-2010 01:05 PM)dtwpuck Wrote:  Irrational beliefs of Buddhism:

Reincarnation
Holiness of the Dalai Lama
Karma
A strange bureaucratic organization of the afterlife (Chinese Buddhism specifically) (sigh.. reminds me of Mormons)
etc etc etc

Deity, spirit, ancestor... the difference to me is minimal. Their demagogues are as dangerous as other religions' demagogues, their wars are bloody, and their attitude that they know the 'truth' is as equally entrenched. So, I'm not so sure Buddhism deserves any special dispensation for being anything special except 'just another set of unproven beliefs'.

I hate ignorance on the part of religion more than I hate ignorance on the part of atheism. You're lumping Buddhism into one category, which, if you've watched some of the videos on this website, is just as bad as Lumping all Christianity. There's a key difference, Christianity has thousands of major sects, while Buddhism has like, what, no more than 10 major sects? If you want to get technical I think there's really 4 or 5, but there's some major sub-sects, but regardless, the reason why lumping all Buddhists into the same category is just as ignorant as lumping all Christians is because the basic beliefs and philosophy behind each sect is so vastly different. Some sects of Buddhism, such as Theravada, are indeed atheistic, but some do hold the Buddha as a god or special deity.

As for the other parts of Buddhism, such as Karma, reincarnation, and other cause-and-effect ideas, I find it simple for myself, personally, to reconcile these ideas; we interact with the world. What we do affects the world, while we're alive and after we're alive, so how we affect the world will come back to us, and our personality and how we affect people will continue to roll on. Think about the "sandbox" idea of reincarnation; it's not "this soul goes into this body," but rather that your "sand" gets dumped into the "sandbox" and scoops get taken out, therefore not all of your "sand" goes into your "soul," but rather it may be concentrated in one "soul" and a little bit here and there.

Take that literally and we got souls, but take that with respect to how we affect the world, and everyone we see, everyone we touch, talk to, laugh with, cry with, they all have our sand and we have theirs. Don't take it so strictly in the sense of "souls, afterlife, blah blah blah." Interoperate, that's how I love some religions so much, it's easy to look at them abstractly and see how they work with human, atheistic life and philosophy. And please don't DARE talk about Buddhism and bloody wars, that's ignorance at it's finest, easily looked up at http://www.google.com. Buddhism, especially in Tibet, since this is one of the most well known and well established Buddhist Kingdoms, there have been many wars, but there has never been any religious wars in the name of Buddhism or for Buddhist intentions. Their actions were simply defense or to reclaim what was taken from them. Buddhists take their beliefs to heart, because nothing is rested on the shoulders of another, they rely on themselves and themselves only, no etch-a-sketch held by someone else. What they do affects them and sets themselves back or forward, therefore, they take Buddhism more to heart than anyone.


(03-09-2010 02:51 PM)2buckchuck Wrote:  As I recall, Buddhist monks setting themselves afire in protest over policies in South Vietnam in the mid-1960s were a major factor in a military coup that resulted in a puppet government being installed in Saigon, as the US was building up to open intervention in Vietnam. The followers of the Dalai Lama have been involved in clashes with Chinese police/military. I'm not sure if those count.

All religions have their extremists ... I agree with dtwpuck (you a redwings fan?)

As stated above, the clashing with the Chinese is defense of their freedom of warship and simple human rights. I'm an exchange student in China right now, I want to see Tibet for myself. There is a hierarchy in Buddhist law, and defensive action is legitimate. As for the monks setting themselves ablaze, their actions were not to affect the minds of the Vietnamese so the U.S. could implement a puppet government, they just hated the war.

(03-09-2010 03:15 PM)Soldieringon Wrote:  Teachings in Buddhism were the basis for Japan's invasion of China in 1938. Thousands died.

Additionally, the fact that certain major premises of Buddhism meshed so well with fascism, and the supposed "divinity" of the Japanese Emperor (who was Buddhist) led to Japan's involvement in World War II. Also, Japanese Kamikaze pilots were trained by Buddhist monks.

This information came out of "God is not Great" by Christopher Hitchens, from the chapter "There is no Eastern Solution".

Umm, Shinto, buddy. The Divinity of the Emperor is within Shinto, which, within Japan, is indeed deeply tied with Buddhism, but that's the Shinto in it. As for being trained by Buddhist monks, who was controlling the religious shrines and temples? Government. Proclaiming someone is something doesn't make it true. I can call myself a duck all I want, but I'm not.
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08-09-2010, 03:23 AM
 
RE: Atheist religions?
(08-09-2010 02:00 AM)aulen Wrote:  ...
I hate ignorance on the part of religion more than I hate ignorance on the part of atheism. You're lumping Buddhism into one category, which, if you've watched some of the videos on this website, is just as bad as Lumping all Christianity. There's a key difference, Christianity has thousands of major sects, while Buddhism has like, what, no more than 10 major sects? If you want to get technical I think there's really 4 or 5, but there's some major sub-sects, but regardless, the reason why lumping all Buddhists into the same category is just as ignorant as lumping all Christians is because the basic beliefs and philosophy behind each sect is so vastly different. Some sects of Buddhism, such as Theravada, are indeed atheistic, but some do hold the Buddha as a god or special deity.
10 sects or 10,000 sects ... is there an important qualitative difference between having 10 sects or 10,000? I'm not so sure. Personally, I have no problem lumping all christians under one heading [or all monotheists, for that matter] and find it darkly amusing that they have so much to argue about within their realm of absolute truths that they have to fractionate so many ways. So I also feel reasonably comfortable lumping a dozen or so Buddhist sects under one heading. I may be ignorant of all the subtleties, but if I did know the details, I suspect most of them would strike me as comparable to arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

(08-09-2010 02:00 AM)aulen Wrote:  As for the other parts of Buddhism, such as Karma, reincarnation, and other cause-and-effect ideas, I find it simple for myself, personally, to reconcile these ideas; we interact with the world. What we do affects the world, while we're alive and after we're alive, so how we affect the world will come back to us, and our personality and how we affect people will continue to roll on. Think about the "sandbox" idea of reincarnation; it's not "this soul goes into this body," but rather that your "sand" gets dumped into the "sandbox" and scoops get taken out, therefore not all of your "sand" goes into your "soul," but rather it may be concentrated in one "soul" and a little bit here and there.

Take that literally and we got souls, but take that with respect to how we affect the world, and everyone we see, everyone we touch, talk to, laugh with, cry with, they all have our sand and we have theirs. Don't take it so strictly in the sense of "souls, afterlife, blah blah blah." Interoperate, that's how I love some religions so much, it's easy to look at them abstractly and see how they work with human, atheistic life and philosophy.

I'm delighted that you enjoy all this, but I trust you'll find it in your heart to understand that some of us aren't buying in.

(08-09-2010 02:00 AM)aulen Wrote:  And please don't DARE talk about Buddhism and bloody wars, that's ignorance at it's finest, easily looked up at http://www.google.com. Buddhism, especially in Tibet, since this is one of the most well known and well established Buddhist Kingdoms, there have been many wars, but there has never been any religious wars in the name of Buddhism or for Buddhist intentions. Their actions were simply defense or to reclaim what was taken from them. Buddhists take their beliefs to heart, because nothing is rested on the shoulders of another, they rely on themselves and themselves only, no etch-a-sketch held by someone else. What they do affects them and sets themselves back or forward, therefore, they take Buddhism more to heart than anyone.

The rationalizing here is pretty intense. A war fought in defense or to reclaim what was taken is war nevertheless. And wars are not noble and honorable ... they're nasty, brutal, and dehumanizing. I know of no reason why Buddhists would be exceptions, as I believe all of them are human. War affects humans in predictable ways.

(08-09-2010 02:00 AM)aulen Wrote:  
(03-09-2010 02:51 PM)2buckchuck Wrote:  As I recall, Buddhist monks setting themselves afire in protest over policies in South Vietnam in the mid-1960s were a major factor in a military coup that resulted in a puppet government being installed in Saigon, as the US was building up to open intervention in Vietnam. The followers of the Dalai Lama have been involved in clashes with Chinese police/military. I'm not sure if those count.

All religions have their extremists ... I agree with dtwpuck (you a redwings fan?)

As stated above, the clashing with the Chinese is defense of their freedom of warship and simple human rights. I'm an exchange student in China right now, I want to see Tibet for myself. There is a hierarchy in Buddhist law, and defensive action is legitimate. As for the monks setting themselves ablaze, their actions were not to affect the minds of the Vietnamese so the U.S. could implement a puppet government, they just hated the war.

I understand that the Chinese are being aggressive in Tibet. The fact that defense is justifiable under Buddhist law is interesting but irrelevant. War is war. As for Vietnam in the 60s, whether or not the suicidal monks hated the war, their actions eventually precipitated war anyway. The fall of the regime in Saigon, that they wanted badly enough to immolate themselves, was a major factor in the eventual slaughter after the US became fully involved. To say the Buddhists had absolutely nothing to do with that would be rather naive, imho. It may not have been what they wanted or thought was going to happen, but their actions were contributory and if they didn't see that in advance ... well, I suspect their perspective was self-centered and foolish.
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08-09-2010, 04:13 AM
 
RE: Atheist religions?
(08-09-2010 03:23 AM)2buckchuck Wrote:  10 sects or 10,000 sects ... is there an important qualitative difference between having 10 sects or 10,000? I'm not so sure. Personally, I have no problem lumping all christians under one heading [or all monotheists, for that matter] and find it darkly amusing that they have so much to argue about within their realm of absolute truths that they have to fractionate so many ways. So I also feel reasonably comfortable lumping a dozen or so Buddhist sects under one heading. I may be ignorant of all the subtleties, but if I did know the details, I suspect most of them would strike me as comparable to arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.
I guess ignorance is bliss. Not understanding how they work makes you just as bad as them, especially when the differences mean a theistic and atheistic belief system, which is important in this entire website.

(08-09-2010 03:23 AM)2buckchuck Wrote:  I'm delighted that you enjoy all this, but I trust you'll find it in your heart to understand that some of us aren't buying in.
Understandable. Not everyone shares my passion for other cultures and would put up with religion in order to further this pursuit in understanding another culture.

(08-09-2010 03:23 AM)2buckchuck Wrote:  The rationalizing here is pretty intense. A war fought in defense or to reclaim what was taken is war nevertheless. And wars are not noble and honorable ... they're nasty, brutal, and dehumanizing. I know of no reason why Buddhists would be exceptions, as I believe all of them are human. War affects humans in predictable ways.
Lets take away your freedoms and torture you and see how you react.

(08-09-2010 03:23 AM)2buckchuck Wrote:  I understand that the Chinese are being aggressive in Tibet. The fact that defense is justifiable under Buddhist law is interesting but irrelevant. War is war. As for Vietnam in the 60s, whether or not the suicidal monks hated the war, their actions eventually precipitated war anyway. The fall of the regime in Saigon, that they wanted badly enough to immolate themselves, was a major factor in the eventual slaughter after the US became fully involved. To say the Buddhists had absolutely nothing to do with that would be rather naive, imho. It may not have been what they wanted or thought was going to happen, but their actions were contributory and if they didn't see that in advance ... well, I suspect their perspective was self-centered and foolish.
The outcome based on someone else's actions are not based on Buddhists. Some people, not Buddhist, took advantage of the situation these monks brought up in order to further their agenda. We're debating Atheist religions and their direct implications, not their distant impacts. If this was the case, well, would there be a point for this forum at all? In the end, having this would widen the impact of religion, which, we can all assume, we don't want. As for self-centered, when was the last time you killed yourself, or even thought about it, to make a point about the freedoms of others?

Don't mean to get nasty or snippy. I can get rather defensive, especially when it deals with culture and the ways of other people. Saying all Buddhists are the same would be like saying you act the same way as someone from the Philippines, the Middle East, or someone from Tanzania. Different thoughts, morays, social norms, common practices, and environment make you different people completely, and you value and look at things completely different.
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08-09-2010, 06:06 AM
RE: Atheist religions?
Quote:Saying all Buddhists are the same would be like saying you act the same way as someone from the Philippines, the Middle East, or someone from Tanzania

Not trying to jump into your debate, especially when I am not knowledgeable to add anything of value, but I do think I can maybe help with a communication breakdown here.

I don't believe that 2Buck is saying all Buddhists are the same. I believe his point here is that they all fall under a fundamental belief and that the nuances between them are not relevant to the point you are discussion. So, in the context of Christianity, you can safely lump all Christians together in the sense that they all believe that Jesus was the son of God, died on the cross and was resurrected. That is the core universal belief. The various nuances that split them into 10,000 or whatever different sects are irrelevant when discussing the basics of Christianity. That is the point he is making, or at least how I read it.

There are a couple of other examples of this type of communication breakdown I think is going on here as well. Feel free to get defensive, but I just think you may be getting defensive on the wrong issues is all.

Ok, don't mind me. Carry on.

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When ignorance reigns, life is lost
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08-09-2010, 06:20 AM
RE: Atheist religions?
I´d say scientology

i posted my reasons in this thread:

http://thethinkingatheist.com/forum/show...hp?tid=588

EMO, because homo is not gay enoughTongue
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08-09-2010, 06:52 AM
 
RE: Atheist religions?
Violence performed in the name of Buddhism? Try Sri Lanka.
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