Being relative within itself & how others r relating to it, either accepting or rejecting it, also make it universal.
The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao; The name that can be named is not the eternal name. The Nameless is the origin of Heaven and Earth; The Named is the mother of all things.
everything under the Tao is not universal; those concepts/things r parts of the Tao just like any other phenomena.
First of all, this doesn't answer my objection that your admission of the existence of a universal undermines your claim that "everything is relative"...your reference now to an "eternal Tao" should make this obvious: how can something not be universal if it's eternal? Oh, and btw., "according to science" the universe is not eternal, but had a beginning, so your "eternal Tao" is either a rejection of that scientific fact (which is weird, as you've claimed that we acquire all our knowledge through experience and science) or you are starting to introduce super-natural concepts now, which would also contradict your earlier claim that we acquire our knowledge through science; how can science determine that some "Tao" exists and is eternal?
Second, even if you concede that point and now claim that "everything except the Tao is relative" (or, since you're trying to arbitrarily push this one abstraction higher, "everything except the eternal Tao is relative") you still need to justify why things like logic and morality are not universal. You are obviously assuming logic when you make statements and the fact that you engage with others on this forum in a "normal" manner means you assume that others use the same
principles of logic to understand your statements; why, if everything except the "eternal Tao" is relative, does logic still act as a universal? The same goes for morality since it is implicitly assumed that one should
use logic in one's interaction with others when having normal conversations.
There are more objections but I'll let you answer these first.
No, t's not a moral claim, but observation: when people loose their morality, after losing/not knowing The Way (Tao) before that, they rely on ritual to help them.
What exactly is the scope of that "observation"? If there are no universal principles except the eternal Tao, you can't generalize after observing a couple of people behave to all people as that would require universal principles underlying the behavior of all people. Further, a "ritual" does not escape morality: even if your "ritual" is extremely primitive, like "I'll do what I want", you're still asserting that this is justified and that you yourself should
act this way; so morality would not be lost. If, on the other hand, you're referring to some system of morality that you come up with yourself and then use to judge someone else's actions, then you're again violating your assertion that "everything except the eternal Tao is relative" since under relativism you should grant the other person their own moral system and not assume yours as universal.
Since different peoples use different rituals/teachings, conflicts within &/ between them arise.
That's a non-sequitur. If all people had the ritual "I kill everyone I see" there would also be conflict even though everyone has the same ritual.
right or wrong isn't relevant here- as nature is indifferent, the stronger & the open minded r the 1s better equipped to survive.
You can claim nature to be indifferent, sure, although in reality "nature" is not conscious, so it is incapable of being indifferent or giving a crap, but your claim literally was that "cats are better than 'weak-minded religious people', because the ancient Egyptians worshipped them"
Implicit in this ridiculous assertion is the moral claim
that acting in a way that leads to being worshipped is preferable over, e.g., leading a more humble life. So, just in case it isn't clear: You are asserting that people should
get other people to worship them (as well as that they shouldn't
be religious, because you arbitrarily define that as being weak-minded). And in this reply you seem to want to tie that to some Darwinian notion of "survival of the fittest"; apart from the fact that Darwinism was used both by the British in their exploitation of weaker countries as well as by the Nazis in their genocides, how do you derive the notion that we should
use "survival of the fittest" as a moral principle? Also, if you actually believe that, why are you wasting your time on this forum and not spending your time caring for the multitude of children you must have fathered as a result of your Darwinian efforts to propagate your genes?
FYI, I'm of the Jewish, Italian & Slavic descent, grew up & educated in E. Europe as well as USA
So? Multiple ethnic backgrounds, moved all over the place, spreading atheism with some incoherent "Eastern" pseudo-religious flavor...sounds like the typical Western metropolitan "anywhere" to me. You may claim that you're not a liberal, but you sure as heck share a lot of characteristics with them and you seem to be thoroughly westernized.
& been exposed to the ROC rituals. They no longer impress me.
They're not supposed to "impress you"...it's not the circus.
hair splitting & nitpicking again! Lao Tzu (whom Confucius called a Dragon) was asked to write his philosophy by a border guard before allowing him to cross to the West.
What a convenient "accident"...it's also extremely unbelievable since there's no reason why a border guard should ask a random person to write down any kind of philosophy; so obviously the border guard knew that this Lao Tzu guy was preaching some stuff. Furthermore, why didn't he just write down some false or incomplete philosophy if his actual principle is "not to speak"? Could have been done a lot faster if he had just made up some short philosophical treatise of arbitrary nature. Also, how do you know that this isn't what he did? Maybe he didn't tell you everything in those writings or half of it is just false in his mind.
Also, if you truly believe in this stuff, why are you even joining forums on the internet? If to be silent is better than to speak you probably shouldn't be doing that...but then again, this whole Taoism thing, as I've already pointed out in a generalized form in my last post, is just something to keep you distracted from the hard questions of life...i.e. just a typically liberal coping strategy. You obviously don't actually take it seriously.
I'm not like u, telling others what they should or should not believe in; I post my replies as a mental exercise- take it or leave it.
Yeah right...you're just going around, providing smear after smear against my world view and calling billions of people "weak-minded", because you want to "exercise your mind"...what a load of bollocks. You already posted two posts ago
that you get no benefit from discussing religion with me, which contradicts this assertion. This whole thing started because you decided to express your hatred for Christianity in a passive-aggressive way by claiming that it is responsible for a genocide. When I objected, you thought you could easily dismantle my objections, except you couldn't. And now you're just frustrated that I'm not some clueless Evangelical but can actually defend my faith and dismantle yours. I already told you that I'm willing to drop this and that I only have a faint hope of convincing you (which is a far cry from "telling others what to believe")...yet you keep smearing my faith, probably because now your pride is bound up with this discussion and you can't let it go without having the last word, as further evidenced by e.g. "DON'T BOTHER TO REPLY" in your last post (also, has that ever worked?
). In short, it's just a rationalization of your own behavior to make yourself feel better and far from the truth.
Since Russia is the successor of the Golden Horde
So now we're engaging in revisionist history, huh? Just because a country is occupied, doesn't mean that after its liberation it becomes the "successor" of the occupant. Unless you want to call Eastern European countries as well as France etc. "successors to the German Third Reich", which is absolutely ridiculous.
Chingis Khan was a degenerate, albeit successful, warlord, mass rapist, mass murderer and conqueror, so it's no surprise you like him with your Darwinian morals; as to the longevity of the Golden Horde: it's a well known historical fact that it didn't last very long, certainly not compared to the Byzantine Empire, because you can't build a stable empire on "might makes right". However, this, again, begs the question of why we should follow Darwinian morals in the first place.
if it the Eastern Orthodoxy was good for them, it would be more popular ever since its Russian missionaries went there;
Non-sequitur (to be precise: consensus fallacy): just because something is unpopular, doesn't make it wrong or bad...although I see you're now applying Darwinism even to religions
By that logic, btw, Christianity (if defined in the loose sense in which you want to understand it anyway, i.e. encapsulating all "denominations") is the best religion on the planet because it has the most followers
So why aren't you going around extolling the virtues of Christianity, it being the global winner in the race for survival?
How many times is that now, that your statements completely self-contradict in this discussion? 20? 50? Is it possible you never had someone with basic analytical ability actually listen to what you say?
no, I don't, especially when dealing with a believer who is incapable of seeing the forest for the trees. Since everything is relative, what's best in 1 set of circumstances may not be as good as in the other. That's why spontaneity, open mindedness & syncretism r embraced by Taoism & Asian cultures in general. Claiming to poseas the so-called "Truth", & calling it the "only Truth", is an affront, as to them there's more than 1 truth.
More incoherent drivel...you already admitted that "everything is relative" is false since "the eternal Tao", in your view, is universal, so not everything is relative. Second, you keep arbitrarily inventing axioms that are exempt from your self-contradicting relativism: is it a universal truth that there's more than one truth? You claim so, which violates your relativism, yet again. If it isn't a universal truth that there are multiple truths, how can you claim for everyone that there are?
Also, "spontaneity and open-mindedness" have nothing to do with this...these are just typical lefty-liberal feel-good terms to throw around and virtue-signal. If you were truly open-minded you wouldn't be so stubborn and unreasonable but actually consider that maybe you haven't thought about this stuff enough (e.g. you didn't even know what logic is) and be open to have your mind changed when faced with devastating arguments against your position.
Also, you still keep pretending as though Asians or Chinese people are all Buddhists or Taoists...maybe that was the case in your little hippie group that you toured Asia with, but the reality is quite different.
To them, as to me, it's plain disgusting when some1 boasts/claims to possess a teaching or ideology that he hopes evey1 else should accept & conform to.
First, bad grammar: "hopes that everyone else should conform to X" doesn't make sense in this context. I said I hope that everyone becomes Orthodox and I certainly think that it's the right thing for everyone to do. That doesn't mean I'm forcing anything onto anyone.
Second, it's, again, hypocritical: Obviously you want me to conform to your idea that there is "more than one truth" and abandon Christianity; you even suggested to me personally that I should look into Taoism. That is the one truth that you want me to accept (the one truth that there are multiple truths). So you are doing exactly what you're accusing me of doing and should therefore find your own actions "disgusting", which leads me to the third point: you, while trying to push your own ideology / pseudo-religion on me, find it "disgusting" when I argue against your points with an actually coherent world view that correctly professes that there is such a thing as universal truth. Disgust is a rather visceral term that one typically applies to e.g. garbage or vermin and the like; when people start attributing "disgust" to other people, however, that quickly becomes problematic: as one of the more recent and famous examples, Hitler found the actions of Jews, as he perceived them, disgusting, which is what motivated his genocide...watch the movie "Der ewige Jude" and you will see how he is trying to portray them as acting consistently in a disgusting manner. This kind of thinking, IMO, comes primarily from you abandoning any Eastern roots you once may have had and becoming thoroughly westernized and thus drenched in this culture of supremacy. Combined with your Darwinian morals and disgust toward other people's behavior if they don't conform to your idea of how they should behave, I could rightly conclude that You have the morality of Adolf Hitler.
I sincerely hope that you'll take back that statement and repent; otherwise, may the LORD have mercy on your soul.
However, since I'm not accusing all Westerners of this behavior and some here might still profit from me debunking attacks on Christianity, I'll add the relevant comments below:
Some1 said: "when gossips grow old, they become myths". The Christian accepted sources came after more ancient sources, so they would produce more corrupt/incorrect info.
This is obviously discounting oral tradition, which can't be dated, and divine inspiration, which is proven, e.g. by the many (>200) Old Testament prophecies that are fulfilled in the New Testament; for example, the chapter in Isaiah (ch. 53...this is the Old Testament) that I suggested you read clearly prophecies the coming of Jesus Christ (witnessed in the New Testament). This chapter is part of the documents referred to as the "Dead Sea Scrolls", which have been scientifically dated to more than 100 BC, clearly predating the actual coming of J.C., which itself is also backed up by sources outside the Bible.
if there r gaps, then the Bible (which I did read) isn't a complete record & therefore can't be claimed as a reliable source.
Nope. That is only relevant for claims regarding the age of the Earth, which is not communicated in the Bible. Just because a source doesn't contain the information you want it to, doesn't make it unreliable. The gaps are there because the genealogies would have become way too long and we are supposed to know only about the more significant people, not literally everyone who ever lived.
Bible scholars' & clerics' calculations which many accepted as correct & true were proven wrong
Scientific or other speculations of scholars and clerics don't automatically constitute dogma and there is no dogma regarding the age of the Earth or other scientific deliberations. What the RCC does is not our business; they don't have our theology and thus don't have the full Truth so you can't claim that proper Christianity is responsible for what they did, including the Inquisition, which didn't happen in the Orthodox Church.
all of them r written long after the alleged christ resurrection, & many refer to each other or other non-contemporary sources.
So? Alexander the Great and his achievements are derived from sources several centuries
after he actually lived and yet it is uncontroversial in ancient historian circles to accept them as proper evidence; sources confirming important aspects of the New Testament narrative are far closer to the actual events and include eye witness accounts of what happened. Even outside the Bible, e.g. Tacitus, references contemporary records in his own writings.
As stated before, since that particular logic & morality didn't succeed in making Russia the greatest place on Earth since the year of 988AD, I rest my case.
Ridiculous. First, greatest according to whose standard? Yours? Don't make me laugh. Second, just because something isn't popular or even effective, doesn't make it not true...things are not automatically better because they succeed according to some Darwinian criteria. Third, as I already pointed out, even if we were to take that approach, Christianity clearly wins: the Byzantine Empire was the longest lasting empire ever and was properly Orthodox and compared to the different flavors of Islam or Buddhism etc., the "different flavors of Christianity" (in your syncretistic understanding) have the most followers and have spread over the greatest land mass.
I've read all of them- u need to have an account to open that article .
Your link points to a file on your own hard drive (also, you just doxxed yourself...your username on your computer is apparently "Sydney" and you use the Windows OS). I obviously can't access files on your hard drive from my computer this way. This seems to be one of your "boomer moments".
my arguments r their arguments- if they don't impress u, I could care less since it's not my problem.
Then I'll just post a link of my own: go read Lopuchin's extensive commentary on the Bible, which implicitly deals with pretty much all of the objections in your links.
If anyone takes any of those arguments seriously and doesn't have time to read that, they can PM me and I'll try my best to explain when I have time.
However, I'll still give some general comments:
1) Paine's Deism, which he argues for in the book you referenced, has no proper epistemological grounding and no proper grounding for morality. In his words "My own mind is my own church. ", so basically that he can arbitrarily decide what is right or wrong for himself, which is quite similar to the relativism you're professing. Since he wrote a (somewhat successful) book about it, it would be ridiculous not to assume that he wanted to spread that kind of belief, which conflicts with his own assertions (just like you: why, if everyone should have their own truth, are you arguing against my truth?). He also says "But it is necessary to the happiness of man that he be mentally faithful to himself.", which, whether true or not, is clearly a universal as well as moral claim, which also contradicts his pseudo-relativistic morality.
2) Regarding the problem of Evil there are many possible responses; one of the more interesting approaches, IMO, is laid out in this talk by John Lennox.
Probably the most effective argument from a purely philosophical standpoint is that one needs to properly and coherently justfify epistemic and moral grounding before talking about evil in the first place...if "evil" is just arbitrarily defined by a person complaining about its existence then I may as well say "just change your definitions" or "why should I care about your definition of evil?"...this is not going to be emotionally satisfying, of course, and a very unsophisticated approach to the objection but it's a perfectly valid, logical refutation. If you can't coherently show what evil is then you don't have proper grounding to complain about its existence.
A very brief and over-simplified explanation from the Christian perspective is that God does not and did not intend evil, but He gives us perfect freedom of choice and thus, in our Fallen State, we occasionally choose to do evil. Sickness and Death are also a consequence of this as the Fall was a universal event that introduced universal corruption; Adam and Eve, in the Garden of Eden, were immortal and could not suffer sickness before the Fall, as will be the case again in Heaven and on the New Earth in the Eschaton, for those who have properly participated in Theosis (subordinating your will to God's) in this life. For them, free will is still there, but limited, compared to the status quo in their earthly life; they will only be able to choose between "multiple Goods", but won't be able to choose Evil. This way, God makes sure that we can have perfect freedom in choosing whether we want to continue on in the afterlife by doing the will of God (choosing among multiple Goods) or doing our own will (which includes choices of Evil). In the Orthodox view, God doesn't actively torture and punish those who are not in Heaven. Rather, everyone is bathed equally in His Love, and those who reject it will experience that as pain since they hate God and can't "get out of it", while those who accept God's Love rejoice in that state. This lasts forever since you can't change your relationship with God much after you die (since you leave what we perceive as space and time). For a proper, detailed understanding of these issues I would refer to the Church Father's teachings on such topics.
3) Regarding the article in Asia Times, which is a commentary of Shay's book "In Good Faith": How does that help your claims? The article basically roasts New Atheists, such as Sam Harris, quotes Gelernter and Berlinski regarding their comments on the "collapse of Charles Darwin’s theory in light of evidence (or lack of it)", e.g. that the fossil record completely contradicts Darwinian expectations ("The incremental development of new species is largely not there.") or that mathematical modelling shows that the "odds of a random mutation leading to an improvement in the adaptability of a living organism are effectively zero", a lot of which I actually agree with...Darwinian evolution is an utterly ridiculous and completely unproven theory (see Evolution News for in-depth, scientific articles against Darwinism). It closes with "Shay’s book does not hector the reader to accept religious faith. Rather it demonstrates that the premise of biblical religion requires a leap of faith no greater than that of the atheists. Its consequence is the birth of human freedom, by making human beings free moral agents.", which, again, I fully agree with. So this article actually does far more to support my position than yours, which, again, demonstrates that you probably didn't actually read it.
4) The last article is completely ridiculous and can be refuted by any remotely competent commentary on the Bible (just go read Lopuchin's commentary on the verses cited in that article).
Christianity is the product of such mixing:
No, it isn't. The first paragraph you posted mainly talks about the "Church of the East", which is not Orthodox, and merely claims that hermits like St. Simeon were influenced by other religions while providing no proof of that (again, this is very basic: correlation != causation...contemplative prayer in the Orthodox Church is based on the Bible and Orthodox theology) and the second paragraph commits the same fallacy while talking mostly about the RCC, which is also not Orthodox. None of it has to do with Orthodox Christian theology.
I do agree that Eastern religions and some other religioins have syncretistic elements, but that merely shows how they are false.
Regarding "KGB Patriarchs": I already stated that ROCOR fought hard to eliminate any remnant of so-called Sergianism in the ROC before they reunited and Kyrill became Patriarch after this. The Guardian article is not even about Patriarch Kyrill and the Moscow Times article operates purely on conjecture by quoting "cooperation by the ROC and the FSB", which, even in the article itself is specified as being about christianizing the FSB to help counteract the culture war waged by the West against Russia, which tries to turn especially young Russians into mindless, atheistic, consumerist drones (like most Westerners are). I fully agree with such cooperation and it doesn't prove that the ROC is controlled by the FSB one bit. The other "proof" is that some "dissident priest" says that "his studies of declassified KGB archives indicated that Kirill might
have had ties to the KGB while working for the Russian Orthodox Church in the West in the 1980s", which is just a smear and not actual proof. If he had actual proof he would be specific about it and all the Western and Russian opposition media would parade it up and down 24/7.
don't try to shove ur version of it down any 1's throat
Me refuting your ridiculous smears of my world view is called proper argumentation...I'm not shoving anything down anyone's throat. You could very easily stop me from posting further comments here by not further smearing Christianity, as I've already pointed out multiple times now. I've also pointed out how it is atheists and other anti-Christian groups who absolutely shove their views down everyone else's throat
, e.g. by using the (in Germany) state-enforced mandatory school attendance (no home schooling allowed) as well as requirements for curricula of private schools (so that you're essentially not allowed to open your own, truly Orthodox school) to systematically abuse and indoctrinate children into atheism and liberalism while those who refuse are arrested, imprisoned and have their children taken away from them!
And where does that come from, btw? From the same "disgust" for people who think differently that you have admitted to. You people think that groups with other world views should be eliminated, because you're "the enlightened ones" who can't possibly be wrong (while in reality your world views are entirely incoherent and laughable and, in your case, you didn't even know what logic is) and since genocide is a bit unpopular after Hitler you use force in more creative ways.
Now, remember, since "silence is better than speech" and since "discussing religion with [me] is of no benefit to [you]", the rational and consistent thing would be to let it go.
...but of course you won't, since you don't actually care about your self-professed principles.
Btw. I have no problem if mods wanna move this to "General" or something, but I also don't mind it remaining here; like I said, world views are greatly influential on the geopolitical stance of countries and their military doctrines, so this could be considered (marginally) relevant as pushing atheism against several groups inside the country is a big part of the activity of the Chinese government.