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View Diary: Green Diary Rescue & Open Thread (161 comments)

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  •  You are very strange and confused (0+ / 0-)

    This should be a civil and objective discussion but you seem totally unable to converse normally without resorting to insulting accusations, infantile name calling and polarizing rhetoric much of which is completely irrelevant to the content of my comments. You either misunderstand what I am saying or are purposely mischaracterizing it to pick a pointless argument. Having fun?

    Normally I would move on and ignore such an acrimonious and confrontational dialogue but I must admit I’m bit intrigued by your persistence, so let me restate by position and elaborate a bit to make it clear.

    My original comments were not directed at Zasloff’s essay but merely added some examples to the general dialogue on the thread. This is your race with your horses and they seem to be carrying a lot of baggage – wishing them luck.

    My comments about Dao, Shinto and Buddhist philosophy are accurate; your augmentative response is no more than empty rhetoric that fails to address the substance of my remarks in any meaningful way so I feel no obligations to respond to your tangential arguments.

    The central object of Dao is the Taijitu expressing an infinite whole in dynamic balance and harmony, encapsulated in the concept of Ying/Yang and depicted as a whole of 2 parts, the negative and positive, in an interdependent and symbiotic relationship where the body of each is centered on the axis of the opposite. This is concept is simple and can be universally applied. You may understand and accept it or not, but subtract it and you no longer have Dao, but something else.

    Shinto is conceptually rooted in nature and the supernatural; less simple and less philosophically cohesive than Dao, it nonetheless concerns concepts of natural forces and spirits invested natural elements, animals, humans and places and anyone even vaguely familiar with it would recognize that. Again, it seeks to attain harmony with natural forces and order and if we subtract that, we no longer have Shinto but something else. Shinto is entangled with Buddhist and Dao ideas and the concepts of balance and harmony are similar. Shinto also has unique concepts of "Purity" and the practice of ritual purification by clean spring water. This concept has a strong influence on Japanese society and informs the philosophy of Japanese environmentalists, providing, as I noted, a strong philosophical framework.  I happen to be involved in an Asian Green organization and many of my Japanese colleagues are strongly motivated by Shinto notions of purity.

    Buddhism is more diverse in concepts, beliefs, doctrine and practice, but harmony with oneself and one’s environment is fundamental and the essence of various Sutra. Some sects overlap concepts from Dao. The state of enlightenment is literally a state of balance and harmony, you must do to be.

    Whether one practices these religions or not, I don’t think it’s difficult to understand how these philosophical concepts would be applied to environmentalism. They are philosophical principles not instructions for removing toxic waste from polluted streams or legal standards for how many widgets fit in a basket so arguing along those lines is irrelevant. I need not say more.

    You are getting close! The more you advance your arguments about Beavers the closer you get to describing an ecological system on the macro scale. I realize you are struggling with the relationship of Beavers and micro organisms. Let me put your mind at ease; while the Beavers activities may result in microbe fatalities that trouble you, the microbes have the Beaver out-numbered and eventually get the opportunity to digest the beaver and make more microbes, restoring some balance to this dynamic and evolving system.  Some people call that a natural process.

    You raise a good question; is dumping toxic crap in streams natural?  Is it part of the ecosystem?  It’s done by humans and they are part of nature, no? And what about koNko and his assertions of disrupting these natural systems? OK, koNko thinks if the toxic crap causes the natural process to fail it’s disrupting the system, unnatural and bad. Just a personal opinion.

    Let’s not forget about Zasloff and his essay! I have no problem understanding his clearly expressed view point, I merely disagree with his reasoning and conclusions. First, I think his frame of reference for religion is limited to traditional Western (Judeo-Christian) religious concepts (certainly that is the focus of the class he’s attending) and the conclusions he draws about the limitations of religion are constrained by that ONE instance from which he draws a GENERAL CONCLUSION that RELIGION is not appropriate to the domain of environmentalism. I understand his (and your?) problems with the lack of clarity and conflicts in Judeo-Christian religions and the baggage of rigid doctrine the rides along, but some religions take a simple and open approach making them more flexible and adaptable. For example, there are no implicit conflicts between Dao and Modern science; Dao is an open book of questions, not a book of rules (indeed, it is so devoid of doctrine some question if it is a religion at all rather than just philosophy or poetry, the Dao De Jing upon which it is based).

    I think this is flawed reasoning based on incomplete information that excludes other concepts from other religions that may be more relevant and useful, resulting in intolerance by exclusion.  I’m saying that, I’m not suggesting Zasloff does, but you may flip-out if you wish.

    Zasloff makes the mistake of  putting big subjects in small boxes. Environmentalism and religion (and politics, law, science, etc) are each large domains which may overlap at the nexus of environmentalism; none, alone is complete and they do not exclude each other, rather they may balance and work in harmony (not sarcastic, not lies, not .... well, I’m sure you can pull something else out of your hat so have at it).

    Now ...

    I’m not a dirty liar.
    I’m not dishonest.
    I’m not a religious partisan.
    I don’t feel shame about my opinions.
    These are your issues not mine.

    OK, debate if you like, my mind is open and clear.

    Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

    by koNko on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 12:22:51 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

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