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Old 08-30-2015, 05:43 AM   #81
Jcc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sophia View Post
I mentioned earlier that I think that in order to accurately assess which religion is the right one, one would need to be omniscient; or alternatively, at least not be subject to greed, anger, and delusion (in the Buddhist sense: enlightened).

But you seem to suggest that neither omniscience, nor being beyond greed, anger, and delusion are necessary in order to recognize which religion is the right one.

Regarding being beyond greed, anger, and delusion: most people are not beyond greed, anger, and delusion. And it seems safe to say that most people are not omniscient.
Yet many of those very people also claim to have figured out which religion is the right one.


Per you, can a person recognize which religion is the right one even though said person is _not_ omniscient, _nor_ beyond greed, anger, and delusion?
What I am saying is that greed anger and delusion are not inherent or inborn, they are (unfortunately) learned behaviours, and the process of moving beyond them is to unlearn them. They seem inevitably part of human nature because society keeps teaching them to children despite religions teaching the opposite. Actually there are some religions that teach greed, anger, and/or delusion too, sadly. But, it doesn't have to be this way forever. Most of the old religions teach a method of personal salvation (enlightenment), and they have a vision, often highly symbolic, for the salvation of all of humanity. Baha'u'llah teaches that the time for those visions to be realized is at hand.

One does not need to be omniscient to gain faith, but apparently there is an element of luck, in that you usually need to be taught by someone, or learn from somewhere, and also be ready spiritually. Every religion started that way, with a small group of followers who had to go out and teach the religion to others. I suppose you could ponder the philosophical and moral implications of why some people are fortunate enough to have received the message and followed it, and others didn't have the opportunity. The Catholic Church has pondered that question, and have come to the conclusion that those who were not reached by the message are not lost, as long as they lead a good life, and still have a chance to recognize God in the afterlife. Baha'i teachings agree with that conclusion also.
 
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Old 08-30-2015, 05:45 AM   #82
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Fadl, of course I over generalizing! It is a nature of this subject. Without a precise and all covering scientific research one cannot say for sure about such things.
But I based my statement on (limited) experience. If you follow the link I provided at the initial post Наказание за образование you can see for yourself that after three weeks there is still not a single comment. And it is as far as I know the only Baha’i blog in Russian. My conclusion is that nobody cares about such topics in Russia and have nothing to say in comments even to mention for example that they remember Iranian Bahai’s in prayer.
When I started the topic about ‘Paint the Change’ here people began to discuss everything except the topic. It is only confirmed me that unconcern is universal and not only a Russian thing.
 
Old 08-30-2015, 06:07 AM   #83
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Originally Posted by Anton View Post
Fadl, of course I over generalizing! It is a nature of this subject. Without a precise and all covering scientific research one cannot say for sure about such things.
But I based my statement on (limited) experience. If you follow the link I provided at the initial post Наказание за образование you can see for yourself that after three weeks there is still not a single comment. And it is as far as I know the only Baha’i blog in Russian. My conclusion is that nobody cares about such topics in Russia and have nothing to say in comments even to mention for example that they remember Iranian Bahai’s in prayer.
When I started the topic about ‘Paint the Change’ here people began to discuss everything except the topic. It is only confirmed me that unconcern is universal and not only a Russian thing.
Perhaps it would be a good idea to bring it to the attention of friends in your local area by having a discussion and sharing the website with those around you. You could also post some comments to kick it off. In Yuzhno, internet comes at a high premium, and is not very good either. I can imagine that in communities such as Yuzhno, there would be little attention given to it simply because it would be such an expense and headache to interact with it. I am sure that is not the case everywhere, however. You could also consider reaching out to communities in CIS countries such as Kazakhstan where there networks are not so bad, and there are many Russian speaking Baha'is.

Cheers
 
Old 08-30-2015, 10:01 AM   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anton View Post
Fadl, of course I over generalizing! It is a nature of this subject. Without a precise and all covering scientific research one cannot say for sure about such things.
But I based my statement on (limited) experience. If you follow the link I provided at the initial post Наказание за образование you can see for yourself that after three weeks there is still not a single comment. And it is as far as I know the only Baha’i blog in Russian. My conclusion is that nobody cares about such topics in Russia and have nothing to say in comments even to mention for example that they remember Iranian Bahai’s in prayer.
When I started the topic about ‘Paint the Change’ here people began to discuss everything except the topic. It is only confirmed me that unconcern is universal and not only a Russian thing.
A bit on the harsh side, I'd say. But in the Russian case, I'd surmise that, given the Russian experience of Stalinist justice, it's difficult to impress Russians with accounts of cruelty.

gnat
 
Old 08-30-2015, 10:20 AM   #85
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Gnat, you can twist this to opposite side as well. Given the Russian experience of Stalinist justice, Russians might relate more to accounts of cruelty… Anyway it doesn’t explain why here non-Russians don’t discuss situation of Iranian Bahá'ís either.
 
Old 08-30-2015, 10:24 AM   #86
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Originally Posted by Anton View Post
Gnat, you can twist this to opposite side as well. Given the Russian experience of Stalinist justice, Russians might relate more to accounts of cruelty… Anyway it doesn’t explain why here non-Russians don’t discuss situation of Iranian Bahá'ís either.
Maybe becuse we also suffer terribly, but in other ways. Much is done, but in silence. I know a bit about that, that's why I keep silent. The situation of the Iranian Bahá'ís is so linked to world political events - the tit for tat of international negotiations, etc.

gnat
 
Old 08-30-2015, 10:32 AM   #87
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Originally Posted by tonyfish58 View Post
Sophia - I think you are the most excellent seeker that I have witnessed It does appear that we are misreading the questions

Regards Tony
Yes indeed. There is a lot behind Sophia's questions. Right now, when I don't have constant access to the web, I just have the time for quick replies, but not for thoroughly reflecting on the entries. In the end, finding the right path - whatever it is - is a mystery. Seemingly perfect individuals don't. Seemingly unworthy people do.

gnat
 
Old 08-30-2015, 10:34 AM   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gnat View Post
Maybe becuse we also suffer terribly, but in other ways. Much is done, but in silence. I know a bit about that, that's why I keep silent. The situation of the Iranian Bahá'ís is so linked to world political events - the tit for tat of international negotiations, etc.

gnat
I cannot know you situation so I just react to your words. They reminded me something from Stalin or Hitler’s era when one justifies his or her own silence and passiveness with different reasoning. (Again it is just my reaction. Maybe you indeed have a valid reason to keep silent.)
 
Old 08-30-2015, 11:12 AM   #89
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Originally Posted by Anton View Post
I cannot know you situation so I just react to your words. They reminded me something from Stalin or Hitler’s era when one justifies his or her own silence and passiveness with different reasoning. (Again it is just my reaction. Maybe you indeed have a valid reason to keep silent.)
Dear Anton,
I think you are familiar with the term "the meatgrinder", мясорубка, where innocent people are destroyed. Watching the news, it seems like the meatgrinder now is very much at work. The news in Europe are filled with pictures of people - people like you and me, people who could have been one's neighbours - trying to get into Europe, through Hungary, Serbia, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, fleeing by boats, in vans, sometimes drowning, sometimes suffocating. They flee war, poverty, oppression. Their only fault is being on the wrong side, belonging to the wrong religion, the wrong sect, the wrong tribe. Suffering is overwhelming. It really doesn't feel like the right moment to catch the attention of the public for the suffering of our friends in Iran, who - to the general public - will look like yet another oppressed group, but much less oppressed than those who of late have faced the threat of outright physical annihilation.

What do you really want us to do? Join the choir of voices? Roam the streets with petitions? What would satisfy your wish for action? Why don't you start a campaign yourself after consultation with the Russian NSA? You might achieve great results.

Best from

gnat
 
Old 08-30-2015, 11:37 AM   #90
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Gnat, you made me reread my first post. Maybe it is good if you reread it too. There are answers to your questions:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anton View Post
That is strange but there are no treads on ‘Education Is Not a Crime’ or ‘Paint the Change’ campaigns here. https://www.facebook.com/educationisnotacrime
So let’s create one! Here is our new post in Russian about campaign Paint the Change Наказание за образование
Share yours!
There is already a campaign is going. You or me don’t need to start another one. I’ve just noticed that nobody in Russia and here cared about it (or so it seems).
I don’t believe Russian NSA would do a thing about it. They also good in finding excuses – for example there are big politics involved between Russia and Iran and Baha’i question might be very sensitive here.
As to your words that ‘It really doesn't feel like the right moment to catch the attention of the public for the suffering of our friends in Iran’ – well maybe. Or it is always not the right moment... As far as I know NSA of the United States supports this campaign. So there are different opinions on the current situation.
 
Old 08-30-2015, 12:55 PM   #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anton View Post
Gnat, you made me reread my first post. Maybe it is good if you reread it too. There are answers to your questions:

There is already a campaign is going. You or me don’t need to start another one. I’ve just noticed that nobody in Russia and here cared about it (or so it seems).
I don’t believe Russian NSA would do a thing about it. They also good in finding excuses – for example there are big politics involved between Russia and Iran and Baha’i question might be very sensitive here.
As to your words that ‘It really doesn't feel like the right moment to catch the attention of the public for the suffering of our friends in Iran’ – well maybe. Or it is always not the right moment... As far as I know NSA of the United States supports this campaign. So there are different opinions on the current situation.
Anton, you are very right to bring this up, and it is very important, and we should be discussing it.

In my local community, which has a large university, we have had a couple of events over the past few years to draw attention to the plight of the Iranian Baha'is, including a showing of the film "To light a candle" on the campus, and other public discussion events.

There have been discussions at Feast about how to spread the #PaintTheChange message. The a National Assembly of the USA has recommended painting the #EducationIsNotACrime logo in public places (after getting permission first). Have other National Assemblies done the same?
 
Old 08-30-2015, 01:13 PM   #92
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Jcc, thank you! That is how I hoped the discussion would evolved!
 
Old 08-31-2015, 03:13 AM   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anton View Post
There is already a campaign is going. You or me don’t need to start another one. I’ve just noticed that nobody in Russia and here cared about it (or so it seems).
Maybe they do care, but are busy acting on their resolves and have no time to discuss stuff on the internet.

It is possible that they in fact are taking action, and that it is this action that is preventing things from getting even worse.
 
Old 08-31-2015, 03:24 AM   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gnat View Post
In the end, finding the right path - whatever it is - is a mystery.
What a miserable outlook!

* * *

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jcc View Post
What I am saying is that greed anger and delusion are not inherent or inborn,
Per traditional Buddhist standards, they are (with some provisos), they are the reason why one gets reborn.
The triade "greed, anger, and delusion" is specifically Buddhist, with specifically Buddhist reference in a specifically Buddhist context. Taking it out of said context could be problematic -- even though the three seem non-controversial enough. It's specifically Buddhist to see the three together in connection.


Quote:
they are (unfortunately) learned behaviours, and the process of moving beyond them is to unlearn them. They seem inevitably part of human nature because society keeps teaching them to children despite religions teaching the opposite.
Then you have a problem to explain: If by nature humans are pure, then that purity is weak, if it can be besmirched by growing up in society. If purity is weak, then it's not much worth to begin with.


Quote:
One does not need to be omniscient to gain faith, but apparently there is an element of luck, in that you usually need to be taught by someone, or learn from somewhere, and also be ready spiritually.
Luck?! In a Universe ruled by God, there is luck?!

See, there comes a point where the way theists explain meta-religious issues runs into conflict with the doctrine they teach.

* * *

Quote:
Originally Posted by InvestigateTruth View Post
God has given the potential and capacity to find Truth. But human beings must be able to use their potential and capacity. In order to be able to use this ability, they must clean their heart from worldly things, their mind from idle fancies, and their tongues from idle talks, and they must purge their ears from the aquired knowledge. Once they become clean, God enlightens them and guides them to the Right path, the Truth.
These are truisms, yes.
It's not clear how they translate into practice, though.
 
Old 08-31-2015, 07:51 PM   #95
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Originally Posted by Sophia View Post
Per traditional Buddhist standards, they are (with some provisos), they are the reason why one gets reborn.
The triade "greed, anger, and delusion" is specifically Buddhist, with specifically Buddhist reference in a specifically Buddhist context. Taking it out of said context could be problematic -- even though the three seem non-controversial enough. It's specifically Buddhist to see the three together in connection.
I am aware of what Buddhism teaches in this regard, but the Baha'i Revelation call for a reexamination of the old teachings, just as Buddhism called for a reexamination of Brahmanism and other existing faiths. Do you agree that Buddhism calls for a reexamination of existing faiths?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sophia View Post
Then you have a problem to explain: If by nature humans are pure, then that purity is weak, if it can be besmirched by growing up in society. If purity is weak, then it's not much worth to begin with.
Think about what you are saying: a baby is weak and vulnerable, and easily learns either love or hatred depending on what it's taught. I would never say that a baby is not worth much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sophia View Post
Luck?! In a Universe ruled by God, there is luck?!

See, there comes a point where the way theists explain meta-religious issues runs into conflict with the doctrine
Well, I said there appears to be luck involved, but things are not always as they appear. I do believe that God is in control, but to someone who does not believe all events appear random or contingent on material causes.

If one person meets Buddha or Jesus or Baha'u'llah and believes, it was meant to be. If someone lives in a distant land and doesn't meet them, it was also meant to be. Is one of those two people luckier than the other? And for extra points answer this, which one is luckier?
 
Old 08-31-2015, 11:54 PM   #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jcc View Post
Do you agree that Buddhism calls for a reexamination of existing faiths?
I suppose there are some modernists who see it that way.
The traditionalists don't seem to bother, they are too busy minding their own business.


Quote:
Think about what you are saying: a baby is weak and vulnerable, and easily learns either love or hatred depending on what it's taught. I would never say that a baby is not worth much.
It's not clear how your analogy applies between human purity being weak and a baby being weak.


Quote:
Well, I said there appears to be luck involved, but things are not always as they appear. I do believe that God is in control, but to someone who does not believe all events appear random or contingent on material causes.
That's a tough one then for the non-believer! In order to become a believer, the non-believer has to think it comes down to luck?!


Quote:
If one person meets Buddha or Jesus or Baha'u'llah and believes, it was meant to be. If someone lives in a distant land and doesn't meet them, it was also meant to be.
That something was "meant to be" is only assessed as such by people who believe in some kind of plan; or at least in some form of causality.


Quote:
Is one of those two people luckier than the other? And for extra points answer this, which one is luckier?
Depends whether you are a Buddhist, a Christian, a Baha'i, or none of them.
 
Old 09-02-2015, 07:11 PM   #97
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Now the Feast letter of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States about “Paint the Change” became available online.
Let’s see if Russian NSA write a word about the campaign in its next Feast letter. I bet they will not.
#PainttheChange: A Handbook and Guidance from the U.S. National Spiritual Assembly | Wilmette Institute
 
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