Re: Lind echoes Burch's Extro 5 address

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Mon Nov 19 2001 - 23:19:53 MST

Lee Daniel Crocker wrote:
> > > What good is having shared goals if your beliefs and actions
> > > actually prevent us from getting there? There is certainly room
> > > for those who choose to believe irrational things personally but
> > > who generally stay out of the way of those who are building the
> > > future; but irrational people do have a tendency to spread their
> > > irrationality or use it to interfere. That they are well-meaning
> > > is no excuse.
> > >
> >
> > What good are put-downs of those with active spirituality if
> > they tend to turn away highly talented people dedicated to
> > creating the future you desire? What you call irrational I
> > might call (in some cases) supra-rational. I believe that many
> > supra-rational viewpoints and concerns are actually critical to
> > building a future that is viable personally. Meaning well is
> > no excuse for anyone.
> We don't actually disagree here much; I do see a place for some
> of what I would call spirituality, especially with regard to
> ethics and esthetics. Even a mathematician can benefit from
> following lines of reason that seem "elegant". I studied Zen
> and still practice zazen regularly.

OK. So you have some common ground there. I tend toward a
blend of raja yoga and a bit of buddhism and some things from
Christian mysticism myself.

> But your initial question
> suggests that you see contemporary mainstream
> non-fundamentalist religions as this kind of benign, even
> beneficial, spiritualism;

Well, actually I think things have deteriorated enough that a
lot of mainstream anything is at best kind but vapid and at
worse quite noxious. But then, some of that is my attitude
talking. To be mainstream has come to mean so homogenized and
whitewashed that there is little good or harm left. Most of the
people, of whatever philosophy and religion, are simply not
fully engaged on any level. That is pretty sad news.
> while I see most of them as over the
> edge. Even something as seemingly benign as Christianity is
> not merely extra-rational or supra-rational, it is decidedly
> anti-rational, and that's not acceptable.

Please say in what ways you consider it to be so. I would agree
that any system that teaches people to force themselves to
believe such and such whether they do or not to avoid
consequences in the here-after is anti-rational. It is also
mongrel spirituality. But I would not paint everything that the
term "Christianity" applies to
as anti-rational.

> Spirituality has a
> place _beside_ rational thought; but those who actively oppose
> the latter, even when they don't realize it, are a danger to
> the future.

I mostly agree except that I think more clarification of what is
and is not rational is required. I have heard things proposed
that seem rational technically but which lead to consequences
totally unacceptable - to a world I would not want to live in.

- samantha

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