Originally Posted by Acting Like Godot
What you mean to say is that in your opinion, that is a fundamental misunderstanding of Christian doctrine. I will simply offer you some food for thought, with this extract:
Let's back up first, and observe the depth of your confusion.
My contention was that Buddha and Christ were not going to give you a car.
Your response was that God's plan is for what is, to be.
In other words, my objection to the notion of manifesting - an exercise of free will to influence the universe - is that Christ and Buddha will not volunteer for your ends. Your response was, there is no free will, for Jesus, Buddha, or me. But if there is no free will, and everything is God's plan, then there is no point in manifesting. You put the discussion on an irrelevant track, simply because you thought you could throw a quote from scripture that sounded good, but really gave no support for your position.
Then you quote the wikiepdia article to "educate" me on free will. I am quite familiar with the various approaches. You quote the sentence which inartfully states that "some people" believe in absolute predestination. However, if you look at the positions of the various denominations cited, you will see all of them accept some degree of free will:
"Lutherans believe that although humans have free will concerning civil righteousness, they cannot work spiritual righteousness without the Holy Spirit, since righteousness in the heart cannot be wrought in the absence of the Holy Spirit."
Calvinism "claims that man is free to act on his strongest moral impulse and volition, which is externally determined, but is not free to act contrary to them, or to alter them."
My point: free will in theology is a subtle and complex issue. You want to "educate" me by misrepresenting the content of the wikiepdia article.
This is your entire method: cherry pick misunderstood or poorly understood concepts, in an attempt to make your position respectable.
Paradoxical, yet no different from the goal of attaining spiritual enlightenment. Every monk seeks that. But I think you know enough to know the old sayings about how the desire for enlightenment is an obstacle to enlightenment itself. |
Whether it is a BMW or it is spiritual enlightenment, the key therefore is the same or similar. You intend for it, without attachment.
Typical of your misdirection. A BMW isn't enlightenment. Let me explain why. The quest for enlightenment, if enlightenment is freedom from desire, contains a paradox: how can you stop desire without desiring its cessation? THAT is why the desire for enlightenment is considered the final obstacle to enlightenment - after one has risen above all the mundane attachments like cars, only has only the desire for enlightenment itself to overcome. Unlike enlightenment, the desire for a car is no obstacle to its acquisition.
"Mind always takes precedence over matter" ---> Jesus: ".... for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you." |
Another stunning, facile misrepresentation. Christ is clearly talking about faith in God. He isn't talking about his mind, or anyone else's mind or thoughts, creating miracles. He is talking about God performing miracles for those who believe in them.
This isn't analogous to a concept of mental impressions changing physical events. Not even remotely.
This is known as "karma" in Buddha terminology, dear Kanzeon. Buddha: "All that we are is the result of what we have thought. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him." |
Your ignorance of karma is even more stunning. I really do not have time to go into it, but it is an exceedingly complex subject. Again, you take bits of peices of ideas you don't care to understand, and for some reason say that they support your views. Why your beliefs can't stand on their own, but need the authority of (misrepresented) major religions is an interesting quetion.
But let's grant your premises (karma is entirely personal - it is not in most traditions- and karma is the exclusive force governing what happens to you - again, it is not). Karma isn't LOA. Karma works in a subtle interplay with rebirth, merit, and enlightenment. Karma thus is not objectively good or bad, since one can react well to bad events, and benefit in the next life. But one needs the ability to take the long view on this. In LOA, there is a crude and senseless punishment for bad thoughts. If I can will myself a parking space, it is no one's fault but my own if I get hit by a car. The car, the parking space, and everything else that is manifested, except the manifestion of selflessness or lack of desire, is what is known as attachment in Buddhism. Manifesting anything other than enlightenment is ignorance in Buddhism. You can't use Buddhism to justify actions that are contrary to Buddhism's core teachings.
Or: to be entirely correct - you cannot, with any intellectual honestly, draw a meaningful comparison between karma and LOA without having a sophisticated understanding of karma.
And karma is not governed by thought in the same way LOA is governed by thought. Karma is governed by intention. If you have anger, you receive anger. If you are negligent, you will receive the fruits of negligence. When you think about a car, you are not intending a car. You are creating another kind of intention, whether it be an attachment to wealth or the intention to give the car as a gift. But you don't get a car: you get the fruits of greedy people, or the benefits of people who give extravagant gifts.
The concepts of karma and LOA are not roughly analogous, just as enlightenment, which contains a paradox of attachment, is not analogous to a car, which contains no such paradox.