Originally Posted by Acting Like Godot
The root of Kanzeon's problem is actually very simple.
The problem is entirely yours, as you seem uneasy with the idea that someone would articulate and defend an objection to the silliness that unfortunately prevails here.
Tony offended him. How did Tony offend him? By having a "materialistic" intention (the BMW convertible) and juxtaposing it with a "spiritual" element (some positive affirmation concerning Jesus). Kanzeon's face began to fume with anger at that point, and from then on, his thinking processes lost clarity.
But, of course, I didn't fume with anger at Tony. I fumed with anger one time: at you, when you arrogantly and dismissively turned away from discussing the 83 year old victim of your "philosophy."
There are many possible ways to examine the Tony problem.
Interesting, we dealt with it in 10-15 posts. In the end, you folded. Now, you want to pontificate on it, instead of actually dealing with the question.
But neither line of discussion, I suspect, would please Kanzeon very much.
You could please me by defending whatever point you wish to make honestly, and not by the constant shifting of arguments, documented in the thread.
Unlike Christianity or Buddhism, the LOA lacks a defining central figure.
Ah, but you still won't confront what LOA truly lacks.
The first is any inherent compassion. As you say, the universe doesn't care whether I manifest good or evil, death or world peace. And ultimately, the result is that you create your own reality, and hence you are completely responsible for your own fate, good or bad.
The root of Buddhism is the question of suffering. In fact, there isn't anything that does not ultimately relate to that question. Christianity begins with the notion that humanity has fallen from grace, and is seeking salvation, a reunification with God.
So, a Buddhist goes about his life, buying BMWs or not, but mediates on the one question: what does this mean about suffering, mine and the world's? The Christian goes about his life, and asks "what would Jesus do?"
Hence, the desire for a BMW is judged by something larger.
Without such a perpective at its root, LOA cannot accomodate failure. We all die, we all suffer. LOA has no answer for that, other than it's your fault.
You argue (incorrectly, in my opinion, but I do understand the perspective) that karma has the same attribute of blaming the victim. But even if that were true, behold the difference between Buddhism and LOA - a Buddhist's goal is to cure the suffering of the entire world, and so there is no use for blame. An LOA practitioner has taken no such vow, and is not obligated to take no such perspective.
This leads to a second major flaw of LOA: the rejection of community and the needs of others. It seems to me that everyone who advocates LOA ends up, if they dabble in the larger philosophical questions, stating that only the practitioner exists. You want to pretend this isn't literal solipsism (Steve Pavlina is hardly a philsospher, btw). But Steve says that only you exist in the world: everyone else is imagined. Now, whether he adopts this view consistently, or as one alternative view, or whether he is entirely serious, consider:
- Would you trust anyone who believed, even temporarily, that you didn't exist, but only he existed?
- Would you admire a person who believed, even temporarily, such a thing?
To recap, here are some essential beliefs of these schools of thought:
Buddhism: Life is suffering.
Christianity: Christ saved the world though his sacrifice and implores us to do the same.
LOA: Only I exist, and no one else.
It isn't the BMW I object to. Rather, it is the spectacle of people who are so ammoral and self-centered that they would try to make themselves believe, literally, that they are the only person in the universe, and further that they would in some way compare their beliefs to any of the great religions.