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On Tue, Jun 8, 2010 at 12:03 AM, R A Brown <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Surely a system of identifying Christianity should at least have reference
> to Christ! There ought, surely, to be a reference to a _triune_ God.

Agreed on the former, but the trinity is not universal. Some sects
don't believe in Christ as an "aspect" of Yahweh, but rather as an
independent entity. ;-)

> The trouble is that often
> today 'gender' is used to mean 'biological sex' - which is so often
> misleading.

As it is for humans as well. ;-) [Insert standard queer theory rant here.]

It might actually be interesting to intersect them. I think that
Louie's proposal is too naïve to work as such, but certainly having
better names for personal religious/spiritual beliefs would be a good
thing. Perhaps we could make it easier to have less poorly labeled
beliefs by not having to rely on extremely broad ones like
"Christian", "Buddhist", or "atheist" - and thus have more
interesting/useful discussions about them?

Of course, that would imply that people actually have to know what
they believe first, which IME is not generally true.

> Buddhism isn't a simple label, but covers a wide range of religious beliefs,
> practices, experiences etc.

Seriously! The proper Eastern sort seems to have quite a lot more
intertwined dogma, cosmology, etc. - just like any religion. Whereas
the Western concept often means something as simple as "practice of
meditation, generically".

Which is unfortunate, since it conflates a set of techniques
(meditation) and associated experiences (oneness, ego loss, etc) with
particular metaphysical truth-claims, two things that I think could
stand a lot more separation if we're to have the ability to rationally
discuss such topics without undue offense.

> Thus, I repeat again, that in my view simplistic categorizing of religious
> and other beliefs systems is at best misleading, and too easily causes
> offense.

Amen! [ha]

Plus, simplistic categorization leads to seriously flawed,
equivocating/strawmanning arguments. :-P

- Sai

PS Meta: two essays that may be interesting to the whole issue of
discussing religion: http://www.paulgraham.com/identity.html &
http://www.paulgraham.com/say.html