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  • ivanildotrindade 6:48 pm on August 24, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bono, grace, karma, moral law, moral lawgiver   

    Bono doesn’t have enough good karma 

    And here is the #1 reason I am NOT a Buddhist: I don’t believe in a moral law of karma without a moral law giver.

    In Buddhism there is a fundamental principle that regulates one’s station in this life and the next and this principle is called “karma.” Karma determines your fate in the next reincarnational cycle. If you accumulate enough good karma, you will reincarnate as a higher being, but if you are not good enough, you will be lucky if you come back as the gecko from the Geico commercial… Karma is in essence a moral law that makes value judgments about what everyone deserves. But what or who is behind these determinations? In a religion without a personal God, how can there be a moral law that judges between good and bad? Who put that in place and how do I know that it is always fair and will not trick me in the end? What if the “karma machine” malfunctions on some days when I am doing good? Will there be a recourse? A karma recall of sorts?

    I guess someone could ask the same question about the morals of the Christian faith, but here our answer would simply be that God has made His will clearly known in the pages of Scriptures. The Word of God is normative for my life and for the world. You can disagree with it, but don’t try to deny that there is a moral law giver behind the Word. Who is the moral law giver behind the law of karma? How can an impersonal, cosmic something give rise to a law so specific as to determine the fate of each individual being in the universe in this life, all previous ones and the next? How can an impersonal force keep track of reincarnations that span centuries into the infinite?

    Karma doesn’t do it for me. It doesn’t do it for Bono either. The leader of the Irish band U-2 has spoken clearly of how he feels about karma. Here are some of his comments:

     You see, at the center of all religions is the idea of Karma. And yet, along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that… Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because I’ve done a lot of stupid stuff. But I’d be in big trouble if Karma was going to finally be my judge. The point of the death of Christ is that Christ took on the sins of the world, so that what we put out did not come back to us, and that our sinful nature does not reap the obvious death. That’s the point. It should keep us humbled. It’s not our own good works that get us through the gates of heaven.” (Bono).

    It is not often that I quote Bono but he nailed it here when it comes to karma and grace. Maybe some people have achieved a higher level of confidence to believe that their good karma can deliver them a better station in the next life, if there is one. As for Ivanildo, he knows himself too well and is not afraid to say that if he depended on karma to decide his fate, he would be doomed.

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

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  • ivanildotrindade 2:27 pm on August 22, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , einstein, karma,   

    Einstein pitching religion? 

    Albert Einstein once did PR for a religion and it was not for Scientology. He is attributed as saying that he was not a religious man, but if he were, he would be a Buddhist. One of the versions of the famous quote goes: “Buddhism has the characteristics of what would be expected in a cosmic religion for the future: It transcends a personal God, avoids dogmas and theology; it covers both the natural and the spiritual, and it is based on a religious sense aspiring from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual, as a meaningful unity.”

    Whether he did really say that or not is questionable, but though I am no Einstein, if I was trying to make up a quote for Einstein, I would probably have said something like that! No matter. For the next several days I will be writing about Buddhism here. Today I deal with why Buddhism is so attractive to people in the West and over the next several days I will deal with the top 7 reasons why I am not a Buddhist. Tell me what you think. By the way, you can leave comments here even if you are not on Facebook (this is for Bob Mitchell. :)).

    Buddhism is attractive to people in the West for many reasons. First, there is the lure of a “religion” without a God. In fact, many people say that Buddhism is not even a religion, it is a way of life. You can bring a god, no god, or multiple gods and simply add the Buddhist teachings to the menu. For people who are looking for a religion with no accountability to anything other than self and community, Buddhism is the ticket.

    Secondly, Buddhism offers an explanation to the problem of suffering and evil in the world that is compelling to people looking for “scientific” type of answers. Basically, Buddhism is “pay it forward” perfected. If you are good, you progress; if you are bad, you regress. Suffering today is the direct result of having been bad in some previous life. This supposedly avoids the problem of a good and loving God that allows suffering in the world. In Buddhism, “karma” and not God, rules, and you only have yourself to fool.

    Thirdly, there is a fresh and all-pervasive emphasis in Buddhism on compassion. Not just to your fellow human being but to the whole universe and all beings that have feelings. Most people aspire to be compassionate and loving and Buddhism offers them a hope of achieving that.

    Fourthly, Buddhism in the West, and especially Zen-Buddhism, puts a great deal of emphasis on self-mastery. The ability to control one’s emotions and reactions; the dream of a mind that is at ease no matter what. I mean just look at Phil Jackson, the former Lakers coach, before he retired. As a practicing Zen Buddhist, you never saw him yelling and screaming at his players. He was a picture of serenity. For those who are old enough to remember, don’t you think Bobby Knight could have added some Zen-Buddhism to his sideline manners?

    Finally, Buddhism, as it is practiced in the West, looks at this life as the  only game there is. There is no heaven and hell. Like a friend of mine says, “Our life is like the light of a candle whose wick burns until it is no more. Once the flickering flame is extinguished, you also go off into a state of non-existence.” Believe it or not, in an age when people don’t want to deal with personal accountability, this possibility can be very attractive.

    So, my question to you: Are any of these Buddhist traits attractive to you? Why? Please post your comments and we will relay them to Mr. Einstein, that is, if he didn’t reincarnate into some bug or mosquito, as a punishment for bringing to light the theory of relativity, where everything is  relative and there are no absolutes. Oh wait, that’s not what the Theory of Relativity is!

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

     
    • Bob 7:14 pm on August 22, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Hey Brother……Like a mutual friend said “you are in the class of the likes of Ravi Zacariah.” One of the great thinkers of our day. Where do you find time to think so much.:)

      • ivanildotrindade 8:51 pm on August 22, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        i love ravi and he has been a kind of mentor to me, but in his class? not so fast. stay tuned, there will be much food for thought here coming up…

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