Erick: God didn't say all sex was a sin. However, He specifically said that fornication, adultery and homosexual sex are a sin.
Consensual sex between adults is never a sin.
Erick: Are you saying that consensual sex never causes emotional or physical harm to either party?
If you are dancing and you step on your partner's toe, you caused harm. Is it a sin?
Life is full of harm. Its a dangerous place we live and we are the top predators on the planet.
Consensual interaction is agreement to accept the risk of interaction.
Erick: Then, when is consensual sex with people who arent adults considered a "sin"?
That is a silly question. People who can't consent can't have consensual sex.
It's still not a sin though, but I wonder if you can conceive of a world without sin?
03-25-07 1:45 Gay Marriage
KB: Why are gays not allowed to marry? It was only after my fiance and I decided to get married that I gave the issue of gay marriage any thought, and I realized how unfair it was to deny the experience of marriage to two people who share that bond with one another, simply because they have the same set of plumbing. As much as I am looking forward to the wedding and to married life, part of me is saddened by the fact that people like my aunt and her loving partner of 25 years cannot partake in the same experience and share the same rights that we have.
When you think of your aunt, remember marriage has nothing to do with "legally married" or "sanctified marriage." Those are just power brokers meddling with your life.
Married is choosing to live with who you love through thick and thin. There is one and only one other person involved in this choice.
Everything else is just window dressing and after 25 years your aunt is as married as it gets.
03-21-07 6:34 No Gay Sons
Dan: I personally have 7 boys, and if I were a betting man I would wager that not one of them becomes a homosexual, because I am raising them to be Christians who fear God's wrath. Homosexuality is pretty easy to prevent in a biblical family.
There is a distinct increase in the likelihood of homosexuality the more older brothers one has. With seven the odds are pretty high at least one is gay and there could be several.
It should be fun when they finally confront you about it, though as repressive and homophobic as you are there is a chance they will just kill themselves.
But you'll then be able to watch them burn in hell for all eternity. Pretty neat.
Dan: I am just stating that the chances will be near zero because I contend that the core factors in homosexuality are the social atmosphere in which they are raised, expecially the relationship to the father. Homosexuality is on the increase because the family structure in society is disintegrating. But they will have access to me at all times because I am there father and I love them unconditionally.
Nope, they will burn in hell according to your religion, and you will be cut off from them for all time while they suffer in agony forever. Those are your rules.
There aren't a lot of actual indicators of homosexuality, but male birth order just happens to be one of the few. With seven sons you are just about guaranteed one is gay and damned.
The family structure is "in decline" because women are no longer slaves. Gays are a minority and weren't that often married and so they don't impact that stat. Actually real family structures are not in decline because people who actually want to be together still are. Its only false marriages that are in decline.
03-21-07 6:34 What does God do?
Lorenzo: Someone asked, "What does God do?" Well, God does everything...isn't that obvious?
So what's the point in having you about if god does everything?
03-19-07 6:34 Liberals
Ashley: I know Jesus would not be a liberal if he was here today. I don't think liberals want all people to have the great opportunities of this nation, I think they want to force us to have less opportunity and less chance for success. They want to bring everyone down to a poor level rather than lift everyone up.
Lorenzo: You should get to know more liberals.
Ashley: It's true that I don't know very many liberals, but that's because my friends and family are hard-working and deeply religious.
So liberals aren't hardworking or religious?
Do you realize how bigoted that sounds?
Ashley: Maybe it does sound bigoted, but if liberals worked harder don't you think they'd be more successful and happier?
George Sorros seems to be doing ok as a liberal billionaire.
In terms of happiness, people with less material attachment are generally more happy than those with more material attachment.
Also those who care more about people are generally happier than those who care more about things and laws.
03-09-07 6:34 Desire
Eric P.: Buddhism is meant to eliminate desire. The Enlightened are complete and want for nothing - where could the desire come in? Buddhism's goal is Nirvana...Enlightenment.
I disagree. Nirvana is not a goal of Buddhism, it is an effect of Buddhism.
Eric P.: But desire is the source of suffering! For even if you get what you want (something that could be and you got it) - you will desire something else.
But that does not necessarily cause suffering. Buddhism is not about becoming a featureless lump.
Things come into and out of one's life constantly. To accept them as they come enjoy them for what they are as they are here and fondly let them go when they are done is to be at ease with your life. There is no suffering in such a way of acceptance and equanimity.
The enlightened are just people. They know desire like any other. It is what they do when it arises that distinguishes them.
Eric P.: Why do you assume being without desire is to become a featureless lump?
Because I have tried it before. Renunciation of desire doesn't work and isn't needed.
Eric P.: The desire for something else is suffering dukkha UNSATISFACTORINESS. To be never satisfied is suffering. Specifically desire for what you cannot have and desire for what cannot be are suffering. In other words desiring reality to be other than it is.
But desires which align with how reality actually are, are not suffering.
If I want something I don't have, or hold on to what is gone, or don't want what I do have, then I suffer.
But if I have no thought of what I do not have, cherish what is now, and let it go when it is done, then there is no suffering.
There is no part of you which is wrong. Suffering is all in the misapplication of your faculties.
Eric P.: The enlightened do not desire like other just people desire.
The enlightened are no different from you in any fundamental regard just as they is no fundamental difference from some one who is done with their test and some one who is still working on it.
Eric P.: When the enlightened desire they do not care if they really get it or not, and if they don't it does not influence their happiness one jot. They are still happy.
They care and care deeply. Caring is not suffering. Nor is enlightenment just being happy all the time.
How boring that would be.
Bob: But how could you wish to cease desiring without a desire to do so? Could this action of "ceasing effort" be in fact a subtle form of effort?
Cease or don't cease. "Desiring to crease" is just more not ceasing.
Bob: Thank you, Master Yoda.
Do it a couple times before dismissing it out of hand.
Here is how it works.
Desire which causes suffering is composed of thought constructs like "I want that car" when you can't get that car, coupled with intent attention on that construct. Maintaining this attention and keeping the construct going requires effort.
If you suddenly notice a cop behind you with his flashers on, your attention refocuses on that. The construct and the suffering both vanish and remain gone until you remember to reconstruct them and begin suffering again.
Normally people let their attention jump about without much guidance and they treat their thoughts as objects instead of as constructs.
Meditating is one way to create a controlled environment where the process of thought creation can be observed and where the willful focusing and refocusing of attention can be practiced.
The result is learning how to not form and unform constructs which lead to suffering and how to focus attention on the actual events of your life instead of getting lost in unpleasant fantasies.
03-07-07 1:51 Radical Vegetarianism
Glistens: Have you ever wondered about this? I think you can't have unconditional love for an animal if you plan to eat it! I think there should be no killing. Actually I have considered these matters carefully. I personally prefer the sound of no killing but unfortunately nature decided in favor of killing a long, long time ago and no killing creates far, far greater suffering. There is a balancing point of just enough killing which is optimal for a predator/prey relationship. Gazel run faster than dogs but dogs run farther. Gazel are slower than Cheetah but they can run farther.
In nature everything is balanced, everything is used, everyone is eaten.
Radical vegetarianism is unbalanced because it denies the reality that prey as a species depend on being eaten by predators and these days that is mainly us. It is unnatural for that reason and it causes real suffering. An easy example is how PETA keeps getting nailed for animal cruelty. You can't save all the little bunnies and it hurts them to try.
03-04-07 3:54 Bodhisattvas
Eric: They must have been trying for millions of years - what is preventing the Bodhisattvas from succeeding in their quest to bring enlightenment to mankind? Their main hindrance is that they are only pretend.
03-03-07 2:14 Mahayana
Curt: You are (as far as I can tell) explicitly claiming that "all one needs" is inner peace. But Mahayana teaches that our obligation is to change to the world, to alleviate the suffering of others.
I have never made any such claim.
What I am saying is that you will not succeed in bringing others to know peace if you cannot first bring yourself to know peace.
I am also saying that what you call "changing the world" is just delusion.
"The world" is the individuals in the world and the individual you are most fully responsible for is yourself.
Order you own house first. Then when you go to save the world, perhaps you will do some good.
Mahayana has plenty of bull dada. Its arrogant name for example.
Read more in the Archives.