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CHAT: Religion, Philosophy & Politics

From:Jonathan Chang <zhang2323@...>
Date:Sunday, April 30, 2000, 16:59
In a message dated 2000/04/30 08:43:19 AM, Ray.Brown wrote:

>I've found it's good advice until one gets the feel of the company one's >in. On this list we've managed, on the whole, not to exclude religion; >Dirk has told us he is a Mormon on several occasions, Philips's Buddhism is >well-known, Aidan Grey has told us of his paganism, Irina has told us she >is Orthodox, we know that Steg (inter alios) is a Jew, Jeffrey Henning has >told us he a Congregationalist, I've not hidden my Catholicism etc >(I know I've not included everyone or every religion a list member has said >s/he hold - please forgive omissions). >
My 2 cents: Philosophically I am a Taoist who finds Chaos Science sympathetic to ideas of Taoism. Also I am very much intrigued by Heraclitus, the Greek philosopher closest to Taoist ideas in the West. I am non-religious.
>Ah, politics - not mentioned much and I have sneaking suspicion that it >might prove more divisive than religion. >
Politically, I tend to take a "pragmatic anarchist"/"provisional pacifist" viewpoint in keeping with ChuangTzu & Sun Tzu's _Art of War_ (Sun Tzu was a Taoist). On some levels, I agree with Buddhist activism on behalf of the environment, animal rights & human rights. (I have a few Catholic Worker/Catholic Action Direct anarchist/pacificist friends in Europe who I admire for their selfless - even heroic work - amongst the Squatters & the poorest of the poor) On the far Left, I also count amongst my friends a few Earth First!ers, ALF (Animal Liberation Front) "terra-ists," & even a number of "Anti-Civilizationists." On the "democratic" Right, I know of a few SCAR (Skinhead Coalition Against Racism), Shao Loong Tong (Chinese secret society), & a few veteran French Foreign Legionaires who are fighting to free French Polynesia & who support a United Polynesia (they settled in the South Pacific, married locals, have children & grandchildren... they don't like France continuing to test nukes in their backyard & dislike the heavy-handedness of the French colonial government & police). I mention these people as these groups do not get mass media attention too much...
>At 6:10 pm -0400 29/4/00, Padraic Brown wrote: >[....] >>This is the big hitch about talking religion in public. It is often >>too close to the heart and all to trot out in front of everyone else's >>sensibilities. Even what one of us thinks is an innocuous statement, >>maybe not even a statement of belief; a nother can all too easily take >>great and personal offence at. > >Yep - that's the difficult part. > >>All the same, I dearly love to hear >>about everyone's believes, so don't stop talking shop on my account! > >Indeed, I think that we have managed on the whole to be able to mention our >own religious affiliations has added a richness to this list and I agree >that it would be a pity if this stopped. Ok, there might be an odd >flair-up but even this latest one is now, I think, gone. Dan & I have >obviously misunderstood one another at some point and both wish to stop the >arguments going any further; we are both I think, agreed on both points. >This is, maybe, part of defining the "ground rules" within which we can >freely mention our beliefs.
Hear hear I agree.