Happy Buddha Purnima / Vesak

Today is evidently the Buddha’s birthday as recognized by several Buddhist schools of thought and Buddhist traditions. I thought I’d add this post as a celebration. The art is by Sherman Nepali and can be found here. For a quick rundown, on the celebration of the Buddha’s birthday, click here. More information can be found here.

I wanted to celebrate Buddhist art and culture due to the horrifying degree in which it is being culturally erased in Afghanistan, Maldives, and it is quite saddening how little of the Greco-Buddhist culture is left due to Islamic conquests that made a thoroughgoing attempt to destroy it all.

Before and After Images of The Taliban’s violent destruction of the massive 1700 year-old Bamiyan Cliff Statues in Afghanistan via dynamite due to their faith in Islam.

Islam has destroyed so much beauty and wonder, yet still can claim victimhood despite all its horrific actions. Meanwhile, actual peaceful teachings and cultures suffer being referred to as bigoted even after losing so much to such a violent and atrocious ideology as Islam.

Buddhism has such an inner sense of clarity, reflection, and sense of peace towards the world; building beautiful monuments, paintings, and civilizations. Yet, when it is forcibly taken away by a demented and psychotic belief system like Islam, Buddhists are depicted to be the aggressors. I ask you, who gives more value to a civilization? Which culture offers more beauty, wonder, and interest to our collective human experience?

I oppose anti-Muslim bigotry, Muslims should never endure violence because of terrorist organizations like the Taliban or stupid people like in Maldives, but don’t pretend Muslim culture isn’t complete shit.

While I may not agree with many doctrines, it should go without saying that Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, and Christianity all have beautiful depictions of art, music, and culture. We mustn’t ever allow them to be erased.

What The Fuck Happened To Intelligent Discourse?

Dear Reader,

Do you remember when intelligent interviews and discussions were the norm? When you got to learn something of incredible value from an interview and it wasn’t a pissing contest with an interviewee leaving the stage because they couldn’t take a few basic questions that journalists asked so they could clarify any confusion for audiences? Or when people could just be part of a panel and not have someone storm off for hashtags and tweets and then be rewarded by the worthless rabble for refusing to even be part of a discussion?

Free Speech seems to already be dead and it is dead because so-called advocates of it don’t even follow its core tenants. The people who behave like the recent so-called “public intellectuals” have killed it and continue to defecate on its corpse while claiming to be its paragons.

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“Shariat” Courts Must NEVER Be Allowed In India

I recently happened upon this disinformation article by IndiaToday claiming to be factual. It is full of misdirection, omissions, and lies and I want to prove it to you all.

Sharia law courts must NEVER be allowed in India. Do not allow this horrible, disgusting system infect India because of “religious tolerance” — it is not worth it.

The Sharia is essentially Divine Command Theory put into practice; Sharia scholars can only act based on the Quran, the Quran interpreting other parts of the Quran, what the pedophilic Islamic Prophet Mohammad did in his life because he’s seen as the perfect human being in Islam, and then “verified” Hadiths are used to support following certain practices so long as the Quran allows it; after that, Sharia scholars can give an “independent opinion” so long as it follows the Quran, Mohammad’s behavior, the Hadiths, or the First Followers of the Quran. Making new and updated practices for the modern era is strictly forbidden under the rule called “bidah” (invention) in a religion. One thing should be make explicitly clear here: The Sharia Court System is Fundamentally Opposed To All Outside Logic and Reason. No non-Muslim opinion is considered valid. When a Sharia scholar gives a ruling, Muslims are divinely mandated to follow it as unquestioned fact of Islam that they aren’t allowed to dispute. Keep in mind all of the following below has to be accepted by Muslims as unquestioned fact under Divine Command Theory of Sharia.

Don’t believe me? A link to the Tafsir explanation by a noteworthy and respected Islamic Cleric. I’ve added full links next to the one-clicks, if you don’t believe me: https://islamqa.info/en/answers/205290/tafseer-on-the-basis-of-narrated-texts-and-tafseer-on-the-basis-of-individual-understanding

The Sharia means “Divine Law” and in Civil Sharia Proceedings, a woman has half the say of a man even in cases of rape. Meaning two women must be there to verify the statements of a single man in cases of rape.

The Quran supports killing Apostates so in Civil Proceedings, anyone who wants to leave Islam would be killed for apostasy. http://corpus.quran.com/translation.jsp?chapter=4&verse=89

Women and little girls being held captive to rape is considered morally justified in the Sharia: http://corpus.quran.com/translation.jsp?chapter=4&verse=24

Beating your wife is acceptable under Sharia as per Quranic instructions: http://corpus.quran.com/translation.jsp?chapter=4&verse=34

Violence against other religious groups, even different Islamic groups, is mandated thanks to Chapter 9 of the Quran; here’s just a small snippet: http://corpus.quran.com/translation.jsp?chapter=9&verse=29

Raping little girls is legal in Sharia Civil Courts because the Pedophile Prophet Mohammad had sex with his 9 year old bride Aisha when he was around 50; it is justified by Aisha’s own admittance in the Hadiths: https://islamqa.info/en/answers/124483/age-of-the-mother-of-the-believers-aaishah-may-allah-be-pleased-with-her-when-the-prophet-blessings-and-peace-of-allah-be-upon-him-married-her

Here’s a link to a Harvard Divinity Graduate of Islamic Theology in the US justifying sex with 9 year-olds on the basis of Aisha’s age when she was raped by the pedophile Prophet of Islam.

This has real world consequences in Sharia Legal Systems across the Arab world because Sharia courts don’t consider raping women or little girls a crime: https://www.jurist.org/commentary/2017/05/mais-haddad-arab-world-laws-protect-the-rapist-not-the-victim/

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Why do the Abrahamic Faiths Dominate The World?

Rape, torture, slavery, and genocide. They’re the most likely to support human violence as per their holy books. Slavery in Islam began during its formative years and still exists today despite the West forcing the Middle East to make it illegal, Christianity has years of raping and torturing kids under its belt all the way from the 1870s to even now, and the Old Testament… well… people already know the contents supporting rape and genocide.

The Abrahamic faiths still are the most successful at committing violence; always using one negative aspect of a non-Abrahamic foreign culture to justify rape,torture and massacres, and genocide en masse of millions.

Westerners are correct to point out the barbarity of Islamic conquests; but see the rape and torture of Native American children in Christian schoolsmass killings of Transgenders in India under British ruleforced amputations and slaughter of indigenous people across the world over, and genocide as “rational” when Western imperialism is what is responsible for it.

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Rape Culture Comes From Religion; Stop Defending It

Patriarchy, rape culture, and violence against women. It’s long past the point where we should acknowledge religious teachings are culpable. The plethora of abuses should at least give people pause by now.

The most recent case of Ex-Muslims being hunted down to be killed by their father and brother for the crime of changing their beliefs about Islam; this particular case is one where the pair of sisters are stranded in the Eastern European country of Georgia.

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Thus Spake Zarathustra Review

He who said ‘God is a Spirit’—made the greatest stride and slide hitherto made on earth towards unbelief: such a dictum is not easily amended again on earth!” – Thus Spake; Zarathustra,  Chapter LXXVIII: The Ass-Festival. Thomas Common translation.

Nietzsche’s philosophical novel was an amazing read. At the time I began to read it, I hadn’t really been captivated by a novel since the Harry Potter series (which I love) and I found most fantasy stories to be really boring. I had first become familiar with it after reading a philosophical analysis of one of my favorite video games, Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne. I knew Nocturne was conveying some philosophy, but I didn’t know what at the time. I discovered Nocturne is a spiritual re-telling of certain portions of the novel.

I didn’t expect much at the time, it was mostly curiosity in relation to the game. I suspected that I’d find it boring. To my surprise, it was initially quite a laughable read. Zarathustra is humiliated in front of a crowd whom he tries to speak with as equals. The crowds throughout the novel are always seen as hateful and resentful of anything outside of their small town or village community, they resent and fear any change to better themselves, and spend their days not having a clear opinion on what they want from life or any direction on how they seek to motivate their own improvement, but rather live in indolence seeking only self-gratification and nothing else. This is one of the recurring themes of the novel when Zarathustra travels. Zarathustra seeks to be honest with himself and philosophizes his views, but doing so means he’s ridiculed, ostracized, and labeled dangerous for criticizing core beliefs that are held as sacrosanct. People just don’t want to listen to him and instead make spurious personal attacks based upon the most haphazard of claims.

Nevertheless, the beginning portion goes from particularly inspiring with his evocative words about teaching people of the Ubermensch in the beginning of the novel to a bizarre sort of tragicomedy immediately after. Zarathustra speaks to a crowd that doesn’t wish to understand him and instead ask him about the Last Man which he warns about; the Last Man being the aforementioned indolent dweller who doesn’t care about anything but self-gratification. The tightrope walker falls off from their circus act and severely injures himself which scares the crowd into fleeing. Nobody from the crowd helps the dying tightrope walker except Zarathustra who listens to his dying request to be buried. Zarathustra takes his body, which people in other parts of the village use as shortsighted “evidence” to accuse Zarathustra of grave-robbing, and leaves it up a tree to avoid wolves eating the dead man’s flesh. He sits down and gets absorbed into his own thoughts for awhile before leaving the dead body in the tree. I had laughed at this at first because Zarathustra clearly misunderstood the man’s request and didn’t really follow through with it despite convincing himself that he had. It was really peculiar and apart from being comical, I don’t see much on what that specific scenario was meant to convey. By contrast, the chapter immediately after about making good habits was immediately clear and brought back the interest.

Throughout his journey, Zarathustra extols some very interesting perspectives, but it’s always with the pernicious culture of vitriol and hatred for his teachings by various small town or small village communities who refuse to engage and don’t care to change their habits. Zarathustra points out that people prefer simplistic narratives of good and evil based on their culture or community instead of evaluating right and wrong for themselves. This is particularly evident in religious cultures. They claim to be about their own justice and goodness, but put their brains to sleep when faced with corruption or just blame humanity in general instead of fighting back against such corrupt individuals and corrupt institutions. He guides the reader into asking, if these religious teachings of your community are truly so moral and wonderful, if their values are universally correct as your religion might claim them to be, then why doesn’t it stop abusive behavior from happening? And on the charge of blaming humanity in general when they fail, Nietzsche’s Zarathustra argues that this is responding to genuine criticisms with pure hatred. Theologians and the herd who argue that humans will always be violent or abusive by nature in this circular reasoning argument that “humans are humans” are actually expressing pure hatred for humanity. It doesn’t challenge or confront people who harm you or who harm those you love, it’s just a way of throwing away an argument by refusing to listen and instead opting for a nihilistic hatred for all of humanity as a sort of divine answer.

His criticisms of religion, which are his most salient and paradoxically his most ignored contentions, seem to have gone completely unchallenged. I’ve looked for critiques online and nobody mentions his criticisms on religion. In fact, when I join Nietzsche groups online (which usually have 2000+ members) and begin discussing his criticisms of religion, I am immediately banned from such groups. So-called Nietzsche fans like saying that he contradicted himself or didn’t really say anything, but no one ever seems to be aware or brings up his criticisms of religion. So-called readers of Nietzsche never once speak of it. The closest I’ve seen to an honest critique is Alain de Bottom and a lecture video by Jordan Peterson in one of his classes. By contrast, Christian theologians are notoriously dishonest; repeatedly claiming Nietzsche said things that he never did. I even read an online book in which the author cited Nietzsche by cutting out half the words in a aphorism to claim Nietzsche said something that he never advocated for. I’ve seen Nietzsche quotes pages on facebook full of quotes that Nietzsche never once wrote. Most other scholars of Nietzsche, even on Quora, seem to have read critiques of Nietzsche but never Nietzsche’s actual works. They don’t read to form their opinions on Nietzsche, they read criticisms of Nietzsche and believe those criticisms to be absolute fact and never bother to actually read Nietzsche. Some might argue its due to the confusion over Elizabeth Forster-Nietzsche appropriating his works for her Nazi ideologies, Heidegger’s own appropriation in which he created a Strawman, or perhaps the strawman delusions of Bertrand Russell; but in all honesty, these sorts of strawman depictions exist for every famous person. Even the US Founding Fathers are constantly misinterpreted. I think what underlies all this confusion is the human capacity of heuristics. People believe they can judge and know everything about a single human being from a few short excerpts and judge their entire life based on a few short sentences they read. This does have evolutionary benefits like spotting really dangerous people like Adolf Hitler, but it can be misused and people can be manipulated into seeing hatred, dishonesty, or evil from people who want to criticize bad beliefs. Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi seem more like exceptions than the rule, where the character assassinations against them eventually backfired. But for people criticizing ideas without civil disobedience or in a context where civil disobedience isn’t a factor, it becomes much harder to be listened to from others.

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Why I became an Atheist

I had come to the realization in 10th grade that Christianity and Hinduism couldn’t both be true due to irreconcilable differences. Growing up in the USA, you get a lot of Christian symbolism in television, movies, and sometimes in music. Even the use of the term “God” during the pledge of allegiance made me feel different because as a Hindu, I had been led to believe in a polytheistic view when growing up. I seriously began to wonder if Hinduism was really true around middle school. When I visited India as a kid (at age 12 for my cousin’s wedding), I realized that people really did believe in Hinduism and that Christianity was as vacant in the parts of India I visited just like Hinduism is vacant in the U.S., because there was no frickin’ way people danced around a fire pot for 8 hours to gain blessings for a wedding from various deities. That takes dedication . . . and I was on a rooftop with a bunch of other people sitting in the cold as some Hindu priest rambled on in some nonsensical ceremony while the bride and groom occasionally had to circle around the fire pot with him.

It was later on that I realized people just used their personal surroundings as a sort of “proof” that their religion was real because so many around them believe it. Moreover, I had to come to terms with the fact that if Hinduism is true then the majority of the 300 million people living in the U.S. and millions living in Europe were fooling themselves. By contrast, if Christianity was true, then 1.2 billion Hindus were fooling themselves. Worse than that, I had believed if Hinduism is true then believers of the Abrahamic faiths were condemned to live in misery in the world unless they recognized Hinduism – or in some cases end-up in some Hindu version of hell or reincarnation. To clarify, my belief on that was misguided as the Bhagavad Gita which I read years later clarified that all you have to be is a good moral person and that it doesn’t matter your religion (Hindu or not) to obtain Moksha (Self-liberation to either become one with Brahman or to beyond depending on the interpretation of whichever Hindu school of thought is believed in). Conversely, if the Abrahamic faiths were true then my entire extended family was being sent to hell since before I was born. So, I decided not to lie to myself about the negatives of religion.

By age 14, I became agnostic and began to question the meaning of life. Although, it was more accurate to say agnostic-theist; that is, I didn’t know whether there was a God or gods or not, but still believed. By age 15, I became an atheist-agnostic. And to be honest, I felt the shift from agnostic – that is, the feeling of being unsure of whether a God existed or not – to an atheist-agnostic was more profound and impactful to me personally. It was with the understanding that I couldn’t know whether a God existed or not, but that I didn’t believe in it on a personal level due to the comparisons I kept making. I was confused how anyone else could have confidence. If you were a Christian, then you must believe all non-Christians are going to hell. Muslim? Same thing. Jewish? It wouldn’t matter how many Christians or Muslims there were in the world and the appeal to conversion would stop mattering if Judaism was the truth. Hinduism, same thing.

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Why There Is No God by Armin Navabi

This book is an excellent introductory for theists, agnostics, and atheists unsure of their atheism on the basic arguments that atheists have against the belief in a God or Gods. Armin Navabi, an ex-Muslim who grew up in Iran and became Canadian after leaving the faith, gives a thorough examination of the most common criticisms of religion that atheists give to theists. If you’re one of the aforementioned people that is genuinely curious about why atheists don’t believe in a God or Gods, then I highly recommend this book. It offers the most thorough explanations about the most common arguments that atheists have against the existence of a God.

Unfortunately, even in today’s time, many theists often pretend to know what atheists think and believe about faith in a God or Gods. There is this erroneous belief that atheists hate or fear a God because of something that happened in their personal life or because that’s what holy books like the Bible give as reasons for why someone would be an atheist instead of simply talking to atheists and asking them why. The belief that atheists fear or hate God or love to wallow in sin is the wrong assessment about most atheists. Many atheists point to scientific evidence and criticisms of theology for their reasons on why they don’t believe in any sort of higher power anymore. Armin thoroughly explains these lines of reasoning. He goes on to dismiss the most common theistic comebacks that have been debunked for decades now such as Pascal’s Wager, arguments from ignorance of how little humans know as a reason to believe in a God, and using smart or famous people as reasons to believe in a God or Gods.

If you’re looking for sincere reasons why atheists don’t believe in a God or why people of your faith are leaving your religion, this book is for you. If you want to sincerely understand the basic reasons, then this book will be incredibly useful in understanding the atheist mindset. If you’re a theist or an agnostic who thinks atheists want to live in sin, or are fearful, or hate God; then I honestly recommend this book so that your misconceptions will be cleared away and you can focus on the real reasons that people are leaving religion and think about them. If you’re so concerned about the increase in atheism and view it as a negative occurrence, why not take a leap of faith and read this book to understand the real motivations and reasons on why people leave? If you don’t understand the real reasons, how will you ever hope to change the mind of an atheist? The reasons why people leave religion and become atheist won’t be found in the Bible or the Quran. They’ll only be found by actually listening to atheists. Perhaps, start with this book?

Score: 8/10.

What did Friedrich Nietzsche mean by Slave Morality?

Quora is seriously beginning to suck, given that they’re deleting factual responses to questions now. It’s a fact that Nietzsche used the example I wrote down in his books; evidently, basing answers off facts that hurt Christian moral sensibilities is no longer allowed.

Update just now: It’s now collapsed, albeit restored. They asked for attribution even after I edited it with listed citations. This was my answer to the question: “According to Friedrich Nietzsche, what is an example of a slave moralist?

My answer was as follows, and I’ve added the attributions at the bottom. I’ve decided to place it here if anybody is curious about what Nietzsche actually meant by slave morality, the example he used, and why:

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The United States of America Is Finished At This Pace

Note: I no longer have any faith in the US Republic. I bet a bunch of Trump supporters will say go back to your own country, well news flash: I was born and raised in the US, but hey, keep espousing the same hateful comments that Neo-Nazis do right before they murder Sikhs, rape Native Americans, murder Jews, beat helplessly upon Muslims or kill them, and kill people of my descent. All I’m saying is, I wholeheartedly cannot bring myself to say or do anything but give up on the US Republic and the US Constitution. I’ve participated in donating to political causes I care about, I’ve participated in knocking on doors for democracy up to and during Get Out The Vote events, done cold calling for candidates I support, and I’ve tried my best protesting and reading political news. I’ve sent emails to the US Congress, even the current President, and spoken out against corruption. Trump is still in power, he recently added to his fountain pen corruption with even more taxpayer money waste on decorations up to 200,000 dollars in taxpayer monies, and none of the politicians I try to contact ever try to address my concerns. Half the time, calling goes directly to a dead phone line. None of it means anything. I give up. I’ve grown up here in the US for all my life and apart from some social issues that look like they’ll be reversed anyway, everything has gotten worse from the economy to the debt (Trump added another trillion and nobody is doing anything to stop his idiocy), and it’s clear none of these politicians have any coherent or realistic plan to fix anything from the infrastructure to the debt or to ending the war in Afghanistan. They’re all Trump-lite, utterly incompetent and in power being utterly incompetent for far too long but you in the US public keep voting for them because you’re dumber than they are. In short, the economy’s going to collapse, the US Republic is de-legitimizing and headed for collapse, Climate Change will kill the entire human species in an estimated 80 years, and I’m probably going to be murdered and forgotten about as just another minority victim on the news killed by Neo-Nazis. I’m sharing this to let you all know, this is why young people typically don’t even bother, from a millennial who tried to give a shit and gave up because you all are too dumb to keep the US Republic from turning into a genocidal dictatorship. If Trump keeps his full 4 year term, it means the US really is dumb enough to allow a dictator with murderous intentions in power, who could willingly commit a genocide with the support of you right-wing Trump supporters. Go ahead and laugh as you say “fu liberals” while you and your children’s future die a slow death along with the rest of humanity at this pace.

The following is an email I sent to my US Congressional representatives and I’m sharing it here to explain why I feel the way I do and what my thoughts on the US Republic are now. I know, deep down, it just doesn’t fucking matter what I think and I can no longer rationally expect to ever achieve any of my personal dream goals when this threat of violence keeps escalating. Call me a crazy idiot, whatever. I’m sure most of you won’t even read, just like the US Congress people I constantly tried contacting. I didn’t care to change any mistakes in sentence structure, because I don’t believe they’ll even read it and I forced myself to email it as-is against this overwhelming feeling of existential dread at the future of humanity.

This email was titled: “I No Longer Have Faith in the US Republic

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