Atheists vs Theists: Does Buddha Offer a Middle Way?


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Comment by Edward theurj Berge on August 24, 2012 at 5:20am

I haven't seen the complete video yet, just the clip, so he might address my point therein. The new atheists are rightfully and vehemently anti-theist in terms of a mythic God, and of those who claim to be his spokesperson. Many of them, not just Harris, also promote a kind of spirituality that it not contaminated by such myth. To not oppose the mythic theism, to just be amused by it and let it be, it tantamount to relinquishing a civic responsibility to humanity, who suffers greatly at its hands. This goes along with the apt criticism of Buddhism generally that it focuses too much on inner development and not enough on civic or political engagement. Granted Buddhism generally provides ample aid to the poor etc. but on an individual level, and has tended to not be so much engaged in the political process where masses can be helped via policy. And granted there has been a social engagement movement within Buddhism in recent years, but it seems this is largely from a western influence.

What paths lie ahead for religion and spirituality in the 21st Century? How might the insights of modernity and post-modernity impact and inform humanity's ancient wisdom traditions? How are we to enact, together, new spiritual visions – independently, or within our respective traditions – that can respond adequately to the challenges of our times?

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