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Taoism Revealed: Why Do You Disbelieve?

GeoLaureate8
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10/26/2011 3:11:35 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Almost everyone here on DDO rejects Taoism and thinks its false, yet no one has yet been able to give reasons why its false and demonstrate its tenets to be incorrect. While I'm personally not a Taoist, I am a Zen Buddhist which is a combination of Taoism and Buddhism.

Here's a basic breakdown of Taoism (its much more in depth than this summary obviously).

What Is Taoism

Taoism takes its name from the word "Tao" ("the Way"), the ancient Chinese name for the ordering principle that makes cosmic harmony possible. Not a transcendent ultimate, the Tao is found in the world (especially through nature), and can be encountered directly through mystical experience. Tao is the Ultimate Reality as well as the proper natural way of life humans must follow. Taoism prizes naturalness, non-action, and inwardness. Generally speaking, there are two kinds of Taoism: philosophical and religious. Philosophical Taoism is rational, contemplative, and nonsectarian, and it accepts death as a natural returning to the Tao.

Belief in God / Ultimate Truth

There is no God in Taoism. The ultimate truth is beyond words or any conceptual understanding. When asked to name it, it is referred to as Tao or the Way. The Power of the Way is referred to as Te. Although Tao and Te are similar to other practices' ideas of God, Taoists seldom refer to God.

Origin of the Universe and Life

All matter is a manifestation of the Ultimate Reality. Generally, Taoist beliefs don't find modern scientific discoveries contradictory to Taoist thought; hence Fritjof Capra's "The Tao of Physics" is aptly named.

Salvation

Taoism is not a salvific practice. There is nothing that one needs to be saved from, and belief in salvation would lead to belief in damnation in the same manner as belief in good leads to belief in evil. Although they do not accept the false duality of salvation vs. damnation, living simply in harmony with Te and Tao, and not excessively pursuing material wealth, stature, or prestige, will lead to a joyful life.

Incarnation and Death

Taoism does not refer to any specific incarnation of God, and death has no particular meaning to Taoists.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
GeoLaureate8
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10/26/2011 3:14:46 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Source: BeliefNet.com
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
Wnope
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10/26/2011 3:15:41 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/26/2011 3:11:35 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
Almost everyone here on DDO rejects Taoism and thinks its false, yet no one has yet been able to give reasons why its false and demonstrate its tenets to be incorrect. While I'm personally not a Taoist, I am a Zen Buddhist which is a combination of Taoism and Buddhism.

Here's a basic breakdown of Taoism (its much more in depth than this summary obviously).

What Is Taoism

Taoism takes its name from the word "Tao" ("the Way"), the ancient Chinese name for the ordering principle that makes cosmic harmony possible. Not a transcendent ultimate, the Tao is found in the world (especially through nature), and can be encountered directly through mystical experience. Tao is the Ultimate Reality as well as the proper natural way of life humans must follow. Taoism prizes naturalness, non-action, and inwardness. Generally speaking, there are two kinds of Taoism: philosophical and religious. Philosophical Taoism is rational, contemplative, and nonsectarian, and it accepts death as a natural returning to the Tao.

Belief in God / Ultimate Truth

There is no God in Taoism. The ultimate truth is beyond words or any conceptual understanding. When asked to name it, it is referred to as Tao or the Way. The Power of the Way is referred to as Te. Although Tao and Te are similar to other practices' ideas of God, Taoists seldom refer to God.

Origin of the Universe and Life

All matter is a manifestation of the Ultimate Reality. Generally, Taoist beliefs don't find modern scientific discoveries contradictory to Taoist thought; hence Fritjof Capra's "The Tao of Physics" is aptly named.

Salvation

Taoism is not a salvific practice. There is nothing that one needs to be saved from, and belief in salvation would lead to belief in damnation in the same manner as belief in good leads to belief in evil. Although they do not accept the false duality of salvation vs. damnation, living simply in harmony with Te and Tao, and not excessively pursuing material wealth, stature, or prestige, will lead to a joyful life.

Incarnation and Death

Taoism does not refer to any specific incarnation of God, and death has no particular meaning to Taoists.

My only real problem here would be non-transcendent claims of evidence for Tao. The idea of experiencing mystical sensations is not specific to Taoism, and I would like to know how it is they would differentiate their experience from that of "mystical presences" that thousands of religious people of all faiths have felt?
CosmicAlfonzo
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10/26/2011 3:17:38 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
The Tao Te Ching is a great piece of work, I consider myself a Taoist... But a real Taoist understands that they aren't a Taoist. A real Taoist knows that Taoism is a bunch of bullsh!t.

The Tao Te Ching is a book that I don't feel needs explaining. Get a good translation, and read it. It pretty much speaks for itself.

Anyone who has dismissed it probably hasn't read it.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
smartyskirt
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10/26/2011 3:21:11 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/26/2011 3:11:35 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
... yet no one has yet been able to give reasons why its false and demonstrate its tenets to be incorrect...

1)Things that aren't proved, need not be disproved, to be rejected.
What's the evidence. How do you know its true?

2)Since it does reject god and many people believe there is evidence for god.
Thus they reject it.
CosmicAlfonzo
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10/26/2011 3:25:27 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
The Tao Te Ching does not reject God, it just chooses to use a different word for "God".

It's called "Tao".

I've seen some early translations that actually use the word "God" instead of Tao.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
Diagoras
Posts: 187
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10/26/2011 3:28:26 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/26/2011 3:11:35 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
Almost everyone here on DDO rejects Taoism and thinks its false, yet no one has yet been able to give reasons why its false and demonstrate its tenets to be incorrect. While I'm personally not a Taoist, I am a Zen Buddhist which is a combination of Taoism and Buddhism.

Here's a basic breakdown of Taoism (its much more in depth than this summary obviously).

What Is Taoism

Taoism takes its name from the word "Tao" ("the Way"), the ancient Chinese name for the ordering principle that makes cosmic harmony possible. Not a transcendent ultimate, the Tao is found in the world (especially through nature), and can be encountered directly through mystical experience. Tao is the Ultimate Reality as well as the proper natural way of life humans must follow. Taoism prizes naturalness, non-action, and inwardness. Generally speaking, there are two kinds of Taoism: philosophical and religious. Philosophical Taoism is rational, contemplative, and nonsectarian, and it accepts death as a natural returning to the Tao.

Belief in God / Ultimate Truth

There is no God in Taoism. The ultimate truth is beyond words or any conceptual understanding. When asked to name it, it is referred to as Tao or the Way. The Power of the Way is referred to as Te. Although Tao and Te are similar to other practices' ideas of God, Taoists seldom refer to God.

Origin of the Universe and Life

All matter is a manifestation of the Ultimate Reality. Generally, Taoist beliefs don't find modern scientific discoveries contradictory to Taoist thought; hence Fritjof Capra's "The Tao of Physics" is aptly named.

Salvation

Taoism is not a salvific practice. There is nothing that one needs to be saved from, and belief in salvation would lead to belief in damnation in the same manner as belief in good leads to belief in evil. Although they do not accept the false duality of salvation vs. damnation, living simply in harmony with Te and Tao, and not excessively pursuing material wealth, stature, or prestige, will lead to a joyful life.

Incarnation and Death

Taoism does not refer to any specific incarnation of God, and death has no particular meaning to Taoists.

"...cosmic harmony possible...mystical experience...Ultimate Reality as well as the proper natural way of life...ultimate truth is beyond words or any conceptual understanding...The Power of the Way..."

That is why it is a bunch of garbage. Those words have no real meaning.
GeoLaureate8
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10/26/2011 3:28:31 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Since Taoism is naturalistic, the "mystical experiences" that were mentioned are probably similar to the religious experience Richard Dawkins described he had with nature. He said he has religious reverence for nature and has had sensations of wonder/serenity induced by nature (not sure about the wording but he implied something of this sort).

More specifically and likely what is meant in the excerpt is an experience brought about through meditation (even walking meditation or informal meditation) which happens when the consciousness is calmed and brings peace of mind or perhaps the feeling of being in harmony with the Tao.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
GeoLaureate8
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10/26/2011 3:33:33 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/26/2011 3:21:11 PM, smartyskirt wrote:
At 10/26/2011 3:11:35 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
... yet no one has yet been able to give reasons why its false and demonstrate its tenets to be incorrect...

1)Things that aren't proved, need not be disproved, to be rejected.
What's the evidence. How do you know its true?

It doesn't really make extraordinary claims that need to be proved. Taoism is about accepting what IS. It doesn't project what people want to believe upon what actually is in the natural world.

2)Since it does reject god and many people believe there is evidence for god.
Thus they reject it.

Many people do NOT believe there is evidence for God. Many people have faith there is a God or want to believe in God so they won't be open to learning about Taoism or accepting it.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
Diagoras
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10/26/2011 3:37:19 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/26/2011 3:33:33 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 10/26/2011 3:21:11 PM, smartyskirt wrote:
At 10/26/2011 3:11:35 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
... yet no one has yet been able to give reasons why its false and demonstrate its tenets to be incorrect...

1)Things that aren't proved, need not be disproved, to be rejected.
What's the evidence. How do you know its true?

It doesn't really make extraordinary claims that need to be proved. Taoism is about accepting what IS. It doesn't project what people want to believe upon what actually is in the natural world.

2)Since it does reject god and many people believe there is evidence for god.
Thus they reject it.

Many people do NOT believe there is evidence for God. Many people have faith there is a God or want to believe in God so they won't be open to learning about Taoism or accepting it.

Right, claiming taoism is the ultimate truth is not an extraordinary claim. You are no different from the retarded theists that claim their "god" is above evidence.
GeoLaureate8
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10/26/2011 3:39:46 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/26/2011 3:25:27 PM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
The Tao Te Ching does not reject God, it just chooses to use a different word for "God".

No, "God" is just a superfluous and unnecessary word to call something with no God-attributes simply because narrow minded peope are only comfortable with the word "God."

It's called "Tao".

The Buddha himself explained that calling the cosmos or Tao, "God" you are committing a reification fallacy and imposing human charactistics to ultimate reality. That's straight from the Buddha. The point is to not impose beliefs onto reality.

I've seen some early translations that actually use the word "God" instead of Tao.

Well that's stupid and inaccurate.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
smartyskirt
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10/26/2011 3:41:13 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/26/2011 3:33:33 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 10/26/2011 3:21:11 PM, smartyskirt wrote:
At 10/26/2011 3:11:35 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
... yet no one has yet been able to give reasons why its false and demonstrate its tenets to be incorrect...

1)Things that aren't proved, need not be disproved, to be rejected.
What's the evidence. How do you know its true?

It doesn't really make extraordinary claims that need to be proved. Taoism is about accepting what IS. It doesn't project what people want to believe upon what actually is in the natural world.

IF it makes claims, those claims need evidence.

2)Since it does reject god and many people believe there is evidence for god.
Thus they reject it.

Many people do NOT believe there is evidence for God.

And many do. Including some of the most brilliant people whoever lived. Who are much smarter, and have spent much more time on the subject, then anyone on DDO. Sorry if anyone feels insulted by that.
CosmicAlfonzo
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10/26/2011 3:56:38 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/26/2011 3:39:46 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 10/26/2011 3:25:27 PM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
The Tao Te Ching does not reject God, it just chooses to use a different word for "God".

No, "God" is just a superfluous and unnecessary word to call something with no God-attributes simply because narrow minded peope are only comfortable with the word "God."


If you understood the Tao Te Ching, you'd understand how superfluous and unnecessary the book itself is.

It's called "Tao".

The Buddha himself explained that calling the cosmos or Tao, "God" you are committing a reification fallacy and imposing human charactistics to ultimate reality. That's straight from the Buddha. The point is to not impose beliefs onto reality.


I'm not imposing human characteristics to anything. I'm not imposing any beliefs onto reality. We've already been through this before, you have a deep rooted hatred for the word "god", and refuse to accept it even when it is contextually relevant. You have too many preconceptions.

I've seen some early translations that actually use the word "God" instead of Tao.

Well that's stupid and inaccurate.

Yes, if you are incapable of separating The God That Exists As Actuality from the theistic god.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
GeoLaureate8
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10/26/2011 3:58:35 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/26/2011 3:28:26 PM, Diagoras wrote:
"...cosmic harmony possible...

I'm not sure that Taoist texts use that wording, but what it means is that there is a natural flow to the Universe. It is always in perpetual motion. An anology commonly used is a flowing river is in harmony, but a river blocked by a dam is disripting that "harmony" or natural flow of the river.

mystical experience...

That's definitely a choice of words used by BeliefNet.com, not a term used in Taoism.

Ultimate Reality

Have you heard of the Theory of Everything in physics? ToE is an attempt to describe the workings of the Universe at the most elementary, fundamental level in one simple equation.

This is similar to that but rather a Theory of Everything for philosophy, not physics. Ultimate Reality refers the essential nature of the Universe.

as well as the proper natural way of life...

ultimate truth is beyond words or any conceptual understanding...

You can say how an apple tastes, but words can't accurately describe how the apple tastes. Only the experience of tasting an apple can do that. Words are insufficient to explain certain things. A common way to understand this is that words are like the finger pointing to the moon. The word "apple" is not an apple, it's just a series of symbols that represent an apple.

The Power of the Way..."

The "Way" is the flow of the Universe. I'd imagine the flow of the Universe is very powerful.

That is why it is a bunch of garbage. Those words have no real meaning.

No you're just an idiot making declarations with no fundamental knowledge on the matter.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
GeoLaureate8
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10/26/2011 4:09:30 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
@Diagoras & smartyskirt

Taoism does not claim there is a Supreme Being, it does not claim there is a heaven and a hell, it does not claim you will be punished for sins, it does not claim that there is a Savior, it does not claim miracles exist, it does not even claim to know what happens in the afterlife.

I guess the only claim that Taoism would make is that the Universe exists, which clearly it does. It is about accepting reality as it is.

What Taoism does is allow you to look at the Universe through a clearer lens, understand the big picture, and how to live in harmony with nature.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
Diagoras
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10/26/2011 4:28:08 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/26/2011 3:58:35 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 10/26/2011 3:28:26 PM, Diagoras wrote:
"...cosmic harmony possible...

I'm not sure that Taoist texts use that wording, but what it means is that there is a natural flow to the Universe. It is always in perpetual motion. An anology commonly used is a flowing river is in harmony, but a river blocked by a dam is disripting that "harmony" or natural flow of the river.

mystical experience...

That's definitely a choice of words used by BeliefNet.com, not a term used in Taoism.

Ultimate Reality

Have you heard of the Theory of Everything in physics? ToE is an attempt to describe the workings of the Universe at the most elementary, fundamental level in one simple equation.

This is similar to that but rather a Theory of Everything for philosophy, not physics. Ultimate Reality refers the essential nature of the Universe.


as well as the proper natural way of life...


ultimate truth is beyond words or any conceptual understanding...

You can say how an apple tastes, but words can't accurately describe how the apple tastes. Only the experience of tasting an apple can do that. Words are insufficient to explain certain things. A common way to understand this is that words are like the finger pointing to the moon. The word "apple" is not an apple, it's just a series of symbols that represent an apple.

The Power of the Way..."

The "Way" is the flow of the Universe. I'd imagine the flow of the Universe is very powerful.

That is why it is a bunch of garbage. Those words have no real meaning.

No you're just an idiot making declarations with no fundamental knowledge on the matter.

There is no "natural flow of the river," it is determined by gravity and the topography of the landscape. It can easily be redirected and it keeps flowing. Saying the universe has a flow, meaningless. It has physical laws which the things within the universe follow. Nothing more. All Taoism is doing is trying to use pretty words to make it sound more magical and cool.

Same with the "ultimate truth," saying it can't be described with words means it doesn't exist, but you don't want to give in to admitting that. If something cannot be imagined or described, either the person is lacking in linguistic skills, or the thing doesn't exist. The rest of the flowery nonsense can go sit on the bench next to other religious trash.
PARADIGM_L0ST
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10/26/2011 4:34:53 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
It's not that I believe or disbelieve... it's that I'm indifferent.

Thus far, all theories and philosophies that have boldly offered the horizon, if only we'd just believe, have ended with a 100% rate of failure.

Why would Taoism be the sole exception?

Moreover, most of these religions and beliefs that make these unrealistic offers are usually predicated upon basic, common sense. Such profundity!
"Have you ever considered suicide? If not, please do." -- Mouthwash (to Inferno)
smartyskirt
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10/26/2011 4:37:40 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/26/2011 4:09:30 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
@Diagoras & smartyskirt

Taoism does not claim there is a Supreme Being, it does not claim there is a heaven and a hell, it does not claim you will be punished for sins, it does not claim that there is a Savior, it does not claim miracles exist, it does not even claim to know what happens in the afterlife.

I guess the only claim that Taoism would make is that the Universe exists, which clearly it does. It is about accepting reality as it is.

What Taoism does is allow you to look at the Universe through a clearer lens, understand the big picture, and how to live in harmony with nature.

Taoism is a belief, religion, way of life, and ideology.

Here are some of its claims: (Most of this can be found on wikipidia):

The ultimate truth is beyond words or any conceptual understanding.

All matter is a manifestation of the Ultimate Reality.

Not excessively pursuing material wealth, stature, or prestige, will lead to a joyful life.

Reverence for ancestor spirits and immortals.

Taoist beliefs include teachings based on revelations from various sources... symbology of the Tai-Chi, or Yin Yang symbol, and the notion of wu-wei (action through inaction) which seek to counterbalance Yin with Yang at every opportunity. Generally speaking, Taoists believe in embodiment and pragmatism, engaging practice to actualize the natural order within themselves. Also, they believe that life should be peaceful and filled with joy.

Taoist theology emphasizes various themes such as naturalness, vitality, peace, "non-action", emptiness, detachment, flexibility, receptiveness, spontaneity, the relativism of human ways of life, ways of speaking and guiding behavior.

Taoist philosophy proposes that the universe works harmoniously according to its own ways. When someone exerts their will against the world, they disrupt that harmony. Taoism does not identify one's will as the root problem. Rather, it asserts that one must place their will in harmony with the natural universe. Thus, a potentially harmful interference is to be avoided, and in this way, goals can be achieved effortlessly.

Taoists believe everything is seen as it is, without preconceptions or illusion.

Taoism posits that man may gain knowledge of the universe by understanding himself.

In Taoism, even beyond Chinese folk religion, various rituals, exercises, and substances are said to positively affect one's physical and mental health. They are also intended to align oneself spiritually with cosmic forces, or enable ecstatic spiritual journeys. These concepts seem basic to Taoism in its elite forms. Internal alchemy and various spiritual practices are used by some Taoists to improve health and extend life, theoretically even to the point of physical immortality.

Taoists believe that a man may increase and nourish his own vitality by bringing a woman to orgasm. The female's orgasm activates and strengthens her jing, which has a nourishing and balancing effect on that of the male. The energy released during either one's orgasm can be harnessed and led up the Governor vessel/channel to nourish the brain, for additional benefit to the longevity of that partner.

Taoist charm from Tien Hau Temple in San Francisco
At certain dates, food may be set out as a sacrifice to the spirits of the deceased and/or the gods, such as during the Qingming Festival. This may include slaughtered animals, such as pigs and ducks, or fruit. Another form of sacrifice involves the burning of Joss paper, or Hell Bank Notes, on the assumption that images thus consumed by the fire will reappear—not as a mere image, but as the actual item—in the spirit world, making them available for revered ancestors and departed loved ones. At other points, a vegan diet or full fast may be observed.

Also on particular holidays, street parades take place. These are lively affairs which invariably involve firecrackers and flower-covered floats broadcasting traditional music. They also variously include lion dances and dragon dances; human-occupied puppetstongji who cut their skin with knives; Bajiajiang, which are Kungfu-practicing honor guards in demonic makeup; and palanquins carrying god-images. The various participants are not considered performers, but rather possessed by the gods and spirits in question.

Fortune-telling—including astrology, I Ching, and other forms of divination—has long been considered a traditional Taoist pursuite.
GeoLaureate8
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10/26/2011 4:45:38 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/26/2011 4:34:53 PM, PARADIGM_L0ST wrote:
It's not that I believe or disbelieve... it's that I'm indifferent.

Thus far, all theories and philosophies that have boldly offered the horizon, if only we'd just believe, have ended with a 100% rate of failure.

Fail. Apparently you didn't read the part on Salvation. Taoism is not a salvific practice and there is no salvation in Taoism so your criticism is simply a blatant strawman.

Why would Taoism be the sole exception?

Moreover, most of these religions and beliefs that make these unrealistic offers are usually predicated upon basic, common sense. Such profundity!

Uh what? Most religions predicated on basic common sense? Please explain.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
CosmicAlfonzo
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10/26/2011 4:45:48 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/26/2011 4:34:53 PM, PARADIGM_L0ST wrote:
It's not that I believe or disbelieve... it's that I'm indifferent.

Thus far, all theories and philosophies that have boldly offered the horizon, if only we'd just believe, have ended with a 100% rate of failure.

Why would Taoism be the sole exception?


"Taoism", and I use that word lightly, because there is no "taoism", is not like this at all.

Firstly, it doesn't offer the horizon, secondly, it isn't something that needs to be believed, and thirdly, it isn't a religion.

The Tao Te Ching does a fantastic job of explaining itself, and instead of spoiling any of it, I think it would do better to encourage anyone who is curious to read it.

It is very short and to the point, you could easily read it in one sitting.

Moreover, most of these religions and beliefs that make these unrealistic offers are usually predicated upon basic, common sense. Such profundity!

The Tao Te Ching does not make any unrealistic offers nor does it describe a religion. It is a very philosophically relevant book though, and because of its short length, a good read.

To be honest, it is a book that keeps it real a whole lot better than most everything that followed it.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
PARADIGM_L0ST
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10/26/2011 4:50:15 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Thus far, all theories and philosophies that have boldly offered the horizon, if only we'd just believe, have ended with a 100% rate of failure.

Fail. Apparently you didn't read the part on Salvation. Taoism is not a salvific practice and there is no salvation in Taoism so your criticism is simply a blatant strawman.:

I didn't say anything about salvation, but let's face it, you are offering something that allegedly can ONLY be achieved in Taoism, otherwise you wouldn't bother.

Uh what? Most religions predicated on basic common sense? Please explain.:

Such as, but not limited to, don't hurt people unnesessarily... don't rape people.... You know, common sense sh*t. What does Taoism offer that is so profound that I either couldn't figure out on my own, or don't already know?
"Have you ever considered suicide? If not, please do." -- Mouthwash (to Inferno)
GeoLaureate8
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10/26/2011 5:04:40 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/26/2011 4:50:15 PM, PARADIGM_L0ST wrote:
Thus far, all theories and philosophies that have boldly offered the horizon, if only we'd just believe, have ended with a 100% rate of failure.

Fail. Apparently you didn't read the part on Salvation. Taoism is not a salvific practice and there is no salvation in Taoism so your criticism is simply a blatant strawman.:

I didn't say anything about salvation, but let's face it, you are offering something that allegedly can ONLY be achieved in Taoism, otherwise you wouldn't bother.

Sure, it's not offering eternal life and a spot in heaven next to God, but it does have the benefit of bringing greater understanding and well-being in this life. I dont see why it's hard to accept those, they're not absurd promises, they're very achievable.

Uh what? Most religions predicated on basic common sense? Please explain.:

Such as, but not limited to, don't hurt people unnesessarily... don't rape people.... You know, common sense sh*t.

And don't make graven images, dont eat shell fish, don't say Gods name in vain, don't dance around cow statues, stone those who work on Saturday, don't have other gods besides Yahweh, love Jesus more than your family, honor rape, human sacrifice, animal sacrifice, don't curse, pray 5 times a day towards Mecca, don't eat pork, don't mix fabrics.

Yeah! All very commonsense indeed! C'mon. Don't even think to try and imply that religious ethics are "basic, common sense." Get real.

I think the religions would be more profound if it were based on "common sense" ideas such as the Confucian/Buddhist concept of the golden rule. Unfortunately, religions like to have absurd morality that's quite violent and rather immoral.

What does Taoism offer that is so profound that I either couldn't figure out on my own, or don't already know?

Research it. Read Lao Tzu or Zhuangzi.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
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"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
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Mikeee
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10/26/2011 6:07:27 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Almost everyone here on DDO rejects Taoism and thinks its false, yet no one has yet been able to give reasons why its false and demonstrate its tenets to be incorrect. While I'm personally not a Taoist, I am a Zen Buddhist which is a combination of Taoism and Buddhism.

Here's a basic breakdown of Taoism (its much more in depth than this summary obviously)

I'm practice Taoism... (I am the .1%?)
Wnope
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10/26/2011 6:07:47 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/26/2011 3:28:31 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
Since Taoism is naturalistic, the "mystical experiences" that were mentioned are probably similar to the religious experience Richard Dawkins described he had with nature. He said he has religious reverence for nature and has had sensations of wonder/serenity induced by nature (not sure about the wording but he implied something of this sort).


More specifically and likely what is meant in the excerpt is an experience brought about through meditation (even walking meditation or informal meditation) which happens when the consciousness is calmed and brings peace of mind or perhaps the feeling of being in harmony with the Tao.

In that case, I don't have any complaints about Taoism. It's fairly in line with the western analytical tradition of the "thing in and of itself" being ultimately unknowable since, by definition, it is not perceived.
smartyskirt
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10/26/2011 6:17:43 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/26/2011 4:37:40 PM, smartyskirt wrote:
At 10/26/2011 4:09:30 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
@Diagoras & smartyskirt

Taoism does not claim there is a Supreme Being, it does not claim there is a heaven and a hell, it does not claim you will be punished for sins, it does not claim that there is a Savior, it does not claim miracles exist, it does not even claim to know what happens in the afterlife.

I guess the only claim that Taoism would make is that the Universe exists, which clearly it does. It is about accepting reality as it is.

What Taoism does is allow you to look at the Universe through a clearer lens, understand the big picture, and how to live in harmony with nature.


Taoism is a belief, religion, way of life, and ideology.

Here are some of its claims: (Most of this can be found on wikipidia):

The ultimate truth is beyond words or any conceptual understanding.

All matter is a manifestation of the Ultimate Reality.

Not excessively pursuing material wealth, stature, or prestige, will lead to a joyful life.

Reverence for ancestor spirits and immortals.

Taoist beliefs include teachings based on revelations from various sources... symbology of the Tai-Chi, or Yin Yang symbol, and the notion of wu-wei (action through inaction) which seek to counterbalance Yin with Yang at every opportunity. Generally speaking, Taoists believe in embodiment and pragmatism, engaging practice to actualize the natural order within themselves. Also, they believe that life should be peaceful and filled with joy.

Taoist theology emphasizes various themes such as naturalness, vitality, peace, "non-action", emptiness, detachment, flexibility, receptiveness, spontaneity, the relativism of human ways of life, ways of speaking and guiding behavior.

Taoist philosophy proposes that the universe works harmoniously according to its own ways. When someone exerts their will against the world, they disrupt that harmony. Taoism does not identify one's will as the root problem. Rather, it asserts that one must place their will in harmony with the natural universe. Thus, a potentially harmful interference is to be avoided, and in this way, goals can be achieved effortlessly.

Taoists believe everything is seen as it is, without preconceptions or illusion.

Taoism posits that man may gain knowledge of the universe by understanding himself.

In Taoism, even beyond Chinese folk religion, various rituals, exercises, and substances are said to positively affect one's physical and mental health. They are also intended to align oneself spiritually with cosmic forces, or enable ecstatic spiritual journeys. These concepts seem basic to Taoism in its elite forms. Internal alchemy and various spiritual practices are used by some Taoists to improve health and extend life, theoretically even to the point of physical immortality.

Taoists believe that a man may increase and nourish his own vitality by bringing a woman to orgasm. The female's orgasm activates and strengthens her jing, which has a nourishing and balancing effect on that of the male. The energy released during either one's orgasm can be harnessed and led up the Governor vessel/channel to nourish the brain, for additional benefit to the longevity of that partner.

Taoist charm from Tien Hau Temple in San Francisco
At certain dates, food may be set out as a sacrifice to the spirits of the deceased and/or the gods, such as during the Qingming Festival. This may include slaughtered animals, such as pigs and ducks, or fruit. Another form of sacrifice involves the burning of Joss paper, or Hell Bank Notes, on the assumption that images thus consumed by the fire will reappear—not as a mere image, but as the actual item—in the spirit world, making them available for revered ancestors and departed loved ones. At other points, a vegan diet or full fast may be observed.

Also on particular holidays, street parades take place. These are lively affairs which invariably involve firecrackers and flower-covered floats broadcasting traditional music. They also variously include lion dances and dragon dances; human-occupied puppetstongji who cut their skin with knives; Bajiajiang, which are Kungfu-practicing honor guards in demonic makeup; and palanquins carrying god-images. The various participants are not considered performers, but rather possessed by the gods and spirits in question.

Fortune-telling—including astrology, I Ching, and other forms of divination—has long been considered a traditional Taoist pursuite.

These ideas and prctices need to be proven. But they are not.
As opposed to my religion which is. That Is why I reject Taoism.
Ragnar_Rahl
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10/26/2011 6:36:02 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
yet no one has yet been able to give reasons why its false and demonstrate its tenets to be incorrect.
Pick a tenet.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
mattrodstrom
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10/26/2011 6:37:05 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/26/2011 4:37:40 PM, smartyskirt wrote:
Here are some of its claims: (Most of this can be found on wikipidia):

The ultimate truth is beyond words or any conceptual understanding.

Indeed... Or, rather.. You can't claim to know "the" ultimate truth (even if Did know it you wouldn't be able to properly know you knew it!)

All matter is a manifestation of the Ultimate Reality.
Is it not?

Not excessively pursuing material wealth, stature, or prestige, will lead to a joyful life.
not "excessively"???
that's not too much of a claim is it?

Kind of tautological really.

Reverence for ancestor spirits and immortals.

umm.. some "Taoist" works and Individuals may say so... But the daodejing and Zhuangzi make no mention of either (that's an "at least I don't think so" on the ddj)

Taoist beliefs include teachings based on revelations from various sources... symbology of the Tai-Chi, or Yin Yang symbol,
Taoist belief is not based on revelations from the symbol of Ying and yang... the ying and yang represent one of the most basic dualities that Taoism rejects...

Active and Inactive... Taoism says Neither is the nature of the world.. All is Both

and the notion of wu-wei (action through inaction) which seek to counterbalance Yin with Yang at every opportunity.

Not Counter-balance.. WuWei/non-action is acting as you would... ALL operates through wuwei.. However Realizing your action as being such.. does help bring peace of mind

Generally speaking, Taoists believe in embodiment and pragmatism, engaging practice to actualize the natural order within themselves.

Engaged, but easy, practice.. yeah.. Pragmatism.. yeah.

but what does actualize the natural order mean?
Natural orders don't need to be actualized.. they are actual.

Realizing that your understanding, will, and actions flow forth from such an order though is explained as bringing a peace of mind that is often lacking in those who don't realize and accept this as being the case.

Also, they believe that life should be peaceful and filled with joy.

Not Should be in any Universal sense..

just in a pragmatic sense.. Given how unpleasant unpleasantness can be... it's nice to not have it.

Taoist theology
lol
emphasizes various themes such as naturalness, vitality, peace, "non-action", emptiness, detachment, flexibility, receptiveness, spontaneity, the relativism of human ways of life, ways of speaking and guiding behavior.

it doesn't emphasize detatchment..it emphasizes Engaging as you will... Freely.

and the emphasis on Receptiveness, flexibility and spontaneity is so that you Can engage as you would/Freely..

For your prior understandings as to how you are/your nature.. or how you would "engage" may have been faulty.. or your nature may have changed a bit... To engage Fully.. you need to approach things openly/genuinely Taking things (yourself and the world) for what they are as they come.

This adaptability (brought about through Accepting your understanding/will/actions as flowing from that natural order.. and not Mucking with trying to hold onto a certain understanding/will/action past it's time) brings peace of mind.

For if instead you Held to an understanding/will/decided action past its time.. when it's No Longer rooted in your nature.. No longer based in free flowing understanding/cares.. then that which you hold onto Conflicts with that which is Constantly flowing forth from you..
This brings struggle to that conflicted person.. like one who naturally struggles with "Sin".

Taoist philosophy proposes that the universe works harmoniously according to its own ways. When someone exerts their will against the world, they disrupt that harmony.

Well.. All is Ultimately One.. and Nothing disrupts that harmony.. all is part of it..

It's that that Individual will struggle... but their being conflicted is due to their naturally holding onto perspectives which conflict with reality.

Their struggles don't in any way conflict with universal harmony..

it's just that one who Understands universal harmony won't be as apt to find themselves holding to notions that conflict with that reality.. and won't be as apt to find their life to be a struggle.

Taoism does not identify one's will as the root problem. Rather, it asserts that one must place their will in harmony with the natural universe.

no. Taoists Understand that their will is in harmony with the natural universe... there's no "placing" of it.

Thus, a potentially harmful interference is to be avoided, and in this way, goals can be achieved effortlessly.

Struggle is diminished b/c one accepts things for what they are.. and doesn't hold to notions beyond their time. the Effort that's avoided is that unnecessary Angsty effort that people who hold to unsupported/ungrounded notions have with dealing with reality.

Taoists believe everything is seen as it is, without preconceptions or illusion.

Taoism posits that man may gain knowledge of the universe by understanding himself.

not explicit "knowledge of the Universe" rather an understanding of the nature of your "knowledge" and an understanding of how to approach having Understandings
.
In Taoism, even beyond Chinese folk religion, various rituals, exercises, and substances are said to positively affect one's physical and mental health. They are also intended to align oneself spiritually with cosmic forces, or enable ecstatic spiritual journeys. These concepts seem basic to Taoism in its elite forms. Internal alchemy and various spiritual practices are used by some Taoists to improve health and extend life, theoretically even to the point of physical immortality.

The daodejing and various other taoist works have Lots of mumbo-jumbo along with good stuff...

the Zhuangzi is all good stuff.

Taoists believe that a man may increase and nourish his own vitality by bringing a woman to orgasm. The female's orgasm activates and strengthens her jing, which has a nourishing and balancing effect on that of the male. The energy released during either one's orgasm can be harnessed and led up the Governor vessel/channel to nourish the brain, for additional benefit to the longevity of that partner.

more mumbo jumbo.

Taoist charm from Tien Hau Temple in San Francisco
At certain dates, food may be set out as a sacrifice to the spirits of the deceased and/or the gods, such as during the Qingming Festival. This may include slaughtered animals, such as pigs and ducks, or fruit. Another form of sacrifice involves the burning of Joss paper, or Hell Bank Notes, on the assumption that images thus consumed by the fire will reappear—not as a mere image, but as the actual item—in the spirit world, making them available for revered ancestors and departed loved ones. At other points, a vegan diet or full fast may be observed.

more mumbo jumbo.

Also on particular holidays, street parades take place. These are lively affairs which invariably involve firecrackers and flower-covered floats broadcasting traditional music. They also variously include lion dances and dragon dances; human-occupied puppetstongji who cut their skin with knives; Bajiajiang, which are Kungfu-practicing honor guards in demonic makeup; and palanquins carrying god-images. The various participants are not considered performers, but rather possessed by the gods and spirits in question.
mumbo jumbo.

Fortune-telling—including astrology, I Ching, and other forms of divination—has long been considered a traditional Taoist pursuite.

mumbo jumbo.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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10/26/2011 6:46:32 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/26/2011 3:11:35 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
What Is Taoism

Taoism takes its name from the word "Tao" ("the Way"), the ancient Chinese name for the ordering principle that makes cosmic harmony possible. Not a transcendent ultimate, the Tao is found in the world (especially through nature), and can be encountered directly through mystical experience.

Encountered directly all the time :P

Especially whilst butchering oxen, or in the middle of playing football.

MMMM... tasty oxen
Much better than silly buddhist salads :o)

Tao is the Ultimate Reality as well as the proper natural way of life humans must follow. Taoism prizes naturalness, non-action, and inwardness. Generally speaking, there are two kinds of Taoism: philosophical and religious. Philosophical Taoism is rational, contemplative, and nonsectarian, and it accepts

death as a natural returning to the Tao.

Where were we before? o.O
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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10/26/2011 7:00:27 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I think the translation of the zhuangzi in this anthology (which I had for class) is awesome :o) .. and the one that you should read

http://books.google.com...

also.. the other works in here from confucius through mencius, mozi, xunzi and laozi are all also real good to read.. Probably best to read Before Zhuangzi.. as his work is in response to a lot of the other stuff. (basically read the whole book, good stuff :) The other guy I like in there is Mencius.. though Zhuangzi has a better broad understanding of things.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."