Zen says there is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so. Is this just ridiculously stupid or what?

Asked by: steffon66
  • Objective mastery informs subjective experience, but not vice versa

    Our subjective experience can make good seem bad and bad seem good. That's true, and worth remembering.

    But it's not true that subjective experience is all there is. We function as a species because we're good at getting past subjective experience to objective truth. If we couldn't, we'd still live to only age 45 and aircraft wouldn't fly.

    Objective mastery often informs our subjective experience; the reverse however, isn't true.

  • Of course it is!

    All the thick skulled morons on the no side, Good is good and bad is bad. Look up The Bible and see the truth! You put interesting but blasphemous points over there, but you only focus of blasphemous religions. In the wise words of the Daleks of Skaro, "DO NOT BLASPHEME!DO NOT BLASPHEME! DO NOT BLASPHEME!!!!!!!!"

  • Lol so i shouldnt think is that what they are saying?

    Religious people usually dont so that probably is what they are saying. Thinking makes it so which means i shouldnt think... Lol thats funny. According to this philosophy i can do whatever i want because all acts are neither good nor bad. This saying throws all acts in the same boat so why shouldnt i do what i want if i think or dont think at all rather like them? Glad not everybody has this philosophy. Guess these people see no difference in raping a child and teaching a child moral values. Its all the same and the wrongness and righteousness of these acts only exist in the minds of those judging them. Yea how much crack are these people smoking? I used to wander why "good" people used to be so cruel and stuff and then i started noticing sayings like this, everything happens for a reason, its never too late etc. and now i see its just because most people are too stupid to know right from wrong. Then i realized that the majority today is just as stupid and cruel as they used to be when it comes to animals and prisoners and stuff. If we were taught like our ancestors were taught we would still be doing what they did. People will follow anyone who will lead them

  • Any quality/trait is not independent of the circumstances...

    For example, there is a man/woman who is very selfish that nobody likes to befriend him/her. Happened that he/she got married. Now he/she will give his her best to the spouse and children (when they have). Because, all these people are his/her! So something as mean as selfishness can be positive under special circumstances...

  • It shakes up the foundation of human society

    Excluding extreme actions, All the things we consider to be good or bad beautiful or ugly, They all make sense to us because we were taught what is good bad and so on. The point is we just inherit the thoughts of the people we observe and grow up with, Both good and bad. We do not experience or discover things we are just told about it. We are not given a chance to use our own thinking. Isn't this the reason for our society falling into the traps of this materialistic world, We already know what's good for us, Money job shit like that, We just need to get these things anyhow.

  • How do you know evil?

    Evil could be much more evil, or very tame. We have no way to label good or evil without thought.

    If the world we lived in was, relative to what we know, very peaceful, good and evil would still be concepts, even though from our perspective it was utopia.

    The thought of what good or evil is makes it good or evil.

    Posted by: TBR
  • "Good" and "evil" originate from the human mind.

    An act only becomes "good" or "evil" onc interpreted by the human mind. We cannot measure evil by the act, as one act may not always be viewed the same as another. The human mind skews its views depending on circumstances, events, the individual, the "victim" and other such points of reference.

    Good is also a term that is difficult to trace. An apparent act of good, can unwillingly lead to more negative reporcussions that good. Does this make the act positive or negative? Are negative acts, that lead to a greater positivity, good?

    Such terms, when examined in detail, are revealed to be equally worthless and vague.

    This is the meaning behind the Zen saying. That good and evil can only exist in the human mind. All because of these previous points but also because of causality. Causality itself reveals that pretty much no action,words spoken or even person, is "them/their own".

  • Perception is contrast.

    You don't know "good" without "bad". Duality is contrast; light and dark, Warm cold, Good and evil.
    Without the other one can't exist. Our fundamental value system makes it so that we define some things as good for survival and reproduction, And some things as bad, Yet there's no absolute proof that can define the value of existence, If there even is one, And which is something that non dualist teachings ultimately deny as a delusion. Saying that good is better then bad is just the social dominance hierarchy expressing itself on a cultural and metaphysical level. Because most of the time it's someones own view of what's "good", Versus someone else's view of good. Yet one must ask themselves whether they've taken and ever can take enough into consideration to be able to know and define what is absolutely universally good, Outside of simple cultural biases and social dominance instincts.

  • Reality. The brains/the interface, and beliefs and values

    When you imagine events occurring in space/time try also to imagine there is no brain or interface to process that event.
    For example: in the beginning of time when the universe was still being formed and no life forms could exist- rocks flying into one another, explosions happening, items getting sucked into other things..Etc.
    No interface to process the events.
    Now add the interface.
    The interface is your brain. A filter if you will, a filter woven with values and beliefs that have been conditioned into you through out life.
    It is the fabric of the filter that creates the idea of something being inherently good or bad.
    Events in space time are just events at its basic level.
    Only when unique and varying beliefs and values enter the picture does it suddenly become a "good" or "bad" event.

  • A bard quote, Zen and a plug 4 amorality :

    "thinking makes it so" is what Hamlet says too his friends, who are supposed to be his trusted friends but are there too spy on him. Is the context him letting the audience know that he has 'twigged' to there game ?

    And yet "thinking makes it so" can be seen or heard as a profound feeling , dare one say prediction,for understanding of cognitive processes better understood through neurological sciences of 21st century. Our minds are designed to gather information through the senses. Process the data that the thinking part. The output or results include experience of 'feeling' and judgements of its good ? Its going to be bad again etc.

    So I suggest the most workable sense is not in reinforcing the proposition its "ridiculously stupid" but focus on the possible "or what" Open and undefined as it may occur.

    After all nature apparently has no mindfulness that delivers answers to what good or bad. (Albeit that a narrow interpretation using the bible will give you mountains of cultural morality)
    Thinking is a human construct. Not one always relevant too things outside of human thinking. However its futile too expect humans not too have opinions about all the other stuff. 1 simple example. Money: physical paper money or gold nuggets have no inherent value in nature (compared to other metals or lifeless biomass) Yet human thinking and cultural agreement "makes" it valuable too humans in general. Some would see greed as bad. While some humanitarians will accumulate fund to help the needy, poor and staving, which could be seen as good. A more truly "natural" viewpoint, if such a thing exists, would be amoral.

    A zen master will get this. Zen can facilitate a deeper better contemplation beyond that available through mere thinking .
    Enriched enlightenment to whats so in nature and our possible transformed relationship too it, us and all !!!

  • It's just the how you perceive

    Simple thing:
    We weren't born with any rule book mentioning you should do this or you shouldn't do that or this is good and this is bad. Good and bad are relative things. We consider one particular thing as good with respect to some standards. And what to choose as a standard may vary with every individual. That's it.
    Just DO what makes you feel happy.... :) :)
    "Life doesn't any have rule book.....Live Your Life"

  • Moral pluralism exists, and to say otherwise is to enforce a uniform mindset

    Basically, moral pluralism is the idea that there are many different views on, well, morals and such. I'm against this topic for much the same reason as those who posted before me: You cannot define every instance in which a "good" and "evil" can be applied. Take war, for example. It is almost associated with the feeling of patriotism. Enlisting in the army helps to protect your country from destruction. On the other hand, you are killing people; take their life; remove any future they may have had. In a word, evil. Unless an action can be deemed fit and justifiable ("good") by both sides and everyone -not the majority, everyone- it cannot be set as a moral absolute. Let's look at another example before we move on. ISIS and Hitler. Yes, them AGAIN. Well, for both of them, they were (or are) creating a "perfect' world. At least, that's what they said. The rest of the world says, "Nah brah, you can't do that." Clearly, there's a conflict of interests.
    But, moving on to something suggested on the other side, the only time thought is blocked is when we are told to blindly accept actions and their "inherent morality."
    So, in essence, no. We create our own thoughts, no one else. We ourselves decide what is good and what is evil, and to blindly accept the standpoint of another is to refuse to think and that, ladies and gentlemen, is when we cease being human.

  • I don't think the question is right:

    Zen referring to Zen Buddhism, right? First of, in Buddhism itself (which is where Zen originated from), there is the teaching of Karma, which is like good works. If you do good, good can happen to you. Actually, the way the Buddha introduced people into his religion was making them think like this: "If I do good, don't hurt others, and follow the precepts, I will go to heaven". But this was for the laymen. What I believe is meant by this (and I have read) is that the enlightened person see's no distinction between good or evil, but their very nature, very being, is that of good. Besides, according to scripture, the buddha was a very compassionate teacher, and part of his teachings was showing compassion towards fellow beings.

  • It's not stupid.

    It introduces the idea of moral relativity. And this idea isn't saying that you shouldn't think. It says that you should. We are capable of drawing our own lines between what is acceptable and what is not. Humans shouldn't wait for a book to tell them that rape or murder is bad. Shouldn't we be able to arrive at that conclusion by ourselves?

  • Meta-Ethical Subjectivism is great

    Firstly, our concepts of "good" and "evil" are mere abstract concepts. This does not need proof-try finding material "good", and you will be led to death. Nevertheless, all abstract concepts do not exist anywhere but the mind. Hence they exist as an idea-however, everyone has a distinctive mind. This can be seen from personality differences. If everyone has a distinctive mind, then there is no such thing as objective mind-if our concepts of good and evil merely exists as immaterial "ideas" in our minds, and we have distinctive minds, then does not say that the way we think about "good" and "evil" (as idea) shapes the concept of "good" and "evil"?

    But there are arguments for objective material morality-i.E. Morality that is given to us by a creator (not the evolutionary view. The evolutionary view talks of an objective idealist morality). I do not think that this is so-there are many texts out there, from monotheistic texts of the Hebrews to the Vedas of the Hindus, that state almost contradictory PoVs to each other. Which one directly relates to God? Again, this is a subjective issue-a Hindu might say the Vedas relate to God, a Christian might say the Bible. Ultimately, it all depends on the mind.

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