Monday, December 21, 2009

Are Buddhists atheists? (listen)

No. Well, unless they want to be. Buddhism, as distinct from Buddhist practice, is non-theistic. That is, it does not depend on God to be true, to be understood, or for one to be good to oneself and others alike. How it accomplishes this is interesting. This book is for "people who don't like religion or atheism."
Fundamentalists may never get it, but the open minded would be surprised. The impersonal working out of karma has a great deal to do with what are called "acts of God," coincidences, and the need to reflect on what we intend, say, and do. Whereas famous atheists (like Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins) go to the extreme of false certainty in their doubting, which is no better than blind faith, author Frank Schaeffer pulls back from the polarization to speak sensibly about matters of doubt, faith, speculation, and sensible spirituality in today's interview with Patt Morrison.

Frank Schaeffer’s book Patience with God
Frank Schaeffer found himself equally disgusted by right-wing evangelists as by “uber liberal New Atheists.” In Patience with God, he searches for a middle ground between the polarizing forces of religion — and anti-religion — in America. In this critical look at the goals and strategies of both fundamentalism and New Atheism, Schaeffer...

Where does Wisdom Quarterly stand? Our position is non-theism. The truth is much stranger than fiction. Our coverage respectfully tries to show many sides -- rejecting the position that it's one sided or "obvious." The truth is deep and subtle. Its complexity has been intensified by the fact that our histories (East and West) have been distorted. And the sciences, like religions in the past, distort data to accommodate preconceptions. All we can say is that the believers would be surprised how limited they're being, and the doubters would be shocked that believers are onto something. It's hard to say what, but it's something.

(WHYY Radio) Frank Schaeffer, the son of evangelical leader Francis Schaeffer, left that movement in the mid-80s and went on to become one of its most ardent critics. His new book, Patience with God, takes on all forms of extremism -- including right wing evangelicals and the "New Atheists" who mock them.

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