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Less Douchebaggy Approaches to New Age Philosophies:

Pro-Freedom Fanatic
Notably, Japanese Zen Buddhist monks often marry, so celibacy is not an absolute requirement of the Zen sangha.

edited 9th Jan '12 5:52:59 AM by SavageHeathen

You exist because we allow it and you will end because we demand it.
I won't argue that most religions have, at the very least, illogical components, but I like to think most religions also have internal logical consistancy, which is important.
"You fail to grasp the basic principles of mad science. Common sense would be cheating." - Narbonic
You are right that it isn't per se, but the fact does remain that one tends to follow the other with alarming frequency. Once you toss logical consistency out the window (or fail to acknowledge that you have), its a short step towards arrogance and insensitivity.
True. On the other hand, it is the very "pick and choose" aspect that actually makes me feel safer around such people, because I know they wouldn't be motivated by their religion to do me wrong. Only by personally being a bastard, which is more predictable and less scary, for me at least
If we disagree, that much, at least, we have in common
 29 Lawyerdude, Mon, 9th Jan '12 9:31:07 AM from my secret moon base
Citizen
All people "pick and choose" their doctrines based on their actual beliefs, whether they acknowledge it or not. Believing in something isn't a choice like picking a flavor of ice cream. A belief is a reaction based on a whole host of factors.

People believe things because they were raised to, or because they heard it from a trusted source, or because it "feels" right, or even because they are persuaded by fact and argument. I can't "choose" to believe something any more than I can "choose" to like cake.

What this means is that people who subscribe to a religion or philosophy or New Age belief system do so not because they choose to, but because it fits with their existing views. I messed around with New Age stuff in college, and I found the ideas appealing, probably because I wanted them to be true.

The same goes for "cafeteria Christians" (particularly so-called Cafeteria Catholics) Every church has a list of doctrines that it holds to be true, and you can look them up. Either you believe and accept all of them or you don't. Nobody can force you to believe or disbelieve something.
What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly.
[up]This, too
If we disagree, that much, at least, we have in common
 31 CDRW, Mon, 9th Jan '12 11:16:06 AM Relationship Status: Mu
[up][up] I think the concept that you can't choose what you believe is completely wrong.
 32 vijeno, Mon, 9th Jan '12 11:38:10 AM from Vienna, Austria
[up] Are you able to sincerely believe, right now, that one of my cats is from another planet?

 33 Drunk Girlfriend, Mon, 9th Jan '12 11:41:26 AM from Castle Geekhaven
[up] Having owned cats, yes.
"I don't know how I do it. I'm like the Mr. Bean of sex." -Drunkscriblerian
 34 vijeno, Mon, 9th Jan '12 11:59:15 AM from Vienna, Austria
[up] See, belief depends on something. Namely, cat-ownership.

 35 CDRW, Mon, 9th Jan '12 12:04:19 PM Relationship Status: Mu
Belief depends on having a mind, beyond that it can be molded as you see fit.
I know what beliefs I'd hold if I could choose them.

Unfortunately, I can't. There are things I'm simply unable to persuade myself about
If we disagree, that much, at least, we have in common
 37 vijeno, Mon, 9th Jan '12 12:30:44 PM from Vienna, Austria
[up][up] Seriously though, are you saying that you can make yourself belief stuff that is obviously inconsistent and at odds with reality? Like, a flying invisible red apple that has always existed, even before the big bang, and is made of metal, but tastes like caramelized chicken (even though no-one has ever actually tasted it)?

If so, please enlighten me how you do it. It would be awesome to be able to do that.

 38 CDRW, Mon, 9th Jan '12 12:39:02 PM Relationship Status: Mu
[up] Yes, it is possible to do that. The more fantastical the belief, the harder it is to achive, because those sorts of belief can interfere with self-preservation. But it is also possible to use your built-in defense mechanisms to work the other way. One of the most effective ways to convince yourself of something is to link it to your own well-being. It's easier to believe in aliens if you think they're out to get you.

Naturally, the whole process requires you to abandon most logic.

edited 9th Jan '12 12:40:13 PM by CDRW

 39 vijeno, Mon, 9th Jan '12 12:45:35 PM from Vienna, Austria
Have you done that? Have you seen people do it?

I seriously doubt that I can make myself "abandon logic" simply by choice. I can imagine that over time, one can accept strange beliefs if one really wants to, and if they are somewhat consistent with one's old beliefs. But if it's a conscious choice and nothing else, I wouldn't know how to erase my own knowledge of my decision.

 40 Lawyerdude, Mon, 9th Jan '12 12:48:03 PM from my secret moon base
Citizen
[up][up] It sounds like you actually agree with what I said. We believe things for a reason, even if it's a bad or stupid reason. But we can't just change our beliefs like we change our socks.

A person doesn't just spontaneously go from a Catholic to a Muslim, or from a Libertarian to a Communist on a whim, after all. Religious and political beliefs arise from experience, education, background and many other things.

And we do need to remember that, for the most part, people are sincere in their beliefs. Yes, there are liars and hypocrites aplenty, but you can generally presume that everybody, from Gandhi to Jerry Falwell, genuinely and sincerely believe what they say as much as you do.

edited 9th Jan '12 1:01:41 PM by Lawyerdude

What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly.
 41 Aondeug, Mon, 9th Jan '12 1:22:30 PM from  Our Dreams
Oh My
We can change our beliefs forcibly but it takes time. You can also forcibly alter your thought processes and behaviors. A number of studies have been done of the subject and this changing the way you think and behave in relation to how you think is the basis of forms of therapy. It does take time though. Whether or not it takes personal effort depends on the situation.

Of course we have the remaining issue of the former you still being in tact but in a state of...hibernation I guess you could call it?

It's rather hard to get yourself to do it willfully though.
If someone wants to accuse us of eating coconut shells, then that's their business. We know what we're doing. - Achaan Chah
 42 Lawyerdude, Mon, 9th Jan '12 1:35:34 PM from my secret moon base
Citizen
Sure, if you want something to be true hard enough and long enough you can convince yourself that it actually is true.
What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly.
 43 Ramus, Mon, 9th Jan '12 1:44:37 PM from some computer somwhere.
Lead.
More like if I want to mature and grow up, I'll teach myself to mature and become a better, more independent person.

See, the thing with philosophy is that it isn't related to religious belief, it's just a belief in an idea. Thus, if your philosophy is altruistim oriented, you think that altruism is a good thing and will teach yourself over time to be more of a charitable person.
The emotions of others can seem like such well guarded mysteries, people 8egin to 8elieve that's how their own emotions should 8e treated.
 44 Lawyerdude, Mon, 9th Jan '12 2:51:46 PM from my secret moon base
Citizen
Man, if you want to make a bundle of cash these days, just write a book filled with pseudo-philosophical self-empowerment malarkey that people can read and then quote at other people to make themselves feel enlightened. Then take the money you made and spend it on Hookers and Blow.

Actual philosophical works are virtually incomprehensible to anybody who doesn't have a dedicated education in that area, since so many works were written specifically to refute other works.

edited 9th Jan '12 2:52:58 PM by Lawyerdude

What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly.
 45 Ramus, Mon, 9th Jan '12 3:07:20 PM from some computer somwhere.
Lead.
Hmm... yes, that's great, but would you like to actually discuss philosophy?

noun /fəˈläsəfē/ 
philosophies, plural

The study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, esp. when considered as an academic discipline

A set of views and theories of a particular philosopher concerning such study or an aspect of it
- Schopenhauer’s philosophy

The study of the theoretical basis of a particular branch of knowledge or experience
- the philosophy of science

A theory or attitude held by a person or organization that acts as a guiding principle for behavior
- don't expect anything and you won't be disappointed, that's my philosophy

As you'll notice there are many different ways to go about philosophy. Now, what's your complaint? That the new agey stuff enables peoples to be hypocrites and idiots? Welcome to the world, people use a variety of things to enable themselves to be hypocrites and idiots. What this doesn't enable you to do is hate upon all modern day or recent forms of philosophies or philosophies that tend to be "lighter" than previous stuff since there are plenty of people who do follow what they believe in and don't use it as an excuse to try to be particularly deep or anything.
The emotions of others can seem like such well guarded mysteries, people 8egin to 8elieve that's how their own emotions should 8e treated.
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