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What am I?


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#16    Frank Merton

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 09:49 AM

View PostMasterFlint, on 20 April 2013 - 08:52 AM, said:

your an atheist,  a possible buddist,  more then likely your a follower of oprah whinfrey's cult  hahaha....
There is no conflict between atheism and Buddhism; in fact this tends to be the case among most educated Vietnamese.  I have heard of Oprah Winfrey, but I have no knowledge of her beyond that.  The real point I was trying to make is that although I am a socialist and Communist in the political sense, I don't think materialism as it was taught by Marx and others in the nineteenth century is able to deal with things Asian philosophers, particularly the Chinese, brought to our attention, but which most Westerners are ignorant of.


#17    libstaK

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 10:16 AM

I was gonna suggest scientologist based on your belief that aliens may have created us - but you said no name calling so, I retract that. ;)

"I warn you, whoever you are, oh you who wish to probe the arcanes of nature, if you do not find within yourself that which you seek, neither shall you find it outside.
If you ignore the excellencies of your own house, how do you intend to find other excellencies?
In you is hidden the treasure of treasures, Oh man, know thyself and you shall know the Universe and the Gods."

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#18    MasterFlint

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 11:04 AM

View PostFrank Merton, on 20 April 2013 - 09:49 AM, said:

There is no conflict between atheism and Buddhism; in fact this tends to be the case among most educated Vietnamese.  I have heard of Oprah Winfrey, but I have no knowledge of her beyond that.  The real point I was trying to make is that although I am a socialist and Communist in the political sense, I don't think materialism as it was taught by Marx and others in the nineteenth century is able to deal with things Asian philosophers, particularly the Chinese, brought to our attention, but which most Westerners are ignorant of.

I didn't mean you were an atheist, buddist, and oprah whinfrey culties, I mean that in reference to the guy who started this topic.  And yeah I know atheism and buddism go hand in hand.   Both don't believe in God, the only real difference is that buddists try to get rid of all worldly attachments in hopes that they will stay dead once they die...  and athiests don't really know one way or another, they just know there is no God and that there are no sets of rules they have to follow except ones they make up themselves....

Oprah pretty much teaches that you are your own savior and your own God, and pretty much to worship yourself...


#19    freetoroam

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 11:22 AM

You are a human being on this planet at this moment in time. people have been killed just because of names relating to what they believe. Just be happy you are here and have beliefs. If you want to remain an individual, then following a chosen name will put a stop to that, but its your choice if you want to be part of a collective, which (contradictory to what i have said really) we all are, but I say a "human being" is probably the safest bet.....Posted Image

In an ideal World a law would be passed were NO guns were allowed and all those out there destroyed, trouble is the law makers are not going to take a risk of trying to pass that without making sure they are armed first.

#20    Professor T

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 11:40 AM

View PostH132, on 20 April 2013 - 04:49 AM, said:

It's best not to seek a lebel even when one is found that fit's your criteria. A label is indicative of conforming to a sociological Consortium.  What this means is that as soon as you lable yourself and join a consortium with a universal mindset of beleifs, you tend to stammer off from being your own individual and following that group no matter how their beleifs stray over time.  Remain an individual.  Don't label yourself.  Seek truth on your own terms.
Great Post.
Labels also hamper and distort perceptions & they can trap people into a fixed perception of reality.  There is a lot to be said about the dangers of labelling ones inner beliefs.. They deserve no label because belief in one fundamental reality or another is an authority of it's own.


#21    Frank Merton

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 12:22 PM

View PostProfessor T, on 20 April 2013 - 11:40 AM, said:

Great Post.
Labels also hamper and distort perceptions & they can trap people into a fixed perception of reality.  There is a lot to be said about the dangers of labelling ones inner beliefs.. They deserve no label because belief in one fundamental reality or another is an authority of it's own.
It is true that labels distort, but I think they are nevertheless useful and in fact sometimes essential.  If I decide someone is "dishonest," this is a useful label for me since now I know what to expect.  It is not a judgment about the person but a useful perception into their personality.I tell people I'm a Communist, what does that mean?  To most Americans they are at first disturbed but try to be liberal, but of course being a Communist in the States is horrid, while in Vietnam it is pretty much normal.  Most Americans, however, have almost no idea what it might actually mean, and, of course, over time, the meaning has evolved.I also stick my neck out and praise Taoist ideas about what might be the non-material "thing" in existence that makes consciousness and sentience possible, something Westerners have almost no conception is even a problem.  I wouldn't label myself a Taoist, however, but only that I think this approach makes sense while the Western reductionist positivist approach is sterile.


#22    H132

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 12:43 PM

View PostFrank Merton, on 20 April 2013 - 12:22 PM, said:

It is true that labels distort, but I think they are nevertheless useful and in fact sometimes essential.  If I decide someone is "dishonest," this is a useful label for me since now I know what to expect.  It is not a judgment about the person but a useful perception into their personality.I tell people I'm a Communist, what does that mean?  To most Americans they are at first disturbed but try to be liberal, but of course being a Communist in the States is horrid, while in Vietnam it is pretty much normal.  Most Americans, however, have almost no idea what it might actually mean, and, of course, over time, the meaning has evolved.I also stick my neck out and praise Taoist ideas about what might be the non-material "thing" in existence that makes consciousness and sentience possible, something Westerners have almost no conception is even a problem.  I wouldn't label myself a Taoist, however, but only that I think this approach makes sense while the Western reductionist positivist approach is sterile.

You practically support "no labels" with your attempt to support "labels".  In other words, technically you are saying that since at least oncei n your entire life, you have been dishonest about something, it is okay and useful for someone to label you as dishonest. Furthermore, the original post was not referring to someone labeling other people... it was about someone placing a label on themselves. Otherwise I assume there is a specific limit to how often you can be dishonest before the label takes effect?  Additionally, you said "at first disturbed but try to be liberal, but of course being a Communist in the States is horrid, while in Vietnam it is pretty much normal" whic proves my point that lables allow others to identify you as this or that despite the various views on what you yourself beleive that label to mean.  It's like when people say "Christians believe this and Christians believe that" but all the while, not all Christians believe the same things.  So then we have sects of religions wherebye, even inside the sects and denominations, people argue or debate various topics amongst themselves.  

A label is a way of conforming to something in order to feel like you fit in somewhere or "belong".  It's something people subject themselves to when they are insecure about who they are.  Who labels the cool people?  Who labels the nerds?  Who labels an evil person and who labels the good?  What label are you putting on me right now?  And there is nothing wrong with that?  I could sit here and label you as judgemental but how could I have the right to do that when -if all I know, you could be the most thoughful, helpful and sympathetic person that I have ever known if I knew you well enough.  I only know people from the small examples that have been displayed in the very short moments of my life where they were involved.  MY POINT = People can only successfuly and accurately label themselves.  And when they label themselves based on the definition of those labels as set by other people, they are essentially not labeling themselves at all but inviting you to do it for them.

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#23    Professor T

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 12:56 PM

View PostFrank Merton, on 20 April 2013 - 12:22 PM, said:

It is true that labels distort, but I think they are nevertheless useful and in fact sometimes essential.  If I decide someone is "dishonest," this is a useful label for me since now I know what to expect.  It is not a judgment about the person but a useful perception into their personality.I tell people I'm a Communist, what does that mean?  To most Americans they are at first disturbed but try to be liberal, but of course being a Communist in the States is horrid, while in Vietnam it is pretty much normal.  Most Americans, however, have almost no idea what it might actually mean, and, of course, over time, the meaning has evolved.I also stick my neck out and praise Taoist ideas about what might be the non-material "thing" in existence that makes consciousness and sentience possible, something Westerners have almost no conception is even a problem.  I wouldn't label myself a Taoist, however, but only that I think this approach makes sense while the Western reductionist positivist approach is sterile.
Exactly.. You've proved the point..
If YOU decide someone is dishonest that label belongs to YOU.. That label has no real function other than to yourself.. If you tell others, some might agree, others wont.. That label is an authority of it's own, it's weight and value is traded, and used and abused by those who use it and those who throw it around. Each and every person who uses it will have a different perception of it's meaning, and when people use it by saying "That person is dishonest" it's weight and value changes depending on circumstance, delivery and peoples own perceptions of the deliverer.. The same can be said for all labels..
Yes labels are important for communication.. But all too often they are abused to extremes, and when people & groups of people attach themselves to a collective Label that comes under attack by opposing labels you've got yourself two groups of people who are blinded by their labels/banners/flags.. Then you have people who attach themselves to national Labels "Vietnam, America, Russia, and we love to associate ourselves with these national identities (Labels).. and when they come under attack, we come under attack and do on the offensive.. It's a vicious circle caused by people choosing to attach themselves to labels..
The OP was questioning her own beliefs & putting it out that she didn't know what label her beliefs came under. It is all well to do so to learn if there are others yourself out there.. Seeking that info is fine... But the good advice was not to label herself, because that is a form of attachment & conformity which ruins individuality..


#24    Frank Merton

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 01:04 PM

Your point is that labels have bad or misleading effects, my point is that they are helpful.  I don't know that the two are mutually exclusive.  I call a table a table, and you have an idea what I am talking about.  I say a certain person is a bully, you also know what I am talking about, although if you met them you might disagree.  We need to be able to use labels, and self-labeling is part of self-knowledge.  An excellent example of that was when I told my self I was depressed.  Without that self-knowledge I would not have gotten help.  Now I have techniques that keep me happy as a lark.

I think you go too far in your discussion of the label "dishonest."  It doesn't mean someone who a few times in their lives have lied, and everyone knows that, so I don't have to explain.  The label "dishonest" basically is a warning -- verify before you trust.  As such it is extremely useful, and we make such assessments all the time.


#25    Frank Merton

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 01:08 PM

I think maybe what you guys are complaining about is the propaganda technique called "name calling."


#26    H132

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 01:19 PM

View PostFrank Merton, on 20 April 2013 - 01:08 PM, said:

I think maybe what you guys are complaining about is the propaganda technique called "name calling."

We are talking about self-labeling whereas you are talking about labeling others.  How are we the ones confusing this with name-calling?

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#27    Professor T

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 01:24 PM

View PostFrank Merton, on 20 April 2013 - 01:08 PM, said:

I think maybe what you guys are complaining about is the propaganda technique called "name calling."

Lol.. it's not complaining.. Had a good laugh though..

Nothing personal, it's just that your opinion didn't fit mine..

When someone is questioning their own beliefs and seeking a label for them it is at the opposite extreme of labelling a Table a table.. There is no danger in calling a table a table.. But if the OP decides to attach her personal beliefs to Christian, Islamist, Buddist, Wiccan, or any of the others out there that label will begin to guide her in the future..  

Can you see the difference?


#28    Frank Merton

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 01:26 PM

You cannot label someone else without labeling yourself.  That however is of course not the point.

I call a self-labeling self-knowledge, and if you can't find a word for what you are you are something strange.  I think if nothing else it is a useful meditative exercise to ponder one's acts and thoughts and try to assign labels to them and then decide if this is characteristic of you or was exceptional.  Most acts can be assigned two labels, one flattering and the other not so good.  Finding and understanding both would be the trick.


#29    Frank Merton

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 01:32 PM

I decided ages ago to label myself an atheist, even though the word implies in most minds a non- or even anti- spiritual frame, which in my case is inaccurate.  The reason was just simple honesty.  I don't believe in God.  I don't disbelieve either, but the opinion squares on the don't believe side so strongly that saying I'm something else doesn't work.

Even though I know others can and will misinterpret, it does not change what I think.


#30    third_eye

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 03:23 PM

View PostlibstaK, on 20 April 2013 - 10:16 AM, said:

I was gonna suggest scientologist based on your belief that aliens may have created us - but you said no name calling so, I retract that. ;)

Does that make you a retractionist ?

I believe I am a retractionist too ...

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