Eastern Religions

Sunday, November 05, 2006

MIDTERM



NAME: Diane Grair

USERNAME: sportygirly67

WEBSITE ADDRESS: http://sportygirly67.blogspot.com/

1. LIST ALL OF YOUR POSTINGS (copy and paste them or provide direct
links to each specific post)

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

I think it does because in the Middle East the Islamic religion is the
primary religion but there are certain areas that are not completely
Muslim.. for instance I'm Syrian and I'm not Muslim but we only
account for a small percentage of the population..

Sun Sep 10, 2006 8:33 pm

Well I think the blog is to keep track of all the postings you make
but I'm not sure because you're supposed to keep a copy of everything
you post on blogger... hope this helps =)

Sun Sep 10, 2006 8:48 pm

I always wondered why most Hindus don't eat meat..
"In addition to the duties belonging to each stage of life, Hinduism
also emphasizes duties belonging to all human beings, especially
cultivation of truth and nonviolence. Many Hindus choose not to eat
meat because of their cultivation of nonviolence."

Jonathan Miller interviewed Richard Dawkins about his view of Atheism. He believed in the theory of evolution. When Miller referred to the political figures involving religion, it brought up a point because there is still not really a separation between religion and state. Your religion sticks with you and it’s hard to ignore it in making decisions, such as abortions, etc.

Miller was concerned with whether people converted to Atheism after learning about it, or if they were basically born with it and didn’t have a religious thought. Darwinian Revolution really made sense to scientist Richard Dawkins, and he said he felt freedom because of it. He also said that it made sense because it was an explanation of the way the world was. Darwinian theory involves the process of natural selection. Reproduction is just a way of genetic mutations. He believes in the universe there is no “super mind.”


Personally, I don't agree in Atheism because I am religious. I just don't agree with the whole scientific theory of how the universe was created. I believe in God and I don't think that the Darwinian Theory makes much sense to me, because it's hard to put my feelings about religion aside.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

If Darwin didn’t bring up this theory , there might not have been a start to Atheism. Dennett thought that Darwin brought up a good point with enough explanation for these scientists to believe that it made sense. Dennett thinks we have a soul but a mechanical soul and that it still does the work. I think that the soul has more of a religious purpose than to think of it as having nothing to do with God. He mentioned that the purpose of our brains is to anticipate the future and to have plans for the future. Dennett said it was a part of our nervous system, but these feelings we have are hard to avoid. We are just accustomed to having these feelings. Dennett was raised as a Protestant but then he converted to Atheism. I think most people convert to Atheism after they realize what they want and when they figure out they don’t have to follow their parents’ religion. He compared God to Santa Claus thinking that some people grow out of believing in God. Basically he thinks people talk about Santa Claus and believe in him but he doesn’t exist.

So today a new guy started working at my job. And we got into the topic of religion and he told me he was Atheist. and I asked him why? Are your parents Atheist? He said no, most of my family is Christian. He said it's because I don't incorporate religion into my daily life. I just thought to myself WOW... I can't imagine not incorporating my moral values into my decisions. Just thought I would share =)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

In "The Sage" it mentions how we all have a sense of selfness in which we think about ourselves. I think this is definitely true because sometimes we can be overly selfish and other times we're just thinking about ourselves in a good way, not so much selfishly.

It's interesting to me how once people meet their gurus they completely change. In the case of Sawan Singh's life it says "it was the turning point when he met his spiritual guru."

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

It is very true that if we respond to problems in a positive manner then they wouldn’t really be considered problems. We all want to be happy. Also like the lecture today if we hold on to things then they affect us. (like the insult if you hold on to it, it affects you but if you just throw it back then it goes away)

In this story it is believed that Siddhartha came from the white elephant. It talks about what we talked about in class on Monday 9/25 because he encountered sick and old people, and even a corpse. He got a vision one night and decided he wanted to leave the palace but his father wasn’t happy about this. Finally he got a way and was considered a monk. One night he meditated until dawn then he became a Buddha.

It is interesting how it says that Buddha knows everything from the past, present, and future.
We all take advantage of what we have. We might have a nice car that runs perfectly yet we still want a better one. We are often unhappy with our lives when we shouldn’t be.

Three Schools of Buddhism

It’s crazy how Buddhism was introduced in India, I’m sure most people think it originated in Asia because many Asians are Buddhist. People hear the word Buddhist and think Asian.

“The Four Noble Truths are: (1) life is suffering; (2) suffering has cause; (3) eliminate cause and thereby eliminate suffering; (4) learn and pursue the proper path to alleviate suffering (i.e., the Eightfold Path).” The story he told in class today about having to have something first and then giving it up was pretty funny.

It’s interesting how Buddhism breaks down into different schools that explain the teachings each one has and the differences.

Monday, October 02, 2006

It is interesting how Faqir Chand and Bardo Thotrol both had similar opinions. They were worded differently but the meaning behind the words was the same. It’s amazing how Faqir Chand wasn’t familiar with the book yet his thoughts were the same.

Faqir Chand had many experiences he went through that helped him learn more about gurus and death. It seems that we all have to experience things before we can really understand them.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Jains don't believe in violence but how do they get more members to join their religion? Do they just think people should voluntarily want to become a Jain?

It's also interesting to read about the different fasts religions do because my religion does it differently and there are so many different fasts.

They believe in the Right Faith, the Right Knowledge, and the Right Conduct.

After reading about karma I learned there were eight different types of karma.

"Digambaras believe that women cannot achieve liberation without first being reborn as a man." I thought that this was wrong because it's basically saying that a women can't be equal until she experiences it like a man. It's unfair that she has to be similar to a male to be treated like him. The only reason it makes sense is because they say women can't live naked.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

I agree.. It's like when a priest worries so much about how much money he makes yet knowing he is a man of faith and religion he shouldn't worry about materialistic things and money is the root of all evil. I also think that people have many sides to them and it's really hard to really get to know someone.

Monday, October 23, 2006

of course!! I have a religion definitely, I consider myself to be a religious person. I am Syrian Orthodox and I don't know too much about it, I would LOVE to learn more about it. I go to church sometimes, but I don't like to go a lot because my priest does the services in Syriac and I don't understand it but I understand Arabic. Other than that I know I would never be Atheist or anything else, because I believe in Jesus Christ. It's normal to start doubting your religion though, so don't feel bad!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

1. There are not going to be a lot of people in class on Monday because either a. everyone will be recovering from the weekend or b. everyone will be in Santa Barbara.. haha (but I'll be in class =)

2. We are going to hear something on the news about being extra careful because something bad is going to happen to some teenager from partying too much over the weekend.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Ok so I have a song and I have all my pictures.. But I can't figure
out how to keep the music playing in the background while I speak
throughout the film.. it just has my voice throughout the whole film
and just the music at the very beginning! Can anyone help me?

Friday, November 03, 2006

my film!

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7856399366461695218

speaking in tongues- Wednesday's lecture was actually really interesting. Now, I
definitely understand the meaning behind speaking in tongues.
Everytime I hear that term I think of a sexual representation haha..
hey whatever works!

Are the past few readings you sent out, "Littlewood's Law of
Probability" and the one that said required readings, to be read and
posted about after the midterm? Is the extra credit on
Churchland/Wilson due before the midterm or after?

Friday, November 03, 2006

haha ya we're gonna chip in to buy you a Benz.. that's funny! just kidding! But that would be the day huh?

2. Attendance: How many times late? How many classes missed? (be
accurate) I have never been late and I missed one class but it was because I was in the emergency room.

3. 1st Digital Film: Name and Describe (how long? how did you edit
it? in what format? on what day did you show it?) I did it on Syria because I am from Syria and I found it interesting. It is 2 minutes and 30 seconds long. At first I used Windows Movie Maker but I started getting confused so I used Windows Photo Story it was so easy to use!
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7856399366461695218

4. To read or not to read, that is the question: Be honest. Have you
done all of the required course readings so far? Yes I have read them all except the first reading I pretty much skimmed it because it was really long but after finishing this midterm I actually re read most of the stuff.

5. Have you watched the linked videos and films so far? Yes

8. Any extra credit that you like to list? I did the extra credit for the two films on Atheism and Darwinism.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

If Darwin didn’t bring up this theory , there might not have been a start to Atheism. Dennett thought that Darwin brought up a good point with enough explanation for these scientists to believe that it made sense. Dennett thinks we have a soul but a mechanical soul and that it still does the work. I think that the soul has more of a religious purpose than to think of it as having nothing to do with God. He mentioned that the purpose of our brains is to anticipate the future and to have plans for the future. Dennett said it was a part of our nervous system, but these feelings we have are hard to avoid. We are just accustomed to having these feelings. Dennett was raised as a Protestant but then he converted to Atheism. I think most people convert to Atheism after they realize what they want and when they figure out they don’t have to follow their parents’ religion. He compared God to Santa Claus thinking that some people grow out of believing in God. Basically he thinks people talk about Santa Claus and believe in him but he doesn’t exist.

Jonathan Miller interviewed Richard Dawkins about his view of Atheism. He believed in the theory of evolution. When Miller referred to the political figures involving religion, it brought up a point because there is still not really a separation between religion and state. Your religion sticks with you and it’s hard to ignore it in making decisions, such as abortions, etc.

Miller was concerned with whether people converted to Atheism after learning about it, or if they were basically born with it and didn’t have a religious thought. Darwinian Revolution really made sense to scientist Richard Dawkins, and he said he felt freedom because of it. He also said that it made sense because it was an explanation of the way the world was. Darwinian theory involves the process of natural selection. Reproduction is just a way of genetic mutations. He believes in the universe there is no “super mind.”


Personally, I don't agree in Atheism because I am religious. I just don't agree with the whole scientific theory of how the universe was created. I believe in God and I don't think that the Darwinian Theory makes much sense to me, because it's hard to put my feelings about religion aside.



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9. What are the seven dimensions to religion, according to Ninian
Smart, and mentioned in Andrea Diem's book, WHEN SCHOLARS STUDY THE
SACRED? http://elearn.mtsac.edu/adiem/sacred1.html The seven dimensions to religion are myths, rituals, religious experiences, doctrines, ethics, social institutions, and material forms of the religion. Smart thinks that a religion must have all of these dimensions. The myths are stories that have symbolism. Rituals would be the ceremonial acts performed. Experiences are the religious experiences one goes through. Doctrines are the belief systems of the religion. The social aspect would be the organizational form of the religion. Material forms are the sacred objects of the religion.

10. Apply those seven dimensions to Hinduism (taking any sect or
group within that tradition) and describe, in brief, how they are
incorporated within that Indic system. Details are key. The Materiality dimension of Hinduism is that the Shiva is shaped in the form of a phallus. A phallus is thought to represent fertility. The gurus are also considered materiality. The seven holy cities are also considered important. For instance, the city of Ujjain is the site of the temple of Mahākāla. The rivers are also important sacred locations. The Social dimension is that Hindus are thought to recognize four major occupational groupings. The first group represents knowledge and religion and it includes teachers and priests. The second group represents power and are thought to be the kings and government officials. The third group are the skilled workers and merchants. Unskilled workers are in the fourth group. Ethically, Hindus don’t believe eating animals is moral, so vegetarianism is very common in the Hindu population. The doctrine the Hindus can be known for is the “Bhagavad Gita.” It talks about a hero experiencing the faith of God. It also represents the experiential aspect because of the experiences the hero goes through. Hindu rituals can take place in the community, at home, or in a temple. Hindus visit temples to worship deities. The way Hindus greet each other can also be considered a ritual. The red dot many Hindu women wear today is also a symbol of good fortune, it is called Bindi. Mythically, Hindus believe in a guru who possesses many qualities. Many stories show ideological work at play.

11. Apply those seven dimensions to Buddhism (taking any sect or
group within that tradition) and describe, in brief, how they are
incorporated within Buddhism as a whole. Details are key. In Buddhism they believe in Buddha and this is part of the dimension of myths. They believe Buddha is a symbol of wisdom. The doctrine “Samytta-Nikaya” explains the Eight Fold Path. It basically defines certain key points to qualities and really gets you to think. The Four Noble Truths is also a doctrine that includes: suffering, the cause of suffering, the cessation of suffering, and the way leading to the cessation of suffering. Ethically, Buddhists believe the same thing as most societies. For instance, they don’t believe in murder, lying, cheating, stealing, etc. Materialistically, they have stupas which are towers. Socially there are between 250 and 500 million Buddhists. Buddhists’ rituals include meditation. Buddhists also believe in karma, what goes around comes around. The goal of the Buddhist is to achieve nirvana.

12. Do you think that there should be more than seven dimensions in
explaining a particular religion? If not, why not. If yes, can you
detail which dimension you would add. I think the seven dimensions are fine because they just about wrap up all the qualities a religion should have. It explains it well enough so that a religion can be unique yet still have similar qualities to other religions. I think a religion needs to have rituals and religious experiences. That is what makes a religion really a religion. Going to church and going to mass gives you a religious experience. Religions have to have an ethical system that everyone follows. I know in my religion the ethical part of it is extremely important. Social organization helps put people in a hierarchy that is based more on how religious you are or how many times you go to church. The more you go the more people will know you.

13. What was the secret that Faqir Chand realized in Iraq and how
does it help explain religious experiences and beliefs other than
his own? What you see at the end of the tunnel is not God, it is really yourself. For instance in dreams when you dream about someone else it is really your own imagination, it is your own self creating these thoughts. Many religions think that it has something to do with God. The first time that have hypothesis that could have truth meaning equivalence. He believed in a guru so he saw guru, they conflate our neurology with transference.

14. In the Bhagavad Gita, briefly describe Krishna's advice to
Arjuna in terms of whether to fight or not to fight. Do you think
Krishna's advice was wise? Why? Why not? Krishna told him to fight but Arjuna was a little hesistant because it was his own family members. He didn’t want to fight because it was pointless to him it was too much of a loss for him. Krishna tries to show Arjuna the positive side of it such as following the path of Yoga. I don’t think it was wise because I don’t think you should ever kill your own family members. However, in this situation you gain a learning experience.

15. Compare and contrast the life and teachings of Ramana Maharshi
with Charan Singh (as mentioned in the Enchanted Land).

Ramana Maharshi spent his life meditating and teaching people about knowledge. Consciousness was the lesson that he learned. Consciousness is permanent and the only real thing is consciousness. He realized consciousness is continuous, there’s no beginning or end. Awareness makes things real because it’s recognizing something exists. Thinking about oneself and being selfish once in a while is okay because it actually benefits you. One doesn’t always have to put others first when it comes to clearing out your mind and trying to figure out your own life. Sometimes thinking about yourself motivates you to become individual. He was a vegetarian and he loved animals. They were all attracted to him and he treated them so kindly. He became a respected philosopher in India because many people respected his teachings. They also loved the way he treated animals. He didn’t consider himself a guru or a master, yet many people followed his teachings.

Charan Singh was a yoga guru who had many followers. Many people wanted to be in his company and they walked a three mile road just to see him. There was a crowd of about 300,000 people when he was about to speak. He spoke about how people are unhappy with themselves. They have lost touch with thinking about “I.” He said, “We have lost sight of our real Self.” He encourage the practice of surat shabd yoga to help realize it. He helped bring a lot of change to society because donated a lot of spiritual property to society. He received his earnings from a family farm. He wasn’t greedy and selfish to try to collect money from all his followers.

Singh and Maharshi were both very loving people. They cared about society and about other people, they were not selfish. They both encouraged people think about “I.” Their teachings were similar because it had to with the thoughts in the mind. Singh was a guru but Maharshi didn’t consider himself a guru.

16. Why do you think that Sikhism evolved from a non-militaristic
religion into one advocating the bearing of arms? Be sure to back up
your answer. They were non-militaristic when they sided with Britain and thought that there was all peace. I think they became one advocating bearing of arms because too many wars broke out and their religion split. Too many people opposed Sikhism and therefore they broke out into a state of their own. There were too many anti-Sikh riots that probably led the Sikhs to want to bear arms. It is a way to protect themselves since many Sikhs were killed. They also probably resent the fact that no one has taken action to protect the Sikhs.

17. In what significant ways is Sikhism different than Jainism? Be
sure to substantiate your answers. Sikhs believe there is one God but Jains believe there are no gods or spiritual beings. Sikhs have gurus and Jains have monks and nuns. Jains fast to purify the body and mind. Sikhs wear a steel bracelet because it is a symbol of restraint and gentility. Jains are very open and friendly to other people and they believe in karma. Sikhs combine a little Hinduism and Islam into their religion. Sikhs believe they must have an intimate faith in God.

18. How is the Sikh holy book, The Guru Granth Sahib, fundamentally
different than other religious scriptures, like the Bible or the
Koran? The Guru Granth Sahib is a holy book but it is treated like a living guru. It contains actual words from Sikh gurus and other religions as well. It was written first hand, and most other religious scriptures were written by its followers. They also appeal to the heart and mind more than others. They are interesting to someone who has a religion or doesn’t. It provided unique and equal advice for people to follow such as , “All Peoples of the World are Equal.”

19. Explain why speaking in tongues is not a unique religious
experience only bestowed on Christians. How did your teacher relate
such a phenomenon with sexual experiences? Clue: think neurology and
think cultural variabilities. Speaking in tongues is not a unique religious experience. It is interpreted differently in other religions. It is a neurological experience because it is different brain sets that reflect language. He related it to an orgasm because when one is about to orgasm, they say things or make noises that don’t really reflect themselves. It is actually pretty embarrassing. Speaking in tongues is almost like having no control over what you say, it just comes out and you don’t know where it came from. It makes sense especially after being compared to a sexual experience.

20. Imagine the following scenario: Buddha, Mahavira, Krishna, and
Guru Nanak are asked about the religions founded in their name. If
you could show them how their religions evolved over time (centuries
after their death), which specific parts do you think they would NOT
recognize or acknowledge. In other words, which part of their
religions would they see as CONTRADICTING their original intentions.
This is a speculative question, but be sure to ground it with some
pertinent quotes/facts/ details. Jains now had Jain Dharma with certain teachings such as realizing truth. Mahavira believed in reaching perfect enlightenment. Krishna was no longer seen as the highest God. Hindus believed in Brahman which could only be understood through direct experience. Buddhism has split into different sects based on aspects of Buddha’s teachings. There is also disagreement about the rules for monks. The Buddha probably would not have wanted Buddhism to split into sects. After Guru Nanak’s death, Amar Das took over with big change. He took initiative for “sanctioning distinctive ceremonies for birth, marriage and death. Amar Das also established the manji (comparable to a diocese) system of clerical supervision.”

Detail your answer for each of them.

21. What are the common features in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and
Sikhism? Be sure to be accurate here. They all believe in meditation. Hindus have yoga as a sense of meditation and it is a way to regain thoughts. Meditation could also be practiced in the home. Buddhism had two types of meditation: samatha meditation and vipasanna meditation. However their meditation focused on breathing. Sikhs meditated because it was a way of communication between God and humans. Jains consider meditation to be a way of recognizing that human beings are constantly changing. They all have religious figures. Buddhists have the Buddha, Hindus have Shiva, Sikhs have Nanak, and Jains have Mahavira. They all exist in the region of India. They all placed a great emphasis on karma. Jains believe, “A happy or miserable existence is influenced by actions in previous births.” Sikhs believe karma is social conflicts which give men and women an endless cycle of birth. Buddha believed, ““Intention, monks, is karma I say. Having willed, one acts through body, speech and mind”.” Hindus believe the moral of karma yoga is , “Do your duty, always; but without attachment. That is how a man reaches the ultimate truth; by working without anxiety about results”

22. How does Darwinian evolution help explain why religions arose in
the first place? Darwinian evolution believes that human beings came from the process of Natural Selection. Genetic variations keep a person living longer not God. Offspring is produced and it all goes back to biology. Darwinian evolution was supposed to move people away from the fact that God created people to get them to realize it is nature’s force. Religion talks about how people are born and when and why they die. The things they do also influence how long they live.

EXTRA CREDIT:

23. Why does Richard Dawkins think that believing in God is a
delusion? He thinks that education and a strong consciousness will help people stop believing in religion. He thinks believing in God is just another scientific hypothesis. He also follows Darwin’s theory of natural selection. Richard Dawkins also believes that there still really isn’t a separation between church and state. He believed in the Darwinian Revolution because it was an explanation of the way the world was. He doesn’t think there is a “super mind” in the universe.

24. How would the theory of consciousness as a virtual simulator
help explain the belief in mysticism? Mysticism is believing in something obscure or basically unbelievable. The theory of consciousness supports it because it discusses how consciousness really isn’t all it is hyped up to be. It has its good side and its bad side. However, relying on the belief that consciousness is the strongest part of a human being is like believing in mysticism.

25. What is the most interesting thing you have learned so far in
this class? Why? The most interesting thing I’ve learned in the class is that you don’t see God at the end of the tunnel. You see yourself. The fact is that when you dream about someone they don’t exist it is actually yourself you are dreaming of. It’s interesting because I’m sure we all have dreams about other people yet they are just thoughts. It’s crazy how much of an impact dreams have on someone. I also thought the Speaking in Tongues lecture was interesting because I really understood what it meant. After comparing it to a sexual experience it actually made a lot of sense and I think it is interesting how we can make all these religions things relate to sexual experiences. It is easier to grasp the concept though!

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