The One Point • Gravity •

Discussion in 'Tai chi' started by fusedroot, Aug 27, 2007.

  1. daftyman

    daftyman A 4oz can of whoop-ass!

    That's funny.

    Essentially the posts can be brought down to:
    I'm right, you're wrong.

    I get a sense that someone is on a religious crusade to enlighten us all. Do we want to be enlightened? Are we endarkened? What are we being saved from? If saved should we then follow the one true god? Which one is that? Blind Io? Offler? Odin? Zeus? Shiva? Brian?
  2. jkzorya

    jkzorya Moved on by request

    God is not on trial here, qi is. Diverting questions by pointing the finger at someone else's religious convictions does not address the issue. Really you are going to have to do a better job in defending qi than pointing your finger and saying "yeah well - qi is no more incredible than God, so there." I wouldn't have been convinced by that argument back when I was an atheist.

    The idea spread along the spice route and inconsistencies crept in.

    Selected points from Taoquan:

    Respect or worship? and why idols?

    Agreed, but the difference between Dao and God is that Daoists do not seem to believe that the Dao is sentient or innately moral.

    The Judaic God concept states that if we have sentience and morality then it must have come from somewhere and as God is the totality, for people to have sentience and morality means that God has them too. He at the very least has all of our virtues and as He created us, it stands to reason that He has considerably more. God is the sum total of all the intelligence in the universe, both immanent and transcendent, known and unknown. If we have attributes then they come from Him. Evil on the other hand is caused by introspection - by self absorption - by selfishness - by wanting sole rights to happiness - by not caring about others - by becoming wrapped up in oneself and one's pride and vanity rather than wanting the best for everyone - by not recognising our brotherhood and sisterhood with the rest of creation. God is the "greater good" and this greater good ness is the source of everything we call virtue. Conversely, self ish ness is the source of everything we call vice. The concepts of virtue and vice are paramount if we wish to be able to interact with each other in a civilised manner and get beyond killing and eating each other, which most of us do. Most people don't want to live in a "might is right" world, so we need moral standards. This means knowing that not every activity is equally morally acceptable or healthy.

    I am not saying I necessarily believe in it, but that qi cultivation can replicate demonic or jinn possession - such explanations may well come closest to explaining what is going on. That is worrying, whether or not you believe it in a literal sense. I have certainly seen people be turned evil, delusional and megalomaniacal by qigong.

    More generally, I have always spoken out against superstition per se and ritual per se and if you believe that any religious faith ever delves into idolatory, ritual or superstition then I'm essentially against it.

    Oh and as I've made clear, the "internal arts" rationale is innately elitist, regardless of what its proponents do or don't say in public about other styles.

    In reference to this:
    Just for the record Chinese history is just as littered with murders and wars as any other nation, despite lacking belief in a sentient creator, so war can't be down to God. Neither is war really down to religion, but to rivalries and power struggles. Wars are caused by greed.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2007
  3. inthespirit

    inthespirit ignant

    Hi Joanna, thought I would throw in my two pence.

    I think all martial arts rationale is innately elitist, would a person chose and continue practicing any martial art if he/she did not think it were superior in some way?

    With regards to God/Dao, does it really matter what people believe, after all its all personal and neither seems to have any effect on the outside world, its still messed up as always, just check out the news.

    In respect to megalomania and other power/greed caused disorders, they are caused by exactly this, power and greed, not qi gong or religion or anything else for that matter. Though both qi gong and religion have their fare share, but probably not as much as politics and the business community, why is this? IMO, because greater power gained through any means whether $$$, religion, qi gong or any other method, corrupts all but the very resolute.
  4. jkzorya

    jkzorya Moved on by request

    Hi inthespirit,

    I don't really agree that all martial arts rationale is elitist - I think plenty of people are happy to accept the old adage about different roads up the same mountain and all that. I just see what I do as being right for me.

    I can certainly accept the spirit (at least) of what you are saying about all the other stuff though, and although I might still have my reservations, I'll ease off.

  5. inthespirit

    inthespirit ignant

    I think that is a good way to look at it too. As you say "different roads up the same mountain", there is only so many ways we can move our bodies and minds.

    Fair enough, but please feel free to speak freely, there is always something to learn from everything for everyone. I certainly don't think I am right or wrong, but I do know my thoughts are subject to change at any time. :)
  6. Taoquan

    Taoquan Valued Member

    I will whole-heartedly agree with you here. I apologize if I presented myself as "elitist" I don't believe that at all. I don't even consider myself a true MA, I was merely stating it as a different path up the same road as you put it:

    Respect AND worship. For example do people respect and worship jesus christ? Yes, why respect, b/c of what he did sacrificing himself for our sins. Worship b/c he was the son of God.

    Taoists Respect Kuan Yin b/c of her infinite compassion and love for all beings (likened to the virgin mary), also b/c she sacrificed herself for the good of others. Worship b/c within Taoist pantheon she was SO compassionate and kind she attained Tao. Is she held in praise above Tao?

    ABSOLUTELY NOT! No taoist deitiy is EVEN held above the TAO, the Jade emperor can be the highest deity within the Taoist Pantheon and cannot even be held as high as Tao. Worshipping them as "gods" is a western idea, almost all Taoist "Deities" (this is the closest word that the chinese translates too) are more likened to patron saints of christianity. Are saints placed above God in christianity? No.

    As for idols, these are nothing more than to help people keep a visual piece of their chosen "deity" or saint in their minds through out the day. Nothing different from people wearing medallions of patron saints, or Jesus on the cross. It is more for remembrance than anything else.

    Thank you to Sandus for keeping this open, even though it has gone :topic: here and there.

    Also I know of Taoism, but don't claim my answers to be definitive, they are merely what I have learned/studied/been taught etc. I don't claim to know all about Tao.

    I do have some specific questions for you (I am curious not looking to flame you or anything)
    1) If western Science was to prove Qi, would you still consider it wrong?

    2) How do you justify practicing Tai chi, when (regardless of where it came from) Zhang San Feng, or Chen Wan Ting by all accounts developed the idea from Taoist theory (Yin Yang), Chinese medicine Theory (Jingluo/Channel and collaterals), Dao-Yin and Tu-na theory (Leading and guiding energy and expelling and drawing energy)? (sorry I could not think of a nicer way to ask that question, but am genuinely curious)

    3) I can respect that you consider Qi and Qigong wrong, but in your opinion can it be practiced for good or is it all evil? (if it is all evil, explain why, if it is your opinion or if you have solid proof)

    Thanks Jk
  7. jkzorya

    jkzorya Moved on by request

    OK TQ - lots of questions again - I'll try to be fairly brief:

    Firstly God is not the source of evil.

    The way I understand evil is that sentient things innately possess free will - they can follow their instincts and urges regardless of the greater good (thinking only of themselves) OR be compassionate and even altruistic with a view to the greater good. God isn't biased - He has a whole universe to juggle so sometimes things might not seem fair to us, but ours is not really to question why. So to be in tune with God means to be in tune with the greater good and to being all that we are capable of being as humans - as benevolent and nurturing as possible while minimising our destructive capacity and ability to cause suffering. As a monotheist, I of course think it is wrong to worship anything other than God directly, but to be honest, I don't think He expects or wants worshipping. I see it more like we are His helpers on earth and the purpose of life is to be good and in tune with God's creative and nurturing will. Introspection simply means being self-absorbed - it is not a helpful practice. Prayer is different because it is outward looking - you are giving thanks and opening yourself up to receive help, strength or guidance. In line with Sikhism I only really 'approve' of theistic mysticism (as opposed to nature mysticism, isolation mysticism or monistic mysticism.)

    We'll agree to differ on the IMA / EMA thing - I won't start dragging out quotes etc.

    Firstly, the religious symbols themselves should never become the object of worship. Secondly, I think that Jesus is meant to be seen as the path to the Father. Again - he shouldn't directly be the object of worship. Rituals are pretty much always a bad idea in my view, because they tend to become habitual rather than mindful. That isn't to say we cannot have self-discipline though and make ourselves do things at times when we don't really feel like it (though we should probably change something about ourselves if we don't feel like it.)

    Superstitions should always be avoided. Really the old testament is full of people sliding back into idolatory, empty ritual and superstition and it is not seen as good. I'm quite a puritan in this regard. If you are really interested then read Albert Nolan's "Jesus Before Christianity." That pretty much sums up my view of Jesus, but I draw a different conclusion to the author in the final pages.

    1) Yes - I would still consider it wrong.
    2) Taijiquan is just martial movement to me. No one would think we had to have identical views to Galileo, Newton or Darwin to benefit from their scientific discoveries. Science discards ideas and moves forwards all the time and so should we. Qi is old hat.
    3) Qigong is innately evil because it focuses the mind on the stream of immediate sense experiences. It is innately self-centred rather than God centred (Manmukh rather than Gurmukh). It also conjures things that are not real and focuses on them - this is a form of self-deception and deception is innately wrong.

    C.S. Lewis foresaw the advent of qigong in the West, back in 1941. Here, Screwtape (a demon) is lecturing his nephew and "junior tempter" Wormwood on how best to draw humans into evil and away from God.

    Now then to the matter of proof that qi is an innately evil construct. I think the proof is all around us. From the outside, if you watch someone who does qigong over a period of time, you will discover them developing any number of the following traits - they might become increasingly esoteric and mysterious in their language, increasingly deceitful and unconcerned with truthfulness, increasingly utilitarian and pragmatic, increasingly morally relativistic, increasingly sexual, increasingly egotistical, increasingly hostile to religion and / or increasingly cliquish. When you talk to them on the phone, they may become increasingly quiet and subdued - beginning to sound like spaced-out zombie monsters. Anything that can do this - even to just the majority of its exponents - is innately corrupt. I will spare you the names or the links to people's blogs etc. who have been so corrupted, because I don't name names or point fingers at individuals. It may be hard to recognise when you are doing qigong too, but keep an eye on your pals and see what happens to them. Or ask your mum or other relatives whether or not you've changed since you started. Ask them again in another decade...
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2007
  8. Taoquan

    Taoquan Valued Member

    Through this thread I have learned more about your b/g and can say that underneath it all I think we have similar ideas and beliefs (sorry if I anger you for saying this) and I do have a greater respect for what you are doing. I know you cannot condone what it is I practice based on your own exp. and I do respect that, however, also understand it is not my wish to harm anyone/thing and only to work "for the greater good" I have spent many years seeking people that have felt the same knowing that it had to be out there.

    Most of what we get in the west for Qi/Qigong and Taoist theory is indeed "New age" mumbo jumbo and garbage, I have found that out on a few people's understanding of throughout threads. This can only further "mystify" Qigong and cause pain and anguish to other people whom are merely looking to help themselves. As I mentioned I never disagreed with you that it could be bad and my heart goes out to the practitioners that are hurting themselves. This is also why I try to educate the best I can.
  9. Fire-quan

    Fire-quan Banned Banned

    What a tremendously interesting thread!

    It could boil down to "I'm right you're wrong", or it could boil down to, "how prepared are you to question what you believe is true and why you believe it?"
  10. bealtine

    bealtine Valued Member

    Well ignoring the elephant in the room while going off on a tangent isn't really helpful.

    I repeat : your belief system is not any better/worse than my belief system.

    This whole thread boils down to this, while mostly it is very interesting it is still about belief. No belief can be quantified or measured because, well, it's a belief and therefore is intangible.

    If you believe in Qi/Chi then off you go.
    If you believe in Jesus as a saviour then off you go.
    You simply cannot compare the two, it is like comparing fish to apples and getting socks, it just doesn't work.

    I happen to agree with you, mostly, until you lapsed into the the religious iconography whereupon I lost interest. I have studiously avoided this thread since.

    I will not demean my religion by responding to "my religion is better than your religion" posts.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2007
  11. jkzorya

    jkzorya Moved on by request

    Hi TQ - I can see we are not going to agree on a few things, but I'll try to answer your new points as best I can.

    I think it is important that people recognise that they have no power to heal (energetically speaking) at all. To harbor the delusion that you can harness energies for healing will corrupt you.

    I'm glad you are coming out of your shell, but might argue that it is not down to your qigong, but to other, more mundane aspects of your training. I also think it is possible to think we are doing good when we are not really, though. I hope things don't go wrong for you in the future and I hope you do not turn people on to qigong only for it to have bad effects for them.

    I've had similar experience of bringing students out of their shell when they had been a bit darkened by energetic practices with other Tai Chi teachers. We have a lot of fun bashing each other and making jokes - everyone gets brought out of themselves and becomes a bit more vibrant, chatty and humorous.

    I think you do get a bit esoteric at times, you know.

    Sorry but I rest my case. Given that qigong is entirely unnecessary, I can see no good reason for continuing with it.

    I disagree - I'm also against all magic, all recreational drug use, all gambling, all use of animals as resources etc. etc. This isn't elitism - it is just having moral values. Perhaps a better choice of words to throw at IMA people is that they have unfounded elitism. You know fine well that elitism is written into the whole internal vs external thing.

    Well to a degree, yes I do blame the art. I have a kind of love/hate relationship with Tai Chi, to be honest. Most Tai Chi folk I've met I have found to be utterly unbearable snobs with profound delusions of grandeur and esoteric pretentions. This is just truly my experience, I'm afraid. When I get students with previous Tai Chi experience, I often need to de-program them a bit to get their feet back on the ground. Luckily, now when people come to our classes they quickly get the vibe of the place and the typical Tai Chi folk walk out in disgust proclaiming "that's not my idea of Tai Chi"

    I do think Tai Chi is a bit up its own backside with esoteric pretentions and grandiose claims. As a fighting art, I love it - I understand it and can get it to work. As anything else, I hate it - I even find it aesthetically ugly and boring. I don't mind watching a bit of Chen style, but even that gets pretty boring after the first minute or so. I blame qigong for being qigong and I do think that Tai Chi is an occult mess that is only any good with all of the mysticism stripped out of it. I certainly wouldn't recommend the art to anyone who wasn't training with me - I'd send them to other teachers of other arts in preference to Tai Chi.
  12. jkzorya

    jkzorya Moved on by request

    That's fine.
  13. Fire-quan

    Fire-quan Banned Banned

    Funny thing is, people do experience their beliefs. I just happen to have beliefs as my hobby, heh... We do experience our beliefs, every day. Whatever you believe in, the world will seem to conform to it - it's known, some times as "the belief experience." A Marxist, for example, doesn't just believe, they actually look at the world and see tangible evidence of their beliefs.

    There's a lot of reasons why that works, all understandable I think. The real trick is to question belief itself, and where that takes you. Obviously, there's a million people telling you what to think, and about three that speciallise in teaching people how to think, heh, so they can make their own minds up.

    For me, I think belief in God can quite happily be left out of martial arts on a general level, and martial arts still be useable as martial arts. The question with Qi has just got to be different, because unlike God, it's actually being included, by many, on the syllabus - belief in it, how to cultivate it, so on and so on. So, whereas a belief in God can be personal, and have no bearing on another person's progress in martial arts, the question is, is qi the same? If it's wrong, then it's holding people back, if it's correct, then it's something that would help people move forwards faster. It's a direct training issue.

    I figure that too, really. But in a proffesional sense, I believe, and use, and have "experienced" lol that how we think about martial arts can hold us back, or propel us forwards - just how we think about it.

    For example, like with the dim mak stuff, we appoint massive expectations about it even if we don't actually know anything about it. We have to do that, really, because most stuff in martial arts is smoke and mirrors, so when we come to martial arts our heads are full of expectations. Funny, because even as beginners, we're not blank sheets - we've been sold tons of expectations about what martial arts must be like - like, tai chi is for old folks, Shaolin monks can death touch you, and Bruce Lee was the best ever... on and on... and as we get more in to it we appoint mor expectations, about the "masters" about people in the past, about their skill level, about what is possible, about black belts, qi... and all of the time our expectations are based on the fact that we don't actually know, we just expect. Funny that.

    Like, on the Wah Nam site people will say "I've felt energy a bit, so I imagine that at a high level you could burst a heart valve with a light touch" - that kind of thing. Appointed expectation. Then we try to live up to the illusion that we bought in to. And we never get it, and the real key to becoming a real expert is to see the real, obviously - to "dis" illusion... but then people avoid that because they will literally be "dis" appointed of their expectations - "dis" appointed.

    So just by dis-appointing expectations we can get nearer to proffesional level by bringing proffesional level and knowledge out of fantasy land and back down to Earth.

    So to me, I ask if the idea of qi leads people further away from improvement, or closer to it... and I also ask myself if it isn't somethign which we appoint our own expectations to, and then cling to those expectations simply because we don't want to be dis-appointed?

  14. Taoquan

    Taoquan Valued Member

    I think to answer your question about whether it brings someone closer or further away from improvement also boils down to belief. And of course what they want to improve in:

    If you are training in MA, physical, sweaty, grueling hardwork is what will improve you the most. (in my own exp.) qi will help you heal quicker and increase endurance (with qigong) and endurance increase is still more due to doing physical and muscular exercises like Zhan zhuang. Anyone that does a MA for Qi cultivation is learning incorrectly (imo).

    You raise an interesting question with clinging so as to not be dis-appointed. Or even maybe boiled down to right and wrong, I have been dis-appointed in my arts both with Tai Chi and Qigong. Even to the point of asking why do I do anything remotely related to these? Why push myself? I have almost quit I was so disappointed, but I continued on. So fear of dis-appointment is not really there with me anymore, but it is a constant reminder.

    If I am dis-appointed it is something I alone am doing, If something does not work then I have to seek out what I need to make it work. If I still cannot make it work I discard it, for it obviously does not work so I move on. My concern is learning all that I can so I can better help people. This is the focus of my art, if Tai Chi is good for health (what exercise isn't?) then I can use it that way, but defending your life is also VERY helpful. So I will use it to defend life.

    Interesting points FQ.
  15. CKava

    CKava Just one more thing... Supporter

    Wohooo... how did I miss this thread!

    I'm sure you know what's coming Taoquan and I will do my own research but could you help me a bit by providing any links to the studies mentioned in the passage you cited. At this point in time I remain to be convinced as what you are suggesting those 'well known' studies show would have been BIG NEWS and yet in all my research I've never seen them referenced which seems odd.

    Because their beliefs tend to have no relevance or at least not be allowed to interfere with their scientific study if they want it to be considered valid. No-one is saying you can't be religious and be a scientist but Taoquan is quite right to say that religion has no place in science.

    However from the scientific perspective which you advocate qi be judged by it is an acceptable question. If you define God as all totality fine... such a vague impersonal definition is beyone reproach, that's not how Christians, Jews or Muslims define God though he is a personal entity interfering with everyday life- that's a scientific claim. You can ignore this of course but then your demand that qi prove itself under science is deep hypocrisy!

    Deeply untrue! From your posts its clear you embrace science only as and when it suits your beliefs. Your argument about disproving God belies the lack of respect you have for science as this is by far the single most trotted out argument by those who do not understand or do not respect the scientific method. Just because something cannot be disproved does not mean it is logical to remain agnostic about it's existence as the flying spaghetti monster, the invisible teapot, thor and all other manner of improbable but ultimately un-disprovable things highlight. To top it all off your veiled suggestion that all scientists who consider the issue tend to become religious is just compelte and utter rubbish. Sory JK but you like people to be straight right?

    I would suggest your deity is just as mysterious as qi. The universe existing does not mean God does.

    I'm not convinced by that argument either but the fact is that your motivations are so transparent and remarkably hypocritical that it completely taints the arguments that you make. In this thread alone you have attempted to argue that chi has no scientific basis and then have equally clearly stated that even if it was shown to you would still refuse to believe in it. I really don't have the words to describe the hypocrisy in that kind of view... if you are going to just use science as and when it suits your beliefs then you should not claim to respect it.

    And Taoquan your explanations of Taoism have been very interesting- it's interesting to see a Christian oreintated view of Taoism and from my own more detached study of it I can say that most of the facts that you have presented about Taoist history and practice seem very accurate. Interesting thread you lot... it combines two topics I find interesting skeptical debate and religion :) probably not everyones cup of tea though. Oh and JK just to be clear though I strongly disagree with many of the positions you present and consider your arguments to be the height of hypocrisy I think you are a genuine person and I don't mean to come across as having a personal dislike because I certainly don't.
  16. Fire-quan

    Fire-quan Banned Banned

    I think that is key, Taoquan. I call it a "core reason" for training - what is your core reason? That's what I ask. So few people ever truly address that in themselves, and yet, that's what really makes the way forwards clearer in my experience. We can't always know which ways are best before hand, but just honestly acknowledging why we train, what we want to achieve from it, obviously will save years in the wrong direction!

    And also obviously, there are a lot of different reasons why people train - for health, for fighting, to look cool - and also, if we're honest, because we feel afraid, unprotected, vulnerable, or even like we need something to boost the ego. All of those things have to be addressed, in my view, if we want to move forwards, because they all affect why we believe certain things - many of which hold us back. But very few people have the balls to do it.

    I believe, myself, that one of the deep meanings of "Wu De" is honesty and dilligence with ourselves, regarding our training. First asking ourselves why we train - and of course, that may change over time, as awareness of our own egos and needs matures - then honesty with how we train, looking at everything we do, believe, follow, etc. and assessing whether it really is leading us where we want to go. That kind of Wu De is brutal, because, as I can tell you know from your words, it will cut some stuff out, and we will be dis-appointed. Even on a simple level, like, our own teachers.

    The first major dis-appointment most people have is the one when they realise that their teacher is a human being. It may be that they're not morally perfect, or not invincible - but that's such a key moment in our development, even though it really might disappoint us at the time - because that's when "master" level skill lands back on Earth, back from the outer-space of our wild imaginations. We always knew there was no way for us to achieve the kind of ridiculous superman level that we had appointed to our teachers, so we were always kept thinking, well, I can't ever do it - how can I ever do it? What a relief! I think we feel that until that day when our expectations of our teacher are dis-appointed, and what a good day that is! Disappointing as it seems at the time, that's the first time that it ever becomes possible in our minds that we could really, actually become experts - and yet, what we've done is dis-illusion ourselves. Sure we'll feel disillusioned for a while!

    Still, some people would rather still believe illusion, because their core reason relates to unaddressed core needs, such as the need to be a superman, or to have special, secret skills, or to feel like they have a place in some ancient lineage, for, whatever reasons. And yet, the only real lineage worth a damn is the lineage of the true experts of Quan who totallt saw what was real by totally discarding all the illusions. Maybe some of those guys used "qi" as a description, but I thinkt he key is, seek not to be like the old masters, seek what the old masters sought... Don't be stuck on what the old masters did, I believe - if they could have found easier, better ways to achieve their aims, they'd have grabbed them in a chin na!

    There again, the other side of that coin is well, maybe our expectations about "qi" as some kind of mystical energy are totally mis-appointed? Maybe those old guys meant something far more down to Earth?

    That is true, but I'm reminded of Wang Xiang Zhai's admonition that what is needed is hard work and hard thinking. We should never under estimate the power of thinking about what we're doing. After all, a technique performed incorrectly for a thousand, gruelling times on the run will still be wrong at the end of it all. So, the work is in the mind as well!

    That's interesting. Can you explain a little more about the endurance increase? Like, an actual increase in fitness, or muscular endurance?

    It's really, really natural to feel a kind of "lull" of pointlessness after a big dis-appointment - goes with the territory. Only the real seekers push on regardless! Good for you!

    Well that's another huge key - we're responsible for the expectations we appoint. A lot of people just can't get over their disappointments. As an example, the wonderful Steve Morris - I think he's great - but boy oh boy did he have a HUGE disappoinment over karate. And yet, who appointed the expectations? He did. Full and total responsibility for our own actions is an absoloute given. In fact, it's essential, because otherwise how could we dis-appoint them! We own them. Getting over blaming others is another difficult, powerful step of Wu De in my view - taking full responsibility for our own actions. Taoquan, well met!!!! :)

    Absoloutely - how hard can it be? You know the problem? "Quan" has been corrupted to mean the formats used to achieve it. "Quan" is obviously, when you see it, somethign far more profound than any style, format, method - it's what those styles, formats, methods are there to get you to - the essence of Quan. But peole cling to the formats because its the formats that give them the status, the lineage, the titles, the students... If people wan tto know what you do, can you say "Quan"? I do. But you can't make a succesful club out of that, becuase it doesn't fit any of the false expectations - so I don't teach anymore. I'll let go of everything, except Quan itself, because like everythign natural, it doesn't need holding, it's natural, in me.

    Thank you - and you also! I hope your quest goes well!

  17. jkzorya

    jkzorya Moved on by request

    OK CKava, you want straight talk?

    Science without religion can and does become utterly abhorrent - I'm thinking napalm here, hybrid embryos, vivisection... If people stuck (genuinely) to the moral codes of their religions, such monstrosities would never even be dreamed of. There wouldn't even be cross-bred animals if people stuck to their Hebrew Scriptures.

    This shows you know nothing about what Jews, Christians and Muslims really think. Ask a Rabbi what God is. God is the totality of all - EVERYTHING that is in the universe - all manifest and unmanifest, all that is known, unknown and unknowable. He is creator + creation + way of creating; transcendent, sentient and immanent, limitless, timeless and indestructable. Ask a Rabbi whether or not he believes in God and he'll tell you he rejects the question.

    I believe Muslims differ by tending to see God solely as the transcendent and unknowable creator, and not the creation. Christianity is such a broad church that it is impossible to sum up Christian belief so easily. There are trinitarians and unitarians, those who say Jesus was Messiah and those who say he wasn't. Some think of Jesus as God incarnate and some see him as a prophet. Their view of God should be heavily informed by Judaism as Jesus was a (pre-Christian) Jew who followed the Judaic God.

    I am not here to make these claims. I couldn't have made my position clearer. If scientists can debunk qi then great, but they'll never manage to debunk God, CKava. You see the difference is that you do not realise that God is real and qi is a man-made myth. In such a world, science is quite at liberty to disprove qi. Within martial arts, we are quite at liberty to ascertain whether or not qi is real and whether or not it is a useful part of training. Within everyday life, we are quite at liberty to examine how qigong affects people's morality and behaviour so we can further assess whether or not it should form a part of our martial training. And I am quite at liberty to think that qi should be dissected by scientists and martial artists and religion.

    You're evidently very angry about the fact that a great many scientists do not refute the existence of God. It is quite ridiculous of you to suggest that they leave their religious head at the door when they go into the laboratory and leave their scientific head behind when they go into their Mosque, their Church, their Synagogue or their Gudawara. For many centuries, people have been driven to study the sciences by their deep religious convictions (and actively encouraged by their religious tradition) and they still are. There is no incompatibility between religion and science - there is nothing to stop people from understanding how the universe works while still recognising a creator. Science does not disprove God.

    But yes, religion is far more important than science - we can manage far better without new discoveries than we can without morality.

    Tell it to the Rabbi.

    It does if the universe is God. God is the whole universe including its sentience. God is everywhere and everything is a part of God - even you :eek:

    Put another way, how did the universe get here? Do you know, or is it a mystery?

    Here you are showing a total inability to try to see the world from any perspective other than your own. My position is not hypocritical at all in a universe where there is a creator God - your argument is based on the assumption that God does not exist, which is a minority view in the world at large. And how scientific are you being if you cannot view my arguments without being affected by your emotional response to what you perceive to be hypocrisy. Shouldn't a scientist view my arguments on their own merits wthout becoming blinded by their emotions?

    You really should take your arguments to every religious scientist, CKava - you'd have quite a lot of so-called "hypocrites" to choose from.

    Science is very important, but it should also know its place. Biology can't disprove God, but it can disprove qi. You might have to talk to an astrophysicicst about trying to disprove God, but you'll find they are deeply divided between those who do not believe in God (and see evidence for their view in their science) and those who certainly do believe in God (and see evidence for their view in their science). You are not thinking your claims through - if science disproved God, all scientists would be atheists and they are most certainly not. You will have to go and tell them how hypocritical they are being and how they've somehow managed to miss the fact that their science disproves God, but they failed to notice without your superior scientific guidance.

    Well you have a funny way of showing it. And if I am as hypocritical as you claim, I am at a loss to see how you could also see me as genuine.

    "Wohooo" to you to, sir.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2007
  18. Polar Bear

    Polar Bear Moved on

    I find this statement deeply offensive. It displays a level of ignorance that beggars belief. Later in life when you suffer from a life threatening illness or injury I hope you remember this statement and refuse treatment because more than likely animals were sacrificed to provide your medicine. Or even the next time you go to the shops for an aspirin because if you think this wasn't tested on animals you would be mistaken. So if you dislike science so much then don't use any of the benefits derived from it. Lets see how long you last before disease or simple blood poisoning kills you.

    The Bear.
  19. jkzorya

    jkzorya Moved on by request

    I'm sure the laboratory animals will join me in applauding your benevolent attitude. Please excuse the ones who lack the strength to move on account of being given cancer.

    As I have said, we must do whatever we can to avoid killing and reduce suffering. At present, people are doing a very poor job because they see animals as disposable. Science that is informed by recognition of the sanctity of all life would be fine - there are medical bodies that conduct research without animal testing and more power to them.

    Science does not have to be ruthless.
  20. jkzorya

    jkzorya Moved on by request

    Here's a question for those who claim that science is incompatible with God. Which piece of evidence from which branch of science proves there is no God? Which piece of evidence explains how and why the universe came into being?

    When did science become so negative as to refuse to entertain the possibility of anything for which it has no evidence to prove the existence of? What happened to keeping an open mind until more evidence is in? When was "Occam's Razor" abandoned? Surely this wholesale cynicism is a modern slant of those atheist scientists who wish to eliminate all but the material universe from existence. How do we scientifically prove the existence of morality? Should we therefore abandon that too? When did science become wholly nihilistic?

    Is this really the only attitude that science can take? No it is not!

    I know I will again be accused of hypocrisy for asking the question when I have also pointed out that there is no evidence for qi. But I am not saying that science should refuse to believe in qi solely because there is no evidence for it. I have made it only too apparent that I think that there are other issues at stake.

    They could theoretically do scientific studies to ascertain whether or not magical powers were possible, but it would not automatically make it OK to use magic if it were discovered to be real, any more than it should be seen as acceptible to use napalm, nuclear bombs, carry out abortions or create hybrid animal / human embryos for scientific experimentation / vivisection.

    Science should simply ask the question of whether or not qi exists and if it does, try to discover what it is and what it is not. If science suspects that qi is not real, then it can try to disprove that it exists. Whether or not qi manipulation is ethical is not a scientific question. And much as they might like to, the minority of scientists who are devout evangelical atheists, along with their overly zealous followers (who are not necessarily scientifically well informed, but rather have a major axe to grind) cannot exclude people with faith from science.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2007

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