A substantial portion of the developed world's population is increasingly dependent on machines to make their way in the everyday world. For certain privileged groups, computers, cell phones, PDAs, Blackberries, and IPODs, all permitting the faster processing of information, are commonplace. In these populations, even exercise can be automated as persons try to achieve good physical fitness by riding stationary bikes, running on treadmills, and working out on cross-trainers that send information about performance and heart rate.
Abstract In what ways was Nietzsche right, from a Buddhist perspective, and where did he go wrong? Nietzsche understood how the distinction we make between this world and a higher spiritual realm serves our need for security, and he saw the bad faith in religious values motivated by this need. He did not perceive how his alternative, more aristocratic values, also reflects the same anxiety. Nietzsche realised how the search for truth is motivated by a sublimated desire for symbolic security; (...) philosophy's attempt to create the world reflects the tyrannical will?to?power, becoming the most ?spiritualised? version of the need to impose our will. Insofar as truth is our intellectual effort to grasp being symbolically, however, Nietzsche overlooks a different reversal of perspective which could convert the ?bad infinite? of heroic will into the good infinite of disseminating play. What he considered the crown of his system?eternal recurrence?is actually its denouement. Having seen through the delusion of Being, Nietzsche still sought a Being within Becoming. Nietzsche is able to affirm the value of this moment only by making it recur eternally. Rather than the way to vanquish nihilism, will?to?power turns out to be pure nihilism, for nihilism is not the debacle of all meaning but our dread of that debacle and what we do to avoid it. (shrink)
Varieties of Ethical Reflection brings together new cultural and religious perspectives—drawn from non-Western, primarily Asian, philosophical sources—to globalize the contemporary discussion of theoretical and applied ethics.
Buddhism, By denying the subject, And advaita, By denying the object, Both resolve the problematic subject-Object relationship. That they are mirror-Images suggests that "nirvana" and "moksha" might amount to the same thing-Nonduality. "there is no self" equals "everything is the self." buddhism emphasizes "sunyata" because it is a phenomenological description of enlightenment. Advaita speaks of monistic "brahman" because it is a philosophical attempt to describe reality from the fictional "outside.".
Mechanical devices implanted in the body present implications for broad themes in religious thought and experience, including the nature and destiny of the human person, the significance of a person's embodied experience, including the experiences of pain and suffering, the person's relationship to ultimate reality, the divine or the sacred, and the vocation of medicine. Community-constituting convictions and narratives inform the method and content of reasoning about such conceptual questions as whether a moral line should be drawn between therapeutic or (...) enhancement interventions and/or between somatic and neural/cognitive interventions. By attending to these broader community-forming concepts, it is possible to identify three general orienting themes in religious perspectives on incorporated mechanical devices, which we shall designate as perspectives of “appropriation,” “ambivalence,” and “resistance.”. (shrink)
: This essay takes seriously the many Buddhist admonitions about ‘‘not settling down in things’’ and the importance of wandering freely ‘‘without a place to rest.’’ The basic thesis is that delusion is awareness trapped, and liberation is awareness freed from grasping. The familiar words ‘‘attention’’ and ‘‘awareness’’ are used to emphasize that the distinction being drawn refers not to some abstract metaphysical entity but simply to how our everyday awareness functions. This way of distinguishing between delusion and enlightenment is (...) not only consistent with basic Buddhist teachings but gives us insight into some of the more difficult ones, such as the way karma works and the Mahāyāna claim that ‘‘form is not other than emptiness, emptiness not other than form.’’ Moreover, this perspective illuminates some aspects of our contemporary life-world, including the particular challenges of modern technology and economics. It is important to see the implications for some of the social issues that concern us today. The constriction or liberation of awareness is not only a personal matter. What do societies do to encourage or discourage its emancipation? (shrink)
The Tao Tê Ching is probably the world's second most translated and annotated book , yet it remains among the most enigmatic. Of its eighty-one chapters, no one denies that the most important is the first, and many scholars go further to claim that it is the key to the whole work: if it is understood fully, all the rest may be seen to be implied. Unfortunately, the first chapter also happens to be the most ambiguous. But even so, after (...) so much attention can there be anything left to say? It seems to me that an important point has been missed or at least obscured, and that the popularity of certain translations has made this obscuration more prevalent recently. To correct this, I shall offer below a line-by-line explication of this crucial passage. The following interpretation first demonstrates the parallel structure of the first eight lines as signifying two different ways of experiencing: lines one, three, five and seven refer to the experience of Tao, and lines two, four, six and eight to our more usual way of experiencing the world. I shall suggest that the difference between these ways is the difference between our familiar dualistic experience and a much less common nondualistic way of experiencing in which there is no bifurcation between subject and object. Second, we shall see that the parallel structure unfolds dialectically: each succeeding pair of lines elaborates upon the issues that naturally arise in response to the preceding pair. In the process of showing this, I shall take sides on the two main controversies over this chapter: first, whether it should be interpreted cosmologically or ontologically/epistemologically , and second, whether lines, five and six should be punctuated to translate yü as ‘desire/intention’. My main thesis is that the traditional understanding of yü as ‘desire’ or ‘intention’ is an essential part of the meaning of the chapter. This is by no means an original claim, but why it is so important does not seem to have been noticed before and provides the reason for this paper. Wing-tsit Chan's criticism of such translations, that ‘intention interrupts the thought of the chapter’, 1 is thus a serious misreading of the text. (shrink)
The new information technologies hold out the promise of instantaneous, 24/7 connection and co-presence. But to be everywhere at once is to be effectively nowhere; to be connected to everyone and everything is to be effectively disconnected. Why then do we long for faster connections and fuller connectivity? The answer this paper proposes is that we are trying to fill our existential lack, our radical sense of inadequacy and incompleteness as human beings. From such a perspective, our pursuit of speed (...) and connectivity is doomed to failure insofar as it only exacerbates the condition we are fleeing. Rather than rushing faster, the Buddhist-inspired solution would have us slow down and directly investigate our sense of lack. (shrink)