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Tag:buddhism

Tag:buddhism

I ran into Bill Hartnett recently, an author and policy advisor in privatization and sustainable development.

I asked him about his thoughts on the most effective ways to ensure sustainable development, and he cited the motto “reduce, reuse & recycle,” but also stressed the importance of education and getting the message out.

“It’s hard sometimes to convince people to abandon a view that they are firmly committed to,” I said. “What we need is a highly contagious mind-virus.”

“A meme,” said Bill.

“Right. I believe that what we need is a secular alternative to religion.”Before I could go on, he interrupted:

“Well, when you say that, what do you mean by ‘religion’?”

“Well,” I said, “Religion means many things. One aspect includes a commitment to a deity or some supernaturalism.”

Quickly, he fired back:

“What do you mean by supernatural?”

“It means a commitment to a belief not grounded in a naturalistic method like the scientific method. Such a method requires us to be open to any data that might contradict our deeply held beliefs.”

I was right where he wanted me.

"But the Dalai Lama has said that we should question and reexamine even our most deeply held beliefs in light of scientific evidence.”

Bill was right, of course.

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