What are you most controversial opinions

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What are you most controversial opinions

I am in the mood to vent. I have opinions that I can't talk openly about at work and in my conservative area, would get beat up for discussing since this is a place where advocating using nuclear weapons against Mecca is not all the controversial.

- As an atheist and a bright, simply admitting that I do not believe in god is deeply offensive to some people, particularly ones whose religious beliefs indicate that everyone should be converted to their religion. The planet as a whole would be better off without religion, especially Islam and Christianity.

- I am a white person and I agree whole-heartly with Kanye West when he said George Bush doesn't care about Black people and all the things he said leading up to that. For five days George Bush did absolutely nothing to help the victims of Katrina, he remained on vacation, even going out to play guitar with some celebrity for a photo op. After the city went to total chaos he ordered the national guard to shoot those looters, meanwhile white families caught up in the disaster were said to be "finding" supplies. We know George Bush doesn't care about black people because we he finally got off his ass to do something, he CONGRATULATED the man responsible for hundreds of dead and dying people in New Orleans as doing a "heck of a job."

- George Bush stole the election by illegally disenfranchising black voters with a list of "felons" that had an absurd number of false positives because the criteria for being on the list was being the same race, and having the same name as a felon. Only we can't talk about this because bringing up this historical fact labels us conspiracy theorists despite being well documented.

-There are dozens of crimes committed by the Bush administration that should warrant impeachment and all of them alone are far worse than cheating on your wife with a fat Jewish intern in the oval office. Republicans are massive hypocrites and Democrats are tiny cowards for not impeaching this fuck head. Bush's overwhelming incompetence is proof that 9-11 was not planned by him or anyone working for him since the towers actually fell.

-George Bush is a liar. His administration lied about weapons of mass destruction. They went by intelligence that they knew was false because they had been wanting to conquer Iraq and its oil for years. Even now the future oil revenue is being divided up amongst the oil corporations and is going to be used not for the benefit of Iraqis but for the benefit of George Bush's friends.

-Our use of depleted uranium is a war crime and I hold the pentagon responsible for every birth defect that happens in Iraq. Someone needs to give shaking the evil out of the pentagon another try.

-Hilary Clinton and other democrats were not deceived by Bush, they voted for the war knowing he was full of shit but were to cowardly to call Bush out on his lies, which is pretty much the same reason they voted for the patriot act.

-Crack Cocaine was intentionally let into this country by the CIA under Regan because we had alliances to maintain with right wing drug lords. The fact that it devastated the black community was convenient source of revenue and labor for the increasingly privatized prisons that tend to support the right wing

-Reagan was a miserable excuse for a president and it is a pity that he didn't spend his last days homeless and alone like the thousands of mentally ill people he threw out on the street to build more bombs, or die penniless and broken like the black single mothers he vilified, or die in a blazing inferno or from chemical burns that would cover 100% of his body like the children of Iran killed by weapons he supplied to Iraq.

-The longest running failure of policy is the war on (some) drugs but no one, once elected, has the courage to admit the nakedness of the king and do something to stop it. DEA agents and the police in general have become increasingly militarized because kicking down doors like jack booted fascists is pretty much the only way to enforce drug laws. The war on drugs had racists motivations as an excuse to lock up Mexicans and Asians, served as a useful tool to lock up young critics of the Vietnam war who had also expanded their minds by experimenting with altering the consciousness, and continues to be used as a weapon against minorities.  Blacks account for 15% of the users of pot and about 80% of arrests, and the children of the wealthy are given far more lenient sentences in the criminal justice system.

-Sodomy and Fornication are healthy natural and normal and it is ludicrous to think that we can stop teen pregnancy by teaching only abstanence. We also should teach tolerance of homosexuality and sex ed should cover issues relevant to gay sex.

- I do not pledge allegiance to the flag, the united states, or the god it is under.


The Doomed Soul
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Semi-Auto Assault rifle;

Semi-Auto Assault rifle; $3,400

Standard mechanic tool kit; $70

Monthly Internet subscription; $20

-----------

 

Learning on youtube, how to make your assault rifle a fully automatic killing machine, in under 20 minutes...

Epic!

 

(Using said automatic rifle to dictate changes in government regulations... now that, is both ironic and priceless ^_^)

What Would Kharn Do?


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ProzacDeathWish wrote:It's a

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

It's a semiautomatic.  Full auto's are fun to shoot but on my meager income I can't justify the expense of purchasing an actual full auto rifle, going through the legal requirements, etc. 

I thought full-auto's were illegal period and the only way to get around it was to by the full-auto mod spearately?

Quote:
Besides, I can still shoot my friend's full autos.  I even got to shoot a 100 round belt of ammo through a German MG 34 GPMG.  That's f**king awesome !!!

The whole thing in a single prolonged spray or in 3-4 bullet spurts?

" Why does God always got such wacky shit to say? . . . When was the last time you heard somebody say 'look God told me to get a muffin and a cup tea and cool out man'?" - Dov Davidoff


illeatyourdog
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The Doomed Soul

The Doomed Soul wrote:

Semi-Auto Assault rifle; $3,400

Standard mechanic tool kit; $70

Monthly Internet subscription; $20

-----------

 

Learning on youtube, how to make your assault rifle a fully automatic killing machine, in under 20 minutes...

Epic!

 

(Using said automatic rifle to dictate changes in government regulations... now that, is both ironic and priceless ^_^)

 

I would have gone with "And finally silencing the Sex and the City broads . .  . priceless" Sticking out tongue

" Why does God always got such wacky shit to say? . . . When was the last time you heard somebody say 'look God told me to get a muffin and a cup tea and cool out man'?" - Dov Davidoff


ProzacDeathWish
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Fully automatic weapons are

Fully automatic weapons are not illegal in the United States.  You must pass a stringent background check, receive written approval from local chief law enforcement officer in your city / town, be licensed by BATF , pay a $ 200.00 tax, and be able to afford a very expensive weapon that was not manufactured after 1986.  There may be further requirements that I am not aware of but that is the general gist of it.

 

MG 34 is a select fire weapon that can fire either  single shots ( semi-auto ) or continuously ( full auto ). "Google" it, there's tons of information on the web.

 

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iwbiek
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illeatyourdog wrote:All

illeatyourdog wrote:

All utopian Monarchy ideas presuppose a wise and compassionate ruler.  In fact, there are many instances in Rome and China in which the Empire being ruled by a reasonable ruler allowed for the Empire and people to flourish.  The main problem with a Monarchy, however, is the fact that people die regardless of how reasonable and great they are and their sons will fight over the empire when the Wise Ruler dies.  So yes, in theory, Monarchies work.  You just have to ignore that fact that people die and intellignece and wisdom does not transfer genetically. 

there just aren't many theoretical writings on monarchy unless you consider "god made me king, right or wrong" theoretical.  we can take plato's philosopher king but that isn't hereditary.  the roman emperors were in theory not monarchs but several republican officers--president of the senate, tribune of the people, etc.--combined into one.  there was still a republican apparatus for much of the imperial period, but an impotent one.  in fact, the first emperor, augustus, was actually a private citizen for much of his reign, i.e., he held no office at all.  romans had a traditional aversion to the word king and it wasn't until the center of the empire moved toward byzantium and became thoroughly orientalized that the roman emperors began calling themselves "basileus" and "dominus et deus" and wearing diadems.

the other major utopian autocratic theory is confucianism, which actually applies more to local despots than, say, the chinese emperors (recall in confucius's time there was no real unified china). 

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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Quote:Plus if you institute

Quote:

Plus if you institute a Platonian school system for everyone, you're decomposing your system from within. Platonian schools are excellent for making someone intelligent as an individual, but individual thoughts breed dissent, especially on a global scale. That's why you don't see them much these days, it's not compatible with the system.

Basically all governments are torn between stability/safety or freedom. The most stable and safe system is one in which people are so incredibly oppressed or altered that changing things or even wanting to is beyond them, like in 1984 or Brave New World. The most free society is actually a lack of society, or total anarchy.

Your system tries to give great amounts of both freedom and intellectual development while also maintaining stability. These are incompatible goals.

I don't mind not getting into Heaven as long as there's cigarettes in Hell

Hmmm. It doesn't seem that your formula "there is a tug of war between stability and freedom of opinion" is always the case. It certainly applies well to totalitarian models, where the system cannot, by definition, tolerate dissent. It appears to break down when you consider a system that could tolerate the variety of ideas of its citizenry. The rule of thumb tends to be "if people are happy with the system, then they won't revolt against it". Suppression of dissent is not the only way to keep such a system running. In fact, such a system is inherently unstable because it increases the propensity of people to revolt against it.

Your statement would certainly apply well to a state like Nazi Germany, to take an example. The Nazis faced a problem. Ideologically, they were deeply anti-intellectual. Goering once remarked "When I hear the word culture, I reach for my gun" and then later "Intellect rots the character". Hitler, at the same time, was saying "Knowledge is the ruin of my young men [the youth of Germany]". The Nazi anti-intellectualism was implemented in the school curriculum, which disengaged from the purpose of the school (to educate) into one of rote indoctrination. They had to reverse most of these policies because their tertiary education rates were falling fast and they were unable to keep up in terms of R&D with other countries during WWII. The Nazis faced a problem. An educated populace would make in more likely that the people would revolt against the Nazi system. An uneducated populace would not be able to run the country.

Another classic example is Russian Tsardom. In the 50 to 100 years before the provisional governemnt was instated in Feb. 1917, many people asked not so much if revolution occured, but when. Alexander II was sometimes called the "Tsar liberator", a misnomer in my opinion since most of his reforms, especially the Emancipation of the Serfs, had very little actual impact and most were reversed by his son anyway. But Alexander II still presided in the form of a divine-right granted Tsar over the Russian empire over a country where the bulk of the people lived in extreme poverty and as such, his relaxation of the laws against right of assembly presented a problem, the "oxygen of publicity" to radicals who wanted to bring him down, and there were! For revolutionary activity in Russia goes back at least to the formation of the 1848 Manifesto by the narodniks, long before the SR, Mensheveiks or Bolsheveiks. Anyway, he was assassinated as a result.

These two examples illustrate a point. A totalitarian system will achieve stability by suppressing dissent and by extension encouraging anti-intellectualism. But a non-totalitarian system will not have this problem, presumably. There is no reason to suppose there is some innate tug-of-war between an educated populace, and a populace which is satisfied with the system in question. Also, your 1984 comparison does not seem valid in this case. If I recall correctly, Oceania was split into three classes, the "proles", the "inner party" and the "outer party". The proles posed no threat to the party because, like in Hitler's scheme, they had no capacity for independant thought. Of course, keeping a large majority of the population in uneducated, extreme poverty is most likely the reason that Oceania is (in the book), well... in extreme poverty. But I don't think FTD is advocating a police state, or stating that the opinions of the citizenry should be suppressed (like in 1984). His proposal relates purely to the manner in which people are elected to positions, meritocratically. Essentially, he wants the political world to function in the same manner that the academic world does. Working in the academic world myself, I like the structure of things and think it is the best way to determine things we want to such as the truth or lack thereof of a scientific theory, etc. I can't say whether it would work for a political system, although I think it would be interesting to try. But the key point to take a way is that such a structre would by definition necessitate a large highly educated populace (discussed below). So I think the primary problem is that your conceptualization of problems that might arise is fundamentally tied to how society works right now.

An educated populace would go well with a system that can tolerate the fact that educated people will form their own independant thoughts. In fact, it seems that what FTD is proposing would be unstable if the population were uneducated and incapable of independant thought. Correct me if I am wrong, but under FTD's scheme, the unique aspect, which does not exist today, is that the intelligentisa, instead of being a tiny elite, becomes the main class of people, in the same way that the "middle class" is the largest class in most Western industrialized nations today, correct? It would be interesting to see a large-portioned intelligentsia society. I personally would like it although I have no idea if it is plausible or not since society does not currently function in this manner.

 

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

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I have a very un-PC

I have a very un-PC opinion.  I don't think human homosexuality is a genetic trait.  I think it's a high level of behavior that is primarily a function of environment.  If there's a gene for being gay, then there's a gene for liking rap music or golden showers.

If there is a gene for homosexuality and gay people want to go around saying, "I was born this way.. it's not my fault." then the same thing can be said about pedophilia.  There may be genes which predispose people towards being more/less masculine/effeminate, and this coupled with societal pressure and peer groups can push people into social situations that center around alternative sexuality, but I honestly don't think from the moment someone is born, they know they want to engage in atypical sexual activity.  I think this behavior is influenced from the environment more than anything else.

My opinion is NOT to be confused as any sort of homophobia.  Not at all.  I am all for gay rights and have many gay friends.  I just don't like them using as an excuse, "I was born this way."  I don't think there's real science to back it up, but I also think scientists don't want to talk about this because it's very controversial.  I think homosexuals should get all the rights they want, not because "they were born like that" but because we're all humans and we all deserve certain basic dignities and respect. 

When I see gays fighting for "rights" and using the genetics excuse, I recognize that the next oppressed group will have to start over and can't piggyback on the gay movements' progress because they're not using a more reasonable, horizontal excuse to promote civil rights - they're asking for special treatment because they supposedly can't help the way they are.  That next group looking for respect may very well be atheists.  And would we want to make such a shallow claim to forgive our situation? Or would we want to argue that whatever choices we make regarding what we believe, what we like and how we want to practice our lives, as long as they don't hurt anybody else, shouldn't affect the basic dignity and rights we should have in society?

 

 


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iwbiek wrote:there just

iwbiek wrote:

there just aren't many theoretical writings on monarchy unless you consider "god made me king, right or wrong" theoretical. 

Even with this simple theoretical justification, the presupposition behind this Divine Right, is the idea that the Monarch is wise, kind, and knowledgable.  For if the Monarch wasn't, God would have ordained someonelese.  And the reason why they maintained that King's son should be the rightful air was due to, again, their total lack of understanding of intelligence and genetics.  But, ideally, (that is ignoring obious facts about humans) a Monarchy is a wonderful idea.

Quote:
the other major utopian autocratic theory is confucianism, which actually applies more to local despots than, say, the chinese emperors (recall in confucius's time there was no real unified china). 

1) There are different schools of Confucianism, namely, the Hsunztu and Mengtzi school.  One believed human nature was inherently evil, the other believed human nature was inherently good.  However, you do raise a good point that Confucious, as well as his two students Hsuntzi and Mengzi, ldid not live in a unified China, thus, they were not really referring to a single unity of China (in fact, its debateble if there was a China in these times). 2) I was referring to later Dynasties in which it was a monarchy complete with incest and al that Jazz.  Certainly the Han Dynasty was a success since that was 200 years of prosperity and progress (the development of the Silk Road that allows for continental trade).

What about the Han Dynasty in China? 

" Why does God always got such wacky shit to say? . . . When was the last time you heard somebody say 'look God told me to get a muffin and a cup tea and cool out man'?" - Dov Davidoff


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Pile wrote:I have a very

Pile wrote:

I have a very un-PC opinion.  I don't think human homosexuality is a genetic trait.  I think it's a high level of behavior that is primarily a function of environment.  If there's a gene for being gay, then there's a gene for liking rap music or golden showers.

 

On the flipside, there isn't a gene that makes us heterosexual either and we are encouraged by our enviornment to like the opposite sex if that is indeed the sex we do like?

" Why does God always got such wacky shit to say? . . . When was the last time you heard somebody say 'look God told me to get a muffin and a cup tea and cool out man'?" - Dov Davidoff


iwbiek
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illeatyourdog wrote:1) There

illeatyourdog wrote:

1) There are different schools of Confucianism, namely, the Hsunztu and Mengtzi school.  One believed human nature was inherently evil, the other believed human nature was inherently good.  However, you do raise a good point that Confucious, as well as his two students Hsuntzi and Mengzi, ldid not live in a unified China, thus, they were not really referring to a single unity of China (in fact, its debateble if there was a China in these times). 2) I was referring to later Dynasties in which it was a monarchy complete with incest and al that Jazz.  Certainly the Han Dynasty was a success since that was 200 years of prosperity and progress (the development of the Silk Road that allows for continental trade).

What about the Han Dynasty in China? 

well, at this point it seems we're beginning to argue more about the merits of monarchy than whether or not there really ever has been a "theory" of monarchy, but since i love all things chinese we'll give it a go.

first of all, confucianism of any school is more about the cultivation of certain virtues (of which d.c. lau gives a great list, complete with explanations, in his introduction to his translation of the "analects" ) in individuals, especially those in government, which will allow them to make the world a harmonious place.  despite the embellishments that came with taoism and the later canonization of confucian philosophy (much of it under the han dynasty), there is very little mysticism to confucius himself.  confucius basically believed that the human race had degenerated (whether they were "essentially" good or bad, he himself never addressed) and that the only thing that could hold them to a proper ethic was observance of the "li" or "rites."  the rites were canonized to an extent but could also, and should also, be altered with the necessities of changing circumstances. 

the rites are only valid so far as they serve the virtues.  to the extent that they serve the virtues, they should be followed minutely.  one of the virtues is filial piety, which is primarily honoring one's parents and secondarily the ruler.  it was mencius who later retrospectively interpreted history according to these standards.  confucianism does not presuppose a monarch.  it often, however, presupposes an autocrat.  dynasties can and should be overthrown when they cease to be virtuous (confucius often cites approvingly the overthrow of the yin by the duke of chou).  if confucianism has anything to say about the government--and it has nothing systematic to say about it either in the "five classics" or the "four books"--it is in a philosophy of a benevolent dictator, certainly not a divinely appointed bloodline.  a ruler was "divinely appointed" in a sense, not by some random act of god before the beginning of time, but rather in his ability to attune himself the "the decree of heaven" ("t'ien ming" ), which is really just a euphemism for moral imperitive, but of course even the ancient chinese, like most ancient people, believed morals fell from the sky.

as for the han dynasty, it had several things in its favor.  for one thing, it was preceded by the terribly oppressive and short-lived ch'in dynasty, which operated on a central bureaucracy and took as its philosophy the legalist school.  legalism evolved from hsun tzu's school of confucianism through the philosophy of han fei.  this school recommend unbridled policies of terror; it also persecuted the confucians.  after this, the confucian han dynasty couldn't do any worse.

one bad legacy of the han dynasty, however, is that it marked the first widespread development of the landlord class that would become so decadent and parasitic later on, leading to the necessity of the three chinese revolutions: the first under sun yat-sen, the second under the coalition of chiang kai-shek's kuomintang and the chinese communist party, and the third under comrade mao.

be that as it may, the han dynasty was successful by economic standards and, to a degree, moral standards.  it took confucianism as its philosophy and was responsible for a great deal of the formation of orthodox confucianism.  on top of that, the han were able to function so efficiently mainly because of the bureaucratic framework that the ch'in had established and left behind.  the emperor himself was probably not concerned with most of the practical business of the empire.  the han coupled this centralization and professional bureaucracy with the moral integrity of confucianism and it worked.  it worked in a way that western liberal democracies could learn from.  and a lot of the reason it worked was, in my opinion, the ethics of confucianism.  as ezra pound wrote in his introduction to his translation of confucius:

"[Confucius's] analysis of why the earlier great emperors had been able to govern greatly was so sound that every durable dynasty, since his time, has risen on a Confucian design and been initiated by a group of Confucians.  China was tranquil when her rulers understood these few pages.  When the principles here defined were neglected, dynasties waned and chaos ensued.  The proponents of a world order will neglect at their peril the study of the only process that has repeatedly proved its efficiency as social coordinate."

this is of course highly idealized but he does have a point: confucianism is really sound ethical and social philosophy.  however, it does not require a monarch and it does not speak exclusively to monarchy.  comrade mao himself would have made a very different china had he spent more time grappling with confucius rather than writing him off.  the same goes for chiang kai-shek. 

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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Diplomat iwbiek

Diplomat iwbiek   

  and a Jesus echoed the same Confucius/Buddha message ..... the only message ,

                                                         ONE

                                                         Buddha added, fuck the why questions !

                                               Moses added, no idols .....

                                                            Jesus added,  I am god as you .....

                                                       and Muhammad added,  awe la la la is great !

        Then was YOU and I ............... same shit .............

                                                         O N E

       

 

 


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Let's see here... -I

Let's see here...

-I support the legalization of prostitution and all drugs. Is it any of the government's business who has sex with who, or what substances people put in their own bodies? Absolutely not.

-I am strongly opposed to what are in my opinion the three most dangerous religions out there-Christianity, Islam and Scientology. I actively oppose these dangerous delusions whenever I have the opportunity.

-I feel that the governments of most Western countries are far to soft on crime. I support the concept of "Lex Talionis" punishment as the most logical and just response to criminals.


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Rosvarga wrote:-I feel that

Rosvarga wrote:

-I feel that the governments of most Western countries are far to soft on crime. I support the concept of "Lex Talionis" punishment as the most logical and just response to criminals.

oh yeah.  the current prison system breeds more crime and is nothing more than the taxpayers paying for what the criminals did.  i'm a big proponent of work farms and labor camps.  the only problem with stalin's gulag, in my opinion, was that a disproportianate number of innocent people went there (and were victimized there by the real criminals, who were a sort of aristocracy).

i mean, look at it this way: many of our highways in the american south were built by convict labor.  the convicts were kept off the streets and the american people only had to pay, beyond the cost to build the penal farm itself, the price of cornbread and beans, picks and shovels, and shotgun shells.  as for the highways, only the costs of the materials and what few skilled laborers had to go there every now and then at key points in the construction process.  now we not only foot the whole bill for the highways--material and labor--but we also pay for convicts to go to school, have tv sets, lift weights, play basketball, central heating, air-conditioning, etc., etc.  it's ridiculous.  it deters nobody who's really dangerous, wastes a huge source of cheap labor, and costs us out the ass.  why do you think the crime rate spurts during the winter?

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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I'm not sure how

I'm not sure how controversial this is but many people disagree with me when I say this. I think the government should keep out of marriage and personal relationships. No one should have to pay for a license to have a personal relationship with someone. The whole issue of gay marriage should be a non issue because the state should not give benefits to people based on what kind of personal relationships they have.


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Bahana wrote:I'm not sure

Bahana wrote:

I'm not sure how controversial this is but many people disagree with me when I say this. I think the government should keep out of marriage and personal relationships. No one should have to pay for a license to have a personal relationship with someone. The whole issue of gay marriage should be a non issue because the state should not give benefits to people based on what kind of personal relationships they have.

 

I agree with you. The whole gay marriage debate is an argument over a single word-"marriage". I don't know how or why the government got involved in it in the first place.


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iwbiek wrote:this is of

iwbiek wrote:

this is of course highly idealized but he does have a point: confucianism is really sound ethical and social philosophy.  however, it does not require a monarch and it does not speak exclusively to monarchy.  comrade mao himself would have made a very different china had he spent more time grappling with confucius rather than writing him off.  the same goes for chiang kai-shek. 

Interesting point.  All I can really say at this point is that two essential tenants, namely, family values, and that Confucious was always talking about King (in the D.C. Lau translation anyway) molds itself well to th idea of Monoarchy.  However, I do not see how you can say Confucious comments about what  proper King should be like and how one can become a proper King can be divorced from the idea of a single ruler but that is just splitting hairs at this point.  Nevertheless, Confucious enphasized that a proper King is benevolent, thus, even his theories when applied to a Monoarchy presupposes a wise and kind individual at the head.

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one bad legacy of the han dynasty, however, is that it marked the first widespread development of the landlord class that would become so decadent and parasitic later on, leading to the necessity of the three chinese revolutions

Even as distinct from Monarchy as Confucianism can be, not even Confucious could forsee this flaw which occurs with every Monarchy no matter how prosperous it becomes.  This is, again, due to his lack of understanding of intelligence and genetics resulting in the false assumption that Wise and benevolent rulers will have wise and benevolent children, albiet, as long as he cultivated them properly (which makes him a little more knowledgeable than most Monarch ideas which does not even take into account the notion of cultivating the person I don't think).

 

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illeatyourdog

illeatyourdog wrote:

Interesting point.  All I can really say at this point is that two essential tenants, namely, family values, and that Confucious was always talking about King (in the D.C. Lau translation anyway) molds itself well to th idea of Monoarchy.  However, I do not see how you can say Confucious comments about what  proper King should be like and how one can become a proper King can be divorced from the idea of a single ruler but that is just splitting hairs at this point.  Nevertheless, Confucious enphasized that a proper King is benevolent, thus, even his theories when applied to a Monoarchy presupposes a wise and kind individual at the head.

that's interesting, because i remember d.c. lau using "ruler" mostly.  i'll have to dig him up and have a look.

"a proper King" in my view is the scion of a bloodline ordained by god to rule, right or wrong.  confucius did not espouse this view.  each ruler was right or wrong individually and confucius clearly espouses both the overthrow of a ruler or an entire dynasty when they are no longer virtuous, and a servant abandoning his ruler when he is no longer virtuous.  compare this to confucius's references to shun and his father, "the blind man," and how one should patiently bear with one's parents no matter how horrible they become.  since confucius did not put any stock in heredity, i choose to use "autocrat," "ruler," or even "dictator" rather than "monarch" or "king."  maybe you see it as splitting hairs but such is philosophy.

illeatyourdog wrote:

Even as distinct from Monarchy as Confucianism can be, not even Confucious could forsee this flaw which occurs with every Monarchy no matter how prosperous it becomes.  This is, again, due to his lack of understanding of intelligence and genetics resulting in the false assumption that Wise and benevolent rulers will have wise and benevolent children, albiet, as long as he cultivated them properly (which makes him a little more knowledgeable than most Monarch ideas which does not even take into account the notion of cultivating the person I don't think).

you misunderstand me.  i was not talking about descendents of the emperor or even descendents of the nobility.  the landed gentry was something totally new: men who often had no noble birth but through their own ingenuity became dealers in property and human labor.  of course they often passed down their property through their descendents but these descendents could, and did, easily lose it through incompetence.  thus the landed gentry, or "landlords" as they are usually translated, on the whole remained a competent class, but exploitative.

i don't think confucius at all believed that wise rulers would by necessity have wise children.  i don't think you can find anything in his writings to support that--quite the contrary, actually. 

 

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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iwbiek wrote:that's

iwbiek wrote:

that's interesting, because i remember d.c. lau using "ruler" mostly.  i'll have to dig him up and have a look.

 since confucius did not put any stock in heredity, i choose to use "autocrat," "ruler," or even "dictator" rather than "monarch" or "king."  maybe you see it as splitting hairs but such is philosophy.

Shun was  Sage-King was he not?  And Confucious valued the rites so highly becuase he believed it was the only way one can become a Sage-King. 

 

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i don't think confucius at all believed that wise rulers would by necessity have wise children.  i don't think you can find anything in his writings to support that--quite the contrary, actually. 

I'll give ya that one.  There is a story of Sage-King who saw the potential in a peasant and made the peasant his heir over his own son which Confucious valued very highly. 

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illeatyourdog wrote:Shun

illeatyourdog wrote:

Shun was  Sage-King was he not?  And Confucious valued the rites so highly becuase he believed it was the only way one can become a Sage-King.

yes, shun was one of the legendary emperors.  the term that's usually translated "sage" is "sheng jen."  this is a type of personality that is basically perfect and thus in no need of the rites.  confucius himself insisted he was no sage, nor had he ever met a sage.  in fact, he probably believed sages were basically extinct due to mankind's moral degeneration.  it seems that confucius, and later especially mencius, believed that mankind needed the rites to keep him from chaos but, in former times, he didn't need the rites.  the rites are the only way to cultivate benevolence ("jen&quotEye-wink and become what d.c. lau translates as "gentleman" ("chun tzu&quotEye-wink.  i believe ezra pound translated it as "big man."  this is the character that confucius believes most men can realistically aspire to.

allow me to stress that a good ruler should be a chun tzu, but a chun tzu doesn't have to be a ruler.  a chun tzu can be anyone, from the emperor to a peasant.  it actually isn't till the later confucian primers, "the great learning" and "the doctrine of the mean," that the subject of good government is really expounded in-depth.  in "the analects," confucius talks about everything under the sun, and he doesn't focus on rulers any more than anything else.  it is true, however, that confucius spent many years of his life wandering around china trying to find a lord who would wholeheartedly embrace his system.  he failed.

confucius's model of a good ruler was usually the duke of chou, who was a hegemon of sorts who united several warring states but was not any sort of hereditary or quasi-divine monarch.

 

illeatyourdog wrote:

I'll give ya that one.  There is a story of Sage-King who saw the potential in a peasant and made the peasant his heir over his own son which Confucious valued very highly. 

you're talking about yao and shun.  yao was the ruler who abdicated to shun after shun successfully drained the floods from the yellow river and governed several provinces well.  to be fair to the principles of heredity, however, shun did have to marry yao's daugher first.  the names yao and shun are proverbial by-words in almost all classical chinese philosophy.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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I think all this has proven

I think all this has proven that yes, a monarchy can work in theory, but just like all theoretical systems it is incompatible with human nature and won't last forever

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iwbiek wrote:yes, shun was

iwbiek wrote:

yes, shun was one of the legendary emperors.  the term that's usually translated "sage" is "sheng jen."  this is a type of personality that is basically perfect and thus in no need of the rites.  confucius himself insisted he was no sage, nor had he ever met a sage.  in fact, he probably believed sages were basically extinct due to mankind's moral degeneration. 

I wouldn;t go that far.  However I will concede that the participation of the rites by the Sage-kings is ambiguous.  I believe all Confucious ever said is that they established the rites.  Mengzi's idea of Goodness implies that the Sage-Kings practicied the rites since he viewed the rites as cultivation of Goodness which suggests that the Sage-Kings must have, at some point in their lives, cultivated themselves (or, at least, it is a perfectly valid option).  Hsu-ztu has a mroe scientific story in the sense that the Sage-kings expirmented with various rituals to determine which one's resulted in the best Gentleman.  However, both Mengzi and Hsunztu believed that anyone could become a Sage if they studied the ritual and music.

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confucius's model of a good ruler was usually the duke of chou, who was a hegemon of sorts who united several warring states but was not any sort of hereditary or quasi-divine monarch.

This point goes to you good sir. 

Quote:
you're talking about yao and shun.  yao was the ruler who abdicated to shun after shun successfully drained the floods from the yellow river and governed several provinces well.  to be fair to the principles of heredity, however, shun did have to marry yao's daugher first.  the names yao and shun are proverbial by-words in almost all classical chinese philosophy.

Indeed.  Confucious very often comments on how certain people are a Shun in the Analects.

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pyrokidd wrote:I think all

pyrokidd wrote:

I think all this has proven that yes, a monarchy can work in theory, but just like all theoretical systems it is incompatible with human nature and won't last forever

Which is all I was pointing out but i rarely get the chance to discuss Chinese philosophy with people.

" Why does God always got such wacky shit to say? . . . When was the last time you heard somebody say 'look God told me to get a muffin and a cup tea and cool out man'?" - Dov Davidoff


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illeatyourdog wrote:I

illeatyourdog wrote:

I wouldn;t go that far. 

i don't see why not.  in "analects" vii.26 (d.c. lau's), confucius says, "I have no hopes of meeting a sage ("sheng jen&quotEye-wink.  I would be content if I met someone who is a gentleman ("chun tzu&quotEye-wink."  this quote basically tells us that confucius thought gentlemen were rare, much less sages.  it seems confucius knew of no one who could be called a sage, at least in his extensive knowledge of china.

illeatyourdog wrote:

However I will concede that the participation of the rites by the Sage-kings is ambiguous.  I believe all Confucious ever said is that they established the rites.

well, it depends on what you mean by "Confucius said" (i have to try with all my being to keep myself from making a fortune cookie joke here).  if you mean the authentic words of confucius, which of course nobody can know.  most scholars take the "analects" as being the most trustworthy repository of his words, so for all intents and purposes i usually consider what is found in the "analects" to be confucius's words.  that being said, i don't recall him ever stating the origin of the rites.  the closest he comes is in ii.23, "The Yin built on the rites of the Hsia.  What was added and what was omitted can be known.  The Chou built on the rites of the Yin.  What was added and what was omitted can be known."  this tells us two things: one, confucius traced some form of the rites back to the hsia dynasty (2100-1600 b.c.e.), saying nothing about whether they existed earlier or not, and two, the rites were never a static thing but were adjusted according to the times.

illeatyourdog wrote:

Mengzi's idea of Goodness implies that the Sage-Kings practicied the rites since he viewed the rites as cultivation of Goodness which suggests that the Sage-Kings must have, at some point in their lives, cultivated themselves (or, at least, it is a perfectly valid option). 

i haven't read mencius in years and, honestly, i didn't pay the best attention when i did, because compared to the spritely and humorous confucius, mencius is kind of tedious.  i of course recall his focus on the original goodness of mankind and its subsequent degeneration.  he gives a sort of moral history of china, much like a chinese hesiod.  if you take the "sage-kings" to mean the legendary "five emperors," then i'm willing to go as far as yao and shun possibly cultivating themselves.  the others are so legendary that they are often portrayed as semi-divine.  to my knowledge, no one ever spoke of the yellow emperor, for example, as "cultivating himself." 

still, when i said the sages were perfect i didn't mean some inherent perfection.  of course it required cultivation, but not necessarily in such a rigid structure as the rites.  however, you have to admit that confucius believed that sages were born with a predisposition to following the tao, making cultivation much easier for them.  mencius seems to believe there was a time when more people were born this way.  i recall very distinctly that either confucius or mencius or both stated that there was a time when the rites were not necessary to keep mankind from chaos.

illeatyourdog wrote:

Hsu-ztu has a mroe scientific story in the sense that the Sage-kings expirmented with various rituals to determine which one's resulted in the best Gentleman.  However, both Mengzi and Hsunztu believed that anyone could become a Sage if they studied the ritual and music.

i'll have to take your word for it.  i never read any of hsun tzu's writings.  considering the "mencius" became canonized as one of confucianism's "four books" and the "hsun tzu" didn't says a lot about which view has become orthodox in confucianism.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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iwbiek wrote:i don't see why

iwbiek wrote:

i don't see why not.  in "analects" vii.26 (d.c. lau's), confucius says, "I have no hopes of meeting a sage ("sheng jen&quotEye-wink.  I would be content if I met someone who is a gentleman ("chun tzu&quotEye-wink."  this quote basically tells us that confucius thought gentlemen were rare, much less sages.  it seems confucius knew of no one who could be called a sage, at least in his extensive knowledge of china.

And now we come to the real issue many have with Confucious, namely, his nack to say incredibly vague things.  I mean, what exactly did he mean when he said "I have no hopes of meeting a sage"?  he never clarified and niether Mengzi nor Hsun-ztu comleted that thought either aside form maintaining that, depsite Confucious own belief,s that he was a Sage.  One way to take it is the way you are.  another way is that he simply meant in his lifetime which does not mean he believed there would be no more Sages.  Keepin mind that he lived in the Warring States.  Perhpas if he lived in the Han Dynasty, his attitued toward Sages might have been different.  Also, you have to draw into question his knowledge of China.  he certainly could have traveled to all the provinces that made up what we now call China and seemd limited to 2 or three.  This means that, in the provinces he knew of, there were no Sages.

 

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well, it depends on what you mean by "Confucius said" (i have to try with all my being to keep myself from making a fortune cookie joke here).  if you mean the authentic words of confucius, which of course nobody can know.  most scholars take the "analects" as being the most trustworthy repository of his words, so for all intents and purposes i usually consider what is found in the "analects" to be confucius's words.  that being said, i don't recall him ever stating the origin of the rites.  the closest he comes is in ii.23, "The Yin built on the rites of the Hsia.  What was added and what was omitted can be known.  The Chou built on the rites of the Yin.  What was added and what was omitted can be known."  this tells us two things: one, confucius traced some form of the rites back to the hsia dynasty (2100-1600 b.c.e.), saying nothing about whether they existed earlier or not, and two, the rites were never a static thing but were adjusted according to the times.

You corrected me yet again. 

Quote:
i haven't read mencius in years and, honestly, i didn't pay the best attention when i did, because compared to the spritely and humorous confucius, mencius is kind of tedious.  i of course recall his focus on the original goodness of mankind and its subsequent degeneration.  he gives a sort of moral history of china, much like a chinese hesiod.  if you take the "sage-kings" to mean the legendary "five emperors," then i'm willing to go as far as yao and shun possibly cultivating themselves.  the others are so legendary that they are often portrayed as semi-divine.  to my knowledge, no one ever spoke of the yellow emperor, for example, as "cultivating himself."

Well, I kinda learned things backwards becuase I read selections from Mengzi and Hsu-ztu before reading the Analects so their teachings stuck with me more than the ones in the Analects.  However, I was just pointing out that his epistomological (or ontological?) explanation of goodness implies that, even if one can discover it on their own, one must also practice whatever rituals are necessary in order to remain good for it makes no sense that considering how much he did value ritual, and music, that their are individuals who are too good to do either one.  Espcially when you take into account his story of Ox Mountain in which people mistake is as barren and lifeless because no one properly cultivated it.  This suggests that if one does not keep up with the rituals and music, they can become evil regardless of good they have become.  Interestingly on Hsun-ztu's story of Goodness, your proposal that the Sage's were perfect and did not need to practice the rituals fits in perfectly since many of his arguments rely on a teacher knowing what is best for the student.

Quote:
still, when i said the sages were perfect i didn't mean some inherent perfection.  of course it required cultivation, but not necessarily in such a rigid structure as the rites.  however, you have to admit that confucius believed that sages were born with a predisposition to following the tao, making cultivation much easier for them.
 

I'm not saying that it was difficult for them, I was just saying that they too must have also practiced it as well if we are to accept Mengzi's story on goodness.

Quote:
'll have to take your word for it.  i never read any of hsun tzu's writings.  considering the "mencius" became canonized as one of confucianism's "four books" and the "hsun tzu" didn't says a lot about which view has become orthodox in confucianism.

Very true.  However, Hsun-ztu was one of the first ancient CHinese philoophers to write detailed essays on his views rather than relying on students to capture his ideas.  That oughta count for something. Sticking out tongue

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illeatyourdog wrote:And now

illeatyourdog wrote:

And now we come to the real issue many have with Confucious, namely, his nack to say incredibly vague things.  I mean, what exactly did he mean when he said "I have no hopes of meeting a sage"?

i really gotta diagree with you here.  i don't think confucius ever intentionally mystified anyone.  i think he was a very practical teacher who spoke plainly and i think we as 21st century westerners often take certain remarks as vague because they contain historical or cultural allusions that we can't possibly know about.  for example, when i first read the "analects," i found it impossible to decipher confucius without the handy glossary d.c. lau provides in his edition.  with background information, most of the seemingly cryptic things confucius said are seen to be very frank.  the rest are probably either lost in the mists of time or else inaccessible to anyone who has not mastered chinese and the incredible layers of meaning contained in each character.  sadly, i have no extensive knowledge of chinese.  even if a westerner was immersed in chinese language and culture for decades, i would still be skeptical that he could grasp all the nuances.  which is ultimately why i defer to a chinese translator like d.c. lau.

i think in this case confucius meant pretty much what he said but i can go along with your view that he probably only spoke about his own time period.  confucius very rarely made absolutist statements, which is why i value his teachings.  still, all the explanations of "sage" i've ever read say that it is a very rare achievement even in the best of times and that it may be impossible without some in-born predisposition.  "gentleman" or even "complete man" ("ch'eng jen" ) is much more realistic for the average person, and even those take a lifetime of cultivation.

i would like to point out that in analects vi.30, confucius gives a pretty clear picture of what he thinks of as being a "sage":

"Tzu-kung said, 'If there were a man who gave extensively to the common people and brought help to the multitude, what would you think of him?  Could he be called benevolent?"

The Master said, 'It is no longer a matter of benevolence with such a man.  If you must describe him, "sage" is, perhaps, the right word.  Even Yao and Shun would have found it difficult to accomplish as much...."

perhaps, however, one could have applied this to the han dynasty.

illeatyourdog wrote:

I'm not saying that it was difficult for them, I was just saying that they too must have also practiced it as well if we are to accept Mengzi's story on goodness.

either that or the rites arose because people wanted to emulate the sages.  this is kind of a chicken or egg argument.  i would certainly believe that the humans existed before the ideals, so maybe i would have been in hsun tzu's camp.  i don't know if i would have gone so far as humans are essentially "evil" (then again i probably wouldn't have gone so far that humans are essentially "good," either), but, if it's a question of the rites having been handed from the sky (in a sense) and the sage-kings having been sages because they practised these pre-existing ideals, i don't think we can get that from confucius himself and, honestly, he would come down in my estimation if we could. 

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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iwbiek wrote:i really gotta

iwbiek wrote:

i really gotta diagree with you here.  i don't think confucius ever intentionally mystified anyone.  i think he was a very practical teacher who spoke plainly and i think we as 21st century westerners often take certain remarks as vague because they contain historical or cultural allusions that we can't possibly know about.  for example, when i first read the "analects," i found it impossible to decipher confucius without the handy glossary d.c. lau provides in his edition. 

I suppose I should have worded it differently for I did nto mean he was intentionally being vague.  I am simply saying, as you pointed out, many of the culturaly allusions are mysterious even to modern day Chinese which means, even if he is speaking plainly and with practicality (which I would agree he was) his plain speak is severly dated resulting in many of his statements, like the one you brough up about sages, are now vague and mysterious since it is the furthest thing from a conclusive claim and more of an observational one in that specific moment.

 

Quote:
still, all the explanations of "sage" i've ever read say that it is a very rare achievement even in the best of times and that it may be impossible without some in-born predisposition.  "gentleman" or even "complete man" ("ch'eng jen" ) is much more realistic for the average person, and even those take a lifetime of cultivation.

I would agree that it was rare but not impossible.  Didn't confucious believe that his youngest and most gifted student who was a peasant (and sadly died at a young age) was on his way to becoming a Sage?

Quote:
"Tzu-kung said, 'If there were a man who gave extensively to the common people and brought help to the multitude, what would you think of him?  Could he be called benevolent?"

The Master said, 'It is no longer a matter of benevolence with such a man.  If you must describe him, "sage" is, perhaps, the right word.  Even Yao and Shun would have found it difficult to accomplish as much...."

Again, that is not really as clear you believe it to be.  He both seems reluctant to describe that as sagely and his reluctance is ambiguous (due to use not being able to decipher such things ans connotation or syntax in an ancient a dead version of a mdoern language).  He could mean that he feels that such attributes are impossible, thus not necessary for a Sage as he concieves it since he suggests Yao and Shun are incapable of fitting such a description and they are two of the anceitn Sage-Kings.

 

Quote:
i would certainly believe that the humans existed before the ideals, so maybe i would have been in hsun tzu's camp.  i don't know if i would have gone so far as humans are essentially "evil" (then again i probably wouldn't have gone so far that humans are essentially "good," either),

I think they are both wrong on that account too.  I say human beings a essentially nuetral.

Quote:
but, if it's a question of the rites having been handed from the sky (in a sense) and the sage-kings having been sages because they practised these pre-existing ideals, i don't think we can get that from confucius himself and, honestly, he would come down in my estimation if we could. 

He never talks about Shang ti no.  But the first Sage King actually had divine permission to be an emperor from Shang ti and surely Confucious would have accepted this as a fact since reference Huang Di who is credited with inventing the Calendar all on his own, among other things.  Again, it is ambiguous if he would deny any divine, spiritual, or ghostly, influence on the ancient Sage-Kings in regards to the rites and much of what we can decipher about Confucian thought on the origin of the rites is done through his two most successful students who tried to fill in the many gaps left by Confucious.

" Why does God always got such wacky shit to say? . . . When was the last time you heard somebody say 'look God told me to get a muffin and a cup tea and cool out man'?" - Dov Davidoff