This week TED has uploaded a talk enthusiastically endorsing meditation. TED and meditation, or ‘TEDitation’ -it’s a combination cynics are already dubbing an unsightly collision between facile pseudo-scientific hot air – and meditation. Seriously though, it’s been known for some time that technology and meditation is a match made in Nirvana- particularly in medicine. TED noted a few scientific reports into the effects of meditation that have been carried out in the last year, but I wanted to go back a bit further and simply summarise the key findings of those studies which came to light in my brief search. I’m not a scientist so I’m not going to explicate the primary sources. Read the rest of this entry
After my suggestions about an inclusive model for common ground between Christian and Buddhist philosophies the following discussion took place on another site. Thus we begin with a couple of ‘guest posts’ and then see my response to them. Read the rest of this entry
My post which was the most original (philosophically) so far was a discussion of the relationship between Eudaimonology and Soteriology. I posed a few questions about the former which will take a long time to answer (such is philosophy).
At the most general level my project is to defend eudaimonology as highly relevant and as the central concern of philosophy. Of course an important part of this project is refining an appropriate definition of the subject. While so far I have only made introductory posts about a third of the different traditions I’m aware of, I realised a working definition while reading the other night. If I remember correctly it looked something like this…
Eudaimonology is study of how human life is to be lived, focusing on:
1. What human beings are (the task of philosophical anthropology),
2. What makes human life fulfilling (a conceptual as well as psychological question),
3. How human beings should interact with one another (the task of ethics and socio-political philosophy),
4. How human nature can transcend itself to become something greater (a soteriological question).
Regarding the first of these, Vincent Nichols said recently that the understanding of human nature is an excellent basis upon which to carry out public discourse because it cuts away pernicious individualism. I agree. Though my expertise falls more towards the study of point 4 (and to a lesser extent points 3 and 2), we should begin from the common acceptance of the human species as the product of natural selection. After this, there are many different theories/traditions in the debate on human nature. I have yet not studied these but I have indicated my sympathy for Marx’s early writings.
Sikhism and Jainism are two smaller but significant Indic religions, which like Buddhism split off from Hinduism. In addition to their shared cultural origins (including belief in the Karma, Rebirth, and Liberation of the soul) they also both put a particularly strong emphasis on universal love. In what follows I will summarise the most interesting things I’ve learned about Sikhism. Read the rest of this entry
Jainism and Sikhism are two smaller but significant Indic religions, which like Buddhism split off from Hinduism. In addition to their shared cultural origins (including belief in the Karma, Rebirth, and Liberation of the soul) they also both put a particularly strong emphasis on universal love. In this post I have a look at Jainism. Read the rest of this entry