DavidWebster:

Excellent.. Off-topic, but needed saying..

Originally posted on Paul Sinha:

Life isn’t always easy is it Aidan ? I imagine that you feel a little hard done by , that the events of the last 12 months have rather conspired against you. What about that stag weekend in France ? Your friends dressed as Nazis , toasting the ideologies of the Third Reich ? You have my sympathy.After all who hasn’t been on a stag weekend that was of borderline taste ?  It is all a bit of laddish fun . BANTER. LOLZ. It’s not like the French might be sensitive about it. I know what it is like. In 2001 I went to Prague for my mate Ravi’s (it’s an Indian name) stag weekend and  our tour t shirt said “RAVIS STAG WEEKEND”. That missing apostrophe still haunts me. I still wonder if I could have done more. But sometimes you just have to go with the flow. So…

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DavidWebster:

Yes indeed..

Originally posted on The Space Beyond Being:

“Existence permeates sexuality and vice versa, so that it is impossible to determine, in a given decision or action, the proportion of sexual to other motivations, impossible to label a decision or act ‘sexual’ or ‘non-sexual’ . There is no outstripping of sexuality any more than there is sexuality enclosed within itself. No one is saved and no one is totally lost.”

-Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception

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“Why We Should be Cultivating Ritual, Not Piety” by Per Smith..

I have broke (briefly) the re-blog thing: so manual – worth a read nonetheless!

Over at the new Patheos blog, Science on Religion, Connor Wood poses the no longer rhetorical question: “Does religion make us moral?” He presents this question in order to highlight the implications raised by the recent publication of Yale psychologist Paul Bloom, who as Connor notes is an atheist:

It might seem surprising, then, that Bloom has recently published a paper in the Annual Review of Psychology detailing, in part, all the good that religion can do. Religion, Bloom points out, does actually seem to make people more altruistic and generous. Religious people give more to charities than non-religious people, including secular charities. And IRS tax receipts show that states where people are more religious have much higher rates of charitable giving than less religious states. Meanwhile, lab experiments show that participating in religious rituals primes people to be more generous and caring toward one another.

READ MORE

The link is http://irritually.org/2012/06/15/why-we-should-be-cultivating-ritual-not-piety/ – and the rest is worth a look…

DavidWebster:

Ok, ok: not about spiritual matters-but felt like re-blogging it..

Originally posted on lives; running:

One theme of this summer’s Olympic sports coverage will be the weak challenge by British athletes in the men’s and women’s middle distances – in the women’s 800 metres for example, UK athletics have been able to fill just one of the three potential spaces . There is no expectation of a serious medal challenge at any distance between the 400 metre and Mo Farah at 5k

It hasn’t always been like that. There was of course the Ovett-Coe-Cram moment, but in the thirty years before that, UK middle distance running was generally competitive; and (as I’ve posted before) elite UK marathon times have been getting consistently slower, year by year, for a while. Where did the previous tradition of middle-distance running come from?

Once answer, I suspect, is the figure of Alf Tupper, who was a staple of many working-class childhoods, from his first appearance in the Rover in 1949. Aged 18…

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Meanwhile, at American Buddhist Perspective..

More interesting stuff from Justin, on models of thought in Buddhism:

I am often asked “why ‘impose’ Western models of thought on Buddhism?” as if discussing the nature of Buddhist philosophy or ethics is some sort of new colonialist/imperialist activity. The fact is, the Buddha used countless models, analogies, and illustrative examples in his teachings. READ MORE

When I have more energy, I think there is much to be said on how Buddhism engages models of teaching… Till then, I’ll make do with a quote from the Mahaparinibbana Sutta;

I have set forth the Dhamma without making any distinction of esoteric and exoteric doctrine; there is nothing, Ananda, with regard to the teachings that the Tathagata holds to the last with the closed fist of a teacher who keeps some things back.

Rabbi Jason Rosenberg from Tampa reviews Dispirited..

At http://cbatampa.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/but-not-religious.html, Rabbi Jason Rosenberg from Tampa reviews Dispirited.

Below is a flavour of the piece…

There’s always a lot of talk about the idea of being “spiritual but not religious.” It certainly is a fairly common refrain, and it’s no surprise that proponents (and leaders) of organized religion are often against it. I’ll admit to having pretty mixed feelings on the matter*. On the one hand, I’m really not all that eager to attack people who are, more or less, minding their own business. It’s one of the ways in which religious people like myself often allow themselves to engage in mean-spirited pettiness. Not very religious, or spiritual, frankly.

* If you read this blog at all regularly, this should come as no shock to you!

And, maybe more significantly, it’s often not fair. At the very least, it’s using the same broad brush that many of us religious types hate being used on us. I mean, when someone says, “religion is all superstitious nonsense,” I usually protest about the word “all.” It’s manifestly true that some religion is superstitious nonsense. Maybe much of it.  READ THE FULL REVIEW…

Another interesting review – it doesn’t wholly agree, but engages with what seem serious questions..