View Full Version : Maciamo and his philosophies: Zen or Hume?

11-04-07, 02:03
Maciamo's atheistic stance of ethical humanism would show that he could embrace Zen Buddhism or Hume's argument of existentionalism. Now let's debate which. Maciamo, if you had to choose, or take both, how would these two philosophies match your beliefs? Zen, a practicing way of being (they are atheists also) be aligned to you on an existential level? I do see the sila that you do practice does make you a unconscious practitioner of Zen. (not carrying for the identification or labels would just make you even more so).

11-04-07, 15:29
Thank you for your special attention to my personal philosophy.

First of all, Zen Buddhism does not enter in my definition of "philosophy", as it is more spiritual than rational. The term "philosophy", as it is understood in Western culture, could be described as the "rationalisation of the world through knowledge and thinking". Zen is too "sensual" and "spiritual". It is usually considered as a religion or religious code of conduct.

Nevertheless, it is perfectly acceptable for a non-religious person to practice Zen meditation or follow its sila ("behavioral discipline"). I personally do not follow all the Eight Precepts (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eight_precepts) of Buddhism, as I am not a Buddhist. But I do have a lifestyle which comes fairly close to respecting the following precepts :

- abstain from taking life (both human and nonhuman)
- abstain from taking what is not given (stealing)
- abstain from telling lies
- abstain from using intoxicating drinks and drugs which lead to carelessness
- abstain from singing, dancing, playing music, attending entertainment performances, wearing perfume, and using cosmetics and garlands (decorative accessories)

A fundamental aspect of my philosophy is rational relativism. For instance, there is no universal agreement on what constitutes lying and stealing. For me lying means intentionally say/write something that is factually or rationally wrong. One cannot really "lie" about subjective things like feelings or emotions. As for stealing, it can be argued whether stealing ideas, opportunities, or even someone's affection, actually constitute "theft".

It is in this spirit of relativism, and case by case evaluation, that I lead my life. I do believe that fixed rules can do more harm than good. It is now more or less proven that moderate drinking of red wine can be beneficial for health. So it would be irrational to have a moral rule banning it.

As for David Hume, he is mostly an Empiricist (he believed that all human knowledge comes to us through our senses). Although I do not fundamentally disagree with his ideas, I think that his views are a bit outdated in today's society. Morally, Hume is a utilitarian, which I am too, but not exactly in the same way (again society is different now from what it was in Hume's time).