The Lotus and the Cross

#1

I don’t like the suffering part. Sounds too Sado Masochistic to me. Even the Buddha tries to minimize suffering through enlightenment. As a physician are you not obligated to cause no harm?

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Chance and Providence
(S. Joshua Swamidass) #2

It is not sado-masochistic, because it is not suffering for the sake of suffering. And yes, you are right, that Buddha teaches we should rise above suffering, like a lotus floating on a pond. Our image is the Cross, where Jesus willingly entered into suffering for the good of others. Christians are supposed to follow Jesus.

Seeking peace requires us to willingly entering into suffering. It is fairly easy to avoid the conflict of the debate, but if we do the conflict will go on. Entering in, we open our selves to be injured by others. Christians should be willing to do this. We seek peace, entering into that risk, to serve the common good.

Honestly, and you know this, the origins debate is easy. It is all the other conflicts in society that are harder. There is risk here, but we are willing to pay costs to do what is right to serve others.

#3

As you know I never bought in to the need for a bloody sacrifice of an innocent man as the only way to appease a God who was offended by the free thought of creatures he supposedly made.

If one has that belief and has the desire to help his fellow man, I find that admirable. Each of us has strengths that could be used in the service of others. I would prefer to see your skills as a doctor, as a researcher , as an educator to make the world better for all of us without the need for you to suffer. I would rather see you happlily serving other like you do now. I don’t think any man should have to suffer an agonizing death to appease the gods or others. I share your passion to work on the real problems we see all around us. But we have to pick our fights carefully as we have limited resources and time. As a physician, is the opiod crisis something you can accomplish something good on?

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #4

I’m going to do this too. As crazy as this is, this forum is just a side effort. I still am working full time running a research group to solve problems in human disease.

Sure. But I’m not sure I’ve bought into that formulation either.

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#5

I know. My hope this that somehow , someone, something discussed here sparks an idea that leads you (or someone else here) to do something grand.

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(S. Joshua Swamidass) #6

@Patrick, you might enjoy this book. It is a fictional conversation between Buddha and Jesus about suffering. I’d be curious what you thought of it. If you do read it, let me know.

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(Jon Garvey) #7

Any decent physician knows that causing no harm to others often comes at a cost to oneself.

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