Ever heard of Transhumanism? Me neither until today when I switched on the radio to hear the most jawdropping conversation.
Transhumanism:- The belief or theory that the human race can evolve beyond its current physical and mental limitations, especially by means of science and technology.
According to American transhumanist, journalist, entrepreneur and futurist Zoltan Istvan, the likelihood of humans existing only as pure data-with no physical body on the cloud is very real & closer that we think. According to Istvan – as we approach death,
Dalit – ‘untouchable’ a term many of us will have heard in relation to caste. In certain communities, rules still exist about where Dalits can walk, the utensils they can use, who they can touch & of course who they can marry etc.
In fact, the opinion still remains, the Dalit birthright is to clean up the waste of others.
But the issue of caste goes far deeper than what we see on the surface. It’s vital to acknowledge however, when considering the issue of caste – what most Westerners see as cruel, discriminatory & outdated is actually rooted in early religious text. This text being the Law of Manu found in the Upanishads & accompanied by the belief that a person’s caste is the result of their past karma.
The Laws of Manu – date of publication uncertain but believed to be about 200 BC – was a hybrid moral-religious-law code and one of the first written law codes of Asia. In spite of its age, it has sustained paramountcy in the Hindu culture. It was also the code of conduct for inter-caste relationships in India.
Formed from the Laws of Manu, it has governed much of Hindu history. At the top of Hindu society were the Brahmin. As members of this caste, Brahmins made up the priestly caste of Hindu society. For them was reserved the right to both study and teach the Hindu sacred texts, known as the Vedas.
Both Hinduism & Buddhism share beliefs on the law of karma, its influence on rebirth & the impact our present behaviour may have on future lives. Both differ strongly however on the issue of caste with Buddhism very much rejecting the idea, in the belief we all have the potential to connect with our Buddha nature in this life if we so wish.
What are your thoughts on Karma? & Because the idea of caste is rooted in religious texts, can it ever be abolished?
Most of us have heard about the ‘trolley dilemma’ relating to Buddhism, but placed in that very situation, what would you actually do?
I’ve pondered on this for a while now and even had discussions & debates with Buddhist monks. Despite the many different viewpoints, I can’t help feeling there are still things for consideration – but first let’s look at the scenario……
You’re standing on a bridge over 2 railway tracks. A little while ago, the police arrested 6 people for a serious crime and they are now all handcuffed and waiting for arrest. Five of these people are face down on the first track. The other person is cuffed & face down on the other track. The next train isn’t due for another 15 mins but from the bridge you can see in the distance, a train trolley hurtling down towards the track with 5 people on. Right next to you is a signal box with a large iron lever. If you pull the lever, the trolley will switch tracks and hit one person instead of 5.
It’s in your hands now but before you decide, consider these factors…..
1- By allowing the train to hit one man you can save 5 lives but what gives you the right to decide that one man matters less than the other 5?
2- Karma already decided their fate which is why they’re in that situation so really you don’t need to do anything. But then what about your own karma if you knowingly let people die?
3- You could also walk away and pretend you never saw anything after all – if they weren’t criminals they wouldn’t be there in the first place. But could you honestly live with the consequences of walking away? Again what about your own karma?
What’s your viewpoint on this? Let’s have a discussion
We’ve all wondered at sometime -Where did it all begin?
At school, we’re told its apes – then it’s dinosaurs, not to mention a Big Bang somewhere in space & then God. But where do we come from? Could we have evolved from Amimals? For me, the possibility of originating from apes or any other kind of animal is not possible. As humans we have different levels of consciousness. For example: When an animal is hungry, it hunts, kills and eats. During this feeding frenzy, it has no comprehension of the pain or fear its prey is subject to. The animal’s only concern, is feeding it’s hunger. Then with blood around its mouth, it will curl up and sleep peacefully until the next desire to feed arises. Humans on the other hand have a different level of consciousness & understand compassion, right & wrong etc. They understand, if we kill it will cause pain to another person or animal. This is why most humans don’t act in the way the animal does. Just like the animal, some humans eat meat but usually cook it. We don’t have the same primal instinct the animal does.