Saturday, June 11, 2005

    From The Federalist

    When I can I will post a quote from one of our founding fathers on Saturday. Consider:

    "The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground."

    -- Thomas Jefferson

    (Scary, huh?)


    Pundit said...

    Why do you think I keep posting so many things about the Department of Homeland Security, the Patriot Act, and consuming taxpayer money on the rubric of "democratizing teh world"? The big enemy is not the one we can recognize easily--it is the one that comes telling us that everything it is doing is for our own good. Now might be a good time to read "1984" and "Brave new World." Jefferson's wisdom demonstrates that the world is not really all that different today from what it was then.

    simoncat said...

    Liberty means that power is entrenched in the hands of the many, not the few. This goes against the human grain, in which every one of us would like to have the power to impose our will on everyone else. Most of us do not have the ambition nor the wherewithal to enact that, other than expressing it in petty domestic tyranny, so we leave it to those that do.
    And when we get comfy in our government's ability to take care of us and protect our liberty and interests, with a minimal effort on our part, we have just unwittingly succumbed yet again to the old adage that history repeats itself.
    There is no such thing as a benign dictatorship. A government grown too large is a dictatorship, I don't care what it calls itself.


    The Rambling Taoist said...

    Well, as long as your posting quotes by the Founding Fathers, let me share some that I've found.

    "I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of... Each of those churches accuse the other of unbelief; and for my own part, I disbelieve them all."- Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason, 1794-1795.)

    "History I believe furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance, of which their political as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purpose."- Thomas Jefferson (Letter to Alexander von Humboldt, December 6, 1813)

    “During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.”- James Madison (Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments, Section 7, 1785)

    : JustaDog said...

    Poor trey, he has this hatred of all things religious, although he pretends to be a practitioner of Taoism – itself a religion. He goes ballistic if you make that claim – that Taoism is just another religion – of course he does. He will jump to the defense of Taoism and claim there are two flavors and the flavor of the day that he (supposedly) practices is the one that is not a religion (that was adopted as a state religion) – a “framework” he labels it.

    Perhaps trey should direct his revelations to the most prestigious universities that classify Taoism into their studies of World Religions (like Harvard and Yale and many others.). Poor trey – so full of hate and confusion.

    The Rambling Taoist said...

    Instead of listening to JustaDog flap his gums on his keyboard, let's take a look at a standard dictionary definition of religion and compare it to philosophical Taoism. (Source:

    1. "Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe."

    A. Philosophical Taoists don't accept the notion that there is a "creator and governor of the universe".

    2. "A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship."

    B. See A above.

    3. "The life or condition of a person in a religious order."

    C. See A above.

    4. "A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader."

    D. Since philosophical Taoist believe that each person must find their own way, we don't look to a spiritual leader outside ourselves.

    5. "A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion."

    E. This is a broad definition. If philosophical Taoism is to be viewed as a religion, then so too are gardening, baseball and Weight Watchers.

    : JustaDog said...

    I've already gone to the websites of major universities in the USA and ALL of them group Taoism under religious studies. Please don't argue with me - argue with them!

    The Rambling Taoist said...

    I don't know why I waste my time TRYING to explain things to you -- It's like dropping rocks in a bottomless hole. Still, I'm going to try again.

    There IS a religion called Taoism that splintered off from philosophical Taoism a long time ago. However, please note that you went to US university sites. A lot of westerners (including major institutions) don't have a good grasp on things oriental.

    For years, acupuncture was considered to be junk science and based on superstition. Lately, however, western medical disciplines have done an about-face. Acupunture is even included in some health plans now.

    So, despite the fact you like trumpet to the world that you can and do perform your own research, you need to learn the art of differentation. If you've already made up your mind that Taoism is SOLELY a religion, you will seek out only those sources that buttress your prejudice. If, however, you go into your research with an open mind, you will find a significant difference between religious Taoism and philosophical Taoism.

    If you want some links to the latter, visit my blog and use the links on the left side under the heading "Taoist Links".

    : JustaDog said...

    When you can prove to me that a major University of the likes of Harvard or Yale has one form of Taoism under religion and another not then I might consider it - until then I guess you can go on believing apples are really not apples.

    As far as wasting your time feel free not to return if your only contribution is to call names and spew your hate.