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  • #61
    Now, what makes me real mad is that JMS wasn't sensitive enough to show any characters -- none at all! -- who practiced Scientology. This is a grave injustice. Now he'll never have John Travolta on B5.
    Weren't the technomages Scientologists?
    (though whether he could get John Travolta to shave his head is another matter)
    One up for the angry Teep

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    • #62
      Originally posted by Radhil
      Dunno, must've been some muttering self-important old geezer that posted them....
      True, but no one knew I was a muttering self-important old geezer when I wrote them!

      There's few points that's even addressable in that to be honest. There's no real arguement to the Minbari religion at all - it's Buddhism pretty much down pat, with all the emphasis on wisdom, meditation, and enlightenment, just with a lot more ritual nonsense to give it an alien touch. The only thing you can add is that it's a Mahayana form of Buddhism with the emphasis on serving others, as opposed to Theravada - only that's a helluva lot more vague and obscure than most people know about Buddhism. Hell, I only know it because I've been picking up the religion (everyone else - think Protestants and Catholics - same Jesus, different flavors).
      Really? The Buddhists had a penchent for holy wars? That is why a simple "minbari = buddhist" doesn't work. Buddhism is a religion for the individual, but the Minbari religion even includes the idea of all Minbari "going mad together" and certainly includes the concept of a holy war.

      Odd thing is, for all G'quon's religion wasn't fleshed out, it was almost secondary to what G'kar figured out for himself. So maybe that was JMS's intent all along. Then again, I think a Buddhist would find a lot of things right and proper with G'kar's views. Maybe only suggesting a little more chilling out, but then we'd lose that grinning personality.

      G'kar's outlook reminds me of Goodkind's Sword of Truth books actually. I'm told he bases his plots (more like his preachings lately) on Ayn Rand's books, and her Objectivist (sp?) philosophies. That's something I've been meaning to read up on more. Maybe a lot more links here among the "good" religions, the "good" sides to our epics, than I thought.
      Don't read much Goodkind, so I cannot comment on them, but I have read Rand and am aware of Objectivism, and would definately argue that G'Kar is not an Objectivist. It is, again, the nature of sacrifice that marks G'Kar's religion (and the emphasis on knowing and not judging) that makes it somewhat Buddhist, but its focus on external rather than internal truths and on action rather than reflection seem to me to be "unBuddhist" (but then my knowledge of Buddhism is pretty limted).
      I believe that when we leave a place, part of it goes with us and part of us remains. Go anywhere in the station, when it is quiet, and just listen. After a while, you will hear the echoes of all our conversations, every thought and word we've exchanged. Long after we are gone .. our voices will linger in these walls for as long as this place remains. But I will admit .. that the part of me that is going .. will very much miss the part of you that is staying.

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      • #63
        HOW DARE YOU! the British empire was great and was WHITE people, like British people, your thinking of the commonwelth and may i remind you blacks and Asians where SLAVES, they wasent part of our empire, they hated it and rose up aganist it, so lets get this right.
        Ah, I see! So what you're saying is that the "great" British Empire was built by the labor and sweat of people who were unjustly imprisoned and enslaved to do work that those 'white' people couldn't be bothered to do themselves.

        <sarcasm> Of course the decendants of those enslaved folks aren't citizens nor do they deserve any rights or dignity. </sarcasm>

        Thank you for making that clear. ::snicker::

        Jan
        "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

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        • #64
          <<Weren't the technomages Scientologists?
          (though whether he could get John Travolta to shave his head is another matter)>>

          Well, not all mages were bald.
          Recently, there was a reckoning. It occurred on November 4, 2014 across the United States. Voters, recognizing the failures of the current leadership and fearing their unchecked abuses of power, elected another party as the new majority. This is a first step toward preventing more damage and undoing some of the damage already done. Hopefully, this is as much as will be required.

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          • #65
            I love B5. Mainly for the whole Liberty vs Security issue. How the religions was covered I thought was done well also. They gave them all (religions) the respect they deserved, and showed that we would never grow out of having them (some people need to have soemthing to believe in).

            But back to the politics aspect, the Liberty vs Security issue. I loved how it was showed the delicate line was must walk to avoid being seduced over to the Security side. Sheridan fought for freedom and formed the Alliance. The Alliance then was forced into creating security all the while trying to maintain freedoms. It showed that it's easy to do the revolting, but much harder to create something that will last (which they did of course, but not w/o some trial and error).

            Now comes the part where I touch on the Earth based Politics, but rather than here I am going to start another thread so it can be viewed there by those wanting to read and comment on it.
            Government, even in its best state, is a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.
            -Thomas Paine

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            • #66
              Originally posted by grumbler
              Really? The Buddhists had a penchent for holy wars? That is why a simple "minbari = buddhist" doesn't work. Buddhism is a religion for the individual, but the Minbari religion even includes the idea of all Minbari "going mad together" and certainly includes the concept of a holy war.
              Correct me if I misquote, from In The Beginning - "We're almost at the end of our little 'holy war'." "But are we any longer holy?"

              Every religion has it's missteps. Christianity that I know of has no formal concept of a holy war either, but that didn't stop the Crusades from happening. It may have been labelled holy, the Minbari on their great Crusade of their own - the reality was that it was anything but. So I don't think you could include the Earth Minbari war as a sanctioned part of their religion.

              Not to mention that Buddhism as we know it is built to be inherently flexible. Centered around tranquility and peace as it is, it has no firm laws or rules to outlaw violence, or even say, a warrior caste. You can't even say that about Christianity (the Ten Commandments) which has a far bloodier history. There's even a concept (and I may be taking this wildly out of context) of a "spirit warrior" in one form of Buddhism, although it's clearly meant to mean one who teaches the way to others.

              Don't read much Goodkind, so I cannot comment on them, but I have read Rand and am aware of Objectivism, and would definately argue that G'Kar is not an Objectivist. It is, again, the nature of sacrifice that marks G'Kar's religion (and the emphasis on knowing and not judging) that makes it somewhat Buddhist, but its focus on external rather than internal truths and on action rather than reflection seem to me to be "unBuddhist" (but then my knowledge of Buddhism is pretty limted).
              Thing is, G'kar's outlook doesn't entirely revolve around sacrifice. Those were his words, yes, spoken to Garibaldi in his cell, and I believe to his people. Yet, there's times when he deliberately refuses to sacrifice - he refused to serve his people as their new icon, preferring instead to distance himself from his new "religion". Also, taken from LotR, his interpretation of the "live for the one, die for the one" phrase indicates he thinks highly of sacrifice, but that it's not paramount, or in all cases necessary. So I think his actions speak a little louder than his words.

              Pity we never got a copy of the Book of G'kar on this planet. Would help this conversation.
              Last edited by Radhil; 03-11-2004, 08:18 AM.
              Radhil Trebors
              Persona Under Construction

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              • #67
                Originally posted by Jan
                Ah, I see! So what you're saying is that the "great" British Empire was built by the labor and sweat of people who were unjustly imprisoned and enslaved to do work that those 'white' people couldn't be bothered to do themselves.

                <sarcasm> Of course the decendants of those enslaved folks aren't citizens nor do they deserve any rights or dignity. </sarcasm>

                Thank you for making that clear. ::snicker::

                Jan
                I can't even tell if he's actually that serious, or we have just some froth-mouthed troll on our hands. Either way, I think he's worthy of being ignored from now on.
                Radhil Trebors
                Persona Under Construction

                Comment


                • #68
                  Originally posted by Radhil
                  Correct me if I misquote, from In The Beginning - "We're almost at the end of our little 'holy war'." "But are we any longer holy?"

                  Every religion has it's missteps. Christianity that I know of has no formal concept of a holy war either, but that didn't stop the Crusades from happening. It may have been labelled holy, the Minbari on their great Crusade of their own - the reality was that it was anything but. So I don't think you could include the Earth Minbari war as a sanctioned part of their religion.
                  An interesting point, but you will note that Delenn does not dispute the fact that this is a "Holy War," just that it may have had the effect of making them "no longer holy."

                  The issue of when and how a religion turns from being (at least in the minds of some of its adherents) a peaceful religion to being a militant one is a very interesting one, and of course the case of Christianity of one of the best-known. I think the parallel with the Minbari is quite striking, especially when one considers that Delenn's own father supposedly died in dispair over the war (and over Delenn's part in starting it?) But it is clear from other statements that the Minbari religion is at least not opposed to war.

                  Not to mention that Buddhism as we know it is built to be inherently flexible. Centered around tranquility and peace as it is, it has no firm laws or rules to outlaw violence, or even say, a warrior caste. You can't even say that about Christianity (the Ten Commandments) which has a far bloodier history. There's even a concept (and I may be taking this wildly out of context) of a "spirit warrior" in one form of Buddhism, although it's clearly meant to mean one who teaches the way to others.
                  I think the teachings of the Buddha to forgo desire indicates that Buddhism is incompatable with militarism, but am willing to be pursuaded otherwise. As I say, my knowledge of Buddhism is pretty much along the lines of having read a few encyclopedia articles!

                  Thing is, G'kar's outlook doesn't entirely revolve around sacrifice. Those were his words, yes, spoken to Garibaldi in his cell, and I believe to his people. Yet, there's times when he deliberately refuses to sacrifice - he refused to serve his people as their new icon, preferring instead to distance himself from his new "religion". Also, taken from LotR, his interpretation of the "live for the one, die for the one" phrase indicates he thinks highly of sacrifice, but that it's not paramount, or in all cases necessary. So I think his actions speak a little louder than his words.
                  No, it clearly does not revolve around sacrifice, as he makes clear in his "each voice lost diminishes us." It is a universalist belief system that emphasizes mutual recognition of the uniqueness and value of others. But it is still more externally oriented than I understand Buddhism to be, and advocates actions for the benefit of others, while Buddhism emphasises actions to benefit one's self (even arguing for altruism purely in the context of its benefits to one's own karma).

                  Pity we never got a copy of the Book of G'kar on this planet. Would help this conversation.
                  Agreed!

                  These are the kinds of discussions I enjoy on this board. Thanks for taking the time, and I hope there is enogh in my arguments to make them worthy of further discussion.
                  I believe that when we leave a place, part of it goes with us and part of us remains. Go anywhere in the station, when it is quiet, and just listen. After a while, you will hear the echoes of all our conversations, every thought and word we've exchanged. Long after we are gone .. our voices will linger in these walls for as long as this place remains. But I will admit .. that the part of me that is going .. will very much miss the part of you that is staying.

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Have any of you seen the movie "The Day the Earth Stood Still?" In the movie, an alien named Klaatu came to visit our world, and found it to be full of hate, violence, and mistrust. Since he came from a world where these kinds of emotions were abolished, he was quite shocked at his treatment on our beloved planet. How had his planet achieved this state, you ask? They had turned over control of themselves to a race of super-robots, like his companion Gort, and whoever caused any sort of aggression would be instantly vaporized. The result-they lived in perfect harmony, peace, and love. Ladies and gentleman, I hate to say it but reading the posts on this thread make me long for a race of robots like Gort for our planet.

                    What really frustrates me are people (ultra right *and* ultra left) who believe their vision of life is the unalterable truth, and everybody else is wrong. If we cannot put ourselves in the other person's shoes and take a good, hard look at our beliefs to see if they hold up, then we are truly a damned race, and it's a miracle we haven't completely destroyed each other already.

                    To the bigots: Say you had a son who was completely miserable and on the verge of suicide. Then, one day, he met an Asian woman, fell head-over-heals in love. His life completely changed. They got married, had kids, and lived happily ever after-tell me you wouldn't give this Asian woman a great big sloppy kiss for turning his life around.

                    To the lefties: Say you had a job you loved. Had worked years up the ladder to achieve, and you were the best at it. Your boss respected you and told you so. Then because of policy hatched by bureaucrats somewhere, a less qualified minority was promoted right over you-If you tell me you would not have the slightest ill will toward the policy, the person, and yes, even a little toward his race, I'm sorry but I wouldn't believe you.

                    I could write volumes on this, but the posts in this thread have left me with quite an unsettled feeling. (especially the posts at the top) So with that, I shall leave you, quoting the immortal words:

                    "Gort...Klaatu berada nektoe."

                    Sincerely, SammyJ

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      Originally posted by SammyJ
                      How had his planet achieved this state, you ask? They had turned over control of themselves to a race of super-robots, like his companion Gort, and whoever caused any sort of aggression would be instantly vaporized. The result-they lived in perfect harmony, peace, and love.
                      The peace of the gun. Hrm, sounds familiar.

                      What really frustrates me are people (ultra right *and* ultra left) who believe their vision of life is the unalterable truth, and everybody else is wrong. If we cannot put ourselves in the other person's shoes and take a good, hard look at our beliefs to see if they hold up, then we are truly a damned race, and it's a miracle we haven't completely destroyed each other already.
                      Strangely, that's what I thought we were doing, right here, right now, on this board. Debating, arguing, losing tempers possibly, in an effort to understand. It's not good that it didn't work in one particular case here, but hardly cause to end the world.

                      To the lefties: Say you had a job you loved. Had worked years up the ladder to achieve, and you were the best at it. Your boss respected you and told you so. Then because of policy hatched by bureaucrats somewhere, a less qualified minority was promoted right over you-If you tell me you would not have the slightest ill will toward the policy, the person, and yes, even a little toward his race, I'm sorry but I wouldn't believe you.
                      Pity that. I work in computers, a field you might have heard is losing jobs to India at an alarming rate. Your hypothetical bureaucrat somewhere, sure, I'd harbor resentment. The replacement, sure. The race...... why? Everyone else I meet of that race that has nothing to do with what just happened.... why?

                      I've spent quite some time erasing such useless impulses from myself. It makes me sad that you simply wouldn't be able to believe it possible.

                      I could write volumes on this, but the posts in this thread have left me with quite an unsettled feeling. (especially the posts at the top) So with that, I shall leave you, quoting the immortal words:

                      "Gort...Klaatu berada nektoe."

                      Sincerely, SammyJ
                      Yes sir, I will lay down my beliefs and hum a cheery tune because - gosh darnit - someone might disagree.

                      Threads like this happen so that we might learn from them. Improve. I certainly understand a bigot's view better for this, but that doesn't mean I need to condone it, nor does it mean one side or the other can't change. You'd write all that off just because it gets messy. Welcome to life, I hope you enjoy your stay.
                      Radhil Trebors
                      Persona Under Construction

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                      • #71
                        Originally posted by Radhil

                        I've spent quite some time erasing such useless impulses from myself.
                        So you were a racist once? Hmmm, interesting.


                        SammyJ

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                        • #72
                          Racist, no. Bigoted in a similar way, indeed.
                          Radhil Trebors
                          Persona Under Construction

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                          • #73
                            Originally posted by Radhil
                            Racist, no. Bigoted in a similar way, indeed.
                            homophobic, eh?
                            "Jan Schroeder is insane" - J. Michael Straczynski, March 2008

                            The Station: A Babylon 5 Podcast

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                            • #74
                              I'd be a liar if I said I didn't have some feeling in that regard a while back, but no.

                              Stop tossing darts at my personality dartboard guys. Needless to say it was personal. Keyword was. I'd rather Sammy take shots at what I said rather than attacking and digging for a vague bad trait that no longer applies. It's bad form, not to mention off topic.
                              Radhil Trebors
                              Persona Under Construction

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Originally posted by grumbler
                                An interesting point, but you will note that Delenn does not dispute the fact that this is a "Holy War," just that it may have had the effect of making them "no longer holy."
                                Bah, semantics.

                                The issue of when and how a religion turns from being (at least in the minds of some of its adherents) a peaceful religion to being a militant one is a very interesting one, and of course the case of Christianity of one of the best-known. I think the parallel with the Minbari is quite striking, especially when one considers that Delenn's own father supposedly died in dispair over the war (and over Delenn's part in starting it?) But it is clear from other statements that the Minbari religion is at least not opposed to war.
                                In a word, zeal.

                                I think the teachings of the Buddha to forgo desire indicates that Buddhism is incompatable with militarism, but am willing to be pursuaded otherwise. As I say, my knowledge of Buddhism is pretty much along the lines of having read a few encyclopedia articles!
                                Well, if it's militarism to gain power, that'd definitely be out of line. However, there's more than a few reasons for such behavior. I guess which ones would be considered right or wrong or indifferent would depend on the individual. There'd certainly be a lot of fine lines to tread. Some of which are pointed to in the Minbari civil war, I think. Balance the actions of the Minbari warrior caste in that spat against those of the Rangers in general... both military groups, but we have far far different perceptions of either.

                                No, it clearly does not revolve around sacrifice, as he makes clear in his "each voice lost diminishes us." It is a universalist belief system that emphasizes mutual recognition of the uniqueness and value of others. But it is still more externally oriented than I understand Buddhism to be, and advocates actions for the benefit of others, while Buddhism emphasises actions to benefit one's self (even arguing for altruism purely in the context of its benefits to one's own karma).
                                Well... if you remember the schools of Buddhism that I babbled about earlier... the Theravada one supposedly acts exactly as you describe, and is based on strict adherence to the original teachings of the Buddha. Most of what I've studied comes from Zen and Mahayana schools though, so my view of it is likely different from what you've read.

                                And in all honesty, I'm pretty lousy at it so far. Have a truckload of salt while I sort it all out.

                                These are the kinds of discussions I enjoy on this board. Thanks for taking the time, and I hope there is enogh in my arguments to make them worthy of further discussion.
                                Thing about intellectual babbling.... it can keep going.... and going.... and going...

                                But ya welcome.
                                Last edited by Radhil; 03-11-2004, 05:55 PM.
                                Radhil Trebors
                                Persona Under Construction

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