At 5:40 Christopher Hitchens destroys Zen Buddhism and Shinto. He names a mind-glowingly thoughtless action by Buddhists, which he calls a contemplative nonsense, and then says, “The sleep of reason brings forth monsters–and that’s Buddhism–the faith everyone goes to once they’ve exhausted Christianity.” Continue reading Christopher Hitchens destroys Zen Buddhism and Shinto
1. You are Izanami, the Japanese creator goddess. You died giving birth to the fire god, and your husband has come to the underworld to save you. You ask him not to look at you, while you talk to the gods of the underworld, but he accidentally does and sees your flesh has rotted. You want to come back to the land of the living, so how will you react?
A. Keep your cool. Finish talking to the gods of the underworld as you promised, and return to the land of the living with the man who loves you. Create lots of babies and islands, and have stories to tell with gods and humans. Shinto is all true, so there are definitely plenty of magical objects that can improve your looks or health.
B. Chase your husband through the underworld trying to murder him for peeping on you when you were vulnerable. Promise when he escapes to kill a thousand Japanese every day. Force your husband to cover Hades with a rock, permanently sealing you off from the land of the living. Make your husband into a widow and become his arch-enemy, and the enemy of everything you tried to create.
If you choose B, Shinto will make perfect sense to you.
Cloud and Zidane were the greatest philosophers that ever lived. They changed my life. But my best friends at middle school think Titus has even deeper insights into the human condition.
I discovered philosophy from Trigun. I could have stopped there and been smarter than the adults, but my older brother who is 14 and a genius showed me Final Fantasy. He has studied the story his whole life and wants to start a class to teach about Final Fantasy theology at a university. He says he needs to teach kids to live with nature again and care for gaia or ancient guardians will be awakened to destroy us.
This begs the question of what sort of religion Final Fantasy espoused?
Individualists make their own gods to idolize
To start off, Suguri has to be oldest living God in the world I’ve heard of.* She is a 46 billion year old “Goddess” who used to be a human before she became a lonely cyborg, and stopped talking to anyone for a billion years.
*(Buddhas do appear to be older in the Lotus Sutra, but I don’t fully understand Buddhism or its kalpas, so I’ll ignore it.)
I wonder if her author and illustrator realizes that he worships the savior-goddess he created. He loves her enough to have drawn new art of her nearly every week for nearly ten years, and still does on twitter. He would be wise not to bother with marriage, or his wife will be jealous of the attention he puts into his goddess.
Her backstory puts Captain Planet to shame too. It doesn’t get more heroic than spending countless years to fix a polluted Earth all by yourself, and then defending the newly saved Earth from alien invaders all by yourself.
Fyi, here is Suguri’s backstory to prove how heroic she is:
The earth had been utterly destroyed by war.
Suguri was a cyborg who began to bring the Earth back to life plantings trees and stuff for thousands of years.
In the vast and wide Earth, she was only one person who would endeavor to do whatever it took.
She gave humans hope and made them want to work together.brought them together.
Then she risked her life fighting to protect her Earth when the invaders came.
I’m moved! Why aren’t you worshiping cute little Suguri? It’s crazy to worship a baby Hebrew god that allegedly created the Earth only 6,000 years ago. That and he has done a poor job of showing himself, protecting us, or helping with our problems. (He seems to create more problems than he causes actually, like hell and Satan.) But Suguri was so awesome she sacrificed herself to save the Earth from problems she didn’t start TWICE!
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tachikawa-ryu12th century Japanese religion devoted to blissful sex because “when a man and a woman unite they become Buddha,” and skull fucking…or rather spreading sexual fluids on a skull and having lots of sex until the skull speaks to you and tells you the meaning of your dreams/answers your wishes.
Alternatives to the 10 Commandments:
If you want to follow an ethical code, you could draw one from philosophy or make up your own. (Christians pick and choose verses to follow, and how to interpret them anyway.) But let’s quickly prove there is nothing special about the 10 commandments.
Early Shintoism/Japanese Buddhism:
Here are the “commandments” of Prince Shotoku of Japan (604 AD). They’re pretty much the same, except he’s writing a constitution so there are even more.
The Egyptian 42 Commandments:
Here are the 42 commandments Egypt followed. Remember Egypt occupied Israel in BCE 1500 and probably impacted their religion.
(Notice that both examples have commandments that pay special emphasis to not polluting the Earth, or the water supply. This concern for the environment is more important now than ever before, and it is not addressed in Christianity.)