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Post Reply China and the Dalai Lama
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Posted 4/6/15 , edited 4/7/15

AiYumega wrote:

Thank God for jokes, or else we'd be in even worse shape than we're in.


Jokes can also play a very important role in pushing for social change. A great example (though one not connected to religion) is A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Smith; it took and played off of several potentially offensive elements to get people to think and to question. Smaller jokes that aren't meant to challenge people's values and ideas should be tolerated, if not promoted, so that major satirical works and efforts aren't crushed before they can be started. Once you reach a point in which a subject can not be joked about or questioned, society stagnates in that area.

And anyways, why would a prominent, holy figure in a religion be phased by a harmless joke? The Dalai Llama, for one, is a pretty jocose guy - he's made fart jokes and the like.
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Posted 4/6/15 , edited 4/7/15

Schmooples wrote:

Jokes can also play a very important role in pushing for social change. A great example (though one not connected to religion) is A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Smith; it took and played off of several potentially offensive elements to get people to think and to question. Smaller jokes that aren't meant to challenge people's values and ideas should be tolerated, if not promoted, so that major satirical works and efforts aren't crushed before they can be started. Once you reach a point in which a subject can not be joked about or questioned, society stagnates in that area.

And anyways, why would a prominent, holy figure in a religion be phased by a harmless joke? The Dalai Llama, for one, is a pretty jocose guy - he's made fart jokes and the like.


People value their religious beliefs, and feel deeply offended when they are mocked.
Without writing a whole essay on it, to sum it up, jokes often blur the boundaries on what's socially acceptable. Jokes on people with mental disabilities, serious issues like r*pe and racist jokes made with the defense "It's just a joke, I'm not racist" are all intolerable and should be funneled out of society. If these jokes are accepted and everyone makes them, then it takes away from the seriousness of issues like racism. As well as affecting us on a subconscious level and making us more tolerant of these issues. And if there are no limits to jokes, does it mean we're allowed to insult people with them. We must strive to sympathise with people in every part of society. Just because some of us hold nothing sacred or are insensitive, doesn't give us the right to mock the things that other people are sensitive about just because we can't empathise with it.

Posted 4/6/15 , edited 4/7/15

Mattatron wrote:

No, you can still enjoy life if you choose since as long as you are not attached to your ego, you can still leave this place. My other understanding of Buddhism is that as long as you are not attached to your ego and things of matter/physicality, you will rise to Nirvana. We are not meant to stay at this level of reality forever.



My impression was that some Buddhist sects believe that to get to "nirvana" they must achieve a level of what can be equivocal to being karmic sainthood, perfection of their character to escape samsara and achieve nirvana, which is essentially oblivion, and this oblivion free of pain associated with samsara, the endless cycle of death and rebirth. I never understood oblivion interpreted as divine, but as a state free of suffering. In this light it is more compatible with a lack of belief in afterlife, and those who don't believe in such things, its interesting.

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Posted 4/6/15

SweetPerplexity wrote:



People value their religious beliefs, and feel deeply offended when they are mocked.
Without writing a whole essay on it, to sum it up, jokes often blur the boundaries on what's socially acceptable. Jokes on people with mental disabilities, serious issues like r*pe and racist jokes made with the defense "It's just a joke, I'm not racist" are all intolerable and should be funneled out of society. If these jokes are accepted and everyone makes them, then it takes away from the seriousness of issues like racism. As well as affecting us on a subconscious level and making us more tolerant of these issues. And if there are no limits to jokes, does it mean we're allowed to insult people with them. We must strive to sympathise with people in every part of society. Just because some of us hold nothing sacred or are insensitive, doesn't give us the right to mock the things that other people are sensitive about just because we can't empathise with it.



So we should leave any uncomfortable topics completely untouched? Some things need to be talked about and sometimes a joke is the best way to cover a tough topic.

I don't condone jokes on very sensitive issues such as rape because those jokes don't support societal change where it is necessary. A rapist wouldn't change their views and stop raping because of a joke - they don't encourage thought or reflection on the issue. On the other hand, I would support a joke on some of the more negative contradictions in Christianity. A joke about how God would be fine with homosexuals being tortured for eternity despite his love for them encourages thought and could lead to people rethinking their bigoted practices.

I have a ton of empathy for people. I am in a social group that is constantly dumped on and hated - I understand how it feels to have jokes made at my expense. However, if those jokes make people think, they are worth it. Similarly, I wouldn't wish for the small jokes to be censored because it discourages serious satire that does encourage thought.
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Posted 4/6/15 , edited 4/7/15

Schmooples wrote:

So we should leave any uncomfortable topics completely untouched? Some things need to be talked about and sometimes a joke is the best way to cover a tough topic.

I don't condone jokes on very sensitive issues such as rape because those jokes don't support societal change where it is necessary. A rapist wouldn't change their views and stop raping because of a joke - they don't encourage thought or reflection on the issue. On the other hand, I would support a joke on some of the more negative contradictions in Christianity. A joke about how God would be fine with homosexuals being tortured for eternity despite his love for them encourages thought and could lead to people rethinking their bigoted practices.

I have a ton of empathy for people. I am in a social group that is constantly dumped on and hated - I understand how it feels to have jokes made at my expense. However, if those jokes make people think, they are worth it. Similarly, I wouldn't wish for the small jokes to be censored because it discourages serious satire that does encourage thought.


If you want to encourage thought, you propose serious questions at serious situations.




Dark_Childe wrote:

My impression was that some Buddhist sects believe that to get to "nirvana" they must achieve a level of what can be equivocal to being karmic sainthood, perfection of their character to escape samsara and achieve nirvana, which is essentially oblivion, and this oblivion free of pain associated with samsara, the endless cycle of death and rebirth. I never understood oblivion interpreted as divine, but as a state free of suffering. In this light it is more compatible with a lack of belief in afterlife, and those who don't believe in such things, its interesting.



Do Buddhists believe in a deity or deities? I see some Buddhists talk about multiple deities and others saying there is none. I've asked this question before and I was told that it's because Buddhism doesn't mention anything about deities, so it doesn't say there's none, but it doesn't say there is one either.

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Posted 4/6/15 , edited 4/7/15

SweetPerplexity wrote:

If you want to encourage thought, you propose serious questions at serious situations.



Satire is, and always has been, a well-respected rhetorical strategy. A joke can have a much greater impact that a simple statement or question, and it can often take most of the edge off of a subject, making it easier to stomach
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Posted 4/6/15 , edited 4/7/15
Technically, China was never the Dalai Lama's homeland. According to tradition, adept monks of the Tibetan order search out Tibet and divine for the next incarnation of the Dalai Lama. And in regards to reincarnation, an advanced lama may choose nirvana and not reincarnate to the next life.

Core Buddhism is only a philosophy and a way of self-cultivation, with no particular deity to revere. It's a philosophy that even Christians take part in. That being said, a nation's local Buddhist sect may have many imported deities and local gods/kamis to worship. Japan would be a prime example of this.

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Posted 4/6/15 , edited 4/7/15

KRNMADEINAMERICA wrote:

Core Buddhism is only a philosophy and a way of self-cultivation, with no particular deity to revere. It's a philosophy that even Christians take part in. That being said, a nation's local Buddhist sect may have many imported deities and local gods/kamis to worship. Japan would be a prime example of this.


Thank you so much for your clarification.


Schmooples wrote:

Satire is, and always has been, a well-respected rhetorical strategy. A joke can have a much greater impact that a simple statement or question, and it can often take most of the edge off of a subject, making it easier to stomach


Jokes or satire accomplish more bad than good.

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Posted 4/6/15

SweetPerplexity wrote:

Jokes or satire accomplish more bad than good.


So many great contributions to literature have been satirical: Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Jonathan Swift, George Orwell, and many others have all used satire to great effect - and they've all often be praised for the positive impact they've had on social attitudes.

Where are you seeing that it does more harm than good? I would like at least a little concrete evidence to see where you are coming from, aside from "people might get kind of upset."
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Posted 4/6/15

Schmooples wrote:


SweetPerplexity wrote:

Jokes or satire accomplish more bad than good.


So many great contributions to literature have been satirical: Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Jonathan Swift, George Orwell, and many others have all used satire to great effect - and they've all often be praised for the positive impact they've had on social attitudes.

Where are you seeing that it does more harm than good? I would like at least a little concrete evidence to see where you are coming from, aside from "people might get kind of upset."


That's the thing. Any good jokes/satire can accomplish can easily be seen with concrete evidence which is why most people hold similar views to yourself. 然し, the negative effects they have are on a subconscious level and can only be visible in changes in social norms, take the 'n word' for example. When it first started out, it was a racist term and the victims of it hated it. However later, the victims started calling each other the 'n word' as a joke and it became an accepted term between them, destroying the stigma attached to it, many of the victims however did not approve of the continued use of this word even as a joke. For the sake of this argument, I'll agree and say the appropriation of the word was 'a good thing' for removing the stigma. However, the word has since died down and is still viewed as a taboo outside of its use between its victims. With the rise of the internet, by changing the 'n word' and turning its suffix 'ger' to 'ga' People use the word quite flippantly on the internet, and since it's become cool and people who dwell on websites where this word is commonly used are (or have the mentality) of children (in the respect that they're very impressionable) use the word in real life too, as a substitute for the word 'guy' or 'person' Although, the change in the word's spelling was originally a joke, in speech the word sounds exactly the same as the racial slur it came from. This word has therefore come into use once more among youngsters and is brewing many issues. See how it became a negative.

I apologise for any spelling or grammatical errors, it's pretty late at night here.
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Posted 4/6/15

SweetPerplexity post">wrote:

I don't think it's right to make funny gifs out of the Dalai Lama, he is a respected religious figure and you're probably offending a lot of Buddhists out there.


Tibetan Buddhism. Dalai Lama is the respected religious figure of Tibetan Buddhism. I find this implication much more offensive to myself, a non-Tibetan Buddhist, than his funny gif.

But even this I don't really find offensive. So chill. Most Buddhists I know are pretty laid back about that kind of stuff.
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Posted 4/6/15 , edited 4/7/15

SweetPerplexity wrote:

That's the thing. Any good jokes/satire can accomplish can easily be seen with concrete evidence which is why most people hold similar views to yourself. 然し, the negative effects they have are on a subconscious level and can only be visible in changes in social norms, take the 'n word' for example. When it first started out, it was a racist term and the victims of it hated it. However later, the victims started calling each other the 'n word' as a joke and it became an accepted term between them, destroying the stigma attached to it, many of the victims however did not approve of the continued use of this word even as a joke. For the sake of this argument, I'll agree and say the appropriation of the word was 'a good thing' for removing the stigma. However, the word has since died down and is still viewed as a taboo outside of its use between its victims. With the rise of the internet, by changing the 'n word' and turning its suffix 'ger' to 'ga' People use the word quite flippantly on the internet, and since it's become cool and people who dwell on websites where this word is commonly used are (or have the mentality) of children (in the respect that they're very impressionable) use the word in real life too, as a substitute for the word 'guy' or 'person' Although, the change in the word's spelling was originally a joke, in speech the word sounds exactly the same as the racial slur it came from. This word has therefore come into use once more among youngsters and is brewing many issues. See how it became a negative.

I apologise for any spelling or grammatical errors, it's pretty late at night here.


Why do you say it began being used as a joke "by the victims?" So far as I've always heard, it started out being used heavily in an effort to return the word to a more neutral standing - to remove the offensiveness of it. In time, however, it caught on as a colloquialism and, in a way, an intensifier within the black community. That is very different from a joke and would be an entirely different argument.

However, assuming that it was first used jocosely, that in and of itself is widely different from the jokes and satire being talked about here. Language is pervasive, jokes less-so: as such, altering language in such a way that could offend people is very different from making a joke that might offend people should that happen to see it. They will not constantly be battered by jokes they find offensive, but a black person could very easily be constantly subjected to the use of the 'n-word' against his will.

This has gone on far enough, though, and I feel bad for helping to derail this thread. Satire is, as I (and many, many others, including experts) see it, a good tool to use for societal change. You have a different opinion, though, and that's alright. You aren't willing to change your opinion and I require solid evidence that satire has a negative effect on society to change mine, so this back and forth is pointless.
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