Friday, May 23, 2008

"Neural Buddhists", Christians, and the Mud that failed

Recently we heard about "neural Buddhism" - basically, the BoBos (bohemian bourgeois) are coming to come to terms with the fact that neuroscience is not proving that there is no soul, as Tom Wolfe suggested.

Materialism is in fact "the Mud that failed."

So the BoBos now hope to get by on "neural Buddhism" - they won't be materialists but they won't be much of anything else either.

Ben Wiker's To the Source weighs in heavily, seeing neural Buddhism as an attack on Christianity:
Back to the “latest” in neuroscience. The important thing to understand is that if the discovery of “self-transcendence” in the brain is slightly more scientific than crude soul-crushing materialism, it is far more potent an enemy to true religion. Brooks understands this with admirable but not entire clarity. The lovely hand-holding of mysticism and science is “bound to lead to new movements that emphasize self-transcendence but put little stock in divine law or revelation. Orthodox believers are going to have to defend particular doctrines and particular biblical teachings. They’re going to have to defend the idea of a personal God, and explain why specific theologies are true guides for behavior day to day.”
Hmmmm. Why not plop a bit of ice in that brimstone, Ben?

First, it isn't Christians who should be insulted by this particular display of the BoBo genius for raising triviality to an art form, it's Buddhists! Real Buddhism is NOT about what you don't have to believe, think, say, or do. Real Buddhist monks get slaughtered fighting vicious tyrannies.

And a BoBo "neural Buddhist" does what? Buys a book on how to meditate under a blow dryer while surfing the Net?

Hey, prediction: Neural Buddhism will either grow up into Buddhism, get absorbed into Western theism, or dissipate before the next fad (rural nudism? feral foodism? Don't write to tell me. For truly momentous news like this I should wait for the New York Times).

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