Episode 173 :: Brad Warner :: There Is No God And He Is Always With You

| June 15, 2013 | 1 Comment

brad_warner

Brad Warner

Brad Warner joins us to speak about his new book just released this week, There Is No God And He Is Always With You.

What do you think of when you hear the word “God”, with a capital G? If you’re from a Judeo-Christian background, particular images and ideas might come to mind. But is that a conceptualization that we should adhere to? Is it always in alignment with the intended meaning of the speaker? There are many different ways we can use this particularly charged word, some more traditional, others less so. The challenge is sometimes why use it at all, if our meaning is so very different from that core idea.

Brad Warner is a Zen monk, writer, bass player, and film-maker. He wrote the books Hardcore Zen, Sit Down And Shut Up, Zen Wrapped in Karma Dipped in Chocolate, and Sex, Sin, and Zen. He received Dharma Transmission from Gudo Nishijima Roshi, who received his transmission from Rempo Niwa Roshi who, at the time was the head of the Soto Sect in Japan. Brad was also a student of Tim McCarthy, who was a student of Kobun Chino Roshi.

So, sit back, relax, and have a nice green tea. Yes, just green tea.

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Music for This Episode Courtesy of Rodrigo Rodriguez

The music heard in the middle of the podcast is from Rodrigo Rodriguez. The track used in this episode is “Kyuden no Kurayami” from his CD, Beyond the Times.

Category: The Secular Buddhist Podcast

Ted Meissner

About the Author ()

Ted Meissner is the host of the podcast Present Moment: Mindfulness Practice and Science. He has been a meditator since the early 90’s, has been interviewed for Books and Ideas, Mindful Lives, and The Whole Leader podcasts, spoken about mindfulness with various groups including Harvard Humanist Hub, and has written for Elephant Journal and The International Journal of Whole Person Care. He is the Executive Director of the Secular Buddhist Association, host of the SBA’s official podcast The Secular Buddhist, and is on the Advisory Board for the Spiritual Naturalist Society. Ted’s background is in the Zen and Theravada traditions, he is a regular speaker on interfaith panel discussions, and is interested in examining the evolution of contemplative practice in contemporary culture. Ted teaches Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care & Society, where he is the Manager of Online Programming and Community Development.

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  1. leebert leebert says:

    Quickly, as a composite placeholder for values like compassion, equality, mercy and justice, it could be argued that “God” is no less valid those values that religion embodies in “Him.”

    Lacking a tangible existence, these values are as real as people make them – and what we do make of them is the currency by which so much of any society manages to function. Of course people abide them for motives more than convention, as such values are inculcated via filial and social milieu by default.

    Sadly the samaritanism and parity these values are purported to abet are found to consistently be in shorter supply than one would might expect given the utter conviction demonstrated by religious proponents. It’s almost a rule that positive welfare is in shorter supply, and in greater need than the full potential of any society.

    From there spring a long discussion about the value of the anthropic embodiment of these values in “God” that sets a universally acknowledged & superior figure above government, church and the polity.

    If such ethical metaphysical frameworks are dispensable, the burden may be imposed to establish they are simply human inventions. A countering challenge would be that it’s far more incumbent upon theists to prove a superior divine basis for their claims.

    But how often has it been demonstrated that the most righteous proponents of a theocratic framework are found to belie other agendas, and make the claims more in keeping with their own self-interests than the broader public weal?

    And how they flinch: It doesn’t take much criticism to instigate a defensive stance that the theists are being made to carry greater burden of proof than their opponents’.

    The point being that since the divine claims and ethical frameworks are already human inventions, a humanist consensual framework is more than sufficient. And it may well be that a universal humanist framework is demonstrably less prone to problems, as opposed to a divine framework that will try to exculpate itself when its officers and votaries are led astray from their better instincts.

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