Posts by Rick Heller

Buddha: The First Humanist?

Robert Thurman is a noted author on Buddhist topics and Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Columbia University. In 1990, the Humanist Association of Massachusetts invited Robert Thurman, Professor of Religion at Columbia University to lecture on the similarities and differences between Western philosophical Humanism and Buddhism. His talk was entitled Buddha: The First Humanist?…

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Is Donald Trump a Psychopath and Should We Love Him Anyway?

Religious Buddhists are serious about universal love. Even Psychopaths Need Love, Lodro Rinzler writes.  Lama John Makransky writes in Awakening Through Love: “Those who point to Hitler as reason not to cultivate all-inclusive love, insisting that people who are that evil should never be included in such a wish, do Hitler honor by imitation. To believe that…

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Tend Your Garden

Tending the Epicurean Garden by Hiram Crespo. Humanist Press, 2014, Hiram Crespo is engaged in the challenging task of reviving Epicureanism not just as a philosophy but also as a living practice. His book, Tending the Epicurean Garden, combines the ancient philosophy of Epicurus with tasks or practices, many of them borrowed from Buddhism. One question…

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Loving and Trusting Psychopaths

I enjoy listening to Interdependence Project podcasts and have found value in a number of them. The ID Project presents itself as Secular Buddhist in its mission statement. But at least in this blog post by Lodro Rinzler, which I came across when it was tweeted out by the ID Project, I believe it fails…

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Dignity and Right Speech

What comes to mind when you hear the word “dignity?” The United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights starts off, “Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world…” Dignity relates to protection…

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Metta and the Ethics of Killing

In metta (loving-kindness) practice, one widens the circle of concern from the self, to loved ones, to neutral and difficult people, and then to all beings. The question is, does the goal of minimizing suffering and maximizing well-being for all beings entail not killing any of them? From the traditional Buddhist point of view, it does.…

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