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Date Posted: 18:27
Author: Eponymous-1May02
Subject: Re: Addendum/Correction
In reply to: ketch-30Apr02 's message, "Re: Addendum/Correction" on 18:26

1. "The question is whether all spiritual teachers must also adopt the role of politician/social reformer...."

I've already made clear why this is a straw man: I didn't say Yogananda needed to be a social reformer. I just said he shouldn't have been a social *de*former: It's one thing not to be a reformer on miscegenation; it's quite another to positively adopt an anti-miscegenetic policy.

2. "For a spiritual teacher to make a rule that members must abide by the laws and sensitivities of the society in which they live is neither unreasonable nor unenlightened."

Hmmm. If society has reactionary "sensitivies," I see no enlightened reason to show those sensitivities any respect short of viewpoint toleration; and even then, such toleration would not include anything like invading the marital liberties of adherents merely on the basis of the unenlightened sensitivities of outsiders.

3. "Primitive tribespeople who practice infanticide [baby killing] should only be judged by the circumstanced and standards of their time."


First, you've changed the question from whether baby killing is an unenlightened practice into whether we can judge those who engaged in the practice by contemporary standards of enlightenment. (My answer: Sure we can judge them, but what's the point?)

Second, the analogy to a primitive tribe is rather poor, since we're talking about an individual who is held out by his followers as an avatar.

Third, adherents judge enlightenment by contemporary standards all the time. When an adherent of Yogananda says he was enlightened, the adherent doesn't mean that Yogananda was enlightened-for-California-in-the-1930s.

But then to say that enlightenment is persevering and vital while unenlightment is only temporal and relativistic is just special pleading.

I'll let you have the last word, Ketch.

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