China expands new measures to directly control Tibetan monas

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dzogchungpa
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Re: China expands new measures to directly control Tibetan m

Post by dzogchungpa »

Adi wrote:Even if you accept this unsound definition, see Malcolm's previous post about Tibetan history. It still doesn't apply in the way uan imagines it.

Adi
Well, as far as the unsoundness goes, take it up with the American Heritage Dictionary, but I agree with the rest of your post.

:smile:

edit: also see here:
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/theocracy
http://oaadonline.oxfordlearnersdiction ... /theocracy
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Re: China expands new measures to directly control Tibetan m

Post by Adi »

dzogchungpa wrote:...
Well, as far as the unsoundness goes, take it up with the American Heritage Dictionary….
I think I shall. Have you seen Sancho Panza around? If you do, kindly tell him to saddle up my donkey, get my lance unstuck from that last windmill, and prepare to ride out to do battle with sloppy, possibly intoxicated lexicographers.

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uan
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Re: China expands new measures to directly control Tibetan m

Post by uan »

Malcolm wrote:
uan wrote:
That was a non answer. But it does arise out of a real understanding of how non answers function.
Look, you made a gross inaccurate generalization. For one, the vast majority of Tibet, for most of its history, was divvied up into small kingdoms held together by a network of trade, family relations as well as monastic ties.

While it is true that the Great Fifth took control of Central Tibet and Tsang, his consolidation fell apart after his death completely. in 1704. It was another 50 years before a Dalai Lama was the nominal ruler of Central Tibet and Tsang. Even here, principalities like Sakya in Western Tsang maintained their independence. During much of the 19th century, Lhasa was controlled through Manchu Ambans.

So my point is, your contention has no substance.

Thank you for extending your efforts a bit more, third time's the charm :)
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Re: China expands new measures to directly control Tibetan m

Post by emaho »

Adi wrote:Theocracy is simply, by definition, the wrong word to use in a Buddhist culture. There is no schema of creator gods so using a word with the root theo is inaccurate and thus nonsensical.
The word "theos" (ὁ θεός) comes from ancient Greece where it referred to the polytheistic gods like Zeus and Hera. It does not have any implications of monotheism or an omnipotent creator God per se.

Of course Buddhism is not a polytheistic religion in that sense either, and using the word "theocracy" in the broad sense in which it is defined in the dictionary entries Magnus and others have quoted above is of course a bit of a stretch, but that's just how this word is currently being used by political scientists and sociologists, so there's no point in being hostile here.
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Re: China expands new measures to directly control Tibetan m

Post by Luke »

Sherab Dorje wrote:
Luke wrote:
rory wrote:As the Jewish person here, my attitude is cooperate, get an education and live. The smartest of the young Tibetans in exile should get educated, marry and have children to continue their culture, not be celibate monks.
^This was a good point, amidst all the other noise in this thread.
This is not a good point. Tibetans should do whatever they please with their lives and people posting from the comfort of a western capitalist democracy should not be telling them what to do with their lives and what their sexual preferences (celibacy vs procreation) should be.
Yes, I agree that Tibetans should be free to do what they want with their lives and should have the autonomy which the Dalai Lama has been campaigning for all these years, etc. But given the present very difficult situation in Tibet, would Tibetans have a bit more power and influence in Tibet if they were greater in numbers?
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Re: China expands new measures to directly control Tibetan m

Post by emaho »

ReasonAndRhyme wrote:in the broad sense in which it is defined in the dictionary entries Magnus and others have quoted above
Ooops, sorry, I meant of course Dzogchungpa :emb:
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Re: China expands new measures to directly control Tibetan m

Post by Adi »

ReasonAndRhyme wrote:
Adi wrote:Theocracy is simply, by definition, the wrong word to use in a Buddhist culture. There is no schema of creator gods so using a word with the root theo is inaccurate and thus nonsensical.
The word "theos" (ὁ θεός) comes from ancient Greece where it referred to the polytheistic gods like Zeus and Hera. It does not have any implications of monotheism or an omnipotent creator God per se.
Yup, that's where it started. Then it became a monotheistic descriptor when it became an English word.
Of course Buddhism is not a polytheistic religion in that sense either, and using the word "theocracy" in the broad sense in which it is defined in the dictionary entries Magnus and others have quoted above is of course a bit of a stretch, but that's just how this word is currently being used by political scientists and sociologists, so there's no point in being hostile here.
Of course the definition has change again and our English dictionaries are descriptive not proscriptive, but it's still not the right term as you agree. But hostility? Where on earth do you feel that? Not coming from me, a tilter at linguistic windmills for sometime now. :)

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Re: China expands new measures to directly control Tibetan m

Post by Schrödinger’s Yidam »

Of course Buddhism is not a polytheistic religion in that sense either
There is room for debate on that. Thurman has said that TB is polytheistic. Someone here called it "poly non-theistic". That's cute, but pretty much sums up how people handle the double think needed to avoid that semantic label.
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Re: China expands new measures to directly control Tibetan m

Post by emaho »

smcj wrote:
Of course Buddhism is not a polytheistic religion in that sense either
There is room for debate on that. Thurman has said that TB is polytheistic. Someone here called it "poly non-theistic". That's cute, but pretty much sums up how people handle the double think needed to avoid that semantic label.
Polytheistic in the same sense as ancient Greek polytheism? Really? Oh boy... I'll stick to my opinion until I hear some really good, convincing reasons for that... :shrug:
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Re: China expands new measures to directly control Tibetan m

Post by Osho »

It serves no purpose beyond politics or posing for any of us here in the west to take a position on China's actions in Tibet whatever those actions may or may not be.
We cannot confidently rely on reporters who have clearly articulated anti-Chinese agendas.
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Re: China expands new measures to directly control Tibetan m

Post by dzogchungpa »

Osho wrote:We cannot confidently rely on reporters who have clearly articulated anti-Chinese agendas.
Which reporters are you referring to?
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Re: China expands new measures to directly control Tibetan m

Post by emaho »

Adi wrote:But hostility? Where on earth do you feel that? Not coming from me, a tilter at linguistic windmills for sometime now. :)

Adi
:smile:

Sorry if I misread your post, your use of the word "nonsensical" had sounded a bit aggressive to me.
Adi wrote:Yup, that's where it started. Then it became a monotheistic descriptor when it became an English word.
Nope, I'm afraid I can't agree with that. If the word "theos" as a loanword in English and other European languages had the meaning of referring to a monotheistic God then the word "polytheism" which contains this very expression would be a completely nonsensical contradiction in terms.
Adi wrote:Of course the definition has change again and our English dictionaries are descriptive not proscriptive, but it's still not the right term as you agree.
Yes, no, well, uarrghhh, emmm.... Strictly speaking from an etymological point of view maybe, but I wouldn't go so far to say it's the wrong term because in the community of social scientists this is how the word is being used. So, according to the rules of the scientific community it's correct to speak like that. I'd be willing to compromise on this one.

Btw I've just read a dictionary entry about "theos" in Pape's dictionary of ancient Greek/German and he writes that in Homer's work the word "theos" can also have a non-personal meaning, denoting a higher power and not one ore more personal gods. But that's just a linguistic sidenote.
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Re: China expands new measures to directly control Tibetan m

Post by dzogchungpa »

ReasonAndRhyme wrote:Polytheistic in the same sense as ancient Greek polytheism? Really? Oh boy... I'll stick to my opinion until I hear some really good, convincing reasons for that... :shrug:
Perhaps not exactly the same sense, but check out the parts about recollection of the devas here:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/stud ... tions.html

(search for the word 'deva')
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Re: China expands new measures to directly control Tibetan m

Post by emaho »

Yes, sure, according to the Buddhist teachings there are devas. Even I knew that. But these are not worshipped in Buddhism and that's a striking difference to ancient Greek polytheism, at least for me. In Christianity many people believe that the devil exists, but they do not worship him, which is the difference to Satanism.
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Re: China expands new measures to directly control Tibetan m

Post by dzogchungpa »

ReasonAndRhyme wrote:Yes, sure, according to the Buddhist teachings there are devas. Even I knew that. But these are not worshipped in Buddhism and that's a striking difference to ancient Greek polytheism, at least for me.
It's not just that there are devas, but that they are to be "recollected", as a meditation practice. Anyway, plenty of Buddhists have literally worshipped devas.
Last edited by dzogchungpa on Sat May 24, 2014 5:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: China expands new measures to directly control Tibetan m

Post by Osho »

dzogchungpa wrote:
Osho wrote:We cannot confidently rely on reporters who have clearly articulated anti-Chinese agendas.
Which reporters are you referring to?



Bless your heart, you can read as well as I can.
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Re: China expands new measures to directly control Tibetan m

Post by dzogchungpa »

Osho wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:
Osho wrote:We cannot confidently rely on reporters who have clearly articulated anti-Chinese agendas.
Which reporters are you referring to?
Bless your heart, you can read as well as I can.
Apparently you don't read that well because I asked "Which reporters are you referring to?", not "Do I read as well as you?".
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Re: China expands new measures to directly control Tibetan m

Post by Grigoris »

Luke wrote:Yes, I agree that Tibetans should be free to do what they want with their lives and should have the autonomy which the Dalai Lama has been campaigning for all these years, etc. But given the present very difficult situation in Tibet, would Tibetans have a bit more power and influence in Tibet if they were greater in numbers?
Like, if the 1,000,000 Tibetans that were killed since the occupation rose from the dead?
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Re: China expands new measures to directly control Tibetan m

Post by emaho »

dzogchungpa wrote:It's not just that there are devas, but that they are to be "recollected" as a meditation practice. Anyway, plenty of Buddhists have literally worshipped devas.
Maybe we can just agree to disagree on this for now, because I think it is leading way too much off-topic. All I wanted to say originally is that I believe that one specific linguistic argument for refuting the thesis that Tibet was a theocracy is not valid.

If we can agree on the definition in Merriam-Webster's
theocracy: a form of government in which a country is ruled by religious leaders
I'd find it much more interesting to hear historical arguments why Tibet was or was not a theocracy.
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Re: China expands new measures to directly control Tibetan m

Post by Malcolm »

ReasonAndRhyme wrote: I'd find it much more interesting to hear historical arguments why Tibet was or was not a theocracy.

Been there, done that.
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