Monday, September 21, 2009

Miracles Are Real — For Buddhists [Jonah Goldberg]
That's all the warning most of you need. Follow! Goldberg was listening to NPR and heard an amazing story:
When the Dalai Lama was just two years old, some travelling monks found him. The tyke greeted them in the monks' own language even though he had no reason to know it and recognized the old men as long lost friends. He — at the age of two — "knew all about" his previous life.

Now, it seems to me that from any objective viewpoint this is, quite simply, a miracle.
Or bullshit. Either way.
As to whether this actually happened I see no reason why I shouldn't be agnostic as I like the idea of miracles quite a bit and poo-pooing it would be distraction from the point I want to make.
Uh oh, Goldberg's already trying to create a diversion; his weak-minded adversaries will still be parsing that sentence when he has vanished in a cloud of Cheetos dust.
Non-traditional use of conjunctions also helps.
...I thought it was really interesting that no skepticism was brought to bear. I listen to discussions of Christianity from time to time on NPR and it seems that it's simply required in such conversations to take the "magic" out of the Judeo-Christian narratives. But when the religion in question is Buddhism it's apparently fine to suspend ones rationalist mind. Again, I'm not a regular listener of this show, so maybe my surprise is a little misplaced and all such talk is greeted with such open-mindedness. But that's certainly not my impression of NPR in general.
Goldberg's "impression of NPR in general" is probably similar to Homer's attempt to think like Flanders. To the extent that we can extract a point from this, it seems Goldberg finds NPR guests generally suspicious of Christian miracles, and one of them perhaps credulous of those attributed to an Eastern mystic. This invites all kinds of questions, foremost among them: Might the Church revive itself among the intellectual classes by encouraging its priests to talk like Mr. Moto and do card tricks?

Maybe Goldberg fled because wanted to keep his powder dry for a column on this. I certainly hope so. He's dynamite on the subject of NPR. (Search to "Strategic Humor Initiative.")

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