Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The enemy of my enemy is not my friend

I've made it clear that I don't like the way China runs things, but I'm certainly not going to automatically side with their opposition. The Dalai Lama has been in the news a bit recently receiving various awards, as he is wont to do. He is set to received the Congressional Gold Medal tomorrow in the United States for god knows what, and this has understandably pissed off the Communist Party in China.

The Dalai Lama is an absolute fount of bullshit. Buddhism in general is no better than any other religion in terms of bad thinking and faith-based dogmatic rejection of a natural and scientific worldview, and it's only slightly less horrific in violent and oppressive human atrocities when compared to other religions. The Lama himself is a combination of the Pope and Deepak Chopra. I'm tempted to put Hitler in there, but I don't want to play into Godwin's Law, and he isn't quite as bad as all that.

If the Dalai Lama had his way, he would run Tibet as a theocracy, guided by the false religion of Buddhism. Freedom would be the second lowest priority on his list, beat only by scientific progress. There would be a feudal caste system in which the priest class live in luxury and opulence while the larger peasant class toil in poverty and manual labour with no opportunity for an education or social advancement. Criminals (those who violate ludicrous religious dictates) would be punished with torture and mutilation (the removal of eyeballs was a favourite under the last Tibetan theocracy).

Mr. Lama presents himself as a happy and peaceful man, and he says some very nice things. Outwardly, it is very easy to like him and respect him and want to support him despite his ridiculous irrational beliefs about reincarnation, dualism, and pantheistic animism. Looks can be deceiving. I wish everyone would just stop giving him awards. I was ashamed when my own alma matter UBC gave him an honorary degree a few years ago. If it happened now, I think I would write some letters, but I wasn't as outspoken then as I am now.

So, Dalai Lama: bad. China: possibly worse. Neither is worth supporting, and neither deserve awards of distinction.

No comments: