My comments are embedded below:
I've thought some more about my problrm with getting into arguments on the
internet. I think that the internet has fueled a certain type of ugliness in
arguments, with its tendency towards short comments that snipe at miniscule
errors in one's posts. I want to walk away, and yet I hate the idea of the
bullies winning the argument.
[Bill!] If you have a problem it is NEVER someone else's fault. The problem
In the case above your problem is 'hating the idea that the bullies win the
argument'. Throw that hate away. It takes two to argue, so don't argue
with them. Just state your thoughts and feelings and leave it at that. If
they don't 'get it' or if they feel they've 'won', that's THEIR problem.
Don't make it yours.
I find that in religious discussions the "internet atheists" (a specific
term for these type of arguers, not all atheists) tend to crowd out people
who want to sincerely discuss religion on particular forums, so I get
[Bill!] If you're not wanted somewhere, or are picked on as entertainment,
just leave. Go somewhere else. Let them occupy that space and then they
can pick on each other.
But here's where the ego comes in. Obviously, there is ego involved in
winning an argument, but there is also some ego in leaving. I feel like I'm
saying "i'm taking my ball and going home."
[Bill!] Yes, there is ego involved. Ego = Self. Zen practice will soften
and eventually dissolve your illusion of self.
As well, i'm very insecure about my beliefs, and I feel like I'm somehow not
worthy of my arguments. How does insecurity relate to ego, or is that a
completely different question?
[Bill!] How can you be insecure about your beliefs? Are you sure you really
BELIEVE your beliefs? If you do really BELIEVE your beliefs than you can't
be insecure about them. You are the sum of your beliefs. Insecurity
DIRECTLY relates to ego and the illusion of self. If you have an illusion
of self (maintain an ego) you are operating as an illusion. When this
illusion is challenged or shown to be incorrect or distorted you can feel
insecure. If you do not have an illusion of self there is nothing to
challenge and nothing to distort. There is Just THIS!, and although that
can be challenged it can't be shown to be incorrect or distorted in anyway -
because it's so, so simple - it's Just THIS! Just YOU! Buddha Nature!
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