I find most of your comments helpful, but I do still have a problem with them 
overrunning the religious forum. It's at the point where the only religious 
discussions are negative. Which is sad, because people shouuld feel comfortable 
discussing,say, Liberation Theology.

--- In Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com, <billsm...@...> wrote:
> DP,
> 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
> is yours.
> 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
> frustrated.
> [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!
> .Bill!
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