An Answer to the Apologist
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29-07-2012, 08:32 PM (This post was last modified: 30-07-2012 12:16 AM by PeacefulSkeptic.)
An Answer to the Apologist
This is a response from an article by Mark Webster of Beyond Opinion, a "Christian Apologetics Ministry.

I am totally dumbfounded as to why evolution has anything to do with Zen or Theravada Buddhism. These two philosophies are ways to live our lives, not some biological mechanism. Evolution is totally irrelevant. Moreover, there is a cogent explanation to the universe. In Zen, as in reality, the universe only exists in total subjectivity. This is how Zen explains the universe. Whatever is is. He also writes that, "Complexity, personality, and origins are not addressed in a meaningful way." But Zen addresses this - it addresses everything that exists. Our current situation, our current moment in time, is our universe. But once we think about the universe and reality, time elapses, thus losing the exact moment of perception. Human origins are not discussed in Zen because it is not a genesis story. Again, totally irrelevant.

Quote:Pantheism says that God and creation are one. God is just all that is. God is the creation. God is the tree, the book, the river, the stone, and He is you and me and everyone else.

In Zen Buddhism, the conception of God is not an external one. God does not occur outside of the subjective mind of the person. God = the mind; you are "God." These are how such terms are used in Zen. Human consciousness is viewed as God-like because of our subjective control of our mind and body. Mere objects, in themselves, are Gods like we are God. We are Gods of our own bodies, our own existence in time. The other object is the exact same thing from their existential "perspective."

Quote:According to Zen Buddhists, Zen itself cannot be defined because it has no definition. Its philosophy cannot be delineated because it has no theory or system of principles.

It has a philosophy, and a great one at that: "Live life." Zen is simply about living life, experiencing existence. That is not a theory, that is Descartes' "I think, therefore I am." The principle of zen is simple: just experience life.

A bird flies from the nest.

Isn't that wonderful?

Quote:The Buddha taught that people do not have souls and that the ultimate goal of an enlightened being is total extinction. Now, how can something that doesn’t exist become extinct? According to the Buddha, that which is a person’s identity is not a soul but transient elements that form the identity of a person at birth, dissociate from one another at death, and reform at birth in another person.

The author does not know how to distinguish the Zen practice from the traditions taught in India before Bodhidarma. Zen does not require the practitioner to even address the soul. All it attempts to addresses is this precise moment in time.
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