Is Buddhism atheistic / rational?
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28-10-2013, 09:59 PM
Is Buddhism atheistic / rational?
So I've recently been interested in Buddhist meditation and a few principles online, though I'm wondering if it is entirely rational. I haven't read much into it, but Buddhism has a finite hell and reincarnation, both I am skeptical of. I also find the praying to 'inner self' a bit of a bad concept to me. I dont really know where to look to start studying buddhism. Anyone knows more about Buddhism can quell my doubts?

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28-10-2013, 10:47 PM
RE: Is Buddhism atheistic / rational?
I haven't studied Buddhism for several years, but from what I remember, the 'gods' of Buddhism are basically spirits, or ascended beings. They aren't creators and don't interfere with humanity like the god of Muslims or Christians. I don't know much about the Buddhist story of the creation of the universe - all I know is they don't identify anything equivalent to Yahweh.

Other than that, it's a lot like the religions I'm more familiar with. There's a lot of supernatural concepts about magical beings, spirits, non-physical realms of existence, and the path of one's soul.

Atheistic? Arguably yes. It depends on your definition of 'god'.

Rational? Certainly not.

Some useful things can be taken from religions, such as meditation and personal philosophies, and those are fine by themselves because they can serve a useful purpose in mental health. But the religion itself is irrational, as are the purposes of meditation and philosophy in the religion. I'd say to take the practices, but drop the woo.

If something can be destroyed by the truth, it might be worth destroying.

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28-10-2013, 10:56 PM
RE: Is Buddhism atheistic / rational?
Buddhism doesn't really have a set belief on the existence of God or the creation of the universe. One of the steps to achieving enlightenment is to find whatever you believe God to be, but from my understanding this doesn't necessarily exclude atheism. Buddhism is more a way of life than it is a set of beliefs. Some of it may be a bit hokey but I find it to be more rational that other religions because of this flexibility, and because they accept and respect other religions. They don't knock on your door and shit.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who has said it- not even if I have said it- unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. - Buddha
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28-10-2013, 10:59 PM
RE: Is Buddhism atheistic / rational?
Ok I'm an ignorant shit, Buddhism is nothing like what I knew nothing about it.

To the seekers of truth the Buddha says:
"Do not accept anything on (mere) hearsay -- (i.e., thinking that thus have we heard it for a long time).
Do not accept anything by mere tradition -- (i.e., thinking that it has thus been handed down through many generations).
Do not accept anything on account of mere rumors -- (i.e., by believing what others say without any investigation).
Do not accept anything just because it accords with your scriptures.
Do not accept anything by mere suppositions.
Do not accept anything by mere inference.
Do not accept anything by merely considering the reasons.
Do not accept anything merely because it agrees with your pre-conceived notions.
Do not accept anything merely because it seems acceptable -- (i.e., thinking that as the speaker seems to be a good person his words should be accepted).
Do not accept anything thinking that the ascetic is respected by us (therefore it is right to accept his word).

Theism is to believe what other people claim, Atheism is to ask "why should I".
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28-10-2013, 11:56 PM (This post was last modified: 29-10-2013 12:00 AM by PoolBoyG.)
RE: Is Buddhism atheistic / rational?
It's a religion, like any other. Supernaturalism, patriarchal, dogmatic, regressive, extremist factions that murder other religions (namely minority Muslims in east Asia), etc.

The only difference is that:
1. it's a minority in "our" world. As a result people are ignorant of it, and are only aware of the kitsch variants of it (fad celebrity or hipster religion).

2. it's a minority religion in countries currently being invaded, occupied, etc. so we see no radicalization that affects us.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/ju...ob-attacks

Buddhism is like any other religion, that is prone either to placid dogma, or violent irrational genocide. The real question is how impoverished, and abused are the people of a specific region and religion.
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29-10-2013, 06:54 AM
RE: Is Buddhism atheistic / rational?
It's atheistic in that it doesn't have gods in the way that most other religions do. It's not rational in that it makes several non-falsifiable claims, such as Karma and reincarnation. It's basically in the same bucket as not believing in gods but believing in invisible pink unicorns.

Granted, I do like a lot of the teachings of Buddhism, at least on the surface. I don't think people should have to use something like this as a crutch to be a better person, but from what I understand, Buddhist neighbors would be very easy-going and nice to have.
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29-10-2013, 07:11 AM
RE: Is Buddhism atheistic / rational?
Both Buddhism and tao started out as rational philosophies, and ended up having extraneous supernatural bullshit added in later. So, in answer to the OP, it depends upon your acceptance of contemporary definitions.

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29-10-2013, 08:58 AM
RE: Is Buddhism atheistic / rational?
(29-10-2013 07:11 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  Both Buddhism and tao started out as rational philosophies, and ended up having extraneous supernatural bullshit added in later. So, in answer to the OP, it depends upon your acceptance of contemporary definitions.

amen brother. As far as i can see they were distorted as time went on. However, Zen Buddhism is a very rational worldview as far as ive studied it. They dont really care about spirits , and dont really care enough to mention an afterlife usually. Their main core of their school is to focus on the here and now, in this world, and do good for others through the the teachings of the Buddha
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29-10-2013, 11:26 AM
RE: Is Buddhism atheistic / rational?
What's rational about sitting on the floor, legs crossed, humming for hours on end?
Seems like a total waste of fucking time to me.

If you wanna seek "enlightenment" in your life you sure as fuck aint gonna find it by meditating.

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29-10-2013, 01:31 PM
Re: RE: Is Buddhism atheistic / rational?
(29-10-2013 11:26 AM)earmuffs Wrote:  What's rational about sitting on the floor, legs crossed, humming for hours on end?
Seems like a total waste of fucking time to me.

If you wanna seek "enlightenment" in your life you sure as fuck aint gonna find it by meditating.

What's rational about doing something with your finite life?

Buddhism in the zen form is a very odd mixture since on an outside view it can be labeled rational and immaterial, Connected in a disregard to the difference that our atomic structure forms differently than in it's other states it takes in the universe/existence...

Yet the method of zen is to disregard rational thoughts. The point of nonsensical zen questions is to tell you to cease trying to apply logic to the Alogical. Just be in the moment and not dwelling in highs/lows or past/future. It's not exactly intune with the formal concept of rationality

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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