Misunderstandings About Buddhism (Compassion4Life intro)
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
24-12-2013, 11:23 AM
RE: Misunderstandings About Buddhism (Compassion4Life intro)
(24-12-2013 09:38 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(24-12-2013 09:18 AM)Dom Wrote:  No it doesn't.

The body gets recycled, no? That includes the brain and memories and such.

IF there is something else, like some sort of energy we haven't figured out how to measure yet, it would get recycled too, like everything else on earth.

Doesn't mean it has a consciousness, doesn't mean it stays as one unit, just means it ends up contributing to something else.

That's not reincarnation, that's recycling.
The memories can't be recycled unless there is a mechanism for post-mortem preservation. Otherwise, they die with the brain.

That's what I said Tongue

[Image: dobie.png]

Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Dom's post
24-12-2013, 12:12 PM
RE: Misunderstandings About Buddhism (Compassion4Life intro)
(24-12-2013 11:08 AM)DLJ Wrote:  
(24-12-2013 09:41 AM)WindyCityJazz Wrote:  ...
I am not Buddhist, but I have never met a single Buddhist who claims anything you said about Buddhism to be true.
...

Brian speaks truth.

The Buddhists around this neck of the woods split roughly into two camps.

Actually, it's more than that if one looks at the minutia, as like language, there are variations as you more around the region... kinda like genetic drift.

As a colleague of mine tried to explain it to me once:

There are those who go with the philosophy: following the teachings and the path to ... erm... wherever but the focus is on the betterment of themselves in the here and now.

And there are those who go more for the icons and idols (the sale of which is big business) but it's still not a deity thing... more about e.g. visiting a temple to grab a quiet moment for introspection / for luck / to 'pray' for their loved ones / burn a few smelly sticks. These are the ones who are most likely to turn up at the Buddha-events; there are a few famous (if you're into that kinda thing) Buddhas who do tours around the region (probably like a book signing tour) and they have their devotees.

IMO, from observation, the former stance (Buddhism as a philosophy / way of life) seems more prevalent amongst the more highly educated in Singapore and the latter is a more likely behaviour witnessed from the Thai, Chinese and Vietnamese (less wealthy / formally educated) friends I have.

Many people like the tradition and ceremony thing. I'm tempted to say that this is just human nature but of course, many of us couldn't give a shit about rituals and rites of passage... but I see it around me and it appears to give comfort so... meh!

I still don't see the harm in it. So, some people like the tradition and ceremony thing, no big deal. We have traditions and ceremonies in non-religious things too. Look at things like the national anthem, or flying a flag at half mast when a famous figurehead dies. Is it really any different? And don't get me started on the ridiculous superstitions of athletes.

There are cultural differences all over the world. What about how some countries think it's rude to burp at the dinner table and others think it compliments the chef? Who is to say who is right and who is wrong in that situation?

Yeah, there are Buddhists that do book signing tours and all that. So did Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins. Don't musicians and other famous people have people that follow them everywhere? Does that make what they do a religion?

I just don't see what the harm is in people going to hear a talk given by the Dalai Lama about having love, compassion, tolerance, and understanding for other living things. Does the fact that the Dalai Lama is a Buddhist figurehead make his points moot, while if it was merely some average joe saying it, then it would be acceptable?

“Religion was invented when the first con man met the first fool.” - Mark Twain
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes WindyCityJazz's post
24-12-2013, 12:14 PM
RE: Misunderstandings About Buddhism (Compassion4Life intro)
From my own experience of stopping in a Buddhist retreat I see it as a religion.

Karma and reincarnation is nothing but judgement, wrapped into that is Vegetarianism. That you should not eat an animal because in a previous life it may have been a relative or a friend (plants are not included in this framework even though they too are alive)

If you are carrying an alms bowl (are begging for food) and somebody places meat into it you are allowed to consume it. If somebody cooks you meat for a meal you are allowed to accept it so you don't "offend" your host.

Buddhism has hypocritical rules just like all other religions.

If it isnt a religion.... then pay your tax.

For no matter how much I use these symbols, to describe symptoms of my existence.
You are your own emphasis.
So I say nothing.

-Bemore.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
24-12-2013, 12:27 PM (This post was last modified: 24-12-2013 02:50 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Misunderstandings About Buddhism (Compassion4Life intro)
(24-12-2013 11:23 AM)Dom Wrote:  
(24-12-2013 09:38 AM)Chas Wrote:  That's not reincarnation, that's recycling.
The memories can't be recycled unless there is a mechanism for post-mortem preservation. Otherwise, they die with the brain.

That's what I said Tongue

Yup. Reincarnation requires dualism which is utter and complete bullshit nonsense. Recycling? That's something completely different. Like the Garbage Collector in a programming language.

(24-12-2013 09:41 AM)WindyCityJazz Wrote:  In all honesty, I simply don't see the harm in a Buddhism.

Girly don't see the harm in it either. The Noble Eightfold Path to eliminate suffering seems ... well kinda noble to Girly. ("Right Livelihood" though is gonna be a problem for me since I work at a munitions research lab. Tongue ).

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes GirlyMan's post
24-12-2013, 12:52 PM
RE: Misunderstandings About Buddhism (Compassion4Life intro)
(23-12-2013 08:37 PM)cheapthrillseaker Wrote:  Welcome to the forum, C4L! I hope you enjoy your stay.

There's a Buddhist center nearby my place, but when I went, I was told the opposite of the first part you addressed. Are there sometimes crossovers? Or is it possible that there was a sort of problem with communication, something that wasn't properly explained? It had to do with reincarnation and the levels one gets to...

Anyways, make yourself comfy, you're in for an interesting ride. Thumbsup

The Buddha's own teachings involved a series of practices aimed at looking at the world in a non-selfish way. These practices have been adopted and assimilated into various cultures and into other religions, which have tended to be called "Buddhist" (which is actually, IIRC, originally a western description or name), and thus we now have many religions that identify with the Buddha, but which contain a whole lot of chaff. The worst offender is the Tibetan religions, collectively considered by Westerners to be "Tibetan Buddhism", though they are not actually homogenous and all do not see the Dalai Lama as their leader, as is commonly thought. This group of religions is essentially Bon, animism, witch-doctory supersteition with really just a smattering of influence of the Buddha's teachings. They do believe in outright reincarnation and in scores or hundreds of deities.

But the distinction I point out here is that none of that horseshit has anything to do with what the man we call "Buddha" actually taught.

There is a LOT of misconception among Buddhists about what the Buddha was teaching and what he is purported to believe, but a careful reading of the Nikayas (which are taken as fundamental by any and all religions that identify as Buddhist, no matter how much they may bastardize the teachings through later writings and doctrine) shows the Buddha using extant beliefs as a starting point to guide believers toward ethical behavior and mindset that stands on its own, independent of superstition and woo. A typical discussion involves an interlocutor asking the Buddha a question that is based in his/her own metaphysical assumptions and the Buddha critiquing the assumptions and pointing toward his own teachings.

Also, there are whole sections of the Samyutta Nikaya that on face value involve all sorts of "supernatural" characters, but these are fables designed to draw the reader out of superstition and into "real-world" morality and practice (and, of course, to ethical behavior). The usual format is that the Buddha is hanging out somewhere, and some supernatural fairy appears and wither asks the Buddha a topical question based on the assumption of supernatural forces, and the Buddha counters on the topic with an answer that is based in his own "real-world" (non-superstitious) ethical problem-solving skills.

Thus I often say that the Buddha came not to praise superstition, but to bury it. But even a lot if not most Buddhists fail to get that.

But then again, you have the same underlying problem as with xtianity -- most people who identify as Buddhists, including many in the "clergy", and especially those of the more superstision-believing and "out there" sects (ex. Tibetans and devotees of the Lotus sutra", among many others) haven't even cracked open any of the Nikayas. Aren't interested in them at all.

It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


Magic Talking Snakes STFU -- revenantx77


You can't have your special pleading and eat it too. -- WillHop
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like Taqiyya Mockingbird's post
24-12-2013, 12:54 PM
RE: Misunderstandings About Buddhism (Compassion4Life intro)
(24-12-2013 09:18 AM)Dom Wrote:  
(24-12-2013 07:58 AM)Chas Wrote:  Yabut, reincarnation would have to include that mechanism. So, same bullshit.Drinking Beverage

No it doesn't.

The body gets recycled, no? That includes the brain and memories and such.

IF there is something else, like some sort of energy we haven't figured out how to measure yet, it would get recycled too, like everything else on earth.

Doesn't mean it has a consciousness, doesn't mean it stays as one unit, just means it ends up contributing to something else.

This is the same retrofitting after the fact I have seen Christians and Muslims and Jews and most recently a Hindu do.

The claims of reincarnation were superstitious woo having nothing to do with modern scientific knowledge of atoms or biological decay after death.

The ancient greeks had a word for atom and also thought that things merely transferred from one form to another. But they too as well did not have any modern working knowledge of what an atom is or what entropy is.

Attempting to place Buddhism as the starting point of human knowledge is stupid. We have our modern knowledge in spite of any religion, not because of it.

Retrofitting after the fact is the same no matter who is doing it or what religion they are trying to prop up with it.

Poetry by Brian37(poems by an atheist) Also on Facebook as BrianJames Rational Poet and Twitter Brianrrs37
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Brian37's post
24-12-2013, 01:00 PM
RE: Misunderstandings About Buddhism (Compassion4Life intro)
(23-12-2013 10:09 PM)Foxen Wrote:  I have attempted to make a compromise with Buddhism, but it is not possible.

Buddhism essentially states, this is water, but it is not water, which is absolutely illogical as far as I am concerned.

Could you explain what that means? I have never run across such a statement.

Are you referring to Zen Koans? Because if that is what you are referring to, you should be aware that this method of teaching through posing impossible paradoxes is a later development that is entirely unrelated to the actual Buddha's teachings.

Koans do serve a purpose, which, as I understand it, is to break a person away from the notion of blindly trusting what is thought of as the "drunken monkey" inside ones head; basically it's a long and exhaustive process that teaches the lesson, "don't believe everything you think".


But if that's not what you meant, I'm curious as to what you are talking about.

It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


Magic Talking Snakes STFU -- revenantx77


You can't have your special pleading and eat it too. -- WillHop
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
24-12-2013, 01:07 PM
RE: Misunderstandings About Buddhism (Compassion4Life intro)
(24-12-2013 12:12 PM)WindyCityJazz Wrote:  
(24-12-2013 11:08 AM)DLJ Wrote:  Brian speaks truth.

The Buddhists around this neck of the woods split roughly into two camps.

Actually, it's more than that if one looks at the minutia, as like language, there are variations as you more around the region... kinda like genetic drift.

As a colleague of mine tried to explain it to me once:

There are those who go with the philosophy: following the teachings and the path to ... erm... wherever but the focus is on the betterment of themselves in the here and now.

And there are those who go more for the icons and idols (the sale of which is big business) but it's still not a deity thing... more about e.g. visiting a temple to grab a quiet moment for introspection / for luck / to 'pray' for their loved ones / burn a few smelly sticks. These are the ones who are most likely to turn up at the Buddha-events; there are a few famous (if you're into that kinda thing) Buddhas who do tours around the region (probably like a book signing tour) and they have their devotees.

IMO, from observation, the former stance (Buddhism as a philosophy / way of life) seems more prevalent amongst the more highly educated in Singapore and the latter is a more likely behaviour witnessed from the Thai, Chinese and Vietnamese (less wealthy / formally educated) friends I have.

Many people like the tradition and ceremony thing. I'm tempted to say that this is just human nature but of course, many of us couldn't give a shit about rituals and rites of passage... but I see it around me and it appears to give comfort so... meh!

I still don't see the harm in it. So, some people like the tradition and ceremony thing, no big deal. We have traditions and ceremonies in non-religious things too. Look at things like the national anthem, or flying a flag at half mast when a famous figurehead dies. Is it really any different? And don't get me started on the ridiculous superstitions of athletes.

There are cultural differences all over the world. What about how some countries think it's rude to burp at the dinner table and others think it compliments the chef? Who is to say who is right and who is wrong in that situation?

Yeah, there are Buddhists that do book signing tours and all that. So did Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins. Don't musicians and other famous people have people that follow them everywhere? Does that make what they do a religion?

I just don't see what the harm is in people going to hear a talk given by the Dalai Lama about having love, compassion, tolerance, and understanding for other living things. Does the fact that the Dalai Lama is a Buddhist figurehead make his points moot, while if it was merely some average joe saying it, then it would be acceptable?

Erm, mine was an explanatory post (coming from a predominantly Buddhist region of the world) not an argumentative one.

Your tone seems to be challenging what I said but the words seem to be agreeing.

Me is confused.

Oh! and I said Buddhas not Buddhists do tours, like celebs. It wasn't a typo.

Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
24-12-2013, 01:14 PM
RE: Misunderstandings About Buddhism (Compassion4Life intro)
(23-12-2013 10:20 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(23-12-2013 10:02 PM)Compassion4Life Wrote:  You can believe in reincarnation and still be a student of the teachings of the Buddha, so long as that belief does not result in fear. If it gives you comfort, then there is no harm in it because it does not hinder your search for happiness and compassion.

That belief feels like a consequence of fear. It seems sufficient to infer fear. Any comfort found feels delusional and ultimately detrimental. ... Just drunk Girly weighing in with my $0.02. ... I'm liking the CompassionateOne.

For lay people and those who were not actually in training under him, the Buddha didn't have a problem with beliefs in reincarnation as long as they pointed the believer toward ethical behavior. His own teachings (those reserved for followers in training under him) differed, however, which even many Buddhists don't understand.



On another note, he also rejected and criticized deterministic belief, explaining that a person could logically do any sort of cruel, vicious, unethical behavior and claim that they did it because it was their destiny to do so, that they had no choice.




As for his own views on reincarnation/karma-belief, he had a rather well-known, if oft-misunderstood, version of "Pascal's Wager", which made a lot more sense than PW, which is now known as "the Four Solaces":

"The disciple of the Noble Ones, Kalamas, who has such a hate-free mind, such a malice-free mind, such an undefiled mind, and such a purified mind [i]NOTE: developed through discernment, ethical behavior, and mental training/practise[i], is one by whom four solaces are found here and now.

"'Suppose there is a hereafter and there is a fruit, result, of deeds done well or ill. Then it is possible that at the dissolution of the body after death, I shall arise in the heavenly world, which is possessed of the state of bliss.'

This is the first solace found by him.

"'Suppose there is no hereafter and there is no fruit, no result, of deeds done well or ill. Yet in this world, here and now, free from hatred, free from malice, safe and sound, and happy, I keep myself.'

This is the second solace found by him.

"'Suppose evil (results) befall an evil-doer. I, however, think of doing evil to no one. Then, how can ill (results) affect me who do no evil deed?' This is the third solace found by him.

"'Suppose evil (results) do not befall an evil-doer. Then I see myself purified in any case.'

This is the fourth solace found by him."

"The disciple of the Noble Ones, Kalamas, who has such a hate-free mind, such a malice-free mind, such an undefiled mind, and such a purified mind, is one by whom, here and now, these four solaces are found."

It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


Magic Talking Snakes STFU -- revenantx77


You can't have your special pleading and eat it too. -- WillHop
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like Taqiyya Mockingbird's post
24-12-2013, 01:15 PM
RE: Misunderstandings About Buddhism (Compassion4Life intro)
(24-12-2013 12:14 PM)bemore Wrote:  From my own experience of stopping in a Buddhist retreat I see it as a religion.

Karma and reincarnation is nothing but judgement, wrapped into that is Vegetarianism. That you should not eat an animal because in a previous life it may have been a relative or a friend (plants are not included in this framework even though they too are alive)

If you are carrying an alms bowl (are begging for food) and somebody places meat into it you are allowed to consume it. If somebody cooks you meat for a meal you are allowed to accept it so you don't "offend" your host.

Buddhism has hypocritical rules just like all other religions.

If it isnt a religion.... then pay your tax.

It's classified as a religion in the States but maybe, as you point out, for tax purposes.

The Jains go further... plants are included in this framework.

In fact, they choose to believe that everything has a soul (except not like we'd think of a soul) including rocks, water, etc. etc.

As you move up the reincarnation ladder, you will be causing less and less suffering to other entities (including water).

Lower down the ladder, you just try to minimise the suffering so just try to do less of everything, even sex ... 'cause even sperm... you get the idea.

Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes DLJ's post
Post Reply
Forum Jump: