a returning Atheist
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25-07-2016, 06:06 PM
a returning Atheist
Hi everyone. Happy to be hear and I hope to learn, explore, and connect with many.

I am not necessarily an atheist exactly. I was a Buddhist, and may still be. I am actually still quite confused. At one point I was I'm an atheist back in high school but I relapsed back into religion. It is like an addiction that I am constantly fighting especially when time gets hard. I had always had an interesting in world religions but now find many to be repulsive.

I think I am still very much a Buddhist in many ways and still influenced strongly by much of the Buddhist values, some of which I don't mind. Though I came to realize the more religious aspect of Buddhism can be just as dangerous and damaging to a person, sometimes even make one sees life as meaningless and nihilistic. I think the enlightenment that people speak of in Buddhism sounds like clinical depression.

Anyway. I will hang around here for a while. Look forward to interacting. Big Grin
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25-07-2016, 06:12 PM
RE: a returning Atheist
(25-07-2016 06:06 PM)TheMoralist Wrote:  ...sometimes even make one sees life as meaningless and nihilistic.

What's wrong with that? I think it's healthy.

Oops, pardon my manners.




#sigh
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25-07-2016, 06:33 PM
RE: a returning Atheist
Buddhism is an atheistic religion, anyway. What's the confusion?

But... y'know... welcome back! Smile

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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25-07-2016, 07:03 PM
RE: a returning Atheist
I guess it depends on what sect of Buddhism we are talking about. Some esoteric tradition of Buddhism venerate Vairochana Buddha, a cosmic Buddha in which all things come from similar to a creator. In pure land Buddhism, practitioners dedicate their whole life in hoping to be born into a Western Paradise of Amitabha Buddha. The only way to get there is through his mercy and through having faith in him. Many traditions of Tibetan Buddhism revolves around a central deity and absolute authority of the teacher. Children who were believed to be a reincarnated teacher were taken away from home to live in monastery where many were abused and molested by senior monks
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25-07-2016, 07:11 PM
RE: a returning Atheist
Howdy!

Help for the living. Hope for the dead. ~ R.G. Ingersoll

Freedom offers opportunity. Opportunity confers responsibility. Responsibility to use the freedom we enjoy wisely, honestly and humanely. ~ Noam Chomsky
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25-07-2016, 07:27 PM
RE: a returning Atheist
(25-07-2016 07:03 PM)TheMoralist Wrote:  I guess it depends on what sect of Buddhism we are talking about. Some esoteric tradition of Buddhism venerate Vairochana Buddha, a cosmic Buddha in which all things come from similar to a creator. In pure land Buddhism, practitioners dedicate their whole life in hoping to be born into a Western Paradise of Amitabha Buddha. The only way to get there is through his mercy and through having faith in him. Many traditions of Tibetan Buddhism revolves around a central deity and absolute authority of the teacher. Children who were believed to be a reincarnated teacher were taken away from home to live in monastery where many were abused and molested by senior monks

Thanks for the info! I had heard about the molested kids. Sad

I simply meant that Buddhism is not incompatible with atheism, and I don't see that it's necessary to choose between Buddhism and atheism... all you need to do is reject the magical "woo woo" that others have layered on top of it, and stick to the nontheistic version, if that's your wish. If I recall correctly, since the last time I studied Buddhism was in college 20 years ago, the Buddha himself objected to the idea of deification, and would probably find much of the woo in those sects to be abhorrent. Right?

You are no obligation to justify your beliefs to anyone but yourself, unless you push them on others. Do what makes you feel most reasonable, and intellectually honest. That may require you to reject it entirely. On the other hand, I'd advise you to take the good from it (meditation is very good for you, for instance) and throw the rest of it out of your mental file cabinets to make room for more cool stuff from reality.

Because I think reality is pretty awesome. Smile

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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25-07-2016, 08:22 PM (This post was last modified: 25-07-2016 08:44 PM by TheMoralist.)
RE: a returning Atheist
That is a great advice Rocket. I definitely still value a lot of Buddhist teaching like middle path which is to prevent extreme view, or question everything, and so on. Though I think the hard part was growing up a Pure Land Buddhist and having to rewire my brain and letting go of belief is definitely a challenge. Also it was quite a journey getting to accept Siddhartha (Buddha) was just a man full of errors and a product of his time not some timeless perfect sage. And I came to realize it is silly to call myself a Buddhist because I find some stuff I like from it. I figured I wouldn't call myself a Platoist if I like Plato's writing lol.

You are right. Reality is pretty awesome Big Grin
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26-07-2016, 12:00 AM
RE: a returning Atheist
Hello! Big Grin
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29-07-2016, 08:19 PM
RE: a returning Atheist
Welcome!
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01-08-2016, 03:17 PM
RE: a returning Atheist
(25-07-2016 06:06 PM)TheMoralist Wrote:  Hi everyone. Happy to be hear and I hope to learn, explore, and connect with many.

I am not necessarily an atheist exactly. I was a Buddhist, and may still be. I am actually still quite confused. At one point I was I'm an atheist back in high school but I relapsed back into religion. It is like an addiction that I am constantly fighting especially when time gets hard. I had always had an interesting in world religions but now find many to be repulsive.

I think I am still very much a Buddhist in many ways and still influenced strongly by much of the Buddhist values, some of which I don't mind. Though I came to realize the more religious aspect of Buddhism can be just as dangerous and damaging to a person, sometimes even make one sees life as meaningless and nihilistic. I think the enlightenment that people speak of in Buddhism sounds like clinical depression.

Anyway. I will hang around here for a while. Look forward to interacting. Big Grin

Hi Moralist,

Welcome from another newbie. Smile

A lot of interest in your OP. I too have been attracted and repulsed by religions and had a go at settling on Buddhism. Best I could find was 'Buddhism without Beliefs'
(Stephen Batchelor).

I look forward to your further thoughts.

D.
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