20
   

Do Atheists favour Buddism over the other faiths?

 
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Sep, 2020 05:43 am
@hightor,
The question is whether Buddhism is based on the supernatural. Your argument is that some normal guy, who called himself "The Perfect One (tm)" told a bunch of monks about a "middle path (tm).

And you are saying that there was nothing special about this guy... no enlightenment, no reincarnation. Just another guy with opinions.

Without the supernatural, this is just another "guy walks into a bar" story

(I am a bit curious how you pretend "Nibbana" isn't supernatural).
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Sep, 2020 05:53 am
@maxdancona,
I just read the Wikipedia article about the Gautama Buddha myth. It definitely revolves around the supernatural belief in reincarnation. There are a bunch of other miracles in the story... including living without the need for food. But tell me Hightor...

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a3/Ascetic_Sumedha_and_Dipankara_Buddha.jpg

Are you making the argument that the story of Gautama Buddha makes any sense without a belief in reincarnation?
0 Replies
 
hightor
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Sep, 2020 06:38 am
@maxdancona,
Quote:
Your argument is that some normal guy, who called himself "The Perfect One (tm)" told a bunch of monks about a "middle path (tm).

I don't know what Gautama called himself; we don't have any of his original writings. As with Jesus, we have to assume that parts of the Gospels are accounts of historical facts, some are based on re-tellings of events, and some are completely fictional. But yeah, the Buddha was a normal guy who developed a philosophy and an accompanying spiritual discipline and told other seekers about it. That's not supernatural.
Quote:
And you are saying that there was nothing special about this guy... no enlightenment, no reincarnation.

I believe he achieved enlightenment, so maybe you could say that's special. It's not a supernatural state, however, it just refers to the insights he achieved through meditation and the resulting liberation from the baser elements of egotism and selfishness.
Quote:

Without the supernatural, this is just another "guy walks into a bar" story

There is no supernatural so everything can be seen as another "guy walks into a bar" story.
Quote:
(I am a bit curious how you pretend "Nibbana" isn't supernatural).

Nirvana is a state of mind. States of mind are not supernatural nor are the means to achieve them supernatural.
Quote:
I just read the Wikipedia article about the Gautama Buddha myth. It definitely revolves around the supernatural belief in reincarnation.

Take all the supernatural elements out of institutional Buddhism and you're still left with a meaningful core of practices and beliefs which you can apply to your day-to-day existence. That's why the practice can be used by atheists and believers in other religions alike.
Quote:
Are you making the argument that the story of Gautama Buddha makes any sense without a belief in reincarnation?

Bingo!
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Sep, 2020 07:15 am
@hightor,
In that case, there is no difference between Gautama Buddha and Tony Robbins. He is just a another guy with an 8 step or 10 step self-improvement plan.

OK... if you really don't think that Buddha is reincarnated, or that this stuff about enlightenment is nothing more than some pop-psychology principle, then I concede that Buddhism is not a religion.

My understanding is that for many people, Buddhism is more than a supermarket self-help program.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Sep, 2020 07:32 am
My objection is to the idea that Buddhism is somehow superior to other religions. I don't like the core ideas of Buddhism, but that is just a personal opinion.

If Buddha isn't being presented as some absolute truth... then I can tolerate it.
0 Replies
 
hightor
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Sep, 2020 08:54 am
@maxdancona,
Quote:
In that case, there is no difference between Gautama Buddha and Tony Robbins.

Well there's certainly a difference in the content of the teachings and in the place they play, and have played, in world culture.
Quote:
...if you really don't think that Buddha is reincarnated...

I don't believe in reincarnation. Or any Christian afterlife. Or Valhalla. Or the Islamic Paradise. It's simply a human conceit to make us feel better about the short time we get to live here.
Quote:
...or that this stuff about enlightenment is nothing more than some pop-psychology principle...

I really wouldn't describe it as a "pop-psychology principle" or a "supermarket self-help program" — it doesn't offer riches, popularity with the opposite sex, or salvation.
Quote:
...then I concede that Buddhism is not a religion.

I'm not asking you to concede that. It is a religion, it just doesn't require a supernatural world view or faith in the power and benevolence of a Supreme Being.
Quote:
My objection is to the idea that Buddhism is somehow superior to other religions.

Well I've never made that claim. I've only tried to show that it is accessible without belief in gods, spirits, and angels. Maybe that makes it inferior to other religions!
Quote:
If Buddha isn't being presented as some absolute truth... then I can tolerate it.

Spoken as a true man of the world.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Sep, 2020 09:28 am
@hightor,
I am honestly curious...

How do you define the word "enlightenment"? Doesn't this require there to be some absolute truth that one would be "enlightened" to?



0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Sep, 2020 10:18 am
@hightor,
As far as the impact on "world culture"... again I see no difference between Buddhism and any other religion.

- Buddhist mythology has inspired great works of art and architecture.
- Buddhism has been used to justify wars.
- Buddhism has been used to justify massacres.
- Buddhism has been used to regulate behavior in society by force.
- Buddhism inspires works of charity and self-sacrifice.
- Buddhism has broken into competing sects with different views.

I suppose there there non-religious Buddhists the same way there are non-religious Jews and even non-religious Christians.

Teufel
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Sep, 2020 10:46 am
@JoanKhanib,

Do Atheists favour Buddhism over the other faiths?

That question is akin to "Vegans .... do you prefer chicken as opposed to beef or pork?"

Whatever your own personal existential crisis ... asking pointless questions will not help.

Before anyone notices, yes, I did alter your words when quoting you ... I spelt Buddhism correctly.

More and more I feel the need to end most every post I make on here with ... FFS.
0 Replies
 
hightor
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Sep, 2020 12:08 pm
@maxdancona,
Quote:
As far as the impact on "world culture"... again I see no difference between Buddhism and any other religion.

I was contrasting the influence of Buddhism with your example of Tony Robbins, not with other world religions.
Quote:
How do you define the word "enlightenment"?

It probably varies between different sects and schools and I have no experience of it myself.
Quote:
Doesn't this require there to be some absolute truth that one would be "enlightened" to?

I would consider it a state of mind which is the result of a long process of meditation and study where the more pernicious habits of the undisciplined mind are gradually reduced, allowing a more universal perspective to be achieved. I did notice, when I was more committed to the process, that daily meditation had a positive effect on my mood and I was more readily able to quiet my mind. While there is no promised "absolute truth" I suspect that living in a state of enlightenment might have similarities with certain aspects of psychedelic experience where the world is suffused with a universal sense of compassion and passing events are viewed in a non-egotistical fashion.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Sep, 2020 12:15 pm
@hightor,
I do meditation. I approach it rather scientifically.

You don't need to be a Buddhist to meditate.
hightor
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Sep, 2020 12:33 pm
@maxdancona,
Quote:
You don't need to be a Buddhist to meditate.

Where did I say it was necessary to be a Buddhist in order to meditate?
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Sep, 2020 01:05 pm
@hightor,
You brought up meditation in a discussion about Buddhist enlightenment.

I thought that implied it was related to Buddhism.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Sep, 2020 01:07 pm
@hightor,
You don't believe in reincarnation. You don't believe in truth. I don't know if you believe in Karma (another supernatural thing that many Buddhists accept as fact)

You are quite a bit different than other Buddhists I have known (or dated).
hightor
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Sep, 2020 02:38 pm
@maxdancona,
Quote:
You brought up meditation in a discussion about Buddhist enlightenment.

It's just that you tend to be very argumentative so I wasn't sure where you were coming from.
Quote:
You don't believe in truth.

What??? I don't think that accurately represents my beliefs.
Quote:
I don't know if you believe in Karma (another supernatural thing that many Buddhists accept as fact)

Only in the broadest "as ye sow, so shall ye reap" sense, or that "the evil men do lives after them", but no, I don't accept all the Hindu mythology that was appropriated by institutional Buddhism.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Sep, 2020 02:57 pm
@hightor,
I now see why you don't think your version of Buddhism is not a religion. Buddhism sprung from a culture that was permeated by Hinduism. Buddhism didn't originate as some odd Western Philosophy. The original Buddhism contained all of the mythology of the place where it originated. What you are describing as a kind of detached philosophical framework devoid of myth or mysticism sounds an awful lot what someone from a 21st century Western Culture would come up with.

But you should remember, it wasn't Western Europeans who originated Buddhism.

This is like a Christian claiming they reject the Jewish parts of the religion.
hightor
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Sep, 2020 02:58 am
@maxdancona,
Quote:
What you are describing as a kind of detached philosophical framework devoid of myth or mysticism sounds an awful lot what someone from a 21st century Western Culture would come up with.

There have been many schools of Buddhism and the kind of detached philosophical framework devoid of myth or mysticism that interests me is not that dissimilar from offshoots of Buddhism, such as Chinese Chan Buddhism which was influenced by Taoism. This later developed into Japanese Zen Buddhism. This strain of Buddhism did not spring from 21st Century Western culture. In fact, as Europeans became more familiar with Buddhism in the 19th century and on, de-mythologized Buddhist thought influenced Western philosophers from Schopenhauer and Nietsche through Merleau-Ponty and Derrida.
Quote:
This is like a Christian claiming they reject the Jewish parts of the religion.

Yes, very much so. And, in reality, many Christians do reject (or ignore) the Jewish components of their religion. I believe that Buddhism is a "religion". However, and this is crucial, I believe one can adhere to Christian values, Jewish ethics, Buddhist praxis but not consider oneself a "follower" of a specific religion or a "member" of a particular faith. I'm not a religious Buddhist, but the philosophy has influenced me sufficiently that I can call upon its insights and apply them in my life as necessary.
0 Replies
 
Jasper10
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Sep, 2020 05:08 am
@Jasper10,
There is such a thing as OUTWARD meditation as well which builds SELF up. INWARD meditation dismantles SELF. The issue with only practicing INWARD SEARCHING meditation (as an example) is that the two off reasonings of ….is there a God?.... isn't there a GOD? are BOTH looking for PROOF one way or the other.As NO PROOF will be given to either they just cancel each other out. Neither reasoning is practicing FAITH which God requires. BOTH sides of the reasoning debate can only HOPE that there is or isn't a GOD.SELF processes the information but is not the information.If SELF identifies with these reasonings i.e. fully engages with them then there is the danger that SELF is deceived into thinking that he/she is these 2 off reasonings. This is why the Buddhist religion has a common denominator in all its religious sects that SELF is an illusion because of the cancelling out effect.
Jasper10
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Sep, 2020 12:35 am
@Jasper10,
SELF or the “I am” CANNOT be cancelled out.The two off biological reasonings can however.We are not our thoughts and reasonings we just have thoughts and reasonings.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Sep, 2020 07:29 pm
I'm one of those atheists who favors Buddhism, because it's about bettering yourself.
 

Related Topics

700 Inconsistencies in the Bible - Discussion by onevoice
Why do we deliberately fool ourselves? - Discussion by coincidence
Spirituality - Question by Miller
Oneness vs. Trinity - Discussion by Arella Mae
give you chills - Discussion by Bartikus
Evidence for Evolution! - Discussion by Bartikus
Evidence of God! - Discussion by Bartikus
One World Order?! - Discussion by Bartikus
God loves us all....!? - Discussion by Bartikus
The Preambles to Our States - Discussion by Charli
 
Copyright © 2020 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 10/01/2020 at 01:27:29