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Do Atheists favour Buddism over the other faiths?

 
 
oolongteasup
 
  2  
Reply Wed 19 May, 2010 04:28 am
@vikorr,
i'm karma now
0 Replies
 
Savaii
 
  2  
Reply Tue 3 Apr, 2012 04:27 am
@kuvasz,
'The absence of something is nothing. It is not something.' Show me nothing.
0 Replies
 
XXSpadeMasterXX
 
  0  
Reply Thu 16 Aug, 2012 08:35 am
@kuvasz,
sullyfish6 wrote:
Well, "no" belief 'is" a belief.



kuvasz wrote:
The absence of something is nothing. It is not something.


Is there, any such thing, as nothingness? Anywhere?

Even in space...Is there any such thing as nothingness? Is nothingness, a low energy state, like Steven Hawking said? Is there any such thing as a vacuum? Is there any such thing as not space?

There is no such thing as nothingness...Anywhere...And because there is...It will always mean...that since there is no such thing as nothingness...There must be something...If you do not have nothingness...anywhere...It always implies, whatever it is, that it can do something...And since it implies it can do something...There is no such thing as an absence of something = nothingness...Anywhere...



And to answer the question to the thread...I would imagine that some would find it more of value than other theologies...But I would say that most atheists, do not find it to be more of value, and find it to be just as equal to the other ones...And some atheists would probably even argue that Buddhism is worse than other ones...Because of certain practices within Buddhism...And probably think that Buddhists are more selfish than any other philosophy, or theology...Not that I agree with any of them...
Setanta
 
  0  
Reply Thu 16 Aug, 2012 10:55 am
@XXSpadeMasterXX,
Jesus wept--you just cannot resist shooting your big mouth off about atheists, despite the fact that you don't know **** about atheists. Clown.
wmwcjr
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Aug, 2012 04:37 pm
@XXSpadeMasterXX,
Greetings, XXSpadeMasterXX! Smile

I'm afraid you won't get a response from kuvasz. He hasn't posted here at A2K since November of last year.

To be honest, he wasn't exactly one of my favorites, although I did agree with a few of his posts; but I hope he's doing well and is enjoying good health. You can't take anything for granted at our age. Sad (I wasn't referring to you when I said "our." You're still a young guy; and I consider myself to be middle-aged, not old -- despite my 62 years of age. Smile )
edgarblythe
 
  3  
Reply Thu 16 Aug, 2012 06:20 pm
I don't believe I have any posts on this thread. So I am going to state that I sampled different religions when much younger. I was then and will to the very end be an atheist. I spent more time with Christianity than the others. Second was Buddhism. Third was Scientology. There were others, to lesser degrees. I went to the Jewish services when in the Navy. Ultimately, none could pass the good sense test and I gave them up, one at a time. Buddhism has elements I admire, but, ultimately, any dogma leaves me on the sidelines, incredulous. I believe all religion springs from the imagination first and that blind faith and unsubstantiated proofs are the fruit of belief.
wmwcjr
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Aug, 2012 07:41 pm
@edgarblythe,
edgarblythe wrote:
I don't believe I have any posts on this thread.


The more the merrier ... Wink

By the way, sorry I dropped out of touch. Sad Hope you're doing well.
0 Replies
 
Krumple
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Aug, 2012 07:51 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:
It's a silly question because buddhism is a bundle of superstitions just as are all of the theistic religion


Sure there are aspects of buddhism that is superstitious but not all of it is. In fact only a small portion of it is superstitious. Most of buddhism deals with actual human psychology and actually every day experience.

The things I find interesting about buddhism is that it doesn't go after the aspects of humanity that all the other religions tend to do. Even though I am an atheist I have taken away from buddhism quite a few things that have become very helpful to me.
0 Replies
 
Krumple
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Aug, 2012 08:01 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

Bullshit. Reincarnation and karma are prime examples of superstition.


Both of these examples are concepts that are highly misunderstood both in and outside (mostly outside) buddhism.

Karma just means volitional actions. It means all thoughts, actions and speeches have consequences. Absolutely nothing superstitious about this. But people who don't understand the concept add other things to it such as a result that IS superstitious. Like if you say something bad about a person you'll be reincarnated as a dog. This is misrepresenting the concept of karma.

Which brings me to reincarnation. The buddha never taught reincarnation. This concept existed in India before he started teaching. He didn't even teach the concept of rebirth which is actually where people get the idea of reincarnation from. The only way to understand this is to get involved with the concept of non-self which the buddha did talk about, and he spoke about it a lot.

Here is the thing. If you don't actually have a true identity, or self then what is it that could reincarnate? Doesn't make any sense. So when the buddha was asked if people reincarnate he didn't say no or yes because to answer either way would admit that there is a substantial permanent self that goes from one life to another. He never taught this despite the fact that people think that he did. It is misunderstanding the concepts of rebirth and karma where people think buddhism is full of superstitions.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Aug, 2012 03:21 am
From
Basic Buddhism: The Theory of Karma


Quote:
In this world nothing happens to a person that he does not for some reason or other deserve. Usually, men of ordinary intellect cannot comprehend the actual reason or reasons. The definite invisible cause or causes of the visible effect is not necessarily confined to the present life, they may be traced to a proximate or remote past birth. (emphasis added)


Errant superstition.


Basic Buddhism also does not agree with your claims about reincarnation.
This is also superstition. There is no evidence for either of these claims. When one believes in something for which there is no evidence, one practices superstition.

I have absolutely no reason to consider you to be an expert source of Buddhism.
Krumple
 
  0  
Reply Fri 17 Aug, 2012 04:53 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

From
Basic Buddhism: The Theory of Karma


Quote:
In this world nothing happens to a person that he does not for some reason or other deserve. Usually, men of ordinary intellect cannot comprehend the actual reason or reasons. The definite invisible cause or causes of the visible effect is not necessarily confined to the present life, they may be traced to a proximate or remote past birth. (emphasis added)


Errant superstition.


Basic Buddhism also does not agree with your claims about reincarnation.
This is also superstition. There is no evidence for either of these claims. When one believes in something for which there is no evidence, one practices superstition.

I have absolutely no reason to consider you to be an expert source of Buddhism.


You have to consider the culture from which this was taken from. Because I can tell you right now, not every school of buddhism would phrase it as such. I know for certain many buddhists would agree with me on that.

I am going directly to the source. The pali canon. I have studied the pali cannon extensively for over 15 years. Which maybe to some that is not long enough at all.

You have to understand that buddhism once merging into a culture does very little damage to that culture but what tends to happen because humans are very superstitious in nature is to bring with them their previous baggage when they adopt a new belief system. This is what happens in many buddhist countries or places where buddhism is adopted.

For example in Tibet the bon religion existed piror to the adoption of buddhism. The bon religion has many ancestral spirits associated with it. Not only that but it is heavily shamanistic in nature which you see still existing today within the buddhist tradition in tibet even though comparitively if you were to examine Indian buddhism with that of tibetian buddhism you would see massive amounts of differences. One of those differences is on how they view rebirth and reincarnation.

It is interesting because some say that bon was not actually seperate from buddhism in tibet that they actually developed together. However; there is no bon traditions in other schools of buddhism. It is purely a tibetian tradition. Why would a school of buddhism develop so drastically different?

You have to keep this in mind when you look through wiki pages or sites on buddhism. You have to take into account which school it is coming out of because they do differ on aspects of buddhism.

Which is why I try to avoid all the nationlization of buddhism that exist, such as pureland, tibetian and western orthodox buddhism. I go straight to the source which is again, the pali cannon. It is a massive work and you can't just cherry pick aspects of it because other things need to be taken into consideration because the buddha often used tricks to get certain listeners to develop a new mind set in a different way. So some things seemingly contradictory are used to bend the mind back. This is problematic because people neglect these other teachings where the buddha explains why he spoke a certain way and now speaks this other way.

The concept of karma and that of rebirth are such concepts that he uses to bend the mind of the listener to avoid certain traps that have been set up by culture and that of their own fears. When we are attached to our self we fear certain things and this fear is so strong it will take over reasoning. The only way to get around these fears is to temporarily alleviate them until a new better mind seed has been planted and then allow the listener to uproot their own wrong mind set themselves.

So when you take certain aspects of speech and ring it through culture you tend to end up with bent definitions and exaggerated explanations. So you don't have to consider me a source of anything. I doubt you would anyways regardless of what I tell you. All I am saying is go to the source rather than a wiki page or some web site other than a site that is displaying the pali canon or else you are doomed to fall into a cultural explanation.

It is funny that you use that site yet you neglect to actually state the first part of explanation on karma. Not only that but I bet you skipped over the part talking about reincarnation. Here I'll post it for you.

Quote:
Reincarnation is not a simple physical birth of a person; for instance, John being reborn as a cat in the next life. In this case John possesses an immortal soul which transforms to the form of a cat after his death. This cycle is repeated over and over again. Or if he is lucky, he will be reborn as a human being. This notion of the transmigration of the soul definitely does not exist in Buddhism.
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Fri 17 Aug, 2012 04:56 am
@Krumple,
I don't have to understand anything, i don't have to keep anything in mind. Once again, i have no reason to consider you an expert source. I have provided links to an expert source. They are describing superstition.
Krumple
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Aug, 2012 05:00 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

I don't have to understand anything, i don't have to keep anything in mind. Once again, i have no reason to consider you an expert source. I have provided links to an expert source. They are describing superstition.


I can't even seem to find the lines that you site. But not only that you skipped over paragraph after paragraph explaining specifically what karma is. You also skipped over the part talking about reincarnation.
Krumple
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Aug, 2012 05:03 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

I don't have to understand anything, i don't have to keep anything in mind. Once again, i have no reason to consider you an expert source. I have provided links to an expert source. They are describing superstition.


Quote:
A gross misunderstanding of about Buddhism exists today, especially in the notion of reincarnation. The common misunderstanding is that a person has led countless previous lives, usually as an animal, but somehow in this life he is born as a human being and in the next life he will be reborn as an animal, depending on the kind of life he has lived.


This is from that same site.
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Fri 17 Aug, 2012 05:03 am
@Krumple,
That's a lie. Go read it again, or don't, it's immaterial to me. Buddhism relies on superstition like any other religion. The problem you have is a case of whose ox is gored. You have no problem dumping really vicious vitriol on christians, telling them that they are evil--but you can't handle criticism of your own pet supersition, even when it doesn't entail personal reflections on you.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Aug, 2012 05:04 am
@Krumple,
That is taken out of context. Suit yourself, if you can't face up the the undeniable truth that Buddhism relies on superstition, it's no problem for me.
Krumple
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Aug, 2012 05:12 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

That's a lie. Go read it again, or don't, it's immaterial to me. Buddhism relies on superstition like any other religion. The problem you have is a case of whose ox is gored. You have no problem dumping really vicious vitriol on christians, telling them that they are evil--but you can't handle criticism of your own pet supersition, even when it doesn't entail personal reflections on you.


Alright fine. Ill post the entire thing. Let the other readers determine who is lying. I apologize if it is too long for readers to read but you will see for yourself if Setanta is bull shitting me.

Quote:
Do you Buddhists believe in rebirth as an animal in the next life? Are you going to be a dog or a cow in the future? Does the soul transmigrate into the body of another person or some animal? What is the difference between transmigration and reincarnation? Is it the same as rebirth? Is karma the same as fate? These and a hundred similar questions are often put to me.

A gross misunderstanding of about Buddhism exists today, especially in the notion of reincarnation. The common misunderstanding is that a person has led countless previous lives, usually as an animal, but somehow in this life he is born as a human being and in the next life he will be reborn as an animal, depending on the kind of life he has lived.

This misunderstanding arises because people usually do not know-how to read the sutras or sacred writings. It is said that the Buddha left 84,000 teachings; the symbolic figure represents the diverse backgrounds characteristics, tastes, etc. of the people. The Buddha taught according to the mental and spiritual capacity of each individual. For the simple village folks living during the time of the Buddha, the doctrine of reincarnation was a powerful moral lesson. Fear of birth into the animal world must have frightened many people from acting like animals in this life. If we take this teaching literally today we are confused because we cannot understand it rationally.

Herein lies our problem. A parable, when taken literally, does not make sense to the modern mind. Therefore we must learn to differentiate the parables and myths from actuality. However, if we learn to go beyond or transcend the parables and myths, we will be able to understand the truth.

People will say "If such is the case why not speak directly so that we will be able to come to an immediate grasp of the truth?" This statement is understandable, but truth is often inexpressible. [Ed comment: we as human beings are limited in understanding "Buddha Knowledge". We cannot speak TRUTH, only words ABOUT Truth] Thus, writers and teachers have often resorted to the language of the imagination to lead the reader from a lower to a higher truth. The doctrine of reincarnation is often understood in this light.

What Reincarnation is Not

Reincarnation is not a simple physical birth of a person; for instance, John being reborn as a cat in the next life. In this case John possesses an immortal soul which transforms to the form of a cat after his death. This cycle is repeated over and over again. Or if he is lucky, he will be reborn as a human being. This notion of the transmigration of the soul definitely does not exist in Buddhism.

Karma

Karma is a Sanskrit word from the root "Kri" to do or to make and simply means "action." It operates in the universe as the continuous chain reaction of cause and effect. It is not only confined to causation in the physical sense but also it has moral implications. "A good cause, a good effect; a bad cause a bad effect" is a common saying. In this sense karma is a moral law.

Now human beings are constantly giving off physical and spiritual forces in all directions. In physics we learn that no energy is ever lost; only that it changes form. This is the common law of conservation of energy. Similarly, spiritual and mental action is never lost. It is transformed. Thus Karma is the law of the conservation of moral energy.

By actions, thoughts, and words, man is releasing spiritual energy to the universe and he is in turn affected by influences coming in his direction. Man is therefore the sender and receiver of all these influences. The entire circumstances surrounding him is his karma.

With each action-influence he sends out and at the same time, receives, he is changing. This changing personality and the world he lives in, constitute the totality of his karma.

Karma should not be confused with fate. Fate is the notion that man's life is preplanned for him by some external power, and he has no control over his destiny. Karma on the other hand, can be changed. Because man is a conscious being he can be aware of his karma and thus strive to change the course of events. In the Dhammapada we find the following words, "All that we are is a result of what we have thought, it is founded on our thoughts and made up of our thoughts."

What we are, then, is entirely dependent on what we think. Therefore, the nobility of man's character is dependent on his"good" thoughts, actions, and words. At the same time, if he embraces degrading thoughts, those thoughts invariably influence him into negative words and actions.

The World

Traditionally, Buddhism teaches the existence of the ten realms of being. At the top is Buddha and the scale descends as follows: Bodhisattva (an enlightened being destined to be a Buddha, but purposely remaining on earth to teach others), Pratyeka Buddha (a Buddha for himself), Sravka (direct disciple of Buddha), heavenly beings (superhuman [angels?]), human beings, Asura (fighting spirits), beasts, Preta (hungry ghosts), and depraved men (hellish beings).

Now, these ten realms may be viewed as unfixed, nonobjective worlds, as mental and spiritual states of mind. These states of mind are created by men's thoughts, actions, and words. In other words, psychological states. These ten realms are "mutually immanent and mutually inclusive, each one having in it the remaining nine realms." For example, the realm of human beings has all the other nine states (from hell to Buddhahood). Man is at the same time capable of real selfishness, creating his own hell, or is truly compassionate, reflecting the compassion of Amida Buddha. Buddhas too have the other nine realms in their minds, for how can a Buddha possibly save those in hell if he himself does not identify with their suffering and guide them to enlightenment.

The Lesson

We can learn a valuable lesson from the teaching of reincarnation.

In what realm do you now live? If you are hungry for power, love, and self-recognition, you live in the Preta world, or hungry ghosts. If you are motivated only by thirsts of the human organism, you are existing in the world of the beast.

Consider well then your motives and intentions. Remember that man is characteristically placed at the midpoint of the ten stages; he can either lower himself abruptly or gradually into hell or through discipline, cultivation and the awakening of faith rise to the Enlightened state of the Buddha.


For reference: http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/reincarnation.htm
0 Replies
 
Krumple
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Aug, 2012 05:16 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

That is taken out of context. Suit yourself, if you can't face up the the undeniable truth that Buddhism relies on superstition, it's no problem for me.


I now suspect Setanta will attempt to bury the conversation because he knows that he is full of crap.
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Fri 17 Aug, 2012 05:23 am
@Krumple,
I've provided sources which confirm what i've said. All we have from you is ipse dixit assertions for which you provide no supporting evidence. I'm not able to bury anything here. But if all you have to offer is self-serving interpretations and ideosyncratic descriptions of Buddhism, then there's little reason for me to continue to discuss it with you. I expect that it won't be long before you tell me i'm a moron.
Krumple
 
  0  
Reply Fri 17 Aug, 2012 07:39 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

I've provided sources which confirm what i've said. All we have from you is ipse dixit assertions for which you provide no supporting evidence. I'm not able to bury anything here. But if all you have to offer is self-serving interpretations and ideosyncratic descriptions of Buddhism, then there's little reason for me to continue to discuss it with you. I expect that it won't be long before you tell me i'm a moron.


I used the same link you sourced. But not only that the quote you used is no where in the link that you used as your supporting source. You want to actually sit there an lie some more and say I didn't provide any supporting evidence when I used the EXACT same source you provided for me? Really? So what are you now? Another troll? Or are you really more of a moron that I originally thought?
0 Replies
 
 

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