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Purpose of human life

 
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Feb, 2012 03:45 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta (and everyone reading this), I hope that you do not suffer from existential angst. And if you do I hope you find a way to cope with it. Buddhist and Hindu forms of meditation work for some people but they are not the only ways. Keep in mind that meditation does not answer questions, it changes the very nature of the questioner. It is not an intellectual exercise; it is more like a regimen of nutrition for the psyche.
igm
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Feb, 2012 04:18 pm
@Questioner,
I have defined the term ‘ignorance’ in this particular way: that it is literally ignoring the true nature of reality. It not to be understood to be a lack of knowledge about the true nature of reality. Each one of us misunderstands reality’s true nature in our own individual way and all our sufferings arise from our personal misunderstanding of reality. This leads to actions of body, speech and mind that are based on an erroneous view, and eventually result in suffering. Since Buddhists do not believe in non-existence (because it cannot be found) the results of actions may not arise in this lifetime but in a future life.

Wisdom develops by removing our misunderstanding about reality’s true nature. For example if we have an extreme view such a Nihilism or perhaps eternalism this will cloud our ability to develop the wisdom that realizes the true nature of reality. We deliberately choose to develop these views thus ignoring the true nature of reality which is not either of these extreme views.

To realize what the true nature of reality is, we need to get an overview of the fundamentals of Buddha’s teachings. This is not surprising for example a surgeon would not attempt to operate on someone without first learning about anatomy and surgical techniques. But the, would be, surgeon starts with the wish to become a surgeon, learns the path to becoming one, and if able, follows the necessary path to that goal. If we want to put an end to the root cause of suffering then we need to first understand the path intellectually and then follow the path but only when we first have a intellectual, fundamental, overview. A good place to start is the Four Noble Truths.

The First is that: 'All is suffering'. If you want I could try to explain the first of the Four Noble Truths?
igm
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Feb, 2012 04:30 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

Of course it doesn't help. It completely fails to answer the question of why Buddhism, in two thousand years has not removed what you call the root cause of suffering. Leaving aside that your claim about the root cause of suffering is bullshit, Buddhism has done nothing in two thousand years to remove that alleged (and rather stupid) root cause of suffering.


Buddhism is around two thousand five hundred years old. Buddhism has not removed everyone's suffering because it is designed to remove the root of all the various kinds of suffering by not trying to remove each one individually. So Buddhism's aim is to remove the root cause and fails to remove e.g. the thirst of everyone thirsty because the result is temporary but to remove the root cause permanently removes all suffering so it is wiser to do this if it is possible. The Buddha said it is possible and the Buddha's teachings explain how to do this.

It is not easy to achieve the removal of the root cause of suffering but there are accounts of some who have been able to achieve this. Even if we don't manage to do it in this life we can continue in our next life. Eventually we will achieve it because the true nature of reality and our own true nature are not different. It will however relieve our present suffering to some extent if we follow it correctly.
Questioner
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Feb, 2012 04:45 pm
@igm,
igm wrote:

It is not easy to achieve the removal of the root cause of suffering but there are accounts of some who have been able to achieve this.


In 2500 years there are only 'some' success stories? I think perhaps the reason it's not easy to achieve the removal of the 'root cause of suffering' is because you guys, in fact, have no fricking clue what it is, nor what to do with it if you DID find out.

This has all of the aspects of a religion. Regardless of what you guys want to call it. It's BS dogma at it's best.

igm
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Feb, 2012 05:04 pm
@Questioner,
Questioner, I don't think you can be sure of that... but you're of course free to believe it. I understand intellectually what the root cause of suffering is and how to remove it but it took me half a lifetime to combine that with an ongoing daily practice. I'm not able to explain to you in a couple of posts... just point to the way forward if you want to take it.

Does anyone have any questions about Buddha's teachings? I'm a Buddhist and will try to answer them if I can.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Feb, 2012 06:27 pm
@igm,
You must remember that the road to success in any religion is fraught with many difficulties and "sins." We cannot divorce ourselves from family, friends, and others we come in contact with; that's an impossible task.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Feb, 2012 07:14 pm
@igm,
Quote:
I have defined the term ‘ignorance’ in this particular way: that it is literally ignoring the true nature of reality. It not to be understood to be a lack of knowledge about the true nature of reality. Each one of us misunderstands reality’s true nature in our own individual way and all our sufferings arise from our personal misunderstanding of reality.


That is exactly what fundamentalists Christians say.

"You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free".

maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Feb, 2012 07:17 pm
This thread is about sex, let's get back on topic. Or, is sex a way to alleviate suffering...
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Feb, 2012 06:04 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
That is exactly what fundamentalists Christians say.

"You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free".


Additionally, it is still an avoidance of reality on igm's part. Two thousand years of Buddhism has not done anything to cause people to stop "ignoring" the true nature of reality, as he has it. Of course, you're right, it's just a statement of his preferred superstition, like any other religion.

If a girl is forced into an arranged marriage, and her husband beats here, knowing "the true nature of reality" won't alleviate her suffering. If he husband farms, and hands over a significant proportion of his production to the local Buddhist monastery to feed dozens of useless mouths, not only does knowing "the true nature of reality" do nothing to alleviate her suffering and that of her children as they slowly starve, Buddhism is the cause of her suffering, not the cure.

He's a typical religious bullshit artist, peddling nifty code words and catch phrases which themselves have no relationship to the true nature of reality.
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Feb, 2012 06:11 am
@maxdancona,
I'd say that sex causes more suffering than it alleviates. It's good to have sex, but every kind of offender that lives is a result of someone having sex. What's a few moments of pleasure compared to that?
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Feb, 2012 06:30 am
@Setanta,
It's the Wheel of Life Setanta. The Wheel of Life. Wheel .... of ..... Life.
0 Replies
 
igm
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Feb, 2012 07:19 am
@cicerone imposter,
cicerone imposter wrote:

You must remember that the road to success in any religion is fraught with many difficulties and "sins." We cannot divorce ourselves from family, friends, and others we come in contact with; that's an impossible task.

That's why compassion and loving kindness is so important as counterbalance to the wisdom aspect of the Buddhist path. There is no need to divorce ourselves from those we care for or anyone we come in contact with. We can but it is not a prerequisite.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Feb, 2012 07:55 am
@igm,
Uh-huh . . . how much compassion and loving kindness do Buddhist spread throughout the world? In two thousand years, Buddhism has done nothing to alleviate the poverty and misery of the people who have the misfortune to live in predominantly Buddhist nations. Hypocrite.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Feb, 2012 07:56 am
@JLNobody,
More religious mumbo-jumbo. Perhaps you can answer the question of what Buddhism has done in the last two thousand years to alleviate human suffering.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Feb, 2012 08:01 am
@Questioner,
Questioner wrote:
In 2500 years there are only 'some' success stories? I think perhaps the reason it's not easy to achieve the removal of the 'root cause of suffering' is because you guys, in fact, have no fricking clue what it is, nor what to do with it if you DID find out.

This has all of the aspects of a religion. Regardless of what you guys want to call it. It's BS dogma at it's best.


In fact, it's a selfish exercise which has no interest in alleviating the suffering of the people around them. It's only about deluding oneself that one has attained "enlightenment." That is, of course, a sufficiently vague and subjective term to allow the eternal religious smugness about the excellence of one's understanding.
0 Replies
 
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Feb, 2012 08:30 am
@Setanta,
Quote:
Perhaps you can answer the question of what Buddhism has done in the last two thousand years to alleviate human suffering.


Buddhism can only alleviate personal suffering by allowing the person to achieve deeper insights into his situation and then change what he needs to change to feel better. It's more of a philosophy, and those who treat it as a religion and live by the doctrines aren't really practicing Buddhism in the same way that the buddha did.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Feb, 2012 08:39 am
@Cyracuz,
That's just stupid Cyracuz. If I am hungry, what I need is food. Universal truth means nothing to people who are starving.

That is the problem with Buddhism (and any other religion). Religion offers "deeper insights" while ignoring real needs like food, clothing and justice.
0 Replies
 
Questioner
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Feb, 2012 09:13 am
@Cyracuz,
Cyracuz wrote:

I'd say that sex causes more suffering than it alleviates. It's good to have sex, but every kind of offender that lives is a result of someone having sex. What's a few moments of pleasure compared to that?


You mean besides continuing the species?
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Feb, 2012 10:01 am
@Questioner,
If the human species were to end, that would mean the end of human suffering.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Feb, 2012 10:11 am
@Cyracuz,
No need to answer that, Max showed that for the bullshit that it is.
0 Replies
 
 

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