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I am a Buddhist and if anyone wants to question my beliefs then they are welcome to do so...

 
 
igm
 
  1  
Sat 24 Aug, 2013 07:46 am
@Frank Apisa,
Frank Apisa wrote:

But for Buddhists to suggest that their guesses about the Buddha and the “teachings” of the Buddha are more reasoned than the guesses of Christians about the “teachings” of Jesus (or Paul)…is incongruous and entirely self-serving.



There are no entries for Jesus or Paul at Stanford under philosophy.

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/mind-indian-buddhism/

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Mind in Indian Buddhist Philosophy

First published Thu Dec 3, 2009; substantive revision Fri Oct 12, 2012

"Perhaps no other classical philosophical tradition, East or West, offers a more complex and counter-intuitive account of mind and mental phenomena than Buddhism. While Buddhists share with other Indian philosophers the view that the domain of the mental encompasses a set of interrelated faculties and processes, they do not associate mental phenomena with the activity of a substantial, independent, and enduring self or agent. Rather, Buddhist theories of mind center on the doctrine of not-self[1] (Pāli anatta, Skt.[2] anātma), which postulates that human beings are reducible to the physical and psychological constituents and processes which comprise them..."

This is one part of a large article; one of many, many articles on Buddhist philosophy published at Stanford.




Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Sat 24 Aug, 2013 07:51 am
@igm,
igm wrote:

Frank Apisa wrote:

But for Buddhists to suggest that their guesses about the Buddha and the “teachings” of the Buddha are more reasoned than the guesses of Christians about the “teachings” of Jesus (or Paul)…is incongruous and entirely self-serving.



http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/mind-indian-buddhism/

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Mind in Indian Buddhist Philosophy

First published Thu Dec 3, 2009; substantive revision Fri Oct 12, 2012

"Perhaps no other classical philosophical tradition, East or West, offers a more complex and counter-intuitive account of mind and mental phenomena than Buddhism. While Buddhists share with other Indian philosophers the view that the domain of the mental encompasses a set of interrelated faculties and processes, they do not associate mental phenomena with the activity of a substantial, independent, and enduring self or agent. Rather, Buddhist theories of mind center on the doctrine of not-self[1] (Pāli anatta, Skt.[2] anātma), which postulates that human beings are reducible to the physical and psychological constituents and processes which comprise them..."





If they are saying that "there is no GOD"...that is just as much a blind guess as "there is a GOD."

In any case, since you are asking us to question you about your Buddhist beliefs...you are making the case for me...namely, that Buddhism is a belief system.

There is nothing "wrong" with that, igm. What is not quite up to par is the notion that Buddhism (in so far as it talks about the Buddha and the teachings of the Buddha) is more reasoned and reasonable than other belief systems.

It isn't. Not even slightly.
0 Replies
 
neologist
 
  1  
Sat 24 Aug, 2013 09:59 am
@igm,
I apologize for not carefully reading your op. Apparently I have been asking questions you had not proposed to answer.

Kind of like ordering a hamburger at a vegan restaurant.

Seems like it would be hard for one Buddhist to recognize another.
igm
 
  1  
Sat 24 Aug, 2013 12:17 pm
@neologist,
No problem.
vikorr
 
  1  
Sat 24 Aug, 2013 01:37 pm
@igm,
Hi igm,

I think that the question I asked - Frank just doesn't realise he's been asking it. It is actually a question about Buddhist beliefs...it's asking about the results of them. I do believe he was basically asking for evidence that Buddhism works (ie actually ends suffering)

Of course, it is unlikely to be a simple answer.
igm
 
  1  
Sat 24 Aug, 2013 03:25 pm
@vikorr,
vikorr wrote:

I do believe he was basically asking for evidence that Buddhism works (ie actually ends suffering)

Of course, it is unlikely to be a simple answer.


Belief in Buddhism or belief in something else more mundane, is not just a religious thing; it is true, for any and everything we do in life that is new and unknown to us... belief is a very ordinary thing, it happens when we attempt anything new.

If a scientist has a brand new theory; something that no other scientist has ever considered possible e.g. cold fusion. How can that scientist convince others in his field that it is possible? Scientists study his experiment and they try to replicate it. If they can, then he is believed and it becomes part of accepted science.

The Buddha is like the scientist who has discovered something that no one else has experienced. Buddhists are like the scientists who experiment in order to try to replicate it. If and when they replicate it, only then will a Buddhist know if Buddha's teachings can be successfully replicated and end suffering.

Why bother, you might ask? The Buddha explained that rather than just die at the end of life and be freed from suffering by death. We are in a sense doomed to endlessly continuing and to endless suffering. So, once we see this is very possible... we are motivated to look for a solution... the only one offering it is the Buddha, so as we may have endless time, we don't mind spending some of it seeing if he was correct as the alternative is endless suffering... even happiness is suffering because it doesn't last it must be replaced by suffering.

If we are wrong and there is only one life, when one considers the number of ways we can waste our time during this one and only life, then Buddhism doesn't seem like the worst kind of harmless pastime. We get to meditate… finding peace and alleviating stress. We get to think about the ‘big questions’. We get insights into the psychology of both ourselves and others. We are able to focus and concentrate more effectively. We also have time to spend with our families and have a normal life, enriched by the qualities that one gets from studying Buddhism.

So, to me if there is one life or endless lives Buddhism makes sense to me. I could say I suffer less and am happier and that happiness is not dependent on positive circumstances but that would be hearsay.
Chumly
 
  1  
Sat 24 Aug, 2013 07:42 pm
@neologist,
neologist wrote:
I think igm simply wants you to specify one or more reasons why you question his beliefs.
Who knows what nescience lurks in the hearts of men? The Neologist knows!
IRFRANK
 
  1  
Sat 24 Aug, 2013 09:22 pm
@Frank Apisa,
I don't agree at all with this, Frank. On face value your statement about guesses is correct. But you over simplify things when you say that makes all religions equal and fallible. Based on your analysis there would be no philosophy. Are you saying all philosophers are wasting their time? I know we've been over much of this several times and I understand your simple position. Actually, it is elegant in its simplicity. It leaves us at a position where all we have is what is in front of us. Nothing more, nothing less. And with my limited knowledge that is compatible with my understanding of Buddha's teachings. To me, the teachings are a way to maintain the awareness that that is the case. But, like I said, there is much more to the teachings than what I understand.
JLNobody
 
  2  
Sat 24 Aug, 2013 11:24 pm
@igm,
I must say that while I consider myself a "buddhist" I am not terribly involved with details of the philosophical implications of the Buddha's teachings. What I appreciate most about it is its "evolutionary potential." His general orientation seems have grown in many ways as it developed over the centuries and spread throughout the East and more recently the West. And most important, from my perspective, is the way some branches of buddhism have utilized methods of meditation to promote a kind of phenomenological and psychological strength in individuals . People who meditate for many years tend to feel more content with mundane life as it is and less dependent on the fulfillment of ideals and the achievement of material advantages. They are simply more at ease existentially. In this sense I see the Buddha more as a physician than as a philosopher. He was more concerned with "health" than he was with "truth."
0 Replies
 
neologist
 
  1  
Sun 25 Aug, 2013 01:14 am
@Chumly,
Chumly wrote:
neologist wrote:
I think igm simply wants you to specify one or more reasons why you question his beliefs.
Who knows what nescience lurks in the hearts of men? The Neologist knows!
I certainly see a lot of it.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Sun 25 Aug, 2013 02:35 am
@IRFRANK,
IRFRANK wrote:

I don't agree at all with this, Frank. On face value your statement about guesses is correct. But you over simplify things when you say that makes all religions equal and fallible.


I have never in any post I've ever made said that.

They are not.

But the essential of making guesses and treating those guesses the way religions do...is the same.

Quote:
Based on your analysis there would be no philosophy. Are you saying all philosophers are wasting their time?


Not at all. And based on my analysis, that would not be an appropriate conclusion, Frank. You are skewing my comments.

Quote:
I know we've been over much of this several times and I understand your simple position. Actually, it is elegant in its simplicity. It leaves us at a position where all we have is what is in front of us. Nothing more, nothing less. And with my limited knowledge that is compatible with my understanding of Buddha's teachings. To me, the teachings are a way to maintain the awareness that that is the case. But, like I said, there is much more to the teachings than what I understand.


Anyone with a personal philosophy like mine (and yours, for instance) would share a lot with the apparent personal philosophy of the Buddha....and with the apparent personal philosophy of Jesus.

But the problem falls ourside that reality.

In any case, I have explained myself as best I can. My issues do not deal with the philosophy of many religions...it is with the way they become "a religion."
vikorr
 
  1  
Sun 25 Aug, 2013 03:08 am
@igm,
Quote:
If we are wrong and there is only one life, when one considers the number of ways we can waste our time during this one and only life, then Buddhism doesn't seem like the worst kind of harmless pastime.
This sounds rather sensible to me. Same with much of the rest...but then, I'm of the opinion that whether you believe in the earth being 6000 yrs old or in evolution, how does that really affect who you are, and so does it actually matter which you believe?
igm
 
  1  
Sun 25 Aug, 2013 04:06 am
@vikorr,
vikorr wrote:

Quote:
If we are wrong and there is only one life, when one considers the number of ways we can waste our time during this one and only life, then Buddhism doesn't seem like the worst kind of harmless pastime.
This sounds rather sensible to me. Same with much of the rest...but then, I'm of the opinion that whether you believe in the earth being 6000 yrs old or in evolution, how does that really affect who you are, and so does it actually matter which you believe?


If death is the end (i.e. if there is only one single life) then it is important to find something that suits one's personality, doesn't advocate harming others and does advocate helping without imposing that help etc...

If.... death is the end....

IRFRANK
 
  1  
Sun 25 Aug, 2013 08:11 am
@Frank Apisa,
Quote:
My issues do not deal with the philosophy of many religions...it is with the way they become "a religion."


Well, I guess I have misunderstood. I thought that your statement that all the teaching is nothing more than a guess does dispute it's validity. I'm not trying to change your statements, just discuss the points you make. If your problem is with 'religion' and its often fanatical and arrogant proponents I share your disdain. I think there is still valuable knowledge and understanding of the human condition in the teachings. After all, any honest person must admit that we don't really 'know' anything about an afterlife or God for that matter.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Sun 25 Aug, 2013 09:11 am
@IRFRANK,
Quote:
After all, any honest person must admit that we don't really 'know' anything about an afterlife or God for that matter.


I don't believe this statement is true. Many people know a lot about the afterlife and about God.
IRFRANK
 
  1  
Sun 25 Aug, 2013 10:10 am
@maxdancona,
The difference is found in your use of the word believe and my use of the word honest.
0 Replies
 
igm
 
  1  
Sun 25 Aug, 2013 10:32 am

What I have said so far hasn't scratched the surface of the Buddha's teachings and the answers have been aimed at those who know very little about Buddhism.

For example in the Buddha's teaching called, 'The Heart Sutra' it says, 'There is no suffering, no cause of suffering, no ending of suffering and no path that leads to the ending of suffering.'

On enlightenment it says, 'There is no attainment and no non-attainment.'

That appears to contradict most of what I've said in my posts so far. Buddhism is deep... very deep and also very ordinary.

JLNobody
 
  2  
Sun 25 Aug, 2013 10:37 am
@igm,
Igm, it is my intuition that death is not the end and birth is not the beginning. The true "me" (Self with a capital "S") is "everything always" not this little ego self (with a small "s). We should be just as concerned, or unconcerned, with our before-birth as we are with our after- life.
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  2  
Sun 25 Aug, 2013 10:48 am
@igm,
As I see it the Buddha's most important lesson was the instruction to "awaken" (existentially and phenomenologically) to what is, to be "lanterns unto ourselves". And this awakening--a matter of immediate , or unmediated perception rather than symbolically mediated cognition (or beliefs)--is what occurs when we mediate.
BTW, Igm, I do not see you as contradicting yourself. Your use of the Heart Sutra has served to go beyond the narrowness of dualism to the holism for which that famously non-dualistic sutra is known.
0 Replies
 
laughoutlood
 
  1  
Sun 25 Aug, 2013 11:27 pm
@igm,
Hello igm, quite a thought provoking thread.

What are your thoughts on how to reconcile verity despite the seeming contradictions?

Quote:
'There is no suffering, no cause of suffering, no ending of suffering and no path that leads to the ending of suffering.'

On enlightenment it says, 'There is no attainment and no non-attainment.'
 

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