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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  
Reply Fri 16 Aug, 2013 01:43 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

Obviously Buddhists don't always follow what the Buddha taught.


True, that's human nature but if you want to accomplish something that someone else has accomplished, it is often easier to follow their instructions. That must be common sense.

0 Replies
 
igm
 
  2  
Reply Fri 16 Aug, 2013 01:52 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Frank Apisa wrote:

Okay, here is my first question:

Why do you consider "the Buddha's teachings" to be important, igm?

The Buddha said, 'I teach only one thing, suffering and how to put an end to it'.

I was curious about how this could be possible and that curiosity made me explore the Buddha's teachings. First by quickly getting an overview before exploring it in more detail.

If it is possible to put an end to suffering then that would be important, not just to me but to all others as well. I believe we all want happiness and to be free from suffering but every happiness we find is eventually lost and every suffering we remove returns.

maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Aug, 2013 01:54 pm
@igm,
Quote:
'I teach only one thing, suffering and how to put an end to it'.


If that isn't proselytizing, then nothing is proselytizing.
igm
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Aug, 2013 01:57 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

Quote:
'I teach only one thing, suffering and how to put an end to it'.


If that isn't proselytizing, then nothing is proselytizing.



I was asked a question... I don't call that proselytizing... if I just spout religion without being asked then that is proselytizing to me. If that isn't the case for you then no wonder you think that is what I'm doing.

If asked a question I'll answer it but I won't initiate anything.

timur
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Aug, 2013 02:02 pm
@igm,
Except starting threads suggesting we could ask you questions about buddhism...
igm
 
  2  
Reply Fri 16 Aug, 2013 02:28 pm
@timur,
timur wrote:

Except starting threads suggesting we could ask you questions about buddhism...

Yes, and you could also... not.. it's a free choice from your side... if you do nothing then nothing happens... I don't explain my belief... I'm surprised that you see it as a problem.

I did explain that I started it because someone complained that I would not explain my beliefs to them... in another thread.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Aug, 2013 02:30 pm
@igm,
This thread reminds me of the Herbalife marketing gimmick....

http://rlv.zcache.co.uk/mens_lose_weight_now_ask_me_how_tank-r5600d6690e114cffa443f043ecab341b_8nhmr_324.jpg

I guess if the Buddha is your product, this is as good a pitch as any.
igm
 
  2  
Reply Fri 16 Aug, 2013 02:33 pm
@maxdancona,
Yes, I see what you're getting at but again it was not my intention... if someone asks me a question I'll answer if I can... if not then I'm easy.. that's fine by me.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Aug, 2013 02:42 pm
@igm,
Thanks, igm. As an aside, I see nothing wrong with proselytizing. I kinda do it myself with agnosticism.

You wrote:

Quote:
The Buddha said, 'I teach only one thing, suffering and how to put an end to it'.

I was curious about how this could be possible and that curiosity made me explore the Buddha's teachings. First by quickly getting an overview before exploring it in more detail.

If it is possible to put an end to suffering then that would be important, not just to me but to all others as well. I believe we all want happiness and to be free from suffering but every happiness we find is eventually lost and every suffering we remove returns.


Not sure how the Buddha could teach suffering…nor why he would want to, but I’ll take your word for that.

I certainly can understand wanting to end suffering, however.

Since you originally wrote: “…if you want to accomplish something that someone else has accomplished, it is often easier to follow their instructions”…you apparently think that the Buddha ended suffering…or at least, ended his suffering.

Other than the fact that he said it…do you have any other independent indication that he did? If “yes”, please share what you have.

Do you have any evidence that he was able to teach others how to end suffering? If “yes”, please share what you have.

I acknowledge that I am skeptical of the claim that he can end suffering…and that he can teach others how to end it…so I would like to discuss that area of Buddhism.
JTT
 
  2  
Reply Fri 16 Aug, 2013 03:27 pm
@Frank Apisa,
The Buddha said, 'I teach only one thing, suffering and how to put an end to it'.

Quote:
Not sure how the Buddha could teach suffering…nor why he would want to, but I’ll take your word for that.


Not sure how you glossed that meaning from the sentence in italics, Frank. Or possibly, you're just being obtuse Frank. But you hadn't seemed that way in the response.
0 Replies
 
igm
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Aug, 2013 03:33 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Frank Apisa wrote:


Not sure how the Buddha could teach suffering…nor why he would want to, but I’ll take your word for that.


The Buddha went into detail about what suffering is, in order for people to clearly understand, how and why the root cause of it needs to be removed, even in those that apparently aren't suffering to a degree that would make them want to make the effort to put an end to it.

Frank Apisa wrote:

I certainly can understand wanting to end suffering, however.

Since you originally wrote: “…if you want to accomplish something that someone else has accomplished, it is often easier to follow their instructions”…you apparently think that the Buddha ended suffering…or at least, ended his suffering.

Other than the fact that he said it…do you have any other independent indication that he did? If “yes”, please share what you have.

Do you have any evidence that he was able to teach others how to end suffering? If “yes”, please share what you have.

I acknowledge that I am skeptical of the claim that he can end suffering…and that he can teach others how to end it…so I would like to discuss that area of Buddhism.



Yes, all good points Frank. It is not possible to know if someone else is suffering or not, we have to take their word for it.

It is not possible to know for sure if someone, who says they have accomplished something like putting an end to suffering, has indeed done that.

The only way I can think of to explain the mind-set needed, is to say that if someone said they could explain how to get from your home to a new golf course you have never visited and said that you would need to see certain landmarks on the way. Then you have the wish because you want to see this new golf course. You are willing to go along with the instructions even though you can't be sure they are correct because of your wish to see this new golf course and each time you see a landmark your confidence grows and you have a growing confidence about your journey up to that point and growing confidence that you will eventually arrive at this new golf course, which helps you to continue.

The landmarks have to be seen regularly and progressively and need to seem to be plausible, in that they will lead to the end of the journey. But we can never be sure until we arrive. Some have this mind-set and some don't. I do for this particular journey and I have seen many confidence building landmarks since I set out with just the wish to attempt it but I can’t prove that, you can only try to do the same thing because you wish to make the initial attempt at least i.e. if one landmark doesn’t appear then you’ll abandon it at that point without too much time wasted.

Also, it’s not an all or nothing journey each landmark has its own benefit even if it is a subtle or minor one; again I can only tell you this I can’t prove it.

maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Aug, 2013 03:55 pm
@igm,
How is what Buddhism offers any different than what heroin offers?

I don't think the elimination of suffering is at all good goal. Life is for striving, creating and experiencing-- all of these things bring hard work and anguish along with exhilaration.

I don't mind you trying to sell Buddhism to me, it is just that I have no interest in the product. It seems to be a denial of what it means to be human.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Aug, 2013 04:02 pm
@maxdancona,
The problem with Buddhism is it has failed to accomplish even what it says it wants to accomplish.

Tibet was a very repressive and backwards society before the Chinese got there (I am not saying the Chinese have a right to be there). The disparity of rich and poor was sad, and the Buddhist dogma was used to keep the poor in their place. The same can be said of Thailand, Myanmar (Burma) and Cambodia. These are not cultures that have a good track record when it comes to suffering.

Buddhism in the West as an exotic appeal, mainly because it is foreign and quite different Western religions. But I don't see any real evidence that it is any better in a practical sense than any other world view-- even at doing the very thing it claims as its goal.
igm
 
  2  
Reply Fri 16 Aug, 2013 04:23 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

How is what Buddhism offers any different than what heroin offers?

I don't think the elimination of suffering is at all good goal. Life is for striving, creating and experiencing-- all of these things bring hard work and anguish along with exhilaration.

I don't mind you trying to sell Buddhism to me, it is just that I have no interest in the product. It seems to be a denial of what it means to be human.


I disagree but as I'm not try to sell Buddhism to you I won't try to explain. All of your points are a misunderstanding of Buddhism. I will try to explain if you ask but if not... no problem.

0 Replies
 
igm
 
  2  
Reply Fri 16 Aug, 2013 04:28 pm
@maxdancona,
I don't agree with your comments but I can see how you could come to those conclusions.

Like I said in my OP though, I'm not going to comment on anything other than my understanding of the Buddha's teachings. What people who are also Buddhists do, may or may not be what the Buddha taught but that is a whole other issue.

JTT
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Aug, 2013 05:09 pm
@maxdancona,
Quote:
These are not cultures that have a good track record when it comes to suffering.


It always amazes me, Max, how you folks can point fingers at others given the track record of your homeland.
0 Replies
 
vikorr
 
  2  
Reply Fri 16 Aug, 2013 05:46 pm
Hi igm,

I just realised something that always bothered me about that goal of Buddhism (to end suffering). I've always thought the point of life was to live a happy life. The goal 'to end suffering' is actually the negative statement of what appears to be the same thing...

...but you can be happy while physically suffering. Granted the greater the physical suffering the more difficult it becomes.

I've always learnt in life that the question directs the answer. So if you ask 'how do you end suffering (in X circumstance)' you will go down a different thought train to 'how do you attain happiness (in X Circumstance)'

I know that's not a question.
-------------------------------

Is happiness then enlightenment?


Kolyo
 
  2  
Reply Fri 16 Aug, 2013 07:39 pm
I've never really been a fan of Buddhism, which many of my friends and family seem to so love. I'll definitely be back with a few questions! Smile
0 Replies
 
tomr
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Aug, 2013 09:40 pm
@igm,
How does one end suffering?
maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Fri 16 Aug, 2013 10:15 pm
@tomr,
death
0 Replies
 
 

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