Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby nowheat » Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:30 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:
nowheat wrote:If you cannot see a difference between assessment of likelihood and either determined clinging to a view or eel-wriggling equivocation, nothing I can say is likely to improve the situation.

The canon is quite clear that there actually is a next world. I see no good reason for equivocating over this.


As far as I know, there is only one sutta that makes it "quite clear" -- MN 60 -- that "there actually is a next world" and, as I have pointed out, the bit that the assertion is in breaks the logic of the sutta. I find the Buddha to be quite logical, and to me the emendation is obvious. But then, it is not my assertion that the entire canon is a completely accurate transmission of the words of the Buddha. I don't find human nature capable of transmitting words with not one single corruption -- perhaps you do.

This, then, is the difference between us, that you will rest your case on the rare instance of a dogmatic statement, set against the rest of the canon in which nonesuch are made.

:namaste:
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby Goofaholix » Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:31 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:The canon is quite clear that there actually is a next world. I see no good reason for equivocating over this.

Not disputed,
but in this next world will there be re-aggregation of the aggregates commonly considered "me" together with a new body?
and if so does that have any impact on my practise in this world?
and if so what evidence is there that having a level of uncertainty about how this works and whether it is important excludes me from the Buddhist club in this world?
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby vinasp » Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:36 pm

Hi everyone,

Both the eternalist view and the annihilationist view depend on identity
view (sakkaya-ditthi), and cease when identity view ceases.

"As to the various views that arise in the world, householder,
"The world is eternal" ... - these as well as the sixty-two
speculative views mentioned in the Brahmajala: when there is
identity view, these views come to be; when there is no identity
view, these views do not come to be." [ SN 41.3 - Isidatta (2) ]

Identity view can be understood as the view of a real, presently existing
self. All views about this self in the future are based on identity view.

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby Nyana » Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:43 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Buddhist AtheismWhile Buddhism is atheistic, we must not forget that Buddhist atheism has at the same time to
be distinguished from materialistic atheism. Buddhism asserted the falsity of a materialistic
philosophy which denied survival, recompense and responsibility as well as moral and spiritual
values and obligations, no less than certain forms of theistic beliefs.


And it is assumptions of materialistic atheism which feed the qualms and doubts found in Batchelor's Confessions of a Buddhist Atheist and other writings. For example, in his article No Future In A Parrot's Egg:

    I reject karma and rebirth not only because I find them unintelligible, but because I believe they obscure and distort what the Buddha was trying to say.

And in Suspending Belief:

    The idea that there will be something spiritual or subtle, some sort of consciousness that can escape the collapse of the body and brain, is not very credible in the modern scientific worldview.
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:47 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Mike, Dave, all,

daverupa wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:Since the Buddha certainly talked about past and future (but advised not seeing a self in any of it) I don't really buy the "only things verifiable in the present moment are significant" interpretations.


Something quite interesting on this point:

SN 22.79 wrote:"Thus an instructed disciple of the noble ones reflects in this way: 'I am now being chewed up by [aggregates]. But in the past I was also chewed up by [aggregates] in the same way I am now being chewed up by present [aggregates]. And if I delight in future [aggregates], then in the future I will be chewed up by [aggregates] in the same way I am now being chewed up by present [aggregates].' Having reflected in this way, he becomes indifferent to past [aggregates], does not delight in future [aggregates], and is practicing for the sake of disenchantment, dispassion, and cessation with regard to present [aggregates]."


Here, indifference and non-delight are attitudes taken towards things that are insignificant, it seems to me. Perhaps we can see in this an instruction which guides from rebirth-view to right-view?

Indeed... this is how I understand the Buddha's teaching, having reflected that way.

mikenz66 wrote:It's possible that Interpretations that tend to label anything to do with past or future, or anything not currently directly verifiable as "speculative" may well be a form of nihilism, and a convenient way of dodging some difficult issues. I'm not saying you are doing that, I'm speaking generally about my unease with such interpretations.

Fair enough. I hope Dave's choice quote helped allay some of this unease.

Yes, there were some good points there. Including that there is a need to consider what will happen in the future to practice effectively.

:anjali:
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby Nyana » Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:11 am

nowheat wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:
nowheat wrote:If you cannot see a difference between assessment of likelihood and either determined clinging to a view or eel-wriggling equivocation, nothing I can say is likely to improve the situation.

The canon is quite clear that there actually is a next world. I see no good reason for equivocating over this.


As far as I know, there is only one sutta that makes it "quite clear" -- MN 60 -- that "there actually is a next world" and, as I have pointed out, the bit that the assertion is in breaks the logic of the sutta. I find the Buddha to be quite logical, and to me the emendation is obvious. But then, it is not my assertion that the entire canon is a completely accurate transmission of the words of the Buddha. I don't find human nature capable of transmitting words with not one single corruption -- perhaps you do.

This, then, is the difference between us, that you will rest your case on the rare instance of a dogmatic statement, set against the rest of the canon in which nonesuch are made.

The passage from MN 60 Apaṇṇaka Sutta is consistent with the rest of the canon, including the knowledges comprising the Buddha's awakening:


As well as the explicit passages regarding past lives found throughout the Anamataggasaṃyutta. And also the Khuddakanikāya Theragāthā & Therīgāthā where many of the arahant monks and nuns state that they attained either the triple knowledge (tevijjā) or the six higher gnoses (chaḷabhiññā). This is further corroborated by SN 8.7 Pavāraṇā Sutta, which informs us that of 500 arahants present on that occasion, 60 had triple knowledge, 60 had the six higher gnoses, 60 were liberated both ways (ubhatobhāgavimuttā, meaning jhānas & formless attainments), and the rest were liberated through discernment (paññāvimuttā). Therefore, there were many arahants who had direct knowledge of past lives and the passing away and reappearance of beings. DN 2 tells us that these knowledges are fruits of the contemplative life. Thus, the MN 60 statement that a person who says that "There is no next world" thereby makes himself an opponent to those arahants who know the next world is entirely consistent with the rest of the Pāli Tipiṭaka.
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby Goofaholix » Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:20 am

Ñāṇa wrote:And it is assumptions of materialistic atheism which feed the qualms and doubts found in Batchelor's Confessions of a Buddhist Atheist and other writings. For example, in his article No Future In A Parrot's Egg:

    I reject karma and rebirth not only because I find them unintelligible, but because I believe they obscure and distort what the Buddha was trying to say.

    “To say Buddhism is not a religion, is not true. To say Buddhism does not speak of a literal rebirth, is not true. To say Buddhism does not speak of deities and invisible beings, is not true.

    “To say Buddhist practice is dependent on these, that we can’t realize tremendous benefit and positive change without them, is also not true.” — Stephen Batchelor
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby daverupa » Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:55 am

Ñāṇa wrote:the knowledges comprising the Buddha's awakening...

As well as the explicit passages [where] monks and nuns state that they attained either the triple knowledge (tevijjā) or the six higher gnoses (chaḷabhiññā). This is further corroborated...


In The Origins of Buddhist Meditation, Alexander Wynne suggests that the simple liberation pericope, below, is the more likely to be historically authentic:

MN 26 - Ariyapariyesana Sutta ('APS' in the citation) wrote:"Then, monks, being subject myself to birth, seeing the drawbacks of birth, seeking the unborn, unexcelled rest from the yoke, Unbinding, I reached the unborn, unexcelled rest from the yoke: Unbinding. Being subject myself to aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement, seeing the drawbacks of aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement, seeking the aging-less, illness-less, deathless, sorrow-less, unexcelled rest from the yoke, Unbinding, I reached the aging-less, illness-less, deathless, sorrow-less, unexcelled rest from the yoke: Unbinding. Knowledge & vision arose in me: 'Unprovoked is my release. This is the last birth. There is now no further becoming.'


Nothing here about the six higher gnoses, and the first two of the three high knowledges are also absent...

:thinking:
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby Nyana » Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:15 am

daverupa wrote:Alexander Wynne suggests that the simple liberation pericope, below, is the more likely to be historically authentic.... Nothing here about the six higher gnoses, and the first two of the three high knowledges are also absent...

Ven. Ṭhānissaro's Introduction pertaining to the absence of reference to the 4NT in this sutta is also relevant to the absence of reference to the triple knowledge.
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby nowheat » Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:43 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
As well as the explicit passages regarding past lives found throughout the Anamataggasaṃyutta. And also the Khuddakanikāya Theragāthā & Therīgāthā where many of the arahant monks and nuns state that they attained either the triple knowledge (tevijjā) or the six higher gnoses (chaḷabhiññā). This is further corroborated by SN 8.7 Pavāraṇā Sutta, which informs us that of 500 arahants present on that occasion, 60 had triple knowledge, 60 had the six higher gnoses, 60 were liberated both ways (ubhatobhāgavimuttā, meaning jhānas & formless attainments), and the rest were liberated through discernment (paññāvimuttā). Therefore, there were many arahants who had direct knowledge of past lives and the passing away and reappearance of beings. DN 2 tells us that these knowledges are fruits of the contemplative life. Thus, the MN 60 statement that a person who says that "There is no next world" thereby makes himself an opponent to those arahants who know the next world is entirely consistent with the rest of the Pāli Tipiṭaka.


There is a next world: it's the one we make along with that which we mistake for self. In the Vedic myths of Prajapati, there was no separation between self and world, they were one and the same. This is what dependent origination is talking about. The poetry of the enlightened nuns and monks should be just full of such references if they understood what the Buddha was saying with that core teaching.

We see what's being said in all those bits you mentioned two different ways. I see what's being said in my daily practice: the arising and passing away of beings according to their actions, my past lives; it's not difficult. Do you see it in yours?

:namaste:
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:10 am

Goofaholix wrote:He taught differently to different people depending on where they were at and he used the words, beliefs, mythology, and rituals of his time as teaching methods depending on the worldview of the audience.

That doesn't necessarily imply endorsement of them as fact.


So do you think the Buddha taught things he knew not to be true?

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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby Nyana » Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:12 am

nowheat wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:
As well as the explicit passages regarding past lives found throughout the Anamataggasaṃyutta. And also the Khuddakanikāya Theragāthā & Therīgāthā where many of the arahant monks and nuns state that they attained either the triple knowledge (tevijjā) or the six higher gnoses (chaḷabhiññā). This is further corroborated by SN 8.7 Pavāraṇā Sutta, which informs us that of 500 arahants present on that occasion, 60 had triple knowledge, 60 had the six higher gnoses, 60 were liberated both ways (ubhatobhāgavimuttā, meaning jhānas & formless attainments), and the rest were liberated through discernment (paññāvimuttā). Therefore, there were many arahants who had direct knowledge of past lives and the passing away and reappearance of beings. DN 2 tells us that these knowledges are fruits of the contemplative life. Thus, the MN 60 statement that a person who says that "There is no next world" thereby makes himself an opponent to those arahants who know the next world is entirely consistent with the rest of the Pāli Tipiṭaka.


There is a next world: it's the one we make along with that which we mistake for self. In the Vedic myths of Prajapati, there was no separation between self and world, they were one and the same. This is what dependent origination is talking about.

The poetry of the enlightened nuns and monks should be just full of such references if they understood what the Buddha was saying with that core teaching.

We see what's being said in all those bits you mentioned two different ways. I see what's being said in my daily practice: the arising and passing away of beings according to their actions, my past lives; it's not difficult. Do you see it in yours?

What I see is yet another novel and unsustainable re-interpretation of the Buddhadhamma on your part. Ven. Bodhi, Dhamma Without Rebirth:

    [T]o downplay the doctrine of rebirth and explain the entire import of the Dhamma as the amelioration of mental suffering through enhanced self-awareness is to deprive the Dhamma of those wider perspectives from which it derives its full breadth and profundity. By doing so one seriously risks reducing it in the end to little more than a sophisticated ancient system of humanistic psychotherapy.

Alan Wallace, Distorted Visions of Buddhism: Agnostic and Atheist:

    To ignore the most compelling evidence of what the Buddha taught and to replace that by assertions that run counter to such evidence is indefensible. And when those secular, atheistic assertions just happen to correspond to the materialistic assumptions of modernity, it is simply ridiculous to attribute them to the historical Buddha.
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby vinasp » Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:52 am

Hi everyone,

"There are beings who arise spontaneously." Mundane right view MN 117.7

[ I agree that there are such beings.]

"What is spontaneous arising? There are gods and denizens of hell and certain human beings and some beings in the lower worlds; this is called spontaneous arising."
MN 12.33

[ ... and certain human beings ... ]

"Again, a monk who has abandoned the five lower fetters arises spontaneously
and, without returning from that world, gains enlightenment."
[ Long Discouses, Walshe 1987, DN 6.13]

[ The non-returner, when he breaks the five lower fetters, arises in the
next "world", he does not return to this "world". What is meant by "world"
here is just a state of mind.]

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby rowboat » Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:05 pm

What I see is yet another novel and unsustainable re-interpretation of the Buddhadhamma on your part. Ven. Bodhi, Dhamma Without Rebirth:

[T]o downplay the doctrine of rebirth and explain the entire import of the Dhamma as the amelioration of mental suffering through enhanced self-awareness is to deprive the Dhamma of those wider perspectives from which it derives its full breadth and profundity. By doing so one seriously risks reducing it in the end to little more than a sophisticated ancient system of humanistic psychotherapy.

Alan Wallace, Distorted Visions of Buddhism: Agnostic and Atheist:

To ignore the most compelling evidence of what the Buddha taught and to replace that by assertions that run counter to such evidence is indefensible. And when those secular, atheistic assertions just happen to correspond to the materialistic assumptions of modernity, it is simply ridiculous to attribute them to the historical Buddha.



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Rain soddens what is covered up,
It does not sodden what is open.
Therefore uncover what is covered
That the rain will not sodden it.
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:47 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Buddhist AtheismWhile Buddhism is atheistic, we must not forget that Buddhist atheism has at the same time to
be distinguished from materialistic atheism. Buddhism asserted the falsity of a materialistic
philosophy which denied survival, recompense and responsibility as well as moral and spiritual
values and obligations, no less than certain forms of theistic beliefs.


And it is assumptions of materialistic atheism
As opposed to Buddhist atheism. Jayatilleke clearly argues for rebirth and kamma. The point is that how "atheism" is used is a matter of how the person who uses it defines it.

(For those who may have missed it, there are six essays in the following PDF that I linked above that are worth a read:

http://www.bps.lk/olib/wh/wh162.pdf )
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby nowheat » Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:35 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:What I see is yet another novel and unsustainable re-interpretation of the Buddhadhamma on your part.


I understand, very well, why you see it that way. I have yet to lay out the framework that shows what makes it sustainable. Once this paper is published, it will make more sense, at least to those whose minds aren't slammed shut. I find the people on this board to be reasonably open-minded, and so will be interested to see what kind of hearing it gets.

Ven. Bodhi wrote:Dhamma Without Rebirth:

    [T]o downplay the doctrine of rebirth and explain the entire import of the Dhamma as the amelioration of mental suffering through enhanced self-awareness is to deprive the Dhamma of those wider perspectives from which it derives its full breadth and profundity. By doing so one seriously risks reducing it in the end to little more than a sophisticated ancient system of humanistic psychotherapy.


To misrepresent what's going on as explaining "the entire import of the Dhamma as the amelioration of mental suffering through enhanced self-awareness" is to demonstrate that one has closed one's mind to a sufficient degree to refuse to see what's actually going on. This is confirmation-bias: not spending enough time actually getting to know the people and their practices and what they discuss and are concerned about so that one can keep believing that they are "other". This is *precisely* what the Buddha describes humans doing with the structure of dependent arising and maybe once the whole thing is out there, we can focus a little more on stilling those particular formations. I'm hoping it means we can all work together instead of having the divisions we have now, but then I'm a starry-eyed idealist that way.

Alan Wallace, Distorted Visions of Buddhism: Agnostic and Atheist:

    To ignore the most compelling evidence of what the Buddha taught and to replace that by assertions that run counter to such evidence is indefensible. And when those secular, atheistic assertions just happen to correspond to the materialistic assumptions of modernity, it is simply ridiculous to attribute them to the historical Buddha.


I'm not a materialist, which helps me see that Wallace is just doing to secular folks what he accuses them of doing to Buddhism: rewriting them in an image that suits his world-view. What underlies this? It seems to me -- seen through the lens of the Buddha's teaching -- that it is fear around that sense of self. Having spent a lifetime devoting his energies to one view of Buddhism -- having put so much of himself into it, seeing something in that particular view of Buddhism that satisfies self in him (so that "This is mine, this I am") and taking it as part of him -- he feels so threatened by what seems to him as "other" that he can't even open his mind enough to accurately hear what's being said. From the above comment about "simply ridiculous" it seems that, to him, there is no possibility of any mistake at all -- he would not even care to investigate it deeply enough to see if he is mistaken.

Well, I understand that. It's just human nature. But it's also the point-of-view that never will investigate those lovely and huge volumes of the Buddha's words that we have, so that we can look to see how accurate our understanding is -- fear blocks even the possibility of making an effort; a dogmatic attachment to what we have already learned stands in the way of reading any text any other way. But if we can recognize in these texts just how brilliant the man who started us on this path was -- and if we can acknowledge that his followers were probably not that brilliant, not all enlightened, but just humans with human frailties -- it seems to me that out of respect for the Buddha we should double check our understanding, and look at what's there with fresh eyes. Doing so can (and does) actually result in sharpening our understanding of what he is saying, rather than watering it down. The more open-minded people who apply themselves to it, the clearer things should get. But one has to be willing to *begin* -- to *try* -- to be able to do this. Closed minds learn nothing new.

The canon has been cloistered for thousands of years in a system that is designed to transmit it and its interpretations with as little change as possible. I am thankful for the accurate transmission of the words of the Buddha, but less than thankful for the limitations put on understanding the meaning. There have been some brilliant minds applied to the canon that stood out well enough in their moments to bring fresh insights of their own to it, and I praise them and the moments in which their voices were accepted enough to be heard. But for the most part, the canon has not had a thorough looking over. It needs it. And if we actually have faith in the Buddha, there should be nothing to fear from doing a through and public examination of what's there.

:namaste:
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby daverupa » Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:41 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:
daverupa wrote:Alexander Wynne suggests that the simple liberation pericope, below, is the more likely to be historically authentic.... Nothing here about the six higher gnoses, and the first two of the three high knowledges are also absent...

Ven. Ṭhānissaro's Introduction pertaining to the absence of reference to the 4NT in this sutta is also relevant to the absence of reference to the triple knowledge.


The first argument suggests that the Buddha alludes to two events which, since they are found here only in passing, must have been understood by the listeners and therefore those Suttas which have the detailed versions are more likely to be the earlier. Another interpretation, however, is that those episodes were not seen as important at all, and it was only the later hagiographical tradition which, desperate for biographical information, extrapolated and enumerated all manner of embellishments. Now, such embellishment may be wholly or partly factual, incorporating part of a colloquial oral tradition into the recited oral tradition, for example, but this is hardly a clear-cut issue.

The second argument suggests that the absence of the four noble truths does not therefore preclude their having been conveyed at that time, it is simply a matter of the discourse being crafted thematically, so some ill-fitting themes are here left out as they are included elsewhere. This, of course, is possible, but I find the arguments for an early provenance to MN 26 as found in Wynne rather more convincing, especially given that the formulation of the truths as 'noble' is easily shown to be a development (K. R. Norman writes on this) over time, and therefore actually out of place at the first sermon qua "noble". To insist they were present in that form is anachronistic, and lends further weight to the claim that MN 26 is the earlier account while strengthening the claim that such topics as the history of asceticism and the tevijja were originally not seen as comparatively very important.

There's a lot more uncertainty about the particulars, here, than many seem willing to accept.

---

Ñāṇa wrote:Ven. Bodhi, Dhamma Without Rebirth:

[T]o downplay the doctrine of rebirth and explain the entire import of the Dhamma as the amelioration of mental suffering through enhanced self-awareness is to deprive the Dhamma of those wider perspectives from which it derives its full breadth and profundity. By doing so one seriously risks reducing it in the end to little more than a sophisticated ancient system of humanistic psychotherapy.


"the entire import of the Dhamma as the amelioration of mental suffering through enhanced self-awareness" = :strawman: in the context of this thread, so this doesn't apply.

As to Wallace: "To ignore the most compelling evidence of what the Buddha taught and to replace that by assertions that run counter to such evidence is indefensible."

"To ignore" is not what is occurring, "the most compelling evidence" is a subjective assessment, and "replace that by assertions" is not actually going on either, as has been stated ad nauseum.

There is a certain unskillful atheism from the perspective of the Dhamma, this is obviously true; the idea that this atheism encompasses every nuance of view which the term "atheism" can sustain is flatly wrongheaded, and to suggest that any atheism necessarily entails materialism, moral nihilism, and the like is equally incorrect.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby vinasp » Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:58 pm

Hi everyone,

Spontaneous arising.

Opapātika: lit. 'accidental' from upapāta, accident; not from upapatti as PTS Dict. has; 'spontaneously born', i.e. born without the instrumentality of parents. This applies to all divine and infernal beings."After the disappearing of the 5 lower fetters (samyojana q.v.), he (the Anāgāmi) appears in a spiritual world (opapātika)

References:

Maha Thera Nyanatiloka. Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines, Buddhist Publication Society, fourth revised edition 1988.

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:20 pm

Hi nowheat,
nowheat wrote:I understand, very well, why you see it that way. I have yet to lay out the framework that shows what makes it sustainable. Once this paper is published, it will make more sense, at least to those whose minds aren't slammed shut. I find the people on this board to be reasonably open-minded, and so will be interested to see what kind of hearing it gets.

I don't understand why you keep appealing to the authority of something you don't explain.

It would be interesting to hear if you have points to make about dependent origination that have not been explored by teachers and scholars such as Venerables Buddhadassa, Nanavira, and Nanananda, all of whom disagree in various ways with the standard interpretations (though, particularly for Ven Nananda, not so much with rebirth, but with the connection of rebirth with dependent origination).

nowheat wrote:I am thankful for the accurate transmission of the words of the Buddha, but less than thankful for the limitations put on understanding the meaning.

Are you are claiming that these limitations have prevented effective practice over the past 2500 years? To me, that's the important issue.

:anjali:
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby Nyana » Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:25 pm

nowheat wrote:Well, I understand that. It's just human nature. But it's also the point-of-view that never will investigate those lovely and huge volumes of the Buddha's words that we have, so that we can look to see how accurate our understanding is -- fear blocks even the possibility of making an effort; a dogmatic attachment to what we have already learned stands in the way of reading any text any other way.

Well, I can't speak for Ven. Bodhi or Alan Wallace, but from where I'm sitting it has nothing to do with fear or dogma. It has to do with accurately reading the texts. And in this regard the mainstream Buddhist understanding of the texts isn't mistaken, and therefore, isn't in need of correction.
Nyana
 
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