on the constant debunking of the dhamma on this forum

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Re: on the constant debunking of the dhamma on this forum

Postby SDC » Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:37 pm

tiltbillings wrote:That is, if one likes a Roman Catholic subsumptive approach to the Dhamma that ignores and dismisses any Buddhist counter to what he was saying.


Exactly, and we all got wrapped up in it for those few days. I thought it was fun.
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Re: on the constant debunking of the dhamma on this forum

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:41 pm

SDC wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:That is, if one likes a Roman Catholic subsumptive approach to the Dhamma that ignores and dismisses any Buddhist counter to what he was saying.


Exactly, and we all got wrapped up in it for those few days. I thought it was fun.
And some people might think poking oneself with pointy sticks is fun.
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: on the constant debunking of the dhamma on this forum

Postby SDC » Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:49 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
SDC wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:That is, if one likes a Roman Catholic subsumptive approach to the Dhamma that ignores and dismisses any Buddhist counter to what he was saying.


Exactly, and we all got wrapped up in it for those few days. I thought it was fun.
And some people might think poking oneself with pointy sticks is fun.


:tongue: What's the problem with a little digital masochism here and there?
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Re: on the constant debunking of the dhamma on this forum

Postby Ben » Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:03 am

tiltbillings wrote:
SDC wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:That is, if one likes a Roman Catholic subsumptive approach to the Dhamma that ignores and dismisses any Buddhist counter to what he was saying.


Exactly, and we all got wrapped up in it for those few days. I thought it was fun.
And some people might think poking oneself with pointy sticks is fun.


I did that once.
I was trying to distract myself from something far more painful.
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


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Re: on the constant debunking of the dhamma on this forum

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:14 am

Ben wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:I did that once.
I was trying to distract myself from something far more painful.

It is fun IMO!
my preference is wood as you all may remember?!
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: on the constant debunking of the dhamma on this forum

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:16 am

But may I suggest if some form of warning label is seen as warranted that is is just made part of the terms of service?!
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: on the constant debunking of the dhamma on this forum

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:17 am

Greetings,

[please note: this isn't pointed at anyone in particular...]

If people like a particular discussion, they can read or participate as they wish. If people don't like a particular discussion, they can opt out of it. I've never really understood how that's a problem, or why its worth complaining about... it is simply the nature of the world isn't it?

Not everyone is interested in the same things and not everyone sees things the same way, so it kinda goes without saying that different people will be able to find different positives and negatives in certain discussions. To me, it's actually the act of complaining about the facts that not everyone sees things exactly like us or behaves according to our personal ideals, which is the most unproductive thing of all. It is what it is, and we cannot control the universe, so why place the burden of one's happiness and contentedness at the feet of others? Why say, "I cannot be content unless you change" - when one could just strive to be content! Do not allow the metta recitation of "may I be able to protect my own happiness" to be spoken in vain.

As Ghandi said, "be the change you want to see in the world". To paraphrase some modern Theravada teachers... "If you can fix it, fix it - if you can't, what good comes of worrying about it?". Or as the Buddha said, "Mind is the forerunner of all dhammas"... so stand up and own it yourself - man up (or woman up, as applicable) and be awesome rather than be the victim. You can cover the world in carpet, or you can learn to wear shoes. :thumbsup:

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: on the constant debunking of the dhamma on this forum

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:08 am

Very True, Retro,

It's certainly a good idea to ignore things that one finds or uninteresting or not helpful.

However, it can be difficult to maintain a good discussion when the conversation is interrupted by negative comments. I think that this is behind some of the concerns expressed here and other threads.

:anjali:
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Re: on the constant debunking of the dhamma on this forum

Postby Ben » Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:20 am

SDC wrote: :tongue: What's the problem with a little digital masochism here and there?

The problem is this: If you begin to not only enjoy your digital masochism, but relish it - you'll end up developing self-loathing and the need to disclose your wicked ways to us, most probably on the masturbation thread. And if I have to read another post in those threads my eyes will bleed.
So please, whatever you do with your fingers, please keep it to yourself!
with metta,

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


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Re: on the constant debunking of the dhamma on this forum

Postby SDC » Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:25 am

Ben wrote:
SDC wrote: :tongue: What's the problem with a little digital masochism here and there?

The problem is this: If you begin to not only enjoy your digital masochism, but relish it - you'll end up developing self-loathing and the need to disclose your wicked ways to us, most probably on the masturbation thread. And if I have to read another post in those threads my eyes will bleed.
So please, whatever you do with your fingers, please keep it to yourself!
with metta,

Ben


Jeez, Ben. I thought my sarcasm was pretty blatant. You must've been dying to get that one off your chest!
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Re: on the constant debunking of the dhamma on this forum

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:25 am

SDC wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:That is, if one likes a Roman Catholic subsumptive approach to the Dhamma that ignores and dismisses any Buddhist counter to what he was saying.


Exactly, and we all got wrapped up in it for those few days. I thought it was fun.
Actually, the exchanges with our Catholic visitor (it was a not a dialogue, given that he really refused to meaningfully engage the counter arguments) were very interesting on any number of levels and actually very useful, which can be the case with some of the more difficult exchanges we have here, in that such exchanges can draw out interesting points, challenging one to refine and rethink one's positions on things. One of the things our Catholic visitor did for us was to present just how far the Dhamma can be twisted to fit a point of view that is really not in line with the central tenets of the Buddha's teachings, which is also one of the reasons I opted to challenge his arguments and to see how far he would go with what he was saying. On a personal level, I find it interesting to rise to the challenge of responding to that sort of distortion of the Dhamma. It is a sometime frustrating when the other refuses to actually engage the counter arguments, but that, of course, only serves to undermine what they are saying, and admittedly there is also the pleasure of crafting a carefully reasoned response.

So, a begrudging nod to our Catholic visitor.
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: on the constant debunking of the dhamma on this forum

Postby Ben » Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:28 am

SDC wrote:
Ben wrote:
SDC wrote: :tongue: What's the problem with a little digital masochism here and there?

The problem is this: If you begin to not only enjoy your digital masochism, but relish it - you'll end up developing self-loathing and the need to disclose your wicked ways to us, most probably on the masturbation thread. And if I have to read another post in those threads my eyes will bleed.
So please, whatever you do with your fingers, please keep it to yourself!
with metta,

Ben


Damn, Ben. I thought my sarcasm was pretty blatant. You must've been dying to get that one off your chest!


Its ok SDC, I got your sarcasm, hence my sargasm!
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

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Re: on the constant debunking of the dhamma on this forum

Postby SDC » Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:29 am

Ben wrote:
SDC wrote:Damn, Ben. I thought my sarcasm was pretty blatant. You must've been dying to get that one off your chest!


Its ok SDC, I got your sarcasm, hence my sargasm!


For the win!
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Re: on the constant debunking of the dhamma on this forum

Postby SDC » Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:31 am

tiltbillings wrote:
SDC wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:That is, if one likes a Roman Catholic subsumptive approach to the Dhamma that ignores and dismisses any Buddhist counter to what he was saying.


Exactly, and we all got wrapped up in it for those few days. I thought it was fun.
Actually, the exchanges with our Catholic visitor (it was a not a dialogue, given that he really refused to meaningfully engage the counter arguments) were very interesting on any number of levels and actually very useful, which can be the case with some of the more difficult exchanges we have here, in that such exchanges can draw out interesting points, challenging one to refine and rethink one's positions on things. One of the things our Catholic visitor did for us was to present just how far the Dhamma can be twisted to fit a point of view that is really not in line with the central tenets of the Buddha's teachings, which is also one of the reasons I opted to challenge his arguments and to see how far he would go with what he was saying. On a personal level, I find it interesting to rise to the challenge of responding to that sort of distortion of the Dhamma. It is a sometime frustrating when the other refuses to actually engage the counter arguments, but that, of course, only serves to undermine what they are saying, and admittedly there is also the pleasure of crafting a carefully reasoned response.

So, a begrudging nod to our Catholic visitor.


Very true.
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Re: on the constant debunking of the dhamma on this forum

Postby alan... » Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:22 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

[please note: this isn't pointed at anyone in particular...]

If people like a particular discussion, they can read or participate as they wish. If people don't like a particular discussion, they can opt out of it. I've never really understood how that's a problem, or why its worth complaining about... it is simply the nature of the world isn't it?

Not everyone is interested in the same things and not everyone sees things the same way, so it kinda goes without saying that different people will be able to find different positives and negatives in certain discussions. To me, it's actually the act of complaining about the facts that not everyone sees things exactly like us or behaves according to our personal ideals, which is the most unproductive thing of all. It is what it is, and we cannot control the universe, so why place the burden of one's happiness and contentedness at the feet of others? Why say, "I cannot be content unless you change" - when one could just strive to be content! Do not allow the metta recitation of "may I be able to protect my own happiness" to be spoken in vain.

As Ghandi said, "be the change you want to see in the world". To paraphrase some modern Theravada teachers... "If you can fix it, fix it - if you can't, what good comes of worrying about it?". Or as the Buddha said, "Mind is the forerunner of all dhammas"... so stand up and own it yourself - man up (or woman up, as applicable) and be awesome rather than be the victim. You can cover the world in carpet, or you can learn to wear shoes. :thumbsup:

Metta,
Retro. :)


i believe you're saying that if one doesn't want to learn about how the buddha may not have existed, dhamma written by random people, etc. they can simply not read about it and not talk about it? if so, read on. if that's not what you're saying then the following is totally pointless lol!

people may read about something simply because it's there and it's interesting. if it strongly points to the buddha being myth and what not then that's what they'll think. it may not even be a big drama for them, they may just say "huh, now i know. guess i'll forget this stuff then."

even if it is a big drama, sometimes it's hard to stop reading something that is information you do not want to know and it would be good if there was an even contrast readily available. and then there's many who are simply new to buddhism, know nothing about it and will just read about how it's all probably lost in time and there's strong evidence buddha was myth and suttas are anonymous, shrug, and say "oh well never mind, i thought i heard this stuff was pretty legit but it sounds like every other mythology now." they never would even consider "perhaps i should opt out of this discussion." they don't even worry about the issue as they know so little, then they just read casually with out any deep stake in either side, get an info dump on how it's myth and unknown and write it off.

they may then look quickly to see if there's any obvious refutation of the idea that buddha was a myth, etc. find none, and leave. the arguments on here against the buddha and authorship of the dhamma are very convincing and well written and some kind of obvious counter arguments would be helpful all around. again, without the arguments against, we would be in la la land, and eventually space, they are necessary to keep things grounded. i'm not saying the debunking is wrong by any means. balance is what i'm seeking.

at the very least a faq or written info sheet on how the dhamma does not depend on the buddha or authenticity of the suttas would be useful, i don't think anyone on here would argue with that. one that promotes ideas about his existence and authenticity of the suttas would be another story, i think it's a good idea but i could see debate against it.

many dhamma sites already have this. especially vipassana stuff, frequently i see things stating that anyone can practice regardless of any inclinations toward buddhism. basically they have a little paragraph that sums up something like (obviously playfully paraphrased): it works! it's a method that stands on nothing but it's own ability to reach a goal without any reliance on any figures. it is for literally everyone.
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Re: on the constant debunking of the dhamma on this forum

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:03 am

Greetings Alan...,

This Dhamma Wheel site was founded upon a principle that its membership would be autonomous adults, and that they should be treated as such. This means respecting their rights to hold certain views, to manage their own spiritual lives, to manage their own learning, and to act in their own best interests.

This is in contrast to a site that preceded Dhamma Wheel called E-Sangha - you may have heard of it? At E-Sangha, the management enforced and mandated adherence to particular views, and sought to "protect" newcomers to Buddhism from what it often arbitrarily decided to be Wrong View or "adhamma" merely by virtue of it not conforming to their view of orthodoxy. This resulted in all manner of dedicated Buddhist practitioners, and just good decent people in general, being alienated, bullied, and often banned by the site administrators for little reason other than that their views were in conflict with what the management had deemed orthodox and acceptable.

We don't have any of that Dhamma policing here. The way we go about it is to have different sub-forums for different purposes - much like how in a house you have both a kitchen and a toilet and while each are used for their correct and intended purposes, things will more or less go well. Moderators moderate according to the Terms Of Service and the parameters for each forum. By that means, people can indeed pick and choose what "rooms they enter" based on what is of interest to them personally. When they enter a room, they know what it is about, and what is appropriate in the context of that room - the power to decide what suits their requirements lies with them. If they're a beginner they can go to the Discovering Theravada forum that was mentioned earlier and know that they will be shielded from heterodox views if that is what they feel they need. If they want to know only what the ancient Theravada commentators said the Dhamma, there are special places for that too.

When moderators and administrators challenge the views and perspectives of others in discussion at this forum they do so as fellow forum members only, and not in the capacity of forum staff. Once we step over that line and start to regard ourselves as "teachers", "experts" or "defenders of the Dhamma", problems invariably arise for the very reason that such positioning oversteps the line of respect for the autonomy of fellow members to do, say and believe what they think appropriate, within the bounds of the Terms of Service. We don't need to defend the Dhamma, because we respect the intelligence of members enough that they can sort out for themselves what is right and what is wrong - seriously, who are we to tell them? What makes us so special that we should take it upon ourselves to mandate certain views? This underlying principle of respect for our fellow membership is important as it underpins what makes the culture at this forum probably the most successful I have seen on any Buddhist forum on the Internet. If members aren't treated with respect by those who run the place - they'll sense it and will respond in kind. The respect and the egalitarian spiritual friendship that can naturally arise in the absence of forced respect and hierarchies is invaluable.

That might all sound rather hi-falutin, abstract and disconnected from what you're saying, but once we start taking it upon ourselves to formally define at this site what is and is not Dhamma, or what is and is not Right View, it opens up a veritable Pandora's Box of trouble... one that I strive to avoid at all cost. Speaking for myself, whilst I don't formally moderate or administer this site or Dharma Wheel (i.e. this site's Mahayana equivalent), I do take it upon myself to ensure that the forums continue to be managed in such a way that the founding principles that have made them successful are not compromised. I have seen enough to know that whilst your suggestions are well meaning, it is better to publish Dhamma information on sites dedicated to such a purpose (e.g. Access To Insight, Just Be Good, Buddhanet) and to keep forums focused on their primary function of allowing people to openly and respectfully discuss the Dhamma, without coersion and without the arbitrary censorship of views that are relevant in the forum in which they are spoken.

One site needn't be all things to all people - it just needs to know what its about, where it fits in the broader context, and fulfil its role in the best way it possibly can... and very often that involves giving people the freedom to debunk something traditionally established in the name of the Dhamma, because, who knows... the person challenging orthodoxy might actually be right. People should not grant an intellectual monopoly to anyone, let alone to a forum of netizens they have never met - if they do then more fool them.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: on the constant debunking of the dhamma on this forum

Postby appicchato » Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:41 am

:thumbsup:
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Re: on the constant debunking of the dhamma on this forum

Postby alan... » Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:07 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Alan...,

This Dhamma Wheel site was founded upon a principle that its membership would be autonomous adults, and that they should be treated as such. This means respecting their rights to hold certain views, to manage their own spiritual lives, to manage their own learning, and to act in their own best interests.

This is in contrast to a site that preceded Dhamma Wheel called E-Sangha - you may have heard of it? At E-Sangha, the management enforced and mandated adherence to particular views, and sought to "protect" newcomers to Buddhism from what it often arbitrarily decided to be Wrong View or "adhamma" merely by virtue of it not conforming to their view of orthodoxy. This resulted in all manner of dedicated Buddhist practitioners, and just good decent people in general, being alienated, bullied, and often banned by the site administrators for little reason other than that their views were in conflict with what the management had deemed orthodox and acceptable.

We don't have any of that Dhamma policing here. The way we go about it is to have different sub-forums for different purposes - much like how in a house you have both a kitchen and a toilet and while each are used for their correct and intended purposes, things will more or less go well. Moderators moderate according to the Terms Of Service and the parameters for each forum. By that means, people can indeed pick and choose what "rooms they enter" based on what is of interest to them personally. When they enter a room, they know what it is about, and what is appropriate in the context of that room - the power to decide what suits their requirements lies with them. If they're a beginner they can go to the Discovering Theravada forum that was mentioned earlier and know that they will be shielded from heterodox views if that is what they feel they need. If they want to know only what the ancient Theravada commentators said the Dhamma, there are special places for that too.

When moderators and administrators challenge the views and perspectives of others in discussion at this forum they do so as fellow forum members only, and not in the capacity of forum staff. Once we step over that line and start to regard ourselves as "teachers", "experts" or "defenders of the Dhamma", problems invariably arise for the very reason that such positioning oversteps the line of respect for the autonomy of fellow members to do, say and believe what they think appropriate, within the bounds of the Terms of Service. We don't need to defend the Dhamma, because we respect the intelligence of members enough that they can sort out for themselves what is right and what is wrong - seriously, who are we to tell them? What makes us so special that we should take it upon ourselves to mandate certain views? This underlying principle of respect for our fellow membership is important as it underpins what makes the culture at this forum probably the most successful I have seen on any Buddhist forum on the Internet. If members aren't treated with respect by those who run the place - they'll sense it and will respond in kind. The respect and the egalitarian spiritual friendship that can naturally arise in the absence of forced respect and hierarchies is invaluable.

That might all sound rather hi-falutin, abstract and disconnected from what you're saying, but once we start taking it upon ourselves to formally define at this site what is and is not Dhamma, or what is and is not Right View, it opens up a veritable Pandora's Box of trouble... one that I strive to avoid at all cost. Speaking for myself, whilst I don't formally moderate or administer this site or Dharma Wheel (i.e. this site's Mahayana equivalent), I do take it upon myself to ensure that the forums continue to be managed in such a way that the founding principles that have made them successful are not compromised. I have seen enough to know that whilst your suggestions are well meaning, it is better to publish Dhamma information on sites dedicated to such a purpose (e.g. Access To Insight, Just Be Good, Buddhanet) and to keep forums focused on their primary function of allowing people to openly and respectfully discuss the Dhamma, without coersion and without the arbitrary censorship of views that are relevant in the forum in which they are spoken.

One site needn't be all things to all people - it just needs to know what its about, where it fits in the broader context, and fulfil its role in the best way it possibly can... and very often that involves giving people the freedom to debunk something traditionally established in the name of the Dhamma, because, who knows... the person challenging orthodoxy might actually be right. People should not grant an intellectual monopoly to anyone, let alone to a forum of netizens they have never met - if they do then more fool them.

Metta,
Retro. :)



ah, you're the second person to mention some other forum with strict rules like this about beliefs. so it makes more sense now. again, i'm not saying anyone should be forced to say or do anything differently, as i keep saying: debunking (or whatever) is very necessary, but some kind of balance would be nice. i'm not talking about policing any threads or changing anything at all other than one simple page that lists off ways the dhamma can be used without any belief in buddha or historicity of texts. that and possibly one with positive views about those beliefs but it sounds like this last site was super radical in that department so that's surly going to rub people the wrong way. so that being said, what would a pragmatic kind of statement or forum section hurt anyone? it's actually the opposite of what was going on on the last forum your speaking of: instead of forcing belief, this would be a page or forum section that presents firm practice and results that do not require belief in anything that is not testable and quantifiable here and now. something like: buddhism can be practiced without belief in anything whatsoever, here's how and why...

there is so much debunking going on maybe just keep the ball rolling and discuss dhamma without need for belief in anything that has questionable historical value?
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Re: on the constant debunking of the dhamma on this forum

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:18 am

Greetings Alan...,

alan... wrote:instead of forcing belief, this would be a page or forum section that presents firm practice and results that do not require belief in anything that is not testable and quantifiable here and now. something like: buddhism can be practiced without belief in anything whatsoever, here's how and why...

Yeah, I've already done that...

Buddhism for the Modern Skeptic
http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?tit ... rn_Skeptic

... and deliberately kept it offsite. 8-)

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: on the constant debunking of the dhamma on this forum

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:49 am

retrofuturist wrote:
alan... wrote:instead of forcing belief, this would be a page or forum section that presents firm practice and results that do not require belief in anything that is not testable and quantifiable here and now. something like: buddhism can be practiced without belief in anything whatsoever, here's how and why...

Yeah, I've already done that...

Buddhism for the Modern Skeptic
http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?tit ... rn_Skeptic

... and deliberately kept it offsite. 8-)


:thumbsup: And/or Retro's post above sounds like a good guideline to go by for new members and moderators.

For more info on what happened at e-sangha, see this thread at our sister site:
Why was E-Sangha controversial?
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David N. Snyder
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