the great rebirth debate

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:01 pm

clw_uk wrote:
Isn't "Dependent on intellect & ideas, intellect-consciousness arises...etc.", a view as well?


I would say it's a statement of fact rather than an opinion.


Problem is that science also has "facts" .
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:10 pm

Alex123 wrote:
clw_uk wrote:
Isn't "Dependent on intellect & ideas, intellect-consciousness arises...etc.", a view as well?


I would say it's a statement of fact rather than an opinion.


Problem is that science also has "facts" .




Why Is that a problem?
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:12 pm

clw_uk wrote:Why Is that a problem?


It is a problem when it seems to contradicts certain teachings found in the suttas.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:16 pm

Alex123 wrote:
clw_uk wrote:Why Is that a problem?


It is a problem when it seems to contradicts certain teachings found in the suttas.



Depends how you use and view the suttas ;)


However you have sparked my curiosity, could you give an example?



P.S. Modern science also discredits certain aspects of Epicureanism, which I assume you admire in some way since you have quoted one of its doctrines in your signature.

"Non fui, fui, non sum, non curo"

"I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care"
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:44 pm

clw_uk wrote:Depends how you use and view the suttas ;) However you have sparked my curiosity, could you give an example?


There are number of inconsistencies between what is said in the suttas and modern scientific facts.

Quick example: Sense perception happens in the brain. Not in sense organ. Generally the talk about senses is very obsolete and omits many things that people didn't know at those times.

Color and sound, for example, doesn't exist out there. It is interpretation done by the brain through the data from sense organs. Also some senses are not mentioned, like sense of balance (equilibrium) and sense of proprioception.







clw_uk wrote:P.S. Modern science also discredits certain aspects of Epicureanism, which I assume you admire in some way since you have quoted one of its doctrines in your signature.


Which ones? Obviously physical ideas were also obsolete in his teachings. But, I like the quote.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:57 pm

There are number of inconsistencies between what is said in the suttas and modern scientific facts.

Quick example: Sense perception happens in the brain. Not in sense organ. Generally the talk about senses is very obsolete and omits many things that people didn't know at those times.

Color and sound, for example, doesn't exist out there. It is interpretation done by the brain through the data from sense organs. Also some senses are not mentioned, like sense of balance (equilibrium) and sense of proprioception.



And?

Once again this depends on how you approach the suttas and the Buddha. I can see how it can be a problem if you view the Buddha as an all knowing being, who teaches an over arching theory (like Epicurus).


However I don't see the Buddha in that way, merely as a man who found a way to live without dukkha and taught a system of mental and moral training towards that end. With this view he would have got some things wrong, since he wasn't attempting to build a scientific theory but merely to provide a framework that helps alleviate mental anguish :)



As for Epicureanism, it gets it wrong when it says the world is made solely of atoms and the void. That sour is the result of shard atoms etc although I may have got some of this wrong myself, it's been a while since I've read "De rerum natura"

It's also a speculative metaphysics, denying life after death. It was an attempt to provide an overarching theory of everything, much like Stoicism and Christianity are.


Overarching theories something that the Buddha avoided btw :)
Last edited by clw_uk on Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:59 pm

clw_uk wrote:merely as a man who found a way to live without dukkha and taught a system of mental and moral training towards that end.


I agree with cessation of suffering being the goal.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:01 pm

Alex123 wrote:
clw_uk wrote:merely as a man who found a way to live without dukkha and taught a system of mental and moral training towards that end.


I agree with cessation of suffering being the goal.



And that's all there is to it really


Based on that Buddha would have got certain facts wrong, but it doesn't matter at all and the goal stays the same :)
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:07 pm

Just as a side note


Which ones? Obviously physical ideas were also obsolete in his teachings. But, I like the quote.



In "De rerum natura" Lucretius also locates the sense in the sense organ itself. I think he makes reference to the eye if I remember correctly.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:14 pm

clw_uk wrote:Just as a side note


Which ones? Obviously physical ideas were also obsolete in his teachings. But, I like the quote.



In "De rerum natura" Lucretius also locates the sense in the sense organ itself. I think he makes reference to the eye if I remember correctly.



That is the sad thing that in ancient suttas and VsM, the biology is on the level of knowledge of that time. No enlightenment there.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby daverupa » Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:17 pm

Considering the ayatanas as biological organic function is a fundamental misunderstanding. The point is the experience of the sense, and to this end the six senses are comprehensive spheres of experience, not biology.
    "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: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:22 pm

Alex123 wrote:
clw_uk wrote:Just as a side note


Which ones? Obviously physical ideas were also obsolete in his teachings. But, I like the quote.



In "De rerum natura" Lucretius also locates the sense in the sense organ itself. I think he makes reference to the eye if I remember correctly.



That is the sad thing that in ancient suttas and VsM, the biology is on the level of knowledge of that time. No enlightenment there.



Why is it sad? I have no doubt it was progressive at the time when compared to 3000 B.C.


And once again I don't see the "enlightenment" of Dhamma as meaning omniscience.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Tue Jul 22, 2014 5:59 pm

Hi, clw_uk.

Yes. I have given that reality a lot of thought and wondered how we could still today look upon Sakumuni Buddha as enlightened. The reasoning and notion still lingers. Not quite sure what to do with it so far. But it lingers in my mind.

No doubt twenty-five hundred years from now folks will look at our greatest minds and wonder whey we thought they were so great. I guess it may have to do with "progress and not perfection". :shrug:
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-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Dr. Dukkha » Mon Jul 28, 2014 2:54 am

I've got something to pick your brain a little bit:
http://youtu.be/_FanhvXO9Pk

Sam Harris, a fellow atheist claims that there is no free will because everything we do or think is affected either by stimuli or through circumstances of birth. What do you think? How can there be kamma if we don't have free will. It makes great sense to me, but if anyone can disprove him, I'd love to hear.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby culaavuso » Mon Jul 28, 2014 4:54 am

Dr. Dukkha wrote:How can there be kamma if we don't have free will.


AN 6.38 describes an exchange where a brahman tells the Buddha that he holds a view that effectively denies free will.

Ethics in Buddhist Perspective by K. N. Jayatilleke discusses questions of free will in detail.

Ethics in Buddhist Perspective by K. N. Jayatilleke wrote:As such, the Buddhist theory of causation seems to accept an element of indeterminacy in nature, which, in the case of human actions, manifests itself as the free will of the individual, which is conditioned but not totally determined by the factors that affect it.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Mon Jul 28, 2014 6:29 am

Dr. Dukkha wrote:I've got something to pick your brain a little bit:
http://youtu.be/_FanhvXO9Pk

Sam Harris, a fellow atheist claims that there is no free will because everything we do or think is affected either by stimuli or through circumstances of birth. What do you think? How can there be kamma if we don't have free will. It makes great sense to me, but if anyone can disprove him, I'd love to hear.



The free will question is a vast entanglement of views. However it is more beneficial to have a view of having free will :)


"Of course we have free will, we have no choice" Christopher Hitchens ;)
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby acinteyyo » Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:31 am

daverupa wrote:Considering the ayatanas as biological organic function is a fundamental misunderstanding. The point is the experience of the sense, and to this end the six senses are comprehensive spheres of experience, not biology.

:goodpost:
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Api cāhaṃ, āvuso, imasmiṃyeva byāmamatte kaḷevare, sasaññimhi samanake lokañca paññāpemi lokasamudayañca lokanirodhañca lokanirodhagāminiñca paṭipadan. (AN4.45)

:anjali:
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Rebirth

Postby Nehemia83 » Tue Jul 29, 2014 12:10 am

Hi everyone,

I am pretty new to buddhism so please excuse if the question might be a silly one. I am trying to learn here.

I am currently thinking about rebirth and reincarnation a lot. There is one point I am struggling a little bit with. The goal is to get out of cyclic existence because being caught in it and having to experience birth, ageing, and death endlessly is suffering, right?! But what I am wondering is that I don´t know about my previous lives, so right now I have no idea what happened in my last life or in other previous ones, so I am experiencing this life as it would be my first one. So if I do not have the feeling of being caught in endless rebirths there is no being aware of it. It seems a little bit like being a goldfish. Although he is trapped in a very small glass everytime he turns around everything seems new to him because of his limited memory. If I do not have the feeling of being caught in cyclic existence where is the point of trying to get out of it. Because even if I practice dharma in this life I won´t be aware of it in my next one right?

Thank you very much for your Input!
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Re: Rebirth

Postby culaavuso » Tue Jul 29, 2014 12:34 am

Nehemia83 wrote:The goal is to get out of cyclic existence because being caught in it and having to experience birth, ageing, and death endlessly is suffering, right?!


The goal appears to be the cessation of stress here and now. This cessation of stress seems to entail the cessation of birth, aging, and death.

MN 141: Saccavibhaṅga Sutta wrote:Now what, friends, is the noble truth of stress? Birth is stressful, aging is stressful, death is stressful; sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair are stressful; not getting what is wanted is stressful.
...
And what, friends, is the noble truth of the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress? Just this very noble eightfold path: right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration.


SN 55.30: Licchavi Sutta wrote:The Dhamma is well-expounded by the Blessed One, to be seen here & now, timeless, inviting verification, pertinent, to be realized by the wise for themselves.


SN 22.86: Anurādha Sutta wrote:Both formerly & now, it is only stress that I describe, and the cessation of stress.


Nehemia83 wrote:If I do not have the feeling of being caught in cyclic existence where is the point of trying to get out of it. Because even if I practice dharma in this life I won´t be aware of it in my next one right?


MN 2: Sabbāsava Sutta wrote:This is how he attends inappropriately: 'Was I in the past? Was I not in the past? What was I in the past? How was I in the past? Having been what, what was I in the past? Shall I be in the future? Shall I not be in the future? What shall I be in the future? How shall I be in the future? Having been what, what shall I be in the future?' Or else he is inwardly perplexed about the immediate present: 'Am I? Am I not? What am I? How am I? Where has this being come from? Where is it bound?'
...
He attends appropriately, This is stress... This is the origination of stress... This is the cessation of stress... This is the way leading to the cessation of stress.
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Re: Rebirth

Postby MidGe » Tue Jul 29, 2014 1:14 am

Hello Nehemia83,

To answer your very specific question.

People differ in their abilities. Some, like Mozart was for instance, are really prodigy at composing music. These differences in abilities are attributed to activities in past lives. You probably also have "natural" abilities or ease in certain activities that might be difficult for some others. So, also, there is a lengthy and gradual accumulation of wisdom due to practice and study, that ultimately conditions, or act as circumstances, for the realisation of nibbana and the end of suffering for that stream of consciousness that is perceived as "I".

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