seanpdx wrote:However, with rebirth out of the picture, suicide is not the only viable option to end suffering. Instead of killing myself, I can seek liberation in this very life, as the Buddha taught. Then I will have ended my suffering without ending my life (i.e., suicide). And if, as it turns out, rebirth is real... bonus points for having ended the cycle of rebirth, too.
The whole suicide argument is disingenuous at best. If I didn't care about liberation in this very life, I'd be a jain or something.
So... the suicide argument doesn't work.
- First you say it's not the only viable
Of course I say that. The path the Buddha taught is a viable option, so even if suicide is one viable option, it would not be the only viable option.
- Then you say that you can get enlightened in this very life, saving the need for suicide.
Actually, the Buddha says that you can get enlightened in this very life.
- Finally you say that the suicide argument doesn't work, but no logical reasoning provided for such a conclusion.
The above is the logical reasoning. Even if suicide is a viable option to ending suffering, the Buddha's path to liberation is still a viable option. One that doesn't require suicide. The ridiculous notion that, without rebirth, suicide is the obvious way out of suffering is just... well, ridiculous. Maybe I don't want to commit suicide, but I still want to be free from suffering.
Can anybody actually argue for the necessity of belief in rebirth without resorting to "because that's (my understanding of) what the Buddha taught"?
Well, yes they can - Because thus far you've done nothing to refute either argument, except to say in one way or another that you're keen to get enlightened in this very life.
Great, let's hear it. I've seen no legitimate arguments that belief in rebirth is a necessity.
Furthermore my friend, since you're quite willing to play, then bend the logical fallacy game, here's a hell of an appeal to authority:
Find me a meditation master who has denied literal rebirth. Find me just one who has said: "You know this re-birth business, these 4 stages of sainthood, the multiple suttas which list annihilationism/materialism/agnosticism as a wrong view and the continuity of kamma-vipaka? Well they're wrong, they got it wrong, yep sorry the Buddha actually taught these things as skillful means/he didn't teach these things at all, they were supplanted into the suttas/These things were taught to people who didn't understand the higher truth."
Why? Still wouldn't prove anything either way. An eternity of meditation won't tell anyone what the Buddha himself actually taught, unless you were there listening to the Buddha himself.
As an aside, it's a bit belittling to categorise people in terms of whether they "understand the higher truth" or not in such a context.
Rebirth denial is a modern curiosity, and an understandable product of disillusioned Western agnostics coming across a doctrine that's a little less pushy than all this 'god' business. But open your heart to the possibility of rebirth, a working hypothesis if you must, it's a lot easier than wrangling with all these implausible and inconsistent theories.
Nothing inconsistent here. Nothing with which to wrangle. In fact, I'm not even denying rebirth. I'm merely denying that belief in rebirth is necessary for liberation via the Buddha's teaching. I see the entire question of rebirth as a non-issue. I don't particularly care whether anyone believes in rebirth. I'm not tied to any particular view regarding the truthfulness of rebirth.
Hope you're having a good day Sean, if not may you be well and good, if so may it continue
It'd be going better if I hadn't been woken up by the on-call phone at 4 in the morning. Computers suck.