retrofuturist wrote:In short, let's just say, there is (dependently originated) suffering in this lifetime and that is not the slightest bit proof for a doctrine of future lives.
I am getting the impression that you let your bias about the rebirth issue affect your understanding of dependent origination. So, I am trying to phrase this as carefully as I can.
First, dependent origination is an analysis of samsara. It describes how samsara (conditioned existence) arises and how it is held together. Since conditioned existence is characterised by the three marks, dependent origination is likewise an analysis of dukkha, anatta, and anicca, correct?
Second, dependent origination is circular, connected, and interdependent. This is to say that the twelve nidanas are causally connected and that the last nidana links to the first one, correct? Furthermore, if we delete any single nidana of the twelve nidanas then the connection is broken and the model is compromised, correct?
Third, the eleventh nidana is called jati which means birth. It is the point where kamma comes to fruition. Because dependent origination is circular, birth is synonymous with rebirth, correct?
If you can accept these premises then it follows logically that if you take out jati (the eleventh nidana) and remove it from the model of dependent origination, the model becomes compromised. From this follows that the chain is broken, and that there is no more conditioned existence. And from this follows that there is no dukkha, q.e.d.
In other words: rebirth is a requirement for conditioned existence, and since conditioned existence implies dukkha, rebirth is also a requirement for dukkha.
Was that clear?
retrofuturist wrote:Ontology? Who needs that? No, seriously.
Ontology is just a word that philosophers use to classify certain sets of statements. Dukkha, anicca, anatta are ontological statements. Such words make it easier to communicate, and to know what we are talking about. That's all there is to it.