the great rebirth debate

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Aloka » Wed May 12, 2010 8:10 am

PeterB wrote:
Pannapetar wrote:
PeterB wrote:What happens post mortem is at the moment not my concern. I have quite enough to be getting on with.


Excuses, excuses, excuses... Of course some people have developed the skill of a magician when explaining away the obvious.

However, we all have to come to terms with death. I suggest to start now.

Cheers, Thomas

As Thomas, I have an inoperable tumour which is likely to shorten my life, I have a lot of motivation to contemplate death on a daily basis. Just as i have all my adult life.
:anjali:



Me too, Peter, I have an inoperable tumour in my spinal chord. I've known about it for several years ....but no paralysis so far, so life is good . If I try to practice Buddha Dhamma right now, why worry about rebirth and miss out on the freshness of the present ! :)



:hug:


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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby PeterB » Wed May 12, 2010 8:18 am

:hug:

I would rather not have it..I would love to see my greatgrandchildren. But I have the privilege of knowing my grandchildren.
And it a wonderful Dhamma teacher..
The poet Christopher Fry wrote " events become soul-sized ". If we interpret "soul" in amore Buddhist way it has real resonance for me.

Anyway I am outa this thread ! :lol:
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Shonin » Wed May 12, 2010 8:36 am

PeterB wrote:I have done what I vowed never to do again..I have been drawn into another bloody Rebirth debate !!!!


Me too!

The Great Vow:
Rebirth debates, no matter how numerous, I vow to ignore them all
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Aloka » Wed May 12, 2010 8:56 am

Shonin wrote:
PeterB wrote:I have done what I vowed never to do again..I have been drawn into another bloody Rebirth debate !!!!


Me too!

The Great Vow:
Rebirth debates, no matter how numerous, I vow to ignore them all



:toast:


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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby retrofuturist » Wed May 12, 2010 9:11 am

Greetings Pannapetar,

Pannapetar wrote:I am getting the impression that you let your bias about the rebirth issue affect your understanding of dependent origination.


:rofl:

What bias is that, then?

First, dependent origination is an analysis of samsara.

Find me a sutta that says that.

I'll find one that says this...

SN 12.15: Kaccayanagotta Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications. From fabrications as a requisite condition comes consciousness. From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form. From name-&-form as a requisite condition come the six sense media. From the six sense media as a requisite condition comes contact. From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling. From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving. From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance. From clinging/sustenance as a requisite condition comes becoming. From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth. From birth as a requisite condition, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair come into play. Such is the origination of this entire mass of stress & suffering.


Pannapetar wrote:It describes how samsara (conditioned existence) arises and how it is held together.

You are objectifying "samsara (conditioned existence)" as something objective rather than seeing it as something based on your ignorance which causes you to suffer. Whilst you study it "from afar" you will not understand.

Pannapetar wrote:Since conditioned existence is characterised by the three marks, dependent origination is likewise an analysis of dukkha, anatta, and anicca, correct?

Correct.

Pannapetar wrote:Second, dependent origination is circular

Wrong - show me a sutta that says dukkha is a condition for ignorance.

Pannapetar wrote:[DO is...] 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?

No. Wrong.

Pannapetar wrote:Furthermore, if we delete any single nidana of the twelve nidanas then the connection is broken and the model is compromised, correct?

You've already compromised it so much it's hard to answer your question.

Pannapetar wrote: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?

Wrong. Do you think kamma only comes to fruition in the next life?

Pannapetar wrote:If you can accept these premises then it follows logically....

Well, it goes without saying I don't.

Pannapetar wrote:In other words: rebirth is a requirement for conditioned existence

Sorry, I don't mean to laugh... but it's hard not to. You're so adamant you're right when you're so far off the mark, yet you're trying to turn it around to suggest you're right, and anyone else who doesn't fanatically chant rebirth from the rafters is some kind of heretic.

Pannapetar wrote:and since conditioned existence implies dukkha, rebirth is also a requirement for dukkha.

:toilet:

Pannapetar wrote:Was that clear?

As mud.

I'm sorry Pannapetar... I cannot in good faith continue this discussion with you as your understanding of dependent origination, suffering and the whole point of the Dhamma is so totally removed from my own understanding that there is no point in continuing any form of dialogue.

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: the great rebirth debate

Postby Pannapetar » Wed May 12, 2010 9:39 am

Cheers Retro,

I'll briefly address your objections. (1) The point about ojectification is irrelevant. (2) Dependent origination is circular, but my argument does not even require causal circularity. Interdependence is sufficient, because interdependence implies that if you remove any of the links the model is compromised and dependent origination is broken. (3) Kamma comes to fruition at any time. This life, next life, another life. The point of birth is one such point and a distinctly marked one. (4) All nidanas are required for samsara to arise.

None of your objections are valid.

You cannot remove rebirth from dependent origination while keeping the cycle intact. Without rebirth no dependent origination. Without dependent origination no conditioned existence. Without conditioned existence no suffering. It is actually quite simple.

Cheers, Thomas
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby retrofuturist » Wed May 12, 2010 9:42 am

Greetings Thomas,

I acknowledge reading your post, but have nothing to say on it for the reasons stated above.

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: the great rebirth debate

Postby Pannapetar » Wed May 12, 2010 9:56 am

retrofuturist wrote:I acknowledge reading your post, but have nothing to say on it for the reasons stated above.


You are an intelligent person with many good qualities. Yet you contradict yourself to the last. You just informed me that you would not read my posts any longer and then you say that you read my post. :thinking:

It would serve you to know when you have lost an argument.

Never mind. Please choose as you like. I will certainly continue reading your contributions, as they are often insightful.

Cheers, Thomas
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Aloka » Wed May 12, 2010 10:38 am

Thomas,

There is no winning and losing in the Dhamma.

This reading material might be helpful for you.

At the first link I suggest you look at CH 5 'Other Interpretations' where an example of Dependent Origination in everyday life is given.

http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books3/Payutto_Bhikkhu_Dependent_Origination.htm

You might also like to read this:

http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books6/Bhikkhu_Buddhadasa_Paticcasamuppada.htm

This:

http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books7/Buddhadasa_Bhikkhu_Anatta_and_Rebirth.pdf

and this:

http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books6/Buddhadasa_Bhikkhu_ABC_of_Buddhism.pdf




:)
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Pannapetar » Wed May 12, 2010 11:01 am

Aloka wrote:There is no winning and losing in the Dhamma.


Quite right. But your empirical (not-)self can still engage in imaginary winning and losing. :tongue:

Aloka wrote:At the first link I suggest you look at CH 5 'Other Interpretations' where an example of Dependent Origination in everyday life is given.


Just to prevent misunderstandings, I should mention that I am aware of alternative interpretations, the momentary arising of the nidanas, and so on, but I also think that these are compatible with the conventional interpretation. Dependent origination is a universal principle and it works on different levels. In my understanding, the definition of a human lifetime as for the purpose of the illustration of dependent origination is a purposeful though ultimately arbitrary choice.

http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books3/Payutto_Bhikkhu_Dependent_Origination.htm

Thank you, Aloka, I'm much obliged. This looks like a valuable resource. I have still an incomplete essay about dependent origination somewhere in my drawers. Hence, I am always looking for good material on the topic. This seems like one.

Cheers, Thomas
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Aloka » Wed May 12, 2010 1:42 pm

Pannapetar wrote:. In my understanding, the definition of a human lifetime as for the purpose of the illustration of dependent origination is a purposeful though ultimately arbitrary choice.



Why ? How is it arbitrary ?




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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Wed May 12, 2010 6:11 pm

Question to rebirth sceptics/agnostics.


Do you agree that Pali Canon does teaches existence of other (non-human, non-animal) realms ?
Do you agree that Pali Canon does teaches literal rebirth?


If not, how do you explain various suttas that talk about those?


http://metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pitaka/ ... ita-e.html
http://metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pitaka/ ... uta-e.html


There were many occasions where the Buddha met Devas. In this case it is reunion with a former friend with whom they were together in Buddha Kassapa's dispensation.

“In the past I was the potter, Ghatikåra in Vehalinga. I supported my mother and father then As a lay follower of the Buddha Kassapa.
...I was your fellow villager,"
SN Devatå-samyutta 1.50 (10) Ghatikara
BB Trans.




“Here, friend, as I was coming down from Mount Vulture Peak, I saw a skeleton moving through the air. Vultures, crows, and hawks, pursuing it here and there, were pecking at it between the ribs, stabbing it, and tearing it apart while it uttered cries of pain. It occurred to me: ‘It is wonderful, indeed! It is amazing, indeed! That there could be such a being, that there could be such a spirit, that could be such a form of individual existence!

Then the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus thus: “Bhikkhus, there are disciples who dwell having become vision, disciples who dwell having become knowledge, in that a disciple can know, see, and witness such a sight. In the past, bhikkhus, I too saw that being , but I did not speak about it. For if I had spoken about it, others would not have believed me, and if they would not have believed me that would have led to their harm and suffering for a long time.

“That being, bhikkhus, used to be a cattle butcher in this same Råjagaha. Having been tormented in hell for many years, for many hundreds of years, for many thousands of years, for many hundreds of thousands of years as a result of that kamma, as a residual
result of that same kamma he is experiencing such a form of individual existence.”&
SN19.1 - BB trans
"dust to dust...."
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby PeterB » Wed May 12, 2010 6:52 pm

Alex123 wrote:Question to rebirth sceptics/agnostics.


Do you agree that Pali Canon does teaches existence of other (non-human, non-animal) realms ?
Do you agree that Pali Canon does teaches literal rebirth?


If not, how do you explain various suttas that talk about those?


http://metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pitaka/ ... ita-e.html
http://metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pitaka/ ... uta-e.html


There were many occasions where the Buddha met Devas. In this case it is reunion with a former friend with whom they were together in Buddha Kassapa's dispensation.

“In the past I was the potter, Ghatikåra in Vehalinga. I supported my mother and father then As a lay follower of the Buddha Kassapa.
...I was your fellow villager,"
SN Devatå-samyutta 1.50 (10) Ghatikara
BB Trans.




“Here, friend, as I was coming down from Mount Vulture Peak, I saw a skeleton moving through the air. Vultures, crows, and hawks, pursuing it here and there, were pecking at it between the ribs, stabbing it, and tearing it apart while it uttered cries of pain. It occurred to me: ‘It is wonderful, indeed! It is amazing, indeed! That there could be such a being, that there could be such a spirit, that could be such a form of individual existence!

Then the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus thus: “Bhikkhus, there are disciples who dwell having become vision, disciples who dwell having become knowledge, in that a disciple can know, see, and witness such a sight. In the past, bhikkhus, I too saw that being , but I did not speak about it. For if I had spoken about it, others would not have believed me, and if they would not have believed me that would have led to their harm and suffering for a long time.

“That being, bhikkhus, used to be a cattle butcher in this same Råjagaha. Having been tormented in hell for many years, for many hundreds of years, for many thousands of years, for many hundreds of thousands of years as a result of that kamma, as a residual
result of that same kamma he is experiencing such a form of individual existence.”&
SN19.1 - BB trans

And if Alex people agree or if they disagree what difference does it make to you and to your practice ?
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Pannapetar » Thu May 13, 2010 3:37 am

PeterB wrote:And if Alex people agree or if they disagree what difference does it make to you and to your practice ?


Greetings Peter,

For someone who has vowed twice to stay out of the rebirth debate, you do post a lot. :lol:

Many people view philosophical debate as a waste of time. Some Buddhists might be especially dismissive because of the warnings against speculation in the Buddhist teaching. While these warnings are justified, one must consider that Buddhism is among -other things- a philosophy and that it is therefore important to clarify philosophical issues. This falls into the category "right view". The Tibetans even have a monastic tradition of debating, where one-on-one and panel debate are practiced as a part of the novice training.

Why is this important? Because our collective understanding is always greater than our individual understanding. Debate has the potential to uncover new ways of looking at things, and to expose problems and flaws with certain points of view, both of which increase individual understanding. Personally, I find that debate is integral to dhamma practice, and that it enhances right view, right intention, right speech, and right mindfulness. Therefore it does make a difference to one's practice.

Cheers, Thomas
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Aloka » Thu May 13, 2010 7:07 am

Why is this important? Because our collective understanding is always greater than our individual understanding. Debate has the potential to uncover new ways of looking at things, and to expose problems and flaws with certain points of view, both of which increase individual understanding. Personally, I find that debate is integral to dhamma practice, and that it enhances right view, right intention, right speech, and right mindfulness. Therefore it does make a difference to one's practice.



It depends on the quality of the debate and the level of understanding of the people debating though, does it not?

Why is this important ? Because If several prejudiced and arrogant people with limited understanding are waffling away about something ,then all that is being uncovered is just that the blind are leading the blind. The difference this makes to ones practice is simply that one should not be taking it too seriously !

:D
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Pannapetar » Thu May 13, 2010 8:17 am

Aloka wrote:It depends on the quality of the debate and the level of understanding of the people debating though, does it not?


It depends on the perceptiveness of the participants, not necessarily on their understanding, and probably not on the "quality of debate" which is highly subjective, unless you mean that participants are addressing arguments in a constructive and logical fashion. Levels of understanding differ. Whether understanding is raised from level 0 to level 1 or from level 9 to to 10, the result is in both cases an increase of 1. Arrogance is certainly a problem, because it prevents perception of alternative points of view.

Cheers, Thomas
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Sanghamitta » Thu May 13, 2010 3:39 pm

Pannapetar wrote:
Aloka wrote:It depends on the quality of the debate and the level of understanding of the people debating though, does it not?


It depends on the perceptiveness of the participants, not necessarily on their understanding, and probably not on the "quality of debate" which is highly subjective, unless you mean that participants are addressing arguments in a constructive and logical fashion. Levels of understanding differ. Whether understanding is raised from level 0 to level 1 or from level 9 to to 10, the result is in both cases an increase of 1. Arrogance is certainly a problem, because it prevents perception of alternative points of view.

Cheers, Thomas

Arrogance certainly is.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Wed May 26, 2010 4:35 pm

Hello all,


Do you accept that kusala/akusala or vipaka citta is conditioned at least in part by prior cittas?

If so, then the first citta in a newborn (or fetus) is dependent on prior cittas. Thus there is rebirth. Cittas don't appear for not cause.

If you accept causeless kusala/akusala/vipaka cittas, then it would make no sense to develop ethical (or unethical) qualities as they would not need to affect future cittas.
"dust to dust...."
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby PeterB » Wed May 26, 2010 4:52 pm

It makes perfect sense to develop ethical qualities because they are their own reward.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby PeterB » Wed May 26, 2010 5:01 pm

Blast ! I Have just rememberd my vow not to take part in Rebirth debates..
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