Is Buddhism anti-thinking?

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Re: Is Buddhism anti-thinking?

Postby Alex123 » Sat Nov 13, 2010 6:26 pm

Hello Laurens,

Just because there are bad people in Buddhist robes, it doesn't mean that all Buddhist monks are bad. According to Buddha's definition, "robes do not make one a bhikkhu", so those people in robes were not even strictly Buddhist.

Just because there was some atheist mass murderer, doesn't mean that all atheist are mass murderers, or that the actions of that guy accurately reflect the philosophy and ethics of atheism. Same with Buddhists.

It is not the screwdriver's fault that someone can use it as a deadly weapon to gouge someone's eyes out.
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Re: Is Buddhism anti-thinking?

Postby Laurens » Sat Nov 13, 2010 6:26 pm

Back on topic:

Has anyone read this piece by Sam Harris?

http://www.samharris.org/media/killing-the-buddha.pdf
"For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."

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Re: Is Buddhism anti-thinking?

Postby Goofaholix » Sat Nov 13, 2010 7:17 pm

Laurens wrote:Back on topic:

Has anyone read this piece by Sam Harris?

http://www.samharris.org/media/killing-the-buddha.pdf


Just did, I can't say I disagreed with any of it.
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Re: Is Buddhism anti-thinking?

Postby 5heaps » Sat Nov 13, 2010 9:30 pm

Ben wrote:
5heaps wrote:basically, such fellows are just really stupid people.

This actually says quite a lot about you 5heaps, and it is not good.
obviously i am fudging the meaning of stupid a little bit. but not too much. a person can be really really really sharp and still be a complete and utter idiot. this is undeniable, do you really not think so?

Laurens wrote:Daniel Dennett for example, is a materialist, and I would defy anyone to call the man stupid.
not in general but in this particular respect hes stupidity personified. hes almost bereft of meaningful thought. he doesnt just say animals have no feelings, he says he has no feelings. he debated Prof. Thurman (famous professor of tibetan buddhist) and came up with because he cant pinpoint the person "Daniel Dennett" then persons do not exist. from an anatta pov, from a spiritual pov (which really means science of mind), hes the lowest of all people. the Buddha advised to avoid such people and to understand how destructive they are (in general. Dennett may be a very nice and very moral).
A Japanese man has been arrested on suspicion of writing a computer virus that destroys and replaces files on a victim PC with manga images of squid, octopuses and sea urchins. Masato Nakatsuji, 27, of Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture, was quoted as telling police: "I wanted to see how much my computer programming skills had improved since the last time I was arrested."
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Re: Is Buddhism anti-thinking?

Postby Laurens » Sat Nov 13, 2010 10:56 pm

5heaps wrote:obviously i am fudging the meaning of stupid a little bit. but not too much. a person can be really really really sharp and still be a complete and utter idiot. this is undeniable, do you really not think so?


No, the words 'idiot' and 'stupid' denote people of low intelligence. You cannot have high intelligence and low intelligence at the same time.

not in general but in this particular respect hes stupidity personified. hes almost bereft of meaningful thought. he doesnt just say animals have no feelings, he says he has no feelings. he debated Prof. Thurman (famous professor of tibetan buddhist) and came up with because he cant pinpoint the person "Daniel Dennett" then persons do not exist. from an anatta pov, from a spiritual pov (which really means science of mind), hes the lowest of all people. the Buddha advised to avoid such people and to understand how destructive they are (in general. Dennett may be a very nice and very moral).


Bereft of meaningful thought? Have you ever read any of his books, like him or not they are filled with meaningful thoughts. The lowest of all people? Since when? Because he holds a different view to you? Even if his opinions completely conflict with yours, don't you think its a bit much to call him the lowest of all people. How do you think he would feel if he read those words?

I can't help but wonder how you view people with whom you have genuine grievances. You seem quite spiteful.
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Re: Is Buddhism anti-thinking?

Postby 5heaps » Sat Nov 13, 2010 11:40 pm

Laurens wrote:I can't help but wonder how you view people with whom you have genuine grievances. You seem quite spiteful.
i am repeating what the Buddha said. better to fall off the cliff of eternalism than the cliff of nihilism.
the words 'idiot' and 'stupid' denote people of low intelligence. You cannot have high intelligence and low intelligence at the same time.
the words have several meanings, not just related to intelligence.

anyway, you can say stupid things and be very sharp. in fact the sharper you are the more idiotic you can make something wrong sound.
its a special type of intelligence. :smile:
A Japanese man has been arrested on suspicion of writing a computer virus that destroys and replaces files on a victim PC with manga images of squid, octopuses and sea urchins. Masato Nakatsuji, 27, of Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture, was quoted as telling police: "I wanted to see how much my computer programming skills had improved since the last time I was arrested."
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Re: Is Buddhism anti-thinking?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Nov 13, 2010 11:47 pm

5heaps wrote:
Laurens wrote:I can't help but wonder how you view people with whom you have genuine grievances. You seem quite spiteful.
i am repeating what the Buddha said. better to fall off the cliff of eternalism than the cliff of nihilism.
Care to give us the actual quote?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
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Re: Is Buddhism anti-thinking?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Sat Nov 13, 2010 11:52 pm

Hi,
I just read a blog essay written by a friend of mine that is related to all this:

Terry Eagleton, New Atheism, and the War on Terror
posted by Joseph Blankholm

It is a response to a talk given by Eagleton which discusses Hitchens, Dawkins, Harris and others too.

The line that stood out most to me was this: "In other words, we have two phenomena, anti-Islam and the politicization of Evangelicals in the United States. ... Harris and Hitchens attempt to align the domestic and foreign enemies under a single criterion: religion."

I wonder if this this is when Buddhism just gets dragged into it all, thrown together under the general rubric of "religion", even though the issues that the "two phenomena" are dealing with are perhaps very far removed from Buddhism in many ways.
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Re: Is Buddhism anti-thinking?

Postby Ben » Sun Nov 14, 2010 12:14 am

Hi Venerable

Its interesting the 'new atheism's' response to Buddhism. There isn't a consistent point of view. I guess Buddhism isn't as such an easy target as fundie christianity or Islam, and so criticisms of Buddhism by Dawkins, Hitchins and Harris seem curiously oblique to Buddhists. Harris actually attended a ten-day course of Vipassana meditation for academics and scientists held at IMS Barre. I remember reading an article he wrote about it and he had some very positive things to say, but he contrastd the positive review of insight practice against Buddhism 'the religion'. In End of Faith he contrasted Islam against the ahimsa ethics of Jaina and Buddhism, but as you know, the focus of End of Faith was clearly Islam and fundamental christianity.
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Re: Is Buddhism anti-thinking?

Postby alan » Mon Nov 15, 2010 2:30 am

Hi Bhante
At least for Harris, he is anti-monotheistic religion, and makes a case for a more rational approach to ordering society. Hard to disagree there--and his indictment of Islam, and the social structure that it currently enables, is cutting.
Worth noting that he is writing to a U.S. audience when he critiques the politicization of religion. (Although It has become a best seller outside the states). Harris seems honestly interested in Buddhism, although it is beyond his thesis.
Hithchens, as is his wont, dismisses it, but not before taking a few misinformed shots.
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Re: Is Buddhism anti-thinking?

Postby clw_uk » Mon Nov 15, 2010 1:58 pm

i am repeating what the Buddha said. better to fall off the cliff of eternalism than the cliff of nihilism.



Actually the Buddha was more warm to the annihlationists than he was to the eternalists
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Re: Is Buddhism anti-thinking?

Postby Hanzze » Mon Nov 15, 2010 2:21 pm

_/\_
Last edited by Hanzze on Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Is Buddhism anti-thinking?

Postby ground » Mon Nov 15, 2010 4:01 pm

Hanzze wrote:I know I am far away from the actual point of the discussion. :-)

Right view - one needs not to think
Right intention - one needs not to think
Right speech - one needs not to think
Right action - one needs not to think
Right livelihood - one needs not to think
Right effort - one needs not to think
Right mindfulness - one needs not to think
Right concentration - one needs not to think


Aha ... so you get all that "right" through not-thinking. Interesting.


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Re: Is Buddhism anti-thinking?

Postby Sanghamitta » Mon Nov 15, 2010 4:11 pm

Hanzze wrote:I know I am far away from the actual point of the discussion. :-)

Right view - one needs not to think
Right intention - one needs not to think
Right speech - one needs not to think
Right action - one needs not to think
Right livelihood - one needs not to think
Right effort - one needs not to think
Right mindfulness - one needs not to think
Right concentration - one needs not to think

At least, yes Buddhism is to reach that point, so it is about anti - thinking.

Mr Hitchens....over here a minute. You just hit paydirt... Here is all the ammunition you need.
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Re: Is Buddhism anti-thinking?

Postby ground » Mon Nov 15, 2010 7:24 pm

You should insert "Right thinking" at the top of the list.


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Re: Is Buddhism anti-thinking?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Nov 15, 2010 7:36 pm

Hanzze wrote:I know I am far away from the actual point of the discussion. :-)

Right view - one needs not to think
Right intention - one needs not to think
Right speech - one needs not to think
Right action - one needs not to think
Right livelihood - one needs not to think
Right effort - one needs not to think
Right mindfulness - one needs not to think
Right concentration - one needs not to think

At least, yes Buddhism is to reach that point, so it is about anti - thinking.
Of course you are joking, making a funny, having a laugh, pulling our legs, laughing up your sleeve, exhibiting a bit of jocularity or some ironical drollery. Oh, the guffaws, the laughter, the giggles and snickers at such wit. It is hilarious.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
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Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: Is Buddhism anti-thinking?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Nov 15, 2010 7:39 pm

clw_uk wrote:
i am repeating what the Buddha said. better to fall off the cliff of eternalism than the cliff of nihilism.



Actually the Buddha was more warm to the annihlationists than he was to the eternalists
Care to back that up with a quote or two?
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: Is Buddhism anti-thinking?

Postby clw_uk » Mon Nov 15, 2010 9:26 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
clw_uk wrote:
i am repeating what the Buddha said. better to fall off the cliff of eternalism than the cliff of nihilism.



Actually the Buddha was more warm to the annihlationists than he was to the eternalists
Care to back that up with a quote or two?




One was his use of the annihilationist view point as a means to cut off the lower fetters


"There the blessed one uttered this inspired utterance: "It might not be, and it might not be for me; it will not be, [and] it will not be for me: resolving thus, a bhikkhu can cut off the lower fetters"

When this was said a certain bhikhhu said to the blessed one: "But how venerable sir, can a bhikkhu resolving this .... cut off the lower fetters?"

Here bhikkhu, the uninstructed worldling .... regards form as self....,... or self as in consciousness. He does not understand as it really is impermanent form as "impermanent form" ... impermanent feeling, ... impermanent perception, .... impermanent volition, ... impermanent consciousness.

He does not understand as it really is painful form as "painful form", ... painful feeling, ... painful perception, .... painful formation, ... painful consciousness.

He does not understand ... selfless form as "selfless form", selfless feeling, selfless perception, selfless formation, selfless consciousness

He does not understand .... conditioned form as "conditioned form", conditioned feeling, conditioned perception, conditioned formation, conditioned consciousness.

"He does not understand as it really is, "Form will be exterminated", ... feeling will be exterminated, .... perception will be exterminated, ...., formation will be exterminated, ... consciousness will be exterminated.


"The instructed noble disciple, bhikkhu,... does not regard form as self, .... or self as in consciousness.

"He understands as it really is, "impermanent form, ... consciousness."

He understands as it really is. " painful form, ... painful consciousness."

He understands as it really is. " selfless form as "selfless form", ... Selfless consciousness"

"He understands as it really is, "conditioned form, ... conditioned consciousness"


He understands as it really is, " form will be exterminated, feeling will be exterminated, perception will be exterminated, formations will be exterminated, consciousness will be exterminated.

"With the extermination of form, feeling, perception, formations and consciousness, that bhikkhu, resolving thus "It might not be, and it might not be for me, it will not be, it will not be for me". can cut off the lower fetters


...but how should one know, how should one see, for immediate destruction of the taints to occur?


Here, bhikkhu, the uninstructed worldling becomes frightened over and unfightening matter. For this is frightening to the uninstructed worldling: "It might not be, and it might not be for me, it will not be, it will not be for me". But the instructed noble disciple does not become frightened ... "It might not be, and it might not be for me, it will not be, it will not be for me"


"Consciousness ... while standing, might stand engaged with form, ... feeling, .... perception, engaged with formations, with a sprinkling of delight, it might come to growth, increase and expansion.

"Bhikkhu, thought someone might say: "Apart from form, feeling, perception, formations, I will make known the coming and going of consciousness, its passing away and birth, its growth, increase, and expansion - that is impossible.

"Bhikkhu, if a bhikkhu has abandoned lust for the form element, with the abandoning of lust the basis is cut off: there is no support for the establishing of consciousness. If he has abandoned lust for feeling element, perception element, formations element, for the consciousness element, with the abandoning of lust the basis is cut off: there is no support for the establishing of consciousness.

"When that consciousness is unestablished, not coming to growth, nongenerative, it is liberated. By being liberated it is steady; by being steady, it is content; by being content, he is not agitated. Being unagitated, he personally attain nibbana. He understands ... no more state of being."





SN page 893/4 Bodhi translation



Bodhis notes say

"AN V 63,28-64 Describes this creed as the highest of outside speculative views"

He then goes onto say the reason being is because of the level of detachment they have.

I would say its due to their less refined sense of Self, which has less grasping when compared to the highly refined sense of Self that the eternalists teach
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Re: Is Buddhism anti-thinking?

Postby Goofaholix » Mon Nov 15, 2010 11:13 pm

tiltbillings wrote:Of course you are joking, making a funny, having a laugh, pulling our legs, laughing up your sleeve, exhibiting a bit of jocularity or some ironical drollery. Oh, the guffaws, the laughter, the giggles and snickers at such wit. It is hilarious.


Right joking - one needs not to think
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Is Buddhism anti-thinking?

Postby Hanzze » Tue Nov 16, 2010 12:26 am

_/\_
Last edited by Hanzze on Thu Jan 13, 2011 4:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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