Buddhist response to Western ontology

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Re: Buddhist response to Western ontology

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:34 am

contemplans wrote:Often these arguments are things like “Omnipotence and omniscience are impossible to have, because if God knows in advance what He’s going to do, He can’t do anything else!”
Which is a silly argument, but an unsilly argument would be that I cannot do anything other than what god already knows, by the virtue of its creation, I am going to do.

    a] Since god is an absolute, god is beyond the created, temporal conceptions and relative considerations of time. The notions of past, present, and future would have no limiting bearing on god; otherwise god could not be omniscient or omnipotent.

    b] Since god is an absolute with absolute knowledge and is not limited by the concept of time, there is nothing past, present and future that is not fully known by god as an "eternal nowness" -- omniscience cannot mean anything less.

    c] Since god is an absolute with absolute power, there is no action beyond god's purview, except that limitation of being all-good. God cannot do evil.

    d] Since there can be "no creature without a Creator," all that is, is because god allows it to be, setting in motion its existence. Being absolute, with no limitation except being unable to do evil, god could also not allow something to be.

    e] The physical world is god's creation. Its handiwork is not only the blue sky and the majestic mountain, but also the TB bacillus, AIDS virus, the earthquake, and any other natural phenomenon one cares to point to.

    f] Since god is omniscient there can be no question that not only does god know the results of a process that god has absolute atemporal knowledge of and absolute control over, but what is, is because god wanted it to be as it is, and what is, is what is in what we call past, present and future, is fully known to god.

    g] We can grant that god may have not created the TB bacillus or AIDS virus directly, but given omniscience and omnipotence, it is a necessary argument that god, setting into motion the processes of nature that would give rise to the TB bacillus and the AIDS virus, that god had full atemporal knowledge of AND control of the results of god's creation ("Whatever happens is His will”) --- the AIDS virus, the TB bacillus.

    h] Being omnipotent there is no question that god could have done otherwise, since god is without limit.

    i] If I were to build a dam, knowing even before it was being built that it would fail due to its design, then I would be held legally and morally responsible for the damage, suffering, and death caused by the dam's failure, and my failure to get the downstream inhabitants to safety.

    j] Occurrences of natural disasters, disease and other natural phenomena that cause suffering can be seen as following from god's design. God is, therefore, liable for the suffering caused by god's design. This is particularly the case since god has absolute control over god's creation and god knows absolutely that a natural disaster, part of the process god set in motion, is going to happen -- killing and causing suffering. Since god is omniscient there can be no question that not only does god know the results of a process that god has absolute atemporal knowledge of and absolute control over, but what is, is because god wanted it to be as it is, and what is, is what is in what we call past, present and future, is fully known to god. So much for natural phenomenon.

    k] Since god is all-good what god wills is all-good.

    l] Human freedom of will to be meaningful must mean freedom to act contrary to god's will; otherwise, we would be just automata following the programming set for us -- god's will.

    m] Since god's will is the Good, action contrary to god's will is absence of the Good, that which can be called evil.

    n] The ability the choose -- the will not to choose the Good -- is god's creation.

    o] As a creation, will is something that god would have absolute knowledge of and control of, for there is no question that an atemporal god who is capable of absolute knowledge will have absolute knowledge of what choices humans will make. Even before the rise of life (creation) god knew with absolute certainty that Hitler would arise and do his great absence of Good -- omniscience demands no less.

    p] It is possible to conceive that Hitler could have acted differently, but the fact is he didn't, and given the absolute atemporal knowledge of god, there is no question that god could not have known that the human nature god set into motion could not but given arise to Hitler and the Holocaust.

    q] Human nature being god's creation is god's responsibility, since god knew even before he set any creation in motion how human nature would unfold -- that is, it would do evil, Hitler would arise.

    r] Therefore: "God, as the Creator of all things ['Whatever happens
    is His will'], is the creator of evil through man as His Instrument, as creator of man's will to do evil."

    s] If I were to make a robot that was capable of making free choices and one of those choices was to kill, it would be hard not to hold me responsible for a death committed by that robot. If I knew without question that it would kill and I set it loose anyway, it would be no different from my killing directly, and there would be no way I could absolve myself from responsibility.

    t] Whatever is evil that is to be done by humans, it IS known by god -- omnipotent, omniscient -- and it IS the result the nature of the creation god set in motion. God, therefore, is responsible for the evil done by god's creations. Since god is omniscient there can be no question that not only does god know the results of a process that god has absolute atemporal knowledge of and absolute control over, but what is, is because god wanted it to be as it is, and what is, is what is in what we call past, present and future, is fully known to god.

    u] If humans' have free will, then god is not all-good, or god lacks omnipotence or omniscience. Or if god is omniscient and omnipotent, humans lack free will.

    v] God, being omniscient, knows as an eternal truth each choice, each action, that each human will decide; how then can we say that we have a choice to act contrary to how god knows we are going to act? To act contrary would imply god is ignorant, not omniscient. How can we say we have free will when we cannot act other than how god knows we are going to act, which is to say to act according to how god created us?

    w] If god has chosen to limit the absoluteness of god's being in someway, there is still no absolution from responsibility.

    x] Through the creation of natural phenomena and through the creation of human nature, god, who has absolute atemporal knowledge and power, IS responsible for the pain and evil that arise from these creations.

    y] As r] states god is the creator of evil, which is in direct contradiction to the notion that god is all good. We have then a major incoherence: the evil creating nature of god and god being all good. God is a self-contradictory notion. And as we see in v] the notion of free will falls prey equally to the problematics of omniscience and omnipotence.
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Re: Buddhist response to Western ontology

Postby ancientbuddhism » Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:52 am

tiltbillings wrote:Which is a silly argument, but an unsilly argument would be that I cannot do anything other than what god already knows, by the virtue of its creation, I am going to do.


Proving a Negative by Richard Carrier
Fingers walk the darkness down
Mind is on the midnight
Gather up the gold you've found
You fool, it's only moonlight.
If you try to take it home
Your hands will turn to butter
You better leave this dream alone
Try to find another. – Townes Van Zandt ‘Lungs’

Secure your own mask before assisting others. – NORTHWEST AIRLINES (Pre-Flight Instruction)

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Re: Buddhist response to Western ontology

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:00 am

ancientbuddhism wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Which is a silly argument, but an unsilly argument would be that I cannot do anything other than what god already knows, by the virtue of its creation, I am going to do.


Proving a Negative by Richard Carrier

Huh? Image
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.

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Re: Buddhist response to Western ontology

Postby Kim OHara » Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:46 am

tiltbillings wrote:
contemplans wrote:Often these arguments are things like “Omnipotence and omniscience are impossible to have, because if God knows in advance what He’s going to do, He can’t do anything else!”
Which is a silly argument, but an unsilly argument would be that I cannot do anything other than what god already knows, by the virtue of its creation, I am going to do.

[list][b]a] Since god is an absolute, god is beyond the created, temporal conceptions and relative considerations of time. The notions of past, present, and future would have no limiting bearing on god; otherwise god could not be omniscient or omnipotent.

b] Since god is an absolute with absolute knowledge and is not limited by the concept of time, there is nothing past, present and future that is not fully known by god as an "eternal nowness" -- omniscience cannot mean anything less.

You can stop right there, Tilt, and short-circuit all the rest with:
{c'] If God therefore knows everything that is going to happen in our future, our future is already completely determined and we have no free will.
[d'] None of our actions, therefore are virtuous or evil. None of our actions change what is already written in God's heart.
[e'] God is therefore stupid or grossly unjust to punish or reward us for our actions.
[f''] He's gonna do it anyway (it is foreordained, remember) or [f''] He never was gonna do it (it is foreordained, remember).
[g] Summing up c, d, e, f' and f'' : God's preferences are irrelevant. It's all gonna happen anyway. And, by the way, God has no free will either.

:shrug:
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Re: Buddhist response to Western ontology

Postby Otsom » Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:19 pm

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Last edited by Otsom on Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:52 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Buddhist response to Western ontology

Postby Coyote » Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:22 pm

Didn't expect so many replies in such a short time, thanks everyone!

Goofaholix wrote:
Coyote wrote:1. Being exists
2. God is the source of being, is being and existance itself
3. Existance needs a source or foundation
4. Since Being exists, needs a source, and God is that source (substitute God here for Ground of being, first cause, Brahman ect), God therefore is self-evident and exists.


Seems like a reasonable line of reasoniong until you get to "God is that source". Who gets to decide that God is that source? Why not be open to the possibility that Coca Cola is that source? or something else for example? Then if we do decide God is that source who gets to decide what God is like?


While it makes sense to critique the idea that this "source" needs to be God as we understand it, in much of the "higher" philosophy of these ideas, "God" is just a label for the source of existance, independant of any revealed ideas or even other logical proofs. This philsopher-God is only the same God as the Christian one (for example) because it has been revealed to be so.

Kim O'Hara wrote:
You can stop right there, Tilt, and short-circuit all the rest with:
{c'] If God therefore knows everything that is going to happen in our future, our future is already completely determined and we have no free will.
[d'] None of our actions, therefore are virtuous or evil. None of our actions change what is already written in God's heart.
[e'] God is therefore stupid or grossly unjust to punish or reward us for our actions.
[f''] He's gonna do it anyway (it is foreordained, remember) or [f''] He never was gonna do it (it is foreordained, remember).
[g] Summing up c, d, e, f' and f'' : God's preferences are irrelevant. It's all gonna happen anyway. And, by the way, God has no free will either.

:shrug:
Kim


Surely there is a difference between knowing and making? God has given us free will, and knows what we will do before we do it, not because he already knows it, but because we have chosen it. God knows I will do a) because I have chosen to do a), not the other way around.
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Re: Buddhist response to Western ontology

Postby ancientbuddhism » Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:34 pm

tiltbillings wrote:Huh?


Carrier gives similar reductio ad absurdum argumentation toward the end of his paper.
Fingers walk the darkness down
Mind is on the midnight
Gather up the gold you've found
You fool, it's only moonlight.
If you try to take it home
Your hands will turn to butter
You better leave this dream alone
Try to find another. – Townes Van Zandt ‘Lungs’

Secure your own mask before assisting others. – NORTHWEST AIRLINES (Pre-Flight Instruction)

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Re: Buddhist response to Western ontology

Postby Kim OHara » Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:44 pm

Coyote wrote:
Kim O'Hara wrote:
You can stop right there, Tilt, and short-circuit all the rest with:
{c'] If God therefore knows everything that is going to happen in our future, our future is already completely determined and we have no free will.
[d'] None of our actions, therefore are virtuous or evil. None of our actions change what is already written in God's heart.
[e'] God is therefore stupid or grossly unjust to punish or reward us for our actions.
[f''] He's gonna do it anyway (it is foreordained, remember) or [f''] He never was gonna do it (it is foreordained, remember).
[g] Summing up c, d, e, f' and f'' : God's preferences are irrelevant. It's all gonna happen anyway. And, by the way, God has no free will either.

:shrug:
Kim


Surely there is a difference between knowing and making? God has given us free will, and knows what we will do before we do it, not because he already knows it, but because we have chosen it. God knows I will do a) because I have chosen to do a), not the other way around.

Hi, coyote, and welcome back ... yeah, things have been happening while you weren't looking :tongue:
As for your question: If God - or anyone/anything - already knows everything that will happen in the future there is no free will: what we are going to do was written in stone in the first instant that the omniscient entity existed, or it can't have been known. Saying that God has given us free will is therefore meaningless - we are free to do exactly what he knows we will do, and we are not free to do anything else. If we have no free will, we can't make choices - however much we might feel we are free to make choices. God knows I will do (a) because I have been going to do (a) for the last eon or so.
Okay, it is (just) possible that our (hypothetical) God is omniscient but not omnipotent. In that case he didn't 'make' us do (a), but we still have no choice and still deserve no blame or praise for the choice.
But if he is omnipotent as well as omniscient, then yes, he 'made' me do it in that he set up the circumstances (starting with 'Let there be light,' if you like) in which I would be born, learn certain stuff and encounter the situation in which I did it.

:coffee:
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Re: Buddhist response to Western ontology

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:52 pm

ancientbuddhism wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Huh?


Carrier gives similar reductio ad absurdum argumentation toward the end of his paper.
Got it.Thanks. I was not able to read the article earlier.
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.

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Re: Buddhist response to Western ontology

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:54 pm

Coyote wrote:Surely there is a difference between knowing and making? God has given us free will, and knows what we will do before we do it, not because he already knows it, but because we have chosen it. God knows I will do a) because I have chosen to do a), not the other way around.
Read through my alphabet soup above.
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: Buddhist response to Western ontology

Postby ancientbuddhism » Tue Feb 07, 2012 2:38 pm

Anyone with just a little walking around sense can point out the logical fallacies of theism and other ontological claims; even more so did the Buddha sweep past mere dialectics with his teaching of empirical reasoning and investigation. Is it then curious at all that this auto-soteriological command of the obvious would eventually assimilate the Buddhist elephant in the room of rebirth?
Fingers walk the darkness down
Mind is on the midnight
Gather up the gold you've found
You fool, it's only moonlight.
If you try to take it home
Your hands will turn to butter
You better leave this dream alone
Try to find another. – Townes Van Zandt ‘Lungs’

Secure your own mask before assisting others. – NORTHWEST AIRLINES (Pre-Flight Instruction)

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Re: Buddhist response to Western ontology

Postby contemplans » Tue Feb 07, 2012 2:53 pm

c] Since god is an absolute with absolute power, there is no action beyond god's purview, except that limitation of being all-good. God cannot do evil.


Evil is a privation. Strictly speaking evil is not done, but is an imperfection of a good done. Buddhism implicitly supports this notion by favoring skillful actions over unskillful actions, and Nibbana as a goal over samsara with its dukkha. If you don't agree, then just wonder why Mara, the personification of those negative qualities, is just a conditioned being, whereas Nibbana, the perfect positive state, is unconditioned.

d] Since there can be "no creature without a Creator," all that is, is because god allows it to be, setting in motion its existence. Being absolute, with no limitation except being unable to do evil, god could also not allow something to be.


God is not limited in any way. If we accept the statement "being unable to do evil", then we are limiting him. In fact, the answer is that evil has not independent existence. People who attribute evil to God tend to believe that evil is something in itself. It is an absence, negation, defect, or privation. Again I point to the Buddha's teachings which implicitly support this is such notions as peace, light, good, skillful, goodwill, truth, harmlessness, etc. These are all goods, not defects or privations. You may see that they are considered goods because they comport with our being. These goods are desirable, and are in some manner a goal in themselves. Evils detract from good, and never are sought in themselves. Thy signify absence of being, form, or nature. That's why the Buddha takes as a starting position that all beings desire happiness.

e] The physical world is god's creation. Its handiwork is not only the blue sky and the majestic mountain, but also the TB bacillus, AIDS virus, the earthquake, and any other natural phenomenon one cares to point to.


Or they are past karma. Either way you need to justify their existence through faith, or just hard and cold materialism.

f] Since god is omniscient there can be no question that not only does god know the results of a process that god has absolute atemporal knowledge of and absolute control over, but what is, is because god wanted it to be as it is, and what is, is what is in what we call past, present and future, is fully known to god.
g] We can grant that god may have not created the TB bacillus or AIDS virus directly, but given omniscience and omnipotence, it is a necessary argument that god, setting into motion the processes of nature that would give rise to the TB bacillus and the AIDS virus, that god had full atemporal knowledge of AND control of the results of god's creation ("Whatever happens is His will”) --- the AIDS virus, the TB bacillus.


In theology there is a distinction between what God wills directly, and what God permits for some reason. Christianity teaches freewill. In that, such a choice as someone killing someone else is not directly willed by God, but is permitted in His creation because He wished this to be a moral universe, in which humans would be given freedom to shape their experiences. That's getting into faith, but we can see parallels in human relations, parents to children.

Evil has neither a formal not a final cause, and its material cause is accidental, that is, that what is willed always is a good and evil is only caused accidently. This is clear even in Buddhist teachings in which the Buddha says that all beings desire their happiness. Therefore evil is not a positive reality, but merely the recognition that creatures in their finity and potentiality are capable of failing to actualize their full measure of proper good. From this failure arises evil.

m] Since god's will is the Good, action contrary to god's will is absence of the Good, that which can be called evil.


This needed to be stated long ago in the alphabet, which I did.

n] The ability to choose -- the will not to choose the Good -- is god's creation.


The ability to choose is a creation, but as has already been stated, beings always choose a perceived good. The error is accidental.

r] Therefore: "God, as the Creator of all things ['Whatever happens
is His will'], is the creator of evil through man as His Instrument, as creator of man's will to do evil."


Doesn't follow. As we have stated, God permits evil, He does not will it. In the actions of humans, we will a perceived good, even if we error. An evil man wills an evil deed due to ignorance of the good. The Buddha supports this statement by laying ignorance of the Four Noble Truths as the root of suffering. Also the writer already supports that evil is an absence. How then can an absence be willed? What is will is a presence.

s] If I were to make a robot that was capable of making free choices and one of those choices was to kill, it would be hard not to hold me responsible for a death committed by that robot. If I knew without question that it would kill and I set it loose anyway, it would be no different from my killing directly, and there would be no way I could absolve myself from responsibility.
u] If humans' have free will, then god is not all-good, or god lacks omnipotence or omniscience. Or if god is omniscient and omnipotent, humans lack free will.


That's where this argument goes wrong. The free will is not free to do anything. That's called license. The freedom is the freedom of a free person, namely, the freedom of good. The freedom of release, the freedom of peace. The free will is free to choose the good. Again, an evil act is a choice for good, but it is just some other good in which an evil is accidentally willed. People are still responsible, just as they are responsible for "good intentions" which result is bad karma. A man who commits an objectively good or evil deed does it for his happiness. This is an absolute truth. The reason we can judge it is by the principle of the perfect good, perfect being. Any negation of that good and being is what is called evil. So this robot would be given wiring which allowed it to choose the good, but because of ignorance of the good could error. The rest is just a sequitur of the error in the concept of free will.

y] As r] states god is the creator of evil, which is in direct contradiction to the notion that god is all good. We have then a major incoherence: the evil creating nature of god and god being all good. God is a self-contradictory notion. And as we see in v] the notion of free will falls prey equally to the problematics of omniscience and omnipotence.


Underkying this whole argument is a misunderstanding of the concepts of good and free will.
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Re: Buddhist response to Western ontology

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Feb 07, 2012 3:37 pm

contemplans wrote: Evil is a privation. Strictly speaking evil is not done, but is an imperfection of a good done.
According to you; however, strictly speaking pain, hatred, lust and all sorts of ugliness exists. Also, a "privation" is, in fact, something and it is part of the structure of the creation fully known by the supposed omniscient omnipotent god because that is the way it created the universe. And it can only continue to exist because god wills it to. Also, god would have full knowledge of evil, full knowledge of its causes and results, given that evil is built into the creation by its creator and exists by its will. And the result is as Mark Twain supposedly said: "If there is a God, he is a malign thug."

God permits evil, He does not will it.
If the supposed god permits evil, knowing that its creation, by the very way god created its structure, is going to result in the Hitler and painful death and disease etc, then evil is the result of the supposed god's creation, no matter how much you try to define evil away. The thing is, you have not really addressed anything here. You have danced around a lot, but there is no real engagement. You god explains nothing.

God is not limited in any way. If we accept the statement "being unable to do evil", then we are limiting him. In fact, the answer is that evil has not independent existence.
If there were am omniscient omnipotent god, then this statement would be absolutely true. Evil is a dependent upon causes and the ultimate cause is the god that structured its creation such that there Hitler, Pol Pot and the like arose, knowing without question that that is how its creation would unfold, even before the first atom of creation was set in motion. The world, as we have it, as it is, is because that is what god created.

In theology there is a distinction between what God wills directly, and what God permits for some reason.
Why would an all-loving all good god treats its creation with such utter disregard?

Christianity teaches freewill.
It does and it is, as have seen, an incoherent teaching in terms of an omniscient, omnipotent god. We can never act other than how god knows we are going to act, and how we act is the result of how the god created us to act. It cannot be otherwise.


y] As r] states god is the creator of evil, which is in direct contradiction to the notion that god is all good. We have then a major incoherence: the evil creating nature of god and god being all good. God is a self-contradictory notion. And as we see in v] the notion of free will falls prey equally to the problematics of omniscience and omnipotence.


Underkying this whole argument is a misunderstanding of the concepts of good and free will.
Not at all. The whole argument neatly points out that fee will in terms of an omniscient, omnipotent god is incoherent. What can exist outside of god willing it to exist?
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.

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Re: Buddhist response to Western ontology

Postby cittaanurakkho » Tue Feb 07, 2012 3:39 pm

contemplans wrote:The argument goes as follows:
1) The concept of the Greatest Possible Being (GPB) is coherent (and thus broadly logically possible).
2) Necessarily, a being who is the GPB is necessarily existent, and would have (at least) omnipotence, omniscience, and moral perfection essentially.
3) If the concept of the GPB is coherent, then it exists in all possible worlds.
4) But if it exists in all possible worlds, then it exists in the actual world.
5) The GPB exists (Parrish, 82)
...
Therefore God exists.


Since one of the argument is that GPB exists in the actual world, let’s start from this world that we live in now. By all accounts, this world is an impermanent world: it was born and one day it will die. Because GPB exists in this impermanent world, GPB too will one day die. Where are its omnipotence and omniscience when it need them most to save its existence? Your GPB may just be an nGBP (not the greatest possible being) after all. Or perhaps a GPH (greatest possible Houdini): one day he exists and one day he disappears.

Sorry, I still prefer Buddha’s statement:
Does Buddha exists after death. Exist does not apply!
Does Buddha does not exists after death. Does not exist does not apply!

So, maybe you are mistaken. Perhaps you meant Greatest Possible Buddha?
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Re: Buddhist response to Western ontology

Postby Alex123 » Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:06 pm

contemplans wrote:The most powerful version of the ontological argument, in my opinion, is presented in the book God and Necessity by Stephen E. Parrish.


If one uses argument similar to "world is complex, thus it needs a creator to design it which is God" then: Who/what created God?
If God created universe, who/what created God?
Trying to explain complexity through even more complex things, just leads to infinite regress and absurdity.
It is much more proper to explain more complex things through less complex things, at least this way there is a final point.
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Re: Buddhist response to Western ontology

Postby contemplans » Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:20 pm

In the universe as presently structured, free will and evil come hand in hand. If you don't want to be determined, to be a robot of sorts, then you are going to have evil. In order to have the possibility of Buddha, St Francis, Gandhi, etc., you have to have the possibility of abortion, Mao, war, etc. The universe is a moral one, in which we act toward greatness or depravity. I do not deny these evils exist, but I am saying they're not founded on an underlying reality -- there is no evil principle out there from which evil comes. They are a failure in the quest of good, not an embracing of Evil in itself. There is, however, a foundation for good, which is called God. We naturally desire happiness. Buddhism supports this teaching, but never explains it. I am sure you can see the permissive will is found in humanity. We raise our children to be noble and upright, and yet they may do wicked deeds, or destroy themselves. There is not a direct correlation of the rearing given, and the deeds chosen. God doesn't do our deeds for us, just as parents don't do their children's deeds. Buddhism itself supports the freedom of choice in the present moment. So how can you support God willing evil, when Buddhism teaches that the will is under no compulsion in the present moment? What you are asking of God is an evil to end evil, in your view. Either the evil of denying us free will or the evil of destroying a life so that it may not do an evil deed. Would a father be just in killing his son if he knew he was going to commit evil deeds? The Buddha says no.

Because GPB exists in this impermanent world, GPB too will one day die.


The GPB is one outside of time and space. Which is why the Buddha after his awakening stated that one who dwells in that state statements like exist and not exists do not apply.
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Re: Buddhist response to Western ontology

Postby Alex123 » Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:22 pm

contemplans wrote:The GPB is one outside of time and space.


In essence this is like saying that it doesn't exist. It cannot be found anywhere, nor does it last any period of time. It cannot be first cause or effect of anything because first cause precedes effect. Also it cannot respond to anything.

Then how can GPB ever do anything which would require time and or space if GPB is not found in them?
Last edited by Alex123 on Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Buddhist response to Western ontology

Postby contemplans » Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:22 pm

Alex123 wrote:If one uses argument similar to "world is complex, thus it needs a creator to design it which is God" then: Who/what created God?
If God created universe, who/what created God?
Trying to explain complexity through even more complex things, just leads to infinite regress and absurdity.
It is much more proper to explain more complex things through less complex things, at least this way there is a final point.


God is simple, not complex. He is completely uncomposed of parts. Obviously we can conceptually think of a state in which things are uncreated and uncomposed, because that is what Nibbana is. Why not a being then? It is conceptually possible.

http://www.newadvent.org/summa/1003.htm
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Re: Buddhist response to Western ontology

Postby contemplans » Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:23 pm

Alex123 wrote:
contemplans wrote:The GPB is one outside of time and space.


This is like saying that it doesn't exist. It cannot be found anywhere, nor does it last any period of time.

Then how can GPB ever do anything which would require time and or space if GPB is not found in them?


How does the Buddha act while dwelling in the state beyond time and space called Nibbana?
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Re: Buddhist response to Western ontology

Postby Alex123 » Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:27 pm

contemplans wrote:How does the Buddha act while dwelling in the state beyond time and space called Nibbana?


While the Buddha was physically alive He just did not have any Mental/Emotional suffering. Nibbana is NOT some mystical Planet X to which you get beamed up. It is not a place.

Nibbana is extinguishing of all suffering. It should be viewed more in psychological sense.
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