Buddhist response to Western ontology

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Re: Buddhist response to Western ontology

Postby Alex123 » Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:28 pm

contemplans wrote:God is simple, not complex.


Can he think?
Can he move?
Can he perceive?
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Re: Buddhist response to Western ontology

Postby Goofaholix » Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:51 pm

contemplans wrote:God is simple, not complex.


Only when created in the image of simple people.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Buddhist response to Western ontology

Postby Coyote » Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:56 pm

Goofaholix wrote:
contemplans wrote:God is simple, not complex.


Only when created in the image of simple people.


Precisely. This is a Christian, specifically Catholic, concept, and is not inherent in the concept of God. There is no reason as far as I can see why God would need to be simple.
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Re: Buddhist response to Western ontology

Postby contemplans » Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:12 pm

Alex123 wrote:
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.


It is a state of existence. Furthermore, that state was divided into nibbana with suffering to burn off, and complete nibbana at death. It stands to reason that nibbana is actually a state of existence in laymen's terms if it is anything to try to achieve. Nibbana was also defined as peace, and the highest ease, so there is something positive there, and something analogous to our mundane experience, albeit imperfectly analogous.

Coyote wrote:
Goofaholix wrote:
contemplans wrote:God is simple, not complex.


Only when created in the image of simple people.


Precisely. This is a Christian, specifically Catholic, concept, and is not inherent in the concept of God. There is no reason as far as I can see why God would need to be simple.


God is simple because created things are composed of parts. A composition implies that something is in potency, and ultimately that something dies. God is pure actuality. There is no here or there, this or that, or part and whole. It is inherent in the concept of God if it is to be logical.
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Re: Buddhist response to Western ontology

Postby Goofaholix » Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:19 pm

contemplans wrote:God is simple because created things are composed of parts. A composition implies that something is in potency, and ultimately that something dies. God is pure actuality. There is no here or there, this or that, or part and whole. It is inherent in the concept of God if it is to be logical.


It's funny how we know so much about a being that we've never seen or met or put under a microscope.
"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: Buddhist response to Western ontology

Postby contemplans » Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:24 pm

Goofaholix wrote:
contemplans wrote:God is simple because created things are composed of parts. A composition implies that something is in potency, and ultimately that something dies. God is pure actuality. There is no here or there, this or that, or part and whole. It is inherent in the concept of God if it is to be logical.


It's funny how we know so much about a being that we've never seen or met or put under a microscope.


Do you know your thoughts? You haven't seen them, right?
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Re: Buddhist response to Western ontology

Postby Goofaholix » Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:29 pm

contemplans wrote:Do you know your thoughts? You haven't seen them, right?


I know most of them yes, that's an important part of Buddhist practise. Of course I haven't seen them with my eyes, that's just silly.

So are you saying I can verify the existence of God in my thoughts? If so I guess God is out of control, drifting between the past and the future, interested in things he shouldn't be, restless like a monkey.
"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: Buddhist response to Western ontology

Postby contemplans » Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:30 pm

Goofaholix wrote:
contemplans wrote:Do you know your thoughts? You haven't seen them, right?


I know most of them yes, that's an important part of Buddhist practise. Of course I haven't seen them with my eyes, that's just silly.

So are you saying I can verify the existence of God in my thoughts? If so I guess God is out of control, drifting between the past and the future, interested in things he should be, restless like a monkey.


No, I am saying that something is beyond the five senses.
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Re: Buddhist response to Western ontology

Postby Alex123 » Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:36 pm

contemplans wrote:It is a state of existence. Furthermore, that state was divided into nibbana with suffering to burn off, and complete nibbana at death. It stands to reason that nibbana is actually a state of existence in laymen's terms if it is anything to try to achieve. Nibbana was also defined as peace, and the highest ease, so there is something positive there, and something analogous to our mundane experience, albeit imperfectly analogous.


Bhavanirodho nibbāna
Nibbana is cessation of becoming/existence.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Peace as highest ease means absence of suffering. We should not misinterpret absence to be presence, nothing to be something, ending to be begining of something new.


contemplans wrote:God is simple because created things are composed of parts.


What/who created God?


How can God who is beyond time and space, be involved with time/space? To create something already implies temporality. There was God without beings, and then God created beings, etc.
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Re: Buddhist response to Western ontology

Postby Alex123 » Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:36 pm

Goofaholix wrote:It's funny how we know so much about a being that we've never seen or met or put under a microscope.


And we will never be able to study something that is beyond time and space.
Last edited by Alex123 on Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Buddhist response to Western ontology

Postby Goofaholix » Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:37 pm

contemplans wrote:No, I am saying that something is beyond the five senses.


Then with no data that can be collected through the five senses any definition one comes up with can only be based on imagination, imagination is based on ones limited perspective, which is why we end up with a God created in man's image.
"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: Buddhist response to Western ontology

Postby Alex123 » Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:38 pm

contemplans wrote:No, I am saying that something is beyond the five senses.


What about all the fictional characters that cannot be found in 5 senses? Do they exist as well?
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Re: Buddhist response to Western ontology

Postby Coyote » Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:41 pm

contemplans wrote:
God is simple because created things are composed of parts. A composition implies that something is in potency, and ultimately that something dies. God is pure actuality. There is no here or there, this or that, or part and whole. It is inherent in the concept of God if it is to be logical.


Ok, but I think we have drifted from the idea of God being a foundation of being, you are now adding more attributes to this being than there needs to be.
Besides, you are still talking about a being that is within the framework of existance, not outside of it. Such a thing would have to have a cause itself. You can't have it both ways.
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Re: Buddhist response to Western ontology

Postby Goofaholix » Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:43 pm

Alex123 wrote:What about all the fictional characters that cannot be found in 5 senses? Do they exist as well?


That would seem a reasonable assumption, of course Mickey Mouse can't create whole universes, blame Walt Disney for that.
"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: Buddhist response to Western ontology

Postby contemplans » Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:48 pm

Nibbana is cessation of becoming/existence.


Cessation of becoming is no longer existing in the round of samsara.

Peace as highest ease means absence of suffering. We should not misinterpret absence to be presence, nothing to be something, ending to be begining of something new.


And yet the Buddha lived another 45 years.

What/who created God?


Since He is uncreated, such a question does not apply.

How can God who is beyond time and space, be involved with time/space? To create something already implies temporality. There was God without beings, and then God created beings, etc.


How can the Buddha still exist, intent, and act while being in the state of Nibbana? How can one who does not create new karma still act in ways that produce effects in the world, one of which is the dhamma-vinaya?

And we will never be able to study something that is beyond time and space.


In a way. Like nibbana, you can do certain things to come to an experience of it. Anything other than direct experience is analogy. But analogies hold on a level, and are useful to achieve the aim.

Then with no data that can be collected through the five senses any definition one comes up with can only be based on imagination, imagination is based on ones limited perspective, which is why we end up with a God created in man's image.


So the experience of nibbana is created in man's image? Nothing on it can be collected through the five senses.

What about all the fictional characters that cannot be found in 5 senses? Do they exist as well?


No, but they support the idea that an invisible intelligence can create things which are outside of the five senses. The basic point is that there is more than the five senses.
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Re: Buddhist response to Western ontology

Postby contemplans » Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:55 pm

Coyote wrote:
contemplans wrote:
God is simple because created things are composed of parts. A composition implies that something is in potency, and ultimately that something dies. God is pure actuality. There is no here or there, this or that, or part and whole. It is inherent in the concept of God if it is to be logical.


Ok, but I think we have drifted from the idea of God being a foundation of being, you are now adding more attributes to this being than there needs to be.
Besides, you are still talking about a being that is within the framework of existance, not outside of it. Such a thing would have to have a cause itself. You can't have it both ways.



I thik we are confusing knowledge of something with the essence of something. Knowledge by an inconstant being subject to death of the end of suffering, the deathless state, does not mean that state is inconstant, or subject to death. We need to look at our assumptions on both sides of the equation.
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Re: Buddhist response to Western ontology

Postby Alex123 » Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:26 pm

contemplans wrote:Cessation of becoming is no longer existing in the round of samsara.


After the body dies, there will not be any rebirth for Buddha or Arahant.
contemplans wrote:And yet the Buddha lived another 45 years.


Because body didn't die yet.


Since He is uncreated, such a question does not apply.


Since universe following physical laws is uncreated by something prior, such question does not apply. Why speculate creator of the universe when universe doesn't have anything prior to it?


contemplans wrote:How can the Buddha still exist, intent, and act while being in the state of Nibbana? How can one who does not create new karma still act in ways that produce effects in the world, one of which is the dhamma-vinaya?


He lived in the world like all other beings. He simply did not have greed, anger or delusion. Again, you think that Nibbana is some place where one can go to.
The difference was in "psychology" (to use understandable term).


Alex wrote:And we will never be able to study something that is beyond time and space.


contemplans wrote:In a way. Like nibbana, you can do certain things to come to an experience of it. Anything other than direct experience is analogy. But analogies hold on a level, and are useful to achieve the aim.


Only as imagination. But how can we imagine partless "God" who is outside of time/space? This cannot be imagined. You can't imagine absolute nothing.

contemplans wrote:No, but they support the idea that an invisible intelligence can create things which are outside of the five senses. The basic point is that there is more than the five senses.


Who/What created this invisible intelligence? If it was uncreated, then we can say that Universe, matter, etc, was uncreated.
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Re: Buddhist response to Western ontology

Postby Goofaholix » Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:33 pm

contemplans wrote:
Then with no data that can be collected through the five senses any definition one comes up with can only be based on imagination, imagination is based on ones limited perspective, which is why we end up with a God created in man's image.

So the experience of nibbana is created in man's image? Nothing on it can be collected through the five senses.


This is a very good point.

I think some of the definitions of Nibanna that are floating are just as problematic as some of the definitions of God, of course nobody claims that Nibanna created the world or is a ominpotent being of some sort though.

However from my understanding the Buddha defined Nibanna in terms of what it is not, it is the absense of greed, aversion, delusion, the unconditioned, the cooling off of becoming, the cessation of rebirth. So of course one cannot discern what is not with the five senses.

Perhaps you'd have more luck defining God in terms of what he is not.
"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: Buddhist response to Western ontology

Postby contemplans » Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:57 pm

Only as imagination. But how can we imagine partless "God" who is outside of time/space? This cannot be imagined. You can't imagine absolute nothing.


Clearly I am not communicating my ideas well, since God is not "absolute nothing". And the Buddha himself said that we can imagine absolute nothing. It is one of the formless áttainments. The whole idea of Buddhist meditation is going beyond this world of the senses. All the way up there is imagination, i.e., fabrication.

Who/What created this invisible intelligence? If it was uncreated, then we can say that Universe, matter, etc, was uncreated.


That doesn't follow. If you admit Nibbana is an unfabricated state, does that make you conclude that it had to be created, or that the physical body and brain which experiences Nibbana is uncreated?

I think some of the definitions of Nibanna that are floating are just as problematic as some of the definitions of God, of course nobody claims that Nibanna created the world or is a ominpotent being of some sort though.

However from my understanding the Buddha defined Nibanna in terms of what it is not, it is the absense of greed, aversion, delusion, the unconditioned, the cooling off of becoming, the cessation of rebirth. So of course one cannot discern what is not with the five senses.

Perhaps you'd have more luck defining God in terms of what he is not.


If people don't want to conceptualize about Nibbana, that is fine, but as described by the Buddha, it is implicit (and sometimes explicit) in it that other qualities can be deduced which accord with a state of divinity. For example, simplicity, goodness, happiness, being. Whenever the Buddha speaks about Nibbana, it has more to do with the concept of God than it does with materialism or with . Buddhism admits a transcendent principle, but says very little.
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Re: Buddhist response to Western ontology

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:05 pm

contemplans wrote:
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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