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Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma - Dhamma Wheel

Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
Nyana
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Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby Nyana » Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:51 am


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ground
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby ground » Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:05 am


Kenshou
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby Kenshou » Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:33 am

You seem to be implying that belief in future lives somehow necessitates theism? And that atheism and disbelief in rebirth are necessarily mutually inclusive traits. There are more permutations of views out there than that.

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Goofaholix
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby Goofaholix » Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:44 am

a·the·ism   [ey-thee-iz-uhm]
noun
1. the doctrine or belief that there is no God.
2. disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings.

Where exactly did the Buddha encourage belief in God?

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Kim OHara
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby Kim OHara » Fri Mar 23, 2012 5:29 am

Hi, Nana,
I'm with Kenshou and Goofaholix: atheism has a very specific meaning and (on this board at least) I think we could use it correctly and avoid confusion.
My English is good :tongue: but my Pali is virtually non-existent. What is the best (most accurate, most literal) translation of "natthika-diṭṭhi" ?

:namaste:
Kim

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri Mar 23, 2012 5:40 am

Last edited by Bhikkhu Pesala on Fri Mar 23, 2012 5:46 am, edited 3 times in total.
• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

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Ben
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby Ben » Fri Mar 23, 2012 5:43 am

Hi Geoff,

An interesting discussion.
I just wonder whether the wrong view of personality belief as manifest in the notion of a soul and almighty god is any less pernicious than nihilism?
kind regards,

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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Goofaholix
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby Goofaholix » Fri Mar 23, 2012 5:44 am


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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri Mar 23, 2012 5:55 am

Last edited by Bhikkhu Pesala on Fri Mar 23, 2012 1:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.
• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

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Ben
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby Ben » Fri Mar 23, 2012 5:57 am

Thank you, Bhante.
with metta,

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

Kenshou
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby Kenshou » Fri Mar 23, 2012 6:26 am

Last edited by Kenshou on Fri Mar 23, 2012 6:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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mikenz66
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 6:30 am

Hi Geoff,

Though I agree that "Atheism" is perhaps an unhelpful label, I think that it is interesting to discuss whether, and to what extent, annihilationistic views are a problem for Dhamma practice (according to your sutta quote they seem to be). I think it's a useful to change the focus from the question of "rebirth" to the question of "annihilation", which hopefully carries less baggage.

:anjali:
Mike

Nyana
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby Nyana » Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:12 am

Woops! Accidentally deleted this reply when editing.....
Last edited by Nyana on Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Nyana
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby Nyana » Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:16 am


Nyana
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby Nyana » Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:31 am


vinasp
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby vinasp » Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:46 am

Hi Nana,

From SN 35.245 - Kimsuka Sutta - The Riddle Tree.

"When a monk discerns, as it actually is, the origination & passing away of the four great elements [earth, water, wind, & fire], my friend, it is to that extent that his vision is said to be well-purified."

Regards, Vincent.

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Zom
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby Zom » Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:07 am

Good topic.

I will add 5 cents.

from SN 22.55
"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.

Ven. Bodhi comment:

This formula for resolution recommended by the Buddha is found in the suttas
in two versions, one used by the annihilationists, the other the Buddha’s adaptation
of this; as the two versions differ only with respect to two verb forms, they are sometimes
confounded in the various recensions. From the commentarial glosses, it appears that
the confusion had already set in before the age of the commentaries.
....
The annihilationist version — explicitly identified as uccheda-di††hi at 22:81 and
classed among the wrong views at 22:152 and 24:4 — reads: "no c’assaμ no ca me siyå,
na bhavissåmi na me bhavissati". At AN V 63–64 the Buddha describes this
creed as the highest of outsider views (etadaggaμ båhirakånaμ di††higatånaμ), the reason being
that one who accepts such a view will not be attracted to becoming nor averse to the cessation of becoming.
It is problematic how the optative clause in the annihilationist version should be interpreted;
perhaps it can be read as an assertion that personal existence, along with its world, is utterly fortuitous
(“It might not have been and it might not have been mine”). The clause in the future tense
is clearly asserting that personal existence and its world will terminate at death.

The Buddha transformed this formula into a theme for contemplation consonant
with his own teaching by replacing the first person verbs with their third person counterparts:
"No c’assa no ca me siyå, na bhavissati na me bhavissati". The change of person shifts the stress
from the view of self implicit in the annihilationist version (“I will be annihilated”)
to an impersonal perspective that harmonizes with the anattå doctrine.

In the present sutta, resolving (adhimuccamåno) on the formula is said to culminate
in the destruction of the five lower fetters, that is, in the stageof non-returning (anågåmitå).
Elsewhere the formula includes a rider, yad atthi yaμ bhËtaμ taμ pajahåmi, “what exists, what
has come to be, that I am abandoning.” Contemplation of this is said to lead to equanimity.
At MN II 264–65 practice guided by the full formula (with the rider) culminates in rebirth in the base of neit
her-perception-nor-non-perception (if the meditator clings to the equanimity) or in Nibbåna
(if there is no clinging to the equanimity). At AN IV 70–74, resolution guided by the formula,
again with the rider, leads to one of the five levels of non-returning or to arahantship.
At Ud 78 the shorter formula is applied to mindfulness of the body; one who dwells thus
gradually crosses attachment, i.e., wins arahantship.

Nyana
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby Nyana » Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:10 am


vinasp
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby vinasp » Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:35 am

Hi Nana,

Quote: "This quote is not advocating natthika-diṭṭhi."

It is not "advocating" anything, it is describing a stage in the
development of right view.

My interpretation is that at this stage a monk understands that the four
great elements cease completely and permanently.

How do you understand this passage?

Regards, Vincent.

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Goofaholix
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby Goofaholix » Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:40 am



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