Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby vinasp » Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:01 am

Hi Nana,

In my understanding the "official" position of the orthodox Theravada
tradition is that parinibbana is complete extinction.

Are you questioning this?

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby Zom » Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:04 am

What is the Arahant's understanding of what will happen when his body dies,
and how does this differ from the nihilist view?


“If, friend Yamaka, they were to ask you: ‘Friend Yamaka, in the case of a bhikkhu
who is an arahant, one whose taints are destroyed, with the breakup of the body, after death
, what happens to him?’—being asked thus, what would you answer?”

“If they were to ask me this, friend, I would answer thus: ‘Friends, form is impermanent.
What is impermanent is suffering. What is suffering has ceased, has passed away.
Feeling … Perception … Volitional constructions … Consciousness is impermanent.
What is impermanent is suffering. What is suffering has ceased, has passed away.’
Being asked thus, friend, I would answer in such a way.”


SN 22.85


The difference is in the view of self. Annihilationist does have a view of self. This self, according to such a view, is destroyed after death. Arahant (and all ariyas) doesn't have a view of self. So no self is destroyed when nibbana is reached and all that is felt completely ceases.
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:07 am

Greetings,

vinasp wrote: In my understanding the "official" position of the orthodox Theravada
tradition is that parinibbana is complete extinction.


SN 22.86: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"And so, Anuradha — when you can't pin down the Tathagata as a truth or reality even in the present life — is it proper for you to declare, 'Friends, the Tathagata — the supreme man, the superlative man, attainer of the superlative attainment — being described, is described otherwise than with these four positions: The Tathagata exists after death, does not exist after death, both does & does not exist after death, neither exists nor does not exist after death'?"

"No, lord."

"Very good, Anuradha. Very good. Both formerly & now, it is only stress that I describe, and the cessation of stress."

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: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby Nyana » Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:15 am

vinasp wrote:In my understanding the "official" position of the orthodox Theravada tradition is that parinibbana is complete extinction.

Yes, well, discussion of an arahant's death doesn't pertain to the topic at hand. The views under discussion in this topic pertain the birth and death of non-arahants.
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby vinasp » Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:24 am

Hi Retro,

So the Five Nikaya's contradict the later Theravada interpretation.
What is your position on this?

1. The Five Nikaya's are correct.

2. The later Theravada interpretation is correct.

3. Both are correct.

4. Both are wrong.

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby DarwidHalim » Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:51 am

vinasp wrote:
In my understanding the "official" position of the orthodox Theravada
tradition is that parinibbana is complete extinction.


Btw, where do you get this view from? Which teacher in the history of Pali tradition claim that parinibbana is complete extinction?

I understand that some have this understanding from the teaching relating consciousness and the off of candle flame.

In your own opinion, regardless of whatever tradition it is, does parinibbana as complete extinction seem right?
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:13 am

Hi Vincent,
vinasp wrote: So the Five Nikaya's contradict the later Theravada interpretation.

Evidently they contradict your understanding of the Theravada interpretation. That is not necessarily the same thing.

:anjali:
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Re: Theism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:39 am

Theism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Well, the Buddha's teaching certainly is not theistic nor is it atheistic materialism.
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: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby vinasp » Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:03 pm

Hi everyone,

Perhaps I have misunderstood the later Theravada position, I was thinking
of this passage:

From: What the Buddha taught, by Walpola Rahula - online version - Link:

http://www.quangduc.com/English/basic/6 ... ht-04.html

"Some popular inaccurately phrased expressions like ‘The Buddha entered into Nirvāna or Parinirvāna after his death’ have given rise to many imaginary speculations about Nirvāna. [22]The moment you hear the phrase that ‘the Buddha entered into Nirvāna or Parinirvāna’, you take Nirvāna to be a state, or a realm, or a position in which there is some sort of existence, and try to imagine it in terms of the senses of the word ‘existence’ as it is known to you. This popular expression ‘entered into Nirvāna’ has no equivalent in the original texts. There is no such thing as ‘entering into Nirvāna after death’. There is a word parinibbuto used to denote the death of the Buddha or an Arahant who has realized Nirvāna, but it does not mean ‘entering into Nirvāna’. Parinibbuto simply mean ‘fully blown out’ or ‘fully extinct’, because the Buddha or an Arahant has no re-existence after his death."

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby Nyana » Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:08 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Too many so-called Buddhists on this forum are making unwholesome kamma by trying to convince others of their annihilationist wrong views (natthika ditthi). A thorough knowledge (ñāna) and intellectual appreciation of the teaching is essential to follow the right path.

Four Points to Bear in Mind (to avoid wrong views like annihilationism, eternalism, fatalism, and moral impotency (akiriya-ditthi).


Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
Ben wrote: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?

Yes, it is less pernicious, but still a wrong view. All of us who are not yet Stream-winners still have personality view (atta-ditthi), even though we do [not] accept the belief in an Almighty God. Nihilism, on the other hand, denies the results of kamma.

Indeed.
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Re: Theism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby piotr » Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:24 pm

Hi,

tiltbillings wrote:Theism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Well, the Buddha's teaching certainly is not theistic nor is it atheistic materialism.


And so there is the question if atheism has to go hand in hand with materialism. I guess it depends on how one uses the term.
Bhagavaṃmūlakā no, bhante, dhammā...
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby Lazy_eye » Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:27 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:One of the reasons that atheism is an unskillful view to maintain and express, is that it is divisive and dismissive of other religious views. Moreover, people who are members of other religions have very low opinions of atheists. For example, a University of British Columbia study found that religious people distrust atheists as much as rapists. Buddhism is not atheistic, and shouldn't be associated with atheism.


Religious people also distrust and have low opinions of religions other than their own. For example, you can find many sites -- run by Christians or Muslims -- that are devoted to attacking Buddhism. Since Buddhism is relatively uncommon in the Western Hemisphere, it's likely that a significant number of people surveyed in the UBC study have a low opinion of Buddhists on the grounds that it is a religion of infidels.

In any case, you are presenting a fallacious argumentum ad populum. Just because a large number of people share a particular bias does not mean the bias is justified. The "distrust" of religious people may well be the product of their own ignorance as well as brainwashing by their clerics and teachers.

Comparing atheists to rapists is so completely over-the-top and unjustified that we would have good reason to suspect ignorance on the part of anyone making such a comparison.
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby DarwidHalim » Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:31 pm

Vinasp:
Parinibbuto means 'fully extinct'.

What is the exact difference between 'fully extinct' and nihilism?
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby reflection » Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:38 pm

I get the general impression that people who tend to call themselves "Buddhist atheists" (mainly found in the West) practice the dhamma more diligently than a lot of "religious Buddhists" (mainly found in the East). And I think that is the most important thing, the practice. If you are a bit open to being wrong (whatever ideas you have), right view will be a natural result of the practice. So if someone can't really believe in rebirth (I freely guess that's what atheism is referring to in this context), that's not nescessarily an unskillful false dhamma in my eyes. Also, believing in rebirth is not the same as having right view.

It all depends on how we practice with our ideas. Do we hold onto them or do we let them go? Because in the end all ideas are wrong. Right view is not based on logic, philosophy or our knowledge of the suttas.
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby Nyana » Fri Mar 23, 2012 1:33 pm

Lazy_eye wrote:In any case, you are presenting a fallacious argumentum ad populum. Just because a large number of people share a particular bias does not mean the bias is justified.

Of course it isn't justified, that's not the point. The point is that perceptions matter when dealing with people of other religious and cultural traditions. Hence the need for skillfulness. There are a number of rules in the Vinaya which were created to placate public criticisms of monastics contravening local social and cultural standards.
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby Zom » Fri Mar 23, 2012 1:47 pm

What is the exact difference between 'fully extinct' and nihilism?


There should be a distinction made between "nihilism" and "annihilationism".

The first one is about "non-existence of kamma (its seeds or fruits or both)". (to read more about the term itself - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nihilism)
The second is about "non-existence of self".

I get the general impression that people who tend to call themselves "Buddhist atheists" (mainly found in the West) practice the dhamma more diligently than a lot of "religious Buddhists" (mainly found in the East).


I see it otherwise. Western "Buddhist atheists" do not do Dhamma. They do only meditation.
While eastern "religious Buddhists" do Dhamma, though, they may neglect doing formal meditation (like "retreats" and so on).

Also, believing in rebirth is not the same as having right view.


Believing in rebirth is an essential part of Right View. This factor can never be completed if one has such a Wrong View as "There is no rebirth".
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby DarwidHalim » Fri Mar 23, 2012 1:50 pm

How about 'fully extinct'?
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby Nyana » Fri Mar 23, 2012 1:51 pm

reflection wrote:...people who tend to call themselves "Buddhist atheists"....

"Buddhist atheism" is a contradiction in terms.

reflection wrote:It all depends on how we practice with our ideas. Do we hold onto them or do we let them go? Because in the end all ideas are wrong. Right view is not based on logic, philosophy or our knowledge of the suttas.

Yes, well, pseudo-Buddhist anti-intellectualism is unskillful as well.
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby Zom » Fri Mar 23, 2012 1:57 pm

How about 'fully extinct'?


It depends on what do you mean by this phrase.

"My self" is fully extinct after death = wrong view
"5 impersonal khandhas" are fully extinct after death = right view


20. "Lord, can there be anxiety about unrealities, in the internal?"

"There can be, monk," said the Blessed One. "In that case, monk, someone has this view: 'The universe is the Self. That I shall be after death; permanent, stable, eternal, immutable; eternally the same shall I abide in that very condition.' He then hears a Perfect One expounding the Teaching for the removal of all grounds for views, of all prejudices, obsessions, dogmas and biases; for the stilling of all (kamma-) processes, for the relinquishment of all substrata (of existence), for the extirpation of craving, for dispassion, cessation, Nibbaana. He then thinks: 'I shall be annihilated, I shall be destroyed! No longer shall I exist!' Hence he grieves, is depressed and laments; beating his breast, he weeps, and dejection befalls him. Thus, monk, is there anxiety about unrealities, in the internal."

21. "But, Lord, can there be absence of anxiety about unrealities, in the internal?"

"There can be, monk," said the Blessed One. "In that case, monk, someone does not have this view: 'The universe is the Self... eternally the same shall I abide in that very condition.' He then hears a Perfect One expounding the Teaching for the removal of all grounds for views, of all prejudices, obsessions, dogmas and biases; for the stilling of all (kamma-) processes, for the relinquishing of all substrata (of existence), for the extirpation of craving, for dispassion, cessation, Nibbaana. He then does not think: 'I shall be annihilated, I shall be destroyed! No longer shall I exist!' Hence he does not grieve, is not depressed, does not lament; he does not beat his breast nor does he weep, and no dejection befalls him. Thus, monk, is there absence of anxiety about unrealities, in the internal.[25]


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nypo.html
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby DarwidHalim » Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:22 pm

Vinasp:
From: What the Buddha taught, by Walpola Rahula -
.... Parinibbuto simply mean ‘fully blown out’ or ‘fully extinct’, because the Buddha or an Arahant has no re-existence after his death."...


Zom:
He then does not think: 'I shall be annihilated, I shall be destroyed! No longer shall I exist!'


From these two passages, so actually the true meaning of 'fully blown out' or 'fully extinct' is the realization of no I. What do you think?

If that is true, what make nibbana and parinibbana difference?

What is the meaning of Pari... in Pali?
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!
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