Hot Topics: Atheist Quotes

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Re: Hot Topics: Atheist Quotes

Postby manas » Wed May 02, 2012 2:33 am

polarbuddha101 wrote:I could see someone's problem with the perceived disparaging of other belief systems but even atheist quotes, and the implications that you draw about the posters of those quotes, have to be taken with a grain of salt.



I don't mean to imply anything about the posters, and I apologize if that's how my post reads to anyone.

It's more the other part - that materialistic reductionism that I sense even taints my own perception if the dhamma. I'm not having a go at anyone in particular, I'm rather picking up something about Western Buddhism in general that I think needs our attention.

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Re: Hot Topics: Atheist Quotes

Postby tiltbillings » Wed May 02, 2012 2:34 am

rowboat wrote:
Ñāṇa:There's nothing skillful about atheistic materialism. Moreover, a thread which is de facto dedicated to highlighting statements ridiculing the beliefs of all other world religions is unseemly at best.


Unseemly at best. Many of these quotations popular with today's atheists are in fact highly caustic and contemptuous, and as such they are entirely indefensible, and anathema to a committed Buddhist practice.
Well, as the 9th century Buddhist doctor Dharmakirti so gently puts it:

    "The unquestioned authority of the Vedas; the belief in a world-creator;
    the quest for purification through ritual bathings; the arrogant division
    into castes; the practice of mortification to atone for sin -- these five are
    the marks of the crass stupidity of witless men."

Actually, one finds within the suttas themselves rather pointy criticisms of differing religious points of view.
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: Hot Topics: Atheist Quotes

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed May 02, 2012 4:03 am

tiltbillings wrote:Actually, one finds within the suttas themselves rather pointy criticisms of differing religious points of view.


:thumbsup: Yes, thanks for mentioning that.

It is true that the Buddha never slandered or abused anyone. He was completely free from jealousy and ill-will. However, he certainly did say some things that were displeasing to others. When he started teaching the Dhamma, the Brahmins were well-established as the “Church” of the day. They held that the Brahmins or priests were a superior caste to workers, farmers, merchants, and nobles. The Buddha ridiculed them in many ways, both in private with his loyal disciples and in public when non-believers were present. They lost most of their support, and conspired to discredit the Buddha by hiring a prostitute to pretend she had had an affair with him, then hiring some thugs to murder her.

The Buddha also criticised evil-doers among his own followers and constantly admonished his loyal disciples not to be heedless. He said, “Ānanda, I will not treat you [gently] as a potter treats an unbaked pot. I will instruct and admonish you repeatedly [robustly if necessary]. The sound core will stand the test.”
http://aimwell.org/Forums/forums.html


In the Atheist Quotes thread, I posted some quotes from the Buddha too, supporting the non-theistic position.
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Re: Hot Topics: Atheist Quotes

Postby Nyana » Wed May 02, 2012 4:29 am

David N. Snyder wrote:
The Buddha also criticised evil-doers among his own followers and constantly admonished his loyal disciples not to be heedless. He said, “Ānanda, I will not treat you [gently] as a potter treats an unbaked pot. I will instruct and admonish you repeatedly [robustly if necessary]. The sound core will stand the test.”

Indeed. I find this inter-Buddhist orientation more useful.
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Re: Hot Topics: Atheist Quotes

Postby Kim OHara » Wed May 02, 2012 6:31 am

David N. Snyder wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Actually, one finds within the suttas themselves rather pointy criticisms of differing religious points of view.


:thumbsup: Yes, thanks for mentioning that.

It is true that the Buddha never slandered or abused anyone. He was completely free from jealousy and ill-will. However, he certainly did say some things that were displeasing to others. When he started teaching the Dhamma, the Brahmins were well-established as the “Church” of the day. They held that the Brahmins or priests were a superior caste to workers, farmers, merchants, and nobles. The Buddha ridiculed them in many ways, both in private with his loyal disciples and in public when non-believers were present. They lost most of their support, and conspired to discredit the Buddha by hiring a prostitute to pretend she had had an affair with him, then hiring some thugs to murder her.

The Buddha also criticised evil-doers among his own followers and constantly admonished his loyal disciples not to be heedless. He said, “Ānanda, I will not treat you [gently] as a potter treats an unbaked pot. I will instruct and admonish you repeatedly [robustly if necessary]. The sound core will stand the test.”
http://aimwell.org/Forums/forums.html


In the Atheist Quotes thread, I posted some quotes from the Buddha too, supporting the non-theistic position.

Hello, good people,
It is true that the Buddha had strong words to say about other people's beliefs but he also had strong words about right speech.
Criticising and ridiculing other people where they won't see the criticism, let alone be able to respond to it, can't serve to educate them. At best, it can only reinforce DW members' good opinions of their own stance; at worst, it will encourage arrogance and intolerance.
Forbidding members to discuss - reasonably and rationally, one would hope - the quotes after they are posted means that DW members' opportunities to actually learn anything from the quotes they post are very limited.

:namaste:
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Re: Hot Topics: Atheist Quotes

Postby Cittasanto » Wed May 02, 2012 6:34 am

David N. Snyder wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Actually, one finds within the suttas themselves rather pointy criticisms of differing religious points of view.


:thumbsup: Yes, thanks for mentioning that.

It is true that the Buddha never slandered or abused anyone. He was completely free from jealousy and ill-will. However, he certainly did say some things that were displeasing to others. When he started teaching the Dhamma, the Brahmins were well-established as the “Church” of the day. They held that the Brahmins or priests were a superior caste to workers, farmers, merchants, and nobles. The Buddha ridiculed them in many ways, both in private with his loyal disciples and in public when non-believers were present. They lost most of their support, and conspired to discredit the Buddha by hiring a prostitute to pretend she had had an affair with him, then hiring some thugs to murder her.

The Buddha also criticised evil-doers among his own followers and constantly admonished his loyal disciples not to be heedless. He said, “Ānanda, I will not treat you [gently] as a potter treats an unbaked pot. I will instruct and admonish you repeatedly [robustly if necessary]. The sound core will stand the test.”
http://aimwell.org/Forums/forums.html


In the Atheist Quotes thread, I posted some quotes from the Buddha too, supporting the non-theistic position.

I know this story, I believed it was another group of samanas though and they killed her? it is found in the vinaya if I remember?
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Re: Hot Topics: Atheist Quotes

Postby Ben » Wed May 02, 2012 6:44 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:Criticising and ridiculing other people where they won't see the criticism, let alone be able to respond to it, can't serve to educate them. At best, it can only reinforce DW members' good opinions of their own stance; at worst, it will encourage arrogance and intolerance.

Please see my post above.

Kim O'Hara wrote:Forbidding members to discuss - reasonably and rationally, one would hope - the quotes after they are posted means that DW members' opportunities to actually learn anything from the quotes they post are very limited.

There is no forbidding of genuine discussion going on. The atheist quote thread is strictly moderated and contains provocative, perhaps inspirational or humorous statements. All posts within that thread are mediated which means they are submitted for approval by moderators before they become visible. The posts are reviewed against the OP and our TOS before being published. As you know, meta-discussion is forbidden on Dhamma Wheel and hence the only place it is tolerated is here in the suggestion box.

There is nothing stopping you nor any other member from creating a thread to discuss a particular "atheist" quote - if that is your wish.
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Re: Hot Topics: Atheist Quotes

Postby Sarva » Wed May 02, 2012 8:38 am

The problem with supporting Atheism is that it is that it can be easily adopted as an idea or a belief (or continued to be held by one who already feels an inclination ). This leads to clinging and self-identity views if left unquestioned. The same with all theism also, e.g. Christo-Buddhism.

My impression is that the Buddha spoke strongly against clinging to religious ideas in order to loosen those entering the Way who were clinging to views of gods - eternalism or no-gods - annihilationism. The point is to become disenchanted with ideas and belief systems, even if those views are expressed in the name of amusement (or hatred of religious oppression), they are still ideas for clinging and care should be taken in the same way one may care for a child out of compassion that certain views may lead to their suffering.

""He grows disenchanted with the intellect, disenchanted with ideas, disenchanted with consciousness at the intellect, disenchanted with contact at the intellect, disenchanted with feeling, disenchanted with craving. Disenchanted, he becomes dispassionate. Through dispassion, he is fully released. With full release, there is the knowledge, 'Fully released.' He discerns that 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.'" - MN 148


I don't think it is wise to promote Atheism (or Theism or arguably even politics) in pure Buddhism. I think it is useful to consider their roles and their effect on one another's mental formations...

62. "And what are formations, what is the origin of formations, what is the cessation of formations, what is the way leading to the cessation of formations? There are these three kinds of formations: the bodily formation, the verbal formation, the mental formation. With the arising of ignorance there is the arising of formations." - MN 9

"Mental formations, O monks, are not-self; if mental formations were self, then mental formations would not lead to affliction and it should obtain regarding mental formations: 'May my perception be thus, may my mental formations not be thus'; and indeed, O monks, since mental formations are not-self, therefore, mental formations lead to affliction and it does not obtain regarding mental formations" - SN 22.59


with metta.
“Both formerly & now, it is only stress that I describe, and the cessation of stress.” — SN 22:86
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Re: Hot Topics: Atheist Quotes

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed May 02, 2012 4:19 pm

Kim O'Hara wrote:Criticising and ridiculing other people where they won't see the criticism, let alone be able to respond to it, can't serve to educate them. At best, it can only reinforce DW members' good opinions of their own stance; at worst, it will encourage arrogance and intolerance.


I have seen a lot of criticism and ridicule directed at those who post in the atheist quotes.

Kim O'Hara wrote:Forbidding members to discuss - reasonably and rationally, one would hope - the quotes after they are posted means that DW members' opportunities to actually learn anything from the quotes they post are very limited.


I haven't seen any forbidding going on. There is this discussion, other threads, one 398 posts long. I haven't seen any censorship, deletion of posts, or any stifling of discussion on this issue. I have seen a lot of argumentum ad nauseam, but no censorship, nothing being forbidden.

Sarva wrote:I don't think it is wise to promote Atheism (or Theism or arguably even politics) in pure Buddhism. I think it is useful to consider their roles and their effect on one another's mental formations...


What is pure Buddhism? Is Buddhism not non-theistic? The devas and other celestial beings hardly compare to an Almighty-Creator-God with a capital G.

There is a lot of talk about attachment to views. There are two sides to that coin as there are two sides of this issue. I see some clinging desperately to the notion that Buddhism is not atheistic and all who do so are heretics, parasites, and other derogatory terms.

Also, another point; equating whatever evils might exist in scientific-materialist-atheists with Buddhists is just simply the guilt-by-association logical fallacy. Both can be non-theistic but disagree on other issues.
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Re: Hot Topics: Atheist Quotes

Postby Sarva » Wed May 02, 2012 8:06 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:
Sarva wrote:I don't think it is wise to promote Atheism (or Theism or arguably even politics) in pure Buddhism. I think it is useful to consider their roles and their effect on one another's mental formations...


What is pure Buddhism? Is Buddhism not non-theistic? The devas and other celestial beings hardly compare to an Almighty-Creator-God with a capital G.


Hello David
Thank you for acknowledging my post above. By 'pure Buddhism' I wished to indicate the teaching of the Buddha, not ideas such as "Atheism or Non-theism or Theism... etc". Such a 'thicket of views'.

As the Buddha said: “Both formerly & now, it is only stress that I describe, and the cessation of stress.” — SN 22:86... that is my aim.

David N. Snyder wrote:There is a lot of talk about attachment to views. There are two sides to that coin as there are two sides of this issue. I see some clinging desperately to the notion that Buddhism is not atheistic and all who do so are heretics, parasites, and other derogatory terms.

Also, another point; equating whatever evils might exist in scientific-materialist-atheists with Buddhists is just simply the guilt-by-association logical fallacy. Both can be non-theistic but disagree on other issues.

My post above is about ending stress by following the Buddha's teachings and becoming "disenchanted with ideas" (MN 148), I see promoting Atheism (or even Theism) as promoting an idea or belief which if clung to, may lead to further suffering. Atheism (non-theism and theism) are ideas with which one should make right effort to become disenchanted (MN 148). I see the open promotion of pro-Atheist threads here as adding to dukkha and confusion not leading away from it. I hoped to explain the reasons for that concern using the quotes above.

There is no mention in my post about "parasites". No "derogatory terms" were implied nor wished, nor is there any reference to "evil" or "scientific-materialistic-atheism" in my post above. I assume these terms were connected with another post?

This is my last post on this forum. Best wishes to all! :heart:

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“Both formerly & now, it is only stress that I describe, and the cessation of stress.” — SN 22:86
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Re: Hot Topics: Atheist Quotes

Postby manas » Wed May 02, 2012 8:27 pm

I recall this quote where the Buddha said "do not judge others. Only I, or one like me, is fit to judge..." (please correct this if I recall it wrongly.) I was thinking about this in relation to the notion that 'because the Buddha himself sometimes ridiculed the beliefs of the theistic Brahmins, so too it's fine for us to poke fun at the beliefs of modern-day theists' (no-one has directly said this, but this is what I'm picking up here). But is it, really? The Buddha was the figurehead of a new religion (of sorts), and yes he had a bit to say about the other religions of the time, but I do not think he advocated his followers to engage in such ridicule. I think it was the Buddha's prerogative, but not ours.

Furthermore I wish to again clarify that my comment regarding materialism and reductionism having influenced the perception of what I called 'Western Buddhism' was not directed specifically at anyone here, it was a general issue that, as I pointed out, I even sense in myself.

I'm also hoping that a follower of some other religion doesn't google 'Buddhist forum' and somehow land in the 'Athiest Quotes' section! I think that it would be unfortunate if that was their first impression of our Path. A humble suggestion is that the topic itself be only viewable by members of DW? After all, we are kind of representing the Dhamma (in the virtual sphere), maybe we need to be careful in that regard.

I am growing weary of arguing, and so with metta to all here, Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike, I'm signing off on this one

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Last edited by manas on Wed May 02, 2012 8:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hot Topics: Atheist Quotes

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed May 02, 2012 8:49 pm

No problemo. Thanks for offering your opinions.

All posts in that Atheist quotes thread in the Open Dhamma Hot Topics are reviewed and for the record, there have been some posts that were not approved. Most of you wouldn't know that because it is behind the scenes info among the moderating staff. If a post is a joke and goes too far or is offensive, it is not approved.

Peace to all; all religionists, non-religionists, theists, and atheists.

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Re: Hot Topics: Atheist Quotes

Postby Buckwheat » Sat May 05, 2012 3:24 pm

polarbuddha101 wrote:Well, I guess you have me there, mostly in that the thread falls under idle chatter.


I am an atheist, and I have no problem with 90% of the quotes on the thread. However, there are some quotes that are clearly filled with ill-will, divisiveness, and distortions of the truth. If somebody pretends Gandhi is an atheist, they are either lying or ignorant.

There are many atheists who are just as close minded as the worst Catholic bishops. There are even atheist pedophiles, and on down the line. Atheism is not superior to faith. It is only a chosen belief, and it happens to be my choice as well.

In a discussion with a person of faith, they used this kind of derisive discussion as an argument against atheism. She basically said (paraphrase of her words) atheists seem to be a bunch of assholes, so why would I give up my wonderful church community for that? Which is basically the same argument atheists use against Christians. So, we see two populations talking past each other instead of seeing each other's humanity.

Finally, I have no desire for the discussion to be removed through moderator action. I think the parties involved should practice restraint and only post quotes that are not filled with ill-will, derision, or distortions of truth. And, when such a post is made, it should be allowed for others to point out the folly. In the original board, I made several posts pointing out the folly of certain quotes, and next thing I knew the board was closed. That is NOT what I wanted. I wanted open discussion.
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Re: Hot Topics: Atheist Quotes

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat May 05, 2012 3:44 pm

The 'board' was never closed. This seems to be a common misconception. The topic simply moved to the Open Dhamma Hot Topics section so that we could moderate the posts so that they remain on topic, not meta-discussion (we have this one and several others for discussing the topic) and not for posts that are inappropriate. If it were not in the Hot Topics section, some posts that are offensive might remain until a moderator logs-in to see it.

As I mentioned previously, there have been posts which were not approved. It is not as if every post is allowed to go through. The offensive ones have been disapproved. As well as those that were off-topic.
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Re: Hot Topics: Atheist Quotes

Postby Buckwheat » Sat May 05, 2012 3:54 pm

Posts indicating that Gandhi, Thomas Jefferson, and Mother Teresa were not in fact atheists are offensive / off-topic?
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Re: Hot Topics: Atheist Quotes

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat May 05, 2012 3:59 pm

Buckwheat wrote:Posts indicating that Gandhi, Thomas Jefferson, and Mother Teresa were not in fact atheists are offensive / off-topic?


I am not sure about Gandhi, but the theistic/atheistic views of Thomas Jefferson and Mother Teresa are not conclusive and up for debate. Both have quotes and writings which suggest that they could have been atheist. I am sure you remember the reports from Mother Teresa's diaries after she passed, about the "absent one" etc. and her doubts and how some Christians wanted to even re-think the idea of canonizing her.
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Re: Hot Topics: Atheist Quotes

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat May 05, 2012 4:02 pm

Buckwheat wrote:Posts indicating that Gandhi, Thomas Jefferson, and Mother Teresa were not in fact atheists are offensive / off-topic?


The topic is atheist quotes. Again, as mentioned previously there is this topic and several others for discussing the topic in general. That topic is atheist quotes.
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Re: Hot Topics: Atheist Quotes

Postby Cittasanto » Sat May 05, 2012 6:41 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:The 'board' was never closed. This seems to be a common misconception.

I am reading this thread with some amusement at the amount of times this has been said.
isn't their a notice shown upon posting a response telling people that the posts are moderated in the "hot topics" section due to the high possibility of it going off topic?

just one question about the Hot topics section can posters start new threads there or do they have to be moved?
sorry for the off topic Q :juggling: :tongue:
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Re: Hot Topics: Atheist Quotes

Postby Buckwheat » Sat May 05, 2012 9:48 pm

Cittasanto wrote:
David N. Snyder wrote:The 'board' was never closed. This seems to be a common misconception.

I am reading this thread with some amusement at the amount of times this has been said.
isn't their a notice shown upon posting a response telling people that the posts are moderated in the "hot topics" section due to the high possibility of it going off topic?

just one question about the Hot topics section can posters start new threads there or do they have to be moved?
sorry for the off topic Q :juggling: :tongue:


Initially, it was closed, and I never got the memo that it was moved because all my posts were off topic. So, I've been a little out of the loop because I haven't been reading these threads.

This still doesn't make sense to me, though. If I want to start a thread telling jokes about how stupid Nevadans are, and I call it a hot topic, then anybody who wants to defend Nevadans has to do it on another, separate thread so as to not interfere with my Nevadan bashing? Doesn't really seem brilliant to me. Just to be cleaer, I have no actual desire to bash Nevadans. I lived in NV for a year.
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Re: Hot Topics: Atheist Quotes

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat May 05, 2012 10:05 pm

Cittasanto wrote:just one question about the Hot topics section can posters start new threads there or do they have to be moved?
sorry for the off topic Q :juggling: :tongue:


I think new topics could be made there, they would just have to be approved by a mod. Or one could be created in another sub-forum and a member could request it be moved there.
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