Do Buddhist believe in god?

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Re: Do Buddhist believe in god?

Postby Wesley1982 » Sun Jul 08, 2012 6:43 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:
Wesley1982 wrote:It sounds alot like the Creationism vs Evolution controversy :juggling:


Except that I can see why there is some diverging opinions on what to call Buddhism, but in regard to creationism vs. evolution it is much more simple: some cling to mythology and some prefer to look at the mountain of evidence in support of evolution. Here is the sum total of arguments that evolution is a hoax:

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Scientific ... ing_a_hoax


Like the search for Bigfoot the Giant Ape Man?..
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Re: Do Buddhist believe in god?

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Jul 08, 2012 11:15 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:Theism just doesn't sound right at all. Imagine a monk saying, "I'm going to Nalanda University to get my doctorate." Another person, "what degree program"? Monk: "I going for a Doctor of Theology degree."

Or how about Buddhist Theological Society?

Thats why it is common to see Buddhist Studies or Buddhology as courses regarding Buddhism :)
although there is or has been debate whether to limit the term theology to christianity so another religion would get a doctorite with a more appropriate/precise name.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Do Buddhist believe in god?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Jul 09, 2012 12:04 am

Cittasanto wrote:
non-theistic "approach" (with the qualifier) seams to fit best,
It would seem to be not necessarily the best locution. Non-theistic seems to strongly imply no gods of any sort whatsoever. But it more than seems that there are god like beings throughout the suttas not to mention the Buddha directly addressing the notion of an omniscient, omnipotent, permanent, independent, unique agent that is the cause of the cosmos , so it would seem the need for a "qualifier" would be rather extensive to make sense out of the idea of Buddhism being non-theistic.

Since atheism is most commonly understood as being directed at the idea of an omniscient, omnipotent, permanent, independent, unique agent that is the cause of the cosmos, and since this is directly addressed in the suttas by the Buddha, one could reasonably talk about Buddhist atheism, and, of course, as part of that discussion of Buddhist atheism the god like beings that play a role within the suttas also get discussed and are shown to seamlessly, it would seem, to fit into the Buddhist view as being mortal, kamma bound beings. Either way, a fair amount of quilfication is required.
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: Do Buddhist believe in god?

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Jul 09, 2012 12:38 am

Since atheism is most commonly understood as being directed at the idea of an omniscient, omnipotent, permanent, independent, unique agent that is the cause of the cosmos, and since this is directly addressed in the suttas by the Buddha, one could reasonably talk about Buddhist atheism, and, of course, as part of that discussion of Buddhist atheism the god like beings that play a role within the suttas also get discussed and are shown to seamlessly, it would seem, to fit into the Buddhist view as being mortal, kamma bound beings. Either way, a fair amount of quilfication is required.

you find a atheist who acepts a polytheistic model and you win!

doing the work for you
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index ... 118AArZxeO

{Edit = my favorite so far
Atheists, by definition, would reject those concepts; even god concepts that are compatible with a basic definition of atheism, like pantheism. The rebuttal you'll most likely hear is that the re-definition of God is tautological. There is merit to that argument.

HOWEVER, there is a sub-set of atheism, called ignosticism(not to be confused with agnosticism) which would allow for the acknowledgement of certain God concepts that are logically consistent by definition. That is not to say an ignostic, such as myself, would start believing in God, only that we would acknowledge that the concept as defined is a valid one.
}

Atheism is the lack of a belief in at least one god, that is if they accepted any god notion and do not lack belief therein they would not be an atheist!
Deva does in fact mean god.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Do Buddhist believe in god?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Jul 09, 2012 2:26 am

Cittasanto wrote:
Since atheism is most commonly understood as being directed at the idea of an omniscient, omnipotent, permanent, independent, unique agent that is the cause of the cosmos, and since this is directly addressed in the suttas by the Buddha, one could reasonably talk about Buddhist atheism, and, of course, as part of that discussion of Buddhist atheism the god like beings that play a role within the suttas also get discussed and are shown to seamlessly, it would seem, to fit into the Buddhist view as being mortal, kamma bound beings. Either way, a fair amount of qualification is required.

you find a atheist who acepts a polytheistic model and you win!
First of all, I am not in this to win or lose. I do my best not to think in those terms. Secondly, after reading the above missive, I got up to let in the dog, catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror, oh look!: An atheist who accepts the Buddhist polytheistic model. Also, see: #4 viewtopic.php?f=14&t=13029&start=80#p196024 And not to mention this from the link in the same msg: "Writers disagree how best to define and classify atheism,[25] contesting what supernatural entities it applies to, whether it is an assertion in its own right or merely the absence of one, and whether it requires a conscious, explicit rejection." And one thing that becomes quite clear, there is no simple definition of atheism. Still true today: "Atheism". Encyclopædia Britannica. 1911. "The term as generally used, however, is highly ambiguous. Its meaning varies (a) according to the various definitions of deity, and especially (b) according as it is (i.) deliberately adopted by a thinker as a description of his own theological standpoint, or (ii.) applied by one set of thinkers to their opponents. As to (a), it is obvious that atheism from the standpoint of the Christian is a very different conception as compared with atheism as understood by a Deist, a Positivist, a follower of Euhemerus or Herbert Spencer, or a Buddhist." --

As for non-theism, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nontheistic_religions but given that the Buddha did, in fact, directly address the question of an omniscient, omnipotent, permanent, independent, unique agent that is the cause of the cosmos, that pushes the issue in a direction of atheism and more specifically, Buddhist atheism.

doing the work for you
Why thank you. The response, for the most part makes a point about a not very carefully defined understanding of the question at hand, though I agree, this answer is of interest:

Atheists, by definition, would reject those concepts; even god concepts that are compatible with a basic definition of atheism, like pantheism. The rebuttal you'll most likely hear is that the re-definition of God is tautological. There is merit to that argument.

HOWEVER, there is a sub-set of atheism, called ignosticism(not to be confused with agnosticism) which would allow for the acknowledgement of certain God concepts that are logically consistent by definition. That is not to say an ignostic, such as myself, would start believing in God, only that we would acknowledge that the concept as defined is a valid one.


Atheism is the lack of a belief in at least one god, that is if they accepted any god notion and do not lack belief therein they would not be an atheist!
But as we have seen, that is not a universal or set in stone definition.
Deva does in fact mean god.
But the real question is, what does it mean within a Buddhist context, especially in contrast to what the Buddha explicitly rejected: the idea of an omniscient, omnipotent, permanent, independent, unique agent that is the cause of the cosmos.
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: Do Buddhist believe in god?

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Jul 09, 2012 5:47 am

tiltbillings wrote:First of all, I am not in this to win or lose. I do my best not to think in those terms. Secondly, after reading the above missive, I got up to let in the dog, catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror, oh look!: An atheist who accepts the Buddhist polytheistic model.

then your a Buddhist, no need to add atheism at all.
I happen to not believe in mono or polytheistic gods in the regular definition of god/s, but do accept the Buddhist model even though I have no proof, other than the texts.
one could say hindu atheism, christian atheism or deism atheism based upon their lack of acceptance of another model, but none of them are actual atheistic beliefs.

Some Buddhists may be Atheists, i.e. they lack a belief, there is a non-acceptance of the Buddhist model of gods

As for non-theism, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nontheistic_religions but given that the Buddha did, in fact, directly address the question of an omniscient, omnipotent, permanent, independent, unique agent that is the cause of the cosmos, that pushes the issue in a direction of atheism and more specifically, Buddhist atheism.

Hence the use of the qualifier - Buddhism is a non-theirstic approach.
there is one thing I am seeing in Buddhist Atheism now, that it is actually naming the whole and too far, the gods are then completely denied, atheism when applied would reffer to the god or gods of the religion it is applied to also not only external to that religions gods
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Do Buddhist believe in god?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Jul 09, 2012 5:59 am

Cittasanto wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:First of all, I am not in this to win or lose. I do my best not to think in those terms. Secondly, after reading the above missive, I got up to let in the dog, catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror, oh look!: An atheist who accepts the Buddhist polytheistic model.

then your a Buddhist, no need to add atheism at all.
Of course atheism is appropriate when talking about an omniscient, omnipotent, permanent, independent, unique agent that is the cause of the cosmos in the context of the Buddha's teaching and how the Buddha regarded such a claim.

one could say hindu atheism, christian atheism or deism atheism based upon their lack of acceptance of another model, but none of them are actual atheistic beliefs.
Certainly, and that is the point. There is no fixed, etched in carbon steel definition of atheism.

Some Buddhists may be Atheists, i.e. they lack a belief, there is a non-acceptance of the Buddhist model of gods
Sure, and some Buddhist may be atheists in regard to the rejection of an omniscient, omnipotent, permanent, independent, unique agent that is the cause of the cosmos, but they may have no difficulty with the supposed gods being mortal, kamma bound beings.

As for non-theism, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nontheistic_religions but given that the Buddha did, in fact, directly address the question of an omniscient, omnipotent, permanent, independent, unique agent that is the cause of the cosmos, that pushes the issue in a direction of atheism and more specifically, Buddhist atheism.

Hence the use of the qualifier - Buddhism is a non-theirstic approach.
there is one thing I am seeing in Buddhist Atheism now, that it is actually naming the whole and too far, the gods are then completely denied, atheism when applied would reffer to the god or gods of the religion it is applied to also not only external to that religions gods
That is a problem you are having, but it is not a problem I am having. Buddhist atheism only denies the theistic claim of an omniscient, omnipotent, permanent, independent, unique agent that is the cause of the cosmos, but it does not deny the claim there are mortal, kamma bound beings.
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: Do Buddhist believe in god?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Jul 09, 2012 6:14 am

one could say hindu atheism, christian atheism or deism
One can:

Christian atheism

Hindu atheism

Christian deism
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: Do Buddhist believe in god?

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Jul 09, 2012 2:47 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:First of all, I am not in this to win or lose. I do my best not to think in those terms. Secondly, after reading the above missive, I got up to let in the dog, catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror, oh look!: An atheist who accepts the Buddhist polytheistic model.

then your a Buddhist, no need to add atheism at all.
Of course atheism is appropriate when talking about an omniscient, omnipotent, permanent, independent, unique agent that is the cause of the cosmos in the context of the Buddha's teaching and how the Buddha regarded such a claim.

but not when talking about Buddhism.
and it is easier and more precise/less misleading to just state a monotheistic God is not accepted in Buddhism, rather than just stating buddhist atheism and then having to explain why gods are found in the canon. because one thing that was noticable in the Yahoo Answers question was the requirement of proof in many of the posts, and texts would not supply that proof, and to then call buddhism atheistic raises the question "where is this atheism considering all the supernatural beings?"
one could say hindu atheism, christian atheism or deism atheism based upon their lack of acceptance of another model, but none of them are actual atheistic beliefs.
Certainly, and that is the point. There is no fixed, etched in carbon steel definition of atheism.

Some Buddhists may be Atheists, i.e. they lack a belief, there is a non-acceptance of the Buddhist model of gods
Sure, and some Buddhist may be atheists in regard to the rejection of an omniscient, omnipotent, permanent, independent, unique agent that is the cause of the cosmos, but they may have no difficulty with the supposed gods being mortal, kamma bound beings.

But none of them are actually atheistic Belief systems.
Accepting one god but denying another isn't actually atheistic by any definition I have seen, and even the strict narrow sense Ben showed from the Oxford Dictionaty doesn't give that type of definition and an earlier edition
From the Oxford English Dictionary 2nd Ed. 1989
Atheist:
1. One who denies or disbelieves the existence of a God.
and you can get more here http://www.evilbible.com/Definition_of_Atheism_3.htm
and the etymology
Atheist from a- "without" + theos "a god" http://etymonline.com/index.php?term=atheist
(might ask that on YA :-) quite enjoyed reading the responses.)

As for non-theism, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nontheistic_religions but given that the Buddha did, in fact, directly address the question of an omniscient, omnipotent, permanent, independent, unique agent that is the cause of the cosmos, that pushes the issue in a direction of atheism and more specifically, Buddhist atheism.

Hence the use of the qualifier - Buddhism is a non-theirstic approach.
there is one thing I am seeing in Buddhist Atheism now, that it is actually naming the whole and too far, the gods are then completely denied, atheism when applied would reffer to the god or gods of the religion it is applied to also not only external to that religions gods

That is a problem you are having, but it is not a problem I am having. Buddhist atheism only denies the theistic claim of an omniscient, omnipotent, permanent, independent, unique agent that is the cause of the cosmos, but it does not deny the claim there are mortal, kamma bound beings.[/quote]
Sorry the problem you are having is the fact that Buddhism isn't actually atheistic, because of the Gods found within the canon, whether they are subject to rebirth or not they are gods. I say this because the Buddha didn't call a butcher a potter, i.e. he called thing what they were, & said what he meant.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism#Range
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Do Buddhist believe in god?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Jul 09, 2012 3:44 pm

Cittasanto wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Of course atheism is appropriate when talking about an omniscient, omnipotent, permanent, independent, unique agent that is the cause of the cosmos in the context of the Buddha's teaching and how the Buddha regarded such a claim.

but not when talking about Buddhism.
Thank you for sharing your opinion, but other opinions carry as much, if not more, weight than does yours. What atheism means, as has been clearly shown, is not set in stone and certainly has a fair degree of plasticity.

and it is easier and more precise/less misleading to just state a monotheistic God is not accepted in Buddhism, rather than just stating buddhist atheism and then having to explain why gods are found in the canon. because one thing that was noticable in the Yahoo Answers question was the requirement of proof in many of the posts, and texts would not supply that proof, and to then call buddhism atheistic raises the question "where is this atheism considering all the supernatural beings?"
Yahoo Answers. Yes, well, there is a source of high quality thinking. The issue is not a matter of trying to prove that what the Buddhist texts say is somehow objectively true; rather, the point is: here is what the Buddha taught. If people want to believe or not believe, that is their business.

Accepting one god but denying another isn't actually atheistic by any definition I have seen
Then obviously you have not been paying any attention, or you are simply and willfully, ignoring that which is contrary how you think we should all think about the Buddha's teachings.

Sorry the problem you are having is the fact that Buddhism isn't actually atheistic, because of the Gods found within the canon, whether they are subject to rebirth or not they are gods. I say this because the Buddha didn't call a butcher a potter, i.e. he called thing what they were, & said what he meant.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism#Range
I don't have a problem with how the Buddha taught his Dhamma. The "gods" within the suttas are certainly not what they were in the Brahmanical texts/teachings from whence they came. The Buddha directly rejected an omniscient, omnipotent, permanent, independent, unique agent that is the cause of the cosmos, which is essentially a theological statement, putting the Buddha's teachings in that context of talking about agent driven creation in an atheist context, and the gods, while having been retained by the Buddha, have been severely demoted, subsumed, and markedly subordinated by the Buddha's teachings, putting the Buddha in a superior position. You can call the devas in the suttas gods if you want, but they are very limited, at best figurehead gods, and they are, indeed, markedly different from how the Hindus view them. While the gods in general have not been rejected as has the notion of an omniscient, omnipotent, permanent, independent, unique agent that is the cause of the cosmos, they have been subsumed and subordinated, leaving them with no actual significance or power in terms of the core of the Buddha's teachings, and all of this is what gives the unique characteristics to Buddhist atheism.

You don't have to call it Buddhist atheism, but others who may opt to are no less justified in their opinion than are you in yours.
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: Do Buddhist believe in god?

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Jul 09, 2012 9:34 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Of course atheism is appropriate when talking about an omniscient, omnipotent, permanent, independent, unique agent that is the cause of the cosmos in the context of the Buddha's teaching and how the Buddha regarded such a claim.

but not when talking about Buddhism.
Thank you for sharing your opinion, but other opinions carry as much, if not more, weight than does yours. What atheism means, as has been clearly shown, is not set in stone and can be used variously.

yes and highlighted.
you havn't shown anything regarding the term, although "how a word means is based upon how the word is (commonly) used"; which the YA question did highlight certain usages, something you are yet to show.
christians used to be called atheists because they didn't believe in the roman pantheon, and later when christianity became mainstream monotheism was included, and atheisms range widened to all forms yet, continued to be used as a derogitory term for non believers of a particular religion, which happened to be christianity.

and it is easier and more precise/less misleading to just state a monotheistic God is not accepted in Buddhism, rather than just stating buddhist atheism and then having to explain why gods are found in the canon. because one thing that was noticable in the Yahoo Answers question was the requirement of proof in many of the posts, and texts would not supply that proof, and to then call buddhism atheistic raises the question "where is this atheism considering all the supernatural beings?"
Yahoo Answers. Yes, well, there is a source of high quality thinking. The issue is not a matter of trying to prove that what the Buddhist texts say is somehow objectively true; rather, the point is: here is what the Buddha taught. What people opt to do with it is their business.

I do not see the point in dispraising YA! here.
yes what people opt to do with that is their business so there can be buddhists who are atheists (as said - I believe - three times now)
the issue is how to classify Buddhism which does not give the wrong impression, as Buddhist atheism is starting up and taking stances along the lines of there is no rebirth with one leader of the movement being Stephen Batchelor. there are those who are Buddhist monotheists, or hold other philosophic views hand in hand with Buddhist but I would no sooner say that any combination is good description.
Yet none of this escapes the fact that Buddhism is not (a)without (theos)a god in one shape or form.

Accepting one god but denying another isn't actually atheistic by any definition I have seen
Then obviously you have not been paying any attention, or you are simply and willfully, ignoring that which is contrary how you think we should all think about the Buddha's teachings.
I am sorry but the exact same could be said to the other side here!
just to refer back to Bens dictionary quote at the bottom of page six viewtopic.php?f=14&t=13029&start=100#p196178
theism actually expanded its range to include monotheism, and still includes other views of divinity today.
the problem here is that the specificity referred to is actually due to the term being used as an insult by the current cultural norm regarding god views, please look at the link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism#Range.

Sorry the problem you are having is the fact that Buddhism isn't actually atheistic, because of the Gods found within the canon, whether they are subject to rebirth or not they are gods. I say this because the Buddha didn't call a butcher a potter, i.e. he called thing what they were, & said what he meant.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism#Range
I don't have a problem with how the Buddha taught his Dhamma. The "gods" within the suttas are certainly not what they were in the Brahmanical texts/teachings from whence they came. The Buddha directly rejected an omniscient, omnipotent, permanent, independent, unique agent that is the cause of the cosmos, which is essentially a theological statement, putting the Buddha's teachings in that context of talking about agent driven creation in an atheist context, and the gods, while having been retained by the Buddha, have been severely demoted, subsumed, and markedly subordinated by the Buddha's teachings, putting the Buddha in a superior position. You can call the devas in the suttas gods if you want, but they are very limited, at best figurehead gods, and, indeed, markedly different from how the Hindus view them. While the gods in general have not been rejected as has the notion of an omniscient, omnipotent, permanent, independent, unique agent that is the cause of the cosmos, they have been subsumed and subordinated, leaving them with no actual significance or power in terms of the core of the Buddha's teachings, and all of this is what gives the unique characteristics to Buddhist atheism.

yet they are still gods and the atheist context would remove gods entirely due to a lack of solid proof.

You don't have to call it Buddhist atheism, but others who may opt to are no less justified in their opinion than are you in yours.

as I have said before, a personal preference to be associated with one or more "philosophic" approaches is not the issue, someone can be a pastafarian wiccan for all I care, But I am not concerned with what individualls want to practice, or believe here, rather how to define Buddhism appropriately.

Buddhism has a nontheistic approach as although it is inclusive of gods, they are not involved or important to the practice; it is not a atheistic approach as the belief in gods is still present.
http://oxforddictionaries.com/definitio ... atheist__2
http://oxforddictionaries.com/definitio ... heistic__2

but there comes a point of agreeing to dissagree so have the last word if you wish.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Do Buddhist believe in god?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:11 am

Cittasanto wrote:you havn't shown anything regarding the term [atheism],
Except where I discussed the term, it various usages, and quoting and referencing, as necessary, various sources to make my point: viewtopic.php?f=14&t=13029&start=140#p196260

viewtopic.php?f=14&t=13029&start=120#p196204

The Buddhist Attitude to God.

Buddhism and the God-idea

viewtopic.php?f=14&t=13029&start=80#p196024

I do not see the point in dispraising YA! here.
All one has to do read the responses to your posting.

the issue is how to classify Buddhism which does not give the wrong impression, as Buddhist atheism is starting up and taking stances along the lines of there is no rebirth with one leader of the movement being Stephen Batchelor. there are those who are Buddhist monotheists, or hold other philosophic views hand in hand with Buddhist but I would no sooner say that any combination is good description.
Yet none of this escapes the fact that Buddhism is not (a)without (theos)a god in one shape or form.
Batchelor is expressing his own particular point of view, which is not an accurate reflection of what the Buddha taught. As for the "gods" I have dealt with that at length and in detail. To repeat:

    The "gods" within the suttas are certainly not what they were in the Brahmanical texts/teachings from whence they came. The Buddha directly rejected an omniscient, omnipotent, permanent, independent, unique agent that is the cause of the cosmos, which is essentially a theological statement, putting the Buddha's teachings in that context of talking about agent driven creation in an atheist context, and the gods, while having been retained by the Buddha, have been severely demoted, subsumed, and markedly subordinated by the Buddha's teachings, putting the Buddha in a superior position. You can call the devas in the suttas gods if you want, but they are very limited, at best figurehead gods, and they are, indeed, markedly different from how the Hindus view them. While the gods in general have not been rejected as has the notion of an omniscient, omnipotent, permanent, independent, unique agent that is the cause of the cosmos, they have been subsumed and subordinated, leaving them with no actual significance or power in terms of the core of the Buddha's teachings, and all of this is what gives the unique characteristics to Buddhist atheism.

Accepting one god but denying another isn't actually atheistic by any definition I have seen
The point is that the creative omniscient, omnipotent, permanent, independent, unique agent that is the cause of the cosmos function is what has been denied, and in the process the gods as a whole have been severely suborbninated. The atheistic feature is that there is simply no creator god. There is no:

“Supreme being, Creator and Ruler of the Universe.” -- The Concise Oxford Dictionary

"“There is but one living and true God, everlasting, without body, parts or passions;
of infinite power, wisdom and goodness, the Maker and Preserver of all things both visible and
invisible ….” -- The Book of Common Prayer

"That Worshipful God, the Great God, the Omnipotent, the Omniscient, the Organizer, the Protection, the Creator, the Most Perfect Ruler, the Designer and Orderer, the Father of All That Have Been and Shall Be, He by Whom we were created, He is permanent, Constant, Eternal, Unchanging, and He will remain so for ever and ever." -- DN 24

In that the Buddha's teachings are atheistic, and they are atheistic in the radical reduction of the gods to naught more than mortal beings which have no necessary significance in the striving for awakening.

yet they are still gods and the atheist context would remove gods entirely due to a lack of solid proof.
As I have already stated, in presenting the Buddhist point of view, the issue is not trying to provide proof for the existence of the devas. It is, rather, simply pointing out what it is that the Buddha taught and what are the underlying principles. In other words: This is what the Buddha taught, these are the underlying principles at play.

Buddhism has a nontheistic approach as although it is inclusive of gods, they are not involved or important to the practice; it is not a atheistic approach as the belief in gods is still present.
And we have seen the problem with calling Buddhism non-theistic. As you said above: "Yet none of this escapes the fact that Buddhism is not (a)without (theos)a god in one shape or form." If the devas are gods, then Buddhism is, in fact, theistic. Being non-theistic, as the word suggests, would mean being without (non) gods (theism), but that is not the case. "Non-theism" is a non-starter. What is the case is the core function attributed to a capital "G" God has been rejected and the "gods" of the suttas have, in terms of the goal of the Buddha's teachings, no significance. In other words, the Buddha's teachings, in terms of the capital "G" God, is a form of atheism.

but there comes a point of agreeing to dissagree so have the last word if you wish.
Thank you for the last word.
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: Do Buddhist believe in god?

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:19 am

I do feel a need to ask (generally to those who agree with tilts possition) as to why the limited definition?
because it looks to me that there is a twisting or picking the facts to suit the theory.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Do Buddhist believe in god?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:24 am

Cittasanto wrote:I do feel a need to ask (generally to those who agree with tilts possition) as to why the limited definition?
because it looks to me that there is a twisting or picking the facts to suit the theory.
Twisting and picking what facts? Obviously, I don't get the last word here, as you said. You seem not to want to let this go.
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: Do Buddhist believe in god?

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:50 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:I do feel a need to ask (generally to those who agree with tilts possition) as to why the limited definition?
because it looks to me that there is a twisting or picking the facts to suit the theory.
Twisting and picking what facts? Obviously, I don't get the last word here, as you said. You seem not to want to let this go.

don't assume I was replying to it, as if I was I would of quoted it.
Last word in that discussion, you certainly had as I am not discussing how to define Buddhism anymore, but that does not mean I am not curious about some aspect which is for me quite obvious.
the fact of that theism and atheism does refer in general to all gods, not just the specific monotheistic one.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Do Buddhist believe in god?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:00 am

Cittasanto wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:I do feel a need to ask (generally to those who agree with tilts possition) as to why the limited definition?
because it looks to me that there is a twisting or picking the facts to suit the theory.
Twisting and picking what facts? Obviously, I don't get the last word here, as you said. You seem not to want to let this go.

don't assume I was replying to it, as if I was I would of quoted it.
You are stating directly that it looks to you that I am twisting and picking facts, a rather serious accusation of a lack of honesty. It certainly looks like you are responding to what I said in a rather negative, harmful way.

the fact of that theism and atheism does refer in general to all gods, not just the specific monotheistic one.
It all depends upon how one opts to use the words and in what contexts. You are the one who keeps going on about narrow and broad definitions, which are, of course, legitimate ways of approaching an issue. If one uses a narrow definition, that is the context and the basis for what is said, and it is a legitimate in that way. Why would that be a problem? One does not necessarily rule out the other.
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: Do Buddhist believe in god?

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jul 10, 2012 1:06 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:because it looks to me that there is a twisting or picking the facts to suit the theory.
Twisting and picking what facts? Obviously, I don't get the last word here, as you said. You seem not to want to let this go.

don't assume I was replying to it, as if I was I would of quoted it.
You are stating directly that it looks to you that I am twisting and picking facts, a rather serious accusation of a lack of honesty. It certainly looks like you are responding to what I said in a rather negative, harmful way.
no more or less than some of your comments, although I would sooner challenge my views now, rather than yours, but the view does need expressed for specificity, for understanding, plus if I am ever asked I can explain rather then give a bias opinion I can answer appropriately.
I am fond of precision BTW.

the fact of that theism and atheism does refer in general to all gods, not just the specific monotheistic one.
It all depends upon how one opts to use the words and in what contexts. You are the one who keeps going on about narrow and broad definitions, which are, of course, legitimate ways of approaching an issue. If one uses a narrow definition, that is the context and the basis for what is said, and it is a legitimate in that way. Why would that be a problem? One does not necessarily rule out the other.

yes, if someone of no religion says they are a atheist they mean all gods
if someone of a religion says you are a atheist they are referring to their gods (and has a derogatory sense)
if someone of a religion says they are a atheist christian they are referring to the named religion.
as an example of the latter http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_atheism.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Do Buddhist believe in god?

Postby Judai » Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:05 pm

Hey tiltbilling
You asked where is the Buddha,and did he crwate the cosmos.

My reply:if you are implying nhilism,and anhilation of the existing being then,all i can say is the Buddha taught thoae things were wrong view,the Buddha never taught that life ceases not once not ever.The Buddha stated that after death their is always the continuation of an existing being,whether its eternal life in rebirth,or eternal life as the Buddha life itself is eternal.their is no nhilism,or anhilationism doctrine in Buddhism its simply listed as wrong view.

With that said the Buddha is eternal,everlasting,unborn,and uncreated and as he stated the teacher of immortality so where do you think he is?

As far as the cosmos is voncerned the cosmos is samsarasan its not of the Buddha its of mara,and have u ever heard of emanationIsm?more in line with karma than creatiSm.

Lastly the TOS is do Buddhists belive in god the answer is YES
You mono and poly ideas of god or gods either way they are still gods whether its the god odin or the god of the bible or the gods in buddhism.
And an atheist doesnt belive that a god exists PERIOD,whether is mono or poly idea of god or gods,
An agnostic is one one states a god Might exist.

So no we are not atheists,also gods in Buddhism are literal not metophoric if you want ill let the suttas tell you that for me?
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Re: Do Buddhist believe in god?

Postby cooran » Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:29 pm

Hello all,

This might be of interest:

The Buddhist Attitude to God - by Dr V. A. Gunasekara
Statement made to a Multi-religious Seminar
________________________________________
CONTENTS
1. Introduction
2. Buddhism as a Non-Theistic religion
3. The Notion of God
4. The Buddhist View of God
5. The God-Concept and Buddhism
6. The Persistence of the God-Idea
http://www.budsas.org/ebud/ebdha068.htm

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: Do Buddhist believe in god?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:35 pm

Cittasanto wrote:I am fond of precision BTW.
Your claim of precision seems to be exemplified by your claim of me that "you havn't shown anything regarding the term [atheism]", but as I have shown you, that was less than precise.

tilt wrote:
the fact of that theism and atheism does refer in general to all gods, not just the specific monotheistic one.
It all depends upon how one opts to use the words and in what contexts. You are the one who keeps going on about narrow and broad definitions, which are, of course, legitimate ways of approaching an issue. If one uses a narrow definition, that is the context and the basis for what is said, and it is a legitimate in that way. Why would that be a problem? One does not necessarily rule out the other.

yes, if someone of no religion says they are a atheist they mean all gods
if someone of a religion says you are a atheist they are referring to their gods (and has a derogatory sense)
if someone of a religion says they are a atheist christian they are referring to the named religion.
as an example of the latter http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_atheism.
And given that one can reasonably talk about Buddhist atheism.
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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