Nonsense in Buddhism?

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Nonsense in Buddhism?

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Jun 24, 2009 6:39 pm

I found this video link over at Dharma Wheel:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KauGMZVB ... re=related

The bearded man does not make any points against the Suttas and just goes on a rant against Ajahn Brahm. To me, it sounds a lot like a Red Herring, Guilt-by-association, and maybe also a couple of other logical fallacies such as ad hominem, for using the b.s. term (how profound). :thinking:

Buddhism does not require acceptance of Ian Stevensons' works, nor any of the other statements made in the clips from Ajahn Brahm. They were just that monk's views and points. They might be weak, but don't say anything one way or the other as to the value or validity of Buddhism.
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Re: Nonsense in Buddhism?

Postby clw_uk » Wed Jun 24, 2009 6:45 pm

I agree with most of what he says but that is in relation to Ajahn Brahms statements and not Buddhadhamma so i agree with you as well

Most of what Ajahn Brahm said wasnt actually anything really to do with buddhadhamma but to do with his own personal opinions of the validity, effect and a need of reincarnation


I think the guy is criticising buddhism and not buddhadhamma, there is a comment that he left saying something a long those lines (from memory)


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Re: Nonsense in Buddhism?

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Jun 24, 2009 8:28 pm

Yeah he didn't actually say much or prove his point what is his alternative? I am my father???
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Re: Nonsense in Buddhism?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Jun 24, 2009 8:36 pm

Most of what Ajahn Brahm said wasnt actually anything really to do with buddhadhamma but to do with his own personal opinions of the validity, effect and a need of reincarnation


That sound remarkably familiar.
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.

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Re: Nonsense in Buddhism?

Postby appicchato » Wed Jun 24, 2009 9:53 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Most of what Ajahn Brahm said wasnt actually anything really to do with buddhadhamma but to do with his own personal opinions of the validity, effect and a need of reincarnation


That sound remarkably familiar.


Hmm...I caught Ajahn Brahm's talk in Bangkok on Monday and found this too...I was also a little surprised to hear him equate reincarnation and rebirth as the same thing...at least that's how I interpreted him... :shrug:
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Re: Nonsense in Buddhism?

Postby Individual » Wed Jun 24, 2009 10:31 pm

LOL, the number of angry atheists on Youtube are hilarious.

Religion, religion, omg...!!! Religion is destroying teh world... Religion=war, religion=ignorance, religion=stupidity, religion=hatred... Gotta stop teh religionz!!!!

Despite the fact that he has a sick mentality and agenda, I have to agree with him. Is Ajahn Brahm subtly arguing for eternalism here? He uses Ian Stevenson's pseudoscientific reincarnation research to support Buddhist rebirth. Ajahn Brahm should simply say, "I don't know," when asked about rebirth, if he doesn't know. What knowledge of past lives does he actually have? And even if he had such knowledge, would this not contradict notself?

I laughed when the atheist guy said, "Hardly anything (passes to the next life)? Hardly anything? Bull****!" It seemed very Zen!
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Re: Nonsense in Buddhism?

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Jun 24, 2009 11:31 pm

A couple of points.

1. In English reincarnation and rebirth are synonyms. I know some people in Buddhist circles use them to distinguish "non-Buddhist rebirth ideas" from "Buddhist rebirth", but translations of Tibetan texts, in particular, often use the word "reincarnation" where others would use the word "rebirth". Anyway, arguing over the meaning of English words is pointless...

2. Ajahn Brahm would be breaking a Vinaya rule to make open claims about his attainments, but in some of his talks you'll find very strong hints that he does believe that he has recalled past lives.

Of course, I have no idea whether he does or not, and I don't particularly care. I'm personally not particularly interested in trying to make Buddhism "scientific", I think it's a completely different paradigm, so in some ways I'd rather he didn't go on about Stevenson so much... But it's his Dhamma talk and he can say what he likes...

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Re: Nonsense in Buddhism?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Jun 24, 2009 11:42 pm

Greetings Individual,

Individual wrote:What knowledge of past lives does he actually have? And even if he had such knowledge, would this not contradict notself?


No. You can remember what happened yesterday, and that doesn't contradict anatta does it? Remembering what happened a hundred years ago needn't be any different in principle if we accept memory as a mental rather than physical phenomenon.

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)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Nonsense in Buddhism?

Postby Individual » Thu Jun 25, 2009 12:29 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Individual,

Individual wrote:What knowledge of past lives does he actually have? And even if he had such knowledge, would this not contradict notself?


No. You can remember what happened yesterday, and that doesn't contradict anatta does it? Remembering what happened a hundred years ago needn't be any different in principle if we accept memory as a mental rather than physical phenomenon.

Metta,
Retro. :)

I meant past lives in the common sense of the word, not merely the past, in general.

I can remember yesterday, because of this brain and its corresponding memories. Before this life and after this one, what is it that is "transferred", without a self? Karma manifests vipaka, but not for a self or being.

Accepting memory as a "mental" phenomenon independent of any physical phenomenon is a soul-theory. But the mental and physical are co-dependent. Accepting it as dependent on the physical, there's no reason to believe that memory is transferred between lives (something reincarnation proponents suggest), except to the extent that karma creates the basis for the new memories of a different being.
Last edited by Individual on Thu Jun 25, 2009 12:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Nonsense in Buddhism?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Jun 25, 2009 12:33 am

Greetings Individual,

Individual wrote:Accepting memory as a "mental" phenomenon independent of any physical phenomenon is a soul-theory. But the mental and physical are co-dependent.


Why is it a soul-theory? Accepting something as a "physical" phenomenon independent of any mental phenomenon wouldn't be a soul theory. Is accepting a "rock" or a "tree" soul theory? No, because their existence can be understood with respect to anatta, anicca, sunnata etc.

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: Nonsense in Buddhism?

Postby Individual » Thu Jun 25, 2009 12:42 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Individual,

Individual wrote:Accepting memory as a "mental" phenomenon independent of any physical phenomenon is a soul-theory. But the mental and physical are co-dependent.


Why is it a soul-theory? Accepting something as a "physical" phenomenon independent of any mental phenomenon wouldn't be a soul theory. Is accepting a "rock" or a "tree" soul theory? No, because their existence can be understood with respect to anatta, anicca, sunnata etc.

Metta,
Retro. :)

It is a soul theory because it suggests something independent. Independence\dependence is closely tied with Self\Notself. Something is a "self" because of its separateness or identity. Notself is tied with dependent co-origination: It is because everything is dependent in its origination, on prior causes, giving rise to new conditions, that there is no self. To say that there is no self means that there is nothing independent, nothing extra outside, of the great diversity of causes which brought this mind and body into being. Just as Anatta and Sunnatta mean the same thing, both of these mean the same thing as Co-dependent Origination.

Accepting a rock or a tree is a soul-theory, in the sense of ascribing it a false sense of identity, but not in the same specific sense that we think of in terms of beings: creating a false sense of identity for consciousness, the bundle of mental aggregates that make up what is called self. Should scientists begin to modify trees to make them sentient, quantum effects of trees suggests consciousness, and to understand how early life resembled rocks, trees and rocks cease to be "trees" and "rocks", and it is not the definition that is wrong, but our own understanding -- our misunderstanding of non-identity, non-intrinsicness, dependent origination, notself.

Well, let's say that there is a tree or a rock. We can ask, "Where did this tree come from and where is it going?" If we have subtle biases towards the idea that these things are eternal, that some small portion is "left" and "carries over" to some "future" rock or tree, we are deluding ourselves. Creating definitions of unobservable, mental aspects of these objects is a way of hiding this deceit.
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Re: Nonsense in Buddhism?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Jun 25, 2009 12:51 am

Greetings Individual,

Individual wrote:It is a soul theory because it suggests something independent.


Not necessarily so. I can understand that an apple grows from a tree, falls, decays and decomposes. I can label it an "apple" but not be under any delusions that it is somehow "independent" or causeless. The same with a rock that was previously spewn from a volcano and will in time erode to dust.

Individual wrote:Well, let's say that there is a tree or a rock. We can ask, "Where did this tree come from and where is it going?" If we have subtly biases towards the idea that these things are eternal, that some small portion is "left" and "carries over" to some "future" rock or tree, we are deluding ourselves.


We can have such biases such as those outlined in...

SN 12.15: Kaccayanagotta Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

...but it's not inherently necessary. These things can be understood without reference to soul, and so it is with memory, whose causes came from "past lives" and are therefore not "independent" in the sense that would constitute a soul.

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: Nonsense in Buddhism?

Postby kc2dpt » Thu Jun 25, 2009 4:01 am

Is this thread becoming a rebirth debate?
- Peter

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Re: Nonsense in Buddhism?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jun 25, 2009 4:17 am

Peter wrote:Is this thread becoming a rebirth debate?


One of those dumbassed things is enough.
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: Nonsense in Buddhism?

Postby Jechbi » Thu Jun 25, 2009 5:20 am

Mr. Solway takes some things out of context, in my opinion. I believe this is the link to the Ajahn Brahm talk in question (will open mp3 file). It's easy to pluck out certain parts of any talk and take a few swings at those parts. But doing that is just a distraction from the underlying important points Ajahn makes.

Interesting to read some of the comments posted with the video. One of Mr. Solway's latest comments (as of this posting) is a swipe at E-Sangha. He claims members get banned merely for not holding the views that the forum admins hold. False.

My impression is that in this video, Mr. Solway oversimplifies, overgeneralizes and exaggerates. His closing thought, for example, is that it is an act of "violence" to hold the view that if one denies rebirth, one must believe in annihilationism. An act of violence? I don't see how that comment can be justified, even if you don't agree with Ajahn Brahm.

More broadly speaking, Mr. Solway seems to believe he is arguing against Buddhism when in fact he is not. Rather, he's arguing against one man's Dhamma talk, and he's arguing against reincarnation. Obviously, belief in rebirth is not falsifiable, so what does Mr. Solway think he's trying to accomplish? Other than merely to point out the obvious, which is that Buddhism in this respect is a religion. Duh.

I think this is the same guy. He writes:
Increasingly I realized the inseparability of reason and masculinity. At the same time I could not help noticing the increasing feminization of society. The only course open to me was to attack femininity at the root. My life's work, I decided, would focus on making people aware of the shortcomings of femininity and the great benefits of masculinity. For there to be wise men, there must first be men.

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Re: Nonsense in Buddhism?

Postby Guy » Thu Jun 25, 2009 5:27 am

This poor man is more concerned about being correct about the pedantic details that he seems to have missed the point of the talk. Maybe Ajahn Brahm could have chosen more skilful words to talk about what is already a difficult topic and perhaps he could have talked about it from a more unbiased perspective, rather than a Buddhist perspective. However, he was talking in a temple to primarily a group of regularly attending Buddhists and for that reason I am sure that his talk was not primarily intended for hardline atheists. If he were talking about rebirth to atheists he would probably be more careful with his wording and instead of drawing from his own experience and the stories of trusted sources (such as other monks, who are generally considered amongst other Buddhists to be honest about what they say they have seen or heard, especially when you have known the person for a while) he would approach the topic from a more objective and rational approach (which in itself would be very difficult since the best kind of evidence is first hand experience). I am fairly certain that he only speaks in the manner he does, with a seemingly authoritative approach, because he is sincere about what he says and he understands that his live audience (ie. the people in the temple) all have meditative experience and many may have already recalled some of their own past life memories and so are not going to nit-pick everything and dissect it until it has lost all the originally intended meaning.

So what is the intended meaning? Well to me it is simple - our actions in this very life have consequences which implies personal responsibility, which seems to be the opposite of what the man in the video is suggesting that Ajahm Brahm is suggesting.

With Metta and much respect to Ajahn Brahm for trying to talk about what is difficult to talk about,

Guy
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Re: Nonsense in Buddhism?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Jun 25, 2009 5:35 am

Oh, it's Kevin "Man of the Infinite" Solway is it? Yes, I do believe I have encountered him in cyberspace before.

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: Nonsense in Buddhism?

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Thu Jun 25, 2009 5:47 am

Kevin, aka Wanderer, has been carrying on about what's wrong with Buddhist beliefs for a while now (on the Internet).
It's tiresome. And a little strange.

I hadn't read about the misogyny before now, so that's news.
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Re: Nonsense in Buddhism?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jun 25, 2009 5:53 am

Ngawang Drolma wrote:Kevin, aka Wanderer, has been carrying on about what's wrong with Buddhist beliefs for a while now (on the Internet).
It's tiresome. And a little strange.

I hadn't read about the misogyny before now, so that's news.


He and his good buddy, David Quinn, have been around for years and years. And yes they are very, very misogynist.

Please let us waste no further time on this. There is no point.
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: Nonsense in Buddhism?

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Thu Jun 25, 2009 6:03 am

tiltbillings wrote:Please let us waste no further time on this. There is no point.


:anjali:
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