on the constant debunking of the dhamma on this forum

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on the constant debunking of the dhamma on this forum

Postby alan... » Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:53 am

i believe it would be a good idea to create a separate section on the literal workings of the dhamma and how they do not rely on historicity of texts or peoples. perhaps a faq sheet or just a closed section typed out by someone who can explain it or even a new forum section that promotes this kind of discussion. this should be in some kind of section labeled nice and big "for those new to buddhism" or "...new to the theravada" or "read this first!" or something like that, that way new people will read this first hopefully and not have their beliefs and trust in the buddha and the dhamma destroyed.

and there should also be a section on reasons to have faith that the buddha did exist and that the dhamma is from him. again either a static faq or info section or a forum division.

the reason for this is that i see all over this site people pointing out that the dhamma isn't necessarily the same as the buddha taught, the idea that parts of the canon are not authentic, that the buddha may have never existed and so on.

if i was new to the dhamma this information would have made me walk away and write buddhism off as nonsense, a bunch of corrupted ideas that have no reasonable source and therefore there is no reason to practice them since it sounds like people have no idea where they really came from. the buddha as a teaching figure is the pedigree that is supposed to draw people in, he's one of the three jewels! so is the dhamma! so debunking it left and right is probably not great if there is no "anti debunking" information or section on this forum. this kind of attitude without any remedy is absurdly counter to what buddhism is about. key phrase "without any remedy" i'm not saying people should not say these things, i'm saying there should be balance.

as it is i have direct experience with the dhamma enough that i have faith in it as a whole and can sum that up like this:

"finding out that the buddha never existed would be as devastating to the practice of the dhamma as finding out the wright brothers never existed would be to aeronautics."

even if the inventers of the airplane never existed, we can still fly because the methods are sound. the same goes for the dhamma, the methods simply work, we can still enter jhana, be mindful, and see through reality, so it is irrelevant where they came from.

however new buddhists do not know this yet and it's very disturbing that people just debunk buddhism left and right on here without any thought about how damaging that is to the dhamma itself.

now of course people should be able to say these things. there's nothing wrong with that, i'm just saying that there should be a solution to the fact that it surly shatters some new comers faith in buddhism completely. there should be balance to make this less likely and give people without strong experience information to keep them from simply walking away.
Last edited by alan... on Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:40 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: on the constant debunking of the dhamma on this forum

Postby Dmytro » Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:00 am

:goodpost:
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Re: on the constant debunking of the dhamma on this forum

Postby James the Giant » Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:45 am

It's a good idea Alan, but nobody ever Ever reads the Read This First bit.
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Re: on the constant debunking of the dhamma on this forum

Postby Ben » Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:59 am

Greetings Alan...
We do have a "discovering theravada" forum which is set for moderator approval meaning that threads and posts can only be published following approval by a moderator. The guidelines of the DT forum are strict and posts in that forum are only usually approved if they represent mainstream Theravada, a balance of views, contain links to externally published material inc. Tipitaka, and aimed at a "newbie" audience. Within the Discovering Theravada forum there is a pinned thread "Introductory Resources" for those new to the tradition.

Keep in mind Alan that there are probably as many newbies coming from a materialist perspective than there is newbies who have a historical, romantic or faith-based perspective. Having come from a Buddhist discussion board where attempting to discuss rebirth was cause to get one banned, I think the exchange of ideas here is a good thing. I think we do go out of our way to look after those new to the tradition and assist them as much as possible, whether it be explaining this or that Dhammic concept or assisting them with finding a teacher close by to them. And the feedback I receive is that is also the case.
Thanks for your kind suggestion.
with metta,

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Re: on the constant debunking of the dhamma on this forum

Postby alan... » Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:32 am

Ben wrote:Greetings Alan...
We do have a "discovering theravada" forum which is set for moderator approval meaning that threads and posts can only be published following approval by a moderator. The guidelines of the DT forum are strict and posts in that forum are only usually approved if they represent mainstream Theravada, a balance of views, contain links to externally published material inc. Tipitaka, and aimed at a "newbie" audience. Within the Discovering Theravada forum there is a pinned thread "Introductory Resources" for those new to the tradition.

Keep in mind Alan that there are probably as many newbies coming from a materialist perspective than there is newbies who have a historical, romantic or faith-based perspective. Having come from a Buddhist discussion board where attempting to discuss rebirth was cause to get one banned, I think the exchange of ideas here is a good thing. I think we do go out of our way to look after those new to the tradition and assist them as much as possible, whether it be explaining this or that Dhammic concept or assisting them with finding a teacher close by to them. And the feedback I receive is that is also the case.
Thanks for your kind suggestion.
with metta,

Ben



motion denied. sigh. oh well, i tried.

seriously give it some thought though. some kind of section devoted to this would help a great deal of people. even if half of the new comers are materialists, that still leaves the other half. there should be some kind of really obvious place for this and the sections you named are not obviously presenting what i'm speaking about nor are they going to stand out to new people AFTER they have their beliefs shattered.

this is another time it's important, there's when they sign up, and just before they walk away, they might read a bunch of debunking and then give a quick skim to see if any one refutes it. without a section dedicated to this a quick skim will not likely prove fruitful to this end.

again, these debunking statements are not wrong, far from it. without these statements we end up in la la land and it keeps going until we are in outer space. they are necessary, but there should be a clear cut balance to all the negativity toward the dhamma (even if it doesn't come from a deliberately negative place, it is still negative when it comes to people who are new and don't understand). and i would be willing to bet that faith has a little more pull than you assume. many probably do not voice their feelings on this because of how negatively faith is viewed on this forum, therefore it seems like the majority is in agreement when in reality many simply keep their mouths shut for fear of ridicule or simply give up on buddhism or on this forum. that and since there is obviously very little faith here, many know this coming in and join for that reason. this would change if there was more balance.

but i think we all know this whole "buddha never existed. canon is a hodge podge of different authors and presents an inconsistent, confused whole. jhana is not possible except to a select few. no one has ever reached nibbana." attitude will prevail forever. there will never be balance and so it will continue that those with faith don't join or do and are largely silent and many that come in the first place begin with no faith having seen the lack of faith on here and that new comers will lose interest in buddhism after reading all of the debunking information of it. obviously the site administrator being behind this attitude means it is doomed to stay this way.

yet again, faith is not even important in my opinion and for my practice. i am past that point but i'm concerned for new people and the dhamma itself. i highly doubt the buddha (if he existed...) would think it fruitful to regularly and deliberately attempt to debunk any claims that he did exist and that his dhamma came from him as frequently is as done on this forum, certainly not without a counter balance. the suttas that are direct and state things as fact vs the suttas that promote a highly skeptical and pragmatic view is about a 95% to 5% ratio (or argue this ratio is inaccurate, but it's at least: majority of suttas state things as fact and minority of suttas are pragmatic and skeptical). therefore it being the majority saying that he didn't exist, etc. on here is not the right kind of balance.
Last edited by alan... on Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: on the constant debunking of the dhamma on this forum

Postby alan... » Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:48 am

James the Giant wrote:It's a good idea Alan, but nobody ever Ever reads the Read This First bit.


well if it was a section clearly about the anti debunking of the dhamma and the buddha then those who were thinking about that having just read about it would read it. so perhaps i should have suggested naming it something along the lines of that instead of "read this first" or whatever. you have a point.

EDIT:

oh wait, i did say that:

alan... wrote:and there should also be a section on reasons to have faith that the buddha did exist and that the dhamma is from him. again either a static faq or info section or a forum division.
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Re: on the constant debunking of the dhamma on this forum

Postby danieLion » Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:17 am

Alan, what are you talking about? By my recollection we haven't had an official "debunker" here since Contemplans.
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Re: on the constant debunking of the dhamma on this forum

Postby Aloka » Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:22 am

alan... wrote:but i think we all know this whole "buddha never existed. canon is a hodge podge of different authors and presents an inconsistent, confused whole. jhana is not possible except to a select few. no one has ever reached nibbana." attitude will prevail forever. there will never be balance and so it will continue that those with faith are largely silent and many that come in the first place begin with no faith having seen the lack of faith on here and that new comers will lose interest in buddhism after reading all of the debunking information of it. obviously the site administrator being behind this attitude means it is doomed to stay this way.


Hi alan..

I must have been missing out on a lot of posts when I visit this forum because the views expressed in the section underlined in the above quote seem to have escaped me ! I'm therefore wondering (and not meaning to be rude) if you might possibly have overacted to one or two posts you've seen ?

with kind wishes

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Re: on the constant debunking of the dhamma on this forum

Postby alan... » Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:27 am

Aloka wrote:
alan... wrote:but i think we all know this whole "buddha never existed. canon is a hodge podge of different authors and presents an inconsistent, confused whole. jhana is not possible except to a select few. no one has ever reached nibbana." attitude will prevail forever. there will never be balance and so it will continue that those with faith are largely silent and many that come in the first place begin with no faith having seen the lack of faith on here and that new comers will lose interest in buddhism after reading all of the debunking information of it. obviously the site administrator being behind this attitude means it is doomed to stay this way.


Hi alan..

I must have been missing out on a lot of posts when I visit this forum because the views expressed in the section underlined in the above quote seem to have escaped me ! I'm therefore wondering (and not meaning to be rude) if you might possibly have overacted to one or two posts you've seen ?

with kind wishes

Aloka



i was playfully exaggerating facetiously. the types of things on here are toned down versions of the underlined. although i do see, all over, implications that the canon is hodge podge and that the buddha probably didn't exist. not sure how you haven't seen this.

also your avatar is hilarious. the three seals of existence lol!
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Re: on the constant debunking of the dhamma on this forum

Postby alan... » Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:29 am

danieLion wrote:Alan, what are you talking about? By my recollection we haven't had an official "debunker" here since Contemplans.



i see debunking going on left and right, which is fine, just steeply balanced in favor of debunking. very little non debunking talk. not sure how to prove this. just look around at the different debates going on and you'll see huge amounts of people talking about how the canon is basically made up by random people and the buddha didn't exist.
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Re: on the constant debunking of the dhamma on this forum

Postby danieLion » Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:49 am

alan... wrote:...you'll see huge amounts of people talking about how the canon...

"Canon" is a western notion western interpreters of Buddhism imposed on Buddhism. In which sutta(s) did the Buddha talk about a "the canon"?
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Re: on the constant debunking of the dhamma on this forum

Postby danieLion » Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:53 am

alan... wrote:
danieLion wrote:Alan, what are you talking about? By my recollection we haven't had an official "debunker" here since Contemplans.



i see debunking going on left and right, which is fine, just steeply balanced in favor of debunking. very little non debunking talk. not sure how to prove this. just look around at the different debates going on and you'll see huge amounts of people talking about how the canon is basically made up by random people and the buddha didn't exist.


de·bunk
/diˈbəNGk/

Verb:
1. Expose the falseness or hollowness of (a myth, idea, or belief).
2. Reduce the inflated reputation of (someone), esp. by ridicule: "comedy takes delight in debunking heroes".

Synonyms:
unmask
Link

Is this defintion you've in mind?
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Re: on the constant debunking of the dhamma on this forum

Postby danieLion » Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:56 am

alan...
Do you consider Reverend Analayo a debunker?
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Re: on the constant debunking of the dhamma on this forum

Postby alan... » Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:57 am

danieLion wrote:
alan... wrote:...you'll see huge amounts of people talking about how the canon...

"Canon" is a western notion western interpreters of Buddhism imposed on Buddhism. In which sutta(s) did the Buddha talk about a "the canon"?


none, irrelevant. this doesn't even make much sense, it's semantics.

the canon has existed as long as other schools existed since the split of the sangha. regardless of what it was called it is by definition and always has been a "canon". that's not a western notion. for example, one school has their texts, that's their canon, they don't accept such and such texts from another schools agreed upon texts which is the other schools "canon". this is not something imposed on anything, it's just the word we use to define a group of agreed upon texts. only schools that never agree on a set of texts or "canonize" their writings don't have a canon.
Last edited by alan... on Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: on the constant debunking of the dhamma on this forum

Postby alan... » Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:58 am

danieLion wrote:
alan... wrote:
danieLion wrote:Alan, what are you talking about? By my recollection we haven't had an official "debunker" here since Contemplans.



i see debunking going on left and right, which is fine, just steeply balanced in favor of debunking. very little non debunking talk. not sure how to prove this. just look around at the different debates going on and you'll see huge amounts of people talking about how the canon is basically made up by random people and the buddha didn't exist.


de·bunk
/diˈbəNGk/

Verb:
1. Expose the falseness or hollowness of (a myth, idea, or belief).
2. Reduce the inflated reputation of (someone), esp. by ridicule: "comedy takes delight in debunking heroes".

Synonyms:
unmask
Link

Is this defintion you've in mind?



yes, attempting to expose the buddha as a myth rather than a real person and the dhamma as made up by random people is quite the definition of "debunking".
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Re: on the constant debunking of the dhamma on this forum

Postby alan... » Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:59 am

danieLion wrote:alan...
Do you consider Reverend Analayo a debunker?


who? should i know this person?
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Re: on the constant debunking of the dhamma on this forum

Postby danieLion » Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:02 am

alan... wrote:
danieLion wrote:
alan... wrote:...you'll see huge amounts of people talking about how the canon...

"Canon" is a western notion western interpreters of Buddhism imposed on Buddhism. In which sutta(s) did the Buddha talk about a "the canon"?


none, irrelevant. this doesn't even make much sense, it's semantics.

Where do you suppose the idea of "the canon" came from? It wasn't the Buddha or Buddhists.
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Re: on the constant debunking of the dhamma on this forum

Postby alan... » Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:04 am

danieLion wrote:
alan... wrote:
danieLion wrote:...you'll see huge amounts of people talking about how the canon...

"Canon" is a western notion western interpreters of Buddhism imposed on Buddhism. In which sutta(s) did the Buddha talk about a "the canon"?
Where do you suppose the idea of "the canon" came from? It wasn't the Buddha or Buddhists


sorry, i edited the above to add this for you:

the canon has existed as long as other schools existed since the split of the sangha. regardless of what it was called it is by definition and always has been a "canon". that's not a western notion. for example, one school has their texts, that's their canon, they don't accept such and such texts from another schools agreed upon texts which is the other schools "canon". this is not something imposed on anything, it's just the word we use to define a group of agreed upon texts. only schools that never agree on a set of texts or "canonize" their writings don't have a canon.

the sarvastivadins had a canon, the theravadins have a canon, and so on. a set of texts that are decided upon and no longer added to or subtracted from. for example the taisho tripitaka is the chinese canon, the pali canon is the theravada canon. they are called different things in different languages but they fit the definition of "canon".
Last edited by alan... on Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: on the constant debunking of the dhamma on this forum

Postby danieLion » Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:04 am

alan... wrote:
danieLion wrote:alan...
Do you consider Reverend Analayo a debunker?


who? should i know this person?

Publications by Bhikkhu Anālayo
Do you consider the Chines Agamas part of "the canon"?
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Re: on the constant debunking of the dhamma on this forum

Postby danieLion » Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:06 am

alan... wrote:the canon has existed as long as other schools existed since the split of the sangha

Which split, and what, exactly, do you mean by sangha?
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