No believing in God is not such a good idea.

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No believing in God is not such a good idea.

Postby SarathW » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:01 pm

I see that there is a trend, many people live in western countries are not believing in god. As Buddhist we do not believe in creator god but believe in other forms of Gods. To me it appears that westerners are moving from eternalism to nihilism, both of which are rejected by Buddha. If I have only two choices, I will chose etrenalism over nihilism. I think nihilism make do damage to the social fabrication. In my opinion theistic religions has made a great contribution to the society. May be religious leaders should take note of this factor.
I am sure Dhamma wheel is making a great contribution to the society by closing this gap.
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Re: No believing in God is not such a good idea.

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:12 pm

SarathW wrote:I see that there is a trend, many people live in western countries are not believing in god. As Buddhist we do not believe in creator god but believe in other forms of Gods. To me it appears that westerners are moving from eternalism to nihilism, both of which are rejected by Buddha. If I have only two choices, I will chose etrenalism over nihilism. I think nihilism make do damage to the social fabrication. In my opinion theistic religions has made a great contribution to the society. May be religious leaders should take note of this factor.
I am sure Dhamma wheel is making a great contribution to the society by closing this gap.

Hi Sarath,
What great contribution?
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
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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: No believing in God is not such a good idea.

Postby SarathW » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:22 pm

Ok. Then I would say "a contribution" :)
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Re: No believing in God is not such a good idea.

Postby Goofaholix » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:26 pm

I think eternalism vs nihilism is quite a different topic from creator God vs no creator God.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
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Re: No believing in God is not such a good idea.

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:26 pm

In the opinion of many, these God-based religions did great damage to society, and are still doing great damage. And, from what I heard, there are too many cases of child sexual abuse among the Buddhist clergy, just as there are such reports in other religious orders.

Then there are the many wars waged in the name of religion due to false beliefs and bigotted views.

It may be much easier for the sceptical atheist or secular humanist to understand the Dhamma than for the devout follower of any religion (and that includes devout followers of Buddhism who are hypocrits).

Believing in an Omnipotent Creator God is quite different to believing in devas or ghosts, or nature spirits of various kinds. The crucial point is accepting full responsibility for one's own actions according to the teaching of Kammassakatta Sammādiṭṭhi. It doesn't matter too much what else you believe in or don't believe in, as long as you believe that you alone will inherit the results of volitional actions of body, speech, and thought done by yourself.
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Re: No believing in God is not such a good idea.

Postby perkele » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:28 pm

Cittasanto wrote:
SarathW wrote:I see that there is a trend, many people live in western countries are not believing in god. As Buddhist we do not believe in creator god but believe in other forms of Gods. To me it appears that westerners are moving from eternalism to nihilism, both of which are rejected by Buddha. If I have only two choices, I will chose etrenalism over nihilism. I think nihilism make do damage to the social fabrication. In my opinion theistic religions has made a great contribution to the society. May be religious leaders should take note of this factor.
I am sure Dhamma wheel is making a great contribution to the society by closing this gap.

Hi Sarath,
What great contribution?

SarathW wrote:Ok. Then I would say "a contribution" :)

It is unclear which of the supposed "great contributions" Cittasanto was questioning. That of theistic religions or that of DhammaWheel?


Edit:
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:...

:goodpost:
Sadhu!
Last edited by perkele on Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: No believing in God is not such a good idea.

Postby polarbuddha101 » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:32 pm

perkele wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:
SarathW wrote:I see that there is a trend, many people live in western countries are not believing in god. As Buddhist we do not believe in creator god but believe in other forms of Gods. To me it appears that westerners are moving from eternalism to nihilism, both of which are rejected by Buddha. If I have only two choices, I will chose etrenalism over nihilism. I think nihilism make do damage to the social fabrication. In my opinion theistic religions has made a great contribution to the society. May be religious leaders should take note of this factor.
I am sure Dhamma wheel is making a great contribution to the society by closing this gap.

Hi Sarath,
What great contribution?

SarathW wrote:Ok. Then I would say "a contribution" :)

It is unclear which of the supposed "great contributions" Cittasanto was questioning. That of theistic religions or that of DhammaWheel?


Given the topic I would imagine he was referring to theistic religions.
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."
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Re: No believing in God is not such a good idea.

Postby SarathW » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:56 pm

Bahante Pesal: I know lot of people use religion to achieve their selfish motives. But it is not the fault of the religion.

Pakele: Sorry may be I did not get my English right. What I am saying is there is gap emerging with people are looking for answers to their questions. For example I see that there are lot of new members coming here as new Buddhist. I thought Dhamma wheel is a great resource for new seekers.
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Re: No believing in God is not such a good idea.

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:09 am

perkele wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:
SarathW wrote:I see that there is a trend, many people live in western countries are not believing in god. As Buddhist we do not believe in creator god but believe in other forms of Gods. To me it appears that westerners are moving from eternalism to nihilism, both of which are rejected by Buddha. If I have only two choices, I will chose etrenalism over nihilism. I think nihilism make do damage to the social fabrication. In my opinion theistic religions has made a great contribution to the society. May be religious leaders should take note of this factor.
I am sure Dhamma wheel is making a great contribution to the society by closing this gap.

Hi Sarath,
What great contribution?

SarathW wrote:Ok. Then I would say "a contribution" :)

It is unclear which of the supposed "great contributions" Cittasanto was questioning. That of theistic religions or that of DhammaWheel?


Edit:
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:...

:goodpost:
Sadhu!

I meant the former, partly for the reasons Bhante mentioned, and partly for reasons not.
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: No believing in God is not such a good idea.

Postby SarathW » Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:34 am

Oops now I undestood your question. I repeated "Great contribution" in two places! :)
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Re: No believing in God is not such a good idea.

Postby manas » Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:56 am

Hi Sarath,

I have heard many times from Christians that they are basically 'saved' due to their belief in a blood-sacrifice enacted thousands of years back (torture, death and divine resurrection of Jesus). Apparently this is the main, overriding factor in their salvation - and no matter how many good works they do, no matter how kind they are to others, if they don't also believe in that 'miracle of christ's death and resurrection' they will end up getting eternally barbecued, boiled & roasted in hell, with no hope ever of any respite.

As I see it, this belief engenders much fear in people (unreasonable of course, but then they don't know that), and furthermore absolves them of the responsibility for their own actions, in the sense that instead of 'as I sow, so shall I reap' (which sounds fair enough), they now believe, 'however I sow, so long as I believe in the miracle of christ's death & resurrection, I will be ok in the end'. That's scary stuff. Just see how the Catholic Church has 'dealt' with the sex offenders in their ranks, and you will see one of the results of this faulty way of thinking.

:anjali:
Last edited by manas on Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: No believing in God is not such a good idea.

Postby pilgrim » Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:14 am

manas wrote:Hi Sarath,

I have heard many times from Christians that they are basically 'saved' due to their belief in a blood-sacrifice enacted thousands of years back (torture, death and divine resurrection of Jesus). Apparently this is the main, overriding factor in their salvation - and no matter how many good works they do, no matter how kind they are to others, if they don't also believe in that 'miracle of christ's death and ressurection' they will end up getting eternally barbecued, boiled & roasted in hell, with no hope ever of any respite.


Christian apologists are now back-pedalling on the threat that hell is a place of fire and brimstone,for example the popular book "The Case for Faith" by Lee Strobel. Now they say that Hell is "separation from God". But the way I see it, if given the choice, I would like to be separated eternally from a fascist, violent god. So I would choose Hell as their version of heaven would be hell for me.
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Re: No believing in God is not such a good idea.

Postby m0rl0ck » Tue Jan 22, 2013 3:55 am

Theism is probably responsible for more human misery and death than anything except bacteria and viruses.
It should be outlawed. Read the news. Read some history for christs sake.
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Re: No believing in God is not such a good idea.

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:40 am

m0rl0ck wrote:Theism is probably responsible for more human misery and death than anything except bacteria and viruses.
It should be outlawed. Read the news. Read some history for christs sake.

I would argue political ambition done quite a good job of keeping up.
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: No believing in God is not such a good idea.

Postby Mr Man » Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:05 am

Cittasanto wrote:
m0rl0ck wrote:Theism is probably responsible for more human misery and death than anything except bacteria and viruses.
It should be outlawed. Read the news. Read some history for christs sake.

I would argue political ambition done quite a good job of keeping up.


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Re: No believing in God is not such a good idea.

Postby polarbuddha101 » Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:19 am

:goodpost:
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."
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Re: No believing in God is not such a good idea.

Postby Kusala » Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:26 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:In the opinion of many, these God-based religions did great damage to society, and are still doing great damage. And, from what I heard, there are too many cases of child sexual abuse among the Buddhist clergy, just as there are such reports in other religious orders.

Then there are the many wars waged in the name of religion due to false beliefs and bigotted views.

It may be much easier for the sceptical atheist or secular humanist to understand the Dhamma than for the devout follower of any religion (and that includes devout followers of Buddhism who are hypocrits).

Believing in an Omnipotent Creator God is quite different to believing in devas or ghosts, or nature spirits of various kinds. The crucial point is accepting full responsibility for one's own actions according to the teaching of Kammassakatta Sammādiṭṭhi. It doesn't matter too much what else you believe in or don't believe in, as long as you believe that you alone will inherit the results of volitional actions of body, speech, and thought done by yourself.


Well said...
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Re: No believing in God is not such a good idea.

Postby kirk5a » Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:52 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:The crucial point is accepting full responsibility for one's own actions according to the teaching of Kammassakatta Sammādiṭṭhi. It doesn't matter too much what else you believe in or don't believe in, as long as you believe that you alone will inherit the results of volitional actions of body, speech, and thought done by yourself.

Bhante - I was reminded of this passage by Paul the Apostle, what do you think, would believing this be in line with what you're saying?

Galatians 6:7 wrote:Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption; but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.


(edit: actually I should have said that I was reminded of a passage from Matthew that I happened to be reading last night, but I was having trouble finding it this morning, so I Googled it and found the one by Paul)
Last edited by kirk5a on Tue Jan 22, 2013 3:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: No believing in God is not such a good idea.

Postby m0rl0ck » Tue Jan 22, 2013 3:09 pm

Cittasanto wrote:
m0rl0ck wrote:Theism is probably responsible for more human misery and death than anything except bacteria and viruses.
It should be outlawed. Read the news. Read some history for christs sake.

I would argue political ambition done quite a good job of keeping up.

It pales, Nothing whips humans into a killing frenzy faster than god and religion. Politicians will always claw their way to power, but to get people to kill each other with real zeal politicians need god.
Joshu was asked,
"When a man comes to you with nothing,
what would you say to him ?"
Joshu replied, "Throw it away!"
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Re: No believing in God is not such a good idea.

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:24 pm

m0rl0ck wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:
m0rl0ck wrote:Theism is probably responsible for more human misery and death than anything except bacteria and viruses.
It should be outlawed. Read the news. Read some history for christs sake.

I would argue political ambition done quite a good job of keeping up.

It pales, Nothing whips humans into a killing frenzy faster than god and religion. Politicians will always claw their way to power, but to get people to kill each other with real zeal politicians need god.

sure but you can use any ideology for that. Create a sense of self and other within the group, and you can produce the same effect, or not depending on the aim behind the ideology and how it is used.
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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