No believing in God is not such a good idea.

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

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:38 pm

Buckwheat wrote:My personal opinion is that religion is not such a powerful force in this world. Instead, I believe there are many people who will be jerks regardless of their religious beliefs. There are other people that will be nice regardless of their religious beliefs. But that's just my opinion.

I absolutely agree with you - the real problem is any philosophy which removes the Dhamma of dispassion, impermanence, and non-self from our worldview. Both theism and radical materialism can do this, and the results are always destructive. It's a good thing we have the middle way, isn't it? :)
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
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Re: No believing in God is not such a good idea.

Postby m0rl0ck » Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:42 pm

Buckwheat wrote:
m0rl0ck wrote:Agricultural societies are always short of arable land and that lends a peculiar and ugly twist to their ideas about god.

Is it possible the underlying problem is not a belief in God, but a shortage of arable land and other resources such as gold, oil, slaves, etc.?? People often dismiss this possibility without offering any evidence.


That would be nice if it were true but there are historical examples like the cathars i mentioned above where the only motive is to prove who is holier and to discipline the unbeleivers (in the case of the cathars by making a bonfire out of them).
I used the qoute above from the bible advisedly, note that god is telling them to even kill the women, oxen and asses, all chattels in a patriarchal theist society. In other words, in the quote above, its not just about taking their stuff its about eradicating them.

And its not just the out group stuff that we need to consider. Racial and sexual discrimination, slavery, poverty every possible social ill and crime gets excused as being gods will. Look at the news its still happening every day. Look at the stand that many fundie christian groups take on social issues. If you are looking for rationality in the motives of bloodthirsty theists, ask the women victimized at the salem witch trials, ask the cathars.
"Even if you've read the whole Canon and can remember lots of teachings; even if you can explain them in poignant ways, with lots of people to respect you; even if you build a lot of monastery buildings, or can explain inconstancy, stress, and not-self in the most detailed fashion ... The only thing that serves your own true purpose is release from suffering.

"And you'll be able to gain release from suffering only when you know the one mind."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
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Re: No believing in God is not such a good idea.

Postby Coyote » Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:56 pm

Buckwheat wrote:My only goal in posting on this thread was to point out blatant stereotyping based on opinion and not facts. I'm not claiming theism is inherently good and peaceful. I am only countering those who say it is inherently evil.

My personal opinion is that religion is not such a powerful force in this world. Instead, I believe there are many people who will be jerks regardless of their religious beliefs. There are other people that will be nice regardless of their religious beliefs. But that's just my opinion.


I think it is the underlying emotion and zeal for anything such as God, nation, ideololgy, empire, class ect is the real problem because it is easy to hide behind and self-protect using these as scapegoats.
The sterotyping and ignorance of history and the texts is indeed a problem. I just meant to point out that there is "legitimate" justification of violence based on texts/tradition in all Theistic religions, that Jesus's supposed pacifist ideal is not and never really was the actual standard.

After spending much time writing and thinking about what to say on this thread, I gave up. I will say this though: I think we have to separate the scriptures and texts from Christianity and Judaism and Islam, and then the actions of Christians, (replace for all religions) then Theism. Neither one's violence can really be used to support criticism of the other because they are all separate issues, interlinked, yes, in a highly complex manner that takes more than an internet thread to debate- but also separate. If you confuse them, IMO you commit major errors.
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
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Re: No believing in God is not such a good idea.

Postby beeblebrox » Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:23 pm

Buckwheat wrote:It seems the better measure of a person is not to ask if they believe in God or not, but to carefully observe their actions to see if they are honest and peaceful.


I think that is exactly what the Buddha taught...

Also, it seems like there's this deep habit of trying to treat the organizations like a religion, government, or even prominent figures, like the president or the pope, in a very Atta-like fashion... as if they were some self-functioning entities that are the sources of all the problems, or even all of the good things. It's a very strong illusion...

Many people are gullible with this, even the skeptics.

There is no such thing as a religion or a government which functions in itself. They're entirely made up of people who do their own actions. There also is no such thing as a prominent figure which functions by himself... he's only made up of the conditions which are/were around him.

Trying to think that if we take down a religion, a government or a prominent figure, then the problem will be solved is a kind of annihilationism... this is a dead end according to the Buddha. Why? Because it's only an illusion that we were trying to fight with.

If we wanted to make some change that is significant, then we should be focusing on the actions, along with the conditions which caused them. They're not to be found in things like the Atta-like figures.

It's never about "atta boy"... it's always either a "good job" or a "bad job," or an "average job."

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

Postby SarathW » Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:50 pm

Hi BB an BW
Your comments make sense to me. In management I learned “Do not criticise the person, criticise his action”
Even a people like Angulimala could be an Arahant if we give them a chance!
As Buddhist we should not see any thing as permanent and unchanging.
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Re: No believing in God is not such a good idea.

Postby manas » Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:09 am

I don't know if anyone else can relate to this, but I find it easy to be patient with the adherents of Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism, because they have mostly left me alone, and have not gone out of their way to (try to) convert me, tell me I'm going to burn in hell forever, etc. But Christians have often preached at me in such an irritating and obtrusive manner over the years. They are not content to just 'live and let live' and practice religious tolerance, in the way that most other religions seem to. They have even managed to pry their way into my child's school, which is a government school which her mother and I assumed would not try to instruct her in Christianity. Even if they won't leave me alone, I do wish they would leave my kids alone! So I have nothing against Christians as individuals, but as a whole they seem to have caused so much dukkha for me over the years, that my patience has been sorely tested.
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Re: No believing in God is not such a good idea.

Postby polarbuddha101 » Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:17 am

manas wrote:I don't know if anyone else can relate to this, but I find it easy to be patient with the adherents of Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism, because they have mostly left me alone, and have not gone out of their way to (try to) convert me, tell me I'm going to burn in hell forever, etc. But Christians have often preached at me in such an irritating and obtrusive manner over the years. They are not content to just 'live and let live' and practice religious tolerance, in the way that most other religions seem to. They have even managed to pry their way into my child's school, which is a government school which her mother and I assumed would not try to instruct her in Christianity. Even if they won't leave me alone, I do wish they would leave my kids alone! So I have nothing against Christians as individuals, but as a whole they seem to have caused so much dukkha for me over the years, that my patience has been sorely tested.


They're just trying to save you and your kids from burning in hell for all eternity. So they do it out of compassion, delusional compassion, but compassion nonetheless. The last time I got stopped by an evangelical Christian I talked about my belief in the Buddha's awakening and the dhamma and he got frustrated and left me alone after a couple of minutes. I told him to have a wonderful day as he left.

:namaste:
"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 manas » Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:13 am

polarbuddha101 wrote:They're just trying to save you and your kids from burning in hell for all eternity. So they do it out of compassion, delusional compassion, but compassion nonetheless. The last time I got stopped by an evangelical Christian I talked about my belief in the Buddha's awakening and the dhamma and he got frustrated and left me alone after a couple of minutes. I told him to have a wonderful day as he left.

:namaste:
I once pointed out that, while to punish someone for a certain period of time would be understandable, punishing them forever, with no hope of restitution, is probably the most cruel & heartless thing I can imagine. And I said, since God must be the highest good, He would not do such a terrible, terrible thing to any of his children, no matter what they had done in the space of this one single lifetime. The Christian replied, "you are placing your own value system (ideas about right and wrong) upon God." This was about 15 years ago, but I can recall thinking, "there is no reasoning with this kind of person, at all..."

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

Postby polarbuddha101 » Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:40 am

manas wrote:
polarbuddha101 wrote:They're just trying to save you and your kids from burning in hell for all eternity. So they do it out of compassion, delusional compassion, but compassion nonetheless. The last time I got stopped by an evangelical Christian I talked about my belief in the Buddha's awakening and the dhamma and he got frustrated and left me alone after a couple of minutes. I told him to have a wonderful day as he left.

:namaste:
I once pointed out that, while to punish someone for a certain period of time would be understandable, punishing them forever, with no hope of restitution, is probably the most cruel & heartless thing I can imagine. And I said, since God must be the highest good, He would not do such a terrible, terrible thing to any of his children, no matter what they had done in the space of this one single lifetime. The Christian replied, "you are placing your own value system (ideas about right and wrong) upon God." This was about 15 years ago, but I can recall thinking, "there is no reasoning with this kind of person, at all..."

:anjali:


You should have replied, "Am I not the heir of Adam, have I not the knowledge of good and evil bestowed upon me as birthright at the beginning of the world when man first fell." That might've stumped them and it sounds really cool.

:sage:
"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 manas » Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:06 am

polarbuddha101 wrote:...
You should have replied, "Am I not the heir of Adam, have I not the knowledge of good and evil bestowed upon me as birthright at the beginning of the world when man first fell." That might've stumped them and it sounds really cool.

:sage:
Thanks polar. I am going to remember that, for the next time a well-dressed, random stranger with a strained yet permanently beatific smile, strikes up a conversation with me on the train, and halfway through our chat begins talking about... Jesus.

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

Postby SarathW » Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:40 pm

manas wrote:I don't know if anyone else can relate to this, but I find it easy to be patient with the adherents of Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism, because they have mostly left me alone, and have not gone out of their way to (try to) convert me, tell me I'm going to burn in hell forever, etc. But Christians have often preached at me in such an irritating and obtrusive manner over the years. They are not content to just 'live and let live' and practice religious tolerance, in the way that most other religions seem to. They have even managed to pry their way into my child's school, which is a government school which her mother and I assumed would not try to instruct her in Christianity. Even if they won't leave me alone, I do wish they would leave my kids alone! So I have nothing against Christians as individuals, but as a whole they seem to have caused so much dukkha for me over the years, that my patience has been sorely tested.


Hi Manas
I can relate to your problem. I have to send my children to non Buddhist private school. Condition of accepting to school was that it was compulsory to study divinity. I want to bring them up as more open minded knowledgeable people. So I took them to temple and try to expose them to Buddhism as much as I could. Unfortunately it did not work the way I expected. Only thing I can think is, that is their bad Kamma. It really did not bother me because I do not think anything is me, myself or mine. :)
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Re: No believing in God is not such a good idea.

Postby manas » Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:38 am

Hi Sarath,

there's no need to let go of taking an active role regarding your kids' spiritual education, I mean the doctrine that there isn't any self to be found in the five aggregates, does not absolve us of having to exercise our duty of care to other beings, especially to beings who are vulnerable and depend on us. Luckily, you can teach them: by example, through your good words and actions; and that will mean a lot more, in the long run, than anything they ever learned in 'divinity class' at school.

:anjali:
Last edited by manas on Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:50 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: No believing in God is not such a good idea.

Postby SarathW » Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:46 am

Hi Manas
I agree. I extend my Brahamavihara's to everything around me. :)
Metta
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Re: No believing in God is not such a good idea.

Postby Buckwheat » Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:28 pm

m0rl0ck wrote:
Buckwheat wrote:
m0rl0ck wrote:Agricultural societies are always short of arable land and that lends a peculiar and ugly twist to their ideas about god.

Is it possible the underlying problem is not a belief in God, but a shortage of arable land and other resources such as gold, oil, slaves, etc.?? People often dismiss this possibility without offering any evidence.


That would be nice if it were true but there are historical examples like the cathars i mentioned above where the only motive is to prove who is holier and to discipline the unbeleivers (in the case of the cathars by making a bonfire out of them).
I used the qoute above from the bible advisedly, note that god is telling them to even kill the women, oxen and asses, all chattels in a patriarchal theist society. In other words, in the quote above, its not just about taking their stuff its about eradicating them.

And its not just the out group stuff that we need to consider. Racial and sexual discrimination, slavery, poverty every possible social ill and crime gets excused as being gods will. Look at the news its still happening every day. Look at the stand that many fundie christian groups take on social issues. If you are looking for rationality in the motives of bloodthirsty theists, ask the women victimized at the salem witch trials, ask the cathars.


You are right, in those particular cases. But the Bible also inspired Mother Teresa. Please stop stereotyping. A criticism of a specific action by a specific person is fine, but to say that all Christians have a particular trait is called stereotyping.

And once again,
If you are looking for rationality in the motives of bloodthirsty theists,
I never credited any individual with rationality. I typically see human behavior as non-rational (why else would I eat chocolate cake when my belly is already full from a hearty dinner? Why else would I be on an internet chat board instead of meditating?). Irrationality does not negate the need to examine motives.

I think many of us, and I am a prime example, make most of our decisions for non-rational reasons. When we are honest with ourselves, rationality is a rare thing. Habit and conditionaing is much, much more common. This is just my opinion based on observation.
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.
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Re: No believing in God is not such a good idea.

Postby SarathW » Tue Jan 28, 2014 4:24 am

There are lot of misunderstanding about all religions.
We like to stereotype people, without spending little bit time to understand their point of view.
If one Muslim or a group of Muslim do a bad thing we are trying to bundle all the Muslims in the same category.

Most of my acquaintance and friends and former employer are either Muslims or Christians.
They all were very friendly and kind to me!
So I tried to spend some time to understand their religion. There are lot of literature for Christianity but very few for Islam.

Finally I found a good video. It is very long (3 hours) but address much misconception of Muslims.
They also have similar problems like (Buddhist) – Please be patient enough to see the last 15 minutes.
Providing this link I do not endorse the content or intend to have a discussion about the contents of this video.

"The Reclaiming the Quran"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7TM_7XTQXI
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Re: No believing in God is not such a good idea.

Postby Nikaya35 » Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:58 pm

I don't get. Why believing in god would be a good idea ? From the logic point of view there are many problems with the god concept as defined in theistic religions. From the point of view of the dharma the creator god idea is a wrong view. Since when adopting a wrong view is a good idea ?
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Re: No believing in God is not such a good idea.

Postby boris » Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:12 pm

maitreya31 wrote:I don't get. Why believing in god would be a good idea? ...

But why to talk about God as a creator. Perhaps quite a few belivers limit themself to such description of God marks: no arising evident, no fall evident, no alternation while He is present is evident.

There are not only belivers in such God, there are also these who know and see such God :smile:
The man who wants to avoid grotesque collapses should not look for anything to fulfill him in space and time.

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

Postby pilgrim » Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:43 am

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

Postby daverupa » Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:03 pm

AN 7.48 wrote:"A man does not attend inwardly to his masculine faculties... masculine charms. He is not excited by that, not delighted by that... does not attend outwardly to feminine faculties... feminine charms. He is not excited by that, not delighted by that... does not want to be bonded to what is outside him, does not want whatever pleasure & happiness that arise based on that bond. Not delighting, not caught up in his masculinity, a man does not go into bondage with reference to women. This is how a man transcends his masculinity.

"This is how there is lack of bondage. And this is the Dhamma discourse on bondage & lack of bondage."


:focus:
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: No believing in God is not such a good idea.

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:41 pm

Off-topic stuff has been removed.
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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