the great rebirth debate

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Fri May 10, 2013 4:30 pm

binocular wrote:
dharmagoat wrote:Someone with an empirical understanding of phenomena will have difficulty accepting a view that is based on inference and not supported by evidence. Likewise, someone with a religious understanding will have difficulty accepting a view that is in conflict with their chosen beliefs.

It's still not clear what the problem is here that you are pointing at.
??


Religious people believe what their religion says.
People who go by empiric evidence have difficulty believing what religion states when there is no solid proof.

IMHO.
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
User avatar
Alex123
 
Posts: 2846
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby binocular » Fri May 10, 2013 4:48 pm

So?
Where's the problem in that?
binocular
 
Posts: 1351
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby dharmagoat » Fri May 10, 2013 7:47 pm

binocular wrote:So?
Where's the problem in that?

Have you ever found yourself wanting to believe in rebirth, confident of the benefits that such a belief brings, but, because of your trust in critical thinking, were so wracked with doubt that you were unable to even play along?

It's a problem.
dharmagoat
 
Posts: 88
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2009 4:41 am

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby daverupa » Fri May 10, 2013 7:54 pm

dharmagoat wrote:
binocular wrote:So?
Where's the problem in that?

Have you ever found yourself wanting to believe in rebirth, confident of the benefits that such a belief brings, but, because of your trust in critical thinking, were so wracked with doubt that you were unable to even play along?

It's a problem.


Saying "confident of the benefits" alongside "wracked with doubt" seems contradictory...
    "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]
User avatar
daverupa
 
Posts: 4125
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby dharmagoat » Sat May 11, 2013 12:15 am

daverupa wrote:Saying "confident of the benefits" alongside "wracked with doubt" seems contradictory...

Belief in rebirth provides an additional layer of meaning and purpose to our lives, motivates us to practice, and is an inextricable part of what the Buddha taught. The Buddha also taught the importance of critical thinking, which, when applied, can cast doubt on the literal existence of rebirth.
dharmagoat
 
Posts: 88
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2009 4:41 am

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby daverupa » Sat May 11, 2013 1:26 am

Well, I can certainly see where you're coming from. I take an approach, outlined in some respects earlier in this thread, which avoids the quandary you've outlined, but it differs in some fundamental ways from your own approach, so it may be of limited usefulness.

Thanks for the clarification.

:hug:
    "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]
User avatar
daverupa
 
Posts: 4125
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Nyana » Sat May 11, 2013 3:36 am

dharmagoat wrote:Belief in rebirth provides an additional layer of meaning and purpose to our lives, motivates us to practice, and is an inextricable part of what the Buddha taught. The Buddha also taught the importance of critical thinking, which, when applied, can cast doubt on the literal existence of rebirth.

Faith and critical thinking can also be applied together. Faith and discernment are two of the five faculties.
Nyana
 
Posts: 2227
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby 5heaps » Sat May 11, 2013 6:43 am

dharmagoat wrote:
daverupa wrote:Saying "confident of the benefits" alongside "wracked with doubt" seems contradictory...

Belief in rebirth provides an additional layer of meaning and purpose to our lives, motivates us to practice, and is an inextricable part of what the Buddha taught. The Buddha also taught the importance of critical thinking, which, when applied, can cast doubt on the literal existence of rebirth.

no, if you study proper material the opposite happens.
you should also study the history of buddhisn and indian logic so you can have some clue about what youre talking about
A Japanese man has been arrested on suspicion of writing a computer virus that destroys and replaces files on a victim PC with manga images of squid, octopuses and sea urchins. Masato Nakatsuji, 27, of Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture, was quoted as telling police: "I wanted to see how much my computer programming skills had improved since the last time I was arrested."
5heaps
 
Posts: 334
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 12:19 am

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Sat May 11, 2013 8:21 am

Alex123 wrote:People who go by empiric evidence have difficulty believing what religion states when there is no solid proof.


Is there "solid proof" of nibbana?
User avatar
Spiny Norman
 
Posts: 2455
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 am
Location: With the cockney chimney-sweeps in Mary Poppins

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Sat May 11, 2013 8:22 am

5heaps wrote:no, if you study proper material the opposite happens.


What do you mean by "proper material"?
User avatar
Spiny Norman
 
Posts: 2455
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 am
Location: With the cockney chimney-sweeps in Mary Poppins

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby binocular » Sat May 11, 2013 8:27 am

dharmagoat wrote:
binocular wrote:So?
Where's the problem in that?

Have you ever found yourself wanting to believe in rebirth, confident of the benefits that such a belief brings, but, because of your trust in critical thinking, were so wracked with doubt that you were unable to even play along?

It's a problem.

No.

They say humility is what keeps one from being humiliated. And while I certainly can't take any credit for whatever humility I may have, I am fortunate enough to occasionally say "I don't know about this, I don't understand that" and mean it. It does wonders against confusion and doubt.


Also, you might want to take a studious look at William James' Will to believe - http://educ.jmu.edu/~omearawm/ph101willtobelieve.html
binocular
 
Posts: 1351
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby dharmagoat » Sat May 11, 2013 2:53 pm

5heaps wrote:no, if you study proper material the opposite happens.
you should also study the history of buddhisn and indian logic so you can have some clue about what youre talking about

My reading on these subjects has been very scant.

What books do you recommend?
dharmagoat
 
Posts: 88
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2009 4:41 am

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby dharmagoat » Sat May 11, 2013 2:59 pm

binocular wrote:They say humility is what keeps one from being humiliated. And while I certainly can't take any credit for whatever humility I may have, I am fortunate enough to occasionally say "I don't know about this, I don't understand that" and mean it. It does wonders against confusion and doubt.

Yes, I now admit this quite regularly and it definitely circumvents both confusion and doubt.

binocular wrote:Also, you might want to take a studious look at William James' Will to believe - http://educ.jmu.edu/~omearawm/ph101willtobelieve.html

I will, many thanks for the link.
dharmagoat
 
Posts: 88
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2009 4:41 am

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Sat May 11, 2013 3:26 pm

porpoise wrote:
Alex123 wrote:People who go by empiric evidence have difficulty believing what religion states when there is no solid proof.


Is there "solid proof" of nibbana?


If you mean nibbāna-without-remainder, no. However absence of consciousness after death is less problematic than its eternal presence.
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
User avatar
Alex123
 
Posts: 2846
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Sat May 11, 2013 3:27 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:Faith and critical thinking can also be applied together. Faith and discernment are two of the five faculties.


Faith is belief in something that has no sufficient evidence. If there was evidence, you wouldn't need to have faith - you would know.
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
User avatar
Alex123
 
Posts: 2846
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Nyana » Sat May 11, 2013 6:06 pm

Alex123 wrote:Faith is belief in something that has no sufficient evidence. If there was evidence, you wouldn't need to have faith - you would know.

Just because you may not personally know something doesn't mean that it is unknowable. But until it is known, seen, understood, realized, and contacted with discernment, faith is considered to be indispensable according to the Buddha's dhamma. SN 48.44 Pubbakoṭṭhaka Sutta:

    Good, good Sāriputta! Those who have not known, seen, understood, realized, and contacted with discernment, they would have to go by faith in others that the faculty of faith ... the faculty of energy ... the faculty of mindfulness ... the faculty of meditative composure ... the faculty of discernment, when developed and cultivated, has the death-free as its ground, the death-free as its destination, the death-free as its final goal.

Faith is both a faculty and a strength included in the requisites of awakening (bodhipakkhiyā dhammā). Ven. Ñāṇatiloka:

    Faith is called the seed (Sn. v. 77) of all wholesome states because, according to commentarial explanations, it inspires the mind with confidence (okappana, pasāda) and determination (adhimokkha), for 'launching out' (pakkhandhana; s. M. 122) to cross the flood of saṃsāra.

    Unshakable faith is attained on reaching the first stage of holiness, 'stream-entry' (sotāpatti, s. ariyapuggala), when the fetter of sceptical doubt (vicikicchā; s. samyojana) is eliminated. Unshakable confidence (avecca-pasāda) in the Three Jewels is one of the characteristic qualities of the Stream-winner (sotāpannassa angāni, q.v.).
Nyana
 
Posts: 2227
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Sat May 11, 2013 6:20 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:Just because you may not personally know something doesn't mean that it is unknowable.


And how exactly is it known? How can one know that one is not merely hallucinating, dreaming, or imagining something?

I don't have much faith in knowledge obtained through super powers. See this example that I've posted.

Unshakable faith is attained on reaching the first stage of holiness, 'stream-entry' (sotāpatti, s. ariyapuggala), when the fetter of sceptical doubt (vicikicchā; s. samyojana) is eliminated. Unshakable confidence (avecca-pasāda) in the Three Jewels is one of the characteristic qualities of the Stream-winner (sotāpannassa angāni


I wonder, faith precisely in what? I understand about faith in 4NT, anicca-asubha-dukkha-anatta, for example. These are very good teachings.
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
User avatar
Alex123
 
Posts: 2846
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby binocular » Sat May 11, 2013 6:34 pm

Alex123 wrote:Faith is belief in something that has no sufficient evidence. If there was evidence, you wouldn't need to have faith - you would know.

"Faith" means a lot more. A spectrum of the meaning of this word concerns things like 'loyalty, reliance on, consistency.'
binocular
 
Posts: 1351
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Sat May 11, 2013 7:20 pm

binocular wrote:
Alex123 wrote:Faith is belief in something that has no sufficient evidence. If there was evidence, you wouldn't need to have faith - you would know.

"Faith" means a lot more. A spectrum of the meaning of this word concerns things like 'loyalty, reliance on, consistency.'


Loyalty to idea or relying on idea that one has no evidence for. Sure.

How does consistency fits into definition of "faith"?
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
User avatar
Alex123
 
Posts: 2846
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Nyana » Sat May 11, 2013 7:21 pm

Alex123 wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:Just because you may not personally know something doesn't mean that it is unknowable.

And how exactly is it known? How can one know that one is not merely hallucinating, dreaming, or imagining something?

In this case, by correctly following the noble eightfold path to it's conclusion. That is, through engaging in the complete and unerring causes and conditions of awakening. If one engages in erroneous causes and conditions the fruition will not be realized.

Alex123 wrote:I don't have much faith in knowledge obtained through super powers.

Okay.


Yes, I already saw it. I thought binocular's replies to your concerns were appropriate. I also thought that you considered his suggestion helpful here.

Alex123 wrote:I wonder, faith precisely in what?

Faith involves accepting the awakening of the Buddha. SN 55.37:

    "In what way, venerable sir, is a lay follower accomplished in faith?"

    "Here, Mahānāma, a lay follower is a person of faith. He places faith in the enlightenment of the Tathāgata thus: 'The Blessed One is ... teacher of devas and humans, the Enlightened One, the Blessed One.' In that way a lay follower is accomplished in faith."

And faith in the Tathāgata's awakening is connected to hearing the dhamma. MN 112:

    Friends, formerly when I lived the home life I was ignorant. Then the Tathāgata or his disciple taught me the Dhamma. On hearing the Dhamma I acquired faith in the Tathāgata.

Alex123 wrote:I understand about faith in 4NT, anicca-asubha-dukkha-anatta, for example.

That's good. Do you understand that kamma and rebirth are implicit in the second noble truth?
Nyana
 
Posts: 2227
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am

PreviousNext

Return to Open Dhamma

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], Lazy_eye and 8 guests