christopher::: wrote: I find myself defending other paths when the path itself, or the core beliefs, are put down as being meaningless or inferior... such as some recent posts here at dhamma wheel where belief in God was described this way... In my view people who believe in God are going to refuge in that faith, so its something sacred for them, like the 3 jewels are for Buddhists, worthy of respectful speech- even though most Buddhists do not believe in God themselves…
Let me make something clear here on a personal level. I do not go door-to-door, I do not picket outside of churches with signs depicting the victims of Christian persecutions, I do not go onto Christian or other theist websites to push my point of view.
With friends who are interested in this sort of dialogue, I have this sort of discussion. Those who are seemingly not interested, I never bring it up. With patient facing fears and pain in the dark, if they use god-talk, I can respond with the same to comfort and support them.
I have no trouble acknowledging and respecting the importance and centrality of a god notion to theists, but, Christopher, this is a Buddhist forum, where Buddhist ideas are discussed, examined and debated.
Dharmakiirti's refutation of theism By Roger Jackson
Philosophy East and West 36:4 Oct. 1986 wrote:
...it is equally clear that theism in the sense in which I am using it -- as the assertion of an omniscient, permanent, independent, unique cause of the cosmos -- is rejected throughout the length and breadth of the Indian Buddhist tradition. Dharmakiirti's antitheistic arguments may have taken the Buddhist critique to a new level of sophistication, but he had behind him a millennium of refutations, with many of which he undoubtedly was familiar and which ought to be borne in mind when we consider his discussion.
The Paali Nikaayas contain a number of explicit rejections of theism, and some important implicit ones, as well.
For the later Buddhist philosophical tradition, however, the most important early arguments are perhaps the implicit ones: those many passages in the Nikaayas where the concept of a permanent attaa or aatman is rejected, principally on the grounds that no permanent entity is or can be encountered in experience or justified by reason. It really is Buddhism's emphasis on universal impermanence that is at the root of its aversion to the concept of God, as became evident in the sorts of refutations offered in the post-nikaaya period (when the attributes of the creator, identified by the Buddhists as ii`svara, perhaps had become more clearly defined).http://www.buddhismtoday.com/english/ph ... kiirti.htm
The reality is, Christopher, as my first post in this thread points out, that the Buddha had been quite critical of theistic points of view, and in ways, it would seem, that you would find quite intolerant.
Again, this is a Buddhist forum, and from a Buddhist point of view theism is a meaningless way to account for the universe and how it works, but I am not going over to theist forums and sticking that in their eye. I am discussing thing on a Buddhist forum within a Buddhist context. At least I did not say, nor ever have said, as Dharmakirti said: "The belief in a world-creator... [is] ... the mark of the crass stupidity of witless men."