W. Buddhism is based more on Atheism-materialism than Dhamma

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Feathers
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Re: W. Buddhism is based more on Atheism-materialism than Dh

Postby Feathers » Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:43 pm

binocular wrote:
Aloka wrote:Which westerners are you talking about, binocular? Can you be more specific? I've never spoken to anyone with that attitude.

Really??
You'd say it is very common for Westerners to have a sense of deep gratitude for being taught the Dhamma?
You'd say it is very common for Westerners to just adopt whatever they are told in the name of the Dhamma?


I'm a bit confused. Are you saying that it's a sign of ungratitude when people don't just adopt what they are told? Can't you be grateful for being introduced to the dhamma, and grateful for being taught it, but still examine things using your own judgement?

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daverupa
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Re: W. Buddhism is based more on Atheism-materialism than Dh

Postby daverupa » Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:46 pm

binocular wrote:holding some epistemological propositions as sacrosanct, tabooing them


Will you please unpack this? Be precise.
    "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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tiltbillings
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Re: W. Buddhism is based more on Atheism-materialism than Dh

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:02 pm

binocular wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Another dodge. Answer my questions, and I'll be delighted to answer yours.

You know something? Suit yourself.
Oh, my goodness. You make a statement: ""Relying on oneself" does require a belief in some kind of relevant selfhood, though. And if this selfhood is to be relevant, then by implication, it has to be permanent." A question is asked about it, as away of trying understand what is being said: "Has to be permanent? Based on what? Does this implicated permanent selfhood change?" And you proceed to willfully dodge giving a straightforward response.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Aloka
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Re: W. Buddhism is based more on Atheism-materialism than Dh

Postby Aloka » Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:19 pm

daverupa wrote:
binocular wrote:holding some epistemological propositions as sacrosanct, tabooing them


Will you please unpack this? Be precise.


Totally agree, lol !

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Aloka
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Re: W. Buddhism is based more on Atheism-materialism than Dh

Postby Aloka » Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:36 pm

binocular wrote:
Aloka wrote:Which westerners are you talking about, binocular? Can you be more specific? I've never spoken to anyone with that attitude.

Really??
You'd say it is very common for Westerners to have a sense of deep gratitude for being taught the Dhamma?
You'd say it is very common for Westerners to just adopt whatever they are told in the name of the Dhamma?



Yes I'd say that people Ive spoken to in the UK have a lot of gratitude for being taught the Dhamma. I don't speculate about Westerners in general.

As far as 'westerners' adopting whatever they are told - I've no idea - and I'm not really interested.

Your original comment I responded to was:

binocular wrote:Among some Westerners, there is also a sense of entitlement about the Dhamma - taking the Dhamma for granted, thinking that we're owed to get the Dhamma


.

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Re: W. Buddhism is based more on Atheism-materialism than Dh

Postby Goofaholix » Wed Jan 15, 2014 3:51 am

binocular wrote:That's what I said:


If you are using the term "spiritual materialism" as defined by Chogram Trungpa then presumably you don't understand it as your post doesn't make sense. If you are using a different definition then it's only serving to muddy the waters, particularly as you won't advise where you go the definition from or what the definition is.

binocular wrote:When this quest for the "truth" is accompanied by holding some epistemological propositions as sacrosanct, tabooing them, then that's not much of a quest for the truth. Or is it ...


I agree, nothing is sacrosanct, though a lot of things can be a waste of time. But then I've found the vast majority of western Buddhists (except a vocal minority of internet based ones I guess) exhibit the opposite of the behaviour you appear to be accusing them of.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah

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Re: W. Buddhism is based more on Atheism-materialism than Dh

Postby binocular » Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:04 am

Feathers wrote:I'm a bit confused. Are you saying that it's a sign of ungratitude when people don't just adopt what they are told? Can't you be grateful for being introduced to the dhamma, and grateful for being taught it, but still examine things using your own judgement?

Problems emerge when people do their own thing (to which they are of course entitled), but nevertheless call it Buddhism, promulgate it in the name of Buddhism, and expect that others acknowledge it as Buddhism.


Aloka wrote:Yes I'd say that people Ive spoken to in the UK have a lot of gratitude for being taught the Dhamma. I don't speculate about Westerners in general.

Part of the problem here seems to be that we mean different things by "Western(er)."
Some mean the term geographically, referring to people from Europe and the US, and Australia, NZ.
Some mean the term culturally, referring to that characteristic brand of consumerist thinking and being.

I mean "Western(er)" primarily in the cultural sense. So some people who were born and live in Asia can well be Westerners by culture, when they incline themselves to the "American Way."

Your original comment I responded to was:
binocular wrote:Among some Westerners, there is also a sense of entitlement about the Dhamma - taking the Dhamma for granted, thinking that we're owed to get the Dhamma

And there is no problem with my comment, given the underlined word.


daverupa wrote:
binocular wrote:holding some epistemological propositions as sacrosanct, tabooing them

Will you please unpack this? Be precise.

Modern science being a prime example, in how it shuns the philosophy of science.

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Aloka
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Re: W. Buddhism is based more on Atheism-materialism than Dh

Postby Aloka » Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:29 am

binocular wrote:And there is no problem with my comment, given the underlined word.


I asked you which westerners you were talking about and to be more specific ....and you avoided that and asked me these 2 questions instead.....

You'd say it is very common for Westerners to have a sense of deep gratitude for being taught the Dhamma?
You'd say it is very common for Westerners to just adopt whatever they are told in the name of the Dhamma?



.

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Aloka
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Re: W. Buddhism is based more on Atheism-materialism than Dh

Postby Aloka » Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:39 am

binocular wrote:I mean "Western(er)" primarily in the cultural sense. So some people who were born and live in Asia can well be Westerners by culture, when they incline themselves to the "American Way."


So whereabouts in Asia have you met these people involved with the Dhamma who you are refering to as "westerners" in your previous posts?

.

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Re: W. Buddhism is based more on Atheism-materialism than Dh

Postby binocular » Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:42 am

Aloka wrote:I asked you which westerners you were talking about and to be more specific ....and you avoided that and asked me these 2 questions instead.....

And I clarified above that we appear to mean different things by the term "Western(er)".
I'm exploring a particular cultural type as such (and so appears to be the OP), you seem to think in geographical terms and names of particular people.

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Re: W. Buddhism is based more on Atheism-materialism than Dh

Postby binocular » Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:44 am

Aloka wrote:So whereabouts in Asia have you met these people involved with the Dhamma who you are refering to as "westerners" in your previous posts?

You've never heard of Asian Buddhists who don't believe in karma and rebirth?

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Aloka
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Re: W. Buddhism is based more on Atheism-materialism than Dh

Postby Aloka » Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:46 am

binocular wrote:
Aloka wrote:So whereabouts in Asia have you met these people involved with the Dhamma who you are refering to as "westerners" in your previous posts?

You've never heard of Asian Buddhists who don't believe in karma and rebirth?


Please answer my question.

.

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daverupa
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Re: W. Buddhism is based more on Atheism-materialism than Dh

Postby daverupa » Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:04 am

binocular wrote:
daverupa wrote:
binocular wrote:holding some epistemological propositions as sacrosanct, tabooing them

Will you please unpack this? Be precise.

Modern science being a prime example, in how it shuns the philosophy of science.


But it doesn't. Only modern scientists could do that, and they offer a mixed response, not the unilateral shunning you describe. Your prime example is no example at all.
    "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: W. Buddhism is based more on Atheism-materialism than Dh

Postby Feathers » Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:10 am

Um, I'm wondering how Asian Buddhists who don't believe in kamma, or who have the temerity to, y'know, be consumerists whatever that means, would feel about being labelled 'westerners'??? They can't think critically about their religion without somehow switching cultures? They can't enjoy shoe shopping and still consider themselves Thai? I don't think this is what you meant, but it seems the implications of this line of thought could be that Asian Buddhists can't take a critical approach to Buddhism without somehow being 'untrue' to their national/racial identity?

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Re: W. Buddhism is based more on Atheism-materialism than Dh

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:42 pm

Feathers wrote:Um, I'm wondering how Asian Buddhists who don't believe in kamma, or who have the temerity to, y'know, be consumerists whatever that means, would feel about being labelled 'westerners'??? They can't think critically about their religion without somehow switching cultures? They can't enjoy shoe shopping and still consider themselves Thai? I don't think this is what you meant, but it seems the implications of this line of thought could be that Asian Buddhists can't take a critical approach to Buddhism without somehow being 'untrue' to their national/racial identity?
This criticism, to which your are responding and to which many of us are trying to respond to here, of "western Buddhism" and all is remarkably amorphous and out of focus, to the point of being meaningless.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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mikenz66
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Re: W. Buddhism is based more on Atheism-materialism than Dh

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:57 pm

Feathers wrote:Um, I'm wondering how Asian Buddhists who don't believe in kamma, or who have the temerity to, y'know, be consumerists whatever that means, would feel about being labelled 'westerners'??? They can't think critically about their religion without somehow switching cultures? They can't enjoy shoe shopping and still consider themselves Thai? I don't think this is what you meant, but it seems the implications of this line of thought could be that Asian Buddhists can't take a critical approach to Buddhism without somehow being 'untrue' to their national/racial identity?

It's the height of colonial arrogance. A view that ignores the thousands of years of interaction between Europe and Asia and the developments of civilisations an technology in both areas and assumes that Asia was stuck in the stone age for all that time...

:anjali:
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Re: W. Buddhism is based more on Atheism-materialism than Dh

Postby Goofaholix » Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:59 pm

binocular wrote:
Aloka wrote:So whereabouts in Asia have you met these people involved with the Dhamma who you are refering to as "westerners" in your previous posts?

You've never heard of Asian Buddhists who don't believe in karma and rebirth?


So to you Asians who don't believe in Kamma and rebirth are westerners? So i presume people outside of Asia who do believe in Kamma and rebirth are Asians?

I think you are digging yourself into a deeper hole of muddled thinking.

Education and modern values does in fact exist outside what most people would normally call the "west", while a high proportion of scientific and technological advances have come out of the west I think a lot of people would find the implications of your statement above arrogant.

I would say though I do know a lot of educated Thais, I find they are almost as skeptical as westerners about some aspects of Buddhism certainly more so than uneducated Thais, but they mostly still participate as fully in Buddhist practise because it is more about cultural identity than a religious belief system.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah

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Re: W. Buddhism is based more on Atheism-materialism than Dh

Postby Goofaholix » Wed Jan 15, 2014 7:01 pm

mikenz66 wrote:It's the height of colonial arrogance.


I agree, that's exactly how it comes across, perhaps this is the sense of entitlement he's talking about.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah

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Re: W. Buddhism is based more on Atheism-materialism than Dh

Postby pulga » Fri Jan 17, 2014 3:41 pm

mikenz66 wrote:It's the height of colonial arrogance. A view that ignores the thousands of years of interaction between Europe and Asia and the developments of civilisations an technology in both areas and assumes that Asia was stuck in the stone age for all that time...


Perhaps it is better to distinguish between traditionalist and modernist approaches to the Dhamma. This is the point that Gombrich and Obeyesekere elaborate on in their studies when they develop the idea of Protestant Buddhism. It behoves us to understand what Protestant Buddhists are protesting against, and from where such a trend came. I contend -- at least when it comes to Sri Lanka -- that traditional Buddhism is just as legitimate as Protestant Buddhism, and it is a far cry from atheism which is one of the reasons why modernists have come to reject it, or at the very least -- for some who are culturally indebted to tradtionalism --to feel a twinge of shame in acquiescing to it.

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Re: W. Buddhism is based more on Atheism-materialism than Dh

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Jan 17, 2014 6:38 pm

pulga wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:It's the height of colonial arrogance. A view that ignores the thousands of years of interaction between Europe and Asia and the developments of civilisations an technology in both areas and assumes that Asia was stuck in the stone age for all that time...


Perhaps it is better to distinguish between traditionalist and modernist approaches to the Dhamma. This is the point that Gombrich and Obeyesekere elaborate on in their studies when they develop the idea of Protestant Buddhism. It behoves us to understand what Protestant Buddhists are protesting against, and from where such a trend came. I contend -- at least when it comes to Sri Lanka -- that traditional Buddhism is just as legitimate as Protestant Buddhism, and it is a far cry from atheism which is one of the reasons why modernists have come to reject it, or at the very least -- for some who are culturally indebted to tradtionalism --to feel a twinge of shame in acquiescing to it.
"Protestant Buddhism" did not come to Sri Lanka, it arose there as a result of "Traditional Buddhism" near demise at the hands of Christian missionizing and oppresion under the Dutch and British rules.
it is a far cry from atheism which is one of the reasons why modernists have come to reject it, or at the very least
By this you mean what?
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson


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