tiltbillings wrote:And by this you mean?
Given that in the Panadura Debate the existence of God wasn't open to debate -- but rather whether he created the universe and is eternal -- I don't think Ven. Gunananda Thera would have considered himself an atheist. Traditional Sinhala Buddhism holds Visnu to be the Supreme Deity -- Lord of the Gods -- the protector of their religion and their homeland. He holds sway over the devas
that play a role in their lives. While he may not have created them and he is destined to pass away, their belief in him constitutes a level of theism that can't be dismissed as atheistic.
In the Suttas one gets a sense of this same attitude. I think that traditional Sinhala Buddhism is probably closer to the spirit of the Pali Suttas than the modernists who tend to read a hard atheism into the Buddha's Teaching.
Interesting. Where in the suttas is Vishnu mentioned? Again, it depends upon what one means by atheist. The idea of an omniscient, omnipotent, permanent, independent, unique cause of the cosmos finds no support in the suttas. If anything, it is rejected. Certainly, the devas are part of the world view of the Buddha. To me that is not a problem.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.
There is freedom from birth, freedom from becoming, freedom from making, freedom from conditioning. If there were not this freedom from birth, freedom from becoming, freedom from making, freedom from conditioning, then escape from that which is birth, becoming, making, conditioning, would not be known here. -- Ud 80
Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
dheamhan a fhios agam
Damned if I know.