O.k. some quick beginners questions. Why is rebirth not eternalism? I mean even without a soul if something can either be reborn or just continues on with no self without being annihilated then is'int that eternalism by default?
If life is suffering then why raise a family?
If there is no self then why worry about karma?
thanks : )
Interesting questions. As this is a Buddhist site, and the Buddha himself considered these kinds of questions not connected with the goal of liberation, or at least that's my understanding, there are no answers to these kinds of questions from the Noble one himself. I'll give it a shot with my very limited understanding. Buddhist will give you a Buddhist answer, in essence that there is no answer, it's just an unskillful way to use precious time.
Rebirth is not eternalism, because it ends when one breaks free from ignorance. Something that has a potential to end however unlikely, or difficult, cannot be eternal by definition.
There is no doubt about it Buddha taught that life is suffering, compound is susceptible to suffering, never mind that when one gets enlightened that's not true for the remaider of their life, for the sake of this discussion we can safely assume, life is suffering, a juggernaut, that chews us up, and spits us out lifetime, after lifetime, existence is a nightmare, from which we struggle to wake up. So why have kids? Because most of us are ignorant, and we have kids before we understand anything. It is when we start suffering more that we start wondering what is wrong with that picture? We are ignorant, and blind.
It is said that there is no self in compound, just processes that exist upon previous conditions. Interesting question arises, is unconditioned self? Unskillful question again. Somehow there is a relationship between the impersonal processes and the cause and effect law, so the future effects are tied to, and arise upon the underlying causes.
Even stranger question is if there is no self, what gets enlightened, and what continues into nirvana since there is no self and all five aggregates dissolve upon death?