Atheism is...

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Atheism is...

Postby Individual » Sun Jan 25, 2009 12:51 am

I just came across a great video on Atheism, on Youtube. For those of you who can't see videos on Youtube, the video is a man reading a poem he wrote about Atheism. Video here. It's troubling, by the way, that the video has the misquote of the Buddha saying that you should follow "your own common sense," but other than that, it's very nice.

Atheism is...

Atheism offers nothing to me.
It never has and it never will.
It doesn't make me feel good or comfort me.
It's not there for me when I'm sick or ill.
It can't intervene in my times of need.
It won't protect me from hate and lies.
It doesn't care if I fail or succeed.
It won't wipe the tears from my eyes.

It does nothing when I've got nowhere to run.
It won't give me wise words or advice.
It has no teachings for me to learn.
It can't show me what's bad or nice.
It's never inspired or excited anyone.
It won't help me fulfill all my goals.
It won't tell me to stop when I'm having fun.
It's never saved one single soul.

It doesn't take credit for everything I achieve.
It won't make me go down on bended knee.
It doesn't demand that I have to believe.
It won't torture me for eternity.
It won't teach me to hate or despise others.
It can't tell me what's right or wrong.
It won't tell anybody that they can't be lovers.
It's told nobody that they don't belong.

It won't make you think that life is worth living.
It has nothng to offer me, that's true.
But the reason Atheism offers me nothing,
is because I've never asked it to.

Atheism offers nothing,
because it doesn't need to.
Religious promises everything,
Because you want it to.

You don't need a religion or to have faith;
you just want it because you need to feel safe.
I want to feel reality.
and nothing more!

So, atheism offers me everything,
that religion has stolen before.

Wonderful. :)
Last edited by Individual on Sun Jan 25, 2009 2:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Atheism is...

Postby Element » Sun Jan 25, 2009 1:30 am

I believe in the elements. There are only natural elements. Belief in 'god' is a form of spiritual intoxication or drunkeness.
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Re: Atheism is...

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Jan 25, 2009 9:31 am

how about each to their own, religion or more specific religions have done some bad things, but that is not all religions, many people forget that it isn't what ever god that done these things but the people who believe in these certain things. Gods if they exist or not is not important and blamimg such beings is not an answer, nor is saying or believing such beings do or do not exist an answer, an answer is understanding, standing up when the mass is ready to fight and pointing out that hate never conquered hate it only ever bread more hate, and finding a way to make a division is the breeder of hate.
A point missed with the use of the quote attributed to the Buddha, which does sound familiar to two different places in the Suttas (Kalama, and Dhammapada) so it is probably the translation this person used, and if it holds true to the Meaning what is the problem if it isn't how you think it should be?
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Atheism is...

Postby Individual » Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:47 pm

Manapa wrote:how about each to their own, religion or more specific religions have done some bad things, but that is not all religions, many people forget that it isn't what ever god that done these things but the people who believe in these certain things. Gods if they exist or not is not important and blamimg such beings is not an answer, nor is saying or believing such beings do or do not exist an answer, an answer is understanding, standing up when the mass is ready to fight and pointing out that hate never conquered hate it only ever bread more hate, and finding a way to make a division is the breeder of hate.
A point missed with the use of the quote attributed to the Buddha, which does sound familiar to two different places in the Suttas (Kalama, and Dhammapada) so it is probably the translation this person used, and if it holds true to the Meaning what is the problem if it isn't how you think it should be?

It doesn't hold true to the meaning because "common sense" would fall under one of the things mentioned by the Buddha to be weary of. :)
The best things in life aren't things.

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Re: Atheism is...

Postby clw_uk » Sun Jan 25, 2009 9:12 pm

Atheism is a folly as you can never prove that a god does not exsist nor can you prove that he does. You can only be agnostic. This is the best way really because if there is a god or not it doesnt really matter.
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: Atheism is...

Postby genkaku » Sun Jan 25, 2009 10:30 pm

Atheism, like theism, presupposes belief and belief creates separations. I think that Buddhist practice is useful in the sense that it clarifies what anyone might imagine is somehow separate.

Both atheism and theism remind me of the old beer commercial -- "tastes good, less filling." Tastes good means there may be plenty of social agreement available ... plenty of comrades to put the stamp of approval on atheism or theism. It can be quite inspiring, quite cozy. But the separation implicit in such beliefs may leave people (to refer back to another old ad) wondering, "where's the beef?" Buddhist practice puts meat on the bone and fills the hungry stomach, I'd say.

How's that for enough-metaphors-to-choke-a-horse? :)
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Re: Atheism is...

Postby Element » Mon Jan 26, 2009 1:34 am

Individual wrote:Atheism offers nothing to me.
It won't protect me from hate and lies.

Are we certain atheism will not protect us from hate and lies? :|

Are we certain the contrary will? :|
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Re: Atheism is...

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:08 am

Individual wrote:It doesn't hold true to the meaning because "common sense" would fall under one of the things mentioned by the Buddha to be weary of. :)


where does it say that?
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Atheism is...

Postby Rui Sousa » Mon Jan 26, 2009 1:09 pm

Manapa wrote:A point missed with the use of the quote attributed to the Buddha, which does sound familiar to two different places in the Suttas (Kalama, and Dhammapada) so it is probably the translation this person used, and if it holds true to the Meaning what is the problem if it isn't how you think it should be?


I think that quote, that shows on the video, misses the meaning I give to the Kalama Sutta.

I believe the Buddha was exhorting the Kalamas to develop insight through mindfulness, while checking their findings with those wiser than them, and that he was not exhorting the Kalamas to go only by their reason and common sense:

AN 3.65 wrote:"So, as I said, Kalamas: 'Don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, "This contemplative is our teacher." When you know for yourselves that, "These qualities are unskillful; these qualities are blameworthy; these qualities are criticized by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to harm & to suffering" — then you should abandon them.' Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said.

"Now, Kalamas, don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, 'This contemplative is our teacher.' When you know for yourselves that, 'These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness' — then you should enter & remain in them.
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Re: Atheism is...

Postby bodom » Mon Jan 26, 2009 4:20 pm

Rui Sousa wrote:
Manapa wrote:A point missed with the use of the quote attributed to the Buddha, which does sound familiar to two different places in the Suttas (Kalama, and Dhammapada) so it is probably the translation this person used, and if it holds true to the Meaning what is the problem if it isn't how you think it should be?


I think that quote, that shows on the video, misses the meaning I give to the Kalama Sutta.

I believe the Buddha was exhorting the Kalamas to develop insight through mindfulness, while checking their findings with those wiser than them, and that he was not exhorting the Kalamas to go only by their reason and common sense:


Although this discourse is often cited as the Buddha's carte blanche for following one's own sense of right and wrong, it actually says something much more rigorous than that. Traditions are not to be followed simply because they are traditions. Reports (such as historical accounts or news) are not to be followed simply because the source seems reliable. One's own preferences are not to be followed simply because they seem logical or resonate with one's feelings. Instead, any view or belief must be tested by the results it yields when put into practice; and — to guard against the possibility of any bias or limitations in one's understanding of those results — they must further be checked against the experience of people who are wise. The ability to question and test one's beliefs in an appropriate way is called appropriate attention. The ability to recognize and chose wise people as mentors is called having admirable friends. According to Iti 16-17, these are, respectively, the most important internal and external factors for attaining the goal of the practice. For further thoughts on how to test a belief in practice, see MN 61, MN 95, AN 7.80, and AN 8.53. For thoughts on how to judge whether another person is wise, see MN 110, AN 4.192, and AN 8.54.

Thanissaro Bhikkhu

:namaste:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Atheism is...

Postby Individual » Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:36 pm

Manapa wrote:
Individual wrote:It doesn't hold true to the meaning because "common sense" would fall under one of the things mentioned by the Buddha to be weary of. :)


where does it say that?

Common sense would fall under "repeatedly heard" (reports), or logical conjecture, inference, and analogies. People who narrowmindedly try to shrink the list, in one way or another, to exclude "rational investigation" (modern westerners) or "Buddhist scripture," or "Buddhist teachers" (traditionalists) seem to be missing the point of the sutta. The Kalama Sutta refutes pretty much every source of knowledge other than mindfulness (sati) and intuitive wisdom (panna). Neither is "common sense" (not so common). University professors and scientists can tell you that common sense is often demonstratably wrong. In psychology, in economics, and in physics, I could name specific examples.

Bhikkhus Thanisarro and Bodhi are both probably right in their interpretations. But I think that Gil Fronsdal (dharma talks here) is more eloquent in his discussions of investigation and "the value of questioning"... And Wikipedia has a nice description too:

It should be stressed that the Kalama Sutta does not mean that Buddhists dispense with faith: instead it is telling us that faith must be questioned constantly, even the teachings of the Buddha must be questioned. It is a faith which rejects dogma.

It is a faith in constantly being watchful for those who would say the Buddha's teachings are unquestionable and then twist the writings together to mean anything they please. Basically, buddhist faith should be a struggle to constantly test our understanding of the world.


With metta :heart:,
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Re: Atheism is...

Postby Element » Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:10 pm

Individual wrote:The Kalama Sutta refutes pretty much every source of knowledge other than mindfulness (sati) and intuitive wisdom (panna).

The standard of the Kalama Sutta is harm & suffering.
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Re: Atheism is...

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:03 pm

HI Individual,
Individual wrote:
Manapa wrote:
Individual wrote:It doesn't hold true to the meaning because "common sense" would fall under one of the things mentioned by the Buddha to be weary of. :)


where does it say that?

Common sense would fall under "repeatedly heard" (reports), or logical conjecture, inference, and analogies. People who narrowmindedly try to shrink the list, in one way or another, to exclude "rational investigation" (modern westerners) or "Buddhist scripture," or "Buddhist teachers" (traditionalists) seem to be missing the point of the sutta. The Kalama Sutta refutes pretty much every source of knowledge other than mindfulness (sati) and intuitive wisdom (panna). Neither is "common sense" (not so common). University professors and scientists can tell you that common sense is often demonstratably wrong. In psychology, in economics, and in physics, I could name specific examples.

Bhikkhus Thanisarro and Bodhi are both probably right in their interpretations. But I think that Gil Fronsdal (dharma talks here) is more eloquent in his discussions of investigation and "the value of questioning"... And Wikipedia has a nice description too:

It should be stressed that the Kalama Sutta does not mean that Buddhists dispense with faith: instead it is telling us that faith must be questioned constantly, even the teachings of the Buddha must be questioned. It is a faith which rejects dogma.

It is a faith in constantly being watchful for those who would say the Buddha's teachings are unquestionable and then twist the writings together to mean anything they please. Basically, buddhist faith should be a struggle to constantly test our understanding of the world.


With metta :heart:,
Individual


So it is not in any place specifically it is implied, would of answered the question.

Common sense is a result of Experience, and investigation to find what works, sometimes this will form superstitions, and not be correct. Other times it will be correct, such as it is common sense to me to turn the oven on to heat it up before cooking, but I know many inexperienced cooks who have gone to serve food and it still be raw as they didn't turn the cooker on.
Common sense can also come about through training, and education, which are formulated from experiance and investigation
plus being wary of something isn't not trusting when investigated and found to be true.

But this discussion would probably be better in the thread on the Kalama Sutta thread.
Last edited by Cittasanto on Tue Jan 27, 2009 8:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Atheism is...

Postby appicchato » Tue Jan 27, 2009 5:49 am

Weary: To grow tired; to become exhausted or impatient; as, to weary of....

Wary: Cautious of danger; carefully watching and guarding against deception, artifices, and dangers; timorously or suspiciously prudent; circumspect; scrupulous; careful...
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Re: Atheism is...

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jan 27, 2009 8:10 am

appicchato wrote:Weary: To grow tired; to become exhausted or impatient; as, to weary of....

Wary: Cautious of danger; carefully watching and guarding against deception, artifices, and dangers; timorously or suspiciously prudent; circumspect; scrupulous; careful...



oops did I spell it wrong I'll edit it now thanks Appicchato.
PS feel free to correct my spelling and grammar in future :namaste:
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Atheism is...

Postby appicchato » Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:18 am

Manapa wrote:oops did I spell it wrong...

Individual, not Manapa... :smile:
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Re: Atheism is...

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jan 27, 2009 3:29 pm

appicchato wrote:
Manapa wrote:oops did I spell it wrong...

Individual, not Manapa... :smile:


I had spelt it wrong also I corrected it once I saw the post
Thanks again
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Atheism is...

Postby Rui Sousa » Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:04 pm

Also, there is a difference between Common Sense and Good Sense.

Good Sense would be a wise decision or evaluation of a situation, it is the same as wisdom.

Common Sense is also called Vox Populi or Folklore and is the opinion shared by most people in some group of humans.

The video refers to Common Sense, so I agree with Individual: the Buddha clearly stated NOT to go by Common Sense.
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Re: Atheism is...

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Jan 28, 2009 6:36 pm

The video states "YOUR OWN reason and YOUR OWN common sense" this would indicate personal not mass common sense, and good sense is common sense which turnes out good.
BTW Vox Populi means voice of the people, common sense is what like minded people would agree on, such as Chefs agreeing that an Oven be hot before cooking happens, and folklore has a very inclusive meaning of traditions including Oral, music, dance, and many other things to do with a culture and its sub cultures.

Rui Sousa wrote:Also, there is a difference between Common Sense and Good Sense.

Good Sense would be a wise decision or evaluation of a situation, it is the same as wisdom.

Common Sense is also called Vox Populi or Folklore and is the opinion shared by most people in some group of humans.

The video refers to Common Sense, so I agree with Individual: the Buddha clearly stated NOT to go by Common Sense.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Atheism is...

Postby Rui Sousa » Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:46 pm

Dear manapa,

I feel like there are some language issues that may be misleading, I am translating from Portuguese to English as I write, and the same word may have very different meanings in each language. Expressions which may seem to mean the same, do not; and equivalent expressions are used to express different ideas.

In Portuguese "senso comum" (common sense) can be interchanged with "sabedoria popular" (popular wisdom), which has the same meaning as "voz do povo" (popular voice or vox populi). This has certainly biased me when writing my previous post.
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