the great rebirth debate

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Element » Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:18 pm

Will wrote:Therefore this "debate" wastes so much energy by one faction talking about their preferred practice and the other on the fact of Buddha teaching literal rebirth. Not a good basis for debate, if we keep arguing from differing premises. So I am out of it.

i disagree. if one has not attained stream entry, why bother talking about arahantship?

[Edited to correct attribution of quote - Retro.]
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby kc2dpt » Tue Jan 06, 2009 12:23 am

Will wrote:Therefore this "debate" wastes so much energy by one faction talking about their preferred practice and the other on the fact of Buddha teaching literal rebirth.

The debate is whether that preferred practice is actually a Buddhist practice. If one comes to a Buddhist forum and says their preferred practice is, for example, to sacrifice animals people will not hesitate to tell him that is not Buddhist practice. Likewise, if one says they hold a view of annihilation then this is wrong view therefore not part of the Noble Eightfold Path.

Not a good basis for debate, if we keep arguing from differing premises.

What are the different premises? What premise are you arguing from?
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby stuka » Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:18 am

Peter wrote:
Will wrote:Therefore this "debate" wastes so much energy by one faction talking about their preferred practice and the other on the fact of Buddha teaching literal rebirth.

The debate is whether that preferred practice is actually a Buddhist practice. If one comes to a Buddhist forum and says their preferred practice is, for example, to sacrifice animals people will not hesitate to tell him that is not Buddhist practice. Likewise, if one says they hold a view of annihilation then this is wrong view therefore not part of the Noble Eightfold Path.

Not a good basis for debate, if we keep arguing from differing premises.

What are the different premises? What premise are you arguing from?



Can I see a show of hands of all who claim annihilationism, materialism, and/or nihilism?

If no one here holds any of these positions, it seems rather a straw man to bring them up.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby stuka » Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:27 am

zamis wrote:Nyanatiloka Mahathera says in "Kamma and Rebirth"
And further I wanted to point out that the kamma-process and rebirth-process may both be made comprehensible only by the assumption of a subconscious stream of life underlying everything in living nature.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/nyanatiloka/wheel394.html#ch2

What say ya'll?



Sounds like Sati the Fisherman's Son.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby stuka » Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:30 am

Will wrote:
Yet a right intellectual view of no self does not itself prevent future conventional births again or the operation of kamma/vipaka, correct?




Buddha didn't teach "no-self".


"Ananda, if I — being asked by Vacchagotta the wanderer if there is a self — were to answer that there is a self, that would be conforming with those priests & contemplatives who are exponents of eternalism. If I — being asked by Vacchagotta the wanderer if there is no self — were to answer that there is no self, that would be conforming with those priests & contemplatives who are exponents of annihilationism.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Element » Tue Jan 06, 2009 3:30 am

Peter wrote: If one comes to a Buddhist forum and says their preferred practice is, for example, to sacrifice animals people will not hesitate to tell him that is not Buddhist practice. Likewise, if one says they hold a view of annihilation then this is wrong view therefore not part of the Noble Eightfold Path.

I would like to make a suggestion, in that we clarify the premise we are arguing from. For example, if we say to "hold a view of annihilation then this is wrong view therefore not part of the Noble Eightfold Path", we need to explain how it relates to actual practice. For example, let us consider the Buddha's words below found in the Maha-parinibbana Sutta.
Yet, Ananda, have I not taught from the very beginning that with all that is dear & beloved there must be change, separation & severance? Of that which is born, come into being, is compounded & subject to decay, how can one say: 'May it not come to dissolution!' There can be no such state of things.

The above words are clearly spoken for the purpose of quenching suffering. They are a method of practise to end suffering.

With metta

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby stuka » Tue Jan 06, 2009 5:38 am

Will wrote:
Therefore this "debate" wastes so much energy by one faction talking about their preferred practice and the other on the fact of Buddha teaching literal rebirth. Not a good basis for debate, if we keep arguing from differing premises. So I am out of it.


Seems rather a conveniently distorted characterization of what is being discussed, to provide smoke cover for a hasty retreat.

There are those who would claim that without active, positive belief in reincarnation/"rebirth", one cannot call oneself Buddhist, and one cannot practice the Noble Eightfold Path (this is, of course, the nexus wherein lies the discussion of practice vs. belief in superstitions and speculative views). Of course, this same faction tends to pound ad nauseum the fallacious argument that claims that non-belief is the same as belief in a negative (nihilist, annihiliationist) position, which is of course a Straw Man (actually a Straw-Man/Red-Herring/Ad-Hominem Cocktail).

Some venues will allow, and even encourage and enforce Ad Baculum, such chicanery. We seriously doubt that Dhamma Wheel is one of them.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jan 06, 2009 9:22 am

Maybe Dhammanando, or another could provide sutta references to the different places rebirth is mentioned?

but why does the Buddha have to be talking about two different lives why not two different moments?
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Element » Tue Jan 06, 2009 9:40 am

Manapa wrote:Maybe Dhammanando, or another could provide sutta references to the different places rebirth is mentioned?

Suttas support both rebirth & non-rebirth. The important issue is to relate one's view to practice.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Ben » Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:47 am

Dear all,

Espousing among views his own as highest,
Whatever he regards as "best",
All else he will as "low" condemn;
Thus one will never get beyond disputes


-- Sutta Nipata v.796


The wonderful thing about Dhamma is that through bhavana one develops one's own insight into the nature of things.
May your meditation be productive!
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby kc2dpt » Tue Jan 06, 2009 3:29 pm

Manapa wrote:but why does the Buddha have to be talking about two different lives why not two different moments?

An easy example:

Ananda asked the Buddha the status of a recently deceased monk. The Buddha replied the monk had attained sotapanna and would therefore be reborn no more than seven times. Since the monk in question is dead, what could moment to moment mean? Likewise when he spoke of sakadagamis and anagamis.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby stuka » Tue Jan 06, 2009 4:43 pm

Peter wrote:
Manapa wrote:but why does the Buddha have to be talking about two different lives why not two different moments?

An easy example:

Ananda asked the Buddha the status of a recently deceased monk. The Buddha replied the monk had attained sotapanna and would therefore be reborn no more than seven times. Since the monk in question is dead, what could moment to moment mean? Likewise when he spoke of sakadagamis and anagamis.




Actually, that answer can be taken either way.The Buddha does not necessarily state that this monk attained sotapanna at death. Another way to look at it is that the question is based in "right view with effluents", as is the answer.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby stuka » Tue Jan 06, 2009 4:45 pm

Ben wrote:Dear all,

Espousing among views his own as highest,
Whatever he regards as "best",
All else he will as "low" condemn;
Thus one will never get beyond disputes


-- Sutta Nipata v.796


Ben


Good thing no one is doing that here.

...however, the Buddha did make clear which view he regarded as best.

8-)
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby stuka » Tue Jan 06, 2009 5:24 pm

Peter wrote:The debate is whether that preferred practice is actually a Buddhist practice.


If this is so, Peter, then which "preferred practice" are you claiming is "not actually a Buddhist practice"?
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Tue Jan 06, 2009 7:54 pm

Element wrote:When there is 'no escape', we can fully and powerfully test and apply the higher teachings of the Buddha and gain complete confidence in their efficacy to end dukkha.

If there is no escape what is the point of ending dukkha?
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby kc2dpt » Tue Jan 06, 2009 8:01 pm

stuka wrote:
Peter wrote:
Manapa wrote:but why does the Buddha have to be talking about two different lives why not two different moments?

An easy example:

Ananda asked the Buddha the status of a recently deceased monk. The Buddha replied the monk had attained sotapanna and would therefore be reborn no more than seven times. Since the monk in question is dead, what could moment to moment mean? Likewise when he spoke of sakadagamis and anagamis.

Actually, that answer can be taken either way.The Buddha does not necessarily state that this monk attained sotapanna at death.

Whether he attained it at death or not is besides the point. In fact I assume in most cases the monk in question acheived the attainment at some point before death.

The point is the Buddha speaks of a dead monk having a certain number of rebirths ahead of him. This sort of statement cannot be understood as referring to anything other than multiple lives.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby kc2dpt » Tue Jan 06, 2009 8:02 pm

stuka wrote:
Peter wrote:The debate is whether that preferred practice is actually a Buddhist practice.


If this is so, Peter, then which "preferred practice" are you claiming is "not actually a Buddhist practice"?

The practice of adopting the view that there is no rebirth, no heavens and hells, no people who have seen the truth of these things firsthand. In other words, the practice of adopting wrong view.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby stuka » Tue Jan 06, 2009 8:34 pm

Peter wrote:

Whether he attained it at death or not is besides the point. In fact I assume in most cases the monk in question acheived the attainment at some point before death.


Actually it's not beside the point at all, and your own assumption demonstrates its relevance all the more.
The point is the Buddha speaks of a dead monk having a certain number of rebirths ahead of him. This sort of statement cannot be understood as referring to anything other than multiple lives.


Sure it can. You seem to be employing an Argument Ad Ignoratium. The lone example of the fact of my own understanding would defeat that argument; however, there are plenty of other Theravada practitioners who rightly understand it otherwise as well.

Are you now going to try to pull out a "No True Scot" argument on me...? ;)
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby stuka » Tue Jan 06, 2009 8:41 pm

Peter wrote:
stuka wrote:
Peter wrote:The debate is whether that preferred practice is actually a Buddhist practice.


If this is so, Peter, then which "preferred practice" are you claiming is "not actually a Buddhist practice"?

The practice of adopting the view that there is no rebirth, no heavens and hells, no people who have seen the truth of these things firsthand. In other words, the practice of adopting wrong view.


No one here has declared a "no-rebirth" view, or has declared that "there are no heavens and hells", or has declared that "there are no people who have seen the truth of these things firsthand". Your assertion, again, seems to be an irrelevant Straw Man.

That being said, the Buddha, in the Maha Cattarisaka Sutta you seem to refer to, does not specifically declare the views "there is no rebirth", and "there are no heavens and hells" to be wrong view. You will find that the nomenclature in the MCS is quite different from your eisegesis here. Both of the aforementioned are, however, speculative views, of course.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby stuka » Tue Jan 06, 2009 8:49 pm

Karma Dondrup Tashi wrote:
Element wrote:When there is 'no escape', we can fully and powerfully test and apply the higher teachings of the Buddha and gain complete confidence in their efficacy to end dukkha.

If there is no escape what is the point of ending dukkha?


:? ...you think that eating each other and wallowing in greed, hatred, misery and delusion in the here-and-now is the better option...?
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