Ucchedavada (annihilationism) - what does it actually mean?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
pt1
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Re: Ucchedavada (annihilationism) - what does it actually mean?

Post by pt1 »

Hi retro,
retrofuturist wrote: Maybe you'd like to frame a new topic in the Classical Theravada section to explore the hypothesis?

I'd recommend against putting it in the Abhidhamma section, since there may be Sutta material of relevance to the question which I'm sure you don't want to ignore during your investigations.
Sounds good, will do that.

Best wishes

EDIT: This is the new thread
mogg
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Re: Ucchedavada (annihilationism) - what does it actually me

Post by mogg »

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,
stuka wrote:People who are beyond such views nonetheless are sick to death of being accused by crusading fatuous dilletanti of being annihiliationists.
Yes, hence my reasons for starting this topic and keeping it distinct from the melee of the Great Rebirth Debate. Even myself, I've been accused of denying rebirth in the past simply because I find non-time-delineated models of dependent origination (a la Buddhadasa) more practical than the three-lives commentarial version. :shrug:

Metta,
Retro. :)
It is my understanding that the Ven. Buddhadasa's explanation of DP is not what the Buddha actually taught. Its clear from the suttas that when the Buddha talks about 'birth' in DP, he is talking about literal birth, not 'being born into each moment' or some similar notion.

With metta
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Alex123
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Re: Ucchedavada (annihilationism) - what does it actually me

Post by Alex123 »

A very widespread belief that "there is no self" is Ucchedavāda.
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 brahmans & contemplatives who are exponents of annihilationismSN44.10
Maybe what it also means in a modern terminology is nihilism.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."
daverupa
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Re: Ucchedavada (annihilationism) - what does it actually me

Post by daverupa »

Alex123 wrote:A very widespread belief that "there is no self" is Ucchedavāda.
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 brahmans & contemplatives who are exponents of annihilationismSN44.10
Maybe what it also means in a modern terminology is nihilism.
Nihilism is different from annihilationism. The latter speaks of the destruction of an existent thing, in this case a self; the former speaks of how knowledge and values have no objective foundation - nothing can truly be known, life is meaningless, etc. There are degrees of this view.
  • "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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Alex123
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Re: Ucchedavada (annihilationism) - what does it actually me

Post by Alex123 »

daverupa wrote:Nihilism is different from annihilationism. The latter speaks of the destruction of an existent thing, in this case a self; the former speaks of how knowledge and values have no objective foundation - nothing can truly be known, life is meaningless, etc. There are degrees of this view.
Mereological nihilism (also called compositional nihilism) is the position that objects with proper parts do not exist (not only objects in space, but also objects existing in time do not have any temporal parts), and only basic building blocks without parts exist, and thus the world we see and experience full of objects with parts is a product of human misperception (i.e., if we could see clearly, we would not perceive compositive objects).link
Some non-buddhists during Buddha's time had a similar view:
A person is a composite of four primary elements. At death, the earth (in the body) returns to and merges with the (external) earth-substance. The fire returns to and merges with the external fire-substance. The liquid returns to and merges with the external liquid-substance. The wind returns to and merges with the external wind-substance.DN2
Bhikkhu Bodhi trans wrote: [Herein, there is no killer, no slaughterer, no hearer, no speaker, no knower, no intimater.] Even one who cuts off another’s head with a sharp sword does not deprive anyone of life; the sword merely passes through the space between the seven bodies. SN24.8
Sounds to similar too what some say today...
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."
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acinteyyo
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Re: Ucchedavada (annihilationism) - what does it actually me

Post by acinteyyo »

I try to explain my thoughts about it as easy as I can.
It all starts with believing in any sort of self. Then there can be two ways of thinking about such a belief. Either there is a self which is eternal or there is a self which isn't and therefore is or will be annihilated. It's not so much of importance whether somebody thinks a self lives forever or dies after some time and will be born again and dies and will be born again to belief in a self which is eternal. As well as it's not important whether somebody thinks a self isn't at all or won't be anymore in the future to belief in a self which is or will be annihilated. I suppose these both views are nothing but an extension to the underlying atta-vada an go hand in hand with it. It becomes more clear the more one understands what atta-vada means. It is the clinging, grasping to the aggregates and believing a part, parts or all of them to be the self, while anatta on the other hand is not trying to tell us that there is no self at all but rather that what we consider as self (while failing to see that it) is merely a part, parts or all of those very aggregates. So the eternalist actually beliefs a part, parts or all of the aggregates, which the eternalist considers being the self, is/are eternal while the annihilationist actually beliefs a part, parts or all of the aggregates, which the annhiliationist considers being the self, isn't at all or will be annihilated.

at least that's what I think...

best wishes, acinteyyo
Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.
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equilibrium
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Re: Ucchedavada (annihilationism) - what does it actually me

Post by equilibrium »

Removal of the "I" created by the deluded self!.....as the deluded self is deluded hence it cannot see.....the teaching allows one to see if one is fit for it by removing what we thought was true but it is nothing but a believe.....and all along, we were the one enforcing this self deluded believe.....as the whole show is put to a stop by oneself!
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