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Re: Buddhism on God

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:16 pm

tobes wrote:Just to be clear Jnana, I am not proposing that Buddhists ought to read Spinoza - only that if one is directly engaging in a refutation of his metaphysics, one needs to know his metaphysics.

Otherwise, the refutation is inevitably going to be without a foundation.

That's all. A fairly uncontroversial claim I would have thought.

After all, don't we all know how absurd it is when people attempt to refute Buddhadharma without engaging in Buddhadharma? If this thread proves nothing else, it surely proves that.
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Re: Buddhism on God

Postby Jnana » Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:34 pm

tobes wrote:A fairly uncontroversial claim I would have thought.

Yes it is.

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Re: Buddhism on God

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:21 pm

tobes wrote:[
Your reference to Einstein is apt


Thank you. My reference to Einstein and Marx actually had little to do with their theories, but that as correct as they were, their ideas were superseded. I am not saying that Spinoza is wrong within the context of his genre (how's that for an intellectual-sounding phrase?) but that any formulas in which "God" plays a part, simply because the idea of "God" is part of the theory, just doesn't go far enough because the "God" concept only occurs in relation to the assertion of existent objects, and Buddha already explains that the appearance of existent objects is merely a projection of the mind. therefore, all notions of "God" are also, by nature, merely mental fabrications.

This doesn't mean that in fact there isn't some big "God" or god-force, or cosmic jelly or whatever out there.
Maybe theists are right after all, and I've been wrong all this time, and I am going to hell or whatever.
But all concepts or explanations or descriptions of "God" are just things that people have made up.
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Re: Buddhism on God

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:26 pm

tobes wrote:Just to be clear Jnana, I am not proposing that Buddhists ought to read Spinoza - only that if one is directly engaging in a refutation of his metaphysics, one needs to know his metaphysics.

Otherwise, the refutation is inevitably going to be without a foundation.


A rabbi doesn't have to know how to fry bacon before deciding he can 't eat it.
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Re: Buddhism on God

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Nov 17, 2011 2:10 pm

Here is a simple analogy:
What is the best type of wire basket for carrying water?
Since water is a liquid, then the question of the wire basket doesn't pertain,
because water will simply leak through the wire basket.

but if you solidify the water, freeze it into ice cubes,
then the question of the wire basket does pertain,
because you can carry ice in a wire basket.
Furthermore, one type of wire basket might be better than another,
depending on the weave of the basket, the temperature conductivity of the wire, and the size of the ice cubes, and so on.
So, you can have all sorts of Spinozas making intelligent arguments within that context.

Likewise, if one begins with the notion of a 'reality' composed of solid entities, solidifying concepts into existent things, then a discussion about God is pertinent. But since Buddhism basically asserts a more 'fluid' reality,
then any notion of "God" has no relevance, just as a wire basket has no relevance to carrying water,
because "God" as a concept only pertains to a reality composed of existent things
(which Buddhism asserts is not what is occurring at all).
.
.
.
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The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
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Re: Buddhism on God

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Nov 17, 2011 2:30 pm

Reminds me of a joke (translation from Greek)

During a professional visit of mine to a mental asylum I asked the manager of the unit: "How do you diagnose whether a patient needs to be hospitalised at the unit or not?"

The manager answered: "Well it's quite simple, we fill a bathtub to the brim and then we give the patient a teaspoon, a mug and a bucket and we ask them to empty the water from the bath tub.

"Oh, I understand!" I answered. "A normal sane person would use the bucket because it is larger than the mug or the teaspoon..."

"No!" Answered the manager. "A normal sane person would pull the bath plug. Would you like a bed near the window or the hall?"
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"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Buddhism on God

Postby Kunga Lhadzom » Thu Nov 17, 2011 5:33 pm

Food_Eatah wrote:[
Use deez version instead homes!!!

http://www.woodenfish.org/images/diamond%20sutra.pdf



Yeah, thanks Food_Eatah :smile:
The one I have at home is :


http://www.wisdompubs.org/Pages/display ... n=&image=1


Thanks _/\_
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Re: Buddhism on God

Postby Thug4lyfe » Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:18 pm

Kunga Lhadzom wrote:
Food_Eatah wrote:[
Use deez version instead homes!!!

http://www.woodenfish.org/images/diamond%20sutra.pdf



Yeah, thanks Food_Eatah :smile:
The one I have at home is :


http://www.wisdompubs.org/Pages/display ... n=&image=1


Thanks _/\_

Yo, is that book full of commentary by Master Hsing Yun section by section? I think I might have read the Chinese version on the Fo Guang Shan website! It's awsome!!! Although I am too phail to study the Diamond Sutra right now :( but maybe soon I will have enough wisdom to put more effort in that sutra!
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Re: Buddhism on God

Postby Thug4lyfe » Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:26 pm

Why all this argument over god? I am sure his got better things to do, like protecting Dharma protectors, controlling the weather and practicing the Dharma himself!

When he looks down at all this debate he will be like all:

Image
"I am already god, and u kids are still here doing deez #$@%?"
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Re: Buddhism on God

Postby catmoon » Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:33 pm

tobes wrote:I don't intend any disrespect to Mr Solway, but I think Spinoza was a slightly more rigorous thinker.....

:anjali:



Ya I'd have to concede that, yea, though it paineth me greatly to do so.
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Re: Buddhism on God

Postby tobes » Fri Nov 18, 2011 1:03 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
tobes wrote:[
Your reference to Einstein is apt


Thank you. My reference to Einstein and Marx actually had little to do with their theories, but that as correct as they were, their ideas were superseded. I am not saying that Spinoza is wrong within the context of his genre (how's that for an intellectual-sounding phrase?) but that any formulas in which "God" plays a part, simply because the idea of "God" is part of the theory, just doesn't go far enough because the "God" concept only occurs in relation to the assertion of existent objects, and Buddha already explains that the appearance of existent objects is merely a projection of the mind. therefore, all notions of "God" are also, by nature, merely mental fabrications.


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But you clearly do not know what Spinoza says about the relationship between phenomenal objects and the mind. You're refuting a total straw man of your own strange construction, which bears no connection at all to Spinoza's ontology.

I don't really see why you're intent on doing this.

As for Marx, well, we could start a whole other crazy heated thread here, but.........superseded? One of his claims is that capitalism is inevitably prone to crisis, seems to be still correct on that front, does he not?

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Re: Buddhism on God

Postby tobes » Fri Nov 18, 2011 1:09 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
tobes wrote:Just to be clear Jnana, I am not proposing that Buddhists ought to read Spinoza - only that if one is directly engaging in a refutation of his metaphysics, one needs to know his metaphysics.

Otherwise, the refutation is inevitably going to be without a foundation.


A rabbi doesn't have to know how to fry bacon before deciding he can 't eat it.


He has to know whether it is bacon or beef though.

That's my whole point here: you've decided something is x without investigating properly if it is x; and therefore you fail to see that it is y.

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Re: Buddhism on God

Postby tobes » Fri Nov 18, 2011 1:16 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:Here is a simple analogy:
What is the best type of wire basket for carrying water?
Since water is a liquid, then the question of the wire basket doesn't pertain,
because water will simply leak through the wire basket.

but if you solidify the water, freeze it into ice cubes,
then the question of the wire basket does pertain,
because you can carry ice in a wire basket.
Furthermore, one type of wire basket might be better than another,
depending on the weave of the basket, the temperature conductivity of the wire, and the size of the ice cubes, and so on.
So, you can have all sorts of Spinozas making intelligent arguments within that context.

Likewise, if one begins with the notion of a 'reality' composed of solid entities, solidifying concepts into existent things, then a discussion about God is pertinent. But since Buddhism basically asserts a more 'fluid' reality,
then any notion of "God" has no relevance, just as a wire basket has no relevance to carrying water,
because "God" as a concept only pertains to a reality composed of existent things
(which Buddhism asserts is not what is occurring at all).
.
.
.


Okay, you're firmly in Kevin territory now. Spinoza is famously asserting a 'fluid', immanent, relational reality.

Again, if you want to critique Spinoza, first you must understand what he is asserting.

If you want to create fictional strawman's in order to validate Buddhist metaphysics, well, that's your prerogative. But I can't think of anything more futile.

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Re: Buddhism on God

Postby Dechen Norbu » Fri Nov 18, 2011 2:03 am

Have we coined a new idiomatic expression?

Watch out, you're in "Kevin's territory" now. Hum... I think such speculations belong to "Kevin's territory". Beware as that line of thinking will get you in "Kevin's territory"... Okay, you're firmly in "Kevin territory" now.


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Re: Buddhism on God

Postby Thug4lyfe » Fri Nov 18, 2011 2:05 am

Dechen Norbu wrote:Who would know? The old chap has been immortalized!

Choose your words carefully homes! Only one TRUE IMMORTAL technique here!

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Re: Buddhism on God

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Fri Nov 18, 2011 2:15 am

tobes wrote:
Again, if you want to critique Spinoza, first you must understand what he is asserting.

If you want to create fictional strawman's in order to validate Buddhist metaphysics, well, that's your prerogative. But I can't think of anything more futile.



I'll tell you what. If i get some time to read, and I can pick up some of his stuff at a local bookstore, I will look into that.
But remember, I did say to correct me if I am wrong. I am open to that.
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The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
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Re: Buddhism on God

Postby Dechen Norbu » Fri Nov 18, 2011 2:17 am

Image*whispering* let's not derail this thread. my bad...
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Re: Buddhism on God

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Fri Nov 18, 2011 2:30 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
tobes wrote:
Again, if you want to critique Spinoza, first you must understand what he is asserting.

If you want to create fictional strawman's in order to validate Buddhist metaphysics, well, that's your prerogative. But I can't think of anything more futile.



I'll tell you what. If i get some time to read, and I can pick up some of his stuff at a local bookstore, I will look into that.
But remember, I did say to correct me if I am wrong. I am open to that.
:smile:


Anyway, I was only responding to the inclusion of "God" that might pop up in in any philosophical equation.
Whether Spinoza, Solway, or anybody else does it doesn't alter my suggestion that the very inclusion of "God"
is in fact an assertion of the intrinsic reality of "things", the very thing that Buddhism refutes.
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The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
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Re: Buddhism on God

Postby tobes » Fri Nov 18, 2011 3:27 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:
tobes wrote:
Again, if you want to critique Spinoza, first you must understand what he is asserting.

If you want to create fictional strawman's in order to validate Buddhist metaphysics, well, that's your prerogative. But I can't think of anything more futile.



I'll tell you what. If i get some time to read, and I can pick up some of his stuff at a local bookstore, I will look into that.
But remember, I did say to correct me if I am wrong. I am open to that.
:smile:


Anyway, I was only responding to the inclusion of "God" that might pop up in in any philosophical equation.
Whether Spinoza, Solway, or anybody else does it doesn't alter my suggestion that the very inclusion of "God"
is in fact an assertion of the intrinsic reality of "things", the very thing that Buddhism refutes.


I get where you're coming from ~ but it is somewhat akin to a person who reads a bit about Buddhism, and sees the translation for shunyata as emptiness, and assumes that it means nothingness.

Then proceeds to refute Buddhism on the grounds that it is a nihilistic philosophy.

We've all been there right? What can one say about that refutation? - It's premised on a categorical misunderstanding; one really ought to investigate further, think more carefully about what shunyata actually means etc, etc.

And what do you say when that person just keeps retorting: "But emptiness is nothingness! But emptiness is nothingness! Look, it says so right here. Why do I need to read any further?"

To which the only responsible response is: "Because you have not actually understood the meaning of shunyata."

And as for the last bit ~ that's generous of you, but unfortunately I do not really know Spinoza well enough to be pontificating.

All I'm doing here is promoting and defending an epistemic humility, on matters we do not know adequately.

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Re: Buddhism on God

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Nov 18, 2011 9:21 am

"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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