"Free Belief Buddhism"

No holds barred discussion on the Buddhadharma. Argue about rebirth, karma, commentarial interpretations etc. Be nice to each other.

Re: "Free Belief Buddhism"

Postby ground » Mon Jan 17, 2011 9:04 am

Huseng wrote:If someone rejects rebirth then they are not a qualified teacher of Buddhism, ...


Well said.

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Re: "Free Belief Buddhism"

Postby Su DongPo » Mon Jan 17, 2011 9:23 am

Huseng wrote:If someone rejects rebirth then they are not a qualified teacher of Buddhism, nor should they argue that they are or write books about an alternative Buddhadharma. Others who are not learned in Buddhism should be made aware of such charlatans.


Batchelor is not a charlatan. He does not reject rebirth. He is agnostic on the question. As far as I know, he has no problem with people who do accept what many believe to be core Buddhist doctrines. I think your are overstating things here.

How would you forbid him from writing books? You are quite free to not read him or refute his arguments, but I am quite free to read them, yes?

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Re: "Free Belief Buddhism"

Postby ground » Mon Jan 17, 2011 9:35 am

Considering that the "don't know mind" is a practice approach agnosticism appears to comply.
There is however a subtle bolderline between agnosticism and rejection. What is what in a given case may only be decided based on textual analysis.

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Re: "Free Belief Buddhism"

Postby Indrajala » Mon Jan 17, 2011 9:36 am

Su DongPo wrote:
Huseng wrote:If someone rejects rebirth then they are not a qualified teacher of Buddhism, nor should they argue that they are or write books about an alternative Buddhadharma. Others who are not learned in Buddhism should be made aware of such charlatans.


Batchelor is not a charlatan. He does not reject rebirth. He is agnostic on the question. As far as I know, he has no problem with people who do accept what many believe to be core Buddhist doctrines. I think your are overstating things here.

How would you forbid him from writing books? You are quite free to not read him or refute his arguments, but I am quite free to read them, yes?

Metta,
Dongpo



I did not say anyone should forbid him from writing books. I said he should not write books about an alternative Buddhadharma. That means really nothing coming from me and people will continue to write such books in any case. I still think they should not write such material, but I would not insist on denying them the write to freedom of speech.

However, on the reverse we have the right the denounce such people as charlatans.
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Re: "Free Belief Buddhism"

Postby Astus » Mon Jan 17, 2011 9:38 am

Chaz wrote:It's been my understanding that "Right View" involves a correct perspective on the 4 Noble truths. Rebirth, for one thing, isn't present in that understanding.

Unless I'm missing something really important, your statement sounds more like trying to maintain a doctrinal status quo than trying to promote or preserve "right view".

Seems to be a common thread Buddhist boards these day.


In the list of ten unwholesome actions the last one is "wrong views". It is defined in the Saleyyaka Sutta (MN 41) in the following way:

Or he has wrong view, distorted vision, thus: 'There is nothing given, nothing offered, nothing sacrificed, no fruit and ripening of good and bad kammas, no this world, no other world, no mother, no father, no spontaneously (born) beings, no good and virtuous monks and brahmans that have themselves realized by direct knowledge and declare this world and the other world.'

Also see this teaching by Ven. Ledi Sayadaw: The Noble Eightfold Path and its Factors Explained where under right view he gives a detailed explanation of what it actually consists of.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: "Free Belief Buddhism"

Postby Astus » Mon Jan 17, 2011 9:55 am

TMingyur wrote:Considering that the "don't know mind" is a practice approach agnosticism appears to comply.
There is however a subtle bolderline between agnosticism and rejection. What is what in a given case may only be decided based on textual analysis.


It is a great mistake to confuse Seung Sahn's "don't know mind" with agnosticism. In his Zen it is a term equal to non-abiding mind. Agnosticism is being hindered by doubt, the fifth of the five hindrances.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: "Free Belief Buddhism"

Postby ground » Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:28 am

Astus wrote:
TMingyur wrote:Considering that the "don't know mind" is a practice approach agnosticism appears to comply.
There is however a subtle bolderline between agnosticism and rejection. What is what in a given case may only be decided based on textual analysis.


It is a great mistake to confuse Seung Sahn's "don't know mind" with agnosticism. In his Zen it is a term equal to non-abiding mind. Agnosticism is being hindered by doubt, the fifth of the five hindrances.

I cannot see any mistake.
Actually I did not say "don't know mind" IS agnosticism. But it is not taking up "is" or "is not" and that pretty much complies with agnosticism.

Agnosticism is the view that the truth value of certain claims—especially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, but also other religious and metaphysical claims—is unknown or unknowable
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnosticism


Astus wrote:Agnosticism is being hindered by doubt

I do not agree.


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Last edited by ground on Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Free Belief Buddhism"

Postby Dharmakara » Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:30 am

Huseng wrote:
The phenomena of reincarnation exists and documented cases of it occurring are plentiful, but reproducing it is not possible. That means you cannot scientifically verify the existence of it.

However, that does not negate the existence of the phenomena.


Correct, just like the existence of UFO's, Bigfoot, and the Tooth Fairy. Your point?


Huseng wrote:There is knowledge through inference. We can infer that rebirth is very real.

Most people don't understand atomic theory in any detail, but they defer to the valid testimony of scientists who declare that atoms do indeed exist. We know atoms exist because valid authorities who are reliable say so.


Sorry, but it would appear that you're wrong on both counts.

For example, a non-Buddhist might ask us what evidence we have of rebirth, or for that matter even the existence and dissolution of the aggregates in such fashion, when compared to the evidence of atoms, where the latter is proven by shooting them through an easy-to-ionize gas or liquid, such as Argon, or by bouncing something off an atom, like an electron, and watching where it goes after it bounces, where the traces of the atom's existence can be verified and documented.

That is the methodology by which the veracity of "knowledge through inference" can be established, not through the substitution of a hypothesis in absence of that evidence.
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Re: "Free Belief Buddhism"

Postby Su DongPo » Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:53 am

Huseng wrote:
Su DongPo wrote:
Huseng wrote:If someone rejects rebirth then they are not a qualified teacher of Buddhism, nor should they argue that they are or write books about an alternative Buddhadharma. Others who are not learned in Buddhism should be made aware of such charlatans.


Batchelor is not a charlatan. He does not reject rebirth. He is agnostic on the question. As far as I know, he has no problem with people who do accept what many believe to be core Buddhist doctrines. I think your are overstating things here.

How would you forbid him from writing books? You are quite free to not read him or refute his arguments, but I am quite free to read them, yes?

Metta,
Dongpo



I did not say anyone should forbid him from writing books. I said he should not write books about an alternative Buddhadharma. That means really nothing coming from me and people will continue to write such books in any case. I still think they should not write such material, but I would not insist on denying them the write to freedom of speech.

However, on the reverse we have the right the denounce such people as charlatans.


Who is this "we", kimosabe? You are clearly speaking for yourself. I suspect that while others here may feel some aversion to Batchelor and his books, are they willing to label him a "charlatan"? I would hope not. A charlatan is a liar, a cheat, a con man -- in short, a pretty despicable character.

All Batchelor has done has written (among other things) an introduction to Buddhism from an unconventional (from your point of view) perspective. This is not a court of law, but characterizing another person with in such a harshly written message is borderline libel.

If you disagree with a writer, well, so be it. But Batchelor is reasonable and quite far from dishonest. In fact, what you find most disagreeable, I would argue, is his honesty. He honestly doesn't believe in what many take to be the core tenets of Buddhism.

Why not just state your point without the name calling?

Right speech? Gee.

Have a read and see how two Buddhists can disagree respectfully --

http://www.tricycle.com/feature/3857-1.html
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Re: "Free Belief Buddhism"

Postby Indrajala » Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:02 am

Dharmakara wrote:
Huseng wrote:
The phenomena of reincarnation exists and documented cases of it occurring are plentiful, but reproducing it is not possible. That means you cannot scientifically verify the existence of it.

However, that does not negate the existence of the phenomena.


Correct, just like the existence of UFO's, Bigfoot, and the Tooth Fairy. Your point?


There are plenty of cases of people and governments reporting UFOs. Now what exactly it was people saw is up for debate.

Rebirth is different in that we have many documented cases of children who can recollect events, names and details of things that existed before they were conceived.

That they are able to recollect such things is unexplainable, but nevertheless the phenomena exist.



For example, a non-Buddhist might ask us what evidence we have of rebirth, or for that matter even the existence and dissolution of the aggregates in such fashion, when compared to the evidence of atoms, where the latter is proven by shooting them through an easy-to-ionize gas or liquid, such as Argon, or by bouncing something off an atom, like an electron, and watching where it goes after it bounces, where the traces of the atom's existence can be verified and documented.



We can infer that rebirth is real through documented cases of children recollecting things that happened before they were conceived coupled with metaphysical evidence for the mind not being an emergent property of matter.
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Re: "Free Belief Buddhism"

Postby Indrajala » Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:04 am

Su DongPo wrote:All Batchelor has done has written (among other things) an introduction to Buddhism from an unconventional (from your point of view) perspective. This is not a court of law, but characterizing another person with in such a harshly written message is borderline libel.


I think he is unqualified to write introductory material on Buddhism. By doing so he pretends to have qualifications that he really lacks. His books presumably produce a profit. Thus I call him a charlatan.
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Re: "Free Belief Buddhism"

Postby Dharmakara » Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:12 am

Huseng wrote:However, on the reverse we have the right the denounce such people as charlatans.


Pray tell, are we to assume that this "right" is the same right that a practitioner of the Theravada tradition would have to call someone of the Mahayana tradition a heretic on this forum?

Sorry, but there's really no difference because the intent is one and the same.
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Re: "Free Belief Buddhism"

Postby Indrajala » Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:23 am

Dharmakara wrote:
Huseng wrote:However, on the reverse we have the right the denounce such people as charlatans.


Pray tell, are we to assume that this "right" is the same right that a practitioner of the Theravada tradition would have to call someone of the Mahayana tradition a heretic on this forum?

Sorry, but there's really no difference because the intent is one and the same.


I have no issues with being called a heretic provided I can respond with counterarguments.
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Re: "Free Belief Buddhism"

Postby Dharmakara » Mon Jan 17, 2011 12:24 pm

Very true, but that also brings us back to an earlier question put forth by Su DongPo... why can't people disagree respectfully, recognizing the strengths of other's position without having to embrace it?

For example, you have stated your opinion that Batchelor isn't even qualified to write an introduction to Buddhism, that he "pretends to have qualifications that he really lacks", when in fact you are referring to a man who previously was a well-respected scholar at the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives (LTWA) in Dharamshala.

He is certainly qualified to write an introduction to Buddhism, whether you personally disagree with him or not. And may I add, Batchelor has never put forth his own understanding without also putting forth the orthodox Buddhist position for comparison, yet, if one is to understand you correctly, you claim that he's a "charlatan" simply because you don't agree with him.
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Re: "Free Belief Buddhism"

Postby Su DongPo » Mon Jan 17, 2011 12:47 pm

I understand that this is the section of the forum where members can have a go at touchy subjects but this thread is turning in to another querulous, retaliatory sparring match, imo, and I always regret participating in these testy exchanges afterwards, so I am going leave off here.

People may read or disregard Batchelor, or another writer as they see fit. They can also argue about him, if they so choose. Just not me this time.

Carry on. Best wishes to all in his/her practice and path.

"I did not enter silence. Silence captured me."
-- Ezra Pound


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Re: "Free Belief Buddhism"

Postby Dharmakara » Mon Jan 17, 2011 1:27 pm

To quote Andre Gide, "Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it," so I'm right behind you.
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Re: "Free Belief Buddhism"

Postby Chaz » Mon Jan 17, 2011 2:29 pm

Huseng wrote:Whoever taught you needs a review of the basics.


What is it about people on this board thinking they can be insulting towards other people's teachers?

Craving and ignorance are causes for rebirth.


I think you said something earlier about rebirth causing suffering and not that craving and ignborance causing suffering.


Your teacher's lack of attention to rebirth does not validate your position.


Being a jerk does not validate yours.

If rebirth is an actual phenomenon, which we can present evidence for, then it is imperative to discuss and understand the process itself as well as the significance of it.


But you're not "discussing it". YOu're being insulting towards others who's thinking on the subject differs from yours.

If division arises because of it then so be it.


I sure hope you're joking.

If someone rejects rebirth then they are not a qualified teacher of Buddhism, nor should they argue that they are or write books about an alternative Buddhadharma.


So you'd like us Americans to basically toss the 1st Amendment?

Others who are not learned in Buddhism should be made aware of such charlatans.


Yes, maybe the guys who put eSangha Watch up had the right idea. I've been thinking about a blog I'd call BuddhistJerks. Others not so learned should be made aware of them. I'll have to finish my site for people who still wear a mullet hairdo, first, but maybe I'll put it on the list.
Last edited by Chaz on Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Free Belief Buddhism"

Postby Pero » Mon Jan 17, 2011 2:53 pm

Dharmakara wrote:To quote Andre Gide, "Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it," so I'm right behind you.


In other words "blind people, follow the blind and not those who see".
Although many individuals in this age appear to be merely indulging their worldly desires, one does not have the capacity to judge them, so it is best to train in pure vision.
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Re: "Free Belief Buddhism"

Postby Luke » Mon Jan 17, 2011 3:17 pm

Chaz wrote:
Huseng wrote:Whoever taught you needs a review of the basics.


What is it about people on this board thinking they can be insulting towards other people's teachers?

Hmm...yes, that's an ethical dilemma. On the one hand Huseng was trying to defend the traditional doctrines of Buddhism, but on the other hand, he unfairly assumed many things about your teacher. This is an issue for the moderators to sort out...

This thread may have outlived its usefulness because no one is really listening to each other anymore, and the smallest disagreements are causing huge amounts of hatred to flare up.

Although I personally dislike Batchelor's ideas, I don't doubt that many people still feel great devotion towards teachers who have views similar to Batchelor's. Batchelor's teachings may serve as a gateway to Buddhist teachings for many people.
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Re: "Free Belief Buddhism"

Postby Blue Garuda » Mon Jan 17, 2011 3:58 pm

I tend to agree that the thread is not really moving forwards.

Having established some (seemingly) irreconcilable differences, and moved on to personal remarks in support of these differences, it may be time to stop.

I volunteer to take on the suffering of all and freely admit to being a blindly heretical unqualifed charlatan, a fair-minded jerk, but so impaired that my wrong view of my don't know mind is seriously nihilistic. ;)

I'm not sure about locking the thread, but maybe all parties can agree to let it die with a peaceful mind?
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