m0rl0ck wrote:Setting up karma and rebirth as some kind of mechanism to enforce good behaviour is an error imo. Just makes karma out to be Jehovah in drag
No, this idea about karma being "Jehovah in drag" or a "cosmic enforcer" is just a mental projection of yours coming from your cultural background. When Buddhist masters teach about karma, they are not giving commandments; they are just explaining the way things are: "Doing this will lead to suffering. Doing that will lead to happiness."
It's like explaining where different paths lead: "This road leads to a radioactive wasteland. That road leads to a palace. That road leads to a temple." They don't command, "Take this road!" but they certainly suggest which is the wisest path to take.
m0rl0ck wrote:, i think the reality of the situation is alot simpler, subtler, and at the same time more complex than that, mostly because "you" dont survive death to be rewarded or punished.
No, "you" don't survive death because what is "you" is constantly changing, but your mindstream does survive death. Your mindstream doesn't end, and it doesn't mix with other people's mindstreams.
Karma doesn't imply any external external "judge" or "punisher." The "judge" is the ripening of karmic seeds in your own mind and they way they influence the world around you (this might not be entirely correct, but I think it's something close to this).
Huseng wrote:When Dharmakirti refuted the materialists, one argument he made for rebirth was that the Buddha was a valid source of knowledge and the Buddha did indeed teach rebirth. If the Buddha can be demonstrated as a valid source of authoritative knowledge (perhaps better understood as knowing through a valid source), then from his valid testimony we can infer that indeed rebirth is real even if we personally lack that knowledge or experience. We can know something through a testimony of a valid source.
Yes, exactly. We're basically relying on a witness we trust. It's like Stephen Hawking telling us something about black holes. Even if we haven't studied the subject in depth, it's most likely that he knows what he's talking about.
Or it's like the fact that we all believe that Bill Clinton had affairs because of the evidence we read about, even though we didn't actually see him do it.
And the Buddha had knowledge and powers of perception far beyond what ordinary people have.
and what is this thing you guys got for zen anyway. What did zen ever do to you?
I think what we are all reacting against is the "Zen" which is not really Zen Buddhism (you know people who do zazen, but who don't believe in karma and rebirth and who have little interest in core Buddhist beliefs).
Even small pieces of Buddhism can bring benefits, but Buddhism was meant to be a whole entity and a working system. There are Four Noble Truths, not one, not two, not three.