All Buddhists Are Atheists

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Re: All Buddhists Are Atheists

Postby viniketa » Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:21 am

deepbluehum wrote:Buddha said there's no creator.


No, Buddha declared this topic as one of the "imponderables":

Conjecture about [the origin, etc., of] the world is an unconjecturable that is not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about it.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
If they can sever like and dislike, along with greed, anger, and delusion, regardless of their difference in nature, they will all accomplish the Buddha Path.. ~ Sutra of Complete Enlightenment
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Re: All Buddhists Are Atheists

Postby viniketa » Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:22 am

Nighthawk wrote:
Jnana wrote:
David N. Snyder wrote:See also these quotes from Dhamma Wheel: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=11082

Statements that disparage, mock, or otherwise poke fun at other belief systems on a Buddhist discussion forum -- as do many in the above linked thread -- are reprehensible and deserve to be censured.

Seconded.


Thirded.
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Re: All Buddhists Are Atheists

Postby Jnana » Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:27 am

Huseng wrote:
David N. Snyder wrote:Theravada Buddhism seems more atheistic or at least non-theistic. As for Mahayana Buddhism, well you guys have the Trikaya concept which sounds pretty close to some kind of God-concept.


The ancient Mahāsāṃghikas had the same idea about the Buddha -- he being a transcendental force rather than a flesh and blood sage. That was pre-Mahāyāna, too.

As this thread: Path to Buddhahood demonstrates, there are secular revisionists who don't even accept the Theravāda teachings on a buddha's knowledge, etc.
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Re: All Buddhists Are Atheists

Postby deepbluehum » Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:52 am

viniketa wrote:
deepbluehum wrote:Buddha said there's no creator.


No, Buddha declared this topic as one of the "imponderables":

Conjecture about [the origin, etc., of] the world is an unconjecturable that is not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about it.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


You are forgetting this
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

And this

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Also your quote is denying a creator.
Last edited by deepbluehum on Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:00 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: All Buddhists Are Atheists

Postby sinweiy » Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:55 am

doesn't matter, it's the result that matter.

"Those who teach a Dhamma for the abandoning of passion, for the abandoning of aversion, for the abandoning of delusion — their Dhamma is well-taught."
AN 3.72 - Ajivaka Sutta

The Thirty-one Planes of Existence
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dham ... /loka.html
(14) Great Brahmas (Maha brahma)
One of this realm's most famous inhabitants is the Great Brahma, a deity whose delusion leads him to regard himself as the all-powerful, all-seeing creator of the universe (DN 11).
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... #bigbrahma
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Re: All Buddhists Are Atheists

Postby viniketa » Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:01 am

deepbluehum wrote:You are forgetting this
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Also your quote is denying a creator.


No, the Acintita Sutta does not deny a creator. I do not forget the suttas that make fun of Bhrama as creator.

In the end, as Buddha indicated, this imponderable is not worth our time...

:namaste:
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Re: All Buddhists Are Atheists

Postby deepbluehum » Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:05 am

viniketa wrote:
deepbluehum wrote:You are forgetting this
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Also your quote is denying a creator.


No, the Acintita Sutta does not deny a creator. I do not forget the suttas that make fun of Bhrama as creator.

In the end, as Buddha indicated, this imponderable is not worth our time...

:namaste:


No he's saying that creation is not ponderable. As the suttas I cited point out, he is mocking the notion of a creator. It doesn't mean he's not taking a position and therefore there is possibly a creator.
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Re: All Buddhists Are Atheists

Postby deepbluehum » Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:12 am

David N. Snyder wrote:Theravada Buddhism seems more atheistic or at least non-theistic.


The Buddha declared himself "brahma bhuto" (become Brahma) in the Aggañña Sutta.

David N. Snyder wrote:As for Mahayana Buddhism, well you guys have the Trikaya concept which sounds pretty close to some kind of God-concept.


In Vajrayana too, the body is the deity.

An all-powerful-creator-God with a capital G however, is not found in any Buddhist tradition, as far as I know.


See the Tantra of the All Creating King.

If you take all these traditions together you come to understand that the mind is the all-powerful God and karma is his hands.
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Re: All Buddhists Are Atheists

Postby pueraeternus » Fri Oct 19, 2012 4:43 am

deepbluehum wrote:
viniketa wrote:
deepbluehum wrote:You are forgetting this
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Also your quote is denying a creator.


No, the Acintita Sutta does not deny a creator. I do not forget the suttas that make fun of Bhrama as creator.

In the end, as Buddha indicated, this imponderable is not worth our time...

:namaste:


No he's saying that creation is not ponderable. As the suttas I cited point out, he is mocking the notion of a creator. It doesn't mean he's not taking a position and therefore there is possibly a creator.


Actually, the Brahmajala Sutta would be the key sutta to quote, since in it, the Buddha describes the belief in a Creator God to be the first wrong view of Ekaccasassatavāda (partial eternalism):

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .bodh.html
38. "There are, bhikkhus, some recluses and brahmins who are eternalists in regard to some things and non-eternalists in regard to other things, and who on four grounds proclaim the self and the world to be partly eternal and partly non-eternal. And owing to what, with reference to what, do these honorable recluses and brahmins proclaim their views?

39. "There comes a time, bhikkhus, when after the lapse of a long period this world contracts (disintegrates). While the world is contracting, beings for the most part are reborn in the Ābhassara Brahma-world.[7] There they dwell, mind-made, feeding on rapture, self-luminous, moving through the air, abiding in glory. And they continue thus for a long, long period of time.

40. "But sooner or later, bhikkhus, after the lapse of a long period, there comes a time when this world begins to expand once again. While the world is expanding, an empty palace of Brahmā appears. Then a certain being, due to the exhaustion of his life-span or the exhaustion of his merit, passes away from the Ābhassara plane and re-arises in the empty palace of Brahmā. There he dwells, mind made, feeding on rapture, self-luminous, moving through the air, abiding in glory. And he continues thus for a long, long period of time.

41. "Then, as a result of dwelling there all alone for so long a time, there arises in him dissatisfaction and agitation, (and he yearns): 'Oh, that other beings might come to this place!' Just at that moment, due to the exhaustion of their life-span or the exhaustion of their merit, certain other beings pass away from the Ābhassara plane and re-arise in the palace of Brahmā, in companionship with him. There they dwell, mind-made, feeding on rapture, self-luminous, moving through the air, abiding in glory. And they continue thus for a long, long period of time.

42. "Thereupon the being who re-arose there first thinks to himself: 'I am Brahmā, the Great Brahmā, the Vanquisher, the Unvanquished, the Universal Seer, the Wielder of Power, the Lord, the Maker and Creator, the Supreme Being, the Ordainer, the Almighty, the Father of all that are and are to be. And these beings have been created by me. What is the reason? Because first I made the wish: "Oh, that other beings might come to this place!" And after I made this resolution, now these beings have come.'

"And the beings who re-arose there after him also think: 'This must be Brahmā, the Great Brahmā, the Vanquisher, the Unvanquished, the Universal Seer, the Wielder of Power, the Lord, the Maker and Creator, the Supreme Being, the Ordainer, the Almighty, the Father of all that are and are to be. And we have been created by him. What is the reason? Because we see that he was here first, and we appeared here after him.'

43. "Herein, bhikkhus, the being who re-arose there first possesses longer life, greater beauty, and greater authority than the beings who re-arose there after him.

44. "Now, bhikkhus, this comes to pass, that a certain being, after passing away from that plane, takes rebirth in this world. Having come to this world, he goes forth from home to homelessness. When he has gone forth, by means of ardor, endeavor, application, diligence, and right reflection, he attains to such a degree of mental concentration that with his mind thus concentrated he recollects his immediately preceding life, but none previous to that. He speaks thus: 'We were created by him, by Brahmā, the Great Brahmā, the Vanquisher, the Unvanquished, the Universal Seer, the Wielder of Power, the Lord, the Maker and Creator, the Supreme Being, the Ordainer, the Almighty, the Father of all that are and are to be. He is permanent, stable, eternal, not subject to change, and he will remain the same just like eternity itself. But we, who have been created by him and have come to this world, are impermanent, unstable, short-lived, doomed to perish.'
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Re: All Buddhists Are Atheists

Postby catmoon » Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:52 am

To me, devas don't qualify as gods at all. They're just people trapped in samasara like us, still going round and round the wheel, up and down through the realms. To even begin to qualify as gods they'd have to attain full Buddhahood, then add omnipotence. But we already agreed that Buddha wasn't God, and I'm certainly not going to elevate samsaric beings above Buddha.
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Re: All Buddhists Are Atheists

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:37 am

Nighthawk wrote:Call us purelanders whatever you like. Labels have zero importance. The only thing that will ever matter is freedom from the bondage of samsara and how to achieve that.
Your outburst is a little paranoid. I imagine (knowing Catmoon) that he is genuinely interested in a Pureland practitioners opinion on this issue. That he was not mocking, or making fun. If you are a Pureland practitioner do you wish to offer your opinion, rather than getting all defensive over nothing?
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One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: All Buddhists Are Atheists

Postby Jnana » Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:04 am

catmoon wrote:To me, devas don't qualify as gods at all. They're just people trapped in samasara like us, still going round and round the wheel, up and down through the realms. To even begin to qualify as gods they'd have to attain full Buddhahood, then add omnipotence.

Your criteria for what qualifies as a god is too narrow, which is likely why you mistakenly equate Buddhism with Atheism.
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Re: All Buddhists Are Atheists

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:29 am

Jnana wrote:Your criteria for what qualifies as a god is too narrow, which is likely why you mistakenly equate Buddhism with Atheism.
No matter how much one broadens ones criteria as to what qualifies as a god this does not change the fac that gods are samsaric beings.
:namaste:
"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: All Buddhists Are Atheists

Postby futerko » Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:00 am

Jnana wrote:
David N. Snyder wrote:See also these quotes from Dhamma Wheel: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=11082

Statements that disparage, mock, or otherwise poke fun at other belief systems on a Buddhist discussion forum -- as do many in the above linked thread -- are reprehensible and deserve to be censured.


Personally, I find a lot of those comments insightful, accurate, and/or humorous, so I censure your censure of their censure!

edit: We aren't talking about individual's beliefs here but an ideology based on power and which has been used to justify much suffering and inequality.
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Re: All Buddhists Are Atheists

Postby Nighthawk » Fri Oct 19, 2012 12:04 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:Your outburst is a little paranoid. I imagine (knowing Catmoon) that he is genuinely interested in a Pureland practitioners opinion on this issue. That he was not mocking, or making fun.

I wasn't being paranoid nor do I think catmoon was mocking or poking fun.
If you are a Pureland practitioner do you wish to offer your opinion, rather than getting all defensive over nothing?
:namaste:

I already stated my opinion in that labels have zero importance. I find the question to be a bit nonsensical. If I had to pick a label though, I would go with non theist as Amida Buddha is neither the creator nor is he omnipotent.
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Re: All Buddhists Are Atheists

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Oct 19, 2012 12:06 pm

Nighthawk wrote:I already stated my opinion in that labels have zero importance. I find the question to be a bit nonsensical. If I had to pick a label though, I would go with non theist as Amida Buddha is neither the creator nor is he omnipotent.
Thank you! :smile:
"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: All Buddhists Are Atheists

Postby Indrajala » Fri Oct 19, 2012 3:06 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Jnana wrote:Your criteria for what qualifies as a god is too narrow, which is likely why you mistakenly equate Buddhism with Atheism.
No matter how much one broadens ones criteria as to what qualifies as a god this does not change the fac that gods are samsaric beings.
:namaste:


But if you accept their existence you are a polytheist.

I think there is more at stake here than mere definitions.

This trend to label Buddhist as "atheist" is a result of the ongoing New Atheist movement to discredit and cripple their opponents and there is understandably perhaps some good reasons for wanting their favour and approval as they come to command both public education systems and academic orthodoxy. If you are not on their good side, then you stand to lose prestige and credibility in the eyes of many people.

However, in order to really render any Buddhist tradition as atheist would mean sanitizing it of many teachings that the Buddha himself is on record as having taught. In countless canonical scriptures he speaks of gods as actually existing and at times he would interact with them. Some might suggest this is mere folklore or fiction added in at a later date, but they should bear in mind that in our present world plenty of Buddhists can attest to having the same experiences with devas and so forth.

If this makes any self-identifying Buddhist uncomfortable they need to evaluate their own level of knowledge and wisdom regarding such things. Namely, do you think you know better than the Buddha and countless masters who have lived over the last twenty-five centuries?

To casually purge Buddhism of traditional teachings that have existed for twenty-five centuries is not only a sign of hubris, but a violation of one's refuge vows.

Buddhism stands to lose a lot by being labelled atheist as people casually go along with the saṃsāric flow of contemporary society.
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Re: All Buddhists Are Atheists

Postby Matt J » Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:05 pm

The other side is that there are a lot of cultural additions that are unnecessary to Buddhist practice. No one needs to believe in gods, spirits, and magic in order to practice the dharma. A modern person does not need to suppress their modern knowledge in order to practice.

Huseng wrote:To casually purge Buddhism of traditional teachings that have existed for twenty-five centuries is not only a sign of hubris, but a violation of one's refuge vows.

Buddhism stands to lose a lot by being labelled atheist as people casually go along with the saṃsāric flow of contemporary society.
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If only there is no picking or choosing
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Re: All Buddhists Are Atheists

Postby Jnana » Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:12 pm

futerko wrote:We aren't talking about individual's beliefs here but an ideology based on power and which has been used to justify much suffering and inequality.

Firstly, who's this "we"? Secondly, members of a religious discussion forum disparaging or mocking other religions is very lame.
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Re: All Buddhists Are Atheists

Postby Jnana » Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:17 pm

Matt J wrote:The other side is that there are a lot of cultural additions that are unnecessary to Buddhist practice.

And how are you going to differentiate between what you consider to be cultural additions and what are essential practices? For example, the common preliminaries taught in Tibetan Buddhism place considerable emphasis on contemplating rebirth and the suffering of the saṃsāric realms. This isn't "cultural baggage," it's foundational to the Buddhadharma.
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