catmoon wrote:Now it is true that "God" is sometimes used to refer to a more nebulous non-personal principle, but in my book thats atheism.
Then you're also playing fast and loose with language.
catmoon wrote:Now it is true that "God" is sometimes used to refer to a more nebulous non-personal principle, but in my book thats atheism. Such a "God" lacks almost all the properties I can think of that would define God.
You well know that the Tathāgata is one eternal and unchanging, and is Uncreated. Nirvana Sutra, Chapter Two: On Cunda
Since the Lord is Eternal, some mistake Him for God; however, the Lord is not the cause of samsara.
Jnana wrote:catmoon wrote:Now it is true that "God" is sometimes used to refer to a more nebulous non-personal principle, but in my book thats atheism.
Then you're also playing fast and loose with language.
" Not only do you look at other people with the awareness of continual change, you look at everything in this light. Everything is always changing; nothing stays the same. At first this is rather scary, because if you think deeply about it, it means that there is no constant, separate thing you can call “me”: there is only an ever- changing flow of space-time-being. But soon it becomes enjoyable because it means that you are not alone in the universe, and that is a great relief. Do not think that anything whatsoever is separate from the Eternal: do not think, for example, that there was a time when the Eternal was Kanzeon (the Bodhisattva of Compassion) and another time when It was Buddha; indeed, there is a time when the Eternal is Kanzeon and a time when It is Buddha, but there was never a time or place when the Eternal was not present as the whole of the Eternal. If you think of Kanzeon as separate, of the Buddha as separate, of the mountain as separate, of the river as separate, and of yourself as separate—if you think in that way, you cannot understand the Eternal. If you know that you are the whole of the Eternal, and that Kanzeon and the Buddha are the whole of the Eternal, and that the whole of the past is present now, and the whole of the future is present now, that there is no other time than (and there will never be any other time than) now, in the real sense of the term, then you understand the eternal now, you understand the Eternal. Otherwise, you become a separate being in a body that is not the Buddha’s body, in a body that is not Kanzeon’s body, and the Eternal becomes a separate Being that is not your body. So you can see how the Eternal is thought of as flowing; It is the eternal flow; It is not static, nor can we truly say It is changing. The whole world must be seen as the Eternal, and not only must it be seen, it must be known to be the Eternal; the Eternal must be able to be felt, seen, smelt, tasted, touched in everyone and in everything. It is not a thing of yesterday; It is not a thing of today;
It is not a thing of tomorrow. The Eternal is the eternal flowing, the non-static eternal, the “universe growing ‘I’”.
So this is what the Buddha found, and He explained It by what in religion is called the via negativa: He explained It by what It is not. It isn’t born, because It has always been there; It doesn’t change, because It is Eternal; It is not created; there is nothing greater than It. The Buddha goes on in this Scripture to say if this were not so, then there would be no hope whatsoever for humankind. Now, it’s just as good to say, to explain, what you know to be true by saying what you know the thing isn’t, as it is to say what you know to be true by saying what you believe that it is. You can know what it is not; you believe what it is. "
Sara H wrote:The Eternal interconnected nature of things
gregkavarnos wrote:Sara H wrote:You can call the Eternal "God" Greg, It's ok.
Actually it is not quite okay because the word God comes with a heap of baggage attached that has no relation whatsoever to the tathagatagarbha.
Actually I find this statement problematic because the tathagatagarbha is not "much better than us" it is the true nature of "us". It is inseperable from us. When we project it outwards we can easily fall into the trap of considering it beyond, or seperate to, us. That somehow we lack "it", that we have somehow to find "it" or have "it" given to us, or connec to "it" rather than just realise "it".gregkavarnos wrote:...what it comes down to is this: we always place upon ourselves our own personal concept of God or the Eternal— something that is much better than us. But we usually stop short at Something that just is there, and is such perfect love It can tolerate everybody in the world."
David N. Snyder wrote:The first question on the Belief-O-Matic quiz:
Q1. What is the number and nature of the deity (God, gods, higher power)? Choose one.
1. Only one God--a corporeal spirit (has a body), supreme, personal God Almighty, the Creator.
2. Only one God--an incorporeal (no body) spirit, supreme, personal God Almighty, the Creator.
3. Multiple personal gods (or goddesses) regarded as facets of one God, and/or as separate gods.
4. The supreme force is the impersonal Ultimate Reality (or life force, ultimate truth, cosmic order, absolute bliss, universal soul), which resides within and/or beyond all.
5. The supreme existence is both the eternal, impersonal, formless Ultimate Reality, and personal God (or gods).
6. No God or supreme force. Or not sure. Or not important.
7. None of the above.
A monotheist would answer #1 or #2. A polytheist might answer #3. A pantheist might answer #4. A Jain might answer #5.
A Buddhist would most likely answer #6 or #7.
An atheist would answer #6 or #7.
Replying after undefinable
undefineable wrote:Viniketa, I hope the sangha has room for both atheists and transtheists....
futerko wrote:catmoon wrote:Now it is true that "God" is sometimes used to refer to a more nebulous non-personal principle, but in my book thats atheism. Such a "God" lacks almost all the properties I can think of that would define God.
I suspect you are overlooking some of more sophisticated theologians, who incidentally received credit from Richard Dawkins. I don't have their names to hand right now.
Sara H wrote:One of the advantages of using the word "God" for the Ultimate in the west, is that it is familiar to people over here, and thus is not as alien a concept for some people, which makes Buddhism seem more familiar and less of an exotic religion, which is an approach that works for many people.
Sara H wrote:Not everyone is looking to "run-away" from Christianity who is Buddhist in the west.
Jnana wrote:Pantheism is just as incorrect of a view as is atheism.
Sara H wrote:And I said whether or not you consider it "theism" depends on your personal view of how you personally define the word "God".
And why would I want to do that? In order to convert people to Buddhism? Why would I want to purposefully deceive people about the fact that Buddhism does not recognise the existence of an external, eternal, creator deity?One of the advantages of using the word "God" for the Ultimate in the west, is that it is familiar to people over here, and thus is not as alien a concept for some people, which makes Buddhism seem more familiar and less of an exotic religion, which is an approach that works for many people.
Yes, well... the problem is that God is not about flow or flux, God is normally defined as an external, eternal, static, unchanging presence. Mixing words merely creates confusion or can be conceived of as an attempt to be purposfully deceptive.Me, personally, I like the Eternal Flow (or Eternal Flow/Flux) because that's how I first experienced it so that works for me.
But I don't have a problem with people calling It "God" if that label seems more comfortable to them.
Buddhism does not say I don't know. On the contrary it defines gods very clearly as samsaric beings that are not soley responsible for the creation of the universe. Buddhism is not agnostic. You may be agnostic about the presence of an eternal creator but Buddhism is not."I don't know."
Nonsense, if you do that then language has no meaning. Descriptors are not (merely) how you define them personally, but how they are used collectively. If you just use your defintion, and ignore how the majority of people define God, then your description means nothing. Unless you are so egotistical to believe that only your description carries true meaning.Well really, it depends on how you personally define the term "God" or "deity" (in reference to the definitions of the terms atheism or theism).
gregkavarnos wrote:Nonsense, if you do that then language has no meaning. Descriptors are not (merely) how you define them personally, but how they are used collectively. If you just use your defintion, and ignore how the majority of people define God, then your description means nothing. Unless you are so egotistical to believe that only your description carries true meaning.
Who is talking about validity? We are talking about descriptions of words. Words are necessary to communicate. If when I say "hello" I mean "goodbye", when the vast majority of the people mean "hello", then my words do not convey their recognised meaning. It is not a matter of believing or not believing that "hello" means "hello". It's not a matter of proving an argument that "hello" means "hello" it's just a matter of convention.Fu Ri Shin wrote:Wait, so words' meanings are only valid via argumentum ad majorem?
Sara H wrote:I think "agnostic" is a more correct use
Sara H wrote:After all, how can you KNOW until you know for yourself?
Most people don't know until they KNOW, that is to say, that they have experienced it for themselves.