Sam Harris on Buddhism

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Johnny Dangerous
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Sam Harris on Buddhism

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Sat Dec 01, 2012 5:06 am

The other thread with Dawkins got me thinking about my dislike Harris' ideas on Buddhism..among other things.

http://www.samharris.org/site/full_text ... he-buddha/

So basically, he wants Buddhism to be divorced from its 'religious trappings' to benefit humanity..as if it does not benefit humanity now. You can just feel the vitriol oozing off the words here. I love all the talk from the New Athiests about the "balkanizing" influences of religion, talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

Aside from the fact that I think much of his polemics fly in the face of anything approaching Buddhist ethics, I also find it weird that people who are strict materialist are interested in Buddhism, why do he or his ilk care at all?

Seriously, if you belief that consciousness permanently ceases at death, and there is no karma, that we are basically insane apes with heads full of stuff that is actually just electrical signals in a brain, with no other from of existence, then what is Buddhism? I guess just a good form of liberal self-help for an existence that will cease regardless, and is not effected by any of what you do.

For the life of me I do not understand why someone with such an entrenched materialist view would even give Buddhism a glance, I mean it's one thing to reserve judgement on things like karma, rebirth, odd cosmologies etc. It's quite another to emphatically state they have no possibility of existence at all..if one believes that, why bother with Buddhism? Just hump, drink, sleep, eat avoid pain and seek pleasure.
"it must be coming from the mouthy mastermind of raunchy rapper, Johnny Dangerous”

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Re: Sam Harris on Buddhism

Postby tomamundsen » Sat Dec 01, 2012 5:30 am

I actually agree with a lot of what he is saying here. Does he kind of consider himself as a Buddhist? He says stuff like this "As students of the Buddha, we should dispense with Buddhism."

The main sticking point I see here is that he describes the problem with religion, but it doesn't really apply to Buddhism. "If you really believe that calling God by the right name can spell the difference between eternal happiness and eternal suffering, then it becomes quite reasonable to treat heretics and unbelievers rather badly." Buddhism, fortunately, doesn't have this problem.

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Re: Sam Harris on Buddhism

Postby greentara » Sat Dec 01, 2012 5:43 am

Where there's no yearning, there can be no seeking. This form of Buddhism is half baked, devoid of all juice!
I find alot of new age practitioners, life coachers, therapists have jumped on the Buddhist bandwagon on 'You Tube' flogging their books, their watered down concepts . Very similar scene in Advaita.

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Re: Sam Harris on Buddhism

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Sat Dec 01, 2012 5:57 am

"it must be coming from the mouthy mastermind of raunchy rapper, Johnny Dangerous”

-Jeff H.

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Re: Sam Harris on Buddhism

Postby lobster » Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:15 am

I think Sam Harris wants to overcome suffering and be happy. :smile:
He does not require an alien culture, primitive supernatural beliefs, cosmology or Buddhist orthodoxy (whatever that might be deemed to be).
Might he become enlightened, whilst others doze through Buddhist attachments?
Might be :twothumbsup:

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Re: Sam Harris on Buddhism

Postby Jnana » Sat Dec 01, 2012 9:04 am


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Re: Sam Harris on Buddhism

Postby floating_abu » Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:25 pm

I haven't read him but based on some of the comments, it's OK, there will always be these people and there will be many who follow (seemingly) easier messages. But don't worry, don't let them (it) distract you from your own practice which really does require periods of solitude and silence also. FWIW.

Well wishes,
Abu

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Re: Sam Harris on Buddhism

Postby tomamundsen » Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:00 am

I am listening to a podcast by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, and interestingly enough he recommended his students doing ngondro to read by Sam Harris.

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Re: Sam Harris on Buddhism

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:24 am

"it must be coming from the mouthy mastermind of raunchy rapper, Johnny Dangerous”

-Jeff H.

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Re: Sam Harris on Buddhism

Postby songhill » Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:31 am

I mean who cares about this Sam Harris dude? Okay, he is a neuroscientist and religious critic who tells Buddhists, basically, to get rid of Buddhism. I assume he is doing this because he believes Buddhism offers less hope than Big Pharma's antidepressants.

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Re: Sam Harris on Buddhism

Postby tomamundsen » Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:36 am


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Karma Dondrup Tashi
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Re: Sam Harris on Buddhism

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:57 am


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tomamundsen
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Re: Sam Harris on Buddhism

Postby tomamundsen » Fri Dec 21, 2012 5:17 am


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Karma Dondrup Tashi
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Re: Sam Harris on Buddhism

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Fri Dec 21, 2012 5:19 am

I'm surprised Rinpoche would recommend a book like that. Sam Harris is a lightweight.

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Re: Sam Harris on Buddhism

Postby plwk » Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:58 am


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Re: Sam Harris on Buddhism

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Re: Sam Harris on Buddhism

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Re: Sam Harris on Buddhism

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Re: Sam Harris on Buddhism

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Re: Sam Harris on Buddhism

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