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Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma - Page 9 - Dhamma Wheel

Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Alex123
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby Alex123 » Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:54 pm

"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

nowheat
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby nowheat » Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:48 am


nowheat
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby nowheat » Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:13 am


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retrofuturist
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:46 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

vinasp
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby vinasp » Sun Mar 25, 2012 4:13 am

Hi everyone,

This is just my opinion.

Why is there, among the monks, no debate about rebirth in the Five Nikaya's?

1. Each monk should put truth first, above other considerations, but
only in regard to their own personal understanding.

2. What they can say in public is governed by the strict rules of Right
Speech, where ethical considerations take precedence over truth.

Those monks who no longer believed in rebirth would not state this in
public because it was wrong to upset another by questioning their beliefs.

To be more precise, those beliefs which are of benefit and which lead to
wholesome states of mind, should not be called into question. Unwholesome
beliefs which are detrimental can, of course, be questioned.

A monk could, of course, share his understanding with another in private.

However, all those private conversations are lost to us, we have only the
teachings themselves, which are public discourses.

Everything said above about rebirth applies also to beliefs about the
reality of the three realms, the existence of Deva's, and many other things.

Our Modern culture is different, we put truth first in public discourse.
[ except in politics of course.]

Regards, Vincent.

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Thales
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby Thales » Sun Mar 25, 2012 4:59 am

"Just as the ocean has a single taste, the taste of salt, so this Dhamma and Discipline has a single taste, the taste of release."

~Ud 5.5

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:51 am

In his "Discourse on the Cūḷavedalla Sutta," which I am currently editing, the Venerable Mahāsī Sayādaw had this to say about Nihilism:

“The nihilistic view that everything passes into oblivion with the annihilation of existence after death is the result of craving. Because of the acceptance of this view it is believed that after expiry of the present life-term, nothing remains to experience the good or bad results of one’s own actions. Therefore, one who holds this view, also tends not to avoid vices and demeritorious deeds (akusala kamma). Neither will he or she be inclined to perform meritorious deeds (kusala kamma). His or her entire attention is devoted to finding various ways and means to search for pleasures and to possess and enjoy the delights of life. For a person who accepts the nihilistic view of (ucchedadiṭṭhi) (i.e. that death is the annihilation of existence), there is hardly any good kamma to cause rebirth in a noble or worthy existence. Nevertheless, unwholesome kamma is likely to be in abundance. Therefore, getting attached to one of the three death signs (kamma, kamma-nimitta, or gati-nimitta) that will appear on the verge of death, it is probable that he or she will, under the circumstances then prevailing, be driven to the mental state of rebirth consciousness that will drag him or her down to the lower realms (apāya).

The gravest danger of this "one life only" view is that it encourages the pursuit of selfish pleasures at any cost, and provides no incentive to abstain from unwholesome deeds, nor to cultivate wholesome ones. Though the non-believer in the doctrine of kamma and rebirth may not be totally lacking in morality, whatever morality he or she has will be conditioned by social norms, which in most societies will involve actions that are immoral or unwholesome from the Buddhist POV.
• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

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Ben
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby Ben » Sun Mar 25, 2012 8:37 am

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

Nyana
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby Nyana » Sun Mar 25, 2012 9:22 am


vinasp
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby vinasp » Sun Mar 25, 2012 10:31 am

Hi everyone,

There is another possibility that we should consider.

Could encouraging someone to believe in rebirth actually result in an
increase in their suffering?

We all know people who worry too much, who imagine all sorts of things
which might happen in the future. And this is true even when they only
have one life to worry about. How is it good to give them ten, a hundred, or
a thousand more imaginary lives to worry about?

Regards, Vincent.

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Spiny O'Norman
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:13 am


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Spiny O'Norman
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:30 am


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Spiny O'Norman
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:35 am


Nyana
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby Nyana » Sun Mar 25, 2012 12:11 pm


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Kare
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby Kare » Sun Mar 25, 2012 12:17 pm

Mettāya,
Kåre

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kirk5a
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby kirk5a » Sun Mar 25, 2012 1:27 pm

"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

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David N. Snyder
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby David N. Snyder » Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:40 pm

I agree with Ven. Pesala's post above and the quote provided from Venerable Mahāsī Sayādaw. There is a real danger in the nihilistic views.

But atheism doesn't have to be equated with either nihilism or denial of rebirth. Atheism, in one definition is belief in a supreme creator-God, which is not compatible with Buddhism and not accepted as doctrine in Buddhism. In fact equating the two (I'm not saying anyone here is doing that) might be a guilt-by-association fallacy. Sure there are atheists according to the definition Ñāṇa uses who deny rebirth and are nihilists. But that doesn't mean all atheists deny rebirth and are nihilists. There are Buddhists, Jains, Taoists, and others who reject a creator-God and still believe/accept rebirth.

There may be devas and there may be some Buddhists who believe/accept that and there may be others who don't. But the devas are about as delusional and impermanent as the rest of us.

Buddham saranam gacchami
Dhammam saranam gacchami
Sangham saranam gacchami

I/we take refuge in the Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha, not a God, not gods, not devas.
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Prasadachitta
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby Prasadachitta » Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:53 pm

"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332

Nyana
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby Nyana » Sun Mar 25, 2012 4:05 pm


nowheat
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Re: Atheism is an Unskillful False Dhamma

Postby nowheat » Sun Mar 25, 2012 4:25 pm



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