Are Karma and Rebirth Real?

No holds barred discussion on the Buddhadharma. Argue about rebirth, karma, commentarial interpretations etc. Be nice to each other.

Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby ground » Wed Oct 26, 2011 6:49 pm

Dechen Norbu wrote:
TMingyur wrote:Be that as it may ... from within the context of the teachings volitional formations manifesting of the kind "there is re-birth" or "there is no rebirth" will lead to further being born.

However there is a difference when there is fear or aversion or being worried about when it happens. This was the meaning intended with the term "embrace".


All this fancy discursive fabrications about "rebirth" won't help ... what is of help however is the eightfold path which entails cessation of speculations and equanimous and/or joyful letting go.


Kind regards

If death is annihilation, it really doesn't matter, because there will be no further "being born".

If this then that but if that then this. When there is this there is that. When this has ceased then that disappears as well.

Dechen Norbu wrote:The Noble Eightfold Path starts and ends with Right View.

You say it.

Of those, right view is the forerunner. And how is right view the forerunner? In one of right view, right resolve comes into being. In one of right resolve, right speech comes into being. In one of right speech, right action... In one of right action, right livelihood... In one of right livelihood, right effort... In one of right effort, right mindfulness... In one of right mindfulness, right concentration... In one of right concentration, right knowledge... In one of right knowledge, right release comes into being.

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



kind regards
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby Kyosan » Wed Oct 26, 2011 6:57 pm

edearl wrote: :thanks: I am studying the 37 factors of enlightenment and Bodhipakkhiyādhammā (whew--a mouth full) and find almost all of it reasonable and acceptable. At the moment I have only one issue, faith. That's because my family, mom especially, said, "Trust me. Have faith in Christianity," but my family and church are bigoted, intolerant, vindictive, and have other incredible beliefs. That experience has made me mistrust anyone who states a belief and expects me believe it because of trust. In my opinion, blind faith is an ugly thing because an otherwise good person can be led to do bad things. On the other hand, one cannot live their lives without faith. Math and logic simply cannot scientifically prove everything needed to live ones life. Faith filtered by reason is OK and needed. Needless to say, I was very impressed that the Buddha said don't blindly trust me, think about my philosophy and if it makes sense, follow me. That was the start of my epiphany, and it continues as I learn more. It is as if the Buddha read my mind, figured out many things I had been unable to work out, and now is telling me the things I want to know.

I felt like shouting EPIPHANY, meaning "a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something," (Dictionary.com)

:lol: I looked up the definition, and found that it is also a Christian festival--not what I meant.

There are many Christians like that. They profess their faith but don't follow the words of Jesus and think that they just need to believe and they will be saved. But I know some Christians who are really open minded, compassionate and care about others. There are mystic traditions in Christianity that, like Buddhism, focus on things like non-duality and compassion. And, I think that Christian theology is not as simplistic as the beliefs of the common folks. You see the same thing in Buddhism. Many Buddhists go to a temple and pray and ask Quan Yin (Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva) for things and think of him as a goddess. Do they comprehend the Dharma? Probably most of them don't comprehend it very much.

I agree that faith is needed. I like the way you put it "faith filtered by reason". Or maybe I would call it "faith filtered by insight".Totaly blind faith is not a good thing. In fact, one important thing I learned from Buddhism (mainly from the "Sutra of Innummerable Meanings") is that all beings interpret things differently. So the Buddhist dharma, or possibly even the teachings of another religion, is interpreted differently by different beings. Each being tends to think that their interpretation is what the teaching really is. But when we communicate, we are not communicating words, we are communicating meanings. So what meaning is correct, the meaning that I get or the meaning that someone else gets? So when we put faith in some words ,we are really putting faith in our interpretation of the words. Our interpretation of the words may not be the same as the intended meaning of the words. For that reason we must use our wisdom to decipher what the intended meaning really is. Many people, without knowing this, see or hear the words and think they understand and latch on to that.

If you otherwise like Buddhism and see value in it please don't let the thing about reincarnation, rebirth or whatever it's called, discourage you. And don't let people tell you what you must believe. Through your own wisdom you must decide what you believe. You can put faith in a teacher who you trust but even blind faith in a teacher isn't a good thing. The Buddha, when he was practicing the way, had walked away from several teachers. He used his own wisdom to decide what to believe and what not to believe.

The Buddhas words have resonated with me also. I like the fact that he encourages us to look deeply into things and understand them ourselves. It looks to me like you will probably become/stay a Buddhist. If so, I think you will be a great Buddhist.

Did you know that Epiphany is also the name of a Linux based web browser. Silly me, I thought that a fellow geek was telling me what web browser he uses.
:namaste:
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby edearl » Wed Oct 26, 2011 7:41 pm

Kyosan wrote:It looks to me like you will probably become/stay a Buddhist. If so, I think you will be a great Buddhist.

I am not a quick study and doubt that I would become a great Buddhist, even if I were young. I will remain Buddhist because Buddhist beliefs and mine have much in common.

Kyosan wrote:Did you know that Epiphany is also the name of a Linux based web browser. Silly me, I thought that a fellow geek was telling me what web browser he uses.

Yes, but I use Firefox.

:namaste:
HHDL: "My confidence in venturing into science lies in my basic belief that as in science so in Buddhism, understanding the nature of reality is pursued by means of critical investigation: if scientific analysis were conclusively to demonstrate certain claims in Buddhism to be false, then we must accept the findings of science and abandon those claims."
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby edearl » Wed Oct 26, 2011 7:44 pm

edearl wrote: :emb: meant to edit, sorry.

I know all Christians are not as fundamentalist as my family, and that there are good Christians.

Kyosan wrote:It looks to me like you will probably become/stay a Buddhist. If so, I think you will be a great Buddhist.

I am not a quick study and doubt that I would become a great Buddhist, even if I were young. I will remain Buddhist because Buddhist beliefs and mine have much in common.

Kyosan wrote:Did you know that Epiphany is also the name of a Linux based web browser. Silly me, I thought that a fellow geek was telling me what web browser he uses.

Yes, but I use Firefox.

:namaste:
HHDL: "My confidence in venturing into science lies in my basic belief that as in science so in Buddhism, understanding the nature of reality is pursued by means of critical investigation: if scientific analysis were conclusively to demonstrate certain claims in Buddhism to be false, then we must accept the findings of science and abandon those claims."
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby Acchantika » Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:00 am

deepbluehum wrote:This quip, while sounding spiritual, completely misses the mark. I haven't said one should behave compassionately for fear of punishment, nor have I said not to question beliefs for fear of what they might entail. You all are conditioned by the Church. I don't have the problem. The teaching on karma is very simple and verifiable. Good deeds result in pleasure and a higher rebirth; bad deeds result in pain and a lower rebirth. The path provides the methods to test these. You do not have a sound working basis to test these until the methods are taught to you. Until then, you will have to go on faith that the methods will do the job.

Again you are just waxing poetic to get fools to chime in; again, completely off the mark. The above-cited sutta states that a beginner has to trust the Buddha first, then later, the answers become clear. The point is that you never just believe their is karma or rebirth, just because the Buddha said so. But you also don't disbelieve it and distrust the Buddha. You keep an open mind, "this is the teaching of the Omniscient one," and you proceed along the path step by step slowly verifying the trust behind the Master's words.

Seriously, you Westerners need to drop the New Age Guru aspirations or you will be left in the dust. This is the degenerate age. Dharma will not be here for long.


This quip, while sounding spiritual, completely misses the mark. I haven't said one should behave righteously for fear of punishment, nor have I said not to question beliefs for fear of what they might entail. You all are conditioned by the Indians. I don't have the problem. The teaching on sin is very simple and verifiable. Good deeds result in pleasure and entry into heaven; bad deeds result in pain and entry into hell. The path provides the methods to test these. You do not have a sound working basis to test these until the methods are taught to you. Until then, you will have to go on faith that the methods will do the job.

Again you are just waxing poetic to get fools to chime in; again, completely off the mark. The above cited gospel states that a beginner has to trust Jesus first, then later, the answers become clear. The point is that you never just believe their is heaven or a soul, just because Jesus said so. But you also don't disbelieve it and distrust Jesus. You keep an open mind, "this is the teaching of the Lamb of God," and you proceed along the path step by step slowly verifying the trust behind the Lord's words.

Seriously, you Easterners need to drop the Iron Age aspirations or you will be left in the dust. This is the end times. The Good News will not be here for long.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby deepbluehum » Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:19 am

Sarcasm. I pray you overcome that hate within.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby deepbluehum » Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:23 am

Your hatred of the Church is your issue. Other religions have many good merits.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby coldmountain » Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:52 am

I think there's more than sarcasm here. If there's one thing in common that devotees of any religion tend to have is that they take their own narrative at face value. If there's one thing that Westerners tend to have in common is an acute awareness that every single religion claims this. Pluralism, not the church, is the problem. To someone aware of competing claims, any claim based solely on an appeal to religious authority all sounds exactly the same. I'm not sure you realize just how much so. At this level, Buddha and Jesus, the church and the sangha, become one and the same voice.

I am getting a distinct impression that Easterners, or 'native Buddhists' if I can use such a term, don't understand Western culture in the slightest, else they'd be more conscientious in their use of skillful means. Pre-modern Christians wouldn't understand Western culture in the slightest either, because as I said, pluralism is the issue.

Much like the last fellow who said I was merely 'clinging to my disbelief in rebirth'. Hardly. If anything I'm looking for good reasons to trust in the Dharma, but one thing many people don't seem to appreciate is that people of other cultures come from drastically different conditions. Collectively we are no more inclined to be convinced of karma and rebirth than you are to walk down the aisle of a church and get saved by the blood of Jesus. I am disappointed by the lack of tact and understanding on these forums; the mindset is often identical to that of the church -- but not merely the church -- but any premodern, pre-pluralistic religious disposition. The church is often used as an example merely because it is the dominant religion of the West, but any example could suffice.

I am most amazed that people would rather turn others away from the Dharma than have a rational and tactful discussion on things. This can only do harm, and therefore can only accumulate bad karma. Perhaps if it's just one individual one could justifiably dismiss them as especially stupid or foolish, but this is an entire culture of people. For each person zealously dismissed, doubtless hundreds or thousands get the message that Buddhism is no different than any other religion: it demands credulous assent to apparently arbitrary beliefs. My point here is that if one is going to engage someone fruitfully, one has to understand where they are coming from and appreciate that. If this can't be done, then both parties are wasting their time. An unwillingness to meet someone in the middle and work from their own presuppositions bespeaks either a lack of sympathy or intellectual laziness.

Peace.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby Acchantika » Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:54 am

deepbluehum wrote:Sarcasm. I pray you overcome that hate within.

Your hatred of the Church is your issue. Other religions have many good merits.


I apologise if I came off as sarcastic. I felt I was misintepreted when "waxing poetic" so I tried a different approach. I don't hate other religions.

My point was that every religion expounds the same rhetoric that is being repeated here, that once one is open to an idea they can verify it in their own experience. I think that often people actually just intepret their experience according to a prior belief, which is reinforcement, not verification. Encouraging this means that people end up both adhering to concepts and reifying meditative experience. These are both antithetical to practice, whether you are a beginner or not. I don't think this is what Buddha meant by testing the ideas, and this "testibility" is so crucial that I think it is a great mistake to conflate it with the same dogmatic rhetoric in other systems. It seems to me that he understood clearly that true verification is impossible, but falsification isn't. This is very important, I believe. I think that intepreting karma to be a mere Universal reward system is vastly underestimating its meaning, and will turn us all into compassi-o-bots.

But I appreciate your praying for me. I need all the help I can get. :namaste:
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby Kyosan » Thu Oct 27, 2011 5:57 am

from the Dalai Lama
"To study Buddhism and then use it as a weapon in order to criticize others' theories or ideologies is wrong. The very purpose of religion is to control yourself, not to criticize others. Rather, we must criticize ourselves. How much am I doing about my anger? About my attachment, about my hatred, about my pride, my jealousy? These are the things which we must check in daily life with the knowledge of the Buddhist teachings."
"A Talk to Western Buddhists" p. 87

I think that is the main thing. And if we do try to help others by speaking to them, we need to meet them where they are at; what we say has to be reasonable to them. It's about helping them use their wisdom to decide, not about imposing our views on them.

from the Dalai Lama
"I don't want to convert people to Buddhism — all major religions, when understood properly, have the same potential for good."

"Fundamentalism is terrifying because it is based purely on emotion, rather than intelligence. It prevents followers from thinking as individuals and about the good of the world."

Daily Telegraph interview (2006)

Could it be that the Dalai Lama is a New Ager? Naw, perish the thought. Sorry, I couldn't resist. :lol:

I think this shows that the Dalai Lama doesn't believe that metaphysical beliefs are important, since different religions have different metaphysics.

I think he is saying that thinking of the "good of the world" (having compassion for all sentient beings) and thinking as individuals is more important than strict adherence to religious doctrine. And he is saying that if we are fundamentalists (are attached to the doctrine) that can impede us spiritually.
:namaste:
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Oct 27, 2011 8:43 am

The Dalai Lama has pointed out the difference between spirituality and religiosity MANY times.
: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: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby Thug4lyfe » Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:13 am

Hmmm, maybe it's just a case of westerners, Easterners mistaken eachother's weakness as strength.

Typical Eastern Obstruction:
Greed from hoping to gain merit by practicing and making offerings
Superficial cultivation just to appear pure to please the Monastics

Typical Western Obstruction:
Mis-interpret the teaching to suit one's habits
Attachment to Christianity, in turn gets attached to philsophical speculations, science and athiesm.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby edearl » Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:41 am

Food_Eatah wrote:Attachment to Christianity, in turn gets attached to philsophical speculations, science and athiesm.


:?: I do not understand. Are you saying that Christians are attached to science and atheism via philosophy?
HHDL: "My confidence in venturing into science lies in my basic belief that as in science so in Buddhism, understanding the nature of reality is pursued by means of critical investigation: if scientific analysis were conclusively to demonstrate certain claims in Buddhism to be false, then we must accept the findings of science and abandon those claims."
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby Dechen Norbu » Thu Oct 27, 2011 12:28 pm

Kyosan wrote:I think that is the main thing. And if we do try to help others by speaking to them, we need to meet them where they are at; what we say has to be reasonable to them. It's about helping them use their wisdom to decide, not about imposing our views on them.

Indeed. It's very important for someone to start his path in the right way, making contact in a meaningful fashion. This varies a lot. For some, if their first contact are the most exotic parts to our culture, it's unlikely they stick around to see the rest. However, this doesn't mean we deem less important this or that teaching, or worse, we try to shape Dharma so that it suits their mundane views. A good teacher will know his student and how to help him without corrupting the teachings.

Could it be that the Dalai Lama is a New Ager? Naw, perish the thought. Sorry, I couldn't resist. :lol:

I think this shows that the Dalai Lama doesn't believe that metaphysical beliefs are important, since different religions have different metaphysics.

I think he is saying that thinking of the "good of the world" (having compassion for all sentient beings) and thinking as individuals is more important than strict adherence to religious doctrine. And he is saying that if we are fundamentalists (are attached to the doctrine) that can impede us spiritually.
:namaste:

It shows none of that. The Dalai Lama stresses teachings as rebirth and karma as any other good teacher. I have plenty of his books where this is blatantly clear. You can't pick a sentence directed to the general public and make of it what it isn't to suit your purposes. The Dalai Lama also says that there comes a point where one must choose.

That all religions may be important is a different matter all together. Each religion has its value. You can be a good Christian and do a lot of good for others. You can be an atheist and do the same. This doesn't imply that the Dalai Lama considers eternalism or nihilism wholesome views. It means that even under such views, one can still do a lot for others and himself. They just aren't fit if your aim is enlightenment.

Bending or warping the Dharma so it can be compatible with competing metaphysics does nothing for its value. It impoverishes the teachings. People are not forced to become Buddhists or to accept the teachings. I find dishonest and misleading if we twist the teachings to attract someone. People have the right to know what they are dealing with. If they decide to stick around and investigate, fantastic. If they don't, it's their right. What we don't have is the right to corrupt the Buddhadharma so that it fits everyone. Some people will never become Buddhists. They can have their convictions, some incompatible with Buddhism, and still be great human beings. If we lie to them by saying "oh this is not important, so you can simply disregard it", forgetting that the Buddha or the sages usually don't spend time in idle chatter, we are not being honest with them. These teachings are there and there are means to check them. First we build some intellectual confidence through study and after that we practice to gain insight directly. Doubt is not solved by cultivating it. It's by the cultivation of study and practice that we deal with our legitimate doubts, not pretending that some teachings don't matter. Were that the case, probably the Buddha wouldn't have mentioned them.

Best wishes.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby deepbluehum » Thu Oct 27, 2011 3:15 pm

Acchantika wrote:
deepbluehum wrote:Sarcasm. I pray you overcome that hate within.

Your hatred of the Church is your issue. Other religions have many good merits.


I apologise if I came off as sarcastic. I felt I was misintepreted when "waxing poetic" so I tried a different approach. I don't hate other religions.

My point was that every religion expounds the same rhetoric that is being repeated here, that once one is open to an idea they can verify it in their own experience. I think that often people actually just intepret their experience according to a prior belief, which is reinforcement, not verification. Encouraging this means that people end up both adhering to concepts and reifying meditative experience. These are both antithetical to practice, whether you are a beginner or not. I don't think this is what Buddha meant by testing the ideas, and this "testibility" is so crucial that I think it is a great mistake to conflate it with the same dogmatic rhetoric in other systems. It seems to me that he understood clearly that true verification is impossible, but falsification isn't. This is very important, I believe. I think that intepreting karma to be a mere Universal reward system is vastly underestimating its meaning, and will turn us all into compassi-o-bots.

But I appreciate your praying for me. I need all the help I can get. :namaste:


I agree that testability would great, but their are limits to what one can gather in terms of data. For example, there is no test that can falsify rebirth. The best we can hope for are two things: 1) anecdotal evidence and 2) one must enter the path up to the fourth jhana and aver one's mind toward past lives and see what happens. The second would only be one's own subjective experience. The same applies to karma. We can look at examples like Ghaddhafi and apply the lives by the gun dies by the gun adage. Then, we can "test" in our own experience whether what the Buddha said is true, that good deeds result in pleasant condition and bad deeds result in painful condition. As to compassi-o-bots, you are missing a crucial element, the dharmakaya. This also has absolutely nothing to do with science, and cannot be tested, because it is simply awareness's own subjective experience, and by definition, is immeasurable. Make no mistake about it, we are as Buddhists trying to gain immeasurable pleasure gained from the unshakable karma of meditative absorption. A bot could never experience this, because there is no combination of zeros and ones that could possibly account for this experience. As a strict skeptic you are in danger of remaining a thought-o-bot. You are not allowing yourself the license to relax, unwind and sink into the deep vast pool of subjective pleasure that comes from realization of the dharmakaya.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby edearl » Thu Oct 27, 2011 4:39 pm

Acchantika wrote:Seriously, you Easterners need to drop the Iron Age aspirations or you will be left in the dust. This is the end times. The Good News will not be here for long.


Baptist preacher William Miller predicted the Second Advent of Jesus Christ would occur before March 21, 1844. When this date he chose a new date of April 18, 1844. That date passed and a follower of Miller, Samuel S. Snow, predicted October 22, 1844.

Anabaptists of the early sixteenth century believed that the Millennium would occur in 1533.

Assemblies of God Church predicted Armageddon no later than 1934 or 1935.

Charismatic Pastor Chuck Smith predicted anytime before 1981.

Russian Mennonite minister Claas Epp, Jr. predicted that Christ would return on March 8, 1889, and, when that date passed uneventfully, 1891.

Thomas Brightman a Presbyterian predicted the end of the world between 1650 and 1695.

Christopher Love a strong Presbyterian predicted that Babylon would fall in 1758--God's anger against the wicked would be demonstrated in 1759--there would be earthquakes all over the world 1763.

There have been many more similar predictions.

The earth has been around a few billion years and I predict it will be here a few billion more.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby Josef » Thu Oct 27, 2011 4:49 pm

Food_Eatah wrote:
Typical Western Obstruction:
Mis-interpret the teaching to suit one's habits

This is a major problem in my opinion and I dont think its just a "Western" problem.
It is definitely most prevalent here though. This thread and all the other rebirth threads show bountiful evidence of Westerners who want to call themselves Buddhists but want the teachings to change so they can remain comfortable as they are. This kind of attitude is in direct conflict with the purpose of the dharma and the teachings themselves.
The dharma is meant to change US the dharma is not for us to change and doing so is completely unnecessary. The Buddhadharma has a pretty excellent track record of working.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby Acchantika » Thu Oct 27, 2011 6:26 pm

deepbluehum wrote:I agree that testability would great, but their are limits to what one can gather in terms of data. For example, there is no test that can falsify rebirth. The best we can hope for are two things: 1) anecdotal evidence and 2) one must enter the path up to the fourth jhana and aver one's mind toward past lives and see what happens. The second would only be one's own subjective experience. The same applies to karma. We can look at examples like Ghaddhafi and apply the lives by the gun dies by the gun adage. Then, we can "test" in our own experience whether what the Buddha said is true, that good deeds result in pleasant condition and bad deeds result in painful condition. As to compassi-o-bots, you are missing a crucial element, the dharmakaya. This also has absolutely nothing to do with science, and cannot be tested, because it is simply awareness's own subjective experience, and by definition, is immeasurable.


I feel this is really underestimating the power of Buddhist phenomenology. What might be Buddhism's most appealing factor to the Western intellectual mindset is that its primary system of inquiry is a very advanced form of phenomenology, so advanced that it overtakes anything similar ever produced in the West by millenia. It is also independently verifiable in a way that other beliefs are not - a highly intelligent person stranded on an island with no access to human knowledge may, in theory, arrive at the conventional meaning of dependent origination, even karma and rebirth and so on, by logic alone. You can't really make this claim of other systems. Truth, being absolute, must be able to be universally realised and derived, assuming necessary mental capacity, or it can never be trusted as truth. I think the Buddha realised and taught this - who, we remember, didn't have any of the anecdotal evidence we have now. Would he really try to encourage us solely by appealing to future experience? I don't think he did.

If we rely on anecdotal evidence, we are only reinforcing our previous beliefs - that's why it isn't accepted generally as scientific, even though its based in scientific thinking. If we attribute truth value to claims of NDE's, or yogic recollection (even our own) it is only ever because we assign the source credibility that we don't assign to other, competing anecdotes. That credibility is based on other assumptions, which sooner or later are found to be unfounded in any rigourous way. This is why it is a flimsy argument, the same every belief system uses, and not necessary. Right view mean nothing without right understanding.

We cannot yet falsify rebirth completely, so it is disingenuous to call it an empirical hypothesis. However, fortunately and possibly more importantly we can falsify nonrebirth and nonkarma. That is, it is impossible, for example, for energy to do anything other than continue. The conservation of energy is a "law" in physics. So literal non-causation and non-rebirth, at least of physical things, is impossible. We haven't quite proved the progression of a mental continuum, of course, but this is much more powerful an argument than one that appeals to anecdotal evidence, which science doesn't consider valid, and appeal to future experience, which philosophy considers a fallacy.

It is bizarre to me that so many Buddhists are critical of "Western science". I have no idea why. Everything we see in modern science is exactly what we would expect if the core tenets of Buddhism are correct. Empiricism and materalism/"New Atheism"/physicalism etc. are not mutally exclusive.

Sorry for the wall of text, needed a vent.

As a strict skeptic you are in danger of remaining a thought-o-bot.


True, and this is the biggest problem for this approach, the risk of becoming an armchair-Buddhist. The best philosophers are scientists, meaning skepticism is the proper attitude for experiment. But we should remember there is nothing to fear from skepticism or science, either way. They are on our side. The good thing about truth is that its invincible. Hooray!
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby Acchantika » Thu Oct 27, 2011 6:34 pm

Nangwa wrote:
Food_Eatah wrote:
Typical Western Obstruction:
Mis-interpret the teaching to suit one's habits

This is a major problem in my opinion and I dont think its just a "Western" problem.
It is definitely most prevalent here though. This thread and all the other rebirth threads show bountiful evidence of Westerners who want to call themselves Buddhists but want the teachings to change so they can remain comfortable as they are. This kind of attitude is in direct conflict with the purpose of the dharma and the teachings themselves.
The dharma is meant to change US the dharma is not for us to change and doing so is completely unnecessary. The Buddhadharma has a pretty excellent track record of working.


Whatever doesn't change is subject to decay. Buddhism works because when it went to China it became Chinese Buddhism, went to Tibet it became Tibetan Buddhism etc. None of this means the essence is changing, just that the methods needed to adapt to different proclivities. If the Buddhism of pre-scientific, feudal, shamanic societies is relevant to you, that's fine, but that isn't necessarily true for all.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby Thug4lyfe » Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:39 pm

edearl wrote:
Food_Eatah wrote:Attachment to Christianity, in turn gets attached to philsophical speculations, science and athiesm.


:?: I do not understand. Are you saying that Christians are attached to science and atheism via philosophy?

I am saying alot of the mindset developed seems to be very attached to "anti-Christian" beliefs, hence more attached to athiesm and science which are deemed superior. With this mind set many people would go as far to claim that Buddhism isn't even a religion because they are attached to the idea that only systems like Christainity etc constitute a religion!
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