Stephen Batchelor - A Critique of "Buddhism Without Beliefs"

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Re: Stephen Batchelor - A Critique of "Buddhism Without Beliefs"

Postby Dechen Norbu » Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:11 am

Indeed.

:focus: please.
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Re: Stephen Batchelor - A Critique of "Buddhism Without Beliefs"

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:18 am

Namdrol wrote:Seem to me that this thread has lost its focus.
How could a thread about a non-Buddhist Buddhist possibly be focused?
"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: Stephen Batchelor - A Critique of "Buddhism Without Beliefs"

Postby plwk » Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:16 am

Seem to me that this thread has lost its focus.
How could a thread about a non-Buddhist Buddhist possibly be focused?

When there is an “I”, there is a perception of other,
And from the ideas of self and other come attachment and aversion,
As a result of getting wrapped up in these,
All possible faults come into being.

Dharmakīrti Chapter II, Commentary on Valid Cognition
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Re: Stephen Batchelor - A Critique of "Buddhism Without Beliefs"

Postby PeterWells » Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:33 am

I feel I must come to the defence of Stephen Batchelor, since what he says resonates with me.

Some people here have been saying that he rejects karma. I have seen no evidence of that. Karma is essentially just cause and effect, and nobody has presented any evidence that Batchelor rejects cause and effect.

Those of you who have accused Batchelor of rejecting karma, I would ask you to present evidence that he rejects the idea of cause and effect. I don't believe you can do this.

It's possible to accept karma, but to reject the idea of rebirth, since the flow of cause and effect is not at all dependent on whether a person can be reborn as a preta, or whether the hell realms are physically real places, etc.

The idea of cause and effect is what is at the core of the Buddha's teaching, and Batchelor understands this. This is what makes his understanding superior.
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Re: Stephen Batchelor - A Critique of "Buddhism Without Beliefs"

Postby Huifeng » Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:12 am

PeterWells wrote:I feel I must come to the defence of Stephen Batchelor, since what he says resonates with me.

Some people here have been saying that he rejects karma. I have seen no evidence of that. Karma is essentially just cause and effect, and nobody has presented any evidence that Batchelor rejects cause and effect.

Those of you who have accused Batchelor of rejecting karma, I would ask you to present evidence that he rejects the idea of cause and effect. I don't believe you can do this.

It's possible to accept karma, but to reject the idea of rebirth, since the flow of cause and effect is not at all dependent on whether a person can be reborn as a preta, or whether the hell realms are physically real places, etc.

The idea of cause and effect is what is at the core of the Buddha's teaching, and Batchelor understands this. This is what makes his understanding superior.


It seems rather obvious from teachings such as the Culakammavibhanga sutta that the notion of rebirth was inextricably connected with kamma in the Buddha's teaching.

Culakammavibhanga

The Blessed One said: "There is the case, student, where a woman or man is a killer of living beings, brutal, bloody-handed, given to killing & slaying, showing no mercy to living beings. Through having adopted & carried out such actions, on the break-up of the body, after death, he/she reappears in the plane of deprivation, the bad destination, the lower realms, hell. If, on the break-up of the body, after death — instead of reappearing in the plane of deprivation, the bad destination, the lower realms, hell — he/she comes to the human state, then he/she is short-lived wherever reborn. This is the way leading to a short life: to be a killer of living beings, brutal, bloody-handed, given to killing & slaying, showing no mercy to living beings. ... etc.

Or, the Mahakammavibhanga:

(i) "Here some person kills living beings, takes what is not given, misconducts himself in sexual desires, speaks falsehood, speaks maliciously, speaks harshly, gossips, is covetous, is ill-willed, and has wrong view. On the dissolution of the body, after death, he reappears in the states of deprivation, in an unhappy destination, in perdition, in hell. ... etc.

The law of kamma is not just cause and effect, but a specific type of cause and effect relating non/ethical actions to results over the ongoing continuum of a living being's course in samsara.

~~ Huifeng
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Re: Stephen Batchelor - A Critique of "Buddhism Without Beliefs"

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Feb 18, 2012 10:31 am

plwk wrote:When there is an “I”, there is a perception of other,
And from the ideas of self and other come attachment and aversion,
As a result of getting wrapped up in these,
All possible faults come into being.
Let's get real here for a second. Without karma and rebirth dependent origination goes out the window. Without dependent origination emptiness and impermanence are nullified. Without impermanence suffering and samsara become a permanent condition. Without the realisation of emptiness, enlightenment is impossible and so the teachings of the Buddha become irrelevant. If one considers the teachings of the Buddha irrelevant, then one is not a Buddhist. It's not a matter of "Buddhism without beliefs" but a matter of "without belief in certain central tenets there is no Buddhism (or you are not a Buddhist)". Now to say that Batchelor is not a Buddhist does not necessitate feeling aversion to him. One merely asks the question: Why does he call himself a Buddhist if he is not?

The answers lie in the previous 25 pages :tongue:
: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: Stephen Batchelor - A Critique of "Buddhism Without Beliefs"

Postby gyougan » Sat Feb 18, 2012 1:54 pm

It's OK if Batchelor - or anyone else - does not accept rebirth. It's their business. But claiming to be a Buddhist while preaching that is slandering the Dharma. It's totally unacceptable.

I don't understand why certain science freaks feel the need to twist the Dharma. Why don't they simply accept that Buddhism is not for them and move on?
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Re: Stephen Batchelor - A Critique of "Buddhism Without Beliefs"

Postby dakini_boi » Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:37 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:Sorry, but your post-modern pseudo-philosophical sophistry does not impress me (now matter how much Buddhist window dressing you may hang on it).


ouch, could you be more respectful please? This is an interesting discussion, but the tone of some messages saddens me :(
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Re: Stephen Batchelor - A Critique of "Buddhism Without Beliefs"

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:43 pm

gyougan wrote:...I don't understand why certain science freaks feel the need to twist the Dharma. Why don't they simply accept that Buddhism is not for them and move on?
A. Buddhism currently sells (and at a good price too...) B. In the "science freak" world people like Batchelor would be chewed up and spat out in no time since they have no evidence to overturn standing theories (or prove their new theories, though Batchelor is not saying anything new, his brand of philosphy was termed annihilationism even during the Buddhas time).
: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: Stephen Batchelor - A Critique of "Buddhism Without Beliefs"

Postby Anders » Sat Feb 18, 2012 3:55 pm

PeterWells wrote:But this is completely meaningless, since it is only words quoted from a book.

You need to provide reason.

Without reason you don't have an argument . . . unless you think that physically hitting people around the head with books is an argument..


This is the wrong type of argument. The question here is not 'how rational is Bachelor', but rather 'is Bachelor Buddhist'? They are not the same. Bachelor rejects rebirth, he thinks it can be argued the Buddha did not really mean it when he talked about it.

This can very clearly be shown to be unfounded and wrong. The question of how reasonable rebirth is does not enter into the equation of whether the Buddha taught it and meant it. Since Bachelor denies rebirth and the Buddha did the opposite, the conclusion is really quite clear: What Bachelor propagates is not Buddhism, it's just Buddhism-inspired.

Now, we can talk about whether believing in rebirth or not is reasonable, and whether Bachelor may in fact be justified in his rejection of rebirth and the Buddha erred on this. But this is an entirely different question than the one being discussed. And part of the problem is that Bachelor doesn't acknowledge this dichotomy. He still claims to be propagating about Buddhism, though he advocates things the Buddha explicitly criticised and attributes viewpoints to him the Buddha never taught.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra
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Re: Stephen Batchelor - A Critique of "Buddhism Without Beliefs"

Postby justsit » Sat Feb 18, 2012 4:08 pm

:good:

Exactly.
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Re: Stephen Batchelor - A Critique of "Buddhism Without Beliefs"

Postby Tara » Sat Feb 18, 2012 4:41 pm

Sock puppet alert! Topic temporarily locked.

Regards,
Tara

**********************************************************
Maybe you collect a lot of important writings,
Major texts, personal instructions, private notes, whatever.
If you haven’t practiced, books won’t help you when you die.
Look at the mind – that’s my sincere advice.

**********************************************************
from Longchenpa's 30 Pieces of Sincere Advice

Mors certa — hora incerta
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Re: Stephen Batchelor - A Critique of "Buddhism Without Beliefs"

Postby Tara » Sat Feb 18, 2012 4:51 pm

Thanks to the good work of the moderators this topic is now unlocked.

Regards,
Tara

**********************************************************
Maybe you collect a lot of important writings,
Major texts, personal instructions, private notes, whatever.
If you haven’t practiced, books won’t help you when you die.
Look at the mind – that’s my sincere advice.

**********************************************************
from Longchenpa's 30 Pieces of Sincere Advice

Mors certa — hora incerta
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Re: Stephen Batchelor - A Critique of "Buddhism Without Beliefs"

Postby dakini_boi » Sat Feb 18, 2012 5:13 pm

I am definitely not in the camp that denies rebirth, however I think we can learn from trying to understand different views. It helps me to scrutinize my own assumptions. So thank you for this discussion.

Peter Wells - I think I get your logic. You are basically positing a sort of nonpersonal theory of karma - accepting causes and effects, but denying that consciousness persists for an individual after death. Correct?

This leads me to some questions I'd like to ask you -

What do you believe happens to an individual's consciousness after death? Is it just like a robot that runs out of batteries?

What is your understanding of Buddhahood?

What happens to a Buddha at death?

Thank you. :namaste:
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Re: Stephen Batchelor - A Critique of "Buddhism Without Beliefs"

Postby 5heaps » Sat Feb 18, 2012 5:41 pm

PeterWells wrote:Some people here have been saying that he rejects karma. I have seen no evidence of that. Karma is essentially just cause and effect, and nobody has presented any evidence that Batchelor rejects cause and effect.

Those of you who have accused Batchelor of rejecting karma, I would ask you to present evidence that he rejects the idea of cause and effect. I don't believe you can do this.

its the movement and cause and effect of the mind.
according to cause and effect, the final moment at the time of death is a cause for the next moment of mind. saying that there is no following moment contradicts cause and effect. saying that there is no mind contradicts authoritative ascertainment of the mind, and also contradicts that karma is the movement and cause and effect of the mind (ie. it would need to be the cause and effect of something else)
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Re: Stephen Batchelor - A Critique of "Buddhism Without Beliefs"

Postby Tara » Sat Feb 18, 2012 5:54 pm

For everyone's information:

Today two sock puppets of an infamous banned member of Dharma Wheel have also been banned. Normally this information would not be posted in a thread however in this instance it seems fair that members know they may be responding to a sock puppet.

Regards,
Tara

**********************************************************
Maybe you collect a lot of important writings,
Major texts, personal instructions, private notes, whatever.
If you haven’t practiced, books won’t help you when you die.
Look at the mind – that’s my sincere advice.

**********************************************************
from Longchenpa's 30 Pieces of Sincere Advice

Mors certa — hora incerta
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Re: Stephen Batchelor - A Critique of "Buddhism Without Beliefs"

Postby Megha » Sat Feb 18, 2012 7:57 pm

Why adopt a foreign religion and yet reject one of the core teachings simply because of cultural bias? That is the real question.
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Re: Stephen Batchelor - A Critique of "Buddhism Without Beliefs"

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:22 pm

dakini_boi wrote:ouch, could you be more respectful please? This is an interesting discussion, but the tone of some messages saddens me :(
My dear d_b I am just calling it as I see it, nothing more. :shrug:
"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: Stephen Batchelor - A Critique of "Buddhism Without Beliefs"

Postby Blue Garuda » Sat Feb 18, 2012 10:00 pm

gyougan wrote:It's OK if Batchelor - or anyone else - does not accept rebirth. It's their business. But claiming to be a Buddhist while preaching that is slandering the Dharma. It's totally unacceptable.

I don't understand why certain science freaks feel the need to twist the Dharma. Why don't they simply accept that Buddhism is not for them and move on?


I think some people search for, and find, a religion which best suits them, or is a close match. Then they discover aspects they cannot accept, and so set about making the religion 'fit' their preconceptions.

Some do this by simply being selective in the tenets to which they can accede.

Others do this by interpreting the tenets in a way which fits their view.

Some do this by being selective in both tenets and interpretation.
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Re: Stephen Batchelor - A Critique of "Buddhism Without Beliefs"

Postby gyougan » Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:20 am

Blue Garuda wrote:
gyougan wrote:It's OK if Batchelor - or anyone else - does not accept rebirth. It's their business. But claiming to be a Buddhist while preaching that is slandering the Dharma. It's totally unacceptable.

I don't understand why certain science freaks feel the need to twist the Dharma. Why don't they simply accept that Buddhism is not for them and move on?


I think some people search for, and find, a religion which best suits them, or is a close match. Then they discover aspects they cannot accept, and so set about making the religion 'fit' their preconceptions.

Some do this by simply being selective in the tenets to which they can accede.

Others do this by interpreting the tenets in a way which fits their view.

Some do this by being selective in both tenets and interpretation.


But how should a true Buddhist do?
:namaste:
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