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The Buddha's Rejection of Agnosticism

GeoLaureate8
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3/4/2011 4:15:16 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
It seems that Agnosticism is a growing trend on DDO, or at least seems to be the view held by almost everyone including the Theists and Atheists, so I thought I'd reveal what the Buddha says about Agnosticism.

Note: "Sanjaya Belatthaputta was an Indian ascetic teacher who lived around the 5th or 4th c. BCE, contemporaneous with Mahavira and the Buddha. In the Pali literature, Sanjaya's teachings have been characterized as 'evasive' or 'agnostic.'"
-- http://en.wikipedia.org...

The Buddha's Conversation with the Agnostic

"When this was said, Sañjaya Belatthaputta said to me, 'If you ask me if there exists another world [after death], if I thought that there exists another world, would I declare that to you? I don't think so. I don't think in that way. I don't think otherwise. I don't think not. I don't think not-not. If you asked me if there isn't another world... both is and isn't... neither is nor isn't... if there are beings who transmigrate... if there aren't... both are and aren't... neither are nor aren't... if the Tathágata exists after death... doesn't... both... neither exists nor exists after death, would I declare that to you? I don't think so. I don't think in that way. I don't think otherwise. I don't think not. I don't think not-not.'

"Thus, when asked about a fruit of the contemplative life, visible here and now, Sañjaya Belatthaputta answered with evasion. Just as if a person, when asked about a mango, were to answer with a breadfruit; or, when asked about a breadfruit, were to answer with a mango: In the same way, when asked about a fruit of the contemplative life, visible here and now, Sañjaya Belatthaputta answered with evasion. The thought occurred to me: 'this -- among these priests and contemplatives -- is the most foolish and confused of all. How can he, when asked about a fruit of the contemplative life, visible here and now, answer with evasion?'

The Buddha's Discourse on Agnostics

"There are, monks, some ascetics and Brahmins who are Eel-Wrigglers. When asked about this or that matter, they resort to evasive statements, and they wriggle like eels on four grounds. What are they?"

Wrong view number 13: "In this case there is an ascetic or Brahmin who does not in truth know whether a thing is good or bad. He thinks : ‘I do not in truth know whether this is good or whether it is bad. Not knowing which is right, I might declare : "That is good", or "'That is bad", and that might be a lie, and that would distress me. And if I were distressed, that would be a hindrance to me.' Thus fearing to lie, abhorring to lie, he does not declare a thing to be good or bad, but when asked about this or that matter, he resorts to evasive statements and wriggles like an eel : ‘I don't say this, I don't say that. I don't say it is otherwise. I don't say it is not. I don't not say it is not.' This is the first case."

Wrong view number 14: "What is the second way? Here an ascetic or Brahmin does not in truth know whether a thing is good or bad. He thinks : "I might declare : 'That is good', or ‘That is bad', and I might feel desire or lust or hatred or aversion. If I felt desire, lust, hatred or aversion, that would be attachment on my part. If I felt attachment, that would distress me, and if I were distressed, that would be a hindrance to me." Thus, fearing attachment, abhorring attachment, he resorts to evasive statements ... This is the second case."

Wrong view number 15: "What is the third way? Here an ascetic or Brahmin does not in truth know whether a thing is good or bad. He thinks : "I might declare : ‘That is good', or ‘That is bad', but there are ascetics and Brahmins who are wise, skilful, practiced debaters, like archers who can split hairs, who go around destroying others' views with their wisdom, and they might cross-examine me, demanding my reasons and arguing. And I might not be able to reply. Not being able to reply would distress me, and if I were distressed, that would be a hindrance to me.' Thus, fearing debate, abhorring debate, he resorts to evasive statements. This is the third case."

Wrong view 16: "What is the fourth way? Here, an ascetic or Brahmin is dull and stupid. Because of his dullness and stupidity, when he is questioned he resorts to evasive statements and wriggles like an eel : "If you ask me whether there is another world - if I thought so, I would say there is another world. But I don't say so. And I don't say otherwise. And I don't say it is not, and I don't not say it is not." ‘Is there no other world? ...' " Is there both another world and no other world? . . ." ‘Is there neither another world nor no other world? …' "Are there spontaneously-born beings? …" ‘Are there not... ?' "Both ... ?" ‘Neither ... ?' "Does the Tathágata exist after death? Does he not exist after death? Does he both exist and not exist after death? Does he neither exist nor not exist after death? …" ‘If I thought so, I would say so … I don't say it is not.' This is the fourth case."

"These are the four ways in which those ascetics and Brahmins who are Eel-Wrigglers resort to evasive statements ... There is no other way."

These, monks, are those other matters, profound, hard to see … which the Tathágata, having realized them by his own super-knowledge, proclaims, and about which those who would truthfully praise the Tathágata would rightly speak."
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
Kleptin
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3/4/2011 4:20:20 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Must be a translation error. It doesn't cover hard agnostics, who openly declare and debate that it is impossible to know.
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
PARADIGM_L0ST
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3/4/2011 4:24:04 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I don't give a crap what the Buddha thinks. He's your guru, he's your cult leader, he's your de-facto god, not mine.
"Have you ever considered suicide? If not, please do." -- Mouthwash (to Inferno)
GeoLaureate8
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3/4/2011 4:27:10 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/4/2011 4:20:20 PM, Kleptin wrote:
Must be a translation error. It doesn't cover hard agnostics, who openly declare and debate that it is impossible to know.

I'm pretty sure he covered both. This below appears to be a reference to Hard Agnostics:

"but when asked about this or that matter, he resorts to evasive statements and wriggles like an eel : ‘I don't say this, I don't say that. I don't say it is otherwise. I don't say it is not. I don't not say it is not.'"
-- Brahmajala Sutta

See, a Weak Agnostic would at least take a stand on the issue by at least leaning towards some specific view, but not committing to certainty. The example given above is a person who will not even take a stance on the issue because he likely thinks it's impossible to know either way

So the Buddha rejects Strong Agnosticism and Weak Agnosticism.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
GeoLaureate8
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3/4/2011 4:27:57 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/4/2011 4:24:04 PM, PARADIGM_L0ST wrote:
I don't give a crap what the Buddha thinks. He's your guru, he's your cult leader, he's your de-facto god, not mine.

He's a philosopher.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
Danielle
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3/4/2011 4:29:11 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I hate tl;dr people, but that was a lot. I read the first half but as usual the text just seemed fluffy and not my style. I'm sure Geo could summarize Buddha's point if it came down to it. In short, the reason I'd consider myself an agnostic-atheist is because there's not even a cohesive definition or universal interpretation for what God is. Therefore how can I declare to know (or whether we CAN know) for certainty whether or not "God" exists? There's a whole bunch of other problems, but that one pretty much validates my point already. You could also even get more specific. For instance, if religious texts have been misinterpreted... or are not to be taken literally... OR if there IS no accurate religious text describing God, yet God exists anyway... then yeah those are all legit possibilities of why I think being an agonostic-atheist is most appropriate.
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Danielle
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3/4/2011 4:30:04 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/4/2011 4:27:57 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 3/4/2011 4:24:04 PM, PARADIGM_L0ST wrote:
I don't give a crap what the Buddha thinks. He's your guru, he's your cult leader, he's your de-facto god, not mine.

He's a philosopher.

Lol. That was good (and it's true).
President of DDO
GeoLaureate8
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3/4/2011 4:41:00 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/4/2011 4:29:11 PM, Danielle wrote:
I hate tl;dr people, but that was a lot. I read the first half but as usual the text just seemed fluffy and not my style. I'm sure Geo could summarize Buddha's point if it came down to it.

What's "fluffy" about it? I'd say it's anything but "fluffy," but then again I don't fully understand what people mean when they say that.

In short, the reason I'd consider myself an agnostic-atheist

Well, "Agnostic" in the sense that he is talking about isn't just in reference to God. He mentions multiple positions from which to be Agnostic about, i.e. afterlife, what is good and bad, are their fruits of a contemplative life.

is because there's not even a cohesive definition or universal interpretation for what God is. Therefore how can I declare to know (or whether we CAN know) for certainty whether or not "God" exists? There's a whole bunch of other problems, but that one pretty much validates my point already. You could also even get more specific. For instance, if religious texts have been misinterpreted... or are not to be taken literally... OR if there IS no accurate religious text describing God, yet God exists anyway... then yeah those are all legit possibilities of why I think being an agonostic-atheist is most appropriate.

There is a discourse by the Buddha where he refutes the two primary versions of God (personal, all-powerful + impersonal, panentheistic) by demonstrating them to be logically impossible. You say that there maybe so many versions of God, that you can't refute them all, however, if these versions of God don't possess the great-making characteristics as per the definition, why call it God at all?
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
eball45
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3/4/2011 6:52:35 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Geo, I thought I kind of came to an agreement with you on logical proofs for or against a god. In my humble opinion, if there are sound arguments for a god, this doesn't provide proof of god. Likewise, if there are sound arguments against god, this doesn't prove god doesn't exist. If this wasn't the case, we'd undoubtedly know the answer. We don't undoubtedly know the answer. Further, sound arguments can still be incorrect.
Now, you seem to have a world view of atheism.
I hate to do it, but referring to my circle argument:
The circle you'd draw representing all possible knowledge to be learned would be very large.
The circle within that circle drawn to indicate what we now know would be very small in comparison.
So, is it not the case that god may exist outside of your small circle?
At the end of the day, you believe in atheism because thats how you've subjectively interpreted the world (small circle). Your atheistic beliefs are a creation of your own mind. (subjectivity).
Kleptin
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3/4/2011 7:54:25 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/4/2011 4:27:10 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 3/4/2011 4:20:20 PM, Kleptin wrote:
Must be a translation error. It doesn't cover hard agnostics, who openly declare and debate that it is impossible to know.

I'm pretty sure he covered both. This below appears to be a reference to Hard Agnostics:

"but when asked about this or that matter, he resorts to evasive statements and wriggles like an eel : ‘I don't say this, I don't say that. I don't say it is otherwise. I don't say it is not. I don't not say it is not.'"
-- Brahmajala Sutta

See, a Weak Agnostic would at least take a stand on the issue by at least leaning towards some specific view, but not committing to certainty. The example given above is a person who will not even take a stance on the issue because he likely thinks it's impossible to know either way

So the Buddha rejects Strong Agnosticism and Weak Agnosticism.

Nope, Buddha didn't cover hard agnosticism. Weak agnosticism is evasive. Hard agnosticism is definitely not. In fact, it's just as strong and direct as atheism or theism.

Buddha's harping on indecisiveness and ignorance. Hard Agnosticism is epistemology.
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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3/4/2011 9:25:39 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/4/2011 7:54:25 PM, Kleptin wrote:
At 3/4/2011 4:27:10 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 3/4/2011 4:20:20 PM, Kleptin wrote:
Must be a translation error. It doesn't cover hard agnostics, who openly declare and debate that it is impossible to know.

I'm pretty sure he covered both. This below appears to be a reference to Hard Agnostics:

"but when asked about this or that matter, he resorts to evasive statements and wriggles like an eel : ‘I don't say this, I don't say that. I don't say it is otherwise. I don't say it is not. I don't not say it is not.'"
-- Brahmajala Sutta

See, a Weak Agnostic would at least take a stand on the issue by at least leaning towards some specific view, but not committing to certainty. The example given above is a person who will not even take a stance on the issue because he likely thinks it's impossible to know either way

So the Buddha rejects Strong Agnosticism and Weak Agnosticism.

Nope, Buddha didn't cover hard agnosticism.

You didn't address any of my points. You just restated your position and ignored my argument.

Weak agnosticism is evasive.

You got it backwards. See, a Weak Agnostic at least gives an answer to a question, but admits that they don't know for certain. However, a Hard Agnostic can't give an answer because they claim you can't know. That would be an example of being evasive.

So, read the passage again. Did the person give an answer as a Weak Agnostic would, or did he not as a Hard Agnostic would?

Hard agnosticism is definitely not. In fact, it's just as strong and direct as atheism or theism.

Buddha's harping on indecisiveness and ignorance. Hard Agnosticism is epistemology.

Again, false. Indecisiveness arises out of Hard Agnosticism because they can't commit to a position either way because they claim it's unknowable. However, Weak Agnostics can at least decide, despite admitting that they aren't certain.

Also, yes the Buddha is referring to epistemology. See here:

"These, monks, are those other matters, profound, hard to see … which the Tathágata, having realized them by his own super-knowledge, proclaims, and about which those who would truthfully praise the Tathágata would rightly speak."
-- Brahmajala Sutta
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
Floid
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3/5/2011 8:37:29 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
but when asked about this or that matter, he resorts to evasive statements and wriggles like an eel : ‘I don't say this, I don't say that. I don't say it is otherwise. I don't say it is not. I don't not say it is not.' This is the first case."

Saying "I don't know" is not giving an evasive answer.
DATCMOTO
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3/5/2011 9:44:50 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/4/2011 4:15:16 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
It seems that Agnosticism is a growing trend on DDO, or at least seems to be the view held by almost everyone including the Theists and Atheists, so I thought I'd reveal what the Buddha says about Agnosticism.

Note: "Sanjaya Belatthaputta was an Indian ascetic teacher who lived around the 5th or 4th c. BCE, contemporaneous with Mahavira and the Buddha. In the Pali literature, Sanjaya's teachings have been characterized as 'evasive' or 'agnostic.'"
-- http://en.wikipedia.org...


The Buddha's Conversation with the Agnostic

"When this was said, Sañjaya Belatthaputta said to me, 'If you ask me if there exists another world [after death], if I thought that there exists another world, would I declare that to you? I don't think so. I don't think in that way. I don't think otherwise. I don't think not. I don't think not-not. If you asked me if there isn't another world... both is and isn't... neither is nor isn't... if there are beings who transmigrate... if there aren't... both are and aren't... neither are nor aren't... if the Tathágata exists after death... doesn't... both... neither exists nor exists after death, would I declare that to you? I don't think so. I don't think in that way. I don't think otherwise. I don't think not. I don't think not-not.'

"Thus, when asked about a fruit of the contemplative life, visible here and now, Sañjaya Belatthaputta answered with evasion. Just as if a person, when asked about a mango, were to answer with a breadfruit; or, when asked about a breadfruit, were to answer with a mango: In the same way, when asked about a fruit of the contemplative life, visible here and now, Sañjaya Belatthaputta answered with evasion. The thought occurred to me: 'this -- among these priests and contemplatives -- is the most foolish and confused of all. How can he, when asked about a fruit of the contemplative life, visible here and now, answer with evasion?'

The Buddha's Discourse on Agnostics

"There are, monks, some ascetics and Brahmins who are Eel-Wrigglers. When asked about this or that matter, they resort to evasive statements, and they wriggle like eels on four grounds. What are they?"

Wrong view number 13: "In this case there is an ascetic or Brahmin who does not in truth know whether a thing is good or bad. He thinks : ‘I do not in truth know whether this is good or whether it is bad. Not knowing which is right, I might declare : "That is good", or "'That is bad", and that might be a lie, and that would distress me. And if I were distressed, that would be a hindrance to me.' Thus fearing to lie, abhorring to lie, he does not declare a thing to be good or bad, but when asked about this or that matter, he resorts to evasive statements and wriggles like an eel : ‘I don't say this, I don't say that. I don't say it is otherwise. I don't say it is not. I don't not say it is not.' This is the first case."

Wrong view number 14: "What is the second way? Here an ascetic or Brahmin does not in truth know whether a thing is good or bad. He thinks : "I might declare : 'That is good', or ‘That is bad', and I might feel desire or lust or hatred or aversion. If I felt desire, lust, hatred or aversion, that would be attachment on my part. If I felt attachment, that would distress me, and if I were distressed, that would be a hindrance to me." Thus, fearing attachment, abhorring attachment, he resorts to evasive statements ... This is the second case."

Wrong view number 15: "What is the third way? Here an ascetic or Brahmin does not in truth know whether a thing is good or bad. He thinks : "I might declare : ‘That is good', or ‘That is bad', but there are ascetics and Brahmins who are wise, skilful, practiced debaters, like archers who can split hairs, who go around destroying others' views with their wisdom, and they might cross-examine me, demanding my reasons and arguing. And I might not be able to reply. Not being able to reply would distress me, and if I were distressed, that would be a hindrance to me.' Thus, fearing debate, abhorring debate, he resorts to evasive statements. This is the third case."

Wrong view 16: "What is the fourth way? Here, an ascetic or Brahmin is dull and stupid. Because of his dullness and stupidity, when he is questioned he resorts to evasive statements and wriggles like an eel : "If you ask me whether there is another world - if I thought so, I would say there is another world. But I don't say so. And I don't say otherwise. And I don't say it is not, and I don't not say it is not." ‘Is there no other world? ...' " Is there both another world and no other world? . . ." ‘Is there neither another world nor no other world? …' "Are there spontaneously-born beings? …" ‘Are there not... ?' "Both ... ?" ‘Neither ... ?' "Does the Tathágata exist after death? Does he not exist after death? Does he both exist and not exist after death? Does he neither exist nor not exist after death? …" ‘If I thought so, I would say so … I don't say it is not.' This is the fourth case."

"These are the four ways in which those ascetics and Brahmins who are Eel-Wrigglers resort to evasive statements ... There is no other way."

These, monks, are those other matters, profound, hard to see … which the Tathágata, having realized them by his own super-knowledge, proclaims, and about which those who would truthfully praise the Tathágata would rightly speak."

I preferred you when you were into alien civilisations and lizard men..
The Cross.. the Cross.
socialpinko
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3/5/2011 9:47:27 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Is it possible to follow buddist teachings such as the noble eightfold path or accept the four noble truths without accepting the supernatural aspects?
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PARADIGM_L0ST
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3/5/2011 11:00:45 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
You can't be certain of God's non existence.:

Hence, agnosticism.
"Have you ever considered suicide? If not, please do." -- Mouthwash (to Inferno)
GeoLaureate8
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3/5/2011 1:36:20 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/5/2011 9:47:27 AM, socialpinko wrote:
Is it possible to follow buddist teachings such as the noble eightfold path or accept the four noble truths without accepting the supernatural aspects?

Buddhism is an Atheist religion. It also rejects supernatural dualism.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
GeoLaureate8
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3/5/2011 2:05:05 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/5/2011 9:44:50 AM, DATCMOTO wrote:
I preferred you when you were into alien civilisations and lizard men..

Of course you would prefer something which is less threatening to your beliefs. You may have had an easy time rejecting "aliens" and whatnot but a much more difficult time refuting Buddhism.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
GeoLaureate8
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3/5/2011 2:18:46 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/5/2011 11:00:45 AM, PARADIGM_L0ST wrote:
You can't be certain of God's non existence.:

Hence, agnosticism.

You say that like it's some sort of argument. Zetsobou basically just stated an Agnostic belief and then you said "Hence, Agnosticism." Seriously? Come on now.

That's like someone going "Jesus is God," and you saying "Hence, Christianity is true." Fvcking brilliant I say! Please come up with better arguments than simply affirming the definition of Agnosticism and presuming its truth.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
CosmicAlfonzo
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3/5/2011 2:20:10 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/5/2011 9:47:27 AM, socialpinko wrote:
Is it possible to follow buddist teachings such as the noble eightfold path or accept the four noble truths without accepting the supernatural aspects?

Yes, the supernatural aspects are a load of sh!t.

The teachings of all ancient dudes who were generally wise tends to get corrupted over time.

One of the reasons I never read too deep into Buddhism is because the first book I picked up about Buddhism contained a bunch of supernatural B.S., and by then, I wasn't really interested in learning about another religion.

Really, the Four noble truths and the eightfold path are all you need. You can extrapolate so much from just that.. Buddhism is about figuring stuff out on your own by being aware of your mental processes, and breaking them down.

A buddhist should not rely on scripture at all. One of my favorite Buddha quotes illustrates this perfectly..

"Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it." - Buddha

Buddha was one of the first great scientists, and definitely very knowledgeable in human psychology. One of the things I admire about Buddha is that the things he teaches are things that you tend to figure out on your own.

I was never a buddhist. I did however find that after reading Buddhist saying later on that he was talking about things that I had already figured out on my own.. By using methods that I also discovered independently.

It's all about examining yourself in a logical way. Be honest.

I didn't read the OP, I'll take a look at it later, give my take on it. I'm sure that plenty of people in this topic are getting trapped in semantics right now. =p
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DATCMOTO
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3/7/2011 4:40:17 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/5/2011 2:05:05 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 3/5/2011 9:44:50 AM, DATCMOTO wrote:
I preferred you when you were into alien civilisations and lizard men..

Of course you would prefer something which is less threatening to your beliefs. You may have had an easy time rejecting "aliens" and whatnot but a much more difficult time refuting Buddhism.

No, I preferred YOU not something.. because it was a more honest kind of craziness..
The Cross.. the Cross.
GeoLaureate8
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3/7/2011 6:18:32 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/7/2011 4:40:17 AM, DATCMOTO wrote:
At 3/5/2011 2:05:05 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 3/5/2011 9:44:50 AM, DATCMOTO wrote:
I preferred you when you were into alien civilisations and lizard men..

Of course you would prefer something which is less threatening to your beliefs. You may have had an easy time rejecting "aliens" and whatnot but a much more difficult time refuting Buddhism.

No, I preferred YOU not something.. because it was a more honest kind of craziness..

So they are equally crazy, but one is more "honest" than the other? That makes no sense. Btw, aliens haven't gone anywhere, in fact, they're even mentioned in Buddhist doctrine. Not to mention, even in my "alien" days, I was still a New Ager which, to someone like you, I don't see how you would perceive Buddhism as any different than New Age. (I could obviously point out all the technical differences though.)
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Thaddeus
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3/7/2011 6:22:57 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/7/2011 6:18:32 AM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 3/7/2011 4:40:17 AM, DATCMOTO wrote:
At 3/5/2011 2:05:05 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 3/5/2011 9:44:50 AM, DATCMOTO wrote:
I preferred you when you were into alien civilisations and lizard men..

Of course you would prefer something which is less threatening to your beliefs. You may have had an easy time rejecting "aliens" and whatnot but a much more difficult time refuting Buddhism.

No, I preferred YOU not something.. because it was a more honest kind of craziness..

So they are equally crazy, but one is more "honest" than the other? That makes no sense. Btw, aliens haven't gone anywhere, in fact, they're even mentioned in Buddhist doctrine. Not to mention, even in my "alien" days, I was still a New Ager which, to someone like you, I don't see how you would perceive Buddhism as any different than New Age. (I could obviously point out all the technical differences though.)

I've wondered about the lizard thing; could you throw me a link which explains this belief (or just explain it yourself if you can be bothered)?
mattrodstrom
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3/7/2011 9:40:14 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
zhuangzi says:

Gaptooth put a question to Wang Ni: "Would you know something which all things agreed is true?" "How would I know that?" he replied. "Would you know what you did not know?" "How would I know that?" he replied again. "Then does no thing know anything?" "How would I know that?" he replied again. He then continued, "however, let me try to put this in words: how do I know that what I call knowing is not ignorance? How do I know that what I call ignorance is not knowing? ... Gibbons are sought by baboons as mates, elaphures like the company of deer, loaches play with fish. Maoqiang and Lady Li were beautiful in the eyes of men but when the fish saw them they plunged into the deep and when the birds saw them they flew away. Which of these four knows what is truly beautiful in the world? In my judgment, the principles of Humaneness and Rightness, the paths of True and False are inextricably confused: how could I know how to discriminate between them?" (Graham, p. 58, mod.)

He also says:
Just go along with things. (meaning how you naturally tend to see things as well)
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
mattrodstrom
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3/7/2011 11:30:35 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/7/2011 9:40:14 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
zhuangzi says:

Gaptooth put a question to Wang Ni: "Would you know something which all things agreed is true?" "How would I know that?" he replied. "Would you know what you did not know?" "How would I know that?" he replied again. "Then does no thing know anything?" "How would I know that?" he replied again. He then continued, "however, let me try to put this in words: how do I know that what I call knowing is not ignorance? How do I know that what I call ignorance is not knowing? ... Gibbons are sought by baboons as mates, elaphures like the company of deer, loaches play with fish. Maoqiang and Lady Li were beautiful in the eyes of men but when the fish saw them they plunged into the deep and when the birds saw them they flew away. Which of these four knows what is truly beautiful in the world? In my judgment, the principles of Humaneness and Rightness, the paths of True and False are inextricably confused: how could I know how to discriminate between them?" (Graham, p. 58, mod.)

He also says:
Just go along with things. (meaning how you naturally tend to see things as well)

I don't think any of buddha's 4 characterizations fit what zhuangzi said...

zhuangzi was saying it's dependant upon your perspective... that there are no, available, Transcendent absolutes...

However.. zhuangzi would also make assertive statements about things... and if asked how he knows he would say that it's clear to him by looking ;)

now... why/how it seems clear to him by looking might Itself be tough to know Absolutely... or if the rules of your understanding of things line up with the rules of how things "Really are" is quite unknowable... and to say Absolutely that they do.. is silliness.

instead you ought to continuosly accept and embrace the way you naturally see things... and ought not get caught up clinging to notions... for how things seem to does not lay claim to the Absolute.. and things may plausibly look differently at some point.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
DATCMOTO
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3/8/2011 4:52:18 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/7/2011 6:18:32 AM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 3/7/2011 4:40:17 AM, DATCMOTO wrote:
At 3/5/2011 2:05:05 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 3/5/2011 9:44:50 AM, DATCMOTO wrote:
I preferred you when you were into alien civilisations and lizard men..

Of course you would prefer something which is less threatening to your beliefs. You may have had an easy time rejecting "aliens" and whatnot but a much more difficult time refuting Buddhism.

No, I preferred YOU not something.. because it was a more honest kind of craziness..

So they are equally crazy, but one is more "honest" than the other? That makes no sense. Btw, aliens haven't gone anywhere, in fact, they're even mentioned in Buddhist doctrine. Not to mention, even in my "alien" days, I was still a New Ager which, to someone like you, I don't see how you would perceive Buddhism as any different than New Age. (I could obviously point out all the technical differences though.)

Crazy has to make sense now?
The Cross.. the Cross.
CosmicAlfonzo
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3/26/2011 2:47:40 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Sañjaya Belatthaputta appeared to be a strict middle of the road agnostic, which is the same thing as saying, "I don't know, nor do I feel strongly about either option".

This is aimed at strict middle of the road agnostics, NOT people who understand epistemological limitations. Buddha is NOT addressing "Weak Atheists/Theists" or a "De-Facto Atheists/Theists" in this discourse.

This needs to be clarified lest anyone gets the wrong idea.

The Buddha's Discourse on Agnostics

"There are, monks, some ascetics and Brahmins who are Eel-Wrigglers. When asked about this or that matter, they resort to evasive statements, and they wriggle like eels on four grounds. What are they?"

Wrong view number 13: "In this case there is an ascetic or Brahmin who does not in truth know whether a thing is good or bad. He thinks : ‘I do not in truth know whether this is good or whether it is bad. Not knowing which is right, I might declare : "That is good", or "'That is bad", and that might be a lie, and that would distress me. And if I were distressed, that would be a hindrance to me.' Thus fearing to lie, abhorring to lie, he does not declare a thing to be good or bad, but when asked about this or that matter, he resorts to evasive statements and wriggles like an eel : ‘I don't say this, I don't say that. I don't say it is otherwise. I don't say it is not. I don't not say it is not.' This is the first case."

Because the "holy man" does not know the answer, and fears telling a lie, he answers by not giving an opinion and evading the question rather than just honestly saying, "I don't know".

Wrong view number 14: "What is the second way? Here an ascetic or Brahmin does not in truth know whether a thing is good or bad. He thinks : "I might declare : 'That is good', or ‘That is bad', and I might feel desire or lust or hatred or aversion. If I felt desire, lust, hatred or aversion, that would be attachment on my part. If I felt attachment, that would distress me, and if I were distressed, that would be a hindrance to me." Thus, fearing attachment, abhorring attachment, he resorts to evasive statements ... This is the second case."

A "Holy man" doesn't know the answer, but is leaning in a certain direction. They fear that clinging to an idea that they aren't certain of will cause them suffering in the long term. So once again, instead of saying "I don't know, but this is what I think" or just saying "This is what I think", he answers by not giving an opinion, or evading the question.

Wrong view number 15: "What is the third way? Here an ascetic or Brahmin does not in truth know whether a thing is good or bad. He thinks : "I might declare : ‘That is good', or ‘That is bad', but there are ascetics and Brahmins who are wise, skilful, practiced debaters, like archers who can split hairs, who go around destroying others' views with their wisdom, and they might cross-examine me, demanding my reasons and arguing. And I might not be able to reply. Not being able to reply would distress me, and if I were distressed, that would be a hindrance to me.' Thus, fearing debate, abhorring debate, he resorts to evasive statements. This is the third case."

A "Holy man" avoids stating an opinion because they do not know, and they are afraid of debating with wise fellows who actually have put more thought into these matters. So, instead of giving a direct "I don't know response", or risking putting their thoughts out, they answer by not giving an opinion and evading the question, just to avoid confrontation.

Wrong view 16: "What is the fourth way? Here, an ascetic or Brahmin is dull and stupid. Because of his dullness and stupidity, when he is questioned he resorts to evasive statements and wriggles like an eel : "If you ask me whether there is another world - if I thought so, I would say there is another world. But I don't say so. And I don't say otherwise. And I don't say it is not, and I don't not say it is not." ‘Is there no other world? ...' " Is there both another world and no other world? . . ." ‘Is there neither another world nor no other world? …' "Are there spontaneously-born beings? …" ‘Are there not... ?' "Both ... ?" ‘Neither ... ?' "Does the Tathágata exist after death? Does he not exist after death? Does he both exist and not exist after death? Does he neither exist nor not exist after death? …" ‘If I thought so, I would say so … I don't say it is not.' This is the fourth case."


When a "Holy man" is asked any question, he doesn't give an opinion because he doesn't know, probably doesn't put much thought into it, and is really just stupid.

"These are the four ways in which those ascetics and Brahmins who are Eel-Wrigglers resort to evasive statements ... There is no other way."


Buddha claims that these are the 4 reasons that a "holy" or "wise" man avoids questions. They don't know for sure, so either they do not want to tell a lie, they do not want to attach themselves to an idea, they do not want to have their assertions questioned, or they are just stupid. In all cases, they have ego problems, and admitting ignorance would make them look bad.

These, monks, are those other matters, profound, hard to see … which the Tathágata, having realized them by his own super-knowledge, proclaims, and about which those who would truthfully praise the Tathágata would rightly speak."

"Tathágata" is the Buddha. He's basically saying he's figured out all these dipsh!ts, and the questions they wiggle away from because he is super smart, and openly speaks of these matters. Those who really give props to Buddha and believe what he says would openly say what he is saying.
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Vi_Veri
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3/26/2011 2:56:36 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/4/2011 4:41:00 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
There is a discourse by the Buddha where he refutes the two primary versions of God (personal, all-powerful + impersonal, panentheistic) by demonstrating them to be logically impossible. You say that there maybe so many versions of God, that you can't refute them all, however, if these versions of God don't possess the great-making characteristics as per the definition, why call it God at all?

Can you send me a pm of these arguments? I'm very interested to read them.

"If these versions of God don't possess the great-making characteristics as per the definition, why call it God at all?" - AGREED
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