I don't get Buddhism

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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby phyllo » Mon Aug 17, 2020 12:43 pm

:text-goodpost:
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Mon Aug 17, 2020 6:20 pm

Karpel Tunnel wrote:So I am sure Iamb can get into an argument and 'defeat' some Buddhist about future lives and he can feel smug that they haven't proven anything and their beliefs therefore must be soothing. But that's because he knows very little, and as you've pointed out projects Christianity on something he doesn't understand at all. In fact Buddhism does not believe in a persistant self, not even during one liftime. A Buddhist who actually knows Buddhism is not getting soothed but has actually faced something harder to face that what Iambiguous thinks he has faced. It's not just death at the end of this life, it won't even be him in a week. There is no self that persists through time, though patterns can persist, they are empty.


First, of course, note how Curly makes this all about me. In yet another general description intellectual contraption. And not about my attempt to engage Buddhists in a discussion that explores my own assumptions regarding the existential relationship between morality/enlightenment/authenticity here and now and immortality/salvation there and then. The arguments I make in my signature threads. How, in regard to a particular context in which value judgments are measured to fit an understanding of "I" from both sides of the grave, are we able to describe in some detail our own individual reaction to the behaviors that unfold.

Instead, it's back up into the clouds. Another sneering attempt to explain to everyone that he does get iambiguous. And, in getting him, holds him in contempt.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:Buddhism is less soothing than Iamb's own beliefs but he will not acknowledge this or notice it because he does not, in good faith, study, let alone practice Buddhism, and it is ironically comforting to him to think that he is actually braver than everyone else. IOW it would tilt his whole worldview if he realized that there are objectivists (in this case Buddhists) who have even less to soothe them than he does. He simply cannot acknowledge this. His edifice of thousands of posts trying to undermine anyone's comfort would be ironically confused. To a Buddhist he is hallucinating a self that he will lose at death. It's not that Buddhism says 'don't worry, you'll be back' it's actually 'don't worry, you never had anything to lose, it won't even be you waking up tomorrow.' He's the one with the soothing hallucination to them.


Note to others:

Are you a Buddhist?

If so, note a particular experience that you have had in which you found yourself examining your own understanding of enlightenment, karma, reincarnation and Nirvana. To what extent were you soothed by your beliefs? To what extent did you suffer instead?

Me? Well, I managed to think myself into believing that human interactions are essentially meaningless. That, in the absence of God/religion, all things are permitted. Why? Because all things can be rationalized. Indeed, human history is replete with any number of ghastly human behaviors that already have been. Not to mention what nature itself throws at us.

In turn, I have managed to think myself into believing that any day now, I might tumble over into the abyss and "I" will be obliterated for all time to come.

And the only time that comforts and consoles me is when I imagine a set of circumstances in which my pain and suffering is so great, I will beg to die just to be rid of it. Think Aliens: "Kill me! Kill me!"

How about you?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382

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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Mon Aug 17, 2020 6:22 pm

phyllo wrote:
:text-goodpost:


I forget, which one are you, Larry or Moe? :lol:
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382

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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby phyllo » Mon Aug 17, 2020 8:48 pm

Like its parent religion Hinduism, Buddhism espouses reincarnation, which holds that after death our souls are re-instantiated in new bodies, and karma, the law of moral cause and effect. Together, these tenets imply the existence of some cosmic judge who, like Santa Claus, tallies up our naughtiness and niceness before rewarding us with rebirth as a cockroach or as a saintly lama.
If you throw a basketball in a particular direction, it ends up in the basketball hoop. If you throw it in another direction, then it doesn't. One action is "rewarded", the others are not. No Santa Claus, God or cosmic judge is required.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Mon Aug 17, 2020 11:53 pm

phyllo wrote:
Like its parent religion Hinduism, Buddhism espouses reincarnation, which holds that after death our souls are re-instantiated in new bodies, and karma, the law of moral cause and effect. Together, these tenets imply the existence of some cosmic judge who, like Santa Claus, tallies up our naughtiness and niceness before rewarding us with rebirth as a cockroach or as a saintly lama.
If you throw a basketball in a particular direction, it ends up in the basketball hoop. If you throw it in another direction, then it doesn't. One action is "rewarded", the others are not. No Santa Claus, God or cosmic judge is required.


This actually makes sense to you, doesn't it?

Or, sure, I'm not understanding why it should also make sense to me too.

How about this...

You can't decide if you should choose one behavior rather than another. So you throw a basketball in a particular dierection and if it lands in the hoop, you do it. If not, you don't.

You can't decide if you should be a Buddhist in order to sustain your existence beyond the grave. So you throw a basketball in a particular direction and if it lands in the hoop you become a Buddhist. If it doesn't, you don't.

Or did you mean something else? 8)
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382

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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby phyllo » Tue Aug 18, 2020 1:25 am

Do you need a "cosmic judge" to be rewarded for "good" behavior and punished for "bad" behavior?

No. It happens all the time without a judge.

I have no idea why he had to insert a Santa Claus into karma and rebirth. A "cosmic judge" is not implied by the tenets of Buddhism.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Tue Aug 18, 2020 2:04 am

phyllo wrote: Do you need a "cosmic judge" to be rewarded for "good" behavior and punished for "bad" behavior?

No. It happens all the time without a judge.


Okay, but this frame of mind is construed by me to be fabricated existentially as the embodiment of dasein. And, as a consequence of that, different individuals come to many, many, many alternative conclusions. And from these subjective assessments they choose particular behaviors that can have significant consequences for others.

And, further, from my frame of mind [no less an existential fabrication], you can't know with any real degree of certainty whether a cosmic judge, the cosmic judge exists or not. Or, at any rate, demonstrate to others that what you do think you do know about cosmic judgments is in fact true.

Any more than the No God Buddhists can demonstrate that their own spiritual path is the most authentic. The most in sync with what is in fact true.

Or, if such demonstrations do exist, link me to them.

It's not a question of what "I" need or "you" need or "they" need, but whether or not there is a "cosmic judge" up there or out there in the universe.

phyllo wrote: I have no idea why he had to insert a Santa Claus into karma and rebirth. A "cosmic judge" is not implied by the tenets of Buddhism.


Yes, I agreed this was probably going too far...too snidey perhaps. But that doesn't change the bottom line. Either someone chooses one set of behaviors over another because they link this to their imagined faith after death, or they don't. And what is religion but that part of culture that is very much intent on connecting those dots.

And if Buddhists don't call the part of universe that is factored into enlightenment, karma, reincarnation and Nirvana, a cosmic judge, what do they call it? How do they explain it?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382

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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby phyllo » Tue Aug 18, 2020 3:36 am

A person studies and is rewarded by better grades than if he does not study.

A person practices a sport or hobby and is rewarded by an improvement in skill level.

An atheist is not astonished by this and feels no need to attribute the rewards to a cosmic judge.

So what changes when the word karma is introduced?


Also:
I have no reason to demonstrate an impersonal force or a personal deity behind it all. I don't have know for certain what the ultimate cause is. If I see a pattern, then I can take advantage of it and act accordingly.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby phyllo » Tue Aug 18, 2020 3:44 am

Is your life better as a Buddhist than when you were not a Buddhist?

If yes, then you are on the right path . If no, then change paths.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Tue Aug 18, 2020 4:07 am

phyllo wrote:Do you need a "cosmic judge" to be rewarded for "good" behavior and punished for "bad" behavior?

No. It happens all the time without a judge.

I have no idea why he had to insert a Santa Claus into karma and rebirth. A "cosmic judge" is not implied by the tenets of Buddhism.
Not sure what you are referring to, likely something in Iamb, but you're right, Buddhists are real cause and effect guys. It is more or less mechanistic. X leads to Y. All things with component parts must perish. Patterns of X in the mind lead necessarily to Z. There's a bit of a paradox as to how these kinds of mechanistic processes can unravel and get to enlightenment, but consciousness can choose to disengage - via meditation or sometimes suddenly spontaneously.

But yeah there is no deity, unless you are one of those syncetistic Buddhists who also has deities. This happens much more in the East, where older religions are integrated into Buddhism
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Tue Aug 18, 2020 4:13 am

phyllo wrote:A person studies and is rewarded by better grades than if he does not study.

A person practices a sport or hobby and is rewarded by an improvement in skill level.

An atheist is not astonished by this and feels no need to attribute the rewards to a cosmic judge.

So what changes when the word karma is introduced?


Also:
I have no reason to demonstrate an impersonal force or a personal deity behind it all. I don't have know for certain what the ultimate cause is. If I see a pattern, then I can take advantage of it and act accordingly.

Yes, again. Karma is taken in extremely moral terms by Westerners, but actually in Buddhism it means more or less action and what it leads to. Actually in Hinduism as well. (and even in Hinduism, when you find out the attributes of deities, they need not be taken as personified characters, though that's another can of fish that actually holds for Christianity, amazingly enough and Judaism as well.) Siddheartha may have been wrong about what he saw as inevitable processes, but he is not positing a cosmic judge at all. And in fact the whole system is not saying be a good person, be nice to people, don't wrong them. Compassion helps you disengage from the mechanisms that lead to suffering is the idea. If anything it is an extremely selfish religion, except it doesn't believe in a self.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Tue Aug 18, 2020 4:21 am

phyllo wrote: A person studies and is rewarded by better grades than if he does not study.

A person practices a sport or hobby and is rewarded by an improvement in skill level.

An atheist is not astonished by this and feels no need to attribute the rewards to a cosmic judge.

So what changes when the word karma is introduced?


It depends on the extent to which any individual Buddhist intertwines her understanding of karma into her understanding enlightenment. Then intertwining this into the behaviors she chooses in her interactions with others precipitating both positive and negative reactions. This then intertwined in how she connects these dots to the "spiritual" assumptions she makes about "I" beyond the grave.

The stuff that most interest me about religion.

With religion, the "rewards" go way, way beyond getting a better grade in chemistry or improving your skills at the chessboard. Instead, religious denominations are all about morality/enlightenment here and now and immortality/salvation there and then. How these two aspects of human interaction are fused in the mind of any particular individual.


phyllo wrote: Also:
I have no reason to demonstrate an impersonal force or a personal deity behind it all. I don't have know for certain what the ultimate cause is. If I see a pattern, then I can take advantage of it and act accordingly.


Okay, but others insist that, when push comes to shove, not to focus in on one or another denomination's "scriptured" spiritual path is basically to argue that anything you are able to convince yourself is true about morality here and now and immortality there and then need be as far as anyone goes. However wide the gap between what they believe is true and what they are able to demonstrate.

Though, sure, if this sounds reasonable to you, more power to you. Whatever works. Again, look at all of the truly "thought out" religious narratives we have been bombarded with over the hears here at ILP alone.

Here for example: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=195793

And here: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=195915

And here: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=195899&p=2773005#p2773005

Nothing [to my knowledge] has ever been demonstrated, but that's not the point for those who subsume God and religion in one or another "worlds of words".
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382

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iambiguous: a post from Pedro?
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Tue Aug 18, 2020 4:25 am

phyllo wrote:Is your life better as a Buddhist than when you were not a Buddhist?

If yes, then you are on the right path . If no, then change paths.


Yeah, that's certainly one way to look at it.

Or:

Is your life better as a Nazi than when you were not a Nazi?
Is your life better as a Communist than when you were not a Communist?
Is your life better as a serial killer than when you were not a serial killer?
Is your life better as a pedophile than when you were not a pedophile?

If that's the main distinction you wish to make.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382

tiny nietzsche: what's something that isn't nothing, but still feels like nothing?
iambiguous: a post from Pedro?
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby phyllo » Tue Aug 18, 2020 11:43 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
phyllo wrote:Do you need a "cosmic judge" to be rewarded for "good" behavior and punished for "bad" behavior?

No. It happens all the time without a judge.

I have no idea why he had to insert a Santa Claus into karma and rebirth. A "cosmic judge" is not implied by the tenets of Buddhism.
Not sure what you are referring to, likely something in Iamb, but you're right, Buddhists are real cause and effect guys. It is more or less mechanistic. X leads to Y. All things with component parts must perish. Patterns of X in the mind lead necessarily to Z. There's a bit of a paradox as to how these kinds of mechanistic processes can unravel and get to enlightenment, but consciousness can choose to disengage - via meditation or sometimes suddenly spontaneously.

But yeah there is no deity, unless you are one of those syncetistic Buddhists who also has deities. This happens much more in the East, where older religions are integrated into Buddhism

I was referring to the quote by John Horgan which Iamb posted and commented on :
Like its parent religion Hinduism, Buddhism espouses reincarnation, which holds that after death our souls are re-instantiated in new bodies, and karma, the law of moral cause and effect. Together, these tenets imply the existence of some cosmic judge who, like Santa Claus, tallies up our naughtiness and niceness before rewarding us with rebirth as a cockroach or as a saintly lama.
He had tried Buddhism and come to this conclusion about karma.

I found it strange that he introduces a cosmic judge. If we were discussing evolution, for example, he probable would have no problem attributing the 'survival of the fittest' to unspecified mechanistic forces. But change the subject to karma and Buddhism and the thinking changes entirely.

And it's as you describe it ... no deity behind karma.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby phyllo » Tue Aug 18, 2020 11:58 am

Yes, again. Karma is taken in extremely moral terms by Westerners, but actually in Buddhism it means more or less action and what it leads to. Actually in Hinduism as well. (and even in Hinduism, when you find out the attributes of deities, they need not be taken as personified characters, though that's another can of fish that actually holds for Christianity, amazingly enough and Judaism as well.) Siddheartha may have been wrong about what he saw as inevitable processes, but he is not positing a cosmic judge at all. And in fact the whole system is not saying be a good person, be nice to people, don't wrong them. Compassion helps you disengage from the mechanisms that lead to suffering is the idea. If anything it is an extremely selfish religion, except it doesn't believe in a self.
Yes, that's it.

A Buddhist is not a good person or nice person ... a Buddhist is "beyond good and evil".

But being evil in the conventional sense is not in synch with the universe ... it just leads to more rebirth and suffering for you.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Tue Aug 18, 2020 12:09 pm

phyllo wrote:I was referring to the quote by John Horgan which Iamb posted and commented on :
Like its parent religion Hinduism, Buddhism espouses reincarnation, which holds that after death our souls are re-instantiated in new bodies, and karma, the law of moral cause and effect. Together, these tenets imply the existence of some cosmic judge who, like Santa Claus, tallies up our naughtiness and niceness before rewarding us with rebirth as a cockroach or as a saintly lama.
He had tried Buddhism and come to this conclusion about karma.

I found it strange that he introduces a cosmic judge. If we were discussing evolution, for example, he probable would have no problem attributing the 'survival of the fittest' to unspecified mechanistic forces. But change the subject to karma and Buddhism and the thinking changes entirely.

And it's as you describe it ... no deity behind karma.
He didn't try Buddhism very hard, it seems to me. Yeah, that's an odd quote. And yes, some Buddhists believe something like that as far as tallies of niceness and nautiness - but I don't think I have ever encountered a Santa type entity or other cosmic judge in a Buddhist's beliefs.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby phyllo » Tue Aug 18, 2020 12:10 pm

iambiguous wrote:
phyllo wrote:Is your life better as a Buddhist than when you were not a Buddhist?

If yes, then you are on the right path . If no, then change paths.


Yeah, that's certainly one way to look at it.

Or:

Is your life better as a Nazi than when you were not a Nazi?
Is your life better as a Communist than when you were not a Communist?
Is your life better as a serial killer than when you were not a serial killer?
Is your life better as a pedophile than when you were not a pedophile?

If that's the main distinction you wish to make.
My main point is that nobody actually goes looking only for the "most authentic", the "most in sync", the optimal, religion or path. Nobody adopts it only after it has been demonstrated to be the best. (Maybe you are the only exception.)

People adopt what they feel is better than what they have. And they try it to see if they like it.

Neither the Nazi nor the Communist had to be convinced that it was the optimal political or economic system. Neither the serial killer nor the pedophile are looking for an optimal behavior.

Referring to what you wrote here:
Any more than the No God Buddhists can demonstrate that their own spiritual path is the most authentic. The most in sync with what is in fact true.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby phyllo » Tue Aug 18, 2020 12:18 pm

He didn't try Buddhism very hard, it seems to me. Yeah, that's an odd quote. And yes, some Buddhists believe something like that as far as tallies of niceness and nautiness - but I don't think I have ever encountered a Santa type entity or other cosmic judge in a Buddhist's beliefs.
I think the problem is that people are trying to fit it into the framework of fundie Christianity. Maybe they are not even conscious that they are doing it.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Tue Aug 18, 2020 12:26 pm

phyllo wrote:Yes, that's it.

A Buddhist is not a good person or nice person ... a Buddhist is "beyond good and evil".

But being evil in the conventional sense is not in synch with the universe ... it just leads to more rebirth and suffering for you.
Being cruel will lead to attachment. It's not a coincidence that the Buddhists don't talk about love (as in the Judao-C tradition and also, say, t he Bhakti Hindu traditions). The compassion is not about yourself or another's self. It is about reducing suffering, in general. You have compassion because suffering sucks and nothing is someone else. There's no other to get pissed off at for their shortcomings. There is no self that is being gipped or mistreated. And in fact the Sanskrit word refers to what would be phenomenologically self-compassion and compassion for 'others'.

It is not moral, it is not interpersonal, it is not being a good guy.

Buddhism argues, in my terms, that it is teaching not to keep grabbing hammers and hitting any head with them. It doesn't matter if it is 'your' head or 'someone else's' head, since that is a distinction based on illusions.

Compassion, in Buddhism, also entails and is entailed by there being no selves.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Tue Aug 18, 2020 12:26 pm

phyllo wrote:
He didn't try Buddhism very hard, it seems to me. Yeah, that's an odd quote. And yes, some Buddhists believe something like that as far as tallies of niceness and nautiness - but I don't think I have ever encountered a Santa type entity or other cosmic judge in a Buddhist's beliefs.
I think the problem is that people are trying to fit it into the framework of fundie Christianity. Maybe they are not even conscious that they are doing it.

I would think so.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby phyllo » Tue Aug 18, 2020 12:34 pm

phyllo wrote:
Also:
I have no reason to demonstrate an impersonal force or a personal deity behind it all. I don't have know for certain what the ultimate cause is. If I see a pattern, then I can take advantage of it and act accordingly.




Okay, but others insist that, when push comes to shove, not to focus in on one or another denomination's "scriptured" spiritual path is basically to argue that anything you are able to convince yourself is true about morality here and now and immortality there and then need be as far as anyone goes. However wide the gap between what they believe is true and what they are able to demonstrate.

Though, sure, if this sounds reasonable to you, more power to you. Whatever works. Again, look at all of the truly "thought out" religious narratives we have been bombarded with over the hears here at ILP alone.

Here for example: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=195793

And here: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=195915

And here: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=195899&p=2773005#p2773005

Nothing [to my knowledge] has ever been demonstrated, but that's not the point for those who subsume God and religion in one or another "worlds of words".

An interesting question is whether there is evidence for karma.

Certainly one can see evidence of people being "rewarded" for unethical and immoral behavior in terms of acquiring money, fame and power.

For a materialist, that would seem to be clear evidence.

Buddhists, Christians and others would say that there is more to life than money, fame and power.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Tue Aug 18, 2020 12:59 pm

phyllo wrote:
iambiguous wrote:
phyllo wrote:Is your life better as a Buddhist than when you were not a Buddhist?

If yes, then you are on the right path . If no, then change paths.


Yeah, that's certainly one way to look at it.

Or:

Is your life better as a Nazi than when you were not a Nazi?
Is your life better as a Communist than when you were not a Communist?
Is your life better as a serial killer than when you were not a serial killer?
Is your life better as a pedophile than when you were not a pedophile?

If that's the main distinction you wish to make.
My main point is that nobody actually goes looking only for the "most authentic", the "most in sync", the optimal, religion or path. Nobody adopts it only after it has been demonstrated to be the best. (Maybe you are the only exception.)

People adopt what they feel is better than what they have. And they try it to see if they like it.

Neither the Nazi nor the Communist had to be convinced that it was the optimal political or economic system. Neither the serial killer nor the pedophile are looking for an optimal behavior.

Referring to what you wrote here:
Any more than the No God Buddhists can demonstrate that their own spiritual path is the most authentic. The most in sync with what is in fact true.
He's shifting focus. I don't think it is conscious. We are discussing religions/spiritualities perhaps psychological therapeutic modalities would fit the category.

People do not take up Naziism with the central goal of feeling better, changing things over just what one is in direct contact with. Nor Communism. These are political belief systems which fit in another category. One does not choose pedophilia to see if it improves one's sense of well being. It is a built in tendency and also is not in the same kind of category.

The reasons one would or would not engage in these political opinions and practices (with the political ones) or the behaviors are not the same categorically as the reasons for choosing Buddhism. Different types of goals, not just goals. Different categories of processes not just different processes.

So it is no surprise that other criteria than the single one you mentioned (and you did not preclude others which he took as assumed) is incomplete/not applicable.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Tue Aug 18, 2020 1:05 pm

phyllo wrote:
phyllo wrote:
Also:
I have no reason to demonstrate an impersonal force or a personal deity behind it all. I don't have know for certain what the ultimate cause is. If I see a pattern, then I can take advantage of it and act accordingly.




Okay, but others insist that, when push comes to shove, not to focus in on one or another denomination's "scriptured" spiritual path is basically to argue that anything you are able to convince yourself is true about morality here and now and immortality there and then need be as far as anyone goes. However wide the gap between what they believe is true and what they are able to demonstrate.

Though, sure, if this sounds reasonable to you, more power to you. Whatever works. Again, look at all of the truly "thought out" religious narratives we have been bombarded with over the hears here at ILP alone.

Here for example: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=195793

And here: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=195915

And here: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=195899&p=2773005#p2773005

Nothing [to my knowledge] has ever been demonstrated, but that's not the point for those who subsume God and religion in one or another "worlds of words".

An interesting question is whether there is evidence for karma.

Certainly one can see evidence of people being "rewarded" for unethical and immoral behavior in terms of acquiring money, fame and power.

For a materialist, that would seem to be clear evidence.

Buddhists, Christians and others would say that there is more to life than money, fame and power.
And also the reset in Buddhism often comes when the pattern (and not the soul) is reborn. It's not like all Karmic mechanisms are supposed to be immediate. It's not instant, whatever John Lennon may have said. And yes, then also what you are saying. It may seem to that person and others that their cruel actions are working, but according to Buddhism there is still a great deal of suffering, often more than their victims experience.

Personally, I don't believe this. I don't think Buddhism is right on this issue - not that I think cruelty is either ok or a good strategy. But in Buddhism it's not as if you got out and push an old lady down on the street and then 5 minutes later you get violently mugged. If that were the case, everyone would notice instantly and the actual problems of the pattern would never be experienced. The bully would very quickly learn not to be a bully, not because of the dukkha caused by illusory beliefs that make his bullying seem like a bad strategy, but because he would like getting hit in the face. So the pattern would need, mechanistically, more time to allow greater learning. And the 'being fooled by the seeming success of the pattern' you could call taking pain killers for a broken arm. It might work for a while.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Tue Aug 18, 2020 5:52 pm

phyllo wrote:
iambiguous wrote:
phyllo wrote:Is your life better as a Buddhist than when you were not a Buddhist?

If yes, then you are on the right path . If no, then change paths.


Yeah, that's certainly one way to look at it.

Or:

Is your life better as a Nazi than when you were not a Nazi?
Is your life better as a Communist than when you were not a Communist?
Is your life better as a serial killer than when you were not a serial killer?
Is your life better as a pedophile than when you were not a pedophile?

If that's the main distinction you wish to make.


My main point is that nobody actually goes looking only for the "most authentic", the "most in sync", the optimal, religion or path. Nobody adopts it only after it has been demonstrated to be the best. (Maybe you are the only exception.)


And the main point of any particular religious denomination is to suggest that your search is over. Become "one of us" and you are on the most authentic path. Now, yeah, some here are willing to acknowledge this as a "leap of faith". But others are more fierce in insisting that if you don't swallow their own Scripture hook, line and sinker you will endure one or another rendition of eternal damnation.

Go ahead, ask them.

And that's before we get to the millions and millions of folks around the globe who never go looking in the first place. Instead, from the day they are born into some family/community/nation they are indoctrinated to ever and always embody a God/the God/our God.

Right?

In other words, the way religion actually works in the day to day lives of the true believers out in the world that we live in.

And how is my own point above not a reasonable way in which to react to your point? If you make the distinction thinking or feeling that your life is better after becoming something than before it, any and all religious and secular behaviors/communities can be used as an example.

phyllo wrote: People adopt what they feel is better than what they have. And they try it to see if they like it.


Same thing. This encompasses any one of hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of sacred and secular communities that have existed down through the ages.

phyllo wrote: Neither the Nazi nor the Communist had to be convinced that it was the optimal political or economic system. Neither the serial killer nor the pedophile are looking for an optimal behavior.


How on earth can you possibly know what went through/goes through the minds of all the millions of Nazis, Communists, serial killers, pedophiles there ever were, are now or ever will be?

Like you, me and all the rest of us here, they are "thrown" out into a particular world at birth. They are indoctrinated as children to see this world as others see it. They then have vast and varied experiences growing up that can take them into untold number of "sets of circumstances" that nudge or propel them into embodying all manner of conflicting moral and political value judgments. Then the rest is history.

Right?

phyllo wrote: Referring to what you wrote here:
Any more than the No God Buddhists can demonstrate that their own spiritual path is the most authentic. The most in sync with what is in fact true.


But my point revolves precisely around the fact that with so much at stake -- enlightenment/morality on this side of the grave, immortality/salvation on the other side of it -- we mere mortals are confronted with literally hundreds of different "paths" to take: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_religious_groups

And these are just the purported "major" denominations.

Right?

Again, given what is at stake on both sides of the grave, how close do you yourself have to be in sync with what is "in fact true"?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382

tiny nietzsche: what's something that isn't nothing, but still feels like nothing?
iambiguous: a post from Pedro?
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Tue Aug 18, 2020 6:07 pm

He didn't try Buddhism very hard, it seems to me.


Okay...

You wish to live your life in a more enlightened manner. As this relates to, among other things, your interactions with others from day to day. And, then, in whatever manner, these behaviors are linked to that which you would like the fate of "I" to be after you die.

So, first it is suggested that you actually make contact with a spiritual/religious community and explore the manner in which they have come to embody this relationship in their denomination.

You do this. But it doesn't persuade you.

So, then it is argued that it didn't persuade you because you didn't try hard enough to be persuaded.

And, indeed, this outcome can be ascribed to contact with any one of hundreds of different religious communities out there.

It's always your fault if you don't latch onto one or another spiritual path. And not the fault of the denominations in being unable to actually demonstrate that what they believe about human existence before and after we die is in fact true.

After all, they can't all be the one true path.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382

tiny nietzsche: what's something that isn't nothing, but still feels like nothing?
iambiguous: a post from Pedro?
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Posts: 38466
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: baltimore maryland

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