I don't get Buddhism

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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby felix dakat » Thu Aug 20, 2020 3:00 am

iambiguous wrote:Okay, let's forget fucking Buddhism. Besides, it's just one more fucking religion to me.


Here iambiguous reveals that his intent has never been to understand Buddhism. He is here simply as an enemy of religion.
Last edited by felix dakat on Thu Aug 20, 2020 4:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Ecmandu » Thu Aug 20, 2020 4:19 pm

felix dakat wrote:
felix dakat wrote:
iambiguous wrote:Okay, let's forget fucking Buddhism. Besides, it's just one more fucking religion to me.


Here iambiguous reveals that his intent has never been to understand Buddhism. He is here simply as an enemy of religion.


Is iambiguous finally cracking! I knew he would.

Iambiguous is a religion. He hates himself here.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Thu Aug 20, 2020 4:45 pm

phyllo wrote:
Come on, I make a distinction here between I in the either/or world and "I" in is/ought world. I in the life that we live on this side of the grave and whatever the fate of "I" on the other side of it.

Sure, biologically, our bodies/brains are never exactly the same from minute to minute, but what does that really mean in regard to the things that happen to us that all rational human beings can agree are happening to us.

And, okay, for those committed Buddhists among us, once mere mortals die is their "I" itself obliterated for all time to come?

After all, that's what makes so many hundreds of millions of other religious folks choose the God denominations. As Christians, Muslims, Jews etc., "I" as a "soul" does in fact continue on for all of eternity. And that is by far one of the biggest attractions of Western religions.

And what of Nirvana? If no "I" in the manner in which we understand that here and now, what exactly does become in sync with "the ultimate spiritual goal in Buddhism".
Well that's not the distinction that Buddhists make.

So they are not led to believe that there is no "obliteration of "I" for all the rest of eternity."

You're just projecting your beliefs about religion on to Buddhists.
Yup, and his justification is incredulity. That's what other religions are doing, so it must be the case. 'Come on'.

It reminds me of the Sufi tale, which is a tradition with some similarities to Buddhism.....

The following story by the great Sufi teacher, Nasrudin, illustrates a common experience for those along the Way.

His friend, Mansour, comes to visit him and sees Nasruddin on his hands and knees, crawling on the sidewalk under the street lamp, obviously searching for something, appearing frustrated.

Concerned for his friend, Mansour asks, "Nasruddin, what are you looking for? Did you lose something?"

"Yes, Mansour. I lost the key to my house, and I’m trying to find it, but I can’t."

"Let me help you," responds Mansour. Mansour joins his friend, kneels down on his hands and knees, and begins to crawl on the sidewalk under the street lamp, searching.

After a time, having looked everywhere on and around the sidewalk, neither Nasruddin nor Mansour can find the lost key. Puzzled, Mansour asks his friend to recall his steps when he last had the key, "Nasruddin, where did you lose the key? When did you last have it?"

"I lost the key in my house," Nasruddin responds.

"In your house?" repeats the astonished Mansour. "Then why are we looking for the key here, outside on the sidewalk under this street lamp?”

Without hesitation, Nasruddin explains, “Because there is more light here . . . !”


and notice how iamb just caanot notice buddhist ideas if a lack of self. even though this is oointed out to him. in posts he quotes from. and complains the posts are about him.

So he quotes the part about him that is a secondary part of a post about Buddhism, that deals precisely with the issue he is incredulous above.

He doesn't want to participate in the practices AND he can't even read information about the religion, unless it seems to him to serve his purposes. He is our Nasruddin.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Thu Aug 20, 2020 6:31 pm

Here is my last post in responding to feix in our exchange here:

felix dakat wrote:
Well you're asking me what Buddhists think. How the fuck would I know? Ask a Buddhist. Or read a fucking book about Buddhism where the author claims to know.


iambiguous" ] Okay, let's forget fucking Buddhism. Besides, it's just one more fucking religion to me.

Let's focus instead on how you yourself have come to connect the dots existentially between "morality here and now" and "immortality there and then". In this regard, refresh my memory, are you a moral objectivist? Do you embody a religious narrative?

Given a particular set of circumstances in which to sustain the exchange.[/quote]

[quote="felix dakat wrote:
I know what Buddhism is to me. And I can't be wrong about that.

I don't claim to know what Buddhism is as a Kantian thing- in- itself which is what you seem to demand. I don't see anyone here in dialogue with you that is claiming that they know that. That's what you demand.


iambiguous" ] Let's bring this down to earth.

Take Kant's assessment of telling lies. Given that you know what Buddhism is to you, how do you imagine a Buddhist might react to lying?

Note to Buddhists:

What do you make of lying in human interactions? As it is embedded in your understanding of enlightenment and karma on this side of the grave.

Here is one take on it: https://tricycle.org/trikedaily/buddhist-precept-lying/

Let's discuss it. In regard to the vast number of contexts in which lying can play a part.

Instead, for Larry, it's straight back up into the fucking intellectual contraption clouds:[/quote]

[quote="felix dakat wrote:
The only way I know of to make religion meaningful to you is to enter into it subjectively and thus have a religious experience that convinces you. If you are impervious to prayer or meditation or active imagination (Jung's method) try Psilocybin or Mescaline or Ayahuasca. You're just playing word games.


iambiguous wrote:Have you had any actual religious experiences? And, aside from how you experienced them "in your head" how would you go about demonstrating them such that others might find it helpful in choosing to behave morally on this side of the grave so as to attain immortality on the other side of it.


And here is his own post in rebuttal:

felix dakat wrote:
iambiguous wrote:Okay, let's forget fucking Buddhism. Besides, it's just one more fucking religion to me.


Here iambiguous reveals that his intent has never been to understand Buddhism. He is here simply as an enemy of religion.


Enough said?
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 felix dakat » Thu Aug 20, 2020 7:09 pm

Yeah that clarifies everything. =D> :wink: :lol:
Last edited by felix dakat on Thu Aug 20, 2020 7:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Thu Aug 20, 2020 7:09 pm

phyllo wrote:
Come on, I make a distinction here between I in the either/or world and "I" in is/ought world. I in the life that we live on this side of the grave and whatever the fate of "I" on the other side of it.

Sure, biologically, our bodies/brains are never exactly the same from minute to minute, but what does that really mean in regard to the things that happen to us that all rational human beings can agree are happening to us.

And, okay, for those committed Buddhists among us, once mere mortals die is their "I" itself obliterated for all time to come?

After all, that's what makes so many hundreds of millions of other religious folks choose the God denominations. As Christians, Muslims, Jews etc., "I" as a "soul" does in fact continue on for all of eternity. And that is by far one of the biggest attractions of Western religions.

And what of Nirvana? If no "I" in the manner in which we understand that here and now, what exactly does become in sync with "the ultimate spiritual goal in Buddhism".
Well that's not the distinction that Buddhists make.


Sure, in a universe where human autonomy does exist, Buddhists are free to make their own distinction here. And if one accepts the assumptions that underlie it, end of story.

Simply scrap the part about demonstrating any of it.

But: with a God/the God, the fate of "I" before and after the grave, is something that anyone can grasp. It's all encompassed in God's Will. That may not be demonstrable either but at least its presumed existence ties everything together.

And, yes, if you and others wish to argue that Buddhists just don't know how the universe "works" in regard to the behaviors we choose here and now and the fate of "I" there and then, so be it.

But if someone were figuring on knowing the right thing to do on this side of the grave and concerned with what becomes of them after they die, which spiritual path would seem more definitive to them?

phyllo wrote: So they are not led to believe that there is no "obliteration of "I" for all the rest of eternity."


Note to Buddhists:

Is this the case? Is the "I" that you know and love here and now obliterated for all of eternity when you die? No reunion with loved ones? No explanation from a God/the God as to why life as a mere mortal is what it is? No assurance/explanation from a God/the God regarding Divine Justice? No punishment for the wicked?

phyllo wrote: You're just projecting your beliefs about religion on to Buddhists.


No, I'm speculating as a mere mortal who construes "I" here as an existential fabrication rooted in dasein, that religion is the mother of all psychological defense mechanisms. It allows someone, in my view, to ground their own sense of self in an ontological and teleological perspective on existence. It gives them a font from which to derive enlightened and/or moral behaviors on this side of the grave, and it assures them that in whatever manner is professed, existence goes on beyond the grave.

And, thus, in being able to think that human existence is not essentially meaningless and absurd...and that it does not end at death... this comforts and consoles them them in a way that is well beyond my reach.

So I can only conclude that in the end, all the squabbling here aside, the religious folks "win". Hands down.
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 » Thu Aug 20, 2020 7:13 pm

felix dakat wrote:Yeah that clarifies everything.


Okay, in that case, for the next 24 hours, you are Curly! [-o<
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 felix dakat » Thu Aug 20, 2020 7:14 pm

iambiguous wrote:
phyllo wrote:
Come on, I make a distinction here between I in the either/or world and "I" in is/ought world. I in the life that we live on this side of the grave and whatever the fate of "I" on the other side of it.

Sure, biologically, our bodies/brains are never exactly the same from minute to minute, but what does that really mean in regard to the things that happen to us that all rational human beings can agree are happening to us.

And, okay, for those committed Buddhists among us, once mere mortals die is their "I" itself obliterated for all time to come?

After all, that's what makes so many hundreds of millions of other religious folks choose the God denominations. As Christians, Muslims, Jews etc., "I" as a "soul" does in fact continue on for all of eternity. And that is by far one of the biggest attractions of Western religions.

And what of Nirvana? If no "I" in the manner in which we understand that here and now, what exactly does become in sync with "the ultimate spiritual goal in Buddhism".
Well that's not the distinction that Buddhists make.


Sure, in a universe where human autonomy does exist, Buddhists are free to make their own distinction here. And if one accepts the assumptions that underlie it, end of story.

Simply scrap the part about demonstrating any of it.

But: with a God/the God, the fate of "I" before and after the grave, is something that anyone can grasp. It's all encompassed in God's Will. That may not be demonstrable either but at least its presumed existence ties everything together.

And, yes, if you and others wish to argue that Buddhists just don't know how the universe "works" in regard to the behaviors we choose here and now and the fate of "I" there and then, so be it.

But if someone were figuring on knowing the right thing to do on this side of the grave and concerned with what becomes of them after they die, which spiritual path would seem more definitive to them?

phyllo wrote: So they are not led to believe that there is no "obliteration of "I" for all the rest of eternity."


Note to Buddhists:

Is this the case? Is the "I" that you know and love here and now obliterated for all of eternity when you die? No reunion with loved ones? No explanation from a God/the God as to why life as a mere mortal is what it is? No assurance/explanation from a God/the God regarding Divine Justice? No punishment for the wicked?

phyllo wrote: You're just projecting your beliefs about religion on to Buddhists.


No, I'm speculating as a mere mortal who construes "I" here as an existential fabrication rooted in dasein, that religion is the mother of all psychological defense mechanisms. It allows someone, in my view, to ground their own sense of self in an ontological and teleological perspective on existence. It gives them a font from which to derive enlightened and/or moral behaviors on this side of the grave, and it assures them that in whatever manner is professed, existence goes on beyond the grave.

And, thus, in being able to think that human existence is not essentially meaningless and absurd...and that it does not end at death... this comforts and consoles them them in a way that is well beyond my reach.

So I can only conclude that in the end, all the squabbling here aside, the religious folks "win". Hands down.


Your POV reminds me of terror management theory: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terror_management_theory
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Thu Aug 20, 2020 7:18 pm

felix dakat wrote:
Your POV reminds me of terror management theory: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terror_management_theory


Now you are Curly for 48 hours!! [-o< :banana-dance: [-o<

you're welcome, KT
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 felix dakat » Thu Aug 20, 2020 7:22 pm

iambiguous wrote:
felix dakat wrote:
Your POV reminds me of terror management theory: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terror_management_theory


Now you are Curly for 48 hours!! [-o< :banana-dance: [-o<

you're welcome, KT


Have you read "The Denial of Death" by Ernest Becker?

Best of all, of course, religion solves the problem of death, which no living individuals can solve, no matter how they would support us. Religion, then, gives the possibility of heroic victory in freedom and solves the problem of human dignity at its highest level.

The two ontological motives of the human condition are both met: the need to surrender oneself in full to the rest of nature, to become a part of it by laying down one’s whole existence to some higher meaning; and the need to expand oneself as an individual heroic personality. Finally, religion alone gives hope, because it holds open the dimension of the unknown and the unknowable, the fantastic mystery of creation that the human mind cannot even begin to approach, the possibility of a multidimensionality of spheres of existence, of heavens and possible embodiments that make a mockery of earthly logic— and in doing so, it relieves the absurdity of earthly life, all the impossible limitations and frustrations of living matter.

In religious terms, to “see God” is to die, because the creature is too small and finite to be able to bear the higher meanings of creation. Religion takes one’s very creatureliness, one’s insignificance, and makes it a condition of hope. Full transcendence of the human condition means limitless possibility unimaginable to us.

Becker, Ernest. The Denial of Death (pp. 203-204). Free Press. Kindle Edition.



Compare that with your:

No, I'm speculating as a mere mortal who construes "I" here as an existential fabrication rooted in dasein, that religion is the mother of all psychological defense mechanisms. It allows someone, in my view, to ground their own sense of self in an ontological and teleological perspective on existence. It gives them a font from which to derive enlightened and/or moral behaviors on this side of the grave, and it assures them that in whatever manner is professed, existence goes on beyond the grave.

And, thus, in being able to think that human existence is not essentially meaningless and absurd...and that it does not end at death... this comforts and consoles them them in a way that is well beyond my reach.

So I can only conclude that in the end, all the squabbling here aside, the religious folks "win". Hands down.
Last edited by felix dakat on Thu Aug 20, 2020 7:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
Soren Kierkegaard– Journals, 432
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby phyllo » Thu Aug 20, 2020 7:42 pm

Sure, in a universe where human autonomy does exist, Buddhists are free to make their own distinction here. And if one accepts the assumptions that underlie it, end of story.
Since the thread is about Buddhism, Buddhist distinctions are what count.

If the thread was about your ideas on self, then your distinctions would be on topic.
And, yes, if you and others wish to argue that Buddhists just don't know how the universe "works" in regard to the behaviors we choose here and now and the fate of "I" there and then, so be it.
I made a post going into two ways that karma "works". (The one comparing it to gravity.)

You either ignored what I wrote or you didn't understand it.

In a nutshell, Buddhists know one way that karma works ... action leading to result. As for the internal universal mechanism which makes it happen ... is anyone pretending to understand that part?
Note to Buddhists:

Is this the case? Is the "I" that you know and love here and now obliterated for all of eternity when you die? No reunion with loved ones? No explanation from a God/the God as to why life as a mere mortal is what it is? No assurance/explanation from a God/the God regarding Divine Justice? No punishment for the wicked?
You don't believe me or KT?

Would you believe a Buddhist?
No, I'm speculating as a mere mortal who construes "I" here as an existential fabrication rooted in dasein, that religion is the mother of all psychological defense mechanisms.
Buddhism has some unique features which don't fit into your ideas about religions.

But you just seem to ignore those and continue talk about it as if it's your stereotypical religion.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Thu Aug 20, 2020 7:47 pm

felix dakat wrote:
Have you read "The Denial of Death" by Ernest Becker?


No. But let's assume that you have.

Given my own interest in Buddhism and in religion in general...the existential relationship between the behaviors we choose here and now and how that is tied into the fate of "I" there and then...how might someone who has read the book react to the arguments that I make on this and other threads?

Out in a particular context where the main components of Buddhism [or any other denomination] are explored in some detail.

Now, if that is not what you want the focus to be, then we are not interested in religion for the same reasons. Take your reasons to other posters here. Then perhaps they might be inclined to bring them over to this thread and I can have the discussion that I prefer with them.

Look, I'm not arguing that you or others ought to discuss and debate religion based solely on my own predilections here. I'm just noting that from my point of view the fundamental function of religion around the globe revolves connecting the dots that are of interest to me.

This and the stuff Marx focused in on: religion as the opiate of the masses. And how one or another ruling class takes advantage of that for political and economic gain.
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 felix dakat » Thu Aug 20, 2020 8:05 pm

iambiguous wrote:
felix dakat wrote:
Have you read "The Denial of Death" by Ernest Becker?


No. But let's assume that you have.

Given my own interest in Buddhism and in religion in general...the existential relationship between the behaviors we choose here and now and how that is tied into the fate of "I" there and then...how might someone who has read the book react to the arguments that I make on this and other threads?

Out in a particular context where the main components of Buddhism [or any other denomination] are explored in some detail.

Now, if that is not what you want the focus to be, then we are not interested in religion for the same reasons. Take your reasons to other posters here. Then perhaps they might be inclined to bring them over to this thread and I can have the discussion that I prefer with them.

Look, I'm not arguing that you or others ought to discuss and debate religion based solely on my own predilections here. I'm just noting that from my point of view the fundamental function of religion around the globe revolves connecting the dots that are of interest to me.

This and the stuff Marx focused in on: religion as the opiate of the masses. And how one or another ruling class takes advantage of that for political and economic gain.


Best of all, of course, religion solves the problem of death, which no living individuals can solve, no matter how they would support us. Religion, then, gives the possibility of heroic victory in freedom and solves the problem of human dignity at its highest level.

The two ontological motives of the human condition are both met: the need to surrender oneself in full to the rest of nature, to become a part of it by laying down one’s whole existence to some higher meaning; and the need to expand oneself as an individual heroic personality. Finally, religion alone gives hope, because it holds open the dimension of the unknown and the unknowable, the fantastic mystery of creation that the human mind cannot even begin to approach, the possibility of a multidimensionality of spheres of existence, of heavens and possible embodiments that make a mockery of earthly logic— and in doing so, it relieves the absurdity of earthly life, all the impossible limitations and frustrations of living matter.

In religious terms, to “see God” is to die, because the creature is too small and finite to be able to bear the higher meanings of creation. Religion takes one’s very creatureliness, one’s insignificance, and makes it a condition of hope. Full transcendence of the human condition means limitless possibility unimaginable to us.

Becker, Ernest. The Denial of Death (pp. 203-204). Free Press. Kindle Edition.



Compare that with your:

No, I'm speculating as a mere mortal who construes "I" here as an existential fabrication rooted in dasein, that religion is the mother of all psychological defense mechanisms. It allows someone, in my view, to ground their own sense of self in an ontological and teleological perspective on existence. It gives them a font from which to derive enlightened and/or moral behaviors on this side of the grave, and it assures them that in whatever manner is professed, existence goes on beyond the grave.

And, thus, in being able to think that human existence is not essentially meaningless and absurd...and that it does not end at death... this comforts and consoles them them in a way that is well beyond my reach.

So I can only conclude that in the end, all the squabbling here aside, the religious folks "win". Hands down.


It seems you're very close to Becker in terms of religion being fundamentally a defense mechanism against mortal terror.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Fri Aug 21, 2020 12:02 am

iambiguous wrote:Look, I'm not arguing that you or others ought to discuss and debate religion based solely on my own predilections here. I'm just noting that from my point of view the fundamental function of religion around the globe revolves connecting the dots that are of interest to me.
And note how here he is writing in general about religions, hence Buddhism, so he shifts the topic from Buddhism, to religions in general. Also note the strange convoluted way of talking. He notes his point of view.
which is like saying
I notice my opinions.

(one irony is that this is actually a rather Buddhist phrasing. He notices is opinions. They happen, and he notices them.)

But since he is not a Buddhist and can't notice similarities to Buddhism, this needs to be taken not as Buddhism, but simply evasive language.

He is not asserting his opinion. He is noticing it. Anything to avoid any burden of proof. For example a burden in relation to sentences like

'Buddhism is just another fucking religion.'

He never has to demonstrate his statements (let alone for all rational people) but other people should.

Others need to demonstrate their actions and positions. He does not. He can assert shit or notice his assertions and has no need to justify his assertions.

But let's pretend Iamb is a Buddhist for a moment, because he does share some qualities with them. He has noticed that his opinions can shift over time, or we could say that they are contingent. This relates to Annica or impermanence. All things are changing, including 'selves'. Life is painful, he is suffering: this relates to Dukkha.

He notices his opinions and thoughts. He doesn't identify with them. Apart from this being a core practice in Vipassana meditation, for exmaple, it is also a disdentification.

Who is it that notices his thoughts? I notice my point of view. So the point of view is not held by the noticer. It is just another thing in the awareness of some consciousness. What is the self if it is not the thoughts and opinions (nor the passing feelings).

But this has all been said before. He is actually neoBuddhist. Or the slimy way he tries to avoid responsibility for any burden of demonstration himself mimics someone with neo-Buddhist beliefs.

He's a lovely case example for a discussion of Buddhism.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Fri Aug 21, 2020 1:47 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
iambiguous wrote:Look, I'm not arguing that you or others ought to discuss and debate religion based solely on my own predilections here. I'm just noting that from my point of view the fundamental function of religion around the globe revolves connecting the dots that are of interest to me.
And note how here he is writing in general about religions, hence Buddhism, so he shifts the topic from Buddhism, to religions in general. Also note the strange convoluted way of talking. He notes his point of view.
which is like saying
I notice my opinions.

(one irony is that this is actually a rather Buddhist phrasing. He notices is opinions. They happen, and he notices them.)

But since he is not a Buddhist and can't notice similarities to Buddhism, this needs to be taken not as Buddhism, but simply evasive language.

He is not asserting his opinion. He is noticing it. Anything to avoid any burden of proof. For example a burden in relation to sentences like

'Buddhism is just another fucking religion.'

He never has to demonstrate his statements (let alone for all rational people) but other people should.

Others need to demonstrate their actions and positions. He does not. He can assert shit or notice his assertions and has no need to justify his assertions.

But let's pretend Iamb is a Buddhist for a moment, because he does share some qualities with them. He has noticed that his opinions can shift over time, or we could say that they are contingent. This relates to Annica or impermanence. All things are changing, including 'selves'. Life is painful, he is suffering: this relates to Dukkha.

He notices his opinions and thoughts. He doesn't identify with them. Apart from this being a core practice in Vipassana meditation, for exmaple, it is also a disdentification.

Who is it that notices his thoughts? I notice my point of view. So the point of view is not held by the noticer. It is just another thing in the awareness of some consciousness. What is the self if it is not the thoughts and opinions (nor the passing feelings).

But this has all been said before. He is actually neoBuddhist. Or the slimy way he tries to avoid responsibility for any burden of demonstration himself mimics someone with neo-Buddhist beliefs.

He's a lovely case example for a discussion of Buddhism.


And this after I made felix the new Curly for 48 hours!

I knew that I would regret it... :lol:

Oh, yeah, almost forgot: we'll need a context.
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 » Sat Aug 22, 2020 6:41 pm

Sure, in a universe where human autonomy does exist, Buddhists are free to make their own distinction here. And if one accepts the assumptions that underlie it, end of story.


phyllo wrote: Since the thread is about Buddhism, Buddhist distinctions are what count.

If the thread was about your ideas on self, then your distinctions would be on topic.


No, this thread is about "getting" Buddhism. Gib doesn't get it for his reasons and I don't get it for my reasons.

And my reasons revolve around the extent to which Buddhists propound enlightenment, karma, reincarnation and Nirvana given the existential relationship between choosing right and wrong behaviors here and now and the fate of "I" there and then.

And, yes, if you and others wish to argue that Buddhists just don't know how the universe "works" in regard to the behaviors we choose here and now and the fate of "I" there and then, so be it.


phyllo wrote: I made a post going into two ways that karma "works". (The one comparing it to gravity.)

You either ignored what I wrote or you didn't understand it.


I read it and I responded to it:

How gravity works is not often linked to "morality here and now" and "immortality there and then". Unless Jim pushes John over a cliff and John dies. Then some may wonder if Jim's behavior was immoral. And gravity having led to John hitting the rocks below, killing him, will John then go on to an existence on the other side.

And how do Buddhists talk about karma...how karma works in regard to the existential trajectory of their own lives and then the part after they are dead and gone.

In fact, that's that part I keep coming back to over and over again: karma as it is intertwined in the actual experiences that Buddhists have over the years.


phyllo wrote: In a nutshell, Buddhists know one way that karma works ... action leading to result. As for the internal universal mechanism which makes it happen ... is anyone pretending to understand that part?


Like one must be a Buddhist to recognize that action leads to result. But what actions over the course of whose lifetime leading to what results such that the universe plays a role in determining the fate of "I" on the other side of the grave.

And if no Buddhists are able to explain this, to demonstrate it, who comes closest? The Buddha himself...what did he have to say?

Note to Buddhists:

Is this the case? Is the "I" that you know and love here and now obliterated for all of eternity when you die? No reunion with loved ones? No explanation from a God/the God as to why life as a mere mortal is what it is? No assurance/explanation from a God/the God regarding Divine Justice? No punishment for the wicked?


phyllo wrote: You don't believe me or KT?

Would you believe a Buddhist?


Again, and again and again:

1] why believe the existential relationship between enlightened behavior and immortality is more reasonably derived from the perspective of Buddhism rather than from my own? Let's note a context and examine them side by side

2] in regard to this existential relationship, it's not what someone believes "in their head" that interest me as much as what they are able to demonstrate that I and all other rational men and women are obligated to believe in turn

Now, I am not myself able to demonstrate that human interactions in regard to value judgments are best understood from my point of view. I can only note examples relating to moral and political conflagrations which seem to support my own subjective contention that dasein, conflicting goods and political economy are crucial components in allowing us to better understand them. Given in turn my conjecture that we live in an essentially meaningless No God world that ends for each of us one by one in oblivion.

No, I'm speculating as a mere mortal who construes "I" here as an existential fabrication rooted in dasein, that religion is the mother of all psychological defense mechanisms.


phyllo wrote: Buddhism has some unique features which don't fit into your ideas about religions.


Okay, let's agree on a particular set of circumstances and, in regard to the main components of Buddhism, examine these unique features. Then I will note the manner in which I react to this set of circumstances given the main components of my own point of view.

Thus you being able to note more specifically what you mean regarding this accusation:

phyllo wrote: But you just seem to ignore those and continue talk about it as if it's your stereotypical religion.
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 » Sat Aug 22, 2020 7:07 pm

felix dakat wrote:It seems you're very close to Becker in terms of religion being fundamentally a defense mechanism against mortal terror.


Okay, let's bring this down to earth.

* Dealing with a set of circumstances that would no doubt engender mortal terror in many of us

* Then imagining reactions to that from the perspective of those committed to one or another God/No God religion. And then those [like me] who are convinced that even the terror itself is just another manifestation of an essentially meaningless existence such that if the terror reconfigures into death itself, it results in the obliteration of "I" for all time to come

* Assuming some measure of free will and factoring it all into an understanding of existence itself
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 gib » Sun Aug 23, 2020 7:00 am

iambiguous wrote:
gib wrote:I'm talking to you.
No, you're talking to someone intent on exploring the manner in which Buddhists connect the dots existentially between...


I'm talking to you.

iambiguous wrote:
gib wrote:I'm not sure I get your point? Are you saying the life I've lived is not the norm for most people you engage with here?


Again, given what context? Involving what behaviors? In regard to what aspect of Buddhism relating to particular understandings of enlightenment, karma, reincarnation and Nirvana.


If you have to ask these questions, it means you don't even know what your response to me meant. <-- That's what I'm asking after all. I asked: Are you saying the life I've lived is not the norm for most people you engage with here? And you're telling me it depends on a context I haven't given. In other words, you haven't said anything (yet). Why is this not a surprise?

iambiguous wrote:To me, yet another intellectual contraption that avoids naming a context.

Of course people are able to "follow along" in an exchange of intellectual contraptions relating to morality here and now and immortality there and then. For two reasons:

⦁ in a world of words, everything comes down to how the words are defined, imparting a specific meaning to a string of words placed in a particular order
⦁ thus the words never have to be defended in regard to a particular social, political or economic context

After all, out in the world relating to an existing human community, it's not the relationship between definitions that becomes crucial but the relationship between the definitions and the countless subjective/subjunctive interpretations of the lives we live...lives derived from countless existential variables derived from countless existential experiences derived from lives lived in very, very, very different ways.

But, in turn, this can only be examined more in depth when the discussion does shift to a "situation" that most here will be familiar with. Factor enlightenment, karma, reincarnation and Nirvana into that.

Contexts in which Buddhists are competing with hundreds and hundreds of alternative "spiritual paths". Why one and not the others? With so much at stake on both sides of the grave.


So what's your point here? That you get lost without a context? Or that you take it as pointless to have a discussion about a world of pure words? I hope it's he latter 'cause that makes more sense. You're two points about following along in such discussions:

⦁ in a world of words, everything comes down to how the words are defined, imparting a specific meaning to a string of words placed in a particular order
⦁ thus the words never have to be defended in regard to a particular social, political or economic context

...seem to be things that (I would think) you are quite capable of.

iambiguous wrote:And, of course, this has nothing to do with the manner in which I construe "I" here as the embodiment of political prejudices rooted in dasein confronting conflicting goods such that suffering itself is able to be subsumed by Buddhists in an enlightened point of view riding karma into the sunset and then out the other side.


Then you need to give me a context. What kind of response would have something to do with the manner in which you construe "I" here? Just an example. Off the top of your head.

iambiguous wrote:I see your point but it seems less important than mine given the stakes here on either side of the grave. But then I have to acknowledge that given new experiences, new relationships and access to new ideas, "I" may come to believe something other than what I do now. I merely point out that this is also true for you and everyone else.


You do realize that my response still has some relevance to what lies on the other side of the grave, right? I'm talking about what is most likely to secure good karma for me on the other side of the grave. My response to your latest question is simply that I can't guarantee, in this particular case, that my attempt to alleviate suffering won't backfire and cause more suffering, so it's a gamble. But it's one I feel confident in taking. <-- Is it the gamble that makes my response seem less important? Are you saying the stakes are so high, nothing but an absolute guarantee would suffice?

In any case, I'd still like to know what this point in the discussion means to you. You say that my point seems less important than yours. Did I not connect the dots to your satisfaction? Did I fail to demonstrate my point sufficiently so that all rational men and women would be obligated to agree? Was the context not specific enough? How do you measure the "importance" of a point? And would you say you got what you wanted out of this discussion? As if to say: I accept that this is gib's answer to my questions, though it doesn't meet the requirements that I ultimately need. Or was it more like: gib just doesn't understand my question, the point I'm really getting at, and he's not conforming to my expectations of how one ought to respond to my questions?

iambiguous wrote:
gib wrote:Enlightenment - Enlightenment is what drives one to engage in this kind of behavior in these kinds of circumstances--the compassion to alleviate suffering as best you can. Once the 'I' is completely fragmented and dissolved, the light of love and compassion comes pouring through, and one feels deep sympathy for those who are suffering. A drive to alleviate that suffering follows. (and I suppose if one has yet to become enlightened, the drive to alleviate the suffering of others comes from a sense of duty rather than compassion; we are taught in Buddhism--after all--that one who walks the path has a moral obligation to alleviate the suffering of others).

Karma - I don't know if this particular Buddhist believes in karma (isn't that, after all, borrowed from Hindu religion?)--but how it relates to the specific scenario of trying to alleviate the suffering of all involved in the case of a murder is that the actions performed by each participant in the scenario count as a sort of contribution towards an "account balance" of their life's work. Good actions contribute towards a positive balance. Bad actions contribute towards a negative balance. At the end of your life, your good actions are weighed against your bad actions, and the net balance determines the quality of your next life. For example, the murderer, having committed a haneous atrocity, would have a highly negative balance (at least, the act of murder would contribute an enormous negative amount), and therefore the quality of his next life would be quite poor (maybe he reincarnates as a worm). My own acts of trying to console all those involved in this case would contribute towards a positive balance, and with more deeds like this performed throughout my life, I would have a positive balance overall by the end of my life, meaning that I will get a high quality life when I reincarnate (perhaps as a god). Or I *would* believe that if I believed in karma. So karma can contribute or inform one's actions in a scenario such as this by encouraging one to perform good actions (alleviate the suffering of others) so that one will be more likely to acquire a good life upon reincarnating.

Reincarnation - Obviously, reincarnation is the process by which one's soul, or one's essence (call it what you will), is transferred from one life to the next, from one body which dies to another body which is born; there isn't much more to say about reincarnation than what was said about karma. Reincarnation is connected to the particular scenario under consideration through karma. The fact of karma encourages or motivates one to perform good acts by offering the potential for a better life upon reincarnation.

Nirvana - Nirvana is the state one experiences when enlightened. It is said to be blissful, peaceful, and the deepest form of love. It is connected to the scenario under consideration in the same way enlightenment is. Enlightenment leads to compassion for those involved in the scenario and a drive to alleviate their suffering because Enlightenment is the state of experiencing Nirvana, and Nirvana is pure love, which is why compassion and love flow from one who is Enlightened.


Still, from my frame of mind, this assessment is still basically an intellectual contraption bursting at the seams with assumptions that are not at all demonstrated to in fact be true.


No disagreement here. But you do see how this answers your question, right? At least with respect to the clarity you asked for on how the scenario under consideration (a murderer on death row) relates to the concepts of Enlightenment, Karma, Reincarnation, and Nirvana. <-- That's merely a question on the meaning of words, and how that plays out in the practical context we chose to explore. The requirement for demonstrable proof comes next, and not only do I freely admit I have none, but I can't even be bothered to try.

^ What is your response to that? Do we simply agree to disagree? And is disagreement for you belief against my position (as in: there is no such thing as Enlightenment, Karma, etc.) or simply agnosticism (as in: I don't know whether gib is right or not).

iambiguous wrote:The murderer above can see his own motivation and intention from a perspective that is utterly alien to others. He can rationalize or justify the killing given a point of view that others deem to be preposterous. He can be confronted by Buddhists expressing their own reaction to the killing and simply dismiss it. After all, what do they really know about his frame of mind or his understanding of the situation?


Well, that's where we went astray. Looks like the response you were looking for from the Buddhist I'm pretending to be is a reaction to the moral depravity of the murderer's actions, something the Buddhist can argue with the murderer over. <-- In that case, the problem would seem to be how you phrase your questions. The way you phrase your questions leaves open the possibility of what a person would do, given their beliefs and values, in the hypothetical scenarios you ask for. It lead to me explaining, first, what my Buddhist convictions would prescribe I do in this scenario (alleviate suffering) and, second, how the rest of my Buddhist ideology ties into that (Enlightenment, Karma, Reincarnation, Nirvana). And really, you should expect this. If you're trying to connect the dots between one's convictions and how that plays out here and now (with concrete scenarios) and what it means for the fate of the 'I' there and then, you're gonna get actions, moral actions, not moral proselytizing, not dictating the actions of others.

Of course, that's precisely what some might do--those who are more concerned with preaching morality than practicing it--and maybe those are who you're attempting to target--but if so, I would suggest rethinking how you phrase your questions so that you get the kinds of responses you want. You seem to want, not so much a demonstration of the validity of my Buddhist convictions that would convince you, but a demonstration that would convince the murderer, something I as the Buddhist could say to the murderer that would turn him around, and you're trying to build an imaginary scenario in which that is exactly what ends up happening. So you somehow need to steer the discussion away from what the person would do in the scenario and towards what they would say.

iambiguous wrote:Now, what I wish to pursue here is this: that any particular Buddhists wishing to participate in this exchange take their belief about race and connect this dot to what they believe about enlightenment and karma in regard to race relations on this side of the grave; this then connected to the behaviors that they choose connected to how they connect that dot to what they believe the fate of "I" to be after they die.


So can this be abstracted into a general formula that characterizes your interests in any thread? You seem to be saying you're ok with talking about any controversial issue so long as it is tied into the subject of the thread?

iambiguous wrote:
iambiguous wrote:Again and again and again: we need a context here.

gib wrote:Why?


For all of the reasons that I have noted above and on other threads. But: You fail to grasp those reasons. So, all we can do then is to note a new context and try, try again.


The only thing I've gathered is that either 1) you get lost unless there is a concrete context or 2) you think it's pointless unless there is a concrete context.

With 1), what you say makes sense. With 2), I think 'need' is strong word--try 'prefer'.

iambiguous wrote:Okay. Again, let's start here: https://deathpenalty.procon.org/

Now, Buddhist or not, how are the moral and political value judgments contained in this particular example of an age-old conflicting good not in many crucial respects the embodiment of dasein as I explore that here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382

And, in regard to the main components of Buddhism, how is this very real [and contentious] component of the human condition understood by Buddhists from the perspective of both sides of the grave. Intertwined into the most rational and demonstrable assessment.


Well, I'll definitely try to respond as though I were a Buddhist since you seem intent on tying any issue with the subject matter of this thread.

In this case, the context you brought up (https://deathpenalty.procon.org/) is not so much a hypothetical scenario but just a specific moral controversy (maybe this is where we're misunderstanding each other). As a Buddhist, I'd probably say, death is inconsequential. We have all been dying and being reborn over and over and over again for countless eons--death is inevitable, and not only does it make little difference to the grand wheel of life, but is a natural part of it--therefore, the death penalty is of no great moral import. But then again, it does bring suffering to the perpetrator's family and loved ones, and maybe on those grounds it ought not be practice. But on the other hand, it probably brings satisfaction to the victim's family and loved ones equal to the sorrow of the perpetrator's family and loved ones. It could also be argued that by ending the perpetrator's life, you lock in place bad karma--no chance to correct his wrongs and reverse the karma--although to let him live, he might just commit more crimes and hurt more people, thereby augmenting his already negative karma.

^ Lot's to consider there.

What would your response be if I just left it like that?

What if I settled on a position--say agreeing with the death penalty on the grounds that death is natural and inevitable anyway--but regarded it as just an opinion (albeit still based on my Buddhist convictions) for which there will always be some measure of uncertainty?

What if I allowed myself to be persuaded to change my mind in react to your response?
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby phyllo » Sun Aug 23, 2020 3:58 pm

I read it and I responded to it:

How gravity works is not often linked to "morality here and now" and "immortality there and then". Unless Jim pushes John over a cliff and John dies. Then some may wonder if Jim's behavior was immoral. And gravity having led to John hitting the rocks below, killing him, will John then go on to an existence on the other side.

And how do Buddhists talk about karma...how karma works in regard to the existential trajectory of their own lives and then the part after they are dead and gone.

In fact, that's that part I keep coming back to over and over again: karma as it is intertwined in the actual experiences that Buddhists have over the years.



phyllo wrote:
In a nutshell, Buddhists know one way that karma works ... action leading to result. As for the internal universal mechanism which makes it happen ... is anyone pretending to understand that part?



Like one must be a Buddhist to recognize that action leads to result. But what actions over the course of whose lifetime leading to what results such that the universe plays a role in determining the fate of "I" on the other side of the grave.

And if no Buddhists are able to explain this, to demonstrate it, who comes closest? The Buddha himself...what did he have to say?
You changed the subject again. Originally you couldn't figure out how karma could work without a "cosmic judge".

I responded to that explicitly.

Now you act as if that was never the issue.
Note to Buddhists:

Is this the case? Is the "I" that you know and love here and now obliterated for all of eternity when you die? No reunion with loved ones? No explanation from a God/the God as to why life as a mere mortal is what it is? No assurance/explanation from a God/the God regarding Divine Justice? No punishment for the wicked?


phyllo wrote:
You don't believe me or KT?

Would you believe a Buddhist?




Again, and again and again:

1] why believe the existential relationship between enlightened behavior and immortality is more reasonably derived from the perspective of Buddhism rather than from my own? Let's note a context and examine them side by side

2] in regard to this existential relationship, it's not what someone believes "in their head" that interest me as much as what they are able to demonstrate that I and all other rational men and women are obligated to believe in turn

Now, I am not myself able to demonstrate that human interactions in regard to value judgments are best understood from my point of view. I can only note examples relating to moral and political conflagrations which seem to support my own subjective contention that dasein, conflicting goods and political economy are crucial components in allowing us to better understand them. Given in turn my conjecture that we live in an essentially meaningless No God world that ends for each of us one by one in oblivion.
You asked 5 questions. KT answered the ones about God a few posts ago. There is no God in Buddhism.

So why do you ask when you already have the answer? You don't believe that KT understands Buddhism?

Do you think that a "real" Buddhist would say that there is a God in Buddhism??

And why would you believe that guy and not KT?

PS. Nobody is going to demonstrate fuck all to you, because you don't have any standards for what constitutes a satisfactory demonstration.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby felix dakat » Sun Aug 23, 2020 5:11 pm

iambiguous wrote:
felix dakat wrote:It seems you're very close to Becker in terms of religion being fundamentally a defense mechanism against mortal terror.


Okay, let's bring this down to earth.

* Dealing with a set of circumstances that would no doubt engender mortal terror in many of us

* Then imagining reactions to that from the perspective of those committed to one or another God/No God religion. And then those [like me] who are convinced that even the terror itself is just another manifestation of an essentially meaningless existence such that if the terror reconfigures into death itself, it results in the obliteration of "I" for all time to come

* Assuming some measure of free will and factoring it all into an understanding of existence itself


The answers you seek may not be far from you. Check this out:

Abstract
In this article, I argue that “mindfulness of death” (maraṇasati) can be a tool to induce mortality salience and can have a positive psychological impact. The mindfulness of death is described in detail in the early Buddhist texts Aṅguttara Nikāya and Visuddhimagga. The texts stress that death should be consciously connected with temporality and mindfulness. Here, I look at the mindfulness of death in relation to the mortality salience of terror management theory. “Mortality salience” is a term proposed in terror management theory that means “the state of conscious activation of the thoughts of death”. In addition, after conscious activation of the thought of death, I examine the psychological changes, such as the increase of pro-social attitudes which emphasizes ethics and morality, and the emphasis on the intrinsic value of life due to the operation of a cultural worldview and self-esteem. In this paper, I conclude that mindfulness of death can be an effective tool to induce mortality salience. https://www.mdpi.com/2077-1444/10/6/353/htm
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Sun Aug 23, 2020 7:18 pm

One of the problems here is the idea that there is a single Buddhist morality. I think there are core beliefs and I think we can support rather well the positions presented in core Buddhist texts. But we are dealing with a belief system using in all sorts of ways by millions people in all sorts of cultures. We cannot make a simple, this is what a Buddhist would say about murder or abortion, for example. In part this is the diversity of followers, in part because Buddhism is not some simple parallel to Judao-Christianity. The latter makes morality central and as morality. Morality as an end. Morality as an absolute set rules. Buddhism suggests that compassion is a practical attitude which helps reduce suffering. Not the suffering of others, per se. 'Your' own suffering. The suffering that is felt here and now. It's more like an attitude an actor might use to remain loose on stage, rather than how to be a good person on stage. People, Iamb in particular, make a category error when they treat Buddhism as an alternative to Christianity with the same idea of what rules are for or even that they are rules. That can work with Islam which was heavily influenced by Judaism and C, but it gets into serious problems when projected onto religions that arose in cultures much further removed: shamanistic systems, much of Hinduism, Buddhism.....

And since no one here is identifying as a Buddhist - except for Gibs very generous role playing - Iamb needs to go elsewhere to talk to a person who identifies as a Buddhist. Then he can find out if that person is anti-abortion say. Then he can demand proof. Then he can get off on the frustration, should it occur, when the Buddhist fails to convince all rational people his morals are correct. Of course some Buddhists will ignore this since such a discussion would be considered confused, right from the get go.

But here we have someone not interested in what he says he is interested in, asking for specific Buddhist moral positions on specific moral issues like abortion from non- Buddhists. So, we have disingenuousness asking answers from people who can at best role play. And oddly in a world where it is

HYSTERICALLY

easy to come in contact with Buddhists. Or members of any other group.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby gib » Sun Aug 23, 2020 10:05 pm

Karpel Tunnel wrote:Gib, your post was so generous, and unfortunately it will, short term or long term, be spat on by the person it was addressed to.


Naturally, but don't think that I'm merely humoring Biggy. I'm studying his responses. I'm trying to play his game in order to illicit the usual responses he delivers in the hopes of getting a little deeper into his mind and understand his thought process.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:Which as said is generous of you. Unfortunately such a Buddhist gives Iamb more room to feel superior than a more doctrinal Buddhist would. You're a good guy. Truly. I hope he treats you well.


So far, I don't feel I've ever been severely mistreated by Biggy (if anything, I think I've been somewhat more disrespectful towards him than he has towards me). The danger I worry more about is getting too tangled in his web in order to escape easily (which would be no one's fault but my own).

Karpel Tunnel wrote:You are representing here how a significant subset of Western Buddists think of Buddhism, though most people never really work through their own systems of thought.


Right, which is why I appreciate your clarifications for my better understanding. It helps. But with respect to Biggy, I don't think that matters much. I don't think he's checking to see if my understanding of Buddhism matches the orthodox tradition but just what I, as an individual, believe.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Sun Aug 23, 2020 10:35 pm

gib wrote:
iambiguous wrote:
gib wrote:I'm talking to you.
No, you're talking to someone intent on exploring the manner in which Buddhists connect the dots existentially between...


I'm talking to you.


No, you're talking to someone intent on exploring the manner in which Buddhists connect the dots existentially between their own understanding of enlightenment and karma, the behaviors they choose derived from that understanding and how this is connected to what they believe regarding the fate of "I" beyond the grave. The things I don't "get" about Buddhism.

iambiguous wrote:
gib wrote:I'm not sure I get your point? Are you saying the life I've lived is not the norm for most people you engage with here?


Again, given what context? Involving what behaviors? In regard to what aspect of Buddhism relating to particular understandings of enlightenment, karma, reincarnation and Nirvana.


gib wrote: If you have to ask these questions, it means you don't even know what your response to me meant. <-- That's what I'm asking after all. I asked: Are you saying the life I've lived is not the norm for most people you engage with here? And you're telling me it depends on a context I haven't given. In other words, you haven't said anything (yet). Why is this not a surprise?


No, I have to ask those questions because when someone asks me if the life they are living is not the norm, I need explore in more detail -- given a particular context -- what it might mean to live one's life "normally". What's a "normal" life for those born in entirely different historical and cultural and experiential contexts? What's a "normal" life in regard to "getting" Buddhism? How does one "normally" go about getting it?

Thus in regard to the point you raise above...

iambiguous wrote:To me, yet another intellectual contraption that avoids naming a context.

Of course people are able to "follow along" in an exchange of intellectual contraptions relating to morality here and now and immortality there and then. For two reasons:

⦁ in a world of words, everything comes down to how the words are defined, imparting a specific meaning to a string of words placed in a particular order
⦁ thus the words never have to be defended in regard to a particular social, political or economic context

After all, out in the world relating to an existing human community, it's not the relationship between definitions that becomes crucial but the relationship between the definitions and the countless subjective/subjunctive interpretations of the lives we live...lives derived from countless existential variables derived from countless existential experiences derived from lives lived in very, very, very different ways.

But, in turn, this can only be examined more in depth when the discussion does shift to a "situation" that most here will be familiar with. Factor enlightenment, karma, reincarnation and Nirvana into that.

Contexts in which Buddhists are competing with hundreds and hundreds of alternative "spiritual paths". Why one and not the others? With so much at stake on both sides of the grave.


gib wrote: So what's your point here? That you get lost without a context? Or that you take it as pointless to have a discussion about a world of pure words? I hope it's he latter 'cause that makes more sense. You're two points about following along in such discussions:

⦁ in a world of words, everything comes down to how the words are defined, imparting a specific meaning to a string of words placed in a particular order
⦁ thus the words never have to be defended in regard to a particular social, political or economic context

...seem to be things that (I would think) you are quite capable of.


Once again, from my frame of mind [and that's all it is], you are ever and always intent on keeping this discussion up in the clouds...up on the skyhooks pertaining to what I construe to be "general description intellectual contraptions".

I ask of others:

Are you a Buddhist? Okay, you are. How then do you connect the dots between what you believe the meaning of enlightenment, karma, reincarnation, and Nirvana are in your head, and the behaviors you choose over the course of living your life in a world awash in contingency, chance and change...as that relates to what you imagine the fate of "I" to be when you die.

In the manner in which I do the same in regard to what I have come to understand regarding the meaning of dasein, conflicting goods and political economy given my own assessment of human interactions.

That discussion doesn't interest you? Okay, fine, then move on to others. Though your priorities here are no less important to you than mine are to me.

iambiguous wrote:And, of course, this has nothing to do with the manner in which I construe "I" here as the embodiment of political prejudices rooted in dasein confronting conflicting goods such that suffering itself is able to be subsumed by Buddhists in an enlightened point of view riding karma into the sunset and then out the other side.


gib wrote: Then you need to give me a context. What kind of response would have something to do with the manner in which you construe "I" here? Just an example. Off the top of your head.


Okay, the first thing that always comes into my head here is abortion. For all the reasons I have noted before.

Are there or are there not conflicted moral/spiritual/religious narratives here derived from political prejudices derived from the vast and varied lives that individuals live? Are there or are there not conflicting goods embedded deep down in this conflagration historically, culturally, circumstantially? Is there or is there not suffering endured from those on both sides of the moral and political spectrum?

Okay, what I then do is to subsume my own political prejudices in the points that I raise on this thread: https://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtop ... 1&t=194382

But that thread focuses more on the intertwining of lived experiences and philosophical sources. This thread is more in the way of intertwining "I" as dasein and "I" insofar as Buddhism becomes an important part of someone's life. How do Buddhists intertwine the components of their own beliefs in confronting the behaviors they choose in regard to abortion?

Here [given my own particular set of circumstances] all I can do is Google it and note assessments such as this: https://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religion ... conception.

'Buddhists believe that life should not be destroyed, but they regard causing death as morally wrong only if the death is caused deliberately or by negligence.

Traditional Buddhism rejects abortion because it involves the deliberate destroying of a life.

Buddhists regard life as starting at conception.'


Okay, given this, how would committed Buddhists choose behaviors in regard to a particular abortion involving them, and what might be the consequences of these choices given their fate on the other side of the grave. And how does the "universe" become intertwined in bringing all of this about?

iambiguous wrote:I see your point but it seems less important than mine given the stakes here on either side of the grave. But then I have to acknowledge that given new experiences, new relationships and access to new ideas, "I" may come to believe something other than what I do now. I merely point out that this is also true for you and everyone else.


gib wrote: You do realize that my response still has some relevance to what lies on the other side of the grave, right? I'm talking about what is most likely to secure good karma for me on the other side of the grave. My response to your latest question is simply that I can't guarantee, in this particular case, that my attempt to alleviate suffering won't backfire and cause more suffering, so it's a gamble. But it's one I feel confident in taking. <-- Is it the gamble that makes my response seem less important? Are you saying the stakes are so high, nothing but an absolute guarantee would suffice?

In any case, I'd still like to know what this point in the discussion means to you. You say that my point seems less important than yours. Did I not connect the dots to your satisfaction? Did I fail to demonstrate my point sufficiently so that all rational men and women would be obligated to agree? Was the context not specific enough? How do you measure the "importance" of a point? And would you say you got what you wanted out of this discussion? As if to say: I accept that this is gib's answer to my questions, though it doesn't meet the requirements that I ultimately need. Or was it more like: gib just doesn't understand my question, the point I'm really getting at, and he's not conforming to my expectations of how one ought to respond to my questions?


Again, back to abortion. My point is that moral and political and spiritual and religious narratives here are rooted in dasein historically and culturally...in daseins confronting hundreds and hundreds of sacred and secular "paths" which focus in on the "right thing to do" here and now. And in doing or not doing the right things, the fate of "I" hangs in the balance on the other side. Out in particular worlds in which actual political power decides which behaviors are rewarded and which punished,.

So, given your own views on abortion, how would you go about demonstrating that your own assessment reflects the most rational point of view? And how would you go about demonstrating it? And, if confronted with political power bent on punishing you for your beliefs, what would you be willing to do to fight back?

I merely address the same thing to Buddhists among us.

iambiguous wrote:The murderer above can see his own motivation and intention from a perspective that is utterly alien to others. He can rationalize or justify the killing given a point of view that others deem to be preposterous. He can be confronted by Buddhists expressing their own reaction to the killing and simply dismiss it. After all, what do they really know about his frame of mind or his understanding of the situation?


gib wrote: Well, that's where we went astray. Looks like the response you were looking for from the Buddhist I'm pretending to be is a reaction to the moral depravity of the murderer's actions, something the Buddhist can argue with the murderer over. <-- In that case, the problem would seem to be how you phrase your questions.


No, the response I am looking for in what "I" construe to be a No Religion world is how those who embody the Buddhist Religion react to a particular murderer in a particular context such that it can be established that a moral depravity has in fact occurred. How can they understand the situation from the murderer's point of view? How do they explain the manner in which, in conjunction with the universe, one can grasp the dots being connected here between enlightenment, karma, reincarnation and Nirvana?

And, from my frame of mind, making a distinction between preaching and practicing is moot if, either through religion or science or philosophy or assessments of nature, it cannot be definitively established what either is or is not the right thing to do...and from the perspective of someone able to demonstrate that he or she is in fact in sync with their "real me".

iambiguous wrote:Now, what I wish to pursue here is this: that any particular Buddhists wishing to participate in this exchange take their belief about race and connect this dot to what they believe about enlightenment and karma in regard to race relations on this side of the grave; this then connected to the behaviors that they choose connected to how they connect that dot to what they believe the fate of "I" to be after they die.


gib wrote: So can this be abstracted into a general formula that characterizes your interests in any thread? You seem to be saying you're ok with talking about any controversial issue so long as it is tied into the subject of the thread?


Yeah, it can be "abstracted into a general formula", but that's not my aim. My aim is to explore the main components of Buddhism given a particular context instead.

Thus:

iambiguous wrote:Okay. Again, let's start here: https://deathpenalty.procon.org/

Now, Buddhist or not, how are the moral and political value judgments contained in this particular example of an age-old conflicting good not in many crucial respects the embodiment of dasein as I explore that here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382

And, in regard to the main components of Buddhism, how is this very real [and contentious] component of the human condition understood by Buddhists from the perspective of both sides of the grave. Intertwined into the most rational and demonstrable assessment.


gib wrote:

In this case, the context you brought up (https://deathpenalty.procon.org/) is not so much a hypothetical scenario but just a specific moral controversy (maybe this is where we're misunderstanding each other).


My point is that in regard to an actual context -- like this one: https://youtu.be/pg-GMqPHIPQ -- both sides are able to make convincing arguments about suffering. My point further is that any particular individual's reaction to the death penalty is likely to be rooted more in political prejudices rooted in dasein than in any philosophical or religious argument that "settles" it once and for all.

So, okay, someone is a Buddhist. How then do they intertwine the components of their religious faith/belief in regard to an issue like this?

gib wrote: As a Buddhist, I'd probably say, death is inconsequential. We have all been dying and being reborn over and over and over again for countless eons--death is inevitable, and not only does it make little difference to the grand wheel of life, but is a natural part of it--therefore, the death penalty is of no great moral import.


Really? Try to even imagine the reaction of the folks in the film above to an argument like this? It turns the very real anguish they feel about losing someone from both sides into...that?!

Or, instead, into my own nihilistic assumptions about an essentially meaningless world where any death is just a part of the brute facticity built into nature itself. Even assuming that human beings are in possession of autonomy here.

Instead...

gib wrote: But then again, it does bring suffering to the perpetrator's family and loved ones, and maybe on those grounds it ought not be practice. But on the other hand, it probably brings satisfaction to the victim's family and loved ones equal to the sorrow of the perpetrator's family and loved ones. It could also be argued that by ending the perpetrator's life, you lock in place bad karma--no chance to correct his wrongs and reverse the karma--although to let him live, he might just commit more crimes and hurt more people, thereby augmenting his already negative karma.

^ Lot's to consider there.

What would your response be if I just left it like that?


Exactly. Lots and lots and lots of different things can be argued from lots and lots and lots of different perspectives derived from lots and lots and lots of different lives. I merely root them in dasein more so than in any particular religious denomination.

And from which I topple over into my own "fractured and fragmented" self.
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 » Sun Aug 23, 2020 10:57 pm

gib wrote:
Karpel Tunnel wrote:
Karpel Tunnel wrote:Which as said is generous of you. Unfortunately such a Buddhist gives Iamb more room to feel superior than a more doctrinal Buddhist would. You're a good guy. Truly. I hope he treats you well.


So far, I don't feel I've ever been severely mistreated by Biggy (if anything, I think I've been somewhat more disrespectful towards him than he has towards me).


Yo, Curly!

Perhaps Gib is a troll too. You might want to consider deconstructing his own motivations and intentions as well.



Note to Gib:

This is all just an inside joke between Curly and I. We've been kidding each other like this going all the way back to the days of Moreno. :wink:
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 24, 2020 1:59 am

phyllo wrote:
I read it and I responded to it:

How gravity works is not often linked to "morality here and now" and "immortality there and then". Unless Jim pushes John over a cliff and John dies. Then some may wonder if Jim's behavior was immoral. And gravity having led to John hitting the rocks below, killing him, will John then go on to an existence on the other side.

And how do Buddhists talk about karma...how karma works in regard to the existential trajectory of their own lives and then the part after they are dead and gone.

In fact, that's that part I keep coming back to over and over again: karma as it is intertwined in the actual experiences that Buddhists have over the years.



phyllo wrote:
In a nutshell, Buddhists know one way that karma works ... action leading to result. As for the internal universal mechanism which makes it happen ... is anyone pretending to understand that part?



Like one must be a Buddhist to recognize that action leads to result. But what actions over the course of whose lifetime leading to what results such that the universe plays a role in determining the fate of "I" on the other side of the grave.

And if no Buddhists are able to explain this, to demonstrate it, who comes closest? The Buddha himself...what did he have to say?
You changed the subject again. Originally you couldn't figure out how karma could work without a "cosmic judge".

I responded to that explicitly.

Now you act as if that was never the issue.


Note to others:

I have no idea what the hell he is talking about here. Why? Just lucky I guess. On the other hand, perhaps you do. What issues are involved here and why is his rendition of them more applicable than mine? And, if you had to put these issues in a particular context to clarify them, what would that be?

Same here [I think]:

Note to Buddhists:

Is this the case? Is the "I" that you know and love here and now obliterated for all of eternity when you die? No reunion with loved ones? No explanation from a God/the God as to why life as a mere mortal is what it is? No assurance/explanation from a God/the God regarding Divine Justice? No punishment for the wicked?


phyllo wrote:
You don't believe me or KT?

Would you believe a Buddhist?




Again, and again and again:

1] why believe the existential relationship between enlightened behavior and immortality is more reasonably derived from the perspective of Buddhism rather than from my own? Let's note a context and examine them side by side

2] in regard to this existential relationship, it's not what someone believes "in their head" that interest me as much as what they are able to demonstrate that I and all other rational men and women are obligated to believe in turn

Now, I am not myself able to demonstrate that human interactions in regard to value judgments are best understood from my point of view. I can only note examples relating to moral and political conflagrations which seem to support my own subjective contention that dasein, conflicting goods and political economy are crucial components in allowing us to better understand them. Given in turn my conjecture that we live in an essentially meaningless No God world that ends for each of us one by one in oblivion.


phyllo wrote: You asked 5 questions. KT answered the ones about God a few posts ago. There is no God in Buddhism.

So why do you ask when you already have the answer? You don't believe that KT understands Buddhism?

Do you think that a "real" Buddhist would say that there is a God in Buddhism??

And why would you believe that guy and not KT?


Seriously, what on earth does this have to do with the points I raised above. The fate of "I" [for Buddhists] given the examples I raised.

And these two points:

1] why believe the existential relationship between enlightened behavior and immortality is more reasonably derived from the perspective of Buddhism rather than from my own? Let's note a context and examine them side by side

2] in regard to this existential relationship, it's not what someone believes "in their head" that interest me as much as what they are able to demonstrate that I and all other rational men and women are obligated to believe in turn


Finally...

phyllo wrote: PS. Nobody is going to demonstrate fuck all to you, because you don't have any standards for what constitutes a satisfactory demonstration.


The standards that any of us provide for describing/assessing/judging enlightenment/morality on this side of the grave, and immortality/salvation on the other side are going to be problematic. If only because the narratives of any and all religious denominations fall into the gap between what they claim to know about all this and all that one would need to know going back to an understanding of existence itself.

Instead, we can only acknowledge what is at stake from both sides of the grave; and then note the evidence that Buddhists and all of the other "spiritual" paths do provide us if we are inclined to take that Kierkegaardian leap to one or another.
Last edited by iambiguous on Mon Aug 24, 2020 4:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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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