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  #211  
Old 08-April-2002, 08:27
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I think questioning of something like religion (or even someone elses faith) is legitmate - I think it depends on the context and also why and how you question

I think (though it is only my personal impression) that some of the 'questioning' of chritian ideas is more like poking holes in a straw man - I mean the bible is a big book an over every century it has been re-interpreted to fit in with current understanding, it is a living text in this sense. I am not a christian and have not studied the bible but I suspect there are answers to the questions you ask..

no one, that I noticed, was that interested in the metaphor idea that I put forward - I would even say buddism and christanity aren't a long way apart if you interpret god to be the higher part of yourself..

a question for fenix - just out of curiosity do you believe in 'bodily reincarnation' - by this I mean do you believe people phyisically die and are phyisically reborn? I myself can quite happily read texts which talk of reincarnation and see it as a metaphor (no one here gets out alive ) I would think that 'bodily reincarnation' requires a faith in things which cannot be easily proved ?

Sil
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  #212  
Old 08-April-2002, 08:46
Fenix
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WL, in answer to your question regarding Evolution and Buddhism.......
Creationism
Creationists believe that species are unchanging and derive their forms by reference to a divine blueprint. Theology has long been dominated by the ideas of the Greek philosopher Plato, who taught that the species were invariant, deriving their characteristics from reference to 'essences' or 'ideal forms' which were fixed, eternal and inherently existent. To a Creationist a rose is a rose is a rose, and would smell as sweet by any other name. There is no way a rose bush could fade into a strawberry plant, or a cherry tree, or a tangle of brambles, or a mountain ash, or a raspberry cane, or a hawthorn bush, or an apple tree. These are all totally distinct and immediately recognisable species - separate types of plant with nothing in between. Theologians base their time reckoning on the chronology of the Bible which states that the world all its species were created in six days of a single week around 4004 BC .

Evolution
Evolutionists believe that species arose by gradual change from simpler forms. Strawberry plants, cherry trees, blackberries, raspberries, hawthorns and apples all have a family likeness because they all arose from a common ancestor, which resembled a primitive rose. Hence botanists call this plant family the ROSACEAE.

Similarly all primates (including humans and apes) have a common ancestor. Going back further, all species of mammals diverged from a common ancestor, and so on into the dim and distant past until we reach one common ancestor of all lifeforms, which originated the DNA coding which is universal for all plants, animals, fungi and bacteria on earth. Consequently, to evolutionists the biological species concept does not reflect any underlying reality. A species is purely a snapshot of an interbreeding population of organisms at a particular epoch in time, and as time progresses the characteristics of that population will gradually change in response to selective pressures.

Buddhism
Buddhist philosophy is evolutionary and thus agrees with the scientists rather than the theologians. Buddha taught that all things are impermanent, constantly arising, becoming, changing and fading . Buddhist philosophers consequently rejected the Platonic idea of production from 'ideal forms' as being the fallacy of 'production from inherently existent other'. According to most schools of Buddhism there is nothing whatsoever that is inherently or independently existent..

The two main creationist objections to evolution are:
1 Disagreement with Genesis
2 Blurring of the theological distinction between human and animal

Neither of these pose any threat to Buddhist philosophy. The first objection is based on the need to maintain the truth of a particular creation story in order to preserve the underlying basis for all Biblical truth. This is not a worry to Buddhists because there is no corresponding Buddhist creation myth, and Buddhist philosophers have always accepted that the universe is many hundreds of millions of years old.

This information has been sourced from here http://www.geocities.com/scimah/evolution.htm and to my knowledge gives a fair representation of the Buddhisms view

fenix

PS Like the other day the 'Link' included is not working. I think if the url is typed in it will

edit - fixed link

Last edited by silver; 08-April-2002 at 08:58.
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  #213  
Old 08-April-2002, 08:59
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As Silv's post is several pages back on my system hope he will forgive me for reposting it as a quote:-

death (and rebirth) are not always used to mean phyisical death - it makes (to me) more sense to think of death being other than phyisical death, w.r.t. a lot of 'religious' writing, budda said (perhaps he did - I can't remember now ) that faith must be suseptable to logic

read this on google groups here

when I see the [to self] put in - the way I understand it is that they are talking abt self - or ego ..

if you look at the prayer w/o the [to self] you could easily think it was talking abt 'life after death' - or heaven - but what is the true meaning (as in, what appears to the the 'truth' to you) might well be something else

Sil
Sorry Silv it seems to have been overlooked - not certain I'm the right person to answer though

Fenix before posting reply to Silv saw your detailed post above - thanks. Will study carefully and think.
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  #214  
Old 08-April-2002, 09:15
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not certain I'm the right person to answer though
- no one need answer

actually fb and squidgy did, I should have said that in my previous post, the point I was making originally and again in the last post was that if you read the bible in a non-litral way that questions abt whether 'did we crucify the messiah' are beside the point. I think it is more useful to look at it from another point of view, i.e. what is the message that is being related by the telling of these stories..

Sil
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  #215  
Old 08-April-2002, 09:26
fridgebuzz
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I missed this one.........it's one of yours W/L

'Go forth, O Bhikkhus........
Now that wouldn't be that Good Fwend in Wome of Pilate in "Life Of Brian" would it

Can't remember the surname......

EDIT.........

UH-Oh ...I forgot your warning didn't i

Warning though any really silly posts here will be subject of serious and boring retaliation on your rival thread
The words Reap and Whirlwind spring to mind
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  #216  
Old 08-April-2002, 09:42
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Many a true word spoken in jest F/B

Referring to the naked ascetics who practised self-mortification, the Buddha said: "If O Bhikkhus, beings experience pain and happiness as the result of God's creation, then certainly these naked ascetics must have been created by a wicked God, since they are at present experiencing such terrible pain",
(Devadaha Sutta, No.101. Majjhima Nikaya, II.222)
No more will I reveal myself naked to "The Scream!"

But seriously I'm given to understand the Buddhist concept of rebirth is distinct from reincarnation or transmigration, as there is no self or spirit to be reincarnated; in the Buddhist version, only dharmas occur.

More discussion and info. at the source of the above quote:-

Go forth, O Bhikkhus
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  #217  
Old 08-April-2002, 09:48
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question for fenix - just out of curiosity do you believe in 'bodily reincarnation' - by this I mean do you believe people phyisically die and are phyisically reborn? I myself can quite happily read texts which talk of reincarnation and see it as a metaphor (no one here gets out alive ) I would think that 'bodily reincarnation' requires a faith in things which cannot be easily proved ?
Firstly, let me say that though this is a valid question its not dissimilar to someone who has say.. just started a doctors course and wishes to know how to effect Brain surgery. In other words, to fully understand the Buddhists answer to such a question it is desirable or maybe even necessary to have undergone much preliminary research and study into Buddhism. Put another way you would not expect a person first introduced to simple arithmetic being asked to understand advanced calculus. (No implied insult or condescension here, after all you maybe a maths professor )

Put yet another way, understanding a 'next step' in a very complex brain surgery operation maybe straightforward for the surgeon who is carrying it out yet totally unfathomable to a lay person.

OK, if you think that the above is my way of avoiding the question you would be 100% correct

Seriousley though, the above examples are valid but I will try to give you my own understanding on this subject, difficult and so easy to misunderstand as it is, in my next post. One knows what one knows , yet sometimes the translation of knowledge to language leaves a lot to be desired even if only for reason of the translators imperfections

fenix
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  #218  
Old 08-April-2002, 10:18
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To understand the doctrine of reincarnation it is necessary to understand the Buddhist conception of 'Karma' as they are inextricably linked. I find that any answer that I may give without the questioners understanding of Karma being extant will only lead to more questions which again can only be answered by the questioners deep understanding of Karma.
Sorry if that seems like a cop-out, it just happens to be so

fenix
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  #219  
Old 08-April-2002, 10:44
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I did not ask for an explanation - rather for a simple answer abt your own belief. You don't have to tell me - but avoiding a simple closed question by making assumptions abt the questioners understanding is strange.

It was because you mentioned that buddism was an interesting thing ppl should check out if they are interested, which I agree with. The bit I wanted to point out is that I suspect people who have a problem believing that christ rose from the dead might also have similar problem believing people are reincarnated (ie a bodily / phyisical rebirth).

I guess the point I was making is that christanity and buddism (depending on how you choose to read them) both have 'areas' which require a 'leap of faith' (or I would say in some cases were not intended to be taken litrally!).

Since I didn't ask for an explantion and futher you don't know what I understand by the word 'karma' your question dodging is all too obvious it also does not address what I was getting at in the above paragraph..

Sil
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  #220  
Old 08-April-2002, 10:46
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Trying again, and simply put, I do not believe the 'Body' that dies is the 'Body' thats reborn as in the ressurection story of Jesus Christ. After all the body is simply a 'vehicle' ( rolls royce in my case , built for comfort) a means of conveying the 'character' if you like of the individual.

fenix
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  #221  
Old 08-April-2002, 10:54
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ok - I see what you're saying..

when I meant bodily rebirth w.r.t. buddism - I understand it is not the same body - let me ask it another way, do you believe that after someone dies, phyisically dies that is, that 'part' (w/o needing to go into what this part might be) of 'them' (define this however) is phyisically reborn into another body?

I,e, do you believe there is a continuation of part of someone into another body once they are phyisically dead ?

Sil
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  #222  
Old 08-April-2002, 10:56
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cross posted with your last post
TBF I think your initial response and conclusions are unfair and not valid and I will tell you why in my next post.
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  #223  
Old 08-April-2002, 10:56
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cross posted again
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  #224  
Old 08-April-2002, 11:08
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crossposted again.


I,e, do you believe there is a continuation of part of someone into another body once they are phyisically dead ?
No, not a physical part, but yes certainley a part which could be descibed as possibly their soul/character. The reason for my earlier explanations that discussion of this nature is so much easier when both parties have the Buddhist understanding of these terms, is that it reduces the chance of misunderstandings and speeds the transference of info. I am certainley not dodging your questions and to recieve explanotory explanations would IMHO be a bonus.

fenix
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  #225  
Old 08-April-2002, 11:23
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ok - yes I see you answered the question - I reworded it to make it clearer what I was asking

All I was saying was that if you want actual proof of god b4 you accept he exists I suspect you might want actual proof of reincarnation b4 you accept it happens. That is the point I was making

Sil

PS before one can make a declaration w.r.t. 'does god exist' you would need to define the usage of terms 'exist' and 'god' - to be sure abt the answer (asumming 'yes' and 'no' were already taken as read) you should probably define 'does' also

edit - god & 'he' - sorry thats not meant to be sexist or to define god as a person (must be indoctrination as a child!) - god is equally a 'she' or to remove gender an 'it' - using 'it' also allows one to more easily think of god as not human tho it does infer god might be a single entity or one thing - when god could just as well not be a thing at all - I will try to just stick to the word god in future

Last edited by silver; 08-April-2002 at 11:32.
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  #226  
Old 08-April-2002, 11:33
Fenix
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To return to your earlier response with your statement here
I did not ask for an explanation - rather for a simple answer abt your own belief. You don't have to tell me - but avoiding a simple closed question by making assumptions abt the questioners understanding is strange.
Although you may have 'Wanted' a simple answer it may be that a simple one does not exist. Indeed the Law of Karma and rebirth is deep and complex and to reduce the rebirth part to your 'simple' answer is I believe simply not possible. Furthermore an explanation I gave is in a way the answer I thought appropiate. The 'assumption' you say I made about your understanding of the subject was based on the nature and composition of your question,,,, nothing "strange" there.


fenix
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  #227  
Old 08-April-2002, 11:38
Fenix
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All I was saying was that if you want actual proof of god b4 you accept he exists I suspect you might want actual proof of reincarnation b4 you accept it happens. That is the point I was making
...and that brings me back to the point I made earlier about an understanding of the doctrine of 'Karma'. With a full understanding of this the 'leap' of faith you talk about becomes nothing more than a natural 'next step'
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  #228  
Old 08-April-2002, 11:39
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humm - now you are misrepresenting what I asked.. even tho I already rephrased it.

you did already answer simply above (thanks!) - to the question I asked - now you are going back to telling me karma is 'deep and complex' which is not at all what I asked at all

Sil
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  #229  
Old 08-April-2002, 11:50
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now you are going back to telling me karma is 'deep and complex' which is not at all what I asked at all
you may say that, but it is I'm afraid, part of the answer.

The problem with 'simple' sound bite questions and 'sound bite answers is that they do nobody any good, neither the questioner , nor answerer, nor least of all the subject.
Sil, if you are asking a question, you may not get the answer you want, in the form you wish it, it doesn't mean its invalidated though.

fenix
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  #230  
Old 08-April-2002, 12:04
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humm - now you are misrepresenting what I asked.. even tho I already rephrased it.
The above statement like the one below is unfair
your question dodging is all too obvious

I have answered your questions both in a thoughtful manner which I feel best represents your best understanding and also in fairness to Buddhisms position; and also in a 'simple' way as you so requested. What more would you like?

fenix
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  #231  
Old 08-April-2002, 12:16
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I asked a simple question - an received a simple answer - thanks! (again)

now you are posting quotes out of context (and out of their time line order)

do you not recall where you said
OK, if you think that the above is my way of avoiding the question you would be 100% correct
thats why I replied with the line you quote 2nd - of course since after we both re posted things became clear (but only for a moment!) - I have made my thoughts clear (as clearly as possible).

Sil
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  #232  
Old 08-April-2002, 12:38
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Sorry , yer not getting away with that .
Ok after re-reading
I'll accept your point about the 2nd quote ,,,,,,, however this
.... (but only for a moment!)
is strange , each explanation I gave can stand together and alone ie one does not invalidate the other, you should still be clear, well at least as clear as you were

fenix

BTW, nothing was out of context, the answer was applicable to the quote and the time order was irrelevant. My point which you have missed was that it was implied that I was shirking the questions when the opposite was true.

Sheesh, what happens if you don't answer a question here

fenix
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  #233  
Old 08-April-2002, 12:41
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@ You two.

Sheesh, what happens if you don't answer a question here
I'm saying nowt......you aint seen me
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  #234  
Old 08-April-2002, 12:42
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....... out of all this , this is the Important part

and that brings me back to the point I made earlier about an understanding of the doctrine of 'Karma'. With a full understanding of this the 'leap' of faith you talk about becomes nothing more than a natural 'next step'
fenix
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  #235  
Old 08-April-2002, 12:54
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all I said was that buddism contains ideas (eg reincarnation) which cannot be proved - in the same way that christanity contains ideas which cannot be proved (eg god)..

further (I've already said this..) they don't need to be true in the sense of being provable - they are ideas and have their own 'truth' they are not worth less because you can't prove them - they are probably worth more because you can't ...

what you choose to believe in is your choice - thank god !

Sil
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  #236  
Old 08-April-2002, 13:11
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all I said was that buddism contains ideas (eg reincarnation) which cannot be proved - in the same way that christanity contains ideas which cannot be proved (
How would you know? cos you keep missing the point. To come to a position where a situation is provable on a personal level you first have to get to the point where

1) That situation is the next step on your path/way/life

2) The necessary learning/study/understanding has been completed to get you to that position where the 'idea' is transformed to a 'reality. Then you can prove it for yourself

'Proof' of these concepts don't just surrender themselves just cos someone requests it, it ain't that 'SIMPLE or that EASY. And why on earth should the idea wish to prove itself to anyone , just on the asking. Like most things of value the proof of the pudding is in the eatin. In Buddhism it is the 'doing'

fenix
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  #237  
Old 08-April-2002, 13:38
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Finally, put another way,

In order to reach a destination one first has to complete the journey

fenix

Edit: Apologies if I seemed a bit short in the last post
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  #238  
Old 08-April-2002, 14:52
ewtie
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Having read most of the foregoing my firm conclusion is that it is Arsenal for the cup.
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  #239  
Old 08-April-2002, 14:55
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ewtie.....i've tried that tactic.....they just won't be swayed!

But you gotta admit it's a taxing and stimulating thread. This is better than the south Bank show.....

you DOH what I min

(Lame whatisface impression on the SBS.....Melvyn someone,)
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  #240  
Old 08-April-2002, 15:23
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Having read most of the foregoing my firm conclusion is that it is Arsenal for the
Having written most of the foregoing I'm bl**dy positive
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