Does God exist?

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Re: Does God exist?

Postby egg » Wed May 05, 2010 8:10 am

Rintendo wrote:
Someone said that Buddhists do not talk of the afterlife and that is not true. They prepare you for it, absolutely. We have been everything and will be one with everything. They even prepare you to return should you desire to return.


Not long after Buddha first set up shop some of his followers became disillusioned. They said, "Buddha, you never speak about God or the afterlife." Buddha answered, "I never told you that I would. I am here to help you through this life."
Here is some reading about it. He did not teach about God nor bother with His Existence.
http://www.hinduwebsite.com/buddhism/buddhaongod.asp

The concept of afterlife, is not actually referring to an actual life after death as opposed to a cycle. In Buddhism, there is a central belief that life is a cycle, a road to finding the path to one's spiritual, conscious, and physical Enlightenment, or the gaining of spiritual insight and relief of earthly suffering or desire. This was achieved by Siddhartha Gautama, or Buddha, because he took the middle way, using the eightfold path, and the basic concepts of meditative release. He attained the title of Buddha, because as there is a cycle of reincarnation for those who had not yet attained Enlightenment, he surpassed that due to his structured and devoted following.
The cycle so spoken of is the belief that with the living of each life, there is a cause and effect for every action, hence the progress known as karma, which determines how and whether or not one comes back, until they "get it right" so to speak.

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_does_aft ... n_Buddhism

If by afterlife, you mean never coming back here, you're correct. He did not teach about heaven. He taught about Nirvana which is full enlightenment which leads to breaking the cycle of rebirth. Much different than any idea of heaven in the Western religions. Nirvana was a state to be reached according to the Buddha. It wasn't a place like the Western notion of heaven.
"This, then, O bhikkhus, is the noble truth concerning the destruction of sorrow. "By the practice of lovingkindness I have attained liberation of heart, and thus I am assured that I shall never return in renewed births. I have even now attained Nirvana."

http://acc6.its.brooklyn.cuny.edu/~phal ... d-ser.html

Nirvana is a state of nothingness.
Instead, he saw that human freedom must come from practicing a life of inner and outer balance, and he called this discovery the Middle Path.
Having seen this, the Buddha seated himself under a Bodhi tree and vowed to find liberation in the face of the forces that bring suffering to humankind. He felt himself assailed by these forces - by fear, attachment, greed, hatred, delusion, temptation, and doubt. The Buddha sat in the midst of these forces with his heart open and his mind clear until he could see to the depths of human consciousness, until he discovered a place of peace at the center of them all. This was his enlightenment, the discovery of Nirvana, the freeing of his heart from entanglement in all the conditions of the world.


Nirvana in Sanskrit literally means "to extinguish." As one would extinguish a candle.
http://buddhism.about.com/od/abuddhistg ... anadef.htm
http://science.howstuffworks.com/nirvana1.htm
It is not a place that you go as in Western religions.
The Buddha described Nirvāṇa as the perfect peace of the state of mind that is free from craving, anger and other afflictive states (kilesas). It is also the "end of the world"; there is no identity left, and no boundaries for the mind. The subject is at peace with the world, has compassion for all and gives up obsessions and fixations. This peace is achieved when the existing volitional formations are pacified, and the conditions for the production of new ones are eradicated. In Nirvāṇa the root causes of craving and aversion have been extinguished, so that one is no longer subject to human suffering (Pali: dukkha) or further rebirth in Samsara.
Nirvāṇa in the sutras is never conceived of as a place (such as one might conceive heaven), but rather the antinomy of Samsara (see below) which itself is synonymous with ignorance (avidyā, Pāli avijjā). This said:
"'the liberated mind (citta) that no longer clings' means Nibbāna" (Majjhima Nikaya 2-Att. 4.68).
Nirvāṇa is meant specifically - as pertains gnosis - that which ends the identity of the mind (citta) with empirical phenomena. Doctrinally, Nibbāna is said of the mind which "no longer is coming (bhava) and going (vibhava)", but which has attained a status in perpetuity, whereby "liberation (vimutta) can be said".
It carries further connotations of stilling, cooling, and peace. The realizing of Nirvāṇa is compared to the ending of avidyā (ignorance) which perpetuates the will (cetana) into effecting the incarnation of mind into biological or other form passing on forever through life after life (Samsara). Samsara is caused principally by craving and ignorance (see dependent origination). A person can attain Nirvāṇa without dying. When a person who has realized Nirvāṇa dies, his death is referred as parinirvāṇa (Pali: parinibbana), his fully passing away, as his life was his last link to the cycle of death and rebirth (Samsara), and he will not be reborn again. Buddhism holds that the ultimate goal and end of samsaric existence (of ever "becoming" and "dying" and never truly being) is realization of Nirvāṇa. What happens to a person after his parinirvāṇa cannot be explained, as it is outside of all conceivable experience.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nirvana

Rintendo wrote: As to religion...it did not create itself. It also was not created in a vacuum. If you look at the ancient religions all of the rules and commandments, both positive and negative were practical for people who still had to fear a wolf at the door, lions, and wars without warning. It makes sense to outlaw homosexuality if you need people to make a lot of babies. It makes sense to say no shellfish because someone may have seen what happened to someone with a shellfish allergy. It made sense to tell people to wash all the time for everything. They were very practical rules. Don't harm children. Don't mess around on your wife. Give alms to the poor.

What we did with religion is what we do with everything else--we abuse and ruin it. Can someone point out to me one pure untainted good idea. Philosophy? Karl Marx's ideas led to revolutions in China and Russia that killed more millions than any religion has by the time the regimes were done with their purges, but is Communism a bad idea? We have this negative reaction to being told what to do. We love to point out where rules and the people who instruct us with them have failed.

Is religion bad? Is it evil? What is it? It's not breathing. It's not a thing. There are codices and doctrines that explain a religion, but religion is an illusion. Religion, ironically, is the devil that made us do it.

Thoughts are things. Religion is a thing. Man created religion.

Rintendo wrote: G-D was never intended to be found in religion. G-D is found in spirit, in emotion, in joy, creativity, childbirth. These things are like drops of water in the ocean of what G-D is. If you've dipped your toe in a tidal pool you cannot say that you know what it is like to swim in the ocean. So to judge G-D by religion or religious peoples is to tip your toe in tidal pool.

Depends on who you ask. Even if you had a feeling of God, or felt that you dipped your foot in God's pool, how would you know that you are correct? What does that even mean. I have had moments, both sober and not, where I felt a great connection. With what did I have that connection? Who knows? Maybe, myself. Who knows what God is?
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Re: Does God exist?

Postby egg » Wed May 05, 2010 8:14 am

gunter wrote: But in the end it's still nothing more than a presupposition.

In that sense the god becomes un-qualified process. No 'good' or 'evil' nor any other quality need corrupt the purity of this process. The very Process is god. It simply is what it is- just as Moses said. "Who are you God?" "I am that I am." (ehyeh asher ehyeh.)

I agree.
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Re: Does God exist?

Postby Rintendo » Wed May 05, 2010 2:35 pm

egg wrote:
Rintendo wrote:
Someone said that Buddhists do not talk of the afterlife and that is not true. They prepare you for it, absolutely. We have been everything and will be one with everything. They even prepare you to return should you desire to return.


Not long after Buddha first set up shop some of his followers became disillusioned. They said, "Buddha, you never speak about God or the afterlife." Buddha answered, "I never told you that I would. I am here to help you through this life."
Here is some reading about it. He did not teach about God nor bother with His Existence.
http://www.hinduwebsite.com/buddhism/buddhaongod.asp


I didn't say "heaven" though. I said the "afterlife". The Buddha did speak of that, hence the Jatakas. He also stated that life itself was an illusion for we are not separate from G-D (here is why I used the "-" instead of "o" so that the concept remains without the hint of anthropomorphism).

"There is O monks, an Unborn, Unoriginated, Uncreated, Unformed. Were there not, o monks, this Unborn, Unoriginated, Uncreated, Unformed, there would be no escape from the world of the born, originated, created, formed. ~ Udana, 80-81"



Now, that is not God with a beard or spaceship, it is what I try to describe when I say "G-D" or "Universe" that is love, creativity, with singularity as well as individuality for it is limitless in possibility.

Nirvana is a state of nothingness.


People use human terms to describe the "Unformed". Nirvana is a state of creation and unity that one may exist within or remove oneself to be a teacher of man, or to be a teacher of self.

It is not a place that you go as in Western religions.


It is a place that you go. It just does not have columns, temples, and people standing around in robes. However, if you read the esoteric scriptures you will see that if you read them as though you are a Buddhist you will find they say the same thing. When you interpret them from Western eyes and impressions there is the divide.


Thoughts are things. Religion is a thing. Man created religion.


And as he created it he may also modify it, change it, destroy it, reinvent it. I go easy on man-made products because we are fallible. Any tool can be used for a purpose other than its intentions. I used a toothbrush on my archaeological dig.


Rintendo wrote: G-D was never intended to be found in religion. G-D is found in spirit, in emotion, in joy, creativity, childbirth. These things are like drops of water in the ocean of what G-D is. If you've dipped your toe in a tidal pool you cannot say that you know what it is like to swim in the ocean. So to judge G-D by religion or religious peoples is to tip your toe in tidal pool.

Depends on who you ask. Even if you had a feeling of God, or felt that you dipped your foot in God's pool, how would you know that you are correct? What does that even mean. I have had moments, both sober and not, where I felt a great connection. With what did I have that connection? Who knows? Maybe, myself. Who knows what God is?[/quote]

That is my point. We cannot fully know until we have fully immersed. People judge G-D by man, or by dipping their toes in the water. We must immerse to know. My whole reason for writing the last post is that I would caution a disdain for those that attempted to "teach" what they know with poor results. We all do our best, some better than others.
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Re: Does God exist?

Postby gunter » Wed May 05, 2010 3:00 pm

It's always best to reject a weepy emotional approach in deference to philosophical considerations. Otherwise the arguments are reduced to some sort of happy goo. Until the arguments are salvaged from this mire of bliss and viewed in the dryness of rational skepticism I'm outa this discussion. Bubbye.
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Re: Does God exist?

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Wed May 05, 2010 3:36 pm

gunter wrote: In that sense the god becomes un-qualified process. No 'good' or 'evil' nor any other quality need corrupt the purity of this process. The very Process is god. It simply is what it is- just as Moses said. "Who are you God?" "I am that I am." (ehyeh asher ehyeh.)


God is a verb, not a noun. Yep. God as a function, not a component (to again invoke the systems engineering analogy). And all that, again, relates back to operational intent...what you say you want to accomplish.

Evidence that Toon and I do agree on some things. 8)
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Re: Does God exist?

Postby ryguy » Wed May 05, 2010 4:00 pm

Rintendo wrote:Now, that is not God with a beard or spaceship, it is what I try to describe when I say "G-D" or "Universe" that is love, creativity, with singularity as well as individuality for it is limitless in possibility.


Well said...this is exactly what I believe as well.
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Re: Does God exist?

Postby gunter » Wed May 05, 2010 4:03 pm

God is a verb, not a noun.
well said, Ray. but beware of that maudlin theism that lurks in the corner like a virus.
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Re: Does God exist?

Postby egg » Wed May 05, 2010 4:56 pm

Nirvana is escape from this world. However, Nirvana was reached on this world by the Buddha while alive. It is not an afterlife but a state of being.
The Jatakas were written almost 2 hundred years after Buddha's death. I don't know by whom. Buddhism changed quite a bit over time and place. The Japanese buddhist look at Nirvana as a western type heaven. Not at all what it was to begin with. Which leads us to religions being things.

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And as he created it he may also modify it, change it, destroy it, reinvent it. I go easy on man-made products because we are fallible. Any tool can be used for a purpose other than its intentions. I used a toothbrush on my archaeological dig.

You original said that religion was not created in a vacuum. And, then, that man abused it. Then, you said,
Is religion bad? Is it evil? What is it? It's not breathing. It's not a thing.

I said, it is a thing. I have no idea why you're going into man changing it. Of course he can. You said, it's not a thing. I said it is a thing.

That is my point. We cannot fully know until we have fully immersed. People judge G-D by man, or by dipping their toes in the water. We must immerse to know. My whole reason for writing the last post is that I would caution a disdain for those that attempted to "teach" what they know with poor results. We all do our best, some better than others.


Fully immersed in what? You've missed my point. How do you know your experience is an experience of God?
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Re: Does God exist?

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Wed May 05, 2010 5:03 pm

gunter wrote: but beware of that maudlin theism that lurks in the corner like a virus.


You mean Dan Smith? :lol:
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Re: Does God exist?

Postby gunter » Wed May 05, 2010 5:04 pm

hahahah ...and his ilk.
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Re: Does God exist?

Postby Rintendo » Wed May 05, 2010 9:14 pm

gunter wrote:It's always best to reject a weepy emotional approach in deference to philosophical considerations. Otherwise the arguments are reduced to some sort of happy goo. Until the arguments are salvaged from this mire of bliss and viewed in the dryness of rational skepticism I'm outa this discussion. Bubbye.


Why should a philosophical approach negate emotion when the very definition in the Greek implies a "love" of "learning"?
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Re: Does God exist?

Postby gunter » Thu May 06, 2010 1:22 pm

Philosophy seeks a coherent, rational, unemotional understanding of existence. Despite the breadth of the Queen's Lexicon, it has bestowed upon us one word for 'love' while the Greeks had several. And while there may indeed be an emotional appeal in agape and eros- in philo there is none either required or implied.
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Re: Does God exist?

Postby Rintendo » Thu May 06, 2010 2:43 pm

gunter wrote:Philosophy seeks a coherent, rational, unemotional understanding of existence. Despite the breadth of the Queen's Lexicon, it has bestowed upon us one word for 'love' while the Greeks had several. And while there may indeed be an emotional appeal in agape and eros- in philo there is none either required or implied.


Only because of the beauty that is metamorphic language, but I would be much surprised if the philosophers of old with their pupils gathered around hanging upon their every word weren't just a little bit in love with their subject matter and themselves.

And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

Hamlet

Philosophy gets you only so far with something ethereal. To discuss such a thing without emotion, when the very thing might be comprised of emotion is not necessarily rational. Philosophy should be a utility, a tool box from which you take what you need. If it is rational to be emotional, then emotional is rational.

At least that is what Mr Spock told me.
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Re: Does God exist?

Postby gunter » Thu May 06, 2010 3:04 pm

No-one ever said that clarity was easy. Time to define terms. What then is 'emotion' in your estimation?
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Re: Does God exist?

Postby Rintendo » Thu May 06, 2010 3:38 pm

gunter wrote:No-one ever said that clarity was easy. Time to define terms. What then is 'emotion' in your estimation?


Connection.
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