Are we born atheists?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by aaqucnaona, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    You mean because such seeking "would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about it"?
    Why do you accept these reasons (or whatever reasons they give if you do not mean the above)?
    I thought Karma was a fundamental doctrine of Buddhism?
    Most web-searches on the matter certainly suggest so, such as
    (and this is just one of many).
    How so? What is the difference? Where does the analogy fall down?
    Or is it just because Buddhist teachings say so, along the lines of "Buddha is different... 'cos it says so... and don't ask why, 'cos that way madness lies... again because it says so!"

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    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012
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  3. Rav Valued Senior Member

    You can keep trying to paint this as a conflict between atheism and theism all you want, but as demonstrated there's actually a difference between your definition of the word and the broader formal definition, even that provided by theists themselves.

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  5. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member


    Because I know from experience that they are good reasons.
    They can easily be evidenced.

    The sutta says:

    The [precise working out of the] results of kamma is an unconjecturable that is not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about it.

    For example, if you were to speculate as follows "Today, I was hit by a car because in a previous lifetime, I said a mean word to the driver" - this kind of speculation would bring madness and vexation to you - so you shouldn't do it.
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  7. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    As if theists would be a unified camp.
    And as if atheists would be a unified camp.
  8. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Then please feel free to provide some.

    Okay - slightly different to my initial understanding... but this seems to take the concept of "karma" down an unfalsifiable route, such as claiming that X lies outside one's ability to perceive X.

    As such karma just seems to be a catchall reason for anything good or bad that happens to someone, without actually providing any insight into why that thing actually happened. It just seems to reinforce in adherents the concept of a unifying/balancing aspect to the universe without the actual ability to validate that concept in any way. And then they are actually advised against seeking to validate it.

    For me I see it as a fairly impotent concept, as in and of itself it would provide me with no answers of benefit.
    I.e. I consider an answer of "It's karma" as of much use as "God did it".
  9. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Surely you have the experience that if you conjecture about heavy metaphysical topics (such as the origin of the world and self, or what exactly the spiritual attainment of a particular person is), this makes you feel less or more unease; even more so if then based on that conjecture you try to figure out how to act in actual daily situations.

    The Buddha taught about karma in the sense that what one does matters.
    He didn't teach karma in the sense of trying to scare people by reminding them of the horrible things they have done in the past and how they could come to haunt them.
    In the popular understanding, karma has come to mean this latter, but this is not the Buddha's focus on it.
  10. universaldistress Extravagantly Introverted ... Valued Senior Member

    I agree; the deeper we look, the more beautiful anything becomes.

    One has only to watch a mandelbrot set zoom to appreciate the potential complexity that lies within all.

    And we all may argue over appellation and categorisation, or even semantics and word definition at times, but the inherent beauty (even if it is only in the eyes of the beholder) that the universe envelopes us in is indeed an experience that holds wonderment and delight to those lucky enough to be able to absorb and enunciate this back out into the world alongside like minded individuals.

    One film said it, and said it well: "Death is the road to awe".

    If you haven't seen "The Fountain" then I'd just watch the whole thing, if you have then this clip kind of illustrates a little of what I'm saying.
  11. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

    Yes, I agree. I would only believe a naturalistic cause for it. Reincarnation can also be interpreted as true through naturalistic causes, but it would not be the kind of reincarnation typically thought of by the religious.
  12. Saturnine Pariah Hell is other people Valued Senior Member

    Discovering their identities - Teenagers are at a point in their lives when they are trying to figure out who they are as a person, their likes/dislikes and what they will be doing for the rest of their lives. They use this time to test and try out many identities until they find one they are most comfortable with.
    Independence - These years are a constant struggle between dependence and independence. Rebellious teens want to have total independence and prove to you that they can do things themselves. At the same time, they are overwhelmed and still desire parental protection.
    Hormonal changes - As teenagers bodies are changing, hormone fluctuations can bring about all sorts of mood changes.
    Peer pressure - Some forms of rebellion can begin with pressure from peers to join in various destructive behaviors.
    In what forms do teenagers rebel?

    How your teen chooses to rebel, depends on their own individual feelings and problems. Some forms may include:

    Spending more time with friends away from family members
    Rejection of rules/curfews
    School problems - cutting classes, missing school, drop in grades
    Substance abuse - experimenting with alcohol and illicit drugs
    Change in appearance/interests - trying out new clothing styles, hairstyles, tastes in music
    Argumentative - quick to anger, overly defenseless
    Running away from home
  13. Saturnine Pariah Hell is other people Valued Senior Member


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