Buddhism, the religion that failed us or did we fail it?

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by Bluecrux, Nov 7, 2010.

  1. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    The debate isn't even over and you have declared yourself the victor. Bravo to you! Particles do get recycled, especially carbon, especially molecules of water. The atoms making up your body were probably once in a dinosaur, the water in your body was probably once a part of billions of other life forms.

    Well said, I think this supports what I have been saying. If there is no persistent self, then the notion of a constantly renewing and recycling flow of matter becomes a plausible, if crude, description of reality. But, as we can see with John99's example, this kind of debate brings us away from essence of Buddha's teaching.
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  3. John99 Banned Banned

    Spidergoat, They are still minerals.

    Probably. And what if they were? Does it make it any more different than if they were in a tree or a rock? OR not once part of billions (supposedly) other life forms?

    I would like to examine this further. In order to do this you must expand on it and tell me what brought you to this conclusion.

    Is not life made in the pristine confines of a controlled environment, such as a lab, equal?
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2010
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  5. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    I'm not sure what you are getting at. The body is made of existing particles. The body gets reborn every time someone has a child. That child is imbued with the values and thought patterns of the cultures. This is what I'm calling reincarnation. It's a view of life that emphasizes the absence of boundries.
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  7. John99 Banned Banned

    Some of those things are correct. Obviously the last sentence is. I cant think of anything else to say though.

    Edit: whooops, i mean one sentence in there, the one pertaining to nurturing of the child.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2010
  8. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    In the West, supernatural divinely-revealed religion seems to be locked in a death-struggle with empirical rationalism and physicalism. (That battle is well illustrated right here on Sciforums.)

    The advances of science become blows against religion. Miracles cease. Beauty evaporates. To some people, nothing touched by science seems to have any meaning any longer and a crude mechanical nihilism reigns.

    That's where I see potential in Buddhism. It's a view of things that is, or could become, consistent with a science that interprets events in terms of impersonal natural processes as opposed to the actions of transcendental personalities. While science has proven profoundly corrosive to Western spirituality, it's not all that dissimilar to Buddhism's own core insights.

    That's where Buddhism might actually have something to teach us. Buddhism brings with it ethics, aesthetics and transformative spirituality of great beauty and sophistication. It speaks very effectively to a whole side of human life that science virtually ignores.

    Snakelord quoted Daniel Dennett to the effect that Buddhism's greatest attribute is that it stays out of the way. But if Buddhism can help show mankind's humanistic side how to relax and accomodate to the scientific/physicalist/rationalistic juggernaut without being totally crushed in the process, if it can help us finally end the Western worlds centuries-long war between science and religion, then maybe it will have been of service after all.
  9. chaos1956 Banned Banned

    A very true aspect concerning enlightenment and the view of people who consider themselves "Gods". Although the reference should be used against the excess of temptation in today's world. It is not to say that temptation doesn't happen, but when it does it is important to come to a conscious decision about repercussions of your decision. For example the in the Myth of Sisyphus, it is his duty to push the rock up the hill and in that time he is conscious of his actions, but when he is walking down the hill, he has control over his conscious thoughts. If he decides to take a little longer than expected to complete the task of walking down and is able to enjoy the momentary relief from suffering more power to him. The point of his "suffering" is to make him think of his crimes, but If he only thinks of his experiences that have brought him joy in life he can temporarily escape his suffering. Therefore escaping his eternal punishment for a time. Still it is important for him to complete his task of understanding his punishment. If he is able to push the stone and have humble thoughts of escape, then who is to say he is still receiving the punishment. If he is happy with his eternal existence or repetitious work, has he not come to terms with himself and his actions as well as accepted his punishment? The escape from "suffering" would then be complete, but it takes Sisyphus an eternity even without the distractions and temptations from the real world to accomplish this. Which is why many who see themselves as "good" are unable to free themselves from earthly distractions, and those who are seen as "evil" are unable to escape their work, but it is easier for them to escape their suffering. The "good" are always distracted and the "evil" are always accepting of their life. I'll let you find the grey line, its a big one.
  10. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    It was Buddhist monks from China who brought then-modern Iron Age civilization to Bronze Age Japan, Korea and other countries. In particular, they taught them to read and write, making available to them all the literature and philosophy of China.

    They may have created cultural colonies, but they did not actually impose Chinese rule upon them. Contrast this to what the Christian and Muslim "holy men" did to every hapless people they discovered. When they found Bronze Age civilizations in Mexico and Peru, they obliterated them, burning the Aztec libraries and melting down the Inca art treasures... because they were "heathen." Half a millennium later, the native peoples of the Americas are still struggling to recapture their identities, while Japan and (half of) Korea are major players in world civilization.

    The native peoples of the Antipodes and sub-Saharan Africa, who hadn't invented civilization yet, are in even worse shape after their encounter with the Christians.
    Buddhism happily embraces and assimilates new knowledge and wisdom, and is quite respectful of modern science. After all, both Buddhism and science are quests for knowledge.

    I've always said that civilization has become a super-organism of which we are the cells, and like any lifeform it keeps on living even though its individual components die and are replaced. This is perhaps another perspective on the concept of reincarnation and I wonder what a Buddhist scholar would say about it.
  11. rcscwc Registered Senior Member

    It failed. At least in India. And that is a very crucial subject: Why it FAILED in India? The answers are complex and philophical. Forget about PERSECUTION or genocide, they never happened. Hindus found a very spiritual solution: They elevated Buddha as the Nineth Avatar!!

    A hymn extols Him: Keshava in Buddha's body, victory to the Lord of Universe. It is a part of Hymn for the TEN avataras. Last, Lord Kalki, is yet to appear.
  12. Non-Logical-Idea-Guy Fat people can't smile. Registered Senior Member


    You're quite right, Buddha did not want his words to become scripture, which is why he spoke in different dialects when in different regions, so that no one priesthood could capture all his teachings in one language in one text.

    His ability to speak in these different dialects came from the fact that, as a member of a rich family, especially one in which his mother had died, he would have been raised largely by different maids throughout his life- as still happens in many very wealthy families in the East and to an extent the West. And, as in these days you only had to travel a small amount of distance to reach a local dialect which was hugely different to the other one, it is also supposed by historians that the Buddha as a youth became proficient in many different local dialects.

    So, to a point, this is where your argument becomes somewhat redundant. The Buddha's true words were spoken piecemeal in different regions of the world in different dialects, and were not put into a set of 'central scriptures' long after his death. So yes, his words and philosophies do not remain pure in the religioin of Buddhism. But he never intended them to, and how were they supposed to? So to criticise Buddhism for distorting the Buddha's teachings into hearsay is pointless, because hearsay is how they were kept alive long enough to even write a distorted account. Instead, you yourself are making the mistake of believing that there are or ever were any of the Buddha's teachings wholly intact.

    So in answer to your question, no one failed Buddhism. And remember, Buddha isn't a deity, anyone else's teachings are just as valid if they produce results, which current Buddhist teachings certainly do.

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