Theory of Evolution And Major Eastern Religions

Discussion in 'Eastern Philosophy' started by neal4real87, Dec 4, 2004.

  1. neal4real87 Registered Member

    Messages:
    17

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Does the theory of Evolution interfere with the beliefs of Buddhism and Hinduism?

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  3. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,232
    Based upon this link
    http://hinduwebsite.com/evolution.htm
    evolution can sit comfortably within the Hindu beliefs, while being subordinate to them.
     
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  5. te jen Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    532
    It depends on how strongly the individual Buddhist or Hindu holds those beliefs. As far as I know, the concepts of evolutionary theory are not a problem for Buddhists. As a matter of fact, evolution is a nice fit for the Buddhist principle of interdependent arising.
     
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  7. everneo Re-searcher Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,621
    Not sure whether Lord Vishnu's 10 avatars in chronological order has anything to do with evolution :

    1. Fish
    2. Tortoise - Amphibian
    3. Boar - Land based mammal busy digging earth.
    4. Lion-man - Combination of ferocious animal & human.
    5. Dwarf - Human dwarf.
    6. Parasu Ram - Man out on revenge with a weapon - Axe , dual usage of cutting heads of enimies and trees as well.
    7. Ram - Virtuous and wise warrior king.
    8. BalaRam - King with weapon to till the land.
    9. Krishna - Warrior King & Spiritual Master with mystic powers (known to be a complete avatar of Vishnu)
    10. Kalki - yet to happen as a destroyer of the universe, it seems.

    All the avatars were depicted as more powerful than the rest of their contemporaries.

    Hindus believe animals & plants too have souls and rebirths are possible to enable to go up in the ladder.

    Evolution does not pose a threat & does not shake the faith on their God(s).
     
  8. oscarmitre Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    30
    One would think that acceptance of evolution simply strengthens a religion. After all it doesn't presume first causes, it merely suggests adaptation after first causes.
     
  9. VitalOne Banned Banned

    Messages:
    2,716
    Wouldn't evolution fit in perfectly with Hinduism since it is said that takes thousands of births in lower life forms (plants, animals, etc..) to reach up to a human form?
     
  10. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    12,112
    Yes. In the sense that you cannot be spiritual and believe in it, because the theory holds that all current species came from a single-celled organism, through a remarkable process of evolution, that began some 3 billion years ago, and the single-celled creature arose out of matter (abiogenesis). Hence, there is no need supernatural activeties, God, or gods. Hence their is no soul or supersoul or karma.

    Jan Ardena.
     
  11. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    53,883
    I disagree, I don't think Buddhism requires a belief in the supernatural. Karma is just an extension of the idea that everything is interconnected, so every action has effects that echo through time. It could be that if Gods exist, they too evolved from simpler forms.

    Abiogenesis is not a part of the theory of evolution.

    It is reasonable to assume that if the Gods made us, they would have known that animals require the ability to adapt to a changing environment or the species would soon die off.
     
  12. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    12,112
    spidergoat,

    That may well be so, from a psuedo western view of Buddhism, but the basic point of Buddhism is to control and withdraw the bodily senses through medition, ceasing all action, then at the time of bodily death, liberate the soul by merging into Brahman, the eternal source of everything. Buddhists are atheist in that they don't believe God is an independant person or has any personal attributes. They believe themselves to be God.

    Karma is a law not an extention. For every action performed, one incurs subsequent reactions. Buddhist believe that by ceasing performance of actions there will can be no subsequent reaction, at which point liberation becomes possible.

    That makes no sense.

    Then where did this common single-celled creature originate?

    Adapt to changing environments, yes, one species transforming into an entirely different species, I doubt it.

    Jan Ardena.
     
  13. shrubby pegasus Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    454
    isnt this a bit presumptious? and isnt reasonable that after so many adaptations that the nth generation could look significantly different than the first?
     
  14. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    13,406
    Jan,
    Your description of Buddhism (before the factioning) is essentially correct (except that they think do NOT of themselves as Gods, but I guess that could be more of a mater of semantics, anyay, and really inconsequential to this debate), but I disagree with your assessment.
    There is nothing in Evolution that precludes spirituality, nor is there anything in Buddhism that precludes Evolution.
    No, there is no God worship required in Evolution, there is also no God worship in Buddhism.
    Other than the cycle of samsara, resulting trancedental karma and The Absolute there is nothing in Buddhism that is beyond nature laws at all.
    In fact, the whole base of Buddhism is respect and reverence of nature's laws.

    What, specifically in Buddhism makes belief in all beings coming from one single celled organsim impossible?
    In fact, it would slide very neatly into the Buddhist belief of equality of ALL life, including plants.

    Further, what does abiogenisis have to do with this?
    Buddha was an atheist, therefore did not believe in God creating life either.
     
  15. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    53,883
    The point of Buddhism is to realize enlightenment as soon as possible. It is partly about control, at least in the beginning, but certainly not withdrawing from your senses, quite the opposite- it involves connecting with your senses by not focusing on your internal dialogue about them. Withdrawing from action is just a temporary method to still the mind's unnecessary actions in order to connect with it. Anyone can do it. I think you are confusing Buddhism with Yoga, which does indeed involve such techniques.


    In a sense, you're right, although it was probably christian missionaries that tend to confuse Buddhist concepts with "God" in their translations. In another sense you're wrong because it's not just themselves- everything is an inseparable part of the whole.

    Not ceasing actions, just ceasing wrong actions.

    Why not? Is eternalness a necessary attribute of Gods? ...Because Buddha said nothing is permanent.

    Single celled organisms arose from simpler ancestors. The theory of abiogenesis (simplified) goes; simple chemicals- polymers- replicating polymers- hypercycle- protobiont- bacteria. So, even single celled organisms are already highly evolved.

    The difference is only one of degree. When mammals started spending more time back in the ocean, they adapted to it so much they became whales, which still have vestigal hind limbs from when they walked on the land.
     
  16. everneo Re-searcher Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,621
    But in buddhism there are supernatural forces, both good & evil, buddha himself encountered them before liberation/enlightenment.
    There are plenty of supernatural beings believed & mentioned in ancient & recent Buddhist literatures other than what you said. Particularly, in Mahayana buddhism buddha himself is believed to had attained godhood and is still conscious to influence life and being worshipped. There is no god-head in buddhism as in abrahamic/hindu/sikh religions though. Karma is the supreme force than god(s). I don't think buddhism is strictly atheistic in western standard which does not believe any supernatural things.
     
  17. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    53,883
    I think the supernatural beings described in Buddhist literature are probably metaphors. Hinduism's main stories are lessons in metaphysics, not (necessarily) a literal history. Certainly in Tibetan Buddhism there are many elaborate myths due to it's mixing with the native Shamanistic religion. Buddhism is adaptable, it can be practiced by people who believe in God or Gods, or even other religions. There are also several kinds of Buddhist teaching suited for people at differing levels of understanding or interest. I maintain that at the highest level, attachment to the idea of the supernatural is superfluous.
     
  18. kmguru Staff Member

    Messages:
    11,757
    Most people think (including Hindus) that Hinduism has a specific origin in date forgetting that long before the Aryans came to the scene, there were Dravidians and long before that the Adivasis. How many thousand years - heard to pin down. And so, many thoughts evolved many different ways and still co-exist together...hence the yes and no answers. Every thing is right and most are wrong....go figure....

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  19. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    12,112
    one_raven,

    Jan,

    The pure state of nirvana is an assimilation with Param-Brahman, Param-Brahman is that which is beyond everything (including brahman and nature), eternal, and self-sufficient.
    The theory of evolution holds that everything has a natural explanation. So how do you come to your conclusion.

    It depends who you ask.

    Without samsara, trancendence and karma, there is no Bhuddism. Is that not so?

    It is the same with all religions. But real respect and reverence of nature does not come through asociating with nature alone. Understanding samsara, trancendance and karma, is the stepping-stone into the world of reverence and respect for nature.

    Buddhists believe that this world is maya, or illusory. Their reality is Param-Brahman. So I wouldn't say belief in a single celled origin is impossible, it is that it doesn't matter whether it is possible or not.

    Buddhists understand that all life has a spirit (Brahman) which makes them equal (in essence).

    Its all very well saying we evolved from a single celled creature, but how did this creature evolve, and how did it make the transition from being dead to becoming alive.

    Where do you get this information?

    Jan Ardena.
     
  20. kmguru Staff Member

    Messages:
    11,757
    I think, so does the science. There could be realities beyond our experience. See The Universe as a Hologram
     
  21. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    12,112
    Thanks for that KM, it makes a whole lotta sense. When I think of Bhagavad Gita in that light, it gives a very interesting dimension.
    I will read this link again, and try to gain a better understanding of it.
    Once again...thanks.

    Jan Ardena.
     
  22. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    53,883
    Evolution does not even attempt to describe everything, just how genes and selection pressures lead to various plant and animal forms; everything about them does have a natural explanation. I would suggest our capacity for religious thought is also the product of evolution.

    Scientists, too, are concerned with this question. I don't think there is a clear line between living and dead, just as the boundries between species are not always clear, it must have happened slowly and gradually. For example, what is a virus?
     
  23. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    12,112
    spidergoat,

    Strictly speaking, evolution can't say anything at all as it falls under the laws of nature. But we are not talking about evolution, we are talking about the "theory of evolution" for which there is no natural explanation unless you accept the imaginative inference postulated by its devotees.

    What is the natural explanation for this suggestion.

    The theory of evolution should not be accepted as a fact until this area of knowledge is absolutely understood. While we wait for this knowledge to come forth, we are dieing, while at the same time not knowing (factually) if Sanatan Dharma is truth. If it is truth, then we have wasted our lives, and in this way we get caught up in the network of samsara, the cycle of birth and death, never knowing our true position. The point of Sanatan Dharma is to come to the platform of self-realisation, by serving the Supreme Self, the theory of evolution has no real impact on anything be it true or false, but if taken too seriously can interupt ones relationship with the Supreme.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virus#Etymology

    Jan Ardena
     

Share This Page