The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby PeterB » Fri Aug 14, 2009 7:45 am

Thanks Tilt. What is clear is that the Buddha is saying that there is no Refuge in a objectified " god", out there.
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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Aug 14, 2009 7:52 am

PeterB wrote:Thanks Tilt. What is clear is that the Buddha is saying that there is no Refuge in a objectified " god", out there.


That is how I would read it.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby PeterB » Fri Aug 14, 2009 7:55 am

Interestingly its what Lex Hixon says is true of the Sufis too, but this is not the place for that discussion.
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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby kannada » Fri Aug 14, 2009 8:05 am

Heya Christopher:::

Good to read ya! Did you feel the earthquake?
christopher::: wrote:
kannada wrote:Just use the legal argument re 'God':

"The onus of proof is on the asserter, not the denier"


Matters of faith are often impossible to prove, in a legal way...
But we mortals sure do love to believe...


I used the 'legal system' analogy because it is a sound logical system. Those who assert must prove - others rest content to deny.

This not only goes for for those 'Giddig' (filled with God - as in giddy (olde Welsh)) who proselytize his presence under their various brand names, but for anyone who cares to raise an assertion. Buddhists should be wary when poking fun at God-believers. How much of the Buddha's teachings can they guarantee came directly from Buddha? Is there any certainty that what a Buddhist practices is actually the Dharma Teachings of their Master, or admixtures from a variety of sources over thousands of years?

I agree with you. Ultimately all religious practitioners of whatever creed are believers, in one form or another...

Take care

k
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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby christopher::: » Fri Aug 14, 2009 11:46 am

Yeah. Which is in part the beauty of the Buddha's dharma. At the core are these teachings about how our own minds work. We all seem to agree that these gems can be put into practice, verified and tested. They work! As do the brahma viharas... call them whatever we like.

As for the metaphysics of each tradition::: God saying this, creating the Universe, being like this, Buddha talking to God, Moses or Jesus talking to God, it does all sound rather fantastical and mythic. Teachings to be careful about approaching literally, imo.

What's most important (in my life) are the recipes and essential moral codes these wise men left for living our lives in a more peaceful, loving, compassionate, joyful, wise and enlightened way.

Beliefs differ. The core teachings of most of the world's religions are for us here, in this world. Still, for many people the metaphysics and the real world teachings come as one package. Thus the importance of being respectful.

Just my pov.

:namaste:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby Namu Butsu » Sat Aug 15, 2009 5:38 pm

Namaste,

I followed the debate on the other forum and it is quite hard to understand. Both have good points. But I think a lot of people misunderstand hinduism. It is as mentioned earlier that God is looked at as Monism ONE Complete Reality and Panantheism that God is in all things and transcendent above all things. We are Emanations from Lord Siva. There is no separation. Siva in form of Siva Shakti emanated the universe. Now to understand Siva and Sakti is not to view them as the Man in the picture above and the Female form. It is symbolic of Siva and Sakti as feminime power. Anyways check out this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WH6KNeI7u2g it describes Siva-Sakti and how it goes along with quantum physics.

Also Siva in form of Lord Nataraja (the Cosmic Dance) is also along the lines of quantum physics see here http://www.himalayanacademy.com/resourc ... dance.html

So we cannot get confused with the Islamic, christian, and jewish "concept" of God and the Hindu version. It is not simply that a Creator created things, but instead they use the term God or Siva to describe the coming of this universe. I dont know if its true but it seems to go along with quantum physics just like dependent origination. God be it Siva to Shaivites or Vishnu to Vaishnavas is not a THING or some individual being, but instead God is immanent and is the pulsating cosmic energy. Similar to the Dao of the Daoist.

I am still confused at what path I am going to take. But I like to see from all sides before deciding. I have a deep affection for the Shaivite Hindu path, but I also am attached to Buddha. Some things though are unanswered for me in buddhism. I find it difficult to know how Karma, rebirth, and many worlds including spiritual worlds exist without a Deity that emanated it. But I have an open mind. Its just when I look around or as I am studying Traditional Chinese Medicine in school I learn about how everything in the body and the environment works together and things are just perfectly woven together, how can there be no deity? But I know all this is rational understanding and rational understanding doesnt prove anything. But it makes me wonder. :reading:
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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Aug 15, 2009 7:19 pm

We are Emanations from Lord Siva.


What could that possibly mean? So, all the pain, suffering that goes along with being human is also Shiva's doing. But maybe you might actually want to learn about Buddhism rather than the Hindu reinterpretation of Buddhism which has not a thing to do with what the Buddha actually taught.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby Namu Butsu » Sat Aug 15, 2009 7:22 pm

Namaste,

Well according to shaivite hindus
"The Agamas explain, "That which appears as cold or as hot, fresh or spoiled, good fortune and bad, love and hate, effort and laziness, the exalted and the depraved, the rich and the poor, the well-founded and the ill-founded, all this is God Himself; none other than Him can we know." Aum Namah Sivaya."

Read more here http://www.himalayanacademy.com/resourc ... la-11.html

I would love for someone to address the view though I posted above, because I want to see the Buddhist point of view it will be helpful in my decision making. :coffee:
with metta

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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby christopher::: » Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:57 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
We are Emanations from Lord Siva.


What could that possibly mean? So, all the pain, suffering that goes along with being human is also Shiva's doing...


I think anthropomorphism may be the issue here that keeps popping up. The traditional Christian, Hindu and Hebrew presentations of God are all highly anthropomorphic. God is presented as a human-like being who created things from afar and watches over his creations. This mythic concept exists in Buddhism as well, it seems, where Buddha has actual discussions with God. And when you talk about Shiva "doing" this or God being "responsible" for that, you are utilizing a human-like anthropomorphic conception.

Thing is, there also exists in most religions less anthropomorphic mystical teachings and paths, where God is conceptualized more as a mystery, a creative power without a single conscious awareness or center. This is God as more like the Tao, like a Mysterious Cosmic Presence or Spirit that manifests and expresses as all things. This conception differs from the traditional one, its a very different concept, a less human-like meme.

Its true, as long as we conceptualize God as presented in ancient texts, in anthropomorphic terms, we are dealing with a metaphor which doesn't match with what science presents. This is where literal religious conceptions have limitations.

But there are schools of thought in science, such as the Deep Ecology movement, and systems science, that are now presenting a picture of the Universe that fits nicely with these less anthropomorphic conceptions, with the more mystical teachings. I think this fits with what Namu Butsu is saying. And its the point i have been trying to make in the evolution/creative design discussion.

A related article:

BEYOND ANTHROPOCENTRISM

by John Seed; from THINKING LIKE A MOUNTAIN - TOWARDS A COUNCIL OF ALL BEINGS by John Seed, Joanna Macy, Arne Naess & Pat Fleming, New Society Publishers, Philadelphia, 1988
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Aug 15, 2009 11:36 pm

Thing is, there also exists in most religions less anthropomorphic mystical teachings and paths, where God is conceptualized more as a mystery, a creative power without a single conscious awareness or center. This is God as more like the Tao, like a Mysterious Cosmic Presence or Spirit that manifests and expresses as all things. This conception differs from the traditional one, its a very different concept, a less human-like meme.


And it still explains nothing,
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby clw_uk » Sun Aug 16, 2009 12:37 am

We are Emanations from Lord Siva.



Image


The poor being above with smallpox says it all really when somone claims there is a God, even more so when they say

We are Emanations from Lord Siva



Well according to shaivite hindus
"The Agamas explain, "That which appears as cold or as hot, fresh or spoiled, good fortune and bad, love and hate, effort and laziness, the exalted and the depraved, the rich and the poor, the well-founded and the ill-founded, all this is God Himself; none other than Him can we know." Aum Namah Sivaya."


In which case God was Hitler and killed millions, in which case he is evil

This mythic concept exists in Buddhism as well, it seems, where Buddha has actual discussions with God


Im not aware of Buddha doing this, do you have a reference? Ive read that he talked to beings who thought they were the God but, as buddha pointed out, they were mistaken



Thing is, there also exists in most religions less anthropomorphic mystical teachings and paths, where God is conceptualized more as a mystery, a creative power without a single conscious awareness or center. This is God as more like the Tao, like a Mysterious Cosmic Presence or Spirit that manifests and expresses as all things. This conception differs from the traditional one, its a very different concept, a less human-like meme.


Im not wanting to sound harsh but this just seems to be a lot of talk about nothing. It doesnt really explain or say anything


Why assume such things?


As Pierre-Simon marquis de Laplace said to Napoleon when asked why God didnt feature in his work

I had no need of that hypothesis.


metta
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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Aug 16, 2009 12:51 am

clw_uk wrote:

In which case God was Hitler and killed millions, in which case he is evil

This mythic concept exists in Buddhism as well, it seems, where Buddha has actual discussions with God


Im not aware of Buddha doing this, do you have a reference? Ive read that he talked to beings who thought they were the God but, as buddha pointed out, they were mistaken


In the 83rd discourse of the Middle Length Sayings:

"God truthfully answers [the questions of the Buddha] in succession: 'Good sir, those views I previously held are not mine; I see the radiance the world of God as passing; how could I say that I am permanent and eternal?'"
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby Ben » Sun Aug 16, 2009 1:52 am

Hi Christopher
christopher::: wrote:I think anthropomorphism may be the issue here that keeps popping up. The traditional Christian, Hindu and Hebrew presentations of God are all highly... ...by John Seed; from THINKING LIKE A MOUNTAIN - TOWARDS A COUNCIL OF ALL BEINGS by John Seed, Joanna Macy, Arne Naess & Pat Fleming, New Society Publishers, Philadelphia, 1988


Thanks for posting the above. I think its very interesting but I have a problem with understanding how it actually relates to the Theravada. I mean no disrespect to you, but I am wondering whether you are trying to recast the Buddha's teaching to be in line with the view that you are sharing. To help me understand better, do you have any references from the Pali Tipitaka which validates your notion?
Thanks

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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Aug 16, 2009 2:13 am

christopher::: wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
We are Emanations from Lord Siva.


What could that possibly mean? So, all the pain, suffering that goes along with being human is also Shiva's doing...


I think anthropomorphism may be the issue here that keeps popping up.


The question of the utility of a god notion, whether one anthropomorphizes it or assumes it to be some vague. mysterious creative power, still obtains. It really explains nothing.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby Namu Butsu » Sun Aug 16, 2009 2:27 am

Namaste,

Could someone please comment on the post I said and perhaps help me understand the buddhist perspective. The reason why Is I am used to hearing buddhist response to the christian and islamic view of God (which the buddhist refute very nicely), but I never get a clear answer on refutations to the Hindu concept since the hindu concept is way different then the abrahamic perspective. I would love to hear from ben. Clw_UK i rather not hear from you, because you wanted to rationalize it, I was not seeking a debate I was simply wanting someone to respond. I made a post similar on E-sangha but those that responded only responded with a refutation to the christian concept of God. I want to hear from a buddhist who truely knows the buddhist and also Hindu perspective so that they can enlighten me. In particular I just want a response on the Buddhist perspective of the Hindu view that Siva emanates the universe. As Siva-Sakti seems to be allignment with quantum physics. I know dependent origination also goes along with it and is part of it. I gave a link because I wanted someone to read and understand before answering. I am just seeking truth that is all. I dont want to be part of the other debate going on in the thread.. I simply want a buddhist perspective.

with metta
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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby clw_uk » Sun Aug 16, 2009 2:57 am

Namu Butsu wrote:Namaste,

Could someone please comment on the post I said and perhaps help me understand the buddhist perspective. The reason why Is I am used to hearing buddhist response to the christian and islamic view of God (which the buddhist refute very nicely), but I never get a clear answer on refutations to the Hindu concept since the hindu concept is way different then the abrahamic perspective. I would love to hear from ben. Clw_UK i rather not hear from you, because you wanted to rationalize it, I was not seeking a debate I was simply wanting someone to respond. I made a post similar on E-sangha but those that responded only responded with a refutation to the christian concept of God. I want to hear from a buddhist who truely knows the buddhist and also Hindu perspective so that they can enlighten me. In particular I just want a response on the Buddhist perspective of the Hindu view that Siva emanates the universe. As Siva-Sakti seems to be allignment with quantum physics. I know dependent origination also goes along with it and is part of it. I gave a link because I wanted someone to read and understand before answering. I am just seeking truth that is all. I dont want to be part of the other debate going on in the thread.. I simply want a buddhist perspective.

with metta
-juan



Hey

just want a response on the Buddhist perspective of the Hindu view that Siva emanates the universe.


I have confidence that Buddha would have answered you in a similar way that i did with the picture of the boy and smallpox, i foreget the sutta (perhaps somone here can post it) but buddha says "if that is so then murderers kill because of a God" etc. Really look at the above picture and try to equate it with an all powerful, wholesome spark of everything

If you say that we all come from one being then that being is evil since it includes hitler, stalin, rapists, pedophiles etc not to mention being self contradictiory. How can you have a being thats Buddha and Pol Pot?



As Siva-Sakti seems to be allignment with quantum physics


There was a scientist who said "if you think you understand quantum physics, you dont understand quantum physics". Bascially we dont yet fully understand it yet so saying "ah this proves hinduism" isnt really tenable



I simply want a buddhist perspective.


"The universe is without a Supreme God" - Buddha


the belief in a "divine spark" or ultimate being is not needed and leads to dukkha

metta
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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Aug 16, 2009 3:04 am

Namu Butsu wrote: I never get a clear answer on refutations to the Hindu concept since the hindu concept is way different then the abrahamic perspective.


And how is the Hindu concept that different? If there is a god thingie that is responsible for all that is, either by creation or manifesting all that is in some way, that god thingie is still responsible for what is, including all the suffering that is, was and will be.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby Macavity » Sun Aug 16, 2009 3:09 am

Namu Butsu wrote:Could someone please comment on the post I said and perhaps help me understand the buddhist perspective. The reason why Is I am used to hearing buddhist response to the christian and islamic view of God (which the buddhist refute very nicely), but I never get a clear answer on refutations to the Hindu concept since the hindu concept is way different then the abrahamic perspective.


I think the Buddha would just reply with the stock answer that he gives to those of a mystical bent. In effect: "You're talking a lot, but you're not saying anything."

    “Well, Udayin, what is taught in your own teachers’ doctrine?”
    “Venerable sir, it is taught that in our own teachers’ doctrine: ‘This is the perfect splendour, this is the perfect splendour!’”
    “But, Udayin, since it is taught in your own teachers’ doctrine: ‘This is the perfect splendour, this is the perfect splendour!’ - what is that perfect splendour?”
    “Venerable sir, that splendour is the perfect splendour which is unsurpassed by any other splendour higher or more sublime.”
    “But, Udayin, what is that splendour which is unsurpassed by any other splendour higher or more sublime?”
    “Venerable sir, that splendour is the perfect splendour which is unsurpassed by any other splendour higher or more sublime.”
    “Udayin, you might continue for a long time in this way. You say: ‘Venerable sir, that splendour is the perfect splendour which is unsurpassed by any other splendour higher or more sublime,’ yet you do not indicate what that splendour is. Suppose a man were to say: ‘I am in love with the most beautiful girl in this country.’ Then they would ask him: ‘Good man, that most beautiful girl in this country with whom you are in love - do you know whether she is from the noble class or the brahmin class or the merchant class or the worker class?’ and he would reply: ‘No.’ Then they would ask him: ‘Good man, that most beautiful girl in this country with whom you are in love - do you know her name and clan? ... Whether she is tall or short or of middle height? … Whether she is dark or brown or goldenskinned? … What village or town or city she lives in?’ and he would reply: ‘No.’ And then they would ask him: ‘Good man, do you then love a girl you have never known or seen?’ and he would reply: ‘Yes.’ What do you think, Udayin, that being so, would not that man’s talk amount to nonsense?”
    “Surely, venerable sir, that being so, that man’s talk would amount to nonsense.”
    “But in the same way, Udayin, you say thus: ‘That splendour is the perfect splendour which is unsurpassed by any other splendour higher or more sublime,’ yet you do not indicate what that splendour is.”
    (Culsakuladayi Sutta, MN. 79)
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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Aug 16, 2009 3:14 am

Namu Butsu wrote: The reason why Is I am used to hearing buddhist response to the christian and islamic view of God (which the buddhist refute very nicely), but I never get a clear answer on refutations to the Hindu concept since the hindu concept is way different then the abrahamic perspective.

Of course, this is the problem. Most people are knowledgeable about (at most!) one of the points of view. My observation is that most of us have a rather unsophisticated point of view of even the Abrahamic religions. I'm no expert, but the Islamic people I've talked to say that they do not have the sort of "personalised" view of God that (some) Christians seem to have.

I would say that if by "God" you mean "the way the universe works" *The "Einstein" view) then there is no contradiction with Buddhism, but it doesn't have any practical utility from a Buddhist POV. If "God" is more than that then I don't see how he/she can be compatible with the Buddhist view, whose key point of difference is the anatta (not-self) teaching.



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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby clw_uk » Sun Aug 16, 2009 3:15 am

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?”



Epicurus (although it could be from Sextus Empiricus)


As of yet i have never heard or read an answer to this riddle by someone who believes in God/Ultimate being/One


Probably because there is no answer to it since the existence of suffering negates a loving God (and i would say God in general)




metta
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