the great rebirth debate

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Zom
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Re: No difference...

Postby Zom » Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:48 am


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Spiny O'Norman
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Re: No difference...

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Mon Dec 19, 2011 1:51 pm


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Re: No difference...

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Mon Dec 19, 2011 2:00 pm


Buckwheat
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Re: No difference...

Postby Buckwheat » Tue Dec 20, 2011 7:07 pm

Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

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Some thoughts about rebirth

Postby DuskMoonPenguin » Thu Dec 22, 2011 7:07 pm

Hi all,

I've been hearing much in this forum about the whole rebirth debate, whether it is actual or just a changing of mental states. Personally, for me, I'm coming closer to believing that it may be actual for a number of reasons. First, if it is true that there is only this life, that much of what shapes Buddhism, IMO, is not very practical, and theoretically speaking, one can do whatever he or she wants, indulging in his or her senses, and doing unwholesome actions and yet, the ultimate fate of that person when compared to one who follows the Dharma, the Noble Eightfold Path, and shows compassion and metta, would be the same, a complete eventual death. Whereas if rebirth existed, that would not be the case as both characters would have their karmic fruits ripen upon death and be a factor in the next birth. Secondly, by the law of karma, the state we are in is a result of the fruitions of our past karma, over many previous lives and this life too. If this doesn't exist, how can one effectively explain why some people are born in deep poverty while others are born in relative affluence, or what about those that were aborted in the womb?

And somewhat related to rebirth, I want to ask to clarify. What exactly defines the human realm? Is it just based on the appearance of four-limbed bipedal intelligent primates, or more so on our sapience and sentience, and the balance of both suffering and happiness in the realm. If the latter, would a species of intelligent reptilian hominids constitute a portion of the "human realm"?

Just some thoughts. Feel free to give your ideas!

Thanks!

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Re: Some thoughts about rebirth

Postby Goofaholix » Thu Dec 22, 2011 8:03 pm


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Re: Some thoughts about rebirth

Postby contemplans » Thu Dec 22, 2011 8:16 pm


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Re: Some thoughts about rebirth

Postby DuskMoonPenguin » Thu Dec 22, 2011 8:19 pm


santa100
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Re: Some thoughts about rebirth

Postby santa100 » Thu Dec 22, 2011 8:26 pm

Bhikkhu Bodhi's essay below might be helpful..

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... ay_06.html

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Re: Some thoughts about rebirth

Postby Goofaholix » Thu Dec 22, 2011 8:57 pm


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Re: Some thoughts about rebirth

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri Dec 23, 2011 3:43 am

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Re: Some thoughts about rebirth

Postby Viscid » Fri Dec 23, 2011 3:52 am

"What holds attention determines action." - William James

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DarwidHalim
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Re: Some thoughts about rebirth

Postby DarwidHalim » Fri Dec 23, 2011 8:20 am

Christianity actually accepts the continuity of life, isn't it?

If Mr. A born in 1950 and die in 2010.

Life span of Mr A
Christianity: Starting 1950 until infinite time in the future, whether hell or heaven.
Age from earth perspective = 60 years
Age from overall perspective = unlimited.

Buddhism: Starting from infinite from the past until infinite in the future
Age from earth perspective = 60 years
Age from overall perspective = unlimited.

Infinite life span is not an issue. If it is an issue, the infinity life span of Christianity in the future is also an issue.
If life span is without end in the future, there is no reason why life span is also without end in the past.

Without a rocket science and without going to the logic reasoning, my human sense can already tell me:

If life span can spread unlimited to the future, why life span can't expend as well unlimited to the past.

Without beginning, without end.

Scientist talks about bing bang. My question is which big bag they are talking about since time has no beginning.
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!

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Kim OHara
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Re: Some thoughts about rebirth

Postby Kim OHara » Fri Dec 23, 2011 8:51 am


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Khalil Bodhi
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Re: Some thoughts about rebirth

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Fri Dec 23, 2011 10:53 am

To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

Uposatha Observance Club:
My Practice Blog:

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DarwidHalim
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Re: Some thoughts about rebirth

Postby DarwidHalim » Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:19 am

Without taking side to anyone, it is very common within buddhist community that:
1. Think Buddha as a God.
2. The life is created by God.
3. There is no past life.

We cannot avoid this. We may ask around, and these people are there. This is reality of life.

Only those who study buddhism can know that Buddha is not God, and the life is without beginning.

We have a moral responsibility to explain the correct Buddism at the speed of that person understanding. Soon or later, that person will understand if that person also have enough merit to understand. If that person cannot, at least in his imprint, he may understand it in the future.

In the beginning of learning Buddhism, the existance of God doesn't really affect the learning process of that person. The non-existance of God can only be proven logically when that person understand sunyata. Since, this sunyata is even unheard, it is better not to discuss the existance of God with that basis.

The existance of past life is also not necessary to be understood in the beginning of the learning process. Although when study the law of karma will have a bit problem, when the confident of law of karma improves, slowly but sure, that person will ask him/herself about the existance of past life.

Everything takes process. That is why we are here, and we will forever here to show the reality of life until the end of this samsara. This is the call of our metta.

:namaste:
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!

chownah
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Re: Some thoughts about rebirth

Postby chownah » Fri Dec 23, 2011 12:28 pm

[quote="DuskMoonPenguin"] is can Buddhism still have strong foundations for the rest of Buddha's teachings if rebirth, theoretically, did not exist?
/quote]
For this question the answer is yes. For me rebirth is only theoretical in that there is nothing in my life that would lead me to expect that there is such a thing as rebirth so when considering it I do so as a theoretic....maybe there is rebirth but I just haven't had the experience yet...so for now it is theoretic....and I see absolutely nothing about rebirth that makes it necessary...........in fact I often wonder how one can have a view of the Buddha's teachings that would make one even consider that rebirth is important.....for me it is absolutely a non-issue.......
chownah

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Re: Some thoughts about rebirth

Postby Skeptic » Fri Dec 23, 2011 12:56 pm


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kirk5a
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Re: Some thoughts about rebirth

Postby kirk5a » Fri Dec 23, 2011 4:48 pm

"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

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Alex123
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Re: Some thoughts about rebirth

Postby Alex123 » Fri Dec 23, 2011 8:47 pm

"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."


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