the great rebirth debate

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby chownah » Fri Dec 09, 2011 2:57 am

tiltbillings wrote:
chownah wrote:We should not cling to any view because all views are flawed.
Especially the view that we should not cling to views.

Insight swallows itself up.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Dec 09, 2011 3:10 am

chownah wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
chownah wrote:We should not cling to any view because all views are flawed.
Especially the view that we should not cling to views.

Insight swallows itself up.
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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: OMG! I'm not so special!

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Fri Dec 09, 2011 10:21 am

daverupa wrote:
Spiny O'Norman wrote:Taken as a whole I think the suttas support the view that the goal is both liberation from dukkha ( Nibbana ) and liberation from samsara ( Pari-nibbana ), and that these are 2 sides of the same coin rather than contradictory objectives.

Spiny


SN 56.11 wrote:"Now this, monks, is the noble truth of stress: Birth is stressful, aging is stressful, death is stressful; sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair are stressful; association with the unbeloved is stressful, separation from the loved is stressful, not getting what is wanted is stressful. In short, the five clinging-aggregates are stressful.


:heart:


I did say the suttas "taken as a whole". :smile:

The last quote is interesting, it says "Birth is stressful, aging is stressful, death is stressful". So life is stressful. Human existence is stressful.
Unless we are a Buddha.

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Fri Dec 09, 2011 10:30 am

chownah wrote:
reflection wrote:
25. "When, friends, a noble disciple understands birth, the origin of birth, the cessation of birth, and the way leading to the cessation of birth, in that way he is one of right view... and has arrived at this true Dhamma.

26. "And what is birth, what is the origin of birth, what is the cessation of birth, what is the way leading to the cessation of birth? The birth of beings into the various orders of beings, their coming to birth, precipitation [in a womb], generation, manifestation of the aggregates, obtaining the bases for contact — this is called birth. With the arising of being there is the arising of birth. With the cessation of being there is the cessation of birth. The way leading to the cessation of birth is just this Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view... right concentration.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... 7.html#pt1
:anjali:


I don't see the word "rebirth" anywhere here....
chownah


But "rebirth" is clearly implied.

As is clear from the quote above, birth arises in dependence on "being" which is defined in the same sutta as follows:
"There are these three kinds of being: sense-sphere being, fine-material being and immaterial being."

So being ( or "becoming" ) is here described as the continuing process of existence in the various realms.
So it's clear that in this context "birth" means the process of repeated births in the various realms, ie rebirth.

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby chownah » Fri Dec 09, 2011 12:50 pm

But "rebirth" is clearly implied.

I guess so.....I'm wondering who did the terrible job of writing this sutta that something as important as rebirth would have to be implied.....why didn't they just say rebirth?.....why imply it?......can anyone come up with a reason why the writer would rely on an implication here and why they wouldn't just use the appropriate word?.....any reason at all?.....is the Pali word for "rebirth" really difficult to recite, remember, or transcribe?....I'm not really wanting to argue "rebirth" vs. not....I'm just wondering why the use of implication in a case where it seems at face value that no implication is necessary....
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby reflection » Fri Dec 09, 2011 2:46 pm

Because there is no word such as "rebirth" in pali. Notice that in this sutta on dependent origination, the word rebirth itself also is not used, while it clearly describes rebirth (I know some people disagree, but that's a different topic).
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

This may be because the buddha and his followers wanted to make clear their idea of rebirth is totally different from the hindu belief of reincarnation that existed at the time.


See also:
There is no word corresponding exactly to the English terms "rebirth", "metempsychosis", "transmigration" or "reincarnation" in the traditional Buddhist languages of Pāli and Sanskrit: the entire process of change from one life to the next is called punarbhava (Sanskrit) or punabbhava (Pāli), literally "becoming again", or more briefly bhava, "becoming", while the state one is born into, the individual process of being born or coming into the world in any way, is referred to simply as "birth" (jāti). The entire universal process that gives rise to this is called saṃsāra.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rebirth_(Buddhism)
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Fri Dec 09, 2011 2:50 pm

chownah wrote:
But "rebirth" is clearly implied.

I guess so.....I'm wondering who did the terrible job of writing this sutta that something as important as rebirth would have to be implied.....why didn't they just say rebirth?.....why imply it?......can anyone come up with a reason why the writer would rely on an implication here and why they wouldn't just use the appropriate word?.....any reason at all?.....


You can view the "birth" nidana either as a one-off "example" of birth arising from the process of being / becoming, or you can view it as a process of repeated births which represent the process of being / becoming. The affect is actually the same.

Given the way the nidanas are described and the order in which they appear, it seems to me they are describing processes rather than one-off events. So for example while the process of ignorance persists, the process of suffering persists.

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby daverupa » Fri Dec 09, 2011 2:52 pm

But paticcasamuppada never contains a thirteenth nidana, "birth --> death --> rebirth". Isn't that interesting?
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby bodom » Fri Dec 09, 2011 3:02 pm

daverupa wrote:But paticcasamuppada never contains a thirteenth nidana, "birth --> death --> rebirth".


And yet this thread keeps taking rebirth doesn't it? :tongue:

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Fri Dec 09, 2011 3:06 pm

daverupa wrote:But paticcasamuppada never contains a thirteenth nidana, "birth --> death --> rebirth". Isn't that interesting?


If you understand the nidanas as processes rather than events, this isn't a problem.
Descriptions of dukkha invariably include birth and death, so I think it's reasonable to view the birth and death nidanas as representing the process of dukkha.

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Fri Dec 09, 2011 3:08 pm

bodom wrote:
daverupa wrote:But paticcasamuppada never contains a thirteenth nidana, "birth --> death --> rebirth".


And yet this thread keeps taking rebirth doesn't it? :tongue:

:anjali:


It will until we all see things as they really are... :D

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:17 am

Some reasons that I believe that belief in rebirth is rational:

1) Any kind of true or false statement must come only from thinking source (the mind)
2) No merely physical material or its combination is a thinking source.
3) Therefore, no true or false statement can ever come from only a physical source.
4) We can say true or false statements.
5) Thus the mind that can say true or false statements does not originate and start from physical source at birth.

Therefore thinking source (mind) traces back indefinitely (saṃsara has no discernible beginning) and primarily dependent on mind.

Same for intention (cetanā) and decision to do good or evil. The first instance of intention is dependent upon previous instances of mind and its accumulated qualities.


IMHO,

With best wishes,

Alex
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby reflection » Sun Dec 18, 2011 1:04 pm

I think the first premise is wrong. Computers can also make true/false statements. In fact, it's the only thing they can do. :tongue: Also I don't fully agree with the second one.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby santa100 » Sun Dec 18, 2011 6:10 pm

Actually, a computer could only make true/false statements based on a thinking mind source: the programmer. Without the original OS and algorithms created by humans' mind, it'd remain a useless mass of material. FOr further info., refer to the "Chinese room Thought Experiment" (ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_room )
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Sun Dec 18, 2011 7:17 pm

reflection wrote:I think the first premise is wrong. Computers can also make true/false statements. In fact, it's the only thing they can do. :tongue: Also I don't fully agree with the second one.


As Santa100 has correctly said, the reason for computer's (and Artificial Intelligence) existence is because it was made by programmer who has a mind. So it actually strengthens my argument.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby reflection » Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:25 am

No, because it is still just material that does a calculation. If all people were to die right now, computers would still work. So whether they are created by humans or not does not matter; a computer is now a seperate "entity" capable of making true/false statements. Those statements don't come from a mind, they come from the computer. Of course, the computer does not really think, but then you should rewrite your premise to reflect that, because now it says everything capable of making true/false statements is thinking.

Also this has no scientific support:
2) No merely physical material or its combination is a thinking source.

We don't know enough about the brain to say it is not physically capable of thinking. In fact it may be the opposite, for example it is researched which areas in the brain are responsible for language processing. Thinking is also for a large part language, so at least in part it will take place there.



I belief in rebirth, but trying to proof it with reasoning is not really possible, I think. And I think, when one dies, thinking stops or at least alters very much because the mind leaves the brain.


:namaste:
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Mon Dec 19, 2011 1:00 am

reflection wrote:No, because it is still just material that does a calculation.


Calculation by following an algorithm (without even being conscious) created by humans with intelligence.

reflection wrote: If all people were to die right now, computers would still work.


What would power computers with appropriate voltage, maintain them, and input data in order for them to calculate this or that? Can a fully functional computer be accidentally (not by any outside intelligence) be produced on Mars?


reflection wrote:So whether they are created by humans or not does not matter;


It does matter very much because it requires intelligence to produce, not mere chance. Furthermore the intelligence of computers is highly questionable.

reflection wrote: a computer is now a seperate "entity" capable of making true/false statements.


Never. It just follows the instructions. It can't create something totally new, like a creative person could. It definitely CANNOT LIE OR TELL THE TRUTH, just like a insentient rock (that which falls down causing someone's death) cannot murder as there is no intention.


reflection wrote:We don't know enough about the brain to say it is not physically capable of thinking. In fact it may be the opposite, for example it is researched which areas in the brain are responsible for language processing. Thinking is also for a large part language, so at least in part it will take place there.


I've tried to consider that physical properties is the mind, but how does "surge in the uptake of glutamate in the dorsolateral portion of the hippocampus feels like"? How can reason, and deliberately making true or false statements (which computer cannot) ever come from insentient matter? Brain has mass, can be seen through the eyes, touched with fingers, and even eaten. The mind cannot. So these kinds of properties are different.
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No difference...

Postby pedro1985 » Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:40 am

I think this is a good argument:

Zom wrote:As Buddha said - "if there is no rebirth, there is no living the holy life". The explanation of this statement is this: if there in only one life - no need to practise deep renunciation from the world. No need to be a monk. No need to accumulate kamma, no need to develop faculties. Everyone will end up quite soon with one and the same end. The best option will be to get a lot of money and enjoy sensual pleasures.

But I see it this way. People can either belief that:

1) There is no rebirth:
----- You practice the Dhamma to be free from suffering in this life. This is the only life you will ever have, no rebirth will happen because rebirth is only a fairy tale.

2) Rebirth exists:
----- You practice the Dhamma to be free from suffering in this life, and the in next life. Because rebirth exists, you practice so you will not be born again.

So in my view it doesnt matter whether rebirth is real or not. In both cases you practice to be free from suffering.
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Re: No difference...

Postby Kaktus » Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:45 am

From the Kalama Sutta

"'If there is a world after death, if there is the fruit of actions rightly & wrongly done, then this is the basis by which, with the break-up of the body, after death, I will reappear in a good destination, the heavenly world.' This is the first assurance he acquires.

"'But if there is no world after death, if there is no fruit of actions rightly & wrongly done, then here in the present life I look after myself with ease — free from hostility, free from ill will, free from trouble.' This is the second assurance he acquires.

"'If evil is done through acting, still I have willed no evil for anyone. Having done no evil action, from where will suffering touch me?' This is the third assurance he acquires.

"'But if no evil is done through acting, then I can assume myself pure in both ways.' This is the fourth assurance he acquires.

"One who is a disciple of the noble ones — his mind thus free from hostility, free from ill will, undefiled, & pure — acquires these four assurances in the here-&-now.
English isn´t my native language. So please accept my apologies for my kind of spelling and grammar ;-)
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Re: No difference...

Postby plwk » Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:45 am

Bhikkhus, if you develop and make much this one thing,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.
What is it? It is recollecting the Enlightened One.
If this single thing is recollected and made much,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.

Anguttara-Nikaya: Ekanipata: Ekadhammapali: Pañhamavagga
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