The Secular Buddhist

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
twelph
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Re: The Secular Buddhist

Post by twelph » Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:20 am

The circle is almost complete.

Humanism - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humanism" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Secular Humanism - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secular_humanism" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Buddhism - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhism" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Humanistic Buddhism - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humanistic_Buddhism" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Secular Buddhism - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secular_Buddhism" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Let it be known here and now that I am starting Secular Humanistic Buddhism. Wikipedia page forthcoming :)

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Lazy_eye
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Re: The Secular Buddhist

Post by Lazy_eye » Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:42 am

Ñāṇa wrote: Buddhist suttas aren't the best source of information on Indian materialist views....
Did these Indian materialists teach dependent origination? Did they teach anatta, anicca, dukkha? The Middle Way? Craving as the cause of suffering?

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Re: The Secular Buddhist

Post by Nyana » Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:21 am

Lazy_eye wrote:Did these Indian materialists teach dependent origination? Did they teach anatta, anicca, dukkha? The Middle Way? Craving as the cause of suffering?
No, but neither do these modern secular "Buddhists." At least not in any traditional Buddhist context.

The Cārvāka views are completely in accord with scientific materialism, physicalism, atheism, or whatever one wants to call it. Most notably in the field of epistemology.

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mikenz66
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Re: The Secular Buddhist

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:22 am

Hi Geoff,
Ñāṇa wrote: The Cārvāka views are completely in accord with scientific materialism, physicalism, atheism, or whatever one wants to call it. Most notably in the field of epistemology.
That's an interesting article. This sounds familiar:
Cārvākas cultivated a philosophy wherein theology and what they called "speculative metaphysics" were to be avoided.
The etymological meaning of the word Cārvāka is 'a person who is clever in speech and is extremely fond of wrangling (debate)'.
:anjali:
Mike

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Re: The Secular Buddhist

Post by Nyana » Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:53 am

mikenz66 wrote:That's an interesting article. This sounds familiar:
Cārvākas cultivated a philosophy wherein theology and what they called "speculative metaphysics" were to be avoided.
The etymological meaning of the word Cārvāka is 'a person who is clever in speech and is extremely fond of wrangling (debate)'.
Yeah, much of it should sound familiar to most contemporary, Western educated readers. In Indian Philosophy, Debiprasad Chattopadhyaya quotes S. N. Dasgupta:
  • Purandara (a Lokāyata philosopher) [...] admits the usefulness of inference in determining the nature of all worldly things where perceptual experience is available; but inference cannot be employed for establishing any dogma regarding the transcendental world, or life after death or the law of karma which cannot be available to ordinary perceptual experience.

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retrofuturist
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Re: The Secular Buddhist

Post by retrofuturist » Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:54 am

Greetings,

Same source...
"It may be said from the available material that Cārvākas hold truth, integrity, consistency, and freedom of thought in the highest esteem."
That said, again, looking at the same source, I think it's needlessly disparaging, intolerant and inaccurate to call other Buddhists cārvākas...
Cārvāka, was attached to the position in order to disparage it.
...unless they really do subscribe to cārvāka theory...
The Carvaka believed there was no afterlife, no life after death
the Carvaka believed there was nothing wrong with sensual indulgence, and that it was the only enjoyment to be pursued.
Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: The Secular Buddhist

Post by Nyana » Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:00 am

retrofuturist wrote:
the Carvaka believed there was nothing wrong with sensual indulgence, and that it was the only enjoyment to be pursued.
In the context of the middle way of practice of the dhammavinaya most modern human beings are hedonists to some degree.

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retrofuturist
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Re: The Secular Buddhist

Post by retrofuturist » Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:03 am

Greetings Geoff,

Do you care to elaborate?

I'm a bit unclear on the point you're trying to make...

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

Nyana
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Re: The Secular Buddhist

Post by Nyana » Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:16 am

retrofuturist wrote:Do you care to elaborate?

I'm a bit unclear on the point you're trying to make...
One of the main traditional criticisms of the materialists by other Indian schools of thought was that there was no incentive towards renunciation of sense pleasures and conflicted emotions in their worldview. The same can be said of secular "Buddhism" sans post-mortem vipāka results, etc.
retrofuturist wrote:That said, again, looking at the same source, I think it's needlessly disparaging, intolerant and inaccurate to call other Buddhists cārvākas...
I think it's inaccurate to attempt to recast the Buddha as advocating a materialist worldview or as being an agnostic.

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retrofuturist
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Re: The Secular Buddhist

Post by retrofuturist » Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:23 am

Greetings,
Ñāṇa wrote:One of the main traditional criticisms of the materialists by other Indian schools of thought was that there was no incentive towards renunciation of sense pleasures and conflicted emotions in their worldview. The same can be said of secular "Buddhism" sans post-mortem vipāka results, etc.
Well that again assumes that "the secular Buddhist" holds such views, as if they are universally accepted by all who stand beside the "secular Buddhist" label. To take Triratna/FWBO as a comparable example, there is significant diversity in Dhammic view and practice amongst members.

I don't know that these labels are particular useful, but then, that group has taken it upon themselves to label themselves thus, and through the act of labelling and identification, have differentiated, distinguished and separated themselves... and by doing such have risked exposing themselves to being characterised in such ways.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

Nyana
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Re: The Secular Buddhist

Post by Nyana » Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:34 am

retrofuturist wrote:Well that again assumes that "the secular Buddhist" holds such views, as if they are universally accepted by all who stand beside the "secular Buddhist" label.
Yeah, I doubt that there's a secular Buddhist version of a Nicene Creed.
retrofuturist wrote:I don't know that these labels are particular useful, but then, that group has taken it upon themselves to label themselves thus, and through the act of labelling and identification, have differentiated, distinguished and separated themselves... and by doing such have risked exposing themselves to being characterised in such ways.
People are certainly free to call themselves whatever they want. That's fine. It's a pluralistic world.

Personally, I think it's prudent to resist every urge to remake the samaṇa Gotama in one's own image.

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retrofuturist
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Re: The Secular Buddhist

Post by retrofuturist » Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:42 am

Greetings,
Ñāṇa wrote:Personally, I think it's prudent to resist every urge to remake the samaṇa Gotama in one's own image.
:thumbsup:

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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tiltbillings
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Re: The Secular Buddhist

Post by tiltbillings » Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:46 am

I think it's prudent to resist every urge to remake the samaṇa Gotama in one's own image.
Except, being human beings, that is always what is going to happen.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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retrofuturist
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Re: The Secular Buddhist

Post by retrofuturist » Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:52 am

Greetings,

Related to that is the following...

The Threefold Refuge - Nyanaponika Thera
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el076.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Especially the second half which talks about differing degree of refuge, all the way through to total self-surrender.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Spiny O'Norman
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Re: The Secular Buddhist

Post by Spiny O'Norman » Sun Feb 19, 2012 2:17 pm

Ted Meissner wrote:
Spiny O'Norman wrote:My point was that disbelief can be as much a hindrance as belief - it's all a thicket of views and opinions.
That's one reason SB tends to focus on practice based on what can actually be demonstrated in the natural world -- the conjecturing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, or what literal rebirth one might take, that's the thicket of views, not the reasonable inquiry into what can be shown as cause and effect.

Though SB freely admits cherry picking from the suttas, ie rejecting the bits that don't fit into his personal belief system. In other words secular Buddhism is still very much tied into the whole belief/disbelief thing.

Spiny

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