Kenshou wrote:You seem to be implying that belief in future lives somehow necessitates theism? And that atheism and disbelief in rebirth are necessarily mutually inclusive traits. There are more permutations of views out there than that.
I suppose that it does, if by Theos one means celestial beings.
The orthodox Buddhist doctrine is that there are gods in non-human realms (atthi sattā opapātikā),
and that virtuous beings who perform acts of merit are reborn in those planes of existence.
Rebirth does not refer only
to rebirth in the human realm, nor to rebirth from moment to moment during this present life only. It refers to the rebirth of living beings in one or another of the 31 Planes of Existence.
The Buddha taught about the benefits of charity (dānakathā);
about the benefits of morality (sīlakathā),
and about the path to heaven (saggakathā).
When the minds of beings were full of confidence and pliable, ready to understand deeper truths, he taught about the illusory nature of sensual pleasures, the disadvantages of defiling passions, the advantages of renunciation of pleasure (through samatha
meditation), then the Four Noble Truths and the Path (maggakathā)
leading to the end of this cycle of rebirth (vipassanā
The belief that an Almighty God is responsible for the happiness and sorrow of living beings, and that they have to believe in him and serve him to gain salvation is another serious wrong view obstructive to growth (Issarammana-hetu-ditthi).
Too many so-called Buddhists on this forum are making unwholesome kamma by trying to convince others of their annihilationist wrong views (natthika ditthi).
A thorough knowledge (ñāna)
and intellectual appreciation of the teaching is essential to follow the right path.
Four Points to Bear in Mind
(to avoid wrong views like annihilationism, eternalism, fatalism, and moral impotency (akiriya-ditthi).