No Creator in Buddhism

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
D1W1
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No Creator in Buddhism

Post by D1W1 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 3:45 pm

Hi guys,

I am not sure if I can call myself a true Buddhist.
There is no doubt Buddhists do not believe in God. A deformed crashed car is probably not arranged by anyone, but is 100 floors building not created by anyone?

Human beings generally have very complex nervous system, our physical and mental work together harmoniously in the so called a human being body. Human anatomy is not so simple but they're working "in order." We all have two eyes in our face, and other senses as well and they're generally located in the same area. Our planet has abundance natural resources, this planet has so many foods i.e. fruits, vegetables, a sun and a moon, they're all make lives become possible.

How can we confidently say these all are not created by anyone, does anyone have any thoughts?

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ryanM
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Re: No Creator in Buddhism

Post by ryanM » Tue Jan 10, 2017 4:13 pm

'We' are the creators according to Buddhism. Creation isn't a singular event, but something that's going on all of the time. It's the belief in an underlying self which spawns these soul/God ideas. If there isn't a soul, then there's no reason for a God IMO.

I am by no means trying to quell your doubts about God, but we have to be careful to understand what the Buddha taught. We don't want to start off on the wrong foot. I don't believe that attempts to prove/disprove God have gotten people very far on any path. Generally, it's created more strife, confusion, and outright violence.

Cheers!

Ryan
sabbe dhammā nālaṃ abhinivesāya

"nothing whatsoever should be clung to"

davidbrainerd
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Re: No Creator in Buddhism

Post by davidbrainerd » Tue Jan 10, 2017 4:54 pm

ryanM wrote:'We' are the creators according to Buddhism.
Unless Buddhism says we are eternal spirits then no that is not what Buddhism says.
ryanM wrote:It's the belief in an underlying self which spawns these soul/God ideas. If there isn't a soul, then there's no reason for a God IMO.
To me this statement contradicts your first assertion.
ryanM wrote:I don't believe that attempts to prove/disprove God have gotten people very far on any path. Generally, it's created more strife, confusion, and outright violence.
To me "outright violence" has never resulted from belief in God's existence but rather from the belief that he commanded that everyone must be part of a particular club that performs certain rituals. Its the exclusivism of ritualistic religion that results in violence, and this could probably arise even in a ritualistic religion that has no god.

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Nicolas
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Re: No Creator in Buddhism

Post by Nicolas » Tue Jan 10, 2017 7:30 pm

D1W1 wrote:Human beings generally have very complex nervous system, our physical and mental work together harmoniously in the so called a human being body. Human anatomy is not so simple but they're working "in order." We all have two eyes in our face, and other senses as well and they're generally located in the same area. Our planet has abundance natural resources, this planet has so many foods i.e. fruits, vegetables, a sun and a moon, they're all make lives become possible.

How can we confidently say these all are not created by anyone, does anyone have any thoughts?
Natural selection & evolution explains all that.

Now, no "God" in Buddhism, but there sure are "angels" (devas & Brahmas), albeit mortal.

SarathW
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Re: No Creator in Buddhism

Post by SarathW » Tue Jan 10, 2017 7:58 pm

To me "outright violence" has never resulted from belief in God's existence
Isn't animal sacrifice outright violence?
Isn't non tolerance a result of the belief in a creator god?
Whose name all the wars are going on in this world at this moment?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

davidbrainerd
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Re: No Creator in Buddhism

Post by davidbrainerd » Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:33 pm

SarathW wrote:
To me "outright violence" has never resulted from belief in God's existence
Isn't animal sacrifice outright violence?
Correct me if I'm wrong but is not animal sacrifice a ritual? (I.e. referring to the part of what I said that you didn't quote: "...but rather from the belief that he commanded that everyone must be part of a particular club that performs certain rituals.")
SarathW wrote:Isn't non tolerance a result of the belief in a creator god?
No. Its from the belief that God created the world in order to receive ritual worship rather than in order to provide a bio-diverse world for multitudinous life-forms to enjoy.
SarathW wrote:Whose name all the wars are going on in this world at this moment?
Ritual. Its all about ritual clothing on women and ritualistic times for prayer etc. Its not about mere Deism.
Last edited by davidbrainerd on Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.

CecilN
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Re: No Creator in Buddhism

Post by CecilN » Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:40 pm

The Buddha was only concerned with ending the creation of suffering. The creator of suffering is ignorance & craving.

The Buddha was not concerned with the creation of the physical world. However, following the principles of cause & effect (idappaccayatā), natural law (dhamma-niyama) & elements (dhatu) in Buddhism, it is inferred the physical world is created according to various laws & principles of physics, chemistry, biology, etc. The 'creator' is strictly natural & impersonal.

This link might help: http://buddhism.about.com/od/basicbuddh ... iyamas.htm

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: No Creator in Buddhism

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:59 pm

D1W1 wrote:How can we confidently say these all are not created by anyone, does anyone have any thoughts?
If they were, then we would have to ask "Who created the creator?"

The Buddha taught the law of cause and effect. There are five natural laws (niyāma):
  1. Climate (utu)
  2. Seeds or genetics (bija)
  3. Volitional actions (kamma)
  4. Natural order (Dhamma)
  5. Thought or consciousness (citta).
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Mkoll
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Re: No Creator in Buddhism

Post by Mkoll » Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:02 pm

You're making the irreducible complexity and intelligent design arguments. They aren't accepted in the scientific community.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irreducible_complexity

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligent_design

None of that is relevant to your Buddhist practice unless you make it so and this is IMO, a tangential mistake.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

santa100
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Re: No Creator in Buddhism

Post by santa100 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:19 pm

D1W1 wrote:Human beings generally have very complex nervous system, our physical and mental work together harmoniously in the so called a human being body. Human anatomy is not so simple but they're working "in order." We all have two eyes in our face, and other senses as well and they're generally located in the same area. Our planet has abundance natural resources, this planet has so many foods i.e. fruits, vegetables, a sun and a moon, they're all make lives become possible.
How can we confidently say these all are not created by anyone, does anyone have any thoughts?
There's no requirement for a designer in the equation. The Buddha taught about Paticcasamuppada, all dhammas ("things") arise in dependence upon other dhammas: "if this exists, that exists; if this ceases to exist, that also ceases to exist." So the obvious problem for those who believe in a designer is a recursive problem: who designs the desginer? who designs the designer of the desginer? so on until infinity. If they say the designer has no predecessor, then it doesn't make sense to even require a designer to start out with or why there is just 1 single desgigner.
It'd seem like a miracle regarding the human body only if one assumes that it pops into existence all of a sudden out of thin air. But it didn't work that way. It's a product after a tremendously long period of evolution, adjustment and adaptation to turn something simple into something complex. And it's still far from perfect. As Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson's humor: "Down there between our legs, it's like an entertainment complex in the middle of a sewage system. Who designed that?" Similar reasoning can be used to explain about earth. It'd only seem like a miracle if there's just 1 single earth with all the necessary conditions for life. Again, it doens't work that way. For every earth with favorable conditions for live, there're tons of other that do not.

davidbrainerd
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Re: No Creator in Buddhism

Post by davidbrainerd » Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:55 pm

Mkoll wrote:You're making the irreducible complexity and intelligent design arguments. They aren't accepted in the scientific community.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irreducible_complexity

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligent_design

None of that is relevant to your Buddhist practice unless you make it so and this is IMO, a tangential mistake.
I doubt rebirth or Buddhas are accepted in the so-called science community either.

davidbrainerd
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Re: No Creator in Buddhism

Post by davidbrainerd » Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:00 pm

santa100 wrote: There's no requirement for a designer in the equation. The Buddha taught about Paticcasamuppada, all dhammas ("things") arise in dependence upon other dhammas: "if this exists, that exists; if this ceases to exist, that also ceases to exist."
Arise from where, from what? The obvious problem is that things that arise can only arise from other earlier non-arisen thing or things. Buddhism seems to refuse to address this issue and pretends it doesn't exist. On the other hand both theists and atheists actually address the question. To the theist God is the non-arisen thing from which all that arises arises; to the atheist eternal matter is the non-arisen thing from which all that arises arises. The Buddhist, however, just throws the word Paticcasamuppada out like magic ignoring the issue that stuff don't arise from nothing.

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Mkoll
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Re: No Creator in Buddhism

Post by Mkoll » Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:06 pm

davidbrainerd wrote:
Mkoll wrote:You're making the irreducible complexity and intelligent design arguments. They aren't accepted in the scientific community.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irreducible_complexity

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligent_design

None of that is relevant to your Buddhist practice unless you make it so and this is IMO, a tangential mistake.
I doubt rebirth or Buddhas are accepted in the so-called science community either.
Obviously not. The purpose of my post was to give the OP more information about his arguments, which I hope will help him see why they are poor ones. Perhaps my comment about the scientific community was unnecessary; however, that doesn't make it any less true.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

CecilN
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Re: No Creator in Buddhism

Post by CecilN » Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:15 pm

D1W1 wrote:Human beings generally have very complex nervous system, our physical and mental work together harmoniously in the so called a human being body. Human anatomy is not so simple but they're working "in order."
If this was absolutely true, why are the medical & psychological industries so large & lucrative? Before the current era of medical technology, why were there so many diseases & why did so many women & children perish in childbirth?
Our planet has abundance natural resources, this planet has so many foods i.e. fruits, vegetables, a sun and a moon, they're all make lives become possible.
If this was absolutely true, why are there famines, starvation & completion for natural resources?
D1W1 wrote:How can we confidently say these all are not created by anyone, does anyone have any thoughts?
The very fact that the above things are subject to disease & disorder shows either there is no 'intelligent designer' or otherwise the godly 'creator' is cruel & sadistic.

santa100
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Re: No Creator in Buddhism

Post by santa100 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:27 pm

davidbrainerd wrote:On the other hand both theists and atheists actually address the question. To the theist God is the non-arisen thing from which all that arises arises; to the atheist eternal matter is the non-arisen thing from which all that arises arises. The Buddhist, however, just throws the word Paticcasamuppada out like magic ignoring the issue that stuff don't arise from nothing.
No they do not. The theists only provide the God-of-the-gaps answer and the atheist only provide an unproven theory. At least the Buddhist is honest and limit the scope with enough parameters to do what s/he needs to do. It's not pretension. It's honesty.

davidbrainerd
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Re: No Creator in Buddhism

Post by davidbrainerd » Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:45 pm

santa100 wrote:
davidbrainerd wrote:On the other hand both theists and atheists actually address the question. To the theist God is the non-arisen thing from which all that arises arises; to the atheist eternal matter is the non-arisen thing from which all that arises arises. The Buddhist, however, just throws the word Paticcasamuppada out like magic ignoring the issue that stuff don't arise from nothing.
No they do not. The theists only provide the God-of-the-gaps answer and the atheist only provide an unproven theory. At least the Buddhist is honest and limit the scope with enough parameters to do what s/he needs to do. It's not pretension. It's honesty.
I absolutely disagree. Even if the theist and atheist answers do not satisfy you personally, honesty drmands that you admit they at least recognize the problem. But Buddhism pretends there is no problem and that throwing around 'Paticcasamuppada' as a magic term is sufficient. Basically Buddhism teaches spontaneous generation out of nowhere, with matter itself even popping into existence from nowhere. At least atheists and theists acknowledge an apriori something for things to arise from. They're trying to philosophize while Buddhists are just jamming their fingers in their ears saying "lets not listen" and "she's a witch, burn her." (To reference the Simpsons)

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Mkoll
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Re: No Creator in Buddhism

Post by Mkoll » Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:53 pm

davidbrainerd wrote:
santa100 wrote:
davidbrainerd wrote:On the other hand both theists and atheists actually address the question. To the theist God is the non-arisen thing from which all that arises arises; to the atheist eternal matter is the non-arisen thing from which all that arises arises. The Buddhist, however, just throws the word Paticcasamuppada out like magic ignoring the issue that stuff don't arise from nothing.
No they do not. The theists only provide the God-of-the-gaps answer and the atheist only provide an unproven theory. At least the Buddhist is honest and limit the scope with enough parameters to do what s/he needs to do. It's not pretension. It's honesty.
I absolutely disagree. Even if the theist and atheist answers do not satisfy you personally, honesty drmands that you admit they at least recognize the problem. But Buddhism pretends there is no problem and that throwing around 'Paticcasamuppada' as a magic term is sufficient. Basically Buddhism teaches spontaneous generation out of nowhere, with matter itself even popping into existence from nowhere. At least atheists and theists acknowledge an apriori something for things to arise from. They're trying to philosophize while Buddhists are just jamming their fingers in their ears saying "lets not listen" and "she's a witch, burn her." (To reference the Simpsons)
I don't think you understand Theravada Buddhist practice. Because if you did, you would understand the irrelevance of those speculations to it.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

santa100
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Re: No Creator in Buddhism

Post by santa100 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:07 pm

davidbr wrote:Basically Buddhism teaches spontaneous generation out of nowhere, with matter itself even popping into existence from nowhere. At least atheists and theists acknowledge an apriori something for things to arise from. They're trying to philosophize while Buddhists are just jamming their fingers in their ears saying "lets not listen" and "she's a witch, burn her." (To reference the Simpsons)
I'm surprised that after posting 773 posts on DW forum, you still have an utterly distorted view about Buddhism.

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SDC
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Re: No Creator in Buddhism

Post by SDC » Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:28 pm

Always been a bit of hoopla around this verse as being one of the more explicit references to a creator:
Dhp 153-154 wrote:Through many a birth in samsara have I wandered in vain, seeking the builder of this house (of life). Repeated birth is indeed suffering!

O house-builder, you are seen! You will not build this house again. For your rafters are broken and your ridgepole shattered. My mind has reached the Unconditioned; I have attained the destruction of craving.

davidbrainerd
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Re: No Creator in Buddhism

Post by davidbrainerd » Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:38 pm

Mkoll wrote: I don't think you understand Theravada Buddhist practice. Because if you did, you would understand the irrelevance of those speculations to it.
On the contrary, with respect to its philosophical underpinnings or lack thereof, I understand its a practice of cognitive dissonance and denial of logic and reality.

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