Rebirth and population increase.

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Miguel
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Rebirth and population increase.

Post by Miguel » Thu Mar 08, 2018 4:50 pm

Hello, friends.

Over the last few years a question regarding rebirth has been hovering around in my mind, as you can see in the title of this post: if rebirth has kammatic causes, and thus to be reborn as humans all beings must reach first certain kammatic sums which produce their births in this realm, how is this reconciled with the human population growth along History, specially from the last few centuries until now? Does this mean that increasingly high numbers of beings are getting closer to Awakening? What would explain this tendency, if so? Or is it perhaps that, not being ourselves discrete entities but process chains, our actions can originate from one causal line several others, which are equally ours?

How do you explain this phenomenon?

I considered for some time the possibility of human-caused destruction of natural spaces and extinction of species producing somehow a 'cleansing' of the affected being's kamma, and thus generating a mutual correspondence of human population growth with the decreasing of other species' numbers, but saw quickly that this is not a proper explanation since the humans who commit such acts of destruction would in time be reborn in lower realms, compensating the apparent increase of new human births. Or is it perhaps that the responsible humans for those actions are too few in comparison with the beings affected by them to leave a statistically significant mark when they are reborn in lower levels?

As always, I do not ask this in order to deride or ridicule in any way such a central teaching of the Buddha; nor am I a cynical person who asks just rhetorically a question he has already discarded. I sincerely would like to know if perhaps I'm considering the whole problem in wrong terms, or if there are variables that I'm not seeing, and in general which are your solutions to this question. Thank you!

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cappuccino
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Re: Rebirth and population increase.

Post by cappuccino » Thu Mar 08, 2018 5:27 pm

Conditions support it, for a while.

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DNS
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Re: Rebirth and population increase.

Post by DNS » Thu Mar 08, 2018 5:30 pm

If you include celestial realms, then any expansion or contraction in species and animals on earth would be possible to still work, regarding rebirth.

Even if you don't include celestial realms, when you factor in the Animal Kingdom and the vast numbers of animals, which includes insects and nematodes, then the numbers should be compatible. There are always some species contracting and some expanding.

2600htz
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Re: Rebirth and population increase.

Post by 2600htz » Thu Mar 08, 2018 5:31 pm

Hello Miguel:

-The Buddha explained that there are many planes of existence, and one of them is the human realm. But this fact doesn´t mean that to be reborn "a human being" you have to be born in this very same earth, there could be 100.000 planets where "human beings" are living in the cosmos.

-There is no correlation between human population growth and number of beings close to awakening. We can argue that at the time of the Buddha several beings attained awakening/arahanship, while now, even if population is much bigger, not so many people are attaining full awakening. The Buddha even said that in a dispensation (a period of time where the teachings are available) as time passes each year it would be harder for being to attain enlightment, because the teachings dissipate, and beings don´t have so much merit or clear faculties as the beings who where right at the time of the Buddha.

Regards.

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Miguel
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Re: Rebirth and population increase.

Post by Miguel » Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:14 pm

I see; I was thinking in too small numbers. Many thanks!

form
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Re: Rebirth and population increase.

Post by form » Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:53 am

The Buddha ever mentioned most human that died will end up in a lower realm and it is difficult for those from animal or other realms to become human again. So very rarely can they be human again. So it is weird that human population is on the rise.

Of course if we consider there are humans from other planets then perhaps the net increase could be a negative one.

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Nwad
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Re: Rebirth and population increase.

Post by Nwad » Sat Mar 10, 2018 5:03 am

There is no rebirthing soul. There is causes and conditions to arising of fenomenas.
Today there is good conditions to arising of 5 humain agregates, so they arise... Tomorrow, without oil, elecrecity, medecine, enought food, these conditions will disapear, and population too ...

James Tan
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Re: Rebirth and population increase.

Post by James Tan » Sat Mar 10, 2018 5:19 am

Nwad wrote:
Sat Mar 10, 2018 5:03 am
There is no rebirthing soul. There is causes and conditions to arising of fenomenas.
Today there is good conditions to arising of 5 humain agregates, so they arise... Tomorrow, without oil, elecrecity, medecine, enought food, these conditions will disapear, and population too ...
Causes and conditions , right . But , we don't know why , how , what , when , the determining conditions are ?
Don't forget the Kamma aspects also .

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Miguel
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Re: Rebirth and population increase.

Post by Miguel » Sun Mar 11, 2018 5:11 pm

In order to think of 'something' that is reborn and that is also, somehow, ourselves but without being our soul, is why I postulated the idea of, perhaps:
not being ourselves discrete entities but process chains, [and that] our actions can originate from one causal line several others, which are equally ours...
We tend to think in terms of a subjacent reality behind phenomena, as with our self from which we presuppose that all our actions arise. Would it be going far from the teachings of the Buddha to imagine that we are in the first place simply these phenomenal chains, not attached to any central being? And, then, that the difference between ourselves as objects in space (our bodies) and stones and clouds is that we have autonomous (independent or not) will? Perhaps if we conceived ourselves in this way we could explain how the Buddha said that there is kammatic rebirth (in the form of the causal chains we initiate through our will; our desire) but at the same time that there is no self (individual self, because, besides phenomena, there is only a very general and inconstant willing?).

In any case, this would be so assuming that there is only a limited or conceivable number of beings, which was what was questioned by the first repliers, DNS, capuccino and 2600htz.

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cappuccino
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Re: Rebirth and population increase.

Post by cappuccino » Sun Mar 11, 2018 6:17 pm

Nwad wrote:
Sat Mar 10, 2018 5:03 am
There is no rebirthing soul.

Be careful about denying soul.

I don't think the teaching is ever denying soul.
Last edited by cappuccino on Sun Mar 11, 2018 6:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Miguel
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Re: Rebirth and population increase.

Post by Miguel » Sun Mar 11, 2018 6:21 pm

Anguttara Nikaya, 3:77:
Thus kamma is the field, conciousness the seed, and craving the moisture. The conciousness of living beings hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving is established in a lower... in a middling... [and] in a refined property. Thus there is the production of renewed becoming in the future.
This is how there is becoming.
(Regarding what I said in my last reply)

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Nwad
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Re: Rebirth and population increase.

Post by Nwad » Sun Mar 11, 2018 7:32 pm

cappuccino wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 6:17 pm
Nwad wrote:
Sat Mar 10, 2018 5:03 am
There is no rebirthing soul.

Be careful about denying soul.

I don't think the teaching is ever denying soul.
Rebirth is not about gerlands on the thread, is about realy race...
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James Tan
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Re: Rebirth and population increase.

Post by James Tan » Mon Mar 12, 2018 5:24 am

According to dependent origination theory , when the conditions is Sufficient then things , events and being will come to be .
For that reason , the whole of existences could produce and reproduce , it is like the cell divide into two or more , from many merging into one and replicate itself .

justindesilva
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Re: Rebirth and population increase.

Post by justindesilva » Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:29 am

James Tan wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 5:24 am
According to dependent origination theory , when the conditions is Sufficient then things , events and being will come to be .
For that reason , the whole of existences could produce and reproduce , it is like the cell divide into two or more , from many merging into one and replicate itself .
Mahatanhasankya sutta explains the relationship of rebirth and paticca samuppada in a manner to explain ending of samsara. I do not think Lord budda was ever worried about a population increase.
If humans can attain nirvana or reach marga phala then there will be a population decrease.

James Tan
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Re: Rebirth and population increase.

Post by James Tan » Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:38 am

justindesilva wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:29 am
James Tan wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 5:24 am
According to dependent origination theory , when the conditions is Sufficient then things , events and being will come to be .
For that reason , the whole of existences could produce and reproduce , it is like the cell divide into two or more , from many merging into one and replicate itself .
Mahatanhasankya sutta explains the relationship of rebirth and paticca samuppada in a manner to explain ending of samsara. I do not think Lord budda was ever worried about a population increase.
If humans can attain nirvana or reach marga phala then there will be a population decrease.
Attaining nibbana is a very rare occurrence , population decrease does not reciprocal with humans attaining liberation .
:reading:

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