Do you believe in the infallibility of the Buddha's word?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Do you believe in the infallibility of the Buddha's word?

Yes
17
57%
No
13
43%
 
Total votes: 30


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seeker242
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Re: Do you believe in the infallibility of the Buddha's word?

Post by seeker242 » Sat Jun 23, 2018 10:04 am

The only way to test the infallibility of the Buddha's word is to practice his teaching.
Yes. Although, practicing it could easily cause a yes answer as well. So one should not assume, as many do, that yes simply means blind faith. Yes could also be just a consequence of actually practicing it. :meditate:

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Re: Do you believe in the infallibility of the Buddha's word?

Post by Saengnapha » Sat Jun 23, 2018 12:00 pm

Dinsdale wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:37 am
Saengnapha wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:24 am
Dinsdale wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:21 am


It's ironic then that Buddhism has been described as the "science of the mind", and that insight practice into the three marks looks rather similar to the scientific method of detailed observation based on theories.
Yes, words, words, words. So many words. Reminds me of the advert with Clive Owen, "Thinking, so much thinking......."
It's a discussion forum, so there are going to be lots of words. :tongue:
I know. Just feeling playful........

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Pseudobabble
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Re: Do you believe in the infallibility of the Buddha's word?

Post by Pseudobabble » Sat Jun 23, 2018 12:39 pm

seeker242 wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 10:04 am
The only way to test the infallibility of the Buddha's word is to practice his teaching.
Yes. Although, practicing it could easily cause a yes answer as well. So one should not assume, as many do, that yes simply means blind faith. Yes could also be just a consequence of actually practicing it. :meditate:
This is the most dangerous idea yet posted in the thread.
"Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is perception...such are fabrications...such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.'" - Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta


'Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.' - Genesis 3:19

'Some fart freely, some try to hide and silence it. Which one is correct?' - Saegnapha

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Re: Do you believe in the infallibility of the Buddha's word?

Post by Dinsdale » Sat Jun 23, 2018 3:08 pm

Wizard in the Forest wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 9:35 am
Scientism is something he seems to consider a danger.
I think religious fundamentalism is far more dangerous than Scientism...that reminds me, I must buy some more candles for my Saint Dawkins shrine. :tongue:
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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Re: Do you believe in the infallibility of the Buddha's word?

Post by Dinsdale » Sat Jun 23, 2018 3:12 pm

seeker242 wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 10:04 am
Yes could also be just a consequence of actually practicing it. :meditate:
It's all rather subjective though. Something that works for me might not work for you, and vice versa. And sometimes practices lead in unexpected directions.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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Re: Do you believe in the infallibility of the Buddha's word?

Post by dylanj » Sat Jun 23, 2018 10:31 pm

robertk wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 9:50 am
dylanj wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:48 am
Dinsdale wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:42 am


I'm afraid I don't understand your antipathy towards scientists. Mostly they are just people doing a job.
I'm not antipathetic towards scientists, I am apathetic & distrusting.
From Scott Adams
Claim that you heard of a cure for baldness, cancer and old age.

Dumb people will assume that you are highly qualified to dispense medical advice, especially if you say you tried something and it worked, or you saw it on Oprah. Then they’ll drop on all fours and scurry out to the backyard to begin the cure. Smart people will ask you what scientific evidence you have to back up your ridiculous claim.

Smart Person: What evidence do you have of your claim?
Me: What evidence do you have of anything you think you know.

IMG_0254.PNG
heh. yep.

Image
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susukhaṁ vata nibbānaṁ,
sammā­sambud­dha­desitaṁ;
asokaṁ virajaṁ khemaṁ,
yattha dukkhaṁ nirujjhatī


Oh! extinction is so very blissful,
As taught by the One Rightly Self-Awakened:
Sorrowless, stainless, secure;
Where suffering all ceases


etaṁ santaṁ etaṁ paṇītaṁ yadidaṁ sabbasaṅkhārasamatho sabbūpadhipaṭi nissaggo taṇhakkhayo virāgo nirodho nibbānaṁ

This is peaceful, this is excellent, that is: the stilling of all preparations, the relinquishment of all attachments, the destruction of craving, detachment, cessation, extinction.

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salayatananirodha
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Re: Do you believe in the infallibility of the Buddha's word?

Post by salayatananirodha » Sun Jun 24, 2018 2:56 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:29 pm
dylanj wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:22 pm
If the Buddha told me the Earth is flat I would believe it.
Why would you believe it? This is a genuine question based on a desire to understand your viewpoint. What is it that you know or believe of the Buddha that would make him an incontrovertible authority on any subject? Is it that you know him to be right on some things, and you extrapolate that rightness to all things? Or is it something different?
What else but precisely inductive reasoning?
When you inspect the Dhamma and test it for yourself and verify x, y, z, and so on, you might think "Well, if Lord Buddha is correct about these, can it be he is also correct about a, b, c, d, e and f?" The cries of blind faith in this thread are a red herring. We have a most excellent blueprint for the raft we're to be building to cross the flood. It's not all that hard, either. You have to put on your reading glasses and take the tools up in your hands rather than look at it and say "My, what a lovely piece of art this Dhamma, why don't I hang it up in my dining room?"
16. 'In what has the world originated?' — so said the Yakkha Hemavata, — 'with what is the world intimate? by what is the world afflicted, after having grasped at what?' (167)

17. 'In six the world has originated, O Hemavata,' — so said Bhagavat, — 'with six it is intimate, by six the world is afflicted, after having grasped at six.' (168)

- Hemavatasutta


links:
https://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/index.htm
http://thaiforestwisdom.org/canonical-texts/
http://seeingthroughthenet.net/
https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html

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Re: Do you believe in the infallibility of the Buddha's word?

Post by dylanj » Sun Jun 24, 2018 6:27 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:29 pm
Is it that you know him to be right on some things, and you extrapolate that rightness to all things?
Yes, but not just "right", perfectly & profoundly correct about the ultimate truth, in a way that cannot be explained aside from him being fully awakened.

& I know him to be virtuous, perfected in virtue, I know he would not utter falsehood, not even as some sort of "skillful means" (there is nothing skillful about lying), not even if it was socially accepted as true but unfactual - he would not be misleading, he would not speak in a way that encourages anyone to believe something that is false. He would not assert something he did not have certitude & direct knowledge about. To do so would be to undermine his authority & make him a flawed teacher.

& this is all said by him, anyway. All the quotes I've provided here & elsewhere plainly & straightforwardly declare his word to be objectively true & valid without any caveats like "it's just the culture" or "his intention wasn't to lie". These excuses are projections of an illogical & irrational degree of skepticism that results from people placing too much faith in a materialist scientism, & from unwillingness to give him the benefit of the doubt & try to understand how what one previously believes might be false, & how what he teaches might be true.

The process of being skeptical of oneself & faithful of the Buddha is a process of self-purification, one must be able to suspend their own inclinations & develop inclinations towards what they know to be higher, purer, wiser than their defiled mind in order to progress towards truth.
susukhaṁ vata nibbānaṁ,
sammā­sambud­dha­desitaṁ;
asokaṁ virajaṁ khemaṁ,
yattha dukkhaṁ nirujjhatī


Oh! extinction is so very blissful,
As taught by the One Rightly Self-Awakened:
Sorrowless, stainless, secure;
Where suffering all ceases


etaṁ santaṁ etaṁ paṇītaṁ yadidaṁ sabbasaṅkhārasamatho sabbūpadhipaṭi nissaggo taṇhakkhayo virāgo nirodho nibbānaṁ

This is peaceful, this is excellent, that is: the stilling of all preparations, the relinquishment of all attachments, the destruction of craving, detachment, cessation, extinction.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Do you believe in the infallibility of the Buddha's word?

Post by Sam Vara » Sun Jun 24, 2018 6:55 am

dylanj wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 6:27 am
Sam Vara wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:29 pm
Is it that you know him to be right on some things, and you extrapolate that rightness to all things?
Yes, but not just "right", perfectly & profoundly correct about the ultimate truth, in a way that cannot be explained aside from him being fully awakened.

& I know him to be virtuous, perfected in virtue, I know he would not utter falsehood, not even as some sort of "skillful means" (there is nothing skillful about lying), not even if it was socially accepted as true but unfactual - he would not be misleading, he would not speak in a way that encourages anyone to believe something that is false. He would not assert something he did not have certitude & direct knowledge about. To do so would be to undermine his authority & make him a flawed teacher.

& this is all said by him, anyway. All the quotes I've provided here & elsewhere plainly & straightforwardly declare his word to be objectively true & valid without any caveats like "it's just the culture" or "his intention wasn't to lie". These excuses are projections of an illogical & irrational degree of skepticism that results from people placing too much faith in a materialist scientism, & from unwillingness to give him the benefit of the doubt & try to understand how what one previously believes might be false, & how what he teaches might be true.

The process of being skeptical of oneself & faithful of the Buddha is a process of self-purification, one must be able to suspend their own inclinations & develop inclinations towards what they know to be higher, purer, wiser than their defiled mind in order to progress towards truth.
Yes, understood. Are you claiming that you yourself are enlightened or have some kind of deeper insight into the Buddha which allows you to say that you have knowledge rather than mere faith? For example, without criticising or denigrating what you say, what is the nature your knowledge of his "rightness" about the ultimate truth? How is it different from, say, understanding what others (his contemporary disciples) said of him, and strongly approving of it?

The same applies to the status of the quotes provided. They say that the Buddha's word is objectively true, but how do you know that the quotes themselves are true? Presumably, similar quotes regarding objective truth could be made by the followers of any religion, which raises questions as to why one attributes inerrancy to the what is said of the Buddha, but not to what is said in, say, Roman Catholicism or Islam. Knowledge which is dependent upon a statement being true can be no more certain than one's knowledge of the statement being true.

Again, because this is a subject which often becomes heated and full of disputes, let me say that I am merely trying to understand your particular approach to this, rather than disapproving of it.

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Re: Do you believe in the infallibility of the Buddha's word?

Post by rightviewftw » Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:15 am

should one answer no on the poll if one knows rather than believes? might be messing up the results, perhaps some of the non-believers are awakened to the truth and roughly half of the forum is not actually deprived in faith and knowledge :smile:
Last edited by rightviewftw on Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:49 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Do you believe in the infallibility of the Buddha's word?

Post by Sam Vara » Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:28 am

salayatananirodha wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 2:56 am

What else but precisely inductive reasoning?
When you inspect the Dhamma and test it for yourself and verify x, y, z, and so on, you might think "Well, if Lord Buddha is correct about these, can it be he is also correct about a, b, c, d, e and f?" The cries of blind faith in this thread are a red herring. We have a most excellent blueprint for the raft we're to be building to cross the flood. It's not all that hard, either. You have to put on your reading glasses and take the tools up in your hands rather than look at it and say "My, what a lovely piece of art this Dhamma, why don't I hang it up in my dining room?"
Yes, I understand the importance of inductive reasoning for practice, but here we are talking about believing in facts (specifically, the flatness of the earth) which run far ahead of inductive knowledge. Given that we know that the earth is round due to inductive reasoning - the proposition is based on many thousands of observations of the horizon, photographs from space flight, etc.) then we would need to be presented with some very different evidence about the shape of the earth if it is induction which is to change our minds.

The same applies, of course, to all religious claims regarding truth. For example, in Christianity, the inductive "Argument from Design" can never jump the gap to the existence of a designer; this is something that David Hume famously dealt with. In Buddhist terms, what makes the blueprint for the raft "most excellent"? Inductively, it is only as excellent as evidenced by how far it has currently taken one. Any further "excellence" attributed to it is a matter of conjecture and faith.

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Re: Do you believe in the infallibility of the Buddha's word?

Post by dylanj » Sun Jun 24, 2018 9:02 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 6:55 am
Are you claiming that you yourself are enlightened or have some kind of deeper insight into the Buddha which allows you to say that you have knowledge rather than mere faith?
No, not at all. I don't think it takes that much to come to this conclusion, I think it's just the result of common sense & a willingness to relinquish views & place faith. & maybe personal investigation through practice, but not so much that leads to attainment.
Sam Vara wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 6:55 am
For example, without criticising or denigrating what you say, what is the nature your knowledge of his "rightness" about the ultimate truth? How is it different from, say, understanding what others (his contemporary disciples) said of him, and strongly approving of it?
Some of it is the result of practice & attention I suppose. I think the reality of kamma has become undeniably clear to me through my own experience, not just conjecture. Some of it is just implication, i.e. knowing he is right about one thing, the only logical conclusion is he is right about another, due to a relation between the two. Some is from comparing Buddhism to other ideas & seeing how it's comprehensive, to the point of encompassing all things, whereas others are not.

Overall, I've just done my best to understand it in as many ways as possible, & the sum total of that attempt is the conclusion that there is not a single flaw I can find anywhere.

Sam Vara wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 6:55 am
The same applies to the status of the quotes provided. They say that the Buddha's word is objectively true, but how do you know that the quotes themselves are true?
By comparing them to each other. To an extent it's a collective & not individual judgment, I know they are true by & large. But when certain ideas repeatedly match up with each other & occur again & again, & when one idea cannot stand without another & so on, it becomes very hard to deny some things & very easy to notice where others stand out. & given the purity of the Buddha & his Dhamma & his Saṅgha, & given the impurity of my own mind, I take an innocent until proven guilty approach with the suttas. I use the 4 great references per the mahāparinibbāna sutta & check for internal contradictions while being extremely wary of hypercriticsm/skepticism.
Sam Vara wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 6:55 am
Presumably, similar quotes regarding objective truth could be made by the followers of any religion, which raises questions as to why one attributes inerrancy to the what is said of the Buddha, but not to what is said in, say, Roman Catholicism or Islam.
I believe the Buddha's claims not simply because he claims them, but for all the reasons above.
All sorts of religions claim infallibility. I think this one has weight behind that claim where others do not.
Sam Vara wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 6:55 am
Knowledge which is dependent upon a statement being true can be no more certain than one's knowledge of the statement being true.
Some things can be certain, like knowing that if I put one foot in front of the other I will move forward.

Sam Vara wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 6:55 am
Again, because this is a subject which often becomes heated and full of disputes, let me say that I am merely trying to understand your particular approach to this, rather than disapproving of it.
yeah, i can tell. thanks
susukhaṁ vata nibbānaṁ,
sammā­sambud­dha­desitaṁ;
asokaṁ virajaṁ khemaṁ,
yattha dukkhaṁ nirujjhatī


Oh! extinction is so very blissful,
As taught by the One Rightly Self-Awakened:
Sorrowless, stainless, secure;
Where suffering all ceases


etaṁ santaṁ etaṁ paṇītaṁ yadidaṁ sabbasaṅkhārasamatho sabbūpadhipaṭi nissaggo taṇhakkhayo virāgo nirodho nibbānaṁ

This is peaceful, this is excellent, that is: the stilling of all preparations, the relinquishment of all attachments, the destruction of craving, detachment, cessation, extinction.

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Re: Do you believe in the infallibility of the Buddha's word?

Post by rightviewftw » Sun Jun 24, 2018 9:39 am

A person might solve an equation and having arrived at a well-reasoned answer be proven wrong much to his surprise.
There are five things that can turn out in two ways in the here-&-now. Which five? Conviction, liking, unbroken tradition, reasoning by analogy, & an agreement through pondering views. These are the five things that can turn out in two ways in the here-&-now. Now some things are firmly held in conviction and yet vain, empty, & false. Some things are not firmly held in conviction, and yet they are genuine, factual, & unmistaken. Some things are well-liked... truly an unbroken tradition... well-reasoned... Some things are well-pondered and yet vain, empty, & false. Some things are not well-pondered, and yet they are genuine, factual, & unmistaken.
"If a person likes something... holds an unbroken tradition... has something reasoned through analogy... has something he agrees to, having pondered views, his statement, 'This is what I agree to, having pondered views,' safeguards the truth. But he doesn't yet come to the definite conclusion that 'Only this is true; anything else is worthless.' To this extent, Bharadvaja, there is the safeguarding of the truth. To this extent one safeguards the truth. I describe this as the safeguarding of the truth. But it is not yet an awakening to the truth.
I once talked to a christian person who claimed to have faith that allowed him to know jesus christ "100%", i told him that he did not respect the meaning of words and that i did not want to talk to him anymore.
When, on observing that the monk is purified with regard to qualities based on aversion, he next observes him with regard to qualities based on delusion: 'Are there in this venerable one any such qualities based on delusion that, with his mind overcome by these qualities, he might say, "I know," while not knowing, or say, "I see," while not seeing; or that he might urge another to act in a way that was for his/her long-term harm & pain?'
It is quite important

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying in Savatthi, at the Eastern Gatehouse. There he addressed Ven. Sariputta: "Sariputta, do you take it on conviction that the faculty of conviction, when developed & pursued, gains a footing in the Deathless, has the Deathless as its goal & consummation? Do you take it on conviction that the faculty of persistence... mindfulness... concentration... discernment, when developed & pursued, gains a footing in the Deathless, has the Deathless as its goal & consummation?"

"Lord, it's not that I take it on conviction in the Blessed One that the faculty of conviction... persistence... mindfulness... concentration... discernment, when developed & pursued, gains a footing in the Deathless, has the Deathless as its goal & consummation. Those who have not known, seen, penetrated, realized, or attained it by means of discernment would have to take it on conviction in others that the faculty of conviction... persistence... mindfulness... concentration... discernment, when developed & pursued, gains a footing in the Deathless, has the Deathless as its goal & consummation; whereas those who have known, seen, penetrated, realized, & attained it by means of discernment would have no doubt or uncertainty that the faculty of conviction... persistence... mindfulness... concentration... discernment, when developed & pursued, gains a footing in the Deathless, has the Deathless as its goal & consummation. And as for me, I have known, seen, penetrated, realized, & attained it by means of discernment. I have no doubt or uncertainty that the faculty of conviction... persistence... mindfulness... concentration... discernment, when developed & pursued, gains a footing in the Deathless, has the Deathless as its goal & consummation."

"Excellent, Sariputta. Excellent. Those who have not known, seen, penetrated, realized, or attained it by means of discernment would have to take it on conviction in others that the faculty of conviction... persistence... mindfulness... concentration... discernment, when developed & pursued, gains a footing in the Deathless, has the Deathless as its goal & consummation; whereas those who have known, seen, penetrated, realized, & attained it by means of discernment would have no doubt or uncertainty that the faculty of conviction... persistence... mindfulness... concentration... discernment, when developed & pursued, gains a footing in the Deathless, has the Deathless as its goal & consummation."
What now, venerable sir, is the Deathless? What is the path leading to the Deathless?”

“The destruction of lust, the destruction of hatred, the destruction of delusion: this is called the Deathless. This Noble Eightfold Path is the path leading to the Deathless; that is, right view … right concentration.”
"And what is the faculty of discernment? There is the case where a monk, a disciple of the noble ones, is discerning, endowed with discernment of arising & passing away — noble, penetrating, leading to the right ending of stress. He discerns, as it has come to be: 'This is stress... This is the origination of stress... This is the cessation of stress... This is the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress.' This is called the faculty of discernment.
therefore i think that one should not claim to have gone beyond faith if one has not arrived at the Deathless, attained the Eye of Wisdom and realized the Four Noble Truths which would make one "enlightened" or rather awakened to the truth.

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Re: Do you believe in the infallibility of the Buddha's word?

Post by seeker242 » Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:46 am

Pseudobabble wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 12:39 pm
seeker242 wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 10:04 am
The only way to test the infallibility of the Buddha's word is to practice his teaching.
Yes. Although, practicing it could easily cause a yes answer as well. So one should not assume, as many do, that yes simply means blind faith. Yes could also be just a consequence of actually practicing it. :meditate:
This is the most dangerous idea yet posted in the thread.
Believing in the Buddha is hardly dangerous. It's quite the opposite really.

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