Why Buddhism is not Nihilism?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
SarathW
Posts: 14139
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Why Buddhism is not Nihilism?

Post by SarathW »

Why Buddhism is not Nihilism?
Considering the fact I do not have any direct knowledge of re-birth or the effect of Kamma, it is not easy for me to reject the Nihilism.
Having said that I strictly believe in ten wholesome kamma. (I believe in spontaneously born being in my own way)
Even Buddha said what is reborn is not me.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
User avatar
cappuccino
Posts: 4689
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:45 am

Re: Why Buddhism is not Nihilism?

Post by cappuccino »

each day is a rebirth from the previous day

each life is similar to a new day
SarathW
Posts: 14139
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Why Buddhism is not Nihilism?

Post by SarathW »

cappuccino wrote: Sun Mar 10, 2019 1:15 am each day is a rebirth from the previous day

each life is similar to a new day
Perhaps even each thought moment!
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
santa100
Posts: 4257
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:55 pm

Re: Why Buddhism is not Nihilism?

Post by santa100 »

Humans possess the unique capability for abstract thinking and reasoning. A frog sitting at the bottom of a well looking up at the sky would think that the sky is just that tiny blue circle directly above its head and nothing else. A human would ponder what if the sky is something much more than that EVEN though he's not able to see it just yet.
User avatar
DooDoot
Posts: 8352
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:06 pm

Re: Why Buddhism is not Nihilism?

Post by DooDoot »

SarathW wrote: Sun Mar 10, 2019 1:09 amWhy Buddhism is not Nihilism?
Do the suttas ever mention the term "nihilism"? What is the Pali equivalent? Thanks
SarathW wrote: Sun Mar 10, 2019 1:09 amConsidering the fact I do not have any direct knowledge of re-birth or the effect of Kamma, it is not easy for me to reject the Nihilism.
You don't have any direct knowledge of the effect of kamma? Didn't the Buddha teach laypeople, such as in the Kalama Sutta, they should have direct knowledge of the effects of kamma?
SarathW wrote: Sun Mar 10, 2019 1:09 amEven Buddha said what is reborn is not me.
Where did the Buddha say: "What is reborn is not me/you"? If what is reborn is not you, why would you bother to do good kamma if it is not you inheriting the results of your good kamma? Would your work so another reaps the reward of your work?

In SN 12.17, the Buddha said the following, which sounds like the idea: "What is reborn is not me":
...if one thinks, ‘The one who acts is one, the one who experiences the result is another,’ then one asserts with reference to one stricken by feeling: ‘Suffering is created by another.’ When one asserts thus, this amounts to annihilationism (ucchedaṃ).

https://suttacentral.net/sn12.17/en/bodhi
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/paticcasamuppada
https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/anapanasati
SarathW
Posts: 14139
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Why Buddhism is not Nihilism?

Post by SarathW »

Do the suttas ever mention the term "nihilism"? What is the Pali equivalent? Thanks
annihilationism (ucchedaṃ)?

The good point perhaps.
Now I have to get the meaning of these terms right.
So what is the difference between annihilation and nihilism?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
User avatar
DooDoot
Posts: 8352
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:06 pm

Re: Why Buddhism is not Nihilism?

Post by DooDoot »

SarathW wrote: Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:59 am Now I have to get the meaning of these terms right.
So what is the difference between annihilation and nihilism?
Good question.
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/paticcasamuppada
https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/anapanasati
User avatar
Bundokji
Posts: 2873
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:57 pm

Re: Why Buddhism is not Nihilism?

Post by Bundokji »

Buddhism is not nihilism because nihilism is a belief that a self does not exist. Thinking in terms of "exist" and/or "does not exist" is based on self view no less in the negative sense (by denying it) than in the positive sense (affirming its existence).

According to my understanding, the teachings on Anatta is relevant to the extent that clinging to impermanent conditioned phenomena causes suffering. It has little to do with confirming or denying the existence of a self. It simply says that if we attach to the impermanent, we will inevitably suffer.

However, we attach to the conditioned because we don't see its impermanent nature. When we investigate, we see that we believe that things has independent existence (a self) and we are told that this believe is a delusion so our reaction is to deny its existence which becomes a part of our practice. This denial, however, does not necessarily result in a radical change in our behavior as we still act as if a self exists. This is why, it is not too far fetched to conclude that most Buddhists are nihilists except those who completely freed themselves from self view.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.
thang
Posts: 241
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2018 10:37 pm

Re: Why Buddhism is not Nihilism?

Post by thang »

At Verañja

“Master Gotama is a teacher of annihilationism.”

“There is, brahmin, a sense in which you could rightly say that I’m a teacher of annihilationism. For I teach the annihilation of greed, hate, and delusion, and the many kinds of unskillful things. In this sense you could rightly say that I’m a teacher of annihilationism. But that’s not what you’re talking about.”
"Bhikkhus, whatever the Tathāgata speaks, _ all that is just so and NOT otherwise."
SarathW
Posts: 14139
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Why Buddhism is not Nihilism?

Post by SarathW »

For I teach the annihilation of greed, hate, and delusion, and the many kinds of unskillful things.
Does he teach the annihilation of consciousness?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
User avatar
Germann
Posts: 463
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:24 pm

Re: Why Buddhism is not Nihilism?

Post by Germann »

SarathW wrote: Sun Mar 10, 2019 1:09 am Why Buddhism is not Nihilism?
Considering the fact I do not have any direct knowledge of re-birth or the effect of Kamma, it is not easy for me to reject the Nihilism.
Having said that I strictly believe in ten wholesome kamma. (I believe in spontaneously born being in my own way)
Even Buddha said what is reborn is not me.
Madhyamaka denies the constant, unchanging "self", the bearer of dharmas - but does not deny the "self" totally, because a person, in fact, is a changeable stream of experiences (dharmas), and not something non-existent.
sentinel
Posts: 3187
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 1:26 pm

Re: Why Buddhism is not Nihilism?

Post by sentinel »

SarathW wrote: Sun Mar 10, 2019 7:45 am
For I teach the annihilation of greed, hate, and delusion, and the many kinds of unskillful things.
Does he teach the annihilation of consciousness?
At the break up of the body of an arhat , consciousness shall not arise again . As such one may regard it being annihilated .
You always gain by giving
pegembara
Posts: 1711
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 8:39 am

Re: Why Buddhism is not Nihilism?

Post by pegembara »

thang wrote: Sun Mar 10, 2019 7:25 am
At Verañja

“Master Gotama is a teacher of annihilationism.”

“There is, brahmin, a sense in which you could rightly say that I’m a teacher of annihilationism. For I teach the annihilation of greed, hate, and delusion, and the many kinds of unskillful things. In this sense you could rightly say that I’m a teacher of annihilationism. But that’s not what you’re talking about.”
The Buddha also taught the annihilation/destruction of self identity/attahood.
"'A being,' lord. 'A being,' it's said. To what extent is one said to be 'a being'?"

"Any desire, passion, delight, or craving for form, Radha: when one is caught up[1] there, tied up[2] there, one is said to be 'a being.'[3]

"Any desire, passion, delight, or craving for feeling... perception... fabrications...

"Any desire, passion, delight, or craving for consciousness, Radha: when one is caught up there, tied up there, one is said to be 'a being.'

"Just as when boys or girls are playing with little sand castles:[4] as long as they are not free from passion, desire, love, thirst, fever, & craving for those little sand castles, that's how long they have fun with those sand castles, enjoy them, treasure them, feel possessive of them. But when they become free from passion, desire, love, thirst, fever, & craving for those little sand castles, then they smash them, scatter them, demolish them with their hands or feet and make them unfit for play.

"You should smash, scatter, & demolish consciousness and make it unfit for play. Practice for the ending of craving for consciousness

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.
SarathW
Posts: 14139
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Why Buddhism is not Nihilism?

Post by SarathW »

Practice for the ending of craving for consciousness
But Buddha was conscious.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
User avatar
Pondera
Posts: 1508
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:02 pm

Re: Why Buddhism is not Nihilism?

Post by Pondera »

Nihilism is the theory that whether you do good or bad, there is no consequence. One of Buddha’s contemporaries held this view. Ie. giving gifts up and down one side of the Ganges results in no merit. Slaying men, women, and children up and down the other side of the Ganges until there is only one massive heap of flesh ... there is no guilt felt by he who does so.

Purana Kassappa was his name.

Edit: Kassappa was a “moral” nihilist. There are many? (IDK) other “types” of nihilism - entailing different things about the cosmos, man, and his relation to it. I believe the underlying theme of nihilism is that “nothing matters in the end”.
Post Reply