the great rebirth debate

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
zamis
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by zamis » Mon Jan 05, 2009 7:44 pm

Nyanatiloka Mahathera says in "Kamma and Rebirth"
And further I wanted to point out that the kamma-process and rebirth-process may both be made comprehensible only by the assumption of a subconscious stream of life underlying everything in living nature.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... 4.html#ch2

What say ya'll?
"You're almost at the end of your lease in this burning house and yet you continue latching onto it as your self. It tricks you into feeling fear and love, and when you fall for it, what path will you practice? " Upasika Kee Nanayon

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Will
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Will » Mon Jan 05, 2009 8:20 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

To see the primary list of 62 wrong views the Buddha did refute see...

DN 1 - Brahmajala Sutta
http://web.ukonline.co.uk/theravada/brahma1.htm

Note that all views concerning post-death were wrong because they posited a soul/atman to pass over (eternalism) or be destroyed (annihilationism).

Where there is no view of self, these wrong speculative views are not held.

Metta,
Retro. :)
Yet a right intellectual view of no self does not itself prevent future conventional births again or the operation of kamma/vipaka, correct?
Wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost. -- AN 10.1

Element

Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Element » Mon Jan 05, 2009 8:56 pm

jcsuperstar wrote:what's your take?
In terms of practice (rather than sutta interpretation), the view of non-rebirth results in a stronger reliance of refuge in the three characteristics, namely, impermanence, unsatisfactoriness & not-self.

For example, the practice of contemplation of death. If one is a non-rebirther, this takes on a different and more powerful significance.

When there is 'no escape', we can fully and powerfully test and apply the higher teachings of the Buddha and gain complete confidence in their efficacy to end dukkha.

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retrofuturist
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by retrofuturist » Mon Jan 05, 2009 9:49 pm

Greetings WIll,
Will wrote:Yet a right intellectual view of no self does not itself prevent future conventional births again or the operation of kamma/vipaka, correct?
Even if you "know" that anatta is true (a prerequisite for stream-entry, I believe), it's only the attainment of arahantship which would "prevent future conventional births again or the operation of kamma/vipaka".

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Will
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Will » Mon Jan 05, 2009 10:29 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings WIll,
Will wrote:Yet a right intellectual view of no self does not itself prevent future conventional births again or the operation of kamma/vipaka, correct?
Even if you "know" that anatta is true (a prerequisite for stream-entry, I believe), it's only the attainment of arahantship which would "prevent future conventional births again or the operation of kamma/vipaka".

Metta,
Retro. :)
I agree.

Therefore this "debate" wastes so much energy by one faction talking about their preferred practice and the other on the fact of Buddha teaching literal rebirth. Not a good basis for debate, if we keep arguing from differing premises. So I am out of it.
Wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost. -- AN 10.1

Element

Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Element » Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:18 pm

Will wrote:Therefore this "debate" wastes so much energy by one faction talking about their preferred practice and the other on the fact of Buddha teaching literal rebirth. Not a good basis for debate, if we keep arguing from differing premises. So I am out of it.
i disagree. if one has not attained stream entry, why bother talking about arahantship?

[Edited to correct attribution of quote - Retro.]

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kc2dpt
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by kc2dpt » Tue Jan 06, 2009 12:23 am

Will wrote:Therefore this "debate" wastes so much energy by one faction talking about their preferred practice and the other on the fact of Buddha teaching literal rebirth.
The debate is whether that preferred practice is actually a Buddhist practice. If one comes to a Buddhist forum and says their preferred practice is, for example, to sacrifice animals people will not hesitate to tell him that is not Buddhist practice. Likewise, if one says they hold a view of annihilation then this is wrong view therefore not part of the Noble Eightfold Path.
Not a good basis for debate, if we keep arguing from differing premises.
What are the different premises? What premise are you arguing from?
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.

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stuka
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by stuka » Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:18 am

Peter wrote:
Will wrote:Therefore this "debate" wastes so much energy by one faction talking about their preferred practice and the other on the fact of Buddha teaching literal rebirth.
The debate is whether that preferred practice is actually a Buddhist practice. If one comes to a Buddhist forum and says their preferred practice is, for example, to sacrifice animals people will not hesitate to tell him that is not Buddhist practice. Likewise, if one says they hold a view of annihilation then this is wrong view therefore not part of the Noble Eightfold Path.
Not a good basis for debate, if we keep arguing from differing premises.
What are the different premises? What premise are you arguing from?

Can I see a show of hands of all who claim annihilationism, materialism, and/or nihilism?

If no one here holds any of these positions, it seems rather a straw man to bring them up.

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stuka
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by stuka » Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:27 am

zamis wrote:Nyanatiloka Mahathera says in "Kamma and Rebirth"
And further I wanted to point out that the kamma-process and rebirth-process may both be made comprehensible only by the assumption of a subconscious stream of life underlying everything in living nature.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... 4.html#ch2

What say ya'll?

Sounds like Sati the Fisherman's Son.

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stuka
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by stuka » Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:30 am

Will wrote:
Yet a right intellectual view of no self does not itself prevent future conventional births again or the operation of kamma/vipaka, correct?


Buddha didn't teach "no-self".

"Ananda, if I — being asked by Vacchagotta the wanderer if there is a self — were to answer that there is a self, that would be conforming with those priests & contemplatives who are exponents of eternalism. If I — being asked by Vacchagotta the wanderer if there is no self — were to answer that there is no self, that would be conforming with those priests & contemplatives who are exponents of annihilationism.

Element

Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Element » Tue Jan 06, 2009 3:30 am

Peter wrote: If one comes to a Buddhist forum and says their preferred practice is, for example, to sacrifice animals people will not hesitate to tell him that is not Buddhist practice. Likewise, if one says they hold a view of annihilation then this is wrong view therefore not part of the Noble Eightfold Path.
I would like to make a suggestion, in that we clarify the premise we are arguing from. For example, if we say to "hold a view of annihilation then this is wrong view therefore not part of the Noble Eightfold Path", we need to explain how it relates to actual practice. For example, let us consider the Buddha's words below found in the Maha-parinibbana Sutta.
Yet, Ananda, have I not taught from the very beginning that with all that is dear & beloved there must be change, separation & severance? Of that which is born, come into being, is compounded & subject to decay, how can one say: 'May it not come to dissolution!' There can be no such state of things.
The above words are clearly spoken for the purpose of quenching suffering. They are a method of practise to end suffering.

With metta

Element

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stuka
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by stuka » Tue Jan 06, 2009 5:38 am

Will wrote:
Therefore this "debate" wastes so much energy by one faction talking about their preferred practice and the other on the fact of Buddha teaching literal rebirth. Not a good basis for debate, if we keep arguing from differing premises. So I am out of it.
Seems rather a conveniently distorted characterization of what is being discussed, to provide smoke cover for a hasty retreat.

There are those who would claim that without active, positive belief in reincarnation/"rebirth", one cannot call oneself Buddhist, and one cannot practice the Noble Eightfold Path (this is, of course, the nexus wherein lies the discussion of practice vs. belief in superstitions and speculative views). Of course, this same faction tends to pound ad nauseum the fallacious argument that claims that non-belief is the same as belief in a negative (nihilist, annihiliationist) position, which is of course a Straw Man (actually a Straw-Man/Red-Herring/Ad-Hominem Cocktail).

Some venues will allow, and even encourage and enforce Ad Baculum, such chicanery. We seriously doubt that Dhamma Wheel is one of them.

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Cittasanto
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Cittasanto » Tue Jan 06, 2009 9:22 am

Maybe Dhammanando, or another could provide sutta references to the different places rebirth is mentioned?

but why does the Buddha have to be talking about two different lives why not two different moments?
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He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
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Element

Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Element » Tue Jan 06, 2009 9:40 am

Manapa wrote:Maybe Dhammanando, or another could provide sutta references to the different places rebirth is mentioned?
Suttas support both rebirth & non-rebirth. The important issue is to relate one's view to practice.

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Ben
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Ben » Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:47 am

Dear all,
Espousing among views his own as highest,
Whatever he regards as "best",
All else he will as "low" condemn;
Thus one will never get beyond disputes


-- Sutta Nipata v.796
The wonderful thing about Dhamma is that through bhavana one develops one's own insight into the nature of things.
May your meditation be productive!
Kind regards

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
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Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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