the great rebirth debate

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
User avatar
clw_uk
Posts: 4718
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am

Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by clw_uk » Mon Jan 27, 2014 2:21 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
clw_uk wrote: I don't know the Buddhas intent, by that I mean I do not know if he meant to use it as a skilfull means to help others aim at wholesome actions (which helps to then lead them to his own teachings) or if he taught it as being an empirical fact, that he either believed or knew about.
There is no way of knowing for sure, but I find it difficult to believe that the Buddha would have made stuff up in order to reach a wider audience.


Maybe it's true, I don't know

However the aim for me is nibbana, so if there is rebirth or not I would practice the same


Subjectively, If somehow I knew there was rebirth or not, I would still practice Dhamma

I think thats Buddhisms biggest strength, that it has real value regardless of metaphysics

I take Buddhism as a set of tools to help me be free from unnecessary pain, not as a set of doctrines to believe in as such
Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken

User avatar
Pondera
Posts: 795
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:02 pm

Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Pondera » Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:54 am

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=tbruPR3o0Z ... bruPR3o0Zc - this is a short animation of how the universe might expand and contract if space-time were doughnut shaped. If you add total determinism (or near total determinism) into the mix, you have a pretty good argument for your life repeating over and over again. Doesn't help much connecting one birth to another.

Is there evidence that space-time is donut shaped? Apparently "it's flat". But then, if our focal point is on .... I don't really understand how scientists measure space-time. I wish I did. I think the donut shaped universe is a comforting model and I'd like to argue for it (in some other place and time).
Four simple meditations on earth, water, fire, and wind - leading to tranquility and pleasure, equanimity and peacehttps://drive.google.com/file/d/1G3qI6G ... sp=sharing

User avatar
Alex123
Posts: 3476
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Alex123 » Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:59 am

Pondera wrote:your life repeating over and over again. Doesn't help much connecting one birth to another.

If
a) Your consciousness and sense of identity is entirely product of material causes (brain with certain pattern of brain activity).
b) There are infinite amount of Universes (as in cyclical or other models) .

Then after enough big bangs/big crunches either this situation will repeat again and you will be reborn, or some creature/person can be born with similar type of brain and brain activity so that there is birth of you again. This all hinges on physicalism and infinite amount of universes model.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

AJungianIdeal
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2013 8:51 am

Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by AJungianIdeal » Tue Jan 28, 2014 2:45 am

My understanding of post-mortem rebirth is that it isn't rebirth of a person per se but more the rebirth of experiencing or awareness. Is that wrong?

SamKR
Posts: 995
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 4:33 pm

Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by SamKR » Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:20 am

AJungianIdeal wrote:My understanding of post-mortem rebirth is that it isn't rebirth of a person per se but more the rebirth of experiencing or awareness. Is that wrong?
I think it's not wrong. Rebirth (jati) is the formation of new aggregates of experiences, due to a renewed becoming (bhava), along with ignorance and self-identification, etc. The set of experiences before death (the present loka) "changes to" a new set of experiences (the future loka) - and these experiences, like present or past experiences, are ruled by sankhara. That is how I understand a rebirth.

Dinsdale
Posts: 5975
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 am
Location: Andromeda looks nice

Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Dinsdale » Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:37 am

SamKR wrote: I think it's not wrong. Rebirth (jati) is the formation of new aggregates of experiences, due to a renewed becoming (bhava), along with ignorance and self-identification, etc. The set of experiences before death (the present loka) "changes to" a new set of experiences (the future loka) - and these experiences, like present or past experiences, are ruled by sankhara. That is how I understand a rebirth.
I think that's a good explanation. I usually think about rebirth as a dependent re-arising of consciousness, but it amounts to the same.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

User avatar
Pondera
Posts: 795
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:02 pm

Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Pondera » Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:57 am

Pretty sure Tibetan Book of the Dead talks about the consciousness of the knower descending into the mind of the fetus at a very particular instance in the fetal development. The descent, I believe, is from heaven (or "limbo" I think is a better term).
Four simple meditations on earth, water, fire, and wind - leading to tranquility and pleasure, equanimity and peacehttps://drive.google.com/file/d/1G3qI6G ... sp=sharing

User avatar
Pondera
Posts: 795
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:02 pm

Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Pondera » Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:58 am

Alex123 wrote:
Pondera wrote:your life repeating over and over again. Doesn't help much connecting one birth to another.

If
a) Your consciousness and sense of identity is entirely product of material causes (brain with certain pattern of brain activity).
b) There are infinite amount of Universes (as in cyclical or other models) .

Then after enough big bangs/big crunches either this situation will repeat again and you will be reborn, or some creature/person can be born with similar type of brain and brain activity so that there is birth of you again. This all hinges on physicalism and infinite amount of universes model.
Another viable theory. Still doesn't seem to explain linkages between births, however.
Four simple meditations on earth, water, fire, and wind - leading to tranquility and pleasure, equanimity and peacehttps://drive.google.com/file/d/1G3qI6G ... sp=sharing

User avatar
Alex123
Posts: 3476
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Alex123 » Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:22 am

Pondera wrote:
Alex123 wrote:
Pondera wrote:your life repeating over and over again. Doesn't help much connecting one birth to another.

If
a) Your consciousness and sense of identity is entirely product of material causes (brain with certain pattern of brain activity).
b) There are infinite amount of Universes (as in cyclical or other models) .

Then after enough big bangs/big crunches either this situation will repeat again and you will be reborn, or some creature/person can be born with similar type of brain and brain activity so that there is birth of you again. This all hinges on physicalism and infinite amount of universes model.
Another viable theory. Still doesn't seem to explain linkages between births, however.

There is no link. Just that later being has a brain function similar to the dead person.


We have no evidence of some sort of thing, call it "consciousness", "mind", "gandhabba", or "soul" passing from one body to another.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

User avatar
Pondera
Posts: 795
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:02 pm

Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Pondera » Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:40 am

We have the attainment "knowledge of the passing away and arising of beings according to their kamma". I don't personally have this, but it is included in the doctrine.
Four simple meditations on earth, water, fire, and wind - leading to tranquility and pleasure, equanimity and peacehttps://drive.google.com/file/d/1G3qI6G ... sp=sharing

User avatar
Alex123
Posts: 3476
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Alex123 » Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:19 am

Pondera wrote:We have the attainment "knowledge of the passing away and arising of beings according to their kamma". I don't personally have this, but it is included in the doctrine.

And Jesus had knowledge of "The Truth" . So what?
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

chownah
Posts: 7550
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by chownah » Wed Jan 29, 2014 4:52 am

Alex123 wrote:

We have no evidence of some sort of thing, call it "consciousness", "mind", "gandhabba", or "soul" passing from one body to another.
Indeed we have no such evidence......but there is ample evidence that DNA and it's associated mechanisms are passed from one body to another and that this transmission contains information which will to a great extent influence (or even determine for some things) the characteristics of the being that is born.....sounds a bit like kamma.....

I think that those who claim knowledge of their past lives do so because some information from what is assumed to be a past life has been transferred to this life......seems like this transfer of information is the essence of that knowledge. We have no evidence of how that information can be transferred to us from before our birth EXCEPT for DNA and it's associated mechanisms (and of course by word of mouth from those who were born before us eg. from our elders).......the striking instincts that many animals are born with is an obvious hint at a previous life and I'm wondering what connection there is between DNA and instincts.....are sheep dogs born with an inate tendency to herd sheep because they all share in a previous life experience or is it because of something in their genetics?
chownah

User avatar
Pondera
Posts: 795
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:02 pm

Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Pondera » Wed Jan 29, 2014 6:26 am

Alex123 wrote:
Pondera wrote:We have the attainment "knowledge of the passing away and arising of beings according to their kamma". I don't personally have this, but it is included in the doctrine.

And Jesus had knowledge of "The Truth" . So what?
Nothing. No point.
Four simple meditations on earth, water, fire, and wind - leading to tranquility and pleasure, equanimity and peacehttps://drive.google.com/file/d/1G3qI6G ... sp=sharing

User avatar
Alex123
Posts: 3476
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Alex123 » Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:45 pm

chownah wrote:We have no evidence of some sort of thing, call it "consciousness", "mind", "gandhabba", or "soul" passing from one body to another.
Indeed we have no such evidence......but there is ample evidence that DNA and it's associated mechanisms are passed from one body to another and that this transmission contains information which will to a great extent influence (or even determine for some things) the characteristics of the being that is born.....sounds a bit like kamma..... [/quote]

But this is rebirth of the species, not of a person or stream of consciousness.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

Dinsdale
Posts: 5975
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 am
Location: Andromeda looks nice

Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Dinsdale » Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:33 pm

Alex123 wrote: But this is rebirth of the species, not of a person or stream of consciousness.
Each set of genes is unique, but they derive from the parents' genes. So maybe it's the rebirth of a family line?
Buddha save me from new-agers!

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider], cappuccino, Sam Vara and 100 guests