No believing in God is not such a good idea.

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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manas
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Re: No believing in God is not such a good idea.

Post by manas » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:41 am

Of course cultures who revered the earth as a goddess were not perfect, and also fought wars, and some sacrificed animals or humans, etc. The difference is in the care and respect given to this planet itself. In that respect, cultures with patriarchal religions get a big 'fail' by way of comparison. Not content to just sacrifice one creature, our culture seems hell-bent on sacrificing the entire biosphere on the altar of corporate greed.
Like a merchant with a small
but well-laden caravan
–a dangerous road,

like a person who loves life
–a poison,

one should avoid
–evil deeds.

(Dhammapada 123)


Buckwheat
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Re: No believing in God is not such a good idea.

Post by Buckwheat » Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:09 pm

m0rl0ck wrote:Agricultural societies are always short of arable land and that lends a peculiar and ugly twist to their ideas about god.
Is it possible the underlying problem is not a belief in God, but a shortage of arable land and other resources such as gold, oil, slaves, etc.?? People often dismiss this possibility without offering any evidence.
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

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waterchan
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Re: No believing in God is not such a good idea.

Post by waterchan » Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:39 pm

There are extremists on both sides of the god fence, and there always will be.

Buddhism is unique not only in that it's somewhat atheistic, but also because it's very difficult to misconstrue a scriptural verse as promoting murder, slavery, rape, or any form of violence, whereas in monotheistic scriptures it's fairly easy to do so.
quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur
(Anything in Latin sounds profound.)

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Kusala
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Re: No believing in God is not such a good idea.

Post by Kusala » Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:32 am

"Kill one man, and you are a murderer. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill them all, and you are a god." - Jean Rostand
Image

"He, the Blessed One, is indeed the Noble Lord, the Perfectly Enlightened One;
He is impeccable in conduct and understanding, the Serene One, the Knower of the Worlds;
He trains perfectly those who wish to be trained; he is Teacher of gods and men; he is Awake and Holy. "

--------------------------------------------
"The Dhamma is well-expounded by the Blessed One,
Apparent here and now, timeless, encouraging investigation,
Leading to liberation, to be experienced individually by the wise. "

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m0rl0ck
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Re: No believing in God is not such a good idea.

Post by m0rl0ck » Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:59 am

Buckwheat wrote:
m0rl0ck wrote:Agricultural societies are always short of arable land and that lends a peculiar and ugly twist to their ideas about god.
Is it possible the underlying problem is not a belief in God, but a shortage of arable land and other resources such as gold, oil, slaves, etc.?? People often dismiss this possibility without offering any evidence.
15:3 Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.
Thats a sane rational response to a trade imbalance is it not?
“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

Buckwheat
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Re: No believing in God is not such a good idea.

Post by Buckwheat » Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:53 pm

m0rl0ck wrote:
Buckwheat wrote:
m0rl0ck wrote:Agricultural societies are always short of arable land and that lends a peculiar and ugly twist to their ideas about god.
Is it possible the underlying problem is not a belief in God, but a shortage of arable land and other resources such as gold, oil, slaves, etc.?? People often dismiss this possibility without offering any evidence.
15:3 Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.
Thats a sane rational response to a trade imbalance is it not?
:strawman: I never credited agrarian society with having rational integrity. I only stated that their motive may be simple materialistic greed. Religious fervor may or may not have anything to do with it. Many of my family and neighbors are non-religious conservatives who seem to have no problem with going to war for non-religious motives. Oil may be more powerful than God.

It seems the better measure of a person is not to ask if they believe in God or not, but to carefully observe their actions to see if they are honest and peaceful.

But really, who has time for that? Let's just to jump to stereotypes: All Christians must be full of hate for all non-Christians, favoring war over compromise and harmony. Yep, it's their fault. See how easy that was?

Jesus taught peace and freedom from material wants. So, if a greedy agrarian commits acts of violence for oil, god, or any other reason: that person is a bad person not because they are a good Christian. That person is a bad person because they are a bad Christian. And yes, there are plenty of those. Just as there are plenty of bad Buddhists, Jews, Hindus, and Muslims.
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

Coyote
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Re: No believing in God is not such a good idea.

Post by Coyote » Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:01 pm

Buckwheat wrote:Jesus taught peace and freedom from material wants. So, if a greedy agrarian commits acts of violence for oil, god, or any other reason: that person is a bad person not because they are a good Christian. That person is a bad person because they are a bad Christian. And yes, there are plenty of those. Just as there are plenty of bad Buddhists, Jews, Hindus, and Muslims.
The problem with this is that those few words in the new testament are not the be all and end all of 75% of Christian (replace Koran and Islam ect.) denominations doctrines. You have the historical churches, including protestant ones, who have historically included acts of violence and war all in the name of being a "good Christian" - read Augustine and other Greek/Latin fathers on just war, for example. I don't think it is fair to generalise either, and thankfully most modern churches take a stand against acts of violence in the name of God, in favour of turning the other cheek (American Orthodox condemn war, for example), and nor do I believe violence is integral or even true to those religions in most cases, but lets not pretend that theism is wholly peaceful and non-violent and that those who do otherwise are not the "real" Christian/muslim/whatever. This is not historically the case, and nor is it believed to be by many theists or objective scholars of those religions. Many religions have a very long history, sometimes stretching back to the founder(s), sometimes not, of violence and aggression, not to mention intolerance, cultism and general crazyness.

That said, it is just clinging to views and sense pleasures that are the cause of violence in the world, often the two go together and justify one another.
:anjali:
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
Iti 26

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LonesomeYogurt
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Re: No believing in God is not such a good idea.

Post by LonesomeYogurt » Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:11 pm

ground wrote:
alan wrote:Belief in a "God" is certainly the dumbest and most useless idea to ever pollute the human realm.
Don't say this. There is a great no. of people living happily due to this belief. Every religion can have - not necessarily does have - the intended effects: contentment, confidence, peace and happiness. Also the current "western" living conditions, negative and positive ones, have been conditioned by christianity. :sage:
Contentment, confidence, peace, and happiness are meaningless and inherently transitory if they're based on illusion. The idea of an eternal loving God is bad simply because it isn't true.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.

alan
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Re: No believing in God is not such a good idea.

Post by alan » Fri Feb 08, 2013 2:45 am

Has there ever been a bigger pollution to rational understanding than the mindless belief in a God?

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ground
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Re: No believing in God is not such a good idea.

Post by ground » Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:23 am

LonesomeYogurt wrote:
ground wrote:
alan wrote:Belief in a "God" is certainly the dumbest and most useless idea to ever pollute the human realm.
Don't say this. There is a great no. of people living happily due to this belief. Every religion can have - not necessarily does have - the intended effects: contentment, confidence, peace and happiness. Also the current "western" living conditions, negative and positive ones, have been conditioned by christianity. :sage:
Contentment, confidence, peace, and happiness are meaningless and inherently transitory if they're based on illusion. The idea of an eternal loving God is bad simply because it isn't true.
It simply depends on what ideas are being cultivated as "being true". There is no difference. Religions are religions. They all can entail contentment, confidence, peace, and happiness if cultivated appropriately. "inherently transitory" may apply to all these religious ideas and seems to be based on a sense of "objectivity" felt to be "true" and a sense of "permanence" (as the opposite to "transitory") felt to be "true" as well. One may just cultivate the opposite sense and leave it at that. Actually one has "to leave it at that" in the sphere of all religions if one subscribes to any of them. :sage:

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Polar Bear
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Re: No believing in God is not such a good idea.

Post by Polar Bear » Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:42 am

From an inconstruable beginning comes argumentation. A beginning point to these arguments cannot be discerned, though beings hindered by views and fettered by argumentativeness argue on. What do you think friends: which is the greater, the frustration accumulated while debating and arguing this long, long time-or the words in the english dictionary?

As we understand the parody writ by the festive one- this is the greater: the frustration accumulated while debating and arguing this long, long time- not the words in the english dictionary.

Excellent friends. Excellent. It is excellent that you thus understood the parody writ by the festive one.

This is the greater: the frustration accumulated while debating and arguing this long, long time-not the words in the english dictionary.

Long have you argued and lost a premise, a conclusion, logical integrity, a view position, your mind. Long enough to become disenchanted with all arguments (about the usefulness or destructiveness of religions that do not accurately reflect reality).

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

:sage: :sage: :sage:
Last edited by Polar Bear on Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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ground
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Re: No believing in God is not such a good idea.

Post by ground » Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:57 am

polarbuddha101 wrote:What do you think friends: which is the greater, the frustration accumulated while debating and arguing this long, long time-or the words in the english dictionary?
Consciousness grasping itself in the sphere of arisen sense of self while being in movement from arising to subsiding concomitant with feelings that there is no support for this sense of self which continually tries to support itself by means of these consciounesses aka ideas ... this may cause frustration which is just another complex of feeling/consciousness. This human dilemma is the cause of arising of religions and of the arising of cultivation of religious ideas which may entail contentment, confidence, peace and happiness. So, religions are both, manifestation/expression of human dilemma and mitigation of this dilemma. :sage:

SarathW
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Re: No believing in God is not such a good idea.

Post by SarathW » Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:37 pm

Good article to read in this topic:

http://www.bps.lk/olib/wh/wh216.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

it says:
We have already talked about the common ground that Buddhism has with some forms of
theism in urging the validity of moral and spiritual values and of a transcendent reality
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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manas
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Re: No believing in God is not such a good idea.

Post by manas » Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:23 am

SarathW wrote:...the validity of moral and spiritual values and of a transcendent reality
On that point, I agree with you, Sarath. Despite our differences, at least Theists actually believe in right and wrong, and that right and wrong have real consequences for the doer - unlike those with that vague, nihilistic materialism that seems to be so pervasive nowadays.

Better to at least believe in right and wrong, than to believe in nothing at all, imo...

:anjali:
Like a merchant with a small
but well-laden caravan
–a dangerous road,

like a person who loves life
–a poison,

one should avoid
–evil deeds.

(Dhammapada 123)


Buckwheat
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Re: No believing in God is not such a good idea.

Post by Buckwheat » Mon Feb 11, 2013 6:39 pm

Coyote wrote:
Buckwheat wrote:Jesus taught peace and freedom from material wants. So, if a greedy agrarian commits acts of violence for oil, god, or any other reason: that person is a bad person not because they are a good Christian. That person is a bad person because they are a bad Christian. And yes, there are plenty of those. Just as there are plenty of bad Buddhists, Jews, Hindus, and Muslims.
The problem with this is that those few words in the new testament are not the be all and end all of 75% of Christian (replace Koran and Islam ect.) denominations doctrines. You have the historical churches, including protestant ones, who have historically included acts of violence and war all in the name of being a "good Christian" - read Augustine and other Greek/Latin fathers on just war, for example. I don't think it is fair to generalise either, and thankfully most modern churches take a stand against acts of violence in the name of God, in favour of turning the other cheek (American Orthodox condemn war, for example), and nor do I believe violence is integral or even true to those religions in most cases, but lets not pretend that theism is wholly peaceful and non-violent and that those who do otherwise are not the "real" Christian/muslim/whatever. This is not historically the case, and nor is it believed to be by many theists or objective scholars of those religions. Many religions have a very long history, sometimes stretching back to the founder(s), sometimes not, of violence and aggression, not to mention intolerance, cultism and general crazyness.

That said, it is just clinging to views and sense pleasures that are the cause of violence in the world, often the two go together and justify one another.
:anjali:
My only goal in posting on this thread was to point out blatant stereotyping based on opinion and not facts. I'm not claiming theism is inherently good and peaceful. I am only countering those who say it is inherently evil.

My personal opinion is that religion is not such a powerful force in this world. Instead, I believe there are many people who will be jerks regardless of their religious beliefs. There are other people that will be nice regardless of their religious beliefs. But that's just my opinion.
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

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