the great rebirth debate

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Laurens
Posts: 408
Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2009 5:56 pm
Location: Norfolk, England

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Laurens » Wed Nov 30, 2016 10:29 am

I do not believe that rebirth does not occur, however currently I see no reasons to believe that it does. Just like the question of whether or not there was ever life on Mars. To say there definitely was given the level of evidence that we currently have would be foolish. But to say there definitely wasn't would also be foolish. We don't know, but we don't have a reason to assume there was and act accordingly.

Sure the Buddha himself is said to have spoken about rebirth. But he also said to not just believe everything he said just because he said it. We should find things out for ourselves.

The best evidence we have is reports of children having past life memories but these are shaky and not so convincing when we take a sceptical approach. Children are playful and highly imaginative they are also suggestable. If your kid sees a WW2 film about fighter pilots then starts playing and talking around being a fighter pilot it can be very easy to suggest your way towards being convinced they are acting out past life memories, especially if you already believe in it. Fanciful kids and incredulous parents is all you need. Get an "expert" in past life regression involved and you are well on your way to being totally convinced along with your child. It may be the case that children do sometimes recall past lives, but it could also be people putting thoughts into their kids head and spinning stories together.

As far as I am concerned what matters now is the present moment. Rebirth doesn't have any obvious bearing on that so its truth or falsehood are ultimately irrelevant.
"For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."

Carl Sagan

justindesilva
Posts: 242
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:38 pm

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby justindesilva » Thu Feb 02, 2017 2:20 pm

Laurens wrote:I do not believe that rebirth does not occur, however currently I see no reasons to believe that it does. Just like the question of whether or not there was ever life on Mars. To say there definitely was given the level of evidence that we currently have would be foolish. But to say there definitely wasn't would also be foolish. We don't know, but we don't have a reason to assume there was and act accordingly.

Sure the Buddha himself is said to have spoken about rebirth. But he also said to not just believe everything he said just because he said it. We should find things out for ourselves.

The best evidence we have is reports of children having past life memories but these are shaky and not so convincing when we take a sceptical approach. Children are playful and highly imaginative they are also suggestable.

There are only two ways to check the reality of rebirth. First one is for one to attain a stage of dyana enabling to read the past.
The 2nd is to read literature about experiential evidence of rebirth. Out of them there are highly acceptable books.
Many mansions is a book by Gina written about the experiences and works of Edgar Cayce is how Caycee used his ability to read the past lives of people who came to relieve of their sicknesses. He not only read their past births but also found out the reason for the sickness as karma of past lives. This book is widely accepted.
The next and important factors is recorded as past births by a former professor in psychiatry in university of Virginia 1957 . His name been Dr. Ian Stevenson and has recorded 3000 cases of past lives in India Burma and other Asian countries with verified data.
His studies had been widely accepted with his style of on the spot verifications.
If one is interested there are many other such verified records. I read the record of such a verified past birth in 1954 by a girl called Gnanaythilaka while verifications by a high priest and uni professors with journalists as a team was recorded. This was proved beyond doubt.
I believe that one major step in buddhism is verifying the truth of past birth or rebecoming.

chownah
Posts: 5484
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby chownah » Fri Feb 03, 2017 3:09 am

justindesilva wrote:This book is widely accepted. ........

His studies had been widely accepted ........

The book has also been widely rejected.
His studies have also been widely rejected.
chownah

justindesilva
Posts: 242
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:38 pm

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby justindesilva » Fri Feb 03, 2017 3:59 am

chownah wrote:
justindesilva wrote:This book is widely accepted. ........

His studies had been widely accepted ........

The book has also been widely rejected.
His studies have also been widely rejected.
chownah

May I know that whether you have any knowledge of the works of caycee been rejected and I am aware of the few cases of studies in sri lanka been published without a challenge in sri lanka. One May study of such successful studies made in India too though I am pressed with time disabling me to find them now.

chownah
Posts: 5484
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby chownah » Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:37 am

justindesilva wrote:
chownah wrote:
justindesilva wrote:This book is widely accepted. ........

His studies had been widely accepted ........

The book has also been widely rejected.
His studies have also been widely rejected.
chownah

May I know that whether you have any knowledge of the works of caycee been rejected and I am aware of the few cases of studies in sri lanka been published without a challenge in sri lanka. One May study of such successful studies made in India too though I am pressed with time disabling me to find them now.

Concerning Edgar Cayce take a look at the wikipedia article at the sections called Controversy and Criticism:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edgar_Cayce#Controversy_and_criticism
chownah

justindesilva
Posts: 242
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:38 pm

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby justindesilva » Mon Feb 06, 2017 2:52 pm

His studies had been widely accepted ........[/quote]
The book has also been widely rejected.
His studies have also been widely rejected.
chownah[/quote]
May I know that whether you have any knowledge of the works of caycee been rejected and I am aware of the few cases of studies in sri lanka been published without a challenge in sri lanka. One May study of such successful studies made in India too though I am pressed with time disabling me to find them now.[/quote]
Concerning Edgar Cayce take a look at the wikipedia article at the sections called Controversy and Criticism:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edgar_Cayce#Controversy_and_criticism
chownah[/quote]
Shall we not consider that Edgar Cayce lived in an environment surrounded by atheists who wouldn't want to encourage 're incarnation or 're birth. Furthermore he would have been challenged for other areas of psychic matters but I have read praises of his work mentioned in the book many mansions.
Further more even Dr. Carl S jung has written in one of his books ( either Memories Dreams & Reflections or his biography) that one of his grand daughters remembered past burials at a place made a few generations ago, and was found correct when a pit was made there. I believe that ad buddhists we must encourage people to see the truth in 're birth whenever the opportunity arises and not discourage such criticisms made without facts.
Certain Christians who would not want spread of buddhism take such criticisms.
Constructive criticism is needed but not skeptic criticism.


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