nowheat wrote:Buckwheat wrote:I have a question for the secular Buddhists in the room. Do you believe that it is possible to attain Nirvana, the deathless state devoid of suffering, unshakable and pure in conduct?
The reason I ask is its something I always wrestle with yet it never comes up in faith or supernatural debates. Nirvana is a remarkable and transcendent state in which suffering shall never return. Sounds almost magical to me even if I do have some faith that the Buddha really attained such a state.
Or do you believe that we just get a little more pure and happy and then a little more pure and happy and then we die? There would be nothing immoral with that but I'm not sure it would qualify as Buddhism.
Is this question about *belief* or *faith*? You ask about belief, but your personal answer is *faith*.
Correct. One will have doubt about nirvana lingering until they glimpse it through the woods (stream entry). My question is do you think Nirvana is true, false, or "it's complicated"?
And the reason I ask this is when doubt creeps up real strong for me it becomes tempting to dump the whole of Buddhism because without nirvana you don't have Buddhism.
The buddha taught conviction/faith built on a trust in his teachings built on previous successes with subduing suffering. It is not a blind faith but it is still conviction. True unwaverin conviction only comes with stream entry (personal glimpse of nirvana). Do secular Buddhists see a role for conviction that nibbana is the final cessation of suffering?
Without that I really don't think you are talking about Buddhism. There is nothing more central than nirvana and this is what moves Buddhism from "philosophy" to "religion". IMO