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?
Post Reply
SarathW
Posts: 10152
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

No believing in God is not such a good idea.

Post by SarathW » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:01 pm

I see that there is a trend, many people live in western countries are not believing in god. As Buddhist we do not believe in creator god but believe in other forms of Gods. To me it appears that westerners are moving from eternalism to nihilism, both of which are rejected by Buddha. If I have only two choices, I will chose etrenalism over nihilism. I think nihilism make do damage to the social fabrication. In my opinion theistic religions has made a great contribution to the society. May be religious leaders should take note of this factor.
I am sure Dhamma wheel is making a great contribution to the society by closing this gap.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

User avatar
Cittasanto
Posts: 6625
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin
Contact:

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

Post by Cittasanto » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:12 pm

SarathW wrote:I see that there is a trend, many people live in western countries are not believing in god. As Buddhist we do not believe in creator god but believe in other forms of Gods. To me it appears that westerners are moving from eternalism to nihilism, both of which are rejected by Buddha. If I have only two choices, I will chose etrenalism over nihilism. I think nihilism make do damage to the social fabrication. In my opinion theistic religions has made a great contribution to the society. May be religious leaders should take note of this factor.
I am sure Dhamma wheel is making a great contribution to the society by closing this gap.
Hi Sarath,
What great contribution?
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

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.
John Stuart Mill

SarathW
Posts: 10152
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

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

Post by SarathW » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:22 pm

Ok. Then I would say "a contribution" :)
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

User avatar
Goofaholix
Posts: 2978
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 3:49 am
Location: New Zealand

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

Post by Goofaholix » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:26 pm

I think eternalism vs nihilism is quite a different topic from creator God vs no creator God.
“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.” ― Ajahn Chah

User avatar
Bhikkhu Pesala
Posts: 3743
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:17 pm

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

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:26 pm

In the opinion of many, these God-based religions did great damage to society, and are still doing great damage. And, from what I heard, there are too many cases of child sexual abuse among the Buddhist clergy, just as there are such reports in other religious orders.

Then there are the many wars waged in the name of religion due to false beliefs and bigotted views.

It may be much easier for the sceptical atheist or secular humanist to understand the Dhamma than for the devout follower of any religion (and that includes devout followers of Buddhism who are hypocrits).

Believing in an Omnipotent Creator God is quite different to believing in devas or ghosts, or nature spirits of various kinds. The crucial point is accepting full responsibility for one's own actions according to the teaching of Kammassakatta Sammādiṭṭhi. It doesn't matter too much what else you believe in or don't believe in, as long as you believe that you alone will inherit the results of volitional actions of body, speech, and thought done by yourself.
BlogPāli FontsIn This Very LifeBuddhist ChroniclesSoftware (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

perkele
Posts: 896
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 2:37 pm

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

Post by perkele » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:28 pm

Cittasanto wrote:
SarathW wrote:I see that there is a trend, many people live in western countries are not believing in god. As Buddhist we do not believe in creator god but believe in other forms of Gods. To me it appears that westerners are moving from eternalism to nihilism, both of which are rejected by Buddha. If I have only two choices, I will chose etrenalism over nihilism. I think nihilism make do damage to the social fabrication. In my opinion theistic religions has made a great contribution to the society. May be religious leaders should take note of this factor.
I am sure Dhamma wheel is making a great contribution to the society by closing this gap.
Hi Sarath,
What great contribution?
SarathW wrote:Ok. Then I would say "a contribution" :)
It is unclear which of the supposed "great contributions" Cittasanto was questioning. That of theistic religions or that of DhammaWheel?


Edit:
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:...
:goodpost:
Sadhu!
Last edited by perkele on Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Polar Bear
Posts: 1179
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:39 am
Location: Bear Republic

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

Post by Polar Bear » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:32 pm

perkele wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:
SarathW wrote:I see that there is a trend, many people live in western countries are not believing in god. As Buddhist we do not believe in creator god but believe in other forms of Gods. To me it appears that westerners are moving from eternalism to nihilism, both of which are rejected by Buddha. If I have only two choices, I will chose etrenalism over nihilism. I think nihilism make do damage to the social fabrication. In my opinion theistic religions has made a great contribution to the society. May be religious leaders should take note of this factor.
I am sure Dhamma wheel is making a great contribution to the society by closing this gap.
Hi Sarath,
What great contribution?
SarathW wrote:Ok. Then I would say "a contribution" :)
It is unclear which of the supposed "great contributions" Cittasanto was questioning. That of theistic religions or that of DhammaWheel?
Given the topic I would imagine he was referring to theistic religions.
"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."

SarathW
Posts: 10152
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

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

Post by SarathW » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:56 pm

Bahante Pesal: I know lot of people use religion to achieve their selfish motives. But it is not the fault of the religion.

Pakele: Sorry may be I did not get my English right. What I am saying is there is gap emerging with people are looking for answers to their questions. For example I see that there are lot of new members coming here as new Buddhist. I thought Dhamma wheel is a great resource for new seekers.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

User avatar
Cittasanto
Posts: 6625
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin
Contact:

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

Post by Cittasanto » Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:09 am

perkele wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:
SarathW wrote:I see that there is a trend, many people live in western countries are not believing in god. As Buddhist we do not believe in creator god but believe in other forms of Gods. To me it appears that westerners are moving from eternalism to nihilism, both of which are rejected by Buddha. If I have only two choices, I will chose etrenalism over nihilism. I think nihilism make do damage to the social fabrication. In my opinion theistic religions has made a great contribution to the society. May be religious leaders should take note of this factor.
I am sure Dhamma wheel is making a great contribution to the society by closing this gap.
Hi Sarath,
What great contribution?
SarathW wrote:Ok. Then I would say "a contribution" :)
It is unclear which of the supposed "great contributions" Cittasanto was questioning. That of theistic religions or that of DhammaWheel?


Edit:
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:...
:goodpost:
Sadhu!
I meant the former, partly for the reasons Bhante mentioned, and partly for reasons not.
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

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.
John Stuart Mill

SarathW
Posts: 10152
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

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

Post by SarathW » Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:34 am

Oops now I undestood your question. I repeated "Great contribution" in two places! :)
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

User avatar
manas
Posts: 2464
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:04 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

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

Post by manas » Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:56 am

Hi Sarath,

I have heard many times from Christians that they are basically 'saved' due to their belief in a blood-sacrifice enacted thousands of years back (torture, death and divine resurrection of Jesus). Apparently this is the main, overriding factor in their salvation - and no matter how many good works they do, no matter how kind they are to others, if they don't also believe in that 'miracle of christ's death and resurrection' they will end up getting eternally barbecued, boiled & roasted in hell, with no hope ever of any respite.

As I see it, this belief engenders much fear in people (unreasonable of course, but then they don't know that), and furthermore absolves them of the responsibility for their own actions, in the sense that instead of 'as I sow, so shall I reap' (which sounds fair enough), they now believe, 'however I sow, so long as I believe in the miracle of christ's death & resurrection, I will be ok in the end'. That's scary stuff. Just see how the Catholic Church has 'dealt' with the sex offenders in their ranks, and you will see one of the results of this faulty way of thinking.

:anjali:
Last edited by manas on Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
Knowing this body is like a clay jar,
securing this mind like a fort,
attack Mara with the spear of discernment,
then guard what's won without settling there,
without laying claim.

- Dhp 40

User avatar
pilgrim
Posts: 1542
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 2:56 pm

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

Post by pilgrim » Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:14 am

manas wrote:Hi Sarath,

I have heard many times from Christians that they are basically 'saved' due to their belief in a blood-sacrifice enacted thousands of years back (torture, death and divine resurrection of Jesus). Apparently this is the main, overriding factor in their salvation - and no matter how many good works they do, no matter how kind they are to others, if they don't also believe in that 'miracle of christ's death and ressurection' they will end up getting eternally barbecued, boiled & roasted in hell, with no hope ever of any respite.
Christian apologists are now back-pedalling on the threat that hell is a place of fire and brimstone,for example the popular book "The Case for Faith" by Lee Strobel. Now they say that Hell is "separation from God". But the way I see it, if given the choice, I would like to be separated eternally from a fascist, violent god. So I would choose Hell as their version of heaven would be hell for me.

User avatar
m0rl0ck
Posts: 1193
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:51 am

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

Post by m0rl0ck » Tue Jan 22, 2013 3:55 am

Theism is probably responsible for more human misery and death than anything except bacteria and viruses.
It should be outlawed. Read the news. Read some history for christs sake.
“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

User avatar
Cittasanto
Posts: 6625
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin
Contact:

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

Post by Cittasanto » Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:40 am

m0rl0ck wrote:Theism is probably responsible for more human misery and death than anything except bacteria and viruses.
It should be outlawed. Read the news. Read some history for christs sake.
I would argue political ambition done quite a good job of keeping up.
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

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.
John Stuart Mill

User avatar
Mr Man
Posts: 3368
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:42 am

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

Post by Mr Man » Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:05 am

Cittasanto wrote:
m0rl0ck wrote:Theism is probably responsible for more human misery and death than anything except bacteria and viruses.
It should be outlawed. Read the news. Read some history for christs sake.
I would argue political ambition done quite a good job of keeping up.
Birth is the big enemy.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: retrofuturist and 57 guests