Did Christianity "borrow" from Buddhism?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
Zakattack
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Re: Did Christianity "borrow" from Buddhism?

Post by Zakattack » Sat May 04, 2013 8:14 am

binocular wrote:
Zakattack wrote:This view of 'equality' of Christianity & Buddhism will hinder the realisation of Buddhism. All paths & religions are valid but they all do not necessarily lead to the same destination. With metta.
Who argues that Christianity and Buddhism are equal?
"Who"? There is really no "who" is Buddhism. This is an example of the obstacle that was referred to.
John 14:6
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
:alien:

Compare to Buddha:
And how does a monk who has admirable people as friends, companions, & comrades, develop & pursue the noble eightfold path? There is the case where a monk develops right view dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in relinquishment. He develops right resolve... right speech... right action... right livelihood... right effort... right mindfulness... right concentration dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in relinquishment.
A holy person goes unscathed,
though having killed father and mother and two noble kings
and destroyed a kingdom with all its subjects.
Explanation: The brahmin kills the mother - craving, kills the father - egotism, self-cherishing: They represent the two views, Eternalism and Nihilism, opposed to Buddhist thought. The subordinates are clinging to life. And he destroys the defilements which cling to life. Having destroyed all these, the brahmin (arahat) goes without punishment.
:candle:

binocular
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Re: Did Christianity "borrow" from Buddhism?

Post by binocular » Sat May 04, 2013 11:54 am

ground wrote:Same source, same essence, same basis. In addition: same effect of practice (focus and exclusion, resulting in faith, contentment, confidence and even happiness). However the ideas qua self-expressions by means of words are different. So it is similar to colors. All colors are the same in terms of source, essence, basis and visual effect qua effect ... however individuals actually do prefer different colors. That does however not render one color superior to the other when the sphere of preference, i.e. mere like and dislike, is left behind.
In that case, you seem to be arguing for an "anything goes, anything is good enough" stance.

Even shooting heroin up one's veins results in faith, contentment, confidence and even happiness -- for some time.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

binocular
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Re: Did Christianity "borrow" from Buddhism?

Post by binocular » Sat May 04, 2013 12:01 pm

Zakattack wrote:I think it is relevant because if we believe Jesus 'spontaneously arose' without other influences then we may deny the evolution that is cause & effect and, instead, we may develop or maintain views of 'spontaneous creationism' with a god as the sole cause.
And what is wrong with that - other than that it seems to be in discord with Buddhist doctrine?

"Having approached the brahmans & contemplatives who hold that... 'Whatever a person experiences... is all caused by a supreme being's act of creation,' I said to them: 'Is it true that you hold that... "Whatever a person experiences... is all caused by a supreme being's act of creation?"' Thus asked by me, they admitted, 'Yes.' Then I said to them, 'Then in that case, a person is a killer of living beings because of a supreme being's act of creation. A person is a thief... unchaste... a liar... a divisive speaker... a harsh speaker... an idle chatterer... greedy... malicious... a holder of wrong views because of a supreme being's act of creation.' When one falls back on creation by a supreme being as being essential, monks, there is no desire, no effort [at the thought], 'This should be done. This shouldn't be done.' When one can't pin down as a truth or reality what should & shouldn't be done, one dwells bewildered & unprotected. One cannot righteously refer to oneself as a contemplative. This was my second righteous refutation of those brahmans & contemplatives who hold to such teachings, such views.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
There are many kinds of theism, and this reasoning above is aimed only at one type of it. The modern equivalent of this type of theism would be Calvinist predestination doctrine, for example.

But there are other forms of theism, such as some Hindu forms of theism, that are more sophisticated than that, and which Buddhist anti-theist arguments don't tackle.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

Zakattack
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Re: Did Christianity "borrow" from Buddhism?

Post by Zakattack » Sat May 04, 2013 7:11 pm

binocular wrote:But there are other forms of theism, such as some Hindu forms of theism, that are more sophisticated than that, and which Buddhist anti-theist arguments don't tackle.
I think Buddha simply focused on what is real & observable. The terms Buddha generally used were literal expressions of observable reality, such as "nibbana" or "nirvana", which literally mean something like "extinguishing heat"; cool & peaceful. Buddha also used the word "gods", to refer to various kinds of worldly power, such as a king that has power is a "god" (deity). Often words need to be examined for their root meanings because often words, possibly such as the Hindu 'Brahman', may have a natural (rather than personal) root. From a purely natural (& Buddhist) perspective, the problem with theist words is they have a tendency to reify & anthropomorphize. From natural, scientific & Buddhist perspectives, if it: (i) cannot be observed; & (ii) is poorly defined, then it is generally invalid. For example, the creative & destructive forces of nature, Buddhism calls 'cause & effect', 'arising & cessation', 'creation & destruction'. These are valid definitions for a mind free from delusion & hallucinatory imaginativeness. Buddha generally called a spade 'a spade'. Buddha did not call a spade "God". Imagine if I spoke to people, calling dogs 'cats', pigs 'sheep', red 'blue' & green 'pink'. People would think I have gone completely bonkers.

:alien:
Last edited by Zakattack on Sat May 04, 2013 7:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Zakattack
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Re: Did Christianity "borrow" from Buddhism?

Post by Zakattack » Sat May 04, 2013 7:30 pm

binocular wrote:
ground wrote:Same source, same essence, same basis. In addition: same effect of practice (focus and exclusion, resulting in faith, contentment, confidence and even happiness). However the ideas qua self-expressions by means of words are different. So it is similar to colors. All colors are the same in terms of source, essence, basis and visual effect qua effect ... however individuals actually do prefer different colors. That does however not render one color superior to the other when the sphere of preference, i.e. mere like and dislike, is left behind.
In that case, you seem to be arguing for an "anything goes, anything is good enough" stance.

Even shooting heroin up one's veins results in faith, contentment, confidence and even happiness -- for some time.
Binocular

Your answer here is incredibly illuminating, like a skilled carpenter that straightens out a bent nail. It is scientifically obvious all colors are not the same in terms of source, essence, basis and visual effect qua effect. It is obvious the different colors, similar to the inherently existing impermanence, unsatisfactory & not-self, are not related to individual preferences or ideas.
Why the clear sky and the deep sea are seen as blue

Of the colours in the visible spectrum of light, blue has a very short wavelength, while red has the longest wavelength. When sunlight passes through the atmosphere, the blue wavelengths are scattered more widely by the oxygen and nitrogen molecules, and more blue comes to our eyes
Why leaves and grass are green

Leaves and growing fresh grass are green because they contain a natural pigment known as chlorophyll. Chlorophyll takes the energy of sunlight and uses it to convert carbon dioxide and water into chemical energy, in the form of glucose, or natural sugar, which allows the plant to grow. This process is called photosynthesis. Chlorophyll absorbs the long wavelengths (red) and short wavelengths (blue) of the light, but the green light is reflected, making the grass and leaves appear green.
The former view expressed shows the strong distinction between Buddhism (which is naturalist) & Theism (which is creationist, i.e., believes in the self or atman that creates & controls). Buddhism would hold the different colors exist due to various underlying nature-based causes & conditions (iddappaccayata) where as Theists seem to believe different colors exist due to mind-made individual preferences or ideas. In Buddhism, the later is termed 'papanca' ('imaginings').

:group:

PeterB
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Re: Did Christianity "borrow" from Buddhism?

Post by PeterB » Sun May 05, 2013 6:45 am

I think it would be entirely inappropriate for this forum to be used as an opportunity to propagate Christian concepts..on the other hand I think it would be a form of dishonesty to allow misinformation to go unremarked on.
Christian Theology does not hold that colours are mind-made in that sense.
It holds that colours are a quality inherent in an objectively exisisting and created world. And that creation is a constantly occurring and objective event intiated by God and perceptible to human beings who are endowed with permanent attas.
Further, that human beings are free to accept or reject that view.
Buddhists have a quite different view.

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tiltbillings
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Re: Did Christianity "borrow" from Buddhism?

Post by tiltbillings » Sun May 05, 2013 6:53 am

PeterB wrote: And that creation is a constantly occurring and objective event intiated by God and perceptible to human beings who are endowed with permanent attas.
Further, that human beings are free to accept or reject that view.
Which is, of course, an incoherent view, but it is what it is.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

PeterB
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Re: Did Christianity "borrow" from Buddhism?

Post by PeterB » Sun May 05, 2013 7:26 am

Its coherent to itself Tilt.
But that coherence depends on accepting or rejecting the fact that it is Revealed truth.
It is " foolishness to the Greeks " as St Paul said.
What I suggest is problematic is simply interpreting Christian Theology while wearing Buddhist spectacles.
Which is what is posited by the OP. It might be fun. It might meet an inner need for resolution for some former Christians.
But in the end the result is neither fish nor fowl.

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tiltbillings
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Re: Did Christianity "borrow" from Buddhism?

Post by tiltbillings » Sun May 05, 2013 7:42 am

PeterB wrote:Its coherent to itself Tilt.
But that coherence depends on accepting or rejecting the fact that it is Revealed truth.
Which, of course, does not have to be logical.
What I suggest is problematic is simply interpreting Christian Theology while wearing Buddhist spectacles.
Christian never intepret Buddhism by the yardstick of their notion of salvation?
Which is what is posited by the OP. It might be fun. It might meet an inner need for resolution for some former Christians.
But in the end the result is neither fish nor fowl.
Which is not to say that one cannot remark about the other.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

binocular
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Re: Did Christianity "borrow" from Buddhism?

Post by binocular » Sun May 05, 2013 9:50 am

Zakattack wrote:
binocular wrote:But there are other forms of theism, such as some Hindu forms of theism, that are more sophisticated than that, and which Buddhist anti-theist arguments don't tackle.
I think Buddha simply focused on what is real & observable. The terms Buddha generally used were literal expressions of observable reality, such as "nibbana" or "nirvana", which literally mean something like "extinguishing heat"; cool & peaceful. Buddha also used the word "gods", to refer to various kinds of worldly power, such as a king that has power is a "god" (deity). Often words need to be examined for their root meanings because often words, possibly such as the Hindu 'Brahman', may have a natural (rather than personal) root. From a purely natural (& Buddhist) perspective, the problem with theist words is they have a tendency to reify & anthropomorphize. From natural, scientific & Buddhist perspectives, if it: (i) cannot be observed; & (ii) is poorly defined, then it is generally invalid. For example, the creative & destructive forces of nature, Buddhism calls 'cause & effect', 'arising & cessation', 'creation & destruction'. These are valid definitions for a mind free from delusion & hallucinatory imaginativeness. Buddha generally called a spade 'a spade'. Buddha did not call a spade "God". Imagine if I spoke to people, calling dogs 'cats', pigs 'sheep', red 'blue' & green 'pink'. People would think I have gone completely bonkers.
Since you are also talking about theisms in general:
Are you familiar with the Hindu conviction that the Buddha is an incarnation of God?
The story goes that God incarnates Himself as the Buddha in times when theists become unruly and untrustworthy.

I think you'll have a hard time trying to refute that kind of conception.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

alan
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Re: Did Christianity "borrow" from Buddhism?

Post by alan » Sun May 05, 2013 2:59 pm

Oh, PeterB, you have so let me down.

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Alex123
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Re: Did Christianity "borrow" from Buddhism?

Post by Alex123 » Sun May 05, 2013 4:26 pm

Sambojjhanga wrote:So what do you all think? I realize my subject post is did Christianity borrow from Buddhism? I think it did. I
I don't know. However: just because two different teachings overlap in some things, it doesn't automatically follow that one borrowed from another.

1) They could have evolved and diverged from a similar core.
or
2) They could have evolved in parallel without one affecting another.


I don't believe the new age idea that "all religions are equal and lead to the same goal". Clearly they do not.

One religion teaches and promises 72 virgins in eternal afterlife. For a Hindu or a practicing Buddhist, this could be almost like hell.
Christianity teaches afterlife with God and his angels. Hindu teachings lead to formless states, while Buddhism goes even further (nibbāna without remainder).
"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..."

binocular
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Re: Did Christianity "borrow" from Buddhism?

Post by binocular » Sun May 05, 2013 5:30 pm

alan wrote:Oh, PeterB, you have so let me down.
How come?
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

Zakattack
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Re: Did Christianity "borrow" from Buddhism?

Post by Zakattack » Sun May 05, 2013 10:19 pm

binocular wrote:The story goes that God incarnates Himself as the Buddha in times when theists become unruly and untrustworthy.

I think you'll have a hard time trying to refute that kind of conception.
Definitely not. Easy as pie to refute. But I have much better things to do with my time. Like Ground, best you learn Buddhism before asserting & refuting this & that.

Ciao :roll:

Zakattack
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Re: Did Christianity "borrow" from Buddhism?

Post by Zakattack » Sun May 05, 2013 11:44 pm

PeterB wrote: I think it would be a form of dishonesty to allow misinformation to go unremarked on.
Christian Theology does not hold that colours are mind-made in that sense.
It holds that colours are a quality inherent in an objectively exisisting and created world.
Peter

Could you kindly provide a Biblical or other reference to support your view about Christian theology? Thank you. The Christian Bible does not refute God has mind. There are many references to the "mind of God". Further, the Bible contains these two salient views:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
Genesis 1:27
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

James 3:9
With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.
I think these quotes support Ground's theistic view of theism that colors are mind made preferences & ideas because the Bible states: (I) God created all things; and (ii) human beings are created in the image or likeness of God.

As for Buddha, his teaching supports the view I have asserted to Ground, from the beginning; that perception of the ways things really are is not an "idea" but a mere reflection of natural reality. Buddha did not assert an atman, person or God perceives. But instead, Buddha revealed the perceptual mental faculty perceives:
And why do you call it 'perception'? Because it perceives, thus it is called 'perception.' What does it perceive? It perceives blue, it perceives yellow, it perceives red, it perceives white. Because it perceives, it is called perception. Khajjaniya Sutta
Thoughout this thread, my impression of Ground's view is it equates perception (sanna) with created ideas (sankhara papanca), which is similar to the theistic view. Where, for Buddha, perception was one thing & mental proliferation & imaging another.

:alien:

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