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?
Nikaya35
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Re: No believing in God is not such a good idea.

Post by Nikaya35 » Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:58 pm

I don't get. Why believing in god would be a good idea ? From the logic point of view there are many problems with the god concept as defined in theistic religions. From the point of view of the dharma the creator god idea is a wrong view. Since when adopting a wrong view is a good idea ?

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

Post by boris » Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:12 pm

maitreya31 wrote:I don't get. Why believing in god would be a good idea? ...
But why to talk about God as a creator. Perhaps quite a few belivers limit themself to such description of God marks: no arising evident, no fall evident, no alternation while He is present is evident.

There are not only belivers in such God, there are also these who know and see such God :smile:
The man who wants to avoid grotesque collapses should not look for anything to fulfill him in space and time.

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

Post by pilgrim » Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:43 am


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

Post by daverupa » Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:03 pm

AN 7.48 wrote:"A man does not attend inwardly to his masculine faculties... masculine charms. He is not excited by that, not delighted by that... does not attend outwardly to feminine faculties... feminine charms. He is not excited by that, not delighted by that... does not want to be bonded to what is outside him, does not want whatever pleasure & happiness that arise based on that bond. Not delighting, not caught up in his masculinity, a man does not go into bondage with reference to women. This is how a man transcends his masculinity.

"This is how there is lack of bondage. And this is the Dhamma discourse on bondage & lack of bondage."
:focus:
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:41 pm

Off-topic stuff has been removed.
>> 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

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

Post by SarathW » Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:30 pm

Thanks Tilt.
:)
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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

Post by Mkoll » Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:32 pm

Believing in God is good idea if it helps one be a moral and virtuous person.

Believing in God is a bad idea if it helps one be an immoral and unvirtuous person.

We're all at different stages of spiritual development. For some, believing in God is where they are at. For others, believing in the Buddha is where they are at.

To each his own.

:anjali:
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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

Post by binocular » Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:10 am

How can anyone choose to believe in God, or think that believing in God is a matter of choice??
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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

Post by Dinsdale » Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:13 am

binocular wrote:How can anyone choose to believe in God, or think that believing in God is a matter of choice??
We can choose to believe or disbelieve.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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

Post by binocular » Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:23 am

Spiny Norman wrote:We can choose to believe or disbelieve.
???
How??

Who told you that? Christian proselytizers?

:tongue:
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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

Post by tiltbillings » Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:35 am

Spiny Norman wrote:
binocular wrote:How can anyone choose to believe in God, or think that believing in God is a matter of choice??
We can choose to believe or disbelieve.
It is not quite so simple as choosing, as in choosing between a red shirt or blue shirt, given the roots of such a beief:
  • "The assumption that a God is the cause (of the world, etc.) is based on the false belief in the eternal self (atman, i.e. permanent spiritual substance, essence or personality); but that belief has to be abandoned, if one has clearly understood that everything is impermanent and subject to suffering." Abhidharmakosha 5, 8 vol IV, p 19
>> 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: No believing in God is not such a good idea.

Post by binocular » Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:49 am

William James once worked out what I find to be a relevant approach for understanding the interrelation between choice and belief - from his "Will to believe":
/.../
Let us give the name of hypothesis to anything that may be proposed to our belief; and just as the electricians speak of live and dead wires, let us speak of any hypothesis as either live or dead A live hypothesis is one which appeals as a real possibility to him to whom it is proposed. If I ask you to believe in the Mahdi, the notion makes no electric connection with your nature,--it refuses to scintillate with any credibility at all. As an hypothesis it is completely dead. To an Arab, however (even if he be not one of the Madhi's followers), the hypothesis is among the mind's possibilities: it is alive. This shows that deadness and liveness in an hypothesis are not intrinsic properties, but relations to the individual thinker. They are measured by his willingness to act. The maximum of liveness in hypothesis means willingness to act irrevocably. Practically, that means belief; but there is some believing tendency wherever there is willingness to act at all.

Next, let us call the decision between two hypotheses an option. Options may be of several kinds. They may be:

1, living or dead;
2, forced or avoidable;
3, momentous or trivial;

and for our purpose we may call an option a genuine option when it of the forced, living, and momentous kind.

1. A living option is one in which both hypotheses are live ones. If I say to you: "Be a theosophist or be a Mohammedan," it is probably a dead option, because for you neither hypothesis is likely to be alive. But if I say: " Be an agnostic or be Christian," it is otherwise: trained as you are, each hypothesis makes some appeal, however small, to your belief.

2. Next, if I say to you: " Choose between going out with your umbrella or without it," I do not offer you a genuine option, for it is not forced. You can easily avoid it by not going out at all. Similarly, if I say, " Either love me or hate me," " Either call my theory true or call it false," your option is avoidable. You may remain indifferent to me, neither loving nor hating, and you may decline to offer any judgment as to my theory. But if I say, " Either accept this truth or go without it," I put on you a forced option, for there is no standing place outside of the alternative. Every dilemma based on a complete logical disjunction, with no possibility of not choosing, is an option of this forced kind.

3. Finally, if I were Dr. Nansen and proposed to you to join my North Pole expedition, your option would be momentous; for this would probably be your only similar opportunity, and your choice now would either exclude you from the North Pole sort of immortality altogether or put at least the chance of it into your hands. He who refuses to embrace a unique opportunity loses the prize as surely as if he tried and failed. Per contra, the option is trivial when the opportunity is not unique, when the stake is insignificant, or when the decision is reversible if it later prove unwise. Such trivial options abound in the scientific life. A chemist finds an hypothesis live enongh to spend a year in its verification: he believes in it to that extent. But if his experiments prove inconclusive either way, he is quit for his loss of time, no vital harm being done.
/.../
http://educ.jmu.edu//~omearawm/ph101willtobelieve.html
According to James, we can choose only in options that are genuine to us. And it seems that it is out of our control as whether a particular option is genuine to us or not. Which is why we cannot choose to believe just anything.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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

Post by Sam Vara » Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:51 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:
binocular wrote:How can anyone choose to believe in God, or think that believing in God is a matter of choice??
We can choose to believe or disbelieve.
It is not quite so simple as choosing, as in choosing between a red shirt or blue shirt, given the roots of such a beief:
  • "The assumption that a God is the cause (of the world, etc.) is based on the false belief in the eternal self (atman, i.e. permanent spiritual substance, essence or personality); but that belief has to be abandoned, if one has clearly understood that everything is impermanent and subject to suffering." Abhidharmakosha 5, 8 vol IV, p 19
I think the belief in God as an eternal self or permanent being is indeed incompatible with the Buddhist take on anatta and anicca; to the extent that I suspect those who want to believe in elements of Buddhism and Theism are simply cherry picking.

I think one can choose to believe, however, at least in a limited sense. One might not know the roots of one's belief, or one might wilfully ignore them. One goes to sources where the belief is confirmed, and one thinks about it in a positive light, etc. If we can choose to cultivate a belief and make it stronger, then to that extent we are choosing it.

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

Post by binocular » Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:52 am

tiltbillings wrote:
We can choose to believe or disbelieve.
It is not quite so simple as choosing, as in choosing between a red shirt or blue shirt, given the roots of such a beief:
  • "The assumption that a God is the cause (of the world, etc.) is based on the false belief in the eternal self (atman, i.e. permanent spiritual substance, essence or personality); but that belief has to be abandoned, if one has clearly understood that everything is impermanent and subject to suffering." Abhidharmakosha 5, 8 vol IV, p 19
Given that there are people who believe in God, but not in a permanent self, the above doesn't always apply.

An example of such people are some modern Christians who believe in Darwinian evolution, believe in God, call themselves Christians, but don't believe they are eternal.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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

Post by Sam Vara » Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:04 am

binocular wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
We can choose to believe or disbelieve.
It is not quite so simple as choosing, as in choosing between a red shirt or blue shirt, given the roots of such a beief:
  • "The assumption that a God is the cause (of the world, etc.) is based on the false belief in the eternal self (atman, i.e. permanent spiritual substance, essence or personality); but that belief has to be abandoned, if one has clearly understood that everything is impermanent and subject to suffering." Abhidharmakosha 5, 8 vol IV, p 19
Given that there are people who believe in God, but not in a permanent self, the above doesn't always apply.

An example of such people are some modern Christians who believe in Darwinian evolution, believe in God, call themselves Christians, but don't believe they are eternal.
Point taken, and there are indeed such Christians. But would they not be believing in an eternal self/permanent spiritual substance/essence by believing in God? He would be the eternal one, not them.

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