Rebirth Deniers

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
nowheat
Posts: 529
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2009 3:42 am

Re: Rebirth Deniers

Post by nowheat » Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:20 am

gabrielbranbury wrote: ...I still think the most accurate label for me is that I am one who accepts rebirth. I accept rebirth on the level of a heart felt devotion....
So now we have FOUR definitions in the vicinity of “rebirth denier”

A. someone who denies the Buddha taught rebirth ("one who denies the Buddha taught rebirth")
B. someone who does not personally believe in post-mortem continuance ("rebirth denier")
C. someone who denies the Buddha taught and does not personally believe in post-mortem continuance ("one who maintains there is no rebirth and that the Buddha didn't teach literal rebirth")
D. someone who accepts that the Buddha taught rebirth, and accepts the teaching but neither fully believes nor disbelieves in literal rebirth ("one who accepts rebirth")

I conclude that shorthand is difficult to come up with; sometimes you just need more words to accurately convey what the other guy means or things get confusing.

:namaste:

vinasp
Posts: 1675
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:49 pm
Location: Bristol. United Kingdom.

Re: Rebirth Deniers

Post by vinasp » Wed Feb 03, 2010 6:23 pm

Hi everyone,

When I found this thread a few days ago I thought it was interesting. Nowheat was asking if anyone thought that the label "rebirth denier" applied to themselves. I thought that it may - in some sense - apply to my position. But perhaps I was wrong.

There seems to be two meanings of denial :
1. The opposite of affirmation - this relates to truth claims.
2. An alternative to "rejection" in the pair : acceptance / rejection.

On the question of rebirth or no-rebirth my position is : I do not know.
So I am not affirming or denying the truth of either proposition.

However, I am rejecting both propositions. Does this mean that I am denying both in the second sense of the word?

Best wishes, Vincent.

meindzai
Posts: 595
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:10 pm

Re: Rebirth Deniers

Post by meindzai » Wed Feb 03, 2010 6:35 pm

nowheat wrote: D. someone who accepts that the Buddha taught rebirth, and accepts the teaching but neither fully believes nor disbelieves in literal rebirth ("one who accepts rebirth")

I conclude that shorthand is difficult to come up with; sometimes you just need more words to accurately convey what the other guy means or things get confusing.

:namaste:
I'd say that as "one who holds the view" of rebirth, as I put myself in that category and more or less define it that way. Again, apannaka sutta was the turning point for me, along with the Canki sutta.

-M

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

Re: Rebirth Deniers

Post by Cittasanto » Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:33 pm

hi vincent,
nowheat was asking for it to be defined! not if the label was applicable to anyone.
vinasp wrote:Hi everyone,

When I found this thread a few days ago I thought it was interesting. Nowheat was asking if anyone thought that the label "rebirth denier" applied to themselves. I thought that it may - in some sense - apply to my position. But perhaps I was wrong.

There seems to be two meanings of denial :
1. The opposite of affirmation - this relates to truth claims.
2. An alternative to "rejection" in the pair : acceptance / rejection.

On the question of rebirth or no-rebirth my position is : I do not know.
So I am not affirming or denying the truth of either proposition.

However, I am rejecting both propositions. Does this mean that I am denying both in the second sense of the word?

Best wishes, Vincent.
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

seanpdx
Posts: 281
Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2009 12:56 am

Re: Rebirth Deniers

Post by seanpdx » Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:43 pm

BlackBird wrote:Hi Katy, nice to meet you too.

No indeed, for me and for most others I imagine that the carrot does not lie solely in a personal cosmic reward, although for some it is probably a motivating factor. What is a strong incentive however is the idea that if we act in a heedless and unskillful manner, there will be painful results.
This is still a consequentialist attitude, albeit couched in negative instead of positive terms. If you will... aversion instead of craving, though they are ultimately two sides of the same coin. ;)

See also: deontology v. consequentialism v. virtue ethics

meindzai
Posts: 595
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:10 pm

Re: Rebirth Deniers

Post by meindzai » Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:52 pm

Manapa wrote:hi vincent,
nowheat was asking for it to be defined! not if the label was applicable to anyone.
Good point.

First of all, I don't think anybody ever intended for the term "rebirth denier" to be some sort of sticky label to identify outcasts. It was mentioned casually at some point in the context of the rebirth debate. Nobody is handing out scarlet "RD" letters for people to sew on their shirts.

To me the debate is not whether rebirth is true or not. An anonymous Zen teacher is always quoted as saying that he was a zen master indeed, but not a dead one. That applies to all of us here, unless we have any fouth-jhana past life recollectors...

The "debate" as far as I am concerned is whether the Buddha taught it and whether such a teaching is critical to understanding the Dhamma. And by "it" I mean post-mortem rebirth - the continuation of consiousness after the body dies, or as the Buddha says over and over again "issolution of the body after death"(which you'd think would be unambiguous enough.) The heretic - er um deniers :tongue: to me are just those who think that this isn't the case. I totally understand the position, where it comes from, and have held it myself.

There of course are plenty of non Buddhists that don't believe in rebirth and that's fine. I'm not interested in debating rebirth from it's own side, proving it scientifically, or anything of that sort.

-M

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

Re: Rebirth Deniers

Post by Cittasanto » Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:59 pm

Hi M & Sean
Sean do you have a link to an article or something?
meindzai wrote:
Manapa wrote:hi vincent,
nowheat was asking for it to be defined! not if the label was applicable to anyone.
Good point.
:woohoo:
First of all, I don't think anybody ever intended for the term "rebirth denier" to be some sort of sticky label to identify outcasts. It was mentioned casually at some point in the context of the rebirth debate. Nobody is handing out scarlet "RD" letters for people to sew on their shirts.
I want one now!
To me the debate is not whether rebirth is true or not. An anonymous Zen teacher is always quoted as saying that he was a zen master indeed, but not a dead one. That applies to all of us here, unless we have any fouth-jhana past life recollectors...
It is a good story
The "debate" as far as I am concerned is whether the Buddha taught it and whether such a teaching is critical to understanding the Dhamma. And by "it" I mean post-mortem rebirth - the continuation of consiousness after the body dies, or as the Buddha says over and over again "issolution of the body after death"(which you'd think would be unambiguous enough.) The heretic - er um deniers :tongue: to me are just those who think that this isn't the case. I totally understand the position, where it comes from, and have held it myself.

There of course are plenty of non Buddhists that don't believe in rebirth and that's fine. I'm not interested in debating rebirth from it's own side, proving it scientifically, or anything of that sort.

-M
I posted my views on this on page one.
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

seanpdx
Posts: 281
Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2009 12:56 am

Re: Rebirth Deniers

Post by seanpdx » Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:11 pm

Manapa wrote:Sean do you have a link to an article or something?
Search google/wikipedia for philosophy of ethics. You'll very quickly run into the three prominent ethical theories: consequentialism, deontology, and virtue ethics.

Heck, just looking up "ethics" on wikipedia will probably give you a good starting point. None of this is super-secret, hard-to-find stuff.

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

Re: Rebirth Deniers

Post by Cittasanto » Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:23 pm

Hi Sean,
Thought you may of been thinking of a specific article.
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

seanpdx
Posts: 281
Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2009 12:56 am

Re: Rebirth Deniers

Post by seanpdx » Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:25 pm

Manapa wrote:Hi Sean,
Thought you may of been thinking of a specific article.
Nope. This stuff is just basic Ethics 101 at best.

nowheat
Posts: 529
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2009 3:42 am

Re: Rebirth Deniers

Post by nowheat » Thu Feb 04, 2010 9:47 pm

Manapa wrote: nowheat was asking for it to be defined! not if the label was applicable to anyone.
I was actually asking about both. My primary aim is to clarify the terms used to shorthand positions, and in the process needed folks to identify what camps they were in to see which views are represented here, which views we need to distinguish from which.

I keep getting the feeling that y'all mean me when you say "rebirth deniers" but as pedantic as I am, I cannot stand up when so called as I don't deny rebirth.

:namaste:

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 54 guests