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Featured To what extent was Gautama Buddha a theist or an atheist?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Dawnofhope, Jun 3, 2019.

?
  1. Yes

    36.0%
  2. No

    28.0%
  3. Perhaps

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. We can't possibly know

    8.0%
  5. I don't know

    4.0%
  6. This poll doesn't reflect my thinking

    24.0%
  1. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon shunyadragon
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    Better answer.
     
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  2. Samana Johann

    Samana Johann Restricted by request

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  3. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon shunyadragon
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  4. paarsurrey

    paarsurrey Veteran Member

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    Was Buddha a Theist?



    Buddha had no connection with Non-Theism/Skepticism/Agnosticism/Atheism, so
    Buddha was not a Skeptic/Agnostic/Atheist:

    "4. Doctrines of Endless Equivocation (Amarāvikkhepavāda): Views 13–16
    61. "There are, bhikkhus, some recluses and brahmins who are endless equivocators.[9]When questioned about this or that point, on four grounds they resort to evasive statements and to endless equivocation. And owing to what, with reference to what, do these honorable recluses and brahmins do so?

    Or "eel-wriggling," as rendered by Rhys-Davids. For the commentarial justification [9]for this rendering, see below."

    Brahmajāla Sutta: The All-embracing Net of Views

    Ambiguous Evasion[edit]
    The concept of ambiguous evasion or eel-wriggling (Pali: Amaravikkhepa) is introduced in the Brahmajala sutta. When hearing Buddhist teachings, the Buddha claims that people would react with four forms of ambiguous evasion:

    1. Evasion out of fear or hatred of making false claims.

    2. Evasion out of fear or hatred of attachment.

    3. Evasion out of fear or hatred of debate.

    4. Evasion out of fear or hatred of admitting ignorance.

    In other words, when a person would hear the dharma, they would respond, "I don't know. Maybe it is true. Maybe it is not true. I can't say it's true because I don't know and I can't deny it's true because I don't know."

    The idea is that the person isn't considering the arguments presented (see Kalama Sutta), but stubbornly adhering to irrational agnosticism out of feelings of fear or hatred.

    Brahmajala Sutta (Theravada) - Wikipedia

    Regards
     
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  5. Samana Johann

    Samana Johann Restricted by request

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    Still hungry, the empty source?
     
  6. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    Because his general attitude reflects what we now call apatheism, I think.


    As I understand it, such is always the case to some extent, although it can not be true to a remarkable extent. It is one of the reasons why there is such a wide variety of Gurus. That variety is, to an extent, both a cause and a remedy to excesses of various forms.

    Yes, I think so.

    Buddhism is not really about embracing theistic views, but it is even less about making a point of rejecting them.

    Whether theism is even of interest to Buddhism is a matter of some contention.

    The Tathagata, of course, came from a Hindu background and was well acquaintanced with the Devas of Hinduism. I have little doubt that he mentioned at least some of them often enough. They, much like the Kami of Shinto with which they are often compared, are superb figures of language to illustrate various virtues, ideals, and states of achievement.

    The question to me is whether it makes sense to call then gods or deities. They are certainly presented as much more relatable and approachable than the Abrahamic conception of God. Therefore, it all comes down to what one expects a god to be.

    It may be worth pointing out that it is not even clear that the Devas are in some sense superior to humans. For instance:

    Deva (Buddhism) - Wikipedia
     
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  7. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    Sorry, @paarsurrey , but in all frankness I do not expect a Muslim to have a functional understanding of non-theism.
     
  8. Samana Johann

    Samana Johann Restricted by request

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    As an sceptic does not accept authority? Non with such would understand why a sceptic tries to make a virtue out of lack. While one devoted to Sublime has certain future upwardly and beyond, while the sceptic and denier is ever lost.
     
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  9. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon shunyadragon
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    Not hungry, not empty, ot full, simply the 'Source.'

    'The empty glass contains the most.'
     
  10. crossfire

    crossfire Antinomian feminist heretic freak ☿
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    Very short sutta: conjecture on such matters demonstrates you are out of your mind
    Acintita Sutta: Unconjecturable

    "There are these four unconjecturables that are not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about them. Which four?

    "The Buddha-range of the Buddhas[1] is an unconjecturable that is not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about it.

    "The jhana-range of a person in jhana...[2]

    "The [precise working out of the] results of kamma...

    "Conjecture about [the origin, etc., of] the world is an unconjecturable that is not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about it.

    "These are the four unconjecturables that are not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about them."​
     
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  11. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon shunyadragon
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    Agree very much! Defining the undefinable is the madness of blind belief.
     
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  12. paarsurrey

    paarsurrey Veteran Member

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    Why it is necessary to understand non-theism? Did Buddha say it, please?
    Regards
     
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  13. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    I have some trouble parsing your language, but if I understood you correctly, I will have to take firm issue with your stance.

    Devotion to the sublime is hardly implied in theism. If anything, there is a negative correlation between the two traits.

    I would expect a follower of the contemplative path to be well aware of that fairly self-evident fact, but perhaps I was being too optimistic.

    Separately, there is another issue as well. Muslims generally have a very hard time understanding even the basic facts of non-theism. To the best of my understanding the Qur'an describes something not particularly relatable or realistic and calls that non-theism. We atheists and skeptics keep being offered incredibly disconnected questions by Muslims of all origins. In all honesty, one gets the sense that they learned about non-theists from some form of satirical cartoon that had no goal of presenting a realistic portrait of the subject matter.
     
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  14. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    It is necessary to have a modicum of understanding of non-theism to reach some form of reliable conclusion about it, certainly. Not because non-theism is remarkable, but because that is how logic works.

    The Tathagata did not really say much about non-theism, perhaps in part because he lived at a time and a culture that did not particularly value the distiction between theism and non-theism. I do not expect that the distinction was even very noticeable among the people of that time and place.

    Edited to add: While I am hardly a researcher of the field, what little I know of the origins of the current understandings of theism and non-theism certainly hints that it Muhammad may in fact have been a major, even decisive factor in the shaping of the current understanding that there must be a lot of significance in the distinction between the two stances. I don't think that it was very usual to emphasize that distinction anywhere else before or since.
     
    #74 LuisDantas, Jun 3, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2019
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  15. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon shunyadragon
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    The words 'Theist nor non-Theist' were not used at the time of Buddha, nor would they define what Buddha taught nor not taught nor said.
     
    #75 shunyadragon, Jun 3, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2019
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  16. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist
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    Most respectfully... your objection is a classic "No True Scotsman Fallacy"? If there is something inaccurate about the content of what was said, I think that would be more productive.
     
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  17. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    Not at all.

    Muslims have very consistently shown what may well be a full inability to even understand the basics of atheism.

    I would greatly enjoy meeting a counter-example. But even if I did, it is only fair to call a cigar a cigar.

    As for what he (@paarsurrey) said, well, it is just wrong. Starting with the implicit (and typically Muslims, alas) premise that atheism is something to be "connected with" or to "distance oneself from".
     
  18. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist
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    Please read Paarasurey's post and provide something that is inaccurate, Luis. Please. Otherwise, your statement shuts out accurate information based on Paarasurey's religious affiliation.

    This thread should not be a platform for you to air your grievances about Muslims or Islam.

    Has Islam even been discussed at any point in this thread? Why even bring it up?
     
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  19. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon shunyadragon
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    My objections to both Christians and Muslims is that they try and draw artificial lines between what is theism and non-theism, in religions such as Buddhism to fit their agenda. It is difficult to make this actual distinction in Buddhism, because the reality is the believers of the various different divisions of Buddhism cross a wide divergence of how they describe what they believe.
     
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  20. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    I'm trying!
     
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