Author Topic: Buddhism  (Read 1936 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline GodlessHeathen

  • Graduate
  • ****
  • Posts: 274
  • Darwins +9/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • Absence of evidence is not evidence of existence.
Buddhism
« on: May 14, 2012, 06:05:44 AM »
I have been told by some Buddhist friends of mine that their religion is different from the Abrahamic religions, somehow not as morally repugnant. The late atheist activist, Christopher Hitchens, seemed to have shared that view to some degree. I haven't extensively studied the Buddhist faith, its writings, or its history to this point, but, from what I have seen, I can find no fault in it. What does the rest of the forum think?

Actually I can find one fault with it in that I find the concept of reincarnation to be one of superstition, but I can also see where it could be taken as a totally symbolic and figurative reference to the cyclic nature of things.
"That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence" (Christopher Hitchens).

Offline One Above All

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 10926
  • Darwins +284/-37
  • Gender: Male
  • Supreme ruler of the multiverse; All In One
Re: Buddhism
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2012, 06:11:39 AM »
IIRC Buddhism states that if something happens to you (good or bad), you deserved it, even if you don't know it. You can guess what this does to people who believe in it.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken_rjcf/Lucifer/All In One.

Offline Seppuku

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 3855
  • Darwins +125/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • I am gay for Fred Phelps
    • Seppuku Arts
Re: Buddhism
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2012, 06:35:18 AM »
Karma is not a passing of judgment on people's actions, but a natural principle that the consequences of you actions will balance out, be it in this life or the next. There's no deity judging your actions. Buddhism is different in 2 main ways: 1) It's not dogmatic 2) It requires not god. You could include a third and say it requires no supernatural belief as they're not core to Buddhism.

The main attitude people tend to take is from what Siddartha Gautama said about his teachings, basically he said study what I've said and decide for yourselves and make your own path. Buddha was a man and he was only the first of many Buddhas, he declined any kind of connections to the divine, even though he himself believed in the existence of Hindu gods. But his teachings had nothing to do with Hinduism.

On the other hand, Jesus said his teachings were not up to personal interpretation, we're inspired by a divine creator and that was there to enforce the rules of the God of Judaism. All teachers in the book are prophets of God. The laws of God must be obeyed. All action is judged by a divine creator.

As a result Buddhism is often thought of as a philosophy rather than a religion. It is also a religion that is capable of being atheistic. I consider myself an atheist Buddhism and I don't believe in any of that supernatural malarkey, but I believe in much of the philosophy taught in Buddhism.

If need be I can go more into depth about what that means, but I am currently typing from an iPod. ;)
« Last Edit: May 14, 2012, 06:37:35 AM by Seppuku »
“It is difficult to understand the universe if you only study one planet” - Miyamoto Musashi
Warning: I occassionally forget to proofread my posts to spot typos or to spot poor editing.

Online Zankuu

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 2106
  • Darwins +132/-3
  • Gender: Male
    • I am a Forum Guide
Re: Buddhism
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2012, 06:40:26 AM »
Leave nothing to chance. Overlook nothing. Combine contradictory observations. Allow yourself enough time. -Hippocrates of Cos

Offline One Above All

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 10926
  • Darwins +284/-37
  • Gender: Male
  • Supreme ruler of the multiverse; All In One
Re: Buddhism
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2012, 06:43:17 AM »
Karma is not a passing of judgment on people's actions, but a natural principle that the consequences of you actions will balance out, be it in this life or the next.

Is this the "Good and bad in equal amounts" type of karma or the "You do good, good happens to you; you do bad, bad happens to you" type of karma? The latter is the one I've heard most often, even though the former is the "original" (AFAIK).

EDIT: However, note that both are the same concept - you do something, something happens to you and you deserved it because of what you did before.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2012, 06:46:12 AM by Lucifer »
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken_rjcf/Lucifer/All In One.

Offline Seppuku

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 3855
  • Darwins +125/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • I am gay for Fred Phelps
    • Seppuku Arts
Re: Buddhism
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2012, 06:51:37 AM »
The latter. But there's nobody there to pass judgment. You can't say that somebody deserves it, only that 'it' happens. From the Buddhist perspective (at least those that believe in it) it's just nature, there's all sorts of principles in the natural world where we don't say nature is 'judging' them. The difference is this is what they thought they understood about the natural world 1000s of years ago. So it's attributed as a force rather than the judgment of the almighty.
“It is difficult to understand the universe if you only study one planet” - Miyamoto Musashi
Warning: I occassionally forget to proofread my posts to spot typos or to spot poor editing.

Offline One Above All

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 10926
  • Darwins +284/-37
  • Gender: Male
  • Supreme ruler of the multiverse; All In One
Re: Buddhism
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2012, 06:57:44 AM »
"Deserve" doesn't mean that there's something/someone there to pass judgement.
Quote
deserve [d??z??v]
vb
1. (tr) to be entitled to or worthy of; merit
If a person does A, then they are entitled to B. This is the basic principle behind karma.


Definition came from www.thefreedictionary.com
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken_rjcf/Lucifer/All In One.

Offline jaimehlers

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 4838
  • Darwins +557/-17
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: Buddhism
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2012, 06:59:42 AM »
While that's accurate, it needs to be explained better, because it gives a somewhat misleading impression the way Lucifer put it.  The gist of it is that one's past actions affect the present.  In traditional Buddhist belief, which incorporates reincarnation, this was used to explain why some people were born into wealthy families, while others were born into poor families, or why one person might have a deformity while another might be above-average in some way.  Basically, it was an attempt to explain why some people have better lives without seeming to do anything.  The idea behind it is to do rightful actions during life in order to shed karma and be born into a better life in the future.  Though, as Lucifer said, that belief did have some bad side-effects.

In a very real way, it's like a metaphor for how life actually works.  Once you do something - good or bad - you can't change it, and it can either positively or negatively affect your life in the future, so it's better to habitually do good things than bad.

Offline GodlessHeathen

  • Graduate
  • ****
  • Posts: 274
  • Darwins +9/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • Absence of evidence is not evidence of existence.
Re: Buddhism
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2012, 07:03:23 AM »
While that's accurate, it needs to be explained better, because it gives a somewhat misleading impression the way Lucifer put it.  The gist of it is that one's past actions affect the present.  In traditional Buddhist belief, which incorporates reincarnation, this was used to explain why some people were born into wealthy families, while others were born into poor families, or why one person might have a deformity while another might be above-average in some way.  Basically, it was an attempt to explain why some people have better lives without seeming to do anything.  The idea behind it is to do rightful actions during life in order to shed karma and be born into a better life in the future.  Though, as Lucifer said, that belief did have some bad side-effects.

In a very real way, it's like a metaphor for how life actually works.  Once you do something - good or bad - you can't change it, and it can either positively or negatively affect your life in the future, so it's better to habitually do good things than bad.

The original belief (the idea that a person might be being punished for something that they don't even remember doing) sounds like it could be as damaging as the Christian doctrine of original sin.
"That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence" (Christopher Hitchens).

Offline One Above All

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 10926
  • Darwins +284/-37
  • Gender: Male
  • Supreme ruler of the multiverse; All In One
Re: Buddhism
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2012, 07:04:15 AM »
The original belief (the idea that a person might be being punished for something that they don't even remember doing) sounds like it could be as damaging as the Christian doctrine of original sin.

It is. I know someone who's screwed up because of that.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken_rjcf/Lucifer/All In One.

Offline jaimehlers

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 4838
  • Darwins +557/-17
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: Buddhism
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2012, 07:14:17 AM »
The original belief (the idea that a person might be being punished for something that they don't even remember doing) sounds like it could be as damaging as the Christian doctrine of original sin.
You have to understand that it isn't actually punishment, not in the sense that most people understand the term.  A good analogy is to think of it like weight.  If you do bad things, you add weight, whereas if you do good things, you shed it.  The more weight you end up carrying, the more trouble you're likely to have in the future.  If you'll excuse the quip, does someone who's 300 pounds overweight remember every meal where they overate?

Offline GodlessHeathen

  • Graduate
  • ****
  • Posts: 274
  • Darwins +9/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • Absence of evidence is not evidence of existence.
Re: Buddhism
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2012, 07:22:25 AM »
You have to understand that it isn't actually punishment, not in the sense that most people understand the term.

Maybe not, but the effect is still the same:
Bad things are happening to me because I did something bad in a past life that I don't remember having done; therefore, from my perspective, I am not guilty of anything, yet my karma is still punishing me.

That kind of mentatlity leads to a very low sense of self-worth. I experienced it first-hand when I was a Christian and did not even realize the damage that had been done until I got free from Christianity. In retrospect, I see just what a worthless image of myself I truly had.

A good analogy is to think of it like weight.  If you do bad things, you add weight, whereas if you do good things, you shed it.  The more weight you end up carrying, the more trouble you're likely to have in the future.  If you'll excuse the quip, does someone who's 300 pounds overweight remember every meal where they overate?

I don't see that as some kind of "force" but as just the natural order of things. What we do has consequences. Doing bad things, however, may have good consequences; and doing good things may have bad consequences. The point is we don't live in a vacuum. Everything we do is part of a chain of cause and effect.
"That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence" (Christopher Hitchens).

Offline caterpillar

  • Freshman
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Darwins +1/-2
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: Buddhism
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2012, 07:38:16 AM »


According to Buddhism, if you are dying out of cancer, it is because of your sins in previous life. So you are bound to suffer. Buddhism is bullshit like any other religion.

Offline Grimm

  • Professional Windmill Tilter
  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 826
  • Darwins +61/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • Apparently, the Dragon to be Slain
    • The Hexadecimal Number of the Beast
Re: Buddhism
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2012, 07:42:29 AM »
The idea of karma came out of Hinduism, as did the idea of reincarnation; most of the spiritual trappings of Bhuddism are simply repackaged Hindu concepts.

The first Bhudda was Hindu, after all.

You can see the negative ramifications of the idea of karma and dharma in the caste system of India and the idea that those born into poverty (and into the lowest castes) had to do something to deserve that life in a previous one, thus are not deserving of mercy or aid now.  If you were born into a life that is a punishment, who is man to change it?

However, the philosophical (rather than spiritual or dogmatic) trappings of karma are simpler:  whatever you practice in this life is what you get from it.  Whatever you give out is what you get.   If you are kind, joyous, compassionate.. you will get a world that is kind, joyous and compassionate, even in its worst moments (and there will be worst moments).  It isn't cyclic - it just /is/. 

Put another, more Western way - there are rules and natural laws that govern societal interaction.  Acting in a way that improves the lives of others inevetably results in the improvement of your own life; if everyone around you has a 'lot' that improves steadily, yours will as well through simple reciprocity and as part of the improvement of your social circles.  Conversely, acting in a way that is destructive has a tendency to rebound on you - dragging down society tends to drag you down with it, in some way.   We are all connected by simple behavioral concepts.

Does that make better sense, maybe, than simply talking about karma as something cyclic?  Like most bhuddist concepts, it's actually a simple thing that takes a bit of explanation to get to philosophically.  Comprehension of the deeper ramifications of it usually only shows up through practice.

(Interestingly, the Tao shares these principles.)
"But to us, there is but one god, plus or minus one."  - 1 Corinthians 8:6+/-2

-- Randall, XKCD http://xkcd.com/900/

Offline GodlessHeathen

  • Graduate
  • ****
  • Posts: 274
  • Darwins +9/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • Absence of evidence is not evidence of existence.
Re: Buddhism
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2012, 07:47:44 AM »
If you take the supersitious parts out, most of what I've seen in Buddhism seems to be expressed in secular humanism.
"That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence" (Christopher Hitchens).

Offline Graybeard

  • Global Moderator
  • ******
  • Posts: 6611
  • Darwins +523/-19
  • Gender: Male
  • Is this going somewhere?
Re: Buddhism
« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2012, 07:54:14 AM »
However, the philosophical (rather than spiritual or dogmatic) trappings of karma are simpler:  whatever you practice in this life is what you get from it.  Whatever you give out is what you get.   
This is the "as ye sow, so shall you reap" principle. In Buddhism, a deity is replaced by "Fate".

Realising, as Christians did, that good things happen to bad people and vice versa, Buddhism, like Christianity says that the reward will be in the next incarnation/world.

Both Christianity and Buddhism thus add something that is not required (an afterlife) in order to keep their sheep to the stated pathway and to get around the observations that we all make.
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline jaimehlers

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 4838
  • Darwins +557/-17
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: Buddhism
« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2012, 08:00:39 AM »
Maybe not, but the effect is still the same:
Bad things are happening to me because I did something bad in a past life that I don't remember having done; therefore, from my perspective, I am not guilty of anything, yet my karma is still punishing me.
Karma isn't a punishment, it's a consequence.  If you were to yodel in a mountain range and cause an avalanche, it makes no sense to claim that the avalanche is a punishment for yodeling, but it was probably a result of the yodeling.  The results of karma, good or bad, were also considered to be consequences of actions, but they weren't the equivalent of a cosmic spanking (which is what calling it a punishment implies).  There's no YHWH inflicting divine punishment from above in Buddhism, it's just the way the system works (which, not coincidentally, also served to maintain the social order in India).

As Grimm said, if you can get past the supernatural trappings of Buddhism, it makes sense as a philosophical system.

Offline One Above All

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 10926
  • Darwins +284/-37
  • Gender: Male
  • Supreme ruler of the multiverse; All In One
Re: Buddhism
« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2012, 08:03:18 AM »
As Grimm said, if you can get past the supernatural trappings of Buddhism, it makes sense as a philosophical system.

If you take the supersitious parts out, most of what I've seen in Buddhism seems to be expressed in secular humanism.

Why call it Buddhism if Buddhism includes the supernatural parts? Without the supernatural, as GodlessHeathen pointed out, Buddhism is just secular humanism.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken_rjcf/Lucifer/All In One.

Offline Omen

  • Professor
  • ********
  • Posts: 5955
  • Darwins +105/-15
  • One of the fucking bad guys; not friendly, tiger!
Re: Buddhism
« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2012, 08:12:47 AM »
I have been told by some Buddhist friends of mine that their religion is different from the Abrahamic religions, somehow not as morally repugnant. The late atheist activist, Christopher Hitchens, seemed to have shared that view to some degree. I haven't extensively studied the Buddhist faith, its writings, or its history to this point, but, from what I have seen, I can find no fault in it. What does the rest of the forum think?

Actually I can find one fault with it in that I find the concept of reincarnation to be one of superstition, but I can also see where it could be taken as a totally symbolic and figurative reference to the cyclic nature of things.

I don't find much substance in it, the buddhacarita has similar kinds of theological rhetorical language as other religious text, albeit I would say it's not as tightly declared and far more poetic.  Trying to get buddhist to narrow down what the beliefs say that are not in themselves just nice sounding platitudes is where the difficulty lies.  There is far more ambiguity tied to interpreting Buddhism than other beliefs imho, but certainly not the overwhelming xenophobic tendency of most other religious ( tribal like ) belief systems.
"Religious faith is the antithesis to knowledge, it is the opposition to education, and it has to act in animosity against the free exchange of ideas.  Why? Because those things are what cause harm to a religions place in society most." - Me

Offline jaimehlers

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 4838
  • Darwins +557/-17
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: Buddhism
« Reply #19 on: May 14, 2012, 08:18:49 AM »
Why call it Buddhism if Buddhism includes the supernatural parts? Without the supernatural, as GodlessHeathen pointed out, Buddhism is just secular humanism.
Because it isn't "just secular humanism".  Secular humanism incorporates more than just the idea that how you act is how you will tend to be acted upon.

Offline One Above All

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 10926
  • Darwins +284/-37
  • Gender: Male
  • Supreme ruler of the multiverse; All In One
Re: Buddhism
« Reply #20 on: May 14, 2012, 08:20:27 AM »
Because it isn't "just secular humanism".  Secular humanism incorporates more than just the idea that how you act is how you will tend to be acted upon.

So it's less than secular humanism. It's one of the premises of secular humanism. My question still stands: Why call it Buddhism?
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken_rjcf/Lucifer/All In One.

Offline Grimm

  • Professional Windmill Tilter
  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 826
  • Darwins +61/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • Apparently, the Dragon to be Slain
    • The Hexadecimal Number of the Beast
Re: Buddhism
« Reply #21 on: May 14, 2012, 08:25:53 AM »
As Grimm said, if you can get past the supernatural trappings of Buddhism, it makes sense as a philosophical system.

If you take the supersitious parts out, most of what I've seen in Buddhism seems to be expressed in secular humanism.

Why call it Buddhism if Buddhism includes the supernatural parts? Without the supernatural, as GodlessHeathen pointed out, Buddhism is just secular humanism.

Because, while it's close, it's not.

Secular Humanism (the philosophy to which I do my best to adhere) doesn't address attachment or compassion in the same philosophical bent Bhuddism does - it addresses, instead, value.  What it does, as a philosophy, is attempts to show how human life and endeavor has value for the simple sake of its humanity, and how humanity has value and should be prized for its existence, and lauded when it's at its best.  It reduces interaction to a sort of value judgement, and - well, frankly - that may be its genius.

It's very easy to be ethical and moral as a secular humanist because any individual interaction can be 'reduced' to the idea of 'which selection a) causes the least harm and b) offers a marked improvement to the lives around me?'  There's a huge philosophical underpinning there, but like Sagan's "concept of the number one", it's not important to practice.

Bhuddism and the Ninefold Path, on the other hand, focuses (philosophically) on the underpinning itself.  To a bhuddist, coming to understand the 'why' is infinitely more important than the thing itself; the goal is to have the practitioner come to understand the idea so intimitely that the value judgement happens somewhere in the reptile brain, before conscious thought.  You do the right thing easily, and without effort.

It's the difference between a guy working a heavy bag in the gym, and someone practicing something like escrima or karate'.  The martial artist learns body mechanics, practices until every move becomes instinct; the guy taking a self defense class learns the techniques, but still has to consciously apply them.

That isn't to say bhuddism is 'better', only that secular humanism has a different focus, and has truly endeavored to shed all of the trappings of 'spirituality' that aren't important.  Compare, if you will, Krav Maga to Shaolin-type Kung-fu.  The former is a distillation, a methodology, just as effective without any need for a discussion of 'energy' or 'chi'.  Kung-fu is no less effective, but has lots of trappings that make it... well.. 'spiritual'.   

In the cafeteria of philosophical concepts, though, Humanism owes a lot to Bhuddism, Taoism and (oddly) Christianity.  It establishes value and builds on the premise of these older ideas, approaching methodology through the fundamental concept of people being important without the necessity of God or god-thought.

Anyway.  I can prattle on for hours - but there are two bhuddisms:  philosophical and religious. 
"But to us, there is but one god, plus or minus one."  - 1 Corinthians 8:6+/-2

-- Randall, XKCD http://xkcd.com/900/

Offline Omen

  • Professor
  • ********
  • Posts: 5955
  • Darwins +105/-15
  • One of the fucking bad guys; not friendly, tiger!
Re: Buddhism
« Reply #22 on: May 14, 2012, 08:27:27 AM »
Note: http://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/Texts-and-Translations/Buddhacarita/Buddhacarita.pdf

A translation, in PDF format, of the Buddhacarita.  Mindless poetry and all.
"Religious faith is the antithesis to knowledge, it is the opposition to education, and it has to act in animosity against the free exchange of ideas.  Why? Because those things are what cause harm to a religions place in society most." - Me

Offline One Above All

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 10926
  • Darwins +284/-37
  • Gender: Male
  • Supreme ruler of the multiverse; All In One
Re: Buddhism
« Reply #23 on: May 14, 2012, 08:31:44 AM »
If you discard the supernatural components of Buddhism, then intrinsic value is non-existent. Ergo, Buddhism is reduced to a simple premise of secular humanism.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken_rjcf/Lucifer/All In One.

Offline jynnan tonnix

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1770
  • Darwins +87/-1
  • Gender: Female
Re: Buddhism
« Reply #24 on: May 14, 2012, 08:32:28 AM »
While there are still those supernatural aspects to it, I think Buddhism is more appealing, broadly, because of the lack of the infinite aspect of consequences.

If you live your life in a way that has Karma bite you in the next, then that life may be miserable, but there is always (if I understand the theory) the opportunity to make the most of trying to live it in such a way as to lift yourself to a better circumstance in the next go-round, and to keep making good choices in subsequent incarnations leading to enlightenment.

For those who have trouble shedding all the "woo", and feeling that there simply must be something of the soul which lives on (and I admit to still not being able to truly accept that death is final despite every evidence that it is so), Buddhism makes for a somewhat comforting compromise. There may not be an immediate "heaven" to go to, but neither is there the fear of everlasting punishment for using the mind you were born with to come to the "wrong" conclusion on the nature of supreme beings and creation. Every life, even though you may not consciously remember the past one, is a new opportunity to learn and advance. Makes a whole lot more sense to me just on that level.

Offline jaimehlers

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 4838
  • Darwins +557/-17
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: Buddhism
« Reply #25 on: May 14, 2012, 08:51:01 AM »
If you discard the supernatural components of Buddhism, then intrinsic value is non-existent. Ergo, Buddhism is reduced to a simple premise of secular humanism.
This is akin to saying that humans descend directly from apes or some other primate, when in fact, humans and other primates descend from a common ancestor.  Philosophical buddhism[1] and secular humanism are based on similar precepts, but they went in different directions with it.
 1. lowercase, to differentiate it from the religious Buddhism

Offline Grimm

  • Professional Windmill Tilter
  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 826
  • Darwins +61/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • Apparently, the Dragon to be Slain
    • The Hexadecimal Number of the Beast
Re: Buddhism
« Reply #26 on: May 14, 2012, 08:56:33 AM »
If you discard the supernatural components of Buddhism, then intrinsic value is non-existent. Ergo, Buddhism is reduced to a simple premise of secular humanism.


... hangon. Are you positing that a philosophical construct cannot have pieces that are valuable even if the whole is flawed?  "Intrinsic value" is one of those dangerous things to toss out there, if only because all value is subjective; nothing has value save that it is useful to the one doing the valuation. 

Plus..  Secular Humanism deals with only the 'ethical conduct' section of the eightfold (not ninefold - I can't apparently think before three cups of coffee anymore, and got that wrong earlier) path.  It doesn't touch the Bhuddist idea of wisdom or most of the concept of mental development.

http://www.thebigview.com/buddhism/eightfoldpath.html - it's quick summary.

Note that i do not agree with bhuddist philosophy as a whole - I'm simply trying to differentiate it from Secular Humanism and express my interest in the philosophy (as it's fairly advanced for something written several thousand years ago).  I'm not an expert - far from it!  But compare the above to the core tenets of Humanism (borrowed from wikipedia):


Need to test beliefs – A conviction that dogmas, ideologies and traditions, whether religious, political or social, must be weighed and tested by each individual and not simply accepted by faith.

Reason, evidence, scientific method – A commitment to the use of critical reason, factual evidence and scientific methods of inquiry in seeking solutions to human problems and answers to important human questions.

Fulfillment, growth, creativity – A primary concern with fulfillment, growth and creativity for both the individual and humankind in general.

Search for truth – A constant search for objective truth, with the understanding that new knowledge and experience constantly alter our imperfect perception of it.

This life – A concern for this life (as opposed to an afterlife) and a commitment to making it meaningful through better understanding of ourselves, our history, our intellectual and artistic achievements, and the outlooks of those who differ from us.

Ethics – A search for viable individual, social and political principles of ethical conduct, judging them on their ability to enhance human well-being and individual responsibility.

Building a better world – A conviction that with reason, an open exchange of ideas, good will, and tolerance, progress can be made in building a better world for ourselves and our children.


There's lots good in both, but the overlap isn't as cut-and-dried as it seems.
"But to us, there is but one god, plus or minus one."  - 1 Corinthians 8:6+/-2

-- Randall, XKCD http://xkcd.com/900/

Offline One Above All

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 10926
  • Darwins +284/-37
  • Gender: Male
  • Supreme ruler of the multiverse; All In One
Re: Buddhism
« Reply #27 on: May 14, 2012, 09:11:12 AM »
This is akin to saying that humans descend directly from apes or some other primate, when in fact, humans and other primates descend from a common ancestor.  Philosophical buddhism[1] and secular humanism are based on similar precepts, but they went in different directions with it.
 1. lowercase, to differentiate it from the religious Buddhism

I'm not talking about the origins of Buddhism or secular humanism. What I am saying is that if you discard all the supernatural BS from Buddhism, you get secular humanism[2]. I'm also saying that there's no reason to call this "philosophical buddhism" or any neologism[3], since we already have a name for it.

... hangon. Are you positing that a philosophical construct cannot have pieces that are valuable even if the whole is flawed?

No. You said that "philosophical buddhism" incorporates intrinsic value. I pointed out that that's a supernaturalist concept. Value is subjective, and we are the ones who determine it.
However, I also wish to point out that ignoring the crap and sticking to the good parts is creating a whole new philosophical construct.

Plus..  Secular Humanism deals with only the 'ethical conduct' section of the eightfold (not ninefold - I can't apparently think before three cups of coffee anymore, and got that wrong earlier) path.  It doesn't touch the Bhuddist idea of wisdom or most of the concept of mental development.
http://www.thebigview.com/buddhism/eightfoldpath.html - it's quick summary.

I skimmed that link and it still seems based on "magic", like karma, souls, reincarnations and other such concepts.
 2. Or, to be more specific, one of its premises.
 3. I'm unfamiliar with the term "philosophical buddhism, and it seems like a neologism to me. If it's not, then please disregard this and replace "any neologism" with "anything".
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken_rjcf/Lucifer/All In One.

Offline Grimm

  • Professional Windmill Tilter
  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 826
  • Darwins +61/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • Apparently, the Dragon to be Slain
    • The Hexadecimal Number of the Beast
Re: Buddhism
« Reply #28 on: May 14, 2012, 09:16:00 AM »
... hangon. Are you positing that a philosophical construct cannot have pieces that are valuable even if the whole is flawed?

No. You said that "philosophical buddhism" incorporates intrinsic value. I pointed out that that's a supernaturalist concept. Value is subjective, and we are the ones who determine it.
However, I also wish to point out that ignoring the crap and sticking to the good parts is creating a whole new philosophical construct.

... well, yes.  'philosophical bhuddism'.  (and you're right on the above - I should have said 'philosophical bhuddism can be said to have a great deal of value'.  Ugh.)

Quote
Plus..  Secular Humanism deals with only the 'ethical conduct' section of the eightfold (not ninefold - I can't apparently think before three cups of coffee anymore, and got that wrong earlier) path.  It doesn't touch the Bhuddist idea of wisdom or most of the concept of mental development.
http://www.thebigview.com/buddhism/eightfoldpath.html - it's quick summary.

I skimmed that link and it still seems based on "magic", like karma, souls, reincarnations and other such concepts.

Sorta.  ... hrm. Would it help if I tried to do a quick rundown?  Something summary to explain what I really mean?  It'd be longish.
"But to us, there is but one god, plus or minus one."  - 1 Corinthians 8:6+/-2

-- Randall, XKCD http://xkcd.com/900/