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Apech

Is Buddhism a form of rational atheism?

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No links and no quotes. From my own meager understanding.

 

Well, finding rational thought amongst our Buddhist friends is very hard to come by. However, yes, I think it is a form of Atheism.


The Buddha did not teach to the metaphysical but rather to life in its rudest and crudest forms. He taught that nothing lasts forever, especially suffering.

 

Atheism is concerned with the real (physical) world. That was the Baddha's concern. And especially how cruel it can be to some people.

Edited by Marblehead
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...and all along, i thought Buddhism was beyond forms, and can therefore afford not to exclude the possibilities of premises outside of the rational. Segregation in the name of rational anything is a form of extremism, and Buddhism is found somewhere between that and the total abandonment of reasoning.

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Well, I'd say you might call buddhism a form of atheism, as it tells you not to rely on worldly gods.

If your idea of god is transpersonal and above any kind of a BEING, I would not necessarily say it's atheistic, but, as mentioned, that depends on your level of understanding "theism".

 

Buddhism is definitely not restricted to rational functions.

 

Presenting buddhism as a form of rational atheism therefore might be a kind of using skillful means to introduce a-theist persons to a system that might open up their thinking. But it's definitely not a sufficient way to describe the whole of it.

Edited by Yascra

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No it isn't.

 

Discuss.

 

Rule: in your own words no links or quotes.

 

Possibly in some of its manifestations.

Buddhisms is maybe better than Buddhism.

A western convert Pure Land Buddhist has as little in common with an ethnic Tibetan Tantra/ Bon devotee as has Richard Dawkins with Ian Paisley.

Many western Buddhisms such as the western PL clubs or 'San Francisco' non ethnic- Japanese Zen might be said to be rational and atheist.

Other western Buddhisms though, NKT for example; are about as far away from rational atheism as one could possibly get.

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Possibly in some of its manifestations. Buddhisms is maybe better than Buddhism. A western convert Pure Land Buddhist has as little in common with an ethnic Tibetan Tantra/ Bon devotee as has Richard Dawkins with Ian Paisley. Many western Buddhisms such as the western PL clubs or 'San Francisco' non ethnic- Japanese Zen might be said to be rational and atheist. Other western Buddhisms though, NKT for example; are about as far away from rational atheism as one could possibly get.

 

Just as a matter of interest what is a 'western PL club'?

 

On the topic of western Buddhism .... I think its 90% lost in translation. Either fluffy bunny focus on compassion by the emotionally disturbed ... or the focus on escape from suffering by the elitist rationalists (who throw in atheism because they don't want to appear soft). Sorry if this sounds hard ... but that's how I feel today.

 

The thing is Buddhism (like Taoism) was part of alternative culture of the 1960's etc ... and so was taken up by certain groups seeking a different way ... so for instance if you were a disenchanted Christian who had lost faith in big G then a religion without big G would be very appealing. Someone reacting to rationalist science might read "the Tao that can be spoken ..." and think ah something beyond the rational ... great. But in the origin countries ... Thailand, Tibet, China ...Buddhism and Taoism are the orthodoxy and the young are more likely to rebel by eating big Macs and wearing Nike trainers.

 

The audience ... us ... have eaten Buddhism and spat out something in our own likeness ... some kind a neuroscience, mindfulness cognitive therapy, atheist meditation, lifestyle choices to do with saving the planet, low cholesterol Buddhist cuisine, Zen furniture ... whatever ...

 

Right got that off my chest ... so carry on ... (no links so far ... well done !!)

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Western Pure Land Clubs.

For example...

http://buddhistpsychology.typepad.com/tariki/

 

Sorry about the link.

Orthodoxy evolves.

Pure Land for example has really caught on in Thailand.

Sunryu Suzuki's SF Zen 'hippies' preserved his form of pre and inter war Japanese Zen then re-exported it to Japam when Japan had largely moved on from what the younger Japanese saw as very old fashioned 'religion'. What has evolved from that interface is possibly stronger and certainly different from what was there before.

Everything changes especially religious practices, fashions come and go in Buddhisms as in Catholicism or any other path.

I don't think the OP as it stands can be answered as it seems to imply that Buddhism is a single entity.

It isn't.

Like a well cut diamond ,Buddhism has many facets.

Hence it sparkles attractively to all sorts of people.

Atheists and Deists all can , and do; find a variety of Buddhism to float their particular boat.

Edited by GrandmasterP
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Buddhism simply can't be pinned down.

 

It adapts to cultures and times with each new geographical location adding its own cultural elements. For some it's a religion, for others not. For some it's a philosophy, for others it's not. It is even seen as a mental discipine and psychology of wellness independent of religion or philosophy.

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Buddhism simply can't be pinned down.

 

It adapts to cultures and times with each new geographical location adding its own cultural elements. For some it's a religion, for others not. For some it's a philosophy, for others it's not. It is even seen as a mental discipine and psychology of wellness independent of religion or philosophy.

 

This I like a lot.

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I accept the penalty in good grace but, in mitigation it was posted simply to answer your question and not to support my case.

We get threads like this on DW now and again and , at worst; they end up as...

" My Lama/ Buddhism School has a bigger member than your Lama/ Buddhism School" - type shouting matches.

Then, as soon as someone has a pop at a Mod's chosen Buddhist club; but not before - the thread gets locked.

Which is a bit sad.

As ever, TTB is better than that.

Edited by GrandmasterP
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No it isn't.

 

Discuss.

 

Rule: in your own words no links or quotes.

 

I agree with you, it isn't.

My words.

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Reading threads like this, makes me want to sympathize with Rongzomfan's assertion, that Westerners don't understand Dharmic traditions.

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Reading threads like this, makes me want to sympathize with Rongzomfan's assertion, that Westerners don't understand Dharmic traditions.

 

Then sympathise with Rongzomfan you must Simple Jack.

" Whatever one resists, persists."

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Reading threads like this, makes me want to sympathize with Rongzomfan's assertion, that Westerners don't understand Dharmic traditions.

Reading posts like that makes me wonder why you don't follow Rongzomfan to wherever he hangs out now…

 

:D

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Reading threads like this, makes me want to sympathize with Rongzomfan's assertion, that Westerners don't understand Dharmic traditions.

 

 

I agree with him to a large extent. There are various obsessions with westerners which are actually Christian theology plus some scientific empiricism.

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The term "atheism" is an untenable position.

 

In order to first claim that something does not exist, one must be able to realize the object that doesn't exist.

 

If I know what a mouse is, then I can say with certainty that there is no mouse in my pocket.

 

But if I don't know what a mouse is, I have no grounds to claim that my pocket does not contain a mouse.

 

At best, an atheist can only deny the existence of relative subjective interpretations of the term "God" hence the inherent self corroding ideation appears. Further, the belief of nonexistence precludes any acts of searching or really trying to find out what a mouse is, so there is little hope of ever discovering that which is said to not exist, in order to deny its existence.

Edited by Tibetan_Ice
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It is not, the problem is that Buddhism has turned into a RELIGION; and this is a huge issue.

 

Discuss :D

Edited by Gerard
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Reading threads like this, makes me want to sympathize with Rongzomfan's assertion, that Westerners don't understand Dharmic traditions.

I publicly announce that I do not. (Most people have already figured that out.)

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The term "atheism" is an untenable position.

 

I disagree but will leave that for some other thread so to not disrupt this one too much.

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I disagree but will leave that for some other thread so to not disrupt this one too much.

 

 

I think that we could state that the term atheism is a redundant term to someone who never considered that a god existed in the first place. Since it is a negative of theism. Buddhism can inhabit an environment where there may be a world view which includes a god or many gods ... it doesn't matter since they may well exist in some sense or not but either way the Buddhist does not rely on them. Its certainly true that in every culture so far (historically) apart from the west the existence of gods and other entities was taken for granted. Even in Japan with Zen there was Shinto and therefore kamis.

 

So Buddhism is not atheist in any sense that would have meaning.

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I publicly announce that I do not. (Most people have already figured that out.)

 

Lucky non-westerners.

Poor westerner.

I'm with you MH, next to no clue about 'Dharmic Tradition' and probably care less than most.

Far too many sects n sutras for my simple tastes.

Dharma Wheel can be a fun site with useful links and info for the perplexed but I have less than a clue what the Dharma experts over there are talking about 90% of the time.

There was the guy on his first day at medical school to train as a Doctor.

The Prof had run through what the class was to study for the next five years and handed each student a super thick medical text book.

This guy flicks through the huge book with a look of dismay then rips out the page on anatomy of the foot and walks out of the lefture theatre saying to the Prof.

" Sod this for hard work! I've decided to become a podiatrist."

 

 

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Lucky non-westerners. Poor westerner. I'm with you MH, next to no clue about 'Dharmic Tradition' and probably care less than most. Far too many sects n sutras for my simple tastes. Dharma Wheel can be a fun site with useful links and info for the perplexed but I have less than a clue what the Dharma experts over there are talking about 90% of the time. There was the guy on his first day at medical school to train as a Doctor. The Prof had run through what the class was to study for the next five years and handed each student a super thick medical text book. This guy flicks through the huge book with a look of dismay then rips out the page on anatomy of the foot and walks out of the lefture theatre saying to the Prof. " Sod this for hard work! I've decided to become a podiatrist."

 

 

Then why do you feel moved to comment on what Buddhism is or is not? Just curious.

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...

A western convert Pure Land Buddhist has as little in common with an ethnic Tibetan Tantra/ Bon devotee as has Richard Dawkins with Ian Paisley.

 

I have plenty in common with all four.

 

I make revision of Anselm.

 

God is that which is greater than can be conceived.

 

Do not seek to conceive the MInd of God.

 

Unless you must.

 

Rise and fall.

 

I couldn't speak for "buddhism."

 

I'm not a buddhist.

 

But tathagata great saint.

 

One last note.

 

Krishna consciousness higher than the Gods themselves...

...

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Then why do you feel moved to comment on what Buddhism is or is not? Just curious.

Far too many sects n sutras to get my poor old head around is all.

Buddhisms are as Buddhisms does and there are simply so many varieties out there.

Hence my comment.

Wasn't aware of saying what 'it's not', one would need to know about all its manifestations.

Simply saying how I see it, hence my admitted and wilful ignorance of most Buddhisms.

Zen and PL I've looked at a bit but the Tibetans and Theravadans ... Nope.

Hope that helps.

Edited by GrandmasterP

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