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In Defense of Antinatalism

Re: In Defense of Antinatalism

Postby Unborn on Tue Jul 12, 2016 3:04 pm

Samsaric Spiral wrote:
First off, let me ask you a question, isn't it weird that Gnostic Christian schools resembled Buddhist practice and cynical worldview and they too were antinatalists?

Well, if I live a good life and die peacefully, I'm glad to have been born since desires were somewhat consistently fulfilled. However, if I saw my loved ones killed or whatnot, then I'd wish I wasn't born. I cannot see my own future, but the thing is, immense suffering can be a vacuum to all pleasant sensation. True horror is something few of us experience in life, something like the film Michael Haneke's Funny Games. I recommend watching that film.

The point is, Dukkha permeates all sensations. Pleasant sensation does not however. This is why, for metaphorical purposes, one could view life as resembling a ceaseless undulation of the Demiurge's ichor. I recommend reading Thomas Ligotti's Nethescurial. There is something malignant and malevolent about this life.

Let me reiterate: antinatalism does not equal manslaughter, omnicide, infanticide, etc.



I totally agree. Modern Buddhism has lost its fervor and truthfulness in this area. Buddhism is closer to Gnosticism than it is to New Age spirituality yet most will try to deny this. The Four Noble Truths are intrinsically Antinatalist. 'Buddha' would never promote the birth of a being into samsara. The myth of birth being necessary for enlightenment is taken out of context; is wrong-headed and dangerous. Enlightenment is the unborn state. The unborn is already realized so why be born only to need to realize the unborn? Buddha never taught they myth of souls coming in and out of bodies and even if it were the case childbirth/conception would still be considered aiding and abetting.

The religion of Buddhism is ultimately about the liberation of every being (in truth there are no beings). How could this take place if we are continually baby-making, 'I'-making? It is a very top-heavy conception to actually think that parents are making vessels 'necessary' for enlightenment. Birth is suffering/evil. Period.

What most Buddhists don't realize is that the kingdom of biology and its selfish/immoral imperatives is the kingdom of Mara. This is the gnostic element that is always swept under the rug. True Buddhism is ascetic and hence, antinatalist.
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Re: In Defense of Antinatalism

Postby desert_woodworker on Tue Jul 12, 2016 3:29 pm

U.,

Unborn wrote:True Buddhism is ascetic and hence, antinatalist.

I'd say that Zen Buddhism, with methods learned correctly from a confirmed master -- and practiced with the teacher and the sangha surrounding the teacher, as well as in daily life -- is true Buddhism, and Zen Buddhism encompasses all that is Human and non-human. Not picking and choosing.

However, true Wisdom is the prime value, the prime development, and the prime guidance, for Zen Buddhists (and for other Buddhists I think). True Wisdom comes of correct practice. And true Wisdom informs us, when we awaken, and remain awake, that Samsara is not different from Nirvana. Not that they are identical, but just not different.

I mention this because an awakened person of the Zen Buddhist sect (let's say), is not ascetic. An awakened person is however truly Wise, and truly Compassionate. Whereas, "asceticism" is a practice for the as-yet un-awakened practitioner (in some religions, or sects, although not, however, in Zen Buddhism).

Note please, that the Buddha Shakyamuni himself personally rejected asceticism after six years of stringent practice, because it did not lead to awakening. Instead, he took nourishment to restore health and strength, and sat under the Bodhi Tree until he awakened at the sight of the morning star rising.

Asceticism is not a result. Asceticism is, as mentioned, a practice, or practice milieu. Again, the Buddha rejected it, and did not recommend it when he came to teach. Don't forget this.

True Wisdom and true Compassion are results of correct practice of (say, Zen Buddhist) methods of practice.

When a person comes awake, and can remain awake by continued correct practice, one eats when hungry, sleeps when tired. There is no "asceticism".

Such characterizations of "Buddhism" as "this-and-that" are entirely wrong. They are mental exercises for people who do not practice, do not practice deeply, and do not practice correctly.

Zen Buddhism in particular is a medicine. Now, I ask you, is medicine "ascetic"? Nope; medicine is medicine.

May all beings become Well!

best,

--Joe
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Re: In Defense of Antinatalism

Postby Mason on Wed Jul 13, 2016 7:34 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:Note please, that the Buddha Shakyamuni himself personally rejected asceticism after six years of stringent practice, because it did not lead to awakening. Instead, he took nourishment to restore health and strength, and sat under the Bodhi Tree until he awakened at the sight of the morning star rising.


This is incorrect; the Buddha did not reject asceticism, he rejected self-harm (which he had been practicing in the form of starvation).
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Re: In Defense of Antinatalism

Postby macdougdoug on Thu Jul 14, 2016 10:13 am

Asceticism : "severe self-discipline and avoiding of all forms of indulgence, typically for religious reasons."

Did Buddha recommend it? Doesn't sound like the Buddhism I'm familiar with. Though I suppose a teacher could propose all sorts of personalised practises. Just so long as we don't choose asceticism for our own personal development.

As for OP - I suppose Ascetics could be considered practical antinatalists if severe self discipline in terms of retention was concentrated upon the gonads. :heya:
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Re: In Defense of Antinatalism

Postby HePo on Thu Jul 14, 2016 11:11 am

d_w wrote:
Such characterizations of "Buddhism" as "this-and-that" are entirely wrong. They are mental exercises for people who do not practice, do not practice deeply, and do not practice correctly.

I agree.

Reminds me of
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Re: In Defense of Antinatalism

Postby desert_woodworker on Thu Jul 14, 2016 2:42 pm

M.,

If he did not reject it, then please show us where he recommends ascetic practice in his teaching, or teaches asceticism by his actions. Just two examples, please.

tnx!,

--Joe

Mason wrote:
desert_woodworker wrote:Note please, that the Buddha Shakyamuni himself personally rejected asceticism after six years of stringent practice, because it did not lead to awakening. Instead, he took nourishment to restore health and strength, and sat under the Bodhi Tree until he awakened at the sight of the morning star rising.

This is incorrect; the Buddha did not reject asceticism, he rejected self-harm (which he had been practicing in the form of starvation).
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Re: In Defense of Antinatalism

Postby Mason on Fri Jul 15, 2016 7:49 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:M.,

If he did not reject it, then please show us where he recommends ascetic practice in his teaching, or teaches asceticism by his actions. Just two examples, please.


Asceticism that does not include self-harm is praised in Buddhist texts. This includes such practices as: fasting or eating one meal a day, celibacy, guarding the sense doors, avoiding music and theater, mendicancy, living in the wilderness, severe meditation schedules, and so on.

That is the middle way that the Buddha taught: renunciation without harm to the body or the mind.
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Re: In Defense of Antinatalism

Postby desert_woodworker on Fri Jul 15, 2016 8:21 pm

M.,

Interesting! And, thanks.

That takes in a larger definition of "asceticism" than I was aware of.

I think that the examples you mentioned are just rules for monastics, part of the formal Vinaya for full-time ordained sangha. Those rules make good common sense for Buddhist communities trying to live as monastics. I never took the Vinaya to be ascetic ways at all.

And lay people of course are not bound by vows to uphold facets of the Vinaya. Moreover, we only take and practice those Precepts which we feel we can honestly uphold and practice, and skip over those which we cannot or will not carry, ...if we even take the Precepts at all. BTW, I don't understand the Precepts to be ascetic, either. They're, a useful tool for practice, and -- especially -- an example, a description, of the actual behavior of a Buddha, a person who is Awake. I don't see or practice them as a list of commandments or challenges. Although some may see them as prescriptive or proscriptive, I see them most recently (over the past 37 years of practice, I mean) as descriptive.

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Re: In Defense of Antinatalism

Postby Mason on Sat Jul 16, 2016 9:51 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:M.,

Interesting! And, thanks.

That takes in a larger definition of "asceticism" than I was aware of.

I think that the examples you mentioned are just rules for monastics, part of the formal Vinaya for full-time ordained sangha. Those rules make good common sense for Buddhist communities trying to live as monastics. I never took the Vinaya to be ascetic ways at all.

And lay people of course are not bound by vows to uphold facets of the Vinaya. Moreover, we only take and practice those Precepts which we feel we can honestly uphold and practice, and skip over those which we cannot or will not carry, ...if we even take the Precepts at all. BTW, I don't understand the Precepts to be ascetic, either. They're, a useful tool for practice, and -- especially -- an example, a description, of the actual behavior of a Buddha, a person who is Awake. I don't see or practice them as a list of commandments or challenges. Although some may see them as prescriptive or proscriptive, I see them most recently (over the past 37 years of practice, I mean) as descriptive.

--Joe


Just semantics I guess. The point is that the Buddha advocated for non-indulgence in sense pleasures and occasionally severe discipline, which could be considered ascetic practice, though far more moderate than what was popular for sramanas around that time.
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Re: In Defense of Antinatalism

Postby desert_woodworker on Sun Jul 17, 2016 3:17 am

Semantics, yes. But I wouldn't say "just"!

In discussion, semantics is, well, everything. --Joe
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Re: In Defense of Antinatalism

Postby Mason on Sun Jul 17, 2016 5:26 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:Semantics, yes. But I wouldn't say "just"!

In discussion, semantics is, well, everything. --Joe


Only if you define it that way. :lol2:
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Re: In Defense of Antinatalism

Postby desert_woodworker on Sun Jul 17, 2016 8:40 pm

M.,

Cute. Not funny.

(end of discussion)

--Joe

Mason wrote:
desert_woodworker wrote:Semantics, yes. But I wouldn't say "just"!

In discussion, semantics is, well, everything. --Joe

Only if you define it that way. :lol2:
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Re: In Defense of Antinatalism

Postby Mason on Sun Jul 17, 2016 11:11 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:M.,

Cute. Not funny.



Claiming that all communication is reducible to semantics is, ironically, just semantic nonsense. Sorry if that wasn't clear. :)
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Re: In Defense of Antinatalism

Postby desert_woodworker on Sun Jul 17, 2016 11:26 pm

No apology necessary.

Semantics is meaning. Simple definition... .

No meaning, no discussion.

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Re: In Defense of Antinatalism

Postby Mason on Mon Jul 18, 2016 12:41 am

desert_woodworker wrote:No apology necessary.

Semantics is meaning. Simple definition... .

No meaning, no discussion.

--Joe


Semantics is the study of meaning, not the content.

One is being "semantical," then, when one discusses not the meaning of an expression but its form. What I meant earlier was that the Buddha taught non-indulgence in sense pleasures and occasionally severe discipline; and that this is indeed what he meant by the phrase "middle way." We can argue about the applicability of the word ascetic to that, but it would be a purely semantical discussion, and therefore tedious. As you can clearly see. :grr:
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Re: In Defense of Antinatalism

Postby desert_woodworker on Mon Jul 18, 2016 4:08 pm

Mason, negatory.

Only if you insist on it. In which case, there's no discussion.

Semantics is meaning.

Check your Funk and Wagnals (or etc.):

"...The meaning of a word, phrase, sentence, or text".

An "out" of people in discussions often is to say something like what you said ("It's all semantics").

I say, baloney. This is the waffling and insecurity that weeds people out of consideration for professorial jobs in Philosophy departments. Another department member told me it's a candidate's use of the words or phrase, "not strictly", or the words, "Well, not strictly", in the job interview. ;)

Weasel words all... .

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