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Buddhist ethical system is illegitimate without rebirth

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Buddhist ethical system is illegitimate without rebirth

Postby Samsaric Spiral on Mon Nov 09, 2015 11:03 pm

"X" is for Buddhists who do not accept rebirth after cessation of bodily functions and still believe a viable ethical system can be made

Hello, X, I have a serious question for you, and I would like your answer. I want to ask the question then elaborate on its implications. If rebirth after the cessation of bodily functions were not true for the average man, then how could you ethically argue against a Marquis de Sade or Max Stirner? Why not be an egotist and hedonist that does not care about the welfare of others if rebirth after the cessation of bodily functions was not true, ending the same for everyone. Couldn’t I just dismiss someone’s pains and sufferings on account of the “liberty of the people is not my liberty”?

In the past, Ch’an Buddhism tended to be negative consequentialist because it encouraged practitioners to disentangle and detach themselves from karmic residues in the storehouse consciousness (alayavijnana) so that it may be purified: by being “purified”, presumably in deep samadhi or satori, the storehouse consciousness no longer leaves seeds (bija) to cause the formation of new volitional formations (sankhara), no longer bridging two existences; thus, it being purified ends in perpetual parinirvana, the Tathagata-garbha. All of this is taken from the Lankavatara Sutra, which Bodhidharma handed to Hui-ko while calling it the “essence of Zen”. If the pure and empty form of death meets both the murderer and practitioner alike, then what’s the point of valuing compassion? Why not just be a moral nihilist and egotist if the same fate befalls us all?

This is a serious question, and I request you reflect on it prior to answering me. If the karmic seeds of this life have no greater significance at the approach of the pure and empty form of death, then what is it all for? Aren’t we all technically “”enlightened”” after cessation of bodily functions? Why practice the Dhamma single-mindedly when it is all for naught? What’s the point of compassion if it’s all for naught?

Ultimately, I feel as if you are using a flawed rhetoric mixed with contemporary reductive physicalist biases to push for an anti-intellectual interpretation of Buddhism that conforms to adharmic modernized biases. Much of your conclusions on what is or isn’t proper ethic conduct are furthermore inconsistent with your bleak metaphysical views wherein everyone meets the same fate. If anything, you should read some pessimistic fiction like Emil Cioran and take the red pill of antinatalism given your interpretation. I take things to their logical limits, and I simply do not see your Buddhist ethical system as legitimate without rebirth. *gassho*
Last edited by Samsaric Spiral on Tue Nov 10, 2015 7:26 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Buddhist ethical system as illegitimate without rebirth

Postby desert_woodworker on Mon Nov 09, 2015 11:14 pm

Some say we are in this place and space in order to receive (karmic) retribution for past deeds (or past posts).

Surely, "those" dastardly awful deeds were not performed by "us". Nor even, in particular, probably, by anyone who LOOKED -- or smelled -- remotely like us.

See the Tathagathagarba-theory as expounded in Mind-Only, or Vijnaptimatara Buddhism. There, "what reincarnates" makes sense, because great practitioners made it make sense (in writing it down).

No problem(s). This is already all worked-out, ganga-"eons" ago. As you (may) know. ;)

Don't be gullible, you good People of Earth. There's no current "crisis", in this connection! Only among those who have not been paying attention down the, err-r, ...Centuries. :lol2:

Meanwhile, see to actual waking-up, everybody! That will clarify many confundations, and dilute all b.s. clear down to zero concentration, surpassing USA-EPA guidelines.

best!, you betcha, you betcha my life, :tongueincheek:

--Joe
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Re: Buddhist ethical system as illegitimate without rebirth

Postby macdougdoug on Mon Nov 09, 2015 11:51 pm

When the Marquis de Sade dies, is he reborn in a new body? Does he remember anything of his old life?
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Re: Buddhist ethical system as illegitimate without rebirth

Postby desert_woodworker on Mon Nov 09, 2015 11:59 pm

"That's a switch!, said the Marquis de Sade".

(a favorite jokey line)

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Re: Buddhist ethical system as illegitimate without rebirth

Postby Samsaric Spiral on Tue Nov 10, 2015 12:10 am

macdougdoug wrote:When the Marquis de Sade dies, is he reborn in a new body?


"The consciousness in the new person is neither identical nor entirely different from that in the deceased but the two form a causal continuum or stream."

He has accrued negative karma and will most likely be reborn in narakas.

"A Naraka differs from the hell of Christianity in two respects: firstly, beings are not sent to Naraka as the result of a divine judgment and punishment; secondly, the length of a being's stay in a Naraka is not eternal, though it is usually very long. A being is born into a Naraka as a direct result of his or her accumulated actions (karma) and resides there for a finite period of time until that karma has achieved its full result.[2] After his or her karma is used up, he or she will be reborn in one of the higher worlds as the result of karma that had not yet ripened."

It is both meant to be taken as literal and metaphorical. It is literal in the sense a negative rebirth does happen and there is no reprieve of a "void"; metaphorical in the sense we cannot entirely describe in with absolute precision.

macdougdoug wrote:Does he remember anything of his old life?


He could have glimpses but doesn't have to.
Last edited by Samsaric Spiral on Tue Nov 10, 2015 12:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Buddhist ethical system as illegitimate without rebirth

Postby Samsaric Spiral on Tue Nov 10, 2015 12:42 am

Also, to further reinforce the last post:
"Mahayana Buddhism accepted the cosmology as above.[23][24] But they believe there are pure land worlds where buddhas and bodhisattvas teach sentient beings in human forms.[25] A cosmology with some difference is further explained in the Worlds, chapter 5 of Avatamsaka Sutra."
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Re: Buddhist ethical system as illegitimate without rebirth

Postby desert_woodworker on Tue Nov 10, 2015 12:45 am

Mostly I fear personal induction into the Buddhist Hell of Perpetual Dentistry.

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Re: Buddhist ethical system as illegitimate without rebirth

Postby desert_woodworker on Tue Nov 10, 2015 1:00 am

SS,

Samsaric Spiral wrote:If the pure and empty form of death meets both the murderer and practitioner alike, then what’s the point of valuing compassion? Why not just be a moral nihilist and egotist if the same fate befalls us all?

Huh? Define / explain terms. please.

"Pure and empty form of death"? Say WHAT?

"Meets both the murderer and practitioner alike...". Say WHAT?

Is English your first language, by the way? I sense not. No worries. But, give a little help, if you can, eh? TNX,

--Joe
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Re: Buddhist ethical system as illegitimate without rebirth

Postby Samsaric Spiral on Tue Nov 10, 2015 1:04 am

desert_woodworker wrote:See the Tathagathagarba-theory as expounded in Mind-Only, or Vijnaptimatara Buddhism. There, "what reincarnates" makes sense, because great practitioners made it make sense (in writing it down).


There wasn't a single Buddhist text or practitioner prior to the 20th century that didn't believe in rebirth after the cessation of bodily functions.
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Re: Buddhist ethical system as illegitimate without rebirth

Postby Samsaric Spiral on Tue Nov 10, 2015 1:09 am

"Pure and empty form of death"? Say WHAT?


That's metaphorical for "brain shutting down and something akin to dreamless sleep occurs for eternity".

"Meets both the murderer and practitioner alike...". Say WHAT?


There is no distinguishing factor between the murderer and practitioner if you think the end result occurs for both irrespective of karma.

Is English your first language, by the way? I sense not. No worries. But, give a little help, if you can, eh? TNX,


It's very easy to understand what is being said.

What people like Stephen Batchelor do is take Buddhist metaphysics and eliminate everything that doesn't conform to modern physicalist biases. By doing this, they introduce implications that have unsavoury ethical problems. Like I've said, "There wasn't a single Buddhist text or practitioner prior to the 20th century that didn't believe in rebirth after the cessation of bodily functions." There's a reason for that, and it's what gives impetus for Buddhist practice in the first place.
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Re: Buddhist ethical system as illegitimate without rebirth

Postby desert_woodworker on Tue Nov 10, 2015 1:11 am

SS,

Samsaric Spiral wrote:There wasn't a single Buddhist text or practitioner prior to the 20th century that didn't believe in rebirth after the cessation of bodily functions.

Nobody's perfect.

I think you're thinking of Theravadins. And, be careful of early/earliest Western translators; they were mostly a crock.

But Yogacara has had the bottom-line on this since back-when, instead. Kudos!!

All's swell, dandy, and Halloween candy,

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Re: Buddhist ethical system as illegitimate without rebirth

Postby Samsaric Spiral on Tue Nov 10, 2015 1:19 am

desert_woodworker wrote:But Yogacara has had the bottom-line on this since back-when, instead. Kudos!!


Yogacara argued for rebirth too. The Lankavatara Sutra's description of storehouse consciousness being involved in rebirth is taken directly from Yogacara rhetoric:

Ch’an Buddhism... encouraged practitioners to disentangle and detach themselves from karmic residues in the storehouse consciousness (alayavijnana) so that it may be purified: by being “purified”, presumably in deep samadhi or satori, the storehouse consciousness no longer leaves seeds (bija) to cause the formation of new volitional formations (sankhara), no longer bridging two existences; thus it being purified ends in perpetual parinirvana, the Tathagata-garbha. All of this is taken from the Lankavatara Sutra, which Bodhidharma handed to Hui-ko while calling it the “essence of Zen”.


There is no reason to practice Buddhism without accepting rebirth after the cessation of bodily functions, except for health purposes and positive neuroplasticity, and no amount of your ridiculous posturing is going to elude that.

Is English your first language, by the way?


For real Buddhist practitioners, the Dharma is supposed to be the first language, but it has been distilled and commodified to the point where it has become a bigger mess than Derrida and Deleuze's postmodern degeneracy.
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Re: Buddhist ethical system as illegitimate without rebirth

Postby Mason on Tue Nov 10, 2015 1:23 am

Rebirth is fundamental to the Buddhist tradition (Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana alike) - are you questioning this, desert_woodworker? If so, then you are gravely mistaken.

Of course, that doesn't mean you need to believe in it or that it's necessary for practicing or anything crazy like that - which some people do mistakenly assert.
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Re: Buddhist ethical system as illegitimate without rebirth

Postby desert_woodworker on Tue Nov 10, 2015 1:27 am

SS,

Indeed, Yogacara includes reincarnation, which is why I bring it in. But, NOTE what it is that the proponents claim resurrects.

Joe wrote:Is English your first language, by the way?

For real Buddhist practitioners, the Dharma is supposed to be the first language, but it has been distilled and commodified to the point where it's become a bigger mess than Derrida and Deleuze's postmodern degeneracy.

I take it that's a "nope".

--Joe
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Re: Buddhist ethical system as illegitimate without rebirth

Postby desert_woodworker on Tue Nov 10, 2015 1:33 am

TG,

Thus-gone wrote: If so, then you are gravely mistaken.

"Gravely", yes! Thank you! I needed a good laugh. Thanks.

I claim no knowledge of future times (you?).

--Joe

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Re: Buddhist ethical system as illegitimate without rebirth

Postby Samsaric Spiral on Tue Nov 10, 2015 1:35 am

desert_woodworker wrote:Indeed, Yogacara includes reincarnation, which is why I bring it in. But, NOTE what it is that the proponents claim resurrects.


Could you be anymore vague and unclear? Please elaborate.

Do you mean to say that the Original Face or Dharmakaya is already our true nature and continues its ebb and flow regardless of the illusion of a self-existent "I"? There is still no reason to practice then because everything is "perfect". I'm pretty sure Yogacara didn't originally convey this.

Regardless of the storehouse consciousness having a strict identity with the Tathagata-garbha, this doesn't mean the three poisons (i.e., "greed, hatred, and delusion") are perfect and immaculate as they are. This would make all ethics moot and an extreme monism that seems like adharma to me.

Thus-gone wrote:Rebirth is fundamental to the Buddhist tradition (Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana alike) - are you questioning this, desert_woodworker? If so, then you are gravely mistaken.

Of course, that doesn't mean you need to believe in it or that it's necessary for practicing or anything crazy like that - which some people do mistakenly assert.


Let me make it clear: I never implied believing in rebirth after cessation of bodily functions is necessary for Buddhist practice. Rather, it is necessary to give an impetus for the practice of Buddhism beyond mere health or social concerns. The ethics of Buddhism also revolves around rebirth.

In other words, the ethics gets its teleological thrust from the possibility of no longer being reborn into a life marked by dukkha.

Note, I realize rebirth isn't exclusive to "after death", but it is always occurring (i.e., everything simultaneously arises and perishes seamlessly each moment). Both Pali and Mahayana cannon put emphasis on this during many occasions.

If rebirth after dying is mere fantasy, then I see no reason to be involved in this tradition. Time can be more productively spent on making more money and exercising. Shikantaza, while having positive health benefits, becomes more of a side-hobby then.

desert_woodworker wrote:I take it that's a "nope".


Desert_woodworker, the issue isn't that I don't speak English, when in fact I speak far more articulately than you, but the issue is you hide behind a veil of posturing to avoid these obvious dilemmas that need to be fleshed out. Quit with your whimsical bullshit.
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Re: Buddhist ethical system as illegitimate without rebirth

Postby desert_woodworker on Tue Nov 10, 2015 1:40 am

SS,

Nah, I can't substitute for your personal study of Yogacara.

...the issue is not that I do not speak English, when in fact I speak better than you, but the issue is you hide behind a veil of posturing the avoid these obvious dilemmas that need to be fleshed out.

Huh? Something is surely garbled, there. Some syntax has gone awry? Not hiding, here... . :Namaste:

--J.
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Re: Buddhist ethical system as illegitimate without rebirth

Postby Mason on Tue Nov 10, 2015 1:40 am

desert_woodworker wrote:I claim no knowledge of future times (you?).


Nope, I just claim some knowledge of the Buddhist tradition.

You may think: oh, well I've experienced awakening and therefore the Buddhist tradition is irrelevant to me. "No trace of Buddhism remains," as Dogen said.

And that would indeed be a grave mistake, forsaking the tradition of practice that has been handed down since the time of the Buddha, simply on the basis of an awakening experience.
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Re: Buddhist ethical system as illegitimate without rebirth

Postby desert_woodworker on Tue Nov 10, 2015 1:42 am

TG,

Thus-gone wrote:And that would indeed be a grave mistake, forsaking the tradition of practice that has been handed down since the time of the Buddha, simply on the basis of an awakening experience.

I have no knowledge of future times. You?

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Re: Buddhist ethical system as illegitimate without rebirth

Postby Samsaric Spiral on Tue Nov 10, 2015 1:43 am

desert_woodworker wrote:I have no knowledge of future times. You?


Yes, you will heedlessly continue with avoiding important questions while being insincere with yourself and others, as you have been doing for 4000+ posts.

I have knowledge of your future times. Obviously you do not, and at this point, I do not care what you have to say in regards to that.
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