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  • why believe (or not) and the justification

    When it comes to religion, i think westerners apply the modern individualist trend to think subjectively. I decide if i am Muslim, i decide if i am buddhist.

    From my point of view whether Mohamed received instructions from god or whether Sakyamuni became a Buddha does not depend on me. It has to be true or not, though the concept of binary truth might be simplistic.

    So for me, to be a buddhist or not does not depend on me.

    As being ignorant of God or the Buddha i do not chose the belief it is true nor do i choose the belief it is not true.

    To be in ignorance and doubt is a good spiritual path.

    The 6th patriarch of Chan, Ven Huineng, said that to be ignorant is to be enlightened.

    So i try not to take position, so i see myself as neither buddhist nor non buddhist.

    Maybe past lifes are true, maybe not. But if i act like they are not true i choose a belief and i pose myself as a great religious sage. For myself i want to acknowledge my ignorance and live according to that, so i dont close the door to the doctrine of karma but i also dont say it is true.

    Read Socrates if u have time

    Does that make sense?

    Om mani pedme hung
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  • #2
    When it comes to religion, i think westerners apply the modern individualist trend to think subjectively. I decide if i am Muslim, i decide if i am buddhist.

    From my point of view whether Mohamed received instructions from god or whether Sakyamuni became a Buddha does not depend on me. It has to be true or not, though the concept of binary truth might be simplistic.

    So for me, to be a buddhist or not does not depend on me.

    As being ignorant of God or the Buddha i do not chose the belief it is true nor do i choose the belief it is not true.

    To be in ignorance and doubt is a good spiritual path.

    The 6th patriarch of Chan, Ven Huineng, said that to be ignorant is to be enlightened.

    So i try not to take position, so i see myself as neither buddhist nor non buddhist.

    Maybe past lifes are true, maybe not. But if i act like they are not true i choose a belief and i pose myself as a great religious sage. For myself i want to acknowledge my ignorance and live according to that, so i dont close the door to the doctrine of karma but i also dont say it is true.

    Read Socrates if u have time

    Does that make sense?

    Om mani pedme hung
    posted by: liutangsanzang

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ________________________

    though i appreciate your humbleness, it kind of seems to me as though you've swallowed half the socratic method without ever really chewing on the other. i'm not an expert of phylosphy, like yourself, but my impression was that said approach influenced the development of the scientific model we currently utilize today.

    we could surely say there's a possibility that cotton candy grows at the bottom of the ocean, or that santa claus is real, lives in the north pole, and has a flock of flying reindeer, too. but we've also come to understand through research and acquired knowledge that basing our world view/reality on outlandish claims is ignorant. not only is it unbeneficial, it underestimates our ability as humans to discern truth from fiction, and can even be potentially dangerous.

    what does not denying something do for a person exactly?

    if you can provide an illustration of a specific positive effect of religion, which requires religion in order to exist, and which can not exist as per other secular means, then i'd think there'd be some benefit (even a benefit to not denying the possibility, as you do) and agree to this way of philosophizing.

    since i can't think of one myself, however, i find it silly (seeing there's only anecdotal evidence supporting these claims) to continue entertaining the possibility of these notions, especially when they're just as extraordinary (and ultimately undistinguishable) as the rest of the religious/mythological concepts across the globe.
    Last edited by onesp1ng; 08-01-2008, 06:04 PM.
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    • #3
      Well my friend, can u please define what u understand religion?

      For myself, i believe philsophy is well enough to think about. And when it comes to politics i believe political philosophy has gone deeper than many religions.

      But if we take the concept of karma for instance, cannot we learn from religion?

      Would u deny mystics, telepathy, wireless connections?

      So maybe some informations flow from one person to another, for instance when we die.

      Can u please be more explicit and list notions coming from religion u would deny?

      About acknowledging ignorance and the possibility of other points of view, i might have inherited this from a jain past life or some collective mind. They call it non absolutism

      Here is a nice video about jains

      [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9NcGAE4WOU"]YouTube - Non-Violence - Jain Way of Life Jainism[/ame]
      Namo Guan Yin Pusa / Dont create suffering / Dont harm animals!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by liutangsanzang View Post
        Well my friend, can u please define what u understand religion?

        For myself, i believe philsophy is well enough to think about. And when it comes to politics i believe political philosophy has gone deeper than many religions.

        But if we take the concept of karma for instance, cannot we learn from religion?

        Would u deny mystics, telepathy, wireless connections?

        So maybe some informations flow from one person to another, for instance when we die.

        Can u please be more explicit and list notions coming from religion u would deny?

        About acknowledging ignorance and the possibility of other points of view, i might have inherited this from a jain past life or some collective mind. They call it non absolutism

        Here is a nice video about jains

        YouTube - Non-Violence - Jain Way of Life Jainism
        That's nice, Liu. However, why don't you go and preach your non-violent tendencies to these people:

        [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrgvHLPkeyo"]YouTube - Street Violence[/ame]


        YouTube - murder in the streets of la


        [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYqDVB3LaiQ"]YouTube - Massive Prison Fight[/ame]

        It's easy to preach when you live on a pedestal.
        "For some reason I'm in a good mood today. I haven't left the house yet, though. "

        "fa hui, you make buddhism sexy." -Zachsan

        "Friends don't let friends do Taekwondo." -Nancy Reagan

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        • #5
          Well my friend i have been writing many letters to prisonners, including basque and muslim terrorists.

          Have you?
          Where do u talk about non violence?
          Any suggestions welcome, thanks.

          I often suggest to my chinese buddhist and monk friends to try to go to jail to talk about non violence, but they dont seem to agree. I agree with u, prisons is a place where u can find a lot of suffering and, without preaching, talking about the ideas of non violence can be useful. Though one might say that capitalism is also pretty violent and causes a lot of social suffering.

          In India and USA, the vipassana Goenka organisation go to teach meditation in prisons.

          U can contact them at http://www.dhamma.org/
          For the prison page http://www.prison.dhamma.org/
          Contact for US info@prison.dhamma.org <info@prison.dhamma.org>

          Peace and love
          Last edited by liutangsanzang; 08-02-2008, 09:48 AM.
          Namo Guan Yin Pusa / Dont create suffering / Dont harm animals!

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          • #6
            liu, i'm working from this and other similar definitions.

            A religion is a set of beliefs and practices, often centered upon specific supernatural and moral claims about reality, the cosmos, and human nature, and often codified as prayer, ritual, or religious law. The term "religion" refers to both the personal practices related to communal faith and to group rituals and communication stemming from shared conviction.
            religious claims, as i see them, are mostly hypotheses about the nature of existance that get masqueraded as fact and subsequently believed by followers to be true. people base their lives on these notions, and also assert them as necessary aspects of life. though most religions preach in similar ways and have similar value systems, adherents surprisingly still credit the organization they're a member of and/or the god they believe in for empowering them with insights specific to their particular group. since they lack evidence to substantiate their claims, religions always demand a certain level of "blind faith." there may be positive influences in relationships among people within the same religious group, intrapersonally, or even positive social attributes as a whole due to the moral/ethical stances involved, but the effects are not exclusive to religious people and clearly are able to (and do) exist on their own without them.

            i like philosophy and feel it's a fine pursuit, but there are so many branches and ways to view the field. i'd say: to philosophize is one thing, basing your entire life on someone's philosophy (or a whole group's philosphy) is another if there is no proof. it's as silly as being religious, in my opinion, and is just as dangerous..

            But if we take the concept of karma for instance, cannot we learn from religion?
            is the concept of karma exclusive to religion? if that's the case, shall we also attribute the idea of cause and effect to religion, as well as other observable phenomena? i don't get how karma is mystical, if that's what your suggesting.

            Would u deny mystics, telepathy, wireless connections?
            would you say sci-fi movies and disneyland are also a result of the mystics and religion? telephones even?

            So maybe some informations flow from one person to another, for instance when we die. so your claiming that "maybe" information flows from person to person.
            i'm not saying to eliminate the possibility altogether, i'm saying the rhetoric involved, the postulating, the acting as if these things are established fact, and so on, is quite absurd in light of the fact that there's really no evidence favoring these claims and others like it. if you can't prove it, provide some supportive information, show how it's relavant, etc., or if it's based purely on "blind faith," then... so what?

            About acknowledging ignorance and the possibility of other points of view, i might have inherited this from a jain past life or some collective mind. They call it non absolutism
            maybe. but you could have also gotten the idea of karma from the jains hindus or buddhists and now, for whatever reason, just believe the idea came from a jain past life (without any actual evidence)...

            personally, i feel religion is given credibility and position that it really doesn't deserve. take your jain video, for example. really, how does the content of that video have anything to do with religion? basically what i learned was, practicing nonviolence, meditation, vegetarianism, non absolutism, non possessiveness, and yoga are good and should be integrated into one's way of life (and somehow this will lead to independence). do you need an organized religion to stand for these principles yourself? and isn't it a contradition of terms to say one should be vegetarian, or anything else for that matter, like non violent, etc., while all promoting non absolutistism and non possessiveness in the same breath?

            i know a bit about jainism. there's no concept of a divine creator, but there is the notion of needing to break the karmic cycle. how do you know that's something we need to do? i'm not saying it's completely impossible, but i'm not going to chase after something that is entirely unfounded and base my life on it either. krishnamurti raises the question:“what is it that we are seeking? and,"can a mind that is seeking ever find something beyond time, beyond its own projections?” if that's even really completely possible, i would add?
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            • #7
              U write about mystics : acting as if these things are established fact, and so on, is quite absurd in light of the fact that there's really no evidence favoring these claims and others like it. if you can't prove it, provide some supportive information, show how it's relavant, etc., or if it's based purely on "blind faith," then... so what?

              Well, because u ve never seen an atom it does not mean they do not exist. U believe some people do research and do not tell lie.

              About mystics i had this experience at a tibetan temple. It was a teaching on Tara, the bodhisattva of compassion for the suffering of every living being. A girl knocked the gong to announce the teaching and at the same time i heard drums coming from inside me. Zen at the teaching the lama said Tara took her bodhisattva vows with the buddha sound of the drum. And i had experienced drums a while ago?

              How do u explain that? Do u think i lie to make u believe in buddha?

              I think if u r sensitive to Qi u will feel many coincidences, many sinchronicities that are hardly explainable without mystics.

              Even science have proven that 2 particles are connected and evolve in similar ways, though the information do not have time to travel at light speed.

              But i agree with a lot of what u say. U should base urself on personal experience rather than on dogmas or other people philosophy. But can u proove they are wrong? If u choose not to act like there is a karma and future life dont u choose another religion/belief system?

              By the way the buddha himself asked to think by yourself not because of a tradition or a religious teacher. See kalama sutta http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipit....065.than.html

              "Of course you are uncertain, Kalamas. Of course you are in doubt. When there are reasons for doubt, uncertainty is born. So in this case, Kalamas, don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, 'This contemplative is our teacher.' When you know for yourselves that, 'These qualities are unskillful; these qualities are blameworthy; these qualities are criticized by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to harm & to suffering' — then you should abandon them."




              Stay in ignorance is difficult, not to take side, but to be open to beings. It is one goal of meditation.

              Peace and love

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-3eYWIoh0U
              Last edited by liutangsanzang; 08-03-2008, 07:11 PM.
              Namo Guan Yin Pusa / Dont create suffering / Dont harm animals!

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              • #8
                About mystics i had this experience at a tibetan temple. It was a teaching on Tara, the bodhisattva of compassion for the suffering of every living being. A girl knocked the gong to announce the teaching and at the same time i heard drums coming from inside me. Zen at the teaching the lama said Tara took her bodhisattva vows with the buddha sound of the drum. And i had experienced drums a while ago?
                I've mentioned my own theory about this before, please refer to Occam's Razor for the reasoning behind my explanation.
                By the way the buddha himself asked to think by yourself not because of a tradition or a religious teacher.
                Exactly Liu, perhaps you should count your own sheep before telling others how they should do it.

                Well, because u ve never seen an atom it does not mean they do not exist. U believe some people do research and do not tell lie.
                This reminds me of when religious fanatics attempt to use modern to either prove themselves right or prove science wrong. The problem is not believing in whether atoms exist, but in knowing that there is proof or that proof can be provided when asked for.

                You've been told before that your circular logic doesn't work, and using a Buddhist scripture as evidence to prove your point is no different then when Christians do it with their Bible. How about giving us something of your own understanding?

                Well my friend i have been writing many letters to prisonners, including basque and muslim terrorists.
                So what? You want a cookie?
                "For some reason I'm in a good mood today. I haven't left the house yet, though. "

                "fa hui, you make buddhism sexy." -Zachsan

                "Friends don't let friends do Taekwondo." -Nancy Reagan

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                • #9
                  lolo, what happened to the peaceful fa hui or better yet laid back fa hui. all of a sudden we see this kind of talk from a guy with an avatar of himself im assuming wearing a muscle shirt with his arms crossed, which is btw technically body language for **** you lolo.

                  i dont really believe that about body language atleast not all the time because im comfortable like that to, i was jokeing but anyway seriously

                  "So what? You want a cookie? "

                  lolo, thats funny but it sounds like something i would say, fa hui is usually more lax espcially after you came back from that temple, even before you werent like this...

                  what happened in that temple...

                  lolo, just jk!! i wrote a long post earlier about this thread but never posted it, i am writeing this on the fly because fa huis post is funny. if i havent just come back from a 5+ hour road trip from philly i would write more!!

                  it has begun.. lolo
                  "did you ask me to consider dick with you??" blooming tianshi lotus

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                  • #10
                    I still am pretty laid back, and most of the time I tend not to say anything just because I feel there is nothing important to say to people who just like to run their mouths.

                    I have definitely gotten more assertive, you could say, and perhaps more grown up.

                    (Plus, I'm trying to provoke a natural response out of Liu so that he will be himself and not some ideological-nuthugger, but don't tell him I said that. )
                    "For some reason I'm in a good mood today. I haven't left the house yet, though. "

                    "fa hui, you make buddhism sexy." -Zachsan

                    "Friends don't let friends do Taekwondo." -Nancy Reagan

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                    • #11
                      Law, thanks for the zen approach

                      About cookies, thanks but like ur teacher Thich Nhat Hanh says i try to avoid industrial eggs from caged chicken. Zen write to prisoners wouldnt make much sense

                      Do u think ur teacher is wise or r u wiser than him?

                      Do u love me?

                      Peace and love

                      PS One i dont try to say buddhism is right or islam is right, i just say that to keep an open mind to religion might be philosophically useful.
                      Last edited by liutangsanzang; 08-04-2008, 08:40 AM.
                      Namo Guan Yin Pusa / Dont create suffering / Dont harm animals!

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                      • #12
                        Anyway, i would like to know how u guys explain the fact that i heard drums then a few minutes after the Lama says Guan Yin/Tara took her bodhisattva vows with the buddha sound of drum. How do u explain the syncrhonicity?

                        These are two facts, objective truth, not beliefs. So my belief or knowledge on Guan Yin is different from a simple belief based on the faith, i think.

                        I think it is a good news though if something can be understood from it.

                        Thanks for helping me not to get caught on illusions, ur comments r precious.
                        Namo Guan Yin Pusa / Dont create suffering / Dont harm animals!

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                        • #13
                          "Anyway, i would like to know how u guys explain the fact that i heard drums then a few minutes after the Lama says Guan Yin/Tara took her bodhisattva vows with the buddha sound of drum. How do u explain the syncrhonicity?"

                          i cant explain why you heard drums, but u also cant explain why im craveing katsu chicken singapore style with rice noodles and peanut sauce.

                          i cant explain alot of things that happen to me either, like why do i have premonitions all the time, and why do they come true. if a dream is just a dream then premonitions must be true because its obviously not a dream. i had a premonition about finding a ring i lost 4 months ago and a month ago i found it exactly like in my dream(premonition). why does that happen? is it just chance, because if it is why did it happen exactly in the dream, does it make sense to me...no, but how is it possible to see the future.

                          thats one circumstance, ive had all kinds of premonitions that come true, ill have a dream, and think..huh thats wierd i wonder if that will happen because the dream is so clear and realistic then when it comes true your like what the hell.

                          lots of people say the same thing, why does this happen is it coincidence. i dont think so. but can i explain it..nope i cant.

                          u know people in all cultures all throughout history talk about encounters with ghosts, spirits and demons and all this. even now this stuff is constantly going on, are they all crazy? maybe. but its a hell of a coincidence.

                          just like the thread about aliens or ufos or whatever. there is so much evidence all throughout history of the same shit people report today, why is it neglected for one? why does modern society brand people who believe shit like this to be crazy? u know and how can u explain some of the things that happen. some of it u cant explain.
                          "did you ask me to consider dick with you??" blooming tianshi lotus

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                          • #14
                            Just a thought, but if premonitions r premonitions, the future is kind of written in the present and that is quite a deterministic view. Freedom hardly exists, just cause and effects.

                            Dont know.

                            About dreams, i kind of believe dreams can be connected to reality in a mystical way. In tibetan buddhism there is one yoga of Naropa about dreams.

                            I would tend to believe u and that some dreams can be premonitions.

                            Peace and love
                            Namo Guan Yin Pusa / Dont create suffering / Dont harm animals!

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                            • #15
                              Well, because u ve never seen an atom it does not mean they do not exist.  U believe some people do research and do not tell lie.
                              it's not even remotely similar. saying there's a man up in the sky who's responsible for this, for instance, or that we die and come back again is completely different, as are the implications involved.

                              first of all, you don't need to declare your life to a cause, believe "strongly," take vows, or even pray because of the existence of atoms. the atom doesn't make you go to church, evangelize, or spend days closed off from the rest of the world in "the pursuit of happiness." you can also attempt to verify if they exist for yourself. and even if you couldn't, how much would it really matter? what great bearing does it have on one's life? i'm not sure i even see how the atom is relevant to this conversation, especially insomuch that it's existance makes for a valid counter-argument. but if it the atom became important to me, for some reason, at least i could investigate it to draw a conclusion based on my own experiences. i can't exactly do that with religious claims, that is, unless i die first, go to heaven, hell, or eventually break the karmic cycle........in additional, if i find out that i'm wrong about or doubt the existence of atoms, it's not a big deal either. i won't be damned to an eternity in hell or be forced to live extra life times. though it may influence me from time to time, it won't determine who i am, how i behave, etc...
                              About mystics i had this experience at a tibetan temple. It was a teaching on Tara, the bodhisattva of compassion for the suffering of every living being. A girl knocked the gong to announce the teaching and at the same time i heard drums coming from inside me. Zen at the teaching the lama said Tara took her bodhisattva vows with the buddha sound of the drum. And i had experienced drums a while ago?

                              How do u explain that? Do u think i lie to make u believe in buddha?
                              i've had interesting experiences myself. i could say i've had whole orchestras playing within, but would i then have to attribute that to guanyin or the buddha? if i'm moved by a classical indian percussionist, should i then devot my life to krishna or genesh? and, what distinguishes these experiences from other religious experiences exactly, or even from the mentally ill?

                              I think if u r sensitive to Qi u will feel many coincidences, many sinchronicities that are hardly explainable without mystics.
                              ironically, they aren't at all provable with them either.

                              -------------------------------------------------------------------------

                              in 2002 i was living in qingdao. to make a long story short, my brother's birthday was coming up. i had a few weeks vacation so i went on a trip, figuring i'd find something suitable on the road. i stopped in xiamen, gulangyu, hangzhou, ningbo, putuoshan, and shanghai, as well as some other small towns along the way...but i just couldn't find anything that fit. by the time i got back to qingdao, a gray city in northern china during the winter months, i felt pretty discouraged. basically it didn't feel right, so i just kept going, and i ended up not buying anything at all, which was quite ridiculas considering where i'd just been. i mean how could one go so far and not even get a simple gift? anyhow, i get off the train, walk to a small store, and begin to talk with the owner some. upon hearing "putuoshan," he insists i take a little charm of guanyin from his shop for free.

                              an item that cost literally nothing ended up being one of the best gifts i've ever recieved, and i gave it to my brother. even if, in actuality, it was just a little worthless piece of crap.

                              --------------------------------------------------------------------------

                              i've experienced various things like this in the past, and still do today. one of these "coincidences" is present in my life right now. i can't explain it, but that doesn't prove anything either. i'd just say i'm lucky in that respect.

                              Even science have proven that 2 particles are connected and evolve in similar ways, though the information do not have time to travel at light speed.
                              this means what exactly?

                              But i agree with a lot of what u say. U should base urself on personal experience rather than on dogmas or other people philosophy. But can u proove they are wrong? If u choose not to act like there is a karma and future life dont u choose another religion/belief system?
                              no, a person lacking in a belief does not have the burden of proof. this is a kind of misconception. i mean, seriously, why would one need to prove something that they don't see the sense of believing in the first place? i also don't think the lack of belief constitutes another religion or belief system. it's just rational thought.

                              compassion is a beautiful concept. does that mean there's actually a god of compassion, called guanyin? or is it just a word that illustrates the concept well?

                              what about the "golden rule?" could there actually be a "just" god of ethic reciprocity, out there as well, do you think?
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