Page 4 of 5 FirstFirst ... 2 3 4 5 LastLast

Thread: Is Belief in Rebirth a Necessity for Buddhist Practice?

  1. #31
    I rather like this quote from Soto Zen teacher Jundo Cohen which I saved from somewhere:



    If there are future lives, heavens and hells ... live this life here and now, seek not to do harm, seek not to build "heavens" and "hells" in this world ... let what happens after "death" take care of itself.

    And if there are no future lives, no heavens or hells ... live this life here and now, seek not to do harm, seek not to build "heavens" and "hells" in this world ... let what happens after "death" take care of itself.

    Thus I do not much care if, in the next life, that "gentle way, avoiding harm" will buy me a ticket to heaven and keep me out of hell ... but I know for a fact that it will go far to do so in this life, today, where I see people create all manner of "heavens and hells" for themselves and those around them by their harmful words, thoughts and acts in this life.

    And if there is a "heaven and hell" in the next life, or other effects of Karma now ... well, my actions now have effects then too, and might be the ticket to heaven or good rebirth.

    In other words, whatever the case ... today, now ... live in a gentle way, avoiding harm to self and others (not two, by the way) ... seeking to avoid harm now and in the future too.


  2. #32
    This is an excerpt from a much longer post which I found very interesting. It was written by someone called DKervick in a discussion at Sutta Central forum - which is also frequented by Bhikkhus Sujato and Brahmali, as well as a number of other believers in literal rebirth :



    The belief in rebirth is almost entirely a faith-based belief. This should be clear to most people here. The issue of rebirth comes up again and again in discussions among different kinds of Buddhists, and between Buddhists and others, and the result is always the same. Although it is clear many people are strongly committed to the belief in rebirth, when asked to clarify the content of their belief and to offer evidence in support of that belief, they generally flounder badly. No one has ever brought forward a rationally compelling argument for belief in rebirth. If they had, one can be sure it would be widely circulated in Buddhist forums. But having read widely in scholarly Buddhist studies and more popular Buddhist discussions, it seems clear to me that there is little to be found.

    Even in this discussion forum, people who insist on the reality of rebirth have been asked from time to time to explain what they think is involved in rebirth, and defend the claim that rebirth actually occurs, but the results have not been impressive. There are some anecdotes and stories that float around in Buddhist circles, but they are not very compelling, objectively considered. Mostly, the defender of rebirth simply falls silent, and offers nothing. The intellectual or evidential case for rebirth is shabby, to say the least.

    People who believe in rebirth and believe the materialists or other kinds of rebirth-skeptics are just stubborn, and are not giving the doctrine of rebirth a fair hearing, should advance the evidence they think the materialists should be paying more attention to. But again, having encountered many such discussions over many years, it does not appear to me that the defenders of rebirth have very much to offer. Given that, criticisms of the alleged “close-mindedness” of those who decline to believe in rebirth fall rather flat.

    The believers in rebirth might ask themselves which minds are actually the most closed. I think we are really in “put up or shut up” territory here, and the burden should not be seen as falling on those who decline to believe an extraordinary claim for which no compelling evidence has been offered, but rather on those who are advancing the extraordinary claim.

    https://discourse.suttacentral.net/t...t-true/6399/81


  3. #33

    The believers in rebirth might ask themselves which minds are actually the most closed. I think we are really in “put up or shut up” territory here....

    I'd go a little further than that and say that sadly, in some Buddhist internet groups, I think its possible to find oneself in fundamentalist territory.

  4. #34
    Forums Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    97
    I think that the DKervick excerpt which aloka brought is needlessly divisive. I don't think anyone needs to "put up or shut up" DKervick says "No one has ever brought forward a rationally compelling argument for belief in rebirth" and I think he has forgotten that he has not been appointed the judge of what is rational nor of what constitutes a compelling arguement.

    People who believe in rebirth think that their beliefs are rational and that the reasons they hold those beliefs is compelling. Beliefs do not need to be supported by rationally compelling arguements anyway....faith is not a rationally compelling arguement but I think no one denies the place of faith in buddhism.....but maybe I am wrong....maybe there are those who think they can do away with faith altogether.

    If there are then that is fine....they can base their practice on things devoid of faith. This does not in any way negate or diminish the practice of those who base their practice on faith. Isn't the practice what we should focus on and not whether our views can dominate over the views of others?

    chownah

  5. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by chownah

    I think that the DKervick excerpt which aloka brought is needlessly divisive
    I didn't just "bring an excerpt" because I said it was "from a much longer post which I found very interesting" and gave a link to where the longer post could be found.

    Quote Originally Posted by chownah

    DKervick says "No one has ever brought forward a rationally compelling argument for belief in rebirth" and I think he has forgotten that he has not been appointed the judge of what is rational nor of what constitutes a compelling arguement.
    Perhaps you would like to share an argument for your own belief in rebirth with us then, chownah, because I have no idea what it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by chownah
    Beliefs do not need to be supported by rationally compelling arguements anyway...

    To you maybe, but that's not a universal rule for everyone.

    So lets say I believe that a little green man from outer space visits me every day and I publicly insist to other people that he also takes me to planet Zog and back again, you don't think that I need to rationalise my assertions to them at all and provide some evidence?


    ............

  6. #36
    Forums Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    97
    Quote Originally Posted by Aloka View Post
    So lets say I believe that a little green man from outer space visits me every day and I publicly insist to other people that he also takes me to planet Zog and back again, you don't think that I need to rationalise my assertions to them at all and provide some evidence?


    ............
    Only if you want to. What does this have to do with having faith in what the buddha taught? There is no reason why anyone needs to present rationally compelling reasons to explain their faith in whatever they have faith in.
    chownah

  7. #37
    So I'll ask again, chownah, what's your own position on rebirth, do you believe in it, or not ?



  8. #38
    Forums Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    97
    I'll have to wait and see....or not see as the case may be.
    Until then it is beyond range for me....no way to know for sure.....I would only be guessing.

    I don't personally find my uncertainty on this issue as something which negatively effects my practice.

    I am fairly certain that the majority of buddhists believe in rebirth.....even saying that a vast majority of them do is probably correct. Do they need to put up or shut up? Should I tell my wife that regarding her belief in rebirth that she should put up or shut up?.....or should I just accept that this is her belief and go on with life?

    chownah

    p.s. (ooops, pardon me, no abreviations) post script: You DID present an excerpt from DKervick's post and I DO think that that excerpt is needlessly devisive. I do not undestand what your point was in mentioning:
    I didn't just "bring an excerpt" because I said it was "from a much longer post which I found very interesting" and gave a link to where the longer post could be found.
    chownah

  9. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by chownah
    I am fairly certain that the majority of buddhists believe in rebirth.....even saying that a vast majority of them do is probably correct. Do they need to put up or shut up? Should I tell my wife that regarding her belief in rebirth that she should put up or shut up?.....or should I just accept that this is her belief and go on with life?
    I doubt "put up or shut up" was meant to suggest that people who don't believe in rebirth should be telling others to do that, chownah.
    .

  10. #40
    Forums Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    97
    Quote Originally Posted by Aloka View Post
    I doubt "put up or shut up" was meant to suggest that people who don't believe in rebirth should be telling others to do that, chownah.
    .
    Maybe it was meant that people who don't believe in rebirth should be thinking this about others.

    Hard for me to interpret it to be associated with equanimity or dispassion.....very easy for me to interpret it as being associated with clinging to views.

    All views are to be abandoned.
    chownah

Page 4 of 5 FirstFirst ... 2 3 4 5 LastLast
Los Angeles Mexico City London Colombo Kuala Lumpur Sydney
Sun, 5:19 AM Sun, 7:19 AM Sun, 1:19 PM Sun, 5:49 PM Sun, 8:19 PM Sun, 10:19 PM