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Thread: An agnostic position towards death

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodscooter View Post

    I'm going to be a bit picky about this, though. If the agnostics are sitting on the fence, coming down neither one side of the other, then how is 'There is neither a God nor not a God' any different? If you want to not buy into the whole God/no God thing, then you can't help ending up in the no-God camp.
    Please be picky. How else can we move forward? The phrase, 'There is neither a God nor not a God' provides an alternative to the usual logic used in the yes/no/maybe/maybe not arguments. It comes from Zen arguments about God:

    "Zen masters may argue they are not atheists since they stress neither belief in God nor disbelief in God. “Is God dead or not? That is the most serious question of all. If you say yes or no, you lose your own Buddha-nature.” (from Robert Sohl and Audrey Carr, eds., The Gospel According to Zen, Beyond the Death of God (New York: The New American Library, 1970), p. 5.)

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by philg View Post
    Please be picky. How else can we move forward? The phrase, 'There is neither a God nor not a God' provides an alternative to the usual logic used in the yes/no/maybe/maybe not arguments. It comes from Zen arguments about God:

    "Zen masters may argue they are not atheists since they stress neither belief in God nor disbelief in God. “Is God dead or not? That is the most serious question of all. If you say yes or no, you lose your own Buddha-nature.” (from Robert Sohl and Audrey Carr, eds., The Gospel According to Zen, Beyond the Death of God (New York: The New American Library, 1970), p. 5.)
    Nice work. I like the question “Is God dead or not?”, but it's a loaded question. The question already assumes there is a construction called God who may have or lack the property of living. By answering with a yes or a no, you certainly are buying into the assumption and entering into the yes/no/maybe/maybe not.

    My answer might be "Who?".

    I accept that Zen masters are not atheists. Perhaps a Zen master could be described as agnostic in the broadest sense of the word. I take the narrow meaning of 'agnostic' is not knowing whether God exists or not. The broadest meaning would be that the question needs no answer.

  3. #13
    Forums Member Olderon's Avatar
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    Hi, Aloka.

    While listening to Doug's video you provided I found several other of his videos, which I considered well organized, very logical and factual with regard to his sutta references.

    I especially liked Doug's presentation regarding Buddha's teachings found in his communications to The Kalamas, which advise verification and validation of whatever is being taught. I also found it interesting as Doug pointed out that Buddha advised providing alms to previous teachers, whether or not they were followers of The Buddha, purely in the name of harmony. This recommendation reminded me of a story told by one of my meditation teachers, whereby he and a fellow monk agreed, while attending their training for ordination, that it would be beneficial to replace the word "Right" with "Harmonious" in The Noble Eight Fold Path. The goal hen became harmony, rather than simply being right.
    Last edited by Olderon; 27 Nov 18 at 13:36.

  4. #14
    Hi Ron,

    Glad you enjoyed Doug's videos and sutta references.

    Quote Originally Posted by Olderon
    The goal hen became harmony, rather than simply being right.
    ....and here she is!



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