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  • I could never get behind Buddhism. The Dhammapada is nice, but the Buddha’s insistence on there being reincarnation and actual practical examples of karma, such as a man’s house burning down or collapsing because he was not a good person, pretty much invalidated the majority philosophy for me. I also just didn’t understand the concept of “anatta”…the supposed denial of the atman or soul in contrast to the atman in Hinduism and the jiva of Jainism. It seemed to me that the basis of some sort of c…
  • I’m also probably very biased in my view of Buddhism contrasted with my experience with Vedanta and Neoplatonism. Plotinus for example was extremely vigorous in his exposition on metaphysical topics, that I felt the Buddha was exceedingly vague on (to sell me on the philosophy). Not to say “later” Buddhists who wrote in the various Theravada and Mahayana traditions didn’t attempt to expound upon these ideas…but just going off of the “Gospel” of the Buddha, the Dhammapada, it wasn’t as detailed.
  • I had far more ease conceptualizing the ideas in the Hindu Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita…and it’s Greek counterpart Neoplatonism. The Hindu Brahman, Nirguna Brahman, Ishvara, Para-atman and the atman in contrast to the Greek emanation of “to hen” the One, the Nous and the world soul and the phenomenal world. All that mystical jargon made far more sense to me than the equally mystical Buddhist concepts. https://www.ccel.org/ccel/p/pl…enneads/cache/enneads.pdf
  • The main issue I see with certain philosophies like Buddhism is that though they may trend toward being atheistic or agnostic, like Buddhism and Jainism, they are still rife with unsubstantiated metaphysical premises. I think many western people see that the Buddha is a non-theistic path and especially if they are running from western Judeo-Christian traditions, they see the Buddha as an eastern sage offering an alternative path. But the reality is though that a monotheistic “God” is not materia…
  • Yeah the Buddhist anatta doctrine throws me pretty hard and it makes it even less believable as purely an article of faith situation where you need to conceptualize this very unobservable principle without having “something” for continuity. No atman… there is no karmic scent to pass onto another being. If I have no memory of my past lives and will have no memory of my future lives, then how can I be worried or even be remotely sure this is correct or even remotely true? Just faith. Karma and ori…
  • Joshua thank you for that epitome. That distillation is truly needed. As you said…these articles (karma, rebirth and nirvana) are integral to Buddhism, without them what would be left isn’t Buddhism. That’s pretty much it…I see this as the main point…. Without these very specific concepts, Buddhism isn’t Buddhism and we can’t even discuss this in any meaningful way, and frankly I’m not sure how a Buddhist could come to terms with this NOT being the case. If we can’t nail down some “consistency”…
  • There are multiple sects of Judaism, Christianity, Islam etc. that have differing opinions about certain articles of faith and certain formulas and certain disciplic successions…but there has to be very “core” concepts that cannot be removed from the faiths…otherwise we would never be able to say this faith is “Christianity” and this faith is “Islam” in generic terms….if the articles are so different from each other as they are for the position of Jesus in Islam and Christianity , then the diffe…
  • Kalosyni I’m trying to make this as “easy” as possible for the purposes of an Epicurean comparison. My main point is that there have to be some core tenets among all Buddhists that give some commonality. Interpretations of what those concepts mean can vary greatly. But if a Zen practitioner and a Theravada monk cannot agree that they both take refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha because nirvana, samsara and karma are specific concepts expounded upon within their particular tradition…
  • Here is an expansive compilation of Buddhist texts online. Mahayana and Theravada Pali texts: https://archive.org/details/AmitabhaSutra/Amitabha%20Sutra/ https://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net
  • I know we are beating this dead horse into the dust, but the issues can’t be obfuscated about what the core tenets are within Buddhism. I would say yes to three outlines… So that we can see clearly what the core common articles that all Buddhists share are without any controversy about interpretations. I’ve read the Dhammapada and In the Buddha’s words: https://ia800909.us.archive.or…0Bodhi%20%28Editor%29.pdf I personally cannot see how the ideas of karma, nirvana, and re-birth are somehow not a…
  • Here’s a good test…if a historical critic of Buddhism (Adi Shankara) spent enough time to attempt to refute Buddhist doctrine (and there were many other Vedantists who did) it must’ve meant that the interpretation of concepts even back in medieval times in India were close enough to the Hindu interpretations that they needed to attack them. https://cisindus.org/2021/03/3…ras-critique-of-buddhism/ This tells me that at the very least, what we know as “historical” Buddhism shared deep commonalitie…
  • I want succinct outlines of the core tenets of the main Buddhist schools…the ones that make up the major populations of Asia. Mahayana, Theravada, Vajrayana and Tibetan Buddhism…and secular Buddhism. So we can see without any controversy of interpretation what each school’s common precepts are. And I’m certain that there are common concepts among them…. That way we can lay them out without controversy of interpretation and see what they are. That way we won’t have disagreement about the basics.
  • My concern with this thread is that it seems to want to become ambiguous about the nature of what Buddhism is and why the religion and philosophy came into existence and what specifically it came for. You can’t have a cure for something if there isn’t something to cure. I don’t believe it is helpful for an Epicurean comparison if we cannot pin down generic qualities that are universally “Buddhist.” Almost as if there are so many disconnected versions of Buddhism with such radically different doc…
  • Again, whatever form this “enlightenment” is, is specific to Buddhism. So if you can’t think your way to enlightenment and you practice it…that begs the question what are we being enlightened to? It means that the Buddha is making a very specific claim about the world that is only accessible through certain practices. Meditation in its own right could be a pleasurable experience, but meditation to achieve “enlightenment” in the Buddhist context is very different. These are two very separate thin…
  • As far as the somberness comment goes it’s important to place it context. Happiness and pleasure are not the same thing. And frankly this is a huge topic for another thread. Happiness is a very nebulous word that can mean many things for many different situations. The “happy” person who claims to be happy 100% of the time is either heavily medicated or is not being truthful about their experiences. The reason why people seek out philosophy and religion is that they are seeking a pathway to “happ…
  • Makes sense to me…if your entire philosophy is based on the aforementioned concepts of death, re-birth etc. it’s going to be on your mind constantly.