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You know, one good thing about the Islam holy-war debate here
January 15, 2007
8:10 pm
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Worried_Dad
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Is that it is helping me find my religion again.

I'm tired of being a wishy washy agnostic. I wish I could go back to being either a hard assed atheist or once again claim a spiritual path. Agnosticism is hard.

January 15, 2007
9:44 pm
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me, too, wd.

I like the "mixture" that's developing in my own spiritual world.

The answers are out there. Of this, I'm certain.

free

January 15, 2007
10:09 pm
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Its not hard. Athiesm and Agnosticsm are the natural belief system. Thats what everyone will settle down after 100's of years. Everything else has significant defects which are hard to defend: Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism and Hinduism and anything else (e.g. Scientology).

You dont HAVE to belong to a religion. You belong to your own self, your own judgement system.

Whats wrong about agnosticism? Nothing. It just means "God might exist, I'm not sure". What makes you uncomfortable about being like that?

Even an athiest is usually an agnostic actually if you go by defination becuase they believe in only a 0.005% (or decrease it further) chance that God exists.

January 15, 2007
10:16 pm
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guest

"being like that" I.e. God exist/not exist is

a) is boring

b) offers no insight into an afterlife or beforelife

c) is boring

d) offers no purpose as to this life

e) is boring

f) offers no insight into connections amongst living things

and,

g) is boring

January 15, 2007
10:19 pm
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guest-

what is/are the significant negative effect(s) of Buddhism?

free

January 15, 2007
10:33 pm
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Hi free

Boring? : Hm, why? I tell you I'm an atheist and the saddest thing for me is that I'll die and one day be no more. Life is amazing, all the stuff around. I love nature for example this little fingernail sized jellyfish Irukandi (sp) has 100 more stronger venom than a cobra and can kill a man 24 hours later. Stuff like that. How did it evolve? There's endless wonder and stuff to be amazed about. There's no boredom in life for SURE!

"offers no insight into an afterlife or beforelife"

There's no afterlife and beforelife. No evidence. Whats the use of spending our money time and effort on stuff that we're not sure even exists, when there's so much in THIS world that we cant even digest fully?

"offers no purpose as to this life"

There's no purpose. Its alright. Life just IS. I dont see anything wrong with that. Alright, my purpose in life is to find the best tasting popcorn. There you go, I feel great now, thankGOD. Phew. My life sucked when I didnt have a purpose. hehe - see my point.

"offers no insight into connections amongst living things"

Ofcourse there is. If you're living a good life and taking care of yourself, what more do you need? Everything else will take care of itself.

January 15, 2007
10:47 pm
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Buddhism is like any other religion:

1) It says you dont have a right to make a judgement for yourself on your own. You have to seek 'englightenment' (whatever the heck that means - no one knows). It says in short, just like any other religion: You as YOU alone, are not ENOUGH.

2) This results in low self-esteem, because again, the central theme is: We as WE are not enough as we are.

Low self-esteem manifests itself in all the different kinds of negative energy you'll find in the world.

Religion is the opium of the masses and Buddhism is no exception too. Its a drug like any religion. Its born from low self-esteem and results in even lesser self-esteem.

As far as I know, Buddhism doesnt encourage violence or other stuff, but it does result in low self-esteem. Does Scientology have a bad side? I dont know of any. But they beleive in the balooney which isnt true. Surely, believing in any kind of balooney has no positive effects.

Again in summary in case of Buddhism, the result is low self-esteem.

If people are taught to believe that they are OK as they are, and their own independent judgement is enough to live life, that is the best thing and will bring the most benefits.

January 15, 2007
11:02 pm
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Guest_guest.

Were you unable to answer Free's question?

The question was:

"what is/are the significant negative effect(s) of Buddhism?"

The underlining of what I see as a highly significant keyword, is mine.

A highly materialistic person with little insight development might say that Buddhism makes a nation vulnerable by reducing the fear levels that powers great warrior nations to fight invaders effectively. Tibet was once such a great warrior nation until Buddhism 'tranquilized' them into becoming an easy target for Chinese expansion in its quest for 'living space'.

I'm sure that you have a much less shortsighted and much more informed answer than that. I'm looking forward to hearing it.

January 15, 2007
11:05 pm
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A quote from Einstien which applies to Buddhism as well:

"Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death."

In Buddhism, until you dont seek englightnement, you keep suffering. If you do get englightenment, you reach 'Nirvana'. This is also a concept of reward and punishment after death ,and thus, by being a Buddhist, we really are in a poor way. Its true.

Here's the other quote I was looking for:

For a doctrine which is able to maintain itself not in clear light but only in the dark, will of necessity lose its effect on mankind, with incalculable harm to human progress. In their struggle for the ethical good, teachers of religion must have the stature to give up the doctrine of a personal God, that is, give up that source of fear and hope which in the past placed such vast power in the hands of priests. In their labours they will have to avail themselves of those forces which are capable of cultivating the Good, the True, and the Beautiful in humanity itself. This is, to be sure, a more difficult but an incomparably more worthy task. After religious teachers accomplish the refining process indicated they well surely recognise with joy that true religion has been ennobled and made more profound by scientific knowledge.
If it is one of the goals of religion to liberate mankind as far as possible from the bondage of egocentric cravings, desires and fears, scientific reasoning can aid religion in yet another sense. Although it is true that it is the goal of science to discover rules which permit the association and foretelling of facts, this is not its only aim. It also seeks to reduce the connections discovered to the smallest possible number of mutually independent conceptual elements. (Albert Einstein, 1941)

In the light of this quote, apply it to Buddhism:

1) What exactly is 'englightenment'? No definite answers, only darkness.

2) "cultivating the Good, the True, and the Beautiful in humanity itself." - this is what I'm saying. There's good in humanity alone and THAT's the only thing that matters. Not these religions.

3) "bondage of egocentric cravings, desires and fears" - fear of not reaching Nirvana is a fear. The qualifies for this.

And lastly, if Alebert E. saw any good sense in Buddhism, he would have converted to it.

So here I tried to point out the defects of Buddhism by quoting Albert E.

January 15, 2007
11:07 pm
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Tez, is the loss of low self-esteem not significant?

Yes its nowwhere significantly harmful as Abrahamic religions but thats why I mentioned Scientology. If there are no significant negative effects of Scientology, that doesnt mean its alright.

January 15, 2007
11:08 pm
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Typo: "Is the loss of self-esteem"

January 15, 2007
11:13 pm
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guest_guest.

I'm sorry about my cross post.

I'm also sorry to have to say that from my knowledge of Buddhism not one thing you say in your post of 15-Jan-07 in response to Free has even a smidgen of a relative truth in any part of it.

I'm not suggesting that you are deliberately lying or misleading others.

I am saying that you have not even the most rudimentary understanding of even the most basic tenets of Buddhism let alone the more profound depths to which it plumbs. What makes it more sad is that you don't seem to know even this.

This makes it very hard for myself or anyone else to take your post seriously.

Free can you see a kind, helpful and positive way to respond to G_G's post?.

January 15, 2007
11:18 pm
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Its alright, I dont seek a response. Here's something else I found about Buddhism:

§ 5/- In all schools, the role of woman is problematic, and a mysogynist streak is evident. In Theravâda, they are accepted with great reluctance and identified with illusion (cf. the death of Gautama's mother Maya directly after giving birth and the transfeminine birth myths). In Mahâyâna, they are a "lower incarnation" and need a sex-change (the Pure Land of Buddha Amitabha accepts only men). In Vajrayâna, they are wisdom-consorts used to assist the male guru and only seldomly receive the same power as men. Although this situation is inconsistent with the principles of Buddhism, it nevertheless remains an important cultural factor part of the spiritual "canons" of the schools. Hence, Buddhist sexual morality, like that of all major religions, remained incomplete and biased.

If you suppress women and view them as inferior, thats obviously a negative effect. I'm not talking about selecting following or someone doing a Yoga. I'm talking about someone following Buddhism and believing in its tenets.

Some more stuff from the same website: http://www.sofiatopia.org/equi.....buddha.htm

January 15, 2007
11:24 pm
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G_,

You know I don’t call myself anything - (Christian, Atheist, Muslim)- don’t you?

You say “In Buddhism, until you dont seek englightnement, you keep suffering. If you do get englightenment, you reach 'Nirvana'. This is also a concept of reward and punishment after death”

I think of it as a reward in life- this enlightenment. I think of enlightenment as understanding myself. Loving myself. I don’t know a lot about Buddhism, but my understanding is there is no heaven or hell, possibly reincarnation. And an inner quest to understand oneself, to alleviate my suffering.

Nirvana - is a mode of being that is free from mind-contaminants (Kilesa) such as lust, anger or craving. It is a state of great inner peace and contentment - the end of suffering.

January 15, 2007
11:43 pm
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Do I know how to respond to g's post in a kind way? I know very little about Buddhism, Tez, but intend to someday. It's certainly interesting.

What I'm liking about Buddhism is the lack of violence. Encouragement to peacefully co-exist with all life forces. Wicca looks kinda cool too.

free

January 15, 2007
11:49 pm
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hi bevdee, yea, I know you're like me, faithless, thats the best thing; the least problematic thing to be in all senses, internally and externally.

Enlightenment is a positive word but I dont think it is in the case of Buddhism. The complaint I have again is, Buddhism like any other religion says that we're not 'enough'.

There's no belief system needed to teach us to accept ourselves as we are. Infact, Buddhism is saying that we're not enough so its not teaching to love ourself.

What you said about Nirvana is only a part of that, the good part. Here's the other part which shows the "reward/punishment" concept which Eienstien criticized:

"When a person who has realized nirvâna dies, his death is referred as his parinirvâna, his fully passing away, as his life was his last link to the cycle of death and rebirth (samsara), and he will not be reborn again."

January 15, 2007
11:55 pm
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Hey Faithless G_

"There's no belief system needed to teach us to accept ourselves as we are."

I agree - it ought to be that way - unfortunately, contemporary religions don't encourage self-esteem,and accepting us for what we are. These religions encourage dependence in a godman- that is ingrained in most of us.

""When a person who has realized nirvâna dies, his death is referred as his parinirvâna, his fully passing away, as his life was his last link to the cycle of death and rebirth (samsara), and he will not be reborn again." "

Personally I don't care. I have too much shit to deal with in this life to worry about the next.

January 16, 2007
12:07 am
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I agree, I hate and detest this depedence. I'm amazed more people cant see it like us, its just sad.

A big portion of Humans arent out of darkness yet.

Exactly. Who cares about the afterlife? Gosh. I have enough to keep myself busy in THIS life, really. I have my plate full, like you said. Glad to have someone finally agree with me on this site, phew. I've been battling for the last few days, lol. I need a rest. I'm really making myself busy here again, I need to take that break again. Gosh I have wasted this three day weekend, I could have done so much. Its just amazing how time flies.

January 16, 2007
2:33 am
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Guest_guest.

I quote from your quote:

"Although this situation is inconsistent with the principles of Buddhism, it nevertheless remains an important cultural factor.."

Did you miss the words underlined by me? Did you misread your own quote?

Since this sexism is not sanctioned by the Buddha's teachings in any way whatsoever to my knowledge, and it is not true generally of all schools of Buddhism and is NOT a "significant negative effect" I'm afraid(I've never heard of female Buddhists protesting like Catholic women parishioners do)you picked the wrong quote to cut and paste, boyo.

My local Chung Tian monastery is headed by an Abbess. It is populated mostly by nuns with a few monks thrown in for good measure. The monastery is funded from Taiwan and most the reverends are Chinese. They are from the Chan school of Buddhism.

January 16, 2007
9:44 am
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Tez

There's lots of Criticism of Buddhism. Here's some negative effects, on the personality:

http://www.vexen.co.uk/religio.....l#Theodicy

"Inhumane Dismissal of Suffering"

If you're trivilizing human suffering, that cant be good. Its all low self-esteem and thats bad as I said.

The guy says and I completely agree and have said this before too: "You can spot Buddhist psycho-babble from quite a while off".

Good article, very comprehensive and nuetral. It praises Buddhism too something which I'll refuse to do because, absence of any belief system is the best thing. There's no harm in that alternative and it goes along with what Albert E. was trying to say - cultivate the good in humanity itself.

If you didnt read the whole link, well, what can I say - sad. You dont have the courage to question your own convictions. Here, read and challenge your own beliefs if you can handle it:

http://www.sofiatopia.org/equi.....buddha.htm

And I had asked you before: Do you disagree with Buddhism in any way? If not, why are you not a Buddhist? How would you answer that question?

I see where you might have gotten your ideas about external conciousness: "(In Buddhism,) The cravings (psychological traits) active at the time of physical death are able to exist independently of their extinct brain and are transferable to another newly born living being, to eventually become a part of its consciousness."

As for the msyogonist stuff in buddhism, "it nevertheless remains an important cultural factor".

January 16, 2007
2:47 pm
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G_

Ponder this though -You must believe this to have said -"absence of any belief system is the best thing."

When you say this, you are stating a belief. When does it become a system?

Can we ever rid ourself of any belief? Or only harmful ones?

Signing off now,

Faithless Bevdee

January 16, 2007
3:18 pm
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I thought about it yes, that "the belief that all beliefs are false" - is that a belief too? I dont think so. You know, for example absense of trash. I'm saying there shouldnt be any trash.

Whats a good defination of the kind of belief that I'm trying to shun? I dont know at this point. Any belief system that says you're not enough and not OK as you are, is not right.

I dont know at this point how to clearly differentiate my belief from other beliefs, interesting.

January 16, 2007
5:36 pm
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I know, G_. It can be confusing, and you can go round and round. If I ponder infinity, I get a headache!!

January 16, 2007
6:29 pm
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But guest,

Some people are not alright just the way they are.

Some people have physical health problems and they would be better off if they could treat those problems. Same with mental health problems. Some people have character problems.

Some people are just plain assholes.

Some people are crooks.

Some people are terrorists.

Some people may lack education. Some people may be just plain stupid.

Some people are psychotic.

Some people are just plain mistaken about this or that or the other thing.

If everybody is "equally alright" then we don't need to search for a mate--just marry the next biped you bump into on the street. Also no need to carefully choose your auto mechanic, dentist, brain surgeon--they are all just fine just the way they are.

And of course we wouldn't want to criticize someone's religion--it could diminish their self esteem and that would be wrong.

Let's face it--some people's "Self esteem" is disproportionate to their actual virtues or accomplishments. Some people really, really need to have their self-esteem lowered.

Sometimes you mind is NOT trustworthy.

January 16, 2007
6:57 pm
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WD, I dont feel like responding to you unless you tell me how "the core of Islam taught" you to "respect women". Why arent you responding? Were you kidding when you said that?

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