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My evolving view on “is atheism a religion?”

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posted on Apr, 9 2018 @ 06:41 PM
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originally posted by: whereislogic
I can't see anything wrong with my sentence. To me it looks like you are twisting and misreading what I'm saying on purpose.

It's logic fallacy. Your one paragraph long sentence doesn't make any sense.


originally posted by: whereislogic
I never said "Buddhists are polytheists" or anything that might give the impression that there is only 1 type of Buddhist,

Here is your own contradicting words.

originally posted by: whereislogic
then you can address why I'm wrong in concluding that the Buddhists depicted in the video I just mentioned are polytheists.



originally posted by: whereislogic
The Buddhists depicted in the video entitled "Buddhists giving worship to their gods" (which is an accurate honest and appropiate title) are appriopiately and correctly described as polytheists though.

And I have given you 3 reasons why it is not practical.


originally posted by: whereislogic
But you were responding to my phrase "Polytheists are not atheists." If you disagree with that statement you can say so,

I already said few times I disagree with your notion that Buddhism is theist. In fact, I have provided you many links that show Buddhism is atheist. But you dismiss them all as irrelevant and red herring.


originally posted by: whereislogic
And please don't ignore that they are referred to as "gods" in the title of the video and by those Buddhists themselves. If they aren't really gods, they shouldn't have been calling them "gods" all this time. They are not rejecting/denying the existence of these gods.

Of course they won't deny gods, that is why they term gods as "poetic metaphors", "the image of man", "gods who are obviously human beings" and all the absurd phrases to cover the no gods meaning. Any dishonest con man can use any terms to suit their agenda.


originally posted by: whereislogic
Here's another "god" that some present-day Buddhists believe in (notice the word "deity" being used a couple of times by the interviewer, and the term "The spirit" as used by the Dalai Lama, remember what I mentioned regarding "gods" as the word is used in the bible being "spirits"?):

Between brackets is my synonym as a reminder regarding what I've been saying about "beings called gods":

Dorje Shugden... is an entity[/being] associated with the Gelug school, the newest of the schools of Tibetan Buddhism.
...
Dorje Shugden is variously looked upon as a destroyed gyalpo, a minor mundane protector, a major mundane protector, an enlightened major protector whose outward appearance is that of a gyalpo, or as an enlightened major protector whose outward appearance is enlightened.
...
...was a "gyalpo" "angry and vengeful spirit" of South Tibet...
...
Geshe Kelsang takes the elevation of Dorje Shugden’s ontological status another step further, emphasising that the deity is enlightened in both essence and appearance. [the page for Geshe Kelsang says that he is a "Buddhist monk, meditation teacher, scholar, and author."; he's still alive]
... this deity...

Source: Dorje Shugden - Wikipedia

Gyalpo spirits are one of the eight classes of haughty gods and spirits... in Tibetan mythology and religion.

Source: Gyalpo spirits - Wikipedia

Thanks for the video. It is interesting. But like I said in previous post, there is no use in believing and worshipping gods in Buddhism.
www.buddhanet.net...


originally posted by: whereislogic
These Buddhists teaching these things* as if that is the case (the reality of the matter), certainly do not reject/deny the existence of these beings/entities that they refer to as "gods/deities" and "spirits", in their teachings. The opposite is true, they claim that these beings/entities called "gods/deities" actually exist. *: including those I've shown before in the videos or quotations (primarily the videos)

Downplaying the role of god or mocking the gods doesn't mean they believed in gods either.


originally posted by: whereislogic
Btw, worship of these gods is not a requirement for "polytheism" in the definition I'm looking at now, which uses "the doctrine of or belief in more than one god or in many gods." "Doctrine" being a synonym for "teaching" is the part I'm focussing on above, the teachings about beings called "gods/deities" and their existence. But don't ignore the "or". The definition is from dictionary.com.

Tell that to the Hindus. I'm not interested to discuss polytheism with so many variants and branches of gods. It would take an everlasting life to debate and you still can not find any standard to base on.
edit on 9-4-2018 by EasternShadow because: (no reason given)




posted on Apr, 10 2018 @ 02:25 AM
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a reply to: EasternShadow
And there you seem to do it again, conflating all Buddhistst into 1 group or type of Buddhists. As well as doing things like only underlining "Buddhists" in my comment and perhaps not noticing I said "address why I'm wrong in concluding that the Buddhists depicted in the video I just mentioned are polytheists", which is not the same as saying "Buddhists are polytheists"; as in all Buddhists. Nope, I was only talking about the Buddhists depicted in the video and I spelled it out like that cause I was anticipating it. If you want to argue these specific Buddhists are not polytheists, go right ahead, but don't read something else in my words that's not there please and then end up arguing that it contradicts the statement: "I never said "Buddhists are polytheists" or anything that might give the impression that there is only 1 type of Buddhist...". Besides I was talking about earlier commentary I made where I never said "Buddhists are polytheists". In that commentary, I didn't even talk about some specific Buddhists being polytheists as I did in response to you making the claim "Buddhist is not polytheist" as if I said all Buddhists were polytheists the way you phrase and generalize these things. You can't say "Buddhists are polytheists", nor "Buddhists are not polytheists", nor can you say "Buddhists are atheists" nor can you say "Buddhism denies the deities" because there are different types of Buddhists and different forms of Buddhism, so you can't conflate all these different types in such generalizing statements. Well technically you can do it of course but that would be misleading, leaving out inconvenient detail, and it's not something you would want to do if one's intention is to be honest and clear rather than vague and deceptive or misleading; or you can do it if you first specify which form or forms of Buddhism one is talking about when one is saying "Buddhism ..." thereafter.

Like I mentioned before, if you want to talk about Buddhism you can't just conveniently ignore that the teachings within (the multiple forms of) Buddhism (both past and present) include elements of pantheistic, deistic and/or polytheistic teachings (spread out over various multiple forms and not necessarily all of them*). *: not saying that one wouldn't be able to find a form of Buddhism that does not include elements of (or shows signs of being influenced by) any pantheistic, deistic, or polytheistic teachings, or that one wouldn't be able to interpret a form of Buddhism as such if one has some motive to do so for example, hint, hint (allthough I haven't seen very clear examples from you now that I'm thinking about it, especially when considering the phrase "being influenced by"). Sometimes it's not always that obvious such as when considering the elements of deistic teachings for example, they are very much obscured and a bit different from the deistic teachings of someone like Spinoza; pantheism and polytheism is a bit more obvious to spot in both many of the early Buddhist teachings and texts and some modern teachings, texts and rituals as performed by quite a number of Buddhists. The notion that Brahma is a "creative principle" rather than a personal God for example is a deistic teaching. I think this is more common in Hinduism though (see Laws of Manu 1: 48-50, quoted at 12:12 below):

Here's more interesting stuff Buddhists teach and taught about Brahma that contradicts some of the things you've been arguing for as if it counts for all of Buddhism or all Buddhists past and present and therefore supposedly justifies your statement "Buddhism reject deity/ies."

The Concept of a " Creator God" in Tantric Buddhism

THE JOURNAL
OF THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF
BUDDHIST STUDIES

...The earliest phase of Buddhist scripture is given in the Pali. Canon. Here the concept of God is presented and discussed exclusively from a late Upanisadic and Vedic background. God is understood as Brahma, the ruler and creator of the world,...

Brahma - Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia

Brahmā (梵) in Buddhism is the name for a type of exalted passionless deity (Deva), of which there are several in Buddhist cosmology. .... The old Upanishads largely consider Brahman in the masculine Gender (Brahmā in the nominative case, henceforth "Brahmā") to be a personal God, and Brahman in the neuter gender (Brahma in the nominative case, henceforth "Brahman") to be the impersonal world principle. They do not strictly distinguish between the two, however.

That "world principle" at the end there is really talking about what is referred to as "the creative principle" in the quotation in the video above. The term "world" may indicate some presence or influence of pantheistic philosophy as well. That is the very nature of the spacious road Jesus was talking about at Matthew 7:13-20 (plenty of space for all sorts of spiritual paths and views that look appealing to different target audiences):

13 “Go in through the narrow gate, because broad is the gate and spacious is the road leading off into destruction, and many are going in through it; 14 whereas narrow is the gate and cramped the road leading off into life, and few are finding it.

15 “Be on the watch for the false prophets who come to you in sheep’s covering, but inside they are ravenous wolves. 16 By their fruits you will recognize them. Never do people gather grapes from thorns or figs from thistles, do they? 17 Likewise, every good tree produces fine fruit, but every rotten tree produces worthless fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear worthless fruit, nor can a rotten tree produce fine fruit. 19 Every tree not producing fine fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Really, then, by their fruits you will recognize those men.

edit on 10-4-2018 by whereislogic because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 10 2018 @ 04:28 AM
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a reply to: whereislogic
edit: The 1st link seems to be broken, just google "Brahma" followed by the title. The pdf file doesn't seem to have the right page. But google still archived the text I quoted.

Maybe this link will work better (between brackets is mine):

Although [some modern] Buddhist scholasticism denies Brahma the dignity of being creator of the universe, they do acknowledge him as a daily creative principle. Creation is going on constantly; things are constantly arising and constantly passing out of existence. In that sense the principle of Brahma is constantly at work, and Brahma, who was a great friend to the Buddha, deserves Buddhists’ respect.

Agni is another Hindu deity important to [quite a number of] the [Buddhist] Tibetans, who worship him in almost exactly the same fashion as the Indians do. Agni is a remarkable example of continuity in the cosmological systems and religions of Asia.
...
One of the central ceremonies of Vedic religion is the Agni Puja, the fire sacrifice. In that ceremony fire is addressed as a god, and vast offerings are burnt in the flame which is a manifest part of his vast body. The offerings made to Agni are delivered then by the messenger to all the other gods.
...
This fire ceremony is performed by nearly every sect of Mahayana Buddhism, from Japanese Zen to Tibetan tantra, and Buddhists do not attempt to hide its Hindu origins.

Source: Gods, Demons, Sages, and Enlightened Kings - Lion's Roar

These Buddhists mentioned above (which are still performing these fire ceremonies for example) still do not deny the existence of beings/entities called "deities/gods" ("addressed as a god", "the other gods").

I'll bet you there are plenty of people in the crowd above that have no clue what he's chanting on about.
edit on 10-4-2018 by whereislogic because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 10 2018 @ 06:39 AM
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originally posted by: whereislogic You can't say "Buddhists are polytheists", nor "Buddhists are not polytheists", nor can you say "Buddhists are atheists" nor can you say "Buddhism denies the deities" because there are different types of Buddhists and different forms of Buddhism, so you can't conflate all these different types in such generalizing statements. Well technically you can do it of course but that would be misleading, leaving out inconvenient detail, and it's not something you would want to do if one's intention is to be honest and clear rather than vague and deceptive or misleading; or you can do it if you first specify which form or forms of Buddhism one is talking about when one is saying "Buddhism ..." thereafter.

OK. I agree generalizing statements would be misleading. So which specific forms or sects are you referring.

Your previous video seem to point Tibetan Mahayana Buddhism. But I'm not certain. Mahayana Buddhism sects, as far as I understand, focuses on the idea of compassion and touts bodhisattvas, which are beings that work out of compassion to liberate other sentient beings from their suffering, as central devotional figures. Nothing about worshipping god or gods. My initial thought was, the video refer to one of newest Buddhism sect or influenced by Dalai Lama's movement. But it's difficult to tell.


originally posted by: whereislogic
Sometimes it's not always that obvious such as when considering the elements of deistic teachings for example, they are very much obscured and a bit different from the deistic teachings of someone like Spinoza; pantheism and polytheism is a bit more obvious to spot in both many of the early Buddhist teachings and texts and some modern teachings, texts and rituals as performed by quite a number of Buddhists. The notion that Brahma is a "creative principle" rather than a personal God for example is a deistic teaching. I think this is more common in Hinduism though (see Laws of Manu 1: 48-50, quoted at 12:12 below):

You can't argue early christian was more common in Judaism too. We know it is no longer true today. The point is, early Buddhism is like early christian. They both shared the root with their mother religion. So it's not surprising Buddhism was as polytheist as it's mother religion Hinduism. In fact, the earliest Hindu religion wasn't Hinduism either. It was Brahmanism. It is thought that Buddha was a Brahmanist himself and that he was trying to reform Brahmanism. But I guess things didn't exactly happen accordingly.


originally posted by: whereislogic
Here's more interesting stuff Buddhists teach and taught about Brahma that contradicts some of the things you've been arguing for as if it counts for all of Buddhism or all Buddhists past and present and therefore supposedly justifies your statement "Buddhism reject deity/ies."
The Concept of a " Creator God" in Tantric Buddhism

THE JOURNAL
OF THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF
BUDDHIST STUDIESSTUDIES

What you read is an old religion called Brahmanism. You only refer part of it. Your Google links to Chinese Buddhism tells it's an adoption from Hinduism concept of gods. Technically it is something Buddha never taught about Buddhism. This is what scholar teach about Buddha's life.



The Buddha was highly critical of Brahmanism. While he accepted the existence of the Vedic gods he denied their superiority over man. He disputed the authority of the Vedic scriptures, he severely criticised the brahmin priests and the caste system in general. The brahmin priests for their part condemned the Buddha as the worst type of heretic. Very clearly the Buddha did not perceive himself, nor was he perceived by others as being a part of the prevailing religion.

www.buddhanet.net...


originally posted by: whereislogic
That "world principle" at the end there is really talking about what is referred to as "the creative principle" in the quotation in the video above. The term "world" may indicate some presence or influence of pantheistic philosophy as well. That is the very nature of the spacious road Jesus was talking about at Matthew 7:13-20 (plenty of space for all sorts of spiritual paths and views that look appealing to different target audiences):

13 “Go in through the narrow gate, because broad is the gate and spacious is the road leading off into destruction, and many are going in through it; 14 whereas narrow is the gate and cramped the road leading off into life, and few are finding it.

15 “Be on the watch for the false prophets who come to you in sheep’s covering, but inside they are ravenous wolves. 16 By their fruits you will recognize them. Never do people gather grapes from thorns or figs from thistles, do they? 17 Likewise, every good tree produces fine fruit, but every rotten tree produces worthless fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear worthless fruit, nor can a rotten tree produce fine fruit. 19 Every tree not producing fine fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Really, then, by their fruits you will recognize those men.

Sadly Brahmanism is a dead religion. It evolved into multiple Hinduism schools.

With regard to Tantric Buddhism sect:


At around the same time some Buddhists began to adopt Hindu rituals, magic and gods which led to the development of Tantric Buddhism. Although some strands of Tantra always remained firmly within Buddhism others became increasingly 'Hinduized'. For example, H.V. Guenther described the teachings of the Tantric adept Naropa as being "virtually indistinguishable from Brahmanism"


Probably the Tantric Buddhism sect trying to bring back Brahmanism, but in doing so they're more Hinduism and less Buddhism. It's difficult to know, because like I said before, Buddhism is an ever changing philosophy. I can't argue with a doctrine that is always change or "flexible", according to Dalai Lama.
edit on 10-4-2018 by EasternShadow because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 11 2018 @ 12:47 AM
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originally posted by: Sookiechacha
a reply to: Sly1one


My point is that "evidence" is always apparent for the believer but rejected by the non-believer. Atheism is a rejection of a claim of god, as in "I reject the concept of the biblical god(s)". An atheist can only reject concepts that are presented for their consideration.




But that is the whole point - you can prove to yourself (subjective) that a 'god' or 'gods' exist but no other person can reproduce and experience YOUR subjective proof.

If something cannot be reproduced by others using the practice you used, then it is not proof. I may 'believe' you experienced something that sufficiently 'proved' the existence of a god to you and wish you well but I will never consider it proof for me or others.

Belief is often a kind of group-think, 'acting-as-if' to be accepted into a group. But that is an entirely different matter then offering reproducible, by anyone with the skill, objective truth.

If it works for you great and I am happy to listen to your 'wisdom' but please don't insist that you have objective proof of a supreme creator being.

Buddhism is popular because it requires no belief it just offers 'experiments' for one to try whereby you can experience whatever it is you experience. It's relationship with 'gods' and 'saints' and other 'holy beings' is archetypal not literal.



posted on Apr, 14 2018 @ 02:39 PM
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originally posted by: Prezbo369
Atheism is the lack of beleif, the rejection of the claim that god/s exist and the rejection of a claim is not itself a claim. /thread

And that's the misleading cop-out why...

Regarding the phrases at 0:20:

The Manipulation of Information: Awake!—2000

“By clever and persevering use of propaganda even heaven can be represented as hell to the people, and conversely the most wretched life as paradise.”—ADOLF HITLER, MEIN KAMPF.
...
Slogans are vague statements that are typically used to express positions or goals. Because of their vagueness, they are easy to agree with.
...But do most people carefully analyze the real issues involved ...? Or do they just accept what they are told?

edit on 14-4-2018 by whereislogic because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 15 2018 @ 01:53 AM
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a reply to: FyreByrd




If it works for you great and I am happy to listen to your 'wisdom' but please don't insist that you have objective proof of a supreme creator being.


You have completely misunderstood my posts. I'm not a "god believer". I'm pretty much an atheist.

But I can maneuver around religious convos by accepting the definition of god as being the sum total of EVERYTHING EVER and everything that ever was and is to be, everything that wasn't, isn't and won't be...like aborted babies, dreams, hopes and possibilities. Did I leave anything out?

It's a civil definition that seems to work well enough to keep me out of religious family fights!



posted on Apr, 15 2018 @ 03:22 AM
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originally posted by: seeker1963

You are claiming you are Athiest because you believe there is no evidence that God exists. My response to you was sure there is no evidence however ...

A little more regarding the phrase "there is no evidence for God" (or variations of that statement and claim, and variatians of phrasing it so one is merely sharing one's opinion/belief regarding the subject and not stating it as if it was so, as if it's a fact, as seeker did above). Pardon the language every so now and often (nothing too interesting beyond 6:38):

Since the video above is a follow-up on the video below, there are some things that are repeated above but I wanted to draw people's attention to what's mentioned at 1:22 which isn't mentioned above (nothing too interesting beyond 1:58):

"Evidence" and "proof" are synonyms btw, for the ones who've played that card already in this thread. These 2 are popular routines on the "Origins&Creationism" forum as well (related to that phrase "there is no evidence for God"):


And coming back to the phrase Prezbo used earlier (take special note of and sarcasm alert for 1:11, 1:37 and 1:54):

Atheism is the lack of beleif, the rejection of the claim that god/s exist...


edit on 15-4-2018 by whereislogic because: (no reason given)




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