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Frank Merton

Is Buddhism a philosophy or a religion?

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You probably know more about the Copenhagen interpretation than I do, and I do not intend to assert that this is evidence of the truth of any aspect of Buddhist teaching.

I don't think, though, that Bohr's view is the last word. He was almost desperate to stop mystical and other airy emanations that the interpretation seems to invite, and his words are unconvincing. Most physicists of my acquaintance avoid the issue, or take a wait-and-see position, and don't look for ways to reject the outre conclusions that are possible.

And, you know, there is always the "alternative universes" interpretation waiting in the wings.

I think you're talking about the "consciousness causes collapse" Interpretation though.

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The collapse happens when we make the observation or measurement. Is that right? Now it may be an illusion -- the dual state remains because it isn't really a dual state but just some state we can't deal with in our minds -- and we infer a collapse.

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Posted (edited)

The collapse happens when we make the observation or measurement. Is that right? Now it may be an illusion -- the dual state remains because it isn't really a dual state but just some state we can't deal with in our minds -- and we infer a collapse.

A few interpretations use the terms interchangeably when not refering to conscious observation.

Even Einstein used the term "observer" in his theories of relativity when any recording device would suffice.

In this experiment the "observer" is a device

http://www.scienceda...80227055013.htm

"To demonstrate this, Weizmann Institute researchers built a tiny device measuring less than one micron in size, which had a barrier with two openings. They then sent a current of electrons towards the barrier. The "observer" in this experiment wasn't human. Institute scientists used for this purpose a tiny but sophisticated electronic detector that can spot passing electrons. The quantum "observer's" capacity to detect electrons could be altered by changing its electrical conductivity, or the strength of the current passing through it."

Edited by Rlyeh

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Posted (edited)

What about the oracles? Are they not possessed by "gods"?

Edited by awest

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"

The studies that exist on Tibetan oracles show the tradition to be quite diverse and heterogeneous; however, there are some basic universal elements indicative of an oracle cult. There are a number of Tibetan words that refer to oracles: kuten (sku rten), "bodily receptacle;" lhabap (lha ‘bab), "god descent;" and lhaka (lha bka’), "god speech." These terms are descriptive enough in their capacity as titles, yet a number of other terms exist with varying levels of popular use and carrying greater cultural significance. Pawo (dpa’ bo)153 and pamo (dpa’ mo), "hero" and "heroine" respectively, focus more on the heroic qualities of these figures. Hildegard Diemberger argues that this title ties oracles to the epic bard traditions of Tibet and also draws attention to the dangerous experiences that are commonly found in the life narratives of oracles."

Seems that they do indeed believe in gods, at least in some form or fashion. Even the Dalai Lama consults the Oracles

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Posted (edited)

Buddhism is an anti-religion dressed up as a religion. it assumes the religious forms of the culture it enters and then subverts them to undermine the principles of that cultures indigenous religion. Ultimately religion becomes meaningless if you achieve the central goal of the quest.

There is no God of Buddhism.

Br Cornelius

Edited by Br Cornelius

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Tibetan Buddhism and its close relative in Mongolia are the end product of a long history of relatively isolated development, and markedly different from other Buddhists.

Other than that I am not qualified to talk about them.

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Posted (edited)

Buddhism is an anti-religion dressed up as a religion. it assumes the religious forms of the culture it enters and then subverts them to undermine the principles of that cultures indigenous religion. Ultimately religion becomes meaningless if you achieve the central goal of the quest.

There is no God of Buddhism.

Br Cornelius

Although you speak in a hostile manner, there is something very true in what you say, although I would deny that this truth -- the assimilation that Buddhism encourages -- is in any way intended or planned. Buddhism always allows the locals to practice whatever traditions they want, and works hard to find ways to make it succeed. This stems I think from the view that all religious impulses are good and enlightening at heart.

The basic Buddhist teaching, that the objective of life is to end the trap of Samsara, and that the Buddhist life is a way (almost certainly not the only way) to do this, is not left behind. The interpretation of the local culture as to what happens when the trap is escaped is probably just as valid as any other interpretation, since it is not something we can really imagine.I'm not sure what your intent is in saying ultimately it renders religion meaningless. I don't think this has been the experience of any culture where Buddhism is important.

Edited by Frank Merton

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I view buddism as more of a religion. It is full of supernatural beliefs. Fist it isn't true that buddism is athiest or agnostic about God. It gives one the choice of believing in God or not and i think one will find many a buddist do belive in God

Also buddism came out of hinduism mush like chistian faith came from jewish faith. There are many supernatural stories about budha himselve such as he spoke the day he was born, he snuck out of his palace carried by angels, and he meditated for seven years eating nothing but a grain of rice a day. Not to mention the belief in reincarnation and Nirvana,

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Well the whole not eating anything while meditating for a week isn't really all that far fetched. The man in this article was under scientific observation for two weeks without eating or drinking anything(that they saw, he might have been using slight of hand but he is 82, so I would like to think he wasn't so sneaky that he could sneak food and drink with "magic").

"In a country remarkable for tales powerful deities and exotic mystics, an 82-year-old man who claims he can survive without food or drink has baffled doctors who studied him and did not see him eat or drink anything for more than two weeks."

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/International/man-eat-drink/story?id=10787036

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This stunt is coming out of India and is almost certainly Hindu, not Buddhist. I am not aware of Buddhists attempting things like this, at least in recent history.

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Although you speak in a hostile manner, there is something very true in what you say, although I would deny that this truth -- the assimilation that Buddhism encourages -- is in any way intended or planned. Buddhism always allows the locals to practice whatever traditions they want, and works hard to find ways to make it succeed. This stems I think from the view that all religious impulses are good and enlightening at heart.

The basic Buddhist teaching, that the objective of life is to end the trap of Samsara, and that the Buddhist life is a way (almost certainly not the only way) to do this, is not left behind. The interpretation of the local culture as to what happens when the trap is escaped is probably just as valid as any other interpretation, since it is not something we can really imagine.I'm not sure what your intent is in saying ultimately it renders religion meaningless. I don't think this has been the experience of any culture where Buddhism is important.

There was no hostility intended - purely factual statements who's bluntness maybe offended.

Ultimately if enlightenment is reached I think it is inevitable that the religion as traditionally defined ceases to have any meaning. It may not be openly stated as such but it is the end point of accepting that ultimately everything is part of a vast limitless nothingness which condenses into forms which are an illusion within that nothingness. Purpose and meaning are the ultimate illusions revealed by Buddhism. Its not very prudent to announce that at the outset.

Br Cornelius

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There was no hostility intended - purely factual statements who's bluntness maybe offended.

Ultimately if enlightenment is reached I think it is inevitable that the religion as traditionally defined ceases to have any meaning. It may not be openly stated as such but it is the end point of accepting that ultimately everything is part of a vast limitless nothingness which condenses into forms which are an illusion within that nothingness. Purpose and meaning are the ultimate illusions revealed by Buddhism. Its not very prudent to announce that at the outset.

Br Cornelius

Well, I guess it wouldn't be prudent to announce such a thing, but prudence has little to do with truth. Whatever the universe is is what it is.The reason Buddhism doesn't announce what you say is that it is probably not really the case, but we don't know. The teaching is that such things are speculation, unhelpful to us in our present situation. Right now the point is to live our lives in harmony with what is around us, employing wisdom and compassion. Fussing about the ultimate nature of things and what happens ultimately is a waste of effort needed for more immediate problems.

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Using the dictionary definition, it would appear that Buddhism is indeed a religion.

Good find. Although we dont need definitions. We can use logic. And since logic is one of the brench of philosophy, I wonder where is logic in "previous life" idea?

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It's a way of life based on a philosophy. There's no God or Devil or a preist you have to confess your sins to in order to gain forgiveness. It's you being responsible for you and your own actions and working on creating peace within yourself so you can be a good person and achieve true happiness in life. It's all about working on you and making you a better person.

Lilith you got it all wrong. You are cherry picking. On purpose or not you left BIG part which clearly explain why its religion.

You compare it to Abraham religion as those are only religion that exists.

As I said earlier when you find me temple of Sartre then we can talk about OP question.

Go on goolge and wrote Buddhism temples. Then search for definition of word temple.

Those are not philosophy schools. Those are temples. Ofcourse there is philosophy in Buddhism but also many, many beliefs.

Darn, I wish I can be , for example, Schopenhauer monk.

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Good find. Although we dont need definitions. We can use logic. And since logic is one of the brench of philosophy, I wonder where is logic in "previous life" idea?

An account of experience. Its one of the primary tests of the Dhala Lama that they can recognise aspects of their past incarnations. If its assumed to be true then to deny past lifes would be illogical.

Br Cornelius

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Edit: I found Buddhism to be very dangerous religion.

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Cornelius

tell me... do I need to give counter argument at all?

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Lilith you got it all wrong. You are cherry picking. On purpose or not you left BIG part which clearly explain why its religion.

You compare it to Abraham religion as those are only religion that exists.

As I said earlier when you find me temple of Sartre then we can talk about OP question.

Go on goolge and wrote Buddhism temples. Then search for definition of word temple.

Those are not philosophy schools. Those are temples. Ofcourse there is philosophy in Buddhism but also many, many beliefs.

Darn, I wish I can be , for example, Schopenhauer monk.

The fact that there are many beliefs which go by the name of Buddhism doesn't mean they are true to what the Buddha taught. As I said this is a convenient arrangement for getting the purpose of Buddhism in through the back door.

Br Cornelius

Edit: I found Buddhism to be very dangerous religion.

I am interested to know why you would think that ?

Br Cornelius

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I think maybe the notion that we have had previous lives came from people watching how a baby (or even something like a kitten for that matter) develops. It obviously has personality characteristics derived from the parents, but things happen that fall outside that. Each child becomes, from almost the beginning, a little person with its own view and reactions that parents and other observers are astonished.

Also, people, like myself, who have grown up with the notion, tend to look at certain things that happen as indicators of previous life events -- feeling familiar with unfamiliar things, odd dreams that involve utter strangers, and so on. Of course others -- I am experienced with this -- interpret these things in other quite reasonable ways.

I think the previous-life channeling and hypnosis and so on is pretty much show business. There is also a considerable amount of activity, especially in Sri Lanka, investigating claims of children who are said to have very specific memories. I am of two minds what to think of these things. Obviously the families involved get attention and other benefits, and the investigations are not unlike investigations of outre phenomena elsewhere, which renders them essentially useless.

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Posted (edited)

The fact that there are many beliefs which go by the name of Buddhism doesn't mean they are true to what the Buddha taught. As I said this is a convenient arrangement for getting the purpose of Buddhism in through the back door.

Br Cornelius

I am interested to know why you would think that ?

Br Cornelius

Because with Buddhism there is no progress. And with no progress we are rotting. Following by collapse. Buddhists are too passive. Its not in human nature.

Btw, as I remember Buddha have visions of previous lifes. Go to your doctor and say that you have seen your previous life...I guess you know with what diagnosis you will leave building or maybe you wouldnt. That tells enough about Buddha himself.

Whole idea of Karma is good but story behind it is bunch of BS.

Edited by the L

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Lilith you got it all wrong. You are cherry picking. On purpose or not you left BIG part which clearly explain why its religion.

You compare it to Abraham religion as those are only religion that exists.

I think Lilith got it about right. Cherry picking is one way to describe being succinct. I enjoy going to temple. It is both aesthetically and religiously pleasing, but there is no rule that I have to go, and many don't.

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I think Lilith got it about right. Cherry picking is one way to describe being succinct. I enjoy going to temple. It is both aesthetically and religiously pleasing, but there is no rule that I have to go, and many don't.

That say many so called Christhians. Which in fact they are not.

Lilith got it all wrong.

And perhaps you too.

Thing that you dont go to temple doesnt change fact that you believe that in next life you can be bird, mole or platypus. Or perhaps that you was an Angel once.

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Because with Buddhism there is no progress. And with no progress we are rotting. Following by collapse. Buddhists are too passive. Its not in human nature.

Btw, as I remember Buddha have visions of previous lifes. Go to your doctor and say that you have seen your previous life...I guess you know with what diagnosis you will leave building or maybe you wouldnt. That tells enough about Buddha himself.

Whole idea of Karma is good but story behind it is bunch of BS.

Yes, this has tended to be a problem -- the monks sit around discussing things and meditating. Meditation is good and developing skill at it is useful. So is skill on the keyboard or driving a car.The temple stays out of politics and does not even try to alter public behavior except by example and now occasionally by exhortation. This is basic and won't change much. So as a religion or philosophy or whatever it will probably evolve into a charitable do-good society. In the meantimes the countries where Buddhism predominates go their own way.

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Because with Buddhism there is no progress. And with no progress we are rotting. Following by collapse. Buddhists are too passive. Its not in human nature.

Btw, as I remember Buddha have visions of previous lifes. Go to your doctor and say that you have seen your previous life...I guess you know with what diagnosis you will leave building or maybe you wouldnt. That tells enough about Buddha himself.

Whole idea of Karma is good but story behind it is bunch of BS.

In many things I would have to disagree.

If the verification process of the Lamas is honest and truthful then it becomes self evident proof of reincarnation. I have no memory of past lives so I remain agnostic about the possibility - but I certainly find it less objectionable than the concept of heaven.

Progress is a value based thing which is ultimately subjective. We cannot assume that there is such a thing as progress and for many people the desire for progress can become counterproductive and get in the way of living life in the moment to its fullest. The real judge of Buddhism is the quality it brings to peoples lives - and ultimately I don't find anything objectionable about not getting caught up in grand ideas of progress and the material trappings that generally come with it. The pursuit of contentment in the hear and now seems a very admirable ambition.

In the grand scheme of things Buddhism is a philosophy I can live with more than any other religion (apart from the very tangible shamanism which answers many spiritual questions).

The only quality I dislike is the denial of the validity of the material now, but I am not entirely certain that that isn't just a misinterpretation of what it teaches.

Br Cornelius

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