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Can you believe in God

Can one believe in God and still practice Buddhism? I am having problems believing their is no higher force in the Universe. I find it hard to believe all the plants and all the different animals were created by luck, by evolution. There are just to many well adapted species. I would like to hear some thoughts on this.

Shoshin
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Comments

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Well, if evolution is doing it’s job properly, there will be a vast majority of well-adapted species. It’s not just luck, it’s a process of gradual improvement in all sorts of directions. I’m quite a fan of the theory of evolution, I have to say.

    Hozan
  • HozanHozan Veteran

    @Darren351 said:
    Can one believe in God and still practice Buddhism? I am having problems believing their is no higher force in the Universe. I find it hard to believe all the plants and all the different animals were created by luck, by evolution. There are just to many well adapted species. I would like to hear some thoughts on this.

    The evidence for evoution is compelling and scientific and far outweighs the idea of a creationist god, for which there is no evidence. I am an atheist/agnostic and a buddhist without any problem. I suspect you can be a theist and a buddhist just as easily. Just dont take it all too seriously.

    BunksBuddhadragonrocala
  • VimalajātiVimalajāti Whitby, Ontario Veteran
    edited November 29

    Mañjuśrībodhisattva spoke to the Buddha, saying, “Bhagavān. We all have, from the distant past, listened to the Tathāgata’s preaching of the Dharma. From which Buddha did the Tathāgata hear this preaching of the Dharma sounds?”

    The Buddha spoke to Mañjuśrī, saying, “I received the preaching of Mahāvairocanabuddha after passing through the forty-one levels to enter the great inner chamber.”

    Mañjuśrībodhisattva again spoke to the Buddha saying, “Who is within the inner chamber of the forty-one levels?”

    The Bhagavān again said, “After passing through the ten stages of abodes, the ten stages of practice, the ten stages of merit-transference, ten bodhisattva stages bhumi, the stage of becoming comparable to enlightenment and entering the inner chamber, I received the preaching of the Dharma by Mahāvairocana, who is at the stage of wonderful enlightenment.”

    Mañjuśrībodhisattva again spoke to the Buddha, saying, “From what Buddha did Mahāvairocana on the state of wonderful enlightenment receive the preaching of the Dharma?”

    The Bhagavān replied, “Mahāvairocanabuddha on the stage of wonderful enlightenment received the preaching of the Dharma from the beginningless and endless original Buddha who is of one mind and one thought.”

    Mañjuśrībodhisattva again spoke to the Buddha saying, “From what Buddha did the beginningless and endless original Buddha who is of one mind and one thought receive the preaching of the Dharma?”

    The Bhagavān again said, “The beginningless and endless original Buddha who is of one mind and one thought received the preaching of the Dharma from the original Buddha of no mind and no thought.”

    Mañjuśrī again spoke to the Buddha, saying, “From what Buddha did the original Buddha of no mind and no thought receive the preaching of the Dharma?”

    The Bhagavān again said, “There is no Buddha above and beyond the original Buddha of no mind and no thought. There is no Buddha below and no Buddha after no mind and no thought. The original Buddha is in essence beyond conceptual understanding. From the beginning he does not go nor come, does not have the nature of the threefold body, does not have the nature of the ten destinies.

    Mañjuśrī again spoke to the Buddha, saying, “If above and beyond the original Buddha of no mind and no thought there is no nature of the threefold body and the ten destinies, from what basis do the threefold body and ten destinies arise?”

    The Bhagavān again said, “The original Buddha of no mind and no thought is by nature beyond conceptual understanding. Both the conceptually understood natures of the threefold body and sentient beings in the ten destinies, and the nature of that which is without a nature, arise from the nature that is beyond conceptual understanding.”

    Mañjuśrī again spoke to the Buddha, saying, “If this is so, then is there no Buddha who teaches at the beginning?”

    The Bhagavān again said, “There is nothing that teaches or receives above and beyond the original Buddha of no mind and no thought. Moreover, this is a single Buddha, and there are not two Buddhas. You all should shut your eyes and contemplate the original Buddha that is without beginning and without end.”

    Mañjuśrī spoke to the Buddha, saying, “That which the Bhagavān preaches is exceedingly profound. It is true yet beyond our power to comprehend. It is good; it is good. I gladly preach this sutra.”

    At that time Bhiṣmagarjītasevararājanāmatathāgata spoke to Mañjuśrī, the prince of the Dharma, saying, “Well done, prince of the Dharma. You have questioned the Tathāgata in such a way that it is cause for a great event. Now, listen carefully; listen carefully. Reflect well on these things.”

    The Buddha, after preaching this sutra, sat in the lotus position and entered the concentration that is wonderful and supreme. At that time, Mañjuśrī, prince of the Dharma, and everyone in the assembly of eighty-four thousand monks, all entered the samādhi through the power of the Buddha.

    The following events were seen.

    The Buddha, from within his state of concentration, emitted a great circle of light from his own face, illuminating with insight Mañjuśrī and the eighty-four thousand monks. A sword of wisdom appeared from the top of Mañjuśrī’s head, and from his side emerged a golden-haired lion. The Tathāgata’s ray of light extended everywhere, and the colour of his body was like that of gold.

    Mañjuśrī spoke to the Buddha, saying, “Bhagavān. We have attained unprecedented insight. Our hearts greatly rejoice.”

    The Tathāgata again preached in a verse, saying,

    The supreme path of all Buddhas
    Has the marks of perfect light and eternal abiding.
    Those who enter meditative concentration together with the Buddha
    In the same way realize bodhicitta.

    When the Buddha finished preaching these verses, the great monks in the assembly at once stood up, bowed, and went on their way.

    (Nihon Daizōkyō Hensankai, Shugendō shōso 1, bussetsu sanjin juryōmuhen kyō, Sutra on the Unlimited Life of the Threefold Body)

    The Buddha of No Thought and No Mind is the dharmadhātu. Dharmadhātu is a word. God is a word. If the dharmadhātu is God, then the Buddha of No Thought and No Mind is God.

    Where do you find the Buddha of No Thought and No Mind? In any dharma.

    paulyso
  • CarlitaCarlita Bastian please! Save us! United States Veteran

    @Darren351 said:
    Can one believe in God and still practice Buddhism? I am having problems believing their is no higher force in the Universe. I find it hard to believe all the plants and all the different animals were created by luck, by evolution. There are just to many well adapted species. I would like to hear some thoughts on this.

    These are questions I would ask.

    Do you believe god, evolution, and a higher force brings you to enlightenment?
    Is it detrimental to your practice of The Dhamma?
    Is god or higher force the source of your Practice?

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Darren351 said:
    Can one believe in God and still practice Buddhism? I am having problems believing their is no higher force in the Universe.

    I am of the opinion that:
    You can practise a Theistic religion fully, AND incorporate Buddhist practice as much as you want.

    You CANNOT practise Buddhism fully, and incorporate a Theistic religion as a fundamental and significant part of that practice.

    The Buddha would not be drawn on whether God, as a single, omnipotent omniscient all-powerful creator-Deity, exists. Because such a notion is entire conjecture.
    You can believe it if you want, but there is no proof, only Faith (in the guise of Hope).

    The Buddha's teachings fully stand any amount of scrutiny, and can be examined and tested, (although re-birth might be questionable to some; it depends upon interpretation...)
    And living according to the Buddha's teachings is a matter of Faith, as in 'Confidence in'.

    Thus have I found. YMMV.

    I find it hard to believe all the plants and all the different animals were created by luck, by evolution. There are just to many well adapted species.

    There is no such thing as 'luck' in Evolution.
    Luck has nothing to do with it. It has taken millions of years to get where we are today. Evolution takes time.
    That's why it has taken millions of years for species to evolve, adapt, change, and become at one with their surroundings. Bear in mind that the combined land-mass of the Earth was once one big place, which - over thousands and thousands of years - due to tectonic plates shifting, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and water displacement - all separated into the different continents we know today.

    Species adapted to the new environmental conditions they found themselves confined to.
    Asian and African elephants live on different continents, yet are members of the same species.
    They have adapted to their environments. Asian elephants have smaller ears because the climate is different to that of Africa.

    I would like to hear some thoughts on this.

    Not something I subscribe to at all. And I was a devout Roman Catholic for over 35 years or so.

    KundopersonBuddhadragon
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited December 2

    @Darren351 said:
    Can one believe in God and still practice Buddhism? I am having problems believing their is no higher force in the Universe. I find it hard to believe all the plants and all the different animals were created by luck, by evolution. There are just to many well adapted species. I would like to hear some thoughts on this.

    The short answer is yes. Here's my answer to a similar question if you're interested. The reply following that is also relevant.

  • @Darren351 Is your question if you would be accepted in a Sangha? Would they not want you as a part of them if you also believe in God? I would say no. I have met people in Sanghas who believe in God. One Christian I recall found the Bodhisattva idea quite inspiring. That being (Bodhisattva) to save all beings from suffering. This might not apply to all Sanghas (accepting) rather might only apply to my experience.

    @Darren351 Another question: are you talking about the God of the Bible? Or just a higher power personal spiritual feeling? On that I am just curious to know as I always found the God of the bible did not seem right to me like very capricious turning people into salt and other things that made no sense to me.

    lobsterKerome
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited November 29

    @Jason said:

    @Darren351 said:
    Can one believe in God and still practice Buddhism? I am having problems believing their is no higher force in the Universe. I find it hard to believe all the plants and all the different animals were created by luck, by evolution. There are just to many well adapted species. I would like to hear some thoughts on this.

    Here's my answer to a similar question if you're interested. The reply following that is also relevant.

    @Darren351, It's a good thread to read in its entirety, and another member therein (@Hozan) further gives a link, (further down from @Jason's post) to yet ANOTHER thread on this forum, discussing the same topic.
    Safe to say the subject has been covered on this forum more than once....

  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran

    The short answer is yes. However, be prepared to cop some shit from other Buddhists if you admit it
    🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

    Bunks
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran

    There was an Episcopalian minister who attended teachings I went to for a while, he seemed to manage it. In general Buddhism doesn't ask you to accept a set of beliefs when you sign up (have you signed up yet and sent for your decoder ring and tinfoil hat?), so you can come with whatever worldview you have and find much of benefit in the practice. Over time, after contemplating the teachings and worldview's promoted, no matter where you originally come from, your views will inevitably be challenged. I'm of the opinion that it is good and healthy to repeatedly reexamine and challenge your views, but its not for everyone. So you can believe in God and practice Buddhism, but you may encounter ideas that will cause you to question and perhaps change or modify your views.

    lobsterBunks
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited November 30

    Can one believe in God and still practice Buddhism?

    Hello <3

    You can believe in the flying speghetti monster if that floats your noodle ...
    https://www.venganza.org/about/

    However you can practice with or with out god or gods as @Vimalajāti mentions

    Meanwhile you can educate yourself on the evidence for devolution into fake thinking Trumpworld if you so wish ... Though that is not required ... Finding out how evolution works may be more rewarding than belief ... scientific evidence based evolution is about adaptation, not a progressive march toward perfection ...

    Here is one from earlier ...
    http://newbuddhist.com/discussion/16333/opinions-on-evolution

    personBuddhadragon
  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran
    edited November 30

    @person said:
    I'm of the opinion that it is good and healthy to repeatedly reexamine and challenge your views, but its not for everyone. So you can believe in God and practice Buddhism, but you may encounter ideas that will cause you to question and perhaps change or modify your views.

    I agree. I'm Jewish and when I decided to take Buddhism seriously and make it my main practice, I was tortured with thoughts like yours @Darren351 . I found it helpful to put my views on G-d aside and focus on the teachings when reading dharma/meditating etc. And it really helped. After all, even the Buddha didn't give a definitive answer (see the Parable of the Poisoned Arrow - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_Poisoned_Arrow). I still don't know how a belief in G-d will help with the Dharma teachings, but I do firmly believe the Dharma teachings have helped me become a better Jew.

    This is just my 0.02
    _ /\ _

    personlobster
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @Darren351 said:
    Can one believe in God and still practice Buddhism? I am having problems believing their is no higher force in the Universe. I find it hard to believe all the plants and all the different animals were created by luck, by evolution. There are just to many well adapted species. I would like to hear some thoughts on this.

    You can believe in whatever you want to believe in @Darren351 and still practice Buddhism...

    However as you delve deeper into the Dharma, and Spring clean the mind through meditation some strongly held beliefs may start to crumble before your "I"s oops eyes, as experiential understanding opens up the mind to new truths...

    And you may start to see this "God" in a different light...in other words not the kind of god that your mind has previously been 'conditioned' ( more often than not by a god-centric society) to portray...

    As for this self well.... I'm an atheist till the day I die :)........then I might be open to offers ;) :)

    HozanBuddhadragon
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran
    edited November 30

    Some things like reincarnation, the deeper meanings of impermanence and dependent origination are harder to reconcile with the idea of a creator god who steers the world. But certainly a lot of the base concepts of what Jesus spoke about and Buddhism can be brought together, as Thich Nhat Hanh’s Book Living Buddha, living Christ attempts to do.

    It’s a question of what you feel is important in your belief of god, the word of Jesus or the word of the church. But certainly there are forms which are compatible, and which are mutually enriching and which I think you will find bring much completeness to religious belief.

    HozanKundoperson
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    @Darren351 said:
    Can one believe in God and still practice Buddhism? I am having problems believing their is no higher force in the Universe. I find it hard to believe

    Yes, practicing Buddhism is not a set of beliefs but a set of practices that you actually do. For example, keeping the precepts, doing meditation, being compassionate and generous, etc. Belief in a higher power doesn't interfere with any of that.

    Hozanpersonpaulysofederica
  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran
    edited November 30

    @Kerome said:
    But certainly a lot of the base concepts of what Jesus spoke about and Buddhism can be brought together, as Thich Nhat Hanh’s Book Living Buddha, living Christ attempts to do.

    Great book.

  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator

    @Kerome said:
    Some things like reincarnation, the deeper meanings of impermanence and dependent origination are harder to reconcile with the idea of a creator god who steers the world. But certainly a lot of the base concepts of what Jesus spoke about and Buddhism can be brought together, as Thich Nhat Hanh’s Book Living Buddha, living Christ attempts to do.

    It’s a question of what you feel is important in your belief of god, the word of Jesus or the word of the church. But certainly there are forms which are compatible, and which are mutually enriching and which I think you will find bring much completeness to religious belief.

    It's actually pretty easy if one realizes that Tao = Dhamma = logos = God. I tend to view these terms as giving expression to the same fundamental reality, hence my penchant for mixing Taosim, Buddhist, Stoicism, and Christian mysticism. Especially if one considers the possibility that consciousness is a fundamental property of the universe. Just one perspective, at any rate.

    rocala
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran

    @Jason said:

    @Kerome said:
    Some things like reincarnation, the deeper meanings of impermanence and dependent origination are harder to reconcile with the idea of a creator god who steers the world. But certainly a lot of the base concepts of what Jesus spoke about and Buddhism can be brought together, as Thich Nhat Hanh’s Book Living Buddha, living Christ attempts to do.

    It’s a question of what you feel is important in your belief of god, the word of Jesus or the word of the church. But certainly there are forms which are compatible, and which are mutually enriching and which I think you will find bring much completeness to religious belief.

    It's actually pretty easy if one realizes that Tao = Dhamma = logos = God. I tend to view these terms as giving expression to the same fundamental reality, hence my penchant for mixing Taosim, Buddhist, Stoicism, and Christian mysticism. Especially if one considers the possibility that consciousness is a fundamental property of the universe. Just one perspective, at any rate.

    We had a member for a while that was pretty informed on Eastern Orthodox Christianity and the way he explained their conception of God was very similar to the idea of the Dharmakaya or Tao.

    Have you looked into David Chalmers and Giulio Tononi and the current reemergence of the idea of panpsychism in philosophy and the science of consciousness?

  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator

    @person said:

    @Jason said:

    @Kerome said:
    Some things like reincarnation, the deeper meanings of impermanence and dependent origination are harder to reconcile with the idea of a creator god who steers the world. But certainly a lot of the base concepts of what Jesus spoke about and Buddhism can be brought together, as Thich Nhat Hanh’s Book Living Buddha, living Christ attempts to do.

    It’s a question of what you feel is important in your belief of god, the word of Jesus or the word of the church. But certainly there are forms which are compatible, and which are mutually enriching and which I think you will find bring much completeness to religious belief.

    It's actually pretty easy if one realizes that Tao = Dhamma = logos = God. I tend to view these terms as giving expression to the same fundamental reality, hence my penchant for mixing Taosim, Buddhist, Stoicism, and Christian mysticism. Especially if one considers the possibility that consciousness is a fundamental property of the universe. Just one perspective, at any rate.

    We had a member for a while that was pretty informed on Eastern Orthodox Christianity and the way he explained their conception of God was very similar to the idea of the Dharmakaya or Tao.

    Have you looked into David Chalmers and Giulio Tononi and the current reemergence of the idea of panpsychism in philosophy and the science of consciousness?

    You're probably referring to @Silouan. I miss them.

    I'm familiar with Chalmers, not Tononi, though.

  • Darren351Darren351 California New

    My question to you that believe in evolution so strongly is why has it stopped? The monkeys do not talk, they have evolved no further. Other animals have not changed in millions of years. Why do they not keep evolving? It is hard to believe everything comes from an ameba. I know the theory of evolution very well, there is just many leaps of faith in it itself. Find me a talking dog or a talking monkey and I will believe in evolution. Why would the fish vary so much when they live in the same environment? Plants can't grow without the first seed. No animal is born the first time, chicken before the egg theory? Just saying...

  • Darren351Darren351 California New

    Perhaps the theory that Noah's ark was a space ship landing makes more sense than the theory of evolution :awesome:

    Hozan
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran
    edited December 1

    Evolution is about adapting to the environment more than it is about improving to some higher state. So animals like sharks or alligators have changed hardly at all for millions of years because they are already perfectly adapted to their environmental niche.

    Also, evolution happens very gradually over very, very long periods of time. At no point does one species give birth to another species, a brown bear never produces a black bear. I was just listening to an interview with Michael Shermer, he gave the example of modern day lizards in the California area (I may not be perfectly representing what he said, but it's something like this) . As you move across large areas of land slowly the variations of a certain form of lizard change. Similar lizards from one area can interbreed with lizards of adjoining areas continuously, but as you get further and further away, at some point the lizards can no longer interbreed and are considered to be differing species, the same thing happens over time. And there are numerous examples of this type of speciation around the world.

    You're asking good questions, it seems like there is a lot about the science of evolution you haven't been exposed to yet. I would recommend watching episode two of Cosmos on evolution. It is available for free on Fox ( https://www.fox.com/watch/a05f6e5d6f60804f93abfcd27f520fe4/ ) or on Netflix and probably Hulu and Amazon Prime too to help clear some of this up.

    DavidBuddhadragon
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited December 1

    I think the whole "first cause" bit is a logistical nightmare in the bridging between the Abrahamic and Dharmic notions of a universal consciousness.

    Also, evolution stopped?

    You would probably need to understand what evolution actually implies before trying to say what is wrong with it.

    For example, if you think that one ape having a slight mutation, eventually leading to the beginnings of humanity means that all apes magically disappear, you may want to readjust your logic.

    Some belief systems really screw with critical thinking.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Darren351 said: ...My question to you that believe in evolution so strongly is why has it stopped?

    Who says it's stopped? it is estimated by an awful lot of scientists and people in the know, that over a period of time, humans will lose their little toes. Why? Because they're becoming redundant, because we don't walk barefoot as a continuous habit. We have already dispensed with most of our body hair, because of clothing.
    So Evolution is a slow, apparently unseen process, but there isn't anything to say, anywhere, that it has stopped.

    The monkeys do not talk, ...

    Why would monkeys talk? They don't need to, they already communicate with each other in extremely sophisticated and effective ways. And that's all they need to do. Communicate with one another.

    Besides, what makes you think that even being able to talk is a bonus? have you heard Trump lately...? ;)

    ... they have evolved no further.

    I beg to differ! Apes are adapting to using tools to make eating their food easier. They use rocks to open tough nuts. Who taught them? We didn't. They don't have YouTube to teach them how... It's something they have gradually learnt on their own, and the big apes are passing the know-how to their offspring... That's a sign of evolution...

    Other animals have not changed in millions of years.

    Not so. Whales began as animals the size of dogs. They were also originally land animals and had an ancestor common also to hippos. But they're not related...

    Also, you might like to check this out. To say that animals have 'evolved no further' is a grave mistake.

    Why do they not keep evolving? It is hard to believe everything comes from an ameba.

    When you consider that a human being starts off as one cell, which is then fertilised by a microscopic sperm, from another human being, and then divides, into two, then four, then eight, then sixteen, and so on.... when you think of how a human miracle grows and develops inside a
    human being, over a period of nearly a year, only (!) Why would it be so hard to believe that our origins were cellular? Besides, we didn't come from amoebas. Again, you need to improve your research, because you're making some pretty sweeping statements without apparently having studied certain facts and Theories. (You do know, don't you, that a scientific 'Theory' is an established and researched definitive finding that stands rigorous testing and remains as evidence, unless other research uncovers findings and evidence that make it incorrect, ... right?)

    I know the theory of evolution very well,

    No. I don't think you do.

    there is just many leaps of faith in it itself.

    No, that comes from someone who hasn't done enough research, because there is no such thing as a 'leap of faith' in scientific research, in order to establish Theory.

    Find me a talking dog or a talking monkey and I will believe in evolution.

    I'm sorry, but that's just about the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen anyone write on this forum. That really takes the biscuit. Which incidentally, evolved from cakes.

    Why would the fish vary so much when they live in the same environment?

    Because they don't. Saltwater fish live in seas, freshwater fish live in lakes and rivers. Saltwater fish can't survive in fresh water, and vice versa. Deep sea creatures die if brought up to surface conditions, if they are not in the habit of doing so.

    Plants can't grow without the first seed.

    Plants have evolved and changed to adapt to environments just as much as anything else. Of course, the majority of plants have been genetically changed to suit human environment and diet. Have you researched what the fruit and vegetables we eat today, used to look like originally?

    No animal is born the first time, chicken before the egg theory? Just saying...

    Yeah, mostly rubbish. Sorry, but I think this God and creationist idea is the one found wanting, not Evolution...
    Which is obviously where your preference lies. Fair enough.

    lobsterBuddhadragon
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @Darren351 said:
    Find me a talking dog or a talking monkey and I will believe in evolution.

    Meet Koko, a gorilla they taught sign language at a young age...

    It seems to me you have quite fixed opinions on this. I find the theory of creation as put forward by the church to be very difficult to believe, there is just no evidence for it while there is a ton of evidence for scientific approaches such as the age of the earth, dinosaur bones, genes, meteorite evidence on the creation of the solar system, plate tectonics and much more.

    Shoshin
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited December 1

    I found a book about stories told about genetics to be very interesting. I don't have a focus on biology or genetics in school and this book is intended to be entertaining for non-experts. It's called "The Violinists Thumb". It isn't really about proving evolution but evolution is kind of tangential to the stories it tells at times. Anyhow I found it eye opening and darned interesting. The same author wrote one about stories of the periodic table from chemistry called "The Disappearing Spoon" which was also excellent and chemistry IS my focus interest and background in science.

    Anyhow the Violinists Thumb might satisfy some curiosity and be a great read however NOT being a book arguing the merits or demerits (polemics) of the theory of evolution.

    Kerome
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Find me a talking monkey and I will believe in evolution

    "Darwinian Man, though well-behaved, At best is only a monkey shaved!"

    As one of many different species of ape, one could say we human apes swung down from a different branch of the tree...(so to speak :) )

    I'm curious ....

    Is this god omnipresent ?

    Is this god omnipotent ?

    Is this god omniscient ?

    Is it all of the above ?

    Is it none of the above ?

    Is it a watchmaker god ? (winds the universe up and leaves it at that)

    Does this god intervene in anyway, eg answer prayers ?

    Can you describe the type of god that you believe in @Darren351 ?
    for an example...
    Is your belief in the Deist camp ?
    Or
    leaning more towards the Theist camp ?

    Buddhadragon
  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    First of all, @Darren351, you may want to delve further in the subject of evolution because you do not seem to have a solid knowledge about it.

    It seems to me that you are not asking, but rather would like to be reassured of the existence of a god.
    The Buddha did not bother to answer the god question because he deemed our present existence to be more important than where we come from and where we're going to.
    Buddhadhamma is concerned with cessation of dukkha, and cessation of dukkha takes place in the present moment, through zeal and practice, whether a creator exists or not.

    If you think that evolution is imperfect, do you believe in intelligent design?
    In that case, my short answer is this:

    ShoshinrocalaHozan
  • FosdickFosdick in its eye are mirrored far off mountains Alaska, USA Veteran

    Why, for that matter, is it even possible to choke to death on one's food? A glaring design flaw, hardly worthy of an omnipotent and supposedly all wise creator.

    It has always puzzled me a little, though, why anyone should think that evolution and the god concept are mutually exclusive. How easy it would be to say that god creates the world and - lookie here - this is how it does the job. Why is some magic wand idea so much more palatable?

    Shoshin
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran

    @Fosdick said:
    Why, for that matter, is it even possible to choke to death on one's food? A glaring design flaw, hardly worthy of an omnipotent and supposedly all wise creator.

    It has always puzzled me a little, though, why anyone should think that evolution and the god concept are mutually exclusive. How easy it would be to say that god creates the world and - lookie here - this is how it does the job. Why is some magic wand idea so much more palatable?

    Yes, many theists simply say that God set the initial conditions for evolution to take place and that these processes are how creation works rather than God having a direct hand in everything that happens.

    Fosdick
  • HozanHozan Veteran

    god is a creation of the human mind. Homo sapiens invented god in the same way we invented coins, money, politics. I think the buddha was an atheist at heart but left the question unanswered so as not to alienate a significant number of people from benefitting from his teachings

    Buddhadragon
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited December 2

    @Darren351 in Buddhism we are quite critical of ignorance and ignorant thinking. As you may have noticed ... O.o

    However Buddhists and scientists are prone to non-critical thinking too. It leads to temporary silliness. However that is a discussion for another thread ...

    Indoctrination can have a strong hold on us. Our core beliefs may not be as certain as we have been bled [sic] to believe ...

    Most of us encourage insight, evidence and anti-silliness (one of my hobbies) :3

    <3 We may seem very strident in our answers but we mean you well. Are we trying to get blood out of a stone or are you certain you have right understanding? <3

    personHozan
  • FoibleFullFoibleFull Canada Veteran

    Of course you can believe in God.
    But understand that Buddhism focuses on what we directly experience. In fact, in many languages, there are different words for "I know ... because I saw it for myself firsthand" and "I know ... because someone told me or I read it somewhere".

    Buddhism is about what you know firsthand. And that means that questions about God, and even rebirth ... these are not really KNOWN. At least, not as far as I know.

    BuddhadragonKundoperson
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @Hozan said:
    god is a creation of the human mind. Homo sapiens invented god in the same way we invented coins, money, politics.

    I always consider mythology is a good way to think about this. Of all the mythologies created by all the tribes around the world, why should the one invented by the people of Israel have more truth than any other?

    But that is about god the creator, the White-robed man in the sky. Other forms of god, like an inner god you encounter, may still be valid, and the many words of Jesus still hold value whatever the historical reality of Jesus was.

  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    I think people who NEED or WANT to believe in a god do not start from the same line of reasoning as the Buddha did.

    People who need or want to believe in a god, are too concerned with figuring out what the Buddha called unskillful or unprofitable questions.
    I insist: the core of Buddhadhamma lies in the mindfulness of a present moment where we can practice towrds cessation of dukkha, while deist people are too concerned about a past and a future that do not shed any useful answers to improve the quality of one's present samsaric stint, aka this life.

    The Parable of the Arrow from the Majjhima Nikaya is the perfect example of this and what follows is Nyanatiloka Thero's resume, as presented in different suttas:

    "It is as if a man were pierced by a poisoned arrow and his
    friends, companions or near relations should send for a sur-
    geon; but that man should say: ‘I will not have this arrow
    pulled out, until I know, who the man is that has wounded
    me: whether he is a noble man, a priest, a tradesman, or a ser-
    vant’; or: ‘what his name is, and to what family he belongs’;
    or: ‘whether he is tall, or short, or of medium height’. Truly,
    such a man would die ere he could adequately learn all this.
    (Snp. 592) Therefore, the man who seeks his own welfare, should pull
    out this arrow—this arrow of lamentation, pain, and sorrow.
    (M. 63) For, whether the theory exists, or whether it does not exist,
    that the world is eternal, or temporal, or finite or infinite—yet
    certainly, there exists birth, there exists decay, there exist
    death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair, the
    extinction of which, attainable even in this present life, I make
    known unto you."

    So I think the most important questioning any person taking up the Buddhist path should ponder on is: do I want my arrow pulled by asking the right questions, that will lead to the right answers, or shall I squander my life ensnared in unprofitable questions that cannot be answered and keep me stuck in dukkha?

    Hozan
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @Kerome said:
    I always consider mythology is a good way to think about this. Of all the mythologies created by all the tribes around the world, why should the one invented by the people of Israel have more truth than any other?

    But that is about god the creator, the White-robed man in the sky. Other forms of god, like an inner god you encounter, may still be valid, and the many words of Jesus still hold value whatever the historical reality of Jesus was.

    In a way I dont feel we have given very forgiving answers here. In the spirit of compassion I wanted to add it’s very possible to combine certain Christian beliefs with the teaching of the Buddha, and that’s the basic truth.

    If you want to combine a belief in a creationist god with boeddhism, then you won’t be the first and I won’t give you a hard time about it.

    Kundo
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    It's not a question of 'forgiving'. If you look at the beginning of the thread, the question was answered, both honestly and in a compassionate and understanding way.
    In fact, you were the first to proffer a response.
    It was only when the OP began to contribute highly questionable opinions (as facts0 that a more controversial tone ensued.
    But his original question was amply answered.

    Nobody's going to give him 'a hard time about it'. But the complications that might exist have been covered.

  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    hmm...some thoughts.

    science and religion is not mutually exclusive.our buddhist practice allow both to be in the same space through the middle way ,or in zen--im guessing--non duel,but non dual.we recollect siddhartha admonition,clinging too strong of a belief may lead to mental dukkha.besides siddhartha suggest dont annoy people with strong beliefs.to add simularity to yeshua--same dharma advise--dont convert them to a son or daughter of hell--annoying other people.dont i know it,been there done that.live and learn.

    on another note,i believe in god and buddhism.my god may not be your god...and thats ok.

    federicaKundo
  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    HozanShoshinKerome
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited December 2

    Can you believe in 'a' God

    Simple answer @Darren351 ...If you really want to, then "Yes" ...It's entirely up to you...and whether this belief is compatible with Dharma practice...you will have to see for yourself ....

    BuddhadragonHozan
  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    I own I have an issue with the G-word.
    Maybe because I love Nietzsche's concept of the Übermensch, as presented in his work "Also sprach Zarathustra."

    For Nietzsche, the Superman is a Man who is so deeply grounded in his own inner strength, so strong in his self-assertiveness, that he does not need to rely on a god.

    I find that from all human attachments, the need to rely on the father figure of a god is probably the hardest to sever.

    For some reason, rather than working on their own salvation and assuming responsibility for their lives, some people simply need to give away the power over their own fates to an imaginary superbeing.

    I had yet to come across someone who found that the fairy tale of a god is easier to swallow than the proven scientific fact of evolution, though.

    Being free, absolutely free to be creators of our own lives, can be scary.
    But forever relying on the crutch of a father figure and persisting in a delusion is too high a price to pay for such little reward.
    The Buddha taught us that our own thinking ability can set us free.
    And we ourselves hold the key.
    Not some imaginary super deity.
    Why would I willingly trade in that liberating option?

    HozanShoshin
  • HozanHozan Veteran

    BuddhadragonpersonShoshin
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Moderator note:

    May I remind members that @Darren351 is not asking US whether we believe in God or not, and whether God exists or not.
    He merely enquired if it's ok to believe in God AND practise Buddhism.
    He then also introduced a further parallel discussion on Evolution.
    At no time was there any question to members as to where their beliefs lie, or whether a belief in God is a reasonable premise.

    No response necessary. (though that's never put members off before... image )

  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran
    edited December 2

    @federica said:

    Moderator note:

    May I remind members that @Darren351 is not asking US whether we believe in God or not, and whether God exists or not.
    He merely enquired if it's ok to believe in God AND practise Buddhism.
    He then also introduced a further parallel discussion on Evolution.
    At no time was there any question to members as to where their beliefs lie, or whether a belief in God is a reasonable premise.

    No response necessary. (though that's never put members off before... image )

    Sorry, Fede.
    In my case, I am sort of prodding the OP to examine his need to believe in a God.
    I am exchanging his "Can I believe in God?" for a "Why do you need to?"

    Maybe he could come up with some profitable answers...

    Hozan
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited December 3

    Or maybe we should just stick to topic....

    @federica said:

    Moderator note:

    ...
    No response necessary. (though that's never put members off before... image )

    QED....

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Buddhadragon said: Sorry, Fede.
    In my case, I am sort of prodding the OP to examine his need to believe in a God.

    That's not your place or privilege to do, that's for him to conclude for himself. That's not the issue here.

    I am exchanging his "Can I believe in God?" for a "Why do you need to?"

    No, you're prompting a discussion in a direction the OP didn't venture.

    Maybe he could come up with some profitable answers...

    Well... It would be nice if he answered at all. But again, that's HIS choice.

  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    I don't view examining our own beliefs through free interaction and exchange of ideas with other people in a forum as a special privilege I was conferring myself with, nor did I have the feeling that I was sidetracking the thread off-theme.
    I already expressed my point, anyway, so I'll move on to other threads.

    Hozan
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Buddhadragon said: I don't view examining our own beliefs through free interaction and exchange of ideas with other people in a forum as a special privilege I was conferring myself with...

    You weren't examining your own beliefs, you were challenging his.

    nor did I have the feeling that I was sidetracking the thread off-theme.

    You were.

    I already expressed my point, anyway, so I'll move on to other threads.

    Thank you.

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