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Do Buddhists believe in reincarnation and karma?

Do Buddhists believe in reincarnation and karma? Is this an important aspect of Buddhism?
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Comments

  • edited April 2010
    BuddhaOdin;98319 said:
    Do Buddhists believe in reincarnation and karma? Is this an important aspect of Buddhism?
    Can we also discus in this thread "Should women be allowed to vote?" and "Should Buddhists Jihad against the Vatican?"

    :P

    Only Joking!
  • edited April 2010
    If by reincarnate you mean "rebirth", then mostly yes. It is usually taken as either metaphorical or literal in nature.

    Karma/Kamma is a fundamental teaching. I'd suggest the sites http://www.BuddhaNet.net and http://www.AccessToInsight.org to familiarize yourself with the basics if you don't have 'em down yet.
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator
    edited April 2010
    MatSalted;98330 said:
    Can we also discus in this thread "Should women be allowed to vote?" and "Should Buddhists Jihad against the Vatican?"

    :P

    Only Joking!
    Well done Mat...Now that, is funny......

    The answers to both are 'yes probably, but not if it scares the horses'.....

    BuddhaOdin, I think you'd have to consider both the concept of re-birth, and Reincarnation from a Buddhist Tradition perspective. Tibetan Buddhists consider reincarnation a reality, but only for highly elevated Lamas (the most obvious example being HH the Dalai Lama) whereas for 'ordinary Buddhist Tibetan (and otherwise) mortals, rebirth will have to suffice. Other traditions ascribe to re-birth but not reincarnation.
    And even in Tibetan tradition, the reincarnated Lama (known as a Tulku) is not a direct carbon copy....

    Believing in Kamma is a different concept, because I personally know the term Karma is highly misunderstood, and misinterpreted by many people in the west who know little about it.
    The most common definition of Kamma, amongst the 'incognoscenti' is "What goes around comes around" which whilst containing a grain of truth, is over-simplified and inaccurate, per se....

    What do you think is meant by 'Karma'?
  • edited April 2010
    If by reincarnate you mean "rebirth", then mostly yes. It is usually taken as either metaphorical or literal in nature.
    What were the other possibilities? :lol:
  • DeshyDeshy Veteran
    edited April 2010
    Stephen;98331 said:
    If by reincarnate you mean "rebirth", then mostly yes. It is usually taken as either metaphorical or literal in nature.

    I used to strongly believe in rebirth until recently I read selected Buddhists texts and the suttas more closely. In fact, that belief is not relevant to Buddhist practice at all and worse still, the more you entertain the idea the more you embrace the very thing you are trying to eliminate: Ego Clinging
  • edited April 2010
    Deshy;98502 said:
    I used to strongly believe in rebirth until recently I read selected Buddhists texts and the suttas more closely. In fact, that belief is not relevant to Buddhist practice at all and worse still, the more you entertain the idea the more you embrace the very thing you are trying to eliminate: Ego Clinging

    Ego clinging = clinging to concept of self?
  • edited April 2010
    Deshy;98502 said:
    I used to strongly believe in rebirth until recently I read selected Buddhists texts and the suttas more closely. In fact, that belief is not relevant to Buddhist practice at all and worse still, the more you entertain the idea the more you embrace the very thing you are trying to eliminate: Ego Clinging
    I neither believe nor disbelieve, for disbelief is also a belief. It seems that people will accept certain texts where they support their beliefs, and ignore them when they don't; so any particular texts are worthless in a debate concerning beliefs. Belief in rebirth as truth without self-knowledge is wrong view; belief in rebirth as false (i.e., disbelief) without self-knowledge is wrong view. The only correct way to view rebirth is to understand its conceptual connotations on both the literal and metaphorical level and to "wait and see" for yourself. If you choose to reinforce a belief, one way or the other, you simply create a strong attachment that is difficult to abandon to progress down the path.

    "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence." is something to take to heart. If we do not believe, that does not mean we must disbelieve. We as Buddhists can take the middle way of neither belief nor disbelief, but few of us (that I know) have taken that route.

    This is why I agree with what someone said earlier... the Buddha would not have entertained such discussions. If you take away the texts, because they are after all just fallible human works and tradition (take the Bible for instance), the question of literal rebirth becomes neither provable nor disprovable. If we disbelieve merely because there is no evidence to support it, it becomes the same as disbelieving in God because there's no evidence; and if we remember, the question of God's existence and speculation thereto was ignored by the Buddha.
  • DeshyDeshy Veteran
    edited April 2010
    Stephen;98551 said:
    I neither believe nor disbelieve, for disbelief is also a belief. It seems that people will accept certain texts where they support their beliefs, and ignore them when they don't; so any particular texts are worthless in a debate concerning beliefs. Belief in rebirth as truth without self-knowledge is wrong view; belief in rebirth as false (i.e., disbelief) without self-knowledge is wrong view. The only correct way to view rebirth is to understand its conceptual connotations on both the literal and metaphorical level and to "wait and see" for yourself. If you choose to reinforce a belief, one way or the other, you simply create a strong attachment that is difficult to abandon to progress down the path.

    "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence." is something to take to heart. If we do not believe, that does not mean we must disbelieve. We as Buddhists can take the middle way of neither belief nor disbelief, but few of us (that I know) have taken that route.
    I think you are going on and on about whether or not belief in rebirth is good or disbelief is good. What I said was that it is not relevant.
    Stephen;98551 said:
    This is why I agree with what someone said earlier... the Buddha would not have entertained such discussions.
    He said it is a belief associated with clinging but entertains morality. It is not relevant to the path of freedom from dukkha
    Stephen;98551 said:
    ...the question of literal rebirth becomes neither provable nor disprovable. If we disbelieve merely because there is no evidence to support it, it becomes the same as disbelieving in God because there's no evidence....
    Not relevant to freedom from suffering but might be a good topic for debate :)
  • edited April 2010
    Deshy, what I was saying is the same thing you're saying, but about what you're not saying it about. :)

    I'm not saying that rebirth is necessary for practice (in my experience it isn't necessary, but helpful for some), but I am pointing out that an active disbelief in rebirth becomes an attachment, a fetter, as well. Some people seem to think that a belief in rebirth is bad without thinking, or considering, that the opposite view can be just as harmful. The concept of rebirth as it is taught is not harmful, and does help some people; it is our attachments, including disbelief, that can hold us back. True tranquility lies in neither belief nor disbelief, but correct conceptual understanding and dispassion.

    Either realization will ensue, or we simply will not know. Best to avoid the extremes of belief-for or belief-against, otherwise we end up in arguments that are only for self-gratification and support of our attachments. The wisest thing we can admit to ourselves is "I don't know", because this is the only true answer and any other is born of self.

    This is the very point I was trying to make, because your post clearly stated you went from strong belief straight to disbelief. This is what most of us do; we do not consider the middle way, which is the best of all available options given our limited information and inability to prove anything either way.

    The last thing we should do, IMHO, is use the texts as "proof" of anything. The teachings are meant to be a representation of reality, albeit on the imperfect conceptual level, and a guide to how we should come to the truth ourselves. We should not make up our minds based solely on the texts, but on direct experience. When we choose to believe or to disbelieve based on this text here, or that text there, without the element of direct experience to support it... we're not applying the Buddhist method. We wouldn't have proof of God's existence simply because the Bible says He exists; but at least as Buddhists we could concede it's possible that He exists and we can't know for sure. This is the same, and for our own religion and practice it's even more important that we "step back" and see what our beliefs are truly made of.

    Oops did I end that in a preposition? Can I do that? What *is* a preposition exactly? Am I going to get my hand slapped by the English teacher? Nevermind... ;)

    Also of note, it's easy to become entangled, hopelessly attached, to the texts. Several people I know practically quote the Pali Canon every time they have something to say, because they mistake knowing the words for having wisdom. Knowing the words is only the first step; true wisdom comes after correctly understanding the meaning of the teachings on the conceptual level, following the path rightly and then realizing the truth for one's self. This is why there are so many forms of Buddhism yet they can all lead to the same place with different texts as the basis for their practices (or even no written texts at all). It's not about the words.
  • FoibleFullFoibleFull Veteran
    edited April 2010
    Deshy;98502 said:
    I used to strongly believe in rebirth until recently I read selected Buddhists texts and the suttas more closely. In fact, that belief is not relevant to Buddhist practice at all and worse still, the more you entertain the idea the more you embrace the very thing you are trying to eliminate: Ego Clinging

    If one understands rebirth as the Tibetans teach it, it has the opposite effect ... namely, ego-releasing.

    FoibleFull ... body, mind, emotions, and that concept of identity and recognition ... all these remain behind. What continues is only the sum total of karma and habits.
  • DeshyDeshy Veteran
    edited April 2010
    Stephen;98713 said:
    The wisest thing we can admit to ourselves is "I don't know", because this is the only true answer and any other is born of self.

    I couldn't read the whole of your reply Stephen but I get what you are trying to say here; belief as well as disbelief without any solid proof is just "belief" and strong attachment to that view is unhealthy. No argument in that.

    I agree that we really don't know and I have said that before. We don't know and the Buddha never really explained it. There are references in the suttas that the Buddha taught rebirth for morality in those people who already believed in it. That is all. It is not relevant to the cessation of suffering whatsoever.

    No matter, some Buddhist teachers of this day and age talk about rebirth more than they talk about anything else thus people (at least those that I know) don't really focus on the path to freedom from Dhukka but on how to make their next life more prosperous. In doing so they cling more and more to the self view and the suffering continues.
  • edited April 2010
    It's been my experience that most, but not all, lay Buddhists who believe in rebirth are seeking to create good karma for a prosperous future rebirth rather than trying to reach full enlightenment (or else they'd abandon the worldly life and become monks). Most monks, on the other hand, are working toward that ultimate goal.

    Read the rest of my post when you get a chance; my entire message is found in the totality of the post rather than just the first two small paragraphs. It's especially important to be mindful of how we use and are affected by the textual teachings of any given Buddhist school. :)
  • DeshyDeshy Veteran
    edited April 2010
    Stephen;98727 said:
    It's been my experience that most, but not all, lay Buddhists who believe in rebirth are seeking to create good karma for a prosperous future rebirth rather than trying to reach full enlightenment (or else they'd abandon the worldly life and become monks). Most monks, on the other hand, are working toward that ultimate goal.
    Trust me, I have found monks who do the same and teach the same to their disciples. In fact almost all of the Dhamma talks I have attended to here in my country have focused on rebirth and karma and how to be born in a better place in the next life. They talk nothing of the cessation of suffering here and now
    Stephen;98727 said:

    It's especially important to be mindful of how we use and are affected by the textual teachings of any given Buddhist school. :)
    You really don't know anything till you personally experience it but it is fine to start with what is verifiable and proceed from there IMO
  • edited April 2010
    Deshy;98502 said:
    I used to strongly believe in rebirth until recently I read selected Buddhists texts and the suttas more closely. In fact, that belief is not relevant to Buddhist practice at all and worse still, the more you entertain the idea the more you embrace the very thing you are trying to eliminate: Ego Clinging
    A mere mind-stream is not an ego.
  • edited April 2010
    Deshy;98730 said:
    Trust me, I have found monks who do the same and teach the same to their disciples. In fact almost all of the Dhamma talks I have attended to here in my country have focused on rebirth and karma and how to be born in a better place in the next life. They talk nothing of the cessation of suffering here and now
    Aren't Dhamma talks meant to be lectures given to lay Buddhists, as in Buddhists who still live worldly lives and need information to help them live more skillfully? It would make sense that such talks might be of doing good deeds, etc.; of good karma, whether for this life or a future one. It isn't expected of lay Buddhists to reach toward enlightenment, because such a goal is difficult when immersed in the householder lifestyle. If a lay Buddhist becomes convinced that they want to abandon the worldly life to seek liberation, they would become a monk.

    Now, if monks were teaching other monks merely of good karma and rebirth, and not of the cessation of suffering, that would be a problem; but I highly doubt that within the monastic walls the monks are not doing everything they can to achieve the stages of enlightenment to end suffering in the here-and-now.

    Everything must be taken within its own context. The lay Buddhist lives a worldly life, remaining in that world of sense-pleasures and luxury by choice, and so as a general rule of thumb the monastic Sangha would not lecture lay Buddhists on the deeper meaning of the teachings, but on that which they can apply to their everyday lives. Following the precepts and acting out of compassion, doing meritous deeds, leads to happiness and well-being in this life. If it helps lay Buddhists to believe they are doing good for their future lives as well, that's great; it may even be true. ;)

    There is a lot of confusion; much which can be misleading. The truth is still there, awaiting us.
  • edited April 2010
    Consider what is reborn.
  • DeshyDeshy Veteran
    edited April 2010
    Stephen;98733 said:
    Aren't Dhamma talks meant to be lectures given to lay Buddhists, as in Buddhists who still live worldly lives and need information to help them live more skillfully? .
    That doesn't mean only monks should be taught of suffeirng and the cessation of suffering and the laypeople are better off with other moral teachings. I am a lay person who is more interested in the cessation of suffering here and now than where I will be born in my next life.
  • edited April 2010
    Stephen;98727 said:
    It's been my experience that most, but not all, lay Buddhists who believe in rebirth are seeking to create good karma for a prosperous future rebirth rather than trying to reach full enlightenment (or else they'd abandon the worldly life and become monks).
    Are you saying you believe the only way to reach full enlightenment is to abandon the worldly life and become a monk?
  • edited April 2010
    Deshy;98739 said:
    That doesn't mean only monks should be taught of suffeirng and the cessation of suffering and the laypeople are better off with other moral teachings. I am a lay person who is more interested in the cessation of suffering here and now than where I will be born in my next life.

    Why not try zen?
  • edited April 2010
    zendo;98743 said:
    Are you saying you believe the only way to reach full enlightenment is to abandon the worldly life and become a monk?
    I wasn't and I don't, no. ;) I was just pointing out that most lay Buddhists have a "limit" that they choose not to go beyond. Beyond that limit is renunciation of the householder life, at which point they wouldn't be lay Buddhists anymore. It's quite possible to reach full enlightenment without becoming a monk, but it's more difficult because of all the distractions and attachments; that's why the monastic Sangha exists - the conditions within the monastic lifestyle are tailored toward the goal.
  • edited April 2010
    Deshy: " That doesn't mean only monks should be taught of suffeirng and the cessation of suffering and the laypeople are better off with other moral teachings. I am a lay person who is more interested in the cessation of suffering here and now than where I will be born in my next life. "

    That's good Deshy! I'm with ya, but we must understand that people like you and I and probably a few on this forum are the exceptions to the rule, and the majority of lay Buddhists have less lofty goals than full enlightenment in this lifetime. The monks cater to the majority because really what else can they do? They're supposed to give help that is actually desired, and few desire the deeper teachings which would take them away from their "world"; those who do generally become monks. So lectures would generally be of good conduct, rather than the cessation of suffering; this is completely understandable, and I wouldn't expect otherwise. I'm sure there are exceptions at times.

    We are at the place in-between; on the threshold between laity and monasticism. Householder Buddhists that are looking for more. It's a tricky place to be. I can clearly see the path and know how I should proceed, but haven't detached myself from the householder life yet. At least I've come halfway. :)
  • edited April 2010
    From my understanding the goal of Buddhism is to become enlightened, and to become enlightened is to be free from suffering and cyclic existence, which is caused by karma (ignorance). This cyclic existence is "rebirth".
    zsc
  • FoibleFullFoibleFull Veteran
    edited April 2010
    My teacher does teach about karma and merit, but mostly as a reason for doing some of the rituals. He focuses primarily on the practices that he teaches.

    We know that aphorisms, used over time, do indeed create genuine changes in attitude and perspective. Because if we do something enough times, even if we don't believe it, our minds will try to lessen the cognitive dissonance by shifting our attitudes.

    The same principle is at work when we do prostrations, offerings, chanting, mantras, meditation, mindfulness ... in short, ALL the practices of Buddhism. So when I carry out these actions, I am aware that by performing them, I am shifting my attitudes, and that shift is from importance of me to importance of you-my-kind-mother, and from importance of mundane concerns to importance of Buddhism. And ... the shifts DO occur, albeit slowly.

    Do I get merit from these rituals? If I do, I won't turn it down ... but it really has no actual relevance to me in the here-and-now, which is all I REALLY have to work with.
  • aMattaMatt Veteran
    edited April 2010
    I find it good to have a healthy respect for the subjective lessons that are being given. I would call "a good next birth" to be a functional carrot to a deeply entrenched mind. The notion of future reward would certainly dissolve with more practice. No matter what the words are they are imperfect and only tools. If a mind only sees their life as the current life cycle, then it makes perfect sense. As they come to aptly know the seasons more directly, perhaps they could see rebirth happening infinitely in the moment? The archetype seems valid, even perfect.

    My teacher said to me often "The Buddha taught different things to different people" in helping me to remember not to cling exactly to the words spoken, but to look beyond them into the motions they create, the moon they describe.
  • edited April 2010
    You may not be able to wrap your mind around the next rebirth but there is always this moment and the next. What kind of simple rebirth do you want to have? Positive or negative.
  • DeshyDeshy Veteran
    edited April 2010
    Stephen;98747 said:


    That's good Deshy! I'm with ya, but we must understand that people like you and I and probably a few on this forum are the exceptions to the rule, and the majority of lay Buddhists have less lofty goals than full enlightenment in this lifetime. The monks cater to the majority because really what else can they do? They're supposed to give help that is actually desired, and few desire the deeper teachings which would take them away from their "world"; those who do generally become monks. So lectures would generally be of good conduct, rather than the cessation of suffering; this is completely understandable, and I wouldn't expect otherwise...
    What you are basically saying is, since a lot of people are attached to their "world" they would not be interested in Nibbana but would be better off with some moral teachings. The reality is there are a lot of lay folks I know who want to reap the fruits of Buddhist teachings aka Nibbana; the cessation of suffering. That's the reason they come for the Dhamma talks in the first place. That's the reason Buddhists generally follow the Dhamma.
  • DeshyDeshy Veteran
    edited April 2010
    nlighten;98749 said:
    From my understanding the goal of Buddhism is to become enlightened, and to become enlightened is to be free from suffering and cyclic existence, which is caused by karma (ignorance). This cyclic existence is "rebirth".
    Physical birth is not the cause of your suffering. The cause of your suffeirng is the attachments that come from ego or self identification. The cycle of births and deaths are cycles of the births and deaths of the ego. This happens many times during this lifetime and can be eradicated in this lifetime. The Dhamma is sandhitika akalika meaning verifiable here and now.
  • edited April 2010
    Physical birth is not the cause of your suffering. The cause of your suffeirng is the attachments that come from ego or self identification. The cycle of births and deaths are cycles of the births and deaths of the ego. This happens many times during this lifetime and can be eradicated in this lifetime.
    Just by curiosity, can you point me to any author that interprets it like that besides Stephen Batchelor?
  • DeshyDeshy Veteran
    edited April 2010
    The Buddha :D
  • edited April 2010
    Deshy;98768 said:
    What you are basically saying is, since a lot of people are attached to their "world" they would not be interested in Nibbana but would be better off with some moral teachings. The reality is there are a lot of lay folks I know who want to reap the fruits of Buddhist teachings aka Nibbana; the cessation of suffering. That's the reason they come for the Dhamma talks in the first place. That's the reason Buddhists generally follow the Dhamma.
    It's like that saying about having your cake and eating it too. Some people want to remain householders, part of this self-centered world we live in, and still attain enlightenment. It's not easy. It's much easier if you become a monk, but attachment to the world must be severed sufficiently.

    It's like wanting to have kids but not have the responsibility of being a parent. That's not very likely either. ;)
  • DeshyDeshy Veteran
    edited April 2010
    NamelessRiver;98772 said:
    Just by curiosity, can you point me to any author that interprets it like that besides Stephen Batchelor?
    I will dig up the sutta references for the DO. These texts also will be helpful

    DO
    Anatta and Rebirth
    Nibbana

    You can cross-reference the contents with any pali sutta. I have not found anything contradictory so far
  • DeshyDeshy Veteran
    edited April 2010
    Stephen;98774 said:
    Some people want to remain householders, part of this self-centered world we live in, and still attain enlightenment. It's not easy. It's much easier if you become a monk...
    Stephen, what you are saying is anyone who needs to end suffering better take the robes since it is much easier that way. Else they better just be content with the moral teachings, do good, receive good karmic ramifications, be happy and content that they have the reassurance that they will be born in a better place after death... Because you cannot have them both... ohh well, whatever you say :crazy:
  • edited April 2010
    A mere mind-stream is not an ego.
    :eek: I play Final Fantasy too =D
  • edited April 2010
    Stephen;98774 said:
    Some people want to remain householders, part of this self-centered world we live in
    So Buddhism is escapism? A path to human extinction?

    It's like wanting to have kids but not have the responsibility of being a parent. That's not very likely either. ;)
    My ex managed to pull it off flawlessly :confused::crazy:
  • edited April 2010
    Hey don't shoot the messenger. I said it's possible, just not very likely. All attachments must be abandoned in the final reckoning, and holding onto the householder life is holding on to attachments and responsibilities of that life. Just because people "want" a certain thing doesn't mean that they are "entitled" to it. :) You have to work for enlightenment. I know that at least stream-entry is possible for a householder, and it is merely my belief that further levels would also be possible, albeit difficult. I wouldn't try it myself; I'm working toward leaving the householder life to pursue my goal, though slowly. ;)
  • DeshyDeshy Veteran
    edited April 2010
    The reasons and your justification of monks preaching rebirth to lay folks over and over are becoming weaker and weaker stephen :lol:
  • edited April 2010
    I think the real question is, what does reincarnation mean in Buddhism.

    I heard Buddhist reincarnation explained like this: Its like a tree branch that grows a leaf. The leaf eventual dies and a new, but similar leaf takes its place. Death and rebirth.

    I say that reincarnation is an absolute fact scientifically because the second law of thermodynamics states that matter and energy can't be destroyed, only transformed or transferred.

    But the unanswered question remains and that is, will we remember and keep our identity and for how long.

    .
  • aMattaMatt Veteran
    edited April 2010
    It seems implied that one cannot detach from a house you live in... Neither then could you detach from the earth while residing on it?
  • aMattaMatt Veteran
    edited April 2010
    Transmetaphysical;98784 said:

    I say that reincarnation is an absolute fact scientifically because the second law of thermodynamics states that matter and energy can't be destroyed, only transformed or transferred.
    "...in a closed system" which we are not.
  • edited April 2010
    Stephen;98781 said:
    Hey don't shoot the messenger.
    Huh?

    >>All attachments must be abandoned in the final reckoning

    Yup.

    >> and holding onto the householder life is holding on to attachments

    Why so for "householders" but not monks? "holding onto" - weasel words.

    >> and responsibilities of that life.

    Responsibilities are a hindrance too? But only householder responsibilities?

    >>Just because people "want" a certain thing doesn't mean that they are "entitled" to it. :) You have to work for enlightenment.

    Who said otherwise?

    >>and it is merely my belief that further levels would also be possible, albeit difficult.

    Ok so your view is becoming more and more watered down as we go and contradicts your absolute statements just a few sentences back. :p

    >>I wouldn't try it myself

    yeah it sounds scary.:p
  • edited April 2010
    aMatt;98786 said:
    "...in a closed system" which we are not.
    Explain what you mean by that.
  • edited April 2010
    I think this convo has gone off-the-tracks lol. Replies I made to specific posts are somehow being replied to in turn by others and I have no idea what's going on. I wasn't trying to justify this or that, just shed some light on the reasons why things are done. I've spent enough time here, time to detach. Ciao. :)
  • upekkaupekka Veteran
    edited April 2010
    BuddhaOdin;98319 said:
    Do Buddhists believe in reincarnation and karma? Is this an important aspect of Buddhism?
    who do you mean by buddhists?

    believe in anything is just a belief
    if someone believe in reincarnation it is a belief
    if someone believe in karma it is a belief again

    belief is not the Truth but the belief help us to search for the Truth
    if we satisfied with what we believe and do not try to find out whether it is true or false then that is blind belief

    yes kamma/karma is an important aspect of buddhism

    :)
  • edited April 2010
    upekka;98814 said:
    who do you mean by buddhists?

    believe in anything is just a belief
    if someone believe in reincarnation it is a belief
    if someone believe in karma it is a belief again

    belief is not the Truth but the belief help us to search for the Truth
    if we satisfied with what we believe and do not try to find out whether it is true or false then that is blind belief

    yes kamma/karma is an important aspect of buddhism

    :)

    Are you saying that karma and reincarnation are not belief but truth? Beliefs can be true.
  • aMattaMatt Veteran
    edited April 2010
    Transmetaphysical;98784 said:
    the second law of thermodynamics states that matter and energy can't be destroyed, only transformed or transferred.
    I admit I unskillfully responded to this idea because I misread it. It would be better to say "This is the second law of thermodynamics?" which I think is about closed systems and entropy. You're talking about conservation of energy?

    In that case you'd have to show how consciousness is matter/energy and so we have to go somewhere when we die... might be a bit tricky.

    In either case, I was responding with silliness, rather than attempting to prove or disprove your words :)

    With warmth,
    Matt
  • upekkaupekka Veteran
    edited April 2010
    BuddhaOdin;98818 said:

    Are you saying that karma and reincarnation are not belief but truth? Beliefs can be true.
    if we believe in karma and reincarnation then those are our beliefs
    when we can see how karma works and what reincarnation is then they are not just belief but truth

    seeing dependent origination (cause and effect - paticca samuppada) helps to clarify whether such beliefs are just belief or true

    key is Understanding the Dependent Origination
  • DeshyDeshy Veteran
    edited April 2010
    Stephen;98800 said:
    I think this convo has gone off-the-tracks
    Not really. Others were replying to the track you were leading... C U :lol:
  • DeshyDeshy Veteran
    edited April 2010
    upekka;98871 said:

    seeing dependent origination (cause and effect - paticca samuppada) helps to clarify whether such beliefs are just belief or true

    key is Understanding the Dependent Origination
    Depended origination explains if rebirth belief is true or false? But that is in that other version of DO which Buddhagosa interpreted many years after the Buddhs'a death. It has so many flaws in it. DO, as per the suttas, explain how suffering occurs and the cessation of suffering in this lifetime itself.
  • edited April 2010
    nlighten;98749 said:
    From my understanding the goal of Buddhism is to become enlightened, and to become enlightened is to be free from suffering and cyclic existence, which is caused by karma (ignorance). This cyclic existence is "rebirth".

    What happens to one after she/he breaks free from the cycle of existance?
  • edited April 2010
    So Buddhists believe that its possible for me to be reborn as a slug or a frog through bad karma? And through good karma I can be reborn as an elightened being? And that its possible for animals to reborn human?
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