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  • BroInChrist's Avatar
    3,110 posts since Dec '11
    • Originally posted by Weychin:

      Another example, sinweiy made allusion to your God as Mahabrahma, I see differently. You see, I take into account of the destructive violent propensites of your God, eg. the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. God’s jealousy,( exodus 20;5), and God’s vanity, the seraphims, whose job is to sing praises of him!
      I tend to view to see your God as of tavatimsa / asuric realms, given the struggles with other Gods and Demons.

      You have tended to see a distorted picture of God, and have rejected a caricature instead of the God the Bible reveals.

  • BroInChrist's Avatar
    3,110 posts since Dec '11
    • Originally posted by Weychin:

      As long as one misidentify "Self" as permanent soul, it will not be unusual to identify a higher existence as "God". As each person's relationship and perception of God is different, as there are different levels of awareness. Each case is different. For example, even though I am not my dog's creator, to it I am God! I am not familiar with Sir Antony Flew so unable to relate to his opinions and views, and neither should he be the final arbiter in the existence of God.

       

      1. The question is whether God exists, regardless of whether you correctly or incorrectly identify "self" as permanent soul.

      2. Does your dog think of you as God? Does it even have that ability to reason and think such thoughts? Anyway it is irrelevant what your dog thinks of you since thereis no way to get into your dog's head to know what it thinks. The fact is, you are not God.

      3. The point is that Anthony Flew was a noted atheist philosopher who debated many years for atheism, but gave up atheism when the case for theism was overwhelmingly too strong to refute. I'm not saying that he is the finer arbiter for the existence of God. But if you have not considered his reasons for abandoning atheism, then you have not considered enough the case for theism.

  • BroInChrist's Avatar
    3,110 posts since Dec '11
    • Originally posted by Weychin:

      So is rebelliousness is by default or by design?

       

      1. What do you mean by default? And by design?

      2. Have you read Genesis 3?

       

  • BroInChrist's Avatar
    3,110 posts since Dec '11
    • Originally posted by 2009novice:

      After reading your replies, I have to accept what you said. I don't want to comment anything about God. I felt outsiders will think I'm not showing respect.

      All the questions I asked points at how people interpret their God. Practically speaking, you think what God is and you say God is everything. I have no choice but to end further discussions.

      Pardon me being straightforward, what you said is sound contradictory. For example, in 1, you said self is not permanent... i thought all along self is permanent in Christianity... then suddenly now it changed there is no permanent self because the Bible say so.

      In the earlier post you said the universe has a beginning, but when i pose the question of permanence in my previous post, you said God sustains it. Then my question of whether permanence is valid or not becomes side-tracked. Conveniently.

      I mentioned that it is the wisdom of our ancestors that provide what we have today. Otherwise i think we don't even know how to grow rice. But you attributed the wisdom or intelligence to the God you mentioned. The counter-question you asked makes me wonder what you mean, arguing back again why i felt regrettable.

      If I were to tell my friends about this, they will think you damn ungrateful lot icon_lol.gif

      The question you asked: how good is good? I really don't how to reply. Is good quantitative...? Measurable or comparable..? Or even perfect? icon_lol.gif

      You have been cordial, but the replies shows that you don't understand and tries to put God in the front picture, leaving us no alternatives.

      I got a sense of ill-will from you when i read the last paragraph. Describing yourself as a soldier to lay down the weapon and fight the enemies.

      Anyway.... that's not the main point. I have already mentioned debating fundamental difference in religions is pointless (in fact, very early in this thread). No matter how much you bring in Christian concepts is wasting your time and effort here. You can't bring in Christian values to question emptiness, karma etc etc.... It doesn't fit!


      1. Thanks for reading my replies. It is perfectly fine by me if you choose to offer your comments. I am not easily offended by fair and thought-out comments.

      2. The fact that people have various views/interpretations about God does not detract or negate the fact that objective truth about God exists. Logically not all views are equally true.

      3. What you saw as contradictory is really more of your misunderstanding.Remember, a contradiction takes the form that A is non-A at the same time in the same sense. The Bible does not teach a permanent self in the sense that Buddhism says. Only God is eternal, everything else is contingent upon God. The only "permanent" self to speak of would be God Himself who is self-existing and uncaused and the ground of all that exist.

      4. Since the universe has a beginning, it cannot be permanent in the Buddhist sense of having "inherent existence" of itself. The universe is a contingent entity, brought into existence by an eternal all powerful God. God, who is eternal, can sustain the universe for as long as He wishes, even for all eternity. Again the source of this sustenance is God.

      5. You are mistaken if you think I am undermining the wisdom of our forefathers. My point is that only God can explain why human beings are intelligent. All other naturalistic explanations fall flat as inadequate to account for what needs to be explained.

      6. I am asking about the standard of good you use to call something good. And yes, I was referring to moral perfection.

      7. I am not so much putting God in the front picture as much as putting God in the whole picture. Apart from God, nothing can be explained. God's world must be seen through God's Word to be understood and seen correctly.

      8. The soldier analogy is just that, no ill will intended. The Bible uses the metaphor of war, battle, soldier many times.

      9. I think the main point is to compare and contrast the two religions in some ways, to see similarities and appreciate the differences. Ultimately what we have are two worldviews, or ways of looking at the world to make sense of the world we live in. They are two fundamentally different worldviews. Logically both cannot be true at the same time in the same sense. 

  • BroInChrist's Avatar
    3,110 posts since Dec '11
    • Originally posted by An Eternal Now:

      1. Buddhism doesn't contradict evolution... But at the same time we say that there are living beings existing even before the advent of lifeforms on this planet and those consciousness of subtler planes take rebirth in this plane when the conditions have ripen. As Loppon Namdrol puts it: "if you accept the bardo, then you can accept that there are beings born with subtle bodies. As biological lifeforms advanced, beings with karma to be reborn in those forms were born here."


      2. Your link doesn't work.

      1. Does Buddhism affirms the truth of evolution aka molecules to microbiologist evolution?

      2. Just checked, working leh.

  • BroInChrist's Avatar
    3,110 posts since Dec '11
    • Originally posted by An Eternal Now:

      1. Ignorance is beginningless. I don't suscribe to beginningless enlightenment.

      2. All human laws arise only when trouble, disorder, where suffering comes about. If nobody is stealing and nobody have stuff thats stolen, there would not be a law to prevent those from happening. Laws evolve due to circumstances and incidents.

      The dawning of civilization arises partly due to the discovery of ways to harvest and own 'stuff' - i.e. crops, animals, etc. Because there is ownership and property, there later arose stealing and crimes, and where stealing and crimes arose, there arose the need for governance, and then there are kings and its rule of law. Kings are not kings without the support of its people even if it is not democratic, as we have seen many kings have been overthrown in ancient history. Humans 'enact' the kings due to a need... we depend on rule and law for order in society.

      In a sense those rules are invented due to necessity.

      3. Wait... I didn't say suffering or not suffering has anything to do with moral obligation. I merely said people wish to be free from suffering, and Buddhism provides the path to the end of suffering.

      Conventionally, you are of course responsible for your actions, wholesome actions lead to a wholesome karmic result and unwholesome action leads to an unwholesome result.... just like you are responsible for your cancer if you continue smoking everyday.

      4. You are missing the point. My point is that just like babies can grow, we too can end suffering and ignorance. And we do not say 'suffering is natural because we are born with suffering therefore we should continue to suffer'.

      1. If ignorance is beginningless, that means it is eternal. Why should this state be considered inferior to being enlightened since it preceded enlightenment?

      2. Your explanation for moral laws is flawed, especially when you try to base it on evolution. Again the same naturalistic fallacy is committed in your argument. In a survivial of the fittest environment, there is nothing to say that it is wrong to take from you by force if survival is the purpose. The best explanation would be that man is created as a moral being. Laws are necessary in a fallen world, and laws are to show that man has broken the law. Yes, kings and kingdoms have changed and toppled, but this only shows the sinful nature of man.

      3. Why do people wish to be free from suffering if ignorance has been the eternal condition? Apparently telling people that they have no real existence do not solve the problem. Buddha may have been enlightened but he still fell sick and died. In other words, he was still subject to death and suffering. Compare this with Christ, whom though He also suffered and died, rose physically from the dead to show His victory over death.

      4. Apart from there being a moral law to be accountable, why should anyone be held for an action that leads to unwholesome effects? And why do anything that goes against the ignorance state which is the primordial or beginingless state?

      5. Babies grow because, like all living things, they are designed to grow, unless they have some problems that inhibit growth. A Christian view of life is that while suffering and death exists in a fallen world, it is not the way things should be, thus it would be consistent to want to see the end of death and suffering. But in a natural law universe where things are just the way they are, why go against nature?

  • BroInChrist's Avatar
    3,110 posts since Dec '11
    • Originally posted by An Eternal Now:

      More specifically I meant: inherently existing, independent, unchanging, with a core and substance of its own.

      So how do you come to the conclusion that there is no being that is independent, uncaused, inherently existing, self-existing aka God?

      Wouldn't one has to be omniscient to make such a statement about reality?

  • BroInChrist's Avatar
    3,110 posts since Dec '11
    • Originally posted by An Eternal Now:

      Evolution is a scientifically proven fact, not a theory or belief... but many people choose to ignore it or hold strongly to their unproven beliefs...

      In Buddhism, yes, ALL causes are effects...

      1. I disagree. What do you understand by evolution? BTW, was it sinweyi who said that Buddhism rejects evolution?

      2. To state that all causes are effects is irrational, to say the least. The problem is with the notion of infinite regress, which I think have you may not have understood its implications. See http://www.philosophyclass.net/infiniteregress.htm

  • BroInChrist's Avatar
    3,110 posts since Dec '11
    • Originally posted by An Eternal Now:

      "Everything becomes illusory and temporal, except the view itself, the view that "everything is temporal and illusory" becomes the only eternal and real truth which has real existence."


      No no... truth is not the same as existence. Existence is the notion of something having solid, concrete, self-existence. There is no such thing to be found. Emptiness is empty.

      You seem to be confusing the existence of matter which that which is solid and concrete. Something can exists without being matter or material, or solid. Or perhaps you have a different definition of solid?

  • BroInChrist's Avatar
    3,110 posts since Dec '11
    • Originally posted by An Eternal Now:

      1. Ignorance is beginningless...

      2. Human law is of course designed by man. But karmic law is a natural law.

      3. Yes those are from biological and karmic causes. Nobody wants suffering even though it arises due to causes and conditions. For example: everyone is born ignorant as a baby that doesn't know how to speak, and can only cry, etc. But we don't say "because the baby is born that way, it is only natural to be stupid and ignorant, that's why we should all just remain like babies and don't learn to speak or act intelligently"

      1. If ignorance is beginingless, as does enlightenment, then what's the difference?

      2. All human laws are actually predicated on a moral law, which is discovered and not invented. Natural laws are imposed on us, they are amoral. The inconsistency is when you attempt to draw moral connotations from natural laws. Even calling it "wholesome" or "unwholesome" is to employ a different lingo but still postulating it in a moral sense.

      3. But where did this sense of not wanting suffering come from? Why do we react in such a way to suffering with dread and wish that it goes away or that it does not exist? You do not wish to suffer, but how does that create a moral obligation that you should not be made to suffer? Would it be even right to speak of natural laws and effects as wholesome or unwholesome? People act base on free choices, but if it is all a matter of natural laws determining the causes and conditions, why should anyone be held responsible for anything? Or is no one responsible at all for any actions?

      4. The birth of a baby should be a sad thing for Buddhists, should it not? Because the baby is seen as still cursed in samsara. And why procreate and have babies at all? Perhaps monks did the right thing by not marrying after all? A baby is simply a person at a beginning stage of development. To call a baby "stupid" is IMO a stupid thing to do! Anyway, babies are intelligent beings, they are designed to grow. People who study humans can tell you how marvelous it is to see how humans can grow. Babies have the God-given potential to grow into matured functioning adults. Again this speaks of design and points to a Maker. Impersonal laws of nature are incapable of doing this.

  • BroInChrist's Avatar
    3,110 posts since Dec '11
    • Originally posted by An Eternal Now:

      'Beginningless' is a better term than 'infinite' because infinite has certain connotations.

      Infinite and beginningless find oneness in God who is infinite and eternal. There is no problem here. But when you wish to apply it to contingent beings like us, within time and space, that's where you have problems. A change of semantics does not really solve the problem I see in your worldview.

  • BroInChrist's Avatar
    3,110 posts since Dec '11
    • Originally posted by An Eternal Now:

      1. Well, yes, he rejected it in places expounding the right and wrong view.

      http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.01.0.bodh.html

      The notion of a creator God is rejected under the section '2. Partial-Eternalism (Ekaccasassatavāda): Views 5–8'


      2. No... You're thinking "Rain presuppose a rainer", "wind presupposes a wind-er". Actually, mental processes IS mind, mind IS mental processes... just like wind IS blowing, rain IS the raining... there is no 'wind' that exists as something behind the activity of blowing, and there is no 'rain' that exists behind the activity of raining/water droplets falling.

      "Mind" is just a convention, a label, imputed upon the conglomerate of mental arisings and ceasings just like the word "car" is a convention, a label, imputed upon a conglomerate of parts - engines, window, door, etc etc coming together to perform a function.

      Distinct mindstreams are distinct, but ultimately empty of (some independent, inherent, unchanging) self. Due to delusion we cling tightly to the sense that I exist.


      3. I don't see why the past has to be finite to reach today, it is like looking in the space in the east, the space in the west, the space in north and south, wherever you look you can find no circumference to space, nor even a center - the so called center and circumference is also only space in fact prior to your false imputation of a self, so distance, circumference, center all don't apply. As David Loy puts it, "the cup itself is irremediably spatial. All its parts must have a certain thickness, and without the various spatial relations among the bottom, sides, and handle, the cup could not be a cup. Perhaps one way to express this is to say that the cup is not "in" space but itself is space: the cup is "what space is doing in that place," so to speak. The same is true for the temporality of the cup. The cup is not an atemporal, self-existing object that just happens to be "in" time, for its being is irremediably temporal."

      By the way past, present, and future are empty and illusionary. Because there has never been a truly existing or unchanging thing or self separate from the stream of time, abiding and continuously going from moment A to moment B. Firewood does not turn into ashes, firewood abides in the phenomenal expression of firewood and ash abides in the phenomenal expression of ash even though each moment is manifested interdependently with all its causes and conditions. There is no-thing going from past to present to future. Each phenomenal expression and experience is irremediably temporal and thus transcends the notion of time-things-self-being dichotomy, an instant reveals itself to be timeless and yet dissolving instantly.

      1. He talked about the 4 grounds for those who held to some things that are eternal and some things that are not. But I can't seem to pin down exactly where Buddha in this teaching denied the existence of God. Or was he rejecting the Hindu idea of Brahma?

      2. You are incorrect. I am certainly not saying that rain presuppose a rainer. I am saying that just as rain has a cause (which ultimately points to God who established the laws of nature from which we get rain via the hydraulic cycle), therefore the universe also must have a cause. Wind is just moving air. Water falling from the clouds is rain. Let's not dwell on these things, we know what they are. The question is in explaining their existence. Why is water special, unlike any other substance? Why is it necessary for life? A car is a assembly of parts. But we all acknowledge that a car does not assemble itself. Intelligent design goes into it. How much more then when we look at living things that are much more complex than a car? So why would it not be the delusion that we do not exist? Perhaps the problem is not the clinging to self, but that the solution is that by clinging to God we truly find ourselves?

      3. If you cannot count from today till infinity (impossible!) how can you ever get to today from the past? Consider a point marked X. You said you have been travelling for infinity to come to point X. Is this possible? Absolutely not. You would have to begin somewhere to come to this point. But if you did begin somewhere, then you never did travel an infinite distance. And ultimately when you realise that this cannot be done logically, it seems that the best option is to therefore to deny existence altogether, which is what I think you did. If you do not exist, then it is not about you anymore since there is no you to speak of. Everything becomes illusory and temporal, except the view itself, the view that "everything is temporal and illusory" becomes the only eternal and real truth which has real existence. But this is self-contradictory, and it goes against all sense experience.

  • BroInChrist's Avatar
    3,110 posts since Dec '11
    • Originally posted by An Eternal Now:

      1. How does a drunkard who thinks he's ok, know he is drunk? He can't, unless he sobers up.

      In Buddhism, we can experience and realize the three dharma seals, dependent origination, four noble truths etc... then we wake up from our delusions.

      2. Well this just proves my point that the law is not founded on notion of 'good and evil' or religious doctrines. Law is law, not a religion.

      3. In Buddhism, karma is also a natural law so we see no discrepencies. Therefore it is different from Christian notion of sin and judgement.

      1. So we know that being sober is the ideal state of things, compared to being drunk. Likewise, being enlightened would have been the ideal state of things, compared to being ignorant. So how would streams of mental states in an enlightened state become ignorant? I mean, what was there to know at that state such that discrete minds can become not-knowing?

      2. Yet if one completely rejects the notion of good and evil, or even the idea of a moral standard, one removes himself from the moral condition of man. Or fails to acknowledge the universal issues that plague mankind, that of moral well-being. I am pointing out that there are natural laws and there are moral laws.To reduce all to natural laws is to fall under naturalism, which has its problems as a worldview.

      3. No one should react negatively to a natural law. Are you angry with the law of gravity? Why should you? Of course if you jump off a ledge and suffer an injury you get pain. So you treat the pain. You may not wish to consider why we feel pain, how come we have so many nerves that can register pain. Again this points to a design in us, that pain tells us something is wrong. God made us this way. When we bleed our body gets to work to send "repairers" to heal the wound and the blood clotting process does its work. A marvel of design, but you would just attribute it to natural causes? But again what's wrong with suffering if this is part and parcel of natural law at work? Suffering would be just what is, not what ought to be not. Again I draw your attention to the naturalistic fallacy.

  • BroInChrist's Avatar
    3,110 posts since Dec '11
    • Originally posted by An Eternal Now:

      1. Yes there is no problem of evil in Buddhism, but we see suffering everywhere. Suffering, unwholesome action and unwholesome results driven by passion, aggression and delusion are abound.The Buddha teaches that there are only two basic things he taught: suffering and the end of suffering. We see suffering all over the world. They arise due to various causes and conditions.

      2. The question isn't about whether there is a God, but that IF there is a God, then as the Buddha has said:


      If the creator of the world entire
      They call God, of every being be the Lord
      Why does he order such misfortune
      And not create concord?     

      If the creator of the world entire
      They call God, of every being be the Lord
      Why prevail deceit, lies and ignorance
      And he such inequity and injustice create?     

      If the creator of the world entire
      They call God, of every being be the Lord
      Then an evil master is he, (O Aritta)
      Knowing what's right did let wrong prevail!    


      Now even if you say that evil is due to the fall of Adam etc... still, the argument stands which I elucidated earlier.


      3. If there is an all-powerful God, he would be able to do more than that isn't it?

      Yes, Buddhism asks one to attain liberation through one's efforts, and it works. So many people have attained liberation. Nobody, including Buddha, can grant enlightenment but they can only show the way. Christians say there is an all-powerful God, in that case he could easily have chosen to 'stop evil', 'save everyone' etc.

      4. If God is all-powerful he could have stopped 'the tares' from being planted.

      1. So why would suffering be a problem that requires an end to? In the Bible, suffering and death are seen as the curse of sin. Death is an enemy to be destroyed because it is an intrusion to God's perfect creation.

      2. If there is no God, then everything cannot be accounted for, not even the laws of logic. For why would countless mental streams give rise to uniform laws of nature and the laws of logic? Why would impersonal laws give rise to personhood, consciousness and morality? You cannot give what you do not have. You cannot draw blood from rock.

      3. Only the Bible supplies the answer to the problem of death and suffering, because it also supplies the cause of death and suffering. The answer is simple, and I have earlier alluded to it. While we do see order and design in the universe today, we also see suffering and death. Why? Because we live in a FALLEN world, but it was not so from the beginning. This is why Genesis 1-11 is very important but many people miss that, even Christians. God did not create evil, or deceit or ignorance. Buddha's allegation of an evil God is most regretful. Of course if he had read the Bible I am most certain that he would change his view.

      4. Why would the free will of Adam still makes your argument stand? Please elaborate. God is all powerful and all knowing. He knows of no other way or plan that would preserve the free will of humans and yet being able to redeem them and restore all things. What better plan can you think of that does not violate human free will and does not act contrary to God's holy and just nature? I submit you would not be able to come up with any. God has done all that He could to redeem us. Nothing more He could do.

      5. Again, the issue is not whether God could have done this or that. God's ability is not in question. God could have even zap the serpent into oblivion when the serpent even thought of talking to Eve in the Garden. God could have even suddenly cause the tree to literally and physically uproot itself and run from Adam and Eve! Short of being comical this is a world that is nonsensical. It completely obliviates the need for free will, discernment, thinking, and the laws of nature. Again I submit that you may not have carefully thought about what you are asking.

  • BroInChrist's Avatar
    3,110 posts since Dec '11
    • Originally posted by An Eternal Now:

      Yes, and Buddhism rejects the notion of an unchanging soul, mind, or God.

      And yes, there are countless discrete and distinct mind-streams. Each mindstream is a distinct mindstream of mental arising and ceasing.

      I'm not sure what you mean by 'discrete infinity', anyway 'countless' is probably a better word than infinite. The Buddha always use the 'sands of Ganges river' to express uncountability. You cannot count the number of grains of sands in the Ganges river or the beaches around the world, but if you pick up a very small amount in your finger you can probably count the numbers of these distinct grains of sands.

      1. But did Buddha himself expressedly deny the existence of a Creator God?

      2. Mental presupposes Mind. So this distinct mind streams has self-awareness and self-consciousness?

      3. Humanly I cannot count the sands on the beach, or the hairs on my head. But God can. Anyway, what I meant to say is that you cannot cross an actual infinite. If infinity existed in the past you could not have reached today. But if you did reach today, then the past is finite, it had a beginning.

  • BroInChrist's Avatar
    3,110 posts since Dec '11
    • Originally posted by An Eternal Now:

      1. 2. as addressed above.

      3. There is no 'mind that exists without beginning' but rather, the stream of mental arising and ceasing has happened without a beginning. There's a big difference there.

      I.e. there is no one unchanging mind but Mind1, Mind2, Mind3, Mind4, each moment arising and ceasing as it arises and causing another moment to arises... this is how the psycho-physical aggregate arises and ceases moment to moment via causes and conditions.

      So you are saying that there are infinite discrete and distinct Minds that form a stream of mental arising and ceasing? But how do you cross a discrete infinity? Compare this with the Biblical teaching of an unchanging God who chose to create things that are contingent and ultimately dependent upon Him for their existence. These created beings change in relation to other created things. But God does not change. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.

  • BroInChrist's Avatar
    3,110 posts since Dec '11
    • Originally posted by jlowbog:

      loop hole? not going to say much as there r enough said on the net.
      diiferent ver of bible? isnt it obvious…where is the credibility when there r so many ver?
      putting bible a side since it is nothing more than a bedtime story book
      u r not addressing the fundamental of the Q…wat is the purpose of god creating human, letting them go astray, then give then chance to be gd boy again…n how did you know tat God created man in His image…if god created all the entities then y he only dwell in those who believed in him y not all. so again if god is omnipotent y he didnt he stop the serpent from tricking adam n eve???

      1. I think the allegation against the Bible's credibility due to so-called different versions of the Bible is toothless when you also take into consideration the similar situation with regards to Buddhist texts. http://buddhism.about.com/od/sacredbuddhisttexts/a/buddhist-scriptures.htm  Moreover, the charge is easier alleged than substantiated. What do you/critics really mean when they say the Bible has different versions? Do you understand what a Bible version is?

      2. To denigrate the Bible as nothing more than a bedtime story book, you would need support the allegation that it is nothing more than a bedtime story book.

      3. The Bible addresses many of the fundamental questions, perhaps the problem is your refusal to acknowledge or accept the answers? God created humans, and everything for that matter, according to His eternal purpose. You asked how I know God created man in His image. This can only be known if God chooses to tell us, which He did through the Bible. No human reasoning can come to this conclusion. The most humans can do is to say that you resemble a monkey, you were evolved in an ape's image. That doesn't do much for self-esteem, does it?

      4.  Why would you be offended that God would only dwell in those who believe in Him? It only makes sense that I enter the house if you open the door to me. Jesus said that He stood at the door and knock and will come in to those who open the door to Him.

      5. Just because you can stop something from happening, and didn't, does negate your existence. Yet many critics somehow make this irrational argument that God's apparent "failure" to do this or that means He does not exist! God allows man to make decisions based on his free will. It is not as though Adam was a 3 year old baby who cannot discern anything. Yes, toddlers must be protected and parents should step right in before any mishap can happen. But now you are dealing with matured and functioning adults who can make the right choice.

  • BroInChrist's Avatar
    3,110 posts since Dec '11
    • Originally posted by Weychin:

      Believing in God is integral to a Christian's identity, especially pious ones. Devotees of other religon is no different. Only when one find kinks in perfection in one's devotion, disillusionment sets. There will be many more like him wandering in samsara. In the meantime, good practice for bodhisattva path, developing wisdom and compassion!

       

      As mentioned, the Bible says that even demons believe there is a God. So it is not just that belief in God is integral to a Christian's identity. Noted philosopher Sir Anthony Flew was an atheist for a large part of his life and debated many Christians and taught atheism, but came to a conclusion that there is a God when he was 82. He was NOT a Christian but believed in God, though such a belief did not save him.

  • BroInChrist's Avatar
    3,110 posts since Dec '11
    • Originally posted by Weychin:

      8. Man, according to you is created in the likeness of God, and by God and through no other. Rebelliousness is therefore an aspect of God through no fault of man.
      Ever heard of forewarned is forearmed? It acknowledges lessons learned in hindsight. The practice of a Buddhist is vigilant, that we are mindful of now. Being mindful is taking the first step from ignorance. With each experience grounded in the present leads to unknotting the lump we call “Self”. As “Self” is ever present in our consciousness, what better and available subject for our investigations.

      It does not follow logically that because man is created in God's image, that therefore rebellion is an aspect of God.

  • BroInChrist's Avatar
    3,110 posts since Dec '11
    • Originally posted by 2009novice:

      God sending rain...? That means u refute the scientific fact of how rain is formed...?

      Why God not distribute the rain evenly... so there is no drought or flood... deserts will vanish too icon_lol.gif

       

      OK this "stream" that u think is incoherent can be observed and testable....

      You go and find a quiet place .e.g. your study room

      Sit down. Relax. Close your eyes... Now... observe your mind... did u notice random thoughts coming in non-stop...? That is the stream...Like a monkey swinging from tree to tree.

      AEN do you agree? icon_lol.gif

      When I say the President of the US send the atomic bomb, am I being unscientific or anti-science? Nope, I am only using it in the sense that the President authorised the detonation of the bomb, which was delivered by pilots on the bomber plane. Please understand the similar usage of the term "God sends the rain".

      It is easy to ask why God not send this, or do that, or this, or that. You must understand that God is not your genie in the bottle, one who does your bidding or meet your demands. Such a genie in the bottle is not the Creator of the Universe. The same sun falls on the good and the wicked. The same sun ruins your food just as it makes food in plants. The issue is not about equality as you perceived it to be, the question is whether you can account for the very existence of things like the sun, the plants, the rain, the universe. We live in a fallen world, but that does not mean we live in a world where there is no God.

      How do you know this stream of thoughts is not something I make up in my mind? It is still what I am perceiving in my mind. How do you know what I perceive is not conventional truths but ultimate truths?

      Edited by BroInChrist 28 Jan `13, 12:02PM
  • BroInChrist's Avatar
    3,110 posts since Dec '11
    • Originally posted by 2009novice:

      Why God has a time table...? Can you explain this too...? icon_lol.gif

      That God has a "time-table" is just my using "skilful means" to communicate to you. God is timeless. But God can act in time, just as He can act in creation. From our human time-bound perspective, God has set a time when all things would be restored.

  • BroInChrist's Avatar
    3,110 posts since Dec '11
    • Originally posted by 2009novice:

      Hi Bic,

      can you explain this part... i don't understand... icon_lol.gif

      In fact, if the Bible is correct, the germs that cause hideous diseases like TB, polio, cholera, leprosy etc. and all the misery, deformity and suffering to which they give rise, were created by God before he created man (Gen. 1:11-12).

      So God created virus, bacteria and bring suffering to us... is it true...? Why...?

      In Genesis 1, at the end of Creation week God said it was all "very good". Therefore all the hideous things you mentioned did not exist in the original Creation. All these came about as a result of the Fall.

  • BroInChrist's Avatar
    3,110 posts since Dec '11
    • Originally posted by sinweiy:

       

      i'm refering to physics and how things can work without creating chaos to existence. aerodynamics is behind how bird and plane fly.  mind is perfect to manifest something that works, even if we use science to explain, it can fall into place, it obey "non-chaotic" order, nothing illogical. i am not refering to how animals come about for the moment. who sets up the laws of karma is also meanless because it stems from a failure to note the very definition of karma/change itself. it's change at work. if everything do not change, then all will be dead Still, there's no existence what so ever, god. if there's change, there's everything, ur god included. like i say the movement of the mind or the action of ur god is included in the change. an act is a form of change. it's absurd to speak of something before change. as there's nothing (hmm.. Tao De Jing, lol) no action equal no change. if god no change, then there's nothing to act upon.  hence change supercede All existence

      to ask how does ignorance(or curiousity) came about as a condition in the first place? same as asking what came before god and why god created human in the first place? out of fun? 

      actually ignorance was not a problem originally. since we are originally enlightened. we are originally all in One, one in all. like the wave and ocean example. the ocean represent the whole, the wave represent the sub-units/'children'. the wave was already a part of ocean.  if there's no ocean, there's no wave. if there's no wave, there's no ocean. the ocean created the wave. the wave also created the ocean.  but the wave did not know it hence it was "ignorance". do wave need to return to ocean? no need. when one is Awake to this. Everything is already perfect in itself. Interconnected. might be hard for u to understand, u would rather understand stories. 

       

      i say within bad got good is simple. example, we know lying is bad. but if it's use to prevent a murder, then it's good. killing is bad, but for self defend or saving the lifes of ur family, is ok, good.  good and bad has their usefulness. the advance mind see non-bias between the two. it see good as good, see bad as good too, hence it's always pure itself. of coz see good as good is easy, but to see bad as good is more difficult.  things will always come in both good and bad. but the trick is to be at peace of mind. when there's bad, actually, it's helping to teach another to be good. if there's no bad, then Too good also no good. everything cannot go to the extreme. too extreme become bad already. 

      /\

       

       

      1. It is not that the laws of nature allows birds to fly. It is that birds are DESIGNED for flight. The laws of nature allows humans to fly too, but we cannot do so because we are not designed to fly. But we can make things that can overcome the law of gravity to allow us to fly. The issue is, what best account for the laws of nature? The fathers of modern science believe in a rational and orderly universe because they believe it was created by God.

      2. If nothing exists then there is no change to talk about. To talk about the fact of change without addressing the existence of things on which change can work on is still an incomplete answer. Or perhaps it is an issue that is being sidestepped to avoid the conclusion that there is a Creator? It does not follow that if God exists then He must also be subject to change. Existence precedes change, but you have put it the other way round. Consider the belief in evolution. Why do evolution use the tactic of saying that abiogenesis is different from evolution? Only so because they can then ASSUME the existence of life, on which biological evolution (change) can logically and chronologically proceed.

      3. If the original condition was not ignorance, then what was the condition giving rise to ignorance? If everything was perfect, then why imperfect come into the picture? Again wave and ocean not good example. Wave is caused by wind conditions blowing over the ocean. Wave is just effect of wind upon ocean.

      4. The OT story of Joseph tells about how things work out for good eventually even after the brothers intended it for evil. The fact that the brothers sold Joseph as a slave is wrong, even if the end resulted in the salvation of the whole family of Israel. Similarly lying cannot be good in itself, even though the eventual effects may not be considered bad or evil. In a fallen world where a murderer ask you to tell him where your friend is, you will mislead him by telling him your friend went the other way. Why? Because you do not owe the truth to a murderer. (But if you hate your friend then maybe you may offer the murderer the truth!) The sanctity of life in this case overrides the presumption that one should tell the truth. But I note again that AEN said that the notion of good and evil does not exist in Buddhism.

       

  • BroInChrist's Avatar
    3,110 posts since Dec '11
    • Originally posted by An Eternal Now:

      Well precisely, if there is no God, there is no problem of evil. That is why in Buddhism there is no problem of evil. It is in Christianity that there is a problem of evil and I do not see a satisfactory solution or answer by them. If God has a choice to stop evil, and that he is compassionate, he should do it now. If you saw someone with clothes burning would you let them burn for 5 minutes before you save him?

      1. Thank you for clarifying that in Buddhism there is no problem of evil because there is no such thing as evil, or good for that matter.

      2. Yes, it is only in Christianity there there is a "problem" of evil. But it is not a problem at all because it FAILS to be an argument against the existence of God, since it can only be raised in a theistic context.

      3. Your analogy of the person with burning clothes is a good one. In the Letter of Jude, the apostle encourages the Christian to save others by snatching them from the fire, referring to the need to preach the Gospel. All of us are in danger of hell fire, our lives are burning, so to speak. Only a fireman can save us, and this fireman is Christ who came through the fires to take us out. Perhaps I am wrong, but wouldn't Buddhism be saying that the one on fire try to save himself or die trying?

      4. People see the problem of evil as a problem because they are entertaining wrong views of God or have failed to think clearly about what they are demanding. The question is not about God's ability, because God can surely stop evil right now. But have you thought deeply about what that would mean if God should decide to stop evil now? What outcome would most of us have when we face God in judgment? Consider the parable about the wheat and the tares. The enemy planted the tares which grew with the wheat. The solution is not to go in and destroy the tares, for you would also destroy the wheat. The solution would be to wait for harvest, and when that comes you can easily separate the wheat from the tares, and gather the tares for burning.

  • BroInChrist's Avatar
    3,110 posts since Dec '11
    • Originally posted by An Eternal Now:

      1. Ignorant people will not know they are ignorant, otherwise they are not ignorant. What he did was out of unwholesome mental factors like craving, aggression and delusion that invaded his mind. His actions harmed and killed millions of people and there will be very negative karmic results for that.

      2. Yes. It is the court's job to determine if someone should be punished for violating law, regardless of whether it is considered morally wrong. For example, if someone always have extramarital affairs and sex with prostitutes even though he/she is married, it is still legally considered 'OK' by law. Of course, on the grounds of morality or karma, it is not so 'wholesome' a thing to do. So basically, the law does not really care about 'evil'. It just follows rules and that is of foremost importance in the eyes of the law/court. Of course, the judge always weighs factors like whether the person is repentant, his intentions for committing the crime, whether he has committed crimes before or is a repeated offender, etc.

      3. In Buddhism, people are not being judged, but the impersonal law of karma plays out like smoking leads to cancer doesn't require judgement.

      1. Ignorance can only be dispelled by knowledge. But then it begs the question, how do you know the person who claims to have knowledge is not merely expressing ignorance as well? Hitler can turn around and accuse you of ignorance too, can't he?

      2. I think your point about the law saying prostitution is OK is flawed. What is legal does not always translate to morally right. In many instances the legal law is far from catching up with the moral law. It's basically that sinful man always fail to live up to God's moral standard. Every law in existence is directly or indirectly founded on God's moral law.

      3. Smoking causes cancer is a effect because of a law of nature, chemistry at work that interferes with our biology. But by saying that this is the same law that applies when one tells a lie or commits adultery is to confuse things, to commit the naturalistic fallacy. That which DESCRIBES what happens should not be confuse with that which PRESCRIBES what ought to be.