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

      same goes the other way around. what come before God? it's like saying what come before 1? ok, zero, than before zero is -1, then -2 etc. to us there's no end. but we say Tao, or cause and effect or Change just is. but it's not a Living entity with emotion, feeling and all.

      /\

      Asking what comes before God is not a coherent question at all, because God does not exist in time. In fact, time is created by God because time has a beginning. To say change just is, is not explaining anything about the existence of anything. Change is simply what transpires between any two states for the object/subject. But where did the object/subject come from? The issue of existence is distinct from the issue of change. Change is predicated on existence. If there is nothing, then there is no change to speak about.

      There is no reality in minus zero if you get what I mean. It is a mathematical abstract term. There is no real thing as a -1. It simply does not exist in reality. If you know, please show me. Sure, we can have a temperature scale that runs in minus degrees but it is simply a mathematical measurement of how cold things are. Even if your bank balance shows minus, it is merely a symbol of debt on your part. The use of minus zero is only mathematical and in abstract terms. You cannot touch or handle -$3000. Either you have no cows or you have more than one cow, you cannot have a minus zero cow or entity. 

  • BroInChrist's Avatar
    3,110 posts since Dec '11
    • Originally posted by reborn76:

      Stephen Hawking’s theory was built upon Einstein theory of Relativity. Many physicists now believe that the universe arose out of nothingness during the Big Bang which means that nothing must have somehow turned into something. Hence Quantum mechanics state that nothing transforms into something all the time. Beside scientist has discovered that the universe is in the state of motion. Perhaps u can read further into it as it is a wide topic.

      Hence the discovery tie with Buddhism idea (Heart sutra) that from Form came from Emptiness and everything is in constant state of changes. Changes give rise to Phenomena. When a human react towards the phenomena, the unsatisfactory arises and suffering begin.

      In fact, it quite logical because every day we are experiencing changes in our body too. The food we partake which is turn from atoms into energy in our body. In turn, the food atoms is makeup of Sunlight, Water, Air and etc which was convert from unseen particle.

      Therefore, at the end of the day, just keep an open heart then you will discover the truth for yourself.

      But the question is, did the universe came from ABSOLUTELY nothing by nothing? I don't think so. It violates the law of cause and effect. Logically, from nothing nothing comes.

      Most people point to Lawrence Krauss as support for this view, but I think Krauss is overstating things too much. See als http://standtherefore.com/blog/nothing-as-popular-as-nothing-in-cosmology/

      Or consider this interview below between Sam Harris and Krauss. It seems that Krauss has redefined "nothing" to be actually "something" which he then calls "nothing" which is nothing but misleading. But it also seems to me that atheists are really wanting there to be an effect without a cause to avoid the conclusion that leads to a Creator God. It is an intellectual bias which Krauss admitted to.

      http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/everything-and-nothing

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

      That's quite cruel... if you think about it... but anyway all killings of animals for food are cruel unfortunately.

      Sometimes we have to be more aware of the suffering of animals http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/earthlings/

      Allow me to share from a Christian perspective.

      The Bible teaches that in the beginning God made us all vegetarians. Every green plant was for food. Plants and trees are not "living" in the Biblical sense, as distinct from the biological sense. They are not called "nephesh chayah". So humans and animals eating plants and fruits would not be guilty of anything or killing anything. Anyway, it was only because of man's sin that death i.e. of humans and animals which are called "nephesh chayah" entered the world at the time of the Fall. And it was only after Noah's Flood that God permitted humans the eating of animal meat, which would make sense since there won't be time for agriculture after they left the Ark.

      BTW, Jesus ate meat too : )

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

      Dear All ,

      I would like to seek your opinion on the above topic as it is greatly troubling to me.

      In many religions around the world, there have been practices where animal or human victims have been murdered on the altar in the belief that it will bring blessings.

      I am deeply disturbed by all these. Perhaps anyone can kindly share his buddhist beliefs on the topic of blood sacrifice.

      Here's my thoughts, though this is not sharing from Buddhist beliefs.

      I believe there is this universal belief all over the world throughout human history that mankind have angered the gods and that sacrifices are needed to placate their wrath. But where does this idea comes from? Do people just make up this idea that somehow is universal in scope? What can explain this?

      I believe there is a kernel of truth running though this idea, and that the Bible explains this very well. The Bible teaches that man sinned against God and a blood sacrifice was required for the atonement of sins. At the tower of Babel, God scattered the human population by changing their languages. And as each language group scattered all over the world they retained this belief of blood sacrifice for the remission of sins. But over time more is being embellished, but I believe the Bible contains the true account of its origins.

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


      for us, change is the only constant. yes.

      as we said 万法皆空---因果不空. the process of change is not empty.

      happiness become suffering/unsatisfactoriness , but suffering cannot become happiness. hence suffering is real. process of changing is real. in line with the 3 marks of existence. impermanence. First Noble truth.  

      even Buddha "suffer" karma of the past.

      “不昧因果”是什么?对于因果报应清清楚楚、明明白白。他说“不落因果”,就是没有果报,这就错了,这个字答错了,是“不昧因果”;就是诸佛菩萨到世间来受不受果报?受果报,虽受果他清楚、他明了。这个果报是什么原因,是哪一世、哪一生、哪一劫造的,清清楚楚、明明白白。虽受果报,也不起心、也不动念,这是大修行人。不像我们,我们受苦报不甘心、不情愿,怨天尤人,罪上加罪。他们受果报无所谓,知道前因后果,这是跟凡夫不相同的地方。(净空法师《佛学问答》)

      but also we have the end of suffering in the fouth Noble truth.

      The four noble truths are:

      1. The truth of dukkha (suffering, anxiety, stress)
      2. The truth of the origin of dukkha
      3. The truth of the cessation of dukkha
      4. The truth of the path leading to the cessation of dukkha

      immutable? are the 无为法 or 六种无为 that include Nirvana, and space itself etc.

      /\

      It is rather oxymoronic to speak of change as the only constant, don't you think?

      Anyway, the issue is not that we observe changes around us, the issue is that we explain why something even exists at all. I think our quest for answers to life's questions will not be complete if the question of origins is not pondered upon, or worse if it is just being dismissed as unimportant, meaningless or irrelevant. The question of suffering revolves also around the question of origins. Living things suffer now. But where do living things come from? Where does life come from? Such questions are connected somehow, do you agree?

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

      If you wish to say God is a process, a principle that embodies everything within the universe, then it needs neither accepting or not accepting because it, God simply is. No need to press the fact,
      as God neither needs our approval or acceptence to exist.

      The Christian view of God is not a process or a principle, or some nebulous "force" that fills the universe. God is a divine being, a Person. Indeed God neither needs our approval or acceptance to exist. That, however, is not the interesting question. The more interesting question, and one of constant debate and the key subject of philosophy is the question, Does God exist?

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

      Living being strive to live, it is an intrinsic part being alive. Only "I" of a person is capable of being jealous or any other emotions. Anger,selfishness, ignorance, desire, jealousy and pride all bring us misery. Being jealous is only relevant if "I" am alive and make a person unhappy because we crave to possess the object of our desire and wish to own it exclusively. Because "I" is mainly a construct, not found anywhere within the body, we accept it is simply of process of being human.

       

      In the Christian worldview, God created us as humans in His image. It is the result of sin that brings us misery. It is precisely because we are humans and possess personhood that it makes sense, and most natural, to speak of you or I as distinct individuals who possess self. In my view, to try to locate the "self" or the "I" within the human body would fall under one of those "meaningless questions" category.

  • BroInChrist's Avatar
    3,110 posts since Dec '11
    • Originally posted by Spnw07:

      Just want to thank everyone who have contributed to this tread. Was very surprised at first when I saw so many posts from different people. Such lively exchanges between a Christian forum member and the Buddhist forum members here have really helped me a lot in clearing up previous doubts and misconceptions.

      God bless, BroInChrist, for your patient and polite explanations of basic Christian concepts. You have brought up many relevant questions that I too would have asked during the entire conversation.

      Sadhu, Amituofo to all for showing me how to respond to questions from Christians and I hope to continue to do better.

       

      You are most welcome. I try to be as helpful as possible. I think there are many Buddhists who have incorrect views of Christianity just as there are many Christians who have incorrect views of Buddhism.

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

      Hi Bro-in -christ,

      In my opinion, to use the Sandy Hook Elementary School is distasteful as a lot of innocent lives were lost on that day . Nonetheless, since you have brought it up as an illustration, I would take the opportunity to help you to see the difference between a blood sacrifice and a national tragedy.

      In the Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre, the teachers acted out of a sense of professionalism to protect their charges. They made their commitment to protect the little ones and they do so willingly.

      In a blood sacrifice, the victim get sacrificed unwillingly  against his free will for the benefit of others. It is without reason and without consent.

      Hence , it is imperative for you not to get mixed up between the two.

      BTW, Bro-in -Christ, you have not answered my question.

      Would you allow yourself to be sacrificed for the benefit of others?

      So will it be a "yes" or "no"? 

       

      1. I don't see how using the school tragedy is distasteful as it was meant to illustrate the self-sacrifice of the teachers for the kids under their care. But frankly I don't see that as an act of professionalism at all. An act of self-sacrifice (dying for others) has IMO nothing to do with being professional which is more of a work ethic. There is nothing in the teaching profession, or any other profession for that matter, that stipulates you have to die for your students or clients or customers or that it is professional to do that, is there?

      2. Yes, the teachers died willingly for their students, out of genuine love for them. This is no less than the love that God has for us all. Jesus died WILLINGLY for us and went to the cross, like a lamb led to the slaughter, for God so loved the world...you know the rest of the verse I think. Thus the comparison is apt and hardly distasteful.

      3. I believe I did answer the question you posed to me. I said it depends. One doesn't just give up living just because you tell me to. What benefits are you talking about? In any case, whether I do lay down my life or be a coward when the time comes, it will be my call and mine only, not yours or anyone's else. But how is this at all relevant to the prior discussions? It does not call into question the willing atoning sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for the sins of the world.

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

      hello, i m a newbie with christ. only recently believe in jesus. been reading ESV of bible. i find peace with god. any senior can guide me to get closer to god?

      I don't know why the replies to your question prior to mine are not answering your question at all. Completely irrelevant.

      Anyway, here's my thoughts. Read the Bible and pray everyday. And be in regular fellowship with believers.

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

      I remember my friend told me that government has banned this kind of activity. Is my friend correct? A lady was distributing the leaflets to the public near one of the MRT station asking people to listen to Pastor Rony's talk at Lighthouse Evangelism. Is it allowed ? Unknowingly, I took one from her.

      I don't think that distributing religious tracts is illegal and banned in Singapore. Neither do I know of any law on that. Perhaps someone can enlighten me if I am ignorant that such a law does indeed exist.

      I think the government is not against proselytisation per se since it is enshrined in our Constitution, but frowns upon AGGRESSIVE proselytisation.

      I don't see how distributing leaflets inviting people to listen to religious talks is considered aggressive. If, like what some say here, that you can use these leaflets as toilet paper (rather painful to use I think!) then it certainly does not fall under the category of aggressive proselytisation.

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

      Just look from the perspective of realization. The original teachings of Buddha did not stress too much about it, but nonetheless it cannot be denied that there is such a realization.

      We stress more on the realization of anatta and emptiness that liberates self view and suffering.

      However it does not mean anatta and emptiness is a dead nothingness. The Buddha also talks about a "luminous mind" that is merely temporarily obscured from our view by adventitious defilements (such as our attachment to 'self'). However because our view of anatta and emptiness is nonsubstantialist, ultimately Buddhism is not to be labelled as a kind of pantheism. Our Buddha Nature is known as the inseparability of luminosity and emptiness. One must neither skew towards emptiness or to luminosity. We say that Hinduism skews towards luminosity, and certain teachings that preach emptiness intellectually might be skewing towards emptiness. The luminous presence is very important but the moment we form an image or concept about it and grasp after it, we have missed its nature, we have 'defiled' it with our notions so we have to cleanse it with the truth of anatta and emptiness.

      Also, for example the luminous factor is also spoken in a Dzogchen tantra (not by Buddha though, a later text expounded in the Tibetan tradition) 'the all creating king':

            "I, the supreme source ["All-Creating King"], am the sole maker, and no other agent exists in the world. The nature of phenomena is created through me ... The very manifestation of existence itself depends on me ... I am self-arising wisdom that has existed from the beginning. I am the supreme source of everything, pure and total consciousness ...'Consciousness' means that self-arising wisdom, the true essence, dominates and clearly perceives all the phenomena of the animate and inanimate universe. This self-arising fundamental substance, not produced by causes and condition, governs all things and gives life to all things ... As my nature is unhindered and all-pervading, it is the celestial abode of wisdom and luminous space: therein abides only self-arising wisdom. As I am the substance whence everything arises, the five great elements, the three worlds [i.e. the worlds of Desire, Form, and Formlessness] and the six classes of beings [hell-denizens, ghosts, animals, humans, Titans, and gods] are only my body, my voice, and my mind: I myself create my own nature ... The root of all phenomena is pure and total consciousness, the source. All that appears is my nature. All that manifests is my magical display. All sounds and words express only my meaning ...

      "I am the core of all that exists. I am the seed of all that exists. I am the foundation of all that exists. I am the root of existence. I am 'the core', because I contain all phenomena. I am 'the seed', because I give birth to everything. I am 'the cause', because all comes forth from me. I am 'the trunk', because the ramificationsof every event sprout from me. I am 'the foundation', because all abides in me. I am called 'the root', because I am everything [emphasis added]" (Translation of "The All-Creating King", published as The Supreme Source, tr. by Adriano Clemente and Andrew Lukianowicz, Snow Lion Publications, Ithaca, New York 1999, pp. 137-141, 157).

      More clarifications please.

      1. So everyone of "us" is actually I AMness but man just don't know it? Or man knows it on an intellectual level but not in a realisation level?

      2. Why would the "supreme source" refers to "I"? Why does it speaks as if it is a Person? Is this supreme source an impersonal force or a personal being?

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

      Some intro site to mysticism: http://www.frimmin.com/faith/mysticismintro.php


      I AM realization is described as what Thusness wrote in 2006:



      This is an interesting topic and since it is allowed to discuss more about God in a Buddhism forum, I would like to talk a little more about the experience of 'AMness" in all things. Razz

      Like a river flowing into the ocean, the self dissolves into nothingness. When a practitioner becomes thoroughly clear about the illusionary nature of the individuality, subject-object division does not take place. A person experiencing “AMness” will find “AMness in everything”. What is it like?

      Being free individuality -- coming and going, life and death, all phenomenon merely pop in and out from the background of the AMness. The AMness is not experienced as an ‘entity’ residing anywhere, neither within nor without; rather it is experienced as the ground reality for all phenomenon to take place. Even the moment of subsiding (death), the yogi is thoroughly authenticated with that reality; experiencing the ‘Real’ as clear as it can be. We cannot lose that AMness; rather all things can only dissolve and re-emerges from it. The AMness has not moved, there is no coming and going. This "AMness" is “God”. Smile




      There is also the sense of being lived when impersonality matures: no longer you who lives, but it is the divinity that works through you.

      Now I am confused, sorry!

      I thought Buddhism is not about nothingness? (pardon the play on words) Emptiness is not nothingness was what I think I heard from some others here.

      So we all dissolve into this I AMness which is called God?

      And this "God" is not an entity but some kind of ethereal presence that permeates everything? Now it sounds like pantheism, if it is not monism.

      Clarifications?

       

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

      No... Buddhism does not teach I AM. It goes one step further into anatta and emptiness but it doesn't mean there should be a strict hierarchy of insights. In Thusness 7 stages of enlightenment only Stage 5 onwards are considered 'enlightened' in the Buddhist tradition. In Hinduism and other mystical traditions, they usually talk about stage 1 to 4 realization.

      But I AM realization is common even among Buddhists. It depends. Buddhist may be aware of that I AM Presence, does not deny it, but our view is non-dual and non-inherent.

      Anyway, those mystical religions of the I AM realization never say everyone is I AM as if there are many individual I AMs. They say that there is only one I AM that is the fundamental ground of Being and that one I AM is giving life to everyone. Everyone has a common source. That one I AM is doing you, shining light (consciousness; life) through your eyes, breathing life. But when the individual self has dissolved, there is only that I AM left, there is no feeling of separation and this is called mystical union in Christianity. But it does not mean the individual self is God.

      Sorry, but can you clarify further what is this I AMness realisation in Buddhism is all about? What is I AM Presence?

      BTW, as far as I know, Christianity has nothing like the mystical union you are referring to. There is this abiding in Christ, or Christ living in us. But it is not a union of natures. The Creator and the creation are still distinct and separate.

      Edited by BroInChrist 20 Dec `12, 4:34PM
  • BroInChrist's Avatar
    3,110 posts since Dec '11
    • Originally posted by SJS6638:

      I sense heat coming.

      This kind of topic is /////..........................   sensitive.    Topic like this can touch the raw nerve of the believers of the so called God. 

      Later invite flaming ............................................  slamming ...........................

      amituofo!    O, Buddha, the mercy master!  I respect him.

      It doesn't have to end up in flaming and slamming. Those who are heated up over such issues should chill.

  • BroInChrist's Avatar
    3,110 posts since Dec '11
    • Originally posted by bigbear1979:

      i have a real story to share. i used to attend this church back in 2000. The church started with 15 ppl and grew to around 140 in 2011. however, the senior pastor suddenly wanted to migrate to US and left the church. Till today, the church is led by another pastor who have follow him for the last 14 years and is in a dilemina now. The church premises are seal because it own rental for the last 9 months and now is having it service at a hotel. however the church now owe the hotel 4 months of rental and the hotel is considering to sue the church. The current members left only 15 members and are all struggling. What will you do if you are in their shoes?

      Go back to the NT and look for solution?

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


      yea, ppl very easy misunderstood Impersonality/Emptiness to be to Nothingness, BUT 

      Emptiness does not refer to either physical or mental nothingness—it is the truth of the infinite open possibilities of "everything-ness".It is change itself, with no fixed nature other than change. Emptiness can be likened to the vast sky that includes and allows the coming and going of phenomena like the clouds and birds.It is not different or separate from phenomena.The potentialities of Emptiness is more than what the unenlightened perceive. It is because of Emptiness that everything, including ourselves,can continually change for the better. Anything can transform into something else when the right combination of causes and conditions is present.Similarly, anyone can become enlightened if one cultivates spiritually. Emptiness is thus a teaching full of hope.

      so on the contrary,

      http://www.scribd.com/doc/44143843/Be-A-Lamp-Upon-Yourself

      Benefits of realising emptiness

      Our ignorance sees the illusory as being "too real". We see the changing as unchanging and become attached to the unsubstantial. Not seeing the unreality of self creates suffering centring around this false sense of self. There is no hint of a fixed self in anything physical or mental. When self is realised to be empty, all "self-created" problems disappear. All is seen just as it is in its naked reality.Realising Emptiness brings unlimited ease and happiness as one becomes free of the burden of attachment. Realising Emptiness is to attain the wisdom of selflessness—to see the non-self of everything. The functioning of selfessness is the opposite of selfishness—it is pure compassion.Thus, true wisdom is compassionate and true compassion is wise—they are interdependently linked. These twin peaks of spiritual cultivation are perfected in Enlightenment.

      As we familiarise ourselves with Emptiness, we gradually open our minds and free ourselves from the bonds of ignorance. In time, this eliminates delusion, anger, attachment, pride, jealousy andother disturbing attitudes. Ceasing destructive actions motivated by them, realising Emptiness brings True Happiness.

      /\

      So it seems that in Buddhism everything (as in everything) changes and nothing (as in really nothing) does not change. And the fact of change is = emptiness. Am I correct?

      This view is certainly different from Christianity which teaches that only God is immutable, who is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. He is always God and has alway been. He is the ground of all that exists, and nothing exists apart from Him. He is the I AM. Buddhism sees everyone as "I am" (if I am not wrong) whereas in Christianity only God is the I AM.

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

      1. The world is illusory in the sense that it is empty of inherent existence.

      3. You need to re-read my statement:
      That’s not to deny reality as we observe it, nor to say that there’s no reality outside the mind, but simply that no ‘reality in itself’ exists. Phenomena only exist in dependence on other phenomena.

      4. Being killed by a car is conventional efficacy of cause and effect. But it does not mean however that car has substantial core or existence ultimately. Everything being dependently originated is empty ultimately. Empty does not mean non-existing but empty of a substantial core, unchanging, independent existence.

      2. Redness is an experience of vision in human kind. You cannot speak of redness apart from vision. Redness is a dependently originated phenomena, neither existing in mind nor in outer objects, for both mind and outer objects are conventions for dependently originated activities that are empty and cannot be pinned down as a substantial entity.

      Anyway there is an interesting article by Kyle:

      http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.sg/2012/03/sun-that-never-sets.html


      As a quick disclaimer: Faculties that are named and used in making the descriptions and examinations i'm writing about are only temporary and will be discarded at a later point. Something said at one point may be contradicted and negated later on in reference to titles such as, mind, sense-fields, awareness, consciousness, subject, object etc....

      1. Agreed (albeit reluctantly) insofar as you are saying that the universe is a contingent "entity" though I would not call it illusory or empty or lack inherent existence as such terms can give wrong impression and you need to qualify them always.

      2. Reality is simply what is, it should not be treated as an entity or spoken as if it is. Actually I don't think people hae a problem with this at all. 

      3. If someone is killed by a car, then that is the reality and the truth, regardless of whether you see it as conventional or ultimate. Again the issue of the car being a contingent thing is not in dispute, though the use of the word "empty" IMO is most unfortunate.

      4. A blind person has nothing to see as he cannot see at all. So yes, colour and vision goes hand in hand though I would not go to the extent of saying that vision = color. Our eyes are designed and created (by God) for the purpose of seeing. And a properly working eye with brain functions will result in a seeing of colour for human beings.

  • BroInChrist's Avatar
    3,110 posts since Dec '11
    • Originally posted by reborn76:

      The above statement was spoken by Stephen Hawking in his book, “The Grand Design”. It dawn me why in the westerners are foregoing their faith.

      A lot of people have realised that the age old Creation theory where one believe in a personal God whom we call the Creator is not in line with the sciencific discovery. In fact, most western churches has downplay the Creation theory knowing that it will not go down with the public except for the Asian Fundamental Christian.

      In the book, one can see that the Buddhist concept emptiness is form and vice versus (色即是空,空即是色) as mentioned in Heart Sutra is truly scienitific. How profound is the teaching of Buddha, if only we can realised we had a Gem sew to our heritage. May we had the good fortune to discover the truth for ourself through the Dharma!

      Sorry but how does science makes God unnecessary? Hawkings is certainly entitled to his opinion but there are many scientists who would disagree with him.

      Which scientific discovery would render the belief in a Creator not in line?

      The only "scientific" claim that would challenge the notion of a Creator is that of evolution which is really a BELIEF about the past to explain the present.

      In what way is the Buddhist concept of emptiness scientific?

      Would love to hear your views on the above.

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

       

      You are an entity currently being in existence. Your consciousness belongs to your living body, part of your functionality of being human, which when you die your body no longer carries the consciousness anymore. Your "I" is simply a process, that's why you are unable find any where in the body "I".

      Words communication ideas, theories and concept, may either be accurrate and truth, or simply false. Truths must abide consistently with phenomena.

      Living being strive to live, it is an intrinsic part being alive. Only "I" of a person is capable of being jealous or any other emotions. Anger,selfishness, ignorance, desire, jealousy and pride all bring us misery. Being jealous is only relevant if "I" am alive and make a person unhappy because we crave to possess the object of our desire and wish to own it exclusively. Because "I" is mainly a construct, not found anywhere within the body, we accept it is simply of process of being human.

      If you wish to say God is a process, a principle that embodies everything within the universe, then it needs neither accepting or not accepting because it, God simply is. No need to press the fact,
      as God neither needs our approval or acceptence to exist.

      1. The human being is body/soul/spirit, comprising the material and immaterial aspects. The body is the house whereas the self is the occupant if you like, it is complete and whole in this way. And because the self or "I" is the immaterial aspect it therefore makes little sense to ask where the "I" is located. Just like you cannot locate love, hate, fear, or thoughts.

      2. Words are words, we use them to communicate. Truth claims can be true or false. That is what we try to examine as best as we can.

      3. See #1 above. Just because we cannot locate an "I" in the body it does not mean there is no "I" or "self" or "me" to speak of. Again the point is that we are not just matter, but spirit/soul too.

      4. The Bible does not teach God as a process, much less an all-encompassing or embracing principle. The Bible teaches that God is a Person, a Spirit who created the universe and all that is in it, be it things visible or invisible. God is distinct from His creation, and so should not be identified with the creation, or seen as being part of the creation.

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

      I still feel think the discussion is helpful only if some buddhist concepts are misinterpreted... but pointless to debate the fundamental difference about buddhism and christianity...

      buddhists doesn't believe in a single ultimate source.. or a single creator story.. that may upset other people who hold these beliefs...

      hence i always feel it's good to understand each other's differences... but meaningless to debate the fundamental difference of all religions.

      I don't think it is meaningless at all. Debating, not mere rhetoric or polemic, will help us to see how robust our beliefs are and whether it can withstand examination. I think the way we debate is just as important as what we debate. We should let the debate or rather, discussion, be cordial and maintain harmony. We judge (in the sense of trying to discern right from wrong, truth from error) views, and not judge the person holding the views. Thus we refrain from personal attack or character assassination.  

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

      FYI, Jesus did not lay down his life for us willingly.


      First, he was praying to his old man that if his fate of being sacrifice can be averted.

      Second, he asked his old man  why he was abandoned at the cross.

      FYI, I have not misunderstood.

      Now if you are going to be sacrificed  for my benefit, would you be willing to do so? i ask you.

      And if i benefit from your loss, would i be considered righteous?

       

      Misunderstood you indeed have.

      Jesus laid down His life on His own accord. He CHOSE to do His Father's will. In His humanity He obeyed His Father even unto the cross. In John 10:17 Jesus said, "This is why the Father loves me—because I lay down my life, so that I may take it back again. No one takes it away from me, but I lay it down of my own free will. I have the authority to lay it down, and I have the authority to take it back again." In His humanity Jesus prayed and asked if the cup of suffering can pass by, and we know that it can. In Matt 26:53 Jesus said at the time of His arrest, "Or do you think that I cannot call on my Father, and that he would send me more than twelve legions of angels right now?" In the same way, in His humanity Jesus experienced the separation between God and man while He was on the cross bearing the sins of the whole world. It was a cry that pointed back to the OT Scripture, it was also to signify that the OT was being fulfilled in Christ, in that the work of atonement is being accomplished.

      BTW, God is not an old man.

      Jesus said, "No one has greater love than this—that one lays down his life for his friends." Acts of sacrifices are being done all over the world, we know of many who did so in the gun tragedy in the US. The teachers and staff willingly sacrificed themselves for the kids. The kids should not feel righteous (for that was not the purpose of saving their lives) but the kids should feel loved and treasured. Now you asked me, will I lay down my life for you? That depends on the purpose of the sacrifice, wouldn't it? It would be silly to die just because you ask me to!

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

      but do you agree that all the things in the universe, inculding u and me are made up of atoms, molecules, to mere energy by science? that's sort of Impersonality in Buddhism already in laymen term.

      /\ 

      I think that's where the danger of reductionism (we are nothing but atoms etc) or deconstructionism (we are made up of parts) lies, it removes personhood. Take a car for example, it is not the parts that make the car. You can have a junkyard full of parts but no car. You have the materials to make the car, but you can still have no car. What is the difference? It is the application of intelligence, information, or MIND if you like.

      Likewise, breaking down the human being into little parts (sounds gross!) only prove the point of what we are made up of, but it does not mean we are nothing but such things or just the sum of those things. Like I mentioned before, a corpse has everything you need but it is just not alive. When God created Adam from the dust of the earth (know you know why humans sometimes treat each other like dirt! LOL!) Adam was not a corpse since he was never alive to begin with. But God "breathed" life into Adam and he became a nephesh chayah, a living soul/person. It is the very image of God in which we are created that makes us special. We are not re-arranged pondscum.

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

       1. I cannot deny appearance and experience, i.e. a dream is appearing and undeniably experienced. But I reject that it has a substantial/inherent/independent existence or core.

      If we were to observe a red flower that is so vivid, clear and right in front us, the “redness” only appears to “belong” to the flower, it is in actuality not so. Vision of red does not arise in all animal species (dogs cannot perceive colours) nor is the “redness” an inherent attribute of the mind. If given a “quantum eyesight” to look into the atomic structure, there is similarly no attribute “redness” anywhere found, only almost complete space/void with no perceivable shapes and forms. Whatever appearances are dependently arisen, and hence is empty of any inherent existence or fixed attributes, shapes, form, or “redness” -- merely luminous yet empty, mere appearances without inherent/objective existence.

      That’s not to deny reality as we observe it, nor to say that there’s no reality outside the mind, but simply that no ‘reality in itself’ exists. Phenomena only exist in dependence on other phenomena.

      2. Car is not substantial in the sense that there is no core essence of car as described earlier. It does not reject appearance and conventional functionalities. On the level of convention there is of course truths and falsities.

      There is just this interdependent, empty, non-substantial flux in direct gnosis.

      1. A dream has no tangible existence, if that's what you mean. The same with a thought or an experience. But they are real nonetheless, even if it can only be verified by you since no one can take your dream or thought to examine it and test it. Still, there is an "I" or self to have a dream or thought. Having flesh and bone is not a conventional truth, don't you agree? One can also say that life is like a dream or a box of chocolate, but that's different from saying that life IS a dream or that it is indeed a box of chocolate.

      2. The law of identity applies when we talk about objects like red flower. Either the flower is red or it is not. It cannot be red and not-red in the same sense at the same time. Scientists will tell you that the rose is red because the other colours of light have been absorbed and only red is reflected into our eyes and provided we are not colour blind we will all experience the same thing. Animals cannot perceive colours is because that's how they were created. I can make a black/white TV or a coloured TV for differing purpose.

      3. To say that there is no reality outside the mind, how does the mind knows that? You cannot get out of your mind to affirm that.

      4. A car is a solid machine. It has existence. People involved in accidents can tell you that. We are not just dealing with appearances when we say that a red car exists. It exists in reality. But what you are doing is deconstructing the car in your mind to say that it has no real existence. That IMO is merely theorizing in abstract terms, but you would have to abandon that the moment you call a red Toyota Wish taxi and step into one. Of course if you dismantle a car you do not have a car. No sane person would call it a car, except to call it a dismantled car to be precise.

      Edited by BroInChrist 19 Dec `12, 3:54PM