Colombo, Peace and Conflict, Religion and faith

The transformation of Buddhism in Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka, the Dhamma preached by the Buddha has gone through many transformations.

First we had the Hinduization, bringing in Hindu deities into our temples, sometimes converting them to ‘Buddhism’.

Next came the Christianization, which led to the coining of the term ‘Protestant Buddhism’. This was influenced more by Christians who turned to Buddhism, than from a direct influence of the Christian church. We saw this with the start of ‘Sunday Schools’ instead of teaching the Buddha Dhamma to the children on poya days. We saw the Bhakti Gee, Wesak Cards, Schools on the lines of the Missionary schools. Saying ‘Theruwan Sarani’ for ‘God Bless’. Even performing marriages in temples, officiated by Buddhist monks, even though there was no legal status in the ‘temple marriage’.

Now we are seeing the Islamization of Buddhism. It too had begun gradually, almost unobtrusively, like the proverbial camel getting into the tent. Some of the first changes happened in ‘Buddhist schools’, where mothers of students were compelled to wear a sari, when they came to the school. Why the Sari, is it because the school authorities believed that the mothers could corrupt the young girls and boys if they came in trousers, or skirts or cloth and jacket? Couldn’t a woman wrap a saree around her, but appear more naked than if she was unclothed? Couldn’t a woman wear a shirt and trouser and be the most decently dressed, if by the standards laid down by these schools, ‘decent’ meant not flaunting the women’s assets?

Now we have Buddhist monks, threatening to issue a fatwa against a political opponent. This thera was called a ‘Sangha Angawa’, what ever it could mean. If a Buddhist monk, or should we call him a ‘Mufti’ or a ‘Mullah’, issues a Fatwa against a person, then could a Buddhist kill this person and attain Nirvana?

Even if we consider the ‘Sangha Angawa’ as a form of ex-communion, it would be interesting to see how a follower of the Buddha Dhamma could be excommunicated. A true Buddhist does not belong to a church and he can be a Buddhist, all by himself.

But a true Buddhist could not also violate the First Precept, under any circumstance!

  • Roshan

    Your understanding of the term ‘Protestant Buddhism’ is incorrect. That is nothing to do with Christianity. This term introduced by Prof. Gananath Obeyesekere in his article on ‘Religious transformation…..’

    Accorsing to Max Weber Protestant ethics promoted capitalism in the Western world (as analysed in his work Protestant Ethics and the rise of capitalism). Prof Obeyesekere argues in a similar way new Buddshist ethics introduced by Anagarika Dharmapala promoted nationalism in Sri Lanka during independence movement and he defines that code of ethics as ‘Protestant Buddism’.

  • Thaaraka

    There may few theoretical inaccuracies but their a lot of facts behind the article. Just as Buddhism adopted to local civilization when it come to Sri Lanka it is changing with the times. Usually these are the reactions to disturbances in the society like cultural shifts which get manifested in this form.

  • AJ Perera

    I am surprised the author omitted mentioning the practice of pretend-Buddhism that has become such a common practice — acting in public as a devout Buddhist for public consumption, while the sincere, underlying faith drives even the leadership to Hindu Temples and Hindu poojas abroad at the drop of a hat. That seems like self-induced betrayal of Buddhism by the Buddhists and not an external manipulation by Hindus to invade the Buddhist domain. I would like the Author’s comment on this practice and its likely impact. What does the Maha Sangha think of this practice?

  • Ghouse-Dubai

    Mr. Daya seems to be worried about Buddhism. Yes, when you and I live in a multi ethnic multi cultural society, one’s religious beliefs can be influenced by another’s religious belief. This is what we see in many parts of the world today. Not only in Sri Lanka it happens in India where Hinduism has influenced many other beliefs/ religions too. If you value your own culture and know the importance of your own culture then I think no other culture would influence your way of living. When you try to follow someone’s culture forgetting your own then you can expect things like this….

  • niranjan

    Daya Dissanayake,

    Thank You for the interesting article. I have also noticed that the state is gradually encroaching upon the private lives of its citizens.
    I wrote an article titled “the waning of liberalism in Sri Lanka” on Groundviews about one month ago.
    In that article I have given two examples of the state encroaching on the private lives of citizens. One example is that the state has banned Tobacco and Alcohol Advertising and the other example is that a Magisterate has given an order that photographs of local women who act in porn films should be published in the newspapers for identification purposes.

  • Just Someone

    What is wrong with Buddhism being influenced by other religions? I think it is beautiful that in Sri Lankan Buddhism Hindu gods and godesses also find a place and are venerated alongside the Buddha. I like sending Vesak cards to my friends, I like listening to Bhakthi Gee. I feel equally the same when I am in a Buddhist temple or a Hindu kovil and I am happy it is that way. Why shouldn’t Islam influence Buddhism in Sri Lanka as well just as Hinduism and Christianity have? There are many things that I think (as Buddhist) that Buddhists could learn from the followers of Islam. One is discipline. The issue of wearing a sari is not one of any “Buddhist schools” but of government schools and the perception of certain principals who run them. Please don’t try to twist it around.

    “But a true Buddhist could not also violate the First Precept, under any circumstance! ”

    Not really true. There is a reason it is a precept and not an order, or a commandment. Everyday people unintentionally kill living creatures as they go about their lives. That is why in Buddhism intention (cetana) is the key.

  • Just Someone

    “I am surprised the author omitted mentioning the practice of pretend-Buddhism that has become such a common practice — acting in public as a devout Buddhist for public consumption, while the sincere, underlying faith drives even the leadership to Hindu Temples and Hindu poojas abroad at the drop of a hat.”

    I don’t think going to Hindu Temples or taking part in Hindu poojas is the problem. The problem is people who can’t keep, at the very least, the 5 precepts. Take the last one – abstaining from alcohol. Exactly how hard is it not to shove alcohol down one’s throat? Yet a lot of Sri Lankan Buddhists aren’t even able to follow something as simple as that. Perhaps it is a ‘negative influence’ of Hinduism that there is a lot of unnecessary ritual in Sri Lankan Buddhism, and much less actual practice of the Buddha’s teachings. Something Buddhists can learn from those who follow Islam here; I think it is mentioned only once in the Quran to abstain from alcohol and Muslims (the vast majority of them anyhow) follow that injunction to the dot. Meanwhile Buddhists repeat the precept to abstain from alcohol every time they go to the temple and yet still can’t manage to follow through with it.

    Another thing I don’t get is why the Sinhalese practice the caste system. Granted it is not as pernicious as it is in India, but both Christianity and Buddhism have no place for caste.

  • nibras bawa

    Buudhism is an all inclusive philosophy and NOT a religion. As such your arguments and claims are baseless to say the least. Buddhism is, has always been, and will always be a HYBRID variety.. The terms used (Hinduization, Christianization, Islamization) only reflect the evolution and inclusiveness of buddhism. They aren’t necessarily bad things. If you are so worried about this socalled bastardisation of buddhism, why don’t you first learn Pali and not Sinhala? Siddharta Gautama spoke only Pali and Sanskrit.

    Furthermore, when buddhism in itself is divided into Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana, why on earth are you worried about Hinduization , Christianization and Islamization? Buddha also precahed meditation. Hopefully you will be enlightened that tolerance of other religions is a way to Nirvana when you start to meditate. May be you should 🙂

  • Verendra

    Dear Author,

    I don’t know if you understand the religion: Buddhism but you have merely picked up bits and pieces from what you have heard and seen.

    Buddhism is a religion that has been under constant threat from foreign religions like Christianity ever since it arrived on the island. Branches of Christianity are really fanatical which tries to lure followers unethically (..lets not forget deaths at prayer halls in koswatta or luring muslim teens on facebook). They prey on the weak!
    While Buddhism is known as a way of life, it does not prey. It is really protecting itself from these foreign religions.

    Dear author, no religion is following any other religion. They are actually evolving with the times!

  • What about Cafetaria- Buddhism and Sai- Baba Buddhism? Olcott came to Sri Lanka not to propagate Buddhism but to have a philosophical Christianity according to the synoptic gospels. In the true Buddhism, the feudal system should prevail and the decent slavery system should promote. And the caste system should be safe guarded to protect the properties that belong to individuals. Who like to go back to bring forth the pure original Buddhism to the present day with this type of inhuman system?

  • Leon

    As soon as the LTTE was destroyed the process of Talibanization began in Sri Lanka’s ethno-centric version of Buddhism viz, Sinhala-Buddhism. It became more intolerant of any other and began forcing people to provide electricity for Vesak pandals even if they were non-Buddhists. True some of these were isolated but the mood was changing and this article confirms my (unpublished) predictions at that time.

    Christianity went through and still goes through many reformations and the prophetic voice of self-criticism is extremely high. Even Bush found a significant section of Christians against him and his wars. But the main critics of Buddhism are unfortunately laymen who themselves may not be strong devotees. (Forgive me if this is wrong, I am only sharing my subjective experience).

    So, unless there is a strong prophetic voice from within asking questions like, Can brave soldiers who died be re-incarnated as Tamils? In fact can a Sinhalese-Buddhist be re-incarnated as a Tamil living in the Wanni? And serious thought given to protect Buddhism from extremists, it will open the door for internal disillusionment and many faithful even abandoning the faith as has happened where fundamental Christians have exposed their own narrow thinking.

    Leon

  • Donald

    we talk so big of democracy right? But many are ignorant of the basic principles of democratic system. As we look at the history of the world, we can understand how this world ha been ruled centuries. Humanity had suffered from slavery, cast, and dictatorships of cruel kings and tribal leaders and so forth. we enjoy real human freedom and live with dignity and respect in modern democratic system that derived from the Christian heritage in Europe and the United states.
    In a democratic system, government is chosen by the people and for the people, it guarantees the individual freedom to choose a religion as one understand and convinced individually. In a true democracy, no government or any one religious group can dictates what religion is right or good for the collective body of people. Religion is a person choice. It recognize the basic fact that every one is born free. The religion is learned and accepted according to one;s own personal convictions. Therefore, in a democratic society a governments cannot take a religion as a state religion or must not give priority to one particular religion.
    The responsibility and and fairness of a government is to serve every citizen fairly and equally as citizens of that country. Those who fight for a one particular religion above others show that they are ignorant of what democracy means. The true example of democracy only found in the western world particularly the United states of America. We need to follow such countries if we really believe in human rights and individual freedom.

  • Ravi

    Thank you Donalds, you enlightened me. yes, if it was not for the western civilization, we still could have lived under the cruel ruling systems of old where our great ancestors had to live.
    In our day, many enjoy the modern freedom, even those who curse at Christianity and the western world. During those years of Buddhist ruling in the old world people were slaves. high casts over run the low casts! No one was equal! Our kings could take even our wives, and daughters if they desired to sleep them for a night or two. No religion has contributed to humanity and man’s right to freedom and equality other than Christianity! Even those who hates the truth could appreciate what Christianity has contributed to our world in general.

  • Donalds

    The difference between the Christianity and Buddhism and (other religions are not exempted) is Christianity worship the CREATOR of the universe, where as Buddhists worship CREATION (that include man worship, and all kind of idols).
    Every man has his own philosophy in this world. But Jesus was not a philosopher because he said, ‘I am the TRUTH, the WAY and LIFE.’

    Nothing has come into existence by accident. Nature works according to a law of nature. Nothing has evolved from another specie. Everything in plant kingdom as well as animal kingdom produce after it’s own kind. you have never seen a woman given a birth to a lion. you have not seen a coconut come from a palm tree. Have you ever stopped to think where you come from? Of course, you would say, ‘from my mother.’ But where does the mother come from? you will logically answer, ‘she comes from grand mother’! well how far back can you go? where does that original mother come from is the vital question. Isn’t it? Bible answers where the origin of species! Its amazing!

    The very first chapter of the Holy Bible says, ‘God created heaven and earth…’ and everything living thing in the earth. Genesis chapter 1in the Bible says, each species, plant and animal produce after its own kind. The true science is harmony with the word of God! No philosopher could tell where we come into existence. Some have said, we came from five elements but could not tell where those elements come into existence. But the Bible answer all man’s quest, ‘where those five elements come from?’ The first chapter in the Bible answer that question too. It says, He created them. Answer is plain and simple! do you believe God or Philosophy?

  • The Underdog

    Thank you for this very relevant article.
    Buddhism is evolving not through influence from other beliefs and practices; it is evolving as it grows in political power. The Sangha make new rules and declare their equivalent of Fatwas to flex their new-found power in a bid to accumulate even more power. This is, of course, quite normal in any organization. However pure and pristine a doctrine may be, the minute it is organized into a hierarchical body, it becomes corrupt. This is unavoidable. It is human nature.

  • Saj

    I would like to respond to some comments made by Donald.

    Humanity had suffered under religious teachings as well in addition to the other things mentioned by Donald. Have you heard of inquisitions held by the catholic church? Have you heard of the crusades, Thirty year war etc.

    Democracy was not derived from Christianity. The US constitution was written largely by deists not Christians and largely influenced by secular thinkers such as Thomas Payne who was an atheist. British democracy was largly derived from the orange revolution in 1688 led again by secular thinkers not religious thinkers. Most of the problems in british history prior to this was largely due to religious issues.

    I agree, with Donald that religion is best kept out of government.

  • Saj

    I would like to respond to Donalds as well:

    So Jesus is “The truth, the way and life” because he said so? Therefore he is not a philosopher but a devine being? Perhaps God as per the concept of the Holy Trinity. Do you have any other evidence other than what he himself said about himself?

    On evolution, who said that a lion comes from a woman? have you even read evolution? BTW, a coconut comes from palm tree.

    The bible answers the origin of species? really? According to the bible the creation was done about 6,200 years ago. Do you believe that. There were 75 generations between Adam and Jesus according to one of the gospels. Do you really believe the world was created somewhere around 4,200 BCE? Well it’s amazing indeed !

    The first chapter of Genesis says that god created light, day and night on the 1st day (Gen 1:3-5) and created the sun on the 4th day (Gen 1:16-19). So you be the judge whether we should believe this Donalds..If you do..good luck to you.

  • Your article is fundamentally flawed, hence I do not want to bother responding to it from an ideological standpoint.

    But If I was to think like you, I guess you have forgotten The UNP Buddhism,SLFP Buddhism and the JHU Buddhism!

  • yapa

    Donald/Saj;

    Without any doubt Saj has given a sufficient answer to Donald. However, Donald please read the following.

    Omnipotence paradox
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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    Averroes (1126–1198), a Muslim philosopher who discussed the omnipotence paradox.[1]The omnipotence paradox is a family of related paradoxes addressing the question of what is possible for an omnipotent being to do. The paradox states that if the being can perform such actions, then it can limit its own ability to perform actions and hence it cannot perform all actions, yet, on the other hand, if it cannot limit its own actions, then that is something it cannot do.

    One version of the omnipotence paradox is the so-called paradox of the stone: “Could an omnipotent being create a stone so heavy that even that being could not lift it?” If so, then it seems that the being could cease to be omnipotent; if not, it seems that the being was not omnipotent to begin with.[2] One common response points out that this question makes implicit assertions that are inconsistent and self-contradictory. The phrase omnipotent being implicitly states that the phrase “a stone too heavy for him to lift” is meaningless.[3]

  • ordinary lankan

    There are two time honoured uses of religion – one is to strengthen the State. The other and more authentic form is to use religion to strengthen the individual.
    The former is politics – and politics will use whatever resources are at hand to accumulate more and more power – that is power over others – external power.
    the latter is spirituality – which will also use every resource to give up worldly power to gain true inner power.
    I have great respect for the latter approach – but also sympathy for the former. In Sri Lanka Buddhism was linked from the beginning with State power. This did not happen in India and China and Japan. When Bodhidharma took Buddhism across to China from India he introduced it sans organizational ties as a mind only doctrine calling it dhyan – sanskrit for meditation – this became Chan in China and Zen in Japan. The pure form survives the world over – even in Sri lanka. Read Forest Monks of SL by Michael Carrithers …

  • Huh

    Saj, just a comment. Although the founders were, for the most part, deists, there were devoutly Christian people amongst them. John Adams, one of America’s most respected founding father’s and most influential presidents, fiercely denounced Thomas Payne’s criticisms of Christianity, saying, ” The Christian religion is, above all the religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times, the religion of wisdom, virtue, equity and humanity, let the Blackguard Paine say what he will..” Although they may not have been diverse in regards to ethnicity, the founding fathers were VERY diverse in their views. Whereas Europe’s government and it’s native population seem to believe that the continent should be as secular as possible, what makes American democracy unique is that it’s founders intended it to be an example of both religious AND secular values, not solely one or the other.

  • Donalds

    Saj, I agree the humanity has suffered and still do under religion. It is happening still today just like in the days of old. Sri Lanka is one of countries where all minority religions being suffered by a gang called themselves ‘Hela Urumay’. Look at so called single largest democratic country the India. The pious Hindus persecute Christians, Buddhists, Muslims, and all other minority faiths.
    You talked about a Catholic church! I don’t refer to any particular religious organizations as the criteria of truth but I pointed to the Bible as the source of all truth and origins concerning creation.
    I must say you are very wrong about the American constitution. The protestant America’s history answers how this nation and its constitution were built!

    Jesus not only said, He is the Truth, the Way and the Life, but He proved by His own life. He proved that he is the author of life. He was crucified and buried, but He rose from the grave proving He is the Only Savior, the living God. All the others (gods and philosophers) are still in their graves.\

    Jesus took the humanity, died like you and I would, but came out of grave. He predicted himself of his resurrection on the third day. He never claimed to be a philosopher anywhere. He did not go looking for answers to man’s dilemma. Instead, He said I am the way, the truth and life. He has answers to all quest of man kind.
    you may ask me again, as ‘how do you know Jesus’s life story existed? I must answer the question right here. History cannot be denied. History is written about Buddha too and others. So you cannot deny the history. if you do then, you will also have to deny you had a great grandmother. you may not have seen her odes not necessarily mean that she didn’t exist. Above all Jesus is not a person of past only. He is the living God. He is alive today. All those who come to Him with desire to know Him and have a personal relationship with Him will know He is there and who can transform the lives of those seeking salvation through Him.
    you asked if any other evidence to Christ being the who He was. yes, indeed.
    there’s much evidence besides His own words and the life he lived, and His teachings. Many prophets (Old Testament) had predicted of Jesus Christ’s birth over 3000 years before He actually was born on earth. Archaeologists continue to discover the scrolls (Old Testament Bible) were buried underground for centuries. When they compare the scrolls with our Bible today, they are the same! God has been preserved His word.
    The nature speaks of God, its creator! The Bible speaks of Him. The History tell of Him. The marvelous creation of man who has advanced so much in our day with his finite brain. It tells how wise His creator with His infinite brain! The world and planet travel around the orbit in an order. uniform laws of nature, complex of our planet and all that tell us there’s a God who is in charge and Almighty! The first astronaut who landed on Moon said, ‘There’s a God.’ Bible said of Jesus as the ‘Image of the invisible God’. Jesus came that we know the love of God.

    Saj, there are many unproven human theories out there about many things in the world. Atheist also has his theories. None of these theories ever has proven. They are theories! Man needs greater faith to believe them than simple and plain truth of the Bible. Bible explanation about life beginnings and its purpose and our destinies.
    if a man came from a monkey, why not the men don’t come from monkys any more! There are may false evolution theories but they are all very old and very wrong!!
    your comments on Bible creation regard to ‘years’ and ‘generations’ are very inaccurate and that’s a misinterpretation of the Bible teachings.but i do not intend to get into that subject here any way.

    Archaeologists continue to find

    His message of love transforms lives regardless where they are. His message so powerful even the Rome the iron kingdom could not finish Him or His message. It continue to spreads around the globe.

  • AJ Perera

    There is no disagreement with Just Someone’s statement “I don’t think going to Hindu Temples or taking part in Hindu Pooja is the problem.” That however is not the issue.

    Do we so casually dismiss or overlook the blatant demagoguery involved when the leadership chauvinistically claim to be the “single-handed protector of Sinhala Buddhist” to consolidate majority power, and then rush to Indian Hindu temples to pray at the hint of even the slightest of crisis – isn’t that proof enough of a total lack of conviction or faith in the Buddhism. That was why I characterized it as pretend-Buddhism. The question is not whether Buddhists should or should not go to Hindu Temples. The question is whether such outrageous pretend-Buddhism for political expediency should be condoned by the general population of Buddhists or by the Sangha?

  • concerned lankan

    Verendra,
    i like to comment on your commentary:
    Buddhism is a religion that has been under constant threat from foreign religions like Christianity you said.
    why not the Buddhism can stand itself in defense of it? Why not people choose what is right for them whether they are right or wrong?
    you said Christianity is a foreign religion. so does the Buddhism! Buddhism is a foreign religion too brought into Sri Lanka. Buddhism was forced to follow by by the king. Buddhism was never challenged in Sri Lanka as it was in India where it became almost none existence there.
    Buddhism didn’t have a challenge until Christianity arrived in the Island. So you may feel like a threat but i think it is a challenge. So its teachings must stand the challenge not with hate and violence but by its teachings and principles. (none violence).

    you said, Buddhism is a way of life. But Christianity we rather called a faith, because it based on a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. A philosophy is a way of life but it cannot go beyond death. Christianity is different in that it recognizes that we all humans are equal and have one God. Therefore, we consider every human beings are as part of God’s creation and we need to share the good news of the Lord.
    Christ’s way is not only the to live way, but its pertaining to life beyond this world. So its the way to eternal life.

  • Donald et al,
    The divinity of Jesus, his rising from the dead and (his status in) the triune that is ‘God’ is your personal belief. There is no ground to base an argument on it unless and until you can prove it to a rational, sceptical, knowledgeable and intelligent audience. If you undertake that task, you will find your objective made very difficult by the early history of what came to be known much later as “The Church” or formally the “Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church”. Most of Jesus’ life story including its characters and miracle studded narrative was heavily doctored by the institution of the Church. But the teachings of Jesus – their broad philosophy, its influence on culture and evolution of human civilization are profound and provide much stimulus for rich debate.
    However, most if it is of little use in the Sri Lankan context – not because it is irrelevant, but because regardless of our individual religious beliefs and biases, the only viable reformation of the Sri Lankan society and culture would inevitably
    a) Be centred primarily around a reformation of the way Buddhism is practiced here (rather abused, and the way religious piety is exploited to justify repression and intolerance and assume power outside the democratic political process) and secondarily, if ever, of other faith based dogmas and practices
    b) Be dissipated in the vernacular for it to take root and be effective

    I believe my earlier comment is still being moderated by Groundviews…

  • tis-a-small-world

    Mr.Daya!
    Impressive piece! you have brilliantly captured the transformation of Buddhists! well done!

  • old Man

    The problem is not of Buddhism per se but of illiberalism and the imposition of dress codes on others.

    There is a similarity to what is done in Islamic countries but it is neither Islam or Buddhism in the true sense- it is simply illiberalism.

    However since it is Mullahs or Imam’s or Monks who are making the rules it takes on the appearance of religion.

    The best policy would be for the state to divorce itself from religion which is purely a matter of private belief and not of public policy.

  • Pearl Thevanayagam

    I like the bit about `you can be Buddhist all by yourself’. Therein lies the truth that no matter whatever your religion or philosophy, I like what Christ said and what all religions profess.

    “Love thy neighbour as thy self”.

    If only we followed this simple philosphy we would not be killing each other, coveting worldly goods to the deprivation of others or vilifying others with the soel purpose of inflating one’s ego.

    Sri Lanka’s multi-culturalism still thrives in remote villages and among Sri Lankan diaspora.

    It is those who are at the top, namely politicians and the nouveau riche who parade their religion to atone for the crimes they commit in the name of appropriating more wealth than necessary and ascending to power.

  • Observer

    “Now we have Buddhist monks, threatening to issue a fatwa against a political opponent. This thera was called a ‘Sangha Angawa’, what ever it could mean. If a Buddhist monk, or should we call him a ‘Mufti’ or a ‘Mullah’, issues a Fatwa against a person, then could a Buddhist kill this person and attain Nirvana?”

    Daya, are u seriously on something? do you understand what Buddhism is?
    Shouldn’t gv guidelines have something against blatant religion bashing? i mean i can write a quick piece like this articulating little kids and the church and kinky business that went on there for centuries, but i don’t! it’s called religion bashing and it’s a lowly act!

  • Hettiarachchi

    Sri Lanka should be a secular country. Nothing should be mentioned in the constitution about religions. After all monks can confine themselves to their religious shrines. They are not the custodians of the Sinhala race. Thanks to Portugese invaders. If not for them, this would have been a Muslin country. Now we need only popular Buddhism in the country to convert Tamils.

  • Heshan

    The entire Maha Sanga has been politicized. Since assassinating SWRD in 59′, the monks have become even more powerful. They sit in the Parliament and waste everyone’s time with their distorted versions of history and total opposition to any meaningful and fair debate concerning the state of minorities. Having formed their useless political parties, they push for racist legislation – witness Champika Ranawaka. Even the Muslims have demonstrated against Champika Ranawaka. The entire institution of monks in politics is not only against their fundamental teaching, but a threat to social harmony and the integrity of secular civil institutions. It should be stopped at once.

  • nandasena

    Budhism as practiced in Sri Lanka is only in name only. If it is truly practiced, we would not be in the mess we are today, Budha himself was a Hindu before . All the religions are evolving. Why is the author not surprised to find Budhists being caste consious and in the habit of looking at horsocopes and other rituals.

    The author is not troubled by the degree of violence happening in Sri Lanka for decades, but concerned about trivial things. What is the idea of building Dagobas when there are people who cannot even afford a single meal a day!!!!II Is this to show the subjugation of a certain section of the population? !While the “Royal family” building the Dagobas go to India with tax payers money to “bribe” the Hindu gods!!! There are Hindu temples in Sri Lanka too!!!! Are the Indian gods better than the Sri Lankan gods?

  • yapa

    Donald;

    I don’t like to disturb your innocent sweet dreams. But keep them to your self for people will laugh at your back, as they too may not like to hurt your innocent emotional feelings. We believed fairy tales too when we were kids. Take care. Bye!

  • Sinhala_Voice

    If a Christian or a Mulsim or a Hindu is doing SKILLFUL ACTION as a Sinhala-Buddhist I am ready accept that and acknowledge that and follow that.

    WHY ? BECAUSE whatever that is SKILLFUL ACTION is recommended by the Buddha and his Dhamma.

    EVEN GOOD as visualised by various world views is NOTHING more than GOOD or SKILLFUL ACTION that is ADOSHA, AMOHA and ALOBHA.

    Therefore GOD = GOODNESS or SKILLFUL ACTION devoid of Hatred, Devoid of Ignorance and Devoid of Attachement.

    So WHAT IS THE ISSUE IF BUDDHISTS FOLLOW GOOD DEEDS OF OTHERS.

    MY PROBLEM IS WHEN BUDDHISTS FOLLOW UNSKILLFUL ACTION OF OTHERS. Like doing drugs , alcohol, sexual misconduct and using people for sex, stealing, lying etc…

  • Donalds

    Yapa,
    Hey, thank you for your sweat advice. you sound like a piece of sweet potato. By the way, you must be still a kid, because you are still in the wonderland.
    Those Rama, Seetha, Rawana oh wow and bana potha is full of them. My Buddhist monk brother used to tell me a lots of tales about the wonderland. you too take my friend.

  • yapa

    Donald;

    I don’t believe in wonderland tales either in Banapotha or Bible. Still you are sticking to them, and telling them as real things. May be still I am a kid, but I belong to 21st century. As an adult you seem to belong to pre-historic era.

    Thanks!

  • Off the Cuff

    Donald, Danalds (with the ‘s’) and all the other Buddhist bashers who comment on this thread,

    I would like to pose a few questions for you to answer

    The inability to explain phenomena gives rise to blind beliefs

    The inability to explain the complexities of human life gave rise to the belief that such a complicated life form required a supernatural being to create it.

    The question then arises as to how God came into being?
    Who created this supernatural being who in the eyes of the believers is more complex than a human?

    If He can exist without a Creator then why not a Human?
    Why not everything else?

    It is said that God created EVERYTHING in this Universe. The reason given is that the “Order” that is seen cannot exist without a God. The question then arises as to whether He is also responsible for the “Disorder” that exists?

    Was it He, who created all the Illnesses, Viruses, Harmful Bacteria, the Poor, the Hungry, the illiterate, the Earthquakes, the Volcanoes, Tornadoes, Typhoons, the list is endless.

    Why does these religions keep changing with time if it was the absolute Truth?

    The Earth was Flat at one time remember?
    The Sun revolved around the Earth remember?

    Buddha Himself stated, do not believe anything just because I say so. Examine everything that I have stated and accept ONLY those that you see as the truth.

    Could any other religion make that claim?

    Buddhist Philosophy did not have to change to accommodate new scientific discoveries can any other religious teaching claim the same?

    This is not to say that all other Religious Teachers did not Preach good concepts they did but there is not a Single bit of evidence that can say that they are Superior to Buddhist Teaching

    Follow your Faith but stop attacking others thinking that your thoughts are superior to that of everyone else.

  • In stating “bringing in Hindu deities to our temples – sometimes connecting them to Buddhism….” this writer makes the mistake other Sinhala Buddhists made (and are now wiser) unaware of the fact Princeling Siddhartha Gauthama – identified as Buddha in most countries where this Code of Conduct is followed – was himself a Hindu (Santhana Dharma) from a predominantly Hindu land and environment. So the presence of Hindu deities in Lankan places of Buddhist worship is natural and to be expected. The late flamboyant Soma Thero too tried to press on these lines and was widely criticized among pious Buddhist circles for this – although, understandably, the more politically inclined among the Lankan Buddhists who gained mileage being identified with him made attempts similar to the Christian beatification to elevate Soma Thero to divine status.

    ISS

  • Donalds

    “Citizen”, hi there,
    It is interesting to see the responses when one’s traditional beliefs are challenged ! Daya Senanayake’s ‘the transformation of Buddhism in Sri Lanka’ is quite interesting what he is trying to point out. I have interjected a different perspective, the Christian faith vs Buddhist philosophy. I understand some of you don’t like my direct expression about Christian teachings regard to origin of life. I did not intend to do so. However we are in this subject now.

    Buddha has spoken good things as a human philosopher. However, in my view Buddhism is compromised with everything you can think of like Senanayake has pointed out. Buddhist philosophy is existing nominally and continues on among its followers and hierarchy whatever branch it may be. I was brought up in our Buddhist, Christian, Hindu and Muslim culture in this country. I saw how we co-existed harmoniously for centuries until Buddhism turned into a political doctrine. Because the society had recognized the diversity in a democracy society. Today many claim‘Sri Lanka’ belongs only’ to ‘Sinhala Buddhists’! If you take the freedom of people, then there’s no democracy.

    In responding to the your comments posted here, I must say that I am not alone in the belief of Christ’s divinity. Every Bible believing Christian believes in the true divine nature of Jesus Christ except few Cults !
    Yes, I already have and are willing to prove the deity of Christ to any audience from a Biblical standpoint. I will accept that challenge provided that you would not ask me to prove the deity of Christ from king’s Chronicles, Bagawathgeetha, Quran or any source other than the Bible.

    I have no argument with anyone who don’t want to believe in the Christian teachings and faith. At the Same time, as followers of Christ, we share our faith with our fellow human beings. If I know what is right and yet do not want to share with others, then what good it is?

    You have mixed up the Catholic institutional history with the early ‘church’. In Biblical sense, ‘the Church’ is ‘the people’ who follow God according to the Bible. The church begins at genesis. Sixteenth century reformations revived the ‘church’ and continues on. Like its in Buddhism Mahanaya, Theravada, Vajrayana etc we cannot take one branch’s view to determine the original teachings of Buddha, but you must go to Buddhist original Scripts. Likewise, we take the Bible as the only authority on Christian dogma and no other creed. I will not attempt to prove the deity of Christ or any dogma from church creeds.
    Catholic church has not changed the Bible. That’s a false argument. Holy Scriptures existed during early centuries before Catholic institution and Protestant reformations. Christian Bible is the same. The original Scripts (Hebrews and Greek) prove that. Therefore, your idea that the Catholic institution has doctored the miracles, or teaching of Christ is baseless.

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear Ilaya Seran Senguttuvan,

    You are correct about Siddharta’s religion by birth.
    These aspects of his life are taught at an early age in Buddhist Schools.

    The five precepts that every Buddhist lives by, are also adopted from Religions of that day. Ahimsa, Rebirth, Karma etc are Hindu concepts. There is no attempt made to “USURP” credit for any of it in Buddhist teaching.

    The existence of beings at a higher/ lower levels than Humans and of multiple worlds that support life is also acknowledged by every Buddhist. This may be observed in the act of offering merit to them at the end of every Buddhist religious ceremony, even Soma Thero was not an exception, he too offered merit to them after “Every” sermon he delivered.

    What Soma Thero underlined is the basic teaching in Buddhist philosophy, which is that no Deity can bring salvation to a person as salvation lies within Himself. Therefore, no Deity should be “worshiped” as in Hinduism in Buddhist philosophy.

    Rebirth within ANY of the worlds that support life either as a Deity or as a lower form than a human depends on the Merit or Demerit one accumulates through life. If you have sufficient Merit you may be born even as a Deity. No one can do it for you as the beatification example you produced. Politics has nothing to do with it.

    Even the Buddha could not provide salvation to others, he only showed the “Path” that should be followed to achieve salvation. There is no compulsion to follow it either, as the Buddha said “Examine everything that I have said and accept Only what you see as the Truth”.

    The difference is that while Hinduism believes in a Creator Deity who provides the salvation, Buddhist philosophy does not.

  • Off the Cuff

    Donalds,

    Your comment of November 26, 2009 @ 12:17 am
    http://www.groundviews.org/2009/11/25/the-transformation-of-buddhism-in-sri-lanka/comment-page-1/#comment-11255

    Quote
    Jesus not only said, He is the Truth, the Way and the Life, but He proved by His own life. He proved that he is the author of life. He was crucified and buried, but He rose from the grave proving He is the Only Savior, the living God. All the others (gods and philosophers) are still in their graves.
    Unquote

    Pity he did not decide to live a Thousand years after he got up from the grave to prove beyond any doubt that “He is the Author of Life” as you put it.

    He could have then saved the “Whole World” and made sure everyone of his creations achieved “Eternal Life” and driven the “Final” nail in the coffin of “All the others (gods and philosophers) “who” are still in their graves” as you put it

    Hope you write sense the next time

  • Heshan

    Donalds:

    I would say, that as a religion, Christianity has more practical value than Buddhism. This is actually consistent with “preferred” terminology: Buddhists prefer to call Buddhism a “philosophy” as opposed to a “religion.” Whereas, for Christians, Christianity is an end unto itself. Now, I said, Christianity has more practical value than Buddhism. This is because the most important function of any religion is to impart a system of ethics – values, so to speak – to its followers. Unlike Buddhism, the Christian value-system is extremely easy to follow. One has only to follow the Ten Commandments and accept the divinity of Christ. As far as Buddhism is concerned, much of the ethical system is tied up in abstract philosophical content. I do not think that most Buddhists are able to appreciate let alone comprehend such abstractness. Sri Lankan Sinhala Buddhists are a case in point. If they were following Buddhism to its core, they would not oppose the idea of a separate Tamil homeland. Ownership of land, like ownership of material objects, is meaningless from the nihilistic point of view that Buddhist tries to put across. Similarly, the formation of exclusive group identities also goes against such doctrine. While Buddha was fully aware of these phenomena and suggested the formation of the Sangha for those with an ardent desire to avoid such calamities, he was less stringent with those who chose not to become monks. For them he suggested a “path” – the eightfold path – which most are unable to follow. Why? Because, as I have suggested, the basis for that path is tied up in abstract philosophical jargon, such as karma and cosmic energy. Without a proper basis, one either follows blindly, haphazardly, or half-way. Christianity, despite its simplicity, is easier to rationalize as a complete system. Most people, throughout the course of their lives, will reason at an extremely simple level of logic. Abstract reasoning is not inherent to the human mind, but requires much practice – in other words, it must be learned. I do not think most people have the patience for such learning, period. So when you give them a philosophy like Buddhism, they will only abuse it. That is what has happened in Sri Lanka. Whereas Christianity has flourished in the West, Buddhism in Sri Lanka has totally degenerated to the extent that a Buddhist there does not say, “I am a Buddhist” but he says, “I am a Sinhala-Buddhist.” Such is the extent of corruption.

  • rajivmw

    Dear Heshan,

    I honestly don’t know of a single Buddhist who considers Buddhism to be only a ‘philosophy’ rather than a religion. But I’ll grant you that that’s probably because I don’t know too many people. Could you explain me to why Buddhism is not to be considered a religion?

    As for Christianity imparting a ‘practical’ and relatively simple system of ethics through the ten commandments, that is certainly true. But then the five precepts seem even simpler to me. You may think that Buddhism is too steeped in dense abstraction for average minds. I may think that Christianity’s reliance on legend, allegory and blind faith obscures its deeper wisdom just as effectively, what with people like Donalds taking it all too literally.

    I agree entirely that Buddhism has been corrupted and abused in Sri Lanka. But are you really suggesting that Christianity is somehow immune from similiar depredations? The Christian West plundered, slaughtered and enslaved much of the planet for centuries, often in the name of their religion. Their own societies were characterized by constant warfare, despotism, injustice, intolerance, racism and even genocide at least until the latter half of the 20th century.

    If these then are the practical expressions of a ‘flourishing’ Christianity, then sign me up for ‘degenerate’ Buddhism thank you very much.

  • Heshan

    rajivm:

    Here are some quotes from the Dalai Lama:

    “If you have a particular faith or religion, that is good. But you can survive without it.”

    “My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.”

    “There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness.”

    “We can live without religion and meditation, but we cannot survive without human affection.”

    Very clearly, the Dalai Lama lays emphasis on a state of mind, on the very act of doing vis a vis oneself. He dismisses religion – the social construct – and all of the implied associations. For example, when one goes to a temple, it is to associate with like-minded believers, or to venerate certain high-ranking members of the religious sect. In this sense, religion provides reinforcement – affirmation, if you will. But this is a mechanical process that does little to promote actual understanding. It is equivalent to a small child learning 2 digit multiplication. On the other hand, this IS what religion is. Beyond the temple, away from other followers, the “religion” becomes a philosophy. In the human context, however, the “application” of the philosophy probably has little meaning, because it is too abstract. It is the act that counts, which is why the Dalai Lama lays emphasis on “kindness.” This is why I said Christianity is more suitable for the practical individual. The example of Jesus is a brilliant one, because he taught by way of example – through his own actions – not logical discourse. He laid out a path for Christians to follow, and he himself followed that path, uninterrupted, to the desired conclusion. He did not accept alternatives, like the Buddha did, because to do so would interrupt the flow of things. There would be questions left unanswered, such as age of the universe (asked by Brahmins to Buddha), which would reveal gaps in the philosophy or create dissension from those who disagreed and lead to opposition. Of course, teaching merely by example and avoiding a detailed discussion of the logical scaffolding will not be universally appealing. That is why most Western scientists have traditionally been agnostic or atheist. On the other hand, it is sufficient for most of humankind, and this was the intended audience of Jesus (not only logicians, but everyone: kings, lepers, prostitutes, rich man, poor man).

  • Off the Cuff

    Hi Donalds,

    Hope your interpretation of Theology can explain the matters raised in my posts of November 30, 2009 @ 9:30 am and December 3, 2009 @ 12:57 am

  • Donalds

    Hi Off the cuff,
    Sorry wasn’t able to get back to you still. i was commenting on your thread while in the island but currently i am in the ship (am a seaman). But I will soon respond to your Buddhist theology.

  • yapa

    Dear Heshan;

    RE: Your posr of December 3, 2009 @ 12:07 pm addressed to Donald.

    You are indeed a friend of Donald!
    Yes! Yes!! “Friend in need is a friend ……………….”!

    Thanks! Heshan, Please help me when I am in need too.

  • yapa

    Dear Donald;

    If you don’t mind please give a comment on my post of November 25, 2009 @ 8:59 pm too.

    Thanks!

  • Heshan

    Dear Yapa:

    Let me help you out?

    Friend in need….
    http://gwmodernkorea.blogspot.com/2008/03/tibet-31-movement-kwangju.html

    Is a friend ………………………….
    http://www.mfa.gov.cn/eng/wjb/zzjg/xos/gjlb/3225/3227/W020080414317860318374.jpg

    Plz help your Buddhist friends in Tibet first. 🙂

  • yapa

    Dear Donald;

    If you can spare some time please read “Why I am not a christian ” by Bertand Russel. Can you tell me the reason why such a famous man is holding such a view. Is it his folly or what?

  • yapa

    Dear Heshan;

    Thanks!

    Anyway, I cannot help the feeling that you have taken over the role of China(Chinese roll), as you are also bashing Buddhist monks (and Buddhism) in the same manner the Chinese soldier does in the picture of the given link. Further I can remember you were telling we should be grateful to the British colonial as they saved us from feudal system.

    See the similarity of your view and China:

    Now I see “his master’s voice”.

    Thanks!, Heshan.
    Bye!

    “As Japanese rulers argued, Chinese officers claimed that they brought development and installed infrastructure in Tibet and saved Tibet from feudal system. They argue that Tibet people should be grateful to China”.
    (Quoted from the text of your link.)

  • Heshan

    Dear Yapa:

    I never bashed Buddhism. If you read what I wrote, I said that it is too complicated for most people to comprehend. As an example, I gave Sri Lankan Sinhala-Buddhism. The evidence begins with the name itself. Why call it Sinhala-Buddhism? Why not just call it Buddhism? Why do “Sinhala” Buddhists try to claim a unique form of Buddhism? Secondly is the “Mahavamsa.” The Mahavamsa is used to make the claim that the island “belongs” to Sinhala-Buddhists. The island can never be “divided” because the whole island belongs to Sinhala-Buddhists. 100,000 people were killed in a 30 year period, because of this claim. Is this Buddhism? Or is it Sinhala-Buddhism? Did Buddha say land has many meaning? Third is the politicization of the Sangha. Did Buddha say monks can take part in politics? Did he say they can form political parties? Politics is a dirty business. Why do monks in SL take part? Explain if you can.

    I have great respect for Buddhism (the philosophy). But I believe Sinhala-Buddhism is a failure. I do not even consider it as Buddhism when I see Sinhalese going for astrology (horoscopes), going to Kataragama Shrine, casting spells, building giant Buddha statues, letting monks go loose in Parliament, etc. etc.

    Now you are comparing the Chinese invasion of Tibet to British invasion of Ceylon. But you leave out one point: the Chinese never plan to leave Tibet. They consider Tibet part of China. They have been invading Tibet since the 7th century A.D. What do you have to say to that? 🙂

  • yapa

    Dear Heshan;

    Hurray! It happened. Ultimately it happened. Ultimately you let your heart come out. I was looking forward to see a clever man to talk from his heart.

    Dear Heshan:

    I have been watching your “Rama- Ravana” battle with Off the Cuffs with astonishment and also with a little bit of heavy heart. I was thinking we were putting our mighty strengths for the destruction of each other. We have been purposely thinking and planning strategies to undermine the other party, which is really the closest kith of each other. Why are we doing this? Why are we spinning a dark future for ourselves? Why don’t we give up all differences and try to come up with a common plan? I have observed your capacity. Can’t we together use our energies for a better objective, rather than involved in a useless quarrel? We Sinhalese are no devils, not Tamils either. We are humans with some weaknesses. Why don’t we understand this and destroy ourselves pinpointing our each other’s weaknesses. Are we not washing our dirty clothes in public? why should we spin this destruction? I think you must have heard saying ” All the wars started in the minds of people”. Mustn’t we put a full stop to this mind battle.

    Dear Heshan;

    As men of some capacity, shall we start a new dialogue to heal this ever painful wound of our society. We can start it with a simple thing like writing something agreeable to both parties. Please Heshan come forward to build our society again. To build up our friendship again. Shall we do some thing together to get ourselves and our people out of this hell. Shall we put our energies together to achieve this end.

    Dear Heshan;

    I humbly appeal to you. Please Heshan.

    Thanks . Bye!

  • Heshan

    Dear Yapa:

    You did not answer any of my questions. From this I infer that you are afraid to condemn Sinhala-Buddhist fundamentalism. Yet you will happily condemn the Catholic Church for mistakes it made in the 16th century.

    You can keep avoiding the questions. But I will keep asking them, as the occasion permits.

  • SomeOne

    Dear Heshan, and others,

    “…“I am a Sinhala-Buddhist.” Such is the extent of corruption….”

    “Sinhala-Buddhist” is a different version of Buddhism; put it that way.

    “Sinhala-Buddhist’ would have thought that human race is not even living thing.

    How could then a Buddhist kill a human and preach others, in the mean time, “Saththu maranda eppa”?

    I don’t find fault with them (sinhala-Buddhist) because, probably, they simply don’t know that human are “saththtu” itself.

    I am of the opinion that there is nothing wrong with any religion, in general. It is the problem with the people who interpret it and follow it.

  • yapa

    Dear Heshan;

    I would like to answer some of your questions posed in the previous post.

    Q:- “I never bashed Buddhism. If you read what I wrote, I said that it is too complicated for most people to comprehend. As an example, I gave Sri Lankan Sinhala-Buddhism. The evidence begins with the name itself. Why call it Sinhala-Buddhism? Why not just call it Buddhism? Why do “Sinhala” Buddhists try to claim a unique form of Buddhism? Secondly is the “Mahavamsa.” The Mahavamsa is used to make the claim that the island “belongs” to Sinhala-Buddhists. The island can never be “divided” because the whole island belongs to Sinhala-Buddhists”.

    Answer:- There is no such usage or a thing called “Sinhala- Buddhism” among Sinhalese people. According to my knowledge this has been compiled to insult Sinhalese people by other interested parties. Sinhalese people disliked to be called as “Sinhala-Buddhists”.

    According to my understanding Mahawamsa has never claimed the island belongs to “Sinhala- Buddhists”. Please be kind enough to show me where it is mentioned as I also have not read the Mahawamsa in full.

    According to my knowledge no one has ever claimed that the island can never be “divided” because the whole island belongs to Sinhala-Buddhists”.

    People claim it can not be divided, true. But they have never claimed that it belongs to Sinhala- Buddhists.

    On the other hand on what basis you claim the island should be divided? What is the rationale behind this claim? Can you justify this claim? Don’t you think this is a bit beyond reasonable aspirations? Do you think unreasonable aspirations should be advocated? Leave aside Sinhalese, tell me any other nation who likes to divide their country. Malaysia? Canada? Korea? Germany? Britain? Are you trying to say Sinhalese are a pack of brats that are different from other communities?

    Q:-Third is the politicization of the Sangha. Did Buddha say monks can take part in politics? Did he say they can form political parties? Politics is a dirty business. Why do monks in SL take part? Explain if you can.

    Answer:- Once a monk asked the Buddha whether he had completed preaching “Dhamma”. The Buddha asked the monk to bring a handful of leaves from a tree. Once it was brought, the Buddha pointed his finger towards the thick jungle nearby and asked the monk to tell which has more leaves, trees of the jungle or in the hand of the monk. The monk replied Sir, it is obviously the jungle. Then the Buddha said the amount of Dhamma I have preached is like the leaves in your hand the unpreached Dhamma is like the leaves in the jungle.

    Dear Heshan;

    Buddha has never said everything. He has not limited the Dhamma to what ever he said. Buddism is not jout about interpreting what the Buddha has said. Buddhism has given enormous freedom for individuals to choose their own path. However, he said every willful action has its consequences which is to be born by the doer. On this principle he asked people to choose their cause of action. However, I should emphasise that every action by “Buddhist” cannot and should not be justified just because he is a Buddhist. In my opinion, this principle equally applies to other faiths too.

    In the case of Buddhist monks, most of them have not attained Arhathood. They have worldly desires too. They have nor surpassed manhood and hence what the rationale you expect them to abstain from most important and sensitive world activity? Do the priest of other faiths are not involved in political activities? Have they never been involved in the history of mankind? Is there any rationality or justifiable reason to keep a section of society away from politics? Judgements based on emotions alone, are most of the time incorrect. Propaganda and assertion over incorrect and unjustifiable demands have many of the time brought destruction to the mankind.

    Many who utter high sounding words like “Sinhalese racists, Sinhalese chauvinists, Sinhalese criminals, Sinhala Buddhist barbarians etc…. are mainly do so in prejudice. Many others do not know even their reals meanings. Most of them are just parrots, who pray for the destruction of whom they dislike, who has no an iota of feeling what their doings will be up to. They just use Gobel’s theory for the harm of the others.

    Q:- I have great respect for Buddhism (the philosophy). But I believe Sinhala-Buddhism is a failure. I do not even consider it as Buddhism when I see Sinhalese going for astrology (horoscopes), going to Kataragama Shrine, casting spells, building giant giant Buddha statues, letting monks go loose in Parliament, etc. etc.

    Answer:- Dear Heshan; Why do you expect Sinhalese to perform only Buddhist activities? Do you expect them to be “Sinhala- Buddhists”, which is contradictory to your earlier objection about Sinhala- Buddhism.

    Dear Heshan; All the ordinary Sinhalese do not fully understand what the Buddha said. They never will be able to. Why do you think that all the Sinhalese should understand Buddhism, just because they are Buddhists? Is it a reasonable expectation? Buddhist has have Hindu kovils in their temples, you know. People are not omniscient. You have to expect some irrational behaviour Especially from groups of people. Group behaviour cannot be fully explained through individual behaviour. Though a mob is comprise of individuals, you must have heard the saying “Mob has no brains”. We have to give some allowance in some cases. We cannot expect hundred percent. Do yo think the behaviour of Tamil people taking place fully according to the Hinduism, as they are Hindus by religion?

    Q:-Now you are comparing the Chinese invasion of Tibet to British invasion of Ceylon. But you leave out one point: the Chinese never plan to leave Tibet. They consider Tibet part of China. They have been invading Tibet since the 7th century A.D. What do you have to say to that?

    Answer:- My short answer (question) to your question is, whether you approve the invasion of Tibet by China, if they leave Tibet now? Can they wash their hands after that and be treated like saints and benevolent people to Tibet, as your judgement about British colonials to Sri Lanka.

    Heshan, Now, I answered your questions. Now shall we together try to do a little bit something to take out our people from this misery?

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear Yapa,

    A very mature and incisive post.

    Congratulations

  • yapa

    Dear Off the Cuffs;

    Thanks again for the encouraging comment.

  • Heshan

    Dear Yapa:

    You have not answered my questions properly. I will give you 4 more days to retract your statement. You need not apologize. I would rather you “understood” than offered any apology. Despite your erroneous reasoning, I consider you an honest individual, unlike some of your colleagues here. Thanks.

    P.S: In rethinking your statement, please consider the following:

    (1) How did Dutugemunu feel after killing the “Yakkas” in Mahavamsa? Who are these “Yakkas”?

    (2) Why is federalism not being discussed in SL?

    (3) What is the difference between colonization and permanent occuption?

    (4) Did Lord Buddha really visit Sri Lanka?

    (5) For what purpose did Buddha create the Sangha?

    (6) What is the meaning of Chinthanaya?

    If you did not wish to reconsider your response, then you may leave it as it is, and I will respond within 4 days (it is now 8th December).

  • donalds

    “Off the Cuff”
    your comments of November 30 @9″30

    You asked, ‘who created this supernatural being (God) who in the eyes of believers is more complex than a human?’
    The God cannot be created. He is ‘Self-existing one’. God is eternal, infite, and no one can creates a God, neither one can become a God. God is Supernatural Creator and He has no beginning or end.
    Where did God come from? We can only partially comprehend the notion of God’s existence. To do so, we must use human concepts to speak of God: ” Without beginning or end, ” ” Eternal, ” “ Infinite, ” etc. The Bible says that He has always existed: ” . . . even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God” (Psalm 90:2). And, ” your throne is established from of old; Thou art from everlasting ” (Psalm 93:2). Quite simply, God has no beginning and no end. So, where did God come from? He didn’t. He always was.
    To us, the notion of time is linear. One second follows the next, one minute is after another. We get older, not younger and we cannot repeat the minutes that have passed us by. We have all seen the time lines on charts: early time is on the left and later time is on the right. We see nations, people’s lives, and plans mapped out on straight lines from left to right. We see a beginning and an end. But God is ” beyond the chart. ” He has no beginning or end. He simply has always been.
    Also, physics has shown that time is a property that is the result of the existence of matter. Time exists when matter exists. Time has even been called the fourth dimension. But God is not matter. In fact, God created matter. He created the universe. So, time began when God created the universe. Before that, God was simply existing and time had no meaning (except conceptually), no relation to Him. Therefore, to ask where God came from is to ask a question that cannot really be applied to God in the first place. Because time has no meaning with God in relation to who He is, eternity is also not something that can be absolutely related to God. God is even beyond eternity.
    Eternity is a term that we finite creatures use to express the concept of something that has no end — and/or no beginning. Since God has no beginning or end, He has no beginning. This is because He is outside of time. The Bible records that He is Himself, ‘I am that I am’. And His name is Yahvah, the almighty God of Heavens and earth.

    The self-proclaimed and self -appointed gods and goddesses and the belief that man eventually will become a god is contrary to our Christian belief system of a God . If there exist many gods, then there would be war between different gods and goddesses somewhere. I only believe in the triune God, who is Omnipotent, Omniscience, and Omnipresent is the creator of all.

    You asked, if ‘its God who created the earth and law of nature ‘order’, who is responsible for the ‘disorder’? You also asked, ‘was it God who created illnesses, viruses, bacteria, poor, hungry etc etc….?’ ( karma has been a convenient justification for the poverty, illnesses and everything else that faced by various Buddhists!)
    But we believe that God created everything perfect in the beginning, and of course not all bacteria are bad. Evil, pain, and suffering came into the world as a result of our rejection of God’s perfect plan.
    A reason people lived so long early days may have been because diseases still hadn’t had a chance to really develop. Some would say the earth was a giant greenhouse with a water-type canopy that was a near-perfect environment, one destroyed by the flood. I believe bacteria and viruses are something that developed in a fallen world as a result of our rejection of Gods’ plan.

    For example, our immune system is something that shouldn’t exist. Bacteria and viruses ought to be eating us from the inside out if not for this miraculous immune system within us which is a scientific improbability in itself. AIDS lets us see what happens when that immune system is taken away, people are eaten alive by the bacteria our immune system would normally protect us from.
    A renown Scientist, Jerry Bergman Ph.D says, ‘a review of the structure, function, and role of viruses in ecology …. concluded that viruses are non-living entities, similar to seeds and spores whose functions include carrying genes from one plant or animal to another. Viruses are a part of a system that helps to produce the variety that is critical for life and, importantly, they carry resistance to disease from one organism to another. Most viruses live in their host without causing problems. Pathogenesis is evidence of something gone wrong, a mutation or the accidental movement of genes, and not evidence of a system deliberately designed to cause human disease and suffering.’

    A wise teacher said, ‘If I can know the mind of God, then God isn’t God.’ Any man who claims to have all the answers is a person to avoid.’ We certainly have no interest in attempting to pretend to be God, but even with our limited human wisdom we can understand some of the reasons why God created the cosmos the way He did.
    God provides protection over the face of the earth, but man’s down right rejection of God and their evil and sins opens the door for evil forces, the devil to do his job. Devil leads who yields to him for destruction who is the unseen force of every evil. We murder the babies of the womb, hurt and kill our fellow human beings, do all kind of injustice and do every imaginable sin that we can think of and rebellion against God and still expect His protection. Yes God is love, but He is also a righteous Judge.

    God created the universe and the laws of nature. Most natural disasters are a result of these laws at work. Why does God allow earth quake, tornados, hurricane, typhoons etc? Natural disasters often people termed, ‘Act of God’ while credit is not given Him for peaceful weathers, for centuries. Could God prevent natural disasters? Absolutely. We can understand why natural disasters occur. What we do not understand is why God allows them to occur. For one thing, such events shake our confidence in this life and force us to think about eternity and re-evaluate priorities in this life. Sin is the ultimate cause of natural disasters just as it is the cause of death, diseases, and suffering. This universe marred by gross evil even the nature reminds it is no longer perfect as it came from its creator.
    Cancer is caused to a large extent by man-made Carcinogen in the environment. These same agents are a major cause of birth defects. Alcohol, smoking, and drug use are major contribution to mental and physical health. The problems are a product of human activity.
    People goes to bed hungry, the problem is not shortage of food. If the money spent on military by all countries for one week was put into the production of portable water for the’s people, the food shortage would be over. Once again it is man with his greed, selfishness, desire for political power, and stupidity that is the cause of hunger- Not the failure of God’s system.

    The earth was not flat as far as I remember. Research study of 5000 manuscripts from the time of Plato and Aristotle haven’t found one writer who said the earth is flat. It is believed that the ‘flat-earth idea is a myth that flourished after Darwinists tried to discredit the Bible. The Bible does not teach that the earth is flat. It teaches that the earth is spherical.
    No, the Bible does not say the sun revolves around the earth.

    You asked, ‘why these religions has been changing with time if it was absolute truth?’
    Good question. If you carefully examine Buddhism and Christianity you certainly will find out that it is not the Christianity that is changing but the Buddhism and others. The article by Daya Sennanayake here himself has pointed the changing Buddhism with time in Sri Lanka. The fact of the matter is the truth cannot be changed. Bible says, God never changes. He is yesterday, today and tomorrow, so does His word and revelation of His will for man. It has never been changed at any given time. The truth will stand and continue to declare. The Bible prophecies accurately fulfilled the history of the world and they continue to fulfill the coming events of the end times. The opponents of God have misinterpreted and misrepresented the holy Scriptures in an effort to disprove God’s truth.

    You wrote that Buddha has said, ‘ not to believe anything just because he said so. But to examine everything that he stated and accept only those that you see as truths.
    You asked, ‘could any other religion make that claim?’

    To me that statement indicates of his own doubts about his teachings. you recognize the fact that Gautama Buddha is a philosopher, a human being, regardless of the degree of his enlightenment.
    He kept the door open for people to search for the truth. I value his statement and wish my Buddhist friends will take it in a positive way to search further.
    I am not writing on ‘any other religion’, but as far as Christianity is concerned we differ in this respect.
    In contrast, Christians believe Jesus Christ is divine Son of God and He spoke in authority. He had no slightest doubt who He was or what He taught. He had full confidence in is word because he is fully divine. He came to reveal the love of God and the truth. That’s why He said, ‘I am the life, the truth, and the way. He did not say He has truth. Instead, He said, He is ‘the truth.’ If He had asked us to examine His teachings and accept only those that you see as truths, would means he wasn’t the truth.
    I follow my faith not on your advice. It is not my thoughts that are superior to anyone else. But it is the truth that I pointed that is superior to your philosophies. There are no two truths.

  • yapa

    Dear Heshan;

    You Say ” You have not answered my questions properly”.

    But I don’t understand what you mean by “properly”. I have answered all of your questions one by one. I don’t know any other “proper” than this. If you specifically tell me what you consider as proper I will try to answer that way too. Further, I don’t think many would say my answers are improper. Frankly tell me, isn’t it not you say, it is not proper but APPROPRIATE!

    Further I would like to say I don’ see much connection between these five questions and the questions given in your previous post. Further, without knowing in what contexts you are asking those questions, it is very difficult to answer them. Are they pure questions having no connection to any situation/s? Further, to be frank I am not a jack of every trade. Else, these are not questions, answers of which are deductible through rationality. You are asking for informative answers. I think specific answers for such questions can better be obtained from relevant literature, rather than through my opinion. If you are insisting I will try to answer them as per my knowledge. I will not be ashamed of lapses in my answers, as know one knows everything. But if you ask me any question that is arguable, I am sure I can give you an answer close to perfection.

    However, I would prefer your answers for the questions, as it is easy for you to answer them since you are the person who made these general knowledge questions. I used to participate in general knowledge quizzes, when I was schooling. However, now I am a little bit out of practice.

    Anyway I would like to remind you something. You have not answered my question in the previous post, which goes as follows.

    “According to my understanding Mahawamsa has never claimed the island belongs to “Sinhala- Buddhists”. Please be kind enough to show me where it is mentioned as I also have not read the Mahawamsa in full.”

    Please give me that information.

    Thanks!

  • yapa

    Dear Off the Cuffs;

    Why are you expecting fur from a tortoise? Donald will never give them to you. Don’t you remember the Buddha has said “Asevanach balanan……………..”

    Anuvana eka guna dahamin weloowath
    Uge gathiya oo nariy maroowath.

  • anonymous

    Major dissimilarities of Buddhism and Christianity:

    The first thing we notice in Buddhism is that it denies a personal God. At the same time, almost every shade of Buddhism deifies Gautama Buddha (or buddhahood), accepting and worshiping other gods. As well. Christians Believe in only one triune God, but Buddhist may question this claim we maintain that God is three persons. The trinity is a mystery even for those who meditate on the Word of God. But Scripture does portray God in three persons with one essence three persons eternally existent together, and their ministries, although somewhat different in Human historical terms, are of the same substance and function. This belief is not optional for anyone who claims to follow the Lord Jesus Christ, who clearly said, “ I and the Father are one” (John 10:30).
    One of the cardinal declarations of Buddhism is that desire is evil, leading to the accumulation of bad karma that, in turn, lead to endless births, deaths, and rebirths. The Bible does not condemn desire as such, distinguishing between holy and unholy passions. The Word of God abounds in assurance that the desire of the righteous will be fulfilled. When we dire to do His will (Palms 40:8); the Lord grants our hearts desire (Palms 21:2). We are promised that “what the righteous desire will be granted” (Proverbs 10:24); “ the desire of the righteous ends only in good” (Proverbs 11:23).
    Buddhism frowns upon action or activity because it allegedly adds to the karma one has already accumulated, bringing bondage to this world for all. One of the effective ways to ensure better karma, then is not to get involved or engaged, and in this case there is a denouncement of human labor. While Buddhism does condemn evil deeds and exhort good deeds. Every deed right or wrong, add to karma, and as such activity should ultimately be avoided in order to attain nirvana. While the laity are encouraged to be morally upright in all their duties, in their conscience labor is a kind of worldly slavery, a hindrance in the journey toward nirvana (total extinction). This sentiment, constantly expressed, is found, for example in an 18th century Tibetan text;
    ‘Oh, to have given that care to those
    who were born of one’s body-how pitiful!
    Relatives united and inmate friends,
    Children reared, and riches stored,
    All are impermanent, like an illusion,
    And nothing substantial is found in them.
    My mind has now forsaken all activity.
    So that I may keep constant to my vows.'(Conze, 87)
    .
    On the other hand, good works are an essential part of being a true follower of Christ. God is active from the beginning: He created this world, and his Word calls it work. God likewise wanted the man to work “and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it” (Gen 2:15). Work in itself is not a curse or sin.
    God not only saw “ all that he…made, and it was very good” (Gen 1:31), but Jesus himself was a carpenter (Mark 6:3), and the apostle Paul also supported himself through manual labor (Acts 18:3). Righteous works are encouraged and demanded in Christian faith (see also Ephesians 4:28).

    Each of us will have our works judged, both good and bad (2Corinthians 5:10). That does not mean we are guided by works alone or that we carry our evil works without any scope for forgiveness while in this world. God makes us righteous, despite our evil works in the past, if we believe on Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. “(see Romans 5; 16-17). (Also Ephesians 2:10).

    Paul declares, ‘what good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily bread. If one of you says to him, “go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead….you foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the alter? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his was made complete by what he did….A person is justified by what he does not by faith alone. (James 2:14-17, 20-22, 24).
    At the same time, “it is by grace you have been saved, through faith- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

    On the other hand, Buddhism has not reconciled the tension between works and grace, often believing that only if he can wear the yellow robe and become a monk is there any hope for salvation. Within Buddhist belief the need for the work of the laity is recognized, but it is given short shrift as something less spiritually worthy. This worlds is not illusory- it is real; but ultimately we are not of this world, and our citizenship is in heaven, praising the God of creation and fellowship with Him in His presence.

    LIFE IS WORTH LIVING:
    The major goal of Buddhism, reflected in the endless cycle of samsara, is eliminating the sufferings caused by desire, which can be achieved ( for some) through following the noble paths and right conduct. That the world is full of suffering is recognized everywhere, but Buddhism denies that suffering has any relevant role. The Word of God says that life is His gift and is worth living no matter what. God is a God of life, and His covenant with us is “a covenant of life and peace” (Malachi 2:5). If we love Him (that is, if we serve and obey Him), God promises to both save and satisfy us (Psalm 91:16).
    Life is not an end in itself; “whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for (Jesus) sake will find it” (Matthew 10:39). The Lord also teaches that you should not “ worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes” (Luke 12: 22-23).
    The gospel is about the life that flows from God: “ through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men'(JN 1;3-4).
    Jesus is “ the bread of life” (JN 6:350), who declares, “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life” (JN 6:63, also 10:10). God himself is life and the Life giver.
    SIN;
    The Buddhist focus on karma leaves enough room to describe good and evil deeds, but the notion of sin is distinctly absent. Man needs to work out his salvation on his own, and his accumulated karma must be eliminated. He has not committed any “sin” against God or the gods, even though he has perpetrated deeds both favoring them and against them. Man inevitably suffers the inexorable and inflexible consequences of karma-there is no escape. Nonetheless, as pointed out above, while the Word of God clearly says that we will be judged for our good and bad works, only the grace of the Lord makes our salvation possible.
    This list of contrasts between Buddhism and Christian beliefs can be expanded.

  • donalds

    yapa,
    When I was a kid, i learned many meaningful objective stories. One of the stories that helped me learn discipline, perseverance, and patience to be successful is the one about Rabbit and turtle race. Good lessons there! your comments to ‘off the cuff’ is interesting any way.

  • yapa

    dear Donald;

    Surely I am not patient about untruth And injustice. I don’t believe truth and untruth have same rights, and I don’t want to be moderate in such cases. I am proud to be an extremist in such cases and don’t want to please everybody. I don’t want a person of the calibre of Off the Cuff to waste his energies for listening to lullabyes. He can render a valuable service using his precious time. That is why I indicated Off the Cuff to stop that barren debate.

    I am very sorry about some people, who has no a sense about rationality; man’s best attribute for knowledge seeking. Some are clinging to the worst form of tool to gain knowledge, i.e., “Faith”. Most unfortunate thing is you are clinging to “Blind Faith” as the path to knowledge.

    Anyway, I would be happy if you consider to answer my question of November 25, 2009 @ 8:59 pm.

    God Bless you Donald.

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear Donalds,

    There are two posts addressed to you dated November 30, 2009 @ 9:30 am and December 3, 2009 @ 12:57 am

    I intend to keep my posts short as a long one does not get answered in full.

    You state
    “God has no beginning and no end. So, where did God come from? He didn’t. He always was”
    Unquote

    In summery God has just existed he has no creator. God created matter and hence Time as well.

    This means before the universe came into being he was there all alone and at peace. Everything was tranquil and suffering was extinct (or not created yet).

    Now the question arises as to why an Omniscient being called ‘Yahvah’ create ‘Anything’, when it was not necessary to do so as a timeless tranquility reigned supreme.

    What wisdom caused Him to disturb such a Timeless Tranquility?

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear Yapa,

    Thank you

    My attention was caught by the following statement and that’s why I responded.

    “He rose from the grave proving He is the Only Savior, the living God. All the others (gods and philosophers) are still in their graves.”

    I know that “FAITH” supersedes logic in blind believers.

    They have a right to their beliefs but no right to ridicule others for theirs

  • Heshan

    What did Buddhism borrow from the ancient Persian religion Zoroastrianism?

    2. Buddhism

    Buddhism seems to have borrowed a lot of its idea about ‘prophet’ from Zoroastrianism. Zoroaster experienced the visions of Ahura Mazda while in wilderness and attained perfect knowledge of past, present, and future. This process of ‘enlightenment’ is very similar, if not identical, to that of Gautama Siddharta, the founder of Buddhism.

    Also Buddha is known to have smiled at his birth and glowed with lights surrounding him. Gathas mentions exactly same things about Zoroaster’s birth.

    ‘His mother glowed with the divine Glory usually reserved for kings; the soul of the prophet was placed by God in the sacred Haoma plant and the prophet was conceived through the essence of Haoma in milk (though the birth is not a virgin birth, but the natural product of two special, but earthly parents.). The child laughed at his birth instead of crying, and he glowed so brightly…’ (Hannah)

    Zoroaster goes into nature and then meditates before he attains complete knowledge of past, present and future. Therefore, meditation is highly regarded as the best way to reach God in Zoroastrianism, while Buddhism also mentions that Buddha achieved Nirvana through meditation, thus meditation is a very effective and good way to improve oneself.

    Even the life spans of these two founders overlap, both being around 6C BC and Zoroaster’s preceding Buddha’s. Considering that it was in Zoroaster’s days when the Iranian peoples had fanned out throughout not only modern Persia and Afghanistan but also Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and even the northern parts of India, it is possible to assume that the stories of the two religious founders became somehow blended.

    http://www.zum.de/whkmla/sp/minju/Zoroastrianism2.htm

  • donalds

    Hi Yapa,
    your comments on December 10, [email protected]:15 a.m

    we live in a diversified world community in this 21st century and humans can share their difference of beliefs and opinions and values as well. I don’t know if you believe that all men and women are created equal which may be contrary to Buddhist teachings. when the country will go forward someday in this 21st century towards real democracy we may learn to respect the basic human rights of others, which are still foreign to some of us in Sri Lanka. we have long long ways go.
    I understand your views about ‘faith’ and ‘blind faith’. whether you realize or not the faith is an attribute that all human beings have and live by. you live by it everyday without even thinking about it. we take a bus hoping with good faith that the driver will take us safely to our destination. We leave our wives with faith in them that they be faithful to us, our children well behave. We go to our offices and sit down on our chairs with the faith that the chairs will hold us. Realistically, everything we do based on faith and trust. The marriage is a commitment based on a faith and trust. you offer supplications to Buddha by faith that he will answers you. you follow his teachings by faith.
    For example, if someone you know who died of lung cancer, you just believe that’s his karma, even if Doctor’s diagnosis indicated the caused of death was smoking. It can be a blind faith as well. Isn’t it? Because there are real evidence that smoking could cause cancer in people. well, of course karmas may requires more faith to believe than some others because you cant prove it. I feel your religion requires more faith to believe than mine!
    take care Yapa.

  • yapa

    Dear Donald;

    Before beginning my answer, I have a very important thing to remind you. I know there is a psychological tendency for people to forget hard to realize things. I think it is a natural healing method of psychological agonies. Definitely forgetting is a good healer for psychical problems. However, I cannot let you forget something you owe to me. You owe me an answer for the question I pose to you on 25th November 2009, which I also reminded you in my last post.

    Now regarding your latest comment:

    Your comment shows that your knowledge of Karma doesn’t go beyond a nanny’s knowledge. Buddhists don’t attribute every thing to Karma. (According to Buddhism there are five attributes which could be attributed any incident. One of them or a combination of them is responsible for an incident, if you want to know a bit of Dhamma. These five attributes are called “Pancha Niyama Dhamm” and is more profound than any theory in Modern science, take my word.) Further, in most of the cases, an average person is not in a position to attribute any particular incident to karma. It is not very easy to know the way how the karma works. Therefore, if somebody attributes something to karma (eg:- as you said the death of the cancer patient) he is not doing it according to the teaching of the Buddha. That is personal idea and he may be attributing it to the concept of karma due to lack of his knowledge of Buddhism. Do you take any average Buddhist’s view as taken from the Dhamma of the Buddha? You are talking it so lightly, because you have no more than any simpleton’s knowledge of Buddhism or karma. Further, the lord Buddha has said the people with rigid views (in pali they are called Ditti”) as blind and they would not be able to realize the truth. The Buddha considered wrong ditties( wrong views) as the biggest obstacle to realize the truth. Dear Donald, I am sorry to tell you, You are one of the best examples for this.

    P.S.:-

    (The context you are referring about faith is entirely different from what I meant. I was talking about Faith, as a tool of knowledge seeking. Wherever, faith is used in seeking knowledge it has failed. For example that is why when calculated on faith based knowledge, the age of human race is less than 7000 years.)

    “Menik gale paya hepunata kana ehindala ganeeda?”

    May the god take care of you my dear friend!

  • Heshan

    donalds:

    Don’t mind these people when they say “God” doesn’t exist. They cannot prove how consciousness arose… all they can do is point to atoms combining to form molecules. But these atoms and molecules are lifeless. You cannot combine atoms and molecules and form a personality, or make a person laugh, or cry, or smile. It is consciousness that does that. God is what gives consciousness its spark. For Christians, it is just “God”, for Hindus it is the “God-energy” (shakti). The principle is the same though. It is only God that makes consciousness possible.

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear Donalds,

    While awaiting a response from you to my post dated December 10, 2009 @ 10:58 pm I saw an erroneous concept of yours about Buddhist Philosophy in a post you addressed to Yapa above

    You stated
    you offer supplications to Buddha by faith that he will answers you. you follow his teachings by faith.
    Unquote

    You are totally wrong here.
    The Buddha CANNOT answer any prayers from ANYONE.
    The reason that he is worshiped is due to ‘GRATITUDE’ for showing the path to end sorrow and misery.
    He is a Teacher.
    He has no power to give salvation or anull Sins or grant favours.

    He is worshiped in the same way a Buddhist will worship her/his Parents, Elders, Teachers etc. I believe Hindu’s show the same respect to their elders and teachers.

    There is absolutely no faith involved in it.

    About following His teachings,
    I remember informing you that the Buddha asked that his teachings be put to “CRITICAL EXAMINATION” before following them.
    A Buddhist is expected to do so.
    This excludes all semblances of Faith from Buddhist Philosophy.

  • donalds

    Off the cuff,

    your comment on December 03, [email protected] 12:57 am

    Quote: you said, ‘Pity he did not decide to live a thousand years after he got up from the grave to prove beyond any doubt that ”He is the Author of Life as you put it.”’
    “He could have been saved the whole world and made sure everyone of his creations achieved eternal life and driven the final nail in the coffin of all the others who are still in their graves”

    Even the most powerful Roman empire couldn’t seal his grave. yes, Jesus is the life and the resurrection. we acknowledge he is the living God among all the falsehood. He will open every grave at his second coming which we believe is not too far off (1Thessalonias 4:15-17, John 5:28,29 Acts 24:15). Jesus Christ didn’t have to live thousand years to prove his divinity. God don’t have to prove that he is God.

    Jesus Christ fulfilled every prophecy that had foretold concerning him in the old testament Scriptures. We have no shadow of doubt that He is the Savior who was to come. we acknowledged of his divine nature. He came to reveal the love of God, saving us from sin, and defeating the claim of the devil.

    Saving message of God is spread by his faithful believers around the world until the end. As many as who will accept the truth of God and believe in Jesus Christ our Lord will be saved by his amazing grace. Accepting God’s forgiveness and path of his righteousness is a decision lies in each human being. Bible informs us that “God so loved the world that He gave his only son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”(Jn 3:16). This Scripture summarizes God’s relationship with humanity and the way of salvation.

    Yes, Jesus Christ is with us even until the end of the world.. He is Omnipresence. He said, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:19-20).

    Law that governs the kingdom of God is love. Although salvation is a gift of God through faith in the sacrifice of his son, it is an individual choice to accept the offer of God or reject it. God cannot save you unless you choose to accept his path of righteousness. God does not force entry into your heart. But the third person of trinity, the Holy Spirit will guide you in to all truth as you open your heart to God. He sends his message of love to all the world, but some will choose to follow him while others will reject him. It is your choice.

    If God would take our free choice, we would be like robots, (artificial beings). Then, we wouldn’t have called him a God of love. So that’s why He cannot save those who rejects Him.

  • “He has no power to give salvation or anull Sins or grant favours.”

    Man, why don’t you go dig up the origin of the word “karma.” It has every connection to “God.” You borrowed 100000 concepts from Hinduism and yet try to claim Buddhism is “atheist.” Even your founder was a ex-Hindu (God-believer). What a joke.

  • “This excludes all semblances of Faith from Buddhist Philosophy.”

    But still your founder (Buddha) the great rationalist could not explain the origin of consciousness, other than describing its transference from state to state. If you can’t explain consciousness, the beginning of everything, then what’s the point? Your great “theory of everything” will never be complete no matter how much science you add in for the extra fluff.

  • “According to Buddhism there are five attributes which could be attributed any incident. One of them or a combination of them is responsible for an incident, if you want to know a bit of Dhamma. These five attributes are called “Pancha Niyama Dhamm” and is more profound than any theory in Modern science,”

    Mr. Yapa,

    It seems like this great science you talk of was revealed during exchanges between Buddha and individuals of varying backgrounds. So apparently Buddha was such a great *scientist* he could explain all of modern science merely through exchanges with everyone from idiots to Vedic Brahmins. If talk is all it took, and no equations, statistical analysis, inference, experimentation, etc. then all of the great scientists since Buddha’s time must have taken quite the wrong approach… they ought to leave their labs, shave their heads, and meditate in caves… then maybe all the “theories” will be revealed to them.

    FYI: Jesus never claimed to be a scientist, he claimed to be a Prophet and a healer of the sick, so a similar argument cannot be made.

  • Did I forgot to mention: in one of his “past lives”, Buddha was a rich prince… maybe he conducted experiments with all the nice ladies from the harem. : )

    No disrespect to the Buddha… I don’t doubt he was a rationalist, but he was not a scientists by any means. The end of science is math; science without math is philosophy, and philosophy can never be proven right or wrong. Let us call him a philosopher and nothing more. *Some* of the things he implied may have minor overlap with so-called “science” but that is probably sheer coincidence.

  • yapa

    Dear Donald, Heshan, Off the Cuff;

    Buddhism rejects faith as a mode of realisation of truth, and instead rely on critical examination or rationality (in many cases, I must stress-not always) for the purpose. One good example can be given from the “Buddhist Literature”.

    Once, in one of his previous births the Buddha was born in a family who had faith on “Fire God”. When became an adult, he went to the forest to involve in deep spiritual realisation in his faith and lived a spiritual life as an ascetic. In the forest he was keeping a cow, to sacrifice its flesh to the god, which was considered to be a great merit according to their belief.

    One day the ascetic went to the nearby village in search of some salt. After coming back he found that god’s cow was slaughtered by some bandits and taken away the flesh. The ascetic gave a thought to the incident for a moment and concluded ” If this god can not do a trivial thing like saving his cow from some bandits, how can he save my soul and show me the path to the ultimate goal” and gave away the faith.

    If you read, Kalama Sutta and Chulla(Culla) Hatti Padopama Sutta, you will realize how the Buddhist philosophy prescribed the rationality/ critical examinations as a way to arrive at reality. Buddha asked everybody to critically analyse even what he says before accepting them. It is not mandatory for anybody to accept or follow his teaching. However, the Buddhism ridicules blind faith as a path of realisation of truth.

    In conclusion, don’t you think that the modern day faith finders belong to an era which is thousands of years before the Buddha was born? Don’t you think that the inherent ability of the human beings to differentiate good and bad has been eliminated from their system of thought in these faith believers.. You accept what you are said. God is the sole authority, you are some set of miserable creatures, whose fate rely on somebody else’s hand. Oh! What happened to your common sense? Shame on me, not on you, my dear faith finders. Mercy on me!

    God said ” Let there be light”; and there was light. Oh god! save them, still your believers are in darkness.

  • donalds

    Heshan,
    An excellent job. I admire your great insight.

  • Heshan

    Yapa:

    “If this god can not do a trivial thing like saving his cow from some bandits, how can he save my soul and show me the path to the ultimate goal” and gave away the faith.”

    If God is part of a single continuum, then God is timeless, formless, and shapeless. Then God need not spend his time saving cows. The God energy that is part of the cow cannot be destroyed; only the physical manifestation of the cow will cease to be. As humans we can only perceive the physical manifestation; that is why we are humans. But this physical manifestation is maya. It is organic matter with a finite time span that is in a continuous process of decay. But this decay is “decay” only because we cling to life. Regeneration is not possible without decay. If God saved every creature from pain – from death – then what? It would interfere with the natural process of regeneration. So for the Christian there are two kinds of “God”, the personal God and the impersonal God. They act at the same time, in perfect harmony. This is the answer to your question, why God lets disaster happen to innocent people.

    “Don’t you think that the inherent ability of the human beings to differentiate good and bad has been eliminated from their system of thought in these faith believers..”

    Even with the advent of advanced technology and “enlightened” political systems, the intelligence of the average man has not grown significantly. Like donalds pointed out, the average man will still believe blindly in many things. To think rationally requires much practice and training. God is not there to “give” people enlightenment. He is there to guide them. As humans, we are born helpless into the arms of our mother. Little by little we overcome this helplessness. But man is such a flawed creature he cannot overcome that helplessness completely. This is what the great Sigmund Freud realized. The childlike qualities will always persist, in varying degrees. It is not just a weak man who admits his limitations. Einstein thought that we cannot even know half of what there is to know about the Universe. For him, it was the great “mystery” of life. When we realize these limitations, then we can seek guidance. Through parents, God, science, etc.

  • yapa

    Dear Heshan;

    You say;

    “It seems like this great science you talk of was revealed during exchanges between Buddha and individuals of varying backgrounds. So apparently Buddha was such a great *scientist* he could explain all of modern science merely through exchanges with everyone from idiots to Vedic Brahmins. If talk is all it took, and no equations, statistical analysis, inference, experimentation, etc. then all of the great scientists since Buddha’s time must have taken quite the wrong approach… they ought to leave their labs, shave their heads, and meditate in caves… then maybe all the “theories” will be revealed to them.

    This shows your knowledge of modern science. You take scientific tools as science. Equations, statistical analysis, inference, experimentation are mere tools for realisation of the reality hidden in Nature. All these tools were produced on “rationality” which is the “main tool” of Science. If you take all these tools they can be included in the single concept “rationality”. What is Science is not the tools, but what is gained using them. I know some technocrats take Technology as Science and they are very proud of their knowledge, but they know only a bit of science. Technology is not science and Scientific methodologies or tools are not Science as well.

    What is important is realisation of reality, which is the goal of philosophy and Science as well. Science is still striving to find a reasonably good tool to explore the reality. Philosophy is using a different tool to realize the same end. Shape or beauty of the tool is immaterial and not important for realisation of truth.. You should not crave for these tools.

    One of the main aims of the Buddhism is also the realisation of truth. It has its own tools invented for this end. Why do you think to be same as the tools of Science( or of Philosophy)? Do you think the tools found in Science and Philosophy are same despite their similarity in goals? Buddha prescribed the Dhamma as the tool to realize its goal but asked to shelve the Dhamma itself after realisation of the end. He didn’t advice to crave for the tools, as you do in ignorance.

    (For those whose thinking is shaped by the “faith” and the “Two Valued Logic”, it is very difficult to understand Buddhism which is based on Four Valued Logic + something, I have “proved” this earlier. For the people who are drowned in wrong Ditties(views), it is very difficult. That is why the Buddha mentioned wrong Ditti as sin more graver than the Pancha Anantharya karma. Buddha says a person with wrong views have to wait ages to realize the truth.

    Heshan! Think sensibly and shelve your wrong views for the benefit of you and the whole world. However, I don’t give this advice to Donald, as Dhamma can be realized only by the people with some intellect!

    Thanks!

  • yapa

    Dear Heshan, Donald;

    You are forgetting to answer my quetion posed on 25th November 2009, naughty boys( about that magical stone!). I have been looking forward your answers. I have no alternative other than………… I am going to start counting. Ten! NIne!!, Eigh ……..t!!!, ………………….

  • yapa

    Dear Heshan;

    You say;

    “If God is part of a single continuum, then God is timeless, formless, and shapeless. Then God need not spend his time saving cows.”

    Yes! Yes!!, If(and only if ). What if not?

    IN PLAIN WORDS it is “What if god is NOT a part of a single continuum, then God is NOT timeless, NOT formless, NOT shapeless. The God spends his time saving cows.

    Is this not a conclusion followed by your own argument.

    It is a suicide! Not a murder!!

  • anonymous

    Buddha and Jesus

    Buddhist problem is that at one level a Buddha is treated only as a human being, at another he is as an incarnation. At one level, a Buddha is not as god, another he is treated as a God, capable of answering the supplications of faithful petitioners and performing miracles.
    Jesus came from heaven to live among us as a man. He is fully divine and totally human. Buddha is part of the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth, man being elevated (at times) to the level of god.
    The ministry of Christ was, is ever be for those who are lacking in spirit and body. Buddha represents an elaborate philosophical superiority, whereas Jesus represents the selfless servanthood that focuses on the poor, the needy, and the dregs of society.
    Buddha exemplified use intellect in improving one’s spiritual position. Jesus appealed to heart, full of emotions, passions, and love. Intelligence is not the chief criteria for becoming a disciple of Christ, nor is a beauty, perfect body. In Buddha’s ministry, the blind and the lame and the infirm were not taken into the order of his followers. All are welcomed to be disciples of Christ.
    Even with endless births and deaths and rebirths, there is no guarantee that one would ever attain ultimate enlightenment. Mere thought of the enormity of the venture makes one give up hope. Therefore, is it the goal of Buddhist teaching to filter out people from the salvation path?-from salvation itself-and condemn them to samsara? A hopeless situation indeed !

  • yapa

    Dear Donald,

    Do you think the Bible has answers for everything ? Do you think it explains everything?

    Good!

    In that case first answer my question (really it is not mine, but belongs to a Muslim Philosopher who was courageous and honest to question the contradictions in his own beliefs) posed on 25th November 2009. Without going round the bush you can straight away break all my arguments. In the name of god I request you to grant this humble request of the image of God!

    Number Two:

    You say;

    “”No philosopher could tell where we come into existence. Some have said, we came from five elements but could not tell where those elements come into existence. But the Bible answer all man’s quest, ‘where those five elements come from?’ The first chapter in the Bible answer that question too. It says, He created them. Answer is plain and simple! do you believe God or Philosophy?”

    Answering a difficult question with a plain and simple answer you, think is a cause for merit? Could be attributed to cleverness? You think it is always a good point? It could be his folly too. Idiots haste to give plain ans simple answers. But wise give correct answers or abstain from answering them.

    A teacher asked two of his children ‘How much is 2+2 ? First boy thought for a few minutes and said ” I don’t know”. Then the other boy promptly replied ” Two plus two is a beautiful butterfly”.

    how is that ? A plain and simple (also beautiful) answer.

    Who do you think is more clever? The boy who gave the plain and simple answer?

    WHAT IS IMPORTANT IN AN ANSWER IS NOT ITS PLAINNESS OR SIMPLENESS, BUT ITS TRUTHFULNESS, ITS ACCURACY, ITS PRECISION, ITS VALDITY, not its STUPIDITY!

    Oh God ! You formed (“this”) man of the dust of the ground. Please give him some brains!

  • yapa

    Dear anonymous,

    All what you have said are your personal belief. We have no right to obstruct to what you believe, but when put it to broad society, put it in a way, which is acceptable by a neutral person. Strategy in communication in this regard is to give whatever you say in a rational manner with supporting facts, figures and examples etc…etc…

    Scholars and learned people are shy to put forward their ideas, without such qualities in them. However there is a saying, “IDIOTS PLAY SUMMERSAULTS IN PLACES, WHERE GODS EVEN AFRAID TO SET THEIR FEET.

  • yapa

    Dear Donald;

    I don’t know a liking for you is developing from my inside. I will try to come up with your querries soon, even though they worth nothing. I cannot refuse my inner feeling! I am not sure whether some unknown mighty power is persuading me. Anyway I like you boy. Take care!

  • yapa

    Dear Heshan/ Donald;

    Would you please tell me which was created (by God) first? Egg or Hen? Or both created together?

    In your answer please give evidence from the Bible.

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear Donalds,

    You say
    Even the most powerful Roman empire couldn’t seal his grave. ……He will open every grave at his second coming which we believe is not too far off …… Jesus Christ didn’t have to live thousand years to prove his divinity.
    Unquote

    You forget one thing. Jesus is the Son of God who is Omniscient. He KNEW that many would doubt the Divinity of his Son and even doubt his own. So why did he not ask his Son to stay a while longer after he got up from the grave to CONVINCE beyond all doubt that he was actually Divine? What better way to do it than living to an “UNLIVABLE” age for a Human and making a direct challenge to the Romans who executed him?

    The post you just made (December 12, 2009 @ 4:28 am) contains NO PROOF only your BELIEF and Belief is not proof of anything is it?

    You claim “Even the most powerful Roman empire couldn’t seal his grave” What is your proof? Absence of a body in it? How do you know it was not moved by interested parties? All you have is hearsay, absolutely nothing else.

  • Heshan

    Yapa:

    “If you take all these tools they can be included in the single concept “rationality”. What is Science is not the tools, but what is gained using them. I know some technocrats take Technology as Science and they are very proud of their knowledge, but they know only a bit of science. Technology is not science and Scientific methodologies or tools are not Science as well.”

    The tools you speak of are observation and inference. It is not difficult to see that these two tools are limited by the 5 human senses. If only the 5 senses are used, two things will happen: (I) only a limited number of observations are possible, (II) incorrect conclusions will be drawn. This is the difference between modern science and “science” in the ancient times. The tools are much better for the modern scientist. And the modern scientist can use mathematics to justify his assumptions. What is the conclusion? While your claim that science is more than the collection of tools is partially true, it is also true that science cannot proceed without these tools. Finally, I would like to point out that philosophy is NOT a tool. Philosophy is subjective speculation. It is not a PRECISE language.

    “What is important is realisation of reality, which is the goal of philosophy and Science as well. Science is still striving to find a reasonably good tool to explore the reality.”

    What is the achievement of science? It has reached the conclusion that there are two forms of reality: the macroscopic and the microscopic/subatomic. There is nothing “new” to be discovered in the macroscopic. Only correlations and refinement of pre-existing data are possible. The hidden reality – subatomic/microscopic – is where the future lies. Philosophy cannot achieve such goals. This hidden reality can only be described mathematically. Like Ramanujan said, “An equation for me has no meaning, unless it represents a thought of God.”

    “Philosophy is using a different tool to realize the same end. Shape or beauty of the tool is immaterial and not important for realisation of truth.. You should not crave for these tools.”

    Human truth and logical truth are vastly different. If we take logic beyond a certain level, it defies common sense. On the other hand, logical truth is a much better way to describe reality. A human will never say that space is curved. But it is easy to prove mathematically. You cannot PROVE it philosophically, however. You can speculate, but that is not a proof. This is why I say that Buddha/religion/philosophy have no equivalence to modern scientific methodologies. Modern methodologies are mathematically rigorous. Buddha/religion/philosophy are only human truths.

    “One of the main aims of the Buddhism is also the realisation of truth. It has its own tools invented for this end. Why do you think to be same as the tools of Science( or of Philosophy)? Do you think the tools found in Science and Philosophy are same despite their similarity in goals? Buddha prescribed the Dhamma as the tool to realize its goal but asked to shelve the Dhamma itself after realisation of the end. He didn’t advice to crave for the tools, as you do in ignorance.”

    If you accept that Buddha was only after human truth, then the Dhamma is an acceptable tool. I accept that Jesus was only after human truth. I have pointed out that logical truth requires very specific methodologies which go beyond just talk. As we know that Buddha only talked, and never wrote down any equation, then we can assume that he did not go beyond the level of human truths.

    “(For those whose thinking is shaped by the “faith” and the “Two Valued Logic”, it is very difficult to understand Buddhism which is based on Four Valued Logic + something, I have “proved” this earlier. For the people who are drowned in wrong Ditties(views), it is very difficult.”

    Morality (right and wrong) is a human truth. It is a human truth because the right or wrong is defined by the observer. The right and wrong do not exist by themselves. So if Four Valued Logic is about this right and wrong business, then it is automatically flawed from the start. With two valued logic there is the binary – 0 and 1 – that has been proved to be logically self-contained by mathematics.

    “That is why the Buddha mentioned wrong Ditti as sin more graver than the Pancha Anantharya karma. Buddha says a person with wrong views have to wait ages to realize the truth.”

    So Buddha spoke of “sin”, “right”, and “wrong.” Then, on a fundamental level, he is not very different from Jesus. Those who condemn the world and postulate that suffering is the only reality are philosophers, not logicians. But I still call the Buddha a “rationalist” because the path he suggested towards realizing human truths was pragmatic.

  • Heshan

    “Buddhist problem is that at one level a Buddha is treated only as a human being, at another he is as an incarnation. At one level, a Buddha is not as god, another he is treated as a God, capable of answering the supplications of faithful petitioners and performing miracles.”

    Well said, anonymous. As I said earlier, most people are like small children their whole lives. Buddha wanted to get them away from being over-focused on God, but still they are going back to God. What does it show? It shows that humans are not rational by nature. They must be taught over substantial periods of time, and their behaviors/habits acquired through experience. When I said they are not rational nature by nature, I did not mean because they crave a God, necessarily. But in general, they are always craving something beyond what is essential to basic amenities. If this is a universal truth, then it seems rather absurd to impose a system like Buddhism on them. Much better if they read economics and understood how modern markets work. Then they can satisfy their cravings through game theory. 🙂

    In any case, the above argument leads one to admire Christianity if only for its simplicity. It is closer to the existence *comprehensible* by most.

  • Heshan

    Yapa:

    “If God is part of a single continuum, then God is timeless, formless, and shapeless. Then God need not spend his time saving cows.”

    Yes! Yes!!, If(and only if ). What if not?

    IN PLAIN WORDS it is “What if god is NOT a part of a single continuum, then God is NOT timeless, NOT formless, NOT shapeless. The God spends his time saving cows.

    You have taken P to be false and assumed that Q is true. F –> T is a “true” statement but of course it assumes you are not examining the objects. Now you see what I mean by human truth and logical truth. In mathematics, this problem never arises because the universe of discourse is always specified. The objects are well-defined. You cannot speak of a set otherwise. Anyway, I can make a hundred statements which you cannot twist to imply God saves cows, but I would rather not, as the *human* notation (english language) for doing so is ambiguous. Thanks.

  • Heshan

    Sorry Yapa. More correctly it is: ~P and ~Q imply S. Still the S will be true. On the other hand:

    ~S —> P V Q

    So I am still correct, since:

    P V Q
    P

    And
    P V Q
    Q

    Are both true.

    So ~S — > P V Q is a tautology! Cheers.

  • Heshan

    Actually, it is not a tautology, unless one assumes S is always true. It is what I said earlier, a silly game of semantics with a flawed language because the universe of discourse is ridiculous.

  • Heshan

    ‘which was created (by God) first? Egg or Hen? Or both created together?’

    Neither was created first. The soul of the hen was created first.

  • yapa

    Dear Heshan;

    You say;

    “Neither was created first. The soul of the hen was created first.”

    I expected an opinion backed by facts. Not, just an opinion. I have indicated it with my question.

    Just opinions cotain no credibility.

  • Heshan

    Yapa:

    I can ask you just as easily to offer a proof about reincarnation. Not everything in Buddhism is provable. That is why I said religion is best thought of as philosophical speculation, as opposed to absolute unconditional truths.

  • donalds

    Off the Cuff,
    comment on your December 10, [email protected] 10:58pm

    You said, ‘…He was there all alone at peace’.
    In summery you are asking what is the cause of God.

    First of all, I never said, God is a one person and you have gotten wrong. As far as I remember, I indicated right at the beginning here that we believe in a triune God, meaning three persons exist in Godhead. He has to be peaceful otherwise He wouldn’t be God ! you are in denial of the facts that I had presented so far.

    Does God have a cause? I know that it is insulting to your intelligence to have to include this paragraph. There is a single word in the law of cause and effect that helps provide the answer to this question—the word material. Every material effect must have a cause that existed before it. Scientists formulated the law of cause and effect based upon what they have observed while studying this Universe, which is made out of matter. No science experiment in the world can be performed on God, because He is an eternal being, not matter (John 4:24). Science is far from learning everything about this material world, and it is even farther from understanding the eternal nature of God. There had to be a First Cause, and God was (and is) the only One suitable for the job.

    The law of cause and effect is a well-established law that does not have any known exceptions. It was not conjured up from the ‘creationist’s’ magic hat to prove the existence of God (although it does that quite well). The evidence is sufficient to show that this material Universe needs a non-material cause. That non-material Cause is God. If natural forces created the Universe, randomly selecting themselves, then morality in humans never could be explained. Why is this Universe here? Because “in the beginning, God…”

  • yapa

    Dear Heshan;

    Sorry for the delay in answering your question posed on 13th. I have to earn my living not by something related to writing or any academic exercise. So, I think you understand my position why I am not very frequent on the web.

    However, with regard to many questions posted by you and my questions to you on Buddhism and Christianity or related religions, I know that you don’t
    need much clarifications as you have indicated your inner feeling about them though you are arguing for the sake of argument or to console some, who need
    somebody else’s help to defend their faith. Though, I don’t want my grand mother to teach how to suck eggs, since I feel it would be interesting and would add some colour to the discussion, I would like divert my mind a bit towards the topic.

    GOD AND REINCARNATION

    Actually, reincarnation is one of Buddhist concept( if it can be called as a concept) I wanted to deal as an example under my main discussion of “Dwikotika LOgic And Chaturkotika Logic”. However, as the cart came before the bull, I would like to elaborate a little bit on it.

    I must tell this is one of the “concepts” which cannot derived through Two Valued Logic and hence difficult to understand by western minds which are shaped by “religious faith”and “Aristotelian Logic”, which is Two Valued in its nature. There is little possibility such concepts to originate in west.

    You must have heard that when the Buddha was born as a prince in India as a price, it is said that there were 62 (or so ) religions or religious views prevailing
    there. All these faiths(or views) were two types in their nature, in view of the “birth” of beings. One group is of the view that there is no rebirth after the death, and those who had this view was known as “Uchcheda Vada”. The group which was having the opposite view was known as “Saswatha Vada”. The Buddha rejected both these ends and taught an entirely different and revolutionary thing with regard to the death and birth of beings.

    This could be a little bit uncommon to those who think that the Buddhists are believers of reincarnation. Reincarnation in Buddhism is different from the common notion known to many people. In Sinhalese terminology ( may also be in Pail) there are two terms related to “rebirth” known as Punaruthpaththi and Punarbhava. The first one denotes the common notion and equivalent to “reincarnation” perceived by many and the second is considered to be the Buddhist notion.

    According to the common notion of reincarnation, a being has a soul which is transferred to the next birth as it is. According to this view though the form of the being is changed with a rebirth, the soul keeps unchanged and keep going from one birth to another. The Buddha rejected the notion of unchanging soul and said there is nothing to be considered as “self”. According to Buddhism, the being who gets a rebirth is “neither the same entity nor a entirely different one”. It has both “yes” and “no” together. (Please refer my discussion under Two Valued Logic and Four Valued Logic, under the main topic ” Deepavali Dilemma….”.)

    To understand the Buddhist notion of reincarnation or Punarbhava one needs Chaturkotika Logic. This notion is derived through the forth(or third according to the way it is submitted) alternative of the Four Valued Logic. i.e. Not ( A, not A). Therefore it is evident that such a concept cannot come in a religion based in faith or in the western “Science” based on Aristotelian Logic. It is alien to them and is difficult to perceived by those who are having western mode of outlook.

    TO BE CONTINUED………………….

  • yapa

    Dear SomewhatDisgusted, Niranjan, Disgusted, Off the Cuff;

    Your attention to the above article of mine is appreciated.

  • yapa

    CONTINUATION FROM THE POST OF December 16, 2009 @ 5:07 am

    Dear Heshan;

    I have mentioned in the previous post that a being born is neither the same one in the previous birth nor a entirely different one. The new born is different in both physically and mentally, but it has a connection to the being in the previous birth in a “different way”. This means, a human could be born as an animal or a fish in the next birth. You can see in this case both body and mind are essentially different from the previous being.

    In conclusion this shows that “Buddhist Reincarnation” has a logical inference. ……………..(1).

    Further, there is no argument to disprove this “concept”/ or you cannot logically prove this incorrect. ……………(2).

    Further, there has been a lot of scientific experimentation carried out by eminent researchers throughout the world about the concept. Though they are not in a consensus about the results, they have found some non refutable facts/evidence in this regard. Enthusiasm created all over by this concept itself is a ‘Prima Facie” for the concept. …………(3)

    Now we consider about the concept of GOD on which the Western Religions wholly based on.

    The concept of God is totally based on FAITH, and there is no logical way, even to guess the existence of such an entity. Followers believe GOD merely on faith. ………….(i).

    Further this concept can be DISPROVED using formal logic.

    Please see the following, which I have already drawn the attention, in a previous post.

    “Omnipotence paradox
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Jump to: navigation, search

    Averroes (1126–1198), a Muslim philosopher who discussed the omnipotence paradox.[1]The omnipotence paradox is a family of related paradoxes addressing the question of what is possible for an omnipotent being to do. The paradox states that if the being can perform such actions, then it can limit its own ability to perform actions and hence it cannot perform all actions, yet, on the other hand, if it cannot limit its own actions, then that is something it cannot do.

    One version of the omnipotence paradox is the so-called paradox of the stone: “Could an omnipotent being create a stone so heavy that even that being could not lift it?” If so, then it seems that the being could cease to be omnipotent; if not, it seems that the being was not omnipotent to begin with.[2] One common response points out that this question makes implicit assertions that are inconsistent and self-contradictory. The phrase omnipotent being implicitly states that the phrase “a stone too heavy for him to lift” is meaningless.[3]”.

    Existence of an omnipotent god is clearly negated by this argument ………..(ii)

    Further, there is no scientific evidence with regard to the existence of God. ………..(iii)

    please compare (1), (2) & (3) with (i), (ii) & (iii).

    In view of the above,

    Do you think the credibility of Buddhist reincarnation is equal to the credibility of the existence of God? Hasn’t the Buddhist reincarnation a cause to “believe”? Don’t you accept that at least it cannot be refused like the existence of God, using accepted intelectual methodologies?

    Further, if you see the number of Bible Fallacies and Contradictions you can see in the in the web, you will be astonished. But, why don’t you find Buddhist fallacies or contradictions in the web?

    TO BE CONTINUED………….

  • SomewhatDisgusted

    Dear Yapa,

    Thanks for the clarification. Here are my views on it.

    “Therefore it is evident that such a concept cannot come in a religion based in faith or in the western “Science” based on Aristotelian Logic. It is alien to them and is difficult to perceived by those who are having western mode of outlook.”

    I think formal logic should not be conflated with day to day reasoning, which is where this fallacy that the western outlook cannot possibly comprehend a four state affair seems to come from. So far, you have not really mentioned anything that a western mind is unable to grasp. Clearly, it is possible for anyone to understand what you are describing.

    “In conclusion this shows that “Buddhist Reincarnation” has a logical inference. ……………..(1).”

    A logical inference based on a possibly invalid premise? For example, someone could go onto describe how god has created the world in 7 days, how wonderful he is etc. and all of that would follow logically from the initial postulate that god exists. This has been described wittily in the courtier’s reply (http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2006/12/the_courtiers_reply.php) as describing how wonderful the emperor’s clothes are when in fact, the problem is that the emperor was nude in the first place. Doesn’t the argument you raise have the same problem? If it turns out that the premise of reincarnation is wrong, then things built up on that premise collapses.

    “Further, there is no argument to disprove this “concept”/ or you cannot logically prove this incorrect. ……………(2).”

    Don’t forget that those advocating the god concept try to make this argument too. The counter argument to this is best highlighted by Russell’s teapot. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell's_teapot) which shows that the burden of proof lies with those making extraordinary claims. In short, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

    “Further, there has been a lot of scientific experimentation carried out by eminent researchers throughout the world about the concept.”

    This is a valid scientific argument and I would be convinced the moment proof is found, just as any rational person would believe in god should proof be found. I would like to know what the “non refutable facts/evidence in this regard” are?

    I certainly have no objections to continuing experimentation and seeking evidence, in the best spirit of science. My sad conclusion so far however, is that most of these current postulates have alternate explanations originating in social and evolutionary psychology (i.e. religion is pretty much a universal human phenomenon) and all religions also suffer from the defect of making claims to supernatural knowledge without recourse to proof. And let’s face it, Karma and rebirth are both supernatural phenomena. This is why I have no problem with following Buddhism as a philosophy of life, and indeed it’s a very nice one, but I’m skeptical of the religious/super-natural aspects.

    I have no objection to your objection to god. I’ve almost completed reading “The God Delusion” by Richard Dawkins and it’s very illuminating indeed. It tackles (and utterly destroys) all arguments raised by creationists, shows why morality is independent of religion, highlights the common weaknesses present in all forms of religious belief and provides a scientific analysis/explanations for the near universality of the phenomenon of religion.

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear Donalds,

    Thank you for your reply to my post of December 10, [email protected] 10:58pm

    There are few more awaiting and answer from you
    December 11, 2009 @ 10:41 pm
    December 12, 2009 @ 3:45 pm
    Hope you would do so as early as convenient

    But lets look at your latest post of December 15, 2009 @ 2:22 pm

    My post of Dec 10, that you refer to is in response to yours of December 9, 2009 @ 2:38 pm

    This is what you stated there
    The God cannot be created. He is ‘Self-existing one’. God is eternal, infite, and no one can creates a God, neither one can become a God. God is Supernatural Creator and He has no beginning or end.
    Unquote

    Since the Triune is inseparable it boils down to the ONE God but for arguments sake lets consider as multiple entities combined into ONE. It can be any amount you wish not just three.

    My point is before he created ANYTHING everything was TRANQUIL.

    You also claim that He is OMNISCIENT.
    Hence he can foresee EVERYTHING even the results of His own actions.

    Now can you explain why such an OMNISCIENT being did not foresee the results of his OWN CREATIONS?

    This shortsightedness of the RESULTS of His OWN creations fails to maintain the OMNISCIENT claim.

    Why did he decide to CREATE ANYTHING AT ALL that would disturb the infinite, timeless Tranquility that the GOD combination was enjoying ?

    BTW Cause and affect that you talk of was recognized and preached by many who came before Jesus Christ. Does it mean that Jesus borrowed it from the previous Teachings?

    When wisdom fails to explain the unknown, Recourse is made to to belief and faith. People have even worshiped Volcanoes as they could not explain the power within it. To those people the Volcano was God and an Eruption a sign of God’s anger. Such belief and faith no longer holds water as the power within a volcano is now understood.

  • allen

    i would like to ask Heshan and donald – they say thats jesus’s life 10-30 or something is not mentioned? is this true? do you have in the bible where he was?

  • hilarious

    Hillarious,

    No wonder why they hate the Bible and God because it says, “The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity;..(Psalms53:1).

    I don’t know how to make it more plain. I do not believe in the hopeless, lifeless and stone- aged philosophical ideology, and neither do I believe in atheists, you may quote any of your ideas, beliefs and ‘concepts’ in poetic form, shakesphere’s or scientific style that you wish, you will not persuade me an iota, there’s no logic in either your philosophy or atheism. They all are man’s ideas who are in rebellion with God. The man dies and returns to dust, so does his philosophy. I wish I could wish you something, but you don’t believe in heaven or hell so I better say nothing.
    By the way that man ‘disgusting’ whoever he is, recommended is an infamous atheist. He lives in England, 68 years old, married and divorced couple times, and he had lost arguments with a creationists but he had denied such meeting even took place. you can see some of his interviews by other scholars. I read several of his boring books including the one ‘disgusting’ reading now. He is not a surprise to Christians, Muslims, Hindus, or Judaism, 87% of majority world believe in a God by the way. There’s nothing new about atheists or Buddhism to the rest of the world. Even other branches of Buddhisms who in believes gods, do not favor atheists or neo-Buddhism of Sri Lankans. Richard Dawkins has not been able to do more than what ‘off the cuff’ done. I don’t consider ‘Off t Cuff’ a Buddhist neither although he claims some kind of one. He denied major Buddhist teachings that’s taught and practiced in Sri Lanka country.

    You need to visit the following website if you desire to hear the other side of Dr. Richard Dawkin’s story. It is http://www.conservapedia.com/Richard Dawkins (Trouble? Then go to google and type the words).

  • donalds

    Yapa,
    commenting on December 12, [email protected]:47 a.m post

    you asked me: “Do you think the Bible has answers for everything? Do you think it explains everything?”

    My answer is definitely yes. Well, there’s always the wise advice in the Bible for everyone. The Bible is the oldest book that I find answers to my life quests, which is written by men under the inspiration of God. It is not only the revelation of God, world’s history, prophecies ,but also the guide to daily living.

    One time I wrote here, ‘you have not seen apple come from a coconut tree.’ Someone answered, ‘yes it does’. Now I consider that is ‘blind’ faith or ‘belief’.
    A friend online encountered a similar person and he asked my view. He was trying to reason with a man who refuted that coconut tree produces apples. The man continued arguing while calling he is ‘blind’. He had quit responding to him. Then, the man got hold of someone else to the argument and calling him also ‘blind and ignorant’ on anything he had talked. Some will go to any length to prove their ‘concepts’ irrational beliefs yet without being able to prove nothing.

    Such person in my view is a fellow who has this “self love” and he thought every one was stupid, with the exception of himself. he is egotistical and may have a touch of narcissism. He constantly trying to show how correct and brilliant he is, while telling about his philosophy, belief, and ideologies as proofs without being able to prove nothing otherwise.

    I told to tell him to be just honest and let him know there’s someone will always be smarter. Probably the best thing to do I believe, is just to let him have his peace and keep silence, since everything you say will be refuted by this guy. I said, you know better and most likely everyone else does too. My best advise came from the Bible which says, “Don’t argue with a fool.” “Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will be like him yourself”(Proverbs 26:4). “A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions.” (and others) (Proverbs 18:2 (NIV).

  • In Your Face

    Hilarious,

    You seem awfully venomous towards people who choose to live without imaginary Gods. Does this threaten your little world?

  • yapa

    Donald;

    Please answer my several times repeated question. Why do you avoid it when the Bible has answers to everything? Please answer the question properly and make me clean out of this debate.

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear hilarious,

    Your post of December 18, 2009 @ 12:27 am

    Thank you for your response. We are discussing Buddhist Philosophy that people like you have a penchant at attacking.

    You quote This Psalms and that but all that you quote are Fairy Tales written by humans not what God had written.

    God could not even prove His divinity by living beyond a Human lifetime. If he did, I too would have believed in Him ABSOLUTELY.

    There was a time when people thought the Sun was the God, then Trees became Gods, then Mountains, Volcanoes and untold entities became God. Sure as you say 87% of the majority in this world believe in God because you dont have any explanation for what is intangible. Fear is one reason that you try to appease what you believe is the supernatural. At one time the whole world believed that the Sun revolved around the Earth.

    The Church has TORTURED AND MURDERED men of vission who dared to say that the Earth in fact revolved around the Sun.

    The fact that the CHURCH and almost 100% of the inhabitants of the world believed that the Sun revolved around the Earth did not make the Sun go round the Earth. Please use arguments that will hold water.

    The Buddha said that his philosophy is meant for those with intelligence and without that you cannot understand such a philosophy.

    Please answer the following question with fact rather than conjecture

    Can you explain why an OMNISCIENT being did not foresee the results of his OWN CREATIONS?

    This MYOPIC view of the RESULTS of His OWN creations fails to maintain the OMNISCIENT claim.

    Why did he decide to CREATE ANYTHING AT ALL that would disturb the infinite, timeless Tranquility that the GOD combination (Triune or any multiple) was enjoying ?

    A slogan in one of the Missions I visited in Kotahena, Sri Lanka reads thus

    “To Believers no proof is necessary, to non believers no proof is possible”

    This in simple English means that Logic has deserted the Church and EVERYTHING depends on BLIND Belief.

    I respect your right to believe in anything you want but that does not give you “Carte Blanc” to write derogatorily about other Philosophies.

    Christianity has a History of INTOLERANCE to the point of Murdering and Torturing Innocents who do not subscribe to its beliefs.

    If you think you know more about Buddhist Philosophy than I do, I am ever willing to learn from you. Please go ahead and start preaching I am not ashamed to learn from you.

    Thank you again

    Off the Cuff

  • hilarious

    Dear Off the Cuff
    RE: Comments on your post on December 18, 2009 @ 10:31 pm

    It is you who must judge your own words. Yours are groundless accusations against ‘the Christian Church,’ such stereotype attitude has seen among people today showing greater ignorance and intolerance toward others. You can critique ‘Christian establishment’ (as some have put it) in every news media, and website in Sri Lanka and else where in the world. One of the articles I read other day written by a Buddhist scoffing at ‘The holy Ghost’ making jokes and all kinds of derogatory remarks against a deity. Then another man wrote cussing at St. Mary and others in the catholic church because he seen a not so good looking Buddda’s statue sitting on tops of chine restaurants in London. That’s just an example. If a Christian talks of Buddhism in a critical way, you cannot tolerate it. Is that the kind of tolerance Buddhism teaches?
    If you believe you have a true philosophy that will leads every soul to nirvana, why people so worry even asking a law to protect it and a foremost place in a government I wonder. The true religion should speaks for itself and wouldn’t need backing from a law to save it, doesn’t it indicates weakness of it.

    Everything we believe is a fairy tale to you, but you or anyone else so far did not give us any proof of those ‘concepts’ of yours such as ‘Karma’. You mean to say we must take them by faith then? If not how? Because you said so, or Gautama Buddha said so? Can you tell?

    You said Buddhism is meant only for intelligence people. By the way, in Christianity it is from a philosophy that human beings are going to attain nirvana, but Christ offered salvation to all intelligence and none-intelligence human beings salvation equally from sin (karma). That is a major differences between Christianity and Buddhism. We accept all humanity as equal before God breaking barriers of casts, class and prejudice bringing all peoples united together in love of God. You believe certain people are in low casts because of their Karma. How could you treat another human being fairly and equally in a civilized society when you consider they must be in their place because of their Karma. Don’t you think that is a moral injustice to humanity?

    You justified your opinions while ignoring the Christian persecutions in Sri Lanka. All you have said are hearsay and misleading. Today the Sri Lankan Buddhist national extremism is known around the globe and it has tarnished the name of Sri Lanka. It has become one of the most human rights violated countries in the world, a small country as it is. Shamefully it has become a place where there’s no religious tolerance for minority faiths, its citizens are persecuted for their religious beliefs, and the sacredness of life is disrespected. There’s nothing more you can say to justify. What good is a philosophy without good morals (may be in books) but not in practice? Where the Buddhism is headed in Sri Lanka is my question regardless of what philosophy you trying to tell.

  • hilarious

    Dear Off the Cuff,

    Let me correct a typing error in my previous post.

    The following sentence must read as, ” By the way, in Christianity it is NOT from a philosophy that human beings going to attain nirvana, but Christ offered salvation from sin (karma) to all equally.

  • Heshan

    Yapa:

    “This means, a human could be born as an animal or a fish in the next birth. You can see in this case both body and mind are essentially different from the previous being.”

    This idea originated from Hinduism. It is not exclusive to Buddhism.


    Further, there is no argument to disprove this “concept”/ or you cannot logically prove this incorrect. ……………(2).”

    You cannot prove it either. When a man dies, you cannot prove that he will reappear as a fish in the fish tank. To the best of my knowledge, the fish will not talk.

    “Further, there has been a lot of scientific experimentation carried out by eminent researchers throughout the world about the concept. Though they are not in a consensus about the results, they have found some non refutable facts/evidence in this regard. Enthusiasm created all over by this concept itself is a ‘Prima Facie” for the concept. …………(3) ”

    Please name the scientific researchers involved in such research. This is not science, it is speculation.

  • Heshan

    Yapa:

    “According to Buddhism, the being who gets a rebirth is “neither the same entity nor a entirely different one”. It has both “yes” and “no” together.”

    I could use the same argument to justify the existence of God. If you say God has existed, then I can say God has not existed. If you say God has not existed, then I can say God has existed. It is a useless argument because one cannot draw a conclusion from it. This is called a paradox. It is obvious why such logic is not used in Western science; so many contradictions are not necessary.

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear Hilarious,

    Your post of December 19, 2009 @ 4:45 pm refers

    If you have followed this discussion from my first post on this thread you would notice a statement by a Religion basher which I quote below

    “He rose from the grave proving He is the Only Savior, the living God. All the others (gods and philosophers) are still in their graves.”

    This type of attack needs to be answered and it was.

    You state
    If a Christian talks of Buddhism in a critical way, you cannot tolerate it. Is that the kind of tolerance Buddhism teaches?
    Unquote

    Respect begets respect. I have no problem in anyone criticizing Buddhism but expect searching and uncomfortable questions in return if you base your criticism on “Faith”.

    If you think such searching questions are “SACRILEGE” then such people should refrain from attacking other religions. FAITH is just a belief and is personal to the believer.

    I have based my argument on what writers like the one I quoted state and have questioned them based on their own premises.

    All those who answer back avoid the question of why an Omniscient entity could not see the repercussions of His own creations. Thus the claim that the entity is Omniscient breaks down.

    You state
    One of the articles I read other day written by a Buddhist scoffing at ‘The holy Ghost’ making jokes and all kinds of derogatory remarks against a deity.
    Unquote

    I cannot answer to what other people write but you can definitely question me about what I write. How do you classify the quote I reproduced at the beginning of this post? Respectful of others’ religions?

    You state
    If you believe you have a true philosophy that will leads every soul to nirvana, why people so worry even asking a law to protect it and a foremost place in a government I wonder. The true religion should speaks for itself and wouldn’t need backing from a law to save it, doesn’t it indicates weakness of it.
    Unquote

    Buddhism does not ask for any kind of protection from any Govt. If you can, quote and provide reference to it from a Pali Sutra that Buddha preached (Pali is the language used by the Buddha)

    In Sri Lanka which has a 2/3 population of Buddhists, Buddhism was protected by the State for millennia. The new Constitution of SL recognized and restored this status while ENSURING that ALL other religions have total freedom.

    Alternatively where would Christianity be if not for State Protection from the Western Governments?

    Can you deny that Christianity has a History of INTOLERANCE to the point of Murdering and Torturing Innocents who did not subscribe to its beliefs and that the State condoned and Approved such barbaric behavior?

    In the 1600 and of course before that “The CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES” stipulated that the Sun and the stars revolved around the EARTH. +

    Who changed that? Why was it changed from God’s infallible words? Did God suddenly became enlightened about the nature of His own creation and dictate to the Pope or someone in communion with God to change the “ORIGINAL” Scripture?

    Are you not aware that large numbers were put to death for holding views other than that of the Church?

    How could MURDER be committed by the Church if the Church was not backed by the Govt or Monarch or whatever?

    Here are two famous people who suffered due to “ATROCIOUS HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS” by the Church acting on behalf of your “MERCIFUL” God

    Giordano Bruno, (52 years), was an Italian philosopher, mathematician and astronomer best known as a proponent of heliocentrism and the infinity of the universe. His cosmological theories went beyond the Copernican model in identifying the sun as just one of an infinite number of independently moving heavenly bodies: he is the first man to have conceptualized the universe as a continuum where the stars we see at night are of identical nature as the sun. He was burned at the stake by authorities on February 17, 1600 in a central Roman market square, because the Roman Inquisition found him guilty of heresy.

    “his tongue imprisoned because of his wicked words” All Bruno’s works were placed on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum in 1603.

    The Librorum Prohibitoram is a list of Books and Writings that are PROHIBITED to be read by Roman Catholics. Why is that? Fear of the Truth?

    Reflect on the words “HIS TONGUE IMPRISONED” which points to extreme torture of a man about to be burned alive.

    So what was his crime, stating the TRUTH about the “REAL nature of the Universe that even the Creator’s Disciples were “ABSOLUTELY CLUELESS” ABOUT?

    He had to be TORTURED AND MURDERED because the “BIBLE” of that day said otherwise?

    Did his MURDER change the truth? Is the Sun going around the Earth as the “Bible” stated, when Bruno was Burned Alive?

    His successor Galileo was a bit more fortunate

    the Catholic Church condemned heliocentrism as “false and contrary to Scripture” in February 1616, Galileo was warned to abandon his support for it—which he promised to do. When he later defended his views in his most famous work, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, published in 1632, he was tried by the Inquisition, found “vehemently suspect of heresy,” forced to recant, and spent the rest of his life under house arrest.

    Galileo Died blinded after years of house arrest.

    Both these men proved that the “SCRIPTURE” was False, one paid with his life and the other lost his freedom and his eyesight for telling the TRUTH.

    Christianity would have died a natural death if not for Govt support from every powerful Country in the West.

    Christians FORCE themselves on others and cause adverse reactions from otherwise peaceful people.

    Karma is a concept similar to cause and affect. Even Christians believe in it though unconsciously. Remember the words “reap what you sow”?

    Christians believe in rebirth though you think it stops after one instance. Unfortunately, in your belief system you have only “ONE” chance provided to you by the merciful. You either go to Heaven or Hell for eternity. Merciful indeed !!

    By the way who created Purgatory and Hell?

    Karma means action and contrary to your understanding, Buddhism does not recognize any CAST, colour, ethnicity or similar divisions.

    Action falls into different categories depending on the intent. The gravity of that action directly depends on the intent.

    A direct analogy is the man made Judicial system. Intent plays the most crucial part of any crime that is prosecuted by the Law.

    There is no smoke without a fire, there is no effect without a cause and that is a universal truth whatever field you apply it to in the “UNIVERSE” other than “Faith” based belief systems.

  • Heshan

    (1) Most Buddhists are not atheist. Only Sinhala-Buddhism tries to pretend to be atheist, even though Sinhala-Buddhists who venerate Buddha, go to Kataragama Shrine, believe in horoscopes are engaging in non-atheistic practices

    (2) Buddha himself was a Hindu (how is that for originality)

    (3) Most Buddhist concepts originate from Hinduism. They have just been modified for “Buddhist” purposes

    (4) The above author does not understand the difference between Catholic , Protestant, and Orthodox. He seems to think the only Christian Church that has existed is the Catholic Church.

    (5) The above author does not understand the divisions of the Bible. Biblical scholars (people who study the Bible) do not consider the Old Testament to be literally true.

    (6) The above author does not understand how Christianity was influenced by numerous other religions, due to the migration of the Jewish people.

  • Heshan

    “The Librorum Prohibitoram is a list of Books and Writings that are PROHIBITED to be read by Roman Catholics. Why is that? Fear of the Truth?”

    That was in 1603. “Buddhism Betrayed” by Stanley Tambiah is still banned in Sri Lanka in 2009. Now which religion is more progressive?

  • wijayapala

    Dear hilarious,

    Is it true that Christians believe that all non-Christians are going to hell?

  • Heshan

    Another lunatic… if Christianity was as fundamentalist as these people claim, why will people emigrate to Christian countries? Whether you like it or not, the “Christian” countries are the most progressive today. That is because the humanism that stems from Christianity is much greater than what you will find in any Eastern religion. Eastern people are the ones who think in terms of caste and class, not Westerners. No one has servants in the USA… in SL, however, it seems as if every wealthy family is employing them in some capacity, even at a young age. There are many more examples I could give.

    Also the social welfare is much better in Western countries. Will the Government in India, China, or Sri Lanka ever provide unemployment insurance to its citizens? Even though some ppl say there are more free benefits in Asian countries like free education, most of these benefits are only enjoyed by less than 1% of the population.

  • yapa

    Dear Heshan/SomewhatDisgusted;

    RE: Heshan’s post of December 20, 2009 @ 12:34 am

    This is really what I wanted to tell. For western logic, “yes” and “no” together is always a contradiction. That is because; Aristotelian Logic has only two alternatives. This is what I was trying to emphasise from the very beginning of my discussion, under ” Deevali Dilemma”. For Four Valued logic this is not necessarily a contradiction, as it has an alternative to accommodate both “yes” and “no” together.

    Really, west now talks of Three Valued Logic and Many Valued Logic. According to them three Valued Logic has three alternatives, “yes”, “no” and “undecided”.

    Please go through the following.

    Quote

    Three-Valued Logic

    A logical structure which does not assume the law of the excluded middle. Three truth values are possible: true, false, or undecided. There are 3072 such logics.

    SEE ALSO: Fuzzy Logic, Law of the Excluded Middle, Logic

    CITE THIS AS:

    Weisstein, Eric W. “Three-Valued Logic.” From MathWorld–A Wolfram Web Resource. http://mathworld.wolfram.com/Three-ValuedLogic.html

    Unquote

    This is an example from west to show that “yes” and ‘no” are not always contradictory.

    There is a very good story from the history of science, which can be cited as an example to this. Most honoured Mathematician/Physicist, Isaac Newton is considered to be a person who had a great faith on God. Once he has proved some scientific concept and eventually found that it contradicts the existence of God. He was so excited by this unexpected happening and said “Oh! No, this is not possible, it is against God!

    Even for a person of the caliber of Newton, it was very difficult to believe something out of his belief system or world outlook. So the results generated through Four Valued System cannot be indifferently seen by the great minds trained in Two Valued System. That is why you see “yes” and “no” as always contradictory.

    Really Four Valued Logic is a new idea for west, in my view which can be used to explore a new dimension in the western knowledge system. I honestly believe if this tool is used in western system, many of the unsolved problems of the west will be solved. I seriously think this is a new concept for western epistemology. Your objective feedback in this regard is appreciated.

    Thanks!

  • yapa

    Dear Heshan;

    This is what you have said in your post of December 20, 2009 @ 12:34 am

    “According to Buddhism, the being who gets a rebirth is “neither the same entity nor a entirely different one”. It has both “yes” and “no” together.”

    I could use the same argument to justify the existence of God. If you say God has existed, then I can say God has not existed. If you say God has not existed, then I can say God has existed. It is a useless argument because one cannot draw a conclusion from it. This is called a paradox. It is obvious why such logic is not used in Western science; so many contradictions are not necessary.

    But

    I don’t see any similarity between my argument and your argument w.r.t. the existence of God. Please explain.

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear GV Readers,

    When a person is intellectually dishonest no productive discussion is possible.

    “Hydraulics and Fluid Mechanics” is a well known text book that covers the B.Sc.(Eng) and the Professional Examinations in Hydraulics and Fluid Mechanics, written by E.H. Lewitt B.Sc, Ph.D, M.L.Aero.E, A.M.I.Mech.E.
    It has been reprinted at least 10 times

    Dr. Lewitt is also the Author of a well known book on Rigid Airship Design which deals with the Structural Engineering problems associated with an Aircraft in flight. He Worked for the Air Ministry and at the Bedford works of’ Short Brothers

    Commentators who even resort to rejecting an Authority on Fluid Mechanics of the stature of Dr. Lewitt, are Intellectually Dishonest. This precludes any fruitful discussion and is a definite waste of time and energy.

    Even the following Authorities on Sri Lanka has been rejected to try and force a win by hook or by crook.

    1. Sir Henry Ward, Governor of Sri Lanka

    2. Dr R. L. Brohier, the eighth recipient of the Royal Asiatic Society’s Gold Medal. Act Deputy Surveyor General 1947 -1949. First Sri Lankan to act as Assistant Surveyor General under colonial rule1938/1946

    3. Authors Randolph Barker, Robert W. Herdt & Beth Rose

    4. The Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress, USA

    A prime example of such a discussion can be followed at the following link
    http://www.groundviews.org/2009/11/05/deepavali-dilemma-reflections-from-the-diaspora/comment-page-5/#comment-10802

    The link is my entry into that discussion and was addressed to a Tamil called Niranjan who I believed and still believes is a person holding flexible views.

    Please read on and you will realize why I have ignored the pointed questions aimed at me in this thread. You will also learn about the “Pharoah’s Pump” that was used to build the Egyptian Pyramids. Please read the whole thread as many commentators contributed positively.

    Buddha did not reject principles of other Religions that he found to be correct. Even the Five precepts are from other religions that existed in India at that time. He never claimed “ORIGINALITY” for any of these. What purpose would it have served? There is a Fundamental Difference that makes Buddhism stand out. This is where it is “Original”.

    I wonder whether the Ten Commandments were “Original” In my point of view it need not be, as those Commandments create a better Human Being. But then there are some to whom only “Originality” matters.

    My posts were aimed at Donalds and Hilarious and ask specific questions. I would rather wait for an intelligent answer to the subject matter of those posts rather than be derailed from the subject as intended by the Troll.

  • wijayapala

    Quick question Heshan- are you a Christian?

  • donalds

    Hi off the cuff,
    I want to let you know that i have not forgotten your questions, but I will get back to you ASP.

    In the meanwhile, I have some questions for you. you responded to me on Dec. 11, 2009 and stated that I am “…totally wrong here. The Buddha CANNOT answer any prayers from ANYONE. The reason that he is worshiped is due to ‘GRATITUDE’ for showing the path to end sorrow and misery. He is a Teacher. He has no power to give salvation or anull Sins or grant favours. He is worshiped in the same way a Buddhist will worship her/his Parents, Elders, Teachers etc. I believe Hindu’s show the same respect to their elders and teachers. There is absolutely no faith involved in it.

    My question here is: do the Buddhists in Sri Lanka believe in any other gods, offer prayers to them asking for help, and worship them?
    What is your proof of ‘incarnation very precisely?

    Even after so many repeated births, deaths, and rebirths eventually the life ends in itself (extinction) according Buddhist belief, then, why do people need to do anything at all if the end result is Extinction?

    On the other hand, we follow the path of Jesus Christ in looking for a better life in which there’s no sin, pain, and suffering or no more death after this life is over. Jesus Christ taught that we must be born again, a new birth that must takes place right here on earth in order to enter the eternal life in his kingdom. This spiritual new birth takes place in the life of the believer by the miraculous power of the Holy Spirit upon those who accepts Christ’s sacrifice on behalf of his sin (what you called karma). This new spiritual birth is an inward change of our hearts as a result of amazing work of the Holy Spirit and the sacrifice of Christ on behalf of all human beings. Man’s sin is justified before God, he passes from death to life receiving the assurance of salvation. Man becomes a child of God again. he lost life as he broke the union with God. Man does not have life in himself but through the new birth he becomes a heir of heavenly kingdom. This is one of the greatest miracles among many in life when man connects with his God.

  • Heshan

    Dear Yapa:

    “For Four Valued logic this is not necessarily a contradiction, as it has an alternative to accommodate both “yes” and “no” together.”

    Please give a concrete example of how “yes” and “no” are possible at the same time.
    Let me clarify with an example. If I exist, then you cannot say that I don’t exist. I cannot “exist” and “not exist” at the same time. Within the framework of time and space, only one possibility is allowed. Mathematically it may be possible; however, mathematics (in its purest form) is an artificial construct with no bearing to actual reality.

  • Heshan

    Mr.Cuff:

    I challenge you to give a convincing rebuttal to my fundamental premise, if you have the courage: that most Buddhists are not atheists.

  • Heshan

    wijayapala:

    Yes I am Christian. But I am not Catholic.

  • Heshan

    Dear Yapa:

    I missed one of your posts, so I will reply to it here:

    “Once he has proved some scientific concept and eventually found that it contradicts the existence of God. He was so excited by this unexpected happening and said “Oh! No, this is not possible, it is against God!”

    I am not sure who told you this… was it a fellow in yellow robes? The existence of God cannot be proved or disproved, from a logical standpoint. That is why this debate goes on and on. If one side had a truly convincing argument, then the other side would give up. But that is not the case. You may ask, why do people believe in the existence of God? Answer: Because there are some questions we cannot answer using *human* methods. For example, why are we born? Why do we die? What is the origin of the cosmic energy that created the Universe? Most of us do not live past 100 yrs; yet the universe is many billions of years old. As Einstein said, we can only feel a tiny part of the mystery of the Universe. We can never understand it fully. So that is the real reason: it is in accepting the limitations of our mortality that we accept the possibility of a much greater presence – the timeless presence, God.

  • SomewhatDisgusted

    Dear Heshan,

    “The existence of God cannot be proved or disproved,”

    Can’t really agree with that. It would be trivial for god to prove his/her existence should god actively intervene in day to day affairs, for example, by firing bolts of lightening on the rear ends of all those who worship false idols (Given that there are hundreds of Gods such as Zeus, Thor, Amun Ra, Shiva, Yahweh etc. and given the wildly differing and contradictory accounts in Holy Books, all of which claim to accurately represent God’s views, the overwhelming majority of believers must be wrong anyway).

    In any case, in the absence of evidence, nothing can be proved or disproved. For example, Russell’s celestial teapot (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell's_teapot) cannot be disproved either. Nor can, for that matter, Santa be disproved, he could be cleverly concealing his girth (and his clandestine gift-giving operation) in a hitherto unexplored location in the north pole. The same could be said of big foot or the pink unicorn.

    One thing we can comment on however, is that even though the existence of something cannot be disproved, that does not mean that its existence and non-existence is equiprobable. For example, no one would say that just because Russell’s teapot cannot be disproven, the probability of its existence is 50-50. The same applies to god. The higher likelihood, given the present evidence, is that God is an entirely man-made construct, a comforting father-figure and substitute for that which we do not yet have answers for, a “God of the gaps”.

    If on the other hand, you are postulating the existence of a deistic god, who is content with creating the world and sitting back to indulge in the voyeuristic pastime of watching his own show, we are again left with a pointless postulate. For one thing, his refusal to intervene in mundane affairs in the physical world, thus making his presence undetectable, brings about a question as to the utility of postulating his existence in the first place.

    The poverty of agnosticism is explained convincingly by Richard Dawkins in “The God Delusion”. He systematically debunks all arguments raised by creationists, including the one you just raised and strikes a heavy blow on agnostics who think that the existence/non-existence of god is equiprobable. The arguments are eloquently expressed in his book and I won’t proceed to repeat them here.

  • Heshan

    SomewhatDisgusted:

    I would point out, above all else, that there is only one God. The name of that God is irrelevant. No religious war has ever occurred in an attempt to justify a particular name of God. Religious wars involve some aspect of ritual. Thus the destruction of Hindu temples by the Mughals probably had everything to do with the presence of idols in those temples, and the inherent opposition to idolatry that we find in Islam.

    Yes, it would be trivial for God to prove his/her existence, but the impact would be negligible. Humans are selfish by nature; what concerns them most is not the nature of the Cosmos, but their own survival. Thus if God proved his/her existence, it would quickly be forgotten. Most religious prophets, be it Buddha or Jesus, have grasped this salient point, and thus extol some kind of nihilistic philosophy. Thus if God were to prove his/her existence, it would place undue importance on the current existence we are in; it would contradict the notion that this existence is the lowest of the low, etc. It is a rather pessimistic view – that humans are flawed, that their existence is similarly flawed – nevertheless, it is actually an essential view to have from a social sciences perspective. It is the basis of economics (the self-interest will promote the social interest) and of Government (a government is necessary to regulate), and applies equally well to philosophy (which attempts to find explicit answers to such questions as “what is morality.”) In medicine it is called “pathology.” Though science can only explain the “why” part from a physiological point of view, it can nevertheless establish a convincing case for the links between flaws in human behavior and a deteriorating state of existence.

    You say that nothing can be proved or disproved in the absence of evidence. I would argue, what is your proof that such evidence does not existence? The Greeks postulated the existence of atoms; yet only 2000 years later, with the advent of the electron microscope, were we able to actually see them. The human senses have been shaped by evolution, such that they have survival value, and little else. They have not been constructed to grasp and perhaps resolve metaphysical paradoxes. Thus, if we accept God to be beyond the pale of 3D space and finite time – exactly what we can grasp with our 5 senses – it is unlikely that we could “perceive” his/her existence. If God is “timeless” and “formless”, then a direct proof is not possible within the scope of the 5 senses.

    The probability game is not a really a good argument for one side or the other. It still leaves doubts. I can say it will “probably” rain or snow tomorrow, but you can never be sure. Thus, any argument made on the basis of probability is more akin to an unproved postulate than any definitive argument where the conclusion validates the premise.

  • Heshan

    *I would argue, what is your proof that such evidence does not exist?

  • Off the Cuff

    Mr Heshan,

    Your post of December 22, 2009 @ 4:17 pm

    You State,
    I challenge you to give a convincing rebuttal to my fundamental premise, if you have the courage: that most Buddhists are not atheists.
    Unquote.

    I wasted enough time with you and your litany of so called “CHALLENGES”at the link I have given in my post addressed to GV Readers on December 21, 2009 @ 7:28 pm on this thread.

    I have given “VERY CLEAR REASONS” why a productive discussion with you cannot take place.

    So keep your challenges as they are very empty words indeed

  • wijayapala

    Heshan,

    Yes I am Christian.

    Wouldn’t your opinion about Christian countries being more “progressive” hold more credibility if you weren’t a Christian preaching how superior your religion is?

  • wijayapala

    I asked hilarious whether non-Christians are going to hell or not. What is your answer?

  • Heshan

    Mr. Cuff:

    So in other words, you have no answer to my challenge other than an ad hominem attack. Thanks.

    P.S: I still it is worthwhile for you to explain why Buddhism came from Hinduism. Without Hinduism, there would be no Buddhism. So much for the superiority of “atheism”!

  • Heshan

    Wijayapala:

    The day that everyone starts emigrating to the East, as opposed to the West – when that day comes, I will consider Eastern religions and cultures to be more progressive.

    Heaven and hell – you have go somewhere when you die. Buddhism does not really explain this well when it says “Nibbana.” What is “nibbana” actually? Buddhism calls it as “being and not-being.” That is a rather vague notion. Wouldn’t you rather go to a place with flying angels and sumptuous banquets? 🙂

  • knew

    ‘Donalds’ posted a question ‘if Buddhists worship any other gods in sri lanka?’ but ‘off the cuff’ chose not to answer that question. I typed that question on google search and found that we worship too many gods than i originally thought.

  • Off the Cuff

    Mr. Heshan,

    December 24, 2009 @ 9:13 am

    You said
    So in other words, you have no answer to my challenge other than an ad hominem attack. Thanks.
    Unquote

    My reasons for not engaging with you is your inability to use rational argument.

    Your about turns and elastic tape measure is not worth my time. I have made this very clear in my address to the GV Readership in clear and plain English.

    You can of course bask in your own assessment of yourself and pat yourself on your back and assume I don’t have any counter to your methods.

    The GV Readers however, will form their own opinions after they read your Thesis on Hydraulics and Fluid Mechanics, Surveying and leveling expertise and your interpretations of Engineering drawings at the link provided by me.

    I do not make ad hominem attacks as you put it.

    I stated VERIFIABLE facts that you could not Digest

  • yapa

    …………CONTINUATION FROM THE POST OF December 16, 2009 @ 7:35 pm

    Dear Heshan;

    Summary of the two previous posts:

    1. Buddhist reincarnation has a logical inference.
    BUT
    No logical inference for God and its purely based on faith.

    2. Buddhist reincarnation has not been disproved
    BUT
    Existence of God can be disproved

    3. Scientific research is being carried out wrt the reincarnation and scientists say the best explanation to the some of the cases investigated is reincarnation, though they cannot conclude the exact cause
    BUT
    No scientific research carried out wrt to the existence of God. The concept of God has not aroused the curiosity of the scientists, instead there is a contradictory scientific theory, Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution.

    4. You don’t find Buddhist Fallacies/ Contradictions on Internet

    BUT
    You can find thousands of Bible Fallacies/ Contradictions on the net

    5. Intellectuals such as Bertrand Russel, Albert Einstein have rejected/doubted the existence of God.

    This is what Einstein said about Buddhism

    a).The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend personal God and avoid dogma and theology. Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things natural and spiritual as a meaningful unity. Buddhism answers this description. If there is any religion that could cope with modern scientific needs it would be Buddhism.

    b). Buddhism has the characteristics of what would be expected in a cosmic religion for the future: It transcends a personal God, avoids dogmas and theology; it covers both the natural and the spiritual, and it is based on a religious sense aspiring from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual, as a meaningful unity.

    AND
    This is what Einstein said about God

    a).“The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish,” he writes in the 1954 letter to philosopher Eric Gutkind.

    b).During the youthful period of mankind’s spiritual evolution, human fantasy created gods in man’s own image, who, by the operations of their will, were supposed to determine, or at any rate to influence, the phenomenal world. … The idea of God in the religions taught at present is a sublimation of that old conception of the gods.

    c).”I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.”

    d).No God, no interference, no miracles or answer to prayers. God was used synonymously with nature and its properties. The quote was taken during his dispute with Neils Bohr over the interpretation of the randomnous of nature itself, which he rejected, and has been widely touted by theists to claim that Einstein was one of them

    Further,

    No battle has been fought in order to spread Buddhism.
    BUT
    Thousands and thousands of people were killed in crusades and battles meant to “civilise” human animals in “uncivilised countries”. These human animals were captured in thousands as slaves for the “civilised” gentlemen and ladies.

    All these facts show that;

    There is no possibility of existence for an entity identified as God and hence there is no credibility for the Bible as the word of God. Hence the western theologies based on Faith on God has no validity, especially in the modern era. However, Buddhism has a very sound footing and potential as a future religion.

    In the past, when the western religious authorities found that their view were contradicting with scientific views and principles, they gave up their wrong views and embraced scientific notions. They accepted that earth is round and it goes round the sun, sometime after the death of Galileo. I can remember Vatican is recently advising their followers not to oppose the concept of Evolution.

    However, I don’t no why they don’t advise their followers to give up the idea of God on the same basis.

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear “knew” and Donalds,

    Your posts of December 24, 2009 @ 2:25 pm and December 22, 2009 @ 3:54 pm refers

    When you pose a question on a thread it would be wise to check whether it has been answered previously.

    My entry into this thread was due to the Total Disrespect and intolerance shown by many writers towards Buddhists. I will reproduce here the last two paragraphs of my first post on November 30, 2009 @ 9:30 am

    I stated
    This is not to say that all other Religious Teachers did not Preach good concepts, they did but there is not a Single bit of evidence that can say that they are Superior to Buddhist Teaching.
    Follow your Faith but stop attacking others thinking that your thoughts are superior to that of everyone else.
    Unquote

    The Originator of this thread started the ball rolling with his degrading article but is conspicuous by his absence in the discussion.

    Then came those who displayed an overflowing intolerance of a Major religious philosophy of SL. They wrote degrading comments on a public forum.

    This required a response and that came from many quarters. The mud slinging was responded to by pointed questions about beliefs and the claim about the “UNCHANGING” word of God which was supposedly evidenced by the “UNCHANGING” scriptures.

    Those who consider such probing questions as “Heresy” should have shown respect for the other Religions but this was not forth coming and the Disdain with which believers of a Creator GOD based faith systems about non believers knew no bounds.

    “knew” and Donalds I hope you have read my reply to Ilaya Seran Senguttuvan, on December 3, 2009 @ 12:18 am

    Your questions of December 24, 2009 @ 2:25 pm and December 22, 2009 @ 3:54 pm had been answered by me THREE weeks before you had even asked it from me. It dealt with Hinduism but it equally applies to Christianity

    Donalds, though you say you have not forgotten my questions they do not get answered in any chronological order which of course leads to confusion.

    You asked me a question in your latest post
    “What is your proof of ‘incarnation very precisely?”

    Then follow it up with the following statement
    “Jesus Christ taught that we must be born again,”

    What EXACTLY does BORN AGAIN MEANS?

    What proof do you have that this One time “REINCARNATION” is actually limited to “ONE” time?

    Your “Merciful” God has given you “ONE Life” here on Earth
    He Judges you “One Time” and sends you to
    Heaven for Eternity or
    Hell for Eternity

    Even the Man made Justice system is more Merciful than that.

    You again ask me the following question
    Even after so many repeated births, deaths, and rebirths eventually the life ends in itself (extinction) according Buddhist belief, then, why do people need to do anything at all if the end result is Extinction?
    Unquote

    Your narrow vision has not allowed you to understand the “BASIC” principal behind Buddhist philosophy. The chain of rebirths does not end by itself.
    It will keep going “UNTIL” the “CAUSE” is overcome.

    Buddhist philosophy describes how the cause can be removed
    That can be achieved only by oneself, NO God can do it for you.

  • Heshan

    Dear Yapa:


    1. Buddhist reincarnation has a logical inference.
    BUT

    No logical inference for God and its purely based on faith.”

    Like SomewhatDisgusted said, both beliefs are based on faith. You cannot prove reincarnation from a physical standpoint. On the other hand, reincarnation does not disprove the existence of God. It is not necessary that reincarnation and the existence of God be mutually exclusive.

    “2. Buddhist reincarnation has not been disproved
    BUT
    Existence of God can be disproved”

    I have answered this already. Buddhist reincarnation cannot be proved or disproved and the same applies for the existence of God.

    “3. Scientific research is being carried out wrt the reincarnation and scientists say the best explanation to the some of the cases investigated is reincarnation, though they cannot conclude the exact cause”

    No scientific research is being carried out into reincarnation. There is no methodology available to assess the “soul” as it moves from one life to the next. Especially if you accept that the “soul” is not a physical body with organic properties that can be measured. If the soul were a physical body with organic properties, then its properties would be non-measurable. On the other hand, if the soul were not a physical body, it would not be possible for humans to even directly prove its existence.


    No scientific research carried out wrt to the existence of God. The concept of God has not aroused the curiosity of the scientists, instead there is a contradictory scientific theory, Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution.”

    The Theory of Evolution is not a complete theory. It does not account for the origin of the Universe. It does not contradict the fact that the Universe was created by God. The Theory of Evolution does not have a starting point except a starting point that is pre-existent; that is why it is not a complete theory.

    “The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish,” he writes in the 1954 letter to philosopher Eric Gutkind.”

    Einstein also rejected reincarnation:

    “Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbour such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotisms.”

    (Albert Einstein, obituary in New York Times, 19 April 1955)

    “This is what Einstein said about Buddhism”

    This is what Einstein said about Hinduism:

    “When I read the Bhagavad-Gita and reflect about how God created this universe everything else seems so superfluous,” said Albert Einstein.

    ‘No battle has been fought in order to spread Buddhism.”

    Hehehehe. 100,000 people died because Sinhala-Buddhism believes all of Sri Lanka belongs to them. So who are you kidding?

  • Heshan

    Slight correction: If the soul were a physical body with organic properties, then its properties would be measurable.

  • wijayapala

    Heshan,

    The day that everyone starts emigrating to the East, as opposed to the West – when that day comes, I will consider Eastern religions and cultures to be more progressive.

    People go to the West for jobs and $$, not to convert to Christianity. Nobody wants to go to Christian Rwanda (where nuns directly participated in genocide) or the former war zones of Christian Latin America.

    Incidentally, many Westerners themselves are getting turned off by Christianity. Only 52% of EU citizens believe in God (38% in UK, 34% in France, and a whopping 23% in Sweden). It seems that the future of Christianity rests on backward Easterners like Heshan.

    Heaven and hell – you have go somewhere when you die. Buddhism does not really explain this well when it says “Nibbana.”

    You dodged the question by attacking another religion (what a surprise). Many “progressive” Christians believe that non-Christians go to hell. One even told me that Mahatma Gandhi went to hell because he didn’t accept Jesus Christ as his Savior. Kindly explain how this sort of intolerance and bigotry is “progressive.”

  • wijayapala

    My reasons for not engaging with you is your inability to use rational argument.

    Heshan doesn’t need rational argument, because God speaks to him.

  • Heshan

    Wijayapala:

    Judeo-Christian morality and capitalism are essentially what has made the West what it is today. For example, we find the following in the Declaration of Independence:

    “All men … are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

    In a similar vein, the focus of capitalism is on the individual. It is the individual who is the entrepreneur, it is the individual who ultimately succeeds over and above the group. If you know about the Jews, they were merchants for thousands of years; in fact, their very existence depended on it. Today, they play a prominent role in the financial and banking industries in the West. So it is no surprise that Judeo-Christian morality is highly compatible with Capitalism. You cannot say people simply come to the West to make $$$… the conditions have to be right, the atmosphere must exist. These conditions have been made possible by the evolution of Capitalism in the West, which has in turn been influenced by Judeo-Christian morality. Of course, this is not to say that Capitalism is not possible elsewhere – e.g. Japan, Korea – however, even in such places, Capitalist practices had to essentially be borrowed from the West. It was Western influence that led to the final synthesis of Capitalism in such places. Let us not forget that the US had to force China to open its doors to trade with the West, or that before WWII, the Japanese were worshiping the Emperor. The point is that Eastern morality is different from Western morality.

    “Kindly explain how this sort of intolerance and bigotry is “progressive.” ”

    The PC liberal culture that prevails in the West is too progressive! For example, there are laws in the USA that prevent employers from discriminating against candidates on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity, and even disability. Similar things do not exist in the East. In the USA, blind people and people on wheelchairs attend universities. It is possible because there special buses with hydraulic. We know about the buses in SL; the conductor has no respect for the passengers. No disabled person on a wheelchair will ever dream of getting on a bus in SL. It is this sort of thing I am talking about. It is Christian humanism. I have only seen it in the West. You go to a place like Saudi Arabia and take out a Bible, they will jail you. They are still chopping off people’s heads in Saudi Arabia (21st century). We know about SL; no one has respect for the police, let alone the politicians. I have never seen a soup kitchen in SL (you find one in every city in the States). I can give many more examples, but the point is clear.

  • Heshan

    *It is possible because there are buses with hydraulic lifts

  • knew

    Hello Yapa,

    All your science- is hearsay. Where’s your proof for REINCANATION”? Is that then must accept by faith? I know we practically cannot live without faith for human survival. Is there any proof besides faith to accept REINCANATION?

    What is the ultimate purpose of endless births, deaths, and rebirths? Does not man ultimately come to nothingness (extinction)? why then you have to do anything at all as some one had asked in this post? do Buddhists worship other God’s?
    As a proof could you tell where you were and who you were before born as Yapa?
    Cosmic religion according to you is Buddhism, you said, “covering both natural and spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things natural and spiritual as a meaningful unity.”
    But the fact is Buddhism is neither ‘natural nor spiritual rather philosophical!

  • wijayapala

    Hi Heshan,

    For example, we find the following in the Declaration of Independence:

    It’s funny that that you mention it, as the Founding Fathers of the US were quite apprehensive about the negative impact of religion in government affairs and sought to reduce it through “the separation of church and state. Thomas Jefferson himself (the author of the Declaration of Independence) explained this concept in 1802.

    The Founding Fathers distrusted religion because they wanted to avoid the historical legacy of Europe where thousands upon thousands of Christians massacred each other over sectarian differences.

    You see, Heshan, when Christians strutted around believing they are superior because Jesus speaks to them, they had a very hard time treating each other as equals and had to find ways to show that their particular interpretation was superior. The Muslims, who have a similarly bigoted view of themselves, have the same problem which explains the Sunni-Shia strife, so you aren’t alone.

    The West became enlightened only after relegating religion to personal life.

    If you know about the Jews, they were merchants for thousands of years; in fact, their very existence depended on it.

    I am also aware that the Christians reviled the Jews and persecuted them for centuries. What do you think about that?

    You neglected to mention the role of science in the rise of the West, and as OTC pointed out Christianity was far more of an obstacle. 93% of the members of the National Academy of Sciences expressed “disbelief or doubt in the existence of God.”

  • Off the Cuff

    Hello Knew,

    You have yet again asked the same question that you asked me before.

    This time from Yapa.

    It was replied by me in a post addressed to you and Donalds on December 25, 2009 @ 12:32 am

    The question is
    What is the ultimate purpose of endless births, deaths, and rebirths? Does not man ultimately come to nothingness (extinction)? why then you have to do anything at all as some one had asked in this post? do Buddhists worship other God’s?

    What is your purpose in repeating questions without answering questions posed of you?

  • Heshan

    Wijayapala:

    Yes they were concerned with the separation of Church and State. That does not mean they were apprehensive about religion. The underlying theme of the Constitution is checks-and-balances; the purpose being to prevent any of the three sectors of Government from imposing on either (or both) of the other two. If the Church had any sort of administrative authority in the government, it would automatically undermine the checks-and-balances system. That is because the Church is an institution unto itself; it cannot be partially integrated into three different branches of Government. This is easy to see in Europe, where the Church has always acted through a single authority – the presiding monarch. The Church could not persecute anyone without the blessings of the monarch. It was the insight of the Founding Fathers to reject monarchy; by rejecting monarchy, the prospect of religious persecution itself became minimized. Now what we see in Sri Lanka, on the other hand, with the advent of the “Executive Presidency”, is a system of government very close to that of a monarchy. The Sangha acts in collusion with the same government. The problem here, of course, is that there is no system of checks and balances. So it is easy for the President to be influenced by the Sangha, and such influence to materialize in the form of persecution, as indeed we have seen and continue to see, the latest being the “anti-conversion” bill.

    “You see, Heshan, when Christians strutted around believing they are superior because Jesus speaks to them”

    Again, an incorrect idea. In the Bible it says to go and convert others. However, the Bible does not tell Christians they are superior. There is no caste or class system.

    “I am also aware that the Christians reviled the Jews and persecuted them for centuries. What do you think about that?”

    Just as high-class Govigamas reviled and persecuted Karawas for centuries. Let us not forget all the punishments the Kandyan King had. Let us not pretend that Sri Lanka was some utopian society back in the day.

    “You neglected to mention the role of science in the rise of the West, and as OTC pointed out Christianity was far more of an obstacle.”

    If Christianity was the prime obstacles, then non-Christian societies should have prospered while Christian societies faltered. That is clearly not the case.

  • yapa

    Dear Heshan;

    I would like to answer some of the questions raised by you in your post of December 25, 2009 @ 1:07 am addressed to me.

    Q1. Like SomewhatDisgusted said, both beliefs are based on faith.You cannot prove reincarnation from a physical standpoint.

    Answer: When you say “You cannot prove reincarnation from a physical standpoint” in a way it is correct to a certain extent, mainly because the methodology we use to prove physical things, that is science, by its definition is limited to investigation of material things only. Its scope does not go beyond this limit and hence incapable of dealing with non material things. Buddhism too uses “cause and effect” to explain mundane things, which is also the main base of science. However, you cannot use science to explain non material truths. The main reason for this incompetence is that science is mainly based on two valued logic. That is why Buddhism uses four value logic + something to deal with non mundane things, instead of “cause and effect. You cannot investigate kindness, compassion or happiness in terms of science. Same thing applies to reincarnation.

    What I tried to do in my posts was to compare the degrees of credibility of “reincarnation” and “God”. Belief in reincarnation is a fact based belief. I have given “facts” from several perspectives to reinforce and back “reincarnation”, though I could not prove it from a physical stand point. However, there are no facts to back the existence of god and hence based merely on faith. Therefore it is incorrect to give these two “concepts” equal status.
    Really, reincarnation is not a belief based on faith.

    Note: Further, I would like to mention that science is not a panacea or a “kokatath thailaya”. Proofs of science do not always ensure their validity. I would like to talk a bit about how so many scientific truths were disproved by science itself, if get an opportunity. One should not safely believe that science reveals absolute truths. What science does is to construct models or theories for material realities.

    Q2: On the other hand, reincarnation does not disprove the existence of God. . It is not necessary that reincarnation and the existence of God be mutually exclusive.

    Answer: Really, I did not use reincarnation to disprove the existence of God. It was very well disproved by the Omnipotent Paradox of Averroes, which is reproduced below for your easy reference.

    “Omnipotence paradox
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Jump to: navigation, search
    Averroes (1126–1198), a Muslim philosopher who discussed the omnipotence paradox.[1]The omnipotence paradox is a family of related paradoxes addressing the question of what is possible for an omnipotent being to do. The paradox states that if the being can perform such actions, then it can limit its own ability to perform actions and hence it cannot perform all actions, yet, on the other hand, if it cannot limit its own actions, then that is something it cannot do.

    One version of the omnipotence paradox is the so-called paradox of the stone: “Could an omnipotent being create a stone so heavy that even that being could not lift it?” If so, then it seems that the being could cease to be omnipotent; if not, it seems that the being was not omnipotent to begin with.[2] One common response points out that this question makes implicit assertions that are inconsistent and self-contradictory. The phrase omnipotent being implicitly states that the phrase “a stone too heavy for him to lift” is meaningless.[3]“.

    In view of above, the reincarnation and the existence of God be mutually exclusive or not is irrelevant in this case.

    Q3: Buddhist reincarnation cannot be proved or disproved and the same applies for the existence of God.

    Answer: Existence of God is clearly disproved, above. However, reincarnation has never been disproved so far by any body.
    Further, reincarnation has some “mundane” facts while God has nothing to prove his existence. Really “Buddhist reincarnation cannot be proved or disproved” does not necessarily imply “same applies or existence of God”. This is a logical fallacy.

    Q4: No scientific research is being carried out into reincarnation. There is no methodology available to assess the “soul” as it moves from one life to the next. Especially if you accept that the “soul” is not a physical body with organic properties that can be measured. If the soul were a physical body with organic properties, then its properties would be non-measurable. On the other hand, if the soul were not a physical body, it would not be possible for humans to even directly prove its existence.

    Answer: Just type “reincarnation+ research” in Google and find yourself the truth of what you have said.
    One more thing I would like to add wrt to the second part of your question. Recently science has a little bit changed its traditional stance to confine its scope only to material realities. Psychology is an example.

    Q5: The Theory of Evolution is not a complete theory. It does not account for the origin of the Universe. It does not contradict the fact that the Universe was created by God. The Theory of Evolution does not have a starting point except a starting point that is pre-existent; that is why it is not a complete theory.

    Answer: I am not sure whether the Theory of Evolution is a complete one. However, according to Richard Dawkins, author of “The Greatest Show on Earth”, it is not only a theory but a fact. This is what he says
    “This book is my personal summary of the evidence that ‘theory’ of evolution is actually a fact- as incontrovertible a fact as any in science”.
    Really as you said it does not directly contradict the fact the Universe was created by God. But the material facts found on the influence of the theory of evolution disproves it. Thousands of plant, animal and human fossils found all over the world have proved that the world is millions of years older than the estimated age of the world based on the Bible, which is merely a negligible period of less than 7000years.

    Q6: Einstein also rejected reincarnation:

    Answer: Though I cited quoting of Einstein in my post, I do not say that every thing he had said is correct, especially out side of his subject of specialization. He can be a novice in many subject areas. What I have quoted are his personal opinions, however, opinions of a brilliant man. However, they are less credible than his theories.
    Anyway, I have submitted many “theoretical facts to support reincarnation, apart from the above quoting.

    Q7: ‘No battle has been fought in order to spread Buddhism.”
    Hehehehe. 100,000 people died because Sinhala-Buddhism believes all of Sri Lanka belongs to them. So who are you kidding?

    Answer: 100,000 people died. True. Do you honestly believe your attribution above is true as well?

    Dear Heshan; This is the main reason for the tragedy. Misconceptions, misinterpretations, unjustifiable demands and false propaganda of the “Learned Tamil Community” brought an immense misery to ordinary Tamil people. In my view, Prabakaran is an innocent victim of Tamil scholars. LTTE is a misguided organization by learned Tamils. See who died in the unfortunate fighting dragged for over three decades. Wealthy Tamil scholars living luxurious lives in western capitals? So called refugee become millionaires living in the UK, USA, Canada or Australia? Do you think the struggle for a Tamil homeland is justifiable? Asking for 1/3 rd of the land and 2/3rd of sea by a 12% of the population of Tamils is justifiable? Is really there a Tamil homeland? How do you justify the Buddhists ruins dispersed all over the so called Tamil homeland? Can Tamil theoretician disprove the Sinhala heritage in those areas? How do you justify chasing away of the Muslims living in those areas for generations? How do you say rest of the area of the country belongs to all the communities including Tamils, while the eastern and northern parts belong to Tamils alone? I will ask thousand questions. Can you reasonably answer them?

    How do you justify killing of innocent Sinhala, Muslim and Tamil people by the LTTE? How could you possibly justify the elimination of all other Tamil political parties by a militarily powerful single organisation? How do you justify the rigid stance of the LTTE against a solution based on negotiations? Was there any option left for the Sri Lankan state other than a military solution?

    Apart from that all 100,000 died were not Tamils. More or less a half is non Tamils. Further, how do you justifiably say it is a Buddhist invasion? There were Sinhalese, Muslims and Tamils as well in the armed forces of the country. The armed forces exercised its rightful duty to safeguard the country. Really the war against terrorism was a reaction. Terrorism itself was the action.

    Thanks!

  • SomewhatDisgusted

    Dear Yapa, Heshan,

    Heshan said: “Like SomewhatDisgusted said, both beliefs are based on faith. You cannot prove reincarnation from a physical standpoint”

    I agree that given the present evidence, both are completely based on faith. But I do not believe that reincarnation cannot be proven.

    The reason they are both based on faith is because they all make the fallacy of appeal to authority, one to the Bible, and one to the word of the Buddha, without providing a shred of evidence to prove either case.

    What’s interesting is that believers do not seem to notice the pattern common to all belief systems. Arbitrary claim X is made and then “believed” quite sincerely, and all other contradictory beliefs are again, rejected as completely false with complete conviction in the superiority of one’s own belief. But how did this arbitrary claim X come into being in the fist place? How did this belief that God exists or reincarnation exists come into being? None of them are based on any reasonable observation of evidence are they?

    Compare them to gravity. If you jump up, you fall down – plainly observable. Or compare them to evolution. The fossil record is littered with evidence and modern genetics all confirm the theory beyond a shadow of doubt. Can you make similar observations of either God or reincarnation? On the contrary, we had a gap in our knowledge, and someone posited the existence of God, or reincarnation, or karma, all concepts plucked out of thin air as explanations. Now this would be ok, for example, Quantum theory does the same, but it actually has factual evidence/theoretical predictions to prove that it’s correct at some level. Can either of these be said for God or reincarnation? Yet, people live their entire lives insisting that their “belief” is right and others’ beliefs are wrong.

    The chances are that, not being able to explain the existence of the universe, ancient people postulated “God”, a logical short-circuit that prevents further inquiry into our origins and provides a comforting, but ultimately useless and false answer. The same for reincarnation and karma – having seen the immense suffering and the sheer pointlessness of existence, the Upanishads?? postulated some sort of mechanism that might explain why this occured. It all seems to make internal sense, except for the rather disturbing question that rather upsets all believers, from those who believe in Atlanta to God to dowsing to Karma to astrology to every other pseudo-science under the sun – where in the world is the evidence?

    Having said all that, I believe that reincarnation can be proven. As I mentioned earlier, god can be proven too. One way to prove reincarnation would be for people to be able to recount, in great detail, accounts of their past lives. However, current research shows that all examples so far have far more convincing alternative explanations based on known psychological phenomena. See here for a quick list (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reincarnation_research)

    The God hypothesis is even sadder. There is no proof at all. But the absolute conviction with which unproven things are believed, to the extent of murdering others for challenging those beliefs, shows what a dangerous phenemenon this kind of blind belief is. To Buddhism’s credit, it has never done so.

    Science on the other hand, is synonymous with plain and simple logic. It’s a self-correcting system of finding the truth systematically. It makes no claims to knowledge it cannot prove and laboriously attempts to find out verifiable answers. Religious believers would do well to follow suit, and actually attempt to validate the veracity of their claims using scientific techniques, rather than decreeing by fiat, that their unverified assumptions are true.

    I don’t mean to dismiss everything in religion as pointless. I have no objection to learning positive ideas from it, such as guidelines for living good lives. But I have strong objections to blind belief and uncritical acceptance of religious views – we can all readily see the harm it has done to the world. A healthy dose of skepticism is what’s necessary.

  • yapa

    Hellow knew;

    Re: your post on December 25, 2009 @ 1:58 pm

    “But the fact is Buddhism is neither ‘natural nor spiritual rather philosophical!”

    Can you eloborate a little bit on the above statement please, so that I could answer your querries fully.

    Thanks knew! Learn and know more!

  • wijayapala

    Dear Hesan,

    That does not mean they were apprehensive about religion.

    They were definitely apprehensive about religion in government. That is why you can’t argue that the US is a “Christian country,” and modern Europe has evolved beyond its Christianity as I’ve earlier pointed out.

    In the Bible it says to go and convert others. However, the Bible does not tell Christians they are superior.

    Then how do you explain the history of Christians converting others by force?

    Just as high-class Govigamas reviled and persecuted Karawas for centuries.

    How exactly did the Govigamas persecute the Karawas? Did they conduct pogroms (massacres) against the Karawas on a regular basis as the Christians did against the Jews?

    Let us not pretend that Sri Lanka was some utopian society back in the day.

    Compared to Europe during the Dark Ages, where you would be accused of witchcraft for taking a BATH, Sri Lanka back then most certainly was a utopia!!

    If Christianity was the prime obstacles, then non-Christian societies should have prospered while Christian societies faltered. That is clearly not the case.

    That is clearly the case in Latin America and Christian African countries which are equally if not more backward than non-Christian neighbors. Hence my argument that Christianity played no role or a negative role in the rise of the West.

  • jagath

    Dear Off the Cuff,
    you are totally contradicting in trying to disprove Christian’s faith of a supernatural God. You replied to Donald’s objection stating that ‘Buddha is a man, and he cannot be worshiped. Then, subsequently Donalds asked, ‘Do Sri Lankan Buddhists worship any other gods and offer prayers in Sri Lanka?’ But you couldn’t answer him as you find yourself in a total contradiction here. The truth of the matter is Buddhists recognize and worship many gods (deities), and offer prayers daily in Sri Lanka. They also believe in Astrology, Yakkas (evil supernatural spirits) etc.

    To my observation of this argument, the question raises as to the intellectual dishonesty. An unbias Reader can clearly see who is intellectually dishonest in this thread!

    My question to Off the Cuff and Yapa as well is the following: Do the Buddhists worship any other gods (deities) in Sri Lanka? Please give me your honest answer

  • yapa

    Dear Heshan;

    I have to answer one more salient point raised by you during the present discussion.

    This is what you have said in your post of December 3, 2009 @ 12:07 pm
    ………………
    “I would say, that as a religion, Christianity has more practical value than Buddhism.

    This is because the most important function of any religion is to impart a system of ethics – values, so to speak – to its followers. Unlike Buddhism, the Christian value-system is extremely easy to follow. One has only to follow the Ten Commandments and accept the divinity of Christ. As far as Buddhism is concerned, much of the ethical system is tied up in abstract philosophical content.
    ……………………

    In summary you say Christianity has more practical value, because Christian value system is easy to follow.

    OK! You say Christian value system is easy to follow, because one has only to follow Ten Commandments.

    Now consider a case of person who believes a stone as a religion: a stone worshipper. He doesn’t have a “complicated thing” as “Ten Commandments” to follow. He may have some simple value system to follow prescribed by the the stone or may have none.

    In this context the stone religion is easier to follow than Christianity.
    Thereby in the line of your argument a stone religion is more practical than Christianity.

    Further, a stone religion has a bigger edge. The existence of Its “god” (ie. stone) cannot be disproved like “Christian God”.

    Therefore stone religion must be a far better religion than Christianity.

    In the same line of argument, the religion of our “Vedda Clan”, belief in “Yakka relatives” ( Ne Yakku) is a far superior religion than Christianity.

    Thanks Heshan!

  • yapa

    Dear SomewhatDisgusted;

    I am thankful to you for many constructive criticisms you made with regard to my views shown in various posts. It is true that we have some disagreements over some issues, but the issues we can agree and we agreed are much more than disagreed. I have not forgotten that we were not in agreement about the role of religion in politics, the Buddhist teaching of kamma, importance of world views or world out looks, two valued logic and four valued logic and also in the present discussion on reincarnation, and I owe answering your queries.

    As I have said earlier, I was only attending urgent issues, with my limited time available to enjoy the luxury of being in the net. However, I have never forgotten important queries raised by you, which cannot and should not be answered in haste. Definitely I have some counter arguments which I kept aside for maturity in time.

    In the present discussion, you have put the same label as “faith” to ” existence of God” and to “reincarnation”, on the basis demanding proofs. I have a general query arisen from your stand that you need proofs in order to accept something. Do you really hold this opinion? Do you think it is always incorrect to believe something without proofs? Do everything we believe or accept based on proofs? If proofs demanded, can social sciences like Political Science, Social Science, Economics or any other subject survive? Even victorious Natural Science can survive? I doubt very much.

    We must eliminate and should not believe what we can disprove. However, can we put the things which cannot be proved in the same basket?

    Thanks!

  • yapa

    Dear Jagath;

    This is your question:

    My question to Off the Cuff and Yapa as well is the following: Do the Buddhists worship any other gods (deities) in Sri Lanka? Please give me your honest answer

    This is my answer:

    Why a big fuss over a simple question? I think you yourself know the answer. You want my opinion for your question? Let it be.

    My answer is both “yes” and “no”. That is some Buddhists worship gods and some Buddhists like me, don’t.

    You want more clarification? Give me a ring!

    Thanks! May Triple Gems bless you!

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear Jagath,

    Your post of December 30, 2009 @ 3:01 am refers

    I have made 17 posts on this thread and this is my 18th post.

    Kindly have the decency to refer to which of my posts contradicts each other. A list of my posts on this thread can be found at the end.

    I did not start posting on this thread to disprove God but to stop people ‘Illiterate about Buddhist philosophy’ from bashing it.

    I do not have to make any effort to disprove a “CREATOR GOD” WHO IS OMNIPOTENT, OMNISCIENT AND OMNIPRESENT Christian writings; the Inquisition and the history of people MURDERED by the Church for alleged ‘Heresy’ do it for me.

    I only have to point them out, which I have done but no Credible answers have emanated from those who bashed Buddhist Philosophy ‘before they were challenged’ on this thread. The Author of this article him/herself is conspicuous by his/her absence.

    Since you have not made any specific reference to my writings let me try to explain

    As a Buddhist child I worshiped my parents before going to bed at night and before going to school in the morning. That does not mean that my parents are ‘Gods’. That worship is done out of gratitude and respect.

    We used to worship our Teachers at the start of a new school year and some did at every new term. It did not mean that the Teacher was God.

    We worship our elders when we visit their homes or when they visit ours. This does not mean that our Elders are Gods.

    We worship our priests when we visit a Buddhist Temple or when the priests visit us. This does not mean that the Buddhist priest is God.

    We worship the “MEMORY’ of the Buddha as he is the Teacher who showed us how to end the cycle of sorrow caused by birth, aging, death and rebirth.

    What we cannot do is to worship him and ask him to save us (like you do when you worship your God). The Buddha cannot provide that type of salvation. That salvation can be achieved ONLY by oneself by following the philosophy he taught. He is no more amongst the living as he broke the cycle of Birth, Aging, Death and Rebirth. This is what a Buddhist strives to do too.

    This is what I stated in my post of December 25, 2009 @ 12:32 am
    Extract
    “knew” and Donalds I hope you have read my reply to Ilaya Seran Senguttuvan, on December 3, 2009 @ 12:18 am
    Your questions of December 24, 2009 @ 2:25 pm and December 22, 2009 @ 3:54 pm had been answered by me THREE weeks before you had even asked it from me. It dealt with Hinduism but it equally applies to Christianity
    End Extract

    Before you made your post did you read my post to Senguttuwan referred to above?

    Here is a relevant extract
    The existence of beings at a higher/ lower levels than Humans and of multiple worlds that support life is also acknowledged by every Buddhist. This may be observed in the act of offering merit to them at the end of every Buddhist religious ceremony, even Soma Thero was not an exception, he too offered merit to them after “Every” sermon he delivered.
    What Soma Thero underlined is the basic teaching in Buddhist philosophy, which is that no Deity can bring salvation to a person as salvation lies within Himself. Therefore, no Deity should be “worshiped” as in Hinduism in Buddhist philosophy.
    End Extract

    In fact no ‘Deity’ (meaning, a being, at a higher level than a Human in contrast to one at a lower level) should be “worshiped” as in any “CREATOR GOD” based religion, in Buddhist philosophy.

    The word ‘Deity’ does not mean a Creator God capable of being Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent and being able to absolve Sins and provide Salvation or making Judgments that can send you to Hell or Heaven for Eternity.

    Dear Jagath before asking questions read the whole thread intelligently, what made you skip my reply to Senguttuwan when it is specifically referred to in my comment? Myopia or Dishonesty?

    If after reading THAT post to Senguttuwan which gave a clear reply, you decided to level such baseless accusations, then your comprehension of English is wanting,

    To your pet Dog (or cat or other animal) you may look like a “God” because you can create and do things that it cannot.

    So please ask me any honest question and I will try to provide an honest answer within the bounds of my knowledge as I am not omniscient and will never claim to be one.

    Are you up to that task?

    November 30, 2009 @ 9:30 am
    December 3, 2009 @ 12:18 am
    December 3, 2009 @ 12:57 am
    December 4, 2009 @ 8:14 am
    December 7, 2009 @ 7:43 pm
    December 10, 2009 @ 10:58 pm
    December 10, 2009 @ 11:10 pm
    December 11, 2009 @ 10:41 pm
    December 12, 2009 @ 3:45 pm
    December 17, 2009 @ 12:06 pm
    December 18, 2009 @ 10:31 pm
    December 20, 2009 @ 8:43 pm
    December 21, 2009 @ 7:28 pm
    December 24, 2009 @ 2:08 am
    December 24, 2009 @ 3:27 pm
    December 25, 2009 @ 12:32 am
    December 26, 2009 @ 1:28 am

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear Yapa,

    I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment of SomewhatDisgusted.

    I have read with pleasure his writings as he displays an uncanny ability to be incisive. His post of December 28, 2009 @ 6:20 pm on this thread is an example.

    Indeed his/her posts should not be answered in haste.

    Thank you both for enriching this forum

  • yapa

    Dear Knew;

    I was of the view that you were anxious to have an answer for your question posed on December 25, 2009 @ 1:58 pm. I also was anxious to give a comprehensive answer to satisfy my customer and that is why I asked for a simple elaboration. However, my expectations didn’t materialise and my anxiousness doesn’t permit my delay any further. I believe your anxiousness too is still intact.

    This is the question you have posed to me.

    All your science- is hearsay. Where’s your proof for REINCANATION”? Is that then must accept by faith? I know we practically cannot live without faith for human survival. Is there any proof besides faith to accept REINCANATION?

    What is the ultimate purpose of endless births, deaths, and rebirths? Does not man ultimately come to nothingness (extinction)? why then you have to do anything at all as some one had asked in this post? do Buddhists worship other God’s?
    As a proof could you tell where you were and who you were before born as Yapa?
    Cosmic religion according to you is Buddhism, you said, “covering both natural and spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things natural and spiritual as a meaningful unity.”
    But the fact is Buddhism is neither ‘natural nor spiritual rather philosophical!
    ………..

    This is what you have posted for Off the Cuff to answer

    Even after so many repeated births, deaths, and rebirths eventually the life ends in itself (extinction) according Buddhist belief, then, why do people need to do anything at all if the end result is Extinction?
    ……………..

    If one has gone through the answer given for the part posted to Off the Cuff and understood, no one will ever repeat the same question to anybody else. I cannot give a better answer. Therefore if you missed it by any chance please read it. Please refer his post on December 25, 2009 @ 12:32 am

    Now I will answer the rest part by part.

    Q1.All your science- is hearsay. Where’s your proof for REINCANATION”? Is that then must accept by faith? I know we practically cannot live without faith for human survival. Is there any proof besides faith to accept REINCANATION?

    Answer:
    There is no need of a proof to believe everything. For example think about your great great great ……grand father who lived about 500 years ago. Do you know his name? Can you figure out his face?Do you know where he had his birth mark? Keep aside the proofs of something about him, you cannot know even these simple facts about him. In this case do you consider you didn’t have a great great …… grand father lived 500years back?

    There can be things in the past, future and also in the present time which cannot be perceived by an average human. Lack of proofs always doesn’t mean that it is non existent. However, if something is properly disproved without any doubt it is non existent. Existence of Omnipotent God is clearly disproved by famous Omnipotent Paradox. Reincarnation has never been disproved. Further, if you have gone through my recent posts, you will see that I have provided some comprehensive facts to support reincarnation.

    n a way you are right when you say “we practically cannot live without faith for human survival. “, however, it is not “without blind” faith. In Buddhism most akin word for faith is “shradda” and in Buddhism it is subdivided as “Amulika Shradda” and “Akarawathi shradda”. Amulika shradda is “rootless” or blind fait and Akarawathi shradda is “fact based or knowledge based” faith. Buddhism totally rejects Amulika shradda or blind faith but considers Akarawathi shradda as an essential component in achieving the goals prescribed in Buddhism. Take my word even modern Science is mostly based on Akarawathi shradda. ( If you are not sure ask me, I will explain it to you.)

    Q2. What is the ultimate purpose of endless births, deaths, and rebirths?

    Answer:
    Who knows? Other than man made purposes we really don’t know the purposes of nature. Do you know the purpose of existence of sun or moon? Do you know the purpose of existence of the earth? Do you know the purpose of a person becoming older? But I know that some people know the purpose of lives of chicken, sheep, cows and ducks. That is to avoid rotting of valuable flesh. ie is to act as a refrigerator!

    Q3: As a proof could you tell where you were and who you were before born as Yapa?

    Answer: I think answer for this question is included in my answer to your Q1.

    Q4: But the fact is Buddhism is neither ‘natural nor spiritual rather philosophical!

    Answer: Who told you?

    For the answers of the rest of the questions you will have to find where Einstein was born again after his death and ask him. Because those things were said by his predecessor of the present birth!

    Are you satisfied? Customer satisfaction is my motto. Customer is the king.

    Thanks!

  • Intellectual

    Dear Yapa:

    In regards to your comments of December 30th. Yes, it is my opinion that Christianity has more practical value. Compared to Buddhism, Christianity has evolved much better from a historical standpoint. We see that it has adapted well to emerging political trends, economic trends, and even scientific trends. On the other hand, Buddhism has remained stagnant or in some cases, digressed. For example, elements of cast and class – remnants of feudalism – are still present in Sri Lankan society. As a recent example, many people in the South wanted Mahinda Rajapakse to become “king” after the war was over. Clearly, these people have no conception of how a modern government works. A long time ago I pointed out on this forum that people in the West are much more knowledgeable in regards to constitutional matters. For them, the Constitution is the key to stability in their society. On the other hand, you will find that very few people in SL actually take the Constitution seriously. If they did, they would not take such a passive attitude towards corruption and human rights violations. The point I want to make is that at one period in history, both the West and the East were largely feudal. The West was able to transition out of feudalism; the East is still struggling. Religion played at least some role in this. That is why I say Christianity is more practical.

  • Heshan

    Above post is mine, thanks.

  • Heshan

    SomewhatDisgusted:

    “I agree that given the present evidence, both are completely based on faith. But I do not believe that reincarnation cannot be proven.”

    Don’t you think that the above two sentences are self-contradictory? There is nothing wrong with faith. But a proof is a different matter altogether. In mathematics, for example, you take for granted that a line goes forever in both direction. But you cannot prove it. You don’t need to prove it, however. For practical purposes, all you care about is some segment of the line. On the other hand, you can certainly prove that certain properties of the (segmented) line are true, e.g. law of trichotomy or associativity. I would imagine its a similar thing with reincarnation. You never know where it begins or ends. You can only deal with segments of it, e.g. past lives. However, if you cannot establish its beginning or end, then you cannot prove it existed it in the first place. It’s very easy to connect this notion of infinite reincarnation to God. That brings me to another question: how do you disassociate reincarnation from God? As I’ve pointed out, if both are infinite processes, then it is possible that they have the same beginning or the same end, or both the same beginning and same end. Indeed, I am suggesting that infinity provides ample proof for the existence of God. In mathematics, infinity is considered a “concept.” It’s existence is simply assumed. It cannot be “proved” (save perhaps intuitively). It is the same way with God. God is a concept, that’s all. If we tried to prove the existence of God, we would have to deal with this question of infinity, which given our limitations of perception, we cannot hope to prove. Which leads us back to our alternate hypothesis, that belief in God takes faith, as opposed to empiricism, as its basis.

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear Intelectual,

    You state
    Compared to Buddhism, Christianity has evolved much better from a historical standpoint. (your post of December 31, 2009 @ 1:59 am)
    Unquote

    I thought Christianity can’t “EVOLVE” as those who swear by it says it’s the “ABSOLUTE TRUTH”, the “WORD OF AN INFALLIBLE GOD”.

    How can the “ABSOLUTE TRUTH” evolve?
    Unless of course you admit that it is not ABSOLUTELY TRUTHFUL.

    The rest of your post lacks knowledge about Buddhist Philosophy and even probably about your own religion.

    Please don’t confuse faults in society with that of Religion. I would not blame any religion for the faults existing in a society (unless that religion advocates killing or similar acts against society in the name of religion)

  • Intellectual

    Dear Off the Cuff:

    It is not me who is confused but you. Can you justify the following picture:

    http://www.lankanewspapers.com/news%5C2009%5C12%5C51959_image_headline.html
    (A large number of Buddhist monks from the Sri Lanka Bhikku Union today staged a protest outside the Viharamahdevi Park in Colombo, against a statement made by Presidential Candidate General Sarath Fonseka and against foreign interference in Sri Lankan matters. )

    Now you look at that picture and tell me which religion is more progressive, Christianity or Buddhism.

  • yapa

    Dear SomewhatDisgusted/ Heshan/Desgusted/Belle/Niranjan/Off the Cuff;

    One of the main ideas I brought for discussion on this web under “Deepavali Dilemma” and this thread is the concepts of Two Valued Logic and Four Valued Logic. I think it won the attention of you, though in a way of opposition (except from Niranjan and Off the Cuff) which I consider as a sign of some sort of recognition to them. In contrary to your views I hold the view that it is a new concept for west and has been a concept used by even “ignorant ordinary buddhist gamaralas and gamamahages” of our country. Our societies had traditional wisdom which were neglected and humiliated by our Brown sahibs, who are only “western knowledge gatherers” and made them go to their grave yards. Based on the limited knowledge they acquired from western universities or what ever it is people like Niranjans and Heshans opted for unlimited and vehement criticisms over our local values and culture containing a unique system which contains traditional knowledge which westerners today looking for to quench their thirst of knowledge. One reason for this is that our “eminent learned people” of western knowledge are lagging far behind their counterparts in the west. Most of them utter outdated syllabuses, based on prehistoric day “faith” or outdated science. Only a few people among today’s scholars have acquired the knowledge developed after Newtonian Science, which has been broken to pieces since a century of years.Most of the so called “Modern Political Theories” are based on many myths based on faith. The people armed with these outdated theories and has no an iota of idea of the modern knowledge are very assertive to criticise every single error in our society. They utter nonsense such as “Liberals should criticize illiberal ideas of the society”. They claim a wild and unconditional freedom to criticise our culture and values. These people were breaking pots in abandoned houses, accidentally when I saw the efforts to undermine whole of our society unduly, calling names like Sinhalese fascists, Sinhalese chauvinists, Sinhalese murderers, buddhist chauvinist etc. I saw some people like Off the Cuff, Atheist, Huh and SomewhatDisgusted were trying to avert this unethical efforts. That is how I also joined as a Lieutenant of the contingents of the above Generals.

    Now we are here to safeguard our values armed with some modern western knowledge too which opened our eyes to see what we really have as our heritage. I saw Off the Cuff was fighting a massive battle to safeguard our excellence in irrigation and tank building systems. We should never give in for purposeful misconceptions, misinterpretations and false propaganda to take undue advantages. While giving what is due we should protect what is due to us too. In this regards we should uphold our real values. That is the reason why I brought the concepts of “Two Valued Logic and Four Valued Logic in to the forum. Now I would like to start the discussion on it to show that we have at least some superior things than westerners contrary to what our back broken simpleton’s view who worship the west. Who even believe invasion of our country by Britishers as a fortune. As SomeoneDisgusted put it , who were thankful to the thief who left an omelet after stealing the chicken.

    OK! I will start the discussion on Two Valued Logic and Four Valued Logic from the next post. Your interaction is appreciated.

    Thanks!

  • Heshan

    Dear Yapa:

    Please use your four-valued logic to build a computer or airplane. Then I will believe it is useful. Yes, it may be possible to achieve logical miracles with a four-valued system. But logical miracles will not grow rice for SL or produce technological marvels. What matters in engineering is optimization.

    There is a saying in English – “talk the talk and walk the walk.” I have yet to see you “walk the walk.”

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear Intellectual,

    We are discussing Religion not the behavior of some individuals.

    If you have arguments related to the Core Beliefs of your religion and the Buddhist Philosophy lets discuss that.

    When you start pointing fingers, four of them point back to you.

    Homosexuality is also progressive is it?
    Just because there was Homosexuality within the Church, Jesus was never accused about his teachings.
    What he preached was not ridiculed because the Church behaved immorally was it?
    I can give you examples of much more degrading behavior of the Church than I have mentioned but such behavior of his followers is NOT the fault of JESUS and what he PREACHED.

    I expected a better discussion going by your nom de plume. Looks like I was mistaken.

    So the confusion is on your part, mud slinging cannot divert attention off of the weaknesses in your religious beliefs

    (reference your post of December 31, 2009 @ 12:30 pm)

  • Intellectual

    Dear Off the Cuff:

    I am talking about the involvement of a specific group of people (Buddhist monks) in Sri Lankan politics in 2009. It clearly shows that religion and politics are not separate in SL. It shows that Buddhism in SL has not evolved to meet modern standards. Do you deny this?

  • yapa

    Dear Groundview, Groundview contributers & readers;

    Wish you all a very happy new year!

    A thought for the year.

    Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
    Where knowledge is free;
    Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
    Where words come out from the depth of truth;
    Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection:
    Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
    Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action—
    Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

    -Rabindranath tagore

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear Intellectual,

    My response was to the following statement that you made.

    You stated as follows
    “Compared to Buddhism, Christianity has evolved much better from a historical standpoint.” (your post of December 31, 2009 @ 1:59 am)

    My question was How can an “ABSOLUTE TRUTH” which is the “INFALLIBLE” word of GOD “EVOLVE”?

    If it can, then its no longer an “Absolute Truth” and for that matter could not have been “TRUE” to begin with at all.

    The real meaning of an “Evolving Christianity” is that it has had to adjust itself when the “ORIGINAL” beliefs proved to be “FALSE”

    If you can logically do so, answer the question posed of you as I would not be deceived into going on a wild goose chase by deviating from the question.

    I suspect that I have been responding to a “NEW” nom de plume used by a person whom I had Identified earlier as an intellectually dishonest person.

    The attempt at slipping away from the subject matter when cornered strengthens my suspicion about such dishonesty.

    My apologies to you if I am wrong about the Nom de Plume

    Happy New Year

    (the foregoing is a response to your post of December 31, 2009 @ 3:53 pm)

  • Intellectual

    OTC:

    “My question was How can an “ABSOLUTE TRUTH” which is the “INFALLIBLE” word of GOD “EVOLVE”?”

    The only thing “infallible” about it is the Bible. The “Bible” did not evolve except for translations into more and more languages. What “evolved” are people’s approach about how they should approach the subject, not the subject itself.

  • Intellectual

    So when I say “progressive”, I am talking about people’s approach to the subject, not whether or not the subject has intrinsic philosophical value.

  • jagath

    Hello Off the Cuff,
    In your December 31, 2009 you made several meaningless remarks to ‘Intellectual’.
    Sir, you cannot see facts. You love yourself too much I guess. You are good at twisting, and misinterpreting the facts. You are a classical example of the label that you have referred (as intellectually dishonest) to some one else. Any Reader could tell that.
    I can see the point of ‘Intellectual’ made in his statement. He wrote, ‘compared to Buddhism, Christianity has evolved much better from a historical standpoint.”
    He does not seem to refer to the “Infallible” word of God (the Scriptures). He may not be talking kind of evolution that you are misinterpreting. He may be talking about the outlook and how these two religions have come along so far into the 21st century. He obviously may sees the Christianity as a progressive religion, not going against the modern democratic principles as a base for human rights, freedom of religion, freedom of speech in a civilized society. Christianity does not seeks foremost places in the governments to protect its faith. The followers are the guardians of their faith. The truth don’t need extra support to exist.
    There’s no one single Western country where there’s a state law to protect Christian religion, or has made a special place by law for it. Instead, they allow freedom of all religions. That’s how we Christians we believe our societies must respect basic human rights.
    ‘Intellectual’ obviously sees that Christianity is going forward while Buddhism is a religion going backward. Sri Lankan Buddhism illustrates that well.

    The very folks who go to Western world and enjoy all the privileges of freedom, yet back in SL they are crying out loud against the Western world and Christianity. What a hypocrisy in the name of religion.

    There’s no any one country in the globe who accepts you as a human being, grants a citizenship within a short period of time, and give you all the equal freedom, rights and privileges to live the way you like and practice your religion the way you want. They let you have equal rights to preach even your BANA without hindrance or interference in all Christian world communities. That’s all part of Christian values and heritage.

    You often repeat your atheist argument against Christianity out of context. The Evils done in the name of God is not in line with the teachings of Jesus and does not represent true Christianity. If everyone followed the teachings of Christ correctly, no evil would be done in the name of God. Jesus taught people to love God and their neighbors (Matthew 7:12).

    You stated:
    Quot:
    “The attempt at slipping away from the subject matter when cornered strengthens my suspicion about such dishonesty.”
    I believe that’s another wrong assumption of yours. However, it is disgusting to continue such an opinionated argument by you and Yapa. It would be a waste of valuable time and energy to reason with them who are unreasonable, and blind.

  • Intellectual

    OTC:

    Once again, there are different aspects of a religion, not only the literature:

    (1) Ritual (e.g. church, temple, mosque)

    (2) Involvement of men vs. women

    (3) Sacred literature

    (4) Relationship to the State

    ANY of these VARIABLES can change over time, without AFFECTING any of the other variables.

    When I say EVOLVE, I am NOT talking about (1)-(3). I am talking about FOUR. Do you understand? If you don’t understand, then don’t bother to reply. Thanks.

  • Muhamad

    I learned in 4th grade that Gautama Buddha’s hair that he shaved off and threw on the air under the Bho tree was picked up by a certain god. That means Buddha has seen a god. A comparative study shows the Buddhism is a reformation of Hinduism. Buddha must have believed in a god but those 300 odds people who wrote Buddha’s teachings presumably long after he had passed away must have purposely omitted such beliefs. The probability is that he was a former Hindu.
    The second question is: who is this monk that Buddha saw among other three that got him frustrated enough to find answers in his search? Were there Buddhist monks already before Gautama Buddha?

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear Jagath,

    Still having problems will try to post in smaller parts

    This is Part 1 of many

    Please take note of the following exchange between Yapa and Heshan and then read what “Intellectual” and Heshan writes afterward. I believe that “Intellectual” is no other than Heshan hiding behind another pseudonym. I avoid him for reasons that you will understand if you follow the refferences given in this post.

    I noticed the following which confirms that the person posing as “Intellectual” is the Dual personality of Heshan ONLY after I made my post to “Intellectual”.

    I have identified Heshan as “Intellectually Dishonest” (please read these posts of mine to understand why I did so) and why I refused to engage with him on this thread.

    There is a history behind my assertions. So please read before you prejudge.

    yapa said, December 4, 2009 @ 5:02 pm
    Dear Heshan;
    RE: Your posr of December 3, 2009 @ 12:07 pm addressed to Donald……..
    ——————————-
    yapa said, December 30, 2009 @ 6:48 am
    Dear Heshan;
    I have to answer one more salient point raised by you during the present discussion.
    This is what you have said in your post of December 3, 2009 @ 12:07 pm
    ………………“I would say, that as a religion, Christianity has more practical value than Buddhism.
    This is because the most important function of any religion is to impart a system of ethics – values, so to speak – to its followers. Unlike Buddhism, the Christian value-system is extremely easy to follow. One has only to follow the Ten Commandments and accept the divinity of Christ. As far as Buddhism is concerned, much of the ethical system is tied up in abstract philosophical content.
    —————————–
    Note this reply coming from “Intellectual”
    —————————-
    Intellectual said,
    December 31, 2009 @ 1:59 am
    Dear Yapa:
    In regards to your comments of December 30th. Yes, it is my opinion that Christianity has more practical value. Compared to Buddhism, Christianity has evolved much better from a historical standpoint. We see that it has adapted well to emerging political trends, economic trends, and even scientific trends. On the other hand, Buddhism has remained stagnant or in some cases, digressed. For example,
    ————————————
    Now note this confirmation from Heshan that he is actually “Intellectual”
    —————————————
    Heshan said, December 31, 2009 @ 2:00 am
    Above post is mine, thanks.

    —————————–
    Continued in post 2

  • yapa

    Dear Off the Cuff;

    I think it is unnecessary to maintain this discussion any further, because it will never end up, even if you give all the facts and figures available in the whole world. Unless and otherwise, the whole GV readership is without any brains we have already proved beyond any reasonable doubt what is true and what is untrue. We have hit the target to the point. Other than who pretend to be sleeping, all others have awakened. You cannot teach these grand mothers to suck eggs as they are pretended to be sleeping. You are clearly shown the truth, but you don’t accept it. They challenged to show their superiority. We showed them the otherwise.

    Off the Cuff, don’t try to make these horses drink water. Dear Off the Cuff;

    . THEIR GOD IS DEAD! .

    What else you have to talk?

  • yapa

    Oh! I forgot the following quoting by the famous philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche.

    “God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?”

    Thanks!

  • yapa

    Ominipotent God is dead.

    However, you can see the Buddha.

    The Buddha has said ” He who sees Dhamma sees me”.

    Those who would like to see the Buddha, please try to see the Dhamma. It is freely available everywhere.

    Explore and experience the Truth.

    Thanks!

  • Muhamad

    Mr. Yapa, and Mr. Off the Cuff,

    I asked a couple questions regard to Buddhist history yesterday the first of January 2010. Would you kindly answer me? Thank you.

  • someone

    OFF THE CUFF

    Sir,
    you may be highly enlightened judge of others and origins of supernatural beings, but what does it matter who asked the question or argument? The important thing is if you can logically answer some one’s objection, or respectfully admit that you cannot. The nobleness of a individual is to accept the truth with a humble spirit.

  • Off the Cuff

    Mr. Muhamad,

    Your questions have been answered several times on this thread. Please read the thread

    ref your post of January 2, 2010 @ 9:15 am

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear Jagath,

    This is Part 2 of many

    Read your own post again.
    You use the following phrases and words many times
    “May”
    “He does not seem to refer ….”
    Unquote

    The use of the word “SEEM” conveys that you accept the AMBIGUOUS nature of “Intellectual’s” post

    Your use of the word “MAY” several times is an admission that there are several possible interpretations.

    Then you cannot, with any fairness, write about “misrepresentation”.

    My interpretation was that a Religion standing steadfastly on the premise that it is the “ABSOLUTE TRUTH” cannot “EVOLVE”

    What you call the “modern democratic principles” are all embodied WITHIN Buddhist Philosophy, it did not have to “EVOLVE” to accommodate them or the in-finiteness of the “Universe”.

    Regarding your statement about
    “Christianity does not seeks foremost places in the governments to protect its faith”
    Unquote

    Please read what I have written in my earlier posts on this thread where I have dealt very comprehensively with it.

    In brief, almost all western govts still provide or has provided not just protection but forced enforcement of Christian beliefs on non believers going even to the extent of BURNING people alive with their “TONGUE IMPRISONED”. If not for such practices, Christianity would have been extinct long ago.

    Here are few examples read my posts for details.

    UK –
    The National Anthem is a prayer to God
    The Monarch can only be an Anglican
    LAW prohibits a Catholic from being crowned.
    Marrying a Catholic deprives Royalty of privileges

    Norway –
    The King is the Head of the Church

    USA –
    Every Coin and Currency note carries the slogan “In God we Trust”

    Vatican is ruled by the Church

    Greece –
    There are protectionist clauses in the Constitution (strangely to protect one version of Christianity from another)

    I know that discussing Religion hurts people’s susceptibilities.
    I do not want to do that.
    But in the face of UNJUSTIFIED attacks on Buddhism I had to write in it’s defense. Not just I, many more are doing so on this thread.

    Read the main article and how Buddhist bashing went on, on this thread, until those writers were challenged.

    Where have those initial Buddhist bashers gone?

    continued on Part 3

  • Off the Cuff

    Hi Jagath,

    This is the final part as I have edited out what I thought were insignificant questions to the core issue. If you still have questions please feel free to ask.

    True, what Jesus preached, IF FOLLOWED DILIGENTLY, will create a better society.
    This is true of almost every mainstream religion (Islam, Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism etc)

    As Buddhists we are allowed and encouraged to probe critically, the concepts of Buddhism by the Buddha Himself.
    To you the Bible is the word of the “Creator God” and is infallible and beyond inquiry.

    With our religious training of inquiry, nothing is taken to be “infallible” just because a person says so or a book says so. We look critically at things that you are prohibited from questioning. We apply the SAME yardstick to measure what is preached by ANY religion and that includes our own which is Buddhism.

    I and probably many others do not believe in Mambo Jumbo just because it is stated in a book. Literary writing is not free of exaggeration.

    Although it is medically possible for a woman to become pregnant with an intact Hymen, I do not believe that a full grown baby can come out from the tiny hole in the Hymen as much as I do not believe that a new born can walk at birth.

    I do not believe that an Omniscient, Omnipotent and Omnipresent “Merciful” God could have created a Human (in his own image) and given him a ‘FREEWILL’ with the “COMPLETE KNOWLEDGE” that it would be misused to create the Atom Bomb, the H bomb, Biological weapons, WMD (weapons of mass destruction). If such a GOD could not FORESEE the misuse of HIS Gift, He can no longer be called OMNISCIENT.

    I don’t think you will give your Toddler a loaded gun with the safety off or for that matter a Knife or even a polythene bag to play with. If you would not, it’s due to your foresight. That singular trait God has endowed you with, seems to have been lacking in Him, your Creator.

    I do not believe that a corpse, during the Roman Age, could come alive and rise from the dead. If this was actually possible, he could have walked up to Pontius Pilate after rising from the dead. The question of “Blasphemy” and His immortality would have been laid to rest “PERMANENTLY”.

    That confrontation never took place. If it did, we would not be having this discussion, ALL of us would be unquestioning Disciples of Jesus.

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear Yapa,

    A Very Happy and Prosperous New Year to you and more strength to your writing and ability to confront the False propaganda of the propagandists.

    The Tamil extremists used the web to Demonize the Sinhalese very successfully as not many Sinhalese were active on the web. Now when they face a challenge they are more cautious. I observed that most Tamils who wrote to the Canadian websites such as CBC.ca and the Post quietly withdrew when factual challenges were made to their false propaganda.

    What was most encouraging was the fact that Moderate Tamils from both sexes joined in to refute the false propaganda of the extremists. This showed the tyrannical oppression that has gone on in Canada and the fear psychosis that prevented the moderates from even writing under pen names. What is most disturbing is the way some Tamil intellectuals try to fan Tamil Chauvinism very subtly. We should not hesitate to take them on.

    I learned a lot of valuable information after I started to write to forums and one of the most valuable facts that I learned was the link to a document in the Dutch archives proving that the Sinhala Kingdom extended up to Elephant Pass. This is a 17 th Century document and predates the Cleghorn minutes (18th Century) used by the Chauvinist Tamils to claim and exclusive Tamil Traditional Homeland. This is the link http://www.nationaalarchief.nl/AMH/detail.aspx?page=dpost&lang=en&id=682#tab2

    The Nationalistic Tamils try to split the Sinhalese on religious grounds and some Sinhalese fall in to that trap. You can see the affects on this thread. The logic used is similar to that used to add the Muslim population with the Tamil Speaking epithet to play the numbers game. The originator of this thread is absent from the discussion and I wonder why.

    You are a very persuasive writer, truth is very difficult to run away from and I have learned quite a lot from you. I admire the ability of Somewhatdisgusted. Aethist, Huh and Niranjan (the Tamil person who wrote a great article on GV)

    Thank you for your advice on this thread I do try to avoid answering silly and repeated questions

    I wish you well in the future too

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear someone,

    Please read the original article by Daya Dissanayake.

    Now please reread carefully the posts of those who seem to know more about Buddhism than the Buddha himself

    My intent is to defend Buddhism, from people who are illiterate about Buddhist Philosophy.

    You are hurt because we are challenging your beliefs.
    You are hurt that the questions posed are difficult.
    if the questions raised are uncomfortable, the fault is not with us.

    Did you advise those Buddhist bashers to desist from their vile and unjust criticism?

    by the way, I do not claim to know a lot but I have some understanding of the core teachings of the Buddha. But my knowledge is infinitesimal when compared to what the Buddha taught.

    if you can clearly state which question that I have avoided I will attempt to answer it within the limits of my knowledge.

    But please read this thread to see whether your question has not been already answered, as answering repeat questions from those who don’t read the thread and jump in mid stream is tedious and is a waste of time.

    (refers to your post of January 2, 2010 @ 10:46 am)

  • wijayapala

    Dear jagath,

    There’s no one single Western country where there’s a state law to protect Christian religion, or has made a special place by law for it.

    http://www.nordicway.com/norway_religion.htm

    “A millennium later Christianity remains entrenched as the official state religion of Norway, is taught in schools and is an extremely important part of Norwegian culture. More than 95 percent of Norwegians, including all members of the royal family, belong to the State Church (Den norske kirke or The Norwegian Church).”

  • Sampah

    Dear Muhamad, I have a question for you.

    According to the Islamic tradition, at one time, the Prophet Muhammad, accompanied by the angel Gabriel, flew on the back of a winged, horse-like creature called a Buraq to Jerusalem to visit the temple that was built by King Solomon. Some traditions hold that the creature had a horse’s body and angel’s head and that it also had a peacock’s tail. It is thus represented in most Islamic paintings of the event. The journey from Mecca to Jerusalem is known as al-Isra, “the night journey”.

    Do you believe in this?

  • someone

    Sampah

    Your Dec 2, 2010 post you did not answer my questions, instead you are asking me a question. you must answer my a question and then you may ask yours.

    In answering yours, I don’t deny prophets are led my angels at certain occasions.

    My questions for you and other two persons I addressed to are: who were the god or gods took Buddha’s hair to heaven or some place? And were there monks before Gautama Buddha became a monk himself as the founder of Buddhist order? Can you answer me?

  • Heshan

    “A millennium later Christianity remains entrenched as the official state religion of Norway, is taught in schools and is an extremely important part of Norwegian culture. More than 95 percent of Norwegians, including all members of the royal family, belong to the State Church (Den norske kirke or The Norwegian Church).”

    On the other hand, there are no Christian priests in the Norwegian Parliament. : )

    The monarchy you mention is only symbolic. The monarchy does not make laws.

    Also, you forgot to mention that Norway has one of the highest standards of living in the world. As far as I know, it did not “colonize” any third-world country, so its wealth is acquired entirely through self labor. The system of social welfare is extremely generous and one of the most successful.

  • Heshan

    Off the Cuff,

    “In brief, almost all western govts still provide or has provided not just protection but forced enforcement of Christian beliefs on non believers going even to the extent of BURNING people alive with their “TONGUE IMPRISONED”. If not for such practices, Christianity would have been extinct long ago.”

    That is the funniest comment I have read in a while. I am going to e-mail it to my friends and co-workers.

    So are these American Christians building a well in SL after the tsunami trying to convert the nonbelievers, as you claim?

    http://www.gofbw.com/news.asp?ID=5006

    Now why don’t you explain why all the Christian countries donated billions to Sri Lanka after the tsunami? Why don’t you explain what happened with all that money, was it used to build churches or MANSIONS for your monks in Parliament and your Chinthanaya brothers?

    [Edited out]

  • Off the Cuff

    Heshan,

    I refused to engage with you several times as logic, reason and honesty is not a trait you have.

    I have summarized the reasons and explained to the GV readership (even on this thread) why I reject and ignore all your challenges to try to draw me into an fruitless argument that keeps on going around in circles.
    http://www.groundviews.org/2009/11/25/the-transformation-of-buddhism-in-sri-lanka/comment-page-4/#comment-12093
    I have also read posts by other commentators about this type of intellectual dishonesty that you project

    This was AMPLY demonstrated by your posts when you tried your devious but unsuccessful methods of running around the “Mulberry Bush” type of comments in trying to erase History.

    GV readers can form their own opinion after reading the very long exchanges between you an me starting from my post to Niranjan to which you responded http://www.groundviews.org/2009/11/05/deepavali-dilemma-reflections-from-the-diaspora/comment-page-5/#comment-10802

    To you it is anathema to accept the truth if it involves giving credit to the Sinhalese. You will even sell your soul to deny that.

    Even your comment to which I am replying now clearly shows how you avoid the “CORE CHALLENGE ABOUT CHRISTIAN ENTRENCHMENT IN WESTERN GOVT” by making silly counter claims about a “Well” in SL.

    This is your “Modus Operendi” you made it very clear when you gave links to “IRRELEVANT” pictures in your various responses not only to me but to many others in order to try and divert attention from the “CORE ISSUE” under discussion. It wont work with me, so find someone else who will be willing to fall into your trap.

    If my comments tickled your funny bone I am happy that I contributed to your well being in 2010.

    By the way why don’t you make your friends roll with laughter by emailing all the comments of mine about the Sinhala proverb “Gale Reepu Balla Wage”

    So please don’t try to engage with me as I won’t respond to you not because I am unable to do so, but because its a useless waste of time.

    (this is a response to your post of January 3, 2010 @ 12:03 am)

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear Someone,

    if you can clearly state which question that I have avoided I will attempt to answer it within the limits of my knowledge.

    That is an extract from my post to you in response to your “UNDEFINED” Question. http://www.groundviews.org/2009/11/25/the-transformation-of-buddhism-in-sri-lanka/comment-page-4/#comment-12503

    Now that you have defined the question in a post to Sampath which I quote below

    “My questions for you and other two persons I addressed to are: who were the god or gods took Buddha’s hair to heaven or some place? And were there monks before Gautama Buddha became a monk himself as the founder of Buddhist order? Can you answer me?”
    Unquote

    Here is my answer

    There are five basic precepts observed by a lay Buddhist. The Buddha has not claimed “ORIGINALITY” to any one of them but recognized there value in molding the mind and adopted them from the religions that existed then.

    Hinduism is older than Buddhism. Jainism is also older than Buddhism. Both these Great religions have certain aspects in them that aims to develop a better human being.

    But there is ONE very big difference in both of them and Buddhism. In Buddhism a “CREATOR GOD” who can provide “SALVATION” is denied. The responsibility of “SELF SALVATION” in Buddhism is placed squarely on one’s own shoulders. No GOD or anyone else can give it to you.

    Please understand that Buddhist philosophy recognises the existance of beings at a Higher and Lower level than a Human. Some beings at a lower level you can see here on Earth by the naked eye, some needs some form of magnification to be seen and some others cannot be seen as there is no physical method devised to see them yet. The same thing applies to beings at a higher plane than a Human. These are the Gods that you refer to but the meaning of the word God is different to what you have been trained from birth to interpret it as.

    To you GOD means only one thing and that’s your “CREATOR GOD”. When the same word is mentioned in Buddhism it does not mean a SINGULAR CREATOR GOD but a multitude of beings who are at a higher plane than a Human. It is not “GOD” as you understand it.

    If you observe Buddhist Religious ceremonies carefully you will not fail to observe the act of “Offering of Merit” to all beings at a higher and lower level than a Human and also to dead relatives, friends and even enemies.

    Here is the Buddha’s word in a Pali stanza and its meaning in English

    Dittha va ye va adittha,
    ye va dure vasanti avidure.
    Bhuta va sambhavesi va,
    sabbe satta bhavantu sukhitatta.

    Ye dittha va – those beings who have been seen before, and ye va adittha – those beings who have never been seen before, atthi – do exist. Ye va – Some beings also, dure – in a remote place, vasanti – are living there. Ye va – some beings also, avidure – in the neighbourhood, vasanti – are residing there. Ye bhuta va – those beings who have become i.e. come into being, ye sambhavesi va – those beings who are in the course of becoming, atthi – do exist. Ime sabbe satta – All these beings, sukhitatta – may find happiness in both body and mind, (and) bhavantu – be accomplished.

    I hope that would answer some of your questions

    Most of these things have been answered before in the many posts on this thread by Buddhists but you keep asking the same questions over and over again why is that?

    Coming back to the Five precepts these are
    1. Do not kill
    2. Do not steal
    3. Do not indulge in sexual misconduct
    4. Do not make false speech
    5. Do not take intoxicants

    Do you see ANY RESEMBLANCE to the Ten Commandments?

    So if we apply “YOUR OWN LOGIC” the founder of “CHRISTIANITY” would not be Jesus or even Moses won’t you agree?

    Regarding your “Hair” question let me refer you to my reply to Jagath http://www.groundviews.org/2009/11/25/the-transformation-of-buddhism-in-sri-lanka/comment-page-4/#comment-12501 earlier.

    Here are a few Extracts

    I and probably many others do not believe in Mambo Jumbo just because it is stated in a book. Literary writing is not free of exaggeration.

    Although it is medically possible for a woman to become pregnant by a man with an intact Hymen, I do not believe that a full grown baby can come out from the tiny hole in the Hymen as much as I do not believe that a new born can walk at birth.

    As Buddhists we are allowed and encouraged to probe critically, the concepts of Buddhism by the Buddha Himself.

    So Buddhist Philosophy itself teaches us to be “Inteligently Critical” and we apply that to ALL material that is in Buddhist literature and reject the “Decorations” that dont support the Core.

    We look critically at every religious belief and the yardstick does not change when we evaluate them.

    Please read all comments by those who defend Buddhism for a fuller understanding

  • Heshan

    Off the Cuff:

    You were the same guy bragging about Sinhalese hydraulics, when in fact the Romans had a far more sophisticated water treatment system (the precursor to what exists today). In fact, your highly exaggerated “proof” of Sinhalese hydraulics consists of the Mahavamsa, a book written by some unknown European in the 1930’s, and the US Library of Congress (whose references are mostly Sinhalese historians like K De Silva). You cannot quote a single respectable non-Sinhalese piece of scholarly work to back up your claims. So much for that.

    In this thread, you have come up with childish arguments in a silly attempt to put Buddhism on a pedestal above Christianity. Even in this regard, you have failed miserably. As many have pointed out, most Buddhists are not atheist. The origin of Buddhism is Hinduism. So when you attack Christians for believing in a Creator God, you forget that Buddhism would probably not exist were it not for Hinduism (in which 1000 plus gods exist). What this shows is that you have no knowledge of Buddhism apart from Sinhala-Buddhism. Why don’t you compare Sinhala-Buddhism with the other forms of Buddhism (Mahayana, Tantric, etc.)? I don’t think you are capable, because it would tear to pieces every single argument you have made in this thread against the notion of God in Christianity. Whether you realize it or not, you are implying that Sinhala-Buddhism is superior to all other forms of Buddhism, every time you criticize the existence of a God.

    The narrowness of your argument is quite evident in your constant reversion to ad hominem attacks and circular reasoning. Once again, this is because you fail to see beyond the realm of Sinhala-Buddhism. You fail to see the big picture – that no religion evolves in isolation. I suggest you take a trip to China or Japan someday and see how Buddha is “worshipped” right alongside Confucian and Shinto gods.

  • Off the Cuff

    Heshan,

    You don’t seem to understand English

    I DON’T WANT TO ENGAGE WITH YOU, period.

    That is because your Creator has not endowed you with either honesty or reason or the intellect to carry out a decent discourse. Your latest post proves my point again.

    Yes I am the same guy (I don’t need Multiple Pseudonyms) who took you on in spite of you refuting the likes of

    1. Sir Henry Ward, Governor of Sri Lanka

    2. Dr R. L. Brohier, the eighth recipient of the Royal Asiatic Society’s Gold Medal. Act Deputy Surveyor General 1947 -1949. First Sri Lankan to act as Assistant Surveyor General under colonial rule1938/1946

    3. Authors Randolph Barker, Robert W. Herdt & Beth Rose

    4. The Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress, USA

    I know that you don’t even have the ability to search the web for information as the only thing you can come up in relation to the Sinhalese is the Mahavansa . You could not even search for a UN document that is available on the web when I quoted from it on a different thread and you decided to challenge me.

    Unfortunately for opinionated people like you, who cannot distinguish between a simple elevated storage tank of water and a surge chamber and the technology required to maintain a Gradient of 1:10000 for miles and miles, the edifices I referred to are STILL WORKING AND EXISTING.

    Hence are PHYSICALLY available for measurement and verification. What is more Authoritative than that?

    This is the link for the interested reader who wants to judge for themselves the type of arguments you can produce and learn about the Pharaoh ‘s Pump which the learned Egyptologist’s did not know about themselves.

    The reader with an Engineering background will also learn how to measure the Vertical Dimension given just a Plan Drawing (without the use of an elevation drawing).

    http://www.groundviews.org/2009/11/05/deepavali-dilemma-reflections-from-the-diaspora/comment-page-5/#comment-10802
    (The post was a reply to Niranjan which Heshan decided to challenge. Hence please follow the subsequent exchanges between me and Heshan)

    Your latest post is a clear statement about your inability to comprehend English when you try to compare Hinduism and Buddhism. Kindly re read the thread with a bit more care.

    I am not attacking any religion but defending Buddhism from those who chose to attack it (read the article and the posts that preceded my first entry on this thread).

    In the process I have asked questions which those who started to attack Buddhism probably did not expect.

    I and many others have answered the questions asked of us but the answers to questions that we ask always end up in a blind alley, the faith based word of the Bible.

    That requires blind belief which we reject as blind belief is not proof.

  • yapa

    Dear Muhamed aka Someone;

    These are your simple questions and my answers.

    Q1.I learned in 4th grade that Gautama Buddha’s hair that he shaved off and threw on the air under the Bho tree was picked up by a certain god. That means Buddha has seen a god.

    A: Yes! It is possible.

    Q2 . A comparative study shows the Buddhism is a reformation of Hinduism. Buddha must have believed in a god but those 300 odds people who wrote Buddha’s teachings presumably long after he had passed away must have purposely omitted such beliefs.

    A: Can you prove or give substiantiate evidence to back your evidence? (Are you sure these are not just imaginations of yours.)

    Q3. The probability is that he was a former Hindu.

    A: Yes! possible.

    Q4.The second question is: who is this monk that Buddha saw among other three that got him frustrated enough to find answers in his search?

    A: Definitely he was not a Buddist monk. He is a monk of another religion, I am not sure belongs to which religion.

    Q4.Were there Buddhist monks already before Gautama Buddha?

    A: Yes ! There were Buddhist monks before Gautama Buddha. Long long before Sddharta Gautama was born.

    Thanks!

  • yapa

    Dear Heshan;

    Have you got any comments about my answers to your questions. Are you satisfied about my answers? To the point feed back would be appreciated.

    Further, do you have any counter argument to “Omnipotent Paradox”, which logically disproves the existence of such a God? I posed several times the same question to you and to Donald, who says the Bible has answers to all the questions.

    If you have an answer you can save HIM from this miserable state.

    Thanks!

  • Reader

    Off the Cuff and Yapa,
    You both will not get what others are saying. you are off the limits. your tunnel vision wouldn’t let you see unless you break that prejudice in your visual fields and cerebral. That’s a horrible thing. you see this happening around what we commonly call ‘brain-washsed’. The chief reason being that you are persons of extremes and fanatical of “SInhala Buddhism”. Now i begin to see how this ‘Sinhala Buddhism’ as an isolated, perverted version conflicting with rest of the Buddhism.The “Sinhala Buddhism” does not exists anywhere else. I agree with others who have clearly expressed this view. You cannot be an atheist or agnostic and a Buddhist same time. Buddhism believes in many gods, so does Hinduism. Please come to a true sense of humanity. This is my friendly advice to you in 2010 as a fellow Sri Lankan and an individual.

  • Admirer

    Heshan,
    I congratulate you. You are a scholar and a gentlemen. Thanks for sharing your wisdom with readers.
    wishing you a happy New Year.

  • Heshan

    Off the Cuff:

    You proved my point exactly.

    All your non Sinhala-Buddhist sources are outdated. If your primary reference is from 1937-1938, the question is why no new research has been done on such architectural sites lately? When extensive research has been and continues to be done into Aztec, Mayan, Egyptian, Roman, Greek, archeology, no one outside of Sri Lanka bothers with this bisikotuwa and other garbage… the only *possible* conclusion is that such garbage is not worth investigating. Of course it is still standing. It is a MECHANICAL device made out of *stone.* It is very hard to destroy STONE.

  • Heshan

    Dear Yapa:

    To discuss the omniscience of God, one must first off all assume that God exists. Existence cannot be proved or disproved on the basis of omniscience alone. Because “God” is a particular case, not a general case. You exist, I exist. But, to the best of my knowledge, neither one of us is omniscient. This can be proved easily: consider all such forms of knowledge that are available. From these forms of knowledge, an infinite number can be derived. It is not possible in this lifetime, or any lifetime, to even be aware of every form of knowledge. So if we are not aware of a given form of knowledge, can we say that it is in our possession? On the other hand, God is timeless. Please see my earlier post regarding infinity. We can think of God as the first form of knowledge – the highest form – the one from which all other forms of knowledge are derived. This argument is logical because there must always be a “one” – a starting point – in the chain of succession.

    I hope this answers your question.

  • wijayapala

    Dear Reader,

    You both will not get what others are saying. you are off the limits. your tunnel vision wouldn’t let you see unless you break that prejudice in your visual fields and cerebral. That’s a horrible thing.

    I completely agree with you and Heshan. We should all convert to Christianity and follow the example of Uganda:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord%27s_Resistance_Army
    “In 1986 Alice Lakwena established a resistance movement claimed to be inspired by the Holy Spirit of God. She portrayed herself as a prophet who received messages from the Holy Spirit of God. She believed that the Acholi could defeat the government run by Museveni by casting off witchcraft and spiritualism embedded in their culture. According to her messages from God her followers should cover their bodies with shea nut oil as protection from bullets, never take cover or retreat in battle and never kill snakes or bees.”

    “The Lord’s Resistance Army has the distinction of having the youngest soldier, only five years old forced to fight with small arms.”

    “During an interview with IRIN, Vincent Otti was asked about the LRA’s vision of an ideal government, to which he responded “Lord’s Resistance Army is just the name of the movement, because we are fighting in the name of God. God is the one helping us in the bush. That’s why we created this name, Lord’s Resistance Army. And people always ask us, are we fighting for the [biblical] Ten Commandments of God. That is true – because the Ten Commandments of God is the constitution that God has given to the people of the world. All people. If you go to the constitution, nobody will accept people who steal, nobody could accept to go and take somebody’s wife, nobody could accept to innocently kill, or whatever. The Ten Commandments carries all this.”

  • yapa

    Dear Heshan;

    you have completely missed my point or got it wrong. My problem was not about OMNISCIENCE.

    BUT

    about OMNIPOTENCE.

    Please read the Omnipotent Paradox again.

    Thanks !

  • yapa

    Dear Reader;

    Your comment is a final cry of a dying man. It was you and your allies challenged us. Thes is how your ally: Donald came with superiority Battle Cry challenging us.

    “Jesus not only said, He is the Truth, the Way and the Life, but He proved by His own life. He proved that he is the author of life. He was crucified and buried, but He rose from the grave proving He is the Only Savior, the living God. All the others (gods and philosophers) are still in their graves.\”
    ( From his post of 26, December)
    +

    Many bla bla ……, before and after.

    This is how I said long before under the Discussion of Deepavali Dilemma.

    “If you carefully go through my posts began initially as a response to ” Sri Lanka: the waning Liberalism” and subsequent comments under different discussions in the web, you will understand the core objective of my writing. I persuaded to believe that there is an organized (may be informally) effort in place to undermine local values, mainly Buddhism and its culture. I noticed many people with different religious identities making second rate criticisms against Buddhism and its followers, quoting a piece or two of verses from Buddhist philosophy (eg:- In Defense of Buddhism). I firmly believe that one should have some respect to other’s sentiments. I also found that some people who are ardent advocates of Liberalism justifying and appreciating British invasion in Sri Lanka as a rare fortune, despite obvious facts available and presented. I don’t know how anybody could justify a forcible occupation of a country against the will of their people. For some writers liberalism is a faultless divine principle to judge everything. I think such things are against basic ethical principles.I think this is cynicism. One must be sensible about the consequences of their writing. They not only should advocate “freedom of expression” but also should advocate the “responsibility of expression”. In this background only my writing came into being.

    Further, my original intension in the first post was to advise the critics mentioned as above to abstain from unethical and unreasonable criticisms over local culture and its value system. I wanted to tell them that western ideologies can not directly be applied to other societies, as they are not perfect theories, which are true only in certain contexts. To show this relative nature I said that western idiologies has a clash with science. If they had a courtesy to pay a little bit heed, not to hurt others feelings by criticising others’ religions I wolud never have touched a religion in a public forum. That is how my original intension diverted to this end. However, with the querries arisen afterwords, I suppose I have to continue in the same line for some time”
    ( 15th November, 2009)

    You have thrown athe first stone at the hornets nest. Not us.

    If we didn’t answe you woul have named us as cowards!

    Now, at the defeat you are weeping like feeble women, throwing all sort of rubbish at us.

    We wash our hands! Faualt is not with us.

    Thanks!

  • yapa

    Dear Reader

    Further to the above post this is what I have said in my post of 9th December 2009 under Deepavali Dilemma.

    Furthermore, many questions can be raised with regard to the existence of the god, creation, his supremacy, creation of the Devil, and many other things taken place during the process of the creation, based on rationality. Many of the theories of western theology can be questioned on “The First Principle” of western philosophy ( Non-Contradiction).

    “However, the main strategy used by the western culture to keep these two contradictory components together is to develop a stylish taboo called “Freedom to Faith”, which indicates anybody has a right to his or her religious faith whether it is true or not, and smartly barred to question its validity. Anyway, I am also going to stick into this policy for now, until some inquisitive person wants me to do otherwise.”

    You all can give moral support to Heshan either in various pseudo names ( or pseudo personalities as a part of your foul tactics), but the all the scholars in the whole world will not be able to save your God from the miserable destiny.

    Why don’t you pray the omnipotent God to give strength to you and your colleagues to defeat us in this public forum? Why don’t your omnipotent God to destroy traitors like us? Please ask him to perform his miracles.

    Thanks!

  • yapa

    Dear Reader;

    See, your God is not coming to save you. But you have to take a mighty effort to protect HIM from mortals like us. He is not in a position to protect himself, keep aside the salvation of you all: his ardent followers.

    You all have a big thick film pasted on your eyes! Light is there. Open your eyes!

    Thanks!

  • someone

    Mr. OFF the CUFF,
    This is a response to yours on Jan.03, 2010

    You stated that you want me to “understand that Buddhist philosophy recognizes the EXISTENCE of BEINGS of at A HIGHER and LOWER LEVELS than man. So, according to you the HIGHER BEINGS CANNOT BE SEEN BY THE NAKED EYE. BUT YOU ARE RELUCTANT to CALL THEM AS “SUPERNATURAL BEINGS”.
    One hand you are an atheist attempting to disprove supernatural beings, the gods, creator god and so forth. On other hand, you have been trying to prove that Buddha is not being worshiped, and Buddhists don’t recognize gods, nor offer prayers to them or worship gods (deities) and gods cannot help them. Please visit the following website on Buddhist gods (deitie) of history and their specialties and worship.
    http://www.lankalibrary.com/myths/gods. I name the listed gods that Buddhists offer prayers for help, and worship daily in SL from the above website. I have quoted brief descriptions from the website about each of them but for detail info please visit the website:

    What is Deva Worship? quote:
    “Deva Worship besides the ceremonies and rituals like pirit, sanghika-dana,kathina, etc., that can be traced in their origin to the time of the Buddha himself…”
    “The word deva, meaning “god” or “deity” in this context, signifies various classes of superhuman beings who in some respects are superior to ordinary human beings through their birth in a higher plane. As such, they are capable of helping human beings in times of difficulty. There is also another class of such superior beings who were originally extraordinary human beings.” Unquote

    GODS
    “God Kataragama Skanda”…in southern Sri Lanka is by far the most popular, as he is considered to be the most powerful deity capable of granting the requests of the worshiper.”
    Ganesh “regarded as god of wisdom and removal of obstacles”.
    Natha, “is purely a Buddhist god,…”,
    Vishnu, “..is identified with the god Uppalavanna of the Mahavamsa to whom Sakka, the king of the gods, is said to have entrusted the guardianship of Sri Lanka at the request of the Buddha before his passing away.”
    Pattini, Goddess Pattini,..is prominent as the most popular female BUDDHIST DIVINITY.” (Emphasis supplied).
    Sakka, is“the king of gods, has been an important figure in the Buddhist affairs of Sri Lanka”, Saman, …”the guardian or the presiding deity of Sri Pada mountain or Sumanakuta (Adam’s Peak). …God Saman is recorded as having met the Buddha on the latter’s first visit to the Island when he visited Mahiyangana to drive away the yakkhas.”
    “Vibhishana, Another deity…”,
    Dadimunda, (Devata Bandara) “Another interesting tradition says that he was the only deity who did not run away in fear at the time of Bodhisatta Siddhatta’s struggle with Mara. While all the other deities took flight in fright, he alone remained fearless as the Bodhisatt’s only guardian.” Huniyan Deviyo, “The patron deity of the sorcerers in Sri Lanka is Huniyan or Suniyan, who has been promoted from the status of a demon to that of a deity.”
    It is clear that Gautama Buddha had believed in gods (deities). It is not a secret that Buddhists worship, pray for help to many gods and that is a very common religious practice in SL.

    According to you, Christians are wrong because Christianity don’t follow ‘god’ the way you understand, believe and teach. I must say that is not a very reasonable argument. sir, you are in an utter confusion with your philosophy. You admit there are supernatural gods exist, and you wrote:
    “Hinduism is older than Buddhism. Jainism is also older than Buddhism. Both these Great religions have certain aspects in them that aims to develop a better human being.”

    If “these great religions” “have certain aspects in them that aims to better human being”, why did Buddha leave them? So, you wrote, the ONE BIG DIFFERENCE is they believe in a “CREATOR GOD.”!

    Buddha had no answers to questions concerning origin of life. He couldn’t tell where matter come into being. He apparently did not have a whole lot difference with his new found philosophy (the path) with his ‘enlightenment’ other than few changes and adjustments. One of them is he had removed CREATOR GOD. Then, later his order substituted Creator God with a different set of gods (higher and lower) man made.

    You also stated the following:
    “But there is ONE very big difference in both of them and Buddhism. In Buddhism a “CREATOR GOD” who can provide “SALVATION” is denied. The responsibility of “SELF SALVATION” in Buddhism is placed squarely on one’s own shoulders. No GOD or anyone else can give it to you.”
    In responding, I can tell you where Buddha allegedly got the ‘Five precepts’ that you wrote down.
    The Ten Commandment has two divisions: The first four Commandments are related to our worship of creator God. The last six commandments tell us how we love our fellow men.

    Gautama Buddha picked some FIVE out of TEN Commandments and left other Commandments as he simply didn’t want to believe in a CREATOR GOD. I very much believe his philosophy is a collection of concepts and teachings from (variable sources) Hinduism, Middle Eastern philosophers lived same period of time as some one pointed here before, and the Old Testament Bible. he must have done lots of research besides his Pali language specialty.

    The following is the Ten Commandments:

    1.you shall have no other gods before me
    2.you shall not make for yourself any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth…you shall not bow down to them, nor serve them.

    3.you shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain
    4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy
    *
    5.Honor your father and your mother
    6.you shall not kill
    7.You shall not commit adultery
    8.you shall not steal
    9.you shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor
    10.you shall not covet…anything that’s your neighbor’s.

    If you apply logic as you suggested, then you will come to realize that the violation of these laws (precepts) cause one to pay back a price. For the penalty of wrong doing (sin) is death. Buddha didn’t have to go too far to find an answer for this situation as he was brought into this system of belief from birth that “reincarnation” will take care of it. The ‘reincarnation’ cannot pay your evil acts where they were committed. That cannot be even compared to a person who may have committed a crime in Saudi Arabia and he is punished in Sri Lanka.
    If you were born here and have no knowledge of your wrong acts (sin) that you committed in a previous life (per say) do not see a logic in that concept. Christian’s new birth has to take place here where you have knowledge of your sins (violation of those ‘precepts’).

    Man cannot save himself. If a man fell into a deep well he needs a life-line or he will die. The law (your 5 precepts or my 10) cannot save man when you break(violate) them. You have to pay for the consequences of breaking them.
    You wrote that Buddha said, “you (must) save yourself”. If both Buddha and Jesus were at the well where the helpless man is struggling to save himself, according to Buddha’s ‘save your self’ philosophy Buddha would tell the man, ‘It is your Karma, sorry you have to take care of yourself and I cannot help you.” He perhaps would give him a book of his philosophy that man could not even understand because perhaps he is not too educated.
    The helpless man needs help to get out of the well. what he needs is not an idea how to alleviate his sorrow and pain. He needs salvation and he is in the well and he cannot get himself out of there.

    Jesus would not try to him teach the man ‘an intelligent philosophy’. Jesus would risk his life and give his loving hand to pull him out of the well. This illustrates the basic difference between the Buddha’s and Jesus’s path of salvation.

  • Heshan

    Admirer:

    Thanks for the compliments. All the best to you as well, in the coming year.

  • Heshan

    Dear Yapa:

    In order for God to be omnipotent, he must be omniscient. Do you agree? If you agree, then reply to what I wrote about omniscience. If you do not understand, then I can explain it again.

  • SomewhatDisgusted

    Dear Heshan,

    As the little boy pointed out, the debate is not over how beautiful the emperor’s new clothes are, but whether the emperor has any clothes in the first place. In that vein, debating whether a possibly non-existent god is omnipotent or omniscient seems a fruitless exercise. Instead, the debate must be over whether he/she/it exists in the first place.

    Towards that end, you’ve offered one argument, albeit a hackneyed one which has been debunked conclusively many times over – that of god as a “starting point”, the terminator of an otherwise infinite regress.

    Let us, for a moment, go with this initial assumption that such an infinite regress must be terminated by a starting point – to which *you* have arbitrarily decided to assign the label “God” and to which someone else might decide to assign the label “nature”.

    The real question however, is not the starting point itself, but how you move from this starting point God to an extremely complicated omnipotent, omniscient God who

    1. Creates human beings in his spare time (and does a rather incompetent job of it)
    2. Is so bored out of his mind that he needs to spend all eternity listening to their feeble bleating and ceaseless prayers.
    3. In his infinite compassion, will dispatch all those who don’t believe in him to burn in hell for all eternity.
    4. Felt so sadistic and insecure as to make human beings imperfect in the first place, so that they had to go through these unnecessary hardships and genuflect to him all day just so they could be “worthy” enough to be by his side in heaven.

    just amongst the other things that he’s supposed to be able to do.

    A starting point of a complicated situation, in essence must be simpler than that which it seeks to explain. You are postulating an extremely complicated entity called God who suddenly sprang into existence out of nowhere. Why don’t you just postulate that the universe itself sprang into existence out of nowhere? Kind of solves the problem in a much more believable way don’t you think?

  • Off the Cuff

    Heshan,

    That you do not understand English is known but why do you keep confirming that fact over and over and over again?

    That your knowledge of Engineering is ABYSMAL you have proven before.

    In the absence of Engineering skill you can be excused for not knowing that a “GRADIENT” would be applicable to something else.

    But of course your poor language comprehension cannot be excused, as you try to project yourself as an INTELLECTUAL in an English language forum.

    Hence ignoring the information provided “… that the structures are still in existence and working and is available for measurement and verification” can only be attributed to your DISHONESTY.

    This is why I refuse to engage with you, all your arguments end up in a Fishing Trip.

    Yes of course, STONE is a very strong material (if you chose a hard one that is), that’s why your creator GOD chose it to scribble down his 10 commandments.

    Why don’t you arrange that TV Debate with Dayan J, (as requested in another thread)? Too weak kneed to confront him?

    Please make sure the GV readership is made aware of date, time and channel. I for one will not miss it.

    here is what I wrote

    Unfortunately for opinionated people like you, who cannot distinguish between a simple elevated storage tank of water and a surge chamber and the technology required to maintain a Gradient of 1:10000 for miles and miles, the edifices I referred to are STILL WORKING AND EXISTING.

    Hence are PHYSICALLY available for measurement and verification. What is more Authoritative than that?
    Unquote

  • yapa

    Dear Heshan;

    “In order for God to be omnipotent, he must be omniscient.”

    This seems to have some sense. Can you just explain a bit more.

    Thanks!

  • yapa

    Dear someone aka Muhamed;

    Thank you for coming forward for salvation of your God! This itself is an evidence that God was created either by a set of feeble men or crafty men (like y..) and not the otherwise.

    If God (or Christ) is for salvation of humans, why he needs your help who even cannot save themselves as you have mentioned in the post addressed to Off the Cuff. Instead HE should have come to help to take you all out from this miserable state you are in, in this debate. He neither can protect HIMSELF nor HIS followers like you from the arguments of the mortal people like us. Otherwise you don’t have to take so much of pain in this discussion, having several pseudo personalities to hide your true face from the world.

    However, being a Buddhist I have developed myself some wisdom with which I can advise and help you a way to protect your God and save HIM for some time.
    This is 100% successful!

    What you have to do is to remove three(3) adjectives from your God!

    These three adjectives are

    1). OMNIPOTENT
    2). OMNISCIENT
    3). OMNIPRESENT

    Please praise your God for my advice, just as you praise HIM for a successful surgery, iwithout caring the skills of the surgeon.

    Thanks!

    P.S.:- Can I also comment on your post addressed to Off the Cuff please?

    Thanks!

  • yapa

    Dear Off the Cuff;

    ” Balu walige una puruke levath ne ade arenne!”

    Please refrain from engage in with the unnecessary person(s).

    The Lord Buddha himself couldn’t,t even save his brother in law, Devadatta. Don’t waist your energies trying to teach wholesome things to some people. It may be their karmic forces which prevent them from seeing the truth, even though they have enough intelligence to capture, this simple Dhamma of Buddha. It is like trying to fill a pot by pouring water on it after keeping it upside down. They are clinging in to their wrong views despite, clearly proved them incorrect. People without ant eyes (blind) might see, but not who are having wrong views. It is the biggest sin one can have.

    Thanks!

  • yapa

    Dear Reader/Knew/someone aka Muhamed/Jagath;

    God must be having an idea to punish Donalds, for putting HIM in trouble by arousing some Buddhists who wanted to live calm and peacefully. After throwing a hand grenade at hornets nest, he has run away from the seen. See how you all are in trouble now for the sin carried out by this Adam.

    Anyway, I am not sure whether he is in the discussion in a different pseudo personality, as a reincarnation of Donald. Reincarnating is very familiar to you all no? Several people have reincarnated in different names no?

    I feel you all have some respect for reincarnation. Isn’t it?

    Thanks for practising a Buddhist concept.

  • Jagath

    A response to Off the Cuff on Dec.30, 2009

    Quote:
    “The existence of beings at a higher/ lower levels than Humans and of multiple worlds that support life is also acknowledged by every Buddhist… What Soma Thero underlined is the basic teaching in Buddhist philosophy, which is that no Deity can bring salvation to a person as salvation lies within Himself. Therefore, no Deity should be “worshiped” as in Hinduism in Buddhist philosophy.” unquote.

    You stated, Buddhists “acknowledge” “higher” “beings” (gods) and “lower” “beings” (gods, deities).
    I did not ask “Should deity be worshiped in Sri Lanka” from you. But my question was plain. I asked, ‘DO THE BUDDHISTS WORSHIP ANY OTHER GODS, AND OFFER PRAYERS TO THEM IN SL?’ You did not answer the question, but you avoided it.

    There’s a difference between respect and worship. But you have mixed them up. It only requires to know the true meaning of worship and the difference between the two.

  • Palitha

    DOES GOD EXISTS?

    (The source is http://www.gotquestions.org).

    “..The Bible says that we must accept by faith the fact that God exists: “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). If God so desired, He could simply appear and prove to the whole world that He exists. But if He did that, there would be no need for faith. “Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed’” (John 20:29).”
    “In addition to the biblical arguments for God’s existence, there are logical arguments.”

    First, there is the ontological argument, teleological, cosmological, moral argument etc.
    “Despite all of this, the Bible tells us that people will reject the clear and undeniable knowledge of God and believe a lie instead. Romans 1:25 declares, “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. …” The Bible also proclaims that people are without excuse for not believing in God: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).”

    “People claim to reject God’s existence because it is “not scientific” or “because there is no proof.” The true reason is that once they admit that there is a God, they also must realize that they are responsible to God and in need of forgiveness from Him (Romans 3:23, 6:23). If God exists, then we are accountable to Him for our actions. If God does not exist, then we can do whatever we want without having to worry. That is why many of those who deny the existence of God cling strongly to the theory of naturalistic evolution—it gives them an alternative to believing in a Creator God. God exists and ultimately everyone knows that He exists. The very fact that some attempt so aggressively to disprove His existence is in fact an argument for His existence.

    How do we know God exists? As Christians, we know God exists because we speak to Him every day. We do not audibly hear Him speaking to us, but we sense His presence, we feel His leading, we know His love, we desire His grace. Things have occurred in our lives that have no possible explanation other than God. God has so miraculously saved us and changed our lives that we cannot help but acknowledge and praise His existence. None of these arguments can persuade anyone who refuses to acknowledge what is already obvious. In the end, God’s existence must be accepted by faith (Hebrews 11:6). Faith in God is not a blind leap into the dark; it is safe step into a well-lit room where the vast majority of people are already standing.

  • yapa

    Jagath;

    I answered your above question on December 30, 2009 @ 3:29 pm . Didn’t you read it? I think you are looking for something else, not the answer. Tell us exactly what you want?

  • wijayapala

    Dear Jagath,

    You did not answer the question, but you avoided it.

    Just as you avoided my point that there are Western countries with Christianity as the state religion?

  • Reader

    Yapa,

    No matter it is Donalds or anyone else, or where you are, God will let the truth come your way in his own time through some channel. Opportunity will be presented that you will come to know this creator God who you don’t believe now. Likewise the good news is in the air that people will come to know him.

    Nothing is personal, but wish that you will look at things with open mind. God is not something we can prove in a scientific lab, but God can show evidence that we could see when look at things without prejudice and acknowledge him.
    Yapa, there’s no escape when God sends his light of truth to a person, there’s no human power can stop that. You don’t know God until you have a personal experience with him. We believe in a loving God.

  • wijayapala

    Dear Reader,

    You don’t know God until you have a personal experience with him. We believe in a loving God.

    But I have had a personal experience with God. He told me that what you and Heshan are saying is utter bunkum and that you’re making Christians look bad. That’s why I’m writing here for God’s sake.

  • Dhiraj

    “We believe in a loving God.”

    You mean the kind that let the tsunami happen where more than 200 000 people died? The God that let the holocaust happen? The God that asked a man to kill his own son to prove his loyalty? The God that killed all the first born babies in Egypt? The God that sent plagues upon earth? The God that continues to be blind to all the suffering, pain and inhumanity on planet earth?

    I’m just asking because you emphatically said a *loving* God…

  • yapa

    Dear Reader/Knew/someone aka Muhamed/Jagath/Palitha;

    I feel like some sort of a miracle is taking place. May be I am also presented the opportunity as mentioned by Reader above.

    I can infer about the omnipresent concept through you all. Some of you have the ability to be present as two or many people at the same time. You all are trying even to deceive your own God coming with pseudo personalities. Why behaving like feeble women. Face the realities. When you are faced with a difficult question, your pseudo personalities vanish into thin air and another ghost appears. This is like hit and run tactic.

    This is what reader says

    “God is not something we can prove in a scientific lab,”.

    But we have already disproved it out of a scientific lab, using Omnipotent Paradox. What moderate readers should do is not to believe both sides of us and explore themselves with an open mind to see to ascertain what is truth. Groundview readers,you all can go through the websites and find the credibility of God for yourself. You can see the amount of Bible contradictions and fallacies found there, You will be astonished to see. Most of them were not our products, but the products of genuine men and women of the west, who had been god believers for generations. These men with some intellect and honesty to accept, when they err, have put their hearts out and put the beliefs in myths at the same time. See how the belief in God is decreasing in the western countries. You yourself can explore and see this reality. Some people without an iota of honesty or intellect is still trying to deceive the whole world, with a backward ideology. These people do not or do not care about the harm they are doing to the human race for their selfish and ignorant notions. One day your names (pseudo names too) will be written in the world history among those who tried to pull the leg of the progress of human kind.

    This the reality. The world will never be without ignorant and dishonest people.

    Thanks!

  • yapa

    Dear Reader/Knew/someone aka Muhamed/Jagath/Palitha;

    I again here to give a piece of valuable information to you.

    Don’t think that we are the only people who are trying to eliminate myth from the world. There are thousands of people who write against what you all believe as the truth. There are thousands of websites who write against the belief of God and many fallacies found in the Bible.

    What you should and can do as arden supporters of my.., you all can form an organisation with few of you and create a few thousand of pseudo personalities to combat these websites. Thousands of your pseudo personalities can write against them. There is another possibility , you can hire a person like Heshan, who has some intellect (but not very honest) to write on behalf of you since you have no such capacity other than uttering nanny stories.

    LPEASE COMBAT THOUSANDS OF WEBSITES WHO TALK AGAINST GOD AND THE BIBLE!

    Leave aside innocent people like us.

    LEAVE US ALONE!

    Thanks!

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear Someone, Palitha, Donalds, Jagath, Reader, Daya Dissanayake, Admirer, Thaaraka, AJ Perera, Hettiarachchi, Ravi, The Underdog, aufidius, concerned lankan, tis-a-small-world, Ilaya Seran Senguttuvan, anonymous, hilarious, knew, Muhamad , etc

    “As Buddhists we are allowed and encouraged to probe critically, the concepts of Buddhism by the Buddha Himself. So Buddhist Philosophy itself teaches us to be “Intelligently Critical” and we apply that to ALL material that is in Buddhist literature and reject the “Decorations” that don’t support the Core.”

    That is an extract from my post to which Someone is replying now.

    Brainwashing takes place by restricting freedom of thought. Can you claim to have that freedom? A Buddhist can certainly claim complete freedom of thought.

    The Librorum Prohibitoram is a list of Books and Writings that are PROHIBITED to be read by Roman Catholics by the Church. There were over 1,097,144,000 Roman Catholics in 2003. That is over 50% of all Christian denominations.

    So who could be brainwashed?

    I gave you two examples, one from Christian literature and another from Buddhist literature that I and many others Buddhist reject.

    The first is the case of the virginity of a pregnant woman which is a medical possibility that even a mere mortal man can accomplish. The impossibility is to give birth to that child naturally, while keeping the Hymen INTACT. This is just fantasy.

    The second is the case of a newborn walking at birth, which may or may not be possible but which I reject as fantasy.

    Before you start quoting from the Bible, what is required is to prove that the Bible is not just a collection of third party hearsay but is in fact the ACTUAL word of God written by God Himself. This is the FIRST thing that an “Omniscient, Omnipotent and Omnipresent Creator” who created ALL things should have done.

    If he could create this Earth, Sun, Moon, Stars etc a reasonable question to ask is why he could not CREATE a “SIMPLE” Book containing ALL his Commands and Advice written by Himself as He was Omniscient (new the impending disbelief and confusion) and Omnipotent (capable of creating anything). The ONLY thing that you claim that is written by GOD Himself is the 10 Commandments inscribed on stone tablets. Assuming that that is true then why not the Bible?

    With reference to an animal, a Human is “SUPERNATURAL” in a collective sense. So the word Supernatural has a relative sense. The meaning depends on your reference Datum. A dog has a “supernatural” sense of smell in relation to a Human. A bird such as a hawk has a supernatural sense of sight compared to a human. An elephant has a supernatural strength and hearing compared to a human. The Cheetah is the fastest animal on land. A snake has infrared vision while a human does not. We cannot fly when even insects can. Why then, did an ‘Omniscient, Omnipotent and Omnipresent’ God endow his best creation created in his own image, inferior faculties to that of animals?

    You bring up the Old Testament lets look at it a little

    Genesis 2 opens with God fashioning a man from the dust and blowing life into his nostrils. God plants a garden (the Garden of Eden) and sets the man there, “to work it and watch over it,” permitting him to eat of all the trees in the garden except the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, “for on the day you eat of it you shall surely die.” God had already created the animals, and when Adam tried to find a help-mate, none of the animals are satisfactory, and so God causes the man to sleep, and creates a woman from his rib. The man names her “Woman” (Heb. ishshah), “for this one was taken from a man” (Heb. ish). “On account of this a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his woman.” Genesis 2 ends with the note that the man and woman were naked, and were not ashamed.

    According to the above
    God planted a Garden with a “Forbidden Tree” (the tree is a trap)
    God created man to look after the garden
    That man was made of dust
    God creates a woman from the man’s rib.

    Now let’s apply the Omniscient, Omnipotent and Omnipresent theory to the above.

    Gutyon’s Textbook of Medical Physiology states that “the total amount of water in a man of average weight (70 kilograms) is approximately 40 liters, averaging 57 percent of his total body weight. When only DUST was used (no mention of using water as a material), where did this water come from? Assuming ALL non liquid material is dust there is only 30Kg of Dust but there was 40Kg of water.

    God did not think of providing a “Help mate” to man until man started looking for one.

    The woman is an afterthought, hence Procreation is an afterthought

    God did not think about a help mate and procreation so could not have been Omniscient.

    God created only One man and One woman. What was His great plan for procreation? Given the above conditions only INCEST is possible for generations and generations.

    In humans, each cell normally contains 23 pairs of chromosomes, for a total of 46. Twenty-two of these pairs, called autosomes, look the same in both males and females. The 23rd pair, the sex chromosomes, differ between males and females. Females have two copies of the X chromosome, while males have one X and one Y chromosome.

    This means God created a maximum of 92 Chromosomes. Does it explain the unbelievable Diversity of the Human race?

    With such a depleted gene bank, procreation would produce weaker and weaker siblings and what is happening to the Cheetah today would have happened to humans long ago.

    God had no prior knowledge that the woman will eat from the forbidden tree and feed the man from it too. Hence God was not omniscient.

    God was not there to prevent this calamity. Hence he cannot be Omnipresent or Omnipotent.

    A serpent is supposed to have deceived the woman into eating from the forbidden tree. Hence the woman would have been foolish to begin with or God who created the serpent did not have foresight.

    Why did he create this serpent?
    His omniscient ability would have told him that it would be the cause of the “Original Sin” That it would deceive the woman into eating from the forbidden tree and corrupting Adam into eating from the same tree?

    It is also said that the “Creator God is Merciful”.
    The second commandment has the following statement “….for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;….”

    There is no need to elaborate that any further do we?

    If the paragraph that I reproduced from the Wiki embodies the CORE values of a religion based on an Omniscient, Omnipotent, Omnipresent CREATOR God, you should be able to answer those questions raised.

    You decided to question Buddhism without having an Iota of knowledge of the CORE values of the philosophy

    The above is just to show the Fallacy in taking literature at face value

    The following four universal truths are the CORE values of Buddhist Philosophy. It is not meant to be an exhaustive explanation but a simplistic one, aimed at non Buddhists.

    1. Suffering exists:
    Suffering is real and universal. Suffering has many causes: loss, sickness, pain, failure, the impermanence of pleasure. This is called Dukkha in Pali

    2. There is a cause for suffering:
    It is the desire to have and control things. It can take many forms: craving of sensual pleasures; the desire for fame; the desire to avoid unpleasant sensations, like fear, anger or jealousy. This is called Samudaya in Pali

    3. There is an end to suffering:
    Suffering ceases with the final liberation of the Mind. The mind experiences complete freedom, liberation and non-attachment. It lets go of any desire or craving. This is called Nirodha in Pali and is the state of mind known as Nirvana after which rebirth ceases.

    4. The path to end suffering:
    This is the Eightfold Path.

    That in a nutshell is Buddhism. Can you see any reference to God worship? Can you see any reference to an Authority or any Authoritative text?

    Now you may question us about the CORE of Buddhism and explain to us the CORE of your own religions.

    Most non Buddhist posters try to interpret Buddhism by how some people practice it. I don’t think that such posters are blind to the way how large numbers of disciples of their own religion behave (I am refraining from elaborating them).

    Would you be interpreting your own religion from that behavior?

  • Reader

    YAPA,

    RE: your January 05, 2010 @ 8:54 am, remarks,

    you wrote:
    I quote:
    “I again here to give a piece of valuable information to you.”

    “Don’t think that we are the only people who are trying to eliminate myth from the world. There are thousands of people who write against what you all believe as the truth. There are thousands of websites who write against the belief of God and many fallacies found in the Bible.”

    My response to you:
    Let me give you a friendly advice in that case: Good luck to your “eliminating myths” process. Don’t forget you must start with yours first to begin with. Unlike you, we believe everybody has a right to their opinions, beliefs, theories, philosophies, ideologies, talk against Bible, pro and against God, gods, and what have you. We believe in freedom of speech and liberty.

    I must say candidly that you cannot face the truth, your “innocent” and sweet emotions get hurt quickly when things don’t go in your favor, then you go out of subject. You are the same person talking still. Thanks, but I don’t think we need your advice as what to do.

    you are being judgmental and having a false idea about the respondents here. I cannot speak for others, but as far as I am, I do not have to use pseudo names. I am not ashamed to respond to anyone as I am. you are sarcastic, fanatical, and extreme in your approach with the public. It must be something in your head.

  • yapa

    Dear Off the Cuff;

    You are showing your excellence again!

    Congratulations!

  • Heshan

    Somewhat Disgusted:

    With respect to your last post, your argument might actually hold water, except for one stipulation which you seemed to overlook. In Christianity, just as in Buddhism, we are taught to reject the present existence in favor of the next one. Yes, the present existence is flawed because of Adam’s mistake (original sin), but is that any different from the maya concept which Buddhists uphold? After all, is it not maya that causes a Buddhist to suffer? If a Buddhist can overcome maya, he is no longer reborn. If a Christian accepts Christ, he is not reborn again either.

    I do accept that the heaven/hell concept is rather simplistic. However, any theory that postulates what happens after we die is equally simplistic. Why do we have such concepts in the first place? Because we simply cannot know what happens when we die. It is human nature, not human folly, to believe there is life after death.

    As to your last remark, the Universe had to be created out some of source of energy (this is accepted science). You are really asking about the source of that energy, what created the energy? I would reply that the energy always existed. Of course, I can’t prove it. Then again, can you prove that every even integer greater than 2 is a number that can be expressed as the sum of two primes? Human logic has its limitations.

  • Ravi (Ravindran)

    Dhiraj

    My reply to your dated 05, [email protected] 8.12 a.m

    You made comments and asked several questions on the same line. I can see how much you hate my God! This confirms me He is there. He is a infinitely loving God other wise you and your God haters would not be alive after you utter one word agaist Him. “THE VERY FACT THAT SOME ATTEMPT SO AGGRESSIVELY TO DISPROVE HIS EXISTENCE IS IN FACT AN ARGUMENT FOR HIS EXISTENCE” (Palitha’s source)

    I DO NOT NEED TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS AS THEY HAVE BEEN ANSWERED BEFORE IN THIS POST.
    LOOK UP AT ‘DONALDS’ RESPONSE ON DECEMBER 09, 2009 at 2:30 P.M &
    ‘PALITHA’S ON JANUARY 04, 2010 @11.24 P.M

  • Jagath

    GAUTAMA BUDDHA’S RECOGNITION OF HIS NEED FOR CHRIST

    The following article with above title by William Singleton shows Gautama Buddha recognized the coming of Jesus as the Messiah, the savior of man kind. You may want to visit the following website and read the whole article.
    (The Source: http://www.bebaptized.org/buddha, THE HERITAGE OF SIDDHARTHA GAUTAMA BUDDHA SIDDHARTHA GAUTAMA 563-483 B.C. By William Singleton)

    “Near his death (483 B.C.) Buddha (The Enlightened One) told his followers, “Regardless of how many laws you have kept, or even if you pray 5 times a day, you cannot be free from your sin. Even though you burn yourself, even though I become a hermit, or am reborn another 10 times, I also shall not be saved.” (Manuscript, Praising Temple, Chiengmai Thailand).”

    Buddha taught that he was not a “god”, but only a man, a truth seeker. But on his death bed Buddha taught that there would be a future Messiah, “Lord of Mercies”, who would be able to free men of their sins. Buddha said, “…He is the Lord of Mercies, His name shall be called the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords. He is all knowing, all wise. He knows all that is in the human heart. He is Lord of all the angels and of all humans. No one is greater than He.” (Sutrapridot 3:107).

    Buddha continued to teach of the Lord of Mercies, that “…His side has a wound where he was pierced, and his forehead has many scars. He will carry you to heaven where you will find the triune God. Thus give up following the old way. A spirit from heaven will come and dwell in your heart.” (Manuscript, Praising Temple, Chiengmai, Thailand).

    Jesus, later, fulfilled all of these prophesies. The awesomeness of the revealed Christ should call all peoples to submit to his rule. He is the only one under heaven through whom we can be saved.

    In view of Buddha’s familiarity with the coming King of Kings, one must wonder if the Magi of Matthew 2 were Buddhist priests. There is a different, late, seemingly foundless, tradition that the Magi were of mixed races and nationalities. The mixture is hardly supported by the scripture’s description of “Magi from the east,” who avoid Herod and secretly return to “their country.”

    In ancient writings, Magi actually refers to a tribe of the Medes that were known for being warriors and priests at the same time. Bardiya, a Magi, raised a rebellion against Cambyses, the son of Cyrus, during the life time of Buddha (521 B.C.). Zoroaster also belonged to this tribe…………(Continued)

  • yapa

    Dear Reader;

    The following part taken from my post of November 8, 2009 @ 10:16 am under Deepavali Dilemma, I think will answer your objection. Thanks!

    Darwin’s “Theory of Evolution” is one of the main theories that science has a big respect. It has earned this respect becauce it was able to substantiate this theory with many material facts through research and experiments to convince the scientific audiance.

    According to the theory of Evolution, life began as a single cell and millions of years have been passed before it was shaped as a man (homo-sapien), and was not came to being as it is. If calculated accoding to the ‘Holy Bible’, man was created as it is , about 7000 years ago. (I suppose this as a controdiction bet ween western theology and science. Don’t you think so?)

    Furthermore, many questions can be raised with regard to the existence of the god, creation, his supremacy, creation of rhe Devil, and many other things taken place during the process of the creation, based on rationality. Many of the theories of western theology can be questioned on “The First Principle” of western philosophy ( Non-Contradiction).

    However, the main strategy used by the western culture to keep these two contradictory components together is to develop a stylish taboo called “Freedom to Faith”, which indicates anybody has a right to his or her religious faith whether it is true or not, and smartly barred to question its validity. Anyway, I am also going to stick into this policy for now, untill some inquisitive person wants me to do otherwise.

  • yapa

    Dear Reader;

    You say;

    “you are sarcastic, fanatical, and extreme in your approach with the public. It must be something in your head.”

    ……………………………

    Yes! I am sarcastic when it is demanded. May be fanatical and extreme when demanded.

    Turn back and see whether your friends had not been so before me.

    I can be serious too when demanded or when I feel needed.

    Thanks!

  • Heshan

    Dear Yapa:

    You should not comment on the Bible if you know nothing about it. There is a correct way to read and interpret the Bible. A long time ago, I explained to you that Bible scholars, people who study the Bible, understand that a lot of the stories are based on MYTHS borrowed from other cultures. The point is not always whether it is TRUE or not, but the MORAL of the story. Please read the last line again until it sinks into your brain. Thanks.

    Web site logo
    Comparing two creation stories:
    Genesis 1 (Bible) and Babylonian creation stories

    Sponsored link.

    Creation stories from the ancient Middle East:

    Walter Reinhold Warttig Mattfeld y de la Torre writes that one of his articles:

    “… is an attempt to briefly identify some of the Ancient Near Eastern Motifs and Myths from which the Hebrews apparently borrowed, adapted, and reworked in the Book of Genesis (more specifically Genesis 1-11).

    It is my understanding that Genesis’ motifs and characters, God, Adam, Eve, the Serpent, and Noah, are adaptations and transformations of characters and events occurring in earlier Near Eastern Myths. In some cases several characters and motifs from different myths have been brought together and amalgamated into Genesis’ stories. 2

    He quotes W.G. Lambert:

    “The authors of ancient cosmologies were essentially compilers. Their originality was expressed in new combinations of old themes, and in new twists to old ideas.”

    I believe Lambert’s observation can be applied to the Hebrews who were combining old themes and putting “new twists” to old ideas. My research indicates that, at times, “reversals” are occurring in the Hebrew transformation and re-interpretation of the Mesopotamian myths. These “reversals,” as I call them, can take the form of different characters, different locations for the settings of the stories, and different morals being drawn about the nature of God and Man’s relationship.

    De la Torre concludes that Genesis 1-11:

    “… appears to be a reformatting of motifs and characters from four Mesopotamian myths:
    bullet Adapa and the South Wind,
    bullet Atrahasis,
    bullet the Epic of Gilgamesh and
    bullet the Enuma Elish.”

    Of these four sources, Enuma Elish has the closest parallels with the first creation story in Genesis.

    http://www.religioustolerance.org/com_geba.htm

  • wijayapala

    Dear Heshan & Reader,

    Does God have the ability to kill Himself?

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear Jagath,

    Looks like you have gone into a tail spin.

    Now you want to teach Buddhism using slanderous CHRISTIAN web sites. No wonder you types fear the “Anti FORCED Conversion Bill” that aims to prevent a clash between religions within SL to maintain peace.

    You would have obviously read my reply to you and others.

    Lets see you discussing the CORE of your beliefs.

    I am ready to be converted to Christianity “IF” you can give me intelligent and convincing answers instead of relying on Hocus Pocus.

    SO LET”S DISCUSS THE CORE OF OUR RELIGIONS and base that discussion on observable facts and proven history not Mumbo Jumbo

    Hopefully your arguments will not be based on a slogan that I saw (it’s still there) when I visited a Christian Church / Seminary called “Samata Sarana” situated on the Center road in Mattakkuliya, in SL, which read

    “For believers no proof is necessary for nonbelievers no proof is possible”

    That sort of thing is not proof but just a Houdini Act

  • Heshan

    Wijayapala:

    “Does God have the ability to kill Himself?”

    That is the same as asking, can energy destroy itself? Answer is no; it can only transform itself into some other form.

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear Ravi (Ravindran),

    “We believe in a loving God”

    That was what “Reader” stated on January 5, 2010 @ 3:59 am,

    Dhiraj’s response was logical and questioned the word “LOVING” with examples of what are known as Acts of God and Man made calamities that an Omnipotent GOD allowed to happen.

    Dhiraj made his intent VERY clear with his last sentence
    “I’m just asking because you emphatically said a *loving* God…”

    Donalds have been answered be several people and so has been Palitha

    We are not interested in attacking your belief in GOD we are responding to attacks made on Buddhism.

    If probing questions cannot be answered by you then you can always refrain from posting.
    If you take these questions personally the easiest thing to do is to refrain from reading them.

    On the question of a loving GOD here is what your God Himself says in the Second Commandment reproduced at the end of this post

    “….I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation…”

    He says He is JEALOUS
    He says He is VENGEFUL
    He says He will take REVENGE from even a person’s child, Grandchild, Great Grandchild, Great Great Grandchild.

    Only a psychopath like Hitler or Prabahkaran can be that vengeful but a mortal will not live that long to carry out that threat

    Are you refuting GOD’S OWN WORDS WRITTEN BY HIMSELF unlike your oft Quoted Bible that is full of hearsay and has over 40 authors?

    We don’t HATE your “Creator” GOD. We just don’t believe in His existence.

    Second Commandment
    “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my Commandments.”

    By the way did you notice that part “Prohibiting making ANY images of anything that is in Heaven?”

    Leaves a very big question mark about all the images displayed in your Church and their current abode, doesn’t it?

  • Jagath

    Off the Cuff,
    Hello,
    RE: January 6, [email protected]:01a.m

    A question is raised after seeing your reaction to the article that revealed a truth. Gautama Buddha has taught at his death bed that he was not a “god”, but there will be ONE coming who is the FUTURE MESSIAH, WHO “IS THE LORD OF MERCIES, HIS NAME SHALL BE CALLED THE KING OF KINGS, THE LORD OF LORDS. HE IS ALL KNOWING, ALL WISE. HE KNOWS ALL THAT IS IN THE HUMAN HEART. HE IS LORD OF ALL THE ANGELS AND OF ALL HUMAN. NO ONE IS GREATER THAN HE.” (SUTRAPRIDOT 3:107)

    GAUTAMA BUDDHA HAD CONTINUED TEACHING THAT ‘THE LORD OF MERCIES’, THAT “ HIS SIDE HAS A WOUND WHERE HE WAS PIERCED, AND HIS FOREHEAD HAS MANY SCARS. HE WILL CARRY YOU TO HEAVEN WHERE YOU WILL FIND THE TRIUNE GOD, THUS GIVE UP FOLLOWING THE OLD WAY. A SPIRIT FROM HEAVEN WILL COME AND DWELL IN YOUR IN HEART.” (Manuscript, Praising Temple, Chiengmai, Thailand).
    ‘JESUS FULFILLED ALL OF THESE PROPHECIES. THE AWESOMENESS OF THE REVEALED CHRIST SHOULD CALL ALL PEOPLE TO SUBMIT TO HIS RULE. HE IS THE ONE UNDER HEAVEN THROUGH WHOM WE CAN BE SAVED’.

    If you cannot accept the teachings of Gautama Buddha. Whose teachings would you accept?? Those are not my words. Buddha has prophesied the coming Savior of yours and mine. No matter Buddha will come alive, or Christ will come alive, it sounds like you will only accept what you want to believe. There’s nothing more clear than this revelation of Buddha concerning Christ. You do not need to listen to me, but listen to the teachings of Buddha.
    Mailman (Postman) only delivers mail. What’s important is not the deliverer but the message (mail) he delivers to you. Therefore, it does not matter who revealed the truth here. what’s important is what you going to do with it. If you do not heed to Buddha’s teaching, you are not following his path.

    I don’t think no one is here to convert any one else. NO ONE CAN “CONVERTS” ANY ONE ELSE!
    THE CONVERSION OF A PERSON IS A SPIRITUAL MATTER (A NEW BIRTH) THAT TAKES PLACE BY INDWELLING POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD AS THE PERSON ACCEPTS GOD BY FAITH. THEREFORE, NO MAN CAN CONVERTS ANOTHER PERSON. NO ONE CAN BE FORCED CONVERTED. THAT’S A FALSE CONCEPT.

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear Jagath,

    So all this time you attacked Buddhism and now you Quote Buddha whose principal teaching states that Salvation can be found ONLY by oneself and cannot be provided by anyone else and Philosopher who COMPLETELY REJECTS the notion of a Creator, as a Witness for Christ.

    What else will you concoct?

    Just shows the bankruptcy of your arguments.

    It appears to me and probably to many others that what I wrote about Virginity, the Ten Commandments and the Bible has gone home.

    Jagath, instead of your FAIRY TALES give us an answer about the matters raised in my post of http://www.groundviews.org/2009/11/25/the-transformation-of-buddhism-in-sri-lanka/comment-page-5/#comment-12661 and the subsequent ones about your Merciful God

    (responding to your post of January 6, 2010 @ 2:28 pm)

  • yapa

    Dear Heshan;

    Do you think Bible was “created” only to be read by Bible Scholars? In that case why don’t you advise the rest of the believers to refrain from reading the Bible or prohibit it for them?.

    Please take my advice in the post of January 5, 2010 @ 8:54 am

    You can do it better than your friends.

    Thanks!

  • Jagath

    Dear OFF THE CUFF

    RE: January 6, [email protected]:08 pm

    I repeat, I or no one else have attached Buddhism or anyone persons. But you and your friends have been questioning others here nonstop and literally attaching those who have different views or beliefs, there’s no end to it. When you cannot answer them, then you go “you attach Buddhism” you attach me and you attach he and she. You are attaching everyone else here in the meantime. Any one can read, can understand that! Just like you stated, there are those write insanity about Christianity. But, do we get upset, or are we troubled? No, not all. Christians do not get upset rather look at things in a positive way as evidence that truth is at work.
    By the way, you did not care to believe what I quoted from the Buddhas teaching. Then, what authority do you have to ask a question from the Bible? You have also picked failed arguments from atheists. Christians have answered them endless.

    Can you talk like a man? If you are engaged in an argument you should be able to look at things in a critical way whether it may be religion, politic or any subject. You do not represent a person of that caliber. If you cannot you should not engage with them. If one decide not to answer a question for any reason that’s up to that individual and you have no right go beyond that. Answering any objection is voluntary.
    I personally feel there’s no point in answering you as I seen your motives. As you know, no arguments are fruitful. People argue on politics, religion, and you name the list for just for the argument’s sake. I do not believe in such arguments.

  • Heshan

    Dear Yapa:

    “Do you think Bible was “created” only to be read by Bible Scholars?”

    Anyone can read the Bible but there is a correct way to interpret it. The Bible has been debated for over 2000 years by well-learned men, since before the time of the Romans.

    “In ancient Judaism there were basically three approaches to the interpretation of the Bible, associated with different groups of teachers: (1) The Palestinian-Babylonian school associated with the Pharisees; (2) the allegorizing Hellenistic school as represented by Philo; and (3) the sectarian and prophecy-oriented school associated with Qumran and the Essenes. This article will briefly describe the methods used by the first group, the Rabbis associated with the Pharisees.

    The techniques of interpretation employed by these Rabbis are collectively referred to by the Hebrew word Midrash, meaning “exposition.” These techniques are very hard to describe or characterize in a few words. The Rabbis would often interpret the text in a straightforward literal sense (sometimes in a very severely literal sense!) but they also employed some methods which we might call imaginative or creative. In general, these methods all involve focusing very closely upon details of the text, and interpreting them in some unusual way, usually by relating them to similar details from remote contexts. I will give four examples to illustrate these techniques:”

    http://www.bible-researcher.com/jewish-interpretation.html

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear Jagath,

    “I repeat, I or no one else have attached Buddhism or anyone persons. …… Any one can read, can understand that!”

    That is a verbatim extract from your latest post on January 6, 2010 @ 10:21 pm

    I assume the repeated use of the word “attached” is really a misspelling of the word “attack”.

    The six extracts given below taken at random from Christian Posters give the lie to your child like innocence.
    They give meaning to your professed ability to read and understand

    1. I am surprised the author omitted mentioning the practice of pretend-Buddhism that has become such a common practice

    2. What about Cafetaria- Buddhism and Sai- Baba Buddhism?

    3. As soon as the LTTE was destroyed the process of Talibanization began in Sri Lanka’s ethno-centric version of Buddhism viz, Sinhala-Buddhism

    4. Buddhist ruling in the old world people were slaves…..No religion has contributed to humanity and man’s right to freedom and equality other than Christianity!

    5. I guess you have forgotten The UNP Buddhism, SLFP Buddhism and the JHU Buddhism!

    6. He rose from the grave proving He is the Only Savior, the living God. All the others (gods and philosophers) are still in their graves.

    I used the Ten Commandments to disprove that your GOD is neither merciful nor omniscient nor omnipotent nor omnipresent. If I am wrong point out where I am wrong. I will accept any LOGICAL counter argument and will point out any fallacy in your argument if such fallacy exist.

    I used medical science to disprove the Myth that a full grown baby can be delivered naturally while keeping the Hymen intact. (I also rejected a probable Buddhist myth of a new born walking at birth).

    I used medical science to prove that a low Gene Bank cannot explain the immense diversity of the Human race.

    I used medical science to prove that the Human Race would have been extinct (or near extinction) if we had only 96 chromosomes to start with.

    I used medical science to show a Human body contains more water that what could be interpreted as “Dust”

    I used Simple Logic to prove that procreation with a starting point of JUST ONE COUPLE (as claimed in Christianity) requires INCEST for Generations.

    This is how the Wiki defines Incest
    Incest is any sexual activity between close relatives (often within the immediate family) irrespective of the ages of the participants and irrespective of their consent, that is illegal, socially taboo or contrary to a religious norm. The type of sexual activity and the nature of the relationship between persons that constitutes a breach of law or social taboo vary with culture and jurisdiction. Some societies consider it to include only those who live in the same household, or who belong to the same clan or lineage; other societies consider it to include “blood relatives”; other societies further include those related by adoption or marriage

    If you think it was NOT incest, explain your rationale

    The TEN Commandments I used are AUTHENTIC.
    Point out if I have lied or modified them to suit my argument.

    However you went on a fishing trip and concocted a despicably false story.
    You use CRANK websites like http://www.baptised.com as an authoritative source on BUDDHISM. Very intelligent indeed.

    That site is writing BS in an effort to convert non believers
    If you were honest you would have chosen an AUTHORITATIVE Buddhist website or source

    Unlike you, I extracted the Ten Commandments from a CHRISTIAN web site.
    I challenge you to prove that I have manipulated those Ten Commandments and that they are not AUTHENTIC.

    Did you think such a gross lie would not be called a lie?

    Dear Jagath, I did not challenge you. It was you who decided to challenge me without even reading the thread, on December 30, 2009 @ 3:01 am.

    Now you are singing a different tune because you have no answers to tough probing questions.

    Even after I invited you and the others to discuss the CORE of the religious beliefs
    You are taking the cowards’ way out.
    Personal attacks and side stepping the questions.

    There are many more crank sites trying to distort Buddhist Philosophy
    http://www.simplychristians.org/
    The identical crank text is available here too

    Read the following forum containing the same BS. Read what the posters say, the intent of the posting is clear
    http://forums.myspace.com/t/565815.aspx?fuseaction=forums.viewthread

    Here is another Christian forum with the same text. Please read the forum, you can observe the intent
    http://www.christianforums.net/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=25432&start=15

    As a Buddhist I have no malice towards you but when anyone makes unjustified criticism or false accusations don’t expect us to treat you with Kid Gloves.

  • Heshan

    Jagath:

    “I repeat, I or no one else have attached Buddhism or anyone persons. But you and your friends have been questioning others here nonstop and literally attaching those who have different views or beliefs, there’s no end to it.”

    I fully agree. The opinion I am forming now is that Sinhala-Buddhism is totally at odds with the rest of the world, and also with practically every other form of Buddhism. It could be the case that Sinhala-Buddhism started off rather mildly, but with the advent of foreign invasions, started taking on nationalist overtones. These nationalist overtones are reflected in the recent civil war, the lack of democratic space in Sri Lankan society, the involvement of monks in politics, and the myopic worldviews of many Sinhala-Buddhists, as is evident from this thread itself. It is clear that what it is needed is a reformation of some kind.

  • yapa

    Dear Heshan;

    Your two last posts addressed to me tantamount to many controversies.
    It shows
    1). Bible should be interpreted by some “particular scholars” to understand its truth.

    2). Bible as it is. contains myths.

    3).The believers who read the Bible as it is, learn some myths.

    4) Almost all the believers all over the world read the Bible as it is, hence almost all the Bible believers have some myth in their belief.

    5) If there are several schools, that means one concept of the Bible may have different meanings. Can the truth of one concept be different.

    6). How does any one ensure as to whether the interpretations by the so called scholars are at all true. The interpretations have the influence of the thinking of the particular school. Is there any credibility for these schools in terms of neutral scholarly organisations like recognized universities of the world. In other words are these “scholarly organisations” accredited by recognized independent bodies.

    7). If your friends like Donalds, Palitha, Jagath or Knew come to know that you have said that the Bible contains myths, they will be furious and they will attack you instead of us.

    Dear Heshan;

    Shall we talk a bit more honestly. You very well know as a person with a technical background( I suppose you know your Science and Math) that when some thing is “disproved” mathematically you have nothing further to talk about it. Same thing applies to logical proofs too. The Omnipotent God concept has clearly been disproved by Omnipotent Paradox. Therefore, an honest man with some mathematical background cannot and will never talk again for a Creator God. What has to talk about so called teaching or docrine of HIM.

    Dear Heshan:

    Here the problem is with the honesty, nowhere else.

    Heshan, I think you are a leaned man and some people have praised you as an academic. Academics should guide others. They should not misguide people for temporary advantages. They should set an examples to others.

    One cannot be an academic without a special intellectual capacity. He definitely has KNOWLEDGE and SKILLS components. With these two essential attributes an academic can be a very clever person. But without the third essential attribute, that is, ATTITUDE an academic will never be a good or useful person to the world. Education is a balanced synthesis of above three attributes. A cunning academic is a disaster to the whole world.

    ( You need a thousand lies to cover up one lie, this is what has happened to you.)

    Thanks!

  • yapa

    Dear Heshan;

    Your answer to the Wiayapala’s question of January 6, 2010 @ 7:35 am

    , do you think an hones one? If it is so a man also cannot kill himself.

    This is again the problem of honesty.

    Thanks!

  • SomewhatDisgusted

    Dear Jagath,

    Can you show me where this “attack” has occurred? Is questioning and/or showing logical flaws in an argument an “attack”? Is it forbidden to discuss religion and/or question the teachings in them? Sounds like a pretty totalitarian system to me. The very totalitarian system which burnt at the stake the likes of Giordano Bruno for daring to suggest that the earth revolved around the sun, the very system which gave a guided tour of the church’s underground torture chambers to silence an aging Galileo. Oh that list could go on for a while.

    Why is no one allowed to question religion? Isn’t it a view about the origins of the universe? Are people forbidden to question and/or hold their own views on it?

  • yapa

    Dear Jagath;

    This is a case of “pot calling chalk black!”. Apply what you are saying to your self. It will fit very well.

    Ignorance is bliss!

    Thanks!

  • yapa

    Dear SomewhatDisgusted;

    Can you remember I was of the assertion that the people whose world outlook(world View) based on Two Valued Logic cannot perceive some of the concepts perceived by the people whose outlook is based on Four Valued Logic. In general what I wanted to tell was that the knowledge gained by people has a bearing on their world outlook, ie knowledge depends on the world outlook. I gave two examples in this regards (in answer to Is Lord Buddha a liberal human being and the Buddhist Reincarnation. However you, Heshan and Disgusted filed opposition asking for more evidence. Now I have a classic example in this thread, however I would first prefer to have a look at how the debate on the above topic took place.

    I said on November 29, 2009 @ 2:32 pm (Deepavali)

    Generation of knowledge in west is based on Two Value Logic, which has only two alternatives and the base of Eastern Knowledge System has two more alternatives. Even though these extra alternatives have less frequent occurrences, in such cases the Two Value Logic is not in a position to arrive at that answer (conclusion) and hence the Western System of Knowledge cannot acquire the knowledge generated in two latter alternative of the Four Value System. Hence the Western Knowledge System has a deficiency compared to the eastern system. Therefore some of the concepts found in the east is alien to west and the west has no capacity to understand them.

    So, I am not surprised, Niranjans and Heshans, who have acquired their knowledge through western knowledge system, cannot understand culture, heritage, traditions and value system of our country.
    ………………………………………………………….
    This is how you said onDecember 1, 2009 @ 2:36 pm

    My feeling is that this is more of a notion spread by logicians desiring to assert that the east is somehow “different” in its own right and that the west “just doesn’t get it”. Each culture may have its strengths and weaknesses and it makes sense to adopt the best of both worlds. In any case, whether you’re from the west or the east, the truth doesn’t change at a fundamental level, especially not when it’s backed by evidence. And there is no fundamental difference in the mental capacity of human beings either, except for some minor differences in average IQ levels. However, intra-region IQ variations can be so high that such averages are mostly useless. So to say that the west has no capacity to understand the east seems a self-evident falsehood.
    ……………………………………
    This was my answer on December 3, 2009 @ 4:10 am

    My view is people all over the world are not homogeneous and they have various differences and Hitler too have identified this notion correctly.In my opinion what went wrong was, that Hitler wrongly attributed these differences to genetic nature of the people. He thought Germans are genetically different from Jews and others, which is not true. Once I can remember great humanitarian Dr. E.W.Adikaram, saying there is no difference between Sinhalese and Tamils as there is no difference between the blood of Tamils and Sinhalese. We must respect his good intention towards the mankind, but we should not sway away with emotional the idea that Tamils and Sinhalese have no differences.

    They have differences, but not genital!

    Man is not just a genetic animal. According to Aristotle, man is a political animal. He is also a cultural and social animal according to my belief. People changes on the above factors too. However, according to my belief the main factor contributed to the differences in people is their world outlook. Germans were different from Jews not on their material difference, but on their differences in mental factors; the way they perceive the world. Material world view of then West did not identify this fact and attributed it as a (material) racial difference. Result was the destruction.

    ……………………………………………………………………..

    This was your feedback on December 3, 2009 @ 6:01 pm

    Instead, I would like to point out several possible flaws in your reasoning. You’ve asserted that people are fundamentally different based on world outlook. That assertion itself is clearly problematic. There are a great deal of factors which unify humanity, starting with our basic biology. I think you’ll agree that most people have the same basic feelings regardless of race. So how exactly have differences in world outlook changed these fundamental biological features? Are we not motivated by the same basic human emotions? Are they really that different?

    Finally, based on that assertion, you’ve also drawn the incorrect conclusion that person with outlook A cannot understand person with outlook B, which is a non sequitur. Having differences in word outlook does not necessarily mean that we are incapable of understanding a different world outlook.

    ………………………………………………………………………….

    Following are from this thread
    …………………………………………………..

    I said on December 16, 2009 @ 5:07 am

    Actually, reincarnation is one of Buddhist concept( if it can be called as a concept) I wanted to deal as an example under my main discussion of “Dwikotika LOgic And Chaturkotika Logic”. However, as the cart came before the bull, I would like to elaborate a little bit on it.

    I must tell this is one of the “concepts” which cannot derived through Two Valued Logic and hence difficult to understand by western minds which are shaped by “religious faith”and “Aristotelian Logic”, which is Two Valued in its nature. There is little possibility such concepts to originate in west.

    …………………………………………………..
    This was your response dated December 17, 2009 @ 5:11 am

    “Therefore it is evident that such a concept cannot come in a religion based in faith or in the western “Science” based on Aristotelian Logic. It is alien to them and is difficult to perceived by those who are having western mode of outlook.”

    I think formal logic should not be conflated with day to day reasoning, which is where this fallacy that the western outlook cannot possibly comprehend a four state affair seems to come from. So far, you have not really mentioned anything that a western mind is unable to grasp. Clearly, it is possible for anyone to understand what you are describing.

    …………………………………

    This again a post from me on December 21, 2009 @ 7:14 pm

    This is really what I wanted to tell. For western logic, “yes” and “no” together is always a contradiction. That is because; Aristotelian Logic has only two alternatives. This is what I was trying to emphasize from the very beginning of my discussion, under ” Deevali Dilemma”. For Four Valued logic this is not necessarily a contradiction, as it has an alternative to accommodate both “yes” and “no” together.

    …………………………………………….

    really I could not start the discussion as I promised due to hassle bassels answering “urgent issues”. However, these “not that much important issues” gave me classic example to substantiate for my hypothesis.

    Please look at the heated argument in this thread on Buddhism, God and the Bible.

    The God concept has been clearly disproved in several ways by several debaters who argue against God and Bible. These arguments are very objective ones, and there are no any flaws in the arguments.

    Following are the main arguments.

    1). Omnipotent Paradox

    2). Can God kill himself? by Wijayapala

    3). Various arguments by Off the Cuff based on Omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence

    But you have experienced yourself the great opposition pouring through various people against it, despite its accuracy.

    Can you convince these people who argues vehemently against this established truth, who are having a world outlook mainly based on “FAITH”?. Leave aside these ordinary people, consider about the well educated crowd of west like scientists and academics. Even with their scientific back ground which contradicts clearly with their faith still go to churches on Sundays and praise their God for their achievement

    Why don’t they see the truth?

    Is it due to the difference in their biology? Is it due to the difference in their mental capacities? Is it because difference in their IQ levels? Are their brains differently wired as you said? In the difference in their emotions?

    Isn’t this due to the difference in their world views?

    Lord Buddha has mentioned wrong views (wrong Ditties) as the biggest obstacle to see the truth and named it as the biggest sin even graver than the “Pancha Anantharya Kamma”. That is World view is the main factor that make people from others.

    Doesn’t this give a small support to my argument or at least an indication towards the correctness of my hypothesis?

    I have some more classical examples taken from Modern Western science and Mathematics/Philosophy to reiterate my position.

    However, if you want material evidence in this regard you can send somebody to a near by church or a mosque and ask him to tell the followers of the faith that their God is non existent. You will really see the material evidence. ( I am Kidding)

    Thanks!

  • yapa

    SomewhatDisgusted;

    A bit further addition to my previous post.

    Above mentioned hypothesis was formed on the basis of knowledge acquired from Buddhism. Can you reasonable say that Buddhism is just another religion that should be thrown into the dustbin?

    One name for two things. But entirely diffent two things.

    Thanks!

  • yapa

    I like telling stories. I have a new story to tell. It goes as follows;

    A Sinhalese professor got into a boat to cross a river. On the way the professor asked the boatman whether he knows Biology. The boatman says that, Sir I am an ignorant man, I haven’t learnt anything. Then the professor said, Oh! man in that case you have wasted1/4th of your life. After some time, again the professor asked, Boatman! have you studied Anthropology? Boatman said sir, I am only a stupid man who hasn’t gone even to a primary school. In the middle of the river the professor had another question to ask from the boatman. Boatman! What do you know about Geology? He said I haven’t leaned any thing but I also have a question to ask from you. With the permission of the professor, the boatman asked the Sinhalese professor, whether he knows Buddhism> Professor said I have no knowledge of such inferior things. Then the boatman replied ” Sir! in that case you have wasted your whole life” and jumped into the water and swam to the bank leaving the professor alone in the middle of the river.

    Thanks!

  • yapa

    Oh! forgot some thing in the above post.

    After the second answer the professor said “Oh! miserable creature you have wasted 1/2 of you life. After the third answer the the professor said, Oh! poor creature you have lost 3/4th of your life. Then only the boatman had the question.

    Enjoy.

    Thanks!

  • yapa

    Dear God/ Bible upholders;

    Do you know what “Begging the Question” is? That is what you all are doing without your knowledge.

    You can see for yourself what you all are doing if you want to find what it is. You can find the answer by surfing the web.

    Going round a circle!

    Thanks!

  • observer

    Dear OFF THE CUFF,

    Why under the cover? you pretend a Buddhist to attack God and Christianity. Some one clearly stated in the post that you are not a Buddhist but an atheist taking the cover of Buddhism.
    My family is 50% Buddhists and I have respect for Buddhist people but I have no respect for atheists who have no morals. They are godless bunch of fanatics.
    You have given enough evidence of yourself that you don’t believe in Buddhism.
    you stated that you don’t believe babies walk at birth.yes, it says Buddha did walk on lotus at his birth. Then you also rejected the Buddhist’s teachings that someone pointed regard to Buddha’s prophesies concerning “Lord of Mercies”.
    Please take your cover off and identify who really you are to people. That is what we call honesty. Tell the readers you are an atheist. Intellectual dishonesty will get you nowhere.

  • Heshan

    Dear Yapa:

    Thanks for the compliments. Regarding your statements about the Bible, yes, it contains lots of myths. That is because the Jewish people moved around a lot for many thousands of years. The interactions that they had with other cultures influenced the Bible. I can give some examples: the Creation Story (Adam and Eve) was influenced by the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh. The story of Noah’s Ark is not unique to the Bible. Many cultures record a story of a great flood that shook the world. The idea of a Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost) comes from Greek philosophy. The Bible talks about the end of the world as follows:

    “And I saw heaven opened, Ezek. 1.1 and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.”

    Hindus believe that Kalki, the tenth incarnation of Vishnu will come on a white horse:

    “According to the Puranas, the Kalki incarnation will take place towards the end of Kaliyuga. It is said that he will be riding a white horse named Devaduta. In Kalki Avatar, Lord Vishnu will incarnate himself as Kalki, the machine-man, who will come riding his white horse and with his blazing sword in his hands. This is supposed to be a future avatar of Lord Vishnu. At the end of Kali Yuga (present eon) He will punish all evil doers in this world, destroy this world supposedly and recreate a golden age again. Kalki avathara is believed to be the last of the avatars of Lord Vishnu.”

    http://www.ssvt.org/Home/Dasavatara

    So now you see why there is a need for scholars. When you ask whether something is “true” or “false” in the Bible, you cannot always answer the question directly. You must ask, are there similar stories in other cultures? How was the person writing the story in the Bible influenced by that culture? Did the person writing the story in the Bible intend for the story to be true (literal interpretation) or for the moral of the story to be derived metaphorically? But to do any of these things, you must first of all be fluent in the languages spoken by that person, in this case, ancient Greek, ancient Hebrew, and the language that Jesus spoke, Aramaic. You cannot read Shakespeare in Sanskrit and expect the meaning to be the exact same as in English. The meaning will only be a rough approximation. For average readers, the rough approximation will be sufficient. When common people read the Bible, they are only after the moral lesson, not the historical implications and lexicographical analysis. These moral lessons do not need further analysis. When a common reader is saying the Bible is “infallible” and “absolute” he is mostly referring to the moral points made by the Bible. Of course, there are some things in the Bible which are absolute, such as the fact that the Universe was created by a God, and the divinity of Jesus.

    Regarding the Omnipotent Paradox. All it does is suggest that God may not be all-powerful. On the other hand, does God need to be all-powerful to exist? What about existing forever? In Hinduism, God is considered as a form of energy. In science, energy exists everywhere. The Universe (according to science) began as a ball of energy. This energy has “power” in the sense that it can transform itself into other forms of energy. It is this transformation of energy that allows work to be done. In this process, energy is never destroyed, it is always conserved. Whenever the atheists ask, can God kill Himself, they are making two mistakes: first, God is not a Him or a Her. Second, if God is energy (what is known in Hinduism as Shakthi), another way to ask the question is, can energy destroy itself? The answer as found in science, is no.

    You may ask, why I bring Hinduism into this. The funny thing is that Hindu’s also accept Jesus (and God). In fact, Hindu’s believe all paths (religions) lead to one. Their God is my God also. So if they have an explanation for the nature of God, then I am happy to accept it, even though I do not pay homage to Hindu gods. As I said in this thread, no religion evolved in isolation. Even if Sinhala-Buddhism tries to pretend it is atheist, 3/4 of its conceptual foundation stems from Hinduism.

  • yapa

    Dear SomeoneDisgusted;

    Related to my post of January 7, 2010 @ 1:42 pm, I can give another example from politics and religion, for the importance of Four Valued Logic.

    You must be familiar with the popular notion ” My enemy’s enemy is my friend”, which has been used to justify many wars.

    According to wikipedia It is a Arabic proverb. Further it says that there is a similar Chinese proverb. The Bible also has a very similar statement goes as follows.

    “I will be an enemy to your enemies and will oppose those who oppose you. (Exodus, Chapter 23:22)

    This notion wouldn’t have had such a recognition, in an environment where the notion of Four Valued Logic was present. This notion was essentially a result of Two Valued Logic.

    According to the concept of Two Valued Logic an answer can have only two alternatives, ie. A and Not A, in this case Friend and not friend, ie. enemy. In that case if some one is not a friend he definitely is an enemy. This is how this disastrous notion came into existence through Two Valued Logic.

    In the case of four Valued Logic answer to the above can have four alternatives which are:

    1. Friend
    2. Enemy
    3. Friend and Enemy
    4. Not Friend and Not Enemy

    In this case you can see that Enemy’s enemy is not essentially friend.

    If the people who fought massive battles on the above notion had an idea about Four Valued Logic, many unfortunate battles of the human race would have been avoided.

    Thanks!

  • wijayapala

    Dear Heshan,

    That is the same as asking, can energy destroy itself? Answer is no; it can only transform itself into some other form.

    If God cannot kill Himself, then that means there are limits to His power and that He really isn’t omnipotent.

    If you don’t understand then answer this question: Can God create a rock so heavy that He cannot lift it?

  • yapa

    Dear SomewhatDisgusted;

    I am giving below another example wrt the Two Valued Logic and Four Valued Logic. This post is related to my post of January 8, 2010 @ 3:32 am

    Materialism and Idealism are two schools of thought which try to explain the universe in two different ways. These two schools were well established in Greece even before 600 B.C. and the constant dialogues between these two rival schools produced many valuable concepts for the world. Plato is considered as the greatest among all the idealists and his student Aristotle is respected as the greatest materialist produced by ancient Greece. Materialists consider everything in the universe as made out of material alone. For them mind and conscience are also made of materials only. Opposite to this idealists considered reality is consist of ideas and the objects are only shadow like forms of them.

    After the ideas of Plato were subjugated by Aristotle, the thinking of west started developing on the basis of materialism. Scientific revolution took place in western Europe was based on the thinking and knowledge started in Greece.
    Aristotle is considered to be the pioneer of western science. He was the first person to introduce Formal Logic and science( then it was known as Natural Philosophy) was developed on this basis and the basic concepts developed by him. Therefore the main focus of science is confined to matter and scientists try to world in a materialistic perspective. Physics and Chemistry are two main branches of science to developed to see the material reality. Biology has its focus a little bit further and investigates into life. However, to Biology an animal or a man is only a material thing additionally consists of Amino Acid. Biologists study animals and humans by dissecting and studying their organs. Biologists looking for fife in other planets look for availability of Amino Acids in them.

    Is life really a piece of material consists of Amino acid. Is it only consist of matter?
    Biology has no proper explanation for living beings or life. It is still a mystery for science.

    Why science could not properly found what life is? In my view it is due to the deficiency of its base, ie. Two Valued Logic.

    For two value logic universe is either material or not material (idealistic), has only two alternatives. Science took the first alternative view and thereby its definition confines to materialistic viewpoint; life is a piece of material consists of Amino Acid. It attributes mind and conscience to matter.

    Buddhism uses Four Valued Logic to define a being(a being in single life time). For Buddhism a being is both material and non material together. That is the third alternative of Four Valued Logic.

    Buddhism describes being as a totality of five components, namely Rupa, Wedana, Sangna, Sankara and Vingana, where first component is material(Rupa) and other four are non material(Nama). Buddhism not only properly analyse the material body but also properly analyse and see the no material body or mind. According to my belief there is such a subtle theory that describes the totality of a being.

    Buddhism doesn’t stop here. It gives an answer to the question what happens to a being after his death. Here Buddhism uses a methodology beyond Four Valued Logic along with it. The answer is “Buddhist Reincarnation”.

    Just for fun shall we consider about the view point of Western Theology about human(keep aside the other animals)life.

    “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living man”.

    Thanks!

  • yapa

    Related to the post of January 8, 2010 @ 3:32 am

    It would have been better if I analysed “My friend’s enemy is my enemy” instead of My enemy’s enemy is my friend. This will give a clearer picture.

    Thanks!

  • yapa

    Please see the beauty of a mind of a western Biologist.

    In the Laboratory life is

    A piece of material consists of Amino acid.

    In the church life is

    And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living man.

    ……………………………..

    Can anybody tell me how a Buddhist Biologist perceive life?

    Thanks!

  • yapa

    Dear Wijayapala;

    If you don’t understand then answer this question: Can God create a rock so heavy that He cannot lift it?

    This is the Omnipotent Paradox. I repeatedly offered this question to Heshan and Donalds, But still no ha hoo!

    Thanks!

  • Heshan

    Wijayapala:

    I see where you are going with your last argument. The difficulty I see, however, is that you are assigning superhuman qualities to God; e.g. can God lift cars, lift rocks, etc. As I have said, if God is energy, then indeed “He” can do all these things. Although the “reason” why “He” would do such things is not to prove “his” power. The reason, again, is that God is energy, and energy is everywhere. In Vedas it is said that God is timeless, formless, and shapeless. So too is energy. On the other hand, everytime energy is exerted in some process of nature or human feat, it does not demonstrate the power of God in any way.

  • yapa

    A little bit addition to my post of January 8, 2010 @ 7:49 am

    I have said that

    “Buddhism doesn’t stop here. It gives an answer to the question what happens to a being after his death. Here Buddhism uses a methodology beyond Four Valued Logic along with it. The answer is “Buddhist Reincarnation”.

    ………………………………………..

    Can you remember from the very inception I have been mentioning that Buddhism is Four Value Logic + some thing.

    Do you know what this “something” or ” methodology beyond Four Valued Logic”?

    It is called “Pangna” in Pali and the meaning is wisdom. It is an Extra Sensory Perception. (ESP – You must have heard about this concept now is very much used in west, especially by Positive Thinking Schools) Pangna or this wisdom should be developed though indulging in Dhamma prescribed by Buddhism. Pangna is included in the Eight Fold Path. Eight Fold Path is subdivided as Sila (morality), Samadhi(concentration) and Pangna(wisdom). Sila contains
    Righr Speech, Right Acion and Right Livelihood. Smadhi is Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration. Pangna contains Right Understanding and Right Thoughts.

    Non mundane Dhamma in Buddhism such as Reincarnation and Kamma are realized mainly through Pangna.

    Thanks!

  • Heshan

    *It does not demonstrate the power of God in any way.

    Because, at least for me, God is impersonal. That is why there are prophets, like Jesus, to guide one on the path to God. In any event, an impersonal God need not demonstrate any feat of power. After all, what does power imply, except control? On the other hand, if we think of God as energy, then energy is always in control. It cannot NOT be in control, or the Universe would not exist. Therefore, the very existence of the Universe negates any need for “God” to demonstrate “He” is omniscient. It it is equivalent to asking a door if it can open, given sufficient strength in the wind.

  • yapa

    Dear Heshan;

    Went through your last post addressed to me. All you said may be correct, But I found nothing to contradict what I had said. Therefore I must say what you have said are irrelevant.

    Further, you yourself surly know that what had been broken in the debate cannot be re established, though many of your “faith only” friends cannot understand it.

    According to my opinion, it would be best to end this discussion as its end has naturally occurred.

    However, wrt to your last sentence of the post , ie.”Even if Sinhala-Buddhism tries to pretend it is atheist, 3/4 of its conceptual foundation stems from Hinduism.” I think you are not very serious.

    Thanks!

  • Heshan

    Dear Yapa:

    You keep repeating the same arguments over and over again. I keep presenting new evidence. Compared to the evidence you have presented, the evidence I have presented is like a mountain.

    When I say 3/4 of the conceptual basis of Sinhala-Buddhism comes from Hinduism, I am 100% confident of that assertion. Have you forgotten that the founder of your religion was a high-caste Hindu? Man is a product of his experience and his education. Lord Buddha was educated in classical Vedic Hindu philosophy. If your objective is to promote atheism, I suggest you reject Buddhism altogether and find a new philosophy.

  • yapa

    Dear Heshan;

    RE: Your post of January 8, 2010 @ 1:20

    There is a Sinhala saying ” Yakada mallata gullo gahala num pun malla nobalama weesi karu”, which means if the bag made out of iron is attacked by termites, throw your hey bag without even looking at it.

    Heshan, I don’t want to look at your “pun malla”.

    Thanks!

  • Jagath

    Dear Off the Cuff,

    RESPONSE PART 1,
    In response to your January 6, 2010 @ 11:36 a.m addressed to Ravindran:

    A WORD OF CAUTION ABOUT THE “OFF THE CUFF’S INFORMATION SOURCE “WIKI”
    (WIKIPEDIA.COM)
    FREE ENCYCLOPEDIA, http://WWW.CONSERVAPEDIA.COM STATED THE FOLLOWING
    REGARDING “WIKIPEDIA:
    “WIKI PEDIA is a online encyclopedia[1] written and edited by an ad hoc assemblage of anonymous persons who are mostly, according to the Register (UK)[2][3], teenagers and unemployed persons. The project was initiated by two atheists: entrepreneur Jimmy Wales and philosophy professor Larry Sanger on January 15, 2001. Despite its official “neutrality policy,” Wikipedia has a strong liberal bias. In his article entitled Wikipedia lies, slander continue journalist Joseph Farah stated Wikipedia “is not only a provider of inaccuracy and bias. It is wholesale purveyor of lies and slander unlike any other the world has ever known.”[4] Mr. Farah has repeatedly been the victim of defamation at the Wikipedia website.[5] Wikipedia has millions of entries on topics ranging from an explanation for “duh”[6] to singles by obscure rock bands[7] to arcane British nobility.[8] There are editions of Wikipedia in 250 languages, and 130 have more than 1000 articles.[9] After about four years Wikipedia had about 450,000 entries,[10] and after six years it had about 1.7 million entries.[11]”.
    OTC,
    You already have been reincanated few times here recent times as “Dhiraj”, “Somewhatdisgusted”,”wijapala”, is rather interesting. But remember what Gautama Buddha said, “ Regardless of how many laws you have kept, or even if you pray 5 times a day, you cannot be free from your sin. Even though you burn yourself, even though I become a hermit, or am reborn another 10 times, I also shall not be saved.” (Manuscript, Praising Temple, Chiengmai Thailand).

    YOU WROTE TO RAVI:
    “Dhiraj’s response was logical and questioned the word “LOVING” with examples of what are known as Acts of God and Man made calamities that an Omnipotent GOD allowed to happen.”
    Dhiraj made his intent VERY clear with his last sentence
    “I’m just asking because you emphatically said a *loving* God…”

    MY RESPONSE:
    If Hitler had followed the loving Savior Jesus, he would not have killed no human being. Jesus said, love your neighbor, he even forgave those who pierced him on the cross. Jesus came to show the love of God. The loving God said, “you shall not kill”. The reason for disasters were answered by Donalds on December 09,2009 @2:30 p.m.

    The following was Ravi’s reply: “You made comments and asked several questions on the same line. I can see how much you hate my God! This confirms me He is there. He is a infinitely loving God other wise you and your God haters would not be alive after you utter one word against Him. “THE VERY FACT THAT SOME ATTEMPT SO AGGRESSIVELY TO DISPROVE HIS EXISTENCE IS IN FACT AN ARGUMENT FOR HIS EXISTENCE”
    I DO NOT NEED TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS AS THEY HAVE BEEN ANSWERED BEFORE IN THIS POST.
    LOOK UP AT ‘DONALDS’ RESPONSE ON DECEMBER 09, 2009 at 2:30 P.M &
    ‘PALITHA’S ON JANUARY 04, 2010 @11.24 P.M”

    YOU WROTE:
    “On the question of a loving GOD here is what your God Himself says in the Second Commandment reproduced at the end of this post.

    “….I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation…”

    He says He is JEALOUS
    He says He is VENGEFUL
    He says He will take REVENGE from even a person’s child, Grandchild, Great Grandchild, Great Great Grandchild.

    MY RESPONSE: (some facts taken from http://www.gotquestions.org)

    Christians address God as OUR FATHER when they pray (Jesus taught so).Bible compares often our relationship with God to our earthly parents. If we call ‘Father’ to someone else other than our own parents and give our love and respect that belongs to them, how is our natural parents who brought us to this world would feel? That’s how our maker, the heavenly father feels about us. Christians believe that God is their eternal father, therefore how would he feels if we worship idols instead of recognizing him. It is important to understand how the word “jealous” is used. Its use in Exodus 20:5 to describe God is different from how it is used to describe the sin of jealousy (Galatians 5:20). When we use the word “jealous,” we use it in the sense of being envious of someone who has something we do not have. A person might be jealous or envious of another person because he or she has a nice car or home (possessions). Or a person might be jealous or envious of another person because of some ability or skill that other person has (such as athletic ability).
    In Exodus 20:5, it is not that God is jealous or envious because someone has something He wants or needs.
    Exodus 20:4-5 says, “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God…” Notice that God is jealous when someone gives to another something that rightly belongs to Him.

    In these verses, God is speaking of people making idols and bowing down and worshiping those idols instead of giving God the worship that belongs to Him alone. God is possessive of the worship and service that belong to Him. It is a sin (as God points out in this commandment) to worship or serve anything other than God. It is a sin when we desire, or we are envious, or we are jealous of someone because he has something that we do not have. It is a different use of the word “jealous” when God says He is jealous. What He is jealous of belongs to Him; worship and service belong to Him alone, and are to be given to Him alone.

    Perhaps a practical example will help us understand the difference. If a husband sees another man flirting with his wife, he is right to be jealous, for only he has the right to flirt with his wife. This type of jealousy is not sinful. Rather, it is entirely appropriate. Being jealous for something that God declares to belong to you is good and appropriate. Jealousy is a sin when it is a desire for something that does not belong to you. Worship, praise, honor, and adoration belong to God alone, for only He is truly worthy of it. Therefore, God is rightly jealous when worship, praise, honor, or adoration is given to idols. This is precisely the jealousy the apostle Paul described in 2 Corinthians 11:2, “I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy…”

    YOU WROTE:
    “Are you refuting GOD’S OWN WORDS WRITTEN BY HIMSELF unlike your oft Quoted Bible that is full of hearsay and has over 40 authors?
    We don’t HATE your “Creator” GOD. We just don’t believe in His existence. Second Commandment
    “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my Commandments.”

    By the way did you notice that part “Prohibiting making ANY images of anything that is in Heaven?”
    Leaves a very big question mark about all the images displayed in your Church and their current abode, doesn’t it?”

    MY RESPONSE:
    That would be like someone asking a question about Therawada Buddhism from Mahanaya or any other branch (organization) of Buddhism. You probably will ask me to go ask from that particular branch of Buddhism. Like wise, my answer is the same. However, to my understanding people keep such images of God as memorials but do not worship them. As a follower of God, I strictly go by the Bible and do not even have a memorial as such.

    (MY ANSWERS WILL BE CONTINUED AS TIME PERMITS).

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear Observer,

    Atheist – someone who denies the existence of god (check any dictionary)

    If the meaning of God in the above sentence is a “CREATOR GOD” then ALL Buddhists are Atheists. If that is not your understanding then you must be belonging to the half of your family that is not Buddhist.

    Buddhist philosophy REJECTS a Creator God.
    (please ask the other 50% of your family about it. They will confirm what I say).
    The keyword here is “CREATOR” not God.

    If you read my posts carefully you would have noticed that I refer to the practice of offering merit to the Devas. The Pali Stanza is “Akasattha ca bhummattha deva …….. ” (I refrained from using the word God here to avoid confusion with a Creator). If your spouse is a Buddhist or a Parent is a Buddhist you may have heard this stanza recited by them. Again you can confirm the above statement with the other half of your family. Alternatively visit the temple your family visits and ask a learned priest.

    The CORE of Buddhist Philosophy is as follows

    1. The Universal Truth that Suffering exists
    2. Since there is suffering there must be a cause for it
    3. When the cause is eliminated suffering should cease to exist
    4. To eliminate the cause there must be a way

    The Buddha showed us the way.

    Please verify the above from your family or a Buddhist priest known to you

    Do you see any reference to a “Creator God” there?

    That in simple terms is the Buddhist Philosophy I practice.

    Sidharta was a Crown Prince. He had no shortage of worldly pleasures BUT he renounced all and attained Buddha hood. Hence I don’t believe in surrounding Bo trees with Golden fences or gilding anything in the name of the Buddha or providing any luxuries that he renounced, to any temple. That doesn’t stop others from doing it and quite a lot do. Remember that he advised to Intelligently scrutinize ANYTHING and that includes my own religion Buddhism.

    Now to answer your charges (Q is your question and A is my answer)

    Q: Why under the cover?
    A: You and I BOTH use Pseudonyms to protect our real identities

    Q: you pretend a Buddhist to attack God and Christianity.
    A: I dont attack I defend (read the complete thread to understand). I don’t pretend as I follow the CORE philosophy of Buddhism.

    Q: Then you also rejected the Buddhist’s teachings that someone pointed regard to Buddha’s prophesies concerning “Lord of Mercies”
    A: Buddha never said anything like that. Do Christians WORSHIP Buddha as a Prophet or Messenger from God? This is a very good example of UNETHICAL lies spread by the Jagath’s of this world who are Conversion Fanatics and Christian Zealots. Please ask an erudite scholar monk about this statement. I suggest you take it up with the Buddhist Temple that your other half frequents.

    Q: you stated that you don’t believe babies walk at birth. yes, it says Buddha did walk on lotus at his birth.
    A: I am sorry to say that you do not know even the literary (decorated) writings properly. Siddhartha is not the Buddha he was just the Crown Prince. It was Siddhartha who was supposed to have walked at birth. Legend has it that at each step a Lotus sprang up to prevent his feet touching the ground and after he took seven steps he also recited a Pali Stanza.

    The “OLD TESTAMENT” was quoted by “someone”, on January 4, 2010 @ 7:22 am in an attempt to show that Buddhism is an off shoot of Christianity.
    Quote
    Gautama Buddha picked some FIVE out of TEN Commandments and left other Commandments as he simply didn’t want to believe in a CREATOR GOD. I very much believe his philosophy is a collection of concepts and teachings from (variable sources) Hinduism, Middle Eastern philosophers lived same period of time as some one pointed here before, and the Old Testament Bible.
    Unquote

    The door was opened to question the Ten Commandments. Such questions may be sacrilege to Christians but with our Buddhist training for inquiry it was not out of bounds as we are encouraged by the Buddha Himself to question even his teachings.

    Every question posed using the Ten Commandments are factual and are either based on proven Scientific facts or Logic. Please take each question ONE by ONE and be kind enough to point out specific instances where I have misrepresented facts.

    BTW I enjoy your comments on the other threads though you are offended when your religious beliefs are questioned.

    There are around 200 posts on this thread. I hope you would write again after reading it and observing how the discussion developed.

    Theruwan Saranai
    Off the Cuff

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear Jagath,

    You try very hard to mitigate the contradiction of a Merciful God and a Jealous God.

    Kindly explain how you JUSTIFY Punishing your Child, Your Grand Child, Your Great Grand Child and your Great Great Grand child for something that YOU HAVE DONE?

    Can you give me any Human Law from the Democratic world that PUNISHES EVEN THE UNBORN for YOUR indiscretions?

    Is this what you are trying to justify as MERCIFUL?

    What you are writing in circuitous language is Item 5 below, from the American Heritage Dictionary’s definition of Jealousy. That is “Intolerant of disloyalty or infidelity; autocratic: a jealous God”

    It says INTOLERANT AND AUTOCRATIC not merciful

    The ONLY thing that GOD HAS WRITTEN IN HIS OWN HAND (according to your scripture by using his finger) IS THE STONE TABLETS CONTAINING THE TEN COMMANDMENTS. Let’s assume that this is true for arguments sake.

    In contrast the Bible is a collection of Hearsay attributed to over 40 authors and edited by the church before publishing.

    Hence for a RELIGION CLAIMING AND OMNIPOTENT, OMNISCIENT, OMNIPRESENT CREATOR GOD such a book is not AUTHORITATIVE as it was not WRITTEN by GOD HIMSELF. The absence of a book written by Him puts into question the claimed attributes of Omniscience and Omnipotence.

    What was the need for all these people to write a book when GOD HIMSELF had the power and the capacity to CREATE ONE IN HIS OWN HAND as evidenced by the ORIGINAL STONE TABLETS?

    Hence please prove that the Bible is the ACTUAL WORD OF GOD and not what people dreamt up over the passage of time, before quoting from it.

    To us Non Believers whose GREAT GREAT GRAND CHILDREN will get punished for what we write here THE BIBLE IS NOT AUTHORITATIVE.

    JEALOUSY
    1. Fearful or wary of being supplanted; apprehensive of losing affection or position.
    2. (a) Resentful or bitter in rivalry; envious: jealous of the success of others. (b) Inclined to suspect rivalry.
    3. Having to do with or arising from feelings of envy, apprehension, or bitterness: jealous thoughts.
    4. Vigilant in guarding something: We are jealous of our good name.
    5. Intolerant of disloyalty or infidelity; autocratic: a jealous God.

    Synonyms: jealous, covetous, envious
    These adjectives mean resentfully or painfully desirous of another’s advantages: jealous of a friend’s success; covetous of my neighbour’s possessions; envious of their art collection.

    The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition

    Roman Catholics form over 50% of all Christians and this is how the Ten Commandments were CHANGED to suit them
    Source http://www.the-ten-commandments.org/romancatholic-tencommandments.html

    Extract
    Ten Commandments as personally spoken and written by God using the King James translation and the Ten Commandments as changed by the Roman Catholic Church. They believe that their authority stands above the Word of God and that they can change God’s times and laws and God will prescribe to their changes. You will note that they deleted the second Commandment and changed God’s Sabbath to Sunday and split the tenth Commandment into two to get back to Ten Commandments. As a result the Roman Catholic version of the Ten Commandments is always one ahead of the King James in the Decalogue until the tenth Commandment when they break it into two and make it the ninth and tenth Commandments.

    The following from the Catholic Encyclopaedia Vol. 4, p. 153 also confirms the deletion of the second Commandment and the change of the fourth. “The church, after changing the day of rest from the Jewish Sabbath of the seventh day of the week to the first made the third commandment refer to Sunday as the day to be kept holy as the Lord’s Day.”

    This truth can also be found from the following URL which you will need to copy and paste into the address bar as links promote search engine ranking and I cannot promote what is not Biblical truth. The Catholic version is the column on the right hand side titled “A Traditional Catechetical Formula.” The URL is http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/command.htm
    End Extract

    Your Jealous God may be PUNISHING all those Catholics for changing his word and continuing to believe in something that he did not preach.

    As you can see, attempting to breakdown an argument by casting a SLUR on Wiki does not work as there are many other sources available. Look up Jealousy in the Wiki you will get a better answer than the above Dictionary. Does your purported authoritative source define it differently?

    Your statement about my identity is hilarious and I quote
    “You already have been reincarnated few times here recent times as “Dhiraj”, “Somewhatdisgusted”,”wijapala”
    Unquote

    The owners of those names you mentioned will have something to say to you if they come across your post.

    Personally, I have no difficulty in replying to the stuff that you post on my own

  • yapa

    Dear SomewhatDisgusted;

    Another post related to the last post of January 8, 2010 @ 10:22 am

    I think there is a classic example from the modern science to back my hypothesis of Two Valued Logic and Four Value Logic. I think this is applicable and if so the Science is in the present position only due to the light of Four Valued Logic. Other wise, it would have been stuck in the muddy pit of old Classical Science and Newtonian Worldview would have been still the guiding light of the 21st century. Quantum theory wouldn’t have born in to the world of Science.

    Wave Particle Duality is one of the main concepts, that Quantum Theory is built on.

    Light or Optics is one of the peculiar thing that attracted the attention of scientists. They tried to investigate to find what it is consists of. Isaac Newton is one of the scientists that thoroughly investigated light. He was able to explain almost all the properties demonstrated by light using his “Corpuscular Theory”. He assumed light is made of particles, which he named as “corpuscles” and tried to explain the light properties, using Classical Mechanics. He considered the behaviour of light particle is not any different from the behaviuor of a Tennis ball and applied same theories to explain the behaviour of light. He was successful in many occasions.

    However, a contemporary scientist of Newton, Christian Huygens, suggested a new theory to explain the properties of light, which is popularly known as “Wave Theory”. He considered light as a form of wave like sound and offered to explain the properties of light in terms of wave properties. However, this was not become very popular due to the “over popularity” of Newton. Newtons theory of particles reign the science for about 200 years.

    However, on the basis of his theory he predicted light should travel faster in water than in air and found to be in correct through experiments.,.
    Then the particle theory was negated by the Frenchman, A. J. Fresnel, whose wave theory was experimentally confirmed by J. B. L. Foucault. Newton had predicted that light, which travels at 186,000 miles per second in empty space, should travel faster in water. The supporters of the wave theory predicted a lower speed, and were shown to be correct. The prediction based on the wave theory on the speed of light tallied with the experimental results. Newton’s Theory of Corpuscles broke down.Later Clerk Maxwell and Hertz established that the light light propagates in the form of Electromagnetic Waves. However, later, Max Planks found that light has particle properties and propagate as packets and he named these4 packets as “Quanta”.

    Later through popular “Double Slit Experiment” it was again pointed out that observation received from experiment needed light to be of wave form.. However, equally, famous “Photo Electric Effect” showed that light is essentially a particle. Antho Jata Bahi Jata! How could you resole this paradox.

    Ultimately Scientists decided that light is particle as well as wave. This is called “Wave Particle Duality”.

    Is this not an application of Four Valued Logic to a paradox, which could not be resolved by Two Valued Logic, which has only two alternatives, either Wave OR Particle.

    That is how the Modern Science came out of this trap using Four Valued Logic and Quantum Physics born as a result.

    Quantum Physics considers not only light, all the matter exhibit both wave and particle properties.

    Still do you think my hypothesis has no any validity?

    Thanks!

  • yapa

    An addition to the above post;

    One of the lessons we can learn from this is that, in the modern era even Newton cannot be very assertive of his theory.

    Thanks!

  • Noori

    Why would a ‘loving god’ have created a hell where people are tormented and burned for eternity? It doesn’t make sense to me. I think that someone with compassion wouldn’t wish another an eternity of suffering and torment. The Bible itself is a mytho-historical story of the Jewish people and nothing more (like the Mahavamsa), altough there are fundamentalists who actually still believe it literally. Recently evidence has surfaced that shows the story of Noah’s Ark was taken by the Jewish people from the folk stories of Mesapotamia.

    If one reads the Bible carefully it has a lot of hate and violence. Especially the old testament – it just shows a jealous and angry God who massacres people left and right and has no compunction about doing it. The picture of Jesus, as portrayed in the new testament is the opposite.

    What I find amusing is how our brown skinned followers of Middle Eastern Abrahamic religions are often such zealots, when there are beautiful Indic religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism, conceived from the genius of the South Asian mind. It also amuses me how our brown skinned converts will now scream in support of their religion and defend it against the indefensible when their ancestors themselves followed Indic religions and were very likely forced into converting.at the threat of death and/or exclusion from government and education.

    But this is Sri Lanka, of course.

  • yapa

    Dear Noori;

    Agreeing wth all the core facts in your post, I think I have a very small point to touch upon, with your permission.

    It is true Bible is a mytho-historical story.

    According to my understanding their is no any material facts to back any of the story contained in it. It refers to places like Israel, but has no anything found from those places to support the stories. However, the case is different wrt the Mahawamsa. So many places and things mentioned in the Mahavamsa are still existing. For examlpe Sigiriya, Mirisawetiya Dagaba, Ruwanmali seya, Parakramabahu palace in Polonnaruwa, ruins in Ruhuna are some to mention. There may be some of the things that has no evidence, but it has many evidence to corroborate what it says.

    Therefore, I am of the opinion that the equation of the Mahavamsa to the Bible is not a true as it is.

    Your attention is drawn to this fact please.

    Thanks!

  • yapa

    Dear Noori;

    Agreeing wth all the core facts in your post, I think I have a very small point to touch upon, with your permission.

    It is true Bible is a mytho-historical story.

    According to my understanding there is no any material facts to back any of the story contained in it. It refers to places like Israel, but has no anything found from those places to support the stories. However, the case is different wrt the Mahawamsa. So many places and things mentioned in the Mahavamsa are still existing. For examlpe Sigiriya, Mirisawetiya Dagaba, Ruwanmali seya, Parakramabahu palace in Polonnaruwa, ruins in Ruhuna are some to mention. There may be some of the things that has no evidence, but it has many evidence to corroborate what it says.

    Therefore, I am of the opinion that the equation of the Mahavamsa to the Bible is not a true as it is.

    Your attention is drawn to this fact please.

    Thanks!

  • wijayapala

    Dear Heshan,

    As I have said, if God is energy, then indeed “He” can do all these things.

    I am not interested whether God is energy or matter. All I want is a simple, non-politician style answer as to God’s alleged omnipotency. You appear to be claiming that God has limitations if He cannot build something that cannot be destroyed by Him.

    If God is impersonal, then why bother even worshipping Him? Are you saying that theists are wasting their time praying to something that is inert?

  • Heshan

    Wijayapala:

    The energy point of view is actually quite strong. From this perspective, there is a part of something that can never be destroyed, but only transformed. For Hindus, this is the atman. For Christians, it is the soul.

    I would also point out that modern physics has spent more than half a decade seeking a grand theory of everything. In other words, a theory that unites the four fundamental forces in a manner similar to that in which electricity and magnetism are united. At the subatomic level, there is no difference between objects, other than the number of protons, neutrons, and electrons. It is only on a macroscopic level that differences between objects are perceptible to our senses. On the other hand, the fact that at some level, all objects are virtually the same points to a common creation.

  • Heshan

    By the way, Wijayapala, let me just add that mass (matter) and energy are interconvertible. If that was not the case, then energy conservation would not be possible. Here is the actual equation:

    E= m(c^2)

    So you see, nothing can ever annihilate itself; it can only take a new form.

  • yapa

    Dear Heshan;

    I was having the idea not to engage with you under the same topic in the discussion. But, if you are going to justify your God by using sub atomic theories (in an undue manner), which is not common knowledge to many, I will have to interfere. Please keep your argumentations axactly according to the scientific theories of sub atomic level, but don’t try to take undue advantageous from the unfamiliarity of it of the readers.

    When something is hidden secret place it is more safe. It is a good tactic. But please keep in mind that their can be thiefs who has a knowledge, where you have hidden it.

    Thanks!

  • wijayapala

    Dear Heshan,

    From this perspective, there is a part of something that can never be destroyed, but only transformed.

    I was unaware that God also lacks the ability to destroy souls. You are teaching me a great deal about God’s shortcomings that I would never have gotten from Buddhists/atheists like yapa or Off the Cuff.

    By the way, Wijayapala, let me just add that mass (matter) and energy are interconvertible.

    So God is also subservient to the laws of physics?? I was under the impression that He had invented them (being the “creator”)!!

    Given all these Revelations that you are sharing, I have to ask: What can God *do*, as you are exposing everything that He cannot do?

  • yapa

    Dear SomewhatDisgusted;

    Another post related to my last post on January 9, 2010 @ 1:57 pm

    I have got another example to support my hypothesis, obtained from the opposition shown by you and Heshan to the same hypothesis.

    This is how Heshan put you into an intellectual trap addressing me;

    Like SomewhatDisgusted said, both beliefs are based on faith. You cannot prove reincarnation from a physical standpoint.
    ………………………..

    This was your response to which you had never said before;

    I agree that given the present evidence, both are completely based on faith. But I do not believe that reincarnation cannot be proven.
    ………………………………………………………….

    (Please note that “both beliefs” here referred to the concept of God and Buddhist Reincarnation.)

    I had shown you the difference in the levels of credibility of these two. Not only the concept of God had been disproved using well accepted methodologies, I also had given sufficient evidence (in my opinion) to back Buddhist reincarnation concept. Not regarding any of these you kept both in the same basket. You pasted the same label “Faith” on both of them. How can this be possible to happen to a person with a such a analytical mind like you?

    My answer is, it is not your fault, but the fault of the system you used to arrive at the conclusion. The culprit is not you, but the Two Valued Logic, which mislead you. For a mind trained in Two Valued Logic any concept has only two alternatives, that is either scientific OR not scientific(=myth or based on faith). Both the concept of God and Buddhist reincarnation are not scientific. Then it should be myth or based on faith according to this logic.

    That is how you arrived at the above conclusion to paste both of them with “faith” label.

    In fact you are not the culprit. It was Two Valued Logic you trained in. I have no an iota of doubt about your honesty. This is a clear indication that even a great mind trained in Aristotelian System of Logic, which is a Two Valued in nature, cannot derive the conclusions derived through the Four Valued System or something alien to Two Valued System. (Can you remember I was telling non mundane concepts like Buddhist reincarnation are explained in the Eastern Thinking in terms of Four Valued Logic + something).

    Further, even a person with scientific viewpoint will accept that there is a void, not for the reincarnation concept, to the question what happens to after the death. If one cannot prove that everything is simply and totally vanishes into thin air after the death, there must be an alternative answer. However, people with scientific viewpoint just refuse the the second alternative without disproving the first (Oh! my God.).

    Then how and why Aristotelian Logic or Scientific Thinking cannot derive or cannot perceive concepts like kamma, reincarnation, life , mind, conscience, feelings, emotions etc….etc………..?

    If I am to say in an exaggerated form, it is the “Tunnel Vision Of the Scientific Thinking” !

    Further, there is a popular notion that Buddhism is an idealistic doctrine. Can the people with a scientific viewpoint refuse Buddhism in this basis?

    I will try to discuss these things in my next post.

    Thanks!

    (Your comments are appreciated)

  • yapa

    Dear Wijayapala;

    Given all these Revelations that you are sharing, I have to ask: What can God *do*, as you are exposing everything that He cannot do?

    A marvellous point!

  • yapa

    Dear SomewhatDisgusted;

    Continuation of the post of January 10, 2010 @ 7:21 am

    Today science is exploring the universe in two main levels to ascertain the reality. At macro level and micro level. At Macro level it is headed by the “Theory of Relativity” while at micro level it is “Quantum Theory”. They expect to arrive at a Grand Unitary Theory known as “Theory of Everything” . (as mentioned by Heshan in one of the posts in the thread. We must give tribute to his knowledge, though we don’t agree with how and to what purposes he use his knowledge).

    Will the Science be able to achieve this end. Or will science is competent of realizing the ultimate reality?

    My belief is “NO”.

    Why?

    According to my view, because it had given up one part of the reality itself at the starting point of its long march.

    In Greece there were two separate opposite schools of thoughts, ie materialism and Idealism, were developed at the time of Aristotle. However, the western science only took one of them, ie materialism to develop its science. materialists or modern science refuses idealism, but it doesn’t disprove it. It only adamantly and dogmatically refuses it, but without any evidence. In case of an iota of possibility for idealism, science won’t be able to capture the Ultimate Reality”. The whole endavour of western science would be fruitless as an “elephant swollen wood apple”. My belief is the Universe is not wholly consist of matter!

    Really, again the problem cannot be fully attributed to western science. At the last analysis it is the problem of Two Ended Logic it self. Even with having both Materialism and Idealism in west, they will not again realize the reality. Why? With Two Valued Logic, they cannot see a synthesis of the two. They have only two alternatives, either materialism OR idealism. A synthesis can obtained from Four Valued Logic, through its 3rd and 4th alternative. The third alternative in this case is both material and non material and the forth is not material and not non material together. I think the Buddhism uses, four valued Logic to explain realities. That is why for Buddhism a being is consists of Nama-Rupa. However, I believe to explain transcendental things Buddhism prescribes another alternative even foreign to Four Valued Logic,”Prangna” or wisdom, which should be inculcated through practising the Dhamma.

    Dear SomewhatDisgusted;

    I can remember you were saying that you have given up practicing religion, though you were a Buhhist by birth. Will you now tell me whether the story I told at http://www.groundviews.org/2009/11/25/the-transformation-of-buddhism-in-sri-lanka/#comment-12757 is not applicable to you.

    According to me most valuable thing Sinhalese have with them is Buddhism. It is their strongest point. According to me you cannot find such an Epistemological System from any where in the world.

    Dear SomewhatDisgusted do you think that what I said in the story at http://www.groundviews.org/2010/01/02/sri-lanka-awaits-a-change/#comment-12659 is irrelevant?

    Thanks!

    Note:- though the concept of Four Valued Logic have been widely used by “Buddhist Gamaralalas and Gamamahages” in Sri Lanks, no one has properly conceptualised/exposed it to the world. There are only a few web sites available in regard to this and even then they have only a minimal details. Even Stamford Encyclopedia does’nt have any article regarding Four Valued Logic and you can they are expecting an article from the audience to Publish in it. However, I must say Professor Nalin De Silva has touched upon the subject. If somebody says he is Newton, why I cannot claim to be Leibniz?

    Thanks!

    Your comments are appreciated.

  • Heshan

    Wijayapala:

    “What can God *do*, as you are exposing everything that He cannot do?”

    Well, once again… what can energy not do? Seems like energy lies outside of the scope of your omnipotent and all other anti-God paradoxes! Perhaps you can come up with a paradox that clearly delineates the limitations of energy.

  • Heshan

    Dear Yapa:

    “Will the Science be able to achieve this end. Or will science is competent of realizing the ultimate reality?

    My belief is “NO”.”

    “, I believe to explain transcendental things Buddhism prescribes another alternative even foreign to Four Valued Logic,”Prangna” or wisdom, which should be inculcated through practising the Dhamma.”

    You are entitled to your opinion, of course, but no scientist is going to practice Dhamma in order to ascertain the mysteries of the Universe. Unless modern mathematics can be derived from this “Dhamma” then such “Dhamma” is thoroughly and utterly useless in the larger scheme of things. Do not forget that even your friend Nalin De Silva is relying on Western logic to receive his monthly salary. 🙂

  • yapa

    Dear Heshan;

    I have never humiliated anything that was objective in the discussion. If I humiliated something you can see it is because it deserves the humiliation. I think I have justified such humiliations done by me. I never interpreted anything objective as subjective or as opinion and humiliated it. I tried to keep to my writings close to honesty as much as possible. I know you clever to humiliate at anything. But what I am expecting from you is an objective criticism, as I think many people will not be able to do it due to its highly technical nature. You are capable of doing it. What I expect from you is an objective analysis, shelving old issues.

    Thanks!

  • yapa

    Dear Heshan;

    If God is energy, please transform him into electricity and run a mill to produce flour. Either, you can transform him to petroleum to run your vehicle. Why praying petroleum or electricity for favours?

    Thanks!

  • Heshan

    Dear Yapa:

    Transformation of energy requires work. But work requires an external force. God may be energy, but God is not work.

  • yapa

    Dear Heshan;

    Energy in the form of a man? Enough, Heshan why don’t you stop this joke? Your are wasting energy(God).

  • Heshan

    Dear Yapa:

    The joke is on you. The God-energy is part of the SOUL; the SOUL is infinite. If you have problems reading, go and consult Nalin De Silva. Thanks.

    P.S: I can easily say that a pig or cow can be reborn as a battery. Is there anything in Theravada Buddhism to suggest this is wrong?

    P.S: Do you deny that all Buddhists who are not Therevada Buddhists worship a god of some kind?

  • yapa

    Dear Heshan;

    It is useless to talk to a intellectually dishonest persson as Off the Cuff said. Only now I realized it. You are clinging into your ideas even after they are disproved. You don’t play the game by rules. I am sorry that I happened to talked to you. I was an idoit to talk to a person like you.

    Bye!

  • Rationalist

    Hello again,

    Sorry for posting again, but groundsview seems to have eaten up parts of my earlier post, i.e, the quotes from other comments, so let me post it again with it corrected.

    Sorry again.

    Hello all,

    New guy here. Brief summary of myself- Buddhist/agnostic atheist/ and as my User name suggest, a rationalist. Although I’m new here, I’ve been discussing the subject of deities in other forums, so don’t feel the need to go easy on me. =D

    Let me jump right in:

    Dear Heshan,

    “The God-energy is part of the SOUL; the SOUL is infinite. ”

    IF you may, could you elaborate further on this idea. Right off the bat, the concept itself is absurd and not consistent with the basic principles of physics, but until you grace us with further explanation, I can’t pass that judgement. I’ll be waiting with bated breath.

    “P.S: I can easily say that a pig or cow can be reborn as a battery. Is there anything in Theravada Buddhism to suggest this is wrong?”

    Obviously there is. Even by looking at your sentence itself, the error is in plain sight. Key words: “reborn” and “battery”. For rebirth to take place, I would say that reproduction would be a pretty important part step, eh? And what type of “objects”(for lack of a better word) can undergo reproduction? Organisms! (You could make the case that life is not prerequisite for reproduction in some cases, like prions and self replicating molecules, but that I fear is a discussion for another arena.) Now I think its established that life is a requirement for rebirth, would you say a battery fulfills this criterion?
    Q.E.D

    “P.S: Do you deny that all Buddhists who are not Therevada Buddhists worship a god of some kind?”

    That’s quite a statement to make Heshan, as just one example of atheistic non-Theravada Buddhist would make it defunct. A small tip; making broad, generalizing and absolute statements are never good in a discussion.
    Allow me to rectify that sentence;

    And to that (even though it isn’t addressed to me), I would say, undoubtedly yes.

    Peace

  • Rationalist

    Argh, yet again, my apologies for posting in a haste. I’m still getting used to the ins and outs of this forum.

    The last few sentences of my post should read,

    _______________________________________________________________________

    Allow me to rectify that sentence;

    “P.S: Do you deny that MOST Buddhists who are not Therevada Buddhists worship a god of some kind?”

    And to that (even though it isn’t addressed to me), I would say, undoubtedly yes.

    ———————————————————————–

    Hopefully, third times the charm. =D

  • Heshan

    Dear Yapa:

    The only people who have accused me of intellectual dishonesty are you and Cuff. On the other hand, more than five people, not only in this thread, but many threads, have accused Cuff of dishonesty. 2 to 7 is quite a difference. Unless you can disprove the statistics, I don’t see why I should take your remarks seriously. You have not disproved any of my arguments; in fact, in the last four threads addressed to me, you have (1) barked some nonsense in Sinhala, (2) failed to comprehend simple quantum mechanics, (3) failed to understand the difference between work and energy, and (4) accused me of being dishonest. Maybe you need to scroll up a little and see what many in this thread have said about you (mirror, mirror on the wall…)

  • Heshan

    Hi Rationalist:

    Although I have the feeling we’ve met before, I won’t let any “white van” logic get the best of me. Down to business.

    “Right off the bat, the concept itself is absurd and not consistent with the basic principles of physics”

    Well I never claimed the entire idea is consistent with physics. Neither is it inconsistent with physics. The idea of a soul relies on the fact that a creator God exists in the first place. Therefore, when you talk about the soul, you take the existence of God as an axiom. Now, what do I mean when I say the soul is infinite? When you die, the physical organic components of you decay. The more popular belief systems tell us that either you are reborn again or you go to heaven/hell. For either of these to happen, however, there must be some part of you that is immune to decay. There must be some imperishable component. But what is the only imperishable, infinite thing that has ever existed? It is God and it is God manifested in the God-energy. It is this God-energy that allows the soul to move from one world to the next. Even your Therevada-Buddhist philosophy accepts this, whether or not you deny it. Otherwise reincarnation would make no sense.

  • Heshan

    Rationalist, here is part 1 of my answer to your last query:

    The Buddha’s teachings and Theravada Buddhism are essentially atheistic, although neither deny the existence of beings that might be called “gods.” (See Is Buddhism Atheistic? for more information.)

    In Mahayana Buddhism, however, the universe is populated with celestial buddhas and bodhisattvas who are worshipped as gods and goddesses. The historical Buddha is honored in this way, but most other Buddhist deities are adapted from the cultures Buddhism has encountered — from the pantheon of Hinduism to the indigenous religions of Tibet, China and Thailand.

    Among the most popular Buddhist deities are Kuan Yin, the Medicine Buddha, the Laughing Buddha and the Green and White Taras. These and other fascinating figures are explored in this section. The list below links to articles that provide information on the history, meaning, significance and iconography of each deity.

    Buddhas
    Gautama Buddha (Shakyamuni)
    Laughing Buddha/Future Buddha (Maitreya)
    Medicine Buddha/Healing Buddha
    Five Dhyani Buddhas
    Dipamkara (Kasyapa) Buddha

    Bodhisattvas
    Five Bodhisattvas of Compassion
    Tara
    Kuan Yin

    Arhats
    16 Sravakas (Tibetan)
    18 Lohans (Chinese)

    Tibetan Wrathful Deities
    Yama
    Mahakala
    Yamantaka
    Kubera
    Hayagriva
    Palden Lhamo
    Tshangs pa
    Begtse
    Nagas
    Lha-mo

    Chinese Buddhist Deities
    Kuan-Yin
    Jade Maiden
    Golden Youth
    Kuan-Ti (Sangharama)
    Wei-To (Skanda)
    Four Guardian Kings (Si-Ta-Tien-Wang)

  • Heshan

    Part II of my reply to you: What about Tantric Buddhism?

    Tibetan Gods, Spirits and Buddhas

    Maitreya The pantheon of gods in Tibetan Buddhism is derived mainly from Hinduism, Indian Buddhism and the Bon religion. In many cases characteristics of gods from all three faiths are merged into a single god. A Buddhist god, for example, may have been derived from Hinduism and given characteristics of a Bon religion spirit. Moreover, the gods are intended to show the many sides of enlightenment: a particular god may have a wrathful, vengeful side as well as a peaceful and beneficent side.

    Himalayan Buddhists recognize several thousand gods and demons, many of which, like their Hindu counterparts, take on many forms. Each village and sect has its own pantheon of gods, spirits and demons. Rivalries between different groups and sects are often based on which gods are given the greatest importance. Many monasteries contain Tara figures that are said to have miraculously materialized out of thin air.

  • Heshan

    Well Rationalist, several thousand gods and demons. That’s quite a lot. Maybe you should send a few of the yellow-robed gentlemen from the Sangha to “enlighten” your Himalayan brothers. Taking Yapa and Off the Cuff, two die hard atheists, would not be a bad idea either. 🙂

    Now one last question. You said that it is not possible to reborn as a battery. So rebirth, in your view, only makes sense from an organic point of view. On the other hand, if we assume for a moment that atheism is correct and no god exists, then rebirth must also be an entirely impersonal process. And yet, rebirth is not mutually exclusive from karma. What then is the driving force behind karma, in this entirely mechanical universe?

  • Rationalist

    Hello Heshan and all,

    “Although I have the feeling we’ve met before, I won’t let any “white van” logic get the best of me.”

    Unless you frequently contributor on Youtube, to such discussions, I don’t see anyway we could have met. Unless of course it was in some past life. ;D

    “The idea of a soul relies on the fact that a creator God exists in the first place. ”

    Not true. The main religion of discussion here proves that point wrong.

    “But what is the only imperishable, infinite thing that has ever existed? It is God and it is God manifested in the God-energy”

    Since God(s) and the concept of a soul are not intrinsically intertwined, your first premise is not given and therefore breaks down the validity of your whole argument, but I’m guessing making a foolproof argument wasn’t your objective here.
    The thing I’d like you to explain is this “God-energy”. If God is energy, he should manifest in an empirically testable way, and since he is the purported creator of all energy, that violates the 1st Law of Thermodynamics, which IS inconsistent with physics. By definition, God must be transcendental and cannot be energy, so please feel free to explain. Unless of course you’re twisting the definition of energy to an extent, in which case you’ll have to define what you mean by energy.

    “You said that it is not possible to reborn as a battery. So rebirth, in your view, only makes sense from an organic point of view….And yet, rebirth is not mutually exclusive from karma. What then is the driving force behind karma, in this entirely mechanical universe?”

    The most intellectually honest answer in this case would be, I don’t know, but “Cause and effect” seems to agree with this process, in which every action has an effect on its surroundings. Pure conjecture on my part, but it may give a basic idea of a system that allows such a process.

    And to the last part, I don’t know why you bothered typing all that when all I did was agree with you.

    “Maybe you should send a few of the yellow-robed gentlemen from the Sangha to “enlighten” your Himalayan brothers.”

    It’s my belief that beliefs that do no harm to others, and don’t affect a person’s general view of reality in comparison to a person not holding those views, are perfectly O.K and I see no reason to “enlighten” them.
    Just my opinion.

    Looking forward to a good reply!

  • Jagath

    Dear Off The Cuff
    This post is concerning to your commentaries s ON JANUARY 9, [email protected] 10:44

    YOURS:
    SUMMARY OF YOUR QUESTION: Are children punished for the sins of their parents?

    MY REPLY
    Answer: (Source: gotquestions.org) “Children are not punished for the sins committed by their parents; neither are parents punished for the sins of their children. Each of us is responsible for our own sins. Ezekiel 18:20 tells us, “The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son.” This verse clearly shows that punishment for one’s sins is borne by that person”.

    Your interpretation is incorrect. “The verse in question is Exodus 20:5, which says in reference to idols, “You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, ….punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me.” This verse is speaking not so much of punishment, but of consequences. It is saying that the consequences of a man’s sins can be felt generations later. God was telling the Israelites that their children would feel the impact of their parents’ generation as a natural consequence of their disobedience and hatred of God. Children raised in such an environment would practice similar idolatry, thus falling into the established pattern of disobedience. The effect of a disobedient generation was to plant wickedness so deeply that it took several generations to reverse. God does not hold us accountable for the sins of our parents, but we sometimes suffer as a result of the sins our parents committed, as Exodus 20:5 illustrates.

    As Ezekiel 18:20 shows, each of us is responsible for his own sins and we must bear the punishment for them. We cannot share our guilt with another, nor can another be held responsible for it. There is, however, one exception to this rule, and it applies to all mankind. One man bore the sins of others and paid the penalty for them so sinners could become completely righteous and pure in the sight of God. That man is Jesus Christ. God sent Jesus into the world to exchange His perfection for our sin. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus Christ takes away the punishment for sin for those who come to Him in faith.”

  • SomewhatDisgusted

    Dear Heshan, Yapa, Off-the-cuff, Rationalist, Wijayapala

    ” The God-energy is part of the SOUL; the SOUL is infinite.”

    That’s an awful lot of specific information you and others seem to know about God. He’s made of energy, he’s infinite, he’s omniscient, he’s omnipotent etc. etc. How do you know these detailed things?

    I guess, in all fairness, I should ask the same question from the Buddhists who believe in Karma (not those who don’t). How do you know all these things about Karma, how rebirth occurs due to Karma, how this energy is transferred from one dead body to another newborn etc. etc? That too seems an awful amount of very specific knowledge to have.

    BTW, it should also be noted that rebirth would contradict evolution. So which do you believe? (I have the vague feeling that we are going to head into many-worlds territory, but that’s unlikely to help the argument)

    Dear Yapa,

    I have not yet had the time to respond to your latest posts but will do so soon. BTW, you’ve not yet answered the questions I raised earlier with regard to your stance on equality, the role of Buddhism etc.

    Dear Off-the-cuff, Rationalist, Wijayapala

    Do you believe in karma and rebirth?

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear Jagath,

    Probably the English language can be used in some mysterious way to interpret the following to mean what you say but as a mere mortal I cannot find that method.

    All these different versions refer to the second commandment.
    I hope you have no objection to the source http://bible.cc/exodus/20-5.htm

    New International Version (©1984)
    You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,

    New Living Translation (©2007)
    You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected–even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me.

    New American Standard Bible (©1995)
    “You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me,

    GOD’S WORD® Translation (©1995)
    Never worship them or serve them, because I, the LORD your God, am a God who does not tolerate rivals. I punish children for their parents’ sins to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me.

    King James Bible
    Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

    American King James Version
    You shall not bow down yourself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

    American Standard Version
    Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them, for I Jehovah thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, upon the third and upon the fourth generation of them that hate me,

    Bible in Basic English
    You may not go down on your faces before them or give them worship: for I, the Lord your God, am a God who will not give his honour to another; and I will send punishment on the children for the wrongdoing of their fathers, to the third and fourth generation of my haters;

    There are more versions but I reproduced only the above.

    This is God’s OWN WORDS WRITTEN BY HIMSELF so unlike the Bible (which is hearsay and is not written by God) the tablets containing the Ten Commandments should have overriding authority about God’s word than anything else to believers of God.

    All above versions carry the same message.

    I see that the purpose is to instill FEAR in believers to ensure they remain within the fold for fear of being punished for FOUR generations.

    I have written many more things to disprove the notion of an Omniscient, Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Merciful and Loving Creator. However I respect your right to believe what you want to believe. I do not have any wish to hurt peoples’ feelings but then in the course of defending the unbridled attacks made on Buddhism it did happen.

    I hope those who tried to belittle Religious beliefs of others (as was clearly evident on this thread) learn to respect other religions as ONLY respect begets respect.

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear Somewhatdisgusted,

    I have made my views about the notion of an Omniscient, Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Merciful and Loving Creator very clear in my previous posts.

    I always enjoy your incisive posts. Now we are changing course in to looking at core issues. I am not an erudite scholar of Buddhist Philosophy but let me try to give you answers within the limits of my knowledge

    Lets look at life as we know it

    From the moment of birth the cells in our body keep dying and are replaced by new cells. This is the process of aging and it starts from birth. From moment to moment your body is not what it was before. Before long ALL the cells that you are born with would be totally dead. In its place we have a totally new set of cells. This keeps occurring several times throughout life .

    So what is self if your physical body is not what it was at Birth ?

  • Rationalist

    Dear SomewhatDisgusted,

    “BTW, it should also be noted that rebirth would contradict evolution.”

    In what way? I am a major proponent of the Theory of Evolution and I’ve never encountered any such contradiction. Care to elaborate?

    “Dear Off-the-cuff, Rationalist, Wijayapala

    Do you believe in karma and rebirth?”

    Yes. I don’t claim to know how this process works, to don’t claim to “know” if it exists, but yes, I do believe in it. There are a few logical reasons for this, but no empirical evidence of any sort, to my knowledge.

  • yapa

    Dear SomewhatDisgusted;

    “I guess, in all fairness, I should ask the same question from the Buddhists who believe in Karma (not those who don’t). How do you know all these things about Karma, how rebirth occurs due to Karma, how this energy is transferred from one dead body to another newborn etc. etc? That too seems an awful amount of very specific knowledge to have.”

    I think you have not properly gone through my last posts addressed to you. If you have gone through them and tried to understand core ideas I was trying to emphasise, I think the tone of your questions would have been changed. You wouldn’t have used at least the phrase ” in all fairness”.

    I have clearly mentioned that about the ” degree of credibility” of belief or acceptance. Degree of credibility of belief/acceptance of something in different subjects are different. In Social Science something with 75% credibility may be considered as a good concept or a good theory, while in Natural Science even 99% would not be acceptable as trust worthy. This is a problem of “methodologies”. I think you must have heard of the concept known as ” Level Of Significance” in Statistics. It talks about the different levels of acceptance of a hypothesis. A hypothesis may accept at the .05 or .01 level of significance. Any theory of Social Science would not stand at .01 significant level. I challenge any Social Scientist (any specialist in Social Sciences) to prove any Social Science theory at .01 level of significance.These are very subtle methodologies used in modern subjects. Without looking at these subtleties one cannot understand or analyse or go deep into a subject. One could understand something derived using such subtleties, but to talk in deep about so derived things, one need to have a knowledge about such methodologies. One can taste a cake, but to instruct the baker about baking, the consumer must have a knowledge just more than “consumerization”.

    I have indicated most of the above things in my posts. A person will not be very assertive in asking questions too, if he knows the modern stance of Science developed after the Newtonian World Outlook, which was so confident that Newtonian Science would solve all the questions in the universe using Newtonian Mechanics. Modern Science is not so assertive about its capabilities. The ultimate result of the Science is ” Uncertainty Principle”. You know the Zeniths of Science are “Theory of Relativity” and ” Quantum Theory”. I think you know that they are contradicting at a certain point. Why don’t Scientists throw away one of the theories or both of them? Because they are no more holding the the dogmatic stance of olden day Science. Modern day Scientists are cautious to be assertive about their theories. They are afraid and cautious to question everything based on their theories. Keep aside other theories, they are not very sure about their best ever theories formulated so far, Relativity and Quantum Physics. They are not sure about “Big Bang Theory”. They are not sure about ” Theory of Evolution”. They are not sure about Sigmund Freud’s Theories of Psychology”.

    Do you have a very firm belief on them? By the way, have you heard about the “Butterfly Effect”. This is something about it taken from Wikipedia.

    Charles Hoy Fort, author, skeptic and iconoclast wrote about the interconnectedness of nature and the butterfly effect before the term was coined in his books New Lands and Wild Talents. In “New Lands” he makes reference to a migration of birds in New York that could cause a storm in China.

    In the 1952 short story by Ray Bradbury, “A Sound of Thunder”, the killing of a butterfly during the time of dinosaurs causes the future to change in subtle but meaningful ways: e.g., the spelling of English and the outcome of a political election.[3]

    The butterfly effect was invoked by fictional chaotician Ian Malcolm in both the novel Jurassic Park and subsequent film adaptation. He used it to explain the inherent instability of (among other things) an amusement park with dinosaurs as the attraction.

    In Terry Pratchett’s “Interesting Times,” the magical “Quantum Weather Butterfly”, whose wings have finite area but infinite length, has the ability to manipulate weather patterns. These microclimates, which the butterfly uses to attract mates and fend off predators, play an important role in the resolution of the plot.

    In the 1632 series of time-travel science fiction by Eric Flint and David Weber et al., speculation about the butterfly effect that happens when the West Virginia town of Grantville is instantaneously dropped into 1632 Germany. The speculation is that the events which lead the genetic makeup of a human are so sensitive to chance that every human born in the world changed by the “Ring of Fire” event would be genetically different than they otherwise would have been within a very small period of time, depending on the distance from Germany, but in all cases within a year. Specifically, thousands of sperm vying for entry into an egg would be very sensitive to very small differences in position or timing that would assuredly result in a different sperm winning out, and a different person (a brother or sister, but no closer related than that) being born. The speculation centers especially on the birth of Baruch de Spinoza in Amsterdam a few months following the Ring event.
    …………………………………………………………………….

    Tell me frankly, do you believe that the computer you are using now remains at rest as most Physics or Applied Mathematics books say?

    You can’t use use the Scientific methodology to justify Science when it is questioned or you cannot question other phenomena on the basis of scientific methodology when science itself is in doubt. You have to use a method common to all. This is known as the “Begging the Question” in Philosophy.

    OR

    In a Sinhalese proverb ” Horage Ammagen Pena Ahanna Wage”.

    With Regard To your part of the post below;

    “I have not yet had the time to respond to your latest posts but will do so soon. BTW, you’ve not yet answered the questions I raised earlier with regard to your stance on equality, the role of Buddhism etc.”
    …………………………….

    I have posted two responses after the query you raised. I have raised a interim question, arisen from your posts, an answer for which will cut short the discussion. I am expecting the answer.

    Thanks!

  • yapa

    Dear Somewhat Disgusted;

    I am always in a position to discuss the opinions or whatever I am holding. However, I think we should be clear about the cause we are taking in the discussion. We must demarcate the rules.

    If we are to talk about rebirth or kamma we know that they cannot be justified /unjustified in terms of the concepts contained in themselves, just as God’s existence cannot be justified in terms of what God has said. Same way, I have already shown that the position of Science is under question, hence Science or scientific theories cannot be quoted as proofs. In other words, Science cannot be a “Bottom Rule”. Not knowing without anything like Newtons Laws or Relativity, Socrates had developed most profound arguments. Same Way, we have to be abide by the first principles such as Reasoning and Logic.

    I have given many arguments wrt rebirth and kamma, in the posts addressed to you. To avoid repetitions, I urge you to go through them properly and answer the queries and the points you don’t agree with before starting the new dialogue.

    Another point to point out is each and every question pose to the opposite party should be answered specifically and honestly, without giving answers of the politicians. I think the debate will give a lot of insights to the readers.

    Please go through all my posts addressed to you after you queried the position of reincarnation considering it as faith in the same category of existence of God. I had already started my debate, you will have to start from the place where started.

    Thanks!

  • SomewhatDisgusted

    Dear Rationalist,

    “In what way? I am a major proponent of the Theory of Evolution and I’ve never encountered any such contradiction. Care to elaborate?”

    Well, let’s compare it with the current scientific consensus on evolution. According to it, life started out in the form of simple replicators. This process may have started off from one or two very basic “individuals” which rapidly burgeoned into a large population. As this population grew, copying infidelities occurred and mutant individuals arose who were better or worse at copying themselves. Those that were better at adapting, survived and those that refused to adapt, perished – hence survival of the fittest. Gradually, the complexity of these replicators increased in order to aid their survival and eventually, given billions of years, gave rise to the incredible survival machines we see today in the wondrously rich diversity of life. Have I summed it up ok?

    Now, take karma and rebirth. If one were to apply these concepts to our humble beginnings in the form of replicators, there’s an immediate problem. It’s not clear how the total animal population can grow, since it’s the karma of one dead animal that spawns life in the next newborn animal. This would seem to imply that at some point, karma and rebirth suddenly came into existence and is not universally applicable to all animals. So we must then question at what point certain animals acquired this book-keeping mechanism called “karma” that would determine what their next life would be.

    Further one must also question what good karma or bad karma would even mean for these animals, since there is essentially no “morality” in what occurs in the animal world. Morality is a human construct (Although perhaps Kant and others may argue for the existence of “absolute morality”) or should one say, applicable only in a human context. i.e. You will not be talking about an ethical goat or an ethical lion. One must then begin to question why human Karma acquired the unique ability to be determined by a human construct named morality whereas for animals, it’s not determined by such a process.

    Also, since evolution does not have any ultimate “goal” as such (i.e. human’s aren’t the end product, and humans have been on as long an evolutionary journey as any other animal alive today and therefore, all animals are our equals in evolutionary terms) what does it even mean to apply the common Karmic notion that bad deeds would cause you to not receive a “human” life in the next rebirth? What’s so special about humans?

    This is why I feel that these notions are more likely to be human constructs than actual real world constructs.

    As others have mentioned earlier, even before the Buddha, the Upanishads and Hindus shared similar views on Karma and rebirth. The likelihood is that the Buddha’s thinking was affected by those views, which he incorporated into his own theory of life. However, just because he incorporated them into his theory, does not automatically imply that they are correct, as he himself asked that we accept only what makes sense to us. Otherwise, he would have committed the fallacy of appeal to authority (I should mention that I have an absurd amount of respect for him because of this, amongst other reasons)

    “Yes. I don’t claim to know how this process works, to don’t claim to “know” if it exists, but yes, I do believe in it”

    How is such an attitude essentially different from believing in god? Does it not employ the same logic? They don’t claim to know whether god exists, but believe in it anyway and there are some logical reasons they cite for it. I’m not talking about the ignorant young earth creationists who accept the bible literally and postulate an omnipresent, omniscient god, but the more sophisticated ones who believe in some sort of “intelligence” behind the creation of this world. Why would you think they are “wrong” to believe such a notion, lacking evidence, but why is it ok for Buddhists to believe in Karma, lacking evidence? Is it not based on an appeal to authority?

    “There are a few logical reasons for this, but no empirical evidence of any sort, to my knowledge”

    Can you explain what those are?

  • SomewhatDisgusted

    Dear Off-the-cuff,

    Thank you for the kind comment. Yes, I already know your stance on god and we are both in complete agreement. I wanted to understand your stance on karma and rebirth better.

    “So what is self if your physical body is not what it was at Birth ?”

    I’m not certain why the physical body is important here, but as far as I can understand it from the information available so far, it does not appear to be much more than a chemical reaction, resulting in a gigantic, organic computer which is running a mini-simulation of the universe around it. This simulation, includes a notion of the organism itself, bringing about the concept of a “self”. This is what the brains of more complicated animals are considered to do. Simpler life forms self evidently don’t even do that, and are content with just copying themselves. Such animals are unlikely to have a notion of “self” at all. My explanation is based on what I believe to be the current scientific consensus on the matter. A good account I’ve read of it so far is in Richard Dawkins’ book, the Selfish Gene, and I felt it was a reasonable explanation for the phenomenon.

    There may or may not be something more to it than that, but given the present evidence, that’s the most convincing argument I’ve heard so far. I remain open to other possibilities, but must wait patiently till a better theory comes along.

  • SomewhatDisgusted

    Dear Yapa,

    I’ve read through the posts you’ve written explaining your position and I thank you for the effort. In the interests of brevity, I will address the chief issues.

    1. Two valued vs Four valued logic
    If you recall our original discussion, the question I posed to you was, explain a single thing that a mind trained in western logic is utterly incapable of grasping. You’ve brought up Newton refusing god, the wave-particle duality etc. But the point is, all of these have sooner or later been understood by these same western minds. At best, you may have highlighted a pattern of thinking that makes it difficult for them to consider dualities, nothing more. So does that not falsify your claim? My question is What is this concept that they cannot understand? Give me a single example where, despite repeated explanation, they will never understand the point.

    It seems that you are trying to paint people out of the argument. Basically, claim mystical knowledge that others cannot possibly hope to grasp because they have a “western mindset” and save your beliefs from being logically attacked. I’m not saying you’re being malicious, I think you honestly believe it. Is that what you are doing?

    2. Failure of biologists to explain life

    You’ve highlighted a gap in current knowledge, and then claim that somehow biologists can’t and never will understand this because they believe in a materialistic universe. Biologists are fully aware they are unable to explain it – which is why they say quite honestly – they don’t know.

    This is different from people *claiming* to know the answers. Anyone can *claim* to know an answer. You can build up a completely self-consistent system based on such a claim, as I’ve highlighted before. But unfortunately, none of this would matter at all unless we can somehow prove that it’s true.

    This is why I repeatedly took examples of Santa clause, the pink unicorn, and God etc. You can build up an entirely plausible case on erroneous assumptions. The assumptions may even be true!! God might exist, who knows! But if you can’t prove it, what’s the point?? Can you answer that question? If you can’t prove it, how are you to say who is right and who is wrong?

    Here’s another example. I assume that I live in a computer simulation. Or I assume that I was created by a god. I assume I am part of a dream. I assume that when I die I’m reborn in another planet in an alien body. Can you prove or disprove any of these things? Anything is possible! And they can all be plausible. But unless we can somehow make it matter in day to day life, postulating arbitrary things is reduced to an extremely interesting mental excercise, nothing more. To assume that one of those viewpoints is correct and insist it is, when any number of other viewpoints may also be correct, is frankly, quite silly!

    3. Why science?

    And that’s precisely why science evolved. It was to deal with that specific problem in logical reasoning. Self-consistent systems do not necessarily mean anything unless we have some way of relating it to real life. Hence the insistence on empirical evidence (See “The scientific method” by Betrand Russell). This is why your attempt to save karma and rebirth by dismissing empirical evidence doesn’t work. You really need to confront that issue head on.

    You claim that the Buddha has answered the question of life. But all you’ve given are explanations built on the initial assumptions that Karma and rebirth exist. But the question is, what if they don’t exist? How can you prove it to us? Give me a few simple reasons and I will be instantly converted. If you can’t, you’re asking us to take it on faith.

  • yapa

    Dear SomewhatDisgusted;

    Dear SomewhatDisgusted;

    RE: Your Post of January 17, 2010 @ 10:45 pm

    Thank you for the response. However, I am of the view that you have tried to deal with the issues without considering the central point I have raised. I would like to point out why your are not

    1. Two Valued Logic and Four Valued Logic

    I have theoretically shown how Two Valued Logic and Four Valued Logic help to generate knowledge. Two Valued System has two alternatives and Four Valued System contains additional two more alternative. It is common knowledge that the knowledge generated through these two alternatives cannot be obtained through the two alternatives of the Two Valued System. I don’t think even a single example is needed to understand it. However, I have given several examples and if you want I can give you some more.

    Still you are just objecting it without any accepted reasons. If you are to reject what I say, first you have to disprove or show a specific flaw in my theory. Have you shown it? At leas can you specifically show me a single contradiction in my examples? Otherwise there is no validity in what you say.
    At least it is the way to reject something according to the “Scientific Method” you appreciate.

    As a counter argument you say that sooner or later westerners will understand what easterners had understood.

    This is exactly in accordance with what I say. I don’t attribute the inability of westerners to understand the knowledge gained through Four Valued System to their white skin, well built bodies or any other physical quality, but to their knowledge generating system. If westerners learn Four Valued system, definitely there is no barrier for them to understand what easterners understand. Through mixing of cultures or through purposely studying, westerners are already in the process of gaining eastern knowledge. There are so many western academics who are devoted to learn “Traditional Knowledge” in the east. That is why modern concepts such as “Emotional Intelligence, Spiritual Intelligence” erupted from the west. Most modern west has not produced a book like “Art of War” which was written in an era 300 BC. This book is still considered as the best ever book written on the subject. West is surprised about many of the knowledge produced in the east. The concept of zero was developed in east. Why? These are not as simple as many think to answer. Westerners will soon start to learn east, starting from the beginning. Conditions prevailing today in the modern world are demanding it. Many will realize it soon. Stamford Encyclopedia is looking for an article on Four Valued Logic, while many of our leaned people have no idea about it or looking at it with a bit a sarcastic taste.

    2. Failure of biologists to explain life

    I have given the example of life to show that there are some flaws in the “Scientific Methodology”. I have given reasons why Science cannot explain it. Don’t you think this is not a significant think to consider? If Science cannot find solutions to the problems do you say we should stick on to the same thing? Western Science has given up that outdated notion some times back with the dawn of the Modern Science. Do you have any alternative idea? You say “But unfortunately, none of this would matter at all unless we can somehow prove that it’s true”. But western Science has given up this idea too long time ago. I have mentioned this several times to you, but for some reason or other you do not consider this fact seriously. Political Scientists accept political theories without proof. Social Scientists accept many things without proof. Natural Scientists accept many things without proofs. Even Mathematicians accept many things without proofs. Above notion of yours belong to history of Science I must say.

    Another crucial I pointed out, but you didn’t pay much attention is you classification of “Existence of God and the Reincarnation” in the same group. Until you believe that anything that cannot be proved is myth or based on faith, you will never be able to understand the difference between them. But any mind trained a little bit in Science would easily grasp the difference.

    This is again what you say;

    This is why I repeatedly took examples of Santa clause, the pink unicorn, and God etc. You can build up an entirely plausible case on erroneous assumptions. The assumptions may even be true!! God might exist, who knows! But if you can’t prove it, what’s the point?? Can you answer that question? If you can’t prove it, how are you to say who is right and who is wrong.
    …………………………………………………….

    “God might exist, who knows!”

    Is this not against what you consider as “Scientific Methodology”? When scientifically disproved, now again you raise a doubt in favour of your argument. Is this according to that scientific methodology?

    “You can build up an entirely plausible case on erroneous assumptions. The assumptions may even be true!!

    Without mentioning in general, can you specifically show me the erroneous assumptions or plausible cases I have built up?

    I think I don’t have to respond to the last par under this topic. I think answers to the problems in it are already given.

    3. Why science?

    I have a long answer for this. I will touch upon the “old Scientific Methodologies and Modern Scientific Methodologies”, including what I have mentioned above too. But as a clue I must say that most of the “The scientific method” by Bertrand Russell are not valid for Modern Science, which is looking for ultimate realities. They may be used in High Schools, Engineering Schools or in places like Coconut Research Institute or Rice Research Institutes, but not in Modern Science. These methodologies are mainly based on Newtonian World View, which is now considered to be a Science of dogmatic in nature. Modern Science has no hard and fast rules as Old Science. We will have to keep in mind that “Uncertainty Principle” has become the ultimatum of Science.

    Thanks!

  • yapa

    Continuation from the post of January 18, 2010 @ 7:14 pm

    Dear SomewhatDisgusted;

    3. Why (not or not only) science?

    I would like to continue the discussion with some quotations of great scientists/philosophers on Buddhism

    1. The American physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer made an analogy to Buddhism when describing the Heisenberg uncertainty principle thusly:

    “ If we ask, for instance, whether the position of the electron remains the same, we must say ‘no;’ if we ask whether the electron’s position changes with time, we must say ‘no;’ if we ask whether the electron is at rest, we must say ‘no;’ if we ask whether it is in motion, we must say ‘no.’ The Buddha has given such answers when interrogated as to the conditions of man’s self after his death; but they are not familiar answers for the tradition of seventeenth and eighteenth-century science.
    …………………………………………

    You can see how the Four Valued Logic is involved in here. Here it is the 4th alternative of the Four Valued System. Please note what Oppenheimer says about the familiarity of seventeenth and eighteenth century science about modern scientific knowledge. I think you may remember my argument about the inability of the people trained in Two Valued Logic to understand the knowledge generated through Four Valued System. Further, you can see how parallel Buddhism and modern Science are.

    2. You quoted Bertrand Russell to oppose Buddhism, but please see what he has to say about Buddhism;

    Buddhism is a combination of both speculative and scientific philosophy. It advocates the scientific method and pursues that to a finality that may be called Rationalistic. In it are to be found answers to such questions of interest as: ‘What is mind and matter? Of them, which is of greater importance? Is the universe moving towards a goal? What is man’s position? Is there living that is noble?’ It takes up where science cannot lead because of the limitations of the latter’s instruments. Its conquests are those of the mind.
    ……………………………………………………………………………………

    Do you now consider Russell has stated this in faith? Why do you think he didn’t ask for proofs for Buddhist concepts, before issuing this statement? Now do you consider him to be a myth believer or a dishonest scientist to talk against “The Scientific Methodology”, you quoted?

    3. Niels Bohr, who developed the Bohr Model of the atom, said,

    “ For a parallel to the lesson of atomic theory…[we must turn] to those kinds of epistemological problems with which already thinkers like the Buddha and Lao Tzu have been confronted, when trying to harmonize our position as spectators and actors in the great drama of existence.

    4. David Bohm, who had a series of meetings with the Dalai Lama, was impressed with Eastern transcendental practices:

    “ [M]editation would even bring us out of all [the difficulties] we’ve been talking about. . . [S]omewhere we’ve got to leave thought behind, and come to this emptiness of manifest thought altogether. . . In other words, meditation actually transforms the mind. It transforms consciousness.

    5. Einstein did comment that Buddhism “contains a much stronger element of [the cosmic religious feeling, by which] the religious geniuses of all ages have been distinguished.

    6. Erwin Schroedinger (1887-1961), Austrian theoretical physicist, best known for his discovery of wave mechanics, which won him the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1933, wished to see: “Some blood transfusion from the East to the West” to save Western science from spiritual anemia.”

    7. Arthur Schopenhauer wrote of Buddhism in terms of western philosophy:

    “ We find the doctrine of metempsychosis, springing from the earliest and noblest ages of the human race, always spread abroad in the earth as the belief of the great majority of mankind, nay, really as the teachings of all religions with the exception of that of the Jews and the two which have preceded from it: in the most subtle form, however, and coming nearest to the truth, as has already been mentioned, in Buddhism.

    It almost seems that, as the oldest languages are the most perfect so also are the oldest religions. If I were to take the results of my philosophy as a yardstick of the truth, I would concede to Buddhism the pre-eminence of all religions of the world.

    (These quotations are from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhism_and_science
    You can get more information from this article)

    Further, against your view that all religions are based on faith and also against your notion that all religions should be separated from politics, disregard of their vast differences, I would like to quote the following part taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relationship_between_religion_and_science . You can see more information about Science and Buddhism and also the comparisons of other religions. I think you will realize that before arriving at conclusions, we should not only be concerned about the similarities in the subject matter but also about their differences. This is not only in accordance with modern Scientific Methodologies, but also with commonsense.

    [edit] Christianity and science

    Science and Religion are portrayed to be in harmony in the Tiffany window Education (1890).The reconciliation of Christianity with science has had at least three attempted solutions that have proven themselves quite problematic.[citation needed] These three problematic solutions are biblical literalism, religious experience, and the evolving consensus of scientific truth.

    ……………………………………………….

    Do you still believe that all these modern scientists/philosophers are wrong and you are correct in your view?

    Thanks!

    To be continued………………………………………..

  • SomewhatDisgusted

    Dear Yapa,

    Thanks for your response. In the interests of keeping the discussion brief and to the point, I’m doing my best to address the core issues only.

    “As a counter argument you say that sooner or later westerners will understand what easterners had understood. This is exactly in accordance with what I say.”

    It appears that we are not in disagreement then. If your argument has been that the east has different knowledge or has generated different knowledge, whether it’s due to 2 valued or 4 valued logic doesn’t matter to me personally, it’s clear that this is possible.

    My argument was never against that, and I believe I have clearly mentioned it. Instead, my argument was against any claim that the western mind will not be able to understand an eastern thought process, no matter how many times you explain it to them. If this is not what you’re saying, then I really don’t see any disagreement between us.

    Political Scientists accept political theories without proof. Social Scientists accept many things without proof. Natural Scientists accept many things without proofs.”

    All of these are examples of soft sciences. Without getting into a debate about that, I think it’ll suffice to say that the degree of certainty in a hard and soft science will vary considerably. Therefore, to claim things with near certainity in a political science is not possible. Now apply the same logic to Karma, God etc.

    “Until you believe that anything that cannot be proved is myth or based on faith, you will never be able to understand the difference between them.”

    This is precisely what I’m *not* saying. This is why you seem to have been taken by surprise when I said “who knows, god might exist!”

    ““God might exist, who knows!” Is this not against what you consider as “Scientific Methodology”? When scientifically disproved, now again you raise a doubt in favour of your argument. Is this according to that scientific methodology?”

    Yes. Entirely. First of all, you believe you’ve disproved God by simply using the omnipotent paradox. It’s easy to disprove the omnipotent, omniscient God of the bible, there are so many glaring contradictions, that it’s a wonder people just ignore them. (As I’ve mentioned before, the same cannot be said of Buddhism. There are certainly few or no obvious contradictions. in this I agree with you)

    In any case, no. I’m not talking about that kind of silly god. Instead, I’m talking about a deistic God as I mentioned here http://www.groundviews.org/2009/11/25/the-transformation-of-buddhism-in-sri-lanka/#comment-12147. In principle, you can’t disprove a deistic god. In fact, you can present a deistic God as a scientific hypothesis. The arguments in support are extremely weak, but nevertheless you could postulate a philosophically irrefutable argument for it and even postulate possible ways to scientifically prove it.

    But just because it’s possible, does that make it true? Does that make it likely? I think you’ll agree it doesn’t.

    Nevertheless, since you can’t refute it in principle, no scientist will ever claim that it’s false. There’s a similar reason for why scientific theories, even when there are mountains of evidence, are still called “theories”. At any given moment, if data is found to disprove the theory, scientists will accept that the theory is incomplete or flawed. They never claim to have found the “ultimate reality”, because in principle, and that’s the important part, you can never really know whether you’ve found it.

    “Without mentioning in general, can you specifically show me the erroneous assumptions or plausible cases I have built up?”

    Yes. I was thinking that would be best. Let’s forget science, let’s forget 2 valued and 4 valued logic. Let me present a chain of logical reasoning. Show me where that chain of reasoning is invalid and then we can put everything to rest.

    1. You say Karma and rebirth exists. What can you show me to convince me you’re right? Is there any way you can prove it to me?
    2. If you can’t prove it to me in some way, why should i believe you? Why can’t I believe in a deistic god instead for example? That’s irrefutable in principle too.
    3. Are you asking me to believe it because the Buddha said so?
    4. If you can’t prove it to me in someway, is it incorrect to say you’re asking me to believe it on faith?

    Please attack the chain of reasoning directly and show me what’s wrong where. I suggest simple, direct attacks that refute the points above. The above is simple logical argumentation, no science involved.

    Rationalist gave me a simple direct answer. He/she told me that he/she had no way of proving it but believed it anyway. I think that’s an honest answer, but as I’ve mentioned before, that’s no different to believing it on faith. That doesn’t necessarily mean you’re wrong, but that doesn’t mean you’re right either.

  • yapa

    Continuation from the post of January 19, 2010 @ 6:52 pm

    Dear SomewhatDisgusted:

    One of the main ideas of yours to reject Buddhism or Buddhist concepts as faith is your notion that you need to prove them. If what I understood is correct, your notion is to believe something you need to prove it.

    I have earlier mentioned that if proofs are demanded any Social Science and even Natural Science cannot stand against it.

    By the way, can you tell me any Social Science theory accepted after it has been proved? If you can prove a single theory please let me know. Never mind even if you site one from Natural Science. In that case I will withdraw all my arguments.

    I will give you specific examples from Science and Mathematics.

    “Time” is a very valuable concept in Science. Definitely Science cannot survive without the concept of “time”. Can you prove me time exists?

    In Mathematics ” Number Systems” are very important. Can you tell me whether these number system are really existing? If so where? Can you prove it? Give me a specific example for “Complex Numbers”. Please show me where they are existing. At least show me where digits one and two are existing.

    I have a very good example from Buddhist Literature wrt the nature of ” proving or proofs”.

    This is taken from the writings of Narada Thera of Vajiraramaya.

    ” It should be not be understood that Nibbana is a state of nothingness or annihilation owing to the fact that we cannot perceive it with our worldly knowledge. One cannot say that there exist no light just because the blind man does not see it. In that well known story, too, the fish arguing with his friend, the turtle, triumphantly concluded that there exist no land.

    Here is that well known story.

    Once upon a time there was a fish. And just because it was a fish, it had lived all its life in the water and knew nothing whatever about anything else but water. And one day as it swam about in the lake where all its days had been spent, it happened to meet a turtle of its acquaintance who had just come back from a little excursion on the land.
    “Good day, Mr. Turtle!” said the fish. “I have not seen you for a long time. Where have you been?”
    “Oh”, said the turtle, “I have just been for a trip on dry land.”
    “On dry land!” exclaimed the fish. “What do you mean by on dry land? There is no dry land. I had never seen such a thing. Dry land is nothing.”
    “Well,” said the turtle good-naturedly. “If you want to think so, of course you may; there is no one who can hinder you. But that’s where I’ve been, all the same.”
    “Oh, come,” said the fish. “Try to talk sense. Just tell me now what is this land of yours like? Is it all wet?”
    “No, it is not wet,” said the turtle.
    “Is it nice and fresh and cool?” asked the fish.
    “No, it is not nice and fresh and cool,” the turtle replied.
    “Is it clear so that light can come through it?”
    “No, it is not clear. Light cannot come through it.”
    “Is it soft and yielding, so that I can move my fins about in it and push my nose through it?”
    “No, it is not soft and yielding. You could not swim in it.”
    “Does it move or flow in streams?”
    “No, it neither moves nor flows in streams.”
    “Does it ever rise up into waves then, with white foams in them?” asked the fish, impatient at this string of Noes.
    “No!” replied the turtle, truthfully. “It never rises up into waves that I have seen.”
    “There now,” exclaimed the fish triumphantly. “Didn’t I tell you that this land of yours was just nothing? I have just asked, and you have answered me that it is neither wet nor cool, not clear nor soft and that it does not flow in streams nor rise up into waves. And if it isn’t a single one of these things what else is it but nothing? Don’t tell me.”
    “Well, well”, said the turtle, “If you are determined to think that dry land is nothing, I suppose you must just go on thinking so. But any one who knows what is water and what is land would say you were just a silly fish, for you think that anything you have never known is nothing just because you have never known it.”
    And with that the turtle turned away and, leaving the fish behind in its little pond of water, set out on another excursion over the dry land that was nothing.

    Source: “The Buddha and His Teachings” by Maha thera Narada.

    Thanks!

    To be continued………………………………………….

  • yapa

    Dear SomewhatDisgusted;

    I didn’t want to prolong a discussion or didn’t want to write anything for the sake of writing or to build my image. I write only when my writing is demanded. I started writing in this website too, in response to unfair criticism. There were many unfair attacks against our culture, values and knowledge system from various quarters especially from the half learned western minded people. However, the I suppose your allegations against Buddhism were the most damaging. Without valid reasons you named two main discourses of Buddhism as based on faith. This was a fatal blow to the core of the Buddhism. You tried to do a further damage in the practical sphere by arbitrarily suggesting Buddhism to be separated from politics. If people of this country took these two suggestions, it would mark the beginning of the end of Buddhism in this country. Several times I tried to avoid you but you kept on pressing the idea on me over and over again. Ultimately I felt I should respond to your repeated arbitrary and authoritative provocations, which really had no proper basis.

    Ok! as you suggested I also would like to keep the discussion brief, even though I can give enough interesting things which are not familiar to many readers of the forum, but very important with regard to the modern knowledge. I am confident that I am capable enough to do it. I have that knowledge and I know that only a few people of this country are capable of doing it. I must say I am a bit armed with modern knowledge of Science.

    Ok! now will go to the core issues. We had different view points on

    1. Two Valued Logic Vs. Four Valued Logic and world outlooks

    2. Buddist Kamma and Reincarnation

    3. Role of the religion in politics

    4. Scope and limitations of Science

    Now will discuss one by one

    1. Two Valued Logic Vs. Four Valued Logic and world outlooks

    I have theoretically proved (using deductive logic) that the knowledge outcome of the two valued logic is different from the outcome of the four valued logic and logically derived the different world outlooks. This is the theory part

    http://www.groundviews.org/2009/11/05/deepavali-dilemma-reflections-from-the-diaspora/#comment-11349

    I offered to show any shortcoming or a flaw in it, but none of you were able to do so. Heshan humiliated at it asking me to make a super computer or an aeroplane using it and Disgusted insulted it saying it worth two cents. You didn’t disprove or didn’t show any flaw, but arose a general doubt about it.

    Then I gave several outcomes of these two types of Logic and I offered at least to show a flaw in them. You didn’t do it but you were arbitrarily and authoritatively indicated it may contain flawed logic.

    Tell me frankly, if you cannot disprove a theory and also you cannot show any flaws in the outcomes of the theory, don’t you consider it as a good theory. Most unfortunate thing in our country is we are not willing to accept any discovery or an invention by a person of our country. For us it is a reason for humiliation. Even if Einstein was born in Sri Lanka any uneducated fellow of our country would humiliate him as an idiot. We need a white skin to accept something. Even Though you didn’t want to understand what I said, am sure one day at least people with white skins will appreciate it. There is no recognition for our people in this country but people in the western countries know the value of the capable people here. That is one of the main reason for brain drain.

    2. Buddist Kamma and Reincarnation

    I didn’t have an opportunity to talk specifically about kamma, but dicussed about reincarnation in the debate about Christianity and related religions.

    Christian God has been really disproved in the debate, I think you have no doubt about it. But I showed that Buddhist reincarnation was never be able to disprove. However, you very grossly equated these two without looking at their difference, while I was repeatedly showing you the differences. Really can any thing disproved be equated to a non disproved thing, tell me according to what theory or whatever it is. Doing so you did a great undue damage to a core concept of Buddhism.

    Again you labeled reincarnation as faith, demanding it to be proved.

    Here your premise was if something cannot be proved, then it is based on faith. On the bases of this premise I logically indicated that (if the premise is correct) any Social Science should be based on faith, Natural Science should be based on faith, even Mathematics should be based on faith and should throw away, as worthless as a penny. But you uphold these subjects as modern knowledge. In this case isn’t your premise wrong? If you say “no” please let me know according to what theory. Tell me is it in accordance with the Scientific Methodology of Bertrand Russell?

    On this it is clear that you cannot name kamma or Buddhist reincarnation as based on faith. In “this context” they are holding the same status as any Social Science, Natural Science or Mathematics.Therefore your naming kamma and Buddhist reincarnation as based on faith is arbitrary and authoritative.

    3. Role of the religion in politics

    I have in the process of been discussing this topic, where your notion is every religion should be separated from politics, to which I objected. I asked why it should be separated an your answer was “for the fairness”. Then I asked you to explain me how fairness is ensured by separating religion from from politics, for which the answer is still pending. I will continue with my answer after your response to my question, however, the clarification of kamma and reincarnation, whether they are based on faith or not is very important for this discussion.

    4. Scope and limitations of Science

    You uphold Science over other(at least many other) subjects. I clearly showed the limited scope of Science and its limitations. Irrespective of anything you are clinging into the same adamant viewpoint. I indicated building up of different subjects have different base instruments. For example Science is based on rationality, but aesthetics on human emotions. You cannot explain aesthetics through rationality. You have to use a different methodology. Can you build up Social Science on rationality? Can you build up or explain Music through rationality? Can you explain a beauty of an artwork through rationality? Can you build up Metaphysics through rationality? Same thing applies to religions. They have their own and unique methodologies to build up and explain them. Rationality or Science is not a panacea or “kokatath thailaya”. I am sorry to ask this question but the situation demands it. To uphold Science over many subjects, are you an authority on Science. Have you got a thorough knowledge in Science. Do you have a fair knowledge of the history of Science. If not, I should say your assertion of Science over other subjects are authoritative and arbitrary.

    As a person with some knowledge of Science, I see the limitations and shortcomings of Science. To me Science is not the modern day god, as many think.

    Thanks!

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear Somewhatdisgusted and Yapa,

    I am enjoying the discussion between you two immensely. I have also learnt a lot from what you write. Thank you both.

    SomewhatDisgusted, sorry about not continuing with my post. Could not finish my research into the question as I got involved in a discussion on two other threads.

    You asked me….”I’m not certain why the physical body is important here, ”

    I wanted to show that during the course of a lifetime the body dies several times except for the nerve cells and that the continuity of life meant the continuity of thought (and memory). This gives rise to the question whether we are being reborn even during a lifetime as the body gets replaced completely several times through life. Unfortunately I found a small flaw in that argument as the Heart Cells does not die in the same way as the rest of the body and it remains constant in number to what it is at birth. The heart grows bigger as the cells grow bigger but no new cells are generated.

    Just sharing my thoughts with you

  • SomewhatDisgusted

    Dear Off-the-cuff,

    Let’s assume for a moment that all the cells in some animal X is replaced by brand new ones in the course of a lifetime. I’ll just observe that it would be a continuum. You can’t really differentiate at which point the original individual died and the new one was born because cells would be continuously dying and getting replaced. Secondly, even if all the cells were replaced, does that mean anything? Would appreciate your thoughts.

  • SomewhatDisgusted

    Dear Yapa,

    I think I see the problem here. I don’t think we are arguing on the same issue. My critique was on Karma and Rebirth. Your defense is one of Buddhism in general.

    I have already said that I believe Buddhism makes a lot of sense. That I think as far as religions go, it’s a very nice one. (and Einstein says: “If there is any religion that could respond to the needs of modern science, it would be Buddhism.”). I’ve also mentioned that I’ve learnt a lot from it myself and stick to Buddhist principles as a way of life. However, that does not mean I accept everything in Buddhism without question.

    The specific area I have issues with are Karma and Rebirth. This is specifically what I was questioning, not the whole of Buddhism as you seem to think. However, your defense addresses everything but those two specific issues. You’ve quoted several illustrious scientists. However, what all of them are saying in essence is that Buddhism is a nice religion and they’ve tried to apply certain ideas from Buddhism to their own thinking. I never disagreed and I’ve in fact mentioned that this is precisely what ought to be done. But my questions were on Karma and rebirth. Can you quote a single line from any of the above scientists in support of Karma and rebirth?

    One cannot argue that just because concept A in Buddhism is correct, all concepts in Buddhism are correct. That would be a non sequitur. I’m specifically criticizing Karma and Rebirth. So please limit your defense to that, or we will be passing each other by all the time.

    Also, you’ve raised some criticisms of science, some of which are valid, many of which can be reasonably addressed but few or none of which are relevant to the issue of Karma and rebirth. I never claimed science was flawless, only that it was the most logical method we know so far of understanding the world. But in any case, by proving there are holes in science, you cannot prove that Karma and Rebirth are true.

    This is why I’ve raised a few simple questions specifically on Karma and rebirth in my previous post. Please answer those simply and directly first and we can subsequently discuss any other issues you’ve raised.

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear Somewhatdisgusted,

    Each type of cell has a definite life span which is shorter than the life span of an animal itself except, in the case of a Human, the Brain (Nerve) and Heart cells has the same lifespan as the human (may be true about other animals but not sure). The average life span of the other cells is around 17 – 20 years (read about it somewhere but cannot locate the ref now). As I said before this type of argument has holes in it as the Heart does not take part in the thought process accept to provide the sustenance. Memory in the normal course of time is also lost with passage of time unless we train our minds. Not many of us can remember our very young days though probably those memories lie dormant within the brain. It may be possible to bring that memory back by developing the mind. That at least some of these memories lie dormant within the brain is proved by the ability of hypnosis to bring some of it out. But how far can hypnosis reach? would we be able to bring back memories from the time that the brain starts working within the womb? If by mind training we can reach that far (someday) may be we might be able to understand much more than now and maybe we can reach out further than that. An example in a book that discussed Relativity comes to my mind. A man carrying a lantern climbs a mountain by walking around it climbing all the time. If viewed directly from above in complete darkness all what you notice is a light going around in a spiral starting from the outer edge to the center. This same thing when observed when the sun is up reveals what our senses are able to grasp as a man climbing a mountain. The knowledge of the environment was the factor here that made us see what we think is the composite reality and that was acquired due to daylight. The relationships became clear only then. Buddhist Philosophy is mind centric. It stresses on the development of the mind through meditation. The acuteness of our mind as it develops would no doubt shed more light on what at this moment of time we are unable to grasp. It might explain the memories of a new born.

    There are some factors that puzzle me such as the existence of child prodigies. The ability of two closely connected people to think of a totally unrelated incident at the same time (has personal experience of this). I have read stories where that has happened even when two people are separated by miles. How do we explain what we call premonition, sixth sense, etc.

    Karma means action. In Buddhist philosophy it is not just action but thoughtful action. Not all events in life are determined by it and not all actions will yield immediate results. Karma exists in the present not just carried from the past. It’s presence in the present and the fact that the action precedes the result is one indicator of the possibility that an action in this life could result in an event in the next. But again this is a hypothesis. Possibly as we develop our minds further our understanding of it would grow. What is not clear to us at this time is whether there is a carry over to a subsequent life. That it is true in the present is not in doubt

    As we develop our minds we may be able to see much more than we do now.

  • SomewhatDisgusted

    Dear Yapa,

    “If you pick any major problem in the world, chance are that the root cause is people feeling special.” – Scott Adams of Dilbert Fame

    And with that quote, I think we are finally arriving at the heart of the matter. You had no problems with criticizing the erroneous assumptions in other religions or questioning their validity, presumably in pursuit of the truth. However, I have noticed how your tone and response has changed in its entirety now that the tables are turned and someone is questioning the indisputability of Buddhism.

    You seem to be suffering from the misconception, the “wrong dhitti”, that Buddhism is somehow the ultimate truth and everyone else who doesn’t believe in it is wrong. This was amply evidenced by your parable of some person having wasted their entire life for not having known Buddhism. Based on this assumption of Buddhism’s superiority and indisputable truth, you go on to reject everything as false that does not ensure the foremost place to Buddhism, including concepts such as equality.

    It is only when I noticed this pattern of thinking that I decided to question your fundamental assumptions. So you are correct in saying that I “kept on pressing the idea on me over and over again”. To understand better why, let me explain to you why I’m on this forum. Just as you say you’re on this forum to prevent people from unfairly criticizing or vilifying Buddhists, which is agreeable, I’m on this forum because I strongly believe that Sri Lanka belongs to all its citizens, whether that person is from China and received Sri Lankan citizenship two days ago or whether that person is an indigenous inhabitant such as a Veddah whose ancestors have lived here for thousands of years, we must all live in this country together, despite our differences, as fairly and equitably as possible on account of the fact that we are primarily human beings and it is a betrayal of humanity to be willfully unfair. (“Siyalu sathvayo niduk wethwa, neerogi wethwa, suwapath wethwa”)

    This is why I disagree with those shouting for an Eelam, and dispute those believing in the superiority of Christianity, and will also dispute any Buddhists who feel that they are somehow special and deserve special treatment at the expense of others. This is where the quote from Scott Adams above is very relevant.

    This is also why I have no disagreement with Off-the-cuff. We may not agree on everything, but I believe in his/her honesty in wanting to be fair by all and he/she has clearly expressed this desire repeatedly – that Sri Lankan citizens should live equitably and that no group of people should try to dominate the other.

    Your stance on the other hand, demands special treatment for Buddhists on the entirely unwarranted assumption that Buddhism is an ultimate truth, beyond all dispute, and anyone who doesn’t believe in it is an utter fool who’s wasting his/her life. I intend to disabuse you of such a notion.

    First of all, your “dhitti” is easily falsifiable using Buddhism itself. Buddhism advises us to rid ourselves of earthly attachments. However, your fierce attachment to Buddhism itself seems to be a negation of that very concept. Buddhists are encouraged to be charitable to others, even to those who are in disagreement with you. Yet you insist on special treatment for Buddhists. You have gone to the extreme of saying equality is a “western concept” and rejecting it just in case it should somehow lower the status of Buddhism legally, although the concept is accepted and recognized almost universally by most people for the simple reason that it’s based on the self evident truth of fairness to others (I will explain later why).

    Secondly, it was your assertion that Buddhism was a superior and ultimate truth, that led me to quesion whether Karma and rebirth were indisputable too. On this, you are yet to provide me with a clear answer. You have been trying to denigrate western thinking, pick holes in science and do everything else other than demonstrate the “indisputability” of these concepts. Other Buddhists who believe in this, for example Rationalist and Off the cuff, have been humble enough to acknowledge that their belief system may or may not be correct, but they follow it for whatever reason that satisfies them. I have no problem with that. But I do not agree with those who claim to know “absolute truths”, when really, there are few or no such truths to be found. This is why your criticism of science fails in its entirety. Science never assumes itself correct in the first place!

    But before I clarify why science doesn’t assume itself correct and has humility built into its very core, let me address your four issues one by one.

    1. Two Valued Logic Vs. Four Valued Logic and world outlooks

    I appreciate the effort you’ve put into developing your theory, and I in no way intend to undermine it. It may be plausible and you should develop it further and forward your ideas to those qualified to assess it. I’m unfortunately not one of them, which is why I avoided dealing with it and I mentioned that at the very outset. However, the only thing I challenged was any claim that a western mind, despite repeated explanation and clarification, would somehow be fundamentally unable to grasp an eastern concept. Since we do not seem to be in disagreement over that, I did not feel the need to discuss it further, as it would distract from the core issue – Karma and rebirth.

    Nevertheless, if you are interested in furthering your theory, you should consider submitting it to a journal and get it assesed by those immininently qualified in the field. I’m genuinely not qualified to comment further on it. You are entirely mistaken if you think I’m rejecting it, I’m not, or if you think that I suffer from some sort of “white-skin is better” inferiority complex. I really couldn’t care less about skin colour as long as what a person says makes sense. There is a process for developing a theory and there are people who are qualified to assess such a theory. Most people are very helpful and constructive if you can write a good paper and build a strong case for it. I myself would be interested in hearing your thoughts, but did not want to do so at this juncture when the core issues we are debating are something else.

    2. Buddist Kamma and Reincarnation

    You are correct in saying that the Christian God has more or less been disproven. I did not lump reincarnation with the *Christian* God but a *deistic* God instead, I apologize for any confusion. I assumed all were on the same page since Heshan seemed to be talking about a deistic God, not the God of the Bible. In principle, a deistic God is not falsifiable either and I think it is entirely justified to lump Karma and a deistic God together, since both are, in principle, not falsifiable. As I repeatedly emphasized, not being falsifiable does not imply truth. If, on the other hand, you can somehow demonstrate that a person acquiring bad Karma in this life is born into bad circumstances in the next life, Karma would be true without a doubt. Can you do that?

    Therefore, in the absence of any evidence such as the above, if you continue to insist that your beliefs are correct, I believe it is entirely justified to say they are based on faith. If on the other hand, you say it is only a possibility, but not necessarily correct, then I would not term it faith. This is why the Dalai Lama for example, displays an excellent understanding of science when he says: “If scientific analysis were conclusively to demonstrate certain claims in Buddhism to be false,” he says, “then we must accept the findings of science and abandon those claims.”

    And this should also give you a clue as to why Mathematics does not suffer from this problem. The concepts in Math can be readily applied to the real world and demonstrable results can be obtained. It should be noted that Mathematics is an internally self-consistent system and things such as complex numbers exist in a logical realm and not a physical realm. I see no problems in such things which are logically possible, but not necessarily applicable to the real world. That’s why I have no issues with a deistic god, or that we may be living in a dream or that karma is possible etc. But as I mentioned repeatedly, just because something is possible, does not make it probable or true beyond dispute.

    Now I come to why science has humility built into it.

    On science

    You have launched a fair critique of science. I’m well aware of some of its shortcomings. However, there’s a fundamental quality of science you seem to ignore. Science never claims it’s absolutely correct or infallible.

    That’s why I am quite fearless in defending it, and am entirely confident of being able to tackle whatever criticism you launch against it.

    Any claim in science is actually not an absolute. It’s really based on probability. For example, if you drop an apple, and you drop it again, it falls down again and again. But that does not necessarily imply that it should fall down on the millionth drop. The universe may suddenly vanish or gravity may suddenly reverse itself. Who is to say otherwise? We cannot prove it conclusively. Nevertheless, we think the probability is that it will happen. If it doesn’t, well, induction is no longer valid. However, we know that induction has held true and we get repeatable results, which is what makes science practical and applicable in day to day life. Nevertheless, it does not claim that at any given moment, it cannot be falsified.

    This should also explain why there is an emphasis on observation and evidence. At the first sign of a contradiction, we will have to either abandon a given theory or assume that the process of induction is wrong. So far, it has worked out nicely, as evidenced by the wonderful understanding of nature science has given us.

    And that’s how we come to hard and soft sciences. Hard sciences have repeatability. Therefore, the degree of confidence we have can be very high. Soft sciences are less so, and the confidence we can have in their validity is relatively low.

    But at the end of the day, reasoning about the real world boils down to the degree of confidence we can have about a phenomenon. When something is plainly observable, our confidence in it is so high as to be close to certainty. But as I mentioned, you never know, it could be falsified the next second. In a sense, we always only have a “theory”.

    Furthermore, we can never really comment on certain things. For example, we may be living in a dream. We may have been created by a deistic god. Such speculation is interesting, but not terribly useful in day to day life unless it can be demonstrated in some way.

    Therefore, when the degree of certainty is low, it would be foolish to insist that something is true. It may or may not be. This is why demonstrable evidence will trump mere argumentation any day of the week.

    So do apply that same logic to Buddhism before you claim that it is correct or that not knowing Buddhism is equivalent to wasting your life.

    3. Role of religion in politics

    The answer to why it would be more fair to separate religion from politics is precisely for the reasons I’ve mentioned above. You cannot claim that Buddhism is somehow superior or more true than other beliefs. Unless you can conclusively demonstrate, beyond dispute, the validity of every aspect of Buddhism, then on what basis are you claiming superiority? Similarly, I cannot claim that science is the one true way either, although all evidence indicates that it is the best method we have so far. Still, no one can claim to know everything. Therefore, one must let other people follow their beliefs and as long as no one is forcing people, there’s no real issue with it. This is self evidently fair by everyone.

    This is also why I asked you earlier, would you like it if Islam became the state religion and forced us all to wear Hijabs? Clearly not. Therefore, why do you want it one way in one instance and a different way in the other? Where is the logic in that? Separating these two makes it universally fair by all human beings concerned.

    I understand your fear that Buddhism will disappear without state patronage. I would like you to know what your specific fears are? In any case, you need to acknowledge that others fear for their own beliefs the same way you do. The Tamils fear for their own identity as the Sinhalese fear for theirs. If you cannot treat them as equals, or will not allow them to fullfil the same dreams (i.e. become president) then it is only fair that you let them have self-determination. If you want to maintain a unitary country, then you must be fair by others. You cannot have the cake and eat it too. You cannot force a hegemony on others by virtue of being a majority. This is where the concept of pluralism and secularalism comes from, based on fairness, not “Judeo-Christian conspiracies” as you seem to think.

    Nevertheless, given your fear, you may request from the other citizens of Sri Lanka, that they be charitable, and in the interests of the historical legacy of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, be kind enough to allow some state patronage for it. I think that’s ok, because Buddhism is usually a benign religion, and does not seek to force itself on anyone else. However, if you attempt to force others to follow your way, and not humbly request it, I can understand why other people blame “Sinhala-Buddhist” nationalism as one of the problems that led to this mess.

    4. Scope and limitations of Science

    I trust that I have given a satisfactory answer to this. I agree with your criticism, and I hope you will acknowledge the criticism I have levelled against religion. The only thing I wish to convey is, you cannot claim that Buddhism is absolutely correct or beyond dispute. As I’ve highlighted, there’s plenty to dispute (no one has even begun to address the issues with evolution I raised). Therefore, you cannot claim superiority over other beliefs for it until and unless you demonstrate, beyond dispute, its validity. Then, I would have to keep my mouth shut and accept what you say, because it will be fact and not fiction. In fact, Karma and rebirth will immediately become a part of mainstream science. Till such a day comes, your energy would be better spent pondering – how do I demonstrate this and what if I’m wrong? Or else, it might be you who’ll be stranded on that boat you mentioned after spending one’s entire life assuming he/she was right.

  • SomewhatDisgusted

    Dear Yapa,

    I realized that I had misstated my own idea and would like to issue a clarification. My apologies for the oversight. I said. I did not lump reincarnation with the *Christian* God but a *deistic* God…

    My statement was incorrect. I realized that what I had said was as follows “The reason they are both based on faith is because they all make the fallacy of appeal to authority, one to the Bible, and one to the word of the Buddha, without providing a shred of evidence to prove either case.”

    I agree with you that the God of the bible is off the mark and easily falsifiable. As for reincarnation, it may or may not be falsifiable (I’ve raised some possible issues on compatibility with evolution). However, I will grant that, when compared to the god of the bible, which is quite ridiculous, reincarnation stands in much better stead. However, I believe my statement stands. They both suffer from the fallacy of appeal to authority. You have not yet provided any convincing reason for me to believe that reincarnation is an indisputable truth. Therefore, to insist it is right would, as far as I can see, be based on an appeal to authority.
    If you feel it is not so, please do present them and I will gladly retract my statement.

    On the other hand, you can safely say “reincarnation might be a possibility”. Yes. It might. Then again, it might not.

  • yapa

    Dear SomewhatDisgusted;

    RE: your post on January 21, 2010 @ 5:23 am

    I would like to address your response very specifically, and hence I would address each point one by one.

    You say(X):-
    I think I see the problem here. I don’t think we are arguing on the same issue. My critique was on Karma and Rebirth. Your defense is one of Buddhism in general.

    Answer(A):-
    Really,we are arguing on the same issue. Your proposition, karma and rebirth as faith is a fatal blow (though you addressed only these two “concepts”) to the Buddhism in general. That is how Buddhism as a whole came into the scene and cited by me here. Really Buddhism in general never was our topic. Further, your proposition to separate religion from politics also brought Buddhism into the discussion, however, Buddhism as a whole never was the topic. It is natural Buddhism surfacing into the discussion when we discuss some components of them.

    (X):-
    I have already said that I believe Buddhism makes a lot of sense. That I think as far as religions go, it’s a very nice one. (and Einstein says: “If there is any religion that could respond to the needs of modern science, it would be Buddhism.”). I’ve also mentioned that I’ve learnt a lot from it myself and stick to Buddhist principles as a way of life. However, that does not mean I accept everything in Buddhism without question.

    (A). I don’t know about your respect towards Buddhism. But, your undue reference to two main discourses of Buddhism is a fatal blow to it. It is like saying ” I love the tree” , while cutting its main roots. I don’t think its possible to run a race with rabbits, while hunting with dogs.

    Further, it is not necessary to accept everything in Buddhism without question. We have no any query about your personal beliefs. However, it doesn’t mean you can do whatever harm to Buddhism just to clear your doubts or beliefs.
    You could have studied a bit about Buddhism before levelling such an allegation which has a tremendous effect on Buddhism. You just cannot throw whatever comes to your mind at something , especially in a public forum, without considering its repercussions. One should be limited to reasonable and responsible queries. Otherwise any damn fellow can ask whatever nonsense comes to his mind in this forum.

    (X):- The specific area I have issues with are Karma and Rebirth. This is specifically what I was questioning, not the whole of Buddhism as you seem to think. However, your defense addresses everything but those two specific issues. You’ve quoted several illustrious scientists. However, what all of them are saying in essence is that Buddhism is a nice religion and they’ve tried to apply certain ideas from Buddhism to their own thinking. I never disagreed and I’ve in fact mentioned that this is precisely what ought to be done. But my questions were on Karma and rebirth. Can you quote a single line from any of the above scientists in support of Karma and rebirth?

    (A):- How come Buddhism is a nice religion when its two main discourses are wrong? If these two discourses are collapsed, hereafter any scientist will never call it a nice religion. Your agreement with niceness and query on two main discourses of Buddhism are contradictory.

    (X):-
    The specific area I have issues with are Karma and Rebirth. This is specifically what I was questioning, not the whole of Buddhism as you seem to think. However, your defense addresses everything but those two specific issues. You’ve quoted several illustrious scientists. However, what all of them are saying in essence is that Buddhism is a nice religion and they’ve tried to apply certain ideas from Buddhism to their own thinking. I never disagreed and I’ve in fact mentioned that this is precisely what ought to be done. But my questions were on Karma and rebirth.

    (A). I have very specifically addressed two issues you mentioned. I have very specifically shown that your queries on karma and reincarnation are not reasonable.If these concepts are myths, according to your query, I clearly showed that when the same query is applied to any social science, Natural science or even for Mathematics, they become myths. Do you believe these subjects as myths? If you believe so, I also believe that karma and reincarnation as myths.

    (X).Can you quote a single line from any of the above scientists in support of Karma and rebirth?

    (A). What do you have to say about Oppenheimer’s quotation. This is the rudiment form of Four Valued Logic applied to Reincarnation. When I submitted it in a more profound form under Four Valued Logic applying to the same topic , many insulted. I had no idea about Oppenheimer’s quotation when I posted the idea on the web. However, you can see the coincidence. Will you query of laugh at Oppenheimer’s notion?
    For your easy reference Oppenheimer’s quotation reproduced below.

    “ If we ask, for instance, whether the position of the electron remains the same, we must say ‘no;’ if we ask whether the electron’s position changes with time, we must say ‘no;’ if we ask whether the electron is at rest, we must say ‘no;’ if we ask whether it is in motion, we must say ‘no.’ The Buddha has given such answers when interrogated as to the conditions of man’s self after his death; but they are not familiar answers for the tradition of seventeenth and eighteenth-century science.
    ………………………..

    Are these answers familiar to you?

    (X).One cannot argue that just because concept A in Buddhism is correct, all concepts in Buddhism are correct. That would be a non sequitur. I’m specifically criticizing Karma and Rebirth. So please limit your defense to that, or we will be passing each other by all the time.

    (A). Answer to your first and second sentences is I have never said say so, and I am not an idiot and a half to say so. Can you show me if I had said so or indicated so?

    I have already shown you that your criticism is very very unreasonable. (Please see the answer to the previous question.) When your criticism is unreasonable I do not need any more to talk about its outcomes.I think it makes sense. This implies that your notion, “karma and reincarnation are myths” is a myth.

    (X).
    Also, you’ve raised some criticisms of science, some of which are valid, many of which can be reasonably addressed but few or none of which are relevant to the issue of Karma and rebirth. I never claimed science was flawless, only that it was the most logical method we know so far of understanding the world. But in any case, by proving there are holes in science, you cannot prove that Karma and Rebirth are true.

    (A). Can you exactly tell me what criticisms I made are not valid?

    I don’t disagree that Science is one of the knowledge systems ever produced to explain the material mundane world. However, it doesn’t mean it is the best answer for everything. It could be the worst answer in many cases. In case of ethics, morality or aesthetics or religions talk of transcendental concepts or concepts which cannot be perceived through five sensory organs, it is one of the worst tools. Science is incapable of handling issues pertaining to these areas and in many more subject areas.

    by proving there are holes in science, it definitely help to strengthen these concepts, because you created doubts about them using Science. When the credibility of science become less in turn the doubts also become less. I have already said that these two concepts cannot be fully proved by Science mainly due to the limitations of the scope of Science. Buddhism go away from it s normal rout of scientific methodology( Paticca Samuppada, cause and effect) to explain these non mundane things. It uses four Valued Logic and Pragna to perceive it and tell the average people though analogues/ stories. That is the methodology used in Buddhism to explain such things to average people. Science has nod devised such a method as there is no need for science from such a device as science is limited to mundane thing only. It is not a merit of Science. It is a lack. In this regards Buddhism is a better Epistemological System than Science, hence it is our duty to preserve Buddhism to give this precious Epistemological system to the future generation, without any doubt who will be desperate with the Epistemological systems and the moral system prevailing in the west which are mainly based on Two Valued Logic(Aristotelian Logic), and blind faith. Buddhism also has a superb moral and ethical system which are universal in nature. Very soon desperate people of the west realizing the folly of their systems based on Judo-Christian tradition and its devastating effects will come in search of some philosophy to replace it. Until then it is our duty to protect and preserve Buddhism.

    (X). This is why I’ve raised a few simple questions specifically on Karma and rebirth in my previous post. Please answer those simply and directly first and we can subsequently discuss any other issues you’ve raised.

    (A). I think I have answered this question before. I have clearly shown that your queries are unreasonable, and hence there is no issues remained any more. If you can and if you show me that your queries are reasonable, definitely it is my duty to answer them and I will never hesitate to answer them. Now, the ball is in your court. Please play it.

    Thanks!

  • yapa

    Dear SomewhatDisgusted;

    I didn’t see your post of January 21, 2010 @ 2:52 pm until now. Please give me some time to answer it.

    Thanks!

  • yapa

    Dear SomewhatDisgusted;

    RE: your post on January 21, 2010 @ 2:52 pm

    I would like to answer your questions specifically.

    Q1:-
    You seem to be suffering from the misconception, the “wrong dhitti”, that Buddhism is somehow the ultimate truth and everyone else who doesn’t believe in it is wrong. This was amply evidenced by your parable of some person having wasted their entire life for not having known Buddhism. Based on this assumption of Buddhism’s superiority and indisputable truth, you go on to reject everything as false that does not ensure the foremost place to Buddhism, including concepts such as equality.

    A:-
    This is a hypothetical, partisan and hasty conclusion drawn in t your favour.
    I respected your views until they were reasonable(I suppose so). I didn’t expect a person of your social or educational standard to raise so common and popular queries against Buddhism. These gross queries are very popular among commons who argue against Buddhism. That is why the boatman wanted to leave the professor alone in the middle of the river. People of Sri Lanka was endowed (free of charge) with a massive treasure, ie Buddhism, but the most unfortunate thing is even the educated crowd of this country have no any idea of its value. This may be my personal opinion, but I request people to test my opinion at least by reading Buddhism. I am confident you will realize the difference. I also was a ardent advocater of Science, after getting some knowledge of modern science. I used to analyse everything and pass judgements on many things according to it. However, after studing Buddhism a bit I was astonished how subtle it is and how advance it is. This is my personal experience. You can take it or leave it. But Buddhism has to be understood on personal basis. Logic is not the way to realize it. If you try to experience it trough logic and if you say there is nothing significant in Buddhism, it is not my fault or the fault of Buddhism. Buddha has said “come and see”(eva, balawa). If you don’t like this part leave it as my personal belief.

    Q2:-I’m on this forum because I strongly believe that Sri Lanka belongs to all its citizens, whether that person is from China and received Sri Lankan citizenship two days ago or whether that person is an indigenous inhabitant such as a Veddah whose ancestors have lived here for thousands of years, we must all live in this country together, despite our differences, as fairly and equitably as possible on account of the fact that we are primarily human beings and it is a betrayal of humanity to be willfully unfair. (“Siyalu sathvayo niduk wethwa,

    A:- I don’t like to comment on this as it would change the direction of the debate. I partially agree with your statement. But I don’t like to draw such blanket conclusions in haste. To see reality one must not go bias with emotionally comfortable and popular notions. As I have no idea to compete in an election and therefore has no idea to go with popular notions. I am looking for naked truths.

    Q3.:-This is why I disagree with those shouting for an Eelam, and dispute those believing in the superiority of Christianity, and will also dispute any Buddhists who feel that they are somehow special and deserve special treatment at the expense of others. This is where the quote from Scott Adams above is very relevant.

    A:- I never expect any undue superiority for Buddhism. I expect only the due place. Though you say that all beliefs should be treated alike, you yourself have accepted over many religons. please see these is not taken from statements of mine.

    1.You are correct in saying that the Christian God has more or less been disproven. I did not lump reincarnation with the *Christian* God but a *deistic* God instead, I apologize for any confusion.

    2. I agree with you that the God of the bible is off the mark and easily falsifiable. As for reincarnation, it may or may not be falsifiable (I’ve raised some possible issues on compatibility with evolution). However, I will grant that, when compared to the god of the bible, which is quite ridiculous, reincarnation stands in much better stead.

    Q4:- This is also why I have no disagreement with Off-the-cuff. We may not agree on everything, but I believe in his/her honesty in wanting to be fair by all and he/she has clearly expressed this desire repeatedly – that Sri Lankan citizens should live equitably and that no group of people should try to dominate the other.

    A:- Quite ageeable with your notion. But I don’t exactly know the notion of Off the Cuff as I have not met him personally. I have acquanted him only throuh his ideas given in this web. Therefore, my opinion is that we are not in a position to summarize or interpret his total notion and it would better to leave him alone. We can see his ideas on the net as it is.

    Q5:-Your stance on the other hand, demands special treatment for Buddhists on the entirely unwarranted assumption that Buddhism is an ultimate truth, beyond all dispute, and anyone who doesn’t believe in it is an utter fool who’s wasting his/her life. I intend to disabuse you of such a notion.

    A:- This is a hypothetical conclusion of yours. Can you specifically show me where I demanded this unwarrented assumption?Furthe, I have never said that Buddhism is an ultimate truth beyond any disputes, as I have not fully understood Buddhism. Further, I am sure I will try my best never to draw such blanket conclusions.

    Q6:- First of all, your “dhitti” is easily falsifiable using Buddhism itself. Buddhism advises us to rid ourselves of earthly attachments. However, your fierce attachment to Buddhism itself seems to be a negation of that very concept. Buddhists are encouraged to be charitable to others, even to those who are in disagreement with you. Yet you insist on special treatment for Buddhists. You have gone to the extreme of saying equality is a “western concept” and rejecting it just in case it should somehow lower the status of Buddhism legally, although the concept is accepted and recognized almost universally by most people for the simple reason that it’s based on the self evident truth of fairness to others (I will explain later why).

    A:-I am the best interpreter for anything I said. Anyone else will never know what I meant as a whole. I never insist special treatment to Buddhism. What I insisted was not to put it in the same basket with other religions which you yourself have admitted not par in with Buddhism. Do you think it is wrong? I insisted only the due place, not anything special.

    Further by criticizing incorrect I don’t negate anything in Buddhism. Even the Lord Buddha vehemently criticised, Maha Brahma as the creator of humans. Not only that he humiliated the Mahabrahma’s mouth comparing it to the female sex organ.

    I have never brand “equality” as a western concept. This an interpretation of yours for your advantage. You are generalizing what I have said in regard to a concept in a special context.

    Q7:- Secondly, it was your assertion that Buddhism was a superior and ultimate truth, that led me to quesion whether Karma and rebirth were indisputable too. On this, you are yet to provide me with a clear answer. You have been trying to denigrate western thinking, pick holes in science and do everything else other than demonstrate the “indisputability” of these concepts. Other Buddhists who believe in this, for example Rationalist and Off the cuff, have been humble enough to acknowledge that their belief system may or may not be correct, but they follow it for whatever reason that satisfies them. I have no problem with that. But I do not agree with those who claim to know “absolute truths”, when really, there are few or no such truths to be found. This is why your criticism of science fails in its entirety. Science never assumes itself correct in the first place!

    A:- wrt to the first and second sentences , this is again just hypothetical and mis interpretation. Can you show me where I have exibited such a notion? I have properly anwsered to this question as now, but if you insist it to be proved by a method prescribed by you only, then my answer is to you is to find the answer by yourself. This is possible if you study Buddhism properly. Otherwise my endeavour would be wateful as the effort of the turtle to teach the fish the details of the land. I will refrain from such wasteful efforts.

    Do you think finding faults objectively in western science or western thinking a denegation. I think it is a literary service any subject earnestly looking for. However, subjective or critcisms expecting undue advantages are harmful.

    I should say it again we are too early to comment on Off the Cuff’s or rationalists humbleness or any other notions of theirs which is undiscoverable by us. They are in their minds and only if they say in their own mouths they are so huble as you say, I will accept it. Otherwise and until then my position is ” I don’t no”.

    I must repeat that I have never claim anything to be absolute truths. If you show me I will accept I did that blunder. Please be specific. Furthe, please specifically show me the how and where my criticism on science is a failure. If you show me specifically I will accept. I do not very much rely or consider to have a credibility on generalisations on specific issues. I do not at the moment comment on the assumptions of Science, especially the outdated Newtonian Science.

    I will answer the rest of the post same way . Please allow me some time.

    Thanks!

  • yapa

    Dear SomewhatDisgusted;

    RE: your clarification on January 21, 2010 @ 6:40 pm

    The main differences in our opinions wrt Buddhism and my fierce objections to you in this thread were on

    1. Your equation and continuous assertion of Buddhist reincarnation to the disproved concept of existence of God(western God) without paying any attention to my repeated objections.

    2. Considering reincarnation as faith based on (1)

    (Though separation of religion from politics also was a problem I didn’t considered it a grave issue, and also it came on a different thread.)

    So you can see that my greatest opposition and the base of the opposition to you was (1) above, now you accept as incorrect. If the assertion of yours went unnoticed, you can see the fundamental error and damage it could have caused to the core of Buddhism at the principal level. Therefore I think my fierce opposition to you not as an ardent supporter of Buddhism, but as an average person with a sense of rationality and it is justifiable. I fought solely on the rationality basis only to a grave misconception of yours, which now you have rectified. I wanted to negate your preposition, but I think not on unreasonable grounds, but base on rationality only. If you go through all my posts you will realize that even for such a grave allegation I never deviated from rationality to “attack”. I attacked you, but not unethically, and with reasons, though now I understand it a mistake of yours. In view of this I think you understand that my launch for fierce attack to was not unjustifiable.

    When this dispute was resolved(in favour of my position) I have no a big issue with you. But I must emphasise that it happened due to a mistake from your part and not from my part. All other differences could be amicably resolved. They are surely debatable.

    Now with your clarification, I suppose the boatman can return to the boat.

    Thanks!

  • yapa

    Dear SomewhatDisgusted;

    In your post of you say,

    “They both suffer from the fallacy of appeal to authority. You have not yet provided any convincing reason for me to believe that reincarnation is an indisputable truth. Therefore, to insist it is right would, as far as I can see, be based on an appeal to authority.
    If you feel it is not so, please do present them and I will gladly retract my statement.”
    ………………………………………

    Definitely I have given some reasons with regard to the Buddhist reincarnation, but definitely it cannot be understood through Two Valued reasoning. When I said so you didn’t believe it and didn’t try to realize it through Four Valued system. That is why you don’t understand it as an evidence. Can you remember what Oppenheimer said. He has referred to the Buddhist reincarnation and the example of the electron is from the Quantum Physics of modern science, which is based on Four Valued Logic. I have told you this under “Wave Particle Duality”. Oppenheimer says that Buddhist concepts in reincarnation, which is similar to the said concept of Quantum Physics are not familiar answers to the tradition of seventeen century and eighteen century science(which is Newtonian Science, based on Two valued Logic).

    Is it not Oppenheimer saying Concepts of Four Valued Logic is not familiar to Two Valued Logic or in other words reincarnation is not familiar to the Two valued tradition?

    This is what I have been emphasising from the very inception. Please try to see what I said about reincarnation through Four Valued Logic and you will realize that there is something in what I said and I think you will accept it as an evidence to Buddhist reincarnation. Really this is a new concept. Please try and see to think in that way too.

    Further, I will give some explanations and examples through Two Valued Logic too, as evidence for the Buddhist reincarnation though it is a difficult task. Really Buddhism and its goals should and could be realized only through the path prescribed by the Buddha. It is the only way and known as “Noble Eight Fold Path”. Buddha has mentioned this as the “Truth of Path” leading to the annihilation of suffering. Really you cannot expect to realize Buddhism and its goals in a way you want. Any way I will try to convince it using “outdated Newtonian Science”. I will try to devise a method.

    Further Noble Eight Fold Path could be grouped in to three component as Sila, Samadhi and Pragna. I you want to experience the power of Buddhism, just practice Sila, which is very easy to follow not like other two, you will realize the significant transformation in your life. This is not black magic. Just try to do it for a few weeks and see the difference. Ultimate goal of Buddhism is to use it in your day to day life. Just practice this simple thing and give me the feedback if you like. Anybody can feel the difference trough practicing this simple technique for a small time period. I think you will not give up Buddhism after that. This is a very honest advice.

    Thanks!

  • yapa

    Dear SomewhatDisgusted;

    Answers to the rest of the part of your post on January 22, 2010 @ 5:20 am

    I was wondering whether I should answer the rest of the post, as the main issue was resolved with your clarification that you made a mistake. However, I thought it would be better and now possible to to address the rest of the post in a more amicable manner, yet not changing my methodology. On this basis my answers to the rest of your post is given below.

    Q8:- 1. Two Valued Logic Vs. Four Valued Logic and world outlooks

    A:- Thanks for the advice. I have an idea to develop it further. I am of the view that it has a potential. Really I wanted to test the feasibility of it on this forum, however, it did not materialized up to the expected level.

    Except for the following part I have no issue with rest under this sub topic.

    ” However, the only thing I challenged was any claim that a western mind, despite repeated explanation and clarification, would somehow be fundamentally unable to grasp an eastern concept.”
    …………………………………..

    Wrt this please refer the following answers to questions of yours given by me.

    1. (X).Can you quote a single line from any of the above scientists in support of Karma and rebirth?

    (A). What do you have to say about Oppenheimer’s quotation. This is the rudiment form of Four Valued Logic applied to Reincarnation. When I submitted it in a more profound form under Four Valued Logic applying to the same topic , many insulted. I had no idea about Oppenheimer’s quotation when I posted the idea on the web. However, you can see the coincidence. Will you query of laugh at Oppenheimer’s notion?
    For your easy reference Oppenheimer’s quotation reproduced below.

    “ If we ask, for instance, whether the position of the electron remains the same, we must say ‘no;’ if we ask whether the electron’s position changes with time, we must say ‘no;’ if we ask whether the electron is at rest, we must say ‘no;’ if we ask whether it is in motion, we must say ‘no.’ The Buddha has given such answers when interrogated as to the conditions of man’s self after his death; but they are not familiar answers for the tradition of seventeenth and eighteenth-century science.
    ………………………..

    Are these answers familiar to you?

    2. My post of January 24, 2010 @ 3:05 am

    I would like further explanation to clear my point.

    Here what I meant by western mind was pure western mind not having the influence of eastern thinking(which is based on Two valued Logic), cannot understand the knowledge generated through Four Valued Logic. It is unnecessary to say that a western mind mixed with eastern thinking is no more a western mind. You referred the possibility of such minds to understand the eastern thinking and I also quite agreed, and I didn’t bar such a mixed mind could not understand what east generates. However, my argument still holds and a great modern scientist had substantiated my theory even before I put forward. Thank you Oppenheimer Sir!

    There is another aspect ,which is very important to point out to show the significance of Four Valued Logic. Even though a mixed mind of westerners can understand the knowledge generated through Four Valued System, such knowledge is not possible without the Four Valued system. Such knowledge is non existent in that case. Further there will not be a possibility for such a “mixed mind”.Hence, the pure minds in the west has nothing to understand of the sort either , as sch knowledge is non existence without a Four Valued System.

    Now can you again object to my repeatedly objected notion?

    Q9:- Buddist Kamma and Reincarnation

    Thanks you for admitting your mistake here, however, the damage had been done when you realized it. If you paid a bit heed to my repeated appeals to go through my posts carefully, an apology would have been a redundant.

    Q9(i):- As I repeatedly emphasized, not being falsifiable does not imply truth. If, on the other hand, you can somehow demonstrate that a person acquiring bad Karma in this life is born into bad circumstances in the next life, Karma would be true without a doubt. Can you do that?

    Therefore, in the absence of any evidence such as the above, if you continue to insist that your beliefs are correct, I believe it is entirely justified to say they are based on faith. If on the other hand, you say it is only a possibility, but not necessarily correct, then I would not term it faith.

    A: You should not jump in to conclusions on the simple information given by me on kamma. It is a deep subject which need lengthy explanation Can you remember a t the very first instance mentioned about kamma I said so. I will remind it to you.

    http://www.groundviews.org/2009/11/05/deepavali-dilemma-reflections-from-the-diaspora/#comment-10812

    I have repeatedly said to you that everything cannot realized through logic and I gave several subjects as example. Still you are insisting a transcendental concept of kamma to explain trough logic. This claim is against epistemological methodologies. Lord Buddha himself have prescribed a methodology to realize such concepts. Definitely, it is Four Valued Logic + Pragna(wisdom), with the prerequisite of “akarawathi Sradda”, which I have explained at

    http://www.groundviews.org/2009/11/25/the-transformation-of-buddhism-in-sri-lanka/#comment-12390

    Actually in Buddhism the Buddha has advised to take transcendental concepts like kamma, reincarnation and Nibbana etc.. as axioms, (as in the Mathematics) for the average people, though he has given some explanations. In this case the Buddha has used a very special method to convince it to the average people, ie analogy and story.

    I f you try to understand these transcendental things in the way Buddha has prescribed, you will easily realize them. However, if you are insisting further I will try to explain kamma too in a way devised by me but there may be lapses, however, they should not be attributed to Buddhism but to lapses of mine. Let me deal these issues separately. until then I have no objection to naming it a possibility. Give me some time.

    (ii). This is why the Dalai Lama for example, displays an excellent understanding of science when he says: “If scientific analysis were conclusively to demonstrate certain claims in Buddhism to be false,” he says, “then we must accept the findings of science and abandon those claims.”

    (a). I had displayed a more excellent understanding on the same issue, but it went unnoticed.(It is natural to see even minor things of prestigious people as excellent while bigger things of simple people go unnoticed or faced with numerous objections. Oppenheimer’s rudiments idea decorates big articles all over the world while my pro fond notion got humiliated and insulted.) I had submitted it in a more general form for everything not confined to Buddhism.
    Please what I have said to Heshan;
    …………………………….
    “Dear Heshan;

    Shall we talk a bit more honestly. You very well know as a person with a technical background( I suppose you know your Science and Math) that when some thing is “disproved” mathematically you have nothing further to talk about it. Same thing applies to logical proofs too.
    ………………………………

    Isn’t this more excellent than Dali lama’s statement. I have talked in general with regard to everything while Dali lama has confined only to Buddhism.

    (iii).And this should also give you a clue as to why Mathematics does not suffer from this problem. The concepts in Math can be readily applied to the real world and demonstrable results can be obtained. It should be noted that Mathematics is an internally self-consistent system and things such as complex numbers exist in a logical realm and not a physical realm. I see no problems in such things which are logically possible, but not necessarily applicable to the real world.

    A:- Now you authenticate mathematics saying applied to the real world and demonstrable results can be obtained. This shows where you are standing. Sir! I am sorry to say that you have not put forward a single step after Outdated) Newtonian science which was broken in to pieces during the last century of years. Modern scientific (seventeenth and eighteenth century science) outlook has totally replaced the Newtonian outlook and the modern outlook is a total paradigm shift. ( I would like to repeat what Oppenheimer said here. Mirror! Mirror!!…………….)
    ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
    ““ If we ask, for instance, whether the position of the electron remains the same, we must say ‘no;’ if we ask whether the electron’s position changes with time, we must say ‘no;’ if we ask whether the electron is at rest, we must say ‘no;’ if we ask whether it is in motion, we must say ‘no.’ The Buddha has given such answers when interrogated as to the conditions of man’s self after his death; but they are not familiar answers for the tradition of seventeenth and eighteenth-century science.
    ………………………..

    Are these answers familiar to you?
    ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    Dear SomewhatDisgusted;

    Please see how proud/assertive these Newtonian World outlook holders are!

    They are very proudly say when something is applied to the real world and demonstrable results can be obtained then they are considered as correct and things otherwise are incorrect. Sir!, these tests are carried out within the limitations of human capabilities. Humans perceive things trough their five senses. (According to Buddhism there are six senses!). What made you come the big conclusion that tiny little creatures five senses (compared to the massive universe) can accurately grasp every thing in the universe? I will tell you sir!, many of the things grasped even by the animals cannot be grasped by the “feeble humans”. I will give thousand examples if you want. You know our audible range is 20Hz -20000Hz. We cannot hear the sounds below 20Hz and over 20000Hz, but dogs can. You must have heard about Dog whistles, which can be heard by dogs but not by humans. You know Salmon fish go from sea to their birth place to lay eggs hundreds of miles upstream rivers. How do they know and locate their position correctly? We cannot do it with our five senses. Do you say that voyage of salmons is incorrect and a lie?

    Human is not a superman as Newtonian Science thought. Newtonian Science is a Human Centered Knowledge Systems. It limits is scope to human capability. Modern Science has come out of this mental prison(mental well) for about hundred years. Man has to device new tools to come out of this well and looking for the knowledge that goes beyond five sensory perception. They now looking for Extra Sensory Perceptions (ESP) for knowledge seeking. In this modern context, Sir! extra sensory perceptions mentioned by Buddhism are “scientific. Sir! sky is the limit for Modern Science! Newtonian Science and its outdated tools are not more than Jokes today. Newtonian Science is only a little bit credible than Aristotelian system and system based on faith. Can you remember I was telling I wanted to talk about western outlooks. To name them, they are outlooks based on 1). faith 2.Aristotelian outlook 3). Newtonian outlook and 4). Modern Scientific outlook. Each outlook was taken over by its predecessor and the modern out look is the 4th one. Modern Science doesn’t rely now even on Newtonian outlook and it is useless compared to modern outlook. But only a few people of this country have a slightest knowledge of this modern world outlook and, even our academics hail Newtonian Science as panacea. can you remember I was telling even Newton cannot be assertive of his theories in the modern day. Sir! modern day science is no assertive or proud about its capabilities. It is so humble. It says even two entities cannot be measured correctly simultaneously. and now Modern Science accepts that cannot say any thing accurately< that is the Uncertainty Principle, which I have quoted many times befoe.( Please see whether there is any similarity of this to Buddhist concept Anicca, change is the reality) Modern science is very fast approaching Buddhism. Such answers are not familiar to those who are with seventeenth century and eighteenth tradition.

    I would like to tell you sir!, your worldview is totally outdated and many of your arguments have no validity in the modern world.

    I am sorry to put you in trouble telling the truth.

    Thanks!

    To be continued……………………………………………………………………

  • yapa

    Dear SomewhatDisgusted;

    CONTINUATION FROM THE POST of January 24, 2010 @ 10:14 pm

    Q10:- On science
    You have launched a fair critique of science. I’m well aware of some of its shortcomings. However, there’s a fundamental quality of science you seem to ignore. Science never claims it’s absolutely correct or infallible.

    A:- I ignore? Are you sure? Do you think accepting it is not absolutely correct is only a merit? It itself is a shortcoming too. Further, I have already shown that the Science you are referring is a useless tool in the modern world. It cannot generate any knowledge outside the human senses can identify.

    surely you can still use knowledge generated through Old Science to manage day to day needs. It is by and large sufficient for the current technologies, one can use it to administer a university. Can be used in a laboratory to make a clone. A business entity can be satisfactorily manged by using that knowledge. Even the UNO can manage the world with all the chaos and man made disasters. But you cannot realise or understand anything beyond human perception. Are we to think everything remains within the human perception? Are we to become a worm in a bitter gourd? Isn’t there anything sweeter than bitter gourd? Think about the magnitude of the universe beyond human perception. Today Modern Science is looking for a “Theory of Everything”. Comparatively what your Science is capable of ? I think your quote at the beginning of your post suits it.
    ………
    “If you pick any major problem in the world, chance are that the root cause is people feeling special.” – Scott Adams of Dilbert Fame
    …………………………………………………………………………….
    You can replace the word “people” above with your “Science” or with the name of a person holding the obsolete Newtonian Outlook.

    I think now you understand that “real world boiling down etc. etc.” has no much value in the present context. Newtonian Science has really become a myth today. Can you remember I was asking whether you can prove (at least believe) that the computer you are using is at rest as Physics and Applied Mathematics Books say? It is a meaningless nonsense of the Science you value so much.

    Q10(i):- Therefore, when the degree of certainty is low, it would be foolish to insist that something is true. It may or may not be. This is why demonstrable evidence will trump mere argumentation any day of the week.

    So do apply that same logic to Buddhism before you claim that it is correct or that not knowing Buddhism is equivalent to wasting your life.

    A:- Do you think I need to answer this part any more? Do I need to prove it as per your science any more? You cannot measure the ocean with a thimble.

    Q11:- 3. Role of religion in politics

    The answer to why it would be more fair to separate religion from politics is precisely for the reasons I’ve mentioned above.

    A:- Why are you using “more fair” here. This is how you have said earlier.
    ……………………………………….

    “I reasonably believe that there are enough reasons for us to deviate from the above blanket notion.”

    What are those reasons?

    “What are your reasons for advocating such a notion? Can you fully justify it? “

    As I mentioned earlier, the main reason is fairness. This country belongs to all its citizens. As such, the fair thing to do by all would be to separate religion and politics. I believe religion to be a personal matter and best kept that way.

    Quite frankly, I’m not overly concerned about the relationship between Buddhism and the state as it is in the constitution right now. However, I’m more worried about what the Sinhalese/Buddhists think about the rest of the people in this country. If it’s the General Sarath Fonseka attitude of “Sri Lanka belongs to the Sinhalese”, then I must strongly disagree.

    “Even if it is a good theory don’t you think it can have exceptions?”

    Not really, no. I haven’t yet seen a convincing reason why it would be more fair to have a non-secular state.
    ………………………………………

    Where is your consistency sir? Here you say it is fairness without any exceptions.
    Further see whether this notion “no Exception Theory ” is in accordance with what you say about science. This is what you say,
    …………………
    I’m well aware of some of its shortcomings. However, there’s a fundamental quality of science you seem to ignore. Science never claims it’s absolutely correct or infallible.
    ………………………………….

    Q11(i) :- You cannot claim that Buddhism is somehow superior or more true than other beliefs. Unless you can conclusively demonstrate, beyond dispute, the validity of every aspect of Buddhism, then on what basis are you claiming superiority?

    A:- I have already shown that you yourself had accepted the superiority of Buddhism over all”omnipotent god religions”, which is the faith of over 2/3 the world population. In the course of my discussion you will be able to see some more evidence.

    11(ii):- Similarly, I cannot claim that science is the one true way either, although all evidence indicates that it is the best method we have so far.

    A:- Do you still believe so?

    11(iii);- This is also why I asked you earlier, would you like it if Islam became the state religion and forced us all to wear Hijabs? Clearly not. Therefore, why do you want it one way in one instance and a different way in the other? Where is the logic in that? Separating these two makes it universally fair by all human beings concerned.

    A:- You cannot have this question any more when you have accepted the superiority of Buddhism. Your last sentence (conclusion) is invalidated by your acceptance.

    11(iV):- I understand your fear that Buddhism will disappear without state patronage.

    A:- You yourself have already understood one of the reasons against your notion that all religions should be separated from politics. I’ll deal with the other reasons in the relevant thread. One should think before jump.

    11(v):- In any case, you need to acknowledge that others fear for their own beliefs the same way you do. The Tamils fear for their own identity as the Sinhalese fear for theirs. If you cannot treat them as equals, or will not allow them to fulfill the same dreams (i.e. become president) then it is only fair that you let them have self-determination. If you want to maintain a unitary country, then you must be fair by others. You cannot have the cake and eat it too. You cannot force a hegemony on others by virtue of being a majority. This is where the concept of pluralism and secularalism comes from, based on fairness, not “Judeo-Christian conspiracies” as you seem to think.

    A:- Some of your statements seem to be OK. But I don’t see them to have much connection to your slogan like conclusions. Can you show me how you logically arrive at such conclusions beginning from those statements? I don’t see a logical sequence. It is true that 1, 3 and 5 are integers, but it does not imply 1+3=5.

    11(vi):- Nevertheless, given your fear, you may request from the other citizens of Sri Lanka, that they be charitable, and in the interests of the historical legacy of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, be kind enough to allow some state patronage for it. I think that’s OK, because Buddhism is usually a benign religion, and does not seek to force itself on anyone else.

    A:- See, now again you realize another merit of Buddhism over the other religions in Sri Lanka. But you were not concerned over these when you made your statement referring religions to the hell.

    11(vii):- However, if you attempt to force others to follow your way, and not humbly request it, I can understand why other people blame “Sinhala-Buddhist” nationalism as one of the problems that led to this mess.

    A:- Don’t try to burden me with something i have not done. On the hypothetical assumption, you are trying to justify an unreasonable allegation levelled in bias by interested parties.

    Thanks!

    To be continued………………………………….

  • Ravindran

    Dear Mr.Yapa,

    In answer to Somewhatdisgusted, you wrote the following:

    “Not really, no. I haven’t yet seen a convincing reason why it would be more fair to have a non-secular state.”

    …..”I would like to tell you sir!, your world view is totally outdated and many of your arguments have no validity in the modern world. I am sorry to put you in trouble telling the truth.”

    ……………………………………………………………

    My view about your view:

    While attempting to maintain a superiority over all arguments, and using your own so called “logics” for reasoning which is foreign to the rest of the world, however, you have failed to recognize the fundamental principles of democracy.
    Somewhatdisgusted’s statement that you quoted summed up the core. The concept of pluralism and secularism is based on fairness to all. No government can serves its citizens equally, and fairly if it takes one religion superior over the others. As he indicated the minorities will not be allowed to fulfill their dreams, and as a result they will seek separate states, self-determination. Today Tamils, tomorrow Muslims, then in the future Sinhala Christians, Tamil Hindus, Tamil Christians and practically nation could be divided by race, and religion.

    The President Barak Obama, of the United States, a minority citizen who was elected as the president proved a great true value of democratic system in the modern world. America allows the freedom of all religions, equality of all races it represents. No unitary country can be maintained without being treated all people fairly and equally.
    Yapa, your world view in this respect is absolutely outdated and your blind statement is contrary to what you said to “Somewhatdisgusted’. I see his argument over the “Buddhist superiority” and “secular government” has a validity.

    ………………………………………………………………

    Yapa wrote to Somewhatdisgusted,

    “A:- I have already shown that you yourself had accepted the superiority of Buddhism over all”omnipotent god religions”, which is the faith of over 2/3 the world population. In the course of my discussion you will be able to see some more evidence.”
    ………………………………………………………..

    My views about your view:

    You demonstrated nothing, NOT A THING to prove “Buddhism over all omnipotent god religions”. Nonetheless you have written long narratives with your own “LOGICS”. However, you made ONE POINT IS CLEAR that you are desperate to prove your argument, the superiority of BUDDHISM over all others, and westerners are too stupid to grasp the philosophy of Buddhism, Science can be falsifiable when it conflicts with Buddhism namely “karma”, and “reincarnation”.
    Once you confessed previously that you can be an extremist when it demands, which you of course have well demonstrated.
    ……………………………………………………..

  • yapa

    Dear Ravindran;

    When you put forward a sound argument against my views I will answer you. I didn’t find anything significant in what you say.

    Thanks!

  • Ravindran

    Dear Mr.Yapa,

    I don’t need to put forward an argument against those of your views, but “Somewhat disgusted” already have and you most definitely lost your argument. He proved to the point.
    Thanks

  • yapa

    Dear Ravindran;

    You don’t need any argument to back scratch anybody. Continue with your good work.

    Thanks!

  • SomewhatDisgusted

    Dear Yapa,

    Quite frankly, I’m amazed that anyone else is still following this thread. Is there anyone other than Ravindran and Off-the-cuff who’s doing so? In any case, I’ve been extremely busy and haven’t found the time to formulate a reply. My apologies and I will do so in the coming week. I think this debate has gone on long enough and I doubt that it is useful any longer, so I will provide some concluding thoughts on the matter soon. You’re welcome to do so as well afterwards.

    cheers!

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear Ravindran,

    If your belief is demonstrated by your statement below,
    Quote
    “You demonstrated nothing, NOT A THING to prove “Buddhism over all omnipotent god religions”
    End quote

    Please read this thread ENTIRELY and post your question again IF it has not been already answered by many including Yapa.

    There is no point in restarting an argument just because you neglect to read what went before.

  • yapa

    Dear Ravindran;

    I don’t like to go for an argument with you. But you have mentioned about Democracy, Pluralism and secularism saying that I had failed to understand the fundamental principles of democracy.

    Really do you have a fair knowledge of the fundamental principles of democracy?Do you have a fair knowledge of its history, on what principles it was developed, in what contexts and environments it developed, its merits and demerits, its limitations efc …etc…. Please exhibit your knowledge. Most of the learned people(western) once or twice mentioned as parrots, who do not know anything more than what they were taught. Now I have changed my idea. Now I say most of them are not more than “Tape Recorders”, who can only replay what they have recorded. Critical thinking of most of them have been amputated. This is the most unfortunate thing. Today what we need most is some people who can think without fear. Wretched thinking for selfish advantages or ignorance is the main problem suffering this country. That is why I posted the new year wish on the 1st of January on this thread to our people. I will reproduce it below for the advantage of people as an energy booster.

    Dear Groundview, Groundview contributers & readers;

    Wish you all a very happy new year!

    A thought for the year.

    Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
    Where knowledge is free;
    Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
    Where words come out from the depth of truth;
    Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection:
    Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
    Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action—
    Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

    -Rabindranath tagore

    Thanks!

  • yapa

    Dear Somewhat Disgusted;

    It is not surprising that people are still following this thread. I think it is so much important. I think it is the “Panadura wadaya” in the cyber space.

    Thanks!

  • Ravindran

    Dear Mr. Yapa,
    You seem to be living in a world that does not exist the utopia. The whole world majority is wrong in issues you argued thus far according to you.

    By the way a learned person in this information age could tell you the difference. The modern world is embracing democracy as a governing system that works fairly well and bringing fairness and equality to human beings. I understand your religion and the original religion it derived from (Hinduism) do not believe in human equality. (Because of its “karma” doctrine). That’s why the untouchables remain untouchables in India. I don’t care who founded the democracy, but it has proven itself the best the world has known.
    I am not too religious but it disturbs me when people write like the way you do, and that attitude, and people who pretends to know everything.

    From reading your arguments I am coming to the conclusion that you cannot have a reasonable argument with an unreasonable person. When people look at things in critical ways I like to look at their views, but when I see they are rather mere reflectors of some nationalist extreme views of a religion, I am not delighted to argue with them. (I assumed that may be the same reason many left this thread).

    They are one sided, and more significantly they are not religious but just pretenders. For example, while you are arguing to defend your religion you exhibited entirely a different philosophy than Buddha’s tolerance toward others. Your very idea that Buddhism is superior is against Buddha’s teaching. You often exhibited negative remarks about western people in this web site which could reflect a inferiority outlook (complex) in you.
    Tanks.

  • yapa

    Dear Ravindran;

    When you don’t understand things, don’t insult them. Just accept that you have no idea about them. Don’t get disturbed when somebody says some thing you don’t understand. Don’t think that there aren’t a thing you don’t understand. Tell me frankly, do you have an understanding about modern science? Do you know that it is an entirely different knowledge system? Keep your empty pride aside and just ask a university student who study Science, if you haven’t heard about these things.

    You are talking in desperation. But it is not my fault you have no modern knowledge.

    Thanks!

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear Ravindran,

    This thread is over 2 months old.

    People left when they could not answer questions, not because of what you state
    quote
    “I assumed that may be the same reason many left this thread”
    Unquote

    Read the thread and IF you have a fresh argument that can establish the superiority of an Omnipotent God based Religion over one that does not recognize an Omnipotent God, please state it

  • Ravindran

    Dear Mr. OTC,

    Yes, I read some of the arguments that I missed here. Frankly, you or Mr. Yapa have not proved or could prove the existence of “Karma”, “reincarnation” and or disprove “creation”. Both of you have put forth great deal of explanations and going on any conceivable theory (and making up new formulas) to substantiate your efforts on this argument, but you are unable to prove anything simply because there aren’t any. So the bottom line is those who want to accept “karma”, and “reincarnation” and “creation of God” must accept by faith alone.
    The scientific theories cannot prove or disprove religious thoughts, concepts and beliefs. I consider such efforts are just wishful thoughts. The ultimate fact is the religion is an individual choice based on a person’s own perception, reason, belief, faith and conviction.
    If you insist that you gave proof of existence of “karma” and “reincarnation”, I may have to ask you same questions others already asked before for which you could not provide proof other than faith.

    OTC, you both tried many methodologies and ideas to find a proof for your position but it is an impossibility. Mr.Yapa indicated that we accept things without proofs. He said, political scientist accepts political theories without proof, Social Scientist accepts many things without proof, Natural Scientist accepts many things without proofs and even Mathematicians accept many things without proofs. So he implies that we must accept “Karma” and “reincarnation” also without proof!
    I am not a theologian but I know what I believe. I don’t assume others may have left this website because they cannot argue with you. Their responses clearly indicated why they would not prefer to do so. Your arguments /questions are just twisted and misinterpreted scriptures. No matter what they answered you, you would throw back the same questions at them.
    Thanks

  • yapa

    Dear Ravindran;

    You are back to square one. If you don’t know, please learn. If you have no capacity to learn please understand that. These are subtle and complex things. Again you are talking of obsolete science to ascertain these ever existing subtle things. Learn modern Science or Buddhism before talking what is not familiar to you. You can talk on emotions, but those are outdated methodologies. The best thing one can do is to accept the realities. You can never be able to existence of god to kamma or reincarnation. Just go through the massive resource of Internet and ascertain yourself the reality. Read Bible fallacies and contradictions and also about kamma and reincarnation on Internet. Please don’t try to cheat yourself and console yourself. You are weeping and mourning around the bush.

    Thanks!

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear Ravindran,

    This thread was an attack on Buddhism. The commentators attacked assuming they had a superior belief. Their source of Authority was a chronicle called the Bible which itself is steeped in myth. Hence any argument based on the Bible was not tenable.

    My writings were aimed at destroying this superiority complex of the Zealots who wanted to convert the world, not to convince anyone about Rebirth or Karma.

    Rebirth is an accepted concept in Christianity, Hinduism, Jainism, Islam, and almost any major religion and of course Buddhism. The difference is the NUMBER OF TIMES it is supposed to occur. I was not arguing either for Rebirth or Karma, so please get your facts straight.

    God is supposed to be Omniscient, Omnipresent, Omnipotent and Merciful. The first question is why such a God could not produce his own set of Rules written by his own hand without having to depend on the “Inspiration” of his own “creation” to write one for Him. In the absence of such an authoritative text an argument based on inspirational writing becomes worthless.

    The ONLY document claimed to be written by GOD is the stone Tablets containing the 10 commandments. I have used it to breakdown Creator arguments.

    I have used Scientifically known facts about Genetics to breakdown creation fallacies. I have also questioned God’s great Plan of procreation when he created ONLY one man and One woman (created from the same man).

    Was Incest part of this Great Plan of Procreation?

    My interest was to breakdown the “CREATOR” arguments not to convert the reader to accept Rebirth or Karma.

    You are welcome to try an ESTABLISH the theory of Creation.

  • Ravindran

    Dear Mr. OTC,
    You wrote, “This thread was an attack on Buddhism. The commentators attacked assuming they had a superior belief.”

    I do not get why you are telling me all that. I noticed as I looked through your posts you said that statement quite often. That statement tells me that you feel more superior and threatened and challenged of your beliefs! I believe that statement is just an excuse. All this “Superiority”started with the rise of “Sinhala Buddhism” in Sri Lanka.. This is not the only time or the website that I have heard or seen this statement of “attack”. Please don’t insult people in the name of a religion
    I did not come for an argument with you, and I will not intend to do so either. I was reading Mr. Yapa’s argument and yours with ‘SomewhatDisgusted. Then, I wanted to express my views on the ongoing debate over “Karma” and “Reincarnation” where I saw someone is honest and fair separating the facts from Myths in his analogy of those concepts.

    You believe Buddhism is superior and can prove its teachings scientifically with evolution and all field of sciences and theories. Then, there are others who feel similar ways of their beliefs. I think that is natural as some of us are either born into a system of religion or adopted them later on and that’s ok to feel whichever the way people feel until they must examine teachings for themselves thoroughly to find if such beliefs are superior, and founded on myth or facts.

    Hope you realize someone going to accept things at face value while others go above the authority and tradition and apply, analyze and sort out what is fact and what’s not. In that process, people have to be honest, impartial, and fair then one can arrive at true results in the final analysis.

    Now it appears that you are somewhat deviating from the subject as reasonable argument is presented in the thread whose views are fair and honest, and using a fair and standard criteria on both religious beliefs. I respect honesty. I may respectfully disagree on things i may have to accept on a scale, but I appreciate the fairness, logic and reasoning that being demonstrated in arriving at conclusions.

  • Ravindran

    Dear Mr. Yapa,

    You equated Buddhism with Science ( “learn modern Science or Buddhism before talking what is familiar to you”). What “Science” you may be talking about I was guessing. Perhaps, your “Eastern science” and “logic” combined can make up a better term, may be “Scientology”.
    I think I learned a lot about Buddhism lately than what I had learned in my secondary level.

    Thanks

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear Ravindran,

    Even after reading the thread from the beginning and reading the first few posts you still try to maintain that it is not an attack on Buddhism either your comprehension is wanting or you have a selective filter before you (and you wonder why I brought your attention to that fact!!).

    Buddhist philosophy has no Ethnic owner though you try to denigrate it as such, in your TWISTED mind, in order to fit it to whatever AGENDA that you have in mind. Does your religion have a CAST OWNER?

    Hinduism had a CAST OWNER and probably still do. The intervention of the Supreme Court of SL was needed to obtain “EVEN the Right of Worship” at a Hindu Temple (Kovil), to a very large section of the Tamil community who were DEPRIVED of it by the High Cast Tamils.

    The Jews think they are the CHOSEN people where Christianity is concerned. IS GOD White, Black or Brown or Yellow?
    What Language does he Chose?
    What Race does He Chose?
    What Country does He Chose?

    So which Chosen group do you belong to?

    You jump in at the Tail End of a Discussion and post your Crappy Questions without having the decency to read what went before. You accuse people of things that they did not even write about.

    You state
    I did not come for an argument with you, and I will not intend to do so either. I was reading Mr. Yapa’s argument and yours with SomewhatDisgusted.
    Unquote

    In the FIRST place I did not have an “ARGUMENT” with SomewhatDisgusted, for the SIMPLE reason that both He and I have the same views about an Omnipotent CREATOR GOD. If you Learn to READ rather than glance, you will have that confirmation from SomewhatDisgusted himself in this post of his January 14, 2010 @ 7:11 pm

    You state
    You believe Buddhism is superior and can prove its teachings scientifically with evolution and all field of sciences and theories. Then, there are others who feel similar ways of their beliefs. I think that is natural as some of us are either born into a system of religion or adopted them later on and that’s ok to feel whichever the way people feel until they must examine teachings for themselves thoroughly to find if such beliefs are superior, and founded on myth or facts.

    You really have a problem in comprehending what you read.

    Your FIRST sentence is TOTALLY out of line. I stated that I have no interest in CONVERTING people to believe in either Karma or Rebirth. Hence I had no interest in PROVING either of these concepts and I did not try to prove either of them.

    I recognize your right to believe in anything that you want, as long as you don’t come out on a “Public Forum” and Pontificate on the “Transformation of Buddhism” in Degrading terms. Once you do that, you are inviting searching questions about YOUR beliefs which will of course be unpalatable to the said believers.

    Secondly, even the most ardent proponents of the Concept of a CREATOR GOD who is Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent and Merciful could not sustain it, not due to anything else, but due to the INFERIORITY of that concept. It has more holes in it, than a Seive. So don’t blame it on Buddhism.

    Since you have raised the concepts of Rebirth and Karma let’s have a FAIR look at both.

    Do Christians BELIEVE in Rebirth?
    I say they do what do you say?

    Karma is a Pali word for “Action”. In a religious sense it means that Karma is followed by Vipaka (Pali word for result). This concept is present in Hinduism, Jainism etc. It is also present in Christianity (God will punish you for the wrongs you do or reward you for the good things you do – action and result).

    Karma has a different meaning in relation to Buddhism. In Buddhist Philosophy Karma means “Mindful Action” this is premeditated action. I believe EVERY Legal system in a Democracy makes this distinction (please correct me if I am wrong).

    In Buddhist Philosophy there is a result (Vipaka) accruing to you when you do something “KNOWINGLY” it could be either good or bad. Some of the Actions that you do, do not bring IMMEDIATE results and some do. Those that do not bring immediate results can bring results later. As far as the CURRENT BIRTH is concerned there is no proof necessary as the results are visible during a lifetime.

    Whether the results of an action that has not brought about a result in this birth gets carried over to the next is uncertain (to me at least, as my knowledge of Buddhism has still not reached that level of maturity). However I BELIEVE in it, given what I see during this birth. Probably I will KNOW it when my knowledge of Buddhist Philosophy deepens and my mind becomes sharper. So till then, as far as I am personally concerned, it is a belief based on good faith, after observing what happens in the current birth. It is not a BLIND belief.

    BTW I too respect honesty but will definitely challenge unjustified criticism.

  • yapa

    Dear Ravindran;

    Your main problem according to me is you understand something else from anything. I can’t help it. You say you have learnt Buddhism a lot. I think same thing must have happened to it. I have seen many people who even sleep on text books, but ultimately found to be unsuccessful in their exams. I don’t know whether you are in that category. But I can’t help feeling pity about you.

    thanks!

  • yapa

    Dear Off the Cuff;

    Very good explanation about kamma and re-birth. I am also waiting to give some more when the right time comes. I should say you have been maintaining your excellent consistency throughout. Keep it up.

    Thanks!

  • yapa

    Dear Ravindran;

    Is there any connection between you and “Rav” of the following?

    http://www.groundviews.org/2009/11/25/the-transformation-of-buddhism-in-sri-lanka/#comment-11229

    Thanks!

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear Yapa,

    You are not second to any but thank you very much for your Kind thoughts of encouragement

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear Ravindran,

    Calling your attention to my post of February 5, 2010 @ 10:17 am, in response to yours of February 4, 2010 @ 11:28 pm

  • Ravindran

    Mr.OTC,
    Sorry, I am very busy but i will send you a reply in due course. Thanks

  • Ravindran

    Dear Mr. Yapa,
    You deviate from the topic of the argument engaged in with “SomewhatDisgusted” ( “karma” and “reincarnation”). He refuted your views of a none-secular state would deprive equal rights and freedom of minorities. He proved Buddhist teachings must be accepted by faith same way with other religions. you are unwilling to accept the facts as they are vital blows to core Buddhism. Answer to your question is unrelated to me. I will not welcome personal questions.
    Thanks.

  • yapa

    Dear Ravindran;

    I have no way to stop you accepting whatever you want. Even you can call pen a pencil. You can call a lie a truth as well. I cannot stop fooling yourself with a prejudiced mind. Continue with your good work. I never wanted to answer you or your questions.

    God bless you!

  • yapa

    Dear Ravindran;

    You believe you were created from the earth of the ground? Same way you can believe the truths of the same kind, I have no problem.

    God! please protect this man, made of earth!

  • Ravindran

    Dear Mr. Yapa,
    Aren’t you the same man who wrote sometime back that “God is dead”?
    Thanks.

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear Ravindran,

    I believe Christians believe in Rebirth
    I also believe that they believe in Karma (Pali word meaning Action)

    My reasons are given in my post below. Hope you have now got the time as I saw a post from you addressed to yapa yesterday.

    Calling your attention to my post of February 5, 2010 @ 10:17 am, in response to yours of February 4, 2010 @ 11:28 pm

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear Ravindran,

    Still awaiting a reply from you to my post of February 5, 2010 @ 10:17 am

    Are you really busy or ……… ?

  • Ravindran

    Oh Mr. OTC,
    I am still very busy but will send you a reply soon. Alright.

  • SomewhatDisgusted

    Dear Yapa, Dear All,

    Here are my concluding thoughts:

    I believe I have stated my case sufficiently to buttress my own argument. Yapa has stated his. A convincing argument is made not by running around in circles talking about the same thing but by the quality of the ideas presented and how logical and sound the reasoning process behind it is. In that spirit, I encourage the reader to read Yapa’s comments and mine carefully and come to their own conclusions.