Theravada Buddhism

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Re: Theravada Buddhism

#21  Postby Arjan Dirkse » May 14, 2014 10:58 pm

"End of suffering" in Buddhism as far as I understand it, is not about ending pain or hardship altogether, but finding a better way to deal with them. Undergoing them more stoically, being more resilient to them.

"Nirvana" as the endgoal is also a bit iffy, it has been interpreted in a nihilistic fashion, as "escaping existence", but I think that in Theravada Buddhism it is seen traditionally as extinguishing the mind's greed and hatred. In Mahayana Buddhism nirvana has another role than in Theravada, because of the Bodhisattva path whereby the practitioner foregoes nirvana in other to help other sentient beings.

I sort of cherry pick Buddhism, I like bits of it, other parts I abhor, especially some interpretations of karma. I am agnostic about the whole rebirth thin.g
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Re: Theravada Buddhism

#22  Postby Spearthrower » Nov 07, 2014 7:44 pm

Thorham wrote:
Spearthrower wrote:It seems such a strange concept to me; end suffering. Suffering is part of life. We grow from it, we learn from it, we adapt and achieve new things at least partly in our pursuit of alleviating suffering.


Tell that to people who are starving and live in shit. People who are used as sex slaves. People who are tortured to death. How do you grow from that? What does it teach you?

Of course these examples are extreme, but it wouldn't be real suffering if it weren't extreme.



But that's just the problem. Even when people aren't starving, living in shit, used as sex slaved, or tortured to death - they often still consider themselves to be 'suffering', whereas some people suffering serious hardship do not consider themselves to be suffering. It seems that suffering is relative in that sense; something like Maslow's hierarchy of needs.

Incidentally, of course you don't grow from death - it's the one guaranteed way not to learn from your mistakes! ;)
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Re: Theravada Buddhism

#23  Postby CdesignProponentsist » Nov 07, 2014 8:21 pm

Most of what I know about Buddhism seems to be centered around perspective and reducing suffering through its specific brand of perspective.

Doesn't seem particularly dependent on divine magic or guilt, which is why I think, if you want religion, is 1000 times better a religion than any of the Abrahamic religions.
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Re: Theravada Buddhism

#24  Postby Spearthrower » Nov 07, 2014 8:24 pm

CdesignProponentsist wrote:Most of what I know about Buddhism seems to be centered around perspective and reducing suffering through its specific brand of perspective.

Doesn't seem particularly dependent on divine magic or guilt, which is why I think, if you want religion, is 1000 times better a religion than any of the Abrahamic religions.


It does entail a host of supernatural assumptions, and has its own version of hell - a stay in which is, at least, finite in duration. There is also a heap of guilt in relation to performing acts that are considered contrary to some aspect of its teaching, but like all good religionists, they can simply pray it away with a few chants thrown in for good measure! :D

It doesn't, however, seem to induce the homicidal mania so often seen throughout history in other religious beliefs, so it gets my vote too.
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Re: Theravada Buddhism

#25  Postby epepke » Nov 07, 2014 8:25 pm

What you said in the OP is about Buddhism. I spent a period a few years ago arguing with Buddhists, and it was fun, but that's kind of boring now.

You said "Theravada Buddhism." So if you want to talk about things specifically about that form, I'm all ears.
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