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If God exists, why does He need to be recognized? 
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Post Re: If God exists, why does He need to be recognized?
aameen wrote:
Robert Holloway wrote:
aameen wrote:
buddha's body was cremated and the remains were kept as relics at different places.

Wikipedia's your friend. use it. :)

fun irrelevant fact: the "dharma" you mentioned rob, literally translates into "religion", or if you wanna get too literal, "law". and "karma" into "action".



Hi Aameen

I try tried to write about my understanding and experience. Regurgitating Wikipedia is of no real use

I checked and it does refer to Dharma as teachings and a path. That's how I've always heard it in my experience.

But I'm no expert :-)

Rob


haha...umm..... i wasn't doing what i think you thought i was doing. i was just referring to the literal translation, thats why i said it was irrelevant. not the meaning, of either word. i know the meanings have developed, especially with karma. and the relics bit, that was a response to unke's original post and the uncertainty about that particular fact, the "shards" bit.
personally, i know nothing of buddhism. or at least, nothing outside the general public image of it. so this thread is interesting, at worst.



Hi aameen

I'm curious and would really appreciate you helping me a little bit of research
Would you do me favor

Without doing any research, tell me what you know and think about Buddhism

I ask because I'm curious.

I have had many conversations over the past two years and am always amazed at the huge range of thoughts about Buddhism.

My commitment to you is that no matter what you write, I will not criticize.

So we are in the realm of Buddhist's are weirdos from Berkeley who take drugs and worship some old chinese guy - being OK

You up for it?
Rob


Wed Mar 18, 2009 11:12 pm
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Post Re: If God exists, why does He need to be recognized?
I know I am. I'm only 17, so I can only regurgitate what I remember from my AP World History class two years ago, but here we go:

Buddhism originated in Nepal, as you stated, by a guy who was royalty. One day he took a walk in the village and saw the poverty, so he gave away all of his worldly possessions and spent his life soul searching. He eventually found the path to true happiness and became enlightened, or a Buddha. By being enlightened, one can transcend suffering and achieve Nirvana. Buddha is not a single person, but rather a metaphysical status... ish...

Despite being more of a philosophy (or a way of life to many in the region that the religion originated in) than a religion, there seems to be quite a bit of mysticism surrounding Buddhism, from what I remember, particularly regarding the selection of the Dalai Llama and other spiritual leaders. Something about finding enlightened children that are born at a certain time that show their Buddhahood before the age of five and meet all sorts of strange requirements.

Today, there are millions of Buddhist monks; a very large percentage of the Asian population are actually monks. Then there are the behaviors and traditions of the monks that I won't go into, and their more recent political activism, and the opression of the people in the Himalayan region of China...

That's all I got off the top of my head.


Thu Mar 19, 2009 12:06 am
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Post Re: If God exists, why does He need to be recognized?
Hi Darthyoshi

Thanks for your post.

Obviously from your tone and choice of words and items you don't really like Buddhism, which is OK

I would argue that no philosophy or religion from Catholicism, Christianity, Buddhism and others, is going to be right for everyone

I'm not exactly sure of your position in this debate from your post but heh, that's OK too

Anyway, welcome aboard

Rob


Thu Mar 19, 2009 1:39 am
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Post Re: If God exists, why does He need to be recognized?
Oh, I didn't mean to sound like I was demeaning Buddhism in any way. I haven't experienced enough of it to make a truly educated opinion on it. You asked aameen to tell you what he knew and thought about Buddhism, and because I think this is an interesting thread, I decided to join in.

I wasn't trying to make it sound like I don't like Buddhism, it was more of a straining to remember details than anything else. Your experience with it sounds very interesting (from what I've read). From what I've already posted, it's not far off from what I believe in. From what I understand, we have a similar goal, but the way to get there is what is different.

Reading back, I see why you thought I don't like Buddhism... I kind of left things out... Mainly because that was all I remembered right then...


Thu Mar 19, 2009 3:09 am
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Post Re: If God exists, why does He need to be recognized?
Thank you very much for your responses, everyone. Very, well, enlightening. (My apologies, I can't let a bad pun pass.)


Thu Mar 19, 2009 5:15 am
Post Re: If God exists, why does He need to be recognized?
darthyoshi wrote:
Oh, I didn't mean to sound like I was demeaning Buddhism in any way. I haven't experienced enough of it to make a truly educated opinion on it. You asked aameen to tell you what he knew and thought about Buddhism, and because I think this is an interesting thread, I decided to join in.

I wasn't trying to make it sound like I don't like Buddhism, it was more of a straining to remember details than anything else. Your experience with it sounds very interesting (from what I've read). From what I've already posted, it's not far off from what I believe in. From what I understand, we have a similar goal, but the way to get there is what is different.

Reading back, I see why you thought I don't like Buddhism... I kind of left things out... Mainly because that was all I remembered right then...


Hi Darthyoshi

Thanks for the post. Not liking Buddhism is totally cool with me.

One of the main differences between Buddhism and religions is that it does not seek to explain where we came from or our ultimate death. That a big miss for many people.

Rob


Thu Mar 19, 2009 9:06 am
Post Re: If God exists, why does He need to be recognized?
Robert Holloway wrote:
Hi there Arsenal84

This is a more complex question than may appear. Our local Buddhist priory is Soto Zen (Japanese) with influences of Ts'ao-Tung Ch'an (Chinese). In essence their focus is on meditation. The reality is that we go there to learn more about the basics of Buddhism and most importantly as a place of meditation and refocus on what we are trying to achieve.

Our main source of learning on Buddhism comes from the web. We listen to many podcasts where there are teachings and discussions about the key elements of the noble truths, hindrances, meditation and other aspects. Our hero is Gil Fronsdal who we call the cyber-buddha. There are literally hundreds of Buddhacasts complete with cool trance music et al. Gil is outstanding because he's very natural, fun and recognizes that this is not easy. He's actually quite addictive - I've listened to too many!

My mother's vicar has the same point about EF's as he calls them. He too is very curious about Buddhism as well. he gets frustrated by the closed nature of his colleagues and their lack of openess to understand other religions and philosophies. Anyway, why should you give up or even have to defend your feelings towards Jesus?

I understand your feelings towards Buddhism. there;'s something obvious, natural and non threatening about it. It asks nothing of you. No need to believe in anything. If you are interested to understand a little more there is a great podcast by Gil that talks about the 4 noble Truths. You won't get converted or anything like that but you'll get an insight into what it's all about. I am always amazed at the production values of these Podcasts. however, they are recordings of Gil speaking to classes at his center in the Bay Area.


Hi Rob,

I listen to podcasts as well and I am familiar with Gil Fronsdal and his Audio Dharma podcasts. I however prefer to listen to a podcast called "Zen is Stupid" It is a refreshing take on how Buddhism is thought of from a younger generation. I think the purpose of their podcast is how to keep mindfulness in a world of pop culture, and consumerism. The episodes about the church and Jesus is particularly interesting because one of the speakers compares the Bible to Melville's Moby Dick, while the other speaker talks about how she being a buddhist still attends church regularly and gets something out of it. the also had a podcast on vegetarianism that offers the best explanation for why Buddhists are vegetarian.

I mostly read books though. I know that Zen Buddhism is difficult to explain in words but D.T. Suzuki's book Essays in Zen Buddhism is a wonderful attempt at explaining it.

One thing I would add about a year ago I came across a website Journal of Religion and Film For anyone who is a fan of cinema should give it look. I especially love the article where they explain how the movie Fight Club is an allegory to Buddhism. It makes complete sense.

I am very conflicted about my feelings towards Jesus. If you have ever seen the documentary Jesus Camp you will have a pretty good idea of what I lived through for 4 years in college. I am still close with many of my friends who praise God every chance they get. I have only told one of my friends about my feelings towards Buddhism, thankfully he has a degree in philosophy so he is very open minded.

To me Buddhism gives a spiritual explanation to what science has been able prove.

I will leave you with a common riddle that can be a Zen Koan of sorts "If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it does it make a sound?" The scientific answer may surprise you


Thu Mar 19, 2009 12:19 pm
Post Re: If God exists, why does He need to be recognized?
I read Zen And The Art of Motorcycle maintenance by Robert Pirsig when I was 17, and in it Robert Pirsig details a story in which he finds himself one day bound by a straight jacket and sitting in a puddle of his own urine.

So I always believed that Zen Buddhism made you go crazy and pee your pants. :D
(but then you're not really cool unless you pee your pants)

However, it was also rumored that Christian mystic Roger Bacon liked to run down the street in his underwear. Crazies all around!

I have a Buddhist friend and have known several practicing Buddhists in my life, and they have had the most delightful, peaceful personalities that make you fall quickly in love with them.

And peace, for those who strive for peace, is the seed of which the harvest is righteousness. James 3:18


Thu Mar 19, 2009 12:46 pm
Post Re: If God exists, why does He need to be recognized?
Moovy1 wrote:
I read Zen And The Art of Motorcycle maintenance by Robert Pirsig when I was 17, and in it Robert Pirsig details a story in which he finds himself one day bound by a straight jacket and sitting in a puddle of his own urine.

So I always believed that Zen Buddhism made you go crazy and pee your pants. :D
(but then you're not really cool unless you pee your pants)

However, it was also rumored that Christian mystic Roger Bacon liked to run down the street in his underwear. Crazies all around!

I have a Buddhist friend and have known several practicing Buddhists in my life, and they have had the most delightful, peaceful personalities that make you fall quickly in love with them.

And peace, for those who strive for peace, is the seed of which the harvest is righteousness. James 3:18



Nice comments about Buddhists thanks.

My experience is that people who are in touch with their spiritual side and are not out to convery you tend to be overwhelmingly decent.

I have to say that since I found Buddhism i have had many hilarious conversations with people who were curious and had totally the wrong idea. We're war mongering ad often from the middle east??

Rob


Thu Mar 19, 2009 10:20 pm
Post Re: If God exists, why does He need to be recognized?
Sometimes, Christians need to know when to get out of the way and let God do His job.

1 Corinthians 3:3-10:
For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?
5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?
6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

Quote:
Nice comments about Buddhists thanks.

My experience is that people who are in touch with their spiritual side and are not out to convery you tend to be overwhelmingly decent.


Your comment reminds me of a scenario that Christ encountered during His earthly ministry:


The Faith of the Centurion

5When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6"Lord," he said, "my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering."
7Jesus said to him, "I will go and heal him."

8The centurion replied, "Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and that one, 'Come,' and he comes. I say to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it."

10When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, "I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 11I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

13Then Jesus said to the centurion, "Go! It will be done just as you believed it would." And his servant was healed at that very hour.


Thu Mar 19, 2009 11:41 pm
Post Re: If God exists, why does He need to be recognized?
The reality is that most people are fundamentally decent and our belief systems / religions / philosophies are not so dissimilar.

As I weeded the garden this afternoon I played a Buddhist podcast on solitude, listening and talking. It was a serene and peaceful 45 minutes that let me focus internally The weather was lovely and birds were active. I was struck by how much of this is common sense and applicable to many religions.

I admire, respect and find interesting people who have genuine points of views and an inclination to discuss. I tend to avoid those who want to belittle and convert.

Rob


Fri Mar 20, 2009 1:53 am
Post Re: If God exists, why does He need to be recognized?
moulton4 wrote:
It says in the bible that God made animals for humans enjoyment (including food), so yes, I believe that humans are the only being with an eternal soul



I don't think this is true. Look at what we chew with, we have a herbivore's set of teeth. If we were truly supposed to eat meat, wouldn't God have given us the proper set of tools? I am a lifelong christian and when my then girlfriend told me this, it made me stop and think.

She was and still is a vegetarian, and uses that observation to try to "convert" others to stop eating meat. There are many other instances in the Bible that support the notion that these animals are not here for us to eat, all of which she used to her advantage.

Ironically she is an atheist.


Sat Mar 21, 2009 12:29 am
Post Re: If God exists, why does He need to be recognized?
i was just going by the bible, old teste


Sat Mar 21, 2009 12:33 am
Post Re: If God exists, why does He need to be recognized?
Hi Moulton

Hope all is well with you

I'd heard the story of our teeth, but i do believe that we evolved versus appeared

I'm curious. How much of the old testament do you believe to be true?

I was taught this text as a child and believed it for many years. but then.....

I hope you know by now that I'm not setting you up for anything :-)

Rob


Sat Mar 21, 2009 1:54 am
Post Re: If God exists, why does He need to be recognized?
timgoens wrote:
I don't think this is true. Look at what we chew with, we have a herbivore's set of teeth. If we were truly supposed to eat meat, wouldn't God have given us the proper set of tools? I am a lifelong christian and when my then girlfriend told me this, it made me stop and think.

She was and still is a vegetarian, and uses that observation to try to "convert" others to stop eating meat. There are many other instances in the Bible that support the notion that these animals are not here for us to eat, all of which she used to her advantage.

Ironically she is an atheist.


While it is true that our teeth are herbivore teeth, the way our eyes are set close together and in the front of our head it would indicate that we are predators, I dated an anthropology grad student for a while.

I think Moulton is referring to a passage in Leviticus "Whatever parts the hoof and is cloven-footed and chews the cud, among the animals, you may eat."

There is a bit of a problem when using the old testament, in Hebrews Jesus says that the old covenant or the laws in the old testament are obsolete and asks his followers to adhere to the new covenant or his ministry.

I believe that the old testament should be used by Christians just as a frame of reference or background info for the new testament, and should not be used to base an argument around. all of the instances where God says which animals to eat are all found in the old testament.

I am not saying that Moulton is wrong in believing that God created animals just to be used by man, all i am saying is that the old testament can be very Iffy.


Sun Mar 22, 2009 8:53 pm
Post Re: If God exists, why does He need to be recognized?
timgoens wrote:
I don't think this is true. Look at what we chew with, we have a herbivore's set of teeth. If we were truly supposed to eat meat, wouldn't God have given us the proper set of tools? I am a lifelong christian and when my then girlfriend told me this, it made me stop and think.
Not that omnivorism and the Bible necessarily have anything to do with each other, but humans are equipped with teeth that are capable of chewing both plant and animal matter, eyes useful for tracking prey, and a digestive system capable of handling both varieties of food.


Mon Mar 23, 2009 12:18 pm
Post Re: If God exists, why does He need to be recognized?
Ken wrote:
timgoens wrote:
I don't think this is true. Look at what we chew with, we have a herbivore's set of teeth. If we were truly supposed to eat meat, wouldn't God have given us the proper set of tools? I am a lifelong christian and when my then girlfriend told me this, it made me stop and think.
Not that omnivorism and the Bible necessarily have anything to do with each other, but humans are equipped with teeth that are capable of chewing both plant and animal matter, eyes useful for tracking prey, and a digestive system capable of handling both varieties of food.


Biologically, human beings can survive on a vegan diet as well as on a carnivorous diet. At the extreme ends, nutrition has to be chosen carefully, though (if your diet would consist of meat and fish exclusively, you would need to eat certain intestines in order to prevent vitamin deficiencies, for instance). The question of whether it is morally right to eat animals is a moral question and not a biological one.


Mon Mar 23, 2009 2:02 pm
Post Re: If God exists, why does He need to be recognized?
Will Hatch wrote:
This isn't a discussion on the inherent difficulties of faith or organized structures, but a logical question that demands a logical answer. Why does God, if he exists, need us to worship him? Wouldn't it be more prudent to have us simply live by moral principles?


I prefer another question: "Why should we worship him, if he exists?"

I like to put it this way: If you constructed a house for your children, would you deliberately build it with structural flaws that will lead to injury and death? Nah, didn´t think so.

But god puts us in a planet with earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, you name it. Italy is the latest example. How many of the victims were decent, hard-working individuals, who didn`t deserve to die, but did because of the incompetence of an allegedly perfect architect? Worship that? No, thanks.


Sat Apr 11, 2009 10:24 am
Post Re: If God exists, why does He need to be recognized?
nathanmuir wrote:
I prefer another question: "Why should we worship him, if he exists?"

I like to put it this way: If you constructed a house for your children, would you deliberately build it with structural flaws that will lead to injury and death? Nah, didn´t think so.

But god puts us in a planet with earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, you name it. Italy is the latest example. How many of the victims were decent, hard-working individuals, who didn`t deserve to die, but did because of the incompetence of an allegedly perfect architect? Worship that? No, thanks.


One of the fundamental principles of my faith is accepting the fact that God does not think like human beings. This also explains everything we will never understand while on this Earth.


Sat Apr 11, 2009 12:14 pm
Post Re: If God exists, why does He need to be recognized?
moulton4 wrote:
One of the fundamental principles of my faith is accepting the fact that God does not think like human beings. This also explains everything we will never understand while on this Earth.


Is that a fact or a belief? And how does accepting that explain everything we don't understand while on Earth? At best, it can only ameliorate the feeling of remaining in the dark. Accepting that also leads us to not question anything, which is precisely what they want.


Sun Apr 12, 2009 5:44 pm
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