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I do not consider myself Buddhist, but neither do most Buddhists. I have attended a few temples, actually tomorrow I am going to grand opening of a new temple that my fiancée's (PoesÃ*a's) brother belongs to and teaches study programs at.

I do have a small alter, table, etc set up for meditating with Buddha on it and I know the concepts of the Buddhist beliefs, but want to learn more (or is it become enlightened?)

So no I am not a Buddhist, but I do aspire to be one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
i'm a buddhist. well...a lazy buddhist i guess, lol. i believe in pretty much everything the buddha said and i have a little altar in my room and i have a buddhist tattoo. so yes, i guess you could say i'm buddhist
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
just yesterday, someone at my job said buddha was an atheist...huh?? can anyone comment or "enlighten" me on this one? thanks.
 

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Har har. Nice pun.


From "Experiencing the World's Religions" by Michael Molloy:

Was the Buddha an Atheist?

"To answer this requires two more questions.

Is there a Creator God? Early Buddhism explicitly rejects such a belief, as did other religious movements in India at the time....

Is there an Unchanging Divine Reality? Regarding such a belief- called Brahman in Upanishads and elsewhere- early Buddhism exhibited a similar skepticism. Apparently the Buddha saw everything to be in constant change, and his experience did not recognize anything whatsoever that was unchanging, thereby precluding a belief in Brahman.

Perhaps the Buddha would best be called a nontheist."
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
thanks charity...i am somewhat interested in buddhism but actually follow a hindu teacher...hinduism is pretty different than buddhism in some ways...i guess.
 

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How does Molloy differentiate non-theism from atheism?

It has always seemed to me that whenever someone/something is called nontheist when it seems more appropriate to call them/it atheist is due to either:

(A) a misuse or misunderstanding of the terms, associating the "a-" prefix with "against" instead of the proper interpretation which differs in no relevant way from the meaning of the "non-" prefix; or (B) a fear of associating the subject with the ugly side of atheism (the side that associates with nihilism, impossible morality, etc.).

Nontheism is more correctly a category, I believe, within which you find Naturalism, Humanism, Buddhism, Atheism, and other religions and beliefs that are, for different reasons and in different respects simply "not theistic".

Now it sounds like I'm backing Molloy's claim that Buddha best be called a Nontheist, but still, no, that is wrong. Neither would it be correct to call the Buddha, Buddhist, but that is less incorrect than calling him an atheist or a nontheist. The schools of thought and philosophy that unfolded after Buddha's lifetime are Buddhist and within the nontheism category, but still, that's not atheism, it's just another form of nontheism.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I've been doing some readings on Buddhism myself. Actually, I'm open to most religions except Christianity at this point (mostly due to several fundamentalists who have ruined it for me). This concerns me greatly - I keep hoping I don't die in a car wreck or something before I become comfortable with what I believe in.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by peacecat

hinduism is pretty different than buddhism in some ways...i guess.
Historically, they share a relationship not unlike Christianity and Judaism in that they are so similar in someways, but absolutely contrary in other critical ways. Buddhism basically originates as a spiritual movement in rebellion of the heirarchical and dogmatic Hindu system built around the Upanishads. Buddhism rejects the vedantic interpretations of the scriptures, and indeed the scriptures themselves, insisting that whatever it is that is "salvation" must be a personal journey and so on...
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I've recently become interested in buddhism and I'm trying to follow the "rules". I find that my life is a lot less stressful when I do so.
 

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Well, I can't speak for Mr. Molloy, but personally I think there is a difference between atheism and nontheism. Atheism is an outright rejection of any theism, any concept of the divine. Nontheism, however, is something that just doesn't ask the question, "is there a god?"
 

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But what does a nontheist answer when questioned about whether there is an omnipotent, omniscent, morally perfect being that created all that exists? Seems to me that any 'ism about religion has to answer in some way. To say "it really doesn't matter" in the way a Buddhist would seems to be closest to what you're suggesting, but again, I stand by Buddhism being a category of nontheism, but not nontheism as any single bounded ideology. Or perhaps a better understand of what it is to "not ask" in the manner you're proposing is the agnostic sense of "how could we know?"
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by CharityAJO

Well, I can't speak for Mr. Molloy, but personally I think there is a difference between atheism and nontheism. Atheism is an outright rejection of any theism, any concept of the divine. Nontheism, however, is something that just doesn't ask the question, "is there a god?"
I don't know. this just seems to be splitting hairs here. (As opposed to splitting hares which is definitely not on topic here.) You are piling a lot of loaded words into that definition of atheism. As an atheist I don't "reject" either theism or any "concept of the divine" outright. Some, I find so inconsistent to the point of foolishness, others are too fuzzy to say anything about and still others are plausible but not convincing.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by kirkjobsluder

As an atheist I don't "reject" either theism or any "concept of the divine" outright.
"Scare quotes" aside, how can atheism accept any form of theism? It's contradictary to do so, isn't it?
 
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