All About Buddhism

Question from Vitor:
Good evening, how are you? My name is Vitor and I am only a seeker of knowledge, I can not stand to see people self-deceiving but I can do nothing. The apex of my disappointment are pseudosciences and promoters of insanities and follies.

I would like to discuss some matters with you. For there are not many who can discuss these subjects in search of skeptical knowledge, without traps of thought and cognition, and self-delusional beliefs coming from mysticisms, esoterisms, religions, pseudosciences and other nonsense.

Like any other human being, I have doubts that I would like to discuss with someone. Maybe I may be bothering you and I’m sorry, maybe you can not always argue with me but whenever I can I’ll be grateful.
Below are some things that both bother me.
If it is not uncomfortable, may I discuss various matters with you?

1. What you think about Buddhist cosmology?
2. The silly idea for suffering in Buddhism ?
3. About Nirvana in Buddhism?
4. Reincarnation, what do you think?

Answer by SmartLX:
1. Buddhist cosmology holds that the universe consists of a large number of different planes, each corresponding to a different mental state. There is no evidence for the other planes, let alone the idea that they are at all connected to the thoughts in human brains. Separately, the cyclical model of the universe very gradually fading between existence and nothingness does not match any hypothetical cyclical cosmologies that would work within the laws of physics (e.g. a Big Bang / Big Crunch cycle).

2/3. The “Four Noble Truths” of Buddhism hold that suffering can be eliminated by freeing oneself from desire. Achieving this is by definition reaching a state of Nirvana, and in fact you become a buddha yourself if you manage it. This is an incredibly unrealistic goal for a living human being. The list of people who have even claimed to achieve it is very short, and it includes people like Jim Jones. (Incidentally, another part of the enlightenment of Nirvana is being free from ideas, which is in stark contrast to the principles of the Age of Enlightenment.)

4. Reincarnation, like the doctrines of many other religions, requires the existence of a soul independent of the body which maintains a person’s identity after death, in this case to insert into a subsequent body. There’s no evidence of identity surviving the death of the brain in any form.

7 thoughts on “All About Buddhism”

  1. smartxl maybe you forgot or thought it irrelevant, the fact that as far as i know budha ordered us mortals who love our relatives, to not care about them if they die and then you will not suffer.
    tell this to a mom whose child died. tell her that this is only her desire and that she should simply stop desiring and then she will suffer no more.
    but this ideot, misspelt by intention, budha forgot that maternal love that he calls desire made all the species possible because mothers DESIRE their children to live but not die, and that is how he himself the idiot budha survived his infancy because his mother cared about him and did not let him die. so, i suggest that budha invents time machine and goes back to the past when his mother gave birth to him and then make her stop her desire to keep him alive, which will cause his death as infant. no more budha and no problem for us listening and reading this ridiculous bs of a man who had no idea that humanity and all species are alive today because of the DESIRE of which the result is suffering when the desire does not get what it wants. the baby of a mother to remain alive

    1. Good point Niki. Not all desire is selfish; the desire for others to be happy and healthy (and of course alive) can be thought of as selfless, and the doctrine wants us to shed even this.

  2. Actually the “big bang” theory does not satisfy all the laws of Physics. “It violates the first law of thermodynamics, which says you can’t create or destroy matter or energy. Critics claim that the big bang theory suggests the universe began out of nothing. Proponents of the big bang theory say that such criticism is unwarranted for two reasons. The first is that the big bang doesn’t address the creation of the universe, but rather the evolution of it. The other reason is that since the laws of science break down as you approach the creation of the universe, there’s no reason to believe the first law of thermodynamics would apply.
    Some critics say that the formation of stars and galaxies violates the law of entropy, which suggests systems of change become less organized over time. But if you view the early universe as completely homogeneous and isotropic, then the current universe shows signs of obeying the law of entropy.
    Some astrophysicists and cosmologists argue that scientists have misinterpreted evidence like the redshift of celestial bodies and the cosmic microwave background radiation. Some cite the absence of exotic cosmic bodies that should have been the product of the big bang according to the theory.
    The early inflationary period of the big bang appears to violate the rule that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. Proponents have a few different responses to this criticism. One is that at the start of the big bang, the theory of relativity didn’t apply. As a result, there was no issue with traveling faster than the speed of light. Another related response is that space itself can expand faster than the speed of light, as space falls outside the domain of the theory of gravity.
    There are several alternative models that attempt to explain the development of the universe, though none of them have as wide an acceptance as the big bang theory:”
    It is funny how those who refuse to accept a theory with more validity for the answer of where we came from, find it so easy to dismiss the laws of physics to try and make what they want to believe seem more believable.

  3. Gerald writes: [Actually the “big bang” theory does not satisfy all the laws of Physics. “It violates the first law of thermodynamics, which says you can’t create or destroy matter or energy.]

    Please stop posting pseudo-science nonsense at this website. Just last week I explained to you, yet again, that the Big Bang did not create anything. All the matter and energy in the universe was already present at the start of the Big Bang, remember? I also asked you to see a neurologist because it was becoming apparent that you are having memory and comprehension issues. I see my concern for you was indeed warranted, given this latest repeated error concerning the Big Bang…

    Also, the writing style of your post is not your typical rambling style. So I decided to copy a couple of sentences and google it. Sure enough, you’ve plagiarized yet again, word for word, from someone else’s work without giving them credit (putting quoets around it is not proper referencing). Your entire post can be found at this site: http://science.howstuffworks.com/dictionary/astronomy-terms/big-bang-theory7.htm

    Incredibly dishonest of you. The best part? The stuff you posted also contained answers to those criticisms. You didn’t even read it, you just copy and pasted it in, and had no idea it doesn’t support your dimwitted religious take on science. Bravo preacher Gerald! This supports what I’ve been saying about you for quite a while now – you have no interest in learning anything or having an actual exchange of information with people, your only goal is propping up your god creature with disinformation and dishonesty.

    Quite the job this morning, Preacher. You’ve managed to showcase your failing mental state, your plagiarizing skills, and your dishonest approach to debate with people…all in one post! You must be exhausted…

  4. It was from “http://science.howstuffworks.com/dictionary/astronomy-terms/big-bang-theory7.htm
    “Please stop posting pseudo-science nonsense at this website. Just last week I explained to you, yet again, that the Big Bang did not create anything. All the matter and energy in the universe was already present at the start of the Big Bang, remember?” I have a question, do you have any proof that what I have said is pseudo science? Another question. Do you have any proof that the “big bang” did not create anything? You are saying that all the matter in the universe was already present at the start of the “big bang”. Where is your proof for this statement. Did you have a front row seat when this spectacular event took place? I know that the answer to all of these questions are “No”. You do not have any proof. You are doing what all Atheists do when confronted with truth, and they don’t have answers to contest it. They make claims and hem and haw, and ignore the questions or get angry and say Creationists are unable to understand Evolution. (which I’m afraid is what many Evolutionists are saying about their own theory). But I digress. You don’t have any proof to support the claims just now. Especially the first one where you said I’m using “pseudo- science”. Well may not be especially, but just as much as all the other questions. And all that I posted had a reference site from where it came from. And no the only thing that is contested is the false hope that the atheists have in the false scientific theory called evolution. Whoops. I’m sorry I did fail to post my reference site. Sorry I will rectify that in a minute. There I put it at the front of this post. The criticisms that came with it were what others said the reasons why they would be accepted. And what the site was giving was why they should not be accepted as factual.
    Also, while you are at it, read these sites about the impossibility of evolution being anything more than pure speculation, without physical proof.
    http://www.icr.org/article/higgs-boson-big-bang/
    http://www.icr.org/article/universe-from-nothing/
    And here’s one last one.
    “God & Natural Law
    by Dr. Jason Lisle on August 28, 2006
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    The universe obeys certain rules—laws to which all things must adhere. These laws are precise, and many of them are mathematical in nature.
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    The law of biogenesis states that life always comes from life. Both observational science and Genesis 1 tell us that organisms reproduce after their own kind. This and other natural laws exist because the universe has a Creator who is logical and has imposed order on His universe.
    Natural laws are hierarchical in nature; secondary laws of nature are based on primary laws of nature, which have to be just right in order for our universe to be possible. But, where did these laws come from, and why do they exist? If the universe were merely the accidental by-product of a big bang, then why should it obey orderly principles—or any principles at all for that matter? Such laws are consistent with biblical creation. Natural laws exist because the universe has a Creator God who is logical and has imposed order on His universe (Genesis 1:1).
    The Word of God
    Everything in the universe, every plant and animal, every rock, every particle of matter or light wave, is bound by laws which it has no choice but to obey. The Bible tells us that there are laws of nature—“ordinances of heaven and earth” (Jeremiah 33:25). These laws describe the way God normally accomplishes His will in the universe.
    God’s logic is built into the universe, and so the universe is not haphazard or arbitrary. It obeys laws of chemistry that are logically derived from the laws of physics, many of which can be logically derived from other laws of physics and laws of mathematics. The most fundamental laws of nature exist only because God wills them to; they are the logical, orderly way that the Lord upholds and sustains the universe He has created. The atheist is unable to account for the logical, orderly state of the universe. Why should the universe obey laws if there is no law-giver? But laws of nature are perfectly consistent with biblical creation. In fact, the Bible is the foundation for natural laws.
    The Law of Life (Biogenesis)
    There is one well-known law of life: the law of biogenesis. This law states simply that life always comes from life. This is what observational science tells us: organisms reproduce other organisms after their own kind. Historically, Louis Pasteur disproved one alleged case of spontaneous generation; he showed that life comes from previous life. Since then, we have seen that this law is universal—with no known exceptions. This is, of course, exactly what we would expect from the Bible. According to Genesis 1, God supernaturally created the first diverse kinds of life on earth and made them to reproduce after their kind. Notice that molecules-to-man evolution violates the law of biogenesis. Evolutionists believe that life (at least once) spontaneously formed from nonliving chemicals. But this is inconsistent with the law of biogenesis. Real science confirms the Bible.
    EVERYTHING IN THE UNIVERSE, EVERY PLANT AND ANIMAL, EVERY ROCK, EVERY PARTICLE OF MATTER OR LIGHT WAVE, IS BOUND BY LAWS WHICH IT HAS NO CHOICE BUT TO OBEY.
    The Laws of Chemistry
    Life requires a specific chemistry. Our bodies are powered by chemical reactions and depend on the laws of chemistry operating in a uniform fashion. Even the information that makes up any living being is stored on a long molecule called DNA. Life as we know it would not be possible if the laws of chemistry were different. God created the laws of chemistry in just the right way so that life would be possible.
    The laws of chemistry give different properties to the various elements (each made of one type of atom) and compounds (made up of two or more types of atoms that are bonded together) in the universe. For example, when given sufficient activation energy, the lightest element (hydrogen) will react with oxygen to form water. Water itself has some interesting properties, such as the ability to hold an unusually large amount of heat energy. When frozen, water forms crystals with six-sided symmetry (which is why snowflakes are generally six-sided). Contrast this with salt (sodium chloride) crystals, which tend to form cubes. It is the six-fold symmetry of water ice that causes “holes” in its crystal, making it less dense than its own liquid. That’s why ice floats in water (whereas essentially all other frozen compounds sink in their own liquid).
    The properties of elements and compounds are not arbitrary. In fact, the elements can be logically organized into a periodic table based on their physical properties. Substances in the same column on the table tend to have similar properties. This follows because elements in a vertical column have the same outer electron structures. These outermost electrons determine the physical characteristics of the atom. The periodic table did not happen by chance. Atoms and molecules have their various properties because their electrons are bound by the laws of quantum physics. In other words, chemistry is based on physics. If the laws of quantum physics were just a bit different, atoms might not even be possible. God designed the laws of physics just right so that the laws of chemistry would come out the way He wanted them to.
    The Laws of Planetary Motion
    The creation scientist Johannes Kepler discovered that the planets in our solar system obey three laws of nature. He found that planets orbit in ellipses (not perfect circles as had been previously thought) with the sun at one focus of the ellipse; thus a given planet is sometimes closer to the sun than at other times. Kepler also found that planets sweep out equal areas in equal times—in other words, planets speed up as they get closer to the sun within their orbit. And third, Kepler found the exact mathematical relationship between a planet’s distance from the sun (a) and its orbital period (p); planets that are farther from the sun take much longer to orbit than planets that are closer (expressed as p2=a3). Kepler’s laws also apply to the orbits of moons around a given planet.1
    As with the laws of chemistry, these laws of planetary motion are not fundamental. Rather, they are the logical derivation of other laws of nature. In fact, it was another creation scientist (Sir Isaac Newton) who discovered that Kepler’s laws could be derived mathematically from certain laws of physics—specifically, the laws of gravity and motion (which Newton himself formulated).
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    The Laws of Physics
    The field of physics describes the behavior of the universe at its most fundamental level. There are many different laws of physics. They describe the way the universe operates today. Some laws of physics describe how light propagates, how energy is transported, how gravity operates, how mass moves through space, and many other phenomena. The laws of physics are usually mathematical in nature; some laws of physics can be described with a concise formula, such as E=mc2. The simple formula F=ma shows how an object with mass (m) will accelerate (a) when a net force (F) is applied to it. It is amazing that every object in the universe consistently obeys these rules.
    There is a hierarchy in physics: some laws of physics can be derived from other laws of physics. For example, Einstein’s famous formula E=mc2 can be derived from the principles and equations of special relativity. Conversely, there are many laws of physics that cannot be derived from other laws of physics; many of these are suspected to be derivative principles, but scientists have not yet deduced their derivation.
    And some laws of physics may be truly fundamental (not based on other laws); they exist only because God wills them to. In fact, this must be the case for at least one law of physics (and perhaps several)—the most fundamental. (Logically, this is because if the most fundamental law were based on some other law, it would not be the most fundamental law.)
    The laws of physics (along with their associated constants) are fine-tuned in just the right way so that life, particularly human life, is possible. This fact is called the “anthropic principle.”1
    1Anthropic comes from the Greek word for man, anthropos.
    The Laws of Mathematics
    Notice that the laws of physics are highly mathematical in nature. They would not work if there were not also laws of mathematics. Mathematical laws and principles include the rules of addition, the transitive property, the commutative properties of addition and multiplication, the binomial theorem, and many others. Like the laws of physics, some laws and properties of mathematics can be derived from other mathematical principles. But unlike the laws of physics, the laws of mathematics are abstract; they are not “attached” to any specific part of the universe. It is possible to imagine a universe where the laws of physics are different, but it is difficult to imagine a (consistent) universe where the laws of mathematics are different.2
    The laws of mathematics are an example of a “transcendent truth.” They must be true regardless of what kind of universe God created. This may be because God’s nature is logical and mathematical; thus, any universe He chose to create would necessarily be mathematical in nature. The secular naturalist cannot account for the laws of mathematics. Certainly he would believe in mathematics and would use mathematics, but he is unable to account for the existence of mathematics within a naturalistic framework since mathematics is not a part of the physical universe. However, the Christian understands that there is a God beyond the universe and that mathematics reflects the thoughts of the Lord. Understanding math is, in a sense, “thinking God’s thoughts after Him”3 (though in a limited, finite way, of course).
    Some have supposed that mathematics is a human invention. It is said that if human history had been different, an entirely different form of math would have been constructed—one with alternate laws, theorems, axioms, etc. But such thinking is not consistent. Are we to believe that the universe did not obey mathematical laws before people discovered them? Did the planets orbit differently before Kepler discovered that p2=a3? Clearly, mathematical laws are something that human beings have discovered, not invented. The only thing that might have been different (had human history taken a different course) is the notation—the way in which we choose to express mathematical truths through symbols. But these truths exist regardless of how they are expressed. Mathematics could rightly be called the “language of creation.”
    The Laws of Logic
    All the laws of nature, from physics and chemistry to the law of biogenesis, depend on the laws of logic. Like mathematics, the laws of logic are transcendent truths. We cannot imagine that the laws of logic could be anything different from what they are. Take the law of noncontradiction for example. This law states that you cannot have both “A” and “not A” at the same time and in the same relationship. Without the laws of logic, reasoning would be impossible. But where do the laws of logic come from?
    The atheist cannot account for the laws of logic, even though he or she must accept that they exist in order to do any rational thinking. But according to the Bible, God is logical. Indeed, the law of noncontradiction reflects God’s nature; God cannot lie (Numbers 23:19) or be tempted with evil (James 1:13) since these things contradict His perfect nature. Since we have been made in God’s image, we instinctively know the laws of logic. We are able to reason logically (though because of finite minds and sin we don’t always think entirely logically).
    The Uniformity of Nature
    The laws of nature are uniform. They do not (arbitrarily) change, and they apply throughout the whole cosmos. The laws of nature apply in the future just as they have applied in the past; this is one of the most basic assumptions in all of science. Without this assumption, science would be impossible. If the laws of nature suddenly and arbitrarily changed tomorrow, then past experimental results would tell us nothing about the future. Why is it that we can depend on the laws of nature to apply consistently throughout time? The secular scientists cannot justify this important assumption. But the Christian can because the Bible gives us the answer. God is Lord over all creation and sustains the universe in a consistent and logical way. God does not change, and so He upholds the universe in a consistent, uniform way throughout time (Jeremiah 33:25).
    https://answersingenesis.org/is-god-real/god-natural-law/

  5. I was enamored with Buddhism for a while … it is generally broader than most religions.
    A lot of Buddhist ideas are fuzzy though. And some are outright fictions like all other religions.

    Buddhism starts with trying to answer a problem – the problem of dissatisfaction/ suffering (which I guess we all experience either intermittently or continuously). And then the 8 fold path is described to rise above that suffering.
    The path (if one reads about it a bit) seems to be a path of moderation basically and also one of trying to get control over one’s unconscious brain chatter, sort of.

    I think the biological insight that Buddhism misses in trying to “end suffering” is that there’s an evolutionary advantage to be had from a brain that has a degree of in-built anxiety and a predilection for the negative. I am not saying our background brain chatter is a good or bad thing – and I personally abhor the often useless background anxiety of our brains (ok, of most human brains) … but its just something useful, something that has propelled life onward. Whether its still required is debatable.

    Maybe if the eight-fold path was more (much more) about allowing the controlled, conscious, decision making part of our brains to become stronger while keeping the unconscious emotional and fuzzy part at bay (not chained, just at bay … that part is what makes us human to a large extent) then I would have liked it much more and given it a big thumbs up. It is a lot about control, but not fully.
    My suspicion is that if the Buddha was born in modern times, he would have revised the noble truths and eight-fold path to reflect on & manipulate/ maneuver around human psyche better. He would have had the benefit of path-breaking neuroscience research on how our brains work, to boot. The outcome of his modern day meditation under the Bodhi tree would have been interesting.

    I do like the emphasis on meditation practices in that religion though – its a way to gain control over the internal background chatter of our own minds and I guess that’s a good thing.

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