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Source: (consider it) Thread: Dharmaphobia
Joesaphat
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quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
A tangent, maybe, but I find one statement above odd: Do you really find nothing of the six-year-old you-that-was in the present-day you-that-are-right-now? I see quite a lot of my childhood, even toddler self in me. Mainly personality traits.

Not many, to be fair and nothing that will not disappear. I cannot even remember with sufficient clarity whether some of the traits I live with now were already there for certain. It's a very gradual change, for sure, but after a while it's fairly thorough. I'm comfortably with the Buddha on this one our experience of self is impermanent. It's no indication of a changeless soul that would bear these psychological characteristics.

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Opening my mouth and removing all doubt, online.

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Joesaphat
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quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Jesus exhorts people to love more, to feel more.
Buddha instructs people to release those feelings.
Jesus taught release of the importance of the desires of self.
Buddha taught release of the concept of self.

I think this comes pretty close to why I don't find Buddhism attractive.

I attend a weekly meditation group at my church where one of the things we do is read a passage from a book by Eknath Easwaran. Occasionally I find the passage helpful, but most of the time I find it rather off-putting. The life he describes seeking seems dull, boring, colorless -- honestly, a waste of the short time we have in this life. My experience of attempting to follow Christ has been that it encourages to be more myself, my best self.

Joesaphat, you began in the OP by saying,
quote:
I’m a Dharma brat, I was born into it, I was brought up on it and for the life of me I cannot understand why fellow Christians have a problem with it. I’m fed up with having to explain myself all the time as I don’t understand the objections. Would someone care to explain?
If you truly want to understand why some Christians have problems with it, you're going to have to first accept and to some degree be okay with the fact that we do have problems with reconciling Buddhism and Christianity.

If you can, great - whatever floats your boat. But I was born into Christianity, I was brought up on it, and it has supported the growth of my spiritual life quite sufficiently for many years. Christianity makes specific claims about the person of Jesus Christ which make it uniquely non-compatible with other religions. Whether one is an evangelical Christian who believes that accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior is necessary for eternal life or someone like me more interested in the Christus Victor theory of the atonement, a Christian has by definition devoted her or his life to following Christ -- and however much other religions may hold him in great esteem or even teach some similar things, however much the specific practices of meditation they teach may be helpful to my prayer life, they don't make the same strong claims that Christianity does about Christ and are thus at that fundamental level incompatible with Christianity.

And I think I now have a stronger understanding of why Easwaran's writing doesn't do anything for me -- nothing I've read by him makes me want to be like him. And nothing I've read by him or anyone else about the Buddha makes me want to be like the Buddha or follow him.

I consider myself a Christian as well, Ruth, and I do not think that I have a problem with people being born so and swimming comfortably in its traditions. I'm merely wondering why people have problems with the way I approach things (to be fair only if I do it explicitly, when I don't they seem o think I'm terribly holy). Easwaran, by the way, is a fairly dyed-in-the-wool Hindu, it's not fair to invoke this author as representing Buddhist philosophy.

So far, the only problem people have pointed out is the possibility of multiple lives, about which I'm quite agnostic. The Buddha himself taught that if his dharma is followed liberation can be a achieved in a single human life, heck, in a matter of months even, so it's not a hugely central problem to me or to a great many Buddhist teachers (and I don't count myself as one). Again, I cannot see how your soteriology would require me to abandon the central teachings of the Buddhadharma.

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Opening my mouth and removing all doubt, online.

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Joesaphat
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Jesus exhorts people to love more, to feel more.
Buddha instructs people to release those feelings.
Jesus taught release of the importance of the desires of self.
Buddha taught release of the concept of self.

Pretty good.

Hui-Neng taught that after eating, one washes up.

Jesus taught us to 'love more, feel more'? Seriously? I don't think he equated love with feelings, that's a romantic, pietist thing to do and he was a 1st century rabbi. Care to give us a few quotes from the Lord that enjoin us to bolster our sense of self?

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Opening my mouth and removing all doubt, online.

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Eliab
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quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
I was earlier on complaining that some people were making the arguments personal.

For clarity, as this thread is about whether Christianity and Buddhism are compatible, it is in order for people to say that they are, and to say that they are not. Maintaining either view in a forthright, robust, or even tactless manner does not necessarily make it a personal attack. It can be replied to personally, but only in Hell.

Further discussion of what is, and what is not, personal belongs in Styx.


It is perfectly understandable for you, or anyone, to be personally affected by adverse opinions on subjects of important to you. Robust discussion about things that matter is what this board is for, and the line between directly personal attacks and forthright statements of controversial opinion exists to enable this to happen. If it gets too personal, then step back, or take it to Hell.

This post is explanation, not criticism. The recent cooling of discussion on this thread is appreciated.


Eliab Purgatory host

[ 19. December 2016, 11:42: Message edited by: Eliab ]

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"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

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Lamb Chopped
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quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
A tangent, maybe, but I find one statement above odd: Do you really find nothing of the six-year-old you-that-was in the present-day you-that-are-right-now? I see quite a lot of my childhood, even toddler self in me. Mainly personality traits.

Not many, to be fair and nothing that will not disappear. I cannot even remember with sufficient clarity whether some of the traits I live with now were already there for certain. It's a very gradual change, for sure, but after a while it's fairly thorough. I'm comfortably with the Buddha on this one our experience of self is impermanent. It's no indication of a changeless soul that would bear these psychological characteristics.
Okay. Sounds odd to me, but then my experience will sound odd to you.

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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quetzalcoatl
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quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
A tangent, maybe, but I find one statement above odd: Do you really find nothing of the six-year-old you-that-was in the present-day you-that-are-right-now? I see quite a lot of my childhood, even toddler self in me. Mainly personality traits.

Not many, to be fair and nothing that will not disappear. I cannot even remember with sufficient clarity whether some of the traits I live with now were already there for certain. It's a very gradual change, for sure, but after a while it's fairly thorough. I'm comfortably with the Buddha on this one our experience of self is impermanent. It's no indication of a changeless soul that would bear these psychological characteristics.
I suppose another key difference, as well as the permanence of the soul, is its separation from other stuff. Some Buddhists at least seem to experience a kind of collapse of self into other, and other into self. Then there is no membrane coming in between.

I find Christianity puzzling in this respect, as some of the mystics seem to go there, but maybe they are pulled back, since the soul is needed, for it to be saved!

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no path

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Jesus exhorts people to love more, to feel more.
Buddha instructs people to release those feelings.
Jesus taught release of the importance of the desires of self.
Buddha taught release of the concept of self.

Pretty good.

Hui-Neng taught that after eating, one washes up.

Jesus taught us to 'love more, feel more'? Seriously? I don't think he equated love with feelings, that's a romantic, pietist thing to do and he was a 1st century rabbi.
That was a short statement to give a general impression, not a theological thesis. ISTM you are reading through tinted specs, be they not rose in colour.

Matthew 22:36-40

quote:
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

This is a pretty intense statement and isn't the same as the Buddhist emptying of self.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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quetzalcoatl
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Although some people who empty out the self, find great love, incoming and outgoing. There is a romantic version of Zen Jesus, who empties out the self, sees everything as One, and divine, and there is only love. (Cue Beatles track, 'love, love, love ... there's nothing you can know that isn't known').

Then we have to come down to earth, and be useful.

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no path

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Joesaphat
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Jesus exhorts people to love more, to feel more.
Buddha instructs people to release those feelings.
Jesus taught release of the importance of the desires of self.
Buddha taught release of the concept of self.

Pretty good.

Hui-Neng taught that after eating, one washes up.

Jesus taught us to 'love more, feel more'? Seriously? I don't think he equated love with feelings, that's a romantic, pietist thing to do and he was a 1st century rabbi.
That was a short statement to give a general impression, not a theological thesis. ISTM you are reading through tinted specs, be they not rose in colour.

Matthew 22:36-40

quote:
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

This is a pretty intense statement and isn't the same as the Buddhist emptying of self.
Again, you are begging the question. Why should love in this case (even if the object is God) be mostly a matter of feelings. I know the Gospels and the greatest commandments, thanks. I cannot believe that Jesus meant that you should 'feel' warm fuzzy thoughts towards God as you would towards a human beloved.

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Joesaphat
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Jesus exhorts people to love more, to feel more.
Buddha instructs people to release those feelings.
Jesus taught release of the importance of the desires of self.
Buddha taught release of the concept of self.

Pretty good.

Hui-Neng taught that after eating, one washes up.

Jesus taught us to 'love more, feel more'? Seriously? I don't think he equated love with feelings, that's a romantic, pietist thing to do and he was a 1st century rabbi.
That was a short statement to give a general impression, not a theological thesis. ISTM you are reading through tinted specs, be they not rose in colour.

Matthew 22:36-40

quote:
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

This is a pretty intense statement and isn't the same as the Buddhist emptying of self.
And I never, ever asserted that this was a Christian answer to Buddhist self emptying. Try "it is no longer I who live, but Christ in me.' 'Whosoever will save their lives will lose them, but those who lose their lives will find them.' He who doe snot take the cross, etc... There's quite a few sayings from the Lord about laying self aside.

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Opening my mouth and removing all doubt, online.

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
Jesus taught us to 'love more, feel more'? Seriously? I don't think he equated love with feelings, that's a romantic, pietist thing to do and he was a 1st century rabbi. Care to give us a few quotes from the Lord that enjoin us to bolster our sense of self?

I hardly think that feeling more is the same as bolstering our sense of self.

Part of the problem here is that 'self' is a word that is used in a lot of ways, and not all uses bring the others along in tow. (In particular, the uses tied to 'selfishness' are not the same as those tied to 'the self' in a philosophical sense.)

I think you're overstating the degree to which loving more is not a matter of feelings. If romanticism has roots in pietism, then pietism has roots in the Christian mystical tradition. And a lot of the Christian spiritual tradition can be described as an eroticisation of ethics (the supposed distinctions between 'philia', 'eros', and 'agape' are not as marked in koine Greek as a writer like Nygren would have it).

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
I cannot believe that Jesus meant that you should 'feel' warm fuzzy thoughts towards God as you would towards a human beloved.

Something I never said. Feeling =/= warm fuzzy, feeling is of variable meaning. Welcome to the English language.
quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
And I never, ever asserted that this was a Christian answer to Buddhist self emptying. Try "it is no longer I who live, but Christ in me.' 'Whosoever will save their lives will lose them, but those who lose their lives will find them.' He who doe snot take the cross, etc... There's quite a few sayings from the Lord about laying self aside.

Enough of the proof texting. A basic tenet of Christianity is person will be judged by God. Without a self, there is nothing to judge. IMO, a Christian who empties the self is submitting to God, not clearing house. If a glass of whisky is placed under a waterfall, it is still full. It merely has a different liquid within. That is the Christian emptying.
There are parallels in Buddhist and Christian teachings, to be sure, we are all humans so this is natural. But the end goals are not compatible in any way I can see.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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quetzalcoatl
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"Without a self, there is nothing to judge."

Bingo. There is a summary of years of discussion that I have had with various people, and seems to go to the heart of salvation, versus enlightenment.

Well, what is this self, then? Soul, spirit, and body, I suppose. I get it, I really don't.

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no path

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quetzalcoatl
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I think you can argue it both ways - first, that there are currents in Christianity that are transpersonal, or go beyond the self, and then there is an affinity with aspects of Buddhism.

And there are currents that reify the self, because it's the fulcrum of the salvation ethic. No self, no judgement, no salvation.

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no path

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
Try "it is no longer I who live, but Christ in me.' 'Whosoever will save their lives will lose them, but those who lose their lives will find them.' He who doe snot take the cross, etc... There's quite a few sayings from the Lord about laying self aside.

Laying self aside presupposes the existence of a self to lay aside. If there is no self, as you seem to be saying, this is a perfect disproof of your claim.

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God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. --Acts 10:28

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Joesaphat
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
Try "it is no longer I who live, but Christ in me.' 'Whosoever will save their lives will lose them, but those who lose their lives will find them.' He who doe snot take the cross, etc... There's quite a few sayings from the Lord about laying self aside.

Laying self aside presupposes the existence of a self to lay aside. If there is no self, as you seem to be saying, this is a perfect disproof of your claim.
or getting rid of a delusion. Furthermore the Lord does not ask us to 'lay self aside,' he asks us to die, to lose our lives.

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Opening my mouth and removing all doubt, online.

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Joesaphat
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Joesaphat:
[qb] I cannot believe that Jesus meant that you should 'feel' warm fuzzy thoughts towards God as you would towards a human beloved.

Something I never said. Feeling =/= warm fuzzy, feeling is of variable meaning. Welcome to the English language.

I don't know how to read you, then: "Jesus exhorts people to love more, to feel more." and "Jesus taught release of the importance of the desires of self."

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Opening my mouth and removing all doubt, online.

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Joesaphat
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
"Without a self, there is nothing to judge."

Bingo. There is a summary of years of discussion that I have had with various people, and seems to go to the heart of salvation, versus enlightenment.

Well, what is this self, then? Soul, spirit, and body, I suppose. I get it, I really don't.

Neither do I. I'm trying to imagine how they see this judgement of the self taking place, but I can't.

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Opening my mouth and removing all doubt, online.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Joesaphat:
[qb] I cannot believe that Jesus meant that you should 'feel' warm fuzzy thoughts towards God as you would towards a human beloved.

Something I never said. Feeling =/= warm fuzzy, feeling is of variable meaning. Welcome to the English language.

I don't know how to read you, then: "Jesus exhorts people to love more, to feel more." and "Jesus taught release of the importance of the desires of self."

I do not understand our problem. Merely quoting my words back doesn't clarify the point you are making.
Matthew 22:36-40 requires a self. It is also intense. This is not whatever warm and fuzzy you object to. A strong love is not giddy highs of infatuation, but deep, quiet and powerful. In order to love others more strongly, you must let go that which focuses solely on yourself.
CF the filios agape thing between Jesus and Peter also.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
Try "it is no longer I who live, but Christ in me.' 'Whosoever will save their lives will lose them, but those who lose their lives will find them.' He who doe snot take the cross, etc... There's quite a few sayings from the Lord about laying self aside.

Laying self aside presupposes the existence of a self to lay aside. If there is no self, as you seem to be saying, this is a perfect disproof of your claim.
or getting rid of a delusion.
What scriptures suggest to you that Jesus thought the self is a delusion? This is starting to sound like Christian Science.

quote:
Furthermore the Lord does not ask us to 'lay self aside,' he asks us to die, to lose our lives.
In order to be born again. We go down into the waters of baptism, then come back up out of them. Changed, but it's still ME that comes back up.

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God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. --Acts 10:28

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RuthW

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quote:
Originally posted by Ikkyu:
Easwaran is not a Buddhist. I don't know what else you have read but using a Hindu meditation teacher to evaluate Buddhism is a bit suspect. Is like using Muslim ideas about Christ to judge Christianity.

quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
Easwaran, by the way, is a fairly dyed-in-the-wool Hindu, it's not fair to invoke this author as representing Buddhist philosophy.

[Hot and Hormonal]

All I know is what I've read in this group, and in the things I've read there he spends so much time talking about the Buddha that I figured he was a Buddhist.

quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
So far, the only problem people have pointed out is the possibility of multiple lives, about which I'm quite agnostic. The Buddha himself taught that if his dharma is followed liberation can be a achieved in a single human life, heck, in a matter of months even, so it's not a hugely central problem to me or to a great many Buddhist teachers (and I don't count myself as one). Again, I cannot see how your soteriology would require me to abandon the central teachings of the Buddhadharma.

How can someone simultaneously believe that liberation can be achieved by following the dharma of the Buddha and that salvation is achieved through the incarnation, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ? Even for those who think all will be saved, for Christians that happens through Christ alone.
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Golden Key
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Well, what is this self, then? Soul, spirit, and body, I suppose. I get it, I really don't.

"What is mind? No matter. What is matter? Never mind. What is the soul? It is immaterial." - Thomas Hood

(Has occasionally been helpful, when I've gotten myself into that kind of tangle--and it's funny. [Biased] )

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

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Enoch
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Could I ask a question? By even asking it, I'm probably revealing to you all quite how ignorant, ill-informed and unperceptive I am. Or how unfamiliar I am with how other people allocate the various aspects of human personality. If so, my apologies.

If there is no soul, what is it that experiences joy, pain whether physical or emotion, sorrow, or even heat or cold and realises that it is experiencing them? Or if this is all an illusion, what is it that comes to realise that?

Is saying there is no such things as a soul, the same as saying there is no such thing as personhood? Or is saying there is no soul, more to do with making a semantic distinction of some sort?

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
Could I ask a question? By even asking it, I'm probably revealing to you all quite how ignorant, ill-informed and unperceptive I am. Or how unfamiliar I am with how other people allocate the various aspects of human personality. If so, my apologies.

If there is no soul, what is it that experiences joy, pain whether physical or emotion, sorrow, or even heat or cold and realises that it is experiencing them? Or if this is all an illusion, what is it that comes to realise that?

Is saying there is no such things as a soul, the same as saying there is no such thing as personhood? Or is saying there is no soul, more to do with making a semantic distinction of some sort?

When people say there is no such thing as a soul, they are saying that there is no supernatural entity sitting at the controls as it were. I, for example, am largely convinced that what we call a soul is an emergent property of a complex brain; this is because when we experience the things you describe we can see them in brain imaging. And personality can be changed by brain injury - it happens in Alzheimer's, it happens in stroke, it happens in traumatic brain injury.

I don't think, by the way, that this has major implications for the Christian hope of resurrection. The Christian hope of sitting on a cloud playing a harp in some disembodied form, yes, but the Scriptural warrant for that image has always been pretty weak if you ask me.

It's an interesting question though. I was only thinking about it last night. I'm into RPG game design, and I was thinking about Quantum computing, but then thought "there'll be a day when that's as old hat as an abacus is now - what would be the next thing?" and decided it'd be a neural computer - a computer system modelled on the function of the vertebrate brain, with a similar neuron density to an organic one, but potentially much larger. Would such a neural computer be conscious? Would it have, for want of a better word, a soul? If it reacted like an organic brain, if it experienced joy and sorrow and pain and so on, it what sense would it not? And since those emotions are things that happen in an organic brain, there's no reason to suppose it couldn't experience them.

Interesting stuff.

[ 20. December 2016, 10:40: Message edited by: Karl: Liberal Backslider ]

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Joesaphat
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
Could I ask a question? By even asking it, I'm probably revealing to you all quite how ignorant, ill-informed and unperceptive I am. Or how unfamiliar I am with how other people allocate the various aspects of human personality. If so, my apologies.

If there is no soul, what is it that experiences joy, pain whether physical or emotion, sorrow, or even heat or cold and realises that it is experiencing them? Or if this is all an illusion, what is it that comes to realise that?

Is saying there is no such things as a soul, the same as saying there is no such thing as personhood? Or is saying there is no soul, more to do with making a semantic distinction of some sort?

Your mind experiences all that, and it need not be separate from your body.

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Joesaphat
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quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
quote:
Originally posted by Ikkyu:
Easwaran is not a Buddhist. I don't know what else you have read but using a Hindu meditation teacher to evaluate Buddhism is a bit suspect. Is like using Muslim ideas about Christ to judge Christianity.

quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
Easwaran, by the way, is a fairly dyed-in-the-wool Hindu, it's not fair to invoke this author as representing Buddhist philosophy.

[Hot and Hormonal]

All I know is what I've read in this group, and in the things I've read there he spends so much time talking about the Buddha that I figured he was a Buddhist.

quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
So far, the only problem people have pointed out is the possibility of multiple lives, about which I'm quite agnostic. The Buddha himself taught that if his dharma is followed liberation can be a achieved in a single human life, heck, in a matter of months even, so it's not a hugely central problem to me or to a great many Buddhist teachers (and I don't count myself as one). Again, I cannot see how your soteriology would require me to abandon the central teachings of the Buddhadharma.

How can someone simultaneously believe that liberation can be achieved by following the dharma of the Buddha and that salvation is achieved through the incarnation, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ? Even for those who think all will be saved, for Christians that happens through Christ alone.

Because it's the same thing, IMO. Why would it be impossible to be saved through Christ by practising the Dhamma?

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Golden Key
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Re artificial life/soul:

The TV series "Otherworld" dealt with this, in its first episode (Otherworld Online). The premise of the series is that a family was pushed through a portal in the Great Pyramid, during a major conjunction of planets. They wound up someplace...other.

In the first episode, Trace, the teenage son, falls in love with Nova, a local girl, only to discover that she's an android. Most/all of the local people are androids. Very human, but with some differences. E.g., they can't really taste food, so their grocery store has just one kind of each thing, in generic containers (e.g., "Meat", "Beans", etc.).

When Trace finds out that Nova is an android, he freaks out. So she verbally fights with him, then takes him to a panel of lights on the outside of a building. She explains that each light is for one of the androids. "There's my soul," she says, "can you show me yours?" Trace finally begins to get it.*

I lean towards the idea that everything is alive in some way. I don't know if/when programs, computers, robots, and AIs would be alive. I have ethical concerns about creating and using those forms of artificial possible life. We treat our own species very badly, and animals, and the parts of Nature that modern, Western folks generally consider inanimate. If we do have electronic and/or mechanical artificial life, we'll mistreat and enslave it, and/or possibly worship it. IMHO, none of that would be good for us, nor for the creatures involved.

We humans really need to get our heads and hearts and policies clear on this, before we go any further.

FWIW.


*You can see what I think of as the "soul board": in the right-hand nav bar, find the pics for the first episode. and look for a panel with yellow lights, about 3/4 of the way down the page. Doesn't look at all special, out of context. But I love that moment.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
Why would it be impossible to be saved through Christ by practising the Dhamma?

No one on this thread has said this. That is not what RuthW said in the post you quote.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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quetzalcoatl
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
Could I ask a question? By even asking it, I'm probably revealing to you all quite how ignorant, ill-informed and unperceptive I am. Or how unfamiliar I am with how other people allocate the various aspects of human personality. If so, my apologies.

If there is no soul, what is it that experiences joy, pain whether physical or emotion, sorrow, or even heat or cold and realises that it is experiencing them? Or if this is all an illusion, what is it that comes to realise that?

Is saying there is no such things as a soul, the same as saying there is no such thing as personhood? Or is saying there is no soul, more to do with making a semantic distinction of some sort?

Does this mean that you think that there is an entity which experiences joy and pain, hot and cold? I wonder where you think this thing is situated?

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no path

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mdijon
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Well I know where I'm situated. Sitting on my bed looking at a laptop screen.

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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Joesaphat
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
Why would it be impossible to be saved through Christ by practising the Dhamma?

No one on this thread has said this. That is not what RuthW said in the post you quote.
Well, she seems to say that both cannot happen concurrently, as she wonders how anyone can "simultaneously believe that liberation can be achieved by following the dharma ... and that salvation can be achieved through he incarnation' which she takes to mean that is is worked 'by Christ alone.' It's an old debate, I'm of the view that even non believers will be saved if they do right, as Peter bore witness: 'anyone who does right is acceptable in God's sight,' no mention of the incarnation here. Conversely, believers are perfectly free to have a Buddhist practice if helpful.

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Does this mean that you think that there is an entity which experiences joy and pain, hot and cold? I wonder where you think this thing is situated?

I do. If you are prepared to tell me you don't, I'll have to take your word for it. But assuming you do, It's a sort of pilpul then to regard it as relevant whether we each categorise 'an entity' as including each other or not. The answer we reach to that semantic question has nothing really to offer any of the more fundamental ones.

Mdijon's answer seems fair enough to me.

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Joesaphat
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Does this mean that you think that there is an entity which experiences joy and pain, hot and cold? I wonder where you think this thing is situated?

I do. If you are prepared to tell me you don't, I'll have to take your word for it. But assuming you do, It's a sort of pilpul then to regard it as relevant whether we each categorise 'an entity' as including each other or not. The answer we reach to that semantic question has nothing really to offer any of the more fundamental ones.

Mdijon's answer seems fair enough to me.

Trying to understand: so, fundamentally, you are not your body? It's not your body that experiences pain, pleasure, hot, cold?

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Opening my mouth and removing all doubt, online.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
Well, she seems to say that both cannot happen concurrently, as she wonders how anyone can "simultaneously believe that liberation can be achieved by following the dharma ... and that salvation can be achieved through he incarnation' which she takes to mean that is is worked 'by Christ alone.'

If you fall off a cliff, gravity will speed you to a meeting with whatever lies at the bottom. Whether or not you believe in gravity, you will become a rather messy example of Newton's Second law of motion.
I think that is more along the lines she is expressing.
quote:

It's an old debate, I'm of the view that even non believers will be saved if they do right, as Peter bore witness: 'anyone who does right is acceptable in God's sight,' no mention of the incarnation here. Conversely, believers are perfectly free to have a Buddhist practice if helpful.

If you are a Christian, I can see adopting some Buddhist practice, but not Buddhism itself.

[ 20. December 2016, 19:43: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Joesaphat
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
Well, she seems to say that both cannot happen concurrently, as she wonders how anyone can "simultaneously believe that liberation can be achieved by following the dharma ... and that salvation can be achieved through he incarnation' which she takes to mean that is is worked 'by Christ alone.'

If you fall off a cliff, gravity will speed you to a meeting with whatever lies at the bottom. Whether or not you believe in gravity, you will become a rather messy example of Newton's Second law of motion.
I think that is more along the lines she is expressing.
quote:

It's an old debate, I'm of the view that even non believers will be saved if they do right, as Peter bore witness: 'anyone who does right is acceptable in God's sight,' no mention of the incarnation here. Conversely, believers are perfectly free to have a Buddhist practice if helpful.

If you are a Christian, I can see adopting some Buddhist practice, but not Buddhism itself.

That makes little sense to me. This kind of interpretation of Christ's work 'alone' makes it absolutely 'unique.' It seems to imply that the liberation offered by Christ is is absolutely and in every respect different from everything that came before. This is demonstrably untrue

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Joesaphat
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I mean Christ preached and taught some things that others also have taught. Are we not saved by these simply because they are not taught by Christ alone?

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lilBuddha
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I seriously do not comprehend the manner in which you draw conclusions.
I shall need to consider another tack as you do not respond to what I think I wrote.

ETA: This is not an attack, personal or otherwise. I am a bit nonplussed.

[ 20. December 2016, 20:24: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Joesaphat
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
I seriously do not comprehend the manner in which you draw conclusions.
I shall need to consider another tack as you do not respond to what I think I wrote.

ETA: This is not an attack, personal or otherwise. I am a bit nonplussed.

OK, let me put it in question form. It seems to me that a lot of the arguments made above are a form of Christian exceptionalism. If indeed salvation is found in no one else (and I do know that passages of Scripture claim as much): what are the teachings, practices, things... taught or performed by our Lord that have not been taught by others and are therefore absolutely essentials to accept or practice in order to be saved?

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
Trying to understand: so, fundamentally, you are not your body? It's not your body that experiences pain, pleasure, hot, cold?

Me too, trying to understand. Obviously the body experiences these things. What does this have to say about whether we are souls or not.

Or does Buddhism assume Christians believe that we merely wear our bodies like a suit of clothes? Wouldn't that be condemning us for having an understanding that is more that of Gnostics rather than us?

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
If indeed salvation is found in no one else (and I do know that passages of Scripture claim as much): what are the teachings, practices, things... taught or performed by our Lord that have not been taught by others and are therefore absolutely essentials to accept or practice in order to be saved?

You conflate two potentially distinct things: what is unique, and what is necessary for salvation. A Christian universalist might believe that ultimately all will be saved, and that salvation therefore does not depend on passing a written or verbal exam. And yet believe that things Christ said and did are unique, such as being begotten by the Father, and dying and rising to free us from sin.

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God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. --Acts 10:28

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
How can someone simultaneously believe that liberation can be achieved by following the dharma of the Buddha and that salvation is achieved through the incarnation, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ? Even for those who think all will be saved, for Christians that happens through Christ alone.

Because it's the same thing, IMO. Why would it be impossible to be saved through Christ by practising the Dhamma?
Because they're not the same thing, despite it being your opinion. I'm not going to trust my salvation to your opinion. I don't even know you. But the burden of proof is on you, who are claiming a new thing, and not upon those of us to whom it is novel and strange.

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God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. --Acts 10:28

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
OK, let me put it in question form. It seems to me that a lot of the arguments made above are a form of Christian exceptionalism. If indeed salvation is found in no one else (and I do know that passages of Scripture claim as much): what are the teachings, practices, things... taught or performed by our Lord that have not been taught by others and are therefore absolutely essentials to accept or practice in order to be saved?

Now, obviously, I don't know enough about Buddhism to say that it doesn't believe these things, but I would have thought the following are among the things that are unique to Christianity, here to be going on with, are 7.

1. That Jesus is both Son of God and Son of Man, i.e. the incarnate Son of God, and this is unique. Nobody else has been.

2. That although Son of God, with power to call up legions of angels, he allowed his enemies to execute him.

3. As such, and as a human man, he died. It's what happens when you are killed.

4. As Son of God, death could not hold him, and he rose from the dead.

5. By his death and resurrection, he bore and carried away human sin, conquered death, sin, and all powers of evil.

6. God is simultaneously not just one, as at least two other major faiths believe, nor just two person, the Father and the Son, but three, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

7. The Holy Spirit is not just active in the external world, but can come and dwell inside us.

You can argue that my way of describing these is too typical of a conventional Anglophone Protestant. You can say that you wouldn't express them the same way.

A person might say that they don't personally believe them. They might even argue, as some have, but I don't agree with, that the bits of teaching one would prefer Christianity didn't include were foisted on the simplicity of Jesus himself by St Paul or the Fathers.

It really is much more difficult than that to argue that these understandings are neither fundamental to Christianity, nor to what most Christians understand their faith to be about.

Nor, so far as I know, are any of those beliefs, understandings about 'life the universe and everything', that are found elsewhere.


I suppose at root, I don't think the world's major religions all teach the same things but just express themselves differently. I know there are people who say they do, but it seems to me that's wishful thinking.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
I seriously do not comprehend the manner in which you draw conclusions.
I shall need to consider another tack as you do not respond to what I think I wrote.

ETA: This is not an attack, personal or otherwise. I am a bit nonplussed.

OK, let me put it in question form. It seems to me that a lot of the arguments made above are a form of Christian exceptionalism. If indeed salvation is found in no one else (and I do know that passages of Scripture claim as much): what are the teachings, practices, things... taught or performed by our Lord that have not been taught by others and are therefore absolutely essentials to accept or practice in order to be saved?
what mousethief said and I am not sure how the uniqueness is relevant to my position.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Paul.
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quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
OK, let me put it in question form. It seems to me that a lot of the arguments made above are a form of Christian exceptionalism.

I think that's true.

quote:
If indeed salvation is found in no one else (and I do know that passages of Scripture claim as much): what are the teachings, practices, things... taught or performed by our Lord that have not been taught by others and are therefore absolutely essentials to accept or practice in order to be saved?
None of the above. It's Jesus himself that is unique. We are saved through him, by believing in him, not by believing in any of the specifics of what he did or taught per se (though doing so will be helpful in leading us toward him hopefully).

At least that's my understanding of the Christian gospel. Under it Buddhist ideas and practice - to which I claim almost total ignorance - can be judged helpful or unhelpful, compatible or not with Christianity to the extent that it helps or hinders us to come to Christ. And that will vary from person to person - what one finds useful another will find a stumbling block.

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no prophet's flag is set so...

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Far too much emphasis on post-death saving. If the discussion is dominated by that, there's nothing to discuss. Just disagreement.

How about pre-death saving people? You know, loving your neighbour as yourself. Or as Bill & Ted instructed "be excellent to each other". (Which could make the world most tranquil if we did it.)

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(formerly was just "no prophet") \_(ツ)_/

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RuthW

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quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
I mean Christ preached and taught some things that others also have taught. Are we not saved by these simply because they are not taught by Christ alone?

We're not saved by them because those don't save anyone no matter who teaches them. Christianity teaches that the work of salvation was performed by Christ, through his death and resurrection. It doesn't happen through our meditation, prayer, following certain teachings, etc.

Edited to add that I should have read more carefully what Paul said, as I'm mostly repeating what he said.

And to add that one of the clearest expressions of this I ever heard was that in Christianity it's not about what you know, it's about who you know.

[ 21. December 2016, 04:01: Message edited by: RuthW ]

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
Trying to understand: so, fundamentally, you are not your body? It's not your body that experiences pain, pleasure, hot, cold?

I think I am my body.

--------------------
mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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Joesaphat
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quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
I mean Christ preached and taught some things that others also have taught. Are we not saved by these simply because they are not taught by Christ alone?

We're not saved by them because those don't save anyone no matter who teaches them. Christianity teaches that the work of salvation was performed by Christ, through his death and resurrection. It doesn't happen through our meditation, prayer, following certain teachings, etc.

Edited to add that I should have read more carefully what Paul said, as I'm mostly repeating what he said.

And to add that one of the clearest expressions of this I ever heard was that in Christianity it's not about what you know, it's about who you know.

No, Calvinism teaches that.

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Joesaphat
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quote:
Originally posted by Paul.:
quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
OK, let me put it in question form. It seems to me that a lot of the arguments made above are a form of Christian exceptionalism.

I think that's true.

quote:
If indeed salvation is found in no one else (and I do know that passages of Scripture claim as much): what are the teachings, practices, things... taught or performed by our Lord that have not been taught by others and are therefore absolutely essentials to accept or practice in order to be saved?
None of the above. It's Jesus himself that is unique. We are saved through him, by believing in him, not by believing in any of the specifics of what he did or taught per se (though doing so will be helpful in leading us toward him hopefully).

At least that's my understanding of the Christian gospel. Under it Buddhist ideas and practice - to which I claim almost total ignorance - can be judged helpful or unhelpful, compatible or not with Christianity to the extent that it helps or hinders us to come to Christ. And that will vary from person to person - what one finds useful another will find a stumbling block.

Before I say anything that comes across as too heretical let me hasten to add that I confess Christ's full divinity too; this being said, if this is the be all and end all of Christian salvation, to require a God to become incarnate to teach what others, thoroughly human, have taught, to die as others, thoroughly human, have also died... does cheapen the idea of divinity a little, don't you think? Again, this is Christian exceptionalism at its Calvinist worst: yea, yea, your holy men and women may have taught the same, forgiven as they died as well, but ours is God-incarnate, though he did the very same stuff.

As Ruth put it: it's about who you know? So what about all those who do not know him and yet live holy lives? Are they toast as orthodox Protestantism has been claiming for centuries? If 'works' are of no account, we're back to the words of Fanny Crosby:
'To every believer, the promise of God;
The vilest offender who truly believes,
That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.
Praise the Lord!'

Can't believe that.

--------------------
Opening my mouth and removing all doubt, online.

Posts: 418 | From: London | Registered: Oct 2015  |  IP: Logged
Joesaphat
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"It's Jesus himself that is unique. We are saved through him, by believing in him, not by believing in any of the specifics of what he did or taught per se."

Really? You're denying what he himself taught, of course, and that at your own peril:

Matthew 7
“Not everyone who calls me Lord will enter God’s kingdom. The only people who will enter are those who do what my Father in heaven wants. 22 On that last Day many will call me Lord. They will say, ‘Lord, Lord, by the power of your name we spoke for God. And by your name we forced out demons and did many miracles.’ 23 Then I will tell those people clearly, ‘Get away from me, you people who do wrong. I never knew you.’

Posts: 418 | From: London | Registered: Oct 2015  |  IP: Logged



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