Sign in to follow this  
VonNoble

Wisdom Lovers United (or untied)

Recommended Posts

On 1/22/2018 at 4:47 PM, mark 45 said:

why can't buddhism be classified as philosophy?it isn't a religion,per say.and yes i know that certain schools of buddhism can be considered so,but that is a conversation for another time.

I am not at all sure it is not a philosophy.  That is one of the things I am hoping to figure out. 

I have described it as a philosophy for years.   However, as I am discovering they (philosophers) have some guidelines

as to what is and what is technically a philosophy/Philosophy.   We'll see where the "formal" lines are on that one.

 

Until I know for sure it would be incorrect - I would still describe Buddhism as a philosophy.

 

von

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/22/2018 at 5:53 PM, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

 

Buddhism is also a practice, much like meditation.  It's what we want it to be.  I have found some of the Buddhist ideas helpful.  I am not a Buddhist.  

 

 

Would you consider yourself a philosophic (no dogma, no ritual) Buddhist?  (if such at thing exists?)

 

von

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our first week in Philosophy class we studied Plato's Allegory of the Cave. 

It is a very quick read online for anyone who wants to preview it.   It can be pondered and dissected

a good long while (and was in class.)   I am not sure it was worth the effort. 

 

Prior to reading this story (prisoners chained in a cave have a limited point of view....and on it goes) 

...prior to reading it - it was hailed with great fanfare as a genius bit of literature.   The words life-changing

were used as part of the introduction.  I did NOT AT ALL find it to be life changing.   Nor did I find it to be 

inspiring or even a good read. 

 

I wonder if Plato would not have benefitted from adopting the style of Jesus.   Jesus was a good parable maker.   

Plato seems less effective by comparison.     

 

Any preference in  your view of Jesus over Plato?  

 

 I reserve the right to amend my views as this class progresses.....I am VERY new to this VERY large subject.  

These are first blush musings only.....

 

von

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, VonNoble said:

 

Would you consider yourself a philosophic (no dogma, no ritual) Buddhist?  (if such at thing exists?)

 

von

 

No.  I have found some of the ideas in Buddhism helpful.  The idea of the Middle Path of Moderation.  The idea of releasing and letting go.  The idea that all things pass.  A few lesser ideas.  I don't think that makes me -- in any way -- a Buddhist.  I also don't think that Buddha intended to start a new "religion".  Or even a new philosophy.  Buddha was a practical man.  He began with a few basic questions.  Questions like -- "Why do we suffer?"  "How can we release our suffering?"  Alas, the usual pattern followed.  People became professional clergy.  Then simple ideas -- and simple practices -- became complicated.  No.  I am not a Buddhist.  I'm not sure that Buddha was a Buddhist.  

 

If anything, Buddha was an Agnostic.  In the Dhampada -- the earliest collection of Buddhist writings -- a young man wants to ask Buddha some questions.

 

"Tell me about God."

"The existence of God might not be the case."

"There's no God?"

"The non-existence of God might not be the case."

"The gods?"

"The existence of the gods might not be the case."

"The gods don't exist?"

"The non-existence of the gods might not be the case."

 

The conversation was a lengthy one.  In similar manner it dispensed with the soul, reincarnation, Heaven, Hell, and many other matters.  Buddha didn't care about any of these things.  He considered them all to be mere distractions on the Path -- and a waste of time to argue about.  

 

Buddha is also quoted as saying -- "Fire is hot.  Ice is cold.  All the gods in all the heavens will not change this."

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, VonNoble said:

Our first week in Philosophy class we studied Plato's Allegory of the Cave. 

It is a very quick read online for anyone who wants to preview it.   It can be pondered and dissected

a good long while (and was in class.)   I am not sure it was worth the effort. 

 

Prior to reading this story (prisoners chained in a cave have a limited point of view....and on it goes) 

...prior to reading it - it was hailed with great fanfare as a genius bit of literature.   The words life-changing

were used as part of the introduction.  I did NOT AT ALL find it to be life changing.   Nor did I find it to be 

inspiring or even a good read. 

 

I wonder if Plato would not have benefitted from adopting the style of Jesus.   Jesus was a good parable maker.   

Plato seems less effective by comparison.     

 

Any preference in  your view of Jesus over Plato?  

 

 I reserve the right to amend my views as this class progresses.....I am VERY new to this VERY large subject.  

These are first blush musings only.....

 

von

 

 

I don't find either of them to be helpful -- or inspirational.  

 

As you explore the writings of Pythagoras and the other Greek Geomitrists -- you will discover that they were out and out mystics.  They had no practical use for Geometry.  They were exploring the nature of reality.  It helps keep Plato in perspective.  They were interested in the reality beyond -- behind --  underneath -- the apparent.  

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, VonNoble said:

I am not at all sure it is not a philosophy.  That is one of the things I am hoping to figure out. 

I have described it as a philosophy for years.   However, as I am discovering they (philosophers) have some guidelines

as to what is and what is technically a philosophy/Philosophy.   We'll see where the "formal" lines are on that one.

 

Until I know for sure it would be incorrect - I would still describe Buddhism as a philosophy.

 

von

 

 

Formal guidelines?  For what is and is not philosophy?     :lol:    Blah, blah, blah.   As they say in Civil Service -- "If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, then baffle them with bull **."     :D

 

 

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

 

No.  I have found some of the ideas in Buddhism helpful.  The idea of the Middle Path of Moderation.  The idea of releasing and letting go.  The idea that all things pass.  A few lesser ideas.  I don't think that makes me -- in any way -- a Buddhist.  I also don't think that Buddha intended to start a new "religion".  Or even a new philosophy.  Buddha was a practical man.  He began with a few basic questions.  Questions like -- "Why do we suffer?"  "How can we release our suffering?"  Alas, the usual pattern followed.  People became professional clergy.  Then simple ideas -- and simple practices -- became complicated.  No.  I am not a Buddhist.  I'm not sure that Buddha was a Buddhist.  

 

If anything, Buddha was an Agnostic.  In the Dhampada -- the earliest collection of Buddhist writings -- a young man wants to ask Buddha some questions.

 

"Tell me about God."

"The existence of God might not be the case."

"There's no God?"

"The non-existence of God might not be the case."

"The gods?"

"The existence of the gods might not be the case."

"The gods don't exist?"

"The non-existence of the gods might not be the case."

 

The conversation was a lengthy one.  In similar manner it dispensed with the soul, reincarnation, Heaven, Hell, and many other matters.  Buddha didn't care about any of these things.  He considered them all to be mere distractions on the Path -- and a waste of time to argue about.  

 

Buddha is also quoted as saying -- "Fire is hot.  Ice is cold.  All the gods in all the heavens will not change this."

 

 

I completely agree...I believe Buddha expressly did not intend to form a religion!

 

THAT, today had me wondering.... did Jesus?    The Christians will jump in with justifications for church...however- I remember there was more of a claim he was a revolutionary (which was his undoing so to speak).... thoughts on the intent of Jesus to start. Religion?

 

thx von

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

 

 

I don't find either of them to be helpful -- or inspirational.  

 

As you explore the writings of Pythagoras and the other Greek Geomitrists -- you will discover that they were out and out mystics.  They had no practical use for Geometry.  They were exploring the nature of reality.  It helps keep Plato in perspective.  They were interested in the reality beyond -- behind --  underneath -- the apparent.  

This is very helpful.   A couple of class references make more sense now.    TgNk you.       von

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

 

 

Formal guidelines?  For what is and is not philosophy?     :lol:    Blah, blah, blah.   As they say in Civil Service -- "If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, then baffle them with bull **."     :D

 

 

:clap2:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, VonNoble said:

I completely agree...I believe Buddha expressly did not intend to form a religion!

 

THAT, today had me wondering.... did Jesus?    The Christians will jump in with justifications for church...however- I remember there was more of a claim he was a revolutionary (which was his undoing so to speak).... thoughts on the intent of Jesus to start. Religion?

 

thx von

 

I'm not satisfied that there was a historic Jesus.  There is no verification of his existence outside of Scripture.  Some of what is in Scripture is not plausible.  My favorite example occurs near the end of Matthew. 

 

1.  At the Crucifixion, the Temple is destroyed. 

 

2   The tombs open and the dead walk among the living.

 

1.  On the first count, this is contradicted by history.  The Temple was not destroyed by spiritual forces.  Or by an Earthquake.  The Romans destroyed it.

 

2.  On the second point -- the dead were walking among the living -- and no outside historian thought it was worth mentioning?  Just a normal day in Jerusalem?  

 

Even the mundane accounts of the Gospels scream improbability.  We have Jesus walking around with huge crowds following him.  In numbers that the Temple priests found alarming.  Such dense crowds, that we have the story of the woman touching his robe -- because the crowds were so dense.  Jesus had such a huge following; that the Romans had to pay Judas just to point him out.

 

On an even more basic level, we have the assertion that the Temple Priests had to go to Pilate to have Jesus killed.  As though a simple murder -- or an execution -- was beyond their means.  The story of the woman taken in adultery, puts that lie to rest.

 

Other details -- like the trial -- don't add up.  The Romans respected Jewish Law.  They would not have that kind of execution right before Passover.

 

When there is no external verification -- and the internal account is clearly false -- there is no reason to believe any of it.

 

Now, we need to make an important distinction.

 

We also don't know with any certainty that there was a historic Buddha.  We don't need a historic Buddha.  What matters is the ideas of Buddha.  Like wise, we have no proof that there was a historic Plato.  What matters is the ideas of Plato -- regardless of who said them.

 

Neither Plato nor Buddha said -- "I am the Way, the Truth and the Light.  Who ever follows me........."   Without a historic Jesus, things fall apart.  Unless of course, we wish to assert that Jesus was a human philosopher.  Then, there are other issues.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

.  

 

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, VonNoble said:

This is very helpful.   A couple of class references make more sense now.    TgNk you.       von

 

 

I hope this puts things into perspective.  The prisoners of Plato's cave were imprisoned, not by their chains -- but by their inability to perceive true reality.  Their perceptions were limited to "shadow".    The world of surface reality.  

 

I think this also relates to Agnosticism, without the mysticism.  Agnostics also ask irritating questions.  Things like -- "What is true?" and -- "How do we know, what is true?"  Sound familiar?     :D

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

 

 

I hope this puts things into perspective.  The prisoners of Plato's cave were imprisoned, not by their chains -- but by their inability to perceive true reality.  Their perceptions were limited to "shadow".    The world of surface reality.  

 

I think this also relates to Agnosticism, without the mysticism.  Agnostics also ask irritating questions.  Things like -- "What is true?" and -- "How do we know, what is true?"  Sound familiar?     :D

And how much reality do we truly see? We are limited by our ignorance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Brother Kaman said:

And how much reality do we truly see? We are limited by our ignorance.

 

What we see is influenced by what we expect.  Of course, ignorance plays a part.  So does illusion.  Still, I think it is worth the effort to see clearly.  

 

 

 

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

 

I'm not satisfied that there was a historic Jesus.  There is no verification of his existence outside of Scripture.  Some of what is in Scripture is not plausible. 

 

Even the mundane accounts of the Gospels scream improbability. 

 

When there is no external verification -- and the internal account is clearly false -- there is no reason to believe any of it.

 

Now, we need to make an important distinction.

We also don't know with any certainty that there was a historic Buddha.  We don't need a historic Buddha.  What matters is the ideas of Buddha. 

 

Like wise, we have no proof that there was a historic Plato.  What matters is the ideas of Plato -- regardless of who said them.

 

  Unless of course, we wish to assert that Jesus was a human philosopher.  Then, there are other issues.  

 I agree - the actual existence of Buddha, or Plato are not critical to pinpoint.   The ideas carry forward.  In class they presented a related quote attributed to Socrates:.... philosophers give birth to "eternal children" (birthing ideas that live for generations.)  

 

There are times where I do see Jesus (if he existed) as a potential philosopher.   

 

My prediction for future assignments for this class will include a presentation of a proper statement from each of us

regarding our personal beliefs re: the existence of God/god.   I better get started on formulating one.   it is going to take me 

awhile. :blink:

 

It has been a long while since I needed to focus on that issue.    

Morality and a causal correlation to god/God do not seem to be relevant to me.   So I guess I better start working on 

how one phrases that properly (and of course - defends whatever stand one takes as part of a class exercise.) 

 

That will be another day. 

 

Thanks,

 

von

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

 

 

I hope this puts things into perspective.  The prisoners of Plato's cave were imprisoned, not by their chains -- but by their inability to perceive true reality.  Their perceptions were limited to "shadow".    The world of surface reality.  

 

I think this also relates to Agnosticism, without the mysticism.  Agnostics also ask irritating questions.  Things like -- "What is true?" and -- "How do we know, what is true?"  Sound familiar?     :D

I appreciate the summation of the Allegory of the Cave.    We are taking on that issue for a second class period next week.

 

Yes, the questions  you noted are becoming quite familiar in the "Food for Thought" notations scattered throughout our readings.

You obviously know a thing or two about this topic.   It seems beneficial to at least understand the basics.

von   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Brother Kaman said:

And how much reality do we truly see? We are limited by our ignorance.

 

I saw a future chapter in our readings entitled:   How do we know....what we believe we know?

I am hoping that is after mid-term.     :lol:

 

My gray ole noggin' is getting really full of new terms and "logic" formulas.    I took today off from

reading just to let the avalanche of new information settle.   Too much fresh powder to ski the

mountain today.    :D

von

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, VonNoble said:

 I agree - the actual existence of Buddha, or Plato are not critical to pinpoint.   The ideas carry forward.  In class they presented a related quote attributed to Socrates:.... philosophers give birth to "eternal children" (birthing ideas that live for generations.)  

 

There are times where I do see Jesus (if he existed) as a potential philosopher.   

 

My prediction for future assignments for this class will include a presentation of a proper statement from each of us

regarding our personal beliefs re: the existence of God/god.   I better get started on formulating one.   it is going to take me 

awhile. :blink:

 

It has been a long while since I needed to focus on that issue.    

Morality and a causal correlation to god/God do not seem to be relevant to me.   So I guess I better start working on 

how one phrases that properly (and of course - defends whatever stand one takes as part of a class exercise.) 

 

That will be another day. 

 

Thanks,

 

von

 

 

 

The urgency of finding the historic Jesus ,depends on your theology.  If Jesus is the most idealistic of men and nothing more, it's not that big a deal.  If you believe that Eternal Damnation awaits the unbeliever -- it's a lot more urgent.  

 

The question goes to the nature of Christianity.  In Buddhism, Buddha is only the messenger.  In Christianity, Jesus is the Message.  

 

In fairness, this does not let Buddhism off the hook.  A major claim of Buddhism is that Buddhism is a path to enlightenment.  Anybody can achieve enlightenment through Buddhist practice.  That is, anyone can become a Buddha.  After three thousand years of Buddhist practice -- where are all the Buddhas?  

 

Collectively -- there are parts of the world where Buddhism is the dominant philosophy.  Are these "enlightend societies"?  Not really.  They're not worse.  They're not better.  Only different.  

 

Buddha insisted that his ideas could be put to the test.  From what I can see, the results have been mixed.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As long as we are grappling with basic questions -- "What is true?" -- "What is real?" --  There is no reason to ignore the claims of Judaism.  Everything in the Hebrew Scriptures -- EVERYTHING -- including Genesis --  has an exact date on the Jewish calendar.  This is the year 5778.  That's how old the world is.  India and China have histories older than that.  Their records don't mention Noah's Flood.  It's almost as though the Great Flood never happened.

 

According to Islam, Mohammed ascended to the Heavens with the help of a flying horse.  Good luck with that.  After the first hundred miles, the air starts getting thin.  

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The important stuff I learned in Philosophy classes-

Questions are more useful than answers.

Certainty is less valuable than curiosity.

 

Oddly, the way the classes were taught and graded suggested that the faculty never quite learned these lessons.

Edited by mererdog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, mererdog said:

The important stuff I learned in Philosophy classes-

Questions are more useful than answers.

Certainty is less valuable than curiosity.

 

Oddly, the way the classes were taught and graded suggested that the faculty never quite learned these lessons.

 

 

Just so.  Academia is frequently not open minded.  They can be a combative lot.  I have met plenty of teachers who didn't care what I thought, as long as I could make my case.  They were the minority.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this