My problems with reincarnation and the belief in karma

Get Email Updates Email this Topic Print this Page

Karpowich
 
Reply Wed 13 Jan, 2010 02:18 am
@Alan McDougall,
You also have to realize that the belief of reincarnation is quite similar to the Christian belief in Heaven. Reincarnation states that when you die, your essence is taken to another plane of existence where your next life will be dictated by the quality of your morals and actions in the previous life. That is remarkably like heaven, the difference is that there is no speculation as to who or what does the judging. Also, many who believe in reincarnation believe in it as a metaphor. At any given point in time you are who you are based on what you've experienced in life. Your whole persona and personality are subject to the good, bad, and even moot points that have happened to you. So many things happen to you every second without you noticing that you can't comprehend the personality changes. You sit in a chair and it's uncomfortable so you don't like that brand of chairs anymore, a waitress is mean so you decide she's unworthy of a tip, so on and so forth. So many things happen to you every second that your mind is literally "reborn" or "reincarnated" since you never view the world in the exact same way more than one second or so.
 
Alan McDougall
 
Reply Wed 13 Jan, 2010 03:52 am
@Karpowich,
Karpowich;119594 wrote:
You also have to realize that the belief of reincarnation is quite similar to the Christian belief in Heaven. Reincarnation states that when you die, your essence is taken to another plane of existence where your next life will be dictated by the quality of your morals and actions in the previous life. That is remarkably like heaven, the difference is that there is no speculation as to who or what does the judging. Also, many who believe in reincarnation believe in it as a metaphor. At any given point in time you are who you are based on what you've experienced in life. Your whole persona and personality are subject to the good, bad, and even moot points that have happened to you. So many things happen to you every second without you noticing that you can't comprehend the personality changes. You sit in a chair and it's uncomfortable so you don't like that brand of chairs anymore, a waitress is mean so you decide she's unworthy of a tip, so on and so forth. So many things happen to you every second that your mind is literally "reborn" or "reincarnated" since you never view the world in the exact same way more than one second or so.


What I do not like about reincarnation and Buddhism is the final result of this believe e.g. that you lose your unique self identity withing the cosmic mind. I also do not like the idea of being born and reborn back into this realm of mortal man
 
Karpowich
 
Reply Wed 13 Jan, 2010 05:09 am
@Alan McDougall,
Alan McDougall;119598 wrote:
What I do not like about reincarnation and Buddhism is the final result of this believe e.g. that you lose your unique self identity withing the cosmic mind. I also do not like the idea of being born and reborn back into this realm of mortal man


I can sympathize with that, but I also to an extent believe that regardless of what you believe, self identity will inevitably be lost. Whether you believe in a utopian after life such as heaven, reincarnation, or simply that death is the end of existence, they all have to do with a loss of identity. Some may argue that you don't lose your self identity when you go to heaven, but I bring up the point that having self identity brings morality problems. Instead of doing things because they're good, or right, people do them under the knowledge of how it will affect them as a person. I'm not saying that it is impossible to be a good person while having self identity, just that no one's going to give everything they have as long as they think of themselves as independent beings. That being said, and going by the knowledge that Heaven is a perfect place, I don't think it can be perfect while people still think of themselves as singular. As for not liking the idea of being born and reborn back into this realm, I see that as simply a personal conflict rather than a logical one. As a Buddhist I may not like the idea of one omnipotent being ruling over all creation, but I also can not rule out the idea completely because my desires do not control the reality of the universe. Things are as they are, just because you don't like something doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Reality does not change according to our ability to stomach it.
 
xris
 
Reply Wed 13 Jan, 2010 06:31 am
@Karpowich,
I appreciate acceptance but not at the expense of logic. You have to believe the logic of it or becomes a blinkered belief. You cant deny your reasoning, its part of being human. I understand the concept of life's experiences, we are the same soul experiencing different consequences of life. What I dont understand is the fickle notion of our placement. If I was born to Buddhist teacher and obeyed his teachings i might break the chain of life and death with one existence. Others may be born into ignorance for many lives , how is that managed in your beliefs?
 
Alan McDougall
 
Reply Wed 13 Jan, 2010 08:20 am
@xris,
xris;119610 wrote:
I appreciate acceptance but not at the expense of logic. You have to believe the logic of it or becomes a blinkered belief. You cant deny your reasoning, its part of being human. I understand the concept of life's experiences, we are the same soul experiencing different consequences of life. What I dont understand is the fickle notion of our placement. If I was born to Buddhist teacher and obeyed his teachings i might break the chain of life and death with one existence. Others may be born into ignorance for many lives , how is that managed in your beliefs?


Xris


http://everythingelseatheism.blogspot.com/2009/02/problems-with-reincarnation.html

But let's assume that the soul does exist and inhabits a new body when the old one dies.

Why does the soul forget its past experiences? What would make the soul's memories stop when the old body dies?

Why would the self - the presumed soul - not be able to remember? Is the soul not the ultimate self?



Then why come into bodies at all? And then what if the ratio of bodies-to-souls is off, say more souls than bodies? Do the souls just hang out in soul-land waiting for a new body to inhabit? Or what if there are more bodies than souls? Are new souls born? Or are there some people who are just automatons - functioning robots without souls at all? Could we tell the automatons apart from the real people?

Now let's deal with animals, if you accept trans-special reincarnation. Clearly some animals have different sorts of mental functioning abilities. We can reason better, rats can discern smells better, bats can hear better. Different animals can see in different colors, very much a mental process of the mind.


How does the soul make up for these things? When we get transferred to a chicken, do we lose our ability to reason? When we are transferred out of a wolf, do we lose the knowledge of how to hunt?

Are our souls restricted in what they can express on their host? And then of course, what's the cutoff point of creatures imbued with souls? Do rats have souls? Bees? Roaches? Bacteria? Viruses? Replicating proteins like Mad Cow? Even if you restrict reincarnation to just humans; at what point in the human evolutionary chain was the first soul imbued?

Now how about the idea that the creature you get to inhabit depends on how good you were in your past life. Who keeps track? Who is the great record-keeper that sends you to your new body? What criteria are used? Is it objective - could it be objective? Does it make mistakes?


How does it force our souls into the hosts? Could the soul refuse? And you have to wonder; is your fate graded on a curve? What if everyone in one generation acts perfectly and kindly and loving to everyone? Surely the less desirable bodies are still being born and need to be inhabited. Would a couple of hugs be the difference between a hawk and a slug?
 
xris
 
Reply Wed 13 Jan, 2010 08:31 am
@Alan McDougall,
Im no buddhist Alan but certain bits make sense but not others. Why has it got two ds insead of one:bigsmile: No seriously Alan faith and belief is always a conundrum. They have theirs you have yours. I can understand the reasoning why one life should not effect the other. Imaging you know you have another chance to get it right, would you play it like game instead of earnestly striving for perfection. The uncertainties of life are essential for us to truly understanding our existence, this experience. Do you like watching the same film over and over again? I dont know the mathematics of soul population but should that be a reason for not believing in a transient soul?
 
Sartre
 
Reply Sat 20 Feb, 2010 09:07 pm
@Alan McDougall,
Also, being a moral relativist, I can't see how I could be punished by karma for something thought of as immoral by my culture and society, yet perhaps cherished in another.
 
Krumple
 
Reply Sat 20 Feb, 2010 11:21 pm
@Alan McDougall,
Alan McDougall;119639 wrote:
Xris


http://everythingelseatheism.blogspot.com/2009/02/problems-with-reincarnation.html

But let's assume that the soul does exist and inhabits a new body when the old one dies.

Why does the soul forget its past experiences? What would make the soul's memories stop when the old body dies?

Why would the self - the presumed soul - not be able to remember? Is the soul not the ultimate self?



Then why come into bodies at all? And then what if the ratio of bodies-to-souls is off, say more souls than bodies? Do the souls just hang out in soul-land waiting for a new body to inhabit? Or what if there are more bodies than souls? Are new souls born? Or are there some people who are just automatons - functioning robots without souls at all? Could we tell the automatons apart from the real people?

Now let's deal with animals, if you accept trans-special reincarnation. Clearly some animals have different sorts of mental functioning abilities. We can reason better, rats can discern smells better, bats can hear better. Different animals can see in different colors, very much a mental process of the mind.


How does the soul make up for these things? When we get transferred to a chicken, do we lose our ability to reason? When we are transferred out of a wolf, do we lose the knowledge of how to hunt?

Are our souls restricted in what they can express on their host? And then of course, what's the cutoff point of creatures imbued with souls? Do rats have souls? Bees? Roaches? Bacteria? Viruses? Replicating proteins like Mad Cow? Even if you restrict reincarnation to just humans; at what point in the human evolutionary chain was the first soul imbued?

Now how about the idea that the creature you get to inhabit depends on how good you were in your past life. Who keeps track? Who is the great record-keeper that sends you to your new body? What criteria are used? Is it objective - could it be objective? Does it make mistakes?


How does it force our souls into the hosts? Could the soul refuse? And you have to wonder; is your fate graded on a curve? What if everyone in one generation acts perfectly and kindly and loving to everyone? Surely the less desirable bodies are still being born and need to be inhabited. Would a couple of hugs be the difference between a hawk and a slug?


The annoying thing here is that I answered all of these questions for you Alan, in the past you made a post similar to this and I answered them and now that you are restating them, you are pretending as if you don't have something to go on. I know I am not an authority on the subject, but you can't pretend as if these questions are unanswerable. The fact is you have limited understanding of Buddhism to begin with, that your understanding of rebirth is misled because of your lack of understanding. You are going off someone else's cultural misunderstanding and making it your own.

The Buddha never says that you go from one life to another, this was something added later. When he was questioned about a being living in the past or living in the future, he remained silent. He was pressed further and forced into answering it. When he did finally speak, he said, "Since I do not adhere to the idea of a permanent self entity, there is no past becoming nor future becoming."

What does that mean Alan? It means there is no soul, no permanent identity that you want to believe there is. Since there is no soul, talking about it being born in the past, or being reborn in the future doesn't make any sense. How can you be reborn, if the self is a misunderstanding? You can't. It would be like suggesting that movies breed movies. They don't because movies are not real.

Please Alan, do some investigation into a subject before you try and reduce it with your lines of questioning. Here is a link I feel you could benefit from.

buddhaweb - Doctrine of Anatta (Not-self/No-soul)
 
 

 
Copyright © 2019 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.02 seconds on 07/15/2019 at 07:19:48