TABLE OF CONTENTS

DharmachakraOVERVIEW
 
HISTORY
Founder
 
BELIEFS
Sasmara
Rebirth
Karma
The Four Immeasurable
The Brahmavihara
Reality
Doctrine of Emptiness
Three Marks of Existence
Liberation
Salvation
Gods
 
SACRED WRITINGS
The Buddhavacana
Pali Canon
Mahayana Sutras
Taisho Tripitaka
Kangyur
 
PRACTICES
Monastic Living
Dietary Rites
Meditation
Three Jewels of Refuge
Buddhist Ethics & Precepts
 
CRITICISM & APOLOGETICS
Manuscript issues
Fundamental Buddhism
Problem with Reality
Denial Ends Suffering
Denial is Enlightenment
Problems with Karma
Problems with Reincarnation
Counter Arguments
Problems without a God
Contradictions
Between Buddhist Anicca and Dukka
Contradictions between the Noble Path and Shunyata
Contradictions between Nirvana and Suffering
 
REFERENCES

 


 OVERVIEW

Buddhism is one of the world’s largest religions, with its origins and practices found primarily in India & China. It is a nontheistic or atheistic religion, meaning it does not recognize and supreme being or god. The basic principle of Buddhist is to obtain Nirvana or stillness of mind brought by enlightenment.

 

HISTORY

Tokyo Museum - BuddhaFounder

The first teachings of Buddhism is attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, also known as the Buddha (meaning ‘the awakened one’). Traditions teach that Buddha lived and taught in the eastern part of India around 600 b.c.  He left his wife and son in search of truth, as he felt he could no longer endure his life as a rich nobleman, and thus he became a wondering ascetic. Classic stories tell that after 7 years, he attained Nirvana, or enlightenment under a Bo tree (tree of wisdom).

From this point the teachings of Buddhism fused with various other Asian religious systems and cultures such as Hinduism, reformatting many of their beliefs. Ancient India around 200 b.c. began to experience social turmoil as the people became discontent with the rituals and sacrifices associated with their current religious requirements. Buddhism was introduced at this time with various other teachings that began to mix in with the Indian cultures and became fused with many of their beliefs.

Emperor Mauryan of Ashoka was an avid supporter of Buddhism, and it is believed that during his reign, circa 200b.c, that the religion truly flourished, making its way from Afghanistan to the borders of China, Japan and most of the Easter Asian Continent.

From its Spreading, Buddhism has developed into many different branches, a few of the major systems are:

  1. Theravada – A conservative form of Buddhism. Believed to be the closes form of the original teachings.
  2. Tibetan Buddhism – Practices historically in India, once known as the main religion of the Tibetan nation.
  3. Mahayana – interpreted as a more devoted, lay-inspired version of Buddhism.

 Branches of Buddhism


BELIEFS

The teachings of Buddha are concerned with the ramifications of the 4 noble truths and the eightfold paths;

  1. Suffering (dukkha)
  2. It’s Cause
  3. It’s Cessation
  4. The Way (which leads to cessation)

 

Noble Eightfold Path - BuddhismBuddhists belief birth is sorrow, age is sorrow, sickness is sorrow, death is sorrow., and clinging to earthly things is sorrow. Birth and rebirth, the wheel of reincarnation results from the thirst in life for passion and desires. The only escape is the eightfold path, in which in the end you will achieve Nirvana:

  1. Right Belief
  2. Right Resolve
  3. Right Word
  4. Right Act
  5. Right Life
  6. Right Effort
  7. Right Thinking
  8. Right Meditation

 

Sasmara

Sasmara is the continual repetitive cycle of birth and death that arises from ordinary beings grasping and fixating on self experience. This cycle processes a being through one of six realms of existence with each rebirth. Each realm can be understood as a physical or psychological realm or state of existence, characterized by a specific type of suffering.

Sasmara arises from a beings ignorance, and are characterized by that being dukkha (suffering, anxiety, dissatisfaction.) Buddhists believe liberation from this cycle is only possible by following the Buddhists path and achieving Nirvana.

 

Rebirth

This is the process in which a soul goes through a succession of lifetimes as one of many forms of sentient beings, beginning at conception until its death. Souls are not eternal or unchanging, in fact they are not even truly independent from the rest of the universe according to their belief in Anatta. There are 31 planes of existence in which a rebirth can take place, and a soul will transmigrate or incarnate into a being in one of these places;

  1. Naraka being – those that live in one of the Narakas (Hells)
  2. Preta – invisible, hungry ghosts or spirits. Sometimes sharing the same space as humans
  3. Animals – The beasts, share the realm as humans
  4. Humans – on realm in which a soul may obtain Nirvana
  5. Asuras – Low deities, demons, titans, antigods. Traditionally believed to be a separate realm (not apart of Theravada Buddhism)
  6. Devas – including the Brahmas, the gods, deities, angels, etc.

Rebirth into the higher heavens known as the Suddhavasa worlds or pure worlds can only be attained by skilled Buddhists known as the non-returners (Anagamis).

 

Karma

Wheel of Life - Tibetan BuddhaIn Buddhism, Karma is the result or consequence of an action performed in the body, mind or words that come from a person’s intentions.

Karma (from Sanskrit “action or work”) is the force that drives Samsara, the cycle of suffering and rebirth for each being. Good deeds, known as Kusala, and bad deeds, known as akusala, produce seeds in the mind of a sentient being that will come to life either in this life or after the next rebirth.

In Theravada Buddhism, there can be no salvation from Karma, it is an impersonal process that is part of the universe. In other schools of Buddhism, such as the Vajrayana, certain mantras or reciting Buddhist texts can ward of the negative effects of bad karma.

 

The Four Immeasurable

The Brahmavihara

The Buddha, Gautama, created the concept for a new kind of person, one without egotism, or without a view of oneself or self importance. This was known the four immeasurable or minds of love, compassion, joy and equanimity., also known as the Brahmavihara, or divine abodes. They were also known as the loving-kindness meditations, taught as having a  wholesome attitude towards all sentient beings:

  1. May all sentient beings have happiness and its cause
  2. May all sentient beings be free of suffering and its cause
  3. May all sentient beings never be separate from bliss
  4. May all sentient beings be in equanimity, free from prejudice, attachment or anger.

 

Reality

Doctrine of Emptiness

Briefly stated, the Buddhist position on reality is:

  1. Existence is relative and non-substantial.
  2. Existence is empty of lasting value, as it will cease to exist.
  3. Recognition of the emptiness of all things leads to enlightenment and freedom from suffering.

 

Three Marks of Existence

Impermaneance

Impermanence is the notion that all existence is inconsistent, unsteady, and impermanent. Everything is made up of parts and relies on external conditions. Everything is constantly changing, coming into existence and ceasing to exist. There is no inherent or fixed nature to anything, and because nothing lasts, the attachment to things leads to suffering.

Suffering

pain, suffering,  lack of satisfaction, sorrow, affliction, misery, frustration, etc. is the Buddhist idea know as Dukka. all of which comes into a person’s life because they experience desire and delusion.

Anatta

The Anatta is the notion of a person ‘illusion’ of themselves, it is their ‘not-self. ‘

Buddhists reject the idea that soul carries with it any attribute of its former self, or life. Buddhists believe a person’s character, morality, value, consciousness, memory, ego, basically everything that makes a person who or what they are ceases to exist when they are reborn. Buddhists reject any idea of self.

 

Liberation

Salvation

To the Buddhist, salvation is the enlightenment or awakening of the soul. This enlightenment is achieved by attaining Nirvana, and in some teachings, such as the Mahayana, Bodhi is also required. This enlightenment is the extinction of the 3 fires:

  1. Passion or Desire
  2. Hatred or aversion
  3. Delusion or ignorance

Nirvana

Nirvana means cessation, to cease or to experience the extinction or cravings, ignorance and suffering. Those who achieve this will be free from the continuous cycles of rebirths. Anyone who experiences Nirvana is known as a Arahant, even if the person is a Buddha.

Bodhi literally means awakening, or enlightenment. Some Buddhist schools believe even with achieving Nirvana, the individual can still be under delusion, and there for still needs to attain Bodhi. A complete enlightenment meant the person became a Buddha.

The extent of this word is not fully understood as Buddha himself did not give a complete definition. It is typically understood as the soul of a person achieved being absorbed totally into a cosmic consciousness. It is unclear, as his disciple even tried to ask, if this achievement was the state of a primordial (pre existence), celestial (elevated consciousness) or annihilation (cease of existence).

 

Gods

Buddhist godTheravada Buddhism

Buddha did indeed teach that gods existed, but like humans they existed in impermanent states and where also subject to the rebirth cycle. Most Buddhists taught that the worship or focus on any specific god was a hindrance to Buddhist philosophy.

Zen Buddhism

In Zen Buddhism, the Buddha is exalted above all other gods or God. Buddha is not a primary spirit force but is rather their own Buddha nature.

Tibetan Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism has a pantheon of innumerable Buddha’s. bodhisattvas and their consorts are at the front of Tibetan beliefs. They believe they link the divine with humans. Tibetan Buddhists believed they could actually become one of these gods.

Buddha goddess Tara


SACRED WRITINGS

Each of the numerous traditional schools of Buddhism has its own set of scriptures.  For easy of understanding a more definite division, two categories of texts can be seen in Buddhism:

1.) The Buddhavacana – literally believed to be the word of Buddha

2.) Other Texts – which include; the Vinaya, Sutra, Abhidharma, Mahayana text, and the Vajrayana text.

The Buddhavacana

Pali Text - BuddhistBuddhist schools had determined both the direct written teachings of Buddha and those of his disciples where ‘The Buddhavacana,’ as it was his disciples that heard all his teachings directly. Different schools keep different collections, each known as:

  1. Theravada Buddhism – Pali Canon
  2. East Asian Buddhism – Taisho Tripitaka Collection
  3. Tibetan Buddhism – Kanngyur Collection

A large discrepancy still exists among these primary schools, and typically attributes to their division, as the compilation of these writings where not written down by the Theravadin monks until some 400 years after Buddha lives, circa 100 a.d. This late nature of the manuscripts complied with other factors makes it difficult to know what exactly Buddha actually taught.

 

Pali Canon

The Pali Tipitaka, which literally means “three baskets.” In Theravada Buddhism, this collection of writings is known as the Pali Canon. It contains all the disciplinary rules for hte monks, how these rules were instituted, supporting materials, and doctrine clarification.

The text record that soon after Buddha’s death, a council was held to record Buddha’s teachings. It became an oral tradition to transmit the teachings until it was finally transmitted to text around 100 b.c.

The Pali Canon is divided into 3 parts or 3 baskets (Tipitaka or Tripitaka):

  1. Vinaya Pitaka – Discipline Basket – rules for monks and nuns
  2. Sutta Pitaka – Discourses, mostly ascribed to Buddha
  3. Abhidhamma Pitaka – Various philosophies, psychologies, and metaphysics

A.) Vinaya Pitaka is divided up into further sections

  1. Suttavibhanga – the basic code for monks
  2. Khandhaka – 22 chapters of other rules for monks
  3. Parivara – Analsyis of the rules form other points of view

B.) The Sutta Pitaka is divided up into further sections

  1. Digha Nikaya – 34 long discourses, intended to make converts with a high about of debates and devotion material.
  2. Majjhima Nikaya – 152 medium discourses, intended to give a solid ground in teaching converts, contains mutliolpe sermons and consultations.
  3. Samyutta Nikaya – Contains thousands of discourses grouped in fifties by subject, person, etc. It is said to be one the best explanation of the Buddhist doctrine.
  4. Anguttara Nikaya – Thousands of short discourses arranged from ones to elevens. It contains more of the elementary teachings of Buddha
  5. Khuddaka Nikaya – Miscellanies collection of works.

C.) Abhidhamma Pitaka is divided up into further sections:

  1. Dhammasangani – the Enumeration or classification of Dharma’s
  2. Vibhanga – analysis of 18 various topics and methods
  3. Dhatukatha – Correlates the relationship form the previous 2 books.
  4. Puggalapannatti – Explains types of persons, arranged from ones to tens
  5. Kathavatthu – 200 debates on points of doctrine
  6. Yamaka – Allies procedures involving converse questioning
  7. Patthana – Analyses 24 different conditions

 

Mahayana Sutras

This is a very broad genre of Buddhist scriptures that the Mahayana Buddhist traditions hold as Buddha’s original teachings.  However this is a conflict with the Nagarjuna Buddhists who say they conflict with early Buddhist thought.

Mahayana tradition states these came from other claimed Buddha’s, where transmitted in secret or where preserved from non-human worlds, and where meant for the understanding of the bodihisatta (enlightened being).

Almost all of these sutras have been identified as haven been composed after 100 b.c. Over 600 Mahayana sutras exist in Sanskrit, Chinese or Tibetan translations, many of which scholars have identified as Chinese in origin rather than Indian.

 

Taisho Tripitaka

In East Asian Buddhism, the collection of Buddha’s words are known as the Taisho

 

Kangyur

In Tibetan Buddhism, the collection of Buddha’s words are collected in the Kangyur.

Buddhas


PRACTICES

Buddhists have a variety of way in which they practice their belief system. Bowing, offering, pilgrimages, and chanting are all forms of devotion for the Buddhist.

 

Monastic Living

Monks and monastic spiritual leadership was very important to many of the Buddhist branches. They developed the schools of though and devoted their entire lives to practicing their belief system. Many of they would even make it a common custom to practice mediation, yoga or various martial arts in their temples.

 

Dietary Rites

Most Buddhists because of their sacred regard for life where vegetarians, eating no meat at all.

 

Meditation

Yoga

Meditative e absorption expressed in yoga ideas where found in the early Buddha texts. Mediation was an aspect of practice of the Yogis in centuries before the Buddhists. Buddhists build upon the Yogis meditative techniques focusing on concentration and clear awareness.

Religious knowledge or visions where indicated to be the results of such meditations, and the attaining of transcendent wisdom was the goal.

Zen Buddhism

Zen Buddhism strongly emphasizes mediation, and puts less emphasis on the Buddhist scriptures. This is a common practice in chinese and Korean Buddhism. They beleif this is the key to spiritual breakthroughs and directing the spirit into truth.

 

Three Jewels of Refuge

The Three jewels are perceived as immutable and eternal and have an irreversible effect. They are the three things that Buddhists take refuge in and look to or guidance.  Buddhists practice reflectring on these three things to enhance their religious quality.

Just as real jewels have an unchanging value, so do these jewels. The person making the vow consider the ultimate expression of compassion. The jewels bring to fruition a changless position, for once one has reached the Buddhahood, there is no possibility of falling back to suffering.

  1. The Buddha – the title for the one who has reached Nirvana.
  2. The Dharma – the teachings of the laws of nature expounded by Buddha.
  3. The Sangha – The Monastic practitioners who have attained the four stages of enlightenment.

 

Tibetan 3 Jewels - BuddhaBuddhist Ethics & Precepts

Virtuous behavior or morality was believed to be committed through the body, mind and speech. Moral purity, of thought, word, and deed would produce the intended effects of chastity, calmness, quiet and extinguishment.

According to the law of Karma, keeping these precepts promoted peace of mind and community, and are meritorious acts that cause happiness and peaceful effects. Keeping these precepts would keep the cultivator form rebirth in one of 4 realms of woe. The precepts in training to keep a happy and moral life where:

Taoist 3 Jewels - Buddha

1. Refrain from taking life
2. Refrain from taking what has not been given
3. Refrain from sensuality, i.e. sexual misconduct
4. Refrain from lying
5. Refrain from intoxication
6. Refrain from eating at the wrong times
7. Refrain from music and dance and attending performances
8. Refrain from luxury
9. Refrain from gold and silver
10. Refrain from perfumes, ointments and beauty adornments

 


CRITICISM & APOLOGETICS

Buddha proclaimed no divine inspiration, but rather one that came about by his own accord, and his own achievements. Even though it has been absorbed in many different cultures, there is no evidence that Buddhism, even by its own authority, is the true path to life. Just as any other man made philosophy, anyone can create an philosophy they desire, even get many followers, but that doesn’t mean it is correct.

The God of the Bible warns us about following deceptive, man made philosophies, and when stood up against the apologetics of scripture, Buddhism is revealed as nothing more then another manmade philosophy, originated by a man 600 years B.C. that was able to appeal to a nation that was frustrated with their current belief systems, looking for a new philosophy to release them of their culture and traditions.

Buddhism doesn’t claim to have the truth, it is a self-proclaimed quest for the truth; and in order to find the truth, and without the God of the Bible, the Buddhist will not be able to find it.

 

Manuscript issues

As discussed earlier, the manuscripts are a major problem in Buddhism. No one can be certain what Buddha actually taught as the manuscripts of his teachers where developed over 400 year after he died.

 

Fundamental Buddhism

Buddhism is one of the most difficult religions to nail a definition to. over 200 sects of Buddhism exist each with different manuscripts, seperate doctrines and different practices. No one is truly certain what ‘true buddhism’ is, rather there are many areas in which you can ‘insert’ your personal beliefs into as you please.

Buddha apparently told his disciples they could “abolish all lesser and minor precept,” but no one knows which ones.

 

Problem with Reality

This whole world of delusion is nothing but a shadow caused by the mind …. there is no world …. outside the mind…. To Buddha every definitive thing is an illusion…. things have no reality in themselves but are like heat haze”  – The Buddha

“It is a mistake to regard this world as either a temporal world or real one. But ignorant people of the world assume that this is a real world and proceed to act upon that absurd assumption. But as this world is only an illusion, their acts, being based on error, only lead them into harm and suffering. A wise man, recognizes the world is but an illusion, does not act as if it were real, so he escapes the suffering”  – The Teaching of Buddha

Many schools of Buddhism teaches that reality does not exist, in fact it takes it one step further stating those who believe it is real is ignorant and will only suffer.  Anyone who real believes this, let them test their faith by jumping out of an airplane without a parachute (just for example, don’t actually do this)! Our senses tell us the world around us is real, it interprets information because, the information exists. If all reality did not exist we would not be able to logically conclude that it exists.

We have the ability to logically reason, and this was created intuitively for us to be able to understand the universe in which we live.

We have the ability to consider our own existence, therefore we exist; to conclude otherwise would be illogical and counter intuitive. It would be a denial of everything else our own existence is clearing portraying before our own eyes.

 

Denial Ends Suffering

“foolish common people do not understand what is seen is merely a product of their own mind”  – Teachings of Buddha

Buddhism teaches if we recognize the world is an illusion, we will no longer suffer and achieve Nirvana. This claim is untrue as it remains unobtainable. Any person that claims to have achieved this, can still experience pain and/or suffering.

i.e. The loss of a child for instance still effects us emotionally no matter how much we try to pretend they or we do not exist. If you chop off a person’s toe, they will most assuredly jump up and scream. To pretend a problem doesn’t exist will not make it go away, the only way to solve a problem is to fix it, and help other people when they are in need.

Buddhism deny the concepts such as god and evil even exist, however our conscience bear witness aginast us that good and evil do exist. We not only logically understand the difference in right and wrong, but our emotions and will effects us daily for the wrong we do.

 

Denial is Enlightenment

In the end all Buddhist teachings point to the denial of reality, and that there is no purpose or meaning to anything, except to believe that nothing exists and focus on that your whole life. We all should deny every human intuition, every human desire and emotion, and even deny the very reality that we see all around us. Clear your mind and believe that nothing exists.

This philosophy would llead to a world of apathetic people who have no care to do or accomplish anything for anyone else or even themselves, for there is no purpose or meaning in anything, becasue  in fact, nothing exists.

 

Problems with Karma

Judgment & Divine Justice

Justice and the sense of moral judgment originates from an intelligent source, and one that has the ability to discern between right and wrong decisions. Further, right and wrong decisions comes from the ability to  rationally understand a specific situation or intention.

Humanities ability to understand morality, and make judgments, comes from:

  1. our ability to reason,
  2. our understand of a situation and
  3. our capability to make conscious decisions.

All of which include an organized process of standard logistics which include;

  1. looking at the evidence,
  2. weight of values & intentions,
  3. and execution of punishment or declaration of innocence.

The functionality of judgment, based on logic, philosophy, scientific observation, psychology and sociology; gives the clear perspective that judgment and justice has to be carried out by a personal, intelligence source that can rationally relate to the situation and/or persons involved in order to make a judgment.

This ability to judge a situation or person could not be carried out by some cosmic or mystic force that does not have the ability to:

  1. Reason,
  2. understand,
  3. relate to all the parties involved.

This is because without these necessary components, a judgment simply cannot be made. Random cosmic natural forces only produce random events, based on what it was designed to do. A legal system or law has to be have each matter of a specific situation weighted and carried out by fair execution of due processes.

All of creation pertaining to judgment, morality, and society points to the fact that judgments must be carried out by an intelligent being, and on a cosmic scale, only God could perform such a task.

This very basic understand of judgment and justice gives a clear demonstration that the most accurate philosophical perspective for divine judgment must be carried out by the superior creator God who is above all, and whom made everything.

Criticism of Divine Judgment

Hindu’s might refute the above statement stating that this argument is invalid because it is pertaining to human understand of morality and social standards, and we cannot relate divine interventions, or Karma, with low functions of human society.

If this is true, then the idea of Karma would also become invalid because this statement assumes that we cannot relate human understanding or functions with something divine. Further, we would have no understand of divine principles and no one would even relate to, or recognize the higher cosmic forces at work.

However, the critic must recognize that the Hindu’s created the idea of Karma because they realized and correlated their understanding of judgment and morality to the good and bad (evil) situations and events that happen all the time in their lives. They created the idea of Karma to justify why evil and good things happen, based on the observations they made in their lives. This observation remains true today, that evil and good things happen and our pre-programmed psychological perception tells us there is something wrong/ or right about the intrinsic value of a situation. We judge a situation because this is how intelligent beings interpret situations and determine if an event is fair.

Judgment and justice can only come from a personal, intelligent source.

 

Karma Contradictions

The wheel of karma is believed to be an unintelligent, impersonal mechanism of retribution for deeds or action in the universe.

There are a few problems that seem contradictory within the Buddhists doctrine. If Buddhists believe that a soul no longer carries any of its form attributes, how would the wheel of karma be able to produce the negative or positive effects in a future rebirth from deeds done in the past?

This seems to be counterproductive as the future life would have no recollection or comprehension of is past deeds. If a souls attributes change, why would a future good being be punished for the bad deeds done in a past life that was, essentially, a completely different person? Granted that karma is supposed to just be a mechanism of processes, not an intelligent source of justice; but this process not only serves no purpose for any reincarnated  life, those seeds of actions should be wiped clear and have no direct effect on a being put in a completely different location, life, realm, etc.

There are countless babies that die and morally behaved people that experience on bad problem after another in the world, and others morally good people that do not.

Then there are tyrants and evil men that literally live their entire life without experiencing any suffering, and some others that do experience punishment.

Some evil or good men that live very similar lives or perform many similar actions will have very different life experiences. Granted even if they are suffering from past lives, why is the wheel of Karma so impartial to their continual acts of evil men throughout their entire lives in this world. Karma does not at all give the same rewards or punishments for the same acts of good or evil performed by two different people, is the wheel of karma impartial to justice?

The true nature of justice, both morally and divine, is featured in the Bible, given by the all knowing, wise intelligent judge of the universe.

The Bible tells us that what a man sows, he will reap, and to the measure you use the same will be measured against you, but this does not imply karma type experience.

For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.  – Matthew 7.2

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.  – Galatians 6.7

God gives both good things to evil and good men, and different experiences happen based on geographic location, times they live, exact actions they perform, etc. God justice is perfect, and for some evil men, they are punish in the world and some good men that mess up get disciplined. Sometimes God sends a disease or disaster to punish a people and both the good and bad are hurt.

So that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.  – Matthew 5.45

Jesus answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? 4  Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? 5  No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”  – Luke 13.2-5

The Biblical accounts accurately describe exactly what we seen in the world, both good and bad people suffer and sometime they don’t, everything is dependent upon circumstances, situations and how God decided to use the situation in His perfect plan for all His creation. In the end, on judgment day God will give to every man, personally, exactly what they deserve.

Victims of Crimes

If a woman is savagely raped in her house, a Buddhist would say it was because she deserved because of something she did in a past life. However, now that man who did the act must pay for his bad karma in some point in time.

So this is to say, that one person suffered for their own actions in a past life, but the other will suffer because some divine karma caused them to perform an act of evil. Or in other words Buddhists say that some people will suffer because of their own actions, and others will suffer because a higher force made them.

No legal system in the world would punish the woman, she was a victim, the punishment would be for the man committing the act of evil.

 

Problems with Reincarnation

One of the biggest problems with reincarnation is the fact that historic evidence points to an ever increasing population in the world. As generation move forward, the populace is ever increasing, so the problem is, where do all these extra souls come from?

If humans branches out into the stars and terra form all the planets in the universe, and had populations as numerous as the stars, where would all the souls come from. It’s easy to say that they just come from another realm (although all the other realms must be extinguished of sentient beings by that time), but there would seem to be a more rational explanation;

The Biblical account for the soul being created at birth seem the more rational explanation, as we find any populace demand on the earth or in this universe would not be dictated or rely on an external supply of souls. We can see that children are created in the womb at conception, this is the most likely place for the beginning of their existence.

 

Counter Arguments

Past Life Therapy

Numerous people claim they have had past life experience, many to have been proven false based on their statements or are unfalsifible (there is no way to be able to prove their claims wrong). The problem with this theory of past life therapy, is that if some people are able to remember past lives, why is it that the vast majority of people do not? There is no explanation for this problem as everyone should be able to remember a past life, eventually through therapy, as some claim to be able to do.

This practice is also contradictory to the Buddhist doctrine of rebirth, as a soul is supposed to be completely cleared of past lives because it becomes a completely different sentient being. It is not supposed to retain anything from a past life according to Buddhist doctrine.

 

Alternative Views

Spiritual recollection may not be explained by past lives. There are many spiritual medium that can see into the lives of other people, without the claim they had a past life. The Bible warns us to be weary of those individual that are spiritually attuned and are able to deceive because of supernatural information they can obtain. Demonic spirits are able to give people information or even indoctrinate a person into believing they are something they are not. Demonic possession or oppression of spirit that was previously assigned to another person could be the culprit. This is why understanding spiritual warfare is important.

And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment  – Hebrew 9.27

Do not defile yourselves by turning to mediums or to those who consult the spirits of the dead. I am the LORD your God.  – Deut 19.31

The Bible warns us that for humanity, after we die, then comes our judgment. Additionally there are those who are able to contact the spirits of the dead, against God’s will, this contact could lead a person to believe they are the reincarnation of the person.

 

Problems without a God

With all this driven complexity in each of the planes of existence, all the different beings and interworking of each realm, how did it all come into existence and how is it regulated. Anything that is created must have a beginning, and all that is understood in Buddhism was create and had a beginning.

Many Buddhists would answer, it doesn’t exist. However denial cannot take away the problem. Our rational minds and conscience tells us that our actions do have a meaning (good and bad), and our consciousness tell us that we exist. Considering all the complexities that Buddhists believe in, it would require a supernatural, intelligent God, not limited by any of the workings of their beliefs such as rebirth, karma, etc. to be able to design and set in motion all of these advanced supernatural features. Any God limited by the confined or restrictions of these beliefs would be hindered from being able to create them in the first place, preventing their existence.

Only an non-created being that exists outside of the limitations and boundaries of something could create something from nothing. Take for instance the creator of a computer, the engineer must exist outside of the confines of the virtual computer world in order to create all the necessary components and programs to make it function.

 

Contradictions

Between Buddhist Anicca and Dukka

A.) Buddhists doctrine teaches that everything that exists is impermanent.

B.) Buddhists also teach that if a person does not obtain enlightenment, the suffering of that person is absolute. Or, they are doomed to permanent suffering.

These teachings contradict, either suffering lasts forever or it does not, their manuscripts teach it both ways.

 

Contradictions between the Noble Path and Shunyata

A.) Buddhist teach the 4 noble truths, which are highly moral establishment of right view, right morals, right ethics, etc. and these established truths are to be performed by the Buddhist.

B.) Buddhist teaches that everything is empty of value, even good and evil, will ultimately cease to exist and has no meaning at all.

How can something be labeled as noble or be mandated to perform if it has no value. Buddhists teach the eightfold path and the 4 noble laws, however the reality of their existence has no value.

Essentially there is no real right or wrong, technically no moral value can be established. Judgment between right and wrong are reversible.

 

Contradictions between Nirvana and Suffering

A.) Buddhists teach that the end of suffering (by obtaining enlightenment) is to stop desire

B.) logically; If you didn’t desire to attain something you wouldn’t do it.

All human motivation and action is the result of a person desires. If you didn’t want to attain enlightenment or become free from desire, then you wouldn’t do it. If you desire to be free from desire, it’s fall victim to an illogical cycle. If you truly had no desires, you wouldn’t care to do anything, including seek to attain freedom from desire.

 


REFERENCES

The Kingdom of the Cults, Walter Matrin. 2003

David Kalupahana, “Sarvastivada and its theory of sarvam asti.” University of Ceylon Review” 1966