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Stephen Batchelor, Atheist Buddhist?


  • Hugh Kramer, LA Atheism Examiner 5 years ago

    Buddhist-atheist? Why not? I've also heard of Jewish Zen masters... Though you've got to wonder what kind of questions a Jewish Zen Master asks? Maybe something like "What is the sound of one hand schlepping?"

  • montreal women's issues, health and mental health 5 years ago

    well I am not a Buddhist but my university courses have ascertained that Buddhist are indeed atheist, there are no Gods in Buddhism, the Buddha was a man, but not a god. reincarnation and karma are about the soul, not a god

  • Terry Hurlbut - Creationism Examiner 5 years ago

    @Carol--I see. So "Buddhist atheist" is entirely consistent. But I had had the impression that, for an atheist, there was neither karma nor reincarnation--just as "there is no god, no devil, no heaven, no hell, and no immortality." In which case, "anything is permissible."

  • Ken Elder 5 years ago

    Batchelor is wrong on many levels. Buddha referred to the agnostic philosopher debaters as eel-wrigglers and speculators. They lack the deep intuitive realization of the nature of reality. Batchelor obviously has not attained Nirvana not even the least level of the Stream-entry attainment of Nirvana. Buddha specifically said that you cannot say that body and mind are absolutely separate nor can you absolutely say that body and mind are absolutely the same. They have a conditioned relationship. Mind does have a relative limited independence from body, that gives us the spiritual potential to attain Nirvana and become free from the limitations of form. The two extreme mind-body views are the twin delusions Buddha talked about, the eternal self view of some unchanging eternal individuality and the nihilist view that there is only physicality and there is no life after death. Since Batchelor is an agnostic tending towards nihilism by Buddha’s own definition Batchelor tends to be philosophi

  • Ken Elder 5 years ago

    Since Batchelor is an agnostic tending towards nihilism by Buddha’s own definition Batchelor tends to be philosophically deluded. Buddha spoke against the monotheistic delusion but he frequently talked about gods or deva which means shining ones, the same Indo-European root word as divine in Latin. A deva is not an eternal omniscient being or beings but higher suble beings with very long lifetimes and great mental powers. The Buddhist pantheon of gods is similar to that of the various pagan polytheistic pantheons except for Buddha’s statement that even life in heaven or purgatory is temporary, that all beings are impermanent. It is an every-changing mental process that goes from life to life not some unchanging spiritual ego. Apparently that is too subtle a concept for concrete minded Batchelor. Unfortunately concrete mindedness is common in Academia, reason without intuition is mere cleverness without depth.

  • Sharm 5 years ago

    Atheism is just another "ism" to be let go of. The Buddha advised that you should suspend judgement regarding things you are not (yet) able to directly know (gnosis, as noted above). All else is simply speculation, which may or may not be concordant with reality (absolute or relative, another big metaphysical knot!). Therefore to state that all buddhists are atheists is incorrect. The only thing we are required to have faith in is the possibility of an end to suffering through practising the way - that is all. you may or may not choose to believe in god/s - it is rather beside the point either way.

  • Scott Knutson - Philly Mystical-Spirituality Exami 5 years ago

    This guy sounds pretty interesting.

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