Friday, December 24, 2004

A Good Discourse with a Buddhist Apologist


At 2:08 AM, Lord of The {blog} Rings said...

The Patisambhidamagga taught:Nibanna is

1. Nissaranattha (total release of dukkha)
2. Vivekattha (void of dukkha)
3. Asankhatattha (total release from the need of rejuvenation)
4. Amatattha (eternal)

The Dhammapada:All conditioned things are impermanent (annika)All conditioned things are suffering (dukka)All conditioned OR unconditioned things are selfless (anata)Notice that the two buddhist discourses actually taught that there indeed is "eternity".

The Nibbana (an unconditioned thing) is said to be "amatattha", that is everlasting, secure from death, forever, eternal. The Dhammapada in stating that "conditioned/contingent things" are "annika" and "dukka" while both the "conditioned/contingent AND uncontitioned/incontingent things" are "annata" implied that the "unconditioned/incontingent" is spared from "annika" and "dukka". Therefore, incontingent things (nibbana, the dhamma etc) are NOT annika, i.e. they are eternal.
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At 2:43 AM, Sze Zeng said...

Thanks for the comment.Buddhism break down because of what you stated.

From how i look at your comment, you are saying:"Dhamma is inconditioned, therefore it is eternal. Nibbana (nirvana) is inconditioned, thus, it is eternal"

The first reason that you are responsible for the breakdown; the word "conditioned" implies something to be conformed to a certain principles.

1)Dhamma has been "conditioned" to be eternal. Nirvana has been "conditioned" to be eternal. 2) Dhammapada first premise on conditioned things: All conditioned things are impermanent(annika).
3) Therefore Dhamma and Nirvana are impermanent.

Both Dhamma and Nirvana are imperatively conforming to "amatattha" (Eternaity). Therefore they are, in fact, CONDITIONED.Secondly, if Dhamma is eternal, Dhammapada's principle of conditioned things are Annika (impermanent) is also eternal. Then, this conditioned statement of saying the conditioned Dhammapada is also Annika (impermanent). Hence, Dhammapada is not eternal. This is a CONTRADICTION.
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At 3:15 AM, Lord of The {blog} Rings said...

how can u say that the unconditioned/incontingent existence is "conditioned" to certain characteristics? Eternality is an inherent characteristic of an incontingent (i think it's more correct english to say "non-contingent") existence because:

1.It's existence was not an effect of a cause
2. This means that there can be no point where "it" (i.e. the incontingent thing) did not exist.
3. Therefore, at this very moment, It has existed from eternity till now.

And in the next second, it has existed from eternity+1second = forever. So it goes on. But the point is, a non-contingent thing has an eternal existence; and also it's not affected by time - it's not an effect of a cause, therefore there is no question of time declension. So, "eternity" is not a condition of non-contingent/unconditioned thing as you have said, but vice versa or more accurately, the non-contingent thing give rise to the concept of eternity, hence a condition to it for without such kind of existence, eternity will not be known.

-------------------The Dhamma is an unconditioned thing. Therefore it is not accurate to say that It was “conditioned” to be eternal. If so the philosophical distinction of conditioned/unconditioned things will break. But rather, as I have shown above, it was such unconditioned things as the dhamma that gave rise (or conditioned) the concept of eternity and timelessness &c. There is no question of dhamma being impermanent wutsoever.

The Buddha did not give conditions to the dhamma or nibbana when he relates these things to “amatattha”. He is merely declaring that these things are “amatattha”. It’s just like me saying, “You are ugly”. I am not saying that, “if it’s ugly (a condition), it is sze zeng”, but merely stating wut already is inherent in you (your characteristics). Okie, not a perfect analogy, but try to swallow it k.
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At 11:34 PM, Sze Zeng said...

Thanks for your comment Lord of the (blog)rings.

But what i meant is what i meant. Amatattha is eternity. What makes "Eternity" eternity? It is simply of its metaphysic precondition; that is "eternal".In another word, eternal is the condition of Eternity- Amatattha.

I would not use the word inherent "characteristic" because character can only attributes to beings. God and man has inherent character but time and space do not.

They merely have condition.There seems to be some confusion on the Buddhist understanding of metaphysic precondition. There are 7 different views of metaphysic, namely; Theism, Atheism, Finite godism, Pantheism, Panentheism, Deism, and Polytheism.

And there are 2 different metaphysical existences: Monism and Pluralism.The famous Monism Philosopher is Parmenides, while Plato, Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas defended Pluralism. Yet only Thomas Aquinas succeed in distinguishing the difference between beings in his "Actuality" in existence and "Potentiality" in essence argument.

Anyway, Being has character, and things has condition.Nibbana is not a being. Therefore it is absurd to say it has inherent character. Its metaphysical precondition is unsound.

2 comments:

rudolf said...

I'm speechless

Jack The LOT{B}R said...

Okie, i give up...i was formulating an arguement with u on that matter, but i realized that at the one stretch of eternity, there must exist an ontological entity in order for even the existence of such things as "eternal law" to be logical. *sigh* looks like i will convert to ur belief. ;p

But how about challenging a REAL buddhist...hahhahahaha...I am so ignorant of the buddhist philosophy so not qualify to engage a Christian apologist like yourself.

If i ascend to the heavens, You are there!
If i descend to the lowest region, You are there!
From one stretch of eternity to the other, You are everywhere!

Gloria in Excelsis Deo...