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Life Talk!

the atheist buddhist and more



I recently read a letter to an atheist writer tht asked if his atheism and his following of Buudhist teachings were incompatible. it's an interesting question. Although there are some who have deified the Buddha, most do no believe him to be a god and in general, I think most Buddhists reject the idea of a divine creator. I think it would be quite easy to reconcile being an atheist and Buddhist.


What about other religions? Do you think it's possible, for example, to follow the teachings of Jesus (except for the parts where he claims to be the son of God, and such) and be, in other words, an atheist Christain? Or an atheist Muslim? I've known people who identify as Jews, but are also atheists, but their Jewish identity is more cultural/ethnic than religious.


Is it possible to take just the parts you like from a particular faith and trash the rest, or do you think you have to buy into the whole set of myths if you want to call yourself a Christian, Muslim, etc.





06:44 AM Jul 19 2009 |

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I do not think that Buddhism is equivalent to atheism. It is a religion with idealistic norms and rules to follow for "Nirvana". An atheist do not think in such rigid fashion or any "ultimate" reality. Do you follow particular rituals being atheist? That is the difference. Moreover, I have seen many of them, Buddha is just another GOD for them!

Your other point is interesting. I think culture and religion are different things. When you follow a particular culture or social norms of particular community, that is different from your being atheist. But one don't need religion for being a cultured or mannered or responsible human being. Constitution of my country includes all those directives, and charter of rights and duties, if followed make one good citizen and they are not based on any religion. 

But I dont find religions "bad" in a sense that is generally precieved of atheist. i think they represnted a social systems of the past. They played an important role in development of human society. But now with all round development we need some developed and equally accepted cultral norms world over, so religions are just "outdated"(sorry, I donot want to hurt the believers!). So I would not prefer to a term like "Christian atheist" or "Muslim atheist" and anything like that. 

12:40 PM Jul 19 2009 |




Greg: you are an atheist so why do you embuz yourself in other people's believes


Djouzi, my being an atheist doesn’t prevent me from being interested in religion or religious belief any more that you being a Muslim prevents you from being interested in understanding other religions or the lack of belief. You said you studied China in school, why? You aren’t Chinese….


and try to repair and modify them…


I’ve never tried to do that and the purpose of this post was to elicit ideas and thoughts.



it doesnt concern you


First, the subject interests me, and that is reason enough to pose questions and prompt discussion. Second, the beliefs of other do concern me, especially if their actions may affect me. When people act on the basis of their beliefs and those acts have consequences beyond just themselves, don’t you think it’s useful to know why they believe what they do?


since you dont believe in anything,


I believe in facts.



but you drive people to miconceive their own believes and rituals…leave them alone


Have you seen someone here questioning their own beliefs or rituals just by being asked about them? Have you? Is your faith so weak that you can’t abide questions about it?




An Atheist Muslim and Christian is a dangerous term that you invented, it is considered like an insult for a Muslim and a Christian…while Atheist Jew reallyexitst in their believes.


Well, sorry to insult, but regarding my description, what else could you call them? Atheistic Mohammadens? Proto-Christians?     


Budhism give law of Nature, and most of Budhism beleieve in the Reality of a Single God.


I think you’re wrong about that, but I would like to hear from someone who is or was Buddhist or knows more about it than you or I.


but some young chineese lost their believes because of the influence of the pop culture…and the teachin of the evolution… ""Is it possible to take just the parts you like from a particular faith and trash the rest, or do you think you have to buy into the whole set of myths if you want to call yourself a Christian, Muslim, etc.""" you r an atheist and I will tell u this coz u dont have any faith… It is impossible to mix up faiths, and be a sect for yourself…


And yet I think most people do this. Buddhist especially seem to learn that they can “become their own Buddha” and find what works for them. I believe the Buddha taught that I something doesn’t work for you, don’t do it. I know many Christians who choose to believe parts or subscribe to parts of the teachings of Jesus or the Church and discard or ignore other parts that don’t work for them. I’ve also known people who respect and try to follow the teachings of Jesus, but only that. I would call them Christians, but they follow no organized religion. They are not atheists, as they either believe in a divine god or they are agnostic about it, but I can imagine someone who could follow Jesus but not believe in a god.


I am thinking that the same might be possible in Islam. Follow the teachings of the prophets without believing that these teachings were divinely inspired. I suspect that most Muslims and Christians would disagree, and say that you have to take all or none.



you are an atheist, and you claimed no to believe in any supernatural, so wat the hell is your play with other people's beleives.


Please refer to the first paragraph. Why does my being an atheist and participating in talks about religion seem to get your panties in such a bunch?



(Oh, and I like the word enbuz or enbuzz… I’d never seen it before, but the meaning is clear from the context. )



03:56 PM Jul 19 2009 |



I do not think that Buddhism is equivalent to atheism.


I don't think so either. the question I read was whether they are reconcilable. 




But one don't need religion for being a cultured or mannered or responsible human being. Constitution of my country includes all those directives, and charter of rights and duties, if followed make one good citizen and they are not based on any religion. 



I've been making the same point, but many believers disagree and some think that without a god or religion, people cannot be mannered or responsible. 




But I dont find religions "bad" in a sense that is generally precieved of atheist. 



Some atheists do think religions are bad, but so do some believers in God. However, being an atheist doesn;t mean you think religions are bad or evil, just that you don't beleive in a superntural god. Thoughts about religion and it's role are separate, though of course influenced by this lack of belief. 

04:02 PM Jul 19 2009 |



if Islam didnt exist, the World has been disappeared since long time….and it is the reason why World still exitst till now..


Interesting. What would have happened if Islam didn't exist? 

04:03 PM Jul 19 2009 |



At first, you meant if we can mix up faiths and by taking needed part only, or being like a mixture f different teachings and faiths,


It's pretty clear from this reply that you do not know what I meant, so please try to refrain from telling me what I meant. Feel free to ask for clarification.


I did not mean to mix up belief systems, though I've known people who have done that. I menat taking only the parts from one particular faith; the parts you like or agree with. 




dirty Atheist thought who wants to drity all othe religions and believes…


Is that  the conspiracy buff in you again? Thinking that atheists are united in some plot to corrupt religions by mixing them together?



but a believern, faithful, a religious can never be an Atheist as well


I agree. If you believe in a god, as is required by most religions, you can't be an atheist as well. But then, that wasn't really the question. 


you are a teacher at university and you know very what I am talking about, but you mind to ask this topic…

and next time avoid to write all text in bold…it is so bad for your health friend…


pardon me for that. In my browser, the text editing buttons do not function. When I pasted my reply after formatting it in MS Word, it converted everything to bold. I trust that this effort is more pleasing to your eyes and will not cause you further distress about the state of my health. 


 Poor Mr. Greg!

 I pity people like you…


Your pity is neither requested nor is it welcome. However you may send cash if it would ease your pain. I promise to use it only for good things. 

04:54 PM Jul 19 2009 |




i personaly can't beleive in something that i don't accept all of it.it means that i know that it's not complete truth.i think that we can take from all phylosophies,religions and discoveries enlightened ideas that fit our understanding and help us to learn more about this life and most of them can fit our own convictions.i accept islam as a whole because i've no doubt that the coran is god's words.i'm sure that god exists.it(s like a child who knows his father because he feels his care and see with his eyes his presents.believing in god is most important to me than any social system.islam gives only headlines and it's up to us to organize our society and find new systems.we can learn from the past ,avoid their mistakes and create knew systems.as humans we have a tendency to  create our own barriers!

06:26 PM Jul 19 2009 |




I think it's possible to live a good life by taking the "best parts" of every religion you may choose without all the supernatural things like God, resurrection, immaculate conception, divine prophecy and so on. It's important that you have a guideline.

The Catholic Seven Virtues for example.

1. Prudence

2. Justice

3. Restraint or Temperance

4. Courage or Fortitude

5. Faith

6. Hope

7. Love or Charity

But how to realize these virtues? I'm personaly not a big fan of the Roman Catholic way with all of its harping on peoples' guilt and I don't believe in supernatural things like god. I also don't like the way the Church interprets all these virtues. So I think by myself and decide what to do according to circumstances.

01:06 AM Jul 20 2009 |



So I think by myself and decide what to do according to circumstances.


Novita, in all likelihood, you will live your life according to those guidelines you are a fan of. It's no coincidence that most religions have very similar codes of behavior. It's my feeling that these are pretty much inherent in all people and religion is just one way of codifying those virtues. Or a way of enforcing them or enforcing other, less appealing rules.


I would mention that there's evidence that things like morality evolved like our physical traits, but then I would be accused of being a dirty evolutionst as well as a dirty atheist. 

01:30 AM Jul 20 2009 |




It is the toughest question,nobody has realized the god & everyone who is a theist or atheist is speaking out of his doubts & searching the self approved answer & further that nobody is getting that too, because nobody want to enter the labortary & put himself on the test board & risk for the life.so everyone passes time just by discussing.

We wish to learn swimming before getting down in the pool,which is impossible,we have to enter the swimming pool as we are & then we may learn how to swim.

We can not know what Buddha felt,mere by words,we have to pass throgh the way the Budhha passed & only then we may realize what he felt & tried to express.

What I have realized is that, that the Buddha's way working & thinking was different from that of other religions & their religiousnesses.He had no place for any beliefe & anyone can experience himself what he had said.

But his religion couldn't become common becasuse it did not matched the expectatins of masses.Most of the people wanted readymade truths & they never risk their beliefes.

A theist is saying without experimenting & a atheist is saying wihout expermenting.So there is not major difference between syaing of a theist or atheist.

What we express here is not to convince others but ourself alone & we wish to know the reactions of others & wish to confirm that whether I am at the right way ?what the people think of me ?

As we can't express the taste of sugar ,we can't share the experince too.We have to experience ourself to understnad the sayings of Buddha.


Human is different from other animals just becuse human has the capacity to tranfer knowldge to our offsprings,we train our children to start their life from where our ancesstor left,i.e. we are the extenssion of our ancesstors but animals start their life from their origin.

Religion is knowldge & can be transferred & our children can begin their life from where we want,It has some benefits too but it's major drawback is that it does not eliminate doubts & put human shyzopherinia where our mind gets divided in to two parts & one part tries to dominate the other & struggle begins inside,which creates uneasiness in our life.

02:16 AM Jul 20 2009 |




I completly agree with you, gkisseberth.

There are certain instincts or behaviour patterns in our genes like the affect to care for a helpless baby child no matter if she is our own or somebody else's for example. In behavioural science they call it scheme of childlike characteristics affect or so.

Or the instinct of humans to care for each other in their own tribes and families and even beyond.

Even several animal species do it although they don't know anything like human morality. People have already had this behaviour before there were any moral instance like churches, priests or holy scriptures at all.

Of course people also have to learn several behaviour patterns by education but therefore you don't necessarily need a religious moral codex.

Kant's Categorical imperative can be a guideline, too.

"Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law."

So I assume that I won't only be accused of being a dirty evolutionist and a dirty atheist but also of being a dirty humanist and a dirty fan of Aufklärung/Enlightment.

But the heck with it! It's worth the trouble.

06:19 PM Jul 20 2009 |