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Jesus and Buddha

Discuss philosophical questions regarding theism (and atheism), and discuss religion as it relates to philosophy. This includes any philosophical discussions that happen to be about god, gods, or a 'higher power' or the belief of them. This also generally includes philosophical topics about organized or ritualistic mysticism or about organized, common or ritualistic beliefs in the existence of supernatural phenomenon.
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Re: Jesus and Buddha

Post by -1- » August 29th, 2017, 1:14 pm

Philosch wrote: There's a clear difference between saying if you challenge my human claim I'll send you to a Siberian prison or execute your family and if you say that when you challenge "God's" authority your soul will be eternally dammed.

The reason is simple.....maybe I get together with 10,000 of my closest friends and stage a coup to over throw this authoritarian human Marxist regime or maybe I find some other way to undermine or challenge the "human" authority. But what can I do to a "God" who's going to dam me to hell? Nothing at all, I have no recourse until I dispel the belief precisely because a "God" would be supreme and it's "authority" is supreme. It's just much trickier to challenge. Now of course people do challenge divine authority, I am right now, it's just much harder. The point I was trying to make from the very beginning without watering it down is that it's much easier to challenge someone's authority if you remove any claims to divinity or supernatural authority from the foundation of the claims being made. I hope this is clearer to you now. I stand by this statement as self evident.
I read you loud and clear and I already understood what you said here the first time. It was not a hard concept to understand. I really can't even believe that you gave me such little credit that you kept on insisting I did not get the concept.

But aside from that, I STILL challenge you. On Claim C, since Claim A and B are immaterial. Not to me, but I don't want to bother with them, and you're right in saying that your claim C is the important one.

Your strong response to my challenge is that Marxian regimes forced the populace to accept that weltanschauung. Yes, that is true. It is also true that Christianity spread throughout Europe with the same MEANS. Yes. There was resistance, notwithstanding the "divine punch behind the Words of the Bible". Many missionaries were executed by painful, torturous methods by pagan worshipers, who wanted nothing to do with Christianity. Christianity responded with the same tactics.

Take Hungary, for example. Toward the end of the first millennium, Geza decreed that the nation be Christian. He forbade anyone under the threat of painful execution to recite old-time and traditional verses and legends which were, and because they were, pagan in nature. The entire nation converted because of force, fear, and oppression. Same as with the Marxists. Nary a difference. None. Nada.

So.... who is to say that the word of God is harder to resist and to challenge than the word of a mortal? If the SAME methods had to be employed to get the populace accept the dogma, then the SAME strength of conviction (and resistance thereto) purely by the text exists. (Text being the Scriptures and Marx's and Lenin's writings and teachings.)

Sometimes I wish I and my debating partners would have had the same educational background on this forum. In history, literature and sciences. I miss just as much of your points due to cultural ignorance as you of mine. I could use more theoretical religion knowledge, that's for sure. On your part (not you, personally, but a lot of debating partners on these forums) could have used a lot more science education. A lot more would have been a lot more.
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Re: Jesus and Buddha

Post by Philosch » August 29th, 2017, 1:20 pm

Socrateaze wrote:
-1- wrote: (Nested quote removed.)


And they are right. Because I claim that at the time of writing the Bible, the stories were believed to be actual happenings, and historical facts, not myths or parables or allegories.

All this inventing that the Bible has metaphorical meaning is a way to save face. The bible is written with these stories being actual happenings in mind, and that is why the new trend of treating them as metaphysical and metaphorical has come about: man needed to reconcile the falsehoods (not lies! but falsehoods, insanely wrong and insanely impossible, but still not lies but falsehoods) with his own developing knowledge of the world.
No, I believe they are lies, borrowed from older religions, hence forgetfulness of past orthodoxies. If we can be indoctrinated and fooled in an age of electronics, where many think the media and internet provides us with 100% useful information holding 100% veracity; how much easier would it be in an age where people went by hear-say? There are always ways to fake a miracle, just as our magicians fake them today - has entertainment magic improved SO much during the ages or did we inherit the best measure of it from those who actually invented it?

As for metaphors and allegories, they are true and were used, since it was part of their culture, I'm sure any skeptical professor in the field will admit the academic findings, which one can clearly see through a little research.
I agree with your position here although ironically I don't believe the actual prophets in these cases were in on the plot so to speak. Well maybe a few were but for the most part I think the Buddha and Jesus (if there even was a historical Jesus and his character wasn't actually an amalgam of 2 or 3 characters) had honest and spiritual intentions and were not out to create massive religions. But as the saying goes " the road to hell is paved with good intentions" and unfortunately there are and were many who used the opportunities that the charisma of these teachers afforded them to control and gain power over many millions of people and unleash untold turmoil and mass murder in the name of the righteous. You are certainly right to point out how easily the masses are duped even to this day, the internet being the primary market place for charlatans of every stripe to peddle there wares. I don't believe we have learned our lesson one bit and some days I think we've slipped backwards where before we would have been skeptical we are far to easily convinced with properly placed and authoritatively propped up web pages at the ready.

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Re: Jesus and Buddha

Post by Socrateaze » August 29th, 2017, 1:35 pm

Philosch wrote:
Socrateaze wrote: (Nested quote removed.)


No, I believe they are lies, borrowed from older religions, hence forgetfulness of past orthodoxies. If we can be indoctrinated and fooled in an age of electronics, where many think the media and internet provides us with 100% useful information holding 100% veracity; how much easier would it be in an age where people went by hear-say? There are always ways to fake a miracle, just as our magicians fake them today - has entertainment magic improved SO much during the ages or did we inherit the best measure of it from those who actually invented it?

As for metaphors and allegories, they are true and were used, since it was part of their culture, I'm sure any skeptical professor in the field will admit the academic findings, which one can clearly see through a little research.
I agree with your position here although ironically I don't believe the actual prophets in these cases were in on the plot so to speak. Well maybe a few were but for the most part I think the Buddha and Jesus (if there even was a historical Jesus and his character wasn't actually an amalgam of 2 or 3 characters) had honest and spiritual intentions and were not out to create massive religions. But as the saying goes " the road to hell is paved with good intentions" and unfortunately there are and were many who used the opportunities that the charisma of these teachers afforded them to control and gain power over many millions of people and unleash untold turmoil and mass murder in the name of the righteous. You are certainly right to point out how easily the masses are duped even to this day, the internet being the primary market place for charlatans of every stripe to peddle there wares. I don't believe we have learned our lesson one bit and some days I think we've slipped backwards where before we would have been skeptical we are far to easily convinced with properly placed and authoritatively propped up web pages at the ready.
I couldn't agree more!

Just like our world leaders are not in on what is going on behind doors we don't know exist. I guess it's not even a secret that one of the major reasons why religion was invented is to procure acquisitions and what better way to attach some spiritual decoy to the agenda? I swear somewhere the true god is spinning in his grave.
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Re: Jesus and Buddha

Post by Philosch » August 29th, 2017, 2:15 pm

-1- wrote:
Philosch wrote: There's a clear difference between saying if you challenge my human claim I'll send you to a Siberian prison or execute your family and if you say that when you challenge "God's" authority your soul will be eternally dammed.

The reason is simple.....maybe I get together with 10,000 of my closest friends and stage a coup to over throw this authoritarian human Marxist regime or maybe I find some other way to undermine or challenge the "human" authority. But what can I do to a "God" who's going to dam me to hell? Nothing at all, I have no recourse until I dispel the belief precisely because a "God" would be supreme and it's "authority" is supreme. It's just much trickier to challenge. Now of course people do challenge divine authority, I am right now, it's just much harder. The point I was trying to make from the very beginning without watering it down is that it's much easier to challenge someone's authority if you remove any claims to divinity or supernatural authority from the foundation of the claims being made. I hope this is clearer to you now. I stand by this statement as self evident.
I read you loud and clear and I already understood what you said here the first time. It was not a hard concept to understand. I really can't even believe that you gave me such little credit that you kept on insisting I did not get the concept.

But aside from that, I STILL challenge you. On Claim C, since Claim A and B are immaterial. Not to me, but I don't want to bother with them, and you're right in saying that your claim C is the important one.

Your strong response to my challenge is that Marxian regimes forced the populace to accept that weltanschauung. Yes, that is true. It is also true that Christianity spread throughout Europe with the same MEANS. Yes. There was resistance, notwithstanding the "divine punch behind the Words of the Bible". Many missionaries were executed by painful, torturous methods by pagan worshipers, who wanted nothing to do with Christianity. Christianity responded with the same tactics.

Take Hungary, for example. Toward the end of the first millennium, Geza decreed that the nation be Christian. He forbade anyone under the threat of painful execution to recite old-time and traditional verses and legends which were, and because they were, pagan in nature. The entire nation converted because of force, fear, and oppression. Same as with the Marxists. Nary a difference. None. Nada.

So.... who is to say that the word of God is harder to resist and to challenge than the word of a mortal? If the SAME methods had to be employed to get the populace accept the dogma, then the SAME strength of conviction (and resistance thereto) purely by the text exists. (Text being the Scriptures and Marx's and Lenin's writings and teachings.)

Sometimes I wish I and my debating partners would have had the same educational background on this forum. In history, literature and sciences. I miss just as much of your points due to cultural ignorance as you of mine. I could use more theoretical religion knowledge, that's for sure. On your part (not you, personally, but a lot of debating partners on these forums) could have used a lot more science education. A lot more would have been a lot more.

So let me start by saying my background is in science and psychology both and I will grant you that I have not scientifically tested my statement. I am making my claim C based off of mostly my experience with people directly in debates actually, even on this forum. Most scientifically, rationally minded people will change their mind or at least be open to evidence but when dealing with the "divine" beliefs of people, especially in say, the authority of a book like the bible, people will, even in the face of reason, simply refuse a point due to the divine authority that supports it's antecedent. I am extrapolating this experience out to imagine a conversation between myself and someone who tells me to do something or believe something because some human told them they must and that same person telling me I must do so because "a God" told them I must and I'm stating that the divine authority position IMO would be tougher to get around. This is not to say that many millions of people haven't been coerced by strictly human based authoritarian rule as you have pointed out. You seem to think that I'm downplaying the significance of how powerful human coercion can be on it's own without divine authority and I am not intentionally doing so. If that is not the case then I will retract that statement.

The context of all of my points have been with the OP which was "why to people find it necessary to deify great teachers like the Buddha and Jesus" and in that context I was attempting my own explanation of that phenomenon. I suspect that if you in fact setup a psychology experiment where divine authority was pitted against say a governmental authority, you would get different results based on which cultural context the test was administered in. A primitive culture that was more superstitious might validate my point and a modern more rational culture might in fact contradict me and validate your point. I must concede this. As I stated earlier this is my opinion, I have not conducted any science to validate this.

But I still maintain my suspicion in this regard based on my experience and the context of the original post. But suppose that I am wrong across the board and there is no essential difference between how the authoritarian rule is supported, either between divine authority or simply the brute force or intellectual authority or however the authority is derived. How does that help explain why great charismatic teachers of that era were deified? If you read my original post on this topic you will read that I did state this is no longer as likely to happen and that is due to the fact that people are less superstitious then they used to. I may not have made that clear but I did state it as my opinion. We may not as readily deify people but we do tend to elevate them to celebrity status to the point of worship. I think you can see this even in today's culture. Just an aside, I believe the North Koreans are encouraged to believe Kim Jung Un is actually a deity.

-- Updated August 29th, 2017, 2:45 pm to add the following --

[quote="Socrateaze

I couldn't agree more!

Just like our world leaders are not in on what is going on behind doors we don't know exist. I guess it's not even a secret that one of the major reasons why religion was invented is to procure acquisitions and what better way to attach some spiritual decoy to the agenda? I swear somewhere the true god is spinning in his grave.[/quote]


That's funny and no doubt true...the one true god is sitting around somewhere mumbling to itself....."WTF" "These selfish bastards, what's a god have to do around here to get a little love" :roll:

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Re: Jesus and Buddha

Post by Scribbler60 » August 29th, 2017, 4:11 pm

-1- wrote:
Scribbler60 wrote:
That said, there are loud, powerful and numerous forces within the Christian community that reject the fact that these stories are metaphorical and insist that they are factual, scientific truths.
And they are right. Because I claim that at the time of writing the Bible, the stories were believed to be actual happenings, and historical facts, not myths or parables or allegories.

All this inventing that the Bible has metaphorical meaning is a way to save face. The bible is written with these stories being actual happenings in mind, and that is why the new trend of treating them as metaphysical and metaphorical has come about: man needed to reconcile the falsehoods (not lies! but falsehoods, insanely wrong and insanely impossible, but still not lies but falsehoods) with his own developing knowledge of the world.
Well, they're not right in the sense that Noah's flood, the six-day creation, woman created from a man's rib, etc etc are empirically correct. They clearly aren't.

But I take your point that, while they weren't telling the truth, they didn't know that they were lies. (Without getting too political here, I see that same process play out with the trump: he spouts falsehoods on a daily - sometimes hourly - basis, but if he sincerely can't tell the difference between falsehoods and reality, he's not really lying, he just doesn't know what the truth is. But perhaps that's another discussion for another thread...)

Unless...

Maybe we're not giving the original authors as much credit as we should. Perhaps they did know that those stories were apocryphal, and assumed that the generations that followed would also understand them as such.

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Re: Jesus and Buddha

Post by Philosch » August 30th, 2017, 1:44 pm

Scribbler60 wrote:
-1- wrote: (Nested quote removed.)


And they are right. Because I claim that at the time of writing the Bible, the stories were believed to be actual happenings, and historical facts, not myths or parables or allegories.

All this inventing that the Bible has metaphorical meaning is a way to save face. The bible is written with these stories being actual happenings in mind, and that is why the new trend of treating them as metaphysical and metaphorical has come about: man needed to reconcile the falsehoods (not lies! but falsehoods, insanely wrong and insanely impossible, but still not lies but falsehoods) with his own developing knowledge of the world.
Well, they're not right in the sense that Noah's flood, the six-day creation, woman created from a man's rib, etc etc are empirically correct. They clearly aren't.

But I take your point that, while they weren't telling the truth, they didn't know that they were lies. (Without getting too political here, I see that same process play out with the trump: he spouts falsehoods on a daily - sometimes hourly - basis, but if he sincerely can't tell the difference between falsehoods and reality, he's not really lying, he just doesn't know what the truth is. But perhaps that's another discussion for another thread...)

Unless...

Maybe we're not giving the original authors as much credit as we should. Perhaps they did know that those stories were apocryphal, and assumed that the generations that followed would also understand them as such.
So I'll admit I had to look up the word apocryphal....and my comment on this would be that I think it's probable the authors of the various books were writing symbolically as that was the style of the day....as to whether or not they were claiming the books to be the actual authentic word of god I think it seems highly unlikely any of the new testament authors would have claimed to be writing on behalf of "GOD". I would agree they would have expected later generations to perhaps read and understand the writings, find them of value certainly but they would have to have been considered apocryphal in terms of divine authorship. I don't think the term actually fits in this context. I believe the original authors of particularly the new testament which is clearly a different book then the old, were attempting to pass on their own interpretation or recollection of what their master had taught them and then the church powers who followed had quite a different intention. So IMHO the authors didn't lie per se, they were deliberately taken out of context and misquoted for reasons already gone over. Finally I do think it's appropriate to discuss this aspect of biblical origin and scholarship in relation to the OP as it does shed light on aspects of why certain historically significant teachers get deified later in history. It might even be appropriate to discuss the foundations of mythology in general and the purpose that it serves.

I will make this further comment in regards to revisionist later trying to soften certain writings in an attempt to justify or excuse past errors in reading in an effort to maintain the writings in some form moving forward. Claiming things like Christianity misinterpreted things in the middle ages and that's why we had the crusades so now we don't have to throw out the bible...just soften our interpretation of it, it's still valid. Muslim moderates and apologists due the same thing with the Koran in an attempt to not fully admit the gross errors in the teachings. While I do think there is a bit of disingenuiness in this kind of practice, I think one thing complicates completely throwing out these books considered sacred. That is the following line from Joseph Campbell; "All religions are true for their time and context". What he meant by this was that there is valuable insight and utility in all religions but that you must discover and understand those truths in relationship to the context in which they developed. This causes a reluctance of modern people who may recognize this fact to completely throw out the doctrine and dogma and look beneath for the universal truth that may be there and bring it forth in a new modern set of metaphors and doctrines more appropriate for modern times. Maybe because they don't fully recognize those deeper truths or maybe because it would cause those older religions to collapse altogether. Either way it's a monumental problem that with the evolution of modern weapons, continues to threaten our very existence.

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Re: Jesus and Buddha

Post by Ranvier » August 30th, 2017, 8:25 pm

I like to play the role of Devil's advocate... evil emoji here

One should blame all of this on Moses. If not for his schizophrenia non of this would had ever happened...
We would only be left with Buddha and Hinduism to deconstruct.

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Re: Jesus and Buddha

Post by Philosch » August 31st, 2017, 12:19 am

Ranvier wrote:I like to play the role of Devil's advocate... evil emoji here

One should blame all of this on Moses. If not for his schizophrenia non of this would had ever happened...
We would only be left with Buddha and Hinduism to deconstruct.

LMAO.. very amusing and probably quite true!

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Re: Jesus and Buddha

Post by -1- » September 3rd, 2017, 3:27 am

Philosch wrote: So I'll admit I had to look up the word apocryphal....and my comment on this would be that I think it's probable the authors of the various books were writing symbolically as that was the style of the day....as to whether or not they were claiming the books to be the actual authentic word of god I think it seems highly unlikely any of the new testament authors would have claimed to be writing on behalf of "GOD". I would agree they would have expected later generations to perhaps read and understand the writings, find them of value certainly but they would have to have been considered apocryphal in terms of divine authorship. I don't think the term actually fits in this context. I believe the original authors of particularly the new testament which is clearly a different book then the old, were attempting to pass on their own interpretation or recollection of what their master had taught them and then the church powers who followed had quite a different intention. So IMHO the authors didn't lie per se, they were deliberately taken out of context and misquoted for reasons already gone over. Finally I do think it's appropriate to discuss this aspect of biblical origin and scholarship in relation to the OP as it does shed light on aspects of why certain historically significant teachers get deified later in history. It might even be appropriate to discuss the foundations of mythology in general and the purpose that it serves.

I will make this further comment in regards to revisionist later trying to soften certain writings in an attempt to justify or excuse past errors in reading in an effort to maintain the writings in some form moving forward. Claiming things like Christianity misinterpreted things in the middle ages and that's why we had the crusades so now we don't have to throw out the bible...just soften our interpretation of it, it's still valid. Muslim moderates and apologists due the same thing with the Koran in an attempt to not fully admit the gross errors in the teachings. While I do think there is a bit of disingenuiness in this kind of practice, I think one thing complicates completely throwing out these books considered sacred. That is the following line from Joseph Campbell; "All religions are true for their time and context". What he meant by this was that there is valuable insight and utility in all religions but that you must discover and understand those truths in relationship to the context in which they developed. This causes a reluctance of modern people who may recognize this fact to completely throw out the doctrine and dogma and look beneath for the universal truth that may be there and bring it forth in a new modern set of metaphors and doctrines more appropriate for modern times. Maybe because they don't fully recognize those deeper truths or maybe because it would cause those older religions to collapse altogether. Either way it's a monumental problem that with the evolution of modern weapons, continues to threaten our very existence.
Word by word... sentence by sentence... you eroded the message the of the bible by building it from a true and actual story into a metaphorically meant parable.

Exactly what I claimed modern Christians are forced to do to save face in a world of adversity of documented and well-known real world fact against Bible-claimed facts, and in order to justify continuation of their belief in the Bible.

Well done, Philosch. You are a good Christian. If there is any point in being that in the new, brave new world of knowledge and understanding.
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Re: Jesus and Buddha

Post by Gordon975 » September 3rd, 2017, 11:19 am

I've noticed something on my trip to Asia. People here seems to alter the role of Buddha and Jesus. Instead of looking up the them for guidance, they turn Jesus and Buddha into gods that have some sort of power of giving. That's really weird and derailed. I wonder what had caused that.
People end up worshipping Buddha and Jesus as gods because they are depicted as statues and in works of art, alter pieces etc. In Islam there is no physical depiction of God or Mohammad so God is God and Mohammed remains as just his prophet.

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Re: Jesus and Buddha

Post by Vivek7 » September 3rd, 2017, 12:18 pm

The Buddha was a reformist. People worshiped so many Gods and each village and town had its own Gods and Goddesses. There used to be persistent battles among them over the issue of their Gods and faiths. People had so many idols and every house had idols of many Gods. Even there were some rituals in which human sacrifices were common. The Buddha emerged to eliminate all such things and restored peace and harmony. The Buddha did not say anything about Gods and religions. His main concern was to establish peace and harmony in the world. But today Buddhists all over the world have been very rituals and worship even idols which is against the principle of the Buddha himself. I do not know much about Christ other than what I have read about him in books, and magazines and I do not want to say anything thus about Him and His followers.

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Re: Jesus and Buddha

Post by Spectrum » September 4th, 2017, 2:42 am

Gordon975 wrote:People end up worshipping Buddha and Jesus as gods because they are depicted as statues and in works of art, alter pieces etc. In Islam there is no physical depiction of God or Mohammad so God is God and Mohammed remains as just his prophet.
The fact is human beings has a diverse range of spiritual maturity and the majority cannot deal with the existential crisis based on mere abstraction, i.e. an invisible God.
While most [at present] understand the all powerful God is invisible, they still need some kind of intermediate concrete reference to focus their thoughts to enable them to practice their religion effectively.
It is like how pictures of kings and Presidents are required to be displayed all over a country to generate loyalty. Surely the people understand the pictures are merely images and not the real person. It is the same with statues and idols of Gods, the believers understand these are merely images and not the real God.

Buddhism understand the human nature of the majority, so most Buddhist centers allow statues and idols for the lay Buddhists to pray, etc. with the hope that some will progress and wean off the need to pray to statues and idols.

Islam on the other hand is very crude and do not understand human nature and that the majority of believers naturally need some concrete reference points to focus their religious thoughts. In Islam, directing attention to other than Allah the invisible is one of the greatest sin.

The purpose [according the Quran] of facing the Kaaba during prayers is merely for to differentiate themselves as Muslims. But the need to idolize is so strong naturally that most Muslims pray and idolize the square building of the Kaaba and even kissed the black stone passionate during the pilgrimage.

The very strong natural drive to idolize also drive many Muslims to idolize Muhammad the person and thus attempt to follow exactly his behavior and actions as the prophet. The result of this is the terrible evils and violence committed on non-believers since Muhammad did the same.

The non-provision of intermediate focus for the majority to focus on as in the case of Islam has caused the believers to sin in accordance to the doctrines. However the flexibility in Buddhism and allowance for idols in Christianity do have an optimal positive impact on their spirituality.
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Re: Jesus and Buddha

Post by Philosch » September 15th, 2017, 1:45 pm

-1- wrote:
Word by word... sentence by sentence... you eroded the message the of the bible by building it from a true and actual story into a metaphorically meant parable.

Exactly what I claimed modern Christians are forced to do to save face in a world of adversity of documented and well-known real world fact against Bible-claimed facts, and in order to justify continuation of their belief in the Bible.

Well done, Philosch. You are a good Christian. If there is any point in being that in the new, brave new world of knowledge and understanding.
Well -1-, I just happened back on here to read this post and it made me chuckle out loud....you have grossly misunderstood me and my position unless you are being funny because I'm a staunch, dyed in the wool atheist/igtheist my friend, I've been railing against the bible in terms of anyone ascribing divine qualities to it for years, even on this very forum so I have no idea how you could think I was a good Christian unless you didn't read my post carefully or I was terribly unclear about something I was trying to get across? Oh well, it did make me laugh when I read it.

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