Do you believe in life after death?

Do you believe in life after death?

  • Yes

    Votes: 80 39.2%
  • No

    Votes: 86 42.2%
  • I don't know

    Votes: 38 18.6%

  • Total voters
    204
Dec 2011
1,917
Theravada doesn't even really have a philosophy if you apply the strict western idea of the term, that is investigating the intelligibility of concepts by means of rational argument concerning their presuppositions, implications, and interrelationships. The Pali and even Abhidharmas are largely just doctrines, with no strict investigation of its validity and use logic to refute alternative views because its more focused on experience itself; so of course it doesn't mean much when you just put it in the context of a religion without addressing the real philosophy.

Mahayana thoughts on the other hand, actually addresses a set of premises and uses logic and inquiries to find fallacies in these premises and through that establish its own doctrine. Yogacara thought is the only doctrine in existence outside of western philosophy which have a complexity that rivals the later and asks questions which requires philosophical inquiry and devised a coherent system of classification and logic. In many ways, it even addressed questions not asked in western philosophy and that's why New Confucians (and many Japanese philosophers of the 20th century) all chose Yogacara thought over western epistemology and ontology (they only thought western logic has much to offer compared to Buddhist logic) after studying both.
Do you have a book or two, or a link for further references, that you could recommend, that may explain some of what you are talking about here ?
 
Nov 2016
480
Germany

specul8

Ad Honorem
Oct 2016
2,666
Australia
For what it's worth, the Dalai Lama has admitted to being trained in specific techniques to transmigrate at his death; techniques he appears to believe in. I don't have a strong opinion on it, other than once is enough for me, on this planet!
Aha ! There you have it ! Now, I am not sure who chose that word , but transmigration is not the same concept as reincarnation .

I imagine; if everything is illusory, so is any 'returning' aspect .

Most may be familiar with the range of ideas represented by the term reincarnation, but transmigration ('move on' or 'move across' ) implicates something migrates across - from 'this plane of existence' to another ... as opposed to NOT making the transition , ie, basically, 'oblivion' .

The key ( in forms of Tibetan Buddhism and also in some of the western mystery initiation traditions) , is to 'build up' an 'immortal aspect' of the psyche ( the 'Diamond body' or 'The Immortal Osiris ', etc ) to survive (actually two types of ) death - to 'download' the experience of incarnation into something , that survives both deaths - ie. there is no concept of 'coming back' 'here' if one does not 'make it' .

Some have, however, mixed the two concepts together .
 
Likes: Tammuz
Nov 2016
480
Germany
On the context of the occidental-antique belief in reincarnation:

It presumably goes back to Brahmanic teachings as they are laid down in the Upanishads and gained a foothold in Asia Minor in the 6th century BCE. Lucius Apuleius describes the Brahmans in the 2nd century CE as teachers not only of Pythagoras, but also of Democritus and Plato. Pythagoras first studied Egyptian wisdom, but was not satisfied with it and then turned to Brahmanic teachers, the gymnosophists. He owes his teachings on souls and rebirth to these wise men.

From Empedocles, a disciple of Pythagoras or at least of Pythagoreans, Plato took over the idea of the pre-existence and rebirth of souls.

From the fact that Pythagoras received Brahmanist teachings and that Brahmanist gymnosophists taught in Greece, one can reliably conclude that it was also received by Orphism, whose ideas later had a decisive influence on Christianity. The Dionysian and Eleusinian mystery cults emerged from this current with its legendary founder Orpheus. An essential orphistic principle is the mind-body dualism and the view that the body is a prison from which the soul must be liberated in order to reach its ancestral place in the divine beyond. Characteristic of Orphism is also the multitude of rebirths that the soul goes through to reach maturity for the final transformation. It is not difficult to recognize Brahmanistic ideas in these ideas.
 
Nov 2016
480
Germany
One argument against the reincarnation theory is the difficulty to explain where the souls of today living people, about 7,4 billions, come from (on the premise of the existence of "souls"). For example, in the 1st century CE there lived about 300 million people on Earth. In the MA it was about 500 millions. So the MA population has increased by almost 16fold since then. Where come the billions of souls from which are living today, in case they have incarnated?
 
Apr 2018
1,501
Mythical land.
One argument against the reincarnation theory is the impossibility to explain where the souls of today living people, about 7,4 billions, come from (on the premise of the existence of "souls"). For example, in the 1st century CE there lived about 300 million people on Earth. In the MA it was about 500 millions. So the MA population has increased by almost 16fold since then. Where come the billions of souls from which are living today, in case they have incarnated?
the hypothesis of reincarnation is not based on just people,and it is based on souls,and according to hindus(atleast AFAIK) every living being has a soul,this includes animals as well.
 
Nov 2016
480
Germany
according to hindus(atleast AFAIK) every living being has a soul,this includes animals as well.
In what way does this answer the question where the billions of today human souls in case of reincarnation come from? From animals :)? If so, which kind of animals? To get together the whole number (17 billions) you would have to recourse even to insects... And would such an explanation not divide mankind into two classes - the one stemming from humans, the other one stemming from animals?
 
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