- Jun 2012
- Vilnius, Lithuania
Chinese philosopher Yang Zhu who lived in V-IV BC. 'According to the laws of nature, there is no immortality...,according to the laws of nature, there is no eternal life.'
That's just a materialist centric definition of atheism. As for defining apeiron as a non-personal version of God simply because its an underlining cause, you might as well substitute God with natural laws and call a physicist a theist.i doubt that Apeiron was really without divine attributes.
Xenophanes writes that this God "sees all over, thinks all over, hears all over. He remains always in the same place, without moving; nor is it fitting that he should come and go, first to one place then to another. But without toil he sets all things in motion by the thought of his mind."
The apeiron of Anaximander and the air of Anaximenes pointed, Xenophanes claimed, to a force greater than either concept which could be behind, or simply be, both: God. Apeiron directs movement of all things.
Xenophanes of Colophon (c. 570 - c. 478 BCE) was a Greek philosopher born fifty miles north of Miletus, a city famed for the birth of philosophy and home to the first Western philosopher, Thales...www.ancient.eu
apeiron is the infinite and boundless, a philosophical and theological ( ! ) claim.
Anaximander (c. 610 - c. 546 BCE) of Miletus was a student of Thales, and recent scholarship argues that he, rather than Thales, should be considered the first western philosopher owing to the fact...www.ancient.eu
Also some deists do not believe that God is person but rather that it is a principle, but they should be distinguished from atheism.
This again, is a very materialist centric view of athiesm. Deism and a believe in afterlife isn't directly related. You do not need gods to propose that consciousness exist because the later is a priori; you experience it, therefore it exist. A believe that a consciousness can continue when your physical body perish (or a previous life) is hence a rather down to earth believe and speculation based on projection of your experience onto the past and future, no different from scientific theories such as the big bang or the multiverse (the question of the beginning); believing in either without conclusive prove does not make you thiest, or even religious. Therefore there are many schools of athiesm in India where matter and mind are separate substances.I do not think if someone believes in non physical laws or super natural laws which are like governing morals and afterlife that this can be really called atheism. It is closer to deism with non personal god.
Buddhism does NOT propose any laws as the only governing reality. It does the exact opposite and denounces permanent dharmas (existing phenomenons) of all kinds, including a governing law.Well as i can see this you are talking about supposed not physical laws which are like governing, mind, morals and next life, claiming even that such laws are the only real reality or that they are governing or influencing so called illusion of real world. Such supposed laws have kind of divine attributes.
As I've already said, the mind is NOT a first cause in Buddhism. It's not even one single substantial thing. There is no single mind causing things, but a chain of cause, affect, and conditioned experiences. Do not view this through western notions of idealism. The mind is just a construct that we cling to so we don't fall into the other extreme: nihilistic views, which is also a delusion; the mind exist by the very fact that we have experiences (think of mind as just a collection of experiences and another word for totality; its not a single entity, but its not pluralistic either because of mutual dependency). The mind doesn't create, things rise through conditioned arising and gets annihilated because the conditions which caused them changed; ultimately, the phenomenal world we experience are tainted by concepts.Even in the case if we take just our mind as such a cause such quite divine attibutes are then going to the mind. But ok... So now why i say this is more like deism and less as atheism. Because in deism non-personal and non-material principles can be behind the reallity and these principles can have more or less of divine attibutes, but atheism is more the negation that divine like things exist.
Buddhism never denied that consciousness can change through conditions (in which case the body is one such condition); in fact Buddhism's central tenet is that experiences are impermanent, but it doesn't change based on any self operating principle (any laws, gods, matter, or self), it changes based on conditions (or rather, things only appear to change because of clinging on to forms, but because these forms or concepts you cling to are all conditioned and relational in nature and lacks objective self existence, we have the delusion that things are getting annihilated and being created).However their is also something else we know that consciousness can change its states and that this has effects also on body. Quite surprising effects sometimes, but observable. So this ineed can be argument against consciousness being just collateral product or just picture similair to computer one for example, because pictures are not rearranging hardware. But that is another story...
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