Indifferent about the Judeo-Christian Bible

Mar 2012
4,406
#81
The Agama doesn't refer to a specific text, but is a term for a collection of sutras/discourses of the early Mahayanistic Buddhist school, with 4 primary agama in Chinese translations, and each agams seems a tediously long multi volume collection. From spot checking a few of the volumes they seem tedious, lacking any comprehensive overall structure or theme, send talking a lot about trivial.stuff I have zero interest, and lacking historical detail. Life is too short to read such, in my view, drivel. If have some specific recommendation or sections to read, I would attempt to read it, but not several pages that says nothing meaningful to me. At the least the Gospels are much shorter and tell a story, instead of droning on like the worse college professor I ever had.


At least the Bible as a variety of different styles and literary genres, and often tell compelling story, none of which I can find in the super tedious agama you recommend. Not only are the Gospels way shorter by comparison, but the story is full of drama, pathos, and triumph. To go from the triumphant entry on Palm Sunday to an ignoble death deserted by all his closest followers less than week later, to an ultimate triumph just 3 days later after all seemed lost is really a very dramatic tale, better than what I have seen from any of the Buddhist. I guess that is why movies based on the life of Buddha aren't blockbusters, too full.

I guess that is why the Bible is the top selling book in history inspiring a number of blockbuster movies, while the Buddhist books don't rate smong the top 50 I would say, and inspired no blockbuster movie I am aware of.
I don't think you have a very strong grounding of Buddhist texts. First, Agamas aren't a collection of Mahayana Buddhism, its a collection of mostly "Hinayana" texts. Most Mahayana sects do not focus on the Agamas, but rather on newer Mahayana texts like the Pranaparamita sutras (in Chinese, they call it the five main Mahayana sutras五部大乘经 . Which are: Avatamsaka sutra 华严, mahāsamghāta sūtra 大集经, Prajnaparamita sutra 大般若经 , Lotus sutra, 法华经,and Parinibbana sutras 大涅磐经 ), the Agamas to Chinese Buddhism are like what Old testament is to the Christians and considered the texts of a lesser teaching.
As for being disorganized, that's because you are only reading sporadic translations. In the Chinese cannon, which hasn't even being translated in its entirety to English, the sutras, including the Agamas are classified systematically according to topic. Buddhist history for example is explicitly under the section of "history and biographies" 史传部 . In another words, it is highly organized; one just have to put in the effort to search like they do with an encyclopedia. Obviously, an encyclopedia is more complicated than a children's mythology.

I also don't see a point comparing most Buddhist sutras to the bible. Again, except esoteric Buddhism (which isn't mainstream in China), theological and historical focused texts only makes up a small portion of the entire Chinese cannon. Only the pureland sutras such as the Amitabha sutra or Immeasurable Life are comparable to Christian scriptures. Others texts such as the Lankavatara sutra are used by monks as instructions to guide students into meditation insights and have practical value, not just religious ones. For instance, I've attended sessions by the instructor Bhante Vimalaramsi who still teaches meditation according to what is mentioned in the Majjhima Nikaya and I know people whose gained much psychological benefit from these sessions. There is nothing comparable in the bible to these texts.


And really, beginners not understanding it nor interested is natural, anything with actual practical value and not loaded with just religious content isn't easy. Freud is more difficult to read than the bible, nor does it have historical content, doesn't mean its less meaningful or useful than the bible (and I can't imagine anyone whose not religious wouldn't say the exact opposite). The bible is also more popular than Astro-physics or any science manuals, but what's the point of even comparing them?
 

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,499
Florania
#82
  • VHS

    VHS

The first question is:

Where Did the universe come from ? Don't try to explain the universe be means of phisical laws.. Otherwise the next question will be: Where Did the phisical laws come from?.. And laws themselves do not create anything, they are merely a description of what happens under certain conditions.

Science can't tell us whethers science can explains everything: Plato (Alfred Whitehead
once noted: "the safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato... - so forget Kant and his thalers - ..... ) Aristotle, Saint thomas d'Aquin ,Leibniz ( he invented calculus ) Blaise Pascal were aware that science was not enough to answer the fundamental question: - Why is there something rather than nothing ? -

Last century Kurt Godel theorem established the result that it is impossible to use the axiomatic method to construct a mathematical theory, in any branch of mathematics, that entails all of the truths in that branch of mathematics. (In England, Alfred North Whitehead and Bertrand Russell had spent years on such a program, which they published as Principia Mathematica in three volumes in 1910, 1912, and 1913.) For instance, it is impossible to come up with an axiomatic mathematical theory that captures even all of the truths about the natural numbers (0, 1, 2, 3,…). This was an extremely important negative result, as before 1931 many mathematicians were trying to do precisely that—construct axiom systems that could be used to prove all mathematical truths. Indeed, several well-known logicians and mathematicians (e.g., Whitehead, Russell, Gottlob Frege,David Hilbert) spent significant portions of their careers on this project. Unfortunately for them, Gödel’s theorem destroyed this entire axiomatic research program

Second question is : Why shoul "I" follow a religion ? It is up to up to follow Jesus Christ or Muhammad prophet or Brahma.


Buddhism and Taoism followers are not religious... because their "philosophy" lacks something very important.. the need of the existence of "God"..
The classic question is who or what made God; Early Buddhism is strictly agnostic in this sense; Wang Chong and Paul-Henri Thiry assumed existence don’t require an origin.
 

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