If God existed, it would change nothing.
If God existed, it would change nothing.
Just a guess.
I like to think that since the universe had a beginning it must be grounded in another dimension. One can call that God or whatever. Otherwise, one would have to say that the universe was created by Chance, which I would then call a God. But I think invoking Chance is even more absurd than acknowledging some grounding dimension.
Since you quoted Hume, I doubt that he would have any higher confidence in Chance than I do. Here's a quote from Hume that G L Wilson told me about in a different thread: "...there be no such thing as Chance in the world...": http://18th.eserver.org/hume-enquiry.html#6 Of course Hume lived centuries ago. He didn't know about radioactivity or that the universe had an origin in the Big Bang.
Last edited by YesNo; 09-02-2011 at 12:07 AM. Reason: grammar
This discussion provoked me to do some digging. Here's something I found:
Cosmologists Paul Steinhardt and Neil Turok..... theorize that the cosmos was never compacted into a single point and did not spring forth in a violent instant. Instead, the universe as we know it is a small cross section of a much grander universe whose true magnitude is hidden in dimensions we cannot perceive. What we think of as the Big Bang, they contend, was the result of a collision between our three-dimensional world and another three-dimensional world less than the width of a proton away from ours—right next to us, and yet displaced in a way that renders it invisible. Moreover, they say the Big Bang is just the latest in a cycle of cosmic collisions stretching infinitely into the past and into the future. Each collision creates the universe anew. The 13.7-billion-year history of our cosmos is just a moment in this endless expanse of time.
Now if you would please excuse me..... I'll be spending the next several hours gathering the scattered pieces of my blown mind.
There is no longer any good a priori.
I suspect there are other universes out there so why not have them collide? However, I wonder if entropy would wear this infinite machine down? If so, it would have worn down by now.
The idea of colliding universes does illustrate that the idea of the universe having a beginning is an intolerable idea. Either come up with a cause, collisions in this case, or acknowledge some other dimension from which a choice was made to create it.
Whether or not one is a believer in a supreme being, and whether or not one is a Buddhist (a different thing entirely), either philosophically or religiously, one option is to strive to find enlightenment and thus escape suffering by embracing life as including pain. The beginning of this is understanding that pain and suffering are two very different things. If one is a believer, one can perhaps find that there is a God given grace in such an aspiration.
Lest this seem Pollyannaish drivel, I don't believe it is necessarily something achievable, much less easily so. None of us is Buddha. But the idea is comforting. And perhaps, placed in a cosmology that allows for many earthly lives, it provides greater meaning and dimension.
God suffers little in his little kingdom and is therefore not noble.
I do think we go through many earthly lives simply because others seem to have experienced this and reported on it, although I do not recall any of my own.
Pain is inevitable, suffering is not. That's what I was told.
According to the Buddhist view, pain is a bodily response, and is part of gross suffering referred to in the 4 Noble Truths, of which the first is The Truth of Suffering.
Suffering includes pain, but is more focused upon the existential suffering that we all experience through dissatisfaction, impermanence, not getting what we want, getting what we don't want, death etc.
I have heard that upon realising a stable Emptiness, a practitioner is able to overcome bodily pain. This is a by-product though, as the aim is to strive for Enlightenment. Overcoming bodily pain is not an aim because there is pain relief in medicine etc.
Buddhists and Christians are both indifferent to suffering and both equally useless.
The Buddha did say that it wasn't very productive to spend time investigating the distant past, and that a person should focus upon their current condition. he used the analogy of someone shot by an arrow where you wouldn't take time to find out where the arrow had come from, and who shot it before you had dealt with the wound.
Paulclem... I tried hard to track down the passage/sutra where that position is put forth, the arrow one. Thanks for bringing it up. I am really only that familiar with Zen Buddhism and it indeed does seem in Zen that such philosophical speculation is considered unimportant if not wholly irrelevant next to the urgent and absorbing task of attaining enlightenment.
Last edited by Darcy88; 09-05-2011 at 03:22 AM.
4 Noble Truths:
The truth of suffering
The causes of suffering
The cessation of suffering
The path to the cessation of suffering
One man's useless is another man's useful.
Soundbites are a good way to communicate when you don't want much of a conversation.