One of Many
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- Seattle, WA
lunamoth said:Good point! But sometimes I wonder if in fact the two qestions are related more than we have examined here. After all, In Christianity our self dies and what remains is the Christ Spirit.
however... that very formulation reveals the wide gulf in our traditions.
in our tradition, when the self dies, there is nothing that remains. in your tradition, when the self dies, something eternal takes its place, in this case the spirit of the Annointed One.
it isn't really a philosophical objection that Buddhism, in general, has towards the conception of eternalism. rather, it is a religious objection predicated on a vastly different ontology than what the Buddha taught.
that being said, there is a philosophical objection as well... however, that objection is fairly specific to a fairly specific school of Sanatana Dharma thought. by and large, it more closely corresponds to how the Jews understand the soul than it does to the Christian understanding of it, nevertheless, my point being that the philosophical objections for certain conceptions that are found in the Buddha Dharma are fairly specific, and as such, it behooves us to get an understanding of the audience to whom the teaching was given.
it is quite possible that many of the teachings which we read in the Buddha Dharma are actually not suited for us, it really depends on our capacities and so forth. the point being that, due to this difference, the Buddha Shakyamuni will give answers that seem to contradict themselves, should we not have an understanding of whom he is addressing.
the oft cited "Noble Silence" is a prime example.
many, many theists believe that Buddha Shakyamuni was "silent" on the idea of God. some come to conclude that this is because the situation would not permit him to teach monotheism, some come to conclude that this is because he didn't know about monotheism, and some conclude that he knew God but couldn't express it.
whilst these are valid views to have, they do not find any support in the Buddha Dharma itself.
when asked about God, he remained silent when the questioners were Brahmins that held a view of God already. when he spoke to the Sangha, however, he completely refuted the idea of a Creator Deity.
without knowing which group he is speaking to and why they are given different answers, i can't imagine that it is anything but confusing!
having said all of that...
i do think that many of the conceptions regarding a Creator Deity are predicated on a perception of self.