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As a follower of Buddha I believe in sansara, a never ending cycle of death and birth which only ceases by cessation of desire. I have many friends who are of different faiths that don't believe in this. They strictly believe in one life and thereafter a judgement day where god holds accountable everyone for what they have done during there lifetime.

The point that I use to support my claim is that we are all born different, some poor some rich, some healthy some sick and so on. But they counter argue by saying that it is all God's test. If you are rich they it is either a reward or a test to check if that privilege is used live a good life and consent to the will of god. If one is poor that is also a test by god. While I have some points to counter argue I have never been able to give a convincing answer.

My intention is not to convert them or to undermine their faith in god. But it would be nice if I could rid them of some of the delusional thinking that they got going so that some day they would realize life for it really is. How can I do this?

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    "Not to convert them, but to rid them of delusional thinking" isn't clear to me. Would it be better to rephrase the question to ask more specifically about Buddhism: for example, would, "Is 'X' considered to be delusional thinking according to Buddhism, and if so why?", be a better question, for various specific values of X? – ChrisW Feb 17 '16 at 23:10
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They counter argue by saying that it is all God's test

If testing is the purpose, what is the logic behind creating children who are born severely retarded or in a vegetative state? They are not even able to grasp the concept. Why use torture techniques like horrible diseases, deformed births, famine, floods, earth quakes etc. for testing? If a human used similar techniques, he would be called a sadist or a psychopath.

Also, if the so called God needs to test something, he is not all knowing. If he is not all knowing, he is not almighty either.

It's hard to convince both theists and atheists about Samsaric existences until they start meditating.

Once one starts to meditate, one can see that things don't just get created out of the blue. They come to be due to causes. It is only logical to think that birth also resulted in the same way.

One also sees how craving leads to clinging which in turn constructs life. It would be illogical to think that the pattern ends at death or a god will take over all of a sudden.

  • Test for the humans rather than a test for god himself. It's like a teacher who knows all about a subject giving a test the students. Apparently children with /diseases/ deformities go to heaven automatically and such children are a test for their parents. So basically since heaven is eternal they argue that this time period of suffering is nothing. What type of a meditation can I suggest them to understand cause and effect? – Heisenberg Feb 18 '16 at 3:19
  • A teacher gives a test to a student to assess the student. If the teacher already knows everything about the student's capability, a test is pointless. Children with deformities also suffer, not just the parents. What is the point of that suffering? In any case, it still doesn't rule out the god being sadistic. Any flaws of the creation is the fault of the creator. Vipassana meditation is what they have to practice. But they won't get far as long as they have such fixed views. – Sankha Kulathantille Feb 18 '16 at 3:42
  • @SankhaKulathantille Well it's like sitting an university entrance exam. Those who pass go to uni and those who don't, don't. Not that I agree with this anyway. Can you suggest a good source to learn about vipassana meditation? – Heisenberg Feb 18 '16 at 4:03
  • So the God doesn't know if they will pass or fail in the first place? :) Here's a good video on Vipassana – Sankha Kulathantille Feb 18 '16 at 4:05
  • Exactly my point. They say God has given us free will and so on. Anyway thanks a lot – Heisenberg Feb 18 '16 at 4:13
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We have to all believe that we at least have this life let alone past or future lives. In Buddhism one thing connected or leading to the final goal is to develop revolution towards you aggregated through understanding of the 4 Noble Truths and Dependent Origination. Even moment to moment the wheel of DO is tuning whereby an existance in one form passes away to create a new existance. Even this initially you do not have to believe, but keep an open mind that it is not false until it is verified. (If you think it is false then it is unskillful and the results would elude you.) With this view start practicing and you will get to verify that it is true in the span of this lifetime and hence interpolate to to multiple lives as death and rebirth is only a special event in the turning of DO.

  • May I ask you how you acquired all this knowledge about Buddhism? – Donald Edwards Feb 17 '16 at 16:01
  • I would guess it is from meditation and analysis of the meditative experiences, logical thinking and reading. – Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena Feb 17 '16 at 16:04
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I'll get to the root of your issue.

If you were a true follower of Buddhism you wouldn't have fixed beliefs. If you want to rid your friends of delusion then start with yourself. Any fixed belief is delusion. No ifs buts or maybes.

Buddhism 101

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The best way to get them to use their heads and come to senses is asking the right questions. Lord Buddha did that to convince people how wrong they are.


Question 01

Why severely deformed or mentally retarded people are born?

With a Mentally retarded person there is nothing to test, because they themselves are not aware of what they are doing and there is no point judging a poor thing like that.

Severely deformed people can't do anything, most of the time they can't even take care of their own basic needs. So what is the point judging them.

Question 02

What's the deal with God being male?

A person can be Male,Female,Transgender depending on certain Hormones,Bone Structures,Muscular Structures and etc. But the very immediate sign of gender is the actual body part itself.

If God made man in his form and the God is male that means that the God has a penis. Unfortunately a Penis has only two functions Urinating + Inseminating. Either the "God" has a pair of kidneys because he has a penis or he has a Female partner. Again in simple English a Penis is capable of only two things called "Peeing" & "SEX".

So it is very ironic to think about a certain being who claims to have a Male member without the need to "urinate" or to have "Sex". What's the big deal huh?

Well they might say something like "God wanted us to Evolve and have Kids". Well remind them that "Evolution" itself is a forbidden topic when it comes to "God,Almighty" & Clearly a man was made and how conveniently Sexist of god he made the Female to accompany the man and keep him occupied. And there is no mention of Kids in those religions.

If they say,Oh god does not have a penis.he just gave a one for the man he created. Ask them then what makes God a "Male"?

Question 03

Ask about the appearance

In God worshiping religions (other than Islam) it clearly says that god created a Man in his form.

A Man sadly has some things on him. A Man has a Nose,Mouth also Pairs of Hands,Legs,Eyes,Ears. The thing about these Organs are that they all have a function.

Eyes need light to see, Ears need Vibrations to hear, Nose pump Air to lungs, Mouth crush food & send to the Digestion system,Legs exist to overcome >Gravity.

If a God created Man in is form it means he also have Eyes,Ears,Hands,Legs. Eyes are For capturing light,Ears are for Listening to Vibrations,Legs are for overcoming gravity.

The best of all is the shape of the Head. Here's why....

We all have adorable round Skulls,but why? To accommodate our lazy brains. IF it wasn't for our over-sized brains we will have smaller heads. The thing with the brain is that it is made of Cells and like any other alive body part it needs a continuous supply of blood to live. So this so called "Almighty" is made of Cells like us and has a blood supply too. Remind me why he is holy! Oh he made humans right? lets see how to crack that puzzle.


After all the answers they give ask this....

The deal breaker

Say i clone myself so i can make someone like me (Like they say in their books "God made man in his image") and keep making clones like that until i have about a few billion clones and say to them "I am your god & i made you so be loyal to me".

Now i made about a few million Blind,Deaf,Deformed & Mentally handicapped clones. Because i want to test their faith in me. Now i also see that the clones are at war and they are killing each other but i do not intervene because i want to test their faith. Then i see a whole continent called Africa dying literally out of hunger and thirst but nope not now.

Sometimes clones are not faithful enough so i send a few Tornadoes and maybe a couple of hurricanes and a tsunami just to remind them who the boss is. Yes it makes a couple of million people homeless but now they need to have faith in me even though i will do noting to ease their lives.

I see Terrorists say my name and shoot missiles & artillery towards towns full of innocent clones, Those innocent clones are crying. Hugging their dead they say my name and pray for me but still it is all a test so i do nothing.

So seriously this is what i do.So tell me what am i,

  • A "God"

or

  • A "Super villain"
  • IMO it would be better to ensure that Buddhism is the subject of your answer ... instead of making (naive) arguments about the beliefs of other religions (see e.g. Was Adam anatomically God's image?) ... the question isn't clear but IMO this answer is "not an answer" and is off-topic. – ChrisW Feb 17 '16 at 23:01
  • @ChrisW , i have answered the last part of the OP's question. And i quote "But it would be nice if I could rid them of some of the delusional thinking that they got going so that some day they would realize life for it really is. How can I do this?". This is what i have answered. Forgive me chris but the way i have presented the questions in my answer can get someone who is deeply in a creationism to think again. – Theravada Feb 18 '16 at 16:39

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