From a more practical position, here are some reflections. I am sure others have their won approaches.
First of all, place importance on one's own practice. Kindness can be applied in situations that call for firmness or other actions perceived as unpleasant. Being kind to the person or people one is leading is always possible (even though we all fail at ...
These are common misunderstandings of the middle way. The middle way is best explained through the Buddha's life story.
The Buddha began as a nobleman who had the money for all the indulgence in sensual pleasures which he wanted. However, indulgence in pleasure did not lead to lasting happiness. This is the first extreme. The Buddha then became an ascetic ...
I believe it all comes down to the way one sees reality. One could argue that as everything has been changing since the beginninless time, everything is "Eternal", it is just changing shapes.
I believe the point regarding the middle way is how things exist:
Eternalism suggests things exist as they are. The chair is a chair, it has a "chair-nature", it goes ...
The middle path is not that which is in between two paths, rather it is usually a different path that does not take extreme viewpoints.
One definition of the middle path comes in the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta where the Buddha defines the middle path in terms of practice. Here, one takes neither the path of enjoying sensual pleasures in a nihilistic and ...
Buddhism is not Nihilism because it does not reject values, morals, and religious truth. Buddhism is not Annihilationism because it establish idea of karma (i.e. inheritance of actions). Actions are not destroyed at death and inherited in next birth. Thus, it is useful to do wholesome deeds and practice Teaching.
However, this is exactly what Aristotle said in his definition of virtue.
Yes the ancient Greeks did have "nothing in excess" as part of their cultural heritage.
Buddhists might agree with some of the other 'wise' sayings on the page linked above, especially for example, "You should not desire the impossible".
But the ethics are not the same. Greek ethics ...
I think the confusion comes from the fact that Nihilism in philosophy has two meanings.
The most used in philosofic discussion is defined as:
the rejection of all religious and moral principles, often in the
belief that life is meaningless.
Within this framework nothing has meaning, no wortwhile goals ...
The question is basically, why is belief in literal rebirth (reincarnation) a problem. I won't address every OP point here, just make four theses:
Rebirth is self. Self is rebirth. Whenever there is belief in rebirth, there is attachment to self. You can't possibly believe in rebirth without having a notion of entity (identity) that is getting reborn. ...
There is no conflict, the dichotomy is false and is based on incorrect understanding. As Buddha said in Sedaka Sutta:
When watching after yourself, you watch after others. When watching after others, you watch after yourself.
And how do you watch after others when watching after yourself? Through cultivating, through developing, through pursuing. This is ...
If you know the name of the sutta, and if it's a famous sutta, then I find you can easily find it using Google, for example:
This search (Google)
Wikipedia too has many articles about Buddhism, and one of them describes this sutta:
Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta (Wikipedia)
At the end of the Wikipedia article are "External links" to translations and ...
In Buddha's time there was hedonistic indulgence and extreme ascetic practices. The ascetic practices was to exhausting bad Karma though inflicting pain.
Seeking pleasure creates fabrication through attachments hence resulting in present and future dukka.
Though through experiencing Karma (Sañcetanika Sutta) karma looses its potent this is cannot be ...
Maybe MN 26 is more relevant: towards the end of it, the Five ask questions like,
When this was said, the group of five monks replied to me, 'By that practice, that conduct, that performance of austerities you did not attain any superior human states, any distinction in knowledge & vision worthy of a noble one. So how can you now — living luxuriously, ...
This web book called Constitution for Living summarises the Buddha's teachings for laypeople.
My selection for the list in the other post is:
AN 3.65: Kalama Sutta — To the Kalamas/The Buddha's Charter of Free Inquiry
Sn 2.4: Maha-mangala Sutta — Protection
(Since the question seems to be referring to Annihilationism and not Nihilism, I suggested an edit to it. I'm responding with this change in mind.)
Plainly, Annihilationism assumes a self that is destroyed after death. Buddhism doesn't assume a self.
For references, see DN 1, Brahmajāla-sutta, especially the Annihilationism section and the ending section.
I think there are a couple of assumptions implicit in this question that I would like to respectfully challenge as I answer it
Buddhists are 'nice'
This is a live issue in the sangha where I practice. Buddhists aim to be compassionate and also they try to align themselves with the world as it really is. That's not necessarily the same think as nice. I've ...
That doesn't sound like a Buddhist understanding of the middle way to me, although it is close in some ways. In Buddhism the two extremes are described in some places as the extremes of indulgence and mortification, and in others it is talked about as the extremes of eternalism and anihilationism. This second description is taken up in detail in Madhyamaka ...
No, this is not an OK-ish understanding, since it does not approach traditional interpretations (whether that of Tsongkhapa or his opponents belonging to the Jonang school or the Nyingma tradition).
First, from the Madhyamika-Prasangika viewpoint (Buddhapalita, Candrakirti, Shantideva, Tsongkhapa, etc) there are thee types of dependent-arising:
This is not true, The Buddha did not say that one only achieves nirvana (the highest happiness) after renouncing the world.
Arahantship or enlightenment is caused by the ending of mental fermentations, defilements, pains, hankers, cankers (asavas), not from merely giving up worldly possessions (this is something repeated throughout the Pali canons).
Archie Bahm's Philosophy of the Buddha takes a different approach. Here's a blog article that covers this.
A key paragraph from the article (itself a quote from Bahm):
His historical [...] insight, that happiness can be found only in the middle way, appears to agree with other [...] Golden Mean philosophies in advising avoidance of extremes. [...] ...
Because it does not deny or reject conventional reality, and conventional experience. Buddhism reaches emptiness via the dependent origination of apparent objects. It does not negate the conventional existence of them, just examines their absolute or final nature.
Because of this acceptance of conventional reality and truth, Buddhism examines causality, ...
Your definition of nihilism seems to me to ignore the four noble truths: that suffering (dukkha) exists, and, can cease.
You define nihilism as "life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value", however isn't "cessation of dukkha" (i.e. third noble truth) the 'purpose' of Buddhism (see also 'sentient beings')?
Nihilism is even worse than eternalism. Because eternalists can still do good deeds and reach heavens. Nihilists are said to be destined for hells. There's also a version of nihilism which is said to be even worse than the Ananthariya Karmas(matricide, patricide etc.). It is called Niyatha Micca Ditti. It is said that they won't be able to escape even when ...
The central aspect is to avoid any extreme. So, for instance do not go for extreme ascetic practices or for a life of extreme pleasures; seek the middle path of a balanced life.
The same principle is then applied to any other aspect of life.
The 'Middle-Way' does not require giving up all worldly possessions. Instead, the Middle-Way states to not engage in sensual pleasures.
A person can have basic worldly possessions ('requisites'), such as food, housing, clothing, medicine, etc, and still practise the Middle-Way.
In short, practising the Middle-Way does not require being a monk or nun.
Giving away children does not come under self-mortification. Self-mortification is torturing the physical body.
“Venerable Nàgasena, do all the Bodhisattas give away their wives and
children, or was it only Vessantara?” “All of them do.” “But do those
wives and children consent to it?” “The wives do but the children do
not due to their tender age.” “...
In general, I've seen only specific extremes and selective middle path in the suttas. I haven't seen anything about all extremes.
The middle path is not necessarily that which is in between two extremes, rather it is could be a different path that does not take extreme viewpoints.
One definition of the middle path comes in the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta ...
Perhaps it's a bit too frank, I think the OP asked an invalid question. A doctrine of everything doesn't exist cannot be uttered. It's like, a dead man cannot say "I'm dead", or you tell someone in the face "I'm not here". Making up such question is just an indication the questioner trapped by the trick of the mind - we called ...