doogly wrote:The point is that the way you are stating them has very little to do with the actual beliefs of 350 million people.
I did major in this sort of thing ; )
Like, I'm just gonna quote directly from the website I linked earlier.
To live means to suffer, because the human nature is not perfect and neither is the world we live in. During our lifetime, we inevitably have to endure physical suffering such as pain, sickness, injury, tiredness, old age, and eventually death; and we have to endure psychological suffering like sadness, fear, frustration, disappointment, and depression. Although there are different degrees of suffering and there are also positive experiences in life that we perceive as the opposite of suffering, such as ease, comfort and happiness, life in its totality is imperfect and incomplete, because our world is subject to impermanence. This means we are never able to keep permanently what we strive for, and just as happy moments pass by, we ourselves and our loved ones will pass away one day, too.
The origin of suffering is attachment to transient things and the ignorance thereof. Transient things do not only include the physical objects that surround us, but also ideas, and -in a greater sense- all objects of our perception. Ignorance is the lack of understanding of how our mind is attached to impermanent things. The reasons for suffering are desire, passion, ardour, pursuit of wealth and prestige, striving for fame and popularity, or in short: craving and clinging. Because the objects of our attachment are transient, their loss is inevitable, thus suffering will necessarily follow. Objects of attachment also include the idea of a "self" which is a delusion, because there is no abiding self. What we call "self" is just an imagined entity, and we are merely a part of the ceaseless becoming of the universe.
The emphasis I added were the elements that I was most directly, but not exclusively referencing.
Now, are you saying that these things are not part of Buddhism, or are you saying that practical Buddhism in the modern world doesn't focus on these things, or are you saying that I'm not speaking to these particular points in some non-exclusive way?
If it's the second, then that's a valid point, and I should adjust my number down from 350 million. But we've already established that arguments based on demographics don't serve anyone well.
if it's the third, well then that's because I don't feel like a full exposition of my own philosophy, or the validity and/or prevalence of derived philosophies, is really relevant to the current topic.
I was trying to address a single comment in an offhand fashion. Gmalivuk et al are trying to dismiss the entirety of my posts by pointing out a seeming flaw in one not-even-tangentially related field. So if you want to dismiss my discussion of philosophy based on the fact that it is derived from many sources, fine. But that doesn't change the validity of my other points.
And if you want to re-visit the "millions of people think it's bullshit" because "Gorceeism" isn't a widely-accepted worldview, then I can still fall back on the validity of the shared elements as they stand. Part of my philosophy is "murder is bad". Do we negate that on the same basis, too?
Edit: If you do want to hear my personal philosophy, then we can take it elsewhere. To summarize, however, in an attempt to put the current discussion to rest, and to revisit actual studies and science (!), I don't fully subscribe to Buddhist principles because I don't follow the no-self viewpoint. I am a reductionist of sorts, but I take a viewpoint that the construction of self is unknowable and therefore irrelevant, not non-existent. So I don't subscribe to either traditional no-self or reductionist principles. I do subscribe to the concept of the Noble Truths, including the elimination of self, but on the aforementioned basis that the construction of self is irrelevant, not non-existent. I also subscribe to many, but not all, of the principles of the Eightfold Path. The irrelevancy of self is derived partly from Kierkegaardian existentialism, where I prescribe the irrelevancy of essence (ie, the unknowable construction of consciousness) as a causal notion for the existential view. Also, I'm really tired now and I'm rambling. Rambling is a big part of my life's existence, too.