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The Problem of Evil

If a personal god created everything, then he’s responsible for all of the “evils” in the world as well as the “good”.

Tittha Sutta AN 3.61

Having approached the priests & contemplatives who hold that…
‘Whatever a person experiences… is all caused by a supreme being’s act of creation,’
I said to them: ‘Is it true that you hold that… “Whatever a person experiences… is all caused by a supreme being’s act of creation?”‘

Thus asked by me, they admitted, ‘Yes.’

Then I said to them, ‘Then in that case, a person is a killer of living beings because of a supreme being’s act of creation. A person is a thief… unchaste… a liar… a divisive speaker… a harsh speaker… an idle chatterer… greedy… malicious… a holder of wrong views because of a supreme being’s act of creation.’

When one falls back on creation by a supreme being as being essential, monks, there is no desire, no effort [at the thought], ‘This should be done. This shouldn’t be done.’ When one can’t pin down as a truth or reality what should and shouldn’t be done, one dwells bewildered and unprotected. One cannot righteously refer to oneself as a contemplative. This was my second righteous refutation of those priests and contemplative who hold to such teachings, such views.

Is god the fire or the one who lights the flame? If god is the fire then he’s in a constant state of battle against being extinguished. If god lights the flame then he’s also the one who extinguishes it.

We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world.

In this, the Buddha says that our thoughts make the world. I agree with this, however, our thoughts are also created by the world leading to a paradoxical and/or symbiotic relationship. In biology, it’s stated that only 2% or less of our genetic makeup is what makes us distinctly human. I also contend that this 2% isn’t even what makes us an individual – it’s a lot less than 2% of us that is distinctly individual. We are products of our environment. Just by speaking English a bit of our individuality is absorbed by having to think and express ourselves using English. And then we’re taught society’s rules which takes away more of our individuality. This includes laws, religion, peer pressure, etc. I think the cause of suffering is this battle against the 99% of us that isn’t distinctly “us” as individuals.

This is the cause of suffering. Not just simply “desire”, but the “desire to fit in”. If it exists at all, the “real you” is buried somewhere deep inside of the 99% of all of your influences; and the only way to figure out what that 1% of you is *really* you (if it even exists) isn’t through prayer, but through knowing yourself. Probably by meditating.

“You try so hard to hide – to follow and fit in. But serving your life to the system’s shit won’t save you from your death”

 
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Posted by on September 10, 2008 in buddha, buddhism, problem of evil

 
 
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