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16 May 2005




I am troubled in ways that you have put your argument together. "Buddhism" is a big unwieldy thing and "Buddhists" a big community. I think that you are speaking for yourself in your post, and not for Buddhism generally.

The idea that in Buddhism a supreme god is rejected to affect a "power dynamic," bothers me. While I haven't done any polling of Buddhists on the topic, I would expect that such strategic thinking is rarely in play when Buddhists decide whether they believe in God or not. I suspect that most Buddhists are persuaded by evidence, not giving a damn about any "power dynamic."

I have to say, too, that it sounds like a Dr. Phil-ism to think in terms of "[giving] our power away." Many Buddhists may not object to that construction, but for me, rejecting the model of a battle of powers is central to what draws me in our religion.


I can agree with some of your arguments, Paul, but like Tom I think that your conclusion that you do not believe in God, is a personal belief, and that other parts of your posts may be too.

I think that your comments regarding the question are well thought out and made - I find this question to be a difficult one to answer, for that reason. I found it so after rejecting Christianity, but before finding Buddhism.

In Straw Dogs Professor John Gray makes the point that atheism was invented at the same times as Christianity, there was no rejection of the Christian God, until the Christian God was declared the only god that exists.

Often we are asked to define ourselves in relation to something that doesn't fit at all in to our perception of the world. This is a very difficult thing to do.

If asked today I would say that I do not believe in the anthropomorphic personification of a god, but that I experience something more than an atheist world view.

You have raised a question that is often at the centre of the Buddhist Christian dialogue, and one that is most difficult to answer, Thank you.

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