Archive for the ‘Stephen Batchelor’ Category

Stephen Batchelor – Nihilist

January 30, 2009

Subforum: Traditions > East Asian Buddhism > Chan/Zen/Seon General Forum
Thread title: Split from Ch’an Masters on Rebirth
Page No: 1

A forum member starts a discussion of rebirth off with:

As “Magic Primate” says, Rebirth is seen as just a metaphor in Zen, it is about this life… A lot of Zen masters explictly said “There is no rebirth after this life”. Zen denies the rebirth which Gautama Buddha taught in Pali Canon, Zen says “this is the only life we have” then complete end (annihilation). That’s why Zen is not a convincing way at all at least for me… If I believed “no rebirth” and commplete annihilation, I would prefer Science/Materialism over Zen.

Discussion follows until a member posts:

This is nihilism similar to the likes of Stephen Batchelor and Brad Warner.

Rebirth is literal in all Buddhist traditions. It is not a metaphor, allegory, analaogy, simile, or metonymy.

Which results in another member asking:

Assuming you’re categorizing Batchelor & Warner as nihilists, can you present any coherent argument that that is an accurate classification?

Namdrol (Former E-sangha global moderator), joins in:

you have been given all the necessary arguments.

And yes, Brad Warner does have a nihilistic view, as does Stephen Batchelor.

So, if you can’t figure this out– why are you still hanging around?

Forum member:

Isn’t Brad Warner the heir apparent of a legitimate order?

If that is true, and he is nihilistic as people are saying here, where does that leave the legitimacy of tradition? What went wrong?

Namdrol:

Isn’t Brad Warner the heir apparent of a legitimate order?

Not of an entire order.

If that is true, and he is nihilistic as people are saying here, where does that leave the legitimacy of tradition? What went wrong?

We live in a decadent age.

Forum member:

Warner and Batchelor evidentially both have belief systems, therefor that in itself precludes them from being nihilists, strictly speaking. Of course that doesn’t at all mean they are Buddhists, but whether or not they are Buddhists wasn’t my question.

Namdrol:

Nihilist = annihilationist i.e. ucchedavadins, to be completely precise.

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