Poll Question on Rebirth

Let’s suppose the cosmic powers that be offer you two options:

The first option is that, at the end of your present life, however long that life is to last, you will be reborn into a human life that will be just a little bit better than your present life (let’s say 10% better).

The second option is that, at the end of your present life, however long that life is to last, you will not be reborn at all. This is your last life.

Which option would you choose?

Be truthful! Try to imagine this is the actual choice facing you.

  • The life that is 10% better than my present life.
  • Not being reborn at all.

0 voters

Hope that the Dhamma-Vinaya will still be around and fully translated to my mother tongue (whatever that will be) by then! :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


Now you should do a poll where the options are 1) second life is 1000 times worse than your present life, 2) not being reborn at all…

This is a false choice though, because neither offers the possibility of attaining Nibbana! :grin:


You have to go with the question. Suppose these are the only two options. :expressionless:

Anhilation or eternalism? This samsara is a wearying thing. I’m not hanging around. My life is pretty excellent this life, yet there’s still dukkha, I’ll still get sick and old.


I chose the first option, because I probably wouldn’t believe the person giving me these choices when they gave me the second, especially after the first option essentially “proved rebirth”!

I do not understand what this means.
This can’t be Nibbana as no body can offer me Nibbana.
On the other hand if I choose this it appears that I am craving for Nibbana.
If I born as a human again that is not a bad idea. If I improve 10% every life I will attain Nibbana (complete happiness) within seven life. (ie. 10% is compounding so it will be 100% in approximately seven lives)
This is inline with my present strategy.
So I chose the first option.


both these scenarios go against the teachings of Buddha. it by one’s own kamma that one experiences certain results. no other and no ‘cosmic force’ can influence your kamma and its results and make your life better or put an end to rebirth. you develop the conditions for those results yourself. if some cosmic power offered you this deal, you should recognize them as mara.


Totally agree this is Mara!

Neither can they guarantee a 10% better life. Who know what past kamma will ripen. Existence is conditioned, not fatalistic.
I took the offer of ‘you will not be born again’ as a Nibanna pill at death. Not nearly as handy as Nibanna pill now though.

These were our two options. Both are not inline with the Dhamma


Kamma is only one factor but there are other Niyamas which can effect your life.

Exactly! So believing the 10% becomes implausible… not that the Nibanna pill isn’t!

Well if someone offer me any per cent improvement what ever means I will accept it.
It is better than no improvement.

Both the options are rooted in gross and unwholesome desire and craving. The first one is desire for existence, the second one is desire for death or aversion to life.

The Buddha gave us a Middle Way…


But it is not in the poll.
So you have to choose one.


Nah. I don’t even have a Voter ID card. :slight_smile:


Decline to State

Basic polling wisdom and standard practice suggests that the poll include at least a third choice “decline to state/no opinion”.

I understand the reasoning behind “forced choice” question design. But the weakness of forced choice is that we don’t get to hear from the wise and noble persons who would decline to answer the question as stated. We also don’t get to hear from those who read the poll and say, in effect, “I’m going to pass”.


The “poll question on rebirth” poll as proposed by @DKervick in this thread is poorly designed.
Please indicate your level of agreement or disagreement on a 7 point scale where:

  • 1 = strongly agree, the poll is poorly designed
  • 4 = Neutral / no opinion
  • 7 = Strongly Disagree, the poll is well designed.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7

0 voters

@Feynman 's use of this “counter poll” is clever and wise.

  • Agree - this Feynman is a real dude.
  • Disagree - tedious, unwise

0 voters

Hows that for a forced choice?

Closing Reflections:
An example of Skillfulness in Questioning?

Well, you can decline to state an opinion by declining to answer the poll.

Whether you think not being reborn is nibbana or not is up to you.

I chose to take another life. Although what I’d really prefer is for nanobots to give me an indefinite lifespan and spend the next 100 trillion years traveling around, learning things, enjoying myself, until the energy of the last viable red dwarf has been used up. At which point hopefully I’ll have figured out how to travel to or send my consciousness to some other universe and continue merrily on.

Alas, the nanobots and hypothalmus regulating compounds if we do create them within my normal life-span (and I don’t die in an accident or by sudden illness) will likely only expand my life by 50 years or so and won’t significantly reduce my aging so that I can stay effectively in my 20s forever/indefinitely. So probably best to meditate on impermanence and focus on letting go since the quest for immortality or ridiculously long youthful life is likely hopeless.

I still may shoot for a very good health insurance policy in old age though.

1 Like