What kind of craving do you think a secularist who are agnostic regarding rebirth and kamma could not annihilate?

I want to clear this doubt of mine, if secular Buddhism is wrong I wouldn’t hesitate to convert to Buddhism

but if you can’t provide atleast 1 craving which a secularist couldn’t annihilate then you actually agree they can become arahants too knowing that cessation of craving is cessation of suffering

so what kind of craving do you think it is ?


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Please assume responsibility for your actions, beliefs, convictions, conversion, etc. The community can support you with information and opinions. But don’t expect anyone else to do the job for you and to collect and assess the information that convinces you.


I mean you and me were already involved in many discussion with these traditionalist

if they really want to prove that secular Buddhism is wrong that’s the way how else could they prove it’s wrong ?

note that they claim secular Buddhism can’t attain arahantship or even stream entry I don’t know there’s another easiest way to attain arahantship except cessation of craving hence my question

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What would I accept as a proof? What would you accept as a proof?
A “hard proof” for me would be to provide a secular Buddhist who is completely free from attachment, who mastered sila samadhi panna, etc. and who’s not an arahant. And at the moment he becomes convinced of rebirth suddenly realizes nibbana. This is utterly unrealistic.

And since I consider the suttas to be historically grown and we don’t have the Buddha’s own commentary to his own suttas… what could a dogmatist point to that I’d have to accept? Nothing actually.

For me, it’s about curious debates and enriching the Buddhist discourse. Sometimes we can prove or disprove something regarding the suttas (for example if some information is actually in the suttas or just in the commentaries), but not about reality and realization.

To realize something is up to me, and is not an obligation of someone else.

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they need to prove a craving that a secularist would never annihilate for lifetime for example craving X now I would just use common sense to determine whether you need to accept rebirth and kamma just to cease that X or not, that’s how I prove whether secular Buddhist can attain arahantship or not

so common sense, of course you can not really tell someone is really an arahant by outer observation or not anyone can claim they are arahant but I want to try to use common sense first if I find somehow this question can’t be solved I will close this thread to avoid trolling and trollers I am not here to waste anyone’s time

I think it’s more on the onus of the secularist to show that they can attain to stream winning at least without explicit or implicit faith in rebirth.

Implicit means could be that they were too busy learning deep meditation stuffs and never thought about rebirth, but implicitly has this view (maybe continued from past life) and acts accordingly.

A stream winner would have total faith in the Buddha, so if their view of sutta is correct, then they should acknowledge rebirth exist already. Or in another way, due to understanding dependent origination, they can see that death is not the end.

There’s also a wager you’re doing. It’s clear from both sutta and rebirth evidences that rebirth exist and is taught by the Buddha. Why purposely walk on the edge of ice sheet, maybe not able to plant the foot to the next step when there’s a clear highway to nibbana? Why risk cut and paste the dhamma?

Although thinking from pure lander point of view, they would be puzzled why Theravada Buddhists would be willing to not believe in Amitabha and risk samsara if cannot become stream winner in this life. Due to fundamental not accepting their scriptures as literal.

Anyway, there’s plenty of examples of morality dangers given by me and others in the other topics. Including the danger of suicide.

I think the fundamental attachment to not be willing to believe in rebirth might be the cause of confusion, not able to see dependent origination fully, thus blocking the path to stream entry.

It’s like stream entry is known to be one who knows rebirth is true (at least via deduction), so why risk blocking such insight with stubborn refusal to acknowledge that rebirth exist tentatively?

The requirement for faith in rebirth is not knowledge, certainty. It’s merely giving the benefit of the doubt that it likely exist, due to faith in the Buddha.

Like we take it on faith that atoms exist. Have we personally used electron microscope to directly see atoms? We have faith in scientists who did. We have faith in all the logical consistency of the atom idea. It’s more of a working hypothesis.

Edit add on: Another analogy comes to mind.

Say we take some scientists. One has the view of electricity is some fluid, another has the view of electricity is electrons and other ions moving around.

When doing experiments, the one who sees electricity as electrons would be able to correctly explain the photoelectric effect, where individual photons hit electrons out of metals.

Whereas the one who sees electricity as fluid would have a bit of harder time added on stuffs like light can cause the invisible fluid of electricity to flow out.

Can also see Wikipedia:

Although the one-fluid theory marked a significant advance in discussions of electricity, it did have some deficiencies. Franklin created the theory to explain discharges, an aspect which had been mostly ignored previously. While it explained this well, it was not able to fully explain electrical attraction and repulsion. It made sense that two objects with too much fluid would push away from each other, and why two objects with largely different amounts of fluid would pull towards each other. However, it didn’t make sense that two objects with no fluid would repel each other. Too little fluid should not cause a repulsion.[3]

Another difficulty with this model of electricity is that it ignores the interactions between electricity and magnetism. Although this relationship was not well-studied at the time, it was known that there was some connection between the two phenomena. Franklin’s model makes no reference to these forces, and makes no attempt to explain them.

Although fluid theory was the predominant viewpoint for a time, it was eventually replaced by more modern theories, specifically one which used observations about attractions between current-carrying wires to describe the magnetic effects between them.

So eventually the one with wrong view about the true nature of electricity would have to change their views in order to see correctly and interpretate experiments correctly. Or else it’s a blockage. That priming effect of not aligning oneself with the reality of the world as it truly is. Makes it not possible to see the world as it truly is.

Using example from social justice: if I have a view that only 2 genders exist and there’s no such thing as LGBT, then I would just hardcore classify LGBT people into binary genders and be blind to their concerns.

It’s only via the ability to be able to see that there’s more than 2 genders, and sexual attractions is bigger than only straight, that there can be acknowledgement that gay weddings are a thing.

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thanks but I truly think cessation of craving is cessation of suffering I have proved it in real life how the less craving or the less expectation I have the less unsatisfactoriness I receive so I don’t need faith to understand why cessation of craving is cessation of suffering hence my question

so I think it’s not about stream entry anymore it’s about cessation of craving or arahantship unless you think cessation of craving doesn’t mean arahantship

now do you think it’s possible for a secularist to cease all craving without leftover or not ?

If one cannot attain to stream winning, there’s no need to speak of arahanthood.

If there’s an genuine obstacle to stream winning, then it’s also a genuine obstacle to arahanthood.

In a sense, without acknowledging that rebirth exist, there could be an underlying safety net for the secularist.

Say if they practice all their life, and then no attainment even to the deathbed. Then they could at least be assured (via their wrong view) that there’s nothing after death anyway, so no matter.

What’s that motivation? Craving for non-becoming. One of the 3 cravings which are the causes of suffering explicitly stated in the turning of the wheel of dhamma sutta.

Merely acknowledging rebirth exists doesn’t imply one craves to be reborn.

So an aversion to such acknowledgement could also be one of the hindrances, aversion itself.

It’s easier to have less craving. To completely uproot craving, one has to practice fully the whole path.

Also thanks to @Gendun who suggested attachment to materialism viewpoint. Which is incompatible with dependent origination.

Edit add on: just to be clear. It’s not a real safety net up there. From the point of view of Buddhists, we would see that the wrong view is a danger which might bring them to hell, but also likely that the good deeds of the lifetime of practise could lead them to heaven.

Reality of rebirth doesn’t change based on our views. Ok, in a sense it does, having full right view, attainment of arahanthood, then rebirth ends for oneself. This cannot be forced, or faked. And includes acknowledging that unenlightened ones undergo rebirth. Merely intellectual right view is not right knowledge which leads to right liberation. But right view leads to right knowledge and wrong view leads to wrong knowledge.


Craving Secular Views and Ideas :star_struck:

Maybe this makes sense?
The aspect of danger (adinava)

I have seen in the sutta’s, and seen explained by teachers too, that for craving to weaken and end one must see the dangers or drawbacks in what one craves. In sensual pleasures, in the longing not to exist anymore, in the longing to life again and stay in samsara. Some say one needs to see the danger in staying in samsara to overcome the craving to exist.


I think you mean craving to not exist, don’t you ? craving to exist could be overcomed just by contemplating how life is unsatisfactory so I think it’s covered already

Oke, that i did not see that way. How do you prevent you get a depression from seeing and experiencing life as unsatisfactory? Do you take delight in dying and not experiencing anything anymore? (i do not mean this really so personal but more in general).

I have mixed feeling and emotions. In my life rebirth is not a very big deal . To focus on the 4 noble truths like the Buddha adviced, I do in this very life, in real time. It is not that i really focus on next lives. But i am afraid of consequences of misdeeds, also after this life.

I often doubt what really drives me. Things are not always that clear to me. I have work to do.
I once had a memory about a past life in a therapy session.Strange, not the same as ordinary memory.
Furthermore i am sure there are more beings than humans and animals. There are more things which have led to my growing faith in Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha and literal interpretation (and also non-literal)

I think that when someone beliefs in rebirth his fear of wrong doing might be stronger.


yes I think I am convinced :smiling_face_with_three_hearts::smiling_face_with_three_hearts: but I will wait for my secular buddhist friends I want to know their opinions before deciding to convert to Buddhism

tagging @Gabriel ,@Raftafarian ,@donabedian, @Joe.C

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I don’t have anything to add…


bro I expect you to atleast give some refutation I don’t expect you to give up this easy lol

I could still change my mind and cancel my plan to convert to Buddhism but I need an even more convincing argument from you guys

Please do what you think is best for your spiritual journey, Alaray. Frankly, there is no ambition here to convert you to secular buddhism, of which there are many kinds depending on how one defines secular, but even then its just a convenient designator and nothing more, not even an identity. If Theravada feels right for you, go for it.

As per the matter of rebirth, as not to beat a dead horse, as a ‘secular or agnostic’ I adopt a psychological interpretation focused on the arising of the “I”, craving, and “self” in this life and neither reject nor pick up the literal interpretation. I don’t say it exists and I don’t say it doesn’t exist. I don’t worry about if there were past lives or if there will be future ones. There are no anxieties or expectations on the matter.

Since it is the longing and the craving that causes the suffering, in practice this means I strive to end longing for rebirth or craving any future state of existence, especially in this life, irrespective of whether literal rebirth is true or not.

Some passages I will end with.

"Nothing has been grasped by [me] from among the doctrines, after consideration, saying “I profess this”. But looking among the doctrines, not grasping, while searching I saw inner peace…

“Those decisions which have been formed”, said Magandiya, “you speak of indeed without grasping, sage. This thing (called) inner peace, how is it proclaimed by the wise?”

[Donabedian’s note, when asked about inner peace, Gotama speaks of purity, so likely in this passage purity connotes the state of peace, that is a completely pure state (ie. nothing but peace).]

“One says that that purity is not by view, by learning by knowledge or even by virtuous conduct or views” said the Blessed One. “Not by absence of of view, of learning, of knowledge, of virtuous conduct, or views, not by that either”. “And discarding these, without grasping, calmed, not dependent, one would not long for existence”

If one says that purity is not by view, by learning, by knowledge or even by virtuous conduct or views" said Magandiya. “nor by absence of of view, of learning, of knowledge, of virtuous conduct, or views, not by that either, I think his doctrine is foolish indeed. Some do believe that purity is by means of view.”

"Dependent upon view, inquiring, Magandiya, said the Blessed one, "You have become infatuated in respect of what has been grasped, and hence you have not even the slightest notion. Therefore you regard it as foolish. "

Whoever thinks himself equal, superior, or inferior, he would dispute on that account. But one unshaken in the thee modes of self conceit- for him there is no “equal” or “superior”.

Why would that Brahman say, “It is true.” Or with whom would he dispute, saying “It is false”.

In whom there is no idea of being equal or unequal either, with whom would he join in dispute?

A great man would not grasp and dispute about those views, free from which he should conduct himself in the world…

There are no ties for one who is devoid of perceptions. There are no illusions for one who is released through wisdom. But those who have grasped perception and view wander in the world, causing offense".

  • Snp 4.9, Norman translation
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Not that you should be basing your beliefs on mine, but since you asked, my position is justified belief means you have valid reasons to be confident that the belief accurately reflects some facet of reality. I do not believe that belief based solely on the assessment that the belief would be useful or beneficial if it were true is justified. Unjustified belief is just delusion.

I have heard the evidence presented for rebirth and find it no more persuasive than when I hear Christian claims of visiting heaven during so called near death experiences. This is especially the case when children whose parents are ministers are involved, a recent and especially notorious case.

That said, craving is overcome by seeing the arising of the construct of self in the world and the ceasing of it and the following of the path. I still do not see how rebirth effects that one iota. I think the metaphorical belief in rebirth has some merits, but that is not what I think people are talking about.

At this point, I am done with these Religious vs Secular Buddhists threads. All they do is divide and distract.

Good luck with whatever you decide.



What does it mean, for you, if one is released through wisdom? What does wisdom refer to?

By the way, i still keep thinking the knowledge of rebirth, kamma, former lives, evolution of universes was for the Buddha no-view. He had not adopted this as views. He saw it.

I think, regarding this Snp4.9 says:

“A knowledge master does not become conceited due to view or thought, for they do not identify with that”

That is the big difference. Much views (such as: the soul is eternal or the cosmos is limitless, or there is an eternal creator) are really only opinions which one hold on to because one has no direct knowledge of all this. One does not really know this. One does not really see this. Then one becomes conceited because one start pushing opinion as fact. In that lies delusion.


Presumably a secularist wouldn’t have a strong craving for future births, since they don’t believe in them. To a secularist, craving for continued existence would presumably be more like survival instinct.

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Ah, what prajna originally meant is one of the most difficult questions in the field. It likely varies based on sutta and sutta topic. At least in this sutta, it is placed after being devoid of perceptions, which we can infer leads to the arising of some wisdom that leads to the no illusions line. What is that wisdom? For this sutta it can be inferred by the final line that follows the one you cited.

But those who have grasped perception and view wander in the world, causing offense".

So it’s likely wisdom here is the non-grasping or adoption of views. But this wisdom, this non-adoption of views only arises when perception ends, because it is our very perceptions that lead to the generation and clinging to views.

He had not adopted this as views. He saw it.

The problem is that we have other seekers who claimed to see things, and each professed that what they saw was the truth. What they each saw, their opponents would deem views, whilst they would deem authentic (direct) knowledge.

The biggest example of this are those who claimed to have seen (eternal) Brahman, God (the Abrahamic one), or the (eternal) Atman. There was no shortage of those who would not describe the view “self exists” as a view, but rather as a reality to be experienced, that is to say direct knowledge, in sharp contrast to those who haven’t “experienced it”. The same with other gods or hells or heavens. They each think what they directly experienced is fact, while the others are delusions. Perhaps, they are actually all delusions and illusions… real as in really experienced, but ultimately not real and instead empty and hallow.

One thing is that all these views depend on notions and perceptions. When perceptions fade, so do the views.

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No need to convert and enter into confusing tradition. :grin:

Just gain unshakable confidence in Buddha, Dhamma (only Sutta), Ariya Sangha and maintain perfected Sila in daily life (24 hours/day). Always stay in positive acts (mind, speech and body act) in daily life or follow Ariyan 8 fold path. Note: the path is gradual.

You are good to go. :+1:

When you do that, you will find Ariya and see true Buddha dhamma.

When one sees/knows/associates with ariya and hear & understand the true dhamma, he/she will become ariya right on that moment/spot.

True dhamma is:

Teaching of Buddha is clear and concise (no need commentaries),
Can be experienced through your senses (eye, ear, tongue, nose, body touch and mind),
independent of time (No need to wait to see/know the result)
Come and verify through practice personally right now,
Looking to within your own self (introspection),
A smart person can realized it on his own right now.

Good luck :pray::pray::pray:

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