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Religion Without God, Part 1 - A Radical Community of Values

by Candradasa

The first talk in 'Religion without God', a four-part series looking at how you can have a full spiritual life as a 21st Century person without recourse to blind faith or setting yourself against the rational world we find ourselves in. The Buddha faced some of the same dilemmas as us in India in 500 BCE, and we face some new challenges with 2500 years of culture and experience in between his time and our own.

In this talk Candradasa looks at the three basic propositions offered by Buddhism as an alternative to theistic religion, and offers a personal exploration of the pitfalls for anyone trying to live out the Buddha's teachings, as well as the immense possibilities for a religious tradition without any god at the heart of it.

Talk given in Portsmouth, NH, October 2012.

This talk is part of the series Religion Without God.

Tracks (click play to listen)

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1. Introduction - online follow-up; growing up in the Catholic west of Scotland; atheism today (3:33) 
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2. Buddhist atheism; humour; reading - the Buddha and the Brahmin (3:40) 
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3. New wave atheists; the Buddhist Middle Way; what is the Transcendental (3:21) 
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4. The Buddha's three basic propositions; the nature of reality; how we see things and suffering; transforming yourself (3:47) 
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5. The furthest point on the horizon; the image of the horizon in literature and Christianity; the Buddha's view on other kinds of beings (4:23) 
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6. Verifying in our experience; kindness; mystery and wisdom; non-theism and atheism; chaos or not (5:50) 
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7. The dangers of atheism - hubris; triumphalism; living a good life as most important; the concept of negative pride in Buddhism (3:56) 
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8. The dangers of atheism - settling for the mundane, psychological and known; setting the bar low; habits and tweaks; losing something vital and mysterious, complacency (6:39) 
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9. Tolerance and criticism; Buddhism as a means to an end only; the simile of the raft; being rooted in metta and kindness (3:41) 
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10. The dangers of theism - literalism and self-perpetuation; James Hillman's distinction with literature; being out of harmony with reality; losing the images (5:08) 
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11. The dangers of theism - intolerance and inappropriate certainty; the Buddha's silence; Padmasambhava's central tenet; inaccuracy and bad teaching; apologists and vagueness; views and bad behaviour; another possibility (4:59) 
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12. What do we have in religion without God; ourselves in all aspects; the Buddha's Dharma; each other, sangha as a radical community of values; everyone is the teacher (4:04) 


Total running time: 53:01

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