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November 26, 2018

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DN 23, King Payesi or chieftan or prince or whatever he was, argues against Kumara Kassapa saying there is no soul because he tortured various criminals in different ways and never saw a soul leave their body, and Kassapa pokes holes in the king's claims. Will the nihilist Buddhists really tell me that Kassapa is not defending the existence of the soul here? If they want to say some of his arguments aren't the greatest, that really is beside the point that he is a Buddhist monk, he's defending the existence of the soul, and it made it into the canon as a sutta, a rather long one. And it presents Payasi as being reborn as a god and telling someone that it was due to Kassapa changing his mind that this was possible. They want to put all their eggs in the basket of DN1, with its awkward neverending list of views, many of which I can't even distinguish from each other as different views, and ignore the rest of the suttas, and that is their problem. Its like if Christians never made it past Genesis 1, and then tried to argue that because Genesis 1 says God made man in his image that Moses taught that its ok to make graven images, and despite being shown the Decalogue and various passages from later in the Old Testament, persisted in that view.

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