[Buddha-l] Paul Williams

Ngawang Dorje rahula_80 at yahoo.com
Sat Dec 22 09:42:42 MST 2007

  More spesifically.
  From a book:
  Among the factors involved in his eventual rejection of Buddhism were (1) his conviction about the incoherence of the allegedly nondualistic introspective experiences at the heart of Buddhism, (2) the inability of Buddhism to account for the integrity of the human person, and (3) the inability of Buddhism to account for the contingency of the universe. In particular it was Buddhism’s failure to address specifically the question, “why is there something instead of nothing?” that prompted Williams to look again at theism. As Williams puts it, “I have come to believe that there is a gap in the Buddhist explanation of things which for me can only be filled by God, the sort of God spoken of in the Christian tradition such as that of St Thomas Aquinas.
  The issue of contingency was critical for Williams, and he is worth quoting at length on this point
  “Why is there something rather than nothing? Why is there anything at all? And why is there a world in which, among other things, the processes (causation etc.) detected by the Buddha are the case? Why is it that this way is things is the way of things? As the Buddhist scriptures (sutras) have it: ‘Whether Buddhas occur or do not occur, the true way of things (Sanskrit:dharmata) remains.’ Why? Why is it like that? The dharmata is not what we call ‘necessarily existent.’ That is, there is no logical contradiction in a world in which things are not like that
.Thus, the dharmata, the true way of things, is contingent. It could have been otherwise
.We have a contingent fact or state of affairs, how things happen to be in the actual world, for which we are entitled to ask the reason
  An answer to that question – if there is one- would have to be a necessary being., a being about which it would make no sense to ask the question why that exist rather than not. For the theist God is the answer to this question, and God is needed to as the ultimate explanation for existence at any time, keeping things in whatever existence things have.
  I think I have to agree with the theist."

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