London UK, and Zurich Switzerl
Well as I have stated somewhere before I once gave my promise to not enter into discussions about God or religion anymore. Buddhism of course is more a philosophy than a religion but I don't want to split hairs over a promise. So I will only express my views on the 4 points here given by Brad.
1. Life is suffering.
That implies that death is the only real end of suffering. But with death also comes the end of happiness. Life isn't only suffering, life is everything: Joy, bliss, love, compassion, laughter, experience, and beauty. Also in contrast it is hate, desperation, envy, tears and ugliness. But how can you define beauty in anything if you do not know what ugliness is?
2. Suffering is caused by desire.
Suffering isn't caused by desire as such but rather by unfulfilled desire. I desire the man I love and I desire chocolate (in large quantities btw LOL) and that desire makes me happy when it is fulfilled. On the other hand I am not a nympho and not a total chocoholic, so I wouldn't say that I suffer strongly when my two loves are far away from my reach either LOL.
3. To stop suffering, one must stop desiring.
To no longer desire to love and live is to want to be dead or vegetate rather than live.
4. To stop desiring, one can take the middle path (eight fold path).
Sorry I do not know what the middle path is you are talking about. But should it be to strive for a sort of contentment rather than the ups and downs of sometimes being ecstatically happy and at other times deeply depressed, I would suggest the following. Remember the moment in your life you were the very happiest. That could be maybe when your child was born or when you fell in love for the first time or whatever. Try to re-feel that moment in all its glory and then imagine the time you were at your very lowest and most depressed. Not a nice memory? Would rather not experience something like it again? Now try imagining that you would never have to. You would never be sad or hurt or scared again. But the price for this would be that wonderful moment of total happiness. You would never have that again and furthermore you would not even be able to keep the memory of that since remembering it is a lot like being still able to feel such emotions. And if you are on the middle ground and gave up the highs and lows you wouldn't be able to or even desire to.
I would not give up my ability to feel bliss for never having to feel pain again. In fact I believe only because I felt such deep pain in my life am I able to feel happiness and bliss so very strongly.
That's all from me for now.
"I swear -- by my life and by my love of it -- that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine." Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
"Any alleged "right" of one man, which necessitates the violation of the rights of another, is not and cannot be a right." Ayn Rand