Tom wrote:From a DhammaVinaya point of view, should we trust scientific "laws" to maintain consistency? I'm thinking about becoming a scientist because I've recognized how many technologies developed from science, however I don't necessarily trust that science presents absolute certainties to the world, so I don't know whether or not it would be safe to play with this uncertainty.
Science never presents absolute certainties to people. The definition of science
is: the observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena. There is no mention of certainties. In fact, science is quite the opposite: it is perpetually uncertain! This article
, Common misconceptions about science I: “Scientific proof"
, makes this clear.
As an aside...
As disciples of the Buddha who want to become noble disciples of the Buddha, we take the view that the Buddha is a fully enlightened being who directly realized the most profound truths of existence, the Dhamma, and taught those truths to others so they could see and realize the end of suffering and become members of the noble Sangha. The taking of this view and the living of life in accordance with it is an act of faith of the disciple.
When one becomes a member of the noble Sangha through diligent practice, one becomes "independent of others in the Teacher's Dispensation" and faith becomes immovable. Doubt in the Buddha is destroyed completely and one truly knows for oneself. Of course, self-identity view is also destroyed completely but the limitations of language require the use of names, pronouns, subjects, objects, nouns, and verbs. Contrast this to scientific knowledge which will always
remain at a tentative level. This is why comparisons of Buddhism with science must be made with caution and with full awareness of the limitations of such comparisons.
Then the Lord said to the monks: 'Now, monks, I declare to you: all conditioned things are of a nature to decay - strive on untiringly.' These were the Tathagata's last words.
-DN 16, trans. Maurice Walshe
'Whatever should be done, bhikkhus, by a compassionate teacher out of compassion for his disciples, desiring their welfare, that I have done for you. These are the feet of trees, bhikkhus, these are empty huts. Meditate, bhikkhus, do not be negligent, lest you regret it later. This is our instruction to you.'
-SN 43.1, trans. Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi