Are the laws of Kamma Revealed or Deduced?

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Re: Are the laws of Kamma Revealed or Deduced?

Postby Shonin » Mon Oct 18, 2010 8:36 pm

5heaps wrote:
Shonin wrote:Inference is not something external that can be known or perceived directly.
i didnt imply they were external. most of your experience is of internal objects. most of the things you call external objects has been proven to be internal. you experience your emotions directly, but also conceptually


You're making speculative ontological assertions here.

5heaps wrote:the point is that just as inference exists, so does your nonconceptuality. what you said about billiard balls is correct but it is not pervasive to all instances of mind.


Sorry but this doesn't make sense. Inference is a cognitive process, non-conceptuality (whatever you mean by that) by definition isn't. They don't exist in the same way. And your conclusion here in no way follows from the premise.

5heaps wrote:this is something exciting. if its true, youve suddenly dismissed centuries worth of philosophical, mathematical, etc theory. its only fitting that one should do so on the quest to realizing the four noble truths.


Again, this is incoherent to me.

Are you claiming that memories are not encoded in our brains?
theyre mainly mental aspects (Tib: rnam-pa, Skt: akara). the physical changes which go on are only something of excitement to people with no introspection and no real understanding and observation of memories -- they may even say observations of memories are hallucinations, just to escape their scientific responsibilities.


Criticising the character of those who you disagree with is called an Ad Hominem argument. It is classified as a logical fallacy.
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Re: Are the laws of Kamma Revealed or Deduced?

Postby 5heaps » Mon Oct 18, 2010 9:26 pm

Shonin wrote:Criticising the character of those who you disagree with is called an Ad Hominem argument.
asserting that people without shamata etc are incapable of ascertaining some things is not criticizing character, in the same way that saying you cant lift a 500kg boulder is not criticizing your character.

Inference is a cognitive process, non-conceptuality (whatever you mean by that) by definition isn't.
are you saying that there is no capacity to know without using a thought or concept?

You're making speculative ontological assertions here.
no, you are. direct perception is prior to thought and concept. at the very least you have to say that the direct perception is mistaken or obscured in some way. or you could be like a "scientist" and say it just doesnt exist, its a hallucination
A Japanese man has been arrested on suspicion of writing a computer virus that destroys and replaces files on a victim PC with manga images of squid, octopuses and sea urchins. Masato Nakatsuji, 27, of Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture, was quoted as telling police: "I wanted to see how much my computer programming skills had improved since the last time I was arrested."
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Re: Are the laws of Kamma Revealed or Deduced?

Postby Kenshou » Mon Oct 18, 2010 9:45 pm

5heaps, if you would, would you mind telling what Buddhist tradition you come from? I promise that I'm not out to criticize you about it, but the fact is that much of the time I have scarcely any idea what you're trying to say. Knowing your background might put your words in context and enable smoother communication.

I'm really trying to be non-confrontational here, but the truth is that I have a hard time understanding you.
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Re: Are the laws of Kamma Revealed or Deduced?

Postby Sobeh » Mon Oct 18, 2010 10:16 pm

Viscid wrote:It does not state that Kamma from one lifetime, following death, arises in another. (Right?)


And what is the result of kamma? The result of kamma is of three sorts, I tell you: that which arises right here & now, that which arises later, and that which arises following that. This is called the result of kamma.


It hinges on the reading of the bolded portion, I think. The translation I used included the brackets "that which arises later <in this lifetime>, and that which arises following that", which you can see alters the meaning of the text (by adding words which aren't in the text). I'm unsure whether this gloss comes from a Commentary, or another source.
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Re: Are the laws of Kamma Revealed or Deduced?

Postby Viscid » Mon Oct 18, 2010 11:07 pm

Sobeh wrote:
It hinges on the reading of the bolded portion, I think. The translation I used included the brackets "that which arises later <in this lifetime>, and that which arises following that", which you can see alters the meaning of the text (by adding words which aren't in the text). I'm unsure whether this gloss comes from a Commentary, or another source.


Well, let's assume it means that Kamma which is influenced by one's intentional actions transmigrates from one lifetime to the next. The question is how, without recalling one's actions and behaviour from previous lifetimes and seeing the resultant actions and behaviour in subsequent lifetimes, can one come to know this?

We can see how our previous intentions and actions, such as when developing sila, conditions our subsequent intentions and actions. We can observe the process of behavioural change because we can recollect our past behaviour and compare it to our current behaviour. We would not be able to see the same process unfold between lives, however, as we are unable to recollect our actions and behaviour previous to our birth.
"What holds attention determines action." - William James
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Re: Are the laws of Kamma Revealed or Deduced?

Postby Shonin » Tue Oct 19, 2010 5:15 am

5heaps wrote:
Shonin wrote:Criticising the character of those who you disagree with is called an Ad Hominem argument.
asserting that people without shamata etc are incapable of ascertaining some things is not criticizing character, in the same way that saying you cant lift a 500kg boulder is not criticizing your character.


Whether scientists can practice Samatha or not has no bearing on whether memories are encoded in the brain. The scientists who have proposed this are not doing so because they are incapable of basic introspection of their own mental states or of observing that their own memories are 'mental events'. To say that memories are encoded in the brain is not a denial that they are mental events. Rather it means that memories are correlated with certain physical structures in the brain. And there is good evidence for this. There is no evidence as far as I know that memories exist in some purely abstract, invisible world or substance, or magically communicated from the past.

5heaps wrote:
Inference is a cognitive process, non-conceptuality (whatever you mean by that) by definition isn't.
are you saying that there is no capacity to know without using a thought or concept?

5heaps wrote:
You're making speculative ontological assertions here.
no, you are. direct perception is prior to thought and concept. at the very least you have to say that the direct perception is mistaken or obscured in some way. or you could be like a "scientist" and say it just doesnt exist, its a hallucination


Just by opening our eyes we don't have access to 'objective reality'. At any given moment, what we have available is sense data, plus learning and memories from previous experiences and the cognitive power to make good use of that data. Events and objects don't actually enter our eyes and into our minds, only the raw information carried by light enters the eyes and sends information along the optic nerve. We then need to interpret that data. Even basic perception is an active cognitive process. (Optical illusions show some of the ways we can fool those perceptual processes). Then there is 'higher level' processes such as conscious reasoning. Some level of inference is probably inevitable in all cases eg. that the boy talking to you is the same boy who was talking to you a few seconds ago.
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Re: Are the laws of Kamma Revealed or Deduced?

Postby 5heaps » Thu Oct 21, 2010 4:21 am

Shonin wrote:To say that memories are encoded in the brain is not a denial that they are mental events.
it is according to people who can fully ascertain memories. however since youve already made your mind up that "Samatha [...] has no bearing on [being able to ascertain] whether memories are encoded in the brain [or not]", you wont really have any interest in what those people have to say

Shonin wrote:Just by opening our eyes we don't have access to 'objective reality'. At any given moment, what we have available is sense data,
sense data is exactly equivalent to objective reality. these appearances are nonconceptual. if there were no external objects they could not appear to your (for example) eye sense organ and then eye sense consciousness. what you then say about the need to interpret these things is in agreement with sautrantika.

the sense data happens generally with the 5 sense consciousnesses which gets fed to the mental consciousness. this in turn goes through an imaging process whereby conceptual cognition occurs. this is all explained in excruciating detail and is the sort of stuff that buddhist scholars have been debating and writing 100,000s of volumes about over the past 2000 years.

whats new and up for offer here for those of less dullness is that the mental consciousness can be developed such that it would not require the use of images (conceptual cognition) to know hidden objects. the assertion is that hidden objects such as what your example with the billiard balls illustrates can be known directly, and not indirectly by way of an imputed image.
A Japanese man has been arrested on suspicion of writing a computer virus that destroys and replaces files on a victim PC with manga images of squid, octopuses and sea urchins. Masato Nakatsuji, 27, of Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture, was quoted as telling police: "I wanted to see how much my computer programming skills had improved since the last time I was arrested."
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Re: Are the laws of Kamma Revealed or Deduced?

Postby Shonin » Thu Oct 21, 2010 9:21 am

5heaps wrote:
Shonin wrote:To say that memories are encoded in the brain is not a denial that they are mental events.
it is according to people who can fully ascertain memories. however since youve already made your mind up that "Samatha [...] has no bearing on [being able to ascertain] whether memories are encoded in the brain [or not]", you wont really have any interest in what those people have to say


I don't see how - even in principle - a recollection *no matter how immaculately vivid and clear that recollection is* could possibly tell us anything about whether the recollection had physical correlates or not or what the nature of those correlates were. Perhaps you could explain how this is possible. How does one "fully ascertain memories", surely not just be recalling them in an especially vivid way?

5heaps wrote:
Shonin wrote:Just by opening our eyes we don't have access to 'objective reality'. At any given moment, what we have available is sense data,
sense data is exactly equivalent to objective reality. these appearances are nonconceptual. if there were no external objects they could not appear to your (for example) eye sense organ and then eye sense consciousness. what you then say about the need to interpret these things is in agreement with sautrantika.


I didn't say there were no external objects, I said that objective truth was not perceived directly through the senses (or in any way at all). Seeing something directly is not a passive process but an active process of interpretation. Therefore observation of events (past or present) requires interpretation (inference).

5heaps wrote:the sense data happens generally with the 5 sense consciousnesses which gets fed to the mental consciousness. this in turn goes through an imaging process whereby conceptual cognition occurs. this is all explained in excruciating detail and is the sort of stuff that buddhist scholars have been debating and writing 100,000s of volumes about over the past 2000 years.


Yes

5heaps wrote:whats new and up for offer here for those of less dullness is that the mental consciousness can be developed such that it would not require the use of images (conceptual cognition) to know hidden objects. the assertion is that hidden objects such as what your example with the billiard balls illustrates can be known directly, and not indirectly by way of an imputed image.


So you are resorting to a special sort of supernatural knowing? In debate this sort of tactic is sometimes called "special pleading" where problems with an explanation are ironed over by resorting to special unique rules. Well here's a question for you:

if the Buddha had this power of 'knowing without seeing' (so that he could circumvent the normal limitations of perception) then why did he bother having to recollect previous lives and seeing kamma at work at all? Surely he would just have known everything immediately - or at least anything he wanted to - in an instant ?
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Re: Are the laws of Kamma Revealed or Deduced?

Postby 5heaps » Sat Oct 23, 2010 4:54 am

Shonin wrote:How does one "fully ascertain memories", surely not just be recalling them in an especially vivid way?
if the mind is a substantial and functioning thing then it can be made skilfull. if its just an emergent property then 1st person experience is a hallucination and hallucinations dont function. if its an epiphenomenon then there are even worse problems.

vividness is largely meaningless, the point in the first place is enough skill to be able to ascertain. no skill = no ascertainment = breeding ground for competing conceptions. in other words, mind appears to us all the time, even right now, but we cant ascertain it clearly. on the other hand, it could just be a hallucination.

regarding inference, seeing colour for example is not an inference, nor a concept, idea, name or word. right? what is it then? you have to say that its a straightforward appearance based on the eye and brain without the use of inference, regardless of whether we accept magical minds or not.

So you are resorting to a special sort of supernatural knowing?
your question actually is, do yogis resort to assumption or conception when they make their assertions. and as i already said a while back, assumptions and conceptions are like giant blaring floodlights. in other words, they are utterly coarse states of mind. yogis are the scientists of mind. its what they do. so when they talk, i listen. its also helpful that they have precise and detailed instructions, are logical, and dont rely on belief but rather on individual experimentation in order to produce results. in this system results are by definition knowable, not unknowable as is the case with faith based systems.

then why did he bother having to recollect previous lives and seeing kamma at work at all? Surely he would just have known everything immediately - or at least anything he wanted to - in an instant ?
thats very strange to me since it doesnt have any linguistic meaning to me. how is knowing past lives or seeing kamma working an instance of not knowing those things immediately?
A Japanese man has been arrested on suspicion of writing a computer virus that destroys and replaces files on a victim PC with manga images of squid, octopuses and sea urchins. Masato Nakatsuji, 27, of Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture, was quoted as telling police: "I wanted to see how much my computer programming skills had improved since the last time I was arrested."
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