western cynicism/eastern credulity.

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Re: western cynicism/eastern credulity.

Postby shjohnk » Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:46 am

Ajahn Brahmavamso is British (Aussie citizen now I think?) and talks matter of factly about experiencing ghosts, including helping to persuade one to move out of the house it had occupied as a human in Perth, Australia.

For me, if there are no ghosts, devas etc, it would also bring in to question other dhammic teachings, much as I find the Christian Bible unbelievable as soon as they mention there being a firmamament between the earth and the sky (That's just me, I'm not attacking Christianity). If there are no decvas, how was it taht Anathapindika visited the Buddhas as a Deva after being rebornn as one? If there were no devas, how is it that there are Suttas that are supposed records of talks given to Devas? That's a lot of 'metaphor' there and to introduce patent lies in to the Sutta mix would seem to be bizarrely unbuddhist, the compiler of such a 'Sutta' would be violating the precept against false speech wouldn't they?
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Re: western cynicism/eastern credulity.

Postby Dmytro » Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:00 am

Hi,

PeterB wrote:As a generalisation ( and I emphasise it IS a generalisation with exceptions from both sides ) the response to this kind of thread tends to fall in three ways. western Buddhists are unconvinced to say the least. Eastern Buddhists accept it wholesale...and then there is a third group which asks whether it matters anyway.

Why is this ?


Since the 18th century (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_Enlightenment ) the 'science' is gradually, but agressively, taking on the role of the religion in the Western society, inhibiting all other schools of belief. I would even say, that in the West, scientism is the dominant religion.

This didn't happen in the East at such a scale, for many reasons.

However there are some brave scientists in the West, who are taking the science beyond its current tight cultural limits, for example, Rupert Sheldrake:

http://www.sheldrake.org

Best wishes, Dmytro
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Re: western cynicism/eastern credulity.

Postby pulga » Sun Jan 30, 2011 3:42 pm

Dmytro wrote:Since the 18th century (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_Enlightenment ) the 'science' is gradually, but agressively, taking on the role of the religion in the Western society, inhibiting all other schools of belief. I would even say, that in the West, scientism is the dominant religion. Dmytro


"Science is much closer to myth than a scientific philosophy is prepared to admit. It is one of the many forms of thought that have been developed by man, and not necessarily the best. It is conspicuous, noisy, and impudent, but it is inherently superior only for those who have already decided in favour of a certain ideology, or who have accepted it without ever having examined its advantages and its limits " Paul Feyerabend (Against Method, p. 295).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Feyerabend
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Re: western cynicism/eastern credulity.

Postby andre9999 » Sun Jan 30, 2011 4:31 pm

pulga wrote:"Science is much closer to myth than a scientific philosophy is prepared to admit. It is one of the many forms of thought that have been developed by man, and not necessarily the best. It is conspicuous, noisy, and impudent, but it is inherently superior only for those who have already decided in favour of a certain ideology, or who have accepted it without ever having examined its advantages and its limits " Paul Feyerabend (Against Method, p. 295).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Feyerabend


And all things are made of up the four elements of earth, air, fire, and water. Who needs science when you have that kind of accuracy?
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Re: western cynicism/eastern credulity.

Postby pulga » Sun Jan 30, 2011 5:12 pm

andre9999 wrote:And all things are made of up the four elements of earth, air, fire, and water. Who needs science when you have that kind of accuracy?


It is we as individuals who provide the náma: be it you or me, or a samana living in the days of the Buddha.
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Re: western cynicism/eastern credulity.

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Jan 30, 2011 10:50 pm

Greetings,

andre9999 wrote:And all things are made of up the four elements of earth, air, fire, and water. Who needs science when you have that kind of accuracy?

Generally speaking, science is emperically objective and ontological (i.e. a study of whether things exist, how they exist), whereas I'm not sure that (in the Dhamma at least) earth, air, fire, and water is intended to be either of those things. I think it's more likely they refer to the subjective experience or feeling of solidity, movement, heat and fluidity... than that they objectively describe the behaviour of particles.

I'm all for science and religion... we just need to understand the frameworks and underlying assumptions of each, lest we fuse them inappropriately.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: western cynicism/eastern credulity.

Postby andre9999 » Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:51 pm

I don't argue the classical elements' use in Buddhist, metaphysical, or metaphorical sense. What I said was in reference to the nonsense statement that science is "more myth".
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Re: western cynicism/eastern credulity.

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Jan 31, 2011 2:04 am

Hi Retro,
retrofuturist wrote:Generally speaking, science is empirically objective and ontological (i.e. a study of whether things exist, how they exist), ...

This seems like a rather quaint way of describing science. In the case physical science (which I what I know something about) it's about measurable phenomena, not "existence". I think that key thing that makes it science is that one can build models that agree with experimental measurements and make predictions about other measurements. The underlying "reality" of the models can not really be tested and in any case is not particularly relevant to doing science.

Does an electron exist? Who knows/cares?

Can I use electromagnetic theory to predict what I will measure if I hook up various wires and cables? Yes.

Can one use that theory to engineer gadgets to sell to consumers? Yes.

Of course, most physical scientists and engineers would say that "an electron exists" in the sense that that model allows them to make sense out of their experiments. But that's just a practical way of speaking, not necessarily a philosophical position on existence.

:anjali:
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