Views and beliefs

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.

Views and beliefs

Postby clw_uk » Fri Mar 13, 2009 2:52 pm

There is a big debate today between Evolution and Creationism

Despite Evolution being a fundemental fact of how life came to be and creationism having no supportable evidence at all people will still reject evolution and hold to creationism, to me this shows a complete lack of willingless to face reality and a clinging of views


My question is if science somehow disproves that without a doubt a certain buddhist teaching is in fact not true i.e. rebirth, kamma or even Dependent Origination should we reject that teaching as Buddhists or still hold it to be true and practice to understand it because its what the Buddha taught?


As Buddhists do you think its important to take what science states as important as the Buddhas teachings since both are concerned with reality?
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Re: Views and beliefs

Postby Fede » Fri Mar 13, 2009 3:43 pm

The Dalai Lama himself has stated that if Science manages to disprove or at least bring into serious question anything held as a Buddhist premise, and adhered to by Buddhists, then of course, he would have to reconsider his stance on that matter.

With a twinkle in his eye, I seem to recall that he said as yet, such a thing has not happened.....

If Buddhism has stood the Tests of Time for nearly 3000 years, i think it's going to hold out for a while yet.

Besides, I have yet to understand any way in which science can categorically and definitively disprove re-birth....

And Kamma is a self-proving process with every instant that passes.....
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Re: Views and beliefs

Postby SeerObserver » Fri Mar 13, 2009 3:54 pm

clw_uk wrote:My question is if science somehow disproves that without a doubt a certain buddhist teaching is in fact not true i.e. rebirth, kamma or even Dependent Origination should we reject that teaching as Buddhists or still hold it to be true and practice to understand it because its what the Buddha taught?

As Buddhists do you think its important to take what science states as important as the Buddhas teachings since both are concerned with reality?

First and foremost, the phenomena you mentioned are beyond the grasp of science. As for both questions you raise after that, here is an often used quote.

    Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.
Even Buddha said not to hold onto something just because it is what he taught. He taught ehipassiko. Observe it and see if it agrees with your reason and sensibility.
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Re: Views and beliefs

Postby nathan » Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:07 pm

clw_uk wrote:Evolution being a fundemental fact of how life came to be...
Ok lets see the case supporting that statement first before you expect that this is taken as a given. I have no interest in learning anything more about sectarian creationist thought on origins. I also think that scientists have a lot of work to do to before they have 'demonstrated' anything this broadly definitive about the origins of biological life. I consider some popularist scientists to be given to over enthusiasm and various archaic institutional dogmas that don't reflect any integration of recent or emergent insights in important related fields of research. There has been some ironic historical parallel evolution of evolutionary dogmas as unsubstantiated as any creationist dogmas.
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Re: Views and beliefs

Postby Jechbi » Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:15 pm

clw_uk wrote:My question is if science somehow disproves that without a doubt a certain buddhist teaching is in fact not true i.e. rebirth, kamma or even Dependent Origination should we reject that teaching as Buddhists or still hold it to be true and practice to understand it because its what the Buddha taught?

I don't think there's any possibility at all that such a thing would ever happen. It's kind of like asking: "If someone proved without a doubt that the Earth is flat and that the scientific teachings about a global Earth are not true, should we reject the teaching about a global Earth and accept the truth of the flat Earth?" The answer is yes. But it would never happen.
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
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Re: Views and beliefs

Postby clw_uk » Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:29 pm

Kamma, rebirth and Dependent origination are just examples, im not really discussing if they can be verified or not (at least in current scientific knowledge) what im getting at is that if they were disproved isnt it a Buddhist principle to reject them since they dont conform with reality


Im also suggesting that isnt it a unique characteristic of Buddhism to be so willingt to accept whatever Science reveals to be true, since reality is important not the belief itself?
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Re: Views and beliefs

Postby clw_uk » Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:36 pm

Evolution being a fundemental fact of how life came to be...

Ok lets see the case supporting that statement first before you expect that this is taken as a given. I have no interest in learning anything more about sectarian creationist thought on origins. I also think that scientists have a lot of work to do to before they have 'demonstrated' anything this broadly definitive about the origins of biological life. I consider some popularist scientists to be given to over enthusiasm and various archaic institutional dogmas that don't reflect any integration of recent or emergent insights in important related fields of research. There has been some ironic historical parallel evolution of evolutionary dogmas as unsubstantiated as any creationist dogmas.



Well first of all i made a mistake, the scientific study of the origins of life is Abiogenesis, Evolution is about how lifeforms change and evolve over time.


However Evolution is the fact of how humans came to be and cant really be disputed unless one goes into fantasy land

the science of Abiogenesis, well not being a complete theory, I feel pretty is on the verge of showing how life comes into exsistence

There has been some ironic historical parallel evolution of evolutionary dogmas as unsubstantiated as any creationist dogmas


What dogmas are you referring to?

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Re: Views and beliefs

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Mar 13, 2009 6:11 pm

If science brings evidence or proof which brings teachings into question then we need to re-evaluate, probe etc the area under scrutiny, but it could also be a case that we not the teaching have mistaken view, and science can bring about correct understanding of the teachings.
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Re: Views and beliefs

Postby Ravana » Fri Mar 13, 2009 7:36 pm

clw_uk wrote:Well first of all i made a mistake, the scientific study of the origins of life is Abiogenesis, Evolution is about how lifeforms change and evolve over time.

Exactly. Evolution explains the complexity and diversity of life, not the origin.

Fede wrote:The Dalai Lama himself has stated that if Science manages to disprove or at least bring into serious question anything held as a Buddhist premise, and adhered to by Buddhists, then of course, he would have to reconsider his stance on that matter.

Well, then kamma, rebirth, etc should be reconsidered because science brings them into serious question.

Fede wrote:Besides, I have yet to understand any way in which science can categorically and definitively disprove re-birth....

And Kamma is a self-proving process with every instant that passes.....

Neither hasn't been disproved. But from a scientific perspective, it is absurd to believe in kamma or rebirth because they haven't been disproved - just as you cannot say you believe in the flying spaghetti monster because the existence of it hasn't been disproved.

The task of Science is to develop a detailed view of the world that best conforms to empirical evidence. The task of Buddhism is to find a way to the cessation of the suffering of sentient beings. Science can only get closer and closer to a hypothetical 'ultimate truth', because there is always the possibility that new evidence might be uncovered that doesn't conform to the present explanations. Since unlike Science, Buddhism also takes into account subjective experiences, from the Buddhist perspective something cannot be taken as truth simply because it is 'scientifically proven'.

Science works by formulating hypotheses, gathering empirical evidence and testing the hypotheses. Science claims that this is the best known method of creating reliable views of the world. Buddhism, on the other hand, claims that it has a better way of obtaining a better view of the world - in fact, not just a better view - but the actual, ultimate truth.

And in the Kalama Sutta the Buddha does not ask the Kalama's to accept a doctrine because it seems logical - he did not say "accept what seems to best conform to empirical evidence".
“The incomparable Wheel of Dhamma has been set in motion by the Blessed One in the deer sanctuary at Isipatana, and no seeker, brahmin, celestial being, demon, god, or any other being in the world can stop it.”
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Re: Views and beliefs

Postby Yeshe » Fri Mar 13, 2009 8:18 pm

clw_uk wrote:There is a big debate today between Evolution and Creationism

Despite Evolution being a fundemental fact of how life came to be and creationism having no supportable evidence at all people will still reject evolution and hold to creationism, to me this shows a complete lack of willingless to face reality and a clinging of views


My question is if science somehow disproves that without a doubt a certain buddhist teaching is in fact not true i.e. rebirth, kamma or even Dependent Origination should we reject that teaching as Buddhists or still hold it to be true and practice to understand it because its what the Buddha taught?


As Buddhists do you think its important to take what science states as important as the Buddhas teachings since both are concerned with reality?


'Science' has not proven that the universe has a beginning or end. Until that day, I find more credence in the 'continuum' . If there is no 'beginning' then Creationism is based on a false premise. If there is a continuum, then Evolution is acceptable as long as it does not take a linear view - in other words, change happens over time, but is no evidence of 'progress', just of impermanence.

To answer your question more directly, if what we believe to be the Dharma is shown to be false, it cannot be the Dharma . ;)
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Re: Views and beliefs

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Mar 13, 2009 8:36 pm

Ravana wrote:Well, then kamma, rebirth, etc should be reconsidered because science brings them into serious question.

I haven't seen any scientific evidence one way or another. I've really no idea how one would design a scientific test.

I sometimes joke to my functional MRI colleagues that they should figure out how to prove whether or not mind is exclusively physical, since that would be a guaranteed Nobel prize either way. No progress in designing such an experiment from them so far... :tongue:

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Re: Views and beliefs

Postby Ravana » Fri Mar 13, 2009 8:51 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
Ravana wrote:Well, then kamma, rebirth, etc should be reconsidered because science brings them into serious question.

I haven't seen any scientific evidence one way or another.

See Russell's teapot
“The incomparable Wheel of Dhamma has been set in motion by the Blessed One in the deer sanctuary at Isipatana, and no seeker, brahmin, celestial being, demon, god, or any other being in the world can stop it.”
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Re: Views and beliefs

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Mar 13, 2009 8:56 pm

I don't see how Russell's teapot applies to questions such as whether mind is just an emergent phenomenon of the brain. That is an open question that has nothing to do with any particular religious of philosophical view.

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Re: Views and beliefs

Postby nathan » Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:45 pm

clw_uk wrote:What dogmas are you referring to?
[1]Evolution is the fact of how humans came to be and cant really be disputed unless one goes into fantasy land...
[2] the science of Abiogenesis, well not being a complete theory, I feel pretty is on the verge of showing how life comes into exsistence

These will do for starters, keep em comin'. :tongue:
Still waiting for you to provide these definitive and indisputable, comprehensive answers and the supporting documentation from 'Big Daddy Science'. :jawdrop:
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}
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Re: Views and beliefs

Postby clw_uk » Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:47 pm

Upasaka

To answer your question more directly, if what we believe to be the Dharma is shown to be false, it cannot be the Dharma


So if rebirth and kamma is shown to be false, it would be left behind
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Re: Views and beliefs

Postby clw_uk » Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:53 pm

Still waiting for you to provide these definitive and indisputable, comprehensive answers and the supporting documentation from 'Big Daddy Science'



With reguards to evolution no one can argue with it, its an undeniable fact that has no other competing theory accept for current Creationist pseudoscience which is just laughable

As to abiogenesis as i said there are still different theories so it isnt a deffinite, all i said was i feel that we are close to the final answer in reguards to it


'Big Daddy Science'


No really sure what your meaning/intent is by this sentence??


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Re: Views and beliefs

Postby nathan » Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:06 pm

clw_uk wrote:
Still waiting for you to provide these definitive and indisputable, comprehensive answers and the supporting documentation from 'Big Daddy Science'



With reguards to evolution no one can argue with it, its an undeniable fact that has no other competing theory accept for current Creationist pseudoscience which is just laughable

You haven't provided an argument for it at all. Only completely baseless claims to the supremacy of what could as easily be the contention that the world sprouted into being fully fashioned on the back of a tortoise.

As to abiogenesis as i said there are still different theories so it isnt a deffinite, all i said was i feel that we are close to the final answer in reguards to it
So far all there is to actually consider here is 'presumed theories' and 'rumors of theories'.

'Big Daddy Science'


No really sure what your meaning/intent is by this sentence??

So far we have a materialist scientist doctrine that sounds more like scientrollogy that anything from even mainstream much less leading edge science. So long as your going to present this all in a completely patronizing and paternalistic manner as if the actual data is too far over our heads to consider you can expect that I for one will continue to be responding mainly to the utterly vain and vacant pretense of an entirely unsubstantiated superiority.

:namaste:
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Re: Views and beliefs

Postby clw_uk » Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:32 pm

You haven't provided an argument for it at all. Only completely baseless claims to the supremacy of what could as easily be the contention that the world sprouted into being fully fashioned on the back of a tortoise.


Evolution never has and never will state such a thing since its not about how the world come to be and also evolution doesnt state that things happen by chance out of nothing (the out of nothing bit is acctualy the creationist argument that we all come from gods magic)


So far we have a materialist scientist doctrine that sounds more like scientrollogy that anything from even mainstream much less leading edge science. So long as your going to present this all in a completely patronizing and paternalistic manner as if the actual data is too far over our heads to consider you can expect that I for one will continue to be responding mainly to the utterly vain and vacant pretense of an entirely unsubstantiated superiority.


Saying evolution is a fact is mainstream, saying it can be wrong is fringe

Im not patronizing anybody here unless there a creationist (and even then im not trying to be patronizing with intent to upset) and i dont hold the data is over anyones head, when have i said that???

All im stating in reguards to evolution is that it is a perfect theory that accurately shows how humans came to be through natural selection and how there is no other theory that can compete with it, the only one thats attempts to do so is creationism, which isnt science its merely the presentation of false data, bad science and a clinging to religous dogma that no longer has any basis in reality

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Re: Views and beliefs

Postby cooran » Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:10 pm

Hello clw_uk, all,

What puzzles me is why does it matter about what the cause of rupa is?
The flux of becoming (you or me or anyone) takes rebirth according to the fruit of its previous kamma. Human Rebirth is the rarest of all. Most of the humans on earth have rarely been born as humans before.

Far better to practise and study, so that the chances of another rebirth in human form at a time when the Dhamma exists in the world, is more likely.

metta
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Re: Views and beliefs

Postby clw_uk » Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:20 pm

Chris wrote:Hello clw_uk, all,

What puzzles me is why does it matter about what the cause of rupa is?
The flux of becoming (you or me or anyone) takes rebirth according to the fruit of its previous kamma. Human Rebirth is the rarest of all. Most of the humans on earth have rarely been born as humans before.

Far better to practise and study, so that the chances of another rebirth in human form at a time when the Dhamma exists in the world, is more likely.

metta
Chris



It doesnt, the whole discussion of evolution is a sidetrack, the main point i was making was

A if science disproves a buddhist teaching should it be abandoned?
B if so isnt this a unique aspect of Buddhism, its willingless to accept scientific knowledge and not cling to religous dogma


I only used the whole evolution v creationism thing to show how religous dogma can be clung to instead of accepting scientific fact
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