Science

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom

Science

Postby greggorious » Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:14 am

Is there anything in the Pali Canon that would now seem redundant due to scientfic evidence proving that the teaching is obsolete?
"The original heart/mind shines like pure, clear water with the sweetest taste. But if the heart is pure, is our practice over? No, we must not cling even to this purity. We must go beyond all duality, all concepts, all bad, all good, all pure, all impure. We must go beyond self and nonself, beyond birth and death. When we see with the eye of wisdom, we know that the true Buddha is timeless, unborn, unrelated to any body, any history, any image. Buddha is the ground of all being, the realization of the truth of the unmoving mind.” Ajahn Chah
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Re: Science

Postby perkele » Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:23 am

Considering the scope and purpose of the Buddha's teaching and the scope and purpose of science I would say: No.
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Re: Science

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:28 am

:goodpost:

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


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Re: Science

Postby David2 » Wed Feb 08, 2012 7:01 am

perkele wrote:Considering the scope and purpose of the Buddha's teaching and the scope and purpose of science I would say: No.


Which is pretty cool in my opinion considering the length of the time of about 2500 years. :thumbsup:
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Re: Science

Postby Fede » Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:46 am

NEXT!! :jumping:
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


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Re: Science

Postby Kim OHara » Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:59 am

Fede wrote:NEXT!! :jumping:

That's me, I guess :embarassed:
I'm going to answer the OP with a 'Yes, I think so.'
I would be quite sure if only I were quite sure about where to find all the cosmological stuff ... I think it's in the Canon. You know, Mount Meru as the centre of the universe, human lifetimes measured in thousands of years and diminishing in this present age, that sort of thing.
I have never paid much attention to it so I don't quite know where it comes from, but I am quite sure that lots of it has to be abandoned in the light of modern science, just like the Jewish and Maori and [insert ethnic group of choice] creation stories.
Abandoning it, fortunately, doesn't affect (far less invalidate) the most important teachings.

:namaste:
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Re: Science

Postby perkele » Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:07 pm

David2 wrote:
perkele wrote:Considering the scope and purpose of the Buddha's teaching and the scope and purpose of science I would say: No.


Which is pretty cool in my opinion considering the length of the time of about 2500 years. :thumbsup:


Actually that is not that astounding. In the same vein, the things that Jesus taught (thereby I don't mean the strange fabrications of catholic dogma etc. which have pretty much overgrown it and taken on an own importance out of proportion) can't be made obsolete by science. Because the scope and purpose is different.

In the light of this, this is not at all a basis for pride and a feeling of superiority over other religious traditions which clearly just have another scope and purpose than science.

Kim O'Hara wrote:
Fede wrote:NEXT!! :jumping:

That's me, I guess :embarassed:
I'm going to answer the OP with a 'Yes, I think so.'
I would be quite sure if only I were quite sure about where to find all the cosmological stuff ... I think it's in the Canon. You know, Mount Meru as the centre of the universe, human lifetimes measured in thousands of years and diminishing in this present age, that sort of thing.
I have never paid much attention to it so I don't quite know where it comes from, but I am quite sure that lots of it has to be abandoned in the light of modern science, just like the Jewish and Maori and [insert ethnic group of choice] creation stories.
Abandoning it, fortunately, doesn't affect (far less invalidate) the most important teachings.

:namaste:
Kim


Okay, you are right in that regard. I have pretty much forgotten about/ignored it because these things are not an essential part of the teaching. When the Buddha said (I paraphrase) "It is only suffering that I teach and the end of suffering" that tells us what his teaching is about and I think one can check this to be true in pretty much every sutta that this was always his central concern and focus.
With regard to the cosmological things you mentioned (which I believe are more or less contained in one single sutta (not sure though)) I think they do have some valid purpose in that they bring home a vision of the vastness of samsara. Might be interesting to read it again and discuss maybe in another thread what is actually the point of this sutta. I do believe it has some valid message. But this message is surely not about geography, astronomy or biology as from a scientific point of view. And the significance of such details as Mount Meru as the center of the world etc. is surely not particularly emphasized.
I must say, however, that I'm not particularly familiar with this sutta (I think it's only one) and my reply is pretty much a gut reaction. Might be interesting to discuss it in another topic.
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Re: Science

Postby DAWN » Fri Nov 23, 2012 3:47 pm

Just some intrestings scientific informations that i have just to read, in french scientific jurnal "Science et Vie" n°1143:

- When some one, in dark and silent spacy place, for exemple in night desert, goes straight, actualy he don't goes straightly, but makes an arc-trajectory in 89%, and so, he make cercle. (It makes me thought about cercle of existance of living beings)

- When you sleep less, you have more chanses to get a diabetes. (Ajhan Chaa illness)

- If right-handed man close his left nostril, his eye-performances improve, and if he close his right nostril, it's his elocution that improves (I heared that when Buddha was laying down, on his right side, he close his right nostril. I dont know if it's true)
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Re: Science

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Nov 23, 2012 4:22 pm

greggorious wrote:Is there anything in the Pali Canon that would now seem redundant due to scientfic evidence proving that the teaching is obsolete?



viewtopic.php?f=23&t=5689#p88564
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Science

Postby danieLion » Sun Nov 25, 2012 5:10 am

To the OP: science can't decide obsoleteness of ideas; that takes human judgment.
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Re: Science

Postby santa100 » Sun Nov 25, 2012 5:27 pm

greggorious wrote:
Is there anything in the Pali Canon that would now seem redundant due to scientfic evidence proving that the teaching is obsolete?


Knowledge coming from whatever sources should be carefully contemplated with this question in mind:

"As for the qualities of which you may know, 'These qualities lead to dispassion, not to passion; to being unfettered, not to being fettered; to shedding, not to accumulating; to modesty, not to self-aggrandizement; to contentment, not to discontent; to seclusion, not to entanglement; to aroused persistence, not to laziness; to being unburdensome, not to being burdensome': You may categorically hold, 'This is the Dhamma, this is the Vinaya, this is the Teacher's instruction."

( http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html )
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Re: Science

Postby C J » Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:51 am

greggorious wrote:Is there anything in the Pali Canon that would now seem redundant due to scientfic evidence proving that the teaching is obsolete?


Yes, one such example is Agganna Sutts(DN 27 http://dharmafarer.org/wordpress/wp-con ... 7-piya.pdf).
It's about how this world started. Even-though science has yet to find the answer to this question, with present archaeological evidence and evidence of fossils etc. one can logically think that Agganna Sutts to be obsolete.

But this sutta seems like a later insertion to the pali canon (Not original teaching by Buddha). Scholars such as Dr. John Peacock and Dr. Gombrich makes this point.

( Dr. John Peacock - http://secularbuddhism.org/2012/01/06/e ... rahmanism/
he talks about Agganna sutta at 18:38)

(Dr. Gombrich - How Buddhism Began: The Conditioned Genesis of the Early Teachings, pg. 81-82)
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Re: Science

Postby daverupa » Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:19 pm

This is like asking if science makes a work of literature obsolete.

I think that while it can render certain pedagogical models unskillful, the Nikayas' pedagogical purpose is outside the realm of science.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Science

Postby DAWN » Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:17 pm

Buddha was a quantum physician.
Information rate : 100%

Quantum gravity
Quantum intrication
Superposition
Termodinamic

It's realy asome how he could explain all that 2500 years ago. :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow:
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Re: Science

Postby tattoogunman » Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:35 pm

I sort of think of the Buddha as the first psychiatrist/phsychologist since the bulk of the teachings stem from trying to "fix" things in the mind (since it's the mind that perceives pain, suffering, etc.). I would say that renders Buddhism fairly free from having to worry about science (not that I have an issue with science). I look at Buddhism as being a glorified self help program and science can't mess with that :smile:
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Re: Science

Postby danieLion » Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:44 pm

daverupa wrote:...the Nikayas' pedagogical purpose is outside the realm of science.
Completely? There's no overlap?
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Re: Science

Postby daverupa » Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:59 pm

danieLion wrote:
daverupa wrote:...the Nikayas' pedagogical purpose is outside the realm of science.
Completely? There's no overlap?


I don't know.

:anjali:
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Science

Postby danieLion » Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:01 am

daverupa wrote:
danieLion wrote:
daverupa wrote:...the Nikayas' pedagogical purpose is outside the realm of science.
Completely? There's no overlap?


I don't know.

:anjali:

I don't either (but have a strong desire to; I might want to investigate that). :anjali:
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Re: Science

Postby danieLion » Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:03 am

tattoogunman wrote:I look at Buddhism as being a glorified self help program and science can't mess with that :smile:

There's a science to and a science of self-help, too. :anjali:
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Re: Science

Postby Kim OHara » Sun Dec 02, 2012 4:15 am

perkele wrote:
Kim O'Hara wrote:
Fede wrote:NEXT!! :jumping:

That's me, I guess :embarassed:
I'm going to answer the OP with a 'Yes, I think so.'
I would be quite sure if only I were quite sure about where to find all the cosmological stuff ... I think it's in the Canon. You know, Mount Meru as the centre of the universe, human lifetimes measured in thousands of years and diminishing in this present age, that sort of thing.
I have never paid much attention to it so I don't quite know where it comes from, but I am quite sure that lots of it has to be abandoned in the light of modern science, just like the Jewish and Maori and [insert ethnic group of choice] creation stories.
Abandoning it, fortunately, doesn't affect (far less invalidate) the most important teachings.

:namaste:
Kim


Okay, you are right in that regard. I have pretty much forgotten about/ignored it because these things are not an essential part of the teaching. When the Buddha said (I paraphrase) "It is only suffering that I teach and the end of suffering" that tells us what his teaching is about and I think one can check this to be true in pretty much every sutta that this was always his central concern and focus.
With regard to the cosmological things you mentioned (which I believe are more or less contained in one single sutta (not sure though)) I think they do have some valid purpose in that they bring home a vision of the vastness of samsara. Might be interesting to read it again and discuss maybe in another thread what is actually the point of this sutta. I do believe it has some valid message. But this message is surely not about geography, astronomy or biology as from a scientific point of view. And the significance of such details as Mount Meru as the center of the world etc. is surely not particularly emphasized.
I must say, however, that I'm not particularly familiar with this sutta (I think it's only one) and my reply is pretty much a gut reaction. Might be interesting to discuss it in another topic.

Getting back to creation stories vs science:
http://www.thepaincomics.com/Science%20vs.%20Norse.jpg
I hope the last panel would be different in a side-by-side comparison of Science and Buddhism.
:tongue:
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