What's at stake as the Dharma goes modern

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Re: What's at stake as the Dharma goes modern

Postby Sam Vara » Sun Sep 02, 2012 8:51 pm

ancientbuddhism wrote:With reference to Kamma and its function as intention, this fits easily with a present experience interpretation of DO. No conflict with science there.


Indeed, but with reference to

"Here, student, some woman or man is one who harms beings with his hands or with clods or with sticks or with knives. Due to having performed and completed such kammas, on the dissolution of the body, after death, he reappears in a state of deprivation... If instead he comes to the human state, he is sickly wherever he is reborn. This is the way that leads to sickness, that is to say, to be one who harms beings with one's hands or with clods or with sticks or with knives.


the picture is rather different. But I don't think that Taylor would express this in terms of a conflict with science. It is not a matter of "Here is something that we believe, so let's look at whether it might be believed by a modern scientist". It is more that the philosophical underpinnings of science simply would not concern themselves with issues such as Kamma. There is, even with a present experience interpretation of DO, little that would serve as the basis for scientific enquiry.
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Re: What's at stake as the Dharma goes modern

Postby DAWN » Sun Sep 02, 2012 8:59 pm

I think that if we explaint to them what is realy means 'kamma' they will understand and agree that is somethink that is the law of nature
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Re: What's at stake as the Dharma goes modern

Postby Sam Vara » Sun Sep 02, 2012 9:13 pm

DAWN wrote:I think that if we explaint to them what is realy means 'kamma' they will understand and agree that is somethink that is the law of nature


I think that this is wildly optimistic. I would like to see a definition of Kamma that scientists would agree could be incorporated into a research proposal. In so far as scientists accept "laws of nature", they would probably (according to their particular discipline) collapse Kamma into one of the other niyama.
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Re: What's at stake as the Dharma goes modern

Postby Alex123 » Sun Sep 02, 2012 9:40 pm

Sam Vara wrote:Alex123

Kamma is what we believe in. You can't take it into a lab and measure it. Beyond events that occur we can't see kamma or its results. We just see physical, biological, chemical, social, psychological processes. There is no way we can be truly certain that misfortune that happened today was result of some bad kamma done Aeons ago. It is a belief not scientifically verifiable.


Yes, this is my point, and what the article is looking at. Enlightened beings aside, we do not have this knowledge. And as such, it is outside the scope of what science deals with. "What's at stake", as the title has it, is the possibility that a modern secular sensibility which values this stance will simply give up on the notion of Kamma. Stephen Batchelor, for example, appears to have taken this path, and there are many, albeit less eloquent, who accompany him.



But also the existence of "God who gives evidence contrary to his existence and existence of soul to test our faith" is not scientific either. We don't believe in this, yet believe in Kamma.
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Re: What's at stake as the Dharma goes modern

Postby DAWN » Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:04 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
DAWN wrote:I think that if we explaint to them what is realy means 'kamma' they will understand and agree that is somethink that is the law of nature


I think that this is wildly optimistic. I would like to see a definition of Kamma that scientists would agree could be incorporated into a research proposal. In so far as scientists accept "laws of nature", they would probably (according to their particular discipline) collapse Kamma into one of the other niyama.


There is nothink to accept. The law of kamma is the chain of causes and effects, the problem is just that for a lot of peoples, and buddhist peoples to, kamma unckude soul, destiny, peronality, and other type of atta, and knowing that scientist dont accept atta, they dont accept kamma. It's a fruit of misunderstanding of true Dhamma about anatta of all dhamma.
Our body is no-self, its just some energy, our mind is not-self, is just some energy, and the nature of energy is anicca, anicca produсes energy.

Some scientist have a more right wiev about true nature of dhammas that some buddist them selves.

Scientifists will accept anatta and anicca (and so dukkha to).
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Re: What's at stake as the Dharma goes modern

Postby Sam Vara » Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:09 pm

Alex123 wrote:
Sam Vara wrote:Alex123

Kamma is what we believe in. You can't take it into a lab and measure it. Beyond events that occur we can't see kamma or its results. We just see physical, biological, chemical, social, psychological processes. There is no way we can be truly certain that misfortune that happened today was result of some bad kamma done Aeons ago. It is a belief not scientifically verifiable.


Yes, this is my point, and what the article is looking at. Enlightened beings aside, we do not have this knowledge. And as such, it is outside the scope of what science deals with. "What's at stake", as the title has it, is the possibility that a modern secular sensibility which values this stance will simply give up on the notion of Kamma. Stephen Batchelor, for example, appears to have taken this path, and there are many, albeit less eloquent, who accompany him.



But also the existence of "God who gives evidence contrary to his existence and existence of soul to test our faith" is not scientific either. We don't believe in this, yet believe in Kamma.


Again, Taylor would agree. God and Kamma would share this category, along with fate, heaven, grace, redemption, etc. All of these have got someone who believes in them, but are outside the scope of science.
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Re: What's at stake as the Dharma goes modern

Postby DAWN » Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:34 pm

It's true that scientific peoples have a much more difficulties to accept religion, than religios peoples to accept a science. But as i know, about 10% of scientist said that they belieave in God
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Re: What's at stake as the Dharma goes modern

Postby Sam Vara » Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:46 pm

DAWN wrote:
Sam Vara wrote:
DAWN wrote:I think that if we explaint to them what is realy means 'kamma' they will understand and agree that is somethink that is the law of nature


I think that this is wildly optimistic. I would like to see a definition of Kamma that scientists would agree could be incorporated into a research proposal. In so far as scientists accept "laws of nature", they would probably (according to their particular discipline) collapse Kamma into one of the other niyama.


There is nothink to accept. The law of kamma is the chain of causes and effects, the problem is just that for a lot of peoples, and buddhist peoples to, kamma unckude soul, destiny, peronality, and other type of atta, and knowing that scientist dont accept atta, they dont accept kamma. It's a fruit of misunderstanding of true Dhamma about anatta of all dhamma.
Our body is no-self, its just some energy, our mind is not-self, is just some energy, and the nature of energy is anicca, anicca produсes energy.

Some scientist have a more right wiev about true nature of dhammas that some buddist them selves.

Scientifists will accept anatta and anicca (and so dukkha to).


Kamma is indeed a chain of causes and effects, and we might well expect scientists to accept this. But what they certainly would not accept is the type of cause and effect spoken of by the Buddha here:

there are four kinds of kamma proclaimed by me after realization myself with direct knowledge. What are the four? There is dark kamma with dark ripening, there is bright kamma with bright ripening, there is dark-and-bright kamma with dark-and-bright ripening, and there is kamma that is not dark and not bright with neither-dark-nor-bright ripening that conduces to the exhaustion of kamma.

9. "What is dark kamma with dark ripening? Here someone produces a (kammic) bodily process (bound up) with affliction,[2] he produces a (kammic) verbal process (bound up) with affliction, he produces a (kammic) mental process (bound up) with affliction. By so doing, he reappears in a world with affliction. When that happens, afflicting contacts[3] touch him. Being touched by these, he feels afflicting feelings entirely painful as in the case of beings in hell. Thus a being's reappearance is due to a being: he reappears owing to the kammas he has performed. When he has reappeared, contacts touch him. Thus I say are beings heirs of their kammas. This is called dark kamma with dark ripening.


Or here:

Master Gotama, what is the reason, what is the condition, why inferiority and superiority are met with among human beings, among mankind? For one meets with short-lived and long-lived people, sick and healthy people, ugly and beautiful people, insignificant and influential people, poor and rich people, low-born and high-born people, stupid and wise people. What is the reason, what is the condition, why superiority and inferiority are met with among human beings, among mankind?"

3. "Student, beings are owners of kammas, heirs of kammas, they have kammas as their progenitor, kammas as their kin, kammas as their homing-place. It is kammas that differentiate beings according to inferiority and superiority.


Or here:

"Householders, it is by reason of conduct not in accordance with the Dhamma, by reason of unrighteous conduct, that beings here on the dissolution of the body, after death, reappear in states of deprivation, in an unhappy destination, in perdition, even in hell. It is by reason of conduct in accordance with the Dhamma, by reason of righteous conduct, that some beings here on the dissolution of the body, after death, reappear in a happy destination, even in the heavenly world."


To say that scientists will "accept" the notion of kamma simply because it is a subclass of causality is to ignore the types of causality in question, and to deal in such a level of generalisation that it makes the statement meaningless. It is like saying that cosmologists study places, so they would have no objections to the notion of hell; or that angels are made of "stuff", so will be of interest to biologists and physicists.

Did you actually read the Heuman article in the original post?
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Re: What's at stake as the Dharma goes modern

Postby ancientbuddhism » Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:24 am

Sam Vara wrote:
ancientbuddhism wrote:With reference to Kamma and its function as intention, this fits easily with a present experience interpretation of DO. No conflict with science there.


Indeed, but with reference to

"Here, student, some woman or man is one who harms beings with his hands or with clods or with sticks or with knives. Due to having performed and completed such kammas, on the dissolution of the body, after death, he reappears in a state of deprivation... If instead he comes to the human state, he is sickly wherever he is reborn. This is the way that leads to sickness, that is to say, to be one who harms beings with one's hands or with clods or with sticks or with knives.


the picture is rather different. But I don't think that Taylor would express this in terms of a conflict with science. It is not a matter of "Here is something that we believe, so let's look at whether it might be believed by a modern scientist". It is more that the philosophical underpinnings of science simply would not concern themselves with issues such as Kamma. There is, even with a present experience interpretation of DO, little that would serve as the basis for scientific enquiry.


Although scientific inquiry does overlap into the domain of Dhamma where appropriate, when they share a common object of study and evidence; such as where cognitive processes outlined in the Nikāyas are found confirmed by neuroscience.

Where science does not concern itself is with religious myth or cultural beliefs, such as belief in God/gods or post-mortem events, as these are not relevant to empirical evidence.
Anuvicca papañca nāmarūpaṃ
ajjhattaṃ bahiddhā ca rogamūlaṃ,
sabbarogamūlabandhanā pamutto
anuvidito tādi pavuccate tathattā
.

“Having known the naming of objects,
With its proliferation, its root in illness – within and without;
One is released from bondage to the root of all illness.
And thus is called the Knowing One – the Such.

– Sn. 3.6 (Sabhiyasuttaṃ)

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Re: What's at stake as the Dharma goes modern

Postby DAWN » Mon Sep 03, 2012 7:20 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Kamma is indeed a chain of causes and effects, and we might well expect scientists to accept this. But what they certainly would not accept is the type of cause and effect spoken of by the Buddha here:

there are four kinds of kamma proclaimed by me after realization myself with direct knowledge. What are the four? There is dark kamma with dark ripening, there is bright kamma with bright ripening, there is dark-and-bright kamma with dark-and-bright ripening, and there is kamma that is not dark and not bright with neither-dark-nor-bright ripening that conduces to the exhaustion of kamma.

9. "What is dark kamma with dark ripening? Here someone produces a (kammic) bodily process (bound up) with affliction,[2] he produces a (kammic) verbal process (bound up) with affliction, he produces a (kammic) mental process (bound up) with affliction. By so doing, he reappears in a world with affliction. When that happens, afflicting contacts[3] touch him. Being touched by these, he feels afflicting feelings entirely painful as in the case of beings in hell. Thus a being's reappearance is due to a being: he reappears owing to the kammas he has performed. When he has reappeared, contacts touch him. Thus I say are beings heirs of their kammas. This is called dark kamma with dark ripening.


Or here:

Master Gotama, what is the reason, what is the condition, why inferiority and superiority are met with among human beings, among mankind? For one meets with short-lived and long-lived people, sick and healthy people, ugly and beautiful people, insignificant and influential people, poor and rich people, low-born and high-born people, stupid and wise people. What is the reason, what is the condition, why superiority and inferiority are met with among human beings, among mankind?"

3. "Student, beings are owners of kammas, heirs of kammas, they have kammas as their progenitor, kammas as their kin, kammas as their homing-place. It is kammas that differentiate beings according to inferiority and superiority.


Or here:

"Householders, it is by reason of conduct not in accordance with the Dhamma, by reason of unrighteous conduct, that beings here on the dissolution of the body, after death, reappear in states of deprivation, in an unhappy destination, in perdition, even in hell. It is by reason of conduct in accordance with the Dhamma, by reason of righteous conduct, that some beings here on the dissolution of the body, after death, reappear in a happy destination, even in the heavenly world."


To say that scientists will "accept" the notion of kamma simply because it is a subclass of causality is to ignore the types of causality in question, and to deal in such a level of generalisation that it makes the statement meaningless. It is like saying that cosmologists study places, so they would have no objections to the notion of hell; or that angels are made of "stuff", so will be of interest to biologists and physicists.

Did you actually read the Heuman article in the original post?



It's true that we study not same type of kamma, scientist external, like dropping the ball and seeing it fall, what is an kammic action, or buddhist internal, like a sayng anything and feel good or bad, what is kammic action to.
I dont know if is the good way to understand 'kamma' like that, but for me the kamma is interaction between dhammas, and this interaction 'create' a fruit, like a child of two parents.

Anyway is a good image with hell and angels :smile:
And, actualy, my english level dont allow me to understand the whole article in the original post. My posts are adressed to replics on this article, so perharps i should try to reed it again... :thinking:
Last edited by DAWN on Mon Sep 03, 2012 1:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What's at stake as the Dharma goes modern

Postby Spiny Norman » Mon Sep 03, 2012 1:04 pm

Kim O'Hara wrote:As I said to Alex, I am not highlighting this because I disagree with you (I am in general agreement with you) but because I think it is useful, even necessary, to know why we choose certain things to believe in.


If the goal is to "see things as they really are", then I think it's important to develop an open-mind - and that requires some insight into our world view, our preconceptions, our beliefs and disbeliefs.
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Re: What's at stake as the Dharma goes modern

Postby Kim OHara » Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:28 pm

porpoise wrote:
Kim O'Hara wrote:As I said to Alex, I am not highlighting this because I disagree with you (I am in general agreement with you) but because I think it is useful, even necessary, to know why we choose certain things to believe in.


If the goal is to "see things as they really are", then I think it's important to develop an open-mind - and that requires some insight into our world view, our preconceptions, our beliefs and disbeliefs.

:thumbsup:
That's exactly what I'm getting at.

:namaste:
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Re: What's at stake as the Dharma goes modern

Postby Micheal Kush » Tue Sep 04, 2012 1:37 am

Hey guys just here to offer my two cents.

First of all, science like any other medium accumulating knowledge is not totally objective and is constrained by its own motives and views that render it a hindrance to discover anything innovative. Being a big science fanatic myself, i actually seem to be more of a post modernism thinker(though not really) and see that science operates also a fallacy of a system which claim that this scientific method is absolutely universal. As a matter of fact, if one reads Paul Feyerbends writings on science, it adopts a stance that doesn't dispense science as a ignorant tool but exploits of his inherent flaws that invaded it in the last few centuries. It operates solely on one particular method which is no truer than Buddhists method of discerning and investigating. So please we have to exclude science as the ultimate goal that Buddhism now has to rely on and of course no is saying that. Science like anything and this can be especially seen through philosophy and art, must be progressed thoroughly to accomplish anything.

I do find it immensely beneficial that science does investigate its claims and see if they are genuinely true. However, this extremely difficult due to the fact that concepts like Nibbana,rebirth etc can be experienced subjectively and cannot be brought to world view terms. One of the things i believe meditators and researchers should develop is that if we do acquire these states or even Nirvana, then they should investigate to elucidate it clearly as its presented and see how it applies to our world. For example, many speak of Nirvana as having no thoughts but to the extent of reason and what science has stated so far, this is not true. Actually, it seems that Buddhas description is fairly accurate and non contradictory. I don't think we should place the hands of fate of Buddhism or Dhamma into sciences hand when its still permeated by a materialistic world view.

Also, Buddha himself though extraordinary in his teachings, wasn't the only man to discover something that was well ahead of his time. Mencius and a pre Socratic philosopher(forgot the name) believed in a theory in which organisms can adapt to the variation of their environment........hmmmm sound familiar?

There a few other examples but all in all, may all beings be well and happy/

WIth mettta, mike
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Re: What's at stake as the Dharma goes modern

Postby daverupa » Tue Sep 04, 2012 2:50 pm

ancientbuddhism wrote:Where science does not concern itself is with religious myth or cultural beliefs, such as belief in God/gods or post-mortem events, as these are not relevant to empirical evidence.


This is the hub of the concern it seems to me, to wit "empirical evidence" as one sort of constellation within scientific endeavor, and another sort of constellation within contemplative endeavor.

Phrases such as "verify for oneself" and "my practice verifies it in my case, which is good enough" reflect this difference, but the similarity of this language with that of science ("anyone, in principle, can do the experiment and see for themselves") tends to confuse the issue.

---

Now, DN 1 shows that quite a number of wrong views can arise on the basis of contemplative knowledge, which these days is exemplified by the wide variety of mystical and contemplative claims to knowledge which are on offer. On the contrary, science is something which receives wide-ranging agreement, given the replicability of its experiments and the resultant strength of its claims.

With respect to these mystical and contemplative claims, I tend to think of it all as varieties of a dragon in someone's garage, with the upshot that

Once again, the only sensible approach is tentatively to reject the dragon hypothesis, to be open to future physical data, and to wonder what the cause might be that so many apparently sane and sober people share the same strange delusion.
    "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: What's at stake as the Dharma goes modern

Postby ancientbuddhism » Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:10 pm

daverupa wrote:
ancientbuddhism wrote:Where science does not concern itself is with religious myth or cultural beliefs, such as belief in God/gods or post-mortem events, as these are not relevant to empirical evidence.


This is the hub of the concern it seems to me, to wit "empirical evidence" as one sort of constellation within scientific endeavor, and another sort of constellation within contemplative endeavor. ...


And the results of Buddhist empiricism is likely what attracts science to it as an ancient common ground of sorts. Buddhism, like science, also finds wide-ranging agreement where the the replicability of its experiments and the resultant strength of its claims are purported to be found without variance – at least in the early texts.

Because contemplative arts in Theravāda were only recently revived (little more than 200 years ago), there is some room for variance of interpretation of the texts, and of application and results. Yet even despite the seeming differences between later contemplative traditions within Theravāda (controversies over Dhammakaya and Santi Asoke sects notwithstanding), there is still an emphasis on reproducibility of practice and analysis. The Vipassanā traditions come to mind with reference to the emphasis on ‘noting’ in the Mahāsi tradition. U Pandita explained this in retreat as the utility for sati to fall upon anything that arises; a reproducibility of practice toward sustained results, which every practitioner should find (supposedly without deviation).

With reference to the OP and “the Dragon in my garage”, science seems deftly to step around this, seeing a worldview as a worldview, and leaving such alone; even when it is most likely staring the scientist in the face when citing some Buddhist text where gods, post-mortem mysticism and other fantastic claims are mentioned yet not relevant to the empirical dynamic were the common ground is met. Although the religious adherent may tend to be a bit more emotional (code for irrational), and piqued by the command of the obvious claims of science, feel that some quaint doctrine or religious story either needs defending against science, or even more perplexing, some Ptolemy or Aquinas or Ian Stevenson will fashion a defense in some image resembling scientific method.
Anuvicca papañca nāmarūpaṃ
ajjhattaṃ bahiddhā ca rogamūlaṃ,
sabbarogamūlabandhanā pamutto
anuvidito tādi pavuccate tathattā
.

“Having known the naming of objects,
With its proliferation, its root in illness – within and without;
One is released from bondage to the root of all illness.
And thus is called the Knowing One – the Such.

– Sn. 3.6 (Sabhiyasuttaṃ)

Secure your own mask before assisting others. – NORTHWEST AIRLINES (Pre-Flight Instruction)

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Re: What's at stake as the Dharma goes modern

Postby Hanzze » Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:03 am

The Dhamma-Vinaya leads one to give up his usual habits and addopts skills that lead out of the wandering-on. If one starts to modify the Dhamma-Vinaya up to his habits, then it is like running into something that is well pointed out in a sentense, a wise man once used to say (maybe other words): "If your are not honest to the Dhamma and Vinaya, the Dhamma and Vinaya will not be honest to you."

No problem if someone thinks on making another turn, but I guess there is no need to modernice (reject) the Dhamma. In that way the good teachings will continue to exist till the time one will be open for it... till one might have enought and seeks for the path.

Understanding does not come by modifying something to once own known ideas. Just be attentive, mindfull and patient! Things will puzzle together with time if letting go starts to reach a deeper point.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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