Why Can't We Agree on ANYTHING?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
danieLion
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Why Can't We Agree on ANYTHING?

Postby danieLion » Sat Nov 10, 2012 12:49 am

Buddhists can't seem to agree on anything, including agreeing on what they agree and disagree about. Even within traditions, views are highly individualized (despite the efforts of traditionalists to keep and/or make orthodoxy and orthopraxy uniform).

On one end of the spectrum, interpretations of this situation include claiming that the Buddha did not intend strict uniformity and/or that he wasn't a traditionalist. On the other end of the spectrum, interpretations inlclude claiming the idea that the teachings of the Buddha are validated by the nature of their absoluteness and that preserving them as much as possible is important because otherwise it reflects poorly on their veracity.

So, does disunity among Buddhists reflect poorly on the Buddha Śāsana (religion, teachings). If so, why? If not, what does it say about the Śāsana?

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LonesomeYogurt
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Re: Why Can't We Agree on ANYTHING?

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Sat Nov 10, 2012 12:53 am

I'd much rather have a community that argues over everything than one that argues over nothing, but I agree that it can get dramatic.

We're all full of defilements, what can I say?
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta


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Cittasanto
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Re: Why Can't We Agree on ANYTHING?

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Nov 10, 2012 12:54 am

You are completely wrong I agree totally with you! :tongue:


He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Cittasanto
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Re: Why Can't We Agree on ANYTHING?

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Nov 10, 2012 1:02 am



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

Raksha
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Re: Why Can't We Agree on ANYTHING?

Postby Raksha » Sat Nov 10, 2012 1:47 am

Hombre, lets agree to be agreeable (Apart from ten thousand other good reasons to be amicable, I understand now that you meant 'of the cow' rather than 'of greatness', which sounds odd anyway, if I'm honest :smile: ) As for the Dhamma, there are said to be 84000 versions, and there are probably as many interpretations as there are people. :anjali:

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daverupa
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Re: Why Can't We Agree on ANYTHING?

Postby daverupa » Sat Nov 10, 2012 3:18 am

Certain disagreements are over altogether useless matters, so at first blush I wonder which sorts of disagreements in particular are being found irksome. At the current level of generality, there is a danger of building castles in the sky.

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DAWN
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Re: Why Can't We Agree on ANYTHING?

Postby DAWN » Sat Nov 10, 2012 3:35 am

Because an agrement is silent.
When peoples are agree they still silent.

Speak is totaly a-dhammic action, so we cant speak and be agree... anyway dont speak for long time. :toast:

Until peoples will comunicate, they will still disagree.

And when someone's mind is agree with The Dhamma, he dont exist anymore, silence take place.
Sabbe dhamma anatta
We are not concurents...

santa100
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Re: Why Can't We Agree on ANYTHING?

Postby santa100 » Sat Nov 10, 2012 3:48 am

Until the day of enlightenment, guess we're still like the blind men of Savatthi (or at least partially blind) ( http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html )

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Dan74
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Re: Why Can't We Agree on ANYTHING?

Postby Dan74 » Sat Nov 10, 2012 4:05 am

_/|\_

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mikenz66
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Re: Why Can't We Agree on ANYTHING?

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Nov 10, 2012 4:13 am


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ground
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Re: Why Can't We Agree on ANYTHING?

Postby ground » Sat Nov 10, 2012 4:57 am


SamKR
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Re: Why Can't We Agree on ANYTHING?

Postby SamKR » Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:48 am


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Aloka
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Re: Why Can't We Agree on ANYTHING?

Postby Aloka » Sat Nov 10, 2012 9:38 am


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BubbaBuddhist
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Re: Why Can't We Agree on ANYTHING?

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Sat Nov 10, 2012 2:30 pm

The psychologist Barry Sullivan (I believe that's his name; I may have to go check) has written extensively on our tendency to fall in love with our own theories about how things work. Because we become so very attached to our mental constructions, we defend them passionately, even in the face of compelling evidence to the contrary. This is why everyone knows what really happened concerning the Kennedy assassination, what's really behind the UFO phenomena, why my superstitions are better than your superstitions, why your take on the dhamma is superior to my take on it, etc. We defend the balustrades of our mental sandcastles like knights fighting for their king's honor. Even Buddhists, warned not to attach to rites, rituals, attitudes, beliefs, etc. aren't immune.

Oddly, according to research, the more irrational the belief, and the more compelling the argument against the belief, the more passionately the tendency tol defend it. Add to this that we seem to be hard-wired to NEED an element of supernatural to survive (another interesting line of research I stumbled upon in Scientific American) and no wonder the Internet is clogged with bitter--and in my opinion, fruitless--arguments over issues that can never be resolved. Like Evolution vs. Creationism, about which I could personally give a rolling doughnut. Wave those Bible and rattle those fossilized bones somewhere else; any dogs I had in that fight died long ago and rebirthed as devas. :P

Ludwik Fleck, a physician writing in response to the Logical Empiricist movement of the 30s and 40's, described the idea of "thought-styles," which are formed by training and socialization. He believed, and justifiably, that under the influence of a specific thought-style, it became virtually impossible to think or even SEE any other way. Groups of people sharing the same thought-styles Fleck called "thought-collectives." A thought collective is defined as "a community of persons mutually exchanging ideas or maintaining intellectual interaction." An extreme example would be the Nazis. I'm not evoking Godwin's Law here; Fleck was a Polish citizen who was detained at both Auschwitz and Buchenwald, and somehow managed to survive, so he had ample opportunity to observe his theories. Fleck's point, which he wrote about extensively in scientific journals, was that even with trained observers, two different observers looking at the same phenomenon could arrive at totally different conclusions, based on the influences of their respective thought-styles, which would exert irresistible biases on both the focus of, and the interpretation of their observations.

Since Buddhists are a thought-collective, and Theravada are a sub-collective, our thought-styles are going to overlap in certain ways, but since we also come from different generations, cultures and social groups, those thought-styles come into play as well. So although we're all studying the same body of knowledge, our thought styles will create personal biases which affect how we perceive and interpret this knowledge. Unless we're very, very careful. I don't see endless debate getting anyone anywhere; it's an illusion of activity in my opinion, like the salesman who comes to work, sharpens his pencils, organizes his desk, makes a list of all the people he's gonna call, and then hey--it's lunchtime. And not a single call made. :broke:

BB
This coffee is very, very good
Author of Redneck Buddhism: or Will You Reincarnate as Your Own Cousin?

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DAWN
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Re: Why Can't We Agree on ANYTHING?

Postby DAWN » Sat Nov 10, 2012 3:06 pm

If we take absolute point of view, every body are reason, because the systhem have no begining and have no and, so all exist, all is true, everybody are reason.

It seems logic
Sabbe dhamma anatta
We are not concurents...

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Cittasanto
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Re: Why Can't We Agree on ANYTHING?

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Nov 10, 2012 5:01 pm

BubbaBuddhist
got any links?


He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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BubbaBuddhist
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Re: Why Can't We Agree on ANYTHING?

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:36 pm

Alas, I don't get my info from this newfangled interweb, so I don't. I don't trust its accuracy, I still rely on printed media and visit these ancient temples called libraries where bound scrolls of ancient lore are stored and attended by shamans. But some of you who've embraced the electronic media and actually trust specious sources like Wikipedia and such may be able to track down references. I read of the work of Barry SINGER --not Sullivan-- (the name came to me after I ate lunch) in a series of articles dealing with true-believer syndrome. Ludwik Fleck is very famous and represented in many textbooks, we read of him in some of my physics classes. Hope all this helps.

BB
Author of Redneck Buddhism: or Will You Reincarnate as Your Own Cousin?

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Cittasanto
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Re: Why Can't We Agree on ANYTHING?

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:45 pm



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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daverupa
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Re: Why Can't We Agree on ANYTHING?

Postby daverupa » Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:53 pm

Here is a summation of some true-believer research via Singer et al:

http://www.skepdic.com/truebeliever.html

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy has an entry for Fleck:

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/fleck/

Nyana
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Re: Why Can't We Agree on ANYTHING?

Postby Nyana » Sat Nov 10, 2012 8:53 pm



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