Why Can't We Agree on ANYTHING?

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

Re: Why Can't We Agree on ANYTHING?

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Sun Nov 11, 2012 12:53 am

LOL! Skeptic's Dictionary is one of those examples of thought-style biases taken to the extreme. Carroll is a fanatic dis-believer who gleefully (along with the PSICOP witch-hunters) debunks everything. He's been after me for years to contribute something to his website but I've declined, preferring not to further add to internet fanaticism.
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Re: Why Can't We Agree on ANYTHING?

Postby Kusala » Sun Nov 11, 2012 7:53 am

danieLion wrote: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?


Buddhists are humans...and humans are full of defilements. Does that make sense?
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Re: Why Can't We Agree on ANYTHING?

Postby Sambojjhanga » Sun Nov 11, 2012 12:14 pm

Kusala wrote:
danieLion wrote: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?


Buddhists are humans...and humans are full of defilements. Does that make sense?


More than you can even imagine, friend.

Metta!

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The flavor of the dhamma exceeds all other flavors
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Re: Why Can't We Agree on ANYTHING?

Postby danieLion » Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:54 am

Thanks everyone, especially Dave, Mike & Geoff. Circumstances prevented me from logging on for a few days, and things are still a bit unpredictable. I'm going to try to reflect some and try to post later.
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Re: Why Can't We Agree on ANYTHING?

Postby danieLion » Fri Nov 16, 2012 9:54 pm

Cittasanto wrote:Hi Danial,
serious now :)
Can you expand what you mean here please. particularly the underlined words.
danieLion wrote: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.


but If we agree on every detail it does not lead to expanding our tools. how we explain things may not refect in one persons understanding exactly what is meant yet something else said by another which is totally missing 90% of the meaning may fill in the blanks in understanding.
unfortunately the pill Thanissaro Bhikkhu talks about in the Boddhisatva talk where he says "under" and the audience says "stand" does not exist.

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?

I think running off making new factions left right and centre reflects poorly. there isn't many people here I would not consider part of the Buddhas Dispensation.

Expansion on "did not intend strict uniformity": he didn't teach a one-size-fits-all practice, BUT...
Expansion on "validated by the nature of their absoluteness" e.g., as this Access to Insight glossary entry puts it:
ariya-sacca: Noble Truth. The word "ariya" (noble) can also mean ideal or standard, and in this context means "objective" or "universal" truth. There are four: stress, the origin of stress, the disbanding of stress, and the path of practice leading to the disbanding of stress. [MORE]

I don't get the "under-stand" reference.
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Re: Why Can't We Agree on ANYTHING?

Postby danieLion » Fri Nov 16, 2012 9:58 pm

Raksha wrote:As for the Dhamma, there are said to be 84000 versions, and there are probably as many interpretations as there are people. :anjali:
But didn't the Buddha say something like, "the truth is One"? :stirthepot:
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Re: Why Can't We Agree on ANYTHING?

Postby danieLion » Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:05 pm

LonesomeYogurt wrote:...I agree it can get dramatic.

That's an understatement. E.g., the creation of the Mahavihara (according to Rev. Analayo anyway) was basically reactionary and the history of Buddhism (not to mention the history of Dhammawheel) is replete with conflicts. Soap opera's got nothing on that drama. :juggling:
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Re: Why Can't We Agree on ANYTHING?

Postby danieLion » Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:15 pm

santa100 wrote: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 )

Quote from the above sutta link: "They don't know what is the Dhamma and what is non-Dhamma." Can we unpack this without disagreement?
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Re: Why Can't We Agree on ANYTHING?

Postby danieLion » Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:18 pm

mikenz66 wrote:Isn't this a bit of an on-line phenomenon?

Not where I live. It's a schism fest here.
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Re: Why Can't We Agree on ANYTHING?

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:22 pm

Heh. I'm reminded of a favorite quote of Charles Fort:

"If there is a Universal Mind, must it be sane?"

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Re: Why Can't We Agree on ANYTHING?

Postby danieLion » Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:24 pm

daverupa wrote: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.

In my mind, it's also about building dungeons in the earth; but either way--castles or dungeons--I'm not particularly "irked" so much as curious as to how others deal with (the apparently paradoxical nature of) pragmatic truth within the Buddha Dhamma and Sasana.
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Re: Why Can't We Agree on ANYTHING?

Postby danieLion » Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:26 pm

SamKR wrote:Disunity is unavoidable, and in fact could be useful.

Could you provide at least a couple of real life examples of how disunity is useful?
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Re: Why Can't We Agree on ANYTHING?

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:32 pm

danieLion wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:Isn't this a bit of an on-line phenomenon?

Not where I live. It's a schism fest here.


You have a large enough Theravada community to have arguements about the sort of issues I mentioned?
mikenz66 wrote: I don't often seem to come across people in "real life" arguing that so-and-so is rubbish because he/she has the wrong understanding of mindfulness/anatta/jhana/reality/whatever or is too traditional/not traditional enough/too much of a fence-sitter...

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

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:35 pm

Hi Daniel,
danieLion wrote:
SamKR wrote:Disunity is unavoidable, and in fact could be useful.

Could you provide at least a couple of real life examples of how disunity is useful?

It allows people to seek out groups that they are comfortable with. And if they fall out with one group they can join a different one...

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

Postby daverupa » Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:38 pm

danieLion wrote:how others deal with (the apparently paradoxical nature of) pragmatic truth within the Buddha Dhamma and Sasana.


I strive to do so thusly:

MN 95 wrote:"If a person has conviction, his statement, 'This is my conviction,' safeguards the truth. But he doesn't yet come to the definite conclusion that 'Only this is true; anything else is worthless.'
    "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: Why Can't We Agree on ANYTHING?

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Nov 17, 2012 12:07 am

Dave, Daniel, etc,
daverupa wrote:I strive to do so thusly:
MN 95 wrote:"If a person has conviction, his statement, 'This is my conviction,' safeguards the truth. But he doesn't yet come to the definite conclusion that 'Only this is true; anything else is worthless.'

Well said! To me, disagreement is not a problem, problems arise from insisting that a particular opinion is the only possibly correct one.

Hearing different opinions can be helpful and stimulating. Hearing that anyone who disagrees with some particular opinion is wrong is not usually helpful. It tends to turn a discussion into pointless gain-saying that is not only no less productive than this famous TV sketch from Monty Python but is much less enjoyable... :popcorn:

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

Postby danieLion » Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:42 am

BubbaBuddhist wrote:...specious sources like Wikipedia...
And libraries are specious free?
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Re: Why Can't We Agree on ANYTHING?

Postby danieLion » Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:02 am

daverupa wrote:The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy has an entry for Fleck:

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

Fleck's historical philosophy and sociology of science seems like an elaborate ad hoc explanation to me.

See also Feyerabend's (and I suppose Kuhn's, if you must) views on science as constructivist, and especially Feyerabend's use of Mill's "marketplace of ideas" as support for his view of science as a collectivist "reality maker." See also Robert Anton Wilson's notion of "reality tunnels" in Prometheus Rising and his rants against So-Called-Scientific-Experts in Cosmic Trigger III--and attribution theory in social psychology.

Still, all these just seem like differerent ways of painting the same bowl of fruit--very ad hoc-ish.
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Re: Why Can't We Agree on ANYTHING?

Postby danieLion » Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:05 am

Ñāṇa wrote:Consensus isn't necessary, and should definitely not be desired.
Please continue...go on...elaborate.... Please.
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Re: Why Can't We Agree on ANYTHING?

Postby danieLion » Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:18 am

mikenz66 wrote:You have a large enough Theravada community to have arguements about the sort of issues I mentioned?
I know of no way to measure this, and am not sure what you mean by "large," but the drama here is ridiculously thick.
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