the great rebirth debate

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Mon May 13, 2013 5:17 pm

Lazy_eye wrote:The problem, though, is that there's no karmic link and no continuity of consciousness among these different versions of "you". So although multiverse theory does imply a sort of rebirth, it's not the same as rebirth in Buddhism.


Good point, Lazy_eye! Rather than multiverse, it can also be applied to infinite series of universes. Also, if one were to become an Arahant and still keep being reborn... Doesn't fit Buddhism at all...

The way for rebirth to occur would require that consciousness in some way be partially independent of the brain and be able to "jump" from one brain to another. Parinibbāna would then be when consciousness ceases and doesn't jump again. While I don't deny this possibility, it isn't proven and I wonder how it could ever be objectively verified.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby dxm_dxm » Mon May 13, 2013 6:12 pm

Interconnected in a certain sense, sure. I can write this and you can read this.

No, interconnected in a physical sense. This is because of the "spooky action at a distance" thing and the fact that we were all linked in a single point as spooky action requires when the big bang happened. Another side note: telepathy was demonstrated scientifically with a 7% difference in results while used. It is little but anything over 0% is enough to prove.

Perception of self depends on specific function of the brain. Body and Brain will die...

You are an amalgam of matter and "mental stuff" like thoughts, emotions etc. Who is observing these thoughts, emotions, sensations etc. ? Nobody

There are multiple interpretations of QM. Tell me how I can observe 100 pounds of gold into existence.

It is quite an exact science and they were even able to built quantum computers. It is extraordinarily expensive to build them because not only if a human is observing the "spooky stuff" happening there it will stop working but also a lifeless electron in the wrong place observing that would make it stop function.

Of course it does not work like that, making 100pounds of gold by observing. That is not one of the implications but the other implications of quantum mechanics are super-shocking enough.

The problem, though, is that there's no karmic link and no continuity of consciousness among these different versions of "you". So although multiverse theory does imply a sort of rebirth, it's not the same as rebirth in Buddhism.


The brain that is linked with consciousness does not require an identical body to this human one we are having right now. It does also not require an identical shaped brain in order to give rise to the same consciousness. This consciousness could then be present in a hell-being. As somebody just pointed out buddha said consciousness gave rise to body and form not the other way around. We will never be able to prove or disprove any of these possibilities. If you consider this body gave rise to consciousness that is an asumption based on intuition also because this problem we are talking about is like string theory, impossible to prove or disprove. However intuitive, it is just intuitive and will forever remain imposible to prove.


I don't give too much pennies on things like this but maybe worth mentioning: There were long studies made about people calaiming to remember past lives. They used 3 to 1 girl-male ratio or ratios like this because it was likely they will remember been also female or male and all studies shown exact 50-50% female-male ratio and also respected the social ladder, thus rulling out the "napoleonian syndrome". Some even spoke unknown languages or arhaic, regional languages etc. but anyway this is not something to give to much pennies on but worth a mention.


Keep in mind budha said intelectual thinking would lead only to further confusion in the case of the 4 unthinkables and said never to belive anything not even if he said it and teached the method to find out for ourselves. That is the only thing we can do. Questioning is a very apreciated attitude in budhism because that is how it started in the first place and only through questionig you will find the answer. Science and other religions leave a thousain of questions unanswered or contradict itself. Budhism has no contradictions or logical flaws, just a couple of things that can never pe proven or unproven through intelectual thinking, like string theory. Using the path teached by it seems the only way to get through this dead-end.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby dxm_dxm » Mon May 13, 2013 6:47 pm

About questioning: There are 2 mistakes one can make along the way. Not starting in the first place, and not going all the way
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby 5heaps » Mon May 13, 2013 11:54 pm

polarbuddha101 wrote:There is no such thing as a logical proof for rebirth or kamma.

Rebirth is logically possible but it isn't logically necessitated. So please, don't even attempt to use logic to prove rebirth, it just looks bad.

:sage:

dharmakirti and all of his commentators for 1500 years have given incontrovertible reasonings for rebirth. unless youre a scholar, dont try to speak as if you have a clue what you are talking about.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby 5heaps » Mon May 13, 2013 11:57 pm

Lazy_eye wrote:
dxm_dxm wrote:Because every effect has a cause, there is a cause for you existing. Until that cause will be destroyed you will continue to exist even if not in the same physical body you have now.


But some people would say the cause is entirely physical. "You" exist because of the reproductive process, which results in an embryo that develops a brain, which sustains consciousness. When the brain dies, the cause is destroyed and thus you no longer exist.

Can you refute this explanation?

a particle, nor a collection of particles, nor an organ, etc, can produce 1st person experience
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Tue May 14, 2013 12:44 am

5heaps wrote:
polarbuddha101 wrote:There is no such thing as a logical proof for rebirth or kamma.

Rebirth is logically possible but it isn't logically necessitated. So please, don't even attempt to use logic to prove rebirth, it just looks bad.

:sage:

dharmakirti and all of his commentators for 1500 years have given incontrovertible reasonings for rebirth. unless youre a scholar, dont try to speak as if you have a clue what you are talking about.


I have read on rebirth by dharmakirti (or dignaga?), hoping to have some proof, and the arguments were REALLY weak. They may have worked for medieval Tibetan serfs, but would not stand against modern technological discoveries and modern knowledge in neurology, etc.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Tue May 14, 2013 1:03 am

dxm_dxm wrote:That is not one of the implications but the other implications of quantum mechanics are super-shocking enough.


To start with, there are multiple interpretations of QM

QM deals with sub-atomic particles. How much it applies to macro world and us living in it is VERY debatable.

Quantum mechanics (QM – also known as quantum physics, or quantum theory) is a branch of physics which deals with physical phenomena at microscopic scales, where the action is on the order of the Planck constant. Quantum mechanics departs from classical mechanics primarily at the quantum realm of atomic and subatomic length scales...In advanced topics of quantum mechanics, some of these behaviors are macroscopic and emerge at only extreme (i.e., very low or very high) energies or temperatures...Quantum mechanics is often the only tool available that can reveal the individual behaviors of the subatomic particles that make up all forms of matter (electrons, protons, neutrons, photons, and others). link


Again, it is VERY questionable as to how much it affects us.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby polarbuddha101 » Tue May 14, 2013 5:53 am

5heaps wrote:
polarbuddha101 wrote:There is no such thing as a logical proof for rebirth or kamma.

Rebirth is logically possible but it isn't logically necessitated. So please, don't even attempt to use logic to prove rebirth, it just looks bad.

:sage:

dharmakirti and all of his commentators for 1500 years have given incontrovertible reasonings for rebirth. unless youre a scholar, dont try to speak as if you have a clue what you are talking about.


I don't need to be a scholar on dharmakirti or any other person to know that there is no logically necessitated proof of rebirth. I don't think you understand what I'm saying. I am saying that while rebirth is logically possible, unlike round squares for example, it is not logically necessitated like the conclusion in the formula "A is identical to B, B is identical to C, therefore A is identical to C" is. It is logically possible that rebirth isn't real.

But beyond what I was initially saying, you can't argue a rational person into believing in rebirth through cold reasoning, belief in rebirth comes from faith in the awakening of the Buddha and in the reliability of the suttas as a conveyor of the Buddha's teachings, not some shady argument hammered out by reason. There may be some valid arguments out there for rebirth, but some of the premises will always have unknown truth values, or the premises will rely on the reality of extra-sensory perception, and therefore there will never be a sound argument for rebirth verified by logic (as opposed to ESP).

Hence, all arguments for rebirth are inconclusive, i.e. not sufficient in themselves.

Hence, the great rebirth debate is only useful insofar as it keeps people from reaching unfounded conclusions.

In the end, you either don't have any experience that suggests past lives, or you do actually recollect past lives through ESP, or what you think was you recollecting past lives through ESP was actually just a hallucination.

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby polarbuddha101 » Tue May 14, 2013 6:09 am

5heaps wrote:a particle, nor a collection of particles, nor an organ, etc, can produce 1st person experience


And you know this how?
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby binocular » Tue May 14, 2013 6:30 am

Alex123 wrote:I have read on rebirth by dharmakirti (or dignaga?), hoping to have some proof, and the arguments were REALLY weak. They may have worked for medieval Tibetan serfs, but would not stand against modern technological discoveries and modern knowledge in neurology, etc.


That should be -
"They may have worked for medieval Tibetan serfs, but would not stand against faith in modern technological discoveries and modern knowledge in neurology, etc."
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Tue May 14, 2013 10:41 am

binocular wrote:
Alex123 wrote:I have read on rebirth by dharmakirti (or dignaga?), hoping to have some proof, and the arguments were REALLY weak. They may have worked for medieval Tibetan serfs, but would not stand against modern technological discoveries and modern knowledge in neurology, etc.


That should be -
"They may have worked for medieval Tibetan serfs, but would not stand against faith in modern technological discoveries and modern knowledge in neurology, etc."


And this faith is much more probable than faith in any statement about objective world made in religion (yes, including Buddhism), and statement made by any person living in Tibet.

It is simply not right for, lets say Christians, to say to atheists that "it is your faith that God doesn't exist". Same is here, except replace "God" with "rebirth".
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Lazy_eye » Tue May 14, 2013 11:43 am

I think it's a misleading comparison, because religion and science use fundamentally different paradigms for attaining knowledge.

For example, in most religions, scriptural authority or the pronouncements of a revered teacher are considered valid bases for knowledge. So is direct personal testimony (I saw an angel, had this strange meditation experience, felt I was walking through walls, etc).

Science accepts none of the above and relies on observation and measurement, with certain rules laid out as to what constitutes a valid test.

As Ñāṇa pointed out somewhere in this thread, the Pali Canon sets out various bases for knowledge: 1) scriptural authority and the authority of noble persons, 2) inference from accepted premises, 3) direct perception (for instance, by a meditator who develops special powers or insight). Notably, these three bases do not appear to include what we would call the scientific method.

Maybe this is why we never get anywhere in these discussions. The "great rebirth debate" thread is essentially an arena for conflicting epistemologies.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue May 14, 2013 1:27 pm

Lazy_eye wrote:As Ñāṇa pointed out somewhere in this thread, the Pali Canon sets out various bases for knowledge: 1) scriptural authority and the authority of noble persons, 2) inference from accepted premises, 3) direct perception (for instance, by a meditator who develops special powers or insight). Notably, these three bases do not appear to include what we would call the scientific method.


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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby dxm_dxm » Tue May 14, 2013 1:30 pm

As Ñāṇa pointed out somewhere in this thread, the Pali Canon sets out various bases for knowledge: 1) scriptural authority and the authority of noble persons, 2) inference from accepted premises, 3) direct perception (for instance, by a meditator who develops special powers or insight). Notably, these three bases do not appear to include what we would call the scientific method.


How in the world can you say this ? It is built using the scientific method of cause and effect and even budha said not to belive anything not even if he said it and it is a religion that disregards entirely intelectual knoladge, especially scriptural authority.

It is a well known fact that budhism has no logical flaws, things discovered by science to be wrong or internal contradiction. It only has 2-3 things that are like string theory, imposible to prove or disprove using intelectual thinking. (funny the theory of everything in sience turned out to be imposible to ever prove/disprove, what a dead end for intelectual thinkng) If those things would not exist we would be a world of saints and all our questions would be solved inteletually. I could not belive such a religion to exist and I searched the internet for 1 year before becoming a budhist for the slightest wrong thing in it. I could not belive that it had none, only a couple of things that are like string theory and to this day I am offering a reward for the guy who finds one of the first 3 things I mentioned in order to rise the curiosity of some friends lol. As dalai lama said, if science ever finds something wrong in budhism, budhism will have to change but it will be mighty hard to do that.

You are attacking budhism in this topic but if it would be to attact "science as a religios" (as many people take it) I guess we all know how many limitations, questions unanswerd, hundreds of "unexplained phenomena" that one single one of them is enaught to destroy all the "religion of science".

The most important thing is that budhism does not want you to belive in anything, it wants you to question and to use the techniques teached for finding the answers because the hard ones that humanity did not manage to solve yet with intelectual thinking are like the smell of a rose, imposible to put into words. Belive nothing, use the method and find out if it works or not. What better deal than this ?
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue May 14, 2013 1:31 pm

Alex123 wrote:It is simply not right for, lets say Christians, to say to atheists that "it is your faith that God doesn't exist". Same is here, except replace "God" with "rebirth".


In a way this is correct, because an atheist asserts the non-existence of God but cannot prove it. And absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby binocular » Tue May 14, 2013 1:53 pm

Lazy_eye wrote:I think it's a misleading comparison, because religion and science use fundamentally different paradigms for attaining knowledge.

Exactly.


As Ñāṇa pointed out somewhere in this thread, the Pali Canon sets out various bases for knowledge: 1) scriptural authority and the authority of noble persons, 2) inference from accepted premises, 3) direct perception (for instance, by a meditator who develops special powers or insight). Notably, these three bases do not appear to include what we would call the scientific method.

The scientific method is a conflation of these three bases of knowledge (or pramanas). And because it is a conflation, it seems to have nothing to do with the traditional understanding of the pramanas.

In the philosophy of science, there is much criticism of the scientitic method; yet scientists and people who are into science usually pay very little heed to the philosophy of science.


Maybe this is why we never get anywhere in these discussions. The "great rebirth debate" thread is essentially an arena for conflicting epistemologies.

It sure is.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby binocular » Tue May 14, 2013 1:55 pm

dxm_dxm wrote:even budha said not to belive anything not even if he said it


Please provide an actual scriptural reference for this assertion.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby binocular » Tue May 14, 2013 2:01 pm

Alex123 wrote:And this faith is much more probable than faith in any statement about objective world made in religion (yes, including Buddhism), and statement made by any person living in Tibet.

Not at all.
Probability can only be calculated for events in a known and limited set.
The Universe is hardly a known and limited set.


It is simply not right for, lets say Christians, to say to atheists that "it is your faith that God doesn't exist". Same is here, except replace "God" with "rebirth".

Again, no. You're confusing an issue that is about social interactions with philosophy.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby dxm_dxm » Tue May 14, 2013 2:12 pm

Please provide an actual scriptural reference for this assertion.

I thought it is a well known quote of budha. He said that all he said was right but also said "not to belive what you hear from other, not even if I said it, only belive in what you found out to be true by yourself using the method I teach, I teach the method". Am I wrong ?
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue May 14, 2013 2:13 pm

dxm_dxm wrote:The most important thing is that budhism does not want you to belive in anything,


We certainly shouldn't believe everything we think. ;)
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