General Philosophy

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Re: General Philosophy

Postby clw_uk » Fri Sep 13, 2013 8:41 pm

I'd like to throw in some logic from the Diamond Sutra (hope that's OK!) to this "General Philosophy" discussion.


Sure why not :)

X doesn't have any nature of X... in this way we call it X.

I.e., "down" is never really down, so that is why we make sure to call it "down."

Dukkha is never fixed as a dukkha. That is why it is called "dukkha."

In "self," there is no self which can be seen; it is in that way that the Tathagata calls it "self."



Could you expand, im having trouble unpacking this

for example what do you mean by ""down" is never really down, so that is why we make sure to call it "down.""?


Down and up are a matter of perspectives. So we call the same thing by different names depending on the perception
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Re: General Philosophy

Postby clw_uk » Fri Sep 13, 2013 8:42 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
beeblebrox wrote:I.e., "down" is never really down, so that is why we make sure to call it "down."


It's partly about how we name things, but with this example isn't it also about physical laws? Due to gravity stuff always falls to earth, regardless of how we label that direction. Though of course if one travels into space "up" and "down" do become arbitrary.



So is it down or up?
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Re: General Philosophy

Postby clw_uk » Fri Sep 13, 2013 8:44 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
clw_uk wrote:To give an old example, honey appears to be sweet, yet I can only say it appears to be sweet. I cannot affirm if honey is sweet in its nature.


Though I think we could say that sweet and sour are quite different tastes.



Exactly

If P as X to A and -X to B, which is the correct description of X?

Or do we withhold opinion about what P is really like?
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Re: General Philosophy

Postby clw_uk » Fri Sep 13, 2013 8:46 pm

You're moving away from the "natural ethics" of cetana, right effort, citta etc. and over into abstractions (e.g. "theft")


Could you expand?

clw_uk wrote:
Concerning Buddhas "natural ethics" how do you view incest, in terms of Dhamma?

The same way as anything else.... cetana, right effort, citta etc. yields the commensurate experienced outcome. As I said above...


That didnt answer the question of if incest is moral or not?
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Re: General Philosophy

Postby clw_uk » Fri Sep 13, 2013 8:53 pm

The only thing X is "by nature", is subjective.

If you try to make it objective you commit the referrential fallacy (like that committed by the abhidhammikas)



Going back to this, would you say then we should focus on the present moment, and focus on things as they appear, and not speculate about X nature etc i.e. not fall into metaphysics?
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Re: General Philosophy

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Sep 13, 2013 9:05 pm

clw_uk wrote:
The only thing X is "by nature", is subjective.

If you try to make it objective you commit the referrential fallacy (like that committed by the abhidhammikas)



Going back to this, would you say then we should focus on the present moment, and focus on things as they appear, and not speculate about X nature etc i.e. not fall into metaphysics?

Are you talking about practice here?

Note that many suttas talk about:
yathābhūtañāṇadassanaṃ: "The knowledge and vision of things as they really are."
(Though see this thread: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... t=daverupa for a discussion about ways of translating without the "real" tag, e.g. "knowledge and vision of things as they have become.").

E.g.:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .bodh.html

However this is translated, it appears that the goal is to see beyond "how things appear" (though careful attention to how things appear is, of course, a good start).

:anjali:
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Re: General Philosophy

Postby clw_uk » Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:05 pm

Are you talking about practice here?


Yes


However this is translated, it appears that the goal is to see beyond "how things appear"


This is interesting. I know that the practice is to see feeling as not self instead of self, which to say to make a statement about feelings nature

Yet possibly it is a way of viewing feeling that induces nibbana, without saying that feeling is really not self in nature.

I'm not particularly attached to this line of thought but it seems an interesting concept, to me anyway. It would seem to tie into that famous sutta that lead to "self or not self" and how Buddha refused to get caught up in metaphysics.
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Re: General Philosophy

Postby chownah » Sat Sep 14, 2013 3:48 am

mikenz66 wrote:
Note that many suttas talk about:
yathābhūtañāṇadassanaṃ: "The knowledge and vision of things as they really are."
(Though see this thread: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=9782&start=0&hilit=daverupa for a discussion about ways of translating without the "real" tag, e.g. "knowledge and vision of things as they have become.").

E.g.:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .bodh.html

However this is translated, it appears that the goal is to see beyond "how things appear" (though careful attention to how things appear is, of course, a good start).

:anjali:
Mike

From reading the three links you gave it seems clear at least to me that knowledge and vision of things as they are is referring to seeing The World and The All........and seeing that the way things really are is annica, anatta, and dukkha.....and the context is that seeing this leads to disenchantment etc. I think this has little to do with whether up is down and things like that except perhaps as small parts of experience that point in the general direction of right understanding.........maybe I'm just stating the obvious and missing the heart of the discussion.
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Re: General Philosophy

Postby Spiny Norman » Sat Sep 14, 2013 8:36 am

clw_uk wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:
beeblebrox wrote:I.e., "down" is never really down, so that is why we make sure to call it "down."


It's partly about how we name things, but with this example isn't it also about physical laws? Due to gravity stuff always falls to earth, regardless of how we label that direction. Though of course if one travels into space "up" and "down" do become arbitrary.


So is it down or up?


In this example it doesn't matter what we call it - it would still be a direction. But the direction we identify is conditional on the perception of gravity and a visual reference. So if we were in the space station and no longer subject to gravity, we'd probably still think of "up" and "down" because we can still see the Earth. If however we were in deep space with no gravity and no obvious visual reference, directions like "up" and "down" would then become meaningless.
Last edited by Spiny Norman on Sat Sep 14, 2013 8:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: General Philosophy

Postby Spiny Norman » Sat Sep 14, 2013 8:41 am

clw_uk wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:
clw_uk wrote:To give an old example, honey appears to be sweet, yet I can only say it appears to be sweet. I cannot affirm if honey is sweet in its nature.


Though I think we could say that sweet and sour are quite different tastes.


Exactly
Or do we withhold opinion about what P is really like?


Well "sweet" and "sour" are just descriptive labels we have for two different types of sensations via the tongue ( ie tastes ), and there is a biological basis for the distinction.
For me the interesting point is that some people like "sweet" and some prefer "sour".
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Re: General Philosophy

Postby beeblebrox » Sat Sep 14, 2013 3:45 pm

clw_uk wrote:
X doesn't have any nature of X... in this way we call it X.

I.e., "down" is never really down, so that is why we make sure to call it "down."

Dukkha is never fixed as a dukkha. That is why it is called "dukkha."

In "self," there is no self which can be seen; it is in that way that the Tathagata calls it "self."



Could you expand, im having trouble unpacking this

for example what do you mean by ""down" is never really down, so that is why we make sure to call it "down.""?


Down and up are a matter of perspectives. So we call the same thing by different names depending on the perception


Hi Clw_UK,

I'm sorry for writing it in that particular way... but strictly, it's: "Down" is not down; it's in this way the Tathagata calls it "down." This kind of logic is recurrent in the Diamond Sutra, as was said by the Buddha (or so claimed).

"Down" is never really down (because it always means something different, depending on someone's frame of reference), in this way it's called "down." (And thus everyone still understands what you mean by the word "down," even when the person has no awareness of the implications involved.)

When you say "down" to someone whose frame of reference was the opposite to yours, I think it's likely that he will still understand what you meant, anyway... and if he didn't at first, then it's likely that the understanding will be worked out without much difficulty.

If despite this there was still no understanding, I think that describes samsara... more or less.

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Re: General Philosophy

Postby clw_uk » Sun Sep 15, 2013 12:31 am

No doubt that X appears as P

But there is doubt if X appears as P or not -P to others


What I see is scepticism and Buddhism both restricting (and at the same time freeing us) to the apparent in the here and now. That is that Buddhism is sceptical phenomenalism.
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Re: General Philosophy

Postby clw_uk » Sun Sep 15, 2013 12:46 am

Epoche leads to ataraxia, which is the feeling of calm and release one feels when one gives up


For example when arguing if the stars in the sky are odd or even, or how many Angels dance on a pin... Or does the wind cause the flag to move ...


Realising the answer can't be resolved and suspending judgement (Epoche) which leads to tranquility (ataraxia).


According to Pyrrhonism, it's our opinions that lead to desires and to suffering by preferring one state to another. Sound familiar?
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Re: General Philosophy

Postby Spiny Norman » Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:29 am

clw_uk wrote:That is that Buddhism is sceptical phenomenalism.


Phenomenalism perhaps, in that we're encouraged to examine experience rather than speculate about ontology. But why skeptical phenomenalism?
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Re: General Philosophy

Postby clw_uk » Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:41 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
clw_uk wrote:That is that Buddhism is sceptical phenomenalism.


Phenomenalism perhaps, in that we're encouraged to examine experience rather than speculate about ontology. But why skeptical phenomenalism?


Because by suspending judgement on if X really is P (so really is round, tasty, good or bad etc), and only admitting that X appears as P, we free ourselves from the "thicket of views".
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Re: General Philosophy

Postby clw_uk » Mon Sep 16, 2013 2:37 am

We also have this sutta

... There are five ideas that ripen here and now in two ways. What five? Faith, preference, hearsay-learning, arguing upon evidence, and liking through pondering a view. Now something may have faith well placed in it and yet be hollow, empty, and false; and again something may have no faith placed in it and yet be factual, true, and no other than it seems; and so with preference and the rest. If a man has faith, then he guards truth when he says, "My faith is thus," but on that account draws no unreserved conclusion, "Only this is true, the other is wrong." In this way he guards the truth; but there is as yet no discovery of truth. And so with preference and the rest.


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nymo.html

Note


"My faith is thus," but on that account draws no unreserved conclusion, "Only this is true, the other is wrong." In this way he guards the truth; but there is as yet no discovery of truth. And so with preference and the rest."
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Re: General Philosophy

Postby Spiny Norman » Mon Sep 16, 2013 8:47 am

clw_uk wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:
clw_uk wrote:That is that Buddhism is sceptical phenomenalism.


Phenomenalism perhaps, in that we're encouraged to examine experience rather than speculate about ontology. But why skeptical phenomenalism?


Because by suspending judgement on if X really is P (so really is round, tasty, good or bad etc), and only admitting that X [b]appears as P,[/b] we free ourselves from the "thicket of views".


But you're describing phenomenalism here - skepticism is a redundant term.

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/top ... nomenalism
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Re: General Philosophy

Postby equilibrium » Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:05 am

clw_uk wrote:That's my point. Freedom from projecting an absolute morality onto the wider humanity, and opening ourselves up to the stress of holding to an ethical system.

As you rightly posted, freedom from views is the aim.

So be recognising that murder only appears as evil to me, we can free ourselves from preaching to others that it is. We can also be free from disturbance if we witness/hear of it.

So murder appears distasteful to me, and I would not recommend it. Yet I would not hold to doctrines that concern themselves with notions of it murder is ultimately evil or not.

All I can say is that it appears unskilful to me, as it increase negative ego. Yet that says nothing about murder in of itself.

Yet views could only exist if there is a self.

When we see murder, we simply react.....based on our own views of right/wrong.....hence we express a view.
But murder is only a word to describe something happened.....we react because we believe in right/wrong and we express subsequent actions/responses per these views.

By supressing these reactions are one thing in terms of practice.....but another by naturally not reacting.....the two are very different.

But are you trying to suggest that when we see murder, there is a deeper level within?.....ie. there is no murder?.....yet that would only be true if there is something to support that.
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