Buddhism And The Scientific Method

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Re: Buddhism And The Scientific Method

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Fri Aug 28, 2009 8:21 pm

Mawkish1983 wrote:
Karma Dondrup Tashi wrote:science is one of the myths.

?

Nothing has self-essence including this statement - and therefore also all "facts of science".
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Re: Buddhism And The Scientific Method

Postby Mawkish1983 » Fri Aug 28, 2009 8:30 pm

I'm trying to unravel what you mean but I'm struggling. Can you maybe clarify a bit for me, why is science myth?
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Re: Buddhism And The Scientific Method

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Aug 28, 2009 8:32 pm

Mawkish1983 wrote:I'm trying to unravel what you mean but I'm struggling. Can you maybe clarify a bit for me, why is science myth?

I'll second that!
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Re: Buddhism And The Scientific Method

Postby clw_uk » Fri Aug 28, 2009 8:50 pm

Nothing has self-essence including this statement - and therefore also all "facts of science".




Just because something is anatta doesnt mean its not real, it just isnt fit to be taken as Self



2+2=4 doesnt have a Self, doesnt mean that if you get 2 apples and add 2 more you dont get 4 apples


metta
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: Buddhism And The Scientific Method

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Fri Aug 28, 2009 9:01 pm

Mawkish1983 wrote:I'm trying to unravel what you mean but I'm struggling. Can you maybe clarify a bit for me, why is science myth?

Because everything is myth, since nothing has self-essence. What else can it be? There is no thing/moment that is "fact". Every single "fact" that has ever been, is, will be, really a fiction. We create a nice concrete reference point for everything - supernovas, atoms, sentences, ideologies, etc. But those reference points are always changing. They always empty/extend/refer themselves into other reference points, other things/moments. Therefore they are not really facts - more like fictions. Yes, no?
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Re: Buddhism And The Scientific Method

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Fri Aug 28, 2009 9:09 pm

clw_uk wrote:
Nothing has self-essence including this statement - and therefore also all "facts of science".




Just because something is anatta doesnt mean its not real, it just isnt fit to be taken as Self



2+2=4 doesnt have a Self, doesnt mean that if you get 2 apples and add 2 more you dont get 4 apples


metta

There is no such thing as "2" let alone 2+2=4.

The proper description of the situation we conventionally designate as, for example "I have 2 hands" is really: "There is an a, such that there is a b, such that a and b are not identical, and, whatever x may be, ‘x is a hand of mine’ is true, when and only when x equals a, or x equals b". No mention of any mythical "2".

Our language tricks us into believing that we are talking about concrete self-essences. We're not, even with respect to scientific language.
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Re: Buddhism And The Scientific Method

Postby clw_uk » Fri Aug 28, 2009 9:20 pm

There is no such thing as "2" let alone 2+2=4.


2 is a description of reality

:smile: :smile:

"2" faces

2 is a covention of the mind but it is one that is needed as it is one that accurately describes the world



so in order to describe the above there is 1+1=2

Our language tricks us into believing that we are talking about concrete self-essences. We're not, even with respect to scientific language.



Saying something is anatta is NOT the same as saying said "thing" doesnt exist, if you doubt that then you should be able to walk in front of a bus....
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: Buddhism And The Scientific Method

Postby clw_uk » Fri Aug 28, 2009 9:24 pm

We create a nice concrete reference point for everything - supernovas, atoms, sentences, ideologies, etc. But those reference points are always changing. They always empty/extend/refer themselves into other reference points, other things/moments. Therefore they are not really facts - more like fictions. Yes, no?



Gravity?
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Re: Buddhism And The Scientific Method

Postby Mawkish1983 » Fri Aug 28, 2009 9:28 pm

Two thoughts come to mind:

Firstly, why single out science as your focus in this 'nothing exists' delusion?

Secondly, how does this 'nothing exists' delusion fit with theravada? Any sutta references from the canon to back this up? Your views seem to me to be a bit "heart sutra" esque. As I recall, the Buddha didn't teach that nothing exists, but that nothing has self. Whether things exist or not didn't seem relevant to practice. I may, of course, be wrong.

Perhaps we should then say that 'in so much that phenomena either exist or not, science is not myth'.
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Re: Buddhism And The Scientific Method

Postby nomad » Sat Aug 29, 2009 3:14 am

One of my favorite sutta quotes can add to this topic.

Impermanent (anicca) are all component things,
They arise and cease, that is their nature:
They come into being and pass away,
Release from them is bliss supreme.

— Mahaa-Parinibbaana Sutta (DN 16)

I have read similar discussions to this one on so-called “skeptic” blogs and atheist forums and they never seemed to stop because of an endless pattern of circular reasoning and pseudo-philosophical nonsense. Ultimately, the view that nothing exists is, in my opinion, nothing more than delusional thinking. The Dhamma of the Theravada and modern scientific research share in the common view that the universe is impermanent (anicca) and always changing. There is nowhere in the Dhamma that says nothing exists and even if there were such a place, it would be inconsistent with the Four Noble Truths and the Buddha's other basic teachings.

~nomad

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Re: Buddhism And The Scientific Method

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Sat Aug 29, 2009 7:24 pm

clw_uk wrote:2 is a covention of the mind but it is one that is needed as it is one that accurately describes the world

What is an "accurate convention"?

clw_uk wrote:Saying something is anatta is NOT the same as saying said "thing" doesnt exist, if you doubt that then you should be able to walk in front of a bus ...

I agree which is why it is not referred to as a nonexistent thing, but an illusory, fictitious, mythical, etc thing.
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Re: Buddhism And The Scientific Method

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Sat Aug 29, 2009 7:26 pm

clw_uk wrote:Gravity?

How much does a dream weigh?
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Re: Buddhism And The Scientific Method

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Aug 29, 2009 7:56 pm

how much do you weigh?
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Buddhism And The Scientific Method

Postby Popo » Sat Aug 29, 2009 8:09 pm

I don't think Buddhism is Science... Both Buddhism and science are concerned with the truth though, so if both are correct, they must be compatible..

Science is a method of finding truth designed to help fallible, biased human beings get to the workings of nature. It assumes we're going to make mistakes and holds pretty rigorous epistemic requirements for making claims. (This is why scientific theories must be falsifiable and must make predictions.. The fact that some scientist says that "X is so in nature" isn't good enough. If what he says can't be proven wrong with evidence then he's a prophet or some sort of philosopher, not a scientist.)

Buddhism doesn't have require such rigorous methods because it doesn't assume the Buddha can be wrong. If I believe Buddha was enlightened in the way he claimed to be, I don't need some lab-tests to show karma and rebirth are true... Of course, if these things were testable and I think science works, then I'd assume that they would show up in the lab.

My .02 cents
Theoretical approaches have their place and are, I suppose, essential but a theory must be tempered with reality.
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Re: Buddhism And The Scientific Method

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Sat Aug 29, 2009 8:12 pm

Mawkish1983 wrote: As I recall, the Buddha didn't teach that nothing exists, but that nothing has self.


I agree. I would never say that Hamlet "doesn't exist".

One difference you may be alluding to b/w Abhidharma and Mahayana is the existence of partless particles. But I wonder if in Theravada the correct view is that even such a paramattha dhamma as matter is empty of self. I.e. its concreteness comes from its function as an ultimate description, not a concrete reality in itself. In which case anatta is not only inner but outer.

If that is true then what differentiates genuine reality from apparent reality is not the difference between extremely minute particles and coarse objects, it's the difference between specifically characterized phenomena (e.g. grey color, massive size, cuboid shape, metal/stone composition, extremely heavy, etc) from generally characterized phenomena (e.g. "The Empire State Building").

Things that perform functions as ultimate descriptions can only ever be specifically characterized phenomena, never generally characterized phenomena. "I have 2 hands" is a generally characterized phenomena, it is mythical language. ""There is an a, such that there is a b, such that a and b are not identical, and, whatever x may be, ‘x is a hand of mine’ is true, when and only when x equals a, or x equals b" is the specifically characterized phenomena, it is the only language that fulfils a function as an ultimate description since it avoids any reference to mythical entities, e.g. “2”.

It appears to me that the difference between Mahanaya and Theravada is simply the efficacy of starting practice by focusing outside the self of with the self. The end point is still anatta. But for purposes of this discussion that difference is beside the point. The question is the validity of scientific truth in its reification of “fact” and I am suggesting that even in Theravada anatta is extended outside the self, even all the way down to partless particles, since even at that level there is no concrete reality. The genuine reality is always the percept never the concept.
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Re: Buddhism And The Scientific Method

Postby Mawkish1983 » Sat Aug 29, 2009 11:01 pm

<shrugs> Seems to me like arguing for arguing's sake, so I'm out :)
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