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Science and Buddhism - Dhamma Wheel

Science and Buddhism

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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smokey
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Science and Buddhism

Postby smokey » Fri Apr 16, 2010 6:06 pm

How Buddhism and Science share the same Views of the Nature of Reality.


meindzai
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Re: Science and Buddhism

Postby meindzai » Fri Apr 16, 2010 6:36 pm


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smokey
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Re: Science and Buddhism

Postby smokey » Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:07 pm

So you are calling me a coward?

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smokey
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Re: Science and Buddhism

Postby smokey » Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:13 pm

I was just sharing information. I know that science is built on concepts. Concepts are only subjectively and conventionally true. While Ultimate realities are Truths not depending on conventional definitions.

meindzai
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Re: Science and Buddhism

Postby meindzai » Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:21 pm


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Kim OHara
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Re: Science and Buddhism

Postby Kim OHara » Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:50 pm


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SDC
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Re: Science and Buddhism

Postby SDC » Sat Apr 17, 2010 12:10 am


meindzai
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Re: Science and Buddhism

Postby meindzai » Sat Apr 17, 2010 12:54 am


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Re: Science and Buddhism

Postby Wind » Sat Apr 17, 2010 1:15 am


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SDC
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Re: Science and Buddhism

Postby SDC » Sat Apr 17, 2010 1:16 am


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Ben
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Re: Science and Buddhism

Postby Ben » Sat Apr 17, 2010 1:49 am

Hi Smokey and all

I've been a big fan of Sam Harris for some years and a good friend pointed me to the following video and article: Towards a Contemplative Science.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sam-harri ... 15024.html
I hope you get out of it as much as I did.
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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adosa
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Re: Science and Buddhism

Postby adosa » Sat Apr 17, 2010 4:49 pm

"To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas" - Dhammapada 183

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fig tree
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Re: Science and Buddhism

Postby fig tree » Sat Apr 17, 2010 6:14 pm


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Re: Science and Buddhism

Postby ground » Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:06 am


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Prasadachitta
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Re: Science and Buddhism

Postby Prasadachitta » Sun Apr 18, 2010 5:14 pm

I think that as we deconstruct we are engaged in an act of construction. I tend to think of my Buddhist practice as a process of cultivating a sense of the degree to which there is speculation and seeing where it has value and where it is useless. When does having an actionable theory become useless speculation? What criteria do I use to discern this? What is my goal? It is my ever present task to continually cultivate a mind which keeps these questions at the forefront. To my mind this is how Buddha Dhamma will always supersede scientific investigation. These questions and the clarity which I attempt to bring to them are always more important than any of the provisional answers which guide further action. I think that the difference between an effective actionable theory and useless speculation can often simply be a question of whether or not I act on it.


Metta All...


Gabe
Last edited by Prasadachitta on Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332

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smokey
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Re: Science and Buddhism

Postby smokey » Sun Apr 18, 2010 7:24 pm


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jcsuperstar
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Re: Science and Buddhism

Postby jcsuperstar » Sun Apr 18, 2010 7:35 pm

depends on what you mean by science. the science to know whether or not the stars are in our atmosphere or whether or not there is an ocean in the sky(these are taught in the bible) is far different from the more theoretical or "cutting edge"sciences where you cant just take a plane up and look around. sure the math behind a lot of modern science is beautiful and tells us things should be such and such a way but ideas change, new insights are added or mistakes are found out etc and to pin any sort of faith that science has things figured out is a mistake. i have faith that the process of science is a valid one and has the potential to uncover great truths but beyond that i don't place my "salvation" in its hands.
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the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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Dhammakid
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Re: Science and Buddhism

Postby Dhammakid » Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:50 pm

I absolutely agree that science in general - and quantum mechanics specifically - should be carefully used (if at all) when attempting to apply it to spiritual concepts. The Buddha teaches us that we tend to misinterpret reality in pretty much everything we do. We look for a specific conclusion and don't stop until we find it. It's hard not to be selfish, even when using the scientific method. Science is a fantastic way to observe the material world, but it still involves suffering since it seeks to understand things the mundane human intellect will never be able to understand. We as students of Dhamma are concerned with ceasing these pursuits.

Quantum mechanics demonstrates that the rules of everyday life physics are much different than the rules on a micro level. Beyond this, further interpretation is speculative and most often ascribed to previously existing beliefs, often of the type not readily testable by conventional science. Besides, the way science is applied these days seems to be geared more towards controlling and dominating nature rather than understanding and appreciating it. Buddhism has no interest in this, since our practice is purely about eliminating suffering. Maybe if science as a whole was concerned with the same, then the discussion of their similarities would be more productive.

Also, just as Eastern philosophers can claim kin to quantum mechanics, so can a stout materialist atheist. After all, it shows us that we really don't know anything.

Just my thoughts.
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David N. Snyder
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Re: Science and Buddhism

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:33 am

Good posts, adosa, jc, and Dhammakid.

Quantum mechanics has been under some scrutiny lately because much of it appears to be speculative and not testable. But in regards to "other branches of science" this is certainly not the case. Recognizing some compatibility of one's religion to the sciences in other areas is certainly not "cowardly" as cowardly is a term normally used for someone afraid, such as being afraid to take a position or to defend a position. One can take a view, but not cling to it and modify it as necessary with an open mind. The Dalai Lama has been open to the linking of Buddhism as compatible to the sciences, but he has also stated that he would drop some belief if science absolutely showed it to be false.

The sciences in other branches (other than the quantum) has shown that Thor is not the reason there is thunder and lightning, has shown that animals and humans evolve, that the earth is several billion years old, not 6,000 etc. To this extent that the sciences are compatible with Buddhism, why not acknowledge that and welcome this link?

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Dhammakid
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Re: Science and Buddhism

Postby Dhammakid » Mon Apr 19, 2010 4:20 am

Some good points, David.

One of the reasons Buddhism appeals to me much more than any other faith is its closer compatibility with science than pretty much any other faith. I'm not necessarily ready to say it's completely compatible with science, but I also don't necessarily need it to be in order to be comfortable as a Buddhist. Scientists have begun speculating the existence of other universes, worm holes through black holes, time travel and a host of other unproven (and maybe even unprovable) ideas. Yet scientists aren't leaving their profession because of this. There are many parts of Buddhism that just makes sense to me, even if they aren't provable. There are also some Buddhist ideas that don't make sense to me; I can keep what's relevant to me and discard the rest. In due time, both scientists and spiritual students will come to know the truth(s) for themselves. For the time being, I'm quite happy the Buddha was at least a bit more grounded in reality than most other hippy dudes recorded on ancient scrolls.
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