Why Buddhism Need Not Be Scientific?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
binocular
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Re: Why Buddhism Need Not Be Scientific?

Post by binocular »

Spiny Norman wrote:But it is possible to educate yourself about science, and the better you understand it the better placed you are to objectively assess the "claims" that scientists make.
Yes and no.
Sure, I can educate myself, I can develop critical thinking about scientific claims -- but as a lay person, my opinion counts for nothing to scientists.
One can learn all kinds of things about jet engines -- but if one never actually works on jet engines in any way, all that knowledge is rather useless.
It's similar with science: I can learn all kinds of science (as much as my means permit me), but unless I actually begin to work as a scientist or some such, all that knowledge is useless for me (or is useful only accidentally!).

Moreover, much of science deals with things that are completely irrelevant to me, or are external to me.
For example, what use is the Theory of Evolution (TOE)? For someone like me, understanding the TOE and agreeing with it is relevant only in a social sense -- in that if I affirm the TOE, certain people will think positively about me. The aim for knowing much science is for many people actually primarily achieving a certain social status and reputation (and has nothing to do with the actual content of the scientific claims).

The same is not true of religious claims, you usually end up wading through a load of convoluted theology which goes nowhere.
Religious scholars tend to disagree with that assessment.
Scientists find use in scientific theories; religious scholars find use in studying religious claims. An ordinary person doesn't have much use of either.
Hic Rhodus, hic salta!
chownah
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Re: Why Buddhism Need Not Be Scientific?

Post by chownah »

binocular wrote:
chownah wrote:You think scientists become ecstatic through duping people?
You think that the data used to verify science is only available to scientists? If you can not verify their conclusions after looking at the data don't blame the scientists....it is probably because you never took the time to develop the skills....you could do that you know...or at least perhaps you could...at least you do have the opportunity to try to develop those skills...the skills required are not a secret.
You think that scientists make it complicated so that noone will understand it?
You think the tools to understand gravity waves can not be accessed by the general public?
You think buddha's teaching is more scientific?
You think that scientists have a closed club with membership restricted?

Can you support any of your claims?
You're missing the point.
No, you're missing the point.
The claims I ask about above are laughable. They are rhetorical nonsense. They are posed in a way which incites emotions and they completely disregard the way things are.
Do you believe that scientists become ecstatic through duping people? Do you? Do you believe this?
Do you believe that scientists make it complicated so that noone will understand it? Do you? Do you believe this?
Do you think that buddha's teaching is more scientific? Do you? Do you believe this?
Do you think that scientists have a closed club with membership restricted? Do you? Do you believe this?
This is the point. These things I am questioning are ridiculuous rhetoric which raises emotional responses and bysteps rational discussion.
chownah
davidbrainerd
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Re: Why Buddhism Need Not Be Scientific?

Post by davidbrainerd »

Spiny Norman wrote:But it is possible to educate yourself about science.
Its possible to think you have, but just like with the Trinity, if you then try to explain it in front of an 'expert' on the subject, they tell you your explanation is heresy.
Spiny Norman
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Re: Why Buddhism Need Not Be Scientific?

Post by Spiny Norman »

davidbrainerd wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:But it is possible to educate yourself about science.
Its possible to think you have, but just like with the Trinity, if you then try to explain it in front of an 'expert' on the subject, they tell you your explanation is heresy.
How many scientists have you talked to? It sounds to me like you are just anti-science, and I don't understand why.
Buddha save me from new-agers!
davidbrainerd
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Re: Why Buddhism Need Not Be Scientific?

Post by davidbrainerd »

Spiny Norman wrote:
davidbrainerd wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:But it is possible to educate yourself about science.
Its possible to think you have, but just like with the Trinity, if you then try to explain it in front of an 'expert' on the subject, they tell you your explanation is heresy.
How many scientists have you talked to? It sounds to me like you are just anti-science, and I don't understand why.
Traditional science I don't even consider science; practical science is all industry now. When people say science they generally only mean the impractical academic "disciplines". People will often say "science gave you the iPhone." No, the technology industry did. The Technology industry is practical physics; science is useless particle physics which is religion and mysticism. The medical and agricultural industries are practical biology; science is an impractical obsession to prove evolution which is only important for religious polemics with creationists and serves no other purpose. Space flight is the technology industry; science is cosmology and silly unverifisble theories about theoretical or mythical entities like black holes which is mysticism and creating a mythology for a new religion.

And when people say 'be scientific' they don't usually mean follow the scientific method. They ususlly mean treat the views of theoretic science as infallible and inerrant. I seem to have 'evolved' an immunity to infallible and inerrant things over the years.

One problem with science as inerrant that's even worse than a book being so, is it changes. If you accept inerrant science today because you think it agrees with you, well, just wait. Wait till their mysticism is turned agsinst you. Because ultimately their goal is no differrnt from Islam: they want to be the only religion in town.
binocular
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Re: Why Buddhism Need Not Be Scientific?

Post by binocular »

chownah wrote:No, you're missing the point.
The claims I ask about above are laughable. They are rhetorical nonsense. They are posed in a way which incites emotions and they completely disregard the way things are.
Do you believe that scientists become ecstatic through duping people? Do you? Do you believe this?
Do you believe that scientists make it complicated so that noone will understand it? Do you? Do you believe this?
Do you think that buddha's teaching is more scientific? Do you? Do you believe this?
Do you think that scientists have a closed club with membership restricted? Do you? Do you believe this?
This is the point. These things I am questioning are ridiculuous rhetoric which raises emotional responses and bysteps rational discussion.
Okay, if you insist on this line of questions: :strawman:
Hic Rhodus, hic salta!
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Coëmgenu
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Re: Why Buddhism Need Not Be Scientific?

Post by Coëmgenu »

binocular wrote: Okay, if you insist on this line of questions: :strawman:
I don't think your accusations of strawman-creation are warranted here. Everything that chownah has listed comes directly from a post by davidbrainerd:

This point:
chownah wrote:You think scientists become ecstatic through duping people?
Has its genesis in this statement:
davidbrainerd wrote:String theory comes to mind. The vain search for the pantheon of subatomic particles they dreamed up, spent millions or billions building the LHC to find, and subsequently declare themselves to have found. (Of course they would say so, since they need a return on investment!)
and this one:
davidbrainerd wrote:The ecstacy of the duping delight regarding how people buy things like string theory.
This point:
chownah wrote:You think that the data used to verify science is only available to scientists?
In addition to this:
chownah wrote:You think that scientists make it complicated so that noone will understand it?
Has its genesis in:
davidbrainerd wrote:I was using "mysticism" more in the sense of only verifiable by the mystic, who of course can't explain how anyone else can experience this, or makes it so complicated nobody else can, which is pretty much all the theoretic sciences do now days.
This point:
chownah wrote:You think the tools to understand gravity waves can not be accessed by the general public?
is in reaction to these posts:
davidbrainerd wrote: Or that gravity is a particle, a graviton, and they think they've seen a "gravity wave." :rofl:
and
davidbrainerd wrote: Do you understand how to and have all the tools necessary to see a gravity wave? Didn't think so.
This also:
chownah wrote:You think buddha's teaching is more scientific?
is in reaction to this:
davidbrainerd wrote:In other words, Buddha's teaching is more scientific.
And lastly this:
chownah wrote:You think that scientists have a closed club with membership restricted?
is in reaction to this
davidbrainerd wrote:so nobody can see the holy subatomic particles but those chosen by the world elite to be the new prophets of a new religion of scientism.
I'm not seeing the :strawman: here.
It is because the valleys are empty that they echo. It is because the mirror is empty that it reflects. It is because the flute is empty that it affects sound. It is because the ears are empty that they can listen. It is because the eyes are empty that they can see. It is because the nose is empty that it can smell.

If these were of substance inside, then there would be obstruction in these.

(from the writings of Master Liè, Daoist text, ~370AD)
binocular
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Re: Why Buddhism Need Not Be Scientific?

Post by binocular »

Coëmgenu wrote:I don't think your accusations of strawman-creation are warranted here. Everything that chownah has listed comes directly from a post by davidbrainerd:
/.../
I'm not seeing the :strawman: here.
Apparently Chownah is disagreeing with what David is saying. Why? Perhaps Chownah has more faith in science than I or David or some others do.
Spiny Norman wrote:How many scientists have you talked to? It sounds to me like you are just anti-science, and I don't understand why.
To an ordinary person like me, it makes no difference whether I go to a church a scientific lecture: in both cases, I am supposed to shut up and unquestioningly believe what I am told.

Although both the religious and the scientists love to talk about how I can get to know the truthfulness of their claims by myself, it is simply not possible for me to do so, because I don't have the money or the time to do so -- and they know that. And this is the really ugly thing about it.
Hic Rhodus, hic salta!
chownah
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Re: Why Buddhism Need Not Be Scientific?

Post by chownah »

binocular wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:I don't think your accusations of strawman-creation are warranted here. Everything that chownah has listed comes directly from a post by davidbrainerd:
/.../
I'm not seeing the :strawman: here.
Apparently Chownah is disagreeing with what David is saying. Why? Perhaps Chownah has more faith in science than I or David or some others do.
Spiny Norman wrote:How many scientists have you talked to? It sounds to me like you are just anti-science, and I don't understand why.
To an ordinary person like me, it makes no difference whether I go to a church a scientific lecture: in both cases, I am supposed to shut up and unquestioningly believe what I am told.

Although both the religious and the scientists love to talk about how I can get to know the truthfulness of their claims by myself, it is simply not possible for me to do so, because I don't have the money or the time to do so -- and they know that. And this is the really ugly thing about it.
My post is not intended to address the issue of having faith in science or not. It is addressed at the use of slanderous ideas to promote ANY view whatsoever. The ideas I presented are slanderous in my view i.e. they make false statements damaging to a people's reputation. These ideas do not represent the way things are. They are false. They are wrong speech. I am absolutely against using slander to support any opinion or view even if that opinion or view is of the highest ethical or moral ideal...or anything else.

Do you sanction the use of slander to support your views?

I don't see why science is such an important thing in your life. Science is something I enjoy and find useful from time to time but I really don't see why anyone should feel that a knowledge of science beyond the bare minimum of helping to cope with daily life is some kind of requirement.(water freezes at 0 celsius and boils at 100 celsius and other like things which are really not beyond almost anyones abilities or time constraints for learning) I do recommend that people in general invest some time in learning some simple science but everyone chooses their own path...my wife is virtually science proof for instance. So....I think it might be good for you to try to observe where this sadness around the idea of science arises as this might give you a step up on eliminating it.....but using slander to bolster your negativity toward science will not help anything in any way that I can see.
chownah
Spiny Norman
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Re: Why Buddhism Need Not Be Scientific?

Post by Spiny Norman »

binocular wrote:Although both the religious and the scientists love to talk about how I can get to know the truthfulness of their claims by myself, it is simply not possible for me to do so, because I don't have the money or the time to do so -- and they know that. And this is the really ugly thing about it.
I don't see how not having the time or money to understand a particular specialism makes it "ugly", and I don't see some kind of conspiracy to keep the rest of us in the dark.
Buddha save me from new-agers!
binocular
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Re: Why Buddhism Need Not Be Scientific?

Post by binocular »

Spiny Norman wrote:
binocular wrote:Although both the religious and the scientists love to talk about how I can get to know the truthfulness of their claims by myself, it is simply not possible for me to do so, because I don't have the money or the time to do so -- and they know that. And this is the really ugly thing about it.
I don't see how not having the time or money to understand a particular specialism makes it "ugly", and I don't see some kind of conspiracy to keep the rest of us in the dark.
Again:
What is ugly is that they know I don't have the time or the money to get to know the truthfulness of their claims by myself, yet nevertheless, they tell me that I could get to know the truthfulness of their claims by myself. Of course, they won't pay for it.

And I don't think there is any conspiracy going on. People generally enjoy being in control of others.
Hic Rhodus, hic salta!
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Coëmgenu
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Re: Why Buddhism Need Not Be Scientific?

Post by Coëmgenu »

binocular wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:
binocular wrote:Although both the religious and the scientists love to talk about how I can get to know the truthfulness of their claims by myself, it is simply not possible for me to do so, because I don't have the money or the time to do so -- and they know that. And this is the really ugly thing about it.
I don't see how not having the time or money to understand a particular specialism makes it "ugly", and I don't see some kind of conspiracy to keep the rest of us in the dark.
Again:
What is ugly is that they know I don't have the time or the money to get to know the truthfulness of their claims by myself, yet nevertheless, they tell me that I could get to know the truthfulness of their claims by myself. Of course, they won't pay for it.

And I don't think there is any conspiracy going on. People generally enjoy being in control of others.
Everyone has the time and money to study scientific claims. The study is hard, but it is available, just like Buddhism.

Its not that most people can't study scientific claims, the material is out there for free, its just that they wont, because why spend so much effort?

Most serious scientific discourse is available for free. A university will give you an *allegedly* more-structured lifestyle, to try to make it so you are freed up for the extreme difficulty of the subject matter, but that it just 'isn't available' isn't quite true.
It is because the valleys are empty that they echo. It is because the mirror is empty that it reflects. It is because the flute is empty that it affects sound. It is because the ears are empty that they can listen. It is because the eyes are empty that they can see. It is because the nose is empty that it can smell.

If these were of substance inside, then there would be obstruction in these.

(from the writings of Master Liè, Daoist text, ~370AD)
binocular
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Re: Why Buddhism Need Not Be Scientific?

Post by binocular »

Coëmgenu wrote:Everyone has the time and money to study scientific claims.
Then grab your gear, and off to Switzerland we go, surely they won't mind giving us some private sessions with the LHC!
The study is hard, but it is available, just like Buddhism.
Its not that most people can't study scientific claims, the material is out there for free, its just that they wont, because why spend so much effort?
Most serious scientific discourse is available for free. A university will give you an *allegedly* more-structured lifestyle, to try to make it so you are freed up for the extreme difficulty of the subject matter, but that it just 'isn't available' isn't quite true.
Maybe where you live, university courses are free and anyone can attend them -- but this isn't so all over the world. Even a library membership costs money. To say nothing of the costs associated with studying at university.
Hic Rhodus, hic salta!
Spiny Norman
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Re: Why Buddhism Need Not Be Scientific?

Post by Spiny Norman »

binocular wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:
binocular wrote:Although both the religious and the scientists love to talk about how I can get to know the truthfulness of their claims by myself, it is simply not possible for me to do so, because I don't have the money or the time to do so -- and they know that. And this is the really ugly thing about it.
I don't see how not having the time or money to understand a particular specialism makes it "ugly", and I don't see some kind of conspiracy to keep the rest of us in the dark.
Again:
What is ugly is that they know I don't have the time or the money to get to know the truthfulness of their claims by myself, yet nevertheless, they tell me that I could get to know the truthfulness of their claims by myself. Of course, they won't pay for it.

And I don't think there is any conspiracy going on. People generally enjoy being in control of others.
There is lots of material available on the internet these days, certainly enough to get a good idea of what is being discussed.
Buddha save me from new-agers!
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Coëmgenu
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Re: Why Buddhism Need Not Be Scientific?

Post by Coëmgenu »

binocular wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:Everyone has the time and money to study scientific claims.
Then grab your gear, and off to Switzerland we go, surely they won't mind giving us some private sessions with the LHC!
I don't want to. Too much effort. Thats the hinderance to learning higher sciences. And I didn't say you can get into the LHC. Just that the information for you to understand what is going on is free.
It is because the valleys are empty that they echo. It is because the mirror is empty that it reflects. It is because the flute is empty that it affects sound. It is because the ears are empty that they can listen. It is because the eyes are empty that they can see. It is because the nose is empty that it can smell.

If these were of substance inside, then there would be obstruction in these.

(from the writings of Master Liè, Daoist text, ~370AD)
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