Neurological vs Psychological

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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alfa
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Neurological vs Psychological

Post by alfa » Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:42 am

What we once considered philosophical were later on interpreted in terms of new psychological theories.

And now, what we call psychological is being interpreted in the light of modern neurological discoveries.

So wouldn't many of the Buddhist concepts become irrelevant?

Consider the common problem of discursive thinking or monkey mind. Buddhism explains it in one way, even provides mindfulness and other techniques to cope with it. But according to science - the brain functions in this way, acquiring new knowledge, experiencing new things, and undergoing changes all the time. In other words, it's the very nature of the brain and not a philosophical puzzle. We don't need dependent origination or any concept to explain it.

So if this whole dukkha thing (and other philosophical ideas) are explained neurologically, then what is samsara or nibanna? Wouldn't they also be irrelevant?

chownah
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Re: Neurological vs Psychological

Post by chownah » Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:52 am

I think that neurology has confirmed that many of the concepts the buddha talked about can be observed through scientific investigation. This does not mean that they are irrelevant....in fact for many people this makes them all the more relevant.

Neurology does not explain what to do with the things they are discovering so that one's life can be transformed.....the buddha's teaching present a tranformative model....and....it seems that advances in neurology lends some support to the buddha's transformative model.
chownah

form
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Re: Neurological vs Psychological

Post by form » Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:06 am

physical and mental aggregates. Understanding how the human body functions certainly helps in understanding causes and conditions and birth, aging, sickness, dea

I ever read before someone interpret "name and form" in dependant origination to include hormone and cellular messagers in the body. Unfortunately i could not locate the source again. If anyone come across that, please share with me.

2600htz
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Re: Neurological vs Psychological

Post by 2600htz » Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:51 pm

alfa wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:42 am
What we once considered philosophical were later on interpreted in terms of new psychological theories.

And now, what we call psychological is being interpreted in the light of modern neurological discoveries.

So wouldn't many of the Buddhist concepts become irrelevant?

Consider the common problem of discursive thinking or monkey mind. Buddhism explains it in one way, even provides mindfulness and other techniques to cope with it. But according to science - the brain functions in this way, acquiring new knowledge, experiencing new things, and undergoing changes all the time. In other words, it's the very nature of the brain and not a philosophical puzzle. We don't need dependent origination or any concept to explain it.

So if this whole dukkha thing (and other philosophical ideas) are explained neurologically, then what is samsara or nibanna? Wouldn't they also be irrelevant?
Hello:

Not really, modern neurology still doesn´t have a clue how cognition works, they still don´t know how to put an end to "the monkey mind". As long as that doesn´t happen, buddhism still will be relevant (by the way buddhism/dependent origination is not a philosophy).

Regards.

binocular
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Re: Neurological vs Psychological

Post by binocular » Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:54 pm

alfa wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:42 am
So if this whole dukkha thing (and other philosophical ideas) are explained neurologically, then what is samsara or nibanna? Wouldn't they also be irrelevant?
To neurology, it seems that humans are irrelevant to begin with ...

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Zom
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Re: Neurological vs Psychological

Post by Zom » Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:12 pm

So if this whole dukkha thing (and other philosophical ideas) are explained neurologically, then what is samsara or nibanna? Wouldn't they also be irrelevant?
To start with - modern science can't explain such thing as "consciousness" at all. Nobody knows what the hell is that 8-)

SarathW
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Re: Neurological vs Psychological

Post by SarathW » Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:49 pm

So if this whole dukkha thing (and other philosophical ideas) are explained neurologically, then what is samsara or nibanna? Wouldn't they also be irrelevant?
There are four noble truths and Dukkha is the first one.
Science does not teach the other three which are the most important.
Buddha's solution is to the end the Dukkha in Samsara and not only to end the Dukkha in this life.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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cappuccino
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Re: Neurological vs Psychological

Post by cappuccino » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:49 pm

alfa wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:42 am
So wouldn't many of the Buddhist concepts become irrelevant?
Science is irrelevant.
Matthew 7

dharmacorps
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Re: Neurological vs Psychological

Post by dharmacorps » Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:02 pm

As Zom said, all you need to do is ask a neuroscientist "what is consciousness" and "where" it is, in order to realize that the Buddha's teaching still have far more relevance than anything scientists have to say. Plus, neuroscience's findings do not provide a release from suffering. Its interesting, but it doesn't help our existential problem. Therefore it is relevant.

And I say that as a scientist myself.

chownah
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Re: Neurological vs Psychological

Post by chownah » Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:53 am

dharmacorps wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:02 pm
As Zom said, all you need to do is ask a neuroscientist "what is consciousness" and "where" it is,
Yeah, but you can go looking in the pali canon for the answer to those questions and not do any better.

For those who will take exception to what I said, please bring some good clear answers to those questions if you think they can be found in the suttas.
chownah

dharmacorps
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Re: Neurological vs Psychological

Post by dharmacorps » Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:33 pm

The OP didn't ask about the Suttas, he asked about science.

chownah
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Re: Neurological vs Psychological

Post by chownah » Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:42 am

dharmacorps wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:33 pm
The OP didn't ask about the Suttas, he asked about science.
You presented this as an arguement to show that buddhism has more relevance than anything scientists have to say:
all you need to do is ask a neuroscientist "what is consciousness" and "where" it is, in order to realize that the Buddha's teaching still have far more relevance than anything scientists have to say.
I am disputing this. Buddhism does not answer these questions any better than science does (in my view). I think you have brought a false arguement.
chownah

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cappuccino
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Re: Neurological vs Psychological

Post by cappuccino » Thu Nov 16, 2017 3:39 am

Can science help, in the afterlife?

A faith in Buddha will. A faith in the dhamma will.
Matthew 7

dharmacorps
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Re: Neurological vs Psychological

Post by dharmacorps » Thu Nov 16, 2017 11:41 pm

Buddhism has relevance at putting an end to suffering.

At best, science can describe our natural world well. The two are intrinsically different but not in conflict.

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