Page 1 of 1

Can buddhism be explained via evolution?

Posted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 6:11 pm
by MrLearner
Hello everyone,

Is evolution part of buddhism, or can evolution explain buddhism. I'm finding it difficult to express my question so l'll give examples. The buddhists reasons given by me here might be wrong because I'm an amateur learning it, but I have given them to better express my question.

1. Why do we have feeling of lust?

Evolution reason: Simply to reproduce
Buddhism reason: Due to our ignorant mind

2. Why do we like to have big luxurious items, and get praise and respect from society?

E reason: More people like us mean better chance we have of survival
B reason: Due to the constant cravings of our mind

3. Why are we constantly been reborn and suffering?

E reason- Because all the things we do is to ensure reproduction continues to occur
B reason- Due to our ignorant mind

See where I am going here. Is buddhism and evolution just 2 different ways of expressing the same idea or are they different. Examples I find some concepts easier to understand via evolution than buddhism, vise versa also for some other concepts. Thanks a lot :)

Re: Can buddhism be explained via evolution?

Posted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 6:16 pm
by fivebells
Suffering does arise from selective, evolutionary processes. Anything which proliferates does so at the expense of something else, so there is almost always some greed and/or hostility involved. This happens in one's own mind, not just on a reproductive/social level.

This is not in conflict with a Buddhist understanding of suffering at all, though. The ignorance it refers to is the tendency to ignore the extent to which one's behaviors, thoughts and perceptions are shaped by these selective forces.

Re: Can buddhism be explained via evolution?

Posted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 6:31 pm
by DNS
samtheman wrote: 3. Why are we constantly been reborn and suffering?

E reason- Because all the things we do is to ensure reproduction continues to occur
B reason- Due to our ignorant mind
Or alternatively:

E reason - craving
B reason - craving

Biological evolution is compatible with Buddhism and vice versa. In the Agganna Sutta and in others, there is mention of beings evolving due to craving.

Re: Can buddhism be explained via evolution?

Posted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 6:35 pm
by Babadhari
i was going to ask if evolution could be explained by kamma but i found some good points raised on this topic already http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 29#p165452

Re: Can buddhism be explained via evolution?

Posted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 7:54 pm
by Mkoll
The Buddhist answer to 1, 2, and 3: Because we delight and take pleasure in the feelings brought about by the objects of lust.
And this, monks, is the noble truth of the origination of stress: the craving that makes for further becoming — accompanied by passion & delight, relishing now here & now there — i.e., craving for sensual pleasure, craving for becoming, craving for non-becoming.

-SN 56.11

Re: Can buddhism be explained via evolution?

Posted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 1:50 pm
by Atanavat
Buddhism can be explained via evolution on the same level as, music, philosophy and other effects of life having evolved to become self-aware.

Buddhism is not an evolutionary stable meme, but you could say that of many of human activities. When a life form becomes as intelligent as us, it seems inevitable that questions about our existence arises. The desire for explanations and answers is a very viable evolutionary trait.

Buddhism can be seen as a side-effect of the freedom to answer such questions in any way that appeals to the individual or groups or nations.

If all humans on the planet became Buddhist and monastic, we would become extinct, but that will not happen and is just an entertaining thought.

Maybe I misunderstood the question.

Re: Can buddhism be explained via evolution?

Posted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:24 pm
by MrLearner
Thanks for all the answers :smile:

I think evolution and buddhism, is just like chicken and egg. Both can coexist peacefully.