The problem of infinity in Buddhism

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Circle5
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Re: The problem of infinity in Buddhism

Post by Circle5 » Tue Jul 04, 2017 4:25 pm

I've seen more complaining about postmodernism than actual refutation, and that's problematic. As a matter of logic, it is a form of equivocation to say "Postmodernism is wrong, idea x is postmodernist, therefore idea x is wrong" unless you can clearly define the term. Otherwise that type of argument is the same as a hard-line libertarian who criticizes everything they dislike as communism. Such a person is reasoning fallaciously because in the first part of the syllogism "communism is wrong" in order for it to be generally accepted to serve as the basis of an argument, communism would have to be defined fairly narrowly as meaning something like the soviet union or communist china, but when they use communism to criticize everything they don't like, they are defining the term in the broadest possible way to mean public ownership of anything or so on.
Well, since you brought it up, postmodernist are also communist so they are wrong again :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

As for what postmodernism means:

- denial of logic positivism (only hardcore ones claim to believe in this)
- claiming only the internal world exists and not the external world (therefore, they can also be named solipsist)

Or, to be more explicit, claiming only the perception and linguistical designation/label applied to an object exists and not the object itself. Therefore claiming everything comes from the perception aggregate. Claiming the form aggregate is created by the perception aggregate. In short, it's solipsism + the Ajnana philosophy on top of it. For more: https://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=29724
The denial of logic positivism is easily refuted by showing it's self-refuting. As for solipsism, it takes more than a meme to refute, it takes a topic: https://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=29844
The problem is, they never bring any arguments to sustain their position. They just say "it is like this because I say so". If you feel that there are arguments to make for that position, please bring them to that topic cause so far it's lacking any pro-solipsism arguments.

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aflatun
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Re: The problem of infinity in Buddhism

Post by aflatun » Tue Jul 04, 2017 4:38 pm

Bakmoon wrote: Why on earth do you insist on criticizing people by simply squeezing them into the general bugaboo category of 'postmodernism'? If you want to refute someone you have to give arguments against what they say specifically, not simply set up a box you predetermine to be wrong and somehow try to fit your opponents into it.

And it is absurd that Nagarjuna is a monist. Where in the Mulamadhyamakakarikas does he teach that everything comes from a fundamental unity? And you really shouldn't rely on wikipedia like that. The part in the article on dialectical monism mentioning Nagarjuna doesn't even have a citation to it.
Its merely an attempt at insult and inflammation which successfully evades forum moderation, along with the not so thinly veiled insults that are being hurled about as of late.

And as you pointed out in your second post its on the same level as various political slogans. Skewing someone's intended meaning, doing it repeatedly and spreading it wide and far is a favorite tactic of sophists, lawyers, etc. Its glorified gossip, slander, etc, and similarly evades any form of moderation it seems. Quite slick I might add.

I agree with 100% of everything you've said about Nagarjuna. And I have to thank you, I believe it was one of your posts on the other Wheel that brought me to Ornament of Reason, which has become my favorite translation/commentary on the MMK :toast:

I'm working on Freedom From Extremes and the Madman's Middle Way now :heart:
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

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Circle5
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Re: The problem of infinity in Buddhism

Post by Circle5 » Tue Jul 04, 2017 4:57 pm

Again posts about my character and psychoanalyzing me. If you have something to say on topic or contribute to the conversation, please don't hesitate to do so. But posts about my character are not only forbidden by the TOS but also offtopic.
d. Unsubstantiated allegations against individuals or traditions - including psychoanalyzing other members, and predictions or threats of kammic retribution
f. Ad-hominem attacks, including the vilification of individuals based on any attributes
https://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=2

I have already sent you a friendly PM after your first post about my character and you did not respond. Please, if you have things to say about my character say them PM. It is a forum, it's normal for people not to agree with your views. And it's a theravada forum, it's normal for some people not to agree with Mahayana ideas.

"Play the ball, not the man."

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aflatun
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Re: The problem of infinity in Buddhism

Post by aflatun » Tue Jul 04, 2017 5:01 pm

I made no references to your character, and certainly performed no psychoanalysis.

Its your forum behavior that is in question. Insults are insults, and you're hurling them. Even if you're truly not, deep down inside, and multiple people take issue with your mode of expression, you have good reason to adjust it.

Your pm was hostile and full of similar tactics. Your not playing by the same rules that you wish to impose on others.

d. Unsubstantiated allegations against individuals or traditions

Read your own rule book.

You've not properly characterized my views, or those of at least three other posters, or Nagarjuna for that matter.

A great many Theravada, or associated with Theravada thinkers have expressed agreement with a great many things you take issue with. For example, restricting ourselves to Nagarjuna: Sujato, Kalupahana, Nanananda... No Mahayanists there.
Last edited by aflatun on Tue Jul 04, 2017 5:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

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Circle5
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Re: The problem of infinity in Buddhism

Post by Circle5 » Tue Jul 04, 2017 5:04 pm

Then start another topic about it. This one was initially about the problem of infinity in buddhism from a statistical perspective and then moved to the problem of time existing or not in buddhism. Again, play the ball not the man.
Your pm was hostile and full of similar tactics.
If that's how you interpret a friendly PM, then I should speak with you like I would speak with Ceauchescu. Or better not speak at all. As I said, it's a forum. People will not agree with your views all the time. And it's a theravada one, people will not agree with mahayana views some times.
Last edited by Circle5 on Tue Jul 04, 2017 5:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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aflatun
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Re: The problem of infinity in Buddhism

Post by aflatun » Tue Jul 04, 2017 5:07 pm

I addressed "the infinity problem" from a Kantian/Schopenhauerian, Nagarjunan and Sutta point of view. I'm sorry you find it off topic, I don't.

EDIT: No one has said "time doesn't exist in Buddhism", no one has advocated for solipsism, no one has rejected the reality of anything extra mental. As an example, the Kantian point of view you quoted from me, called post modern (it's not) and started a new thread with accepts and insists upon: the "existence" of time, others minds, and non mental reality.

As SDC already told you, criticize all you want, keep it accurate.

If you would simply tone it down some great conversations would ensue. There are many people on this form that enjoy discussing such things, it doesn't have to be about your interpretation of the Suttas vs. everyone else. If you find something conflicts with the suttas, that can also be calmly discussed. If you take issue with someone else's opinion, that can also be calmly discussed without ridicule, calling people stupid, etc. These matters are difficult (conceptually speaking) and even great thinkers that have made errors did not do so because they were "stupid." This stuff is difficult.
Last edited by aflatun on Tue Jul 04, 2017 5:22 pm, edited 6 times in total.
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

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Circle5
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Re: The problem of infinity in Buddhism

Post by Circle5 » Tue Jul 04, 2017 5:10 pm

I addressed the infinity problem from a Kantian/Schopenhauerian, Nagarjunan and Sutta point of view. I'm sorry you find it off topic, I don't.
Yes you did, a couple of pages ago. Well, let's move on and get back to this topic. If you feel there is any kind of argument to make for time not existing or for Buddha ever making a case for that, feel free to make it since in my opinion we are in lack of such arguments. As for the solipsist vs realist discussion: https://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f ... 4&start=20
But as I said, arguments of the type "this is true because I say so" or "this is true because this other famous guy said so" do not really count as arguments. Argument should be either empirical (experiments such as in quantum physics regarding this, the placebo effect etc.) or logical.

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WindDancer
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Re: The problem of infinity in Buddhism

Post by WindDancer » Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:30 am

My heart is heavy as I have just read through this discussion from the beginning. It shows clearly the price we pay for idle chatter of this kind of debate, including divisive and harsh comments. This discussion thread demonstrates that the Buddha's wisdom spoken over 2500 years ago still holds true today. Dwelling on and debating topics like this surely does not lead one to peace, Liberation or Nibbana.

Multiple members shared that the Buddha directed others to let go of debating such topics and focus their energies to the 4 Noble Truths.
:namaste:

WindDancer
Live Gently....

Udana
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Re: The problem of infinity in Buddhism

Post by Udana » Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:09 am

We are stuck in an assumption that time and space are absolutes. We experience time and space through six contact media. So when you really think about it they both are relative and conditioned. As I feel the definition of infinity explained by Lord Buddha is inconceivable as it lies beyond the conditioned world.

Venerable Sariputta once stated "However far the six contact-media go, that is how far objectification goes. However far objectification goes, that is how far the six contact-media go" (Extracted from the book Shape of suffering by Thanissaro Bhikkhu). This is probably why Buddha didn't want us to waste time thinking about these matters.

Our thinking is limited and infinity lies beyond our experience.

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cappuccino
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Re: The problem of infinity in Buddhism

Post by cappuccino » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:14 pm

It's a sheer coincidence that one obtains the human state. It's a sheer coincidence that a Tathagata, worthy & rightly self-awakened, arises in the world. It's a sheer coincidence that a doctrine & discipline expounded by a Tathagata appears in the world. Now, this human state has been obtained. A Tathagata, worthy & rightly self-awakened, has arisen in the world. A doctrine & discipline expounded by a Tathagata appears in the world.
Chiggala Sutta

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