in my opinion the buddha knew science and technology

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
Laurens
Posts: 491
Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2009 5:56 pm
Location: Norfolk, England

Re: in my opinion the buddha knew science and technology

Post by Laurens » Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:49 pm

justindesilva wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 1:16 pm
Laurens wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:31 am
I've never encountered anything that would suggest accurate, specific predictions of the future came from the Buddha. Nor did he say anything specific about science and technology.

The Buddha taught of the path to the end of suffering, and specifically said he was not a god. I don't think it's useful to think of him as such, just put his teachings into practice
The predictions of lord buddha over the dreams of king Kosol at the time if budda as incidents to come in the future world is seeing to be true . Even the bad weather patterns and behaviours of people along with the distresses seem to be a true reflection of the reveals of dreams of King kosol. Sixteen are such dreams which had been explained to come true in the future times.
I'm not sure exactly what you are saying. Sorry I don't study suttas in great depth at this moment.

Are you saying there is a sutta that mentions predictions which come true within the context of the sutta? Or a sutta that mentions predictions that came true in subsequent history?

Personally, I think people are good at retroactively finding prophecies. Not so great at finding prophecy before hand and that stated event actually coming to pass.

The problem being that words can be interpreted in such a way as to seem like they might fit this or that event, but really it's a bit vague at best. People do it with the Bible, with Nostradamus etc. People did it with the whole 2012 thing.

If the sutta is a self contained account of a supposed prophecy coming true, then I would say this doesn't count for great evidence that the actual historical Buddha could accurately predict the future. The simplest explanation would be mythology.
"If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

User avatar
dylanj
Posts: 797
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2016 1:48 am
Location: San Francisco
Contact:

Re: in my opinion the buddha knew science and technology

Post by dylanj » Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:53 pm

Laurens wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:31 am
I've never encountered anything that would suggest accurate, specific predictions of the future came from the Buddha. Nor did he say anything specific about science and technology.

The Buddha taught of the path to the end of suffering, and specifically said he was not a god. I don't think it's useful to think of him as such, just put his teachings into practice
The Buddha accurately predicted the future destruction of the city of pataliputta by fire & floods, & the time it would take for buddhist apocrypha to arise, i.e. 500 years
susukhaṁ vata nibbānaṁ,
sammā­sambud­dha­desitaṁ;
asokaṁ virajaṁ khemaṁ,
yattha dukkhaṁ nirujjhatī


Oh! extinction is so very blissful,
As taught by the One Rightly Self-Awakened:
Sorrowless, stainless, secure;
Where suffering all ceases


etaṁ santaṁ etaṁ paṇītaṁ yadidaṁ sabbasaṅkhārasamatho sabbūpadhipaṭi nissaggo taṇhakkhayo virāgo nirodho nibbānaṁ

This is peaceful, this is excellent, that is: the stilling of all preparations, the relinquishment of all attachments, the destruction of craving, detachment, cessation, extinction.

Laurens
Posts: 491
Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2009 5:56 pm
Location: Norfolk, England

Re: in my opinion the buddha knew science and technology

Post by Laurens » Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:00 pm

ScottPen wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:35 pm
Laurens wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:31 am
I've never encountered anything that would suggest accurate, specific predictions of the future came from the Buddha. Nor did he say anything specific about science and technology.

The Buddha taught of the path to the end of suffering, and specifically said he was not a god. I don't think it's useful to think of him as such, just put his teachings into practice
Laurens... IME, there are people in every worldview who believe that there is a source of knowledge that is inexorably infallible. It's an "all or nothing" idea. In Buddhism, some people seem to think that "if the Buddha wasn't omniscient, why should I even trust the 4NT and the 8FP?" Many Christians hold the same view of Jesus. "If he wasn't divine and perfect, how can I trust his advice on how to go to heaven?"

If the people that think this way aren't harming themselves or others by it, it's cool with me. But if it causes them or others to suffer, then maybe it should be looked at critically.
The Buddha himself said that we ought not take his word as infallible, that we should practise the teachings and see for ourselves if they are true. That has always been my view.

I think that placing over emphasis on the historical Buddha as some kind of super-being totally distorts the teachings. This is why the Zen masters say that if you meet the Buddha on the road you should kill him. Looking for predictions of the future, and other supposed confirmation of the Buddha's super powers in the texts to me is a huge distraction. If the dhamma came from a lowly, illiterate street sweeper it would be just as meaningful and true as if it came from a heavenly being.

I don't get all this trying to prove that the Buddha is a god, he himself said that he was not such a being.
"If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Laurens
Posts: 491
Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2009 5:56 pm
Location: Norfolk, England

Re: in my opinion the buddha knew science and technology

Post by Laurens » Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:08 pm

dylanj wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:53 pm
Laurens wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:31 am
I've never encountered anything that would suggest accurate, specific predictions of the future came from the Buddha. Nor did he say anything specific about science and technology.

The Buddha taught of the path to the end of suffering, and specifically said he was not a god. I don't think it's useful to think of him as such, just put his teachings into practice
The Buddha accurately predicted the future destruction of the city of pataliputta by fire & floods, & the time it would take for buddhist apocrypha to arise, i.e. 500 years
I would need to look into this, but I can easily think of explanations that aren't pointing to the Buddha being a super-being.

First off if the sutta in question is not documented to exist prior to the events they supposedly predicted, then it could simply have been added retroactively to make the Buddha seem like he knew about the future or for some other reason.

If you could prove it was a prediction, i.e: that the sutta existed before the events described in datable form then it could be a case of it being vague and subject to interpretation. I don't know what it actually says.

My guess would be that it is the former. The suttas so far as I know weren't recorded for quite some time, and they existed as oral traditions. Which can be added to, or subtracted from for various reasons, such as sectarian conflict over certain things etc.
"If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

User avatar
dylanj
Posts: 797
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2016 1:48 am
Location: San Francisco
Contact:

Re: in my opinion the buddha knew science and technology

Post by dylanj » Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:13 pm

Laurens wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:08 pm
dylanj wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:53 pm
Laurens wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:31 am
I've never encountered anything that would suggest accurate, specific predictions of the future came from the Buddha. Nor did he say anything specific about science and technology.

The Buddha taught of the path to the end of suffering, and specifically said he was not a god. I don't think it's useful to think of him as such, just put his teachings into practice
The Buddha accurately predicted the future destruction of the city of pataliputta by fire & floods, & the time it would take for buddhist apocrypha to arise, i.e. 500 years
I would need to look into this, but I can easily think of explanations that aren't pointing to the Buddha being a super-being.

First off if the sutta in question is not documented to exist prior to the events they supposedly predicted, then it could simply have been added retroactively to make the Buddha seem like he knew about the future or for some other reason.

If you could prove it was a prediction, i.e: that the sutta existed before the events described in datable form then it could be a case of it being vague and subject to interpretation. I don't know what it actually says.

My guess would be that it is the former. The suttas so far as I know weren't recorded for quite some time, and they existed as oral traditions. Which can be added to, or subtracted from for various reasons, such as sectarian conflict over certain things etc.
But the proper response to such a claim isn't to simply try to "think of explanations" against it....that's intellectually dishonest & quite obviously undermines anything you'll say, given you've clearly decided upon your conclusion beforehand irrespective of what evidence there might be.
susukhaṁ vata nibbānaṁ,
sammā­sambud­dha­desitaṁ;
asokaṁ virajaṁ khemaṁ,
yattha dukkhaṁ nirujjhatī


Oh! extinction is so very blissful,
As taught by the One Rightly Self-Awakened:
Sorrowless, stainless, secure;
Where suffering all ceases


etaṁ santaṁ etaṁ paṇītaṁ yadidaṁ sabbasaṅkhārasamatho sabbūpadhipaṭi nissaggo taṇhakkhayo virāgo nirodho nibbānaṁ

This is peaceful, this is excellent, that is: the stilling of all preparations, the relinquishment of all attachments, the destruction of craving, detachment, cessation, extinction.

Laurens
Posts: 491
Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2009 5:56 pm
Location: Norfolk, England

Re: in my opinion the buddha knew science and technology

Post by Laurens » Sat Jun 23, 2018 7:28 am

dylanj wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:13 pm
But the proper response to such a claim isn't to simply try to "think of explanations" against it....that's intellectually dishonest & quite obviously undermines anything you'll say, given you've clearly decided upon your conclusion beforehand irrespective of what evidence there might be.
Its the opposite of intellectual dishonesty in my opinion. It doesn't affect my practise whether or not the Buddha was a fortune teller, and I don't preclude that he was, just that we can't know because other more plausible explanations exist for the kinds of evidence at hand. That's actually intellectually honest. I practise Buddhism, I would actually like evidence that it is watertight... But I can't just let what I'd like to believe lead me to accept something that might not be true.

This is what I would consider evidence in this case: a carbon dated fragment of the sutta containing the predictions that predates the events themselves. If that exists then I'd have to rethink my position. Otherwise any evidence can be subject to interpretation and thus doesn't qualify as distinctive proof to my standards.

Its the same reasoning I'd apply to Jesus's supposed rise from the dead. Maybe it happened, but the only accounts we have of Jesus's life are written by Christians decades after the events. If it happened then the evidence would need to be stronger, because its simpler to say that people created the story of Jesus rising from the dead after the fact than it is to say one man, unlike any other man in history managed to come back after being dead for three days.

I just have a different set of standards for what I would consider as evidence. You may use whichever standards you like and I'm happy to accept that we differ on that front. At the end of the day it doesn't affect anything important with regards to practise, so there is no use getting heated over it. My main point here, is not to debate specifics really. The thing I am trying to get across is that all this trying to make a god out of Buddha is a distraction that runs contrary to what he taught. The Buddha was asked if he is a god, he said no. The Buddha told people that they ought not make images or representations of him to worship. The Buddha was all about teaching Dhamma. If the practise of Buddhism remains the same whether or not such and such a point is true, then you know you are getting caught up in things that don't matter.
Last edited by Laurens on Sat Jun 23, 2018 7:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
"If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

User avatar
dylanj
Posts: 797
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2016 1:48 am
Location: San Francisco
Contact:

Re: in my opinion the buddha knew science and technology

Post by dylanj » Sat Jun 23, 2018 7:33 am

Laurens wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 7:28 am
dylanj wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:13 pm
But the proper response to such a claim isn't to simply try to "think of explanations" against it....that's intellectually dishonest & quite obviously undermines anything you'll say, given you've clearly decided upon your conclusion beforehand irrespective of what evidence there might be.
Its the opposite of intellectual dishonesty in my opinion. It doesn't affect my practise whether or not the Buddha was a fortune teller, and I don't preclude that he was, just that we can't know because other more plausible explanations exist for the kinds of evidence at hand. That's actually intellectually honest. I practise Buddhism, I would actually like evidence that it is watertight... But I can't just let what I'd like to believe lead me to accept something that might not be true.

This is what I would consider evidence in this case: a carbon dated fragment of the sutta containing the predictions that predates the events themselves. If that exists then I'd have to rethink my position. Otherwise any evidence can be subject to interpretation and thus doesn't qualify as distinctive proof to my standards.

Its the same reasoning I'd apply to Jesus's supposed rise from the dead. Maybe it happened, but the only accounts we have of Jesus's life are written by Christians decades after the events. If it happened then the evidence would need to be stronger, because its simpler to say that people created the story of Jesus rising from the dead after the fact than it is to say one man, unlike any other man in history managed to come back after being dead for three days.

I just have a different set of standards for what I would consider as evidence. You may use whichever standards you like and I'm happy to accept that we differ on that front. At the end of the day it doesn't affect anything important with regards to practise, so there is no use getting heated over it. My main point here, is not to debate specifics really. The thing I am trying to get across is that all this trying to make a god out of Buddha is a distraction that runs contrary to what he taught. The Buddha was asked if he is a god, he said no. The Buddha told people that they ought not make images or representations of him to worship. The Buddha was all about teaching Dhamma. If the practise of Buddhism remains the same whether such and such a point is true, then you know you are getting caught up in things that don't matter.
But the issue I'm pointing out is not your lack of belief, it's your decision to preclude the possibility & actively look for alternate explanations, it shows you have already made up your mind & are not concerned with investigating the matter without bias.

The fact that you argue on the basis of the suttas you like but put yourself against the ones you dislike just shows you're only interested in serving your own aims & ideas, not interested in truth.

So, sorry you had to type all of that but it's not really relevant.

No one is trying to make the Buddha out to be a God.
susukhaṁ vata nibbānaṁ,
sammā­sambud­dha­desitaṁ;
asokaṁ virajaṁ khemaṁ,
yattha dukkhaṁ nirujjhatī


Oh! extinction is so very blissful,
As taught by the One Rightly Self-Awakened:
Sorrowless, stainless, secure;
Where suffering all ceases


etaṁ santaṁ etaṁ paṇītaṁ yadidaṁ sabbasaṅkhārasamatho sabbūpadhipaṭi nissaggo taṇhakkhayo virāgo nirodho nibbānaṁ

This is peaceful, this is excellent, that is: the stilling of all preparations, the relinquishment of all attachments, the destruction of craving, detachment, cessation, extinction.

Laurens
Posts: 491
Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2009 5:56 pm
Location: Norfolk, England

Re: in my opinion the buddha knew science and technology

Post by Laurens » Sat Jun 23, 2018 7:58 am

dylanj wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 7:33 am

But the issue I'm pointing out is not your lack of belief, it's your decision to preclude the possibility & actively look for alternate explanations, it shows you have already made up your mind & are not concerned with investigating the matter without bias.

The fact that you argue on the basis of the suttas you like but put yourself against the ones you dislike just shows you're only interested in serving your own aims & ideas, not interested in truth.

So, sorry you had to type all of that but it's not really relevant.

No one is trying to make the Buddha out to be a God.
The issue is that so far as I am aware people can't accurately predict future events. If it was a normal occurrence then I'd say "yeah no problem, I believe you". The thing is it is not a normal occurrence. Thus it would take quite a substantial degree of evidence to preclude normal explanations. Writings that weren't written down until way after the events don't really count, because someone might have decided to add a prophecy into the canon in order to bolster the weight of their claims. The same thing happened in the gospels, the authors of Luke and Matthew made changes and put words into Jesus's mouth in order to make him fit their interpretation of the infant Christianity that was developing and dividing rapidly. This often happens in religious texts. If we are to look for a wise premonition of the Buddha, it would be that he saw this and the potential that it would have when it came to the Dhamma. This is why he said:

"Now, Kalamas, don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, 'This contemplative is our teacher.' When you know for yourselves that, 'These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness' — then you should enter & remain in them.

I am actually very interested in truth. I'm not sure why you'd make such an accusation based upon such a minor point. For some reason you seem to think that analysing something with respect for possible explanations is dishonest but its the opposite of that. If an infertile man's wife came home and told him that she was pregnant and that it must be a gift from God, if he chooses to believe that this is evidence of the divine at the expense of other slightly less saintly explanations then he is lying to himself. The man who thinks 'hmmm maybe my wife is being unfaithful' is the guy who is being honest with himself.

My thinking of other possible explanations is precisely because I'm interested in truth. As I say I'd like to believe the Buddha was somehow omniscient, it would definitely help with the hindrance of doubt. But I can't let what I'd like to be true guide my beliefs. The reality is the opposite of what you are accusing me of. If I wasn't interested in truth I'd be happy to believe it, and thus go about my practise thinking 'well there is no need to doubt, there's proof that the Buddha was all-knowing'.
"If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Dinsdale
Posts: 6067
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 am
Location: Andromeda looks nice

Re: in my opinion the buddha knew science and technology

Post by Dinsdale » Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:46 am

Dhammarakkhito wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:03 pm
furthermore, science if it is to be believed must conform with the dhamma, not the other way
I think this is trying to compare apples and oranges.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

justindesilva
Posts: 824
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:38 pm

Re: in my opinion the buddha knew science and technology

Post by justindesilva » Sat Jun 23, 2018 3:16 pm

Laurens wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:49 pm
justindesilva wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 1:16 pm
Laurens wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:31 am
I've never encountered anything that would suggest accurate, specific predictions of the future came from the Buddha. Nor did he say anything specific about science and technology.

The Buddha taught of the path to the end of suffering, and specifically said he was not a god. I don't think it's useful to think of him as such, just put his teachings into practice
The predictions of lord buddha over the dreams of king Kosol at the time if budda as incidents to come in the future world is seeing to be true . Even the bad weather patterns and behaviours of people along with the distresses seem to be a true reflection of the reveals of dreams of King kosol. Sixteen are such dreams which had been explained to come true in the future times.
I'm not sure exactly what you are saying. Sorry I don't study suttas in great depth at this moment.

Are you saying there is a sutta that mentions predictions which come true within the context of the sutta? Or a sutta that mentions predictions that came true in subsequent history?

Personally, I think people are good at retroactively finding prophecies. Not so great at finding prophecy before hand and that stated event actually coming to pass.

The problem being that words can be interpreted in such a way as to seem like they might fit this or that event, but really it's a bit vague at best. People do it with the Bible, with Nostradamus etc. People did it with the whole 2012 thing.

If the sutta is a self contained account of a supposed prophecy coming true, then I would say this doesn't count for great evidence that the actual historical Buddha could accurately predict the future. The simplest explanation would be mythology.
If one needs , just type " 16 dreams of king Pasenadhi Kosala" on google , there will be details that can be downloaded on this subject.
Eg : also see www.scribd.com ( a very interesting book by a bante with details ofpredictions and results)
www.tserinpoche.com
along with similar webs and utube details will describe.
These dreams are often described by bantes in sermons as buddhist literature descrbes this. It is not fare to find suttas to describe all details from lord budda.

TRobinson465
Posts: 519
Joined: Thu May 12, 2016 5:29 pm
Location: United States

Re: in my opinion the buddha knew science and technology

Post by TRobinson465 » Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:01 am

Dhammarakkhito wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:03 pm
anyway, the lord buddha could see many aeons into the past, at least 91, in which many many civilizations would have arisen and fallen. and we know if we look thru digha nikaya that humans/beings lived a lot longer than they do now, for being virtuous
if ever they pursued technology or if technology is a worthwhile pursuit, they would have had much longer and more resources
anyway if we want to stand out from the omniscience thread we could talk about science being ultimately simple, contrived, reducible. seeing into the future as well, knowing that humans will develop very low life spans but then take up virtue and gain much longer life spans by the time lord metteyya comes about
science is a dhamma, the lord knew or knows all dhammas, and expounds a superior method of investigation
me personally i started as a physics major but dropped out and looking back on it i was disenchanted with it then but attributed that to depression
I think he probably did also, given its clearly stated he could recollect countless past lives, its highly unlikely he did not have a life that experienced a degree of technology similar to our world now or greater. I wouldn't say he incorporated such science and technology into the Dhamma though, as this is not particularly useful.
"Do not have blind faith, but also no blind criticism" - the 14th Dalai Lama

"At Varanasi, in the Deer Park at Isipatana, the Blessed One has set in motion the unexcelled Wheel of Dhamma that cannot be stopped by brahmins, devas, Maras, Brahmas or anyone in the cosmos." -Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta

"Go forth, monks, for the good of the many, for the happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world, for the welfare, the good and the happiness of gods and men. Let no two of you go in the same direction." - First Khandhaka, Chapter 11, Vinaya.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: gonflable, Google [Bot], JamesTheGiant, kamui, Majestic-12 [Bot], rightviewftw, Zom and 104 guests