Theravada against mathematics

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Germann
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Theravada against mathematics

Post by Germann » Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:29 pm

Theravada proposes to take on faith the mathematically impossible model of reality: its school Abhidhamma contradicts the theory of probability.

The concept of "satta" in the Theravadin Abhidhamma is the concept of not-existent (satta-pannatti is the avijjamana-pannatti). There was no one who could select events. This means that in the beginningless Buddhist past (the chain of conditioned dhammas does not have a first link) all possible events would have happened. If the realization of Nibbana refers to possible events, then all the causes and conditions of the impersonal-mechanical achievement of Nibbana should have formed in the past.

The infinite monkey theorem: “The probability that an infinite number of monkeys will print any given text on the first attempt is 1”. Here a "monkey" is the past life. A "text" is a sequence of combinations of dhammas, culminating in the realization of Nibbana. As the number of past lives is not limited, the probability of nibbanization in past lives is 1.

Nibbana should be already realized for the infinity of the past by all "people" without exception.

(This contradiction is not removed by the "Two Truths". If the Dhamma is about the true reality (about the given here-and-now), then the logical law of the excluded is valid. True, either "A" or "Not A", the third is not given It is impossible to say at the same time that Satta does not exist (Paramattha-saccha: “A”) and that such a statement is unjust (Sammuti-saccha: “Not-A”). “Two Truths”, simultaneously asserting the truth of the judgments “A” and “Not A" defy logic.)

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Nicolas
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by Nicolas » Thu Mar 07, 2019 3:01 pm

The infinite monkey theorem only works if the monkeys' typing is truly random.
If monkeys were such that they only typed on letters A and B, then they wouldn't be able to type any text, even if they had been typing forever.
It's not because there is no beginning that all possible events would have happened.
Since mathematics are being referenced, if you have a function like f(t) (t=time), then even if you have an infinite amounts of possible "t"s as parameters, by the nature of the function, your mapping of f(t) might be restricted to a certain set and not span all "possibilities".
If the monkeys are somehow conditioned in a certain way, they they're not acting randomly.
Even if there is no "being", there is still volition/intention (cetanā).

Wired wrote an article about an exhibition/experiment based on the infinite monkey theorem:
"They pressed a lot of S's," researcher Mike Phillips said Friday. "Obviously, English isn't their first language."
[...]
At first, said Phillips, "the lead male got a stone and started bashing the hell out of it.
"Another thing they were interested in was in defecating and urinating all over the keyboard," added Phillips.
[...]
Phillips said the experiment showed that monkeys "are not random generators. They're more complex than that.
"They were quite interested in the screen, and they saw that when they typed a letter, something happened. There was a level of intention there."


"Beings" press a lot on the Sensuality button, obviously Dhamma isn't their first language, and infinite time is not a promise of liberation if no effort is made.

Uttiya Sutta (AN 10.95) wrote: the Tathāgata does not endeavor to have all the cosmos or half of it or a third of it led (to release) by means of (his Dhamma). But he does know this: ‘All those who have been led, are being led, or will be led (to release) from the cosmos have done so, are doing so, or will do so after having abandoned the five hindrances—those defilements of awareness that weaken discernment—having well-established [‘well-tuned’] their minds in the four establishings of mindfulness, and having developed, as they have come to be, the seven factors for awakening.

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Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta » Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:08 pm

That "text for nibbanization" is written on the wall of a wormwhole made up of a noble octuplet path which leads to a parallel universe. This wormhole can only be opened by a sammasambuddha for persons excepting paccekabuddhas. It is on a totally different dimension than the monkey-dimension, like blue whales dreaming for floating on cloud nine.

Without the help of a sammasambuddha, this "any given text" will always be only any one of "all texts minus nibbanization text".

And, "impersonal-volitional" is the wordings to be used rather than "impersonal-mechanical."

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  • "the one thing all the mistaken views have in common is the assump­tion that the self exists" ~ DN1
  • "It is an entirely and perfectly foolish idea" ~ MN22
  • The No-self doctrine is found only in the teaching of the Buddha.
  • No-self (anatta) means that there is no permanent, unchanging entity in anything animate or inanimate. ~ SN22.59

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cappuccino
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by cappuccino » Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:19 pm

Germann wrote:Nibbana should be already realized for the infinity of the past by all "people" without exception.
you're not taking into account the infinite amount of beings in the universe

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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by DNS » Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:41 pm

As I posted over at DWM, here was my response:
Germann wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:29 pm
This means that in the beginningless Buddhist past (the chain of conditioned dhammas does not have a first link) all possible events would have happened.
The texts don't say that. It states that there is no discernible beginning.
“Bhikkhus, this samsara is without discoverable beginning. A first point is not discerned of beings roaming and wandering on hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving. There comes a time, bhikkhus, when the great oceans dry up and evaporates and no longer exists, when the earth burns up and perishes and no longer exists, but still I say, there is no making an end of suffering for those beings roaming and wandering on hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving.” Samyutta Nikaya 22.99
And I'm sure you're familiar with the Fermi paradox? It states that considering the vast size of the universe, the thousands of known planets and solar systems; surely there are others where there is intelligent life, so the Fermi paradox asks "where are they?"

It's sort of similar to the infinity issue in Buddhism. If there is an infinite universe (forever expanding), surely there would have been some visitation (some possibility) of some alien beings visiting us at some time in our history. And surely at least one of them would have wiped us out? Then why are we still here?

One of the potential answers that I happen to agree with is that as intelligent beings advance technologically, eventually there is some catastrophic warfare, something similar to nukes or biological warfare that wipes out the planet or at the least, the intelligent - dominant species. Eventually a super nova occurs and eventually the solar system re-forms again, and the process starts all over.

Remember, for 99.9999% of earth's history, there were no intelligent species, not to the level of humans anyway. It could be the same on other planets too. And the solar systems are all great distances apart -- thousands of light years apart.

In the same way, humans attain enlightenment, nibbana, etc but not all of them. Some don't make it when the planet or intelligent species dies off. So according to traditional Buddhist cosmology, they would be reborn in another world system. And then the cycle continues as above . . .

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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by cappuccino » Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:43 pm

DNS wrote:the Fermi paradox asks "where are they?"
there is another possibility… aliens are here, you don't know

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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by DNS » Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:52 pm

cappuccino wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:43 pm
DNS wrote:the Fermi paradox asks "where are they?"
there is another possibility… aliens are here, you don't know
I don't think so. Extra-ordinary claims require extra-ordinary evidence. Anyway this is getting off-topic. I brought up the Fermi paradox only as an analogy, to show that in the same way it is likely that intelligent species are rare and when it occurs they tend to finish themselves off, in a similar way beings in samsara might be doing the same and therefore, all "don't make it" to full awakening / nibbana and therefore, according to traditional cosmology, rebirth, then get reborn in another world system.

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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta » Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:55 pm

DNS may not be very happy seeing the topic title, i reckon :thinking:


https://thedhamma.com/buddhaslists.pdf
The way to reasonable expectations is the Eightfold Middle Path

Shown below is the Four Noble Truths written as a mathematical expression. The Four Noble Truths have also been considered as a physician‘s prescription with the Buddha as the Great Physician, symbolically healing the world with the answers to our everyday suffering. The First Noble Truth describes the condition, the Second Noble Truth is the cause or diagnosis, the Third Noble Truth is the prognosis, and the Fourth Noble Truth is the treatment.

Image

Variables:

L = "un-enlightened" life
S = suffering
8 = eightfold middle path

All of the other symbols are mathematical symbols. The translation of the above mathematical expression with the definition of the mathematical symbols in italics:

1. For all life, that there exists, there is suffering.

2. Suffering exists because of unfulfilled expectations.

3. Therefore, it follows that, the logical negation of false expectations leads to no suffering.

4. By following the eightfold middle path, you have the absolute value of fulfilled expectations which are greater than or equal to the sum total of all expectations.
I wish i had a math-brain.

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  • "the one thing all the mistaken views have in common is the assump­tion that the self exists" ~ DN1
  • "It is an entirely and perfectly foolish idea" ~ MN22
  • The No-self doctrine is found only in the teaching of the Buddha.
  • No-self (anatta) means that there is no permanent, unchanging entity in anything animate or inanimate. ~ SN22.59

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cappuccino
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by cappuccino » Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:57 pm

DNS wrote: I don't think so. Extra-ordinary claims require extra-ordinary evidence.
there is no lack of evidence

it's perhaps difficult to find, if you're not seeking it

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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta » Thu Mar 07, 2019 5:28 pm

.

If one is seeking with the lights of Dhamma,

considering probability of attainment of Nibbana & that of bumping into an Alien :

P(N) P(A)
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  • "the one thing all the mistaken views have in common is the assump­tion that the self exists" ~ DN1
  • "It is an entirely and perfectly foolish idea" ~ MN22
  • The No-self doctrine is found only in the teaching of the Buddha.
  • No-self (anatta) means that there is no permanent, unchanging entity in anything animate or inanimate. ~ SN22.59

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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by dharmacorps » Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:42 pm

This thread reminds me why I don't care for math, or the abhidhamma. :tongue:

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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by binocular » Thu Mar 07, 2019 7:06 pm

DNS wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:52 pm
I brought up the Fermi paradox only as an analogy, to show that in the same way it is likely that intelligent species are rare and when it occurs they tend to finish themselves off /.../
Intelligent species tend to finish themselves off. Ha!
That can go at least two ways: 1. extinction through greed and hatred (how intelligent is that?); 2. extinction (?) through making an end to rebirth.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by DNS » Thu Mar 07, 2019 9:26 pm

binocular wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 7:06 pm
DNS wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:52 pm
I brought up the Fermi paradox only as an analogy, to show that in the same way it is likely that intelligent species are rare and when it occurs they tend to finish themselves off /.../
Intelligent species tend to finish themselves off. Ha!
That can go at least two ways: 1. extinction through greed and hatred (how intelligent is that?);
Correct, there is a difference between intelligence and wisdom (paññā). A species can be just intelligent enough to organize, form communities, civilization, and eventually nukes to finish themselves, but that doesn't mean they have paññā.
2. extinction (?) through making an end to rebirth.
Better option, but it is probably impossible for all members of a species to attain that at one moment, thus samsara continues . . .

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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by Volo » Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:33 am

Germann wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:29 pm
Nibbana should be already realized for the infinity of the past by all "people" without exception.
This works only if the number of beings is finite. But if number of beings is infinite, doesn't matter how long they try, samsara won't be finished.

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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by DooDoot » Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:17 am

Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:08 pm
Germann wrote:If the realization of Nibbana refers to possible events, then all the causes and conditions of the impersonal-mechanical achievement of Nibbana should have formed in the past.
And, "impersonal-volitional" is the wordings to be used rather than "impersonal-mechanical."
Is the above saying the achievement of Nibbana is due to "volition" (cetana)? For example, when defilements (kilesa) dissolve (vaya) & are uprooted (samugghāta), is this "dissolution" & "uprooting" due to volition? In other words, when whatever is subject to arising (samudaya) is subject to cessation (nirodha), is the "cessation" due to volition? For example, if I decide to destroy the root of a tree by using poison & covering the root with a dark plastic sheet to prevent sunlight to the root, is it my volition that decays, rots & destroys the tree root? :shrug:
For a person whose mind is concentrated, there is no need for an act of will, 'May I know & see things as they actually are.' It is in the nature of things that a person whose mind is concentrated knows & sees things as they actually are.

For a person who knows & sees things as they actually are, there is no need for an act of will, 'May I feel disenchantment.' It is in the nature of things that a person who knows & sees things as they actually are feels disenchantment.

Cetana Sutta: An Act of Will
:alien:
Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 5:28 pm
.If one is seeking with the lights of Dhamma... considering probability of attainment of Nibbana & that of bumping into an Alien : P(N) P(A)
My impression is the suttas teach experiencing an alien must occur before the attainment of Nibbana. For example:
He regards whatever phenomena there that are connected with form, feeling, perception, fabrications & consciousness, as impermanent, unsatisfactory, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a disintegration, emptiness, not-self. He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: ‘This is peace, this is exquisite—the calming of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the destruction of craving; dispassion; cessation; Nibbana.’

AN 9.36
:alien:
Last edited by DooDoot on Fri Mar 08, 2019 8:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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