Theravada against mathematics

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
budo
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by budo » Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:27 pm

Germann wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:26 pm
budo wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:23 pm
Germann wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:21 pm

If the Path does not end with the attainment of Nibbana, then Nibbana is unreachable.
The universe does not have an end, the path does have an end, Nibbana does not have a start or an end nor beginning, neither both and neither not both.
The flow of conditioned dhammas must stop. And the number of past lives - segments of this stream in the past - is infinite. The number of "monkeys" is infinite, and they should have already "printed" the termination algorithm.
Not if the past is the same as the future for a non-ariya being.

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Germann
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by Germann » Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:28 pm

budo wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:27 pm
Germann wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:26 pm
budo wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:23 pm


The universe does not have an end, the path does have an end, Nibbana does not have a start or an end nor beginning, neither both and neither not both.
The flow of conditioned dhammas must stop. And the number of past lives - segments of this stream in the past - is infinite. The number of "monkeys" is infinite, and they should have already "printed" the termination algorithm.
Not if the past is the same as the future for a non-ariya being.
Why not?

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Dan74-MkII
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by Dan74-MkII » Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:33 pm

If I understand correctly, there's a bunch of assumptions being made here as others have pointed out.

1. Everything we deal with, except possibly for time, is finite - finitely many possible actions, emotions, volitions, mental states, etc.

2. If time stretches back to infinite past, then every possible event will have happened at some stage.

3. Nibbana is one possible such configuration, so one's possible lives cannot stretch back into infinite past, otherwise Nibbana must've been attained at some stage as one of the possible configurations.


Well, it's obvious that we can cycle through the same finite states for ever without exhausting many possibilities at all.

And what is to say that there aren't infinitely many possible states? Then one can have a timeline stretching back into infinite past with each configuration uniquely different and still not exhausting all.

And then, finally, Nibbana is said to be unconditioned, uncaused, so it appears to be outside such framework anyway.

budo
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by budo » Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:46 pm

Germann wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:28 pm
budo wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:27 pm
Germann wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:26 pm

The flow of conditioned dhammas must stop. And the number of past lives - segments of this stream in the past - is infinite. The number of "monkeys" is infinite, and they should have already "printed" the termination algorithm.
Not if the past is the same as the future for a non-ariya being.
Why not?
If a ball thrown in one direction in the air has only in its probability to go down, and goes up and down for an infinite amount of time, the ball will never go sideways.

Likewise if a monkey only presses the letters A, F, D, and not all the other letters, then it will only press those letters for an infinite amount of time.

If there is cause and effect, then there is no random, then events are set in stone to repeat in the exact same way, in a loop, in a cycle (since there is motion).

Now if a monkey, lets say stumbles upon a "Buddha event" so to speak, which pushes it off the track/script/dream, which causes the monkey to no longer be a monkey, then the other monkeys (or non-ariyas) are not affected by this event and will continue to type "A, F, D". These monkeys will never be able to type "Nibbana" as long as they are monkeys. Also, since becoming an Ariya involves the destruction of a monkey, then there is no vacuum left in space, and the other monkeys will never notice what has happened nor be affected by it, and there will always be the same monkeys typing away on their typewriters as if nothing changed.

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Germann
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by Germann » Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:53 pm

budo wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:46 pm
Likewise if a monkey only presses the letters A, F, D, and not all the other letters, then it will only press those letters for an infinite amount of time.
All the dhammas listed in the Abhidhamma are possible events. All "buttons" are functioning.

budo
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by budo » Fri Mar 08, 2019 4:01 pm

Germann wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:53 pm
budo wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:46 pm
Likewise if a monkey only presses the letters A, F, D, and not all the other letters, then it will only press those letters for an infinite amount of time.
All the dhammas listed in the Abhidhamma are possible events. All "buttons" are functioning.
And? If consciousness is made of energy that is recycled and the being who leaves this recycling process to a new non-energy that will never be identifiable and considered destroyed, that old energy will still be recycled even though they are no longer a part of it (and in actuality were never a part of it). In other words, there could also be an infinite amount of beings being created who are unenlightened.

This whole issue with your original post is that you try to categorize nibbana as you wrote here
Nibbana should be already realized for the infinity of the past by all "people" without exception.
your "Should" implies you understand Nibbana.

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Germann
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by Germann » Fri Mar 08, 2019 4:20 pm

budo wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 4:01 pm
In other words, there could also be an infinite amount of beings being created who are unenlightened.
A stream of dhammas is not created; there is no first non-constant dhamma without kammic reasons and conditions (without preceding dhammas). Streams do not bud off each other.

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Nicolas
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by Nicolas » Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:10 pm

Let's make this thought experiment:
Let's suppose there is a light that has always existed but has never been turned on, and at some point in time (which we will call "T"), the light turns on (for a reason which we need not pintpoint for the purpose of this experiment).
Now, before T, the light is off and has always been, yet the light being on is a possibility in the future (because it does indeed happen at time T). This in no way means that at some point before T, the switch was on.

It is possible that there is no beginning to time and that something that has never happened before can happen in the future -- having no beginning to time does not mean that everything has already happened.

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Germann
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by Germann » Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:45 pm

Nicolas wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:10 pm
having no beginning to time does not mean that everything has already happened.
If there is no one who freely chooses events, and there are only totally predefined and random events, then all possible events for the infinity of the past have really happened.

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Nicolas
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by Nicolas » Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:52 pm

Germann wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:45 pm
If there is no one who freely chooses events, and there are only totally predefined and random events, then all possible events for the infinity of the past have really happened.
There is no random, it's all cause-and-effect, everything is conditioned.

Also, how do you define "possible"?

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Germann
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by Germann » Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:36 pm

Nicolas wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:52 pm
Germann wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:45 pm
If there is no one who freely chooses events, and there are only totally predefined and random events, then all possible events for the infinity of the past have really happened.
There is no random, it's all cause-and-effect, everything is conditioned.

Also, how do you define "possible"?
A totally deterministic event has a probability = 1. A possible event has a probability greater than 0. All events on an infinite period of time have either probability = 1 or probability = 0. No random is one of the cases - it does not cancel the probability theory.
Last edited by Germann on Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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cappuccino
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by cappuccino » Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:39 pm

the past isn't necessarily infinite…… we know not the beginning, that's all

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Germann
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by Germann » Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:44 pm

cappuccino wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:39 pm
the past isn't necessarily infinite…… we know not the beginning, that's all
There was no first link in the chain of dhammas, which means an infinite chain.

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cappuccino
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by cappuccino » Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:46 pm

infinity can be smaller or larger, it's relative

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Nicolas
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by Nicolas » Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:55 pm

Germann wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:36 pm
A totally deterministic event has a probability = 1. A possible event has a probability greater than 0. All events on an infinite period of time have either probability = 1 or probability = 0. No random is one of the cases - it does not cancel the probability theory.
Actually, strictly speaking, mathematically, possible events can have a probability equal to 0.
For example, if I ask you to pick a random number, and, supposing you truly randomly pick the number out of an infinite amount of options (this doesn't reflect reality since we don't truly randomly pick from all numbers), the probability that you will pick a particular number is 0, and yet it is possible for you to choose that number.

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