Theravada against mathematics

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Germann
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You did not find an error

Post by Germann » Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:41 pm

In order for your proposal to be true, there must be a mistake in my proof.
Dan74-MkII wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 5:02 pm
Indeed! Except 'proof' is somewhat liberally used in the above.
The declaration of your desire is not the same as finding a mistake in my evidence.
Dan74-MkII wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 5:00 pm
What I think is erroneous in your statement above is that it is possible to have a process, deterministic or even random, that arrives at a desired outcome for the first time after infinitely many steps.
I proved that if now there is no last combination, then it is impossible:
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=33879&start=630#p509911

You did not find an error.

You did not notice that I did not dispute the thesis that it is possible to have a process, deterministic or even random, that arrives at a desired outcome for the first time after infinitely many steps? The thesis is not that it is impossible at all. The thesis is that this is not possible in this case.
Last edited by Germann on Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Dan74-MkII
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by Dan74-MkII » Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:55 pm

Yes, you win.

Now can we all go?

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Sherab
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by Sherab » Fri Apr 19, 2019 10:30 pm

cappuccino wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:18 am
Sherab wrote:
cappuccino wrote:

yes and no
Why yes?
Why no?
Why yes AND no?
consciousness depends on eyes, ears, it also doesn't
which consciousness?

chownah
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Re: The final combination of dhammas before the manifestation of Nibbana is an impossible event

Post by chownah » Sat Apr 20, 2019 2:50 am

binocular wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 2:34 pm
chownah wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 3:33 am
Don't you know? It is not a matter of what he is going to do.....he is doing it right now....this thread is what he is doing.....you are what he is doing.....
Everyone has to work out their salvation by themselves.
"Thus an instructed disciple of the noble ones reflects in this way: 'I am now being chewed up by fabrications. But in the past I was also chewed up by fabrications in the same way I am now being chewed up by present fabrications. And if I delight in future fabrications, then in the future I will be chewed up by fabrications in the same way I am now being chewed up by present fabrications.' Having reflected in this way, he becomes indifferent to past fabrications, does not delight in future fabrications, and is practicing for the sake of disenchantment, dispassion, and cessation with regard to present fabrications.".......Khajjaniya Sutta: Chewed Up.

chownah

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Pseudobabble
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by Pseudobabble » Sat Apr 20, 2019 12:33 pm

This thread is like samsara - it goes on and on and on, repeating the same patterns over and over, and the only way to resolve it is to leave.

Thanks for the object lesson Germann!
"Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is perception...such are fabrications...such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.'" - Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta


'Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.' - Genesis 3:19

'Some fart freely, some try to hide and silence it. Which one is correct?' - Saegnapha

null
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by null » Mon Apr 22, 2019 3:55 pm

The infinite monkey theorem is the conditional probability that one of them will write Shakespeare--given that they exist and are writing. This is where the analogy breaks down because monkeys who achieved nibbana wouldn't be here to attempt to do so.

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cappuccino
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by cappuccino » Mon Apr 22, 2019 5:00 pm

monkeys aren't writers

they've never written & they'll never write!

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Sherab
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by Sherab » Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:53 pm

null wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 3:55 pm
The infinite monkey theorem is the conditional probability that one of them will write Shakespeare--given that they exist and are writing. This is where the analogy breaks down because monkeys who achieved nibbana wouldn't be here to attempt to do so.
No, he already covered the case of the infinite monkey here: viewtopic.php?f=13&t=33879&start=630#p509911

Specifically, he said "If there are random events, the topic about the infinite monkeys theorem is valid" followed by "The final combination of dhammas before the manifestation of Nibbana is deterministic event A"..

If you go through his argument carefully, you will find that his argument is logically valid or mathematically correct as he puts it. Therefore, the only way for his proposition to fail is if you can prove that any one of the premises behind his argument is invalid or incorrect.

His proposition depends on the premise that there is free choice. I argued that there is choice but there is no free choice. I argued that choice, even though it is deteministic, does not mean that the future is pretermined due to uncertainty around the weightings given to the factors affecting the choice. In other words, many possible future paths are there before a choice is made. I implied that he might have confused determinism with fatalism.

His proposition depends on Nibbana being a combination of events within the realm of the dependent. I argued that Nibbana being unconditioned can never be an event within that realm. I also argued that if Nibbana is something realized, that realization cannot be done with the dependent arisen mind as that would ceased before the Nibbana event.

null
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by null » Tue Apr 23, 2019 12:24 am

Sherab wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:53 pm
null wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 3:55 pm
The infinite monkey theorem is the conditional probability that one of them will write Shakespeare--given that they exist and are writing. This is where the analogy breaks down because monkeys who achieved nibbana wouldn't be here to attempt to do so.
No, he already covered the case of the infinite monkey here: viewtopic.php?f=13&t=33879&start=630#p509911

Specifically, he said "If there are random events, the topic about the infinite monkeys theorem is valid" followed by "The final combination of dhammas before the manifestation of Nibbana is deterministic event A"..

If you go through his argument carefully, you will find that his argument is logically valid or mathematically correct as he puts it. Therefore, the only way for his proposition to fail is if you can prove that any one of the premises behind his argument is invalid or incorrect.

His proposition depends on the premise that there is free choice. I argued that there is choice but there is no free choice. I argued that choice, even though it is deteministic, does not mean that the future is pretermined due to uncertainty around the weightings given to the factors affecting the choice. In other words, many possible future paths are there before a choice is made. I implied that he might have confused determinism with fatalism.

His proposition depends on Nibbana being a combination of events within the realm of the dependent. I argued that Nibbana being unconditioned can never be an event within that realm. I also argued that if Nibbana is something realized, that realization cannot be done with the dependent arisen mind as that would ceased before the Nibbana event.
Germann's argument is more of an argument against beginningless time than anything else.

You can imagine many catastrophic / annihilation-causing events such that P(event_i) ≥ P(nibanna). In the limit, P(event_i) = 1, and by the observation that reality/consciousness still exists, either the possibility of event_i or beginningless time is false. The contradiction is about ``infinite time'', not nibanna specifically.

I don't know if the idea of beginningless dhamma in the Abhidhamma literally implies infinities in the set theoretic sense. I think that should be established with some references to scripture before anything else.

For the sake of argument, suppose Theravada literally teaches beginningless dhammas. It doesn't teach that time doesn't end. Whereas there is no beginning, there is an end. All beings could be on the way to nibbanna for everyone, but we're just not there yet. (The mathematical analogy would be higher cardinality infinity https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleph_number (disclaimer: I don't actually understand this).)

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Sherab
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by Sherab » Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:04 am

null wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 12:24 am
Germann's argument is more of an argument against beginningless time than anything else.
This is incorrect.

He has laid out his argument very clearly here viewtopic.php?f=13&t=33879&start=630#p509911.

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Pseudobabble
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by Pseudobabble » Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:59 am

The problem is, 'beginningless time' (if such a concept makes any sense), or infinite series, or whatever, is not something that Abhidhamma or Theravada has the authority to define. It is a matter for physicists. Attacking Theravada or Abhidhamma on the basis that it makes some mistakes in its cosmology is a child's game, fitting for people who want to win at child's games - Abhidhammikas lived thousands of years ago, before the advent of the scientific method. Of course they made some mistakes.

In point of fact, whether or not Germann's hypothesis is correct is irrelevant, despite what he or anyone else might say, for the simple reason that correctness on convoluted expositions and scholastic evolutions of doctrine is not the point. We are (supposed to be) here to practice for the end of suffering, not play tiddlywinks with children. What bearing does this byzantine mathematical argument have on those aspects of the doctrines which are actually relevant to guiding practice? I'm talking about salayatanas, khandas, paticca-samuppada, sati, samadhi, and so on - the practically relevant core. As far as I can see, none at all. Which makes this a fun pastime for Germann (the mathematician, who, by refusing to answer whether he as ever meditated, forces the conclusion that he has not), and a waste of time for everyone else (or an amusing arena for jokes, depending on your predisposition).
"Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is perception...such are fabrications...such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.'" - Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta


'Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.' - Genesis 3:19

'Some fart freely, some try to hide and silence it. Which one is correct?' - Saegnapha

binocular
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by binocular » Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:24 am

Pseudobabble wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:59 am
In point of fact, whether or not Germann's hypothesis is correct is irrelevant, despite what he or anyone else might say, for the simple reason that correctness on convoluted expositions and scholastic evolutions of doctrine is not the point. We are (supposed to be) here to practice for the end of suffering, not play tiddlywinks with children.
But how can we practice, when we have reason to suspect or even believe that our practice is irrelevant to ending suffering?

Case in point:
There are snakes in our garden, likely poisonous ones. If I get bitten, I will most likely die by the time I manage to come to the hospital, I live too far away from it. Or at least get gangrene, limb amuptation, kidney problems etc. etc. Even if I were to get to the hospital on time, and they would have the antidote ready, some snake poisons are such that the antidotes are mutually exclusive; if you don't know exactly what species of snake bit you, and you get the wrong antidote, that worsens the situation.

So I'm set up for a lot of suffering. (Somehow, the prospect of being bitten by a snake seems worse than having a heart attack, even though the latter is statistically more likely.)
How do I practice for the ending of suffering when 1. danger is imminent and a matter of life and death, and 2. I suspect my method is ineffective, and that it can't work, not even theoretically ?
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

chownah
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by chownah » Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:42 am

binocular wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:24 am
How do I practice for the ending of suffering when 1. danger is imminent and a matter of life and death, and 2. I suspect my method is ineffective, and that it can't work, not even theoretically ?
If I found myself in that situation I would find another practice.....the buddha however would probably advise to practice like your hair was on fire.....
chownah

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Sherab
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by Sherab » Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:51 am

binocular wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:24 am
Pseudobabble wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:59 am
In point of fact, whether or not Germann's hypothesis is correct is irrelevant, despite what he or anyone else might say, for the simple reason that correctness on convoluted expositions and scholastic evolutions of doctrine is not the point. We are (supposed to be) here to practice for the end of suffering, not play tiddlywinks with children.
But how can we practice, when we have reason to suspect or even believe that our practice is irrelevant to ending suffering?

Case in point:
There are snakes in our garden, likely poisonous ones. If I get bitten, I will most likely die by the time I manage to come to the hospital, I live too far away from it. Or at least get gangrene, limb amuptation, kidney problems etc. etc. Even if I were to get to the hospital on time, and they would have the antidote ready, some snake poisons are such that the antidotes are mutually exclusive; if you don't know exactly what species of snake bit you, and you get the wrong antidote, that worsens the situation.

So I'm set up for a lot of suffering. (Somehow, the prospect of being bitten by a snake seems worse than having a heart attack, even though the latter is statistically more likely.)
How do I practice for the ending of suffering when 1. danger is imminent and a matter of life and death, and 2. I suspect my method is ineffective, and that it can't work, not even theoretically ?
I agree with you.

It is why I am always on the lookout for those who challenged my beliefs. I want to know if my beliefs can withstand scrutiny. I also find that having my belief challenged forces me to examine the Buddha's teachings even more closely. I learned a lot through these processes. These are the two reasons why I participate on this forum and its sister's forum.

Personally, I am grateful to people like Germann.

However, I am also keenly aware that at the end of the day, it is the extent of integration of the Dhamma in one's life and the amount of cushion time that will be decisive.

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Germann
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The lifespan of satta each type of is defined in canonical comments

Post by Germann » Thu Jul 18, 2019 4:01 am

The lifespan of satta each type of is defined in canonical comments.

(For example, in the Abkhassara world, the life span of deities is eight cosmic cycles.) But deities, people, animals, etc. (satta), in fact, does not exist. There are combinations of dhammas. Each life is a finite sequence of combinations of dhammas.

Similarly, Shannon determined the duration of a chess game in 40 moves, and calculated the number of all possible combinations of chess moves, the number of all possible games. The number of Shannon is large, but of course.

In the same way, if the deadline for life is limited (and it is limited in Theravada), the number of all possible options for any life is large, but finite.

A finite set of lives is less than an infinite set of sequences of events that have already happened in the past. (And it is infinite, since there are no first among the conditioned dhammas that have arisen without preceding kammic causes.) The set of all possible lives is included in the set of all lives already lived.

As in any infinite time any chess game from among Shannon must be played, so in the endless past the life leading to Nibbana must be lived.

They say that there is a free choice. But if satta does not exist, then whose free choice? Free choice of Lord Shiva? If there is no satta, there is no free choice, there are only regular or random events.

Mathematically, Nibbana should have already been achieved.

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