Idealism

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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DooDoot
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Re: Idealism

Post by DooDoot » Sat Jun 22, 2019 9:22 pm

Ceisiwr wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 9:20 pm
When you experience water what do you experience outside of coldness (or hotness), wetness etc? Nothing.
The water already exists. It is experienced afterwards.

This said, much of what the water does, is not experienced. :hello: :pig: :jedi: :strawman: :redherring:
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Idealism

Post by Ceisiwr » Sat Jun 22, 2019 9:39 pm

DooDoot wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 9:22 pm
Ceisiwr wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 9:20 pm
When you experience water what do you experience outside of coldness (or hotness), wetness etc? Nothing.
The water already exists. It is experienced afterwards.

This said, much of what the water does, is not experienced. :hello: :pig: :jedi: :strawman: :redherring:

How can you know something exists apart from its qualities?

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DooDoot
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Re: Idealism

Post by DooDoot » Sat Jun 22, 2019 9:48 pm

Ceisiwr wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 9:39 pm
How can you know something exists apart from its qualities?
How can you know smoking cigarettes is gradually causing cancer until many years later? There are "external" signs that water therapy is having a healing effect. Yet there are obviously subtle "inner" phenomena the mind cannot perceive.

Regardless, this topic is about "compatibility" with Dhamma (rather than about "compatibility" with New Age Foo-Foo) .

:focus:
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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Ceisiwr
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Re: Idealism

Post by Ceisiwr » Sat Jun 22, 2019 9:53 pm

DooDoot wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 9:48 pm
Ceisiwr wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 9:39 pm
How can you know something exists apart from its qualities?
How can you know smoking cigarettes is gradually causing cancer until many years later? There are "external" signs that water therapy is having a healing effect. Yet there are obviously subtle "inner" phenomena the mind cannot perceive.

Regardless, this topic is about "compatibility" with Dhamma (rather than about "compatibility" with New Age Foo-Foo) .

:focus:

I think that’s the first time I’ve been accused of being new age lol, besides this is quite an old philosophy.

binocular
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Re: Idealism

Post by binocular » Sat Jun 22, 2019 9:54 pm

Ceisiwr wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 9:02 pm
I’m saying that world is exactly as we perceive it bar errors in judgment, yes. In essence I’m rejecting the noumenon.
Who is the judge whether something is an error or not?

If perception would truly be central to your view, you'd have to allow for individual differences and consider them valid, and not errors.
But that's the one thing you adamantly refuse to do.

In terms of interaction with other people, your idealism has exactly the same dogmatic, authoritarian function as naive realism.


And to tie this is with the OP:
It can be said that our perceptions are all that we can work with. Not that our perceptions are all there is (which would be some kind of idealism). As such, there is an individualism (which is not allowed for neither in naive realism, nor in your type of idealism).
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

lostitude
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Re: Idealism

Post by lostitude » Sat Jun 22, 2019 10:11 pm

Ceisiwr wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 9:20 pm
DooDoot wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 9:17 pm
Ceisiwr wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 9:12 pm
Enjoy
If the beach was only a perception, I would not require the special buoyancy & effects of water for my aqua physical therapy. Plus I would not need to wear a wetsuit for the cold. :thinking:
When you experience water what do you experience outside of coldness (or hotness), wetness etc? Nothing.
No. You also experience that water, like anything else, obeys specific laws which make it completely unreasonable to believe that such consistency in physical properties that are unknown even to you is all made up in your mind. In that regard idealism is a lot less credible than materialism and if materialism is doubtful to you then idealism should be preposterous.
In the last 4 pages of this thread your premise has been that if materialism is false then idealism is true, thus you then try to find arguments against materialism and finding one is enough to you to accept idealism as the truth. Yet the simple fact that everything in this world is subjected to the laws of physics and that said laws are mostly beyond your knowledge and mental control is enough to defeat the view that the world is a mere idea.
Another impasse in your logic I think is the fact that what we call "matter" does not need to be directly experienced to be said to exist. At the end of the day the essence of matter will never be known, what matters is that we interact with it and that's what makes it real.

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Ceisiwr
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Re: Idealism

Post by Ceisiwr » Sat Jun 22, 2019 11:03 pm

lostitude wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 10:11 pm
Ceisiwr wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 9:20 pm
DooDoot wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 9:17 pm

If the beach was only a perception, I would not require the special buoyancy & effects of water for my aqua physical therapy. Plus I would not need to wear a wetsuit for the cold. :thinking:
When you experience water what do you experience outside of coldness (or hotness), wetness etc? Nothing.
No. You also experience that water, like anything else, obeys specific laws which make it completely unreasonable to believe that such consistency in physical properties that are unknown even to you is all made up in your mind. In that regard idealism is a lot less credible than materialism and if materialism is doubtful to you then idealism should be preposterous.
In the last 4 pages of this thread your premise has been that if materialism is false then idealism is true, thus you then try to find arguments against materialism and finding one is enough to you to accept idealism as the truth. Yet the simple fact that everything in this world is subjected to the laws of physics and that said laws are mostly beyond your knowledge and mental control is enough to defeat the view that the world is a mere idea.
Another impasse in your logic I think is the fact that what we call "matter" does not need to be directly experienced to be said to exist. At the end of the day the essence of matter will never be known, what matters is that we interact with it and that's what makes it real.


Those laws of physics, how do you come to know them? My argument is that of empiricism. All I can know are mental phenomena. I can’t know anything which is mind independent and so it seems foolish to claim that such a thing exists. In order to do so you have to rely upon conjecture. As for the rest, the Dhamma teaches that we do indeed construct our world.

Let me ask you, when you eat an apple do you know anything about it apart from its qualities such as hardness, softness, redness and sweetness all of which are mental phenomenon? If you don’t then why assert that it is comprised of something else called matter of which you have no experience whatsoever?

Dinsdale
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Re: Idealism

Post by Dinsdale » Sat Jun 22, 2019 11:27 pm

Ceisiwr wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 11:03 pm
lostitude wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 10:11 pm
Ceisiwr wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 9:20 pm


When you experience water what do you experience outside of coldness (or hotness), wetness etc? Nothing.
No. You also experience that water, like anything else, obeys specific laws which make it completely unreasonable to believe that such consistency in physical properties that are unknown even to you is all made up in your mind. In that regard idealism is a lot less credible than materialism and if materialism is doubtful to you then idealism should be preposterous.
In the last 4 pages of this thread your premise has been that if materialism is false then idealism is true, thus you then try to find arguments against materialism and finding one is enough to you to accept idealism as the truth. Yet the simple fact that everything in this world is subjected to the laws of physics and that said laws are mostly beyond your knowledge and mental control is enough to defeat the view that the world is a mere idea.
Another impasse in your logic I think is the fact that what we call "matter" does not need to be directly experienced to be said to exist. At the end of the day the essence of matter will never be known, what matters is that we interact with it and that's what makes it real.


Those laws of physics, how do you come to know them? My argument is that of empiricism. All I can know are mental phenomena. I can’t know anything which is mind independent and so it seems foolish to claim that such a thing exists. In order to do so you have to rely upon conjecture. As for the rest, the Dhamma teaches that we do indeed construct our world.

Let me ask you, when you eat an apple do you know anything about it apart from its qualities such as hardness, softness, redness and sweetness all of which are mental phenomenon? If you don’t then why assert that it is comprised of something else called matter of which you have no experience whatsoever?
It's a fair criticism, since the four great elements do look very much like noumena.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noumenon

On the other hand it makes sense that there is something "out there", since internal experience seems to rely on external input.

The real question is: "What difference does it make?"
Buddha save me from new-agers!

lostitude
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Re: Idealism

Post by lostitude » Sat Jun 22, 2019 11:35 pm

:alien:
Those laws of physics, how do you come to know them? My argument is that of empiricism. All I can know are mental phenomena.
Your logic is mistaken.
Yes I come to know the laws of physics through observation. That does in no way mean that matter is a mental phenomenon. Only that my observation is. Your mistake imo is to conflate those two different things.
I can’t know anything which is mind independent
That is simply not true. When you sleep, I assure you I still exist. Matter, and your mental representation of matter, are two different things.

Let me ask you, when you eat an apple do you know anything about it apart from its qualities such as hardness, softness, redness and sweetness all of which are mental phenomenon?
Of course I do. Two remarks here:
1/When I eat an apple, I get tons of feedback through all my senses, and they never, ever contradict. "Bugs in the Matrix" only happen in Hollywood movies. When feeling my teeth plunge into the apple, I hear it just when it happens, I feel a sour slightly sour taste which makes me realize that it wasn't quite ripe, I see the shape of my teeth in the part I just bit, which perfectly matches my teeth even though I have no idea what my teeth look like and would need a mirror to check their shape. Please explain how the brain can come up with such unfailing consistency and provide knowledge and information it does NOT have. Because that's the implication of idealism.
2/The qualities of the apple are not mental phenomena. Only your perceptions of those are. If matter was no different from ideas then there would be no need to differentiate a tree (as a physical object) and, say, friendship (as a concept). See, friendship is governed by no law of physics, you can't interact with it, all you can do with it is think about it. A tree however has volume and weight, you can carry it around, you can build a house with it, you can climb it, it can fall on you and kill you. An idea doesn't have such properties. That's why anything with such properties is seen as different from ideas, and the name of this category of things has been named "matter". Sorry to go back to the basics but it seemed necessary.

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Re: Idealism

Post by DooDoot » Sun Jun 23, 2019 12:34 am

Dinsdale wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 11:27 pm
The real question is: "What difference does it make?"
:goodpost: It seems the Buddha taught liberation was "non-attachment & non-craving" rather than "non-perception". :thumbsup:
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/paticcasamuppada
https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/anapanasati

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Ceisiwr
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Re: Idealism

Post by Ceisiwr » Sun Jun 23, 2019 1:15 am

lostitude
Yes I come to know the laws of physics through observation. That does in no way mean that matter is a mental phenomenon. Only that my observation is. Your mistake imo is to conflate those two different things.
You assert matter without evidence for its existence. You admit that all you can know is mental in nature yet then leap to the claim that some substance exists outside of these phenomena.

Note that I do not claim that matter is a mental phenomenon. I doubt that such a thing (matter) exists or, to put it another way, matter is not known by me and cannot be known by me.

That is simply not true. When you sleep, I assure you I still exist. Matter, and your mental representation of matter, are two different things.
I don’t doubt it for a moment. That doesn’t disprove idealism only solipsism. Don’t conflate the two.

Of course I do. Two remarks here:
1/When I eat an apple, I get tons of feedback through all my senses, and they never, ever contradict. "Bugs in the Matrix" only happen in Hollywood movies. When feeling my teeth plunge into the apple, I hear it just when it happens, I feel a sour slightly sour taste which makes me realize that it wasn't quite ripe, I see the shape of my teeth in the part I just bit, which perfectly matches my teeth even though I have no idea what my teeth look like and would need a mirror to check their shape.

Everything you have described here is a mental event.

Please explain how the brain can come up with such unfailing consistency and provide knowledge and information it does NOT have. Because that's the implication of idealism.
The brain is a mental phenomenon.

2/The qualities of the apple are not mental phenomena. Only your perceptions of those are. If matter was no different from ideas then there would be no need to differentiate a tree (as a physical object) and, say, friendship (as a concept). See, friendship is governed by no law of physics, you can't interact with it, all you can do with it is think about it. A tree however has volume and weight, you can carry it around, you can build a house with it, you can climb it, it can fall on you and kill you. An idea doesn't have such properties. That's why anything with such properties is seen as different from ideas, and the name of this category of things has been named "matter". Sorry to go back to the basics but it seemed necessary.
Qualities are mental phenomena by definition. You assume a “thing” of which we experience said qualities without demonstrating how you can know such a thing exists apart from its qualities. You can’t because all you can know are phenomenal qualities. Nothing more, nothing less.

A tree is an idea, friendship is an idea and a feeling. A tree is an idea, one which can kill you. Friendships can also kill you despite being feeling and idea.
Last edited by Ceisiwr on Sun Jun 23, 2019 1:23 am, edited 5 times in total.

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Ceisiwr
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Re: Idealism

Post by Ceisiwr » Sun Jun 23, 2019 1:16 am

Dinsdale wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 11:27 pm
Ceisiwr wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 11:03 pm
lostitude wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 10:11 pm

No. You also experience that water, like anything else, obeys specific laws which make it completely unreasonable to believe that such consistency in physical properties that are unknown even to you is all made up in your mind. In that regard idealism is a lot less credible than materialism and if materialism is doubtful to you then idealism should be preposterous.
In the last 4 pages of this thread your premise has been that if materialism is false then idealism is true, thus you then try to find arguments against materialism and finding one is enough to you to accept idealism as the truth. Yet the simple fact that everything in this world is subjected to the laws of physics and that said laws are mostly beyond your knowledge and mental control is enough to defeat the view that the world is a mere idea.
Another impasse in your logic I think is the fact that what we call "matter" does not need to be directly experienced to be said to exist. At the end of the day the essence of matter will never be known, what matters is that we interact with it and that's what makes it real.


Those laws of physics, how do you come to know them? My argument is that of empiricism. All I can know are mental phenomena. I can’t know anything which is mind independent and so it seems foolish to claim that such a thing exists. In order to do so you have to rely upon conjecture. As for the rest, the Dhamma teaches that we do indeed construct our world.

Let me ask you, when you eat an apple do you know anything about it apart from its qualities such as hardness, softness, redness and sweetness all of which are mental phenomenon? If you don’t then why assert that it is comprised of something else called matter of which you have no experience whatsoever?
It's a fair criticism, since the four great elements do look very much like noumena.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noumenon

On the other hand it makes sense that there is something "out there", since internal experience seems to rely on external input.

The real question is: "What difference does it make?"

Who’s was a fair criticism?

SamKR
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Re: Idealism

Post by SamKR » Sun Jun 23, 2019 3:18 am

Hi Ceisiwr,

Your views presented in your posts in this thread are mostly compatible with the Dhamma, IMO.

I understand your views and agree with you. However, it is a very very difficult task to convince others or argue about why this view is closer to actuality than materialism.

As the Buddha says in Kaccyanagotta Sutta, the world clings to two extreme views: inherent/independent existence (like so called "real" matter :D) & absolute non-existence. It is hard to be convinced of the middle view - the nature of the direct/transient empty arisings, and apparently non-empty "things" fabricated by conceptual mind - due to the astoundingly sophisticated, deep, immense, and intricate illusion/delusion rolling on non-stop.

This massive-scale illusion is present in such an incredible way that it self-sustains by completely validating materialism, realism and all common-sense-world-views in such a deepest level possible that it is virtually impossible to come out of it and realize what's actually going on.
Last edited by SamKR on Sun Jun 23, 2019 3:40 am, edited 3 times in total.

chownah
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Re: Idealism

Post by chownah » Sun Jun 23, 2019 3:27 am

Ceisiwr wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 6:31 pm
In my view there is no evidence for matter and so Idealism seems to be the more logical position. Even with Nama-Rupa we can only experience the 4 great elements as perception. Is this compatible with the Dhamma?
I think your post hints at something important but I don't think that the question you pose leads to a better understanding of what I see as being hinted at.

There is no evidence for matter: If we take this statement as taking up a certain paradigm then I think we can say that there is no evidence for anything. This can be seen as being a comment on anatta (no(t)-self) in that ultimately there is no evidence which concusively indicates that there are distinctly existing "things" with definable boundaries and characteristics if taken in isolation.....for me this kind of thinking is a strong support for anatta.

....but.....in the world we use conventional speech which is of course embedded in a conventional world view for most people most of the time. In the conventional, there is evidence for matter....namely all of the effects which can be explained and all the things which can be predicted through the acceptance of the fabricated idea of matter and its fabricated characteristics....it doesn't matter that all of the evidence is actually based on sensory inputs after all the entire "world" is fabricated from sensory inputs....I guess it is sort of like the world (or all of the "things" in it) form a mutually supporting paradigm which has practical benefits and so is eagerly embraced by one and all.
chownah

lostitude
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Re: Idealism

Post by lostitude » Sun Jun 23, 2019 9:02 am

Ceisiwr wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 1:15 am

You assert matter without evidence for its existence. You admit that all you can know is mental in nature yet then leap to the claim that some substance exists outside of these phenomena.
That's not true. As I said before, the very fact that there is unfallible consistency in the world we experience is evidence supporting the reality of matter. And conversely, this same observation is pretty conclusive evidence that the reverse view does not make sense.

Note that I do not claim that matter is a mental phenomenon. I doubt that such a thing (matter) exists or, to put it another way, matter is not known by me and cannot be known by me.
That's weird because further down you claim that a tree is a mental phenomenon and than an apple and its qualities are mental phenomena. I see a contradiction here.
I don’t doubt it for a moment. That doesn’t disprove idealism only solipsism. Don’t conflate the two.
Then could you elaborate on your personal take on idealism? That's a pretty loose term and some of your objections really sound like a complete negation of the external world to me. I don't see how you can doubt that matter exists yet "not doubt for a moment" that I do. Again to me that's another contradiction.
1/When I eat an apple, I get tons of feedback through all my senses, and they never, ever contradict. "Bugs in the Matrix" only happen in Hollywood movies. When feeling my teeth plunge into the apple, I hear it just when it happens, I feel a sour slightly sour taste which makes me realize that it wasn't quite ripe, I see the shape of my teeth in the part I just bit, which perfectly matches my teeth even though I have no idea what my teeth look like and would need a mirror to check their shape.
Everything you have described here is a mental event.
Yes but that was not my point. My point is that they have absolute consistency. Which your mind is incapable of, as demonstrated by the countless lapses and mind bugs you experience in daily life.
Please explain how the brain can come up with such unfailing consistency and provide knowledge and information it does NOT have. Because that's the implication of idealism.
The brain is a mental phenomenon.
Indeed, I meant the mind. But you haven't brought any argument to solve this problem posed by your position.
Qualities are mental phenomena by definition. You assume a “thing” of which we experience said qualities without demonstrating how you can know such a thing exists apart from its qualities.
It is a truism to say that any thing exists based on it's qualities. I don't think anyone has ever denied that. Such a remark does nothing to justify idealism and-or refute materialism.
However the first part is not true: qualities are not mental phenomena, when you see every single day of your life that your mind is incapable of knowing, let alone generating such qualities.
In order to know the weight of the tree you have to measure it somehow, and you can make countless different mathematial calculations that you have been taught, i.e. that have not been made up by you, which allow you to predict the exact behavior of that tree trunk in water, in fire, when you throw it in the air, the exact weight each of it's cut parts will have based on the weight of the whole, and more importantly, that tree trunk will display properties that will at first seem odd to you, only to turn out to be justified by a law of physics that you were not aware of.
So feel free to believe that your mind is capable of all that, that it is an infinitely powerful simulator that never makes a single mistake, but holding such a view is considerably LESS sensible than simply assuming that all those things are external to you.
A tree is an idea, friendship is an idea and a feeling.
Equating a tree and friendship even though those two objects of thought produce completely different experiences, does not make any sense at all. The very fact that such a distinction is made between "physical objects" and "thoughts" is an obvious testament to that. Of course the observations you make all happen in your mind, but said observations are completely different depending on whether the object is physical or mental. That's what the mind-matter distiction accounts for.
Friendships can also kill you despite being feeling and idea.
Now sorry but you seem to just be playing on words here. Friendship as a concept can't directly kill anyone and you know that. A tree falling on you can, and in that sense it is completely different from the ideas in your head that are harmless. No matter how hard you visualize a tree falling on you and killing you, it will never have the same effect as an actual tree falling on you and killing you. I don't see how you can accept that and still deny the rest...

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