the great rebirth debate

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
Dinsdale
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Dinsdale » Wed May 15, 2013 9:14 am

dxm_dxm wrote:
We certainly shouldn't believe everything we think.
I don't know of a thing required to be belived out of faith. The central point of it is the practice out of witch is wisdom supposed to come out.
Sure. But we all have existing beliefs, disbeliefs and preconceptions, and we can be quite attached to them. Buddhist practice is likely to challenge those.
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Polar Bear
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Polar Bear » Wed May 15, 2013 10:01 am

porpoise wrote:
Alex123 wrote:Adding a new entity which is not needed, and which adds more complications also violates Occam's razor.
So science says there was the big bang, where apparently everything came out of nothing with no prior cause. And religion says that God created everything, again presumably out of nothing but with God as the prior cause.
I'm not sure how conclusive Occams razor would be in this scenario.
The big bang theory doesn't necessarily entail that it came out of nothing, that's simply one idea floating around about what was going on before the big bang. There are other theories that include the big bang theory that do not suppose that it happened spontaneously without cause.

http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/ask_a ... 0629a.html

Also, there seems to be some misuse of words going on, there is a difference between established scientific fact, which you could colloquially shorten to 'science says', and scientific theories, which are basically metaphysical theories backed up by certain math equations and a certain amount of evidence but not enough to say that it is fact.

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Last edited by Polar Bear on Wed May 15, 2013 10:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

5heaps
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by 5heaps » Wed May 15, 2013 10:09 am

Alex123 wrote:
5heaps wrote:
polarbuddha101 wrote:There is no such thing as a logical proof for rebirth or kamma.

Rebirth is logically possible but it isn't logically necessitated. So please, don't even attempt to use logic to prove rebirth, it just looks bad.

:sage:
dharmakirti and all of his commentators for 1500 years have given incontrovertible reasonings for rebirth. unless youre a scholar, dont try to speak as if you have a clue what you are talking about.
I have read on rebirth by dharmakirti (or dignaga?), hoping to have some proof, and the arguments were REALLY weak. They may have worked for medieval Tibetan serfs, but would not stand against modern technological discoveries and modern knowledge in neurology, etc.
really, what did you read? since you have trouble understanding the concept of noself, i have hard time believing that you understand dharmakirti or dignaga. it takes several years to study them :)

also i doubt you even know how to follow indian debate format, so how could you possibly even follow his syllogisms?
A Japanese man has been arrested on suspicion of writing a computer virus that destroys and replaces files on a victim PC with manga images of squid, octopuses and sea urchins. Masato Nakatsuji, 27, of Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture, was quoted as telling police: "I wanted to see how much my computer programming skills had improved since the last time I was arrested."

5heaps
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by 5heaps » Wed May 15, 2013 10:14 am

polarbuddha101 wrote:
5heaps wrote:a particle, nor a collection of particles, nor an organ, etc, can produce 1st person experience
And you know this how?
because the function of a particle can only effect things of similar type ie. other particles.
sheer awareness that you are using right now does not impact physical things. it does not occupy space. you cant smash your awareness with a hammer
A Japanese man has been arrested on suspicion of writing a computer virus that destroys and replaces files on a victim PC with manga images of squid, octopuses and sea urchins. Masato Nakatsuji, 27, of Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture, was quoted as telling police: "I wanted to see how much my computer programming skills had improved since the last time I was arrested."

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Polar Bear
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Polar Bear » Wed May 15, 2013 10:26 am

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergence

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergentism

Mind you, I'm neither arguing for nor against rebirth or the continuance of mental activity post-mortem, but rather simply pointing that we don't know one way or the other.
Last edited by Polar Bear on Wed May 15, 2013 10:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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Polar Bear
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Polar Bear » Wed May 15, 2013 10:36 am

5heaps wrote: sheer awareness that you are using right now does not impact physical things.
Are you saying that mental activity doesn't impact the physical world or are you just talking about awareness? To be a buddhist, you have to accept that mental decisions can move the physical body that consciousness is bound to, otherwise you're an epiphenomenalist determinist.
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

5heaps
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by 5heaps » Wed May 15, 2013 10:38 am

polarbuddha101 wrote:The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergence
there is a difference between weak and strong emergence. the strong emergence of awareness is currently known as 'the hard problem of consciousness', for which there is not even any slight clue of how to deal with in the scientific community, nor has there been much progress in the last couple of decades.

also even in emergence theory, about which very little is known, new systems which emerge must still follow rules. for example, an infinite amount of something which physically obstructs, no matter how it is arranged, no matter what shape you make, no matter what complex function you make, can ever give rise to something that does not physically obstruct

A Japanese man has been arrested on suspicion of writing a computer virus that destroys and replaces files on a victim PC with manga images of squid, octopuses and sea urchins. Masato Nakatsuji, 27, of Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture, was quoted as telling police: "I wanted to see how much my computer programming skills had improved since the last time I was arrested."

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Alex123
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Alex123 » Wed May 15, 2013 10:42 am

porpoise wrote:So science says there was the big bang, where apparently everything came out of nothing with no prior cause.
We cannot study what was (if anything) before big bang, so question about prior causes is speculative.
porpoise wrote: And religion says that God created everything, again presumably out of nothing but with God as the prior cause.
Religion says that there was God who created and/or controls this universe. We can study the universe and how it develops, yet we can't seem to find God or his place. How can God be scientifically tested?
porpoise wrote:I'm not sure how conclusive Occams razor would be in this scenario.
If God is not needed to explain the mysteries, and if God is an extra layer - then it might be extra phenomenon.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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Alex123
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Alex123 » Wed May 15, 2013 10:48 am

5heaps wrote:really, what did you read?
I have a book where his arguments are presented.
For example there was example which goes something like: even though one's body doesn't change, the mind can still change, thus mind is independent of the body. This is totally false. Today through fMRI and other advanced machines we can see that physical processes can occur in the brain, even if they are not visible to naked eye. In medieval Tibet they didn't have these machines to see the physical changes that can occur prior or at the moment mind changes.

I am perfectly willing to believe that mind can exist without the brain if it is proven. For example: if person could answer simple questions with ZERO brain activity happening at that exact time (measured by fMRI and similar means). That would convince me.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

5heaps
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by 5heaps » Wed May 15, 2013 11:03 am

Alex123 wrote:
5heaps wrote:really, what did you read?
I have a book where his arguments are presented.
For example there was example which goes something like: even though one's body doesn't change, the mind can still change, thus mind is independent of the body. This is totally false. Today through fMRI and other advanced machines we can see that physical processes can occur in the brain, even if they are not visible to naked eye. In medieval Tibet they didn't have these machines to see the physical changes that can occur prior or at the moment mind changes.

I am perfectly willing to believe that mind can exist without the brain if it is proven. For example: if person could answer simple questions with ZERO activity in the brain responsible for that, then I would believe.
what is the book called?
you dont have a clue what you are talking about. in buddhism, all compounded things are momentary things. dharmakirti never says that the body is unchanging. the body cannot even endure for a second moment according to subtle impermanence, which is basic buddhism, let alone anything to do with emptiness theory.

a person will never answer a question with zero brain activity according to buddhism. they maintain that position but also the position that the brain and awareness are not synonymous
A Japanese man has been arrested on suspicion of writing a computer virus that destroys and replaces files on a victim PC with manga images of squid, octopuses and sea urchins. Masato Nakatsuji, 27, of Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture, was quoted as telling police: "I wanted to see how much my computer programming skills had improved since the last time I was arrested."

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Polar Bear » Wed May 15, 2013 11:06 am

5heaps wrote: there is a difference between weak and strong emergence. the strong emergence of awareness is currently known as 'the hard problem of consciousness', for which there is not even any slight clue of how to deal with in the scientific community, nor has there been much progress in the last couple of decades.
I just think it's important to note that we don't know that strong emergence of consciousness isn't the case just like we don't know that consciousness isn't a fundamental aspect of the universe. We just can't arrive at an infallible philosophical answer or argument that proves things to be one way or the other. So for now we have to rely on inductive arguments, inferences, faith, or agnosticism to come to provisional conclusions (or to avoid coming to a conclusion one way or the other).
Last edited by Polar Bear on Wed May 15, 2013 11:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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Polar Bear
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Polar Bear » Wed May 15, 2013 11:10 am

Alex123 wrote:
I am perfectly willing to believe that mind can exist without the brain if it is proven. For example: if person could answer simple questions with ZERO brain activity happening at that exact time (measured by fMRI and similar means). That would convince me.
You will never be convinced then my friend. It seems rather obvious that at minimum the brain is the conduit or medium through which consciousness expresses itself in the physical world or to put it another way, through which conscious decisions move the physical body and through which data from the physical world, such as smell, sight etc. is processed and fed into conscious experience.
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

5heaps
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by 5heaps » Wed May 15, 2013 11:25 am

polarbuddha101 wrote:
5heaps wrote: there is a difference between weak and strong emergence. the strong emergence of awareness is currently known as 'the hard problem of consciousness', for which there is not even any slight clue of how to deal with in the scientific community, nor has there been much progress in the last couple of decades.
I just think it's important to note that we don't know that strong emergence of consciousness isn't the case just like we don't know that consciousness isn't a fundamental aspect of the universe. We just can't arrive at an infallible philosophical answer or argument that proves things to be one way or the other. So for now we have to rely on inductive arguments, inferences, faith, or agnosticism to come to provisional conclusions (or to avoid coming to a conclusion one way or the other).
you assert this because the scientific tradition and its lineage never developed the capacity of samadhi. such people are more akin to worms than proper humans, since they are only able to concentrate for a couple of seconds at most (this has been shown scientifically through neural coorelates). they dont have a clue about observing the mind directly, that is why buddhists state that until the 2nd jhana where the qualities of the mind are directly ascertained there is no ascertainment (though awareness of course does appear constantly), and so the person is neccessarily left with wrong conceptions regarding mind.
A Japanese man has been arrested on suspicion of writing a computer virus that destroys and replaces files on a victim PC with manga images of squid, octopuses and sea urchins. Masato Nakatsuji, 27, of Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture, was quoted as telling police: "I wanted to see how much my computer programming skills had improved since the last time I was arrested."

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Alex123
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Alex123 » Wed May 15, 2013 11:51 am

5heaps wrote:a person will never answer a question with zero brain activity according to buddhism. they maintain that position but also the position that the brain and awareness are not synonymous
Memories, skills, personality, behavior depends on the brain so much that if brain is damaged, they are damaged.
When a person dies and brain activity is zero, how can we speak of continued existence and carry over of mental qualities?

5heaps wrote:what is the book called?
I got his excerpts from "the Inner science of Buddhist practice". There are also teachings from various Tibetans and from Vasubandhu.

There is this quote that goes: "Moreover, the increase and decrease of wisdom and the like take place through differing actions of the mind, without any increase or decrease in the body."

Alteration to prefrontal cortex, temporal and frontal lobes (for example) can do that. It can diminish or increase religiosity, it can affect abstract reasoning, personality, decision making...
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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Alex123
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Alex123 » Wed May 15, 2013 12:06 pm

polarbuddha101 wrote:You will never be convinced then my friend.
I can, if there is evidence. There are lots of evidence that puts difficulty on rebirth. Of course I could be wrong.
polarbuddha101 wrote: It seems rather obvious that at minimum the brain is the conduit or medium through which consciousness expresses itself in the physical world or to put it another way, through which conscious decisions move the physical body and through which data from the physical world, such as smell, sight etc. is processed and fed into conscious experience.


The tests, of course, should take those things in account. It would be interesting to check and try to disprove examples of brain->mind. link
in instances of some sort of brain damage (e.g. caused by automobile accidents, drug abuse, pathological diseases, etc.), it is always the case that the mental substance and/or properties of the person are significantly changed or compromised. If the mind were a completely separate substance from the brain, how could it be possible that every single time the brain is injured, the mind is also injured? Indeed, it is very frequently the case that one can even predict and explain the kind of mental or psychological deterioration or change that human beings will undergo when specific parts of their brains are damaged. So the question for the dualist to try to confront is how can all of this be explained if the mind is a separate and immaterial substance from, or if its properties are ontologically independent of, the brain link
What is the difference between brain's functions & body controlled by mind vs body being controlled by brain's functions alone? The occkham's razor seems to favor the latter...
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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