the great rebirth debate

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

Post by binocular » Thu May 16, 2013 11:53 am

Alex123 wrote:I didn't say that they suffered. I said that they "still felt pain".
What's your point?

It is a well known fact that alcohol impairs judgement. It can also be observed.
So? What conclusions do you draw from that?

What we cannot observe is consciousness existing without the brain.
Yes, that may be true, if we disregard the problems around what the term "consciousness" means and if we posit that the only relevant way to observe anything is by third-party observers.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

binocular
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by binocular » Thu May 16, 2013 11:54 am

Alex123 wrote:This is what developed over billion of years of evolution. Lifeforms surviving and passing corresponding genes. Those lifeforms that didn't survive and didn't pass genes, we don't have alive today. Speculations about "The Self" is very recent (compared to billion years) phenomenon, perhaps few thousand years old.
I really hate to repeat myself:

If you posit that "biological givens" as understood by modern Western science are more basic and override any specific religious or particular notions, and that all people are essentially the same, regardless of their religion or their spiritual advancement - then you're simply elevating modern Western science to your utmost authority. In which case, why bother with Buddhism.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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Alex123
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Alex123 » Thu May 16, 2013 12:01 pm

kirk5a wrote:You're missing the point. I'm not saying the radio example should be taken as the correct model for consciousness. What it demonstrates is that those who assume something about causation from their observation of altering something physical, are making an unjustified leap in logic.
How come that every time brain is damaged, something about the mind is damaged?

Even if brain is not the ONLY cause for consciousness, as long as it is required cause (just like radio for sound), if even one necessary cause is gone, so will the effect be gone.
kirk5a wrote:As far as b) goes, please direct everyone to where neurology has proved that consciousness depends on the brain.
You can find it in books on neurology.

There are many examples. To start:
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn2 ... entist.com,

Alterations of sociomoral judgement and glucose utilization in the frontomedial cortex induced by electrical stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) in Parkinsonian patients (2004)

Verbal and Visual Memory Improve After Choline Supplementation in Long-Term Total Parenteral Nutrition: A Pilot Study
"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 » Thu May 16, 2013 12:03 pm

binocular wrote:So? What conclusions do you draw from that?
That mind depends on the brain.
"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..."

binocular
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by binocular » Thu May 16, 2013 12:09 pm

Then, to paraphrase your signature - If Alex is imperfect, then it is ignorant to try to change him to perfection, so we shall just accept what is.

Good luck.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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kirk5a
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by kirk5a » Thu May 16, 2013 12:12 pm

Alex123 wrote:
kirk5a wrote:You're missing the point. I'm not saying the radio example should be taken as the correct model for consciousness. What it demonstrates is that those who assume something about causation from their observation of altering something physical, are making an unjustified leap in logic.
How come that every time brain is damaged, something about the mind is damaged?

Even if brain is not the ONLY cause for consciousness, as long as it is required cause (just like radio for sound), if even one necessary cause is gone, so will the effect be gone.
How come every time the radio is damaged, something about the sound is damaged? But is anything about the signal damaged? And now you're conflating the sound which comes out of the radio, with the radio signal. The radio is a necessary cause for the sound, but not the signal. Again, the point is - not that the radio example is the correct, true model for consciousness. It just shows that your logic isn't sound.
The word "consciousness" doesn't even appear in any of those articles.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

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Alex123
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Alex123 » Thu May 16, 2013 12:29 pm

kirk5a wrote:How come every time the radio is damaged, something about the sound is damaged? But is anything about the signal damaged?
The signal is not damaged, but the sound coming out of radio is. This is what matters. Furthermore, the signal is produced by physical means.
Is it possible to damage the radio so much that signal transmitting Beethoven's music plays back Marylin Manson? No. But with brain similar can occur. A person can have nice mental states, but through specific damages to specific areas of the brain, angry mental states will occur. This suggests that brain is not only the "receiver", but "generator" of the "signal"

kirk5a wrote:The word "consciousness" doesn't even appear in any of those articles.
It talks about studies that show that changes to the brain alter the mind.
"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..."

Dinsdale
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Dinsdale » Thu May 16, 2013 12:55 pm

Alex123 wrote:
binocular wrote:But the arahant doesn't equal his or her body.
Buddha, Angulimala, MahaMogallana still felt pain.
So if a Buddha still feels pain, ages and dies, and death is final extinction, why bother with Buddhist practice atall?
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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kirk5a
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by kirk5a » Thu May 16, 2013 12:57 pm

Alex123 wrote:
kirk5a wrote:How come every time the radio is damaged, something about the sound is damaged? But is anything about the signal damaged?
The signal is not damaged, but the sound coming out of radio is. This is what matters. Furthermore, the signal is produced by physical means.
Is it possible to damage the radio so much that signal carrying, lets say Beethoven's music, plays back Marylin Manson or something like that? No. But with brain similar can occur. A person can have nice mental states, but through specific damages to specific areas of the brain, angry mental states will occur. This suggests that brain is not only the receiver, but generator of the "signal"
That is really weak. First of all, we could tinker with a radio and make Beethoven sound like Hell-spawn Symphony No. 5. This sort of thing is done all the time with music - it's simply a matter of passing the signal through various filters which alter its characteristics. Secondly, the sound coming out of the radio is NOT all that matters, if you want to fully understand how the sound is generated. If someone assumes it's entirely created by the physical machine you're looking at, that's a wrong assumption. Again - try to absorb the point that the example shows there is a logical problem in assuming, based upon observations of alterations in something physical - that shows the physical thing is the complete cause and explanation for the phenomena in question.
kirk5a wrote:The word "consciousness" doesn't even appear in any of those articles.
It talks about studies that show that changes to the brain alter the mind.
The word "mind" doesn't appear either. And by the way, now you're changing your story. You originally said "Neurology proved that consciousness depends on the brain." I asked for evidence, and now you are restricting the point to observations of alterations, rather than causation.
Last edited by kirk5a on Thu May 16, 2013 1:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

Dinsdale
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Dinsdale » Thu May 16, 2013 12:58 pm

binocular wrote: So, yes, at some point, the whole practice may seem like nothing more than a glorified coping strategy. That is in roundabout the view that some Western psychologists probably have of Buddhism.
It also seems to be the view that some secular Buddhists have.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

binocular
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by binocular » Thu May 16, 2013 3:08 pm

porpoise wrote:
binocular wrote: So, yes, at some point, the whole practice may seem like nothing more than a glorified coping strategy. That is in roundabout the view that some Western psychologists probably have of Buddhism.
It also seems to be the view that some secular Buddhists have.
Most Buddhists probably start out as secular Buddhists.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

chownah
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by chownah » Thu May 16, 2013 3:10 pm

binocular wrote: So, yes, at some point, the whole practice may seem like nothing more than a glorified coping strategy. That is in roundabout the view that some Western psychologists probably have of Buddhism.
Seems to me that all of our actions and intentions are just a glorified coping strategy......coping with the result of the six sense doors along with their objects and associated consciousnesses.
chownah

binocular
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by binocular » Thu May 16, 2013 3:16 pm

porpoise wrote:So if a Buddha still feels pain, ages and dies, and death is final extinction, why bother with Buddhist practice atall?
I guess in that case, "Buddhist" "practice" comes down to keeping up appearances. There in fact is a measure of satisfaction in keeping up appearances.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

binocular
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by binocular » Thu May 16, 2013 3:21 pm

chownah wrote:
binocular wrote: So, yes, at some point, the whole practice may seem like nothing more than a glorified coping strategy. That is in roundabout the view that some Western psychologists probably have of Buddhism.
Seems to me that all of our actions and intentions are just a glorified coping strategy......coping with the result of the six sense doors along with their objects and associated consciousnesses.
I think that depending on how one frames one's basic existential issues, one can really screw oneself up.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

chownah
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by chownah » Thu May 16, 2013 3:24 pm

porpoise wrote:So if a Buddha still feels pain, ages and dies, and death is final extinction, why bother with Buddhist practice atall?
I am perfectly willing to accept the possibility that the Buddha felt pain, aged, and died, and that death is final extinction....and accepting this has absolutely no impact on my practice at all.....to me it is totally irrelevant.....the benefits in pursuing what he taught are the basis for my practice and whatever his life was is of no importance to me at all....focus on the message, not the messenger.
chownah

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