helparcfun wrote:LonesomeYogurt ,
Oh dear, it appears you have either completely missed the point or chose to ignore it. It seems clear to me that you believe what you do because you are a Buddhist.
I believe what I do because I am Buddhist in the same way that you, a materialist, believe what you do because you are an Aristotelian; I doubt you have a religious devotion to Aristotle, but you think that he was right on many fundamental points because they agree with your own investigation, and thus fashion your belief system upon them. I am the same way. I think the Buddha "got it right."
Who are you to say that "their versions are not logically consistent with the examination of the mind." That sounds pretty subjective to me. You ask a Hindu or a Jain and they may well disagree with you.
Yes, they might. So? It doesn't matter what they think, or what I think. What matters is what the evidence itself argues for, and I'm confident that objective, first-hand research into the functioning of the mind presents a preponderance of evidence for a base of experience separate from the physical functioning of the brain and in accordance with Buddhist theory. The Jain or Hindu approaches to reincarnation are not consistent with observable reality, and I would happily defend that position using empirical examinations of the observable world.
Let me state this another way: A persistent unsolved question in physics relates to how the universe is going to end. Common theories include a Big Freeze, a Big Rip, a Big Crunch, a Big Bounce, and an infinitely recurring cyclic model. Many people disagree on this issue. I believe that the evidence supports an infinitely recurring cyclic model, and thus I believe that a Big Rip, for example, is not logically consistent with objective examination of our physical universe. Now, if I asked someone who was a proponent of the Big Freeze model, they would disagree. Does that mean that both our ideas are wrong, or that it is impossible to know either? No, it means we go to the evidence and have an honest, frank discussion about where it leads. I'd be happy to do that with you, but I'm not interested in having such a discussion until you can admit that the Buddhist method of examining the mind through meditation is as valid a way of gathering evidence about the mechanisms that drive mental activity as any scientific method of doing the same.
So before you were a Buddhist you "examined the mind" and came to the conclusion that Buddhism had all the right answers, right? Or could it have been that Buddhism attracted you for some reason and then you began to practice Buddhist ways and then, eureka! it all made sense! Sounds like circular reasoning to me.
Buddhism attracted me because it offered a sound, reasonable explanation of the mechanisms at work in the mind - mechanisms which showed themselves to be directly verifiable.
I cannot believe you are serious about this one! Science changes, religion generally doesn't - that was my point. To use the term "creationists" in the same sentence as "scientist" is really unforgivable!
If we showed incontrovertible proof that the earth is 6 billion years old, many creationists would still believe what it tells them in the bible (only 6000 years old)! It apparently doesn't say specifically 6000 years in the bible but that's what many Christians adhere to.
Buddhism does change and adapt as science advances - do you see many Buddhists arguing that Mount Meru really exists anymore?
My point, as I made above, was that many people hold many different views, but that doesn't mean that there isn't a right one out there. I believe that the "right one" is an experience-based model of consciousness that migrates as propelled by craving, and I believe it because of evidence gathered through methods and assumptions as philosophically and scientifically rigorous as any Western psychology.
Err well, yes, an anarchist would not be a completely wrong description of me but lets not get into politics eh? Actually, as you may know, anarchism and Buddhism have a lot in common.
I err on the anarchic side as well; my point, however, was that you seem content to throw out all non-physical explanations of consciousness simply because some are definitely not empirically sound, whereas you would never take such an approach when it comes to any other philosophical position.