Javi wrote:You're right that quests for a self are the problem, which is precisely because there is no such thing. It's like searching for an invisible unicorn.
People who say there is no self, when asked to define what that self is that doesn't exist, usually offer no definition. Well, if you search for nothing, guess what you'll find ...
"Why do you suppose the flying spaghetti monster can be sought for experientially. Experientially we know, see and understand very little"
"Why do you suppose the invisible pink unicorn can be sought for experientially. Experientially we know, see and understand very little"
You see how ridiculous this argument is? It can support the existence of anything if you take it as valid.
No, you're misrepresenting him. He's just allowing for the possibility of the existence of something, on the grounds that experiential knowledge is limited. Allowing for the possibility that something exists is not the same as saying it exists.
The question here is, what epistemic reason can actually ground the belief in a permanent self?
We'd need to ask, for example, Christians, Muslims, and Hindus about that.
The Buddha would say, there is no way to ground that, and therefore, the view that there is no self is the only rational one.
So you know what the Buddha would say? Sweet!
Javi wrote:None of this addresses the Buddha's arguments for not self which are based on phenomenal experience.
Phenomenal experience is not some objective, neutral, passive given.