Rebirth admission would collapse modern science

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
rolling_boulder
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Re: Rebirth admission would collapse modern science

Post by rolling_boulder »

Pascal2 wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 2:25 am
What stream-enterers have to lose (let alone Arhants) to violate the Vinaya?
They would still achieve Nibbana no matter what.
Sotapannas don't neccesarily recall their past lives, and if Theravada orthodoxy holds, monastic arahants would never breach the Vinaya out of respect for the Dhamma.

Lay arahants we could assume to be extremely rare.

As far as we know, (very little) It's also quite possible that an arahant's immediate past lives are not always in the human realm or even the same universe / world system, so those memories like dreams would be unrelated to our material world.
The world is swept away. It does not endure...
The world is without shelter, without protector...
The world is without ownership. One has to pass on, leaving everything behind...
The world is insufficient, insatiable, a slave to craving.

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confusedlayman
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Re: Rebirth admission would collapse modern science

Post by confusedlayman »

rolling_boulder wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 3:20 am
Pascal2 wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 2:25 am
What stream-enterers have to lose (let alone Arhants) to violate the Vinaya?
They would still achieve Nibbana no matter what.
Sotapannas don't neccesarily recall their past lives, and if Theravada orthodoxy holds, monastic arahants would never breach the Vinaya out of respect for the Dhamma.

Lay arahants we could assume to be extremely rare.

As far as we know, (very little) It's also quite possible that an arahant's immediate past lives are not always in the human realm or even the same universe / world system, so those memories like dreams would be unrelated to our material world.
true. wise words
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Something exist, dont exist, both exist and non exist, neither exist nor dont exist .. all these four possibilities are wrong- Nagarjuna
Find a dhamma companion or roam alone like rhinoceros in the wild- Buddha
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DooDoot
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Re: Rebirth admission would collapse modern science

Post by DooDoot »

:alien:
Last edited by DooDoot on Mon Mar 16, 2020 3:43 am, edited 4 times in total.
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chownah
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Re: Rebirth admission would collapse modern science

Post by chownah »

Pascal2 wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 11:59 pm
Sam Vara wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 11:40 pm
I don't think it is all that simple. Even if I could give copious details of what I claimed was a former life, and it could be somehow verified that a person did live a life with those details, that's far from proving that it was me in the former life. I might have gained that knowledge about the other person through historical research. If another person has access to the knowledge required to verify the claim, then I would have access to the knowledge to enable me to make a false claim.

Even if it could somehow be proven that my knowledge of a previous life could not have been gained via historical research, that knowledge could be something quite remarkable (mind-reading, say, or the ability to view events that occurred in the past) that still doesn't prove that the knowledge is due to me having lived previously.
Some very special details, like where you met your former wife on first date, when you went fishing the first time, what was your credit card number, some special experiences you had with your children, still living, may be something not findable by research by third part.
How would you find by historic research when was the first time a common man taught to shave to his oldest son?
If these special details are not findable by research by third party then how would they be verified as having occured at all?....your scenario leaves it open for totally bogus claims to be accepted as proof of rebirth because they are not verifiable......since you can't find the teaching of shaving in the historic research then the claim can not be verified and hence can not be used to support rebirth.....

But....let's assume that you could verify some detail not findable by third party research (although I don't see how this possible)....this proves that the person who thinks they lived in a previous life is just channeling the knowledge of the ghost of the deceased person and not rebirth.....haven't I proved this?....haven't I proved this just as much as your scenario would prove rebirth?
chownah

Pascal2
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Re: Rebirth admission would collapse modern science

Post by Pascal2 »

rolling_boulder wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 3:20 am
Sotapannas don't neccesarily recall their past lives, and if Theravada orthodoxy holds, monastic arahants would never breach the Vinaya out of respect for the Dhamma.
I hope my question does not sound too rude, but would it be compassionate for them to hold "respect for the Dhamma" in higher position and merit other than the well being of million/billions of human beings who may find such testimonials as useful for their own faith?
rolling_boulder wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 3:20 am
As far as we know, (very little) It's also quite possible that an arahant's immediate past lives are not always in the human realm or even the same universe / world system, so those memories like dreams would be unrelated to our material world.
Well, even more true then!
If arahants can not only shed light on the nature of rebirth but even more on the nature of human and other realms, how can they be seen as compassionate if they refuse to do so?
chownah wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 3:39 am
If these special details are not findable by research by third party then how would they be verified as having occured at all?....your scenario leaves it open for totally bogus claims to be accepted as proof of rebirth because they are not verifiable......
Well, you dont need to have 100% verifiable details in order to start your research.
You need just a few that can be independently verified such as, say, the telephone number you had in your previous live, the place where you first met your wife (assuming she is still living) etc If you could find a few of such details that cant be found by other means then you are likely to have proven something.
chownah wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 3:39 am
since you can't find the teaching of shaving in the historic research then the claim can not be verified and hence can not be used to support rebirth.....
Sorry I am not sure I understand what you mean by "the teaching of shaving"..
chownah wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 3:39 am
But....let's assume that you could verify some detail not findable by third party research (although I don't see how this possible)....
Well, I have tried to explain you how it is IMHO totally feasible
chownah wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 3:39 am
this proves that the person who thinks they lived in a previous life is just channeling the knowledge of the ghost of the deceased person and not rebirth.....haven't I proved this?....haven't I proved this just as much as your scenario would prove rebirth?
chownah
Well, you may have been proving the existence of ghosts then!
Still you would have proven a lot that goes beyond modern science which would still be a lot!

Now let me revert the question to you.
If there is no empirical evidence that when arahants are saying to recall details about their previous life then how do we know that their recollections arent anything but a fantasy of their own mind?

Just saying..

binocular
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Re: Rebirth admission would collapse modern science

Post by binocular »

Pascal2 wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 11:59 pm
It is remarkable that the majority of Theravada Buddhist are not even interested in trying to provide evidence about their own claims.
As a matter of principle, no religious/spiritual person ever is. This isn't limited to Theravada Buddhism. It's the same in other religions/spiritualities.
Pascal2 wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 12:53 am
Arhants or monks at the highest levels of realization should have at least tried to verify their own claims by providing evidence to the general public but, as far as I know, no one even really seriously tried.
Can you justify why they should do that?
Who are you -- or the general public -- that any religious/spiritual person should answer to you?
Which is a puzzle, if I may say.
Not at all. It's simply how religion/spirituality works.
Pascal2 wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 10:50 am
How would you prove God?
The relatively few monotheists who would not be so offended by the request to prove God that they break off all communication with the person making such a request will give instructions to the effect of: "Join our religion/spirituality. Do as told. Then you will discover proof of God."
It's similar in other religions/spiritualities: one has to join the religion/spirituality, one has to take for granted that it is true, and then one becomes qualified to see that it is true.


In religion/spirituality, the burden of proof is always on the person seeking the proof, not on the one making the claim. This is how religion/spirituality differs from secular fields of knowledge.

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cappuccino
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Re: Rebirth admission would collapse modern science

Post by cappuccino »

evidence isn't sharable

only the teaching is sharable

hence Buddha shared the teaching
Last edited by cappuccino on Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

binocular
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Re: Rebirth admission would collapse modern science

Post by binocular »

cappuccino wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:04 pm
evidence isn't sharable

only the teaching is sharable
Exactly. In order to see the evidence for X, one needs to become qualified to do so.

In religion/spirituality, this means converting to said religion/spirituality.

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cappuccino
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Re: Rebirth admission would collapse modern science

Post by cappuccino »

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Dhammanando
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Re: Rebirth admission would collapse modern science

Post by Dhammanando »

Pascal2 wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 11:59 pm
It is remarkable that the majority of Theravada Buddhist are not even interested in trying to provide evidence about their own claims.
It seems quite unremarkable to me. In most religions apologetics is something that only a tiny minority of enthusiasts concern themselves with, while apologetics involving scientific testing interests only a minority of a minority. And so the fact that very few Buddhists can be bothered, say, to pursue Ian Stevenson's brand of research (or even to read the man), or to engage in hypnosis aimed at past-life regression, or to master the rebirth "proofs" of Dharmakīrti (if they're of a Tibetan persuasion) is no more remarkable than the fact that few Christians can be bothered to take part in experiments aimed at testing the efficacy of healing prayer. Religious people, by and large, have other fish to fry.
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Re: Rebirth admission would collapse modern science

Post by DNS »

Pascal2 wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 11:59 pm
Some very special details, like where you met your former wife on first date, when you went fishing the first time, what was your credit card number, some special experiences you had with your children, still living, may be something not findable by research by third part.
How would you find by historic research when was the first time a common man taught to shave to his oldest son?
Even if someone did that, people would still be skeptical; maybe the former family members are in cahoots with the claimant, perhaps to co-author a bestselling book or go on a fee based lecture tour.

Even if a claimant announces he/she has seen her previous lives in great detail, while in deep meditation; no one would believe him/her. So why do it? It would only produce critics, ridicule, or even worse, some gullible followers who believe them.

chownah
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Re: Rebirth admission would collapse modern science

Post by chownah »

Even if some story could be verified absolutely the story itself would not contain the theory as to how this verified story came about. For a scientist the story after it is verified would be the data....and if many stories were verified then this would add to the data. A scientist would then look at the data and try to come up with a theory which helps to explain the data. Some theories might be 1. rebirth 2. ghost channeling 3. time travel 4. fraud.
So....a scientist would not immediately jump on the conclusion that it was rebirth and declare that as the result....a scientist would develop a theory to explain how the story came about and then find a way either verify or refute that theory. Seems that people here know of stories and they want them to be the result of rebirth but they are doing nothing to find a way to verify or refute this....they have a theory that the story came about through rebirth but it is a theory with no support in that nothing has been done to test that theory....the story could have just as well come about through ghost channeling, time travel, or fraud as well unless something is done to verify or refute the theories.
chownah

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Aloka
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Re: Rebirth admission would collapse modern science

Post by Aloka »

chownah wrote:Seems that people here know of stories and they want them to be the result of rebirth but they are doing nothing to find a way to verify or refute this....they have a theory that the story came about through rebirth but it is a theory with no support in that nothing has been done to test that theory....the story could have just as well come about through ghost channeling, time travel, or fraud as well unless something is done to verify or refute the theories.
A number of years ago, when I was a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner and doing a course to become a hypnotherapist, I asked my late Tibetan teacher (who was "recognised" as a "tulku" when he was a child) if I should offer 'past life regression hypnotherapy' to clients .... and he said he didn't think it was a good idea because "People can just make things up!"

.

Pascal2
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Re: Rebirth admission would collapse modern science

Post by Pascal2 »

So many interesting replies.
So it took a while for me to read and digest.
binocular wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 6:55 pm
Pascal2 wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 11:59 pm
It is remarkable that the majority of Theravada Buddhist are not even interested in trying to provide evidence about their own claims.
As a matter of principle, no religious/spiritual person ever is. This isn't limited to Theravada Buddhism. It's the same in other religions/spiritualities.
As far as I know Buddhism and Buddhists has always considered themselves as a different from disciples of other religions where the main focus was and is on Faith only. In Buddhism the main focus is AFAIK in getting results and Buddhists consider their own path more like Science than like a Faith. In this sense I think it makes a lot of sense to ask for evidence of the claims
binocular wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 6:55 pm
Pascal2 wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 12:53 am
Arhants or monks at the highest levels of realization should have at least tried to verify their own claims by providing evidence to the general public but, as far as I know, no one even really seriously tried.
Can you justify why they should do that?
Who are you -- or the general public -- that any religious/spiritual person should answer to you?
Most spiritual leaders spend some of their time and efforts to explain their Path and invite other people to join the Path, sometimes with limited results. I believe that you, I and many other people would be more interested in more evidence about actual results verifiable than just recollections and other general words. After all, this is how the actual world works!
binocular wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 6:55 pm
Which is a puzzle, if I may say.
Not at all. It's simply how religion/spirituality works.
Let alone that there are tens of hundreds of philosophers of all religions who have discussed the pr
I bet most Buddhists would not like to be assimilated to other Judeo-Christian faithfuls
binocular wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 6:55 pm
Pascal2 wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 10:50 am
How would you prove God?
The relatively few monotheists who would not be so offended by the request to prove God that they break off all communication with the person making such a request will give instructions to the effect of: "Join our religion/spirituality. Do as told. Then you will discover proof of God."
It's similar in other religions/spiritualities: one has to join the religion/spirituality, one has to take for granted that it is true, and then one becomes qualified to see that it is true.
Quite the opposite infact.
Discussions about the proofs of the existence of God has gone on for centuries and many Saints such as Thomas Aquinas among others have been involved in such discussions.
Have a look for example at the Five Proofs of God.
binocular wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 6:55 pm
In religion/spirituality, the burden of proof is always on the person seeking the proof, not on the one making the claim. This is how religion/spirituality differs from secular fields of knowledge.
Well, this is a very peculiar way of thinking.
This way you can basically claim everything, such as, for example, that under Mount Everest in a cave you will have Gremlins living there. I dont expect many people would take your claim seriously, however, unless you back it up with some solid evidence.
cappuccino wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:04 pm
evidence isn't sharable
Here is some actual evidence of the first and second principle of Thermodynamics
Image
Dhammanando wrote:
Tue Mar 17, 2020 2:47 am
Pascal2 wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 11:59 pm
It is remarkable that the majority of Theravada Buddhist are not even interested in trying to provide evidence about their own claims.
It seems quite unremarkable to me. In most religions apologetics is something that only a tiny minority of enthusiasts concern themselves with, while apologetics involving scientific testing interests only a minority of a minority. And so the fact that very few Buddhists can be bothered, say, to pursue Ian Stevenson's brand of research (or even to read the man), or to engage in hypnosis aimed at past-life regression, or to master the rebirth "proofs" of Dharmakīrti (if they're of a Tibetan persuasion) is no more remarkable than the fact that few Christians can be bothered to take part in experiments aimed at testing the efficacy of healing prayer. Religious people, by and large, have other fish to fry.
Let alone the question that there are literally millions of pilgrims going to Lourdes or Fatima to look for healing and some actual result of their Faith, once again I would like to point out that Buddhism, differently from other Christian Faiths, does not rely on a creator or some other God to prove their teachings which are assumed to be as valid as scientific claims.
I have nowhere read that Buddhists Teachings must be believed only as the Buddha taught them to us
As a side note, if things were like you are saying, that is, assuming that most Buddhists were not interested in double checking the claims of the enlightened why would enlightened beings even bother to make such claims?
DNS wrote:
Tue Mar 17, 2020 3:28 am
Pascal2 wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 11:59 pm
Some very special details, like where you met your former wife on first date, when you went fishing the first time, what was your credit card number, some special experiences you had with your children, still living, may be something not findable by research by third part.
How would you find by historic research when was the first time a common man taught to shave to his oldest son?
Even if someone did that, people would still be skeptical; maybe the former family members are in cahoots with the claimant, perhaps to co-author a bestselling book or go on a fee based lecture tour.

Even if a claimant announces he/she has seen her previous lives in great detail, while in deep meditation; no one would believe him/her. So why do it? It would only produce critics, ridicule, or even worse, some gullible followers who believe them.
I dont think it would be much feasible to convince tens and possibly hundreds of people to claim that they have know an individual in the past who didnt actually exists or ask them to lie .. How would you organize such a large scale fraud without being discovered?
Many info of our own lives are hidden our credit card numbers or telephone numbers or social security info or health info are not even accessible to the general public how would an arhant or a small group of believers gain access to all such info, possibly in a country which is not even theirs, without involving a government and without getting noticed in first place.
I dont think this is feasible.

Please note that in case of such a claim being made, there would be hundreds of scientists immediately checking the claim.
How would you organize a fraud so large involving tens of hundreds of people in the government and in other companies without having not even one person leaking the truth?
This would involve bribing quite a lot of people.
Do monks even have that kind of money?
chownah wrote:
Tue Mar 17, 2020 6:17 am
Even if some story could be verified absolutely the story itself would not contain the theory as to how this verified story came about. For a scientist the story after it is verified would be the data....and if many stories were verified then this would add to the data. A scientist would then look at the data and try to come up with a theory which helps to explain the data. Some theories might be 1. rebirth 2. ghost channeling 3. time travel 4. fraud.
So....a scientist would not immediately jump on the conclusion that it was rebirth and declare that as the result....a scientist would develop a theory to explain how the story came about and then find a way either verify or refute that theory. Seems that people here know of stories and they want them to be the result of rebirth but they are doing nothing to find a way to verify or refute this....they have a theory that the story came about through rebirth but it is a theory with no support in that nothing has been done to test that theory....the story could have just as well come about through ghost channeling, time travel, or fraud as well unless something is done to verify or refute the theories.
chownah
Let alone point number 4. all other possible explanations you have given of such an event would still involve some supernatural event or capability that would be of enormous interest and possibly enormous benefit for human kind
Aloka wrote:
Tue Mar 17, 2020 7:42 am
A number of years ago, when I was a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner and doing a course to become a hypnotherapist, I asked my late Tibetan teacher (who was "recognised" as a "tulku" when he was a child) if I should offer 'past life regression hypnotherapy' to clients .... and he said he didn't think it was a good idea because "People can just make things up!"
Please see my reply above.

Thanks all for your interest in my comment.

chownah
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Re: Rebirth admission would collapse modern science

Post by chownah »

Pascal2 wrote:
Tue Mar 17, 2020 11:46 am

chownah wrote:
Tue Mar 17, 2020 6:17 am
Even if some story could be verified absolutely the story itself would not contain the theory as to how this verified story came about. For a scientist the story after it is verified would be the data....and if many stories were verified then this would add to the data. A scientist would then look at the data and try to come up with a theory which helps to explain the data. Some theories might be 1. rebirth 2. ghost channeling 3. time travel 4. fraud.
So....a scientist would not immediately jump on the conclusion that it was rebirth and declare that as the result....a scientist would develop a theory to explain how the story came about and then find a way either verify or refute that theory. Seems that people here know of stories and they want them to be the result of rebirth but they are doing nothing to find a way to verify or refute this....they have a theory that the story came about through rebirth but it is a theory with no support in that nothing has been done to test that theory....the story could have just as well come about through ghost channeling, time travel, or fraud as well unless something is done to verify or refute the theories.
chownah
Let alone point number 4. all other possible explanations you have given of such an event would still involve some supernatural event or capability that would be of enormous interest and possibly enormous benefit for human kind
Yeah, so what is your point. This thread is about rebirth. People have been bringing things that they claim prove rebirth. I think it has been shown pretty well that if there was evidence of a nature that could be used by science to suggest a substantiation of rebirth that it would not "collapse modern science"....on the contrary, it would be very interesting to science. So....since the "collapse modern science" has been pretty much shown to be a mistaken idea about science then all that is left is that people want to claim that there is evidence and science should start admitting that there is.....and I think it has been shown pretty well that there really hasn't been any clear evidence brought that would lead a scientist to the conclusion that rebirth is the explanation of the stories presented.....at best it could be said that rebirth is ONE of the possible explanations for the stories but there needs to be some new data which can show more clearly how the stories were generated. That new data has not been found....no one even has a good idea as to how that data could be found. Since there seems to be no credible way to unambiguously determine how those stories happened this is a non-starter for science. When seeing a new and unexplainable phenomena the first thing a scientist does is to look at the stories and try to find a way to determine how they came about but no one has yet come up with a way to do that. If you think there is a way to do that then you should start a scientific investigation using the way you think it can be done and try to do it. You don't need anyone's permission to do scientific investigation.....all you need is to take yourself out of the world of pure conjecture and get down to work with what is actually present in terms of data and put your conjectures to the test.
chownah

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