Views and beliefs

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.
green
Posts: 73
Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 12:25 am

Re: Views and beliefs

Post by green » Sat Mar 14, 2009 1:06 am

Would you reconsider scientific knowledge if what you observe and know through Buddhist practice is correct and you find that it is currently unknowable through science?

Let's put the shoe on the other foot.

nathan
Posts: 692
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 3:11 am

Re: Views and beliefs

Post by nathan » Sat Mar 14, 2009 5:13 am

For your scientific enjoyment:
:coffee:

How To Think About Science
http://www.cbc.ca/ideas/features/science/index.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

If science is neither cookery, nor angelic virtuosity, then what is it?
Modern societies have tended to take science for granted as a way of knowing, ordering and controlling the world. Everything was subject to science, but science itself largely escaped scrutiny. This situation has changed dramatically in recent years. Historians, sociologists, philosophers and sometimes scientists themselves have begun to ask fundamental questions about how the institution of science is structured and how it knows what it knows. David Cayley talks to some of the leading lights of this new field of study.

For the downloadable podcast versions of the series visit CBC Podcasting. To order the complete, 24-part series in print or audio visit the CBC Shop website.

Schedule

Episode 1 - Steven Shapin and Simon Schaffer
Episode 2 - Lorraine Daston
Episode 3 - Margaret Lock
Episode 4 - Ian Hacking and Andrew Pickering
Episode 5 - Ulrich Beck and Bruno Latour
Episode 6 - James Lovelock
Episode 7 - Arthur Zajonc
Episode 8 - Wendell Berry
Episode 9 - Rupert Sheldrake
Episode 10 - Brian Wynne
Episode 11 - Sajay Samuel
Episode 12 - David Abram
Episode 13 - Dean Bavington
Episode 14 - Evelyn Fox Keller
Episode 15 - Barbara Duden and Silya Samerski
Episode 16 - Steven Shapin
Episode 17 - Peter Galison
Episode 18 - Richard Lewontin
Episode 19 - Ruth Hubbard
Episode 20 - Michael Gibbons, Peter Scott, & Janet Atkinson Grosjean
Episode 21 -Christopher Norris and Mary Midgely
Episode 22 - Allan Young
Episode 23 - Lee Smolin
Episode 24 - Nicholas Maxwell
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}

User avatar
Ravana
Posts: 35
Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 6:33 pm

Re: Views and beliefs

Post by Ravana » Sat Mar 14, 2009 5:28 am

mikenz66 wrote:I don't see how Russell's teapot applies to questions such as whether mind is just an emergent phenomenon of the brain. That is an open question that has nothing to do with any particular religious of philosophical view.

Mike
If you go back and read my posts, I was replying Fede's post regarding the Dalai Lama. A person claiming to have a scientific view of the world cannot believe things such as kamma and rebirth unless evidence can be provided to justify these beliefs - i.e. if the Dalai Lama is accepting a scientific view, he should abandon his beliefs in kamma, rebirth, etc until evidence can be found to justify them. He cannot say he will keep believing them until they are disproved - which would be like claiming to believe in the celestial teapot until someone disproves it.
clw_uk wrote:So if rebirth and kamma is shown to be false, it would be left behind
Only those who accept science a-priori would have to do that. But then again, those who accept science a-priori should not believe in rebirth and kamma until they have been positively proven.
clw_uk wrote:A if science disproves a buddhist teaching should it be abandoned?
Of course not.
Manapa wrote:Nathan read Darwins Book the origin of species, it is how life came to be (as it is now).
I think modern biologists have come a long, long, long way in understanding evolution since Darwin. So I would recommend something written by a present-day scientist - e.g. I think "The Ancestor's Tale" by Prof. Dawkins should be good, though I haven't read it myself.
“The incomparable Wheel of Dhamma has been set in motion by the Blessed One in the deer sanctuary at Isipatana, and no seeker, brahmin, celestial being, demon, god, or any other being in the world can stop it.”

nathan
Posts: 692
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 3:11 am

Re: Views and beliefs

Post by nathan » Sat Mar 14, 2009 5:49 am

Ravana wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:A person claiming to have a scientific view of the world cannot believe things such as kamma and rebirth unless evidence can be provided to justify these beliefs...
Episode 11 - Sajay Samuel
How To Think About Science
http://www.cbc.ca/ideas/features/science/index.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
:anjali:
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 16498
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: Aotearoa, New Zealand

Re: Views and beliefs

Post by mikenz66 » Sat Mar 14, 2009 6:08 am

Hi Nathan,
nathan wrote:
Ravana wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:A person claiming to have a scientific view of the world cannot believe things such as kamma and rebirth unless evidence can be provided to justify these beliefs...
I seem to be being misquoted... I think Ravana said that... :cry:

Mike

User avatar
Ravana
Posts: 35
Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 6:33 pm

Re: Views and beliefs

Post by Ravana » Sat Mar 14, 2009 6:09 am

nathan wrote:
Ravana wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:A person claiming to have a scientific view of the world cannot believe things such as kamma and rebirth unless evidence can be provided to justify these beliefs...
Episode 11 - Sajay Samuel
How To Think About Science
http://www.cbc.ca/ideas/features/science/index.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
:anjali:
I haven't listened to the mp3, but may be you could briefly describe what you're trying to say here?
“The incomparable Wheel of Dhamma has been set in motion by the Blessed One in the deer sanctuary at Isipatana, and no seeker, brahmin, celestial being, demon, god, or any other being in the world can stop it.”

nathan
Posts: 692
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 3:11 am

Re: Views and beliefs

Post by nathan » Sat Mar 14, 2009 7:01 am

Ravana wrote:
nathan wrote:A person claiming to have a scientific view of the world cannot believe things such as kamma and rebirth unless evidence can be provided to justify these beliefs...

Episode 11 - Sajay Samuel
How To Think About Science
http://www.cbc.ca/ideas/features/science/index.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
:anjali:
I haven't listened to the mp3, but may be you could briefly describe what you're trying to say here?
Listen to it. Better you hear this from a scientist. Listen to them all, I call them as expert witnesses vs. the quackery that has been tossed up as rational thought, fact and science by others in this thread and a hundred threads just like it.
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}

User avatar
Cittasanto
Posts: 6629
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin
Contact:

Re: Views and beliefs

Post by Cittasanto » Sat Mar 14, 2009 9:33 am

Ravana wrote:
Manapa wrote:Nathan read Darwins Book the origin of species, it is how life came to be (as it is now).
I think modern biologists have come a long, long, long way in understanding evolution since Darwin. So I would recommend something written by a present-day scientist - e.g. I think "The Ancestor's Tale" by Prof. Dawkins should be good, though I haven't read it myself.
Darwins book is the baseline, it has not actually been improved on since it was written, and only ever confirmed.
the modern science has only confirmed his original evidence, both from Biology and Geology, we understand more how it works with DNA etc but these were all suggested as being present, plus it is written in a manner which can easily be read and understood.
modern scientists still read and study Darwin's Book and research.
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

User avatar
clw_uk
Posts: 4718
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am

Re: Views and beliefs

Post by clw_uk » Sat Mar 14, 2009 11:59 am

Ravana
A if science disproves a buddhist teaching should it be abandoned?

Of course not.
Then isnt this clinging to a teaching? i mean if science shows that without a doubt it isnt so, then to hold that it is would be to deny what is real would it not?

Yes these are all articles of faith, supported by absentee and invisible authorities. Pretty pure dogma devoid of even a doctrine and indicating no practice whatsoever. As factual and objectively real as my saying something like 'a nearby stop sign gives me the next day's lottery ticket numbers every Tuesday at noon'. Don't you believe it? Everyone else does. Obviously you are not getting my elementary school point and it would be cruel to continue. Good luck with your... well good luck with whatever it is you are about
Nathan its not really an article of faith to hold that gravity is a fact, i understand where your coming from that i cant test it for myself (unless i pay for experiments) and one cant prove something to be 100% true but for evolution, since there is such an overwhelming amount of evidence in favour of it just like gravity you can comfortably say that its a fact of reality since there is little (if anything) that casts doubt on it so saying

"As factual and objectively real as my saying something like 'a nearby stop sign gives me the next day's lottery ticket numbers every Tuesday at noon'. Don't you believe it? Everyone else does."

Doesnt apply at all, since you can test to see if its true and not just accept it on blind faith or just because everyone else says it is so, thats where the difference is
Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken

User avatar
clw_uk
Posts: 4718
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am

Re: Views and beliefs

Post by clw_uk » Sat Mar 14, 2009 3:30 pm

Green
Would you reconsider scientific knowledge if what you observe and know through Buddhist practice is correct and you find that it is currently unknowable through science?

Let's put the shoe on the other foot.
Good question, if its something ive had deep insight to and understand then yes
Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken

User avatar
clw_uk
Posts: 4718
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am

Re: Views and beliefs

Post by clw_uk » Sat Mar 14, 2009 4:14 pm

Ravana
A person claiming to have a scientific view of the world cannot believe things such as kamma and rebirth unless evidence can be provided to justify these beliefs

Which is why for me to believe fully in rebirth is just as silly as disbelieving it since there is no evidence either way via science or ones own experience (unless one has some memory of it)


In my practice i dont make deffinite statements about if there is or is not rebirth/kamma result after death any more, since i have no knowledge either way its just speculation on my part, kamma and rebirth in this life however i can begin to see and understand so i focus on that

I see no evidence to disprove it so im perfectly comfortable with the notion of rebirth etc and i trust Lord Buddha when he states that not all kamma plays out in one life so i can tend to lean more towards there being rebirth than there not being one, but i still recognize this as just logical/speculative thinking that may be flawed so i dont put much stock in it


:namaste:
Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken

Mawkish1983
Posts: 1286
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:46 am
Location: Essex, UK

Re: Views and beliefs

Post by Mawkish1983 » Sat Mar 14, 2009 5:51 pm

Some people seem to act and talk as though Scientists are a mythical race of soothsayers.

For the record, I am a Scientist. I believe at this time that Evolution is fact. I am a practicing Theravadin Upasaka.

I can't forsee any Scientific problems with Buddhism (particularly Theravada) in the future.

nathan
Posts: 692
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 3:11 am

Re: Views and beliefs

Post by nathan » Sat Mar 14, 2009 7:17 pm

I'm not going to engage in debates about evolution vs. creationism. I think the data, from Darwin to yesterday, speaks for itself about the real nature of the expansion and contraction of world systems. I don't interpret the data as processes arising or ceasing always in exactly the same manner over long periods of time in precisely the same ways as most evolutionary theories so far largely have. I do try to account for all of what is known as opposed to focusing on any overriding concern about what is not known. I try to carefully examine all the scientific data and findings I encounter instead of collecting a small subset that suits my predilections. It is frequently interesting what data does not fit various theories. That is why I am confident that it all fits very well within the omniscience of Buddhadhamma. There is enough to be seen in the seen to keep me occupied with examining how it all fits. I chose to study Buddhadhamma because I like science and the Buddha has provided me with the most suitable 'theoretical framework' for ALL of the available evidence of every kind, macro to micro. As soon as any of those holding narrow sectarian views begin examining all of the data instead of selecting only that which suits a given preconceived rationale it is going to quickly resemble the Buddha's presentation of the history of the world and it's manifold beings very well. I don't think it is worthwhile for me to go on detail about the geology or the astrophysics, biology or chemistry. Everyone can do that for themselves. I have read Darwins book, I read it in grade school and I've read it since. I suggest reading it again along with the MN. Scientific theories often overlook obvious truths in favor of false views that support a theoretical framework that is in some limited ways adequate for other purposes for centuries. How much examination of external complexity of forms is necessary to fully reveal the underlying truths? The external data can all be studied for many lifetimes without any penetrative insight arising and to examine nature in only this way is to ignore the more immediate data of one's own senses and conscious awareness and the ongoing pressing need to examine that first and foremost. A need that physical science has overlooked for far too long to all of our peril. Thankfully, some scientists, have woken up to the nightmare. Otherwise, Mawkish, what brings you here? I think relying on such a broadly externalized and widely circuitous route to fundamental truth is a pursuit of the very kind of understanding that the Buddha's have and that as such it is a noble thing to pursue. I also can see why it would realistically take many periods of universe expansion and universe contraction to bring that understanding of all that arises and ceases to a universal fullness.
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}

User avatar
Ravana
Posts: 35
Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 6:33 pm

Re: Views and beliefs

Post by Ravana » Sun Mar 15, 2009 4:57 am

clw_uk wrote:Then isnt this clinging to a teaching?
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you should cling to the teaching until you arrive at a certain point of your path before nibbana where you're ready to let go of the teaching. If you let go of the teaching before that point, you probably won't arrive at nibbana. If you throw away the raft before getting to the other end of the river, you're going to drown.
clw_uk wrote:i mean if science shows that without a doubt it isnt so, then to hold that it is would be to deny what is real would it not?
As I said before, Science can never make a claim with 100% certainty - there's always an element of doubt:
Ravana wrote:Science can only get closer and closer to a hypothetical 'ultimate truth', because there is always the possibility that new evidence might be uncovered that doesn't conform to the present explanations.
clw_uk wrote:Which is why for me to believe fully in rebirth is just as silly as disbelieving it since there is no evidence either way via science or ones own experience (unless one has some memory of it)
So are you also similarly agnostic about the celestial teapot, the flying spaghetti monster, the invisible pink unicorn, the great jelly bean, purple elephants, leprechauns, fairies, and Yahweh? Because there is no evidence to prove/disprove the existence of these.

If you take refuge in the Dhamma, then you must give primacy to the Dhamma, not Science. Those who want to change the Dhamma according to whether it agrees with science or not, are giving primacy to science over the Dhamma.

As I pointed out with the celestial teapot analogy, it is irrational to believe in things such as kamma or rebirth until you can back it up with evidence. I have no problem holding such irrational beliefs because I do not give primacy to science - I give primacy to the Dhamma. Once again
Ravana wrote:And in the Kalama Sutta the Buddha does not ask the Kalama's to accept a doctrine because it seems logical - he did not say "accept what seems to best conform to empirical evidence".
Remember, the Kalamas were not Buddhists - the Kalama Sutta shows how one who hasn't taken refuge in the Dhamma should look at the different doctrines available.
“The incomparable Wheel of Dhamma has been set in motion by the Blessed One in the deer sanctuary at Isipatana, and no seeker, brahmin, celestial being, demon, god, or any other being in the world can stop it.”

User avatar
clw_uk
Posts: 4718
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am

Re: Views and beliefs

Post by clw_uk » Sun Mar 15, 2009 8:20 pm

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you should cling to the teaching until you arrive at a certain point of your path before nibbana where you're ready to let go of the teaching. If you let go of the teaching before that point, you probably won't arrive at nibbana. If you throw away the raft before getting to the other end of the river, you're going to drown.

To me you shouldnt accept the teaching outright as truth and not cling to them in any circumstance, until you have tested it enough to get insight into it (and even then dont cling to it), i wouldnt say im throwing away the raft since im not rejecting these teachings, i have confidence in certain teachings i have not yet got insight to because of the truth of the others i have had insight into and also because of confidence in the Buddha and his teachings, however i only take them as teachings and so test them and only then accept them as truth



As I said before, Science can never make a claim with 100% certainty - there's always an element of doubt:
I agree here but say science somehow mounts up enough evidence against a buddhist teaching e.g. rebirth, as it has done against the biblical teaching of the origin of man/earth, shouldnt that teaching be re-evaluated? how would you react to such a situation?

So are you also similarly agnostic about the celestial teapot, the flying spaghetti monster, the invisible pink unicorn, the great jelly bean, purple elephants, leprechauns, fairies, and Yahweh? Because there is no evidence to prove/disprove the existence of these.
Well we all are arent we?

If you take refuge in the Dhamma, then you must give primacy to the Dhamma, not Science. Those who want to change the Dhamma according to whether it agrees with science or not, are giving primacy to science over the Dhamma.
Im not giving primacy but i dont think it should be ignored, since i see science as part of the Dhamma since its concerned with truth and reality

As I pointed out with the celestial teapot analogy, it is irrational to believe in things such as kamma or rebirth until you can back it up with evidence. I have no problem holding such irrational beliefs because I do not give primacy to science - I give primacy to the Dhamma. Once again
Of course thats your choice to do so, your best way of practice :smile:

I dont give Dhamma second place


Metta

:namaste:
Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken

Locked

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 47 guests