little lies, big lies

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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tiltbillings
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Re: little lies, big lies

Post by tiltbillings » Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:36 am

alan wrote:It is a kind of perverse anti-philosophy that states that ideas are our creations and therefore they have no merit. This is a Nihilist perspective, which the Buddha refuted.
Except, that is not what being said. Actually, it might help for you to read through this thread with some care before commenting.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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tiltbillings
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Re: little lies, big lies

Post by tiltbillings » Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:37 am

alan wrote:I'm going to argue that justice and compassion are not abstractions, but are necessary attributes without which we could never have evolved.
And where are they?
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

alan
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Re: little lies, big lies

Post by alan » Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:45 am

I don't think it is a question of "where".

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tiltbillings
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Re: little lies, big lies

Post by tiltbillings » Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:47 am

alan wrote:I don't think it is a question of "where".
Then what are they? Built in thingies to prevent ourselves from killing ourselves?
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

alan
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Re: little lies, big lies

Post by alan » Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:56 am

Oh, tilt. I'm sure you are aware that we are the product of the evolution of our brains.

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tiltbillings
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Re: little lies, big lies

Post by tiltbillings » Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:00 am

alan wrote:Oh, tilt. I'm sure you are aware that we are the product of the evolution of our brains.
And it certainly is a mixed bag; however, where is compassion and where is justice?

Or since this make no sense to you, outside of an act of compassion, where is it?

Death: YOU NEED TO BELIEVE IN THINGS THAT AREN'T TRUE. HOW ELSE CAN THEY BECOME?
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

alan
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Re: little lies, big lies

Post by alan » Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:06 am

We would never have survived the evolutionary process without inborn senses of compassion and "justice".

As for your quote: I don't get it. What is the meaning behind it? Is it supposed to be profound?

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tiltbillings
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Re: little lies, big lies

Post by tiltbillings » Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:09 am

alan wrote:We would never have survived the evolutionary process without inborn senses of compassion and "justice".

As for your quote: I don't get it. What is the meaning behind it? Is it supposed to be profound?
So, compassion and justice are evolutionary prcesses? But what does that actually mean? Where do they exist? How do they exist?
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

Nyana
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Re: little lies, big lies

Post by Nyana » Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:20 am

alan wrote:Oh, tilt. I'm sure you are aware that we are the product of the evolution of our brains.
This sounds like the big lie of scientific materialism to me.................

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Re: little lies, big lies

Post by alan » Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:28 am

Would you care to offer an alternate view?

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Prasadachitta
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Re: little lies, big lies

Post by Prasadachitta » Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:36 am

Brilliant! Thanks for the quote and food for thought.

Perhaps the value of abstractions is that they can be the vehicle for good to get better and move on to being the best. In other words, even though there is no compassion outside of a compassionate act, to entertain the idea of compassion can have the effect of supporting and propagating ever more lofty compassionate acts. This in turn informs a more open ended idea of what compassion could entail within the activity which is its very substance.
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332

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Re: little lies, big lies

Post by Nyana » Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:58 am

alan wrote:Would you care to offer an alternate view?
How about the Buddhist view? AN 5.57:
  • I am the owner of my actions (kamma), heir to my actions, born of my actions, related through my actions, and have my actions as my arbitrator. Whatever I do, for good or for evil, to that will I fall heir...

    To the extent that there are beings — past and future, passing away and re-arising — all beings are the owner of their actions, heir to their actions, born of their actions, related through their actions, and live dependent on their actions. Whatever they do, for good or for evil, to that will they fall heir.
All the best,

Geoff

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Re: little lies, big lies

Post by chownah » Thu Aug 11, 2011 6:03 am

Edit: I've noticed that the connection to the topic is pretty hard to see....I composed it in response to the comment that some abstractions have value...posted by Prasadachitta. My intent is to underscore that all language is abstraction and that this is at least part of what the Devil was getting at in my view.

Isn't all language abstraction? Isn't every single word an abstraction? Maybe the one word "abstraction" actually is what it says but other than that no word IS what it denotes. And to go further...isn't language used as a shorthand to recall salient aspects of some experience?....if I think "dog" my mind will start generating all sorts of things...not just one static idea....meditation helps us to understand this....take the word "dog" as a meditation object and see what happens....if you are successful in achieving absorption I'm pretty sure that you will end up with some really stripped down mental object not really resembling the ordinary thoughts we have when we think "dog"....maybe you will attain absorption when you just focus on the internal sound of the word.....but this is only a mentally produced sound....but this makes sense in that really the word "dog" has its sound as its nearest referent.............this is what language is all about I guess....whether its "dog" or "justice".......it's all empty......I think.....mabe not.....don't know for sure.....
chownah
Last edited by chownah on Thu Aug 11, 2011 6:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

alan
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Re: little lies, big lies

Post by alan » Thu Aug 11, 2011 6:12 am

Hi Nana
Nice quote, but not relevant. It does not address the issues we are discussing.

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tiltbillings
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Re: little lies, big lies

Post by tiltbillings » Thu Aug 11, 2011 6:20 am

While there may be that via evolution we have impulses to act with some degree of compassion or empathy, compassion, empathy, love, justice have become highly refined concepts, certainly more so in the suttas and other writings than what we would find by evolution alone, but there is not any ultimate self-existent reality to them, they become by our actions. No neo-platonism here.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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