General Philosophy

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.
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retrofuturist
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Re: General Philosophy

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Sep 12, 2013 11:11 pm

Greetings,
clw_uk wrote:Or to argue from ethics

Murder appears as abhorrent to me, yet good to others. I cannot tell if murder is good or bad, just how it appears to me.
I'm inclined to perceive the matter from the point of view of cetana.

Abstracted codes and hypothetical scenarios have little bearing when the ongoing focus is on the quality of mind and the nature of intention in the present moment.

(Once again, sorry if that's boring, but a philosophy without possible application is boring to me, and when it comes to application, there is no application greater than the Dhamma. As you quoted elsewhere, ""They do not speculate nor pursue (any notion); doctrines are not accepted by them. A (true) brahmana is beyond, does not fall back on views.")

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: General Philosophy

Post by clw_uk » Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:42 am

I'm inclined to perceive the matter from the point of view of cetana.

Abstracted codes and hypothetical scenarios have little bearing when the ongoing focus is on the quality of mind and the nature of intention in the present moment.

That's my point. Freedom from projecting an absolute morality onto the wider humanity, and opening ourselves up to the stress of holding to an ethical system.

As you rightly posted, freedom from views is the aim.


So be recognising that murder only appears as evil to me, we can free ourselves from preaching to others that it is. We can also be free from disturbance if we witness/hear of it.



So murder appears distasteful to me, and I would not recommend it. Yet I would not hold to doctrines that concern themselves with notions of it murder is ultimately evil or not.

All I can say is that it appears unskilful to me, as it increase negative ego. Yet that says nothing about murder in of itself.


That's the application


You see my point?
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Re: General Philosophy

Post by retrofuturist » Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:48 am

Greetings Craig,

I think the Dhamma is interesting in the sense that it's a system of "natural" ethics.

Wholesome and unwholesome actions demonstrably yield their corresponding kammic fruit, and the Dhamma (in the sense of the teachings) is a systematised representation of how the "natural ethics" of the Dhamma (in the sense of how things are) manifest in practice. So, there is benefit in awareness and knowledge of this "natural ethical" system, but it is in no way divorced from its actual application and result.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: General Philosophy

Post by clw_uk » Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:57 am

Wholesome and unwholesome actions demonstrably yield their corresponding kammic fruit, and the Dhamma (in the sense of the teachings) is a systematised representation of how the "natural ethics" of the Dhamma (in the sense of how things are) manifest in practice. So, there is benefit in awareness and knowledge of this "natural ethical" system, but it is in no way divorced from its actual application and result.

But isn't that all subjective? Theft might result in negative experience (kamma) for you, sure. However that doesn't mean it does for everyone. The same object can be different from different angles.


Concerning Buddhas "natural ethics" how do you view incest, in terms of Dhamma?
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Re: General Philosophy

Post by retrofuturist » Fri Sep 13, 2013 2:51 am

Greetings,
clw_uk wrote:But isn't that all subjective? Theft might result in negative experience (kamma) for you, sure. However that doesn't mean it does for everyone. The same object can be different from different angles.
You're moving away from the "natural ethics" of cetana, right effort, citta etc. and over into abstractions (e.g. "theft")
clw_uk wrote:Concerning Buddhas "natural ethics" how do you view incest, in terms of Dhamma?
The same way as anything else.... cetana, right effort, citta etc. yields the commensurate experienced outcome. As I said above...
Wholesome and unwholesome actions demonstrably yield their corresponding kammic fruit, and the Dhamma (in the sense of the teachings) is a systematised representation of how the "natural ethics" of the Dhamma (in the sense of how things are) manifest in practice.
Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: General Philosophy

Post by Dinsdale » Fri Sep 13, 2013 9:03 am

clw_uk wrote: In essence, how do we know that X is always dukkha, or dukkha to someone else?
Presumably by observation, which is of course subjective.
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Re: General Philosophy

Post by Dinsdale » Fri Sep 13, 2013 9:04 am

clw_uk wrote: To give an old example, honey appears to be sweet, yet I can only say it appears to be sweet. I cannot affirm if honey is sweet in its nature.
Though I think we could say that sweet and sour are quite different tastes.
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Re: General Philosophy

Post by beeblebrox » Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:07 pm

I'd like to throw in some logic from the Diamond Sutra (hope that's OK!) to this "General Philosophy" discussion.

X doesn't have any nature of X... in this way we call it X.

I.e., "down" is never really down, so that is why we make sure to call it "down."

Dukkha is never fixed as a dukkha. That is why it is called "dukkha."

In "self," there is no self which can be seen; it is in that way that the Tathagata calls it "self."

Etc.

What do you guys think?

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Re: General Philosophy

Post by Dinsdale » Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:47 pm

beeblebrox wrote: I.e., "down" is never really down, so that is why we make sure to call it "down."
It's partly about how we name things, but with this example isn't it also about physical laws? Due to gravity stuff always falls to earth, regardless of how we label that direction. Though of course if one travels into space "up" and "down" do become arbitrary.
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Re: General Philosophy

Post by beeblebrox » Fri Sep 13, 2013 3:13 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
beeblebrox wrote: I.e., "down" is never really down, so that is why we make sure to call it "down."
It's partly about how we name things, but with this example isn't it also about physical laws? Due to gravity stuff always falls to earth, regardless of how we label that direction. Though of course if one travels into space "up" and "down" do become arbitrary.
Hi Spiny,

That part about the "down" was a bit tongue-in-cheek, but there are people who still get amused when they find out that Australia is upside-down (on a globe). They'd think about how people could still fall down there. That is because they still function from their own frame of reference, of what "up" and "down" is...

So, it's really a corrective measure for that kind of misperception... in the same way that the Buddha's Dhamma is a teaching on how we could free ourselves from the samsara.

:anjali:

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Re: General Philosophy

Post by clw_uk » Fri Sep 13, 2013 8:41 pm

I'd like to throw in some logic from the Diamond Sutra (hope that's OK!) to this "General Philosophy" discussion.
Sure why not :)
X doesn't have any nature of X... in this way we call it X.

I.e., "down" is never really down, so that is why we make sure to call it "down."

Dukkha is never fixed as a dukkha. That is why it is called "dukkha."

In "self," there is no self which can be seen; it is in that way that the Tathagata calls it "self."

Could you expand, im having trouble unpacking this

for example what do you mean by ""down" is never really down, so that is why we make sure to call it "down.""?


Down and up are a matter of perspectives. So we call the same thing by different names depending on the perception
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Re: General Philosophy

Post by clw_uk » Fri Sep 13, 2013 8:42 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
beeblebrox wrote: I.e., "down" is never really down, so that is why we make sure to call it "down."
It's partly about how we name things, but with this example isn't it also about physical laws? Due to gravity stuff always falls to earth, regardless of how we label that direction. Though of course if one travels into space "up" and "down" do become arbitrary.

So is it down or up?
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Re: General Philosophy

Post by clw_uk » Fri Sep 13, 2013 8:44 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
clw_uk wrote: To give an old example, honey appears to be sweet, yet I can only say it appears to be sweet. I cannot affirm if honey is sweet in its nature.
Though I think we could say that sweet and sour are quite different tastes.

Exactly

If P as X to A and -X to B, which is the correct description of X?

Or do we withhold opinion about what P is really like?
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Re: General Philosophy

Post by clw_uk » Fri Sep 13, 2013 8:46 pm

You're moving away from the "natural ethics" of cetana, right effort, citta etc. and over into abstractions (e.g. "theft")
Could you expand?
clw_uk wrote:
Concerning Buddhas "natural ethics" how do you view incest, in terms of Dhamma?

The same way as anything else.... cetana, right effort, citta etc. yields the commensurate experienced outcome. As I said above...
That didnt answer the question of if incest is moral or not?
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Re: General Philosophy

Post by clw_uk » Fri Sep 13, 2013 8:53 pm

The only thing X is "by nature", is subjective.

If you try to make it objective you commit the referrential fallacy (like that committed by the abhidhammikas)

Going back to this, would you say then we should focus on the present moment, and focus on things as they appear, and not speculate about X nature etc i.e. not fall into metaphysics?
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