Theravada against mathematics

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
suaimhneas
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by suaimhneas » Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:35 pm

Germann wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 2:51 pm
suaimhneas wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 2:14 pm
Germann wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 11:56 am

But every non-permanent dhamma has a dhamma cause. So we get an infinite series.
Well, not necessarily.
In addition to such a dhamma as Nibbana, each dhamma has a cause — a different dhamma. The entire path, from beginning to end, would have already been printed by the infinite "monkeys" - past lives.
I think you are conflating two things. You are talking about chains of lives of beings: dependent origination (DO) processes. These are taking place in the context of some overall universe. And there's cause and effect in that universe which may not be tied up specifically with these DO processes (in the suttas not everything is the result of kamma; there can be causes to misfortunate other than kamma). It's possible such DO chains may just spontaneously spring into existence from existing conditions in the universe. There could be such DO processes continually arising and ceasing. I think you simply making an assertion above (might be true or might be false). DO process may not necessarily go back infinitely (even if we assume the surrounding universe is infinite).

Even for the infinite case, another problem with your logic can be shown by appealing to the Hilbert Hotel example again. By your logic, the hotel has to be empty (since surely, every single guest should have checked out sometime in the infinite past). However, the Hilbert example shows that in an infinity, there are always enough guests (who have spent all of infinity up to that point without checking out) to keep the hotel constantly full. Your probabilistic argument doesn't really make sense when are dealing with infinities and their weird properties!

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Dan74-MkII
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by Dan74-MkII » Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:40 pm

Germann wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 2:55 pm
Dan74-MkII wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 1:15 pm
No.

And Kolmogorov 0-1 assumes independence.

You are not listening, Germann.
Let's discuss this on a math forum. What offer?
I am not a member of a maths forum, except for the maths stack exchange. There is a long discussion here and people raise points (including me) which you don't respond to. But it would be a good idea for you to post it on a maths forum, there are more mathematically knowledgeable people there.

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DNS
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by DNS » Sat Mar 09, 2019 4:55 pm

Germann wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 7:26 am
The number of "monkeys" (past lives) in each case, without exception, is infinite. In each case, without exception, the "monkeys" should have already "printed" that sequence of combinations of their dhammas, which ends with Nibbana.
Monkeys don't attain nibbana, even in an infinite number of monkey lives. Monkeys are in the animal realm, the woeful realm. Nibbana is only attainable for humans (or devas or presumably other intelligent species on other planets - world systems). I know you meant that as an example/analogy for writing Shakespeare or some other document, but nibbana is different than that. See my post here, which you never responded to:
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=33879#p504779

For 99.9999% of earth's existence there were no humans. I'm fairly certain it would be the same on another planet with life. If we had some super fast space ship that could travel through the universe and locate any number of planets with life on it, I am fairly certain it would be highly unlikely to find any very intelligent life. We'd find lots of bacteria forms of life, algae similar life forms, perhaps some kind of lower animals types of life, but no large headed anthropomorphic looking aliens. There is no way every member of all species on a planet will attain nibbana at the same time just before some event finishes the planet, thus samsara continues. According to Buddhist cosmology, they would be reborn in another world system. And this could happen for an infinite period, a universe expanding, contracting, planets getting destroyed, super novas, etc and those 'beings' who did not attain nibbana getting reborn in another world system.

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Germann
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by Germann » Sat Mar 09, 2019 6:41 pm

DNS wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:41 pm
As I posted over at DWM, here was my response:
Germann wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:29 pm
This means that in the beginningless Buddhist past (the chain of conditioned dhammas does not have a first link) all possible events would have happened.
The texts don't say that. It states that there is no discernible beginning.
“Bhikkhus, this samsara is without discoverable beginning. A first point is not discerned of beings roaming and wandering on hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving. There comes a time, bhikkhus, when the great oceans dry up and evaporates and no longer exists, when the earth burns up and perishes and no longer exists, but still I say, there is no making an end of suffering for those beings roaming and wandering on hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving.” Samyutta Nikaya 22.99
And I'm sure you're familiar with the Fermi paradox? It states that considering the vast size of the universe, the thousands of known planets and solar systems; surely there are others where there is intelligent life, so the Fermi paradox asks "where are they?"

It's sort of similar to the infinity issue in Buddhism. If there is an infinite universe (forever expanding), surely there would have been some visitation (some possibility) of some alien beings visiting us at some time in our history. And surely at least one of them would have wiped us out? Then why are we still here?

One of the potential answers that I happen to agree with is that as intelligent beings advance technologically, eventually there is some catastrophic warfare, something similar to nukes or biological warfare that wipes out the planet or at the least, the intelligent - dominant species. Eventually a super nova occurs and eventually the solar system re-forms again, and the process starts all over.

Remember, for 99.9999% of earth's history, there were no intelligent species, not to the level of humans anyway. It could be the same on other planets too. And the solar systems are all great distances apart -- thousands of light years apart.

In the same way, humans attain enlightenment, nibbana, etc but not all of them. Some don't make it when the planet or intelligent species dies off. So according to traditional Buddhist cosmology, they would be reborn in another world system. And then the cycle continues as above . . .
The infinity of past lives follows from the kammа law. The first life meant the emergence of non-permanent dhammas without kammа reasons.

The probability of the existence of other civilizations is not equal to 1. (The material Universe and our planet have a beginning in time.) The probability that a possible event happened in an infinite series of past events (past dhammas) is 1.

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Germann
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by Germann » Sat Mar 09, 2019 6:47 pm

Dan74-MkII wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:40 pm
Germann wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 2:55 pm
Dan74-MkII wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 1:15 pm
No.

And Kolmogorov 0-1 assumes independence.

You are not listening, Germann.
Let's discuss this on a math forum. What offer?
I am not a member of a maths forum, except for the maths stack exchange. There is a long discussion here and people raise points (including me) which you don't respond to. But it would be a good idea for you to post it on a maths forum, there are more mathematically knowledgeable people there.
I discussed these issues with mathematicians. No objections.

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Dan74-MkII
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by Dan74-MkII » Sat Mar 09, 2019 6:52 pm

Germann wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 6:47 pm
Dan74-MkII wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:40 pm
Germann wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 2:55 pm

Let's discuss this on a math forum. What offer?
I am not a member of a maths forum, except for the maths stack exchange. There is a long discussion here and people raise points (including me) which you don't respond to. But it would be a good idea for you to post it on a maths forum, there are more mathematically knowledgeable people there.
I discussed these issues with mathematicians. No objections.
Not quite. I am a mathematician and I have objections. I've outlined them in earlier posts that you did not reply to.

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Germann
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by Germann » Sat Mar 09, 2019 6:55 pm

suaimhneas wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:35 pm
It's possible such DO chains may just spontaneously spring into existence from existing conditions in the universe.
Buddhism does not teach budding flows with the formation of the first life in the new flow. If such budding is asserted, then kamma of one is capable of generating kammic effects from another - you can transfer your kammic fruit to another.

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Germann
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by Germann » Sat Mar 09, 2019 7:08 pm

Dan74-MkII wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:33 pm
If I understand correctly, there's a bunch of assumptions being made here as others have pointed out.

1. Everything we deal with, except possibly for time, is finite - finitely many possible actions, emotions, volitions, mental states, etc.

2. If time stretches back to infinite past, then every possible event will have happened at some stage.

3. Nibbana is one possible such configuration, so one's possible lives cannot stretch back into infinite past, otherwise Nibbana must've been attained at some stage as one of the possible configurations.


Well, it's obvious that we can cycle through the same finite states for ever without exhausting many possibilities at all.

And what is to say that there aren't infinitely many possible states? Then one can have a timeline stretching back into infinite past with each configuration uniquely different and still not exhausting all.

And then, finally, Nibbana is said to be unconditioned, uncaused, so it appears to be outside such framework anyway.
If we can go through the same processes indefinitely, without having exhausted all possible processes, then an infinite number of monkeys can repeat the same texts without ever having printed a specific text. This contradicts the theorem.

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Germann
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by Germann » Sat Mar 09, 2019 7:10 pm

Dan74-MkII wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 6:52 pm
Germann wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 6:47 pm
Dan74-MkII wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:40 pm


I am not a member of a maths forum, except for the maths stack exchange. There is a long discussion here and people raise points (including me) which you don't respond to. But it would be a good idea for you to post it on a maths forum, there are more mathematically knowledgeable people there.
I discussed these issues with mathematicians. No objections.
Not quite. I am a mathematician and I have objections. I've outlined them in earlier posts that you did not reply to.
If you simply deny the mathematical theorem, what should I do? I can only offer to discuss this in the mathematical community.

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dhammacoustic
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by dhammacoustic » Sat Mar 09, 2019 7:33 pm

Germann wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:29 pm
Theravada proposes to take on faith the mathematically impossible model of reality: its school Abhidhamma contradicts the theory of probability.

The concept of "satta" in the Theravadin Abhidhamma is the concept of not-existent (satta-pannatti is the avijjamana-pannatti). There was no one who could select events. This means that in the beginningless Buddhist past (the chain of conditioned dhammas does not have a first link) all possible events would have happened. If the realization of Nibbana refers to possible events, then all the causes and conditions of the impersonal-mechanical achievement of Nibbana should have formed in the past.

The infinite monkey theorem: “The probability that an infinite number of monkeys will print any given text on the first attempt is 1”. Here a "monkey" is the past life. A "text" is a sequence of combinations of dhammas, culminating in the realization of Nibbana. As the number of past lives is not limited, the probability of nibbanization in past lives is 1.

Nibbana should be already realized for the infinity of the past by all "people" without exception.

(This contradiction is not removed by the "Two Truths". If the Dhamma is about the true reality (about the given here-and-now), then the logical law of the excluded is valid. True, either "A" or "Not A", the third is not given It is impossible to say at the same time that Satta does not exist (Paramattha-saccha: “A”) and that such a statement is unjust (Sammuti-saccha: “Not-A”). “Two Truths”, simultaneously asserting the truth of the judgments “A” and “Not A" defy logic.)
is there a "mathematically possible" model of reality??

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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by Srilankaputra » Sat Mar 09, 2019 7:38 pm

Germann wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 7:10 pm
Hi Germann,

I don't know if you are familiar with the links of dependant origination.

But which dhammas in that process do you propose behaves probabilisticaly?

How do you propose to asign values to these dhammas?
O seeing one,we for refuge go to thee!
O mighty sage do thou our teacher be!

Paccuppannañca yo dhammaṃ,
Tattha tattha vipassati

“Yato yato mano nivāraye,
Na dukkhameti naṃ tato tato;
Sa sabbato mano nivāraye,
Sa sabbato dukkhā pamuccatī”ti.

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Germann
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by Germann » Sat Mar 09, 2019 7:40 pm

dhammacoustic wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 7:33 pm

is there a "mathematically possible" model of reality??
Yes. There should be no TOTAL denial of the existence of satta.

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Germann
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by Germann » Sat Mar 09, 2019 7:45 pm

Srilankaputra wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 7:38 pm
Germann wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 7:10 pm
Hi Germann,

I don't know if you are familiar with the links of dependant origination.

But which dhammas in that process do you propose behaves probabilisticaly?

How do you propose to asign values to these dhammas?
If satta does not fully exist, there is no subject of free choice. Then there are not some freely selected events. Then all events are completely determined or random. The probability of a fully deterministic event is 1 - this is one of the options, a special case. Probability theory (in the same way as in physics) will explain all events.

Srilankaputra
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by Srilankaputra » Sat Mar 09, 2019 7:52 pm

Germann wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 7:45 pm
Srilankaputra wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 7:38 pm
Germann wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 7:10 pm
Hi Germann,

I don't know if you are familiar with the links of dependant origination.

But which dhammas in that process do you propose behaves probabilisticaly?

How do you propose to asign values to these dhammas?
If satta does not fully exist, there is no subject of free choice. Then there are not some freely selected events. Then all events are completely determined or random. The probability of a fully deterministic event is 1 - this is one of the options, a special case. Probability theory (in the same way as in physics) will explain all events.
I think you did not understand my question. Let's take an example link from DO. Let's take clinging(upadana). Are you proposing you can asign numerical values to upadana?
O seeing one,we for refuge go to thee!
O mighty sage do thou our teacher be!

Paccuppannañca yo dhammaṃ,
Tattha tattha vipassati

“Yato yato mano nivāraye,
Na dukkhameti naṃ tato tato;
Sa sabbato mano nivāraye,
Sa sabbato dukkhā pamuccatī”ti.

Srilankaputra
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Location: Sri Lanka

Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by Srilankaputra » Sat Mar 09, 2019 8:30 pm

Mathematics and logic are pretty cool subjects. But mathematicians conveniently forget about the very thoughts, perceptions and consciousness they used to come up with these theories.

Dependant origination explains these things. But that is something one becomes conscious of. It cannot be modeled mathematically.
O seeing one,we for refuge go to thee!
O mighty sage do thou our teacher be!

Paccuppannañca yo dhammaṃ,
Tattha tattha vipassati

“Yato yato mano nivāraye,
Na dukkhameti naṃ tato tato;
Sa sabbato mano nivāraye,
Sa sabbato dukkhā pamuccatī”ti.

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