Theravada against mathematics

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Dan74-MkII
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by Dan74-MkII » Sun Mar 10, 2019 7:50 am

Germann wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 7:26 am
Dan74-MkII wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 10:35 pm
Germann wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 7:10 pm

If you simply deny the mathematical theorem, what should I do? I can only offer to discuss this in the mathematical community.
What you could do is acquire the requisite background before making assertions. Results rest upon assumptions. You appear neither aware nor concerned about these assumptions.
My argument is mathematically correct. That you deny the validity of the theorem is another question (I understand that Theravada is really incompatible with it).
I haven't denied the validity of any theorem - show me where. I denied the applicability.

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Germann
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by Germann » Sun Mar 10, 2019 7:59 am

Dan74-MkII wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 7:50 am
Germann wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 7:26 am
Dan74-MkII wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 10:35 pm


What you could do is acquire the requisite background before making assertions. Results rest upon assumptions. You appear neither aware nor concerned about these assumptions.
My argument is mathematically correct. That you deny the validity of the theorem is another question (I understand that Theravada is really incompatible with it).
I haven't denied the validity of any theorem - show me where. I denied the applicability.
The printed text of the novel is a sequence of combinations of letters. The path to Nibbana is a sequence of combinations of dhammas. The set of printing monkeys is infinite, the set of past lives is infinite. The theorem is applicable.

suaimhneas
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by suaimhneas » Sun Mar 10, 2019 8:43 am

Germann wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 6:55 pm
Buddhism does not teach budding flows with the formation of the first life in the new flow.
Sure, though I can't remember it being specifically ruled out either.

You are assuming that we are all infinite beings (have existed in a sense forever into the past) and that we have all lived for half of infinity already. There's a big difference between "no discernible beginning" and infinity.
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.
Why does any kammic fruit need to be transferred? In my hypothesis, if some kammic chain is initiated in a very simple being/organism on the borderline between life and non-life, then surely it would start with a fairly undifferentiated/clean kammic slate apart from basic ignorance/desire/survival impulse.

Or are you talking about branching flows (as in the many-worlds hypothesis)? Am not sure from your language. Even there, is it kamma transference? There was one being in one universe and then it splits into two beings in two universes (identical except for the particular quantum event/"choice"). Who gave the kamma and who received the kamma? Isn't it still just cause and effect (am not sure the Buddha ever considered the MW interpretation :) ).

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Dan74-MkII
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by Dan74-MkII » Sun Mar 10, 2019 8:53 am

Germann wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 7:59 am
Dan74-MkII wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 7:50 am
Germann wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 7:26 am

My argument is mathematically correct. That you deny the validity of the theorem is another question (I understand that Theravada is really incompatible with it).
I haven't denied the validity of any theorem - show me where. I denied the applicability.
The printed text of the novel is a sequence of combinations of letters. The path to Nibbana is a sequence of combinations of dhammas. The set of printing monkeys is infinite, the set of past lives is infinite. The theorem is applicable.
Please respond to my three points raised in the earlier post. Otherwise I see no.point in going further.

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Germann
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by Germann » Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:39 am

Dan74-MkII wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:02 pm
Infinity is a lot more subtle than it seems.

For instance if alphabet itself was infinite (say a letter for every whole number, A1, A2, A3,...), then a thousand monkeys even working very randomly on a thousand typewriters would not necessarily type up every book eventually.

Also, and perhaps more relevant, if one imagines a random walk on a line, meaning ever second one makes a step to the right or to the left at random, one is guaranteed to visit every stop (at 0, -1, +1, -2, +2, etc) ever more often and the same is true on a two-dimensional grid, but in 3-d, the situation changes and there will be heaps of unvisited locations (Polya's Random Walk Theorem).

In any case, all this has very little to do with the Dhamma...
The alphabet is a finite set. The number of dhammas from the Abhidhamma is a finite set. The theorem applies to dhammas in the same way as to buttons.

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Germann
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by Germann » Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:50 am

Dan74-MkII wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:33 pm
Well, it's obvious that we can cycle through the same finite states for ever without exhausting many possibilities at all.
All combinations of dhammas from the Abhidhamma will be exhausted just like all combinations of buttons.
Dan74-MkII wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:33 pm
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.
The elements (dhammas) of the Abhidhamma are a finite set.
Dan74-MkII wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:33 pm
And then, finally, Nibbana is said to be unconditioned, uncaused, so it appears to be outside such framework anyway.
In the elements (dhammas) of the Abhidhamma there is not one that is inaccessible, never manifest. Nibbana appears when a previously known sequence of button combinations is pressed. This sequence corresponds to the "novel", which prints the "monkey" from the theorem.

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Germann
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by Germann » Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:53 am

suaimhneas wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 8:43 am
There's a big difference between "no discernible beginning" and infinity.
There are only two options - either there is no first life, or there is first life. If there is a first life, then there are the first impermanent dhammas that arose without kammic reasons.

Can Theravada admit that non-permanent dhammas may not have kammic reasons? No. Therefore, there is no first life - therefore, the number of past lives is infinite.

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Sherab
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by Sherab » Sun Mar 10, 2019 10:04 am

Germann wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 7:23 am
My argument is not at all connected with what dhamma Nibbana is. It is enough that the achievement of Nibbana is a possible event.
I disagree. Your argument can only hold for dhammas that are conditioned. Even if you redefined your argument to cover events, the events that are being covered are still valid only for conditioned dhammas. If you include Nibbana event into your events, you will have committed the fallacy of equivocation.

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Germann
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by Germann » Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:36 am

Sherab wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 10:04 am
Germann wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 7:23 am
My argument is not at all connected with what dhamma Nibbana is. It is enough that the achievement of Nibbana is a possible event.
I disagree. Your argument can only hold for dhammas that are conditioned. Even if you redefined your argument to cover events, the events that are being covered are still valid only for conditioned dhammas. If you include Nibbana event into your events, you will have committed the fallacy of equivocation.
No dhamma combination ends with the manifestation of Nibbana? Is there no Ways to Nibbana? Can you go all the way from beginning to end, but not reach Nibbana? My argument has not changed:

A "text" is a sequence of combinations of dhammas, culminating in the realization of Nibbana.

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Dan74-MkII
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by Dan74-MkII » Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:56 am

Germann wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:50 am
Dan74-MkII wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:33 pm
Well, it's obvious that we can cycle through the same finite states for ever without exhausting many possibilities at all.
All combinations of dhammas from the Abhidhamma will be exhausted just like all combinations of buttons.
Asserting it doesn't make it so. The dhammas are causally connected. We know that we keep repeating yhe same mistakes, history repeats itself. There is a lot of cycling, a complex causally linked dependent dynamic - very far from a random sequence that your so-called theorems consider. Hence they don't apply.
Dan74-MkII wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:33 pm
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.
The elements (dhammas) of the Abhidhamma are a finite set.
A reference would be nice, but still I wonder..
Dan74-MkII wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:33 pm
And then, finally, Nibbana is said to be unconditioned, uncaused, so it appears to be outside such framework anyway.
In the elements (dhammas) of the Abhidhamma there is not one that is inaccessible, never manifest. Nibbana appears when a previously known sequence of button combinations is pressed. This sequence corresponds to the "novel", which prints the "monkey" from the theorem.
Again, it is not at all clear to me that nibbana is a combination of dhammas. Why? Uncaused, unconditioned, it is called.

Your 'case' falls apart on a number of grounds..

suaimhneas
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by suaimhneas » Sun Mar 10, 2019 1:55 pm

Germann wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:53 am
There are only two options - either there is no first life, or there is first life. If there is a first life, then there are the first impermanent dhammas that arose without kammic reasons.

Can Theravada admit that non-permanent dhammas may not have kammic reasons? No. Therefore, there is no first life - therefore, the number of past lives is infinite.
Kamma is always to do with life in the suttas (dependent origination applies to beings). There is cause and effect outside of that but it isn't kamma. Impermanent stuff can arise in the universe not due to kamma. I'm not neccesarily arguing from a Theravadian viewpoint (more from the perspective of the suttas). There is cause and effect but not total kammic determinism in the suttas. The approach seems to be somewhere in the middle between thinking everything is determined by past kamma and everything is random and without cause. Misfortune can happen just due to chance also, e.g. see SN36.21. So there seems to be a certain room for non-kammic chance and happenstance in the universe as pictured by the suttas. Maybe DO chains can spontaneously arise from this borderline between kammic and non-kammic causes (or from some background condition of ignorance; Bhikkhu Bodhi speculated something along those lines might be the case)?

Anyway, even if not, you never addressed my Hilbert Hotel point, which does assume an infinite past.
You say in your OP:
Nibbana should be already realized for the infinity of the past by all "people" without exception.
But isn't the "mathematically impossible" scenario you describe in your OP just a dressed-up form of Hilbert's Hotel? If every day half of the people in Hilbert's infinite hotel can check out (like perhaps a fixed percentage of people might achieve nibbana in an eon) and if this process goes on day after day for infinity, then the hotel will still always remain completely full. Isn't your statement, therefore, the mathematically dubious one?

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Sherab
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by Sherab » Sun Mar 10, 2019 2:13 pm

Germann wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:36 am
Sherab wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 10:04 am
Germann wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 7:23 am
My argument is not at all connected with what dhamma Nibbana is. It is enough that the achievement of Nibbana is a possible event.
I disagree. Your argument can only hold for dhammas that are conditioned. Even if you redefined your argument to cover events, the events that are being covered are still valid only for conditioned dhammas. If you include Nibbana event into your events, you will have committed the fallacy of equivocation.
No dhamma combination ends with the manifestation of Nibbana? Is there no Ways to Nibbana? Can you go all the way from beginning to end, but not reach Nibbana? My argument has not changed:

A "text" is a sequence of combinations of dhammas, culminating in the realization of Nibbana.
No dhamma combination ends with the manifestation of Nibbana? Yes no combination of conditioned dhammas can end with the manisfestation of Nibbana. This is because what is conditioned and what is unconditioned are mutually exclusive.

Is there no Ways to Nibbana?
Yes there is no ways within the dependently arisen regime to Nibbana, because Nibbana is the cessation of all that are dependently arisen, and that have to include any dependently arisen ways within the dependently arisen regime.

Can you go all the way from beginning to end, but not reach Nibbana? You cannot make something conditioned become unconditioned since what is conditioned and what is unconditioned are mutually exclusive. When you are in the dependently arisen regime, there is no beginning and there is no end. The only end is the ending of the dependently arisen regime as a whole where it all ceases for you.

sentinel
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by sentinel » Sun Mar 10, 2019 4:56 pm

Nibbana is the extinguishment of life although No Self is being annihilated . Life (of five aggregates) is dependently arising .
:coffee:

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Germann
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by Germann » Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:21 pm

Dan74-MkII wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:56 am
Germann wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:50 am
Dan74-MkII wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:33 pm
Well, it's obvious that we can cycle through the same finite states for ever without exhausting many possibilities at all.
All combinations of dhammas from the Abhidhamma will be exhausted just like all combinations of buttons.
Asserting it doesn't make it so. The dhammas are causally connected. We know that we keep repeating yhe same mistakes, history repeats itself. There is a lot of cycling, a complex causally linked dependent dynamic - very far from a random sequence that your so-called theorems consider. Hence they don't apply.
Dan74-MkII wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:33 pm
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.
The elements (dhammas) of the Abhidhamma are a finite set.
A reference would be nice, but still I wonder..
Dan74-MkII wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:33 pm
And then, finally, Nibbana is said to be unconditioned, uncaused, so it appears to be outside such framework anyway.
In the elements (dhammas) of the Abhidhamma there is not one that is inaccessible, never manifest. Nibbana appears when a previously known sequence of button combinations is pressed. This sequence corresponds to the "novel", which prints the "monkey" from the theorem.
Again, it is not at all clear to me that nibbana is a combination of dhammas. Why? Uncaused, unconditioned, it is called.

Your 'case' falls apart on a number of grounds..
First, you cut a sophism by giving a finite set (the list of dhammas in the Abhidhamma is finite) for an infinite. Then they eliminated deterministic processes from the subject of probability theory — although they also have probability. Then they ignored the doctrinal fact that behind a specific sequence of combinations of dhammas (after a specific sequence of keystrokes) - after passing the Path - Nibbana manifests itself.

This is not an argument.

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Germann
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Re: Theravada against mathematics

Post by Germann » Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:27 pm

Sherab wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 2:13 pm

No dhamma combination ends with the manifestation of Nibbana? Yes no combination of conditioned dhammas can end with the manisfestation of Nibbana. This is because what is conditioned and what is unconditioned are mutually exclusive.
This means that the complete passage of the Path, from beginning to end, does not lead to Nibbana. Such a Path is not a Path.

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