Nibbana, being outside this set of parameters, hasn't happened for all beings.

That was my primary argument against Germann's proposition. Basically, my argument was that Nibbana is unconditioned. Being unconditioned, it can never be a member of the infinite set of all casually chained events.

Nibbana has no kammic reasons, but its manifestation has conditions. The realization of Nibbana is the well-known sequence of dhammas. This sequence of dhammas, if possible, has a non-zero probability.

If Nibbana is mere cessation, then we can say that mere cessation requires that condition of the cessation of the phenomenon of mind. If Nibbana is not mere cessation but a realization, then that realization cannot come from the mind in the realm of phenomena because that mind has already ceased. The realization of Nibbana therefore comes from a different consciousness. Therefore, that realization has nothing to do with any casually chained events.

The obvious question to ask then is did the Buddha himself alluded to the fact that there is two type of consciousness in the Pali canon? The answer is yes.

If there is no free choice, then all events are either random or deterministic. If there are random events, the entire Path to Nibbana should be already “printed” for an endless past (the title post). If there are no random events, then all events are totally deterministic. Deterministic algorithm, whose steps have already been carried out in the infinite past. If Nibbana is possible, all steps towards it must be realized for an infinite past. If Nibbana is impossible, the algorithm infinitely repeats the events of samsara, there is no way out of samsara.

Like I mentioned before, Nibbana being unconditioned, can never be a member of the infinite set of casually-chained events.

Nibbana can be anything. Theravadin Nibbana is most similar to Nirguna Brahman - a transcendental entity, an absolute reality that remains out of experience, after all phenomena cease.

That combination is not deterministic. The Buddha has emphasized the importance of effort, constant mindfulness and concentration. These all require the volition of the one seeking realization.

If satta, the subject of free choice, is totally denied, then all events are random or predetermined.

The lack of free choice (i.e. a choice that is not determined by any cause or influence by any condition (I am not even sure if there is such a thing in reality)) does not mean that there is no choice.

The ability to choice is something that is needed in the context of limited information. In any other context, it makes no sense. In a context of limited information, we have to decide based on what we are taught and what we have experienced. There is always uncertainty around the importance of the factors that will affect a choice. Therefore the outcome of an act of choosing is deterministic but not pre-determined. There will always be different possible outcomes depending on what choice is made. The past is therefore fixed but the future is not pre-determined.

That combination is not deterministic. The Buddha has emphasized the importance of effort, constant mindfulness and concentration. These all require the volition of the one seeking realization.

If satta, the subject of free choice, is totally denied, then all events are random or predetermined.

The lack of free choice (i.e. a choice that is not determined by any cause or influence by any condition (I am not even sure if there is such a thing in reality)) does not mean that there is no choice.

The ability to choice is something that is needed in the context of limited information. In any other context, it makes no sense. In a context of limited information, we have to decide based on what we are taught and what we have experienced. There is always uncertainty around the importance of the factors that will affect a choice. Therefore the outcome of an act of choosing is deterministic but not pre-determined. There will always be different possible outcomes depending on what choice is made. The past is therefore fixed but the future is not pre-determined.

For this, a subject of free choice is needed (the subject is a stream of dharmas), and not a denial of the existence of the subject (the stream of dharmas exists, the "man" is called the stream of dharmas). It is not about absolute freedom. There is some degree of freedom, that's enough.

Like I mentioned before, Nibbana being unconditioned, can never be a member of the infinite set of casually-chained events.

Nibbana can be anything. Theravadin Nibbana is most similar to Nirguna Brahman - a transcendental entity, an absolute reality that remains out of experience, after all phenomena cease.

What are your reasons for saying the above?

Absolute reality that exists after the cessation of phenomena.

That was my primary argument against Germann's proposition. Basically, my argument was that Nibbana is unconditioned. Being unconditioned, it can never be a member of the infinite set of all casually chained events.

Nibbana has no kammic reasons, but its manifestation has conditions. The realization of Nibbana is the well-known sequence of dhammas. This sequence of dhammas, if possible, has a non-zero probability.

If Nibbana is mere cessation, then we can say that mere cessation requires that condition of the cessation of the phenomenon of mind. If Nibbana is not mere cessation but a realization, then that realization cannot come from the mind in the realm of phenomena because that mind has already ceased. The realization of Nibbana therefore comes from a different consciousness. Therefore, that realization has nothing to do with any casually chained events.

The obvious question to ask then is did the Buddha himself alluded to the fact that there is two type of consciousness in the Pali canon? The answer is yes.

If there is no subject of free choice, then the path to Nibbana (the sequence of combinations of dhammas, after which Nibbana manifests) is random or deterministic. In any case, this path will be traversed for an infinite past. Here, in this thread, random events were denied in favor of fully deterministic ones. If reality is such a deterministic algorithm, then any deterministic sequence of combinations of elements is implemented in an infinite number of steps of this algorithm. All steps of the algorithm are a countable set (the “smallest” among infinite sets). All steps of the algorithm fit in the infinite past.

Free choice is expounded upon by the Buddha. He confirms the “doer of the action”. So, sure - if there is no free choice then etc. etc.

Why are you here telling us this? Nobody on this forum will contradict what the Buddha says. Everyone here is a believer in the Buddha’s words.

A) Mahayana suttas are not the Buddha’s words
B) what you’ve provided from the Visuddhimagga as proof of Theravada denial of free choice needs serious clarification. Like a lot of your posts, you leave it up to the reader to figure out what your point is
C) Theravada followers believe in the three baskets. Which leads me back to point A)

Clarify how the Visuddhimagga denies free choice and at the very best we can say The Abhidhamma contradicts the Buddha’s original words. And The Abhidhamma was composed after the Buddha - much like every sutta in the Mahayana cannon of suttas. So why would any Theravada follower have doubts about the Buddha’s original words if a collection of suttas composed after his death contradict what he originally said? Your thesis is staged on an incorrect assumption and your claim that Theravada is wrong If Abhidhamma is wrong is ... wrong!!!

Free choice is expounded upon by the Buddha. He confirms the “doer of the action”. So, sure - if there is no free choice then etc. etc.

Why are you here telling us this? Nobody on this forum will contradict what the Buddha says. Everyone here is a believer in the Buddha’s words.

A) Mahayana suttas are not the Buddha’s words
B) what you’ve provided from the Visuddhimagga as proof of Theravada denial of free choice needs serious clarification. Like a lot of your posts, you leave it up to the reader to figure out what your point is
C) Theravada followers believe in the three baskets. Which leads me back to point A)

Clarify how the Visuddhimagga denies free choice and at the very best we can say The Abhidhamma contradicts the Buddha’s original words. And The Abhidhamma was composed after the Buddha - much like every sutta in the Mahayana cannon of suttas. So why would any Theravada follower have doubts about the Buddha’s original words if a collection of suttas composed after his death contradict what he originally said? Your thesis is staged on an incorrect assumption and your claim that Theravada is wrong If Abhidhamma is wrong is ... wrong!!!

Theravada School is not a cupboard with antique books. This is a tradition of interpretation. In this tradition - in this school - a being (satta) is considered non-existent (avijjavana). This is how Suttas interpreted before the Theravadins met Tibetan and Japanese Buddhism.

In any case, this path will be traversed for an infinite past.

Major assumption. No evience to support it. Might be completely false.
chownah

Proof: the infinite set of steps of the algorithm is a countable set, the cardinality of a countable set is minimal for infinite sets. Set of steps mapping into an infinite set of moments of the past. There is no such step of the algorithm that is not implemented in the past.

It is absurd to believe that a deterministic algorithm (if there are no random events, a deterministic algorithm is obtained) in an infinite number of steps will not give a deterministic step - the final sequence of dhammas leading to the manifestation of Nibbana.

Germann, this 40-odd page thread is based on your presupposition that Theravada can be reduced to Abhidhamma. You're wrong.

"Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is perception...such are fabrications...such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.'" - Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta

Germann, this 40-odd page thread is based on your presupposition that Theravada can be reduced to Abhidhamma. You're wrong.

Theravada is called a school. What is a school? This is the tradition of comments. If we call Theravada a set of books, then the Chinese Mahayana is exactly the same Theravada, since there are Agamas.

How was Suttas interpreted at Theravada School? Only in the way it was taken in the school Abhidhamma. (Except for boran kammatthana maybe.)

The very thing that the school Abhidhamma says was mastered in meditative practice until it was interrupted after the 14th century. (Except boran kammatthana.)

At every possible step of the algorithm and at every possible combination of elements — whether there is random events or no random events, it does not matter — there is a moment in the past. This is a countable set, the smallest of the infinite sets, and the set of moments of the past is also infinite. This is mapping of set.

Last edited by Germann on Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

It is absurd to believe that a deterministic algorithm (if there are no random events, a deterministic algorithm is obtained) in an infinite number of steps will not give a deterministic step - the final sequence of dhammas leading to the manifestation of Nibbana.

This is not a proof. Why should it give this sequence?

Last edited by Dan74-MkII on Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

In any case, this path will be traversed for an infinite past.

Major assumption. No evience to support it. Might be completely false.
chownah

Proof: the infinite set of steps of the algorithm is a countable set, the cardinality of a countable set is minimal for infinite sets. Set of steps mapping into an infinite set of moments of the past. There is no such step of the algorithm that is not implemented in the past.

It is absurd to believe that a deterministic algorithm (if there are no random events, a deterministic algorithm is obtained) in an infinite number of steps will not give a deterministic step - the final sequence of dhammas leading to the manifestation of Nibbana.

so many assumptions without support.......just one: assumption of an infinite past.....just another: that each of the finite steps has only a finite number of values which it can assume.....just another: that this mathematical algorithm is in any way an accurate model for the phenomena to which it is being applied.....
chownah