The Dhamma and Science

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
User avatar
Ceisiwr
Posts: 5395
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am

Re: The Dhamma and Science

Post by Ceisiwr » Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:47 pm

alfa wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 2:47 pm
Dan74-MkII wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:51 am
Srilankaputra wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:36 am


Me too. I have utmost respect for scientists. It can't be a small amount dedication and effort that is required to become an expert in any field.
:goodpost:

Luckily the Dhamma and science do not contradict each other in any significant ways, so we don't have to choose.
Sure about that? Rebirth, hungry ghosts, hell realms?

How do those concepts contradict science? As far as I'm aware, science is silent on those topics.

User avatar
dhammacoustic
Posts: 890
Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2014 4:30 am

Re: The Dhamma and Science

Post by dhammacoustic » Thu Apr 18, 2019 2:25 pm

@clw_uk , the video below might be of interest to you:)


Khaggavisana
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 6:50 am

Re: The Dhamma and Science

Post by Khaggavisana » Wed May 15, 2019 8:50 pm

I've been struggling with a question: why didn't the Buddha tell something undoubtedly scientific so that in the XXI century everyone would have to embrace Buddhism because its founder knew something he couldn't possibly know if he were an ordinary person? For example, just imagine that we find the theory of evolution in the suttas. The world would be utterly bewildered. Or a prediction of a certain event in 2012. Something that would convince modern people that Buddhism is special.

User avatar
Sherab
Posts: 239
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2010 3:53 am

Re: The Dhamma and Science

Post by Sherab » Wed May 15, 2019 11:01 pm

Saddhā wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:13 pm
How do we approach Suttas which go against current scientific knowledge? For example, modern science tells us that a Big Crunch and a cyclic universe is impossible due to the increasing rate of expansion of the universe. The only two options are the Big Rip or the Big Freeze. This contradicts the sutta below. How should we approach and interpret said suttas? Should we dismiss suttas that contradict science, or should we believe the suttas despite the science? If we simply dismiss the science because of faith, how does that make us any better than Christians who dismiss evolution because of their faith in the Bible and creationism?

Thoughts?

"He recalls to mind his various temporary states in days gone by – one birth, or two or three or four or five births, 10 or 20, 30 or 50, a 100 or a 1,000 or a 100,000 births, through many cycles of cosmic contraction and cosmic expansion . . . Now there comes a time, when sooner or later, after the lapse of a long, long period of contraction, this world-system passes away. And when this happens beings have mostly been re-born in the World of Radiance, and there they dwell made of mind, feeding on joy, radiating light from themselves, traversing the air, dwelling in glory; and thus they remain for a long, long period of time. Now there comes also a time, friends, when sooner or later, this universe begins to re-evolve by expansion.” (Digha Nikaya 1 Brahmajala Sutta)
The Buddha said that he does not quarrel with the wise men of the world. I will take that as implying that the Buddha will not quarrel with proper scientists and their findings.

The knowledge of the world that we now know through science is much more advanced than the knowledge present during the time of the Buddha. I would expect the Buddha to use the knowledge of the time even if they are later proven wrong as tools to explain his Dhamma. As long as we seek the meaning of Dhamma, we need not be hung up on the scientific accuracy of some of the analogies or examples that the Buddha used to show the meaning of the Dhamma.

Imagine the Buddha trying to correct every wrong scientific idea (which I believe he could if he wanted to), he would spent unnecessary time explaining why the existing knowledge is wrong, time that he would rather have spent teaching the Dhamma of liberation from samsara.

User avatar
bridif1
Posts: 204
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2018 8:42 pm

Re: The Dhamma and Science

Post by bridif1 » Wed May 15, 2019 11:35 pm

Science do not tell us the truth about reality.
It only help us to confirm and reject falsable observation of phenomena.
We cannot know if our confirmed hypothesis and theories tell us the complete truth about reality. We will never know if there's something else to discover and understand.

Kind regards!

User avatar
dylanj
Posts: 904
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2016 1:48 am
Location: San Francisco
Contact:

Re: The Dhamma and Science

Post by dylanj » Thu May 16, 2019 4:06 am

The Buddha is more qualified than scientists.
Born, become, arisen – made, prepared, short-lived
Bonded by decay and death – a nest for sickness, perishable
Produced by seeking nutriment – not fit to take delight in


Departure from this is peaceful – beyond reasoning and enduring
Unborn, unarisen – free from sorrow and stain
Ceasing of all factors of suffering – stilling of all preparations is bliss

polo
Posts: 141
Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2019 3:22 pm

Re: The Dhamma and Science

Post by polo » Thu May 16, 2019 4:31 am

dylanj wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 4:06 am
The Buddha is more qualified than scientists.
In what way is Buddha more qualified than scientists? Please elaborate.
If Buddha were alive he wouldn't like to be over praise. He would be pleased with being just scientific I guess.
Wouldn't you think so?

markandeya
Posts: 320
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2018 11:33 am

Re: The Dhamma and Science

Post by markandeya » Thu May 16, 2019 4:35 am

The Buddha Dharma does not need to depend on modern science, modern science has a greater need to depend on Buddha Dharma. Modern science without developed consciousness is blind or at best short sighted.

User avatar
dylanj
Posts: 904
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2016 1:48 am
Location: San Francisco
Contact:

Re: The Dhamma and Science

Post by dylanj » Thu May 16, 2019 5:10 am

polo wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 4:31 am
dylanj wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 4:06 am
The Buddha is more qualified than scientists.
In what way is Buddha more qualified than scientists? Please elaborate.
If Buddha were alive he wouldn't like to be over praise. He would be pleased with being just scientific I guess.
Wouldn't you think so?
The Buddha eliminate ignorance & all the dispositional biases that might result in a flaw in one's analysis of the data before them, he understood the meaning and extent of truth as well as the range & limit of the instruments with which we measure it, inclusive of the mental instruments which are the basis of all our experience, he didn't depend on any views or concepts in order to find truth but instead had genuine & perfect mental objectivity as a result of lacking moral & mental defilement. So he had a wider scope than scientists ever do considering he directly knew the nature of the means by which he derived knowledge from the world, i.e. not only did he know about the things in the world but also the very nature of the world & the nature of the mind that perceives it, as a result he's immune to error & conversely this exposes how incredibly error-prone scientists are given the variegated & unorganized & heavily, perpetually impressionable nature of their minds & given the vast scale of ignorance that is the dark background of whatever knowledge they may have found or believed they've found. Many scientists overreach with their conclusions & even when they state mere opinions it is too often taken as fact, yet what is scientifically declared to be fact ends up being revised or replaced more often than not, thus you'd really have better luck rejecting everything scientists say than accepting it. Of course some fields are going to be less prone to human error than others but in no instance can the problem of the conditions of the expererimenter's mind be eliminated. The way modern scientists handle the question of consciousness is a great example, they are largely acting on a preexisting philosophical commitment to materialism (unsurprising considering their mode of learning is fundamentally restricted to the material) & their conclusions reflect that mistaken assumption. They assume that matter & form are real & ontologically dominant & thus their analysis of the relation between body & mind says the former creates the latter despite the fact that there is only real evidence that the two interact & are related. The whole thing is flipped upside-down when someone happens to suggest that the body is mind-made but that is not within the range of science, so it will continue with its materialist-bias & get many things wrong as a result. But even something as simple as the fact that a scientist is morally corrupt or weak in concentration is going to have effect on even studies that seem straightforward, & more importantly of course it will have an effect on their interpretation & explanation of it. Not so with the Buddha.

:anjali:
Born, become, arisen – made, prepared, short-lived
Bonded by decay and death – a nest for sickness, perishable
Produced by seeking nutriment – not fit to take delight in


Departure from this is peaceful – beyond reasoning and enduring
Unborn, unarisen – free from sorrow and stain
Ceasing of all factors of suffering – stilling of all preparations is bliss

User avatar
Aloka
Posts: 6227
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:51 pm

Re: The Dhamma and Science

Post by Aloka » Thu May 16, 2019 8:54 am

Sherab wrote:The knowledge of the world that we now know through science is much more advanced than the knowledge present during the time of the Buddha. I would expect the Buddha to use the knowledge of the time even if they are later proven wrong as tools to explain his Dhamma. As long as we seek the meaning of Dhamma, we need not be hung up on the scientific accuracy of some of the analogies or examples that the Buddha used to show the meaning of the Dhamma.
Yes, and the Buddha, who lived 2,500 years ago in Iron age India, is said to have been very wise and pure, and appears to have been an amazingly insightful teacher who was free from greed, hatred and delusion - but could he also have known all things about life, the universe and everything? ....I think some people believe that, but its something I really can't say I know for sure ...and it seems similar to believing in an omniscient all-powerful God entity.

The Buddha and Omniscience:

https://www.buddhismuskunde.uni-hamburg ... ience.pdf

:reading:

User avatar
Sherab
Posts: 239
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2010 3:53 am

Re: The Dhamma and Science

Post by Sherab » Thu May 16, 2019 10:03 pm

Aloka wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 8:54 am
Sherab wrote:The knowledge of the world that we now know through science is much more advanced than the knowledge present during the time of the Buddha. I would expect the Buddha to use the knowledge of the time even if they are later proven wrong as tools to explain his Dhamma. As long as we seek the meaning of Dhamma, we need not be hung up on the scientific accuracy of some of the analogies or examples that the Buddha used to show the meaning of the Dhamma.
Yes, and the Buddha, who lived 2,500 years ago in Iron age India, is said to have been very wise and pure, and appears to have been an amazingly insightful teacher who was free from greed, hatred and delusion - but could he also have known all things about life, the universe and everything? ....I think some people believe that, but its something I really can't say I know for sure ...and it seems similar to believing in an omniscient all-powerful God entity.

The Buddha and Omniscience:

https://www.buddhismuskunde.uni-hamburg ... ience.pdf

:reading:
The Buddha can know anything that is knowable by directing him mind to it, if he should so choose.

chownah
Posts: 8279
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: The Dhamma and Science

Post by chownah » Fri May 17, 2019 1:38 am

Sherab wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 10:03 pm
The Buddha can know anything that is knowable by directing him mind to it, if he should so choose.
The buddha died a long time ago.....his mind does not arise.
chownah

alfa
Posts: 365
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 4:43 pm
Location: India

Re: The Dhamma and Science

Post by alfa » Fri May 17, 2019 2:08 am

I am baffled by some of the replies. Why do people assume that the Buddha (or arhant or any liberated/enlightened being) had special powers that were not available to regular people? What's nirvana got to do with superpowers? Going by this logic, marvel superheroes are greater than buddha, christs, and pretty much everyone, lol.

User avatar
WanderRhino
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat May 18, 2019 12:57 am

Re: The Dhamma and Science

Post by WanderRhino » Sat May 18, 2019 1:18 am

Without the scientist there is no science; but science cannot, without inconsistency, admit the existence of the scientist; for the scientist is a man, and a man is not to be explained if feeling is ignored; and feeling is outside the domain of science. Science, however, in its claim to universal validity, is unwilling to recognize this; and a bastard entity has been brought into existence to make this claim seem valid. This bastard entity is sensation.
Imagine that, by accident, you rest your bare arm on a hot stove. You will undoubtedly lift your arm in a hurry. Why? Because contact with the hot stove is painful, you may say. But this won't do at all. What we want is an account of the changes that took place in your nervous system from the time your arm was rested on the stove to the time it was raised; and this account must be in strictly scientific terms. Pain, however, is not a scientific term. We can speak of an electrical or chemical impulse travelling along a nerve up your arm to your brain; for these are all things that can be publicly observed (in theory at least) by each one of a team of physiologists who are experimenting on you. But the pain you feel is strictly private: not even in theory can the team of physiologists observe it. (You can tell them that you feel pain, of course, but this does not make the pain public: what is public here is the sound of your voice, and the meaning of the words you utter is quite irrelevant—to allow that your words are meaningful is to beg the whole question.) A physiologist can observe an impulse moving up your arm, but he cannot observe a pain moving up your arm; only you can do that (if, for example, a red-hot needle is moved on your skin from the elbow to the shoulder; but not, of course, if your nerve is stimulated at a stationary point, when all you will feel is a stationary pain). This means (and I shall emphasize it by underlining it) that a physiologist must make no reference whatsoever to feeling (pleasure, pain, indifference) in his account of human behavior. If he fails to abstain he abandons scientific method.
But if we are to allow, as clearly enough we must, that feeling is capable of affecting the state of the nervous system (either by determining a specific action, such as raising the arm off a hot stove, or by conditioning a fairly lasting change in behavior), then we shall find ourselves obliged to abandon the postulate of the universal validity of the laws of science. So long as feeling depended upon the state of the nervous system and the state of the nervous system upon scientific determinism, all was well; but if, in addition, the state of the nervous system must be admitted to depend upon feeling, then (at least in the eyes of science) we enter the realms of chaos; for feeling, not being publicly observable, is not a scientific entity, and cannot therefore be governed by any laws of science, and the behavior of the nervous system, accordingly, ceases to be wholly rational. In short, the living body, and the nervous system in particular, are regions where the laws of science are manifestly less uniformly valid than elsewhere.
(Does an unconscious pain hurt? If you say 'yes', I ask 'how do you know, seeing that you are not conscious of it?' If you say 'no', I ask 'then how can you tell it is a pain and not a pleasant feeling?, how do you know there is any feeling at all?') This restriction of consciousness to rational thought is simply a prejudice of rationalism; and in the Buddha's Teaching it is specifically stated that consciousness (viññāna), feeling (vedanā) and perception (saññā) are inseparable—whenever there is any one of them there are all three. But to understand this a more subtle and intelligent approach to consciousness (or, more generally, to experience) is necessary.
The mistake is to approach consciousness by way of the body. But rational science, being essentially the study of what is public, namely matter, has no alternative. The laws of science are the laws of matter, and if these laws are universal then consciousness (whatever it may be) must necessarily be subordinate to matter. What science overlooks, and cannot help overlooking, is the fact that in order to know the body it is first necessary to be conscious of it—the body is an object (amongst other objects) of consciousness, and to seek to investigate consciousness by way of the body, instead of the other way round, is to put the cart before the horse. Consciousness comes first, and if it is to be known it must be studied directly (that is to say, by immediate reflexion).
(Those booklets that presume to explain the Dhamma on a scientific basis do the greatest possible dis-service to seriously interested enquirers. It is far better for a man to understand that he does not understand the Dhamma, than it is for him to believe falsely that he does understand it. The former attitude may encourage progress, the latter can only obstruct it.)

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: form, Nwad, Wizard in the Forest and 114 guests