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Does this render the Buddhism redundant? - Dhamma Wheel

Does this render the Buddhism redundant?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Beautiful Breath
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Does this render the Buddhism redundant?

Postby Beautiful Breath » Mon Dec 05, 2011 12:30 pm

Hi all,

I am halfway through Stephen Batchelors book "Confessions of a Buddhist Atheist" - a good and honest read.

Something has jumped out at me and i would dearly like to hear others take on the matter. His contention is effectively this:

If the mind is a formless phenomena how then does it interact with the brain.

If the mind is merely an emergent property of the brain then there is nothing to be re-born nor is there anything to receive the (potentially negative) consequences of this life.

I have always struggled with the Mind/Body issue and have't visited it again up until reading this...

...as ever all responses welcome - if I don't reply straight away I will as soon as I can.

Cheers,

BB

nameless
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Re: Does this render the Buddhism redundant?

Postby nameless » Mon Dec 05, 2011 1:50 pm

I think the concept of 'formless' needs to be examined further. For example, at some point in history, things like radiation, gravity, magnetism might as well have been 'formless'; they have only been given 'form' when someone somewhere found a way to measure them. Nevertheless despite their lack of solidity, and our natural lack of senses that can sense them without machinery, they affect solid things and things that we do sense. Just because we haven't found a way to measure 'mind' doesn't mean it is 'formless' and can't affect the brain.

Another point is that Buddhist reality consists of the 5 aggregates, which have a variety of translations, and I suppose if one were to use the word 'mind', there would be a variety of ideas of which aggregate or combination of aggregates the mind consists of. So by using the word 'mind' in those arguments, there is a lack of clear definition of what he is actually referring to in a Buddhist context.

Finally I think the problem of "if there is no self, then what is being reborn" is a deep question that only advanced practitioners would be able to answer. It requires a deep understanding of the reality (or lack thereof) of one's self. I can't help you there. But the issue is not "If the mind is merely an emergent property of the brain then there is nothing to be re-born", but "If the mind is merely an emergent property of the brain and can't be re-born, then what is it that is being reborn?". He is assuming that it has to be mind that is reborn and if the mind is not reborn it can't be anything else. There's no further investigation about if not the mind, then what? Keeping in mind the point above that his using of the word 'mind' is not well-defined in Buddhist terms.

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kirk5a
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Re: Does this render the Buddhism redundant?

Postby kirk5a » Mon Dec 05, 2011 2:15 pm

"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

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daverupa
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Re: Does this render the Buddhism redundant?

Postby daverupa » Mon Dec 05, 2011 2:19 pm


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Alex123
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Re: Does this render the Buddhism redundant?

Postby Alex123 » Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:50 pm

"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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m0rl0ck
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Re: Does this render the Buddhism redundant?

Postby m0rl0ck » Mon Dec 05, 2011 6:35 pm

“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

befriend
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Re: Does this render the Buddhism redundant?

Postby befriend » Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:18 pm

scientifically proven that frowning is linked with skepticism. buddhism was not taught to alleviate like stress induced head aches and social anxiety. not that it cant help that. it was taught to turn humans into yogagatigas (one who has broken the rounds of birth and death). with all buddhas power and virtue, how can someone think he didnt have gnosis of the workings of the universe? like why there is suffering and where we came from and where we go when we die. why obsess over your own skepticism why not just practice like your putting the fire out in your hair.
nothing can destroy a man who has lived a pure life

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Dan74
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Re: Does this render the Buddhism redundant?

Postby Dan74 » Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:26 pm

_/|\_

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m0rl0ck
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Re: Does this render the Buddhism redundant?

Postby m0rl0ck » Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:34 pm

“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

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Alex123
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Re: Does this render the Buddhism redundant?

Postby Alex123 » Mon Dec 05, 2011 10:05 pm

"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

perkele
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Re: Does this render the Buddhism redundant?

Postby perkele » Mon Dec 05, 2011 10:19 pm


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daverupa
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Re: Does this render the Buddhism redundant?

Postby daverupa » Mon Dec 05, 2011 10:25 pm

...writhings & wrigglings & wigglings...

:anjali:

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Alex123
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Re: Does this render the Buddhism redundant?

Postby Alex123 » Mon Dec 05, 2011 11:25 pm

Last edited by Alex123 on Mon Dec 05, 2011 11:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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Ben
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Re: Does this render the Buddhism redundant?

Postby Ben » Mon Dec 05, 2011 11:34 pm

Greetings BB,
When a group of skeptics came to the Buddha and expressed their disbelief in rebirth the Buddha didn't try to convert them. Instead, through reasoning he coached them to the understanding that the great benefit of practicing Dhamma is available to anyone regardless of whether they accepted rebirth or not. http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html (MN60 Apannaka Sutta).
Knowledge is not about belief in something or other - or having a view based on intellectual understanding. Knowledge is derived from directly perceiving the nature of reality, as it is, within the framework of our mind and body.

Despite what some other people have to say, I have a great deal of respect for Bachelor who has presented a secular interpretation of the Dhamma and has opened the door for those who may not have had the kamma or paramis to be positively inclined towards Dhamma in a non-secular form.
kind regards,

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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Dan74
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Re: Does this render the Buddhism redundant?

Postby Dan74 » Tue Dec 06, 2011 12:27 am

_/|\_

chownah
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Re: Does this render the Buddhism redundant?

Postby chownah » Tue Dec 06, 2011 12:59 am


chownah
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Re: Does this render the Buddhism redundant?

Postby chownah » Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:16 am


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pilgrim
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Re: Does this render the Buddhism redundant?

Postby pilgrim » Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:49 am


Buckwheat
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Re: Does this render the Buddhism redundant?

Postby Buckwheat » Tue Dec 06, 2011 2:14 am

Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

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Alex123
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Re: Does this render the Buddhism redundant?

Postby Alex123 » Tue Dec 06, 2011 2:18 am

"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."


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