tobes wrote:catmoon wrote:tobes wrote:To what extent does the Buddhist dharma present in the west as a critique of modernity?
Buddhism is not inherently a critique of anything. Those who interpret it as such are in error. I have not noticed large numbers of Amish turning to Buddhism, or vice versa, so I conclude that Buddhism has nothing in common with anti-technological positions.
Well, I suppose I must in error then. I think the Buddha presented a way which was both a metaphysical and social critique of the Vedic traditions which preceded him.
Suppose he did, suppose there is a reactionary element in the Dharma as presented by the historical Buddha. In order to use this as a demonstration of Buddhism being a critique of modernism, you would then have to show that the society preceding Buddhism was modern in some sense. I think it would be simpler to view any reactionary element in Buddhism as a reaction against a decidely non-modern world, one dominated by feudalism, caste, and a monopoly on education by the wealthy.
Later traditions have also been premised on a methodology of critique: the Prasangika Madhyamakins exemplify a relentlessly critical approach.
Can one accept the first noble truth and not be involved in critique?
It may well be so. But let's bear in mind their target. In what sense could the previous versions of Buddhism be termed "modern"? Your point about the first noble truth begs a question. What do you regard as the difference between critical thinking and the application of plain old vanilla reason?
I agree that many forms of Buddhism do not (or have no basis to) assume an anti-technological posture. But some do. There are strong ascetic traditions such as the Thai Forest tradition which are unlikely to be celebrating the iPod anytime soon....
Point well taken. But I don't think the primary motivation of the forest monks is a dislike of technology per se. That would be a form of aversion and an obstacle to the path. I think they just believe peace, a simple life and isolation are useful conditions for the development enlightenment.