Are Karma and Rebirth Real?

No holds barred discussion on the Buddhadharma. Argue about rebirth, karma, commentarial interpretations etc. Be nice to each other.

Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby Thug4lyfe » Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:41 pm

Acchantika wrote:
Nangwa wrote:
Food_Eatah wrote:Whatever doesn't change is subject to decay. Buddhism works because when it went to China it became Chinese Buddhism, went to Tibet it became Tibetan Buddhism etc. None of this means the essence is changing, just that the methods needed to adapt to different proclivities. If the Buddhism of pre-scientific, feudal, shamanic societies is relevant to you, that's fine, but that isn't necessarily true for all.

Tibet nor China removed any the fundemental teachings, like rebirth.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby Josef » Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:46 pm

Acchantika wrote:
Whatever doesn't change is subject to decay. Buddhism works because when it went to China it became Chinese Buddhism, went to Tibet it became Tibetan Buddhism etc. None of this means the essence is changing, just that the methods needed to adapt to different proclivities. If the Buddhism of pre-scientific, feudal, shamanic societies is relevant to you, that's fine, but that isn't necessarily true for all.


When Buddhism spread to China and Tibet it wasnt neutered of its potency.
There is nothing about the Buddhism that I am familiar with that is feudal, or shamanistic. Dharma is relevant as it is.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby Acchantika » Thu Oct 27, 2011 9:21 pm

Food_Eatah wrote:
Acchantika wrote:Whatever doesn't change is subject to decay. Buddhism works because when it went to China it became Chinese Buddhism, went to Tibet it became Tibetan Buddhism etc. None of this means the essence is changing, just that the methods needed to adapt to different proclivities. If the Buddhism of pre-scientific, feudal, shamanic societies is relevant to you, that's fine, but that isn't necessarily true for all.

Tibet nor China removed any the fundemental teachings, like rebirth.


Nangwa wrote:When Buddhism spread to China and Tibet it wasnt neutered of its potency.


That's why I specified that "none of this means the essence is changing".

As far as I can see, no-one in the thread has actually said its ok to remove rebirth/karma from Buddhism per se.

What was suggested is that :

- requiring belief in rebirth/karma prior to practice is contradictory, since practice is what apparently verifies it

- the justification that is given for this is dogmatic and indistiguishable from that given by any other system, even if true

- condemnation of science and Western skepticism as arrogant and babaric is unfair, archaic and self-defeating

- it is more important that they practice compassion and awareness than be turned away because of unrealistic expectations with regard to belief in rebirth/karma

There is nothing about the Buddhism that I am familiar with that is feudal, or shamanistic. Dharma is relevant as it is.


I was talking about the societies that the emerging Buddhism naturally adapted to, and elements it subsequently incorporated in order to be culturally effective.

Saying "Buddhism adapts to cultural differences" does not mean "Dharma is irrelevant".
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby edearl » Thu Oct 27, 2011 9:28 pm

Food_Eatah wrote:
edearl wrote:
Food_Eatah wrote:Attachment to Christianity, in turn gets attached to philsophical speculations, science and athiesm.


:?: I do not understand. Are you saying that Christians are attached to science and atheism via philosophy?

I am saying alot of the mindset developed seems to be very attached to "anti-Christian" beliefs, hence more attached to athiesm and science which are deemed superior. With this mind set many people would go as far to claim that Buddhism isn't even a religion because they are attached to the idea that only systems like Christainity etc constitute a religion!


:soapbox:

Many Christians are anti-atheism, as well as anti-Xism where X is some religious belief, and that includes Buddhism. Many Christians are also anti-science, because they believe the Earth is only a few thousand years old, and that God created the Earth and everything in it in 7 days. Other Christians are not anti-science, and in fact many scientists are Christian. Science is mute on religion, God, god, and gods, in other words, there is no scientific position these things. I studied Electronic Engineering, which includes a lot of math and physics. No textbook I ever read had anything in it about religion and associated belief systems.

My studies began with simple word problems like, an automobile is traveling at 50 miles an hour, how long does it take to travel 100 miles--answer 2 hours (50m/h * 2h = 100m), which is a prediction. I can get in a car and travel 50 miles per hour and see that the odometer advanced 100 miles, that is an observation I can make to demonstrate the math is valid. That, in a nutshell, is the scientific method, predict something (often with math) and observe it is true, if you can. But, to be accepted by the scientific community, more than one person must be able to do the math (if required) and observe the results to be true. In fact, anyone who wants to do the experiment can, with an automobile (or other required resources) predict according to the theory and observe the results. Thus, the theory of velocity, time and distance has been proven and accepted by the scientific community, and in many cases by lay people too.

In general, modern physics theories are complex, require calculus, and an expensive laboratory to test. Thus, only a few people test most theories, but they write papers to tell others what they did. And, I assure you, that if a mistake is made, sooner or later that paper will be severely criticized. For example, the Greek idea of matter being made of earth, water, air and fire survived from about 400 BCE until the 1800's, when atomic theory was developed and tested.

I don't know how much science people on the forum know, but all of them take advantage of modern science by posting on this forum. Internet communications is a product of physics, and it works for everyone, not just scientists. Moreover, without the science of quantum mechanics, the internet could not have been built. Because of my Electronic Engineering degree, I know a bit about how transistors, lasers, and computers work. For a trained scientist or engineer, there is little difference between doing the math for velocity, time and distance (50m/h * 2h = 100m) and other more complex theories.

Millions of scientists and engineers depend upon knowing the difference between a belief that cannot be demonstrated by everyone, and a scientific theory that has been demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt. Any scientific theory can be observed as valid by anyone with appropriate training and resources. Because of their training, scientists and engineers will tend to be more skeptical than others. Some will accept beliefs blindly, while others will not. I expect science and Buddhism will evolve into another Buddhist school, because most of humanity benefits from scientific knowledge and schools turn out millions of scientists and engineers.

Although science was developed by western civilization, today it is everywhere, and there is no longer western science--it is merely science. China has a space program and plans to build a 1 sq-km radio telescope. India is also training many scientists and engineers, and has a space program. The population of those two countries are about one-third the world population; they are on the forefront of science. By comparison, US science education is declining, and government sponsorship of science is now less than previous decades; NASA is renting launch vehicles from the Russians since the shuttle fleet has been decommissioned.

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HHDL: "My confidence in venturing into science lies in my basic belief that as in science so in Buddhism, understanding the nature of reality is pursued by means of critical investigation: if scientific analysis were conclusively to demonstrate certain claims in Buddhism to be false, then we must accept the findings of science and abandon those claims."
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby Josef » Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:12 pm

Acchantika wrote:
- condemnation of science and Western skepticism as arrogant and babaric is unfair, archaic and self-defeating


I for one definitely do not condemn science or skepticism.
I have a great appreciation for science, its value cant be denied. I think Buddhism is a science in and of itself, it is based on research, experimentation, and results.
Belief in rebirth and karma are not requirements. People can practice all kinds of different Buddhist methods and benefit from them without ever even considering karma and rebirth. However, if they want to actually be on the Buddhist path to liberation they will have to come to terms with karma and rebirth. If they do not, they are not on the Buddhist path. Its quite simple really and not dogmatic at all, if you are a Buddhist, you are working toward developing the qualities of a Buddha for oneself and others. Foremost among these qualities is liberation from samsara, the uncontrolled cycle of death and rebirth that is fueled by karma which is fueled by ignorance.
When people argue against this very simple principle it really draws into question their motivations for wanting to be a Buddhist. Why would one want to be something so bad if they refuse to participate in that things primary goals and motivations?
The only answer that I can think of is that they are either confused about what the path is or that they are bringing Buddhism to the level of the eight worldy concerns.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby deepbluehum » Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:32 pm

Coldmountain, this discussion here I think answers your concerns too so I'm basically answering you here...

Acchantika wrote:I feel this is really underestimating the power of Buddhist phenomenology. What might be Buddhism's most appealing factor to the Western intellectual mindset is that its primary system of inquiry is a very advanced form of phenomenology, so advanced that it overtakes anything similar ever produced in the West by millenia. It is also independently verifiable in a way that other beliefs are not - a highly intelligent person stranded on an island with no access to human knowledge may, in theory, arrive at the conventional meaning of dependent origination, even karma and rebirth and so on, by logic alone. You can't really make this claim of other systems. Truth, being absolute, must be able to be universally realised and derived, assuming necessary mental capacity, or it can never be trusted as truth. I think the Buddha realised and taught this - who, we remember, didn't have any of the anecdotal evidence we have now. Would he really try to encourage us solely by appealing to future experience? I don't think he did.


You are conflating logic and scientific falsifiability. Logic always stands on a series of assumptions, whereas true falsifiability stands on a theory (which is not assumed to be true). You are also conflating where you have independently verifiable and falsifiable. These two terms are opposites. In a system of falsifiablity, there is no verification. This discussion is going off the reservation.

If we rely on anecdotal evidence, we are only reinforcing our previous beliefs - that's why it isn't accepted generally as scientific, even though its based in scientific thinking. If we attribute truth value to claims of NDE's, or yogic recollection (even our own) it is only ever because we assign the source credibility that we don't assign to other, competing anecdotes. That credibility is based on other assumptions, which sooner or later are found to be unfounded in any rigourous way. This is why it is a flimsy argument, the same every belief system uses, and not necessary. Right view mean nothing without right understanding.


The point you are making is one I was assuming. My point was that various systems of testing are not possible with regard to rebirth. The Abhidharma explains rebirth in terms of direct perception of someone who has perceived the intermediate state and either lived to tell about it or was reborn and remembered it.

We cannot yet falsify rebirth completely, so it is disingenuous to call it an empirical hypothesis. However, fortunately and possibly more importantly we can falsify nonrebirth and nonkarma. That is, it is impossible, for example, for energy to do anything other than continue. The conservation of energy is a "law" in physics. So literal non-causation and non-rebirth, at least of physical things, is impossible. We haven't quite proved the progression of a mental continuum, of course, but this is much more powerful an argument than one that appeals to anecdotal evidence, which science doesn't consider valid, and appeal to future experience, which philosophy considers a fallacy.


You are conflating a physical phenomenon, the conservation of energy with the subjective experience of the fruition of karma. The fruition of karma is defined as satisfaction or dissatisfaction. Again, this is according to sutras and abhidharma.

In a very meaningful way, dharma is the systematization of the subjective, by way of nonattachment to the perception of the objective.

It is bizarre to me that so many Buddhists are critical of "Western science". I have no idea why. Everything we see in modern science is exactly what we would expect if the core tenets of Buddhism are correct. Empiricism and materalism/"New Atheism"/physicalism etc. are not mutally exclusive.


The criticism of science arrives because external conditions have a limit as their their power to achieve happiness, when that power is innate within, according to the middle way, requiring the basics of food, clothing and shelter to preserve health sufficiently to follow the path. Science wants to accumulate continuously more improvements to conditions and knowledge to serve the purpose of greed.

Also science is a matter of pure skepticism, which is doubt as a religion. Doubt is one of the five hindrances. One needs faith, five faculties of liberation, as part of the rupaskandha of liberation, meaning, before the condition of liberation is possible, the condition of religious conviction must arise.

But I admit the prevails of science have improved many things that can improve conditions of the body and environment which are good for health. But wisdom must be applied.

True, and this is the biggest problem for this approach, the risk of becoming an armchair-Buddhist. The best philosophers are scientists, meaning skepticism is the proper attitude for experiment. But we should remember there is nothing to fear from skepticism or science, either way. They are on our side. The good thing about truth is that its invincible. Hooray!


Science only disproves things and leaves truth dangling in mid air. Strictly speaking in science, there is no truth, only theories which have yet to be disproven. Whereas, a Buddha knows, x is thus, x is true, x leads to liberation, y is not so, y is false, y leads to bondage. Science lacks wisdom. I realize it is the latest fad of human existence, but in the end the Earth will survive and science will not. How good could it possibly be? Life on Earth can far surpass even any concept of a heavenly realm. Try conceiving of the most wonderful state of existence and dharma will far surpass it, and there is nothing one needs to create to make it so. It already is.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby Acchantika » Thu Oct 27, 2011 11:44 pm

Nangwa wrote:
Acchantika wrote:
- condemnation of science and Western skepticism as arrogant and babaric is unfair, archaic and self-defeating


I for one definitely do not condemn science or skepticism.
I have a great appreciation for science, its value cant be denied. I think Buddhism is a science in and of itself, it is based on research, experimentation, and results.
Belief in rebirth and karma are not requirements. People can practice all kinds of different Buddhist methods and benefit from them without ever even considering karma and rebirth. However, if they want to actually be on the Buddhist path to liberation they will have to come to terms with karma and rebirth. If they do not, they are not on the Buddhist path. Its quite simple really and not dogmatic at all, if you are a Buddhist, you are working toward developing the qualities of a Buddha for oneself and others. Foremost among these qualities is liberation from samsara, the uncontrolled cycle of death and rebirth that is fueled by karma which is fueled by ignorance.
When people argue against this very simple principle it really draws into question their motivations for wanting to be a Buddhist. Why would one want to be something so bad if they refuse to participate in that things primary goals and motivations?
The only answer that I can think of is that they are either confused about what the path is or that they are bringing Buddhism to the level of the eight worldy concerns.


I don't disagree with any of your sentiments. I'm just saying, it is not skillful, in the modern age, to expect people to have faith in something they can't directly measure with only the promise that they will experience it later. Saying they are attached to denial and brainwashed by whatever is not the way to reward enquiry. As long as this is not fully appreciated, people who do cut and paste Dharma, specifically removing these ideas for ease of access, will continue to have the kind of appeal they currently do.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby edearl » Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:34 am

deepbluehum wrote:Science lacks wisdom. I realize it is the latest fad of human existence, but in the end the Earth will survive and science will not. How good could it possibly be?

Science is merely a collection of knowledge; of course it is not wise. People can be wise or foolish when they use of knowledge, but they cannot be wise without knowledge. While knowledge may be lost, it can always be rediscovered and the process will not change it.
HHDL: "My confidence in venturing into science lies in my basic belief that as in science so in Buddhism, understanding the nature of reality is pursued by means of critical investigation: if scientific analysis were conclusively to demonstrate certain claims in Buddhism to be false, then we must accept the findings of science and abandon those claims."
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby Acchantika » Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:52 am

deepbluehum wrote:You are conflating logic and scientific falsifiability. Logic always stands on a series of assumptions, whereas true falsifiability stands on a theory (which is not assumed to be true). You are also conflating where you have independently verifiable and falsifiable. These two terms are opposites. In a system of falsifiablity, there is no verification.


I think you are confusing a few things here. I said, "independently verify...by logic alone" not empirically verify.

In short, logic is about the relationship between objects assigned a truth value. It rests on axioms, not assumptions, which are different. You do not need to assume anything to understand why 2 + 2 = 4, which is a logical statement, because it is relational. In order words it can be translated symbolically as (: + : = ::). So logic can prove, that is "verify", things, within the context of its own representational structure.

Falsifiability is a logical argument called modus tollens, that can be applied to science. We can express it formally (X->Y, ¬Y ⊢¬X). The ⊢¬X means "it is true that not-X". In other words, we have verified not-X. What science lacks is positive verification, it is true that X. So it is not the case that what is falsifiable is necessarily unverifiable (see above).

Because you can prove/verify what is not the case, you can systematically eliminate all possibilities via proof by negation until only the probable remains. This is the core of philosophical treatises on Buddhism (i.e. Nagarjuna), including on karma/rebirth.

In a very meaningful way, dharma is the systematization of the subjective, by way of nonattachment to the perception of the objective.


Faith, as adherence to a belief, is a mental object, too. So faith, too, is attachment to the perception of the objective.

So if faith is a valid way of entry, why not scientific skepticism.

Science wants to accumulate continuously more improvements to conditions and knowledge to serve the purpose of greed.

Also science is a matter of pure skepticism, which is doubt as a religion. Doubt is one of the five hindrances.


Empiricism is a theory of knowledge. That's it. It doesn't have ambition or purpose or intention. You should read edearl's post.

But, I hear what you are saying, science can never arrive at "truth", but there is no reason why the sum total of physical knowledge should contradict the essentials of Buddhism, including karma/rebirth. And it doesn't anyway, in my opinion.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby ronnewmexico » Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:57 am

Read about this you will find it true. Two scientists just received great prizes for this discovery though it occured several years ago.

The universe is rapidly expanding and accelerating.We are on a collision course with another galaxy.
It is reasonably assumed concurrent with this now known acceleration that eventually over time the forces which allow atoms to be atoms and remain as such by certain forces will be overcome by the forces of disassociation(some call dark matter) and themselves accelerate apart.

Dark matter concurrent with this known fact of acceleration compirses the majority of energy in the universe by proportion..yet we cannot perceive it only know of it by the movements of known objects(such as in the acceleration)
Nothing will sustain and remain that is certain.

All the buddhas words are proven true by science...it only remains to be discovered.
Earth..forget the earth it will not sustain. Not a bit of it.
Study it read it yourself.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby Dechen Norbu » Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:24 am

Acchantika wrote:I don't disagree with any of your sentiments. I'm just saying, it is not skillful, in the modern age, to expect people to have faith in something they can't directly measure with only the promise that they will experience it later. Saying they are attached to denial and brainwashed by whatever is not the way to reward enquiry. As long as this is not fully appreciated, people who do cut and paste Dharma, specifically removing these ideas for ease of access, will continue to have the kind of appeal they currently do.

Hummm we have a lot of faith in things we can't measure and measurement itself is a problem, but I get what you're saying. :lol: I find wise to investigate the teachings with an open mind and consider those we can't be sure right now as working hypothesis. If we deem them as unimportant, we won't even look for their accuracy and it will be our loss. It's usually helpful to put our own, sometimes hidden, metaphysical predilections to the test. Many don't hold as much water as we think they do prior to a good philosophic analysis. Learning the rationale behind rebirth and karma and realizing that our own metaphysical assumptions may stand on quick sands helps us gain perspective.

People can't force faith. Some don't seem to understand this fact. In "the old days", faith came because people trusted in the learned and those were usually the clergy. So if the clergy said it, it must be true. Those days are long gone for some people, especially those who went through college. Anyway, faith can't be forced, not upon ourselves, nor upon others. That is neither wise, nor ethical. Some people accept the testimony of those they trust. If a student knows his teacher well enough, he makes sense, and he learned the rationale behind those more exotic teachings, confidence starts to build naturally. With further study and practice comes a new mode of apprehension of reality, insight. The problem with this knowledge is that although it can be replicated, it can't be demonstrated to a 3rd party. So everyone who wishes to gain knowledge through it, needs to undergo the proper training.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby deepbluehum » Fri Oct 28, 2011 2:17 am

Acchantika wrote:I think you are confusing a few things here. I said, "independently verify...by logic alone" not empirically verify.

In short, logic is about the relationship between objects assigned a truth value. It rests on axioms, not assumptions, which are different.


In the early days, like ancient India, the logicians would first have to decide on a system of logic to use. They had to set forth the rules of engagement. This hasn't changed, everyone just agrees on what the rules of engagement are.

You do not need to assume anything to understand why 2 + 2 = 4, which is a logical statement, because it is relational.


There are many assumptions here, related to the nature integers and more. You should look at the work of the analytics (Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations) to understand how 2+2 does not equal 4, depending on how the assumptions (i.e., the representational structure) are described.


In order words it can be translated symbolically as (: + : = ::). So logic can prove, that is "verify", things, within the context of its own representational structure.


The bolded portion is what I'm getting at. Dharma has it's own representational structure. Trying to mix the two results an anomalies.

Falsifiability is a logical argument called modus tollens, that can be applied to science. We can express it formally (X->Y, ¬Y ⊢¬X). The ⊢¬X means "it is true that not-X". In other words, we have verified not-X. What science lacks is positive verification, it is true that X. So it is not the case that what is falsifiable is necessarily unverifiable (see above).


Saying it is verified that it is not verified is the same thing as not verified. The symbolic representation vs. natural language doesn't add any truth to the skeptical situation.

Because you can prove/verify what is not the case, you can systematically eliminate all possibilities via proof by negation until only the probable remains. This is the core of philosophical treatises on Buddhism (i.e. Nagarjuna), including on karma/rebirth.


I hope you are not presuming Nagarjuna negated rebirth or took a skeptical position that only the probable remains. That would be your projection. Nor did he affirm it, both negate it and affirm it, nor did he posit neither are the case. With Nagarjuna, you are firmly on the Earth of not positing anything. And at the same time demonstrating that appearance are illusion, not probably an illusion, or illusion-like, but illusions. This is because Nagarjuna asserts dependent origination is the nature of reflections and illusions, such that they are not existent in the sense of permanent. Seeing this IS emptiness, not probably, but absolutely.

Faith, as adherence to a belief, is a mental object, too. So faith, too, is attachment to the perception of the objective.

So if faith is a valid way of entry, why not scientific skepticism.


Because, the way of recognizing whether the 12-links are true or not is not done by external experiment. It is done at the moment in one's own mindstream. This means, at this moment all 12 links are present. Therefore, at this moment you can implement the path to determine of "birth" has ended. There are very specific instructions about how to do this. If, in your own experience, you recognize what the instructions say you should, then you have your confirmation, positively experienced by you.

Empiricism is a theory of knowledge. That's it. It doesn't have ambition or purpose or intention. You should read edearl's post.


No. The practice of science is to accumulate knowledge. And as the Buddha says, all accumulations end in dispersal. I kindly as you to reflect on this truth.

But, I hear what you are saying, science can never arrive at "truth", but there is no reason why the sum total of physical knowledge should contradict the essentials of Buddhism, including karma/rebirth. And it doesn't anyway, in my opinion.


The best you are going to be able to do through science, with respect to the path itself, is show that science does not contradict the path. This does not tell you anything about the path.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby deepbluehum » Fri Oct 28, 2011 2:26 am

edearl wrote:Science is merely a collection of knowledge.


All collections end in dispersal. Dharma is the collection of knowledge specifically resulting in liberation from suffering with thousands of years of proven track record to end suffering. Science does not match this. But I am not knocking it either. Medicine, food production and many things are assisted by science. Many siddhas of the past were doctors in a field that was not specifically dharma in nature like ayurveda. The point is that a dharma masters know the limits of accomplishment of a particular field, and thus know how to exert energy in the right ways.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby edearl » Fri Oct 28, 2011 5:47 am

Experiments in science can be observed simultaneously by more than one person, and they can agree on what occurred. On the other hand, a thought can only be observed by one person, the one thinking; thus, there can be no agreement. That is why science does not include mental knowledge, such as Buddhist knowledge. That does not mean Buddhist knowledge is in any way inferior; it merely means that it cannot be verified using the scientific method.
HHDL: "My confidence in venturing into science lies in my basic belief that as in science so in Buddhism, understanding the nature of reality is pursued by means of critical investigation: if scientific analysis were conclusively to demonstrate certain claims in Buddhism to be false, then we must accept the findings of science and abandon those claims."
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby deepbluehum » Fri Oct 28, 2011 5:51 am

edearl wrote:Experiments in science can be observed simultaneously by more than one person, and they can agree on what occurred. On the other hand, a thought can only be observed by one person, the one thinking; thus, there can be no agreement. That is why science does not include mental knowledge, such as Buddhist knowledge. That does not mean Buddhist knowledge is in any way inferior; it merely means that it cannot be verified using the scientific method.


Yep. That's the point. Science and Buddhism are opposites. Science relies on objectivity, Buddhism on subjectivity.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Oct 28, 2011 11:58 am

Acchantika wrote:I don't disagree with any of your sentiments. I'm just saying, it is not skillful, in the modern age, to expect people to have faith in something they can't directly measure with only the promise that they will experience it later.
Later? What they are experiencing now is a consequence of rebirth based on the outcomes of past action (karma). If seeing rebirth in action merely required dying, we would have seen and personally verified it an infinite number of times, given we have already lived and died a countless number of times.
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby edearl » Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:42 pm

deepbluehum wrote:
edearl wrote:Experiments in science can be observed simultaneously by more than one person, and they can agree on what occurred. On the other hand, a thought can only be observed by one person, the one thinking; thus, there can be no agreement. That is why science does not include mental knowledge, such as Buddhist knowledge. That does not mean Buddhist knowledge is in any way inferior; it merely means that it cannot be verified using the scientific method.


Yep. That's the point. Science and Buddhism are opposites. Science relies on objectivity, Buddhism on subjectivity.


Saying they are opposites, seems to imply Buddhism and science oppose each other, but that is not the case. Science is mute about Buddhism, and HHDL spends some time studying science and encourages others to study it, too.
HHDL: "My confidence in venturing into science lies in my basic belief that as in science so in Buddhism, understanding the nature of reality is pursued by means of critical investigation: if scientific analysis were conclusively to demonstrate certain claims in Buddhism to be false, then we must accept the findings of science and abandon those claims."
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby deepbluehum » Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:31 pm

edearl wrote:
deepbluehum wrote:
edearl wrote:Experiments in science can be observed simultaneously by more than one person, and they can agree on what occurred. On the other hand, a thought can only be observed by one person, the one thinking; thus, there can be no agreement. That is why science does not include mental knowledge, such as Buddhist knowledge. That does not mean Buddhist knowledge is in any way inferior; it merely means that it cannot be verified using the scientific method.


Yep. That's the point. Science and Buddhism are opposites. Science relies on objectivity, Buddhism on subjectivity.


Saying they are opposites, seems to imply Buddhism and science oppose each other, but that is not the case. Science is mute about Buddhism, and HHDL spends some time studying science and encourages others to study it, too.


I'm not saying the oppose each other. But undeniably, the two come from two opposite perspectives, one from the point of view of material objectivity, and the other from the point of view of deep subjectivity.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby edearl » Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:46 pm

deepbluehum wrote:
edearl wrote:
deepbluehum wrote:
Yep. That's the point. Science and Buddhism are opposites. Science relies on objectivity, Buddhism on subjectivity.


Saying they are opposites, seems to imply Buddhism and science oppose each other, but that is not the case. Science is mute about Buddhism, and HHDL spends some time studying science and encourages others to study it, too.


I'm not saying the oppose each other. But undeniably, the two come from two opposite perspectives, one from the point of view of material objectivity, and the other from the point of view of deep subjectivity.


I didn't think you implied they were opposing each other, but others may have inferred it.
HHDL: "My confidence in venturing into science lies in my basic belief that as in science so in Buddhism, understanding the nature of reality is pursued by means of critical investigation: if scientific analysis were conclusively to demonstrate certain claims in Buddhism to be false, then we must accept the findings of science and abandon those claims."
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby deepbluehum » Fri Oct 28, 2011 2:17 pm

I should mention that there is a team of scientists in Wisconsin who are hooking experienced yogis up to brain scanners and can see that the lights go on in the regions of their brains indicating happiness, alpha waves or something. There is also a sociologist in Berkeley who has been doing work on finding out how altruism and compassion are related to the body; there is some data on that. This is all great, but, all this does is show there might be something to this whole meditation thing. The deep qualitative experiences that yogis describe in the pith instructions, for example, could never be measured. The scientist can call out "are you doing method X?" Yogi, "yeah!" Scientist, "there's a blip in the parietal."
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