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 Post subject: Dalai Lama on Science
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 7:02 pm 
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But then again, Phenomenological Ethics as internalized into your character structure by yogic meditation isn't your average religion.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 7:12 pm 
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Science by its own admission does not 'prove' anything, so we are safe.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 7:24 pm 
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There's been a nice little post on James Ford's blog yesterday: Science & Buddhism

Also, science is all right with Buddhism as long as it is not equated with materialism. Lokayatikas have been refuted already.

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"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:07 pm 
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And as has (hopefully) already occured to many of us, H.H. the Dalai Lama is referring to Science itself, and not necessarily to mainstream or official science.

(In other words, mainstream/official (mostly funded by the corporatocracy/corporatism) science often thinks that it proves or disproves many things, when that is often not necessarily the case)


Last edited by Lhug-Pa on Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:48 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:42 pm 
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dharmagoat wrote:
Science by its own admission does not 'prove' anything, so we are safe.


Hmmm. The earth goes around the sun. The world is not flat, nor is it composed of four symmetrical continents with a giant mountain in the middle. There are 98+ physical elements, not four. I do not think we can safely ignore these things, or use the broom of phenomenology to sweep them under the carpet.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:48 pm 
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I like Dalai Lama but i think that now he is the one being wrong.

If science proves that karma is not real, then science is wrong :tongue:


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:55 pm 
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I agree w DG - scientific paradigms are OK only so long as they have not been falsified.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:52 pm 
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What does science know about enlightment? Only an enlightened Being can recognize a Being of Light!


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:09 am 
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Scientists do not speak about enlightenment. Unless it's their day off and they've had a few too many beers anyhow. If someone is making authoritative statements about enlightenment, they are by definition not a scientist.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:32 am 
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catmoon wrote:
Scientists do not speak about enlightenment. Unless it's their day off and they've had a few too many beers anyhow. If someone is making authoritative statements about enlightenment, they are by definition not a scientist.


What an impoverished view of scientists! What about all those 18th and 18th Century old dead white guys for whom enlightenment = reason?

:focus:

On topic: I read this on another thread:

Tom wrote:
...a quote from, The Universe in a Single Atom,

"By invoking karma here, I am not suggesting that according to Buddhism everything is a function of karma. We must distinguish between the operation of the natural law of causality, by which once a certain set of conditions are put in motion they will have a certain set of effects, and the law of karma, by which an intentional act will reap certain fruits. So, for example, if a campfire is left in a forest and catches onto some dry twigs, leading to a forest fire, the fact that once the trees are aflame they burn, becoming charcoal and smoke, is simply the operation of the natural law of causality, given the nature of fire and the materials that are burning. There is no karma involved in this sequence of events. But a sentient being choosing to light a campfire and forgetting to put it out—which began the chain of events—here karmic causation is involved."

It is a vey interesting position and I don't think you will find many older Geshe's giving this type of presentation. It has been said that this type of presentation is for Western scientist or Westerners in general - however, I have heard the Dalai Lama give a similar presentation in Tibetan to an audience of mostly Tibetan monks with very few Westerns in attendance!
viewtopic.php?f=52&t=9650&p=120900#p120900


I was surprised to read that last statement. I always assumed that presentation of karma in Universe was for the sake of the scientists. I have always thought of both karma and pratītyasamutpāda as "special theory" cases of a "general theory" of causation.

So, I wonder, why is HHDL limiting these "laws" to "mere consciousness"?

:namaste:

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:37 am 
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viniketa wrote:
I was surprised to read that last statement. I always assumed that presentation of karma in Universe was for the sake of the scientists. I have always thought of both karma and pratītyasamutpāda as "special theory" cases of a "general theory" of causation.

So, I wonder, why is HHDL limiting these "laws" to "mere consciousness"?

I may be misunderstanding your surprise, but karma is just one of many causation laws (niyamas) recognized by Buddhism.

See this.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:07 am 
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Fu Ri Shin wrote:
I may be misunderstanding your surprise, but karma is just one of many causation laws (niyamas) recognized by Buddhism.

See this.


Exactly. So, why is HHDL divvying-up the world into the "natural" and the "mind"?

:namaste:

P.S. Typo correction: My post above should read "18th and 19th Century old dead white guys"...

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 8:59 am 
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Because not everything is made of mind. But we've had this debate before with the yogachara debate.

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"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 7:33 pm 
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Andrew108 wrote:
Because not everything is made of mind. But we've had this debate before with the yogachara debate.


To the extent that any thing is "made", no thing is "made of mind" (or even by mind). However, mind is used in perception of all "things".

To which Yogācāra debate do you refer?

:namaste:

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 3:35 am 
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viniketa wrote:
catmoon wrote:
Scientists do not speak about enlightenment. Unless it's their day off and they've had a few too many beers anyhow. If someone is making authoritative statements about enlightenment, they are by definition not a scientist.


What an impoverished view of scientists! What about all those 18th and 18th Century old dead white guys for whom enlightenment = reason?



Reason can be discussed in a scientific context. Enlightenment and God - no way.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 5:55 am 
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viniketa wrote:
Andrew108 wrote:
Because not everything is made of mind. But we've had this debate before with the yogachara debate.


To the extent that any thing is "made", no thing is "made of mind" (or even by mind). However, mind is used in perception of all "things".

To which Yogācāra debate do you refer?

:namaste:

The natural and mind can be separated. You asked why HHDL was making that separation. It's important for scientists to make this separation and it's important for Buddhists to do this also. The debate I was referring to is the Yogachara debate over in the Dzogchen forum.

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The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 7:09 am 
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Andrew108 wrote:
The natural and mind can be separated. You asked why HHDL was making that separation. It's important for scientists to make this separation and it's important for Buddhists to do this also.


The universe can be divided-up into as many "parts" as we'd like for conventional discussion and research. That's not the point. The point is that this particular separation, in this particular case, seems to be: a) downplaying the overall understanding of "cosmic" laws of causality that historical Buddhist thought offers; and b) seems to indicate that modern Buddhism has no interest in and has no understanding of the "natural", so let's just leave it all to Western science. Especially if that is the explanation being given not only with Western scientists, but to Tibetan monks. Perhaps it just "hit me" strangely, but that's how it hit.

Andrew108 wrote:
The debate I was referring to is the Yogachara debate over in the Dzogchen forum.


I've not been following that since it turned especially nasty.

:namaste:

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 7:27 am 
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catmoon wrote:
Reason can be discussed in a scientific context. Enlightenment and God - no way.


This seems a rather restricted view of 'science', as well. Certainly, one cannot take a Popperian approach to "finding God" -- at least, I've never thought of a falsifiable hypothesis. Further, it would be next to impossible to find any "funding" for such research. On the other hand, look at the fMRI research that's being done on meditation. Look at how David Bohm and J. Krishnamurti (along with other quantum physicists) 'brainstormed' theories of the quantum. Or Francisco Varela and Humberto Maturana in their approach to autopoesis. These aren't the types of theoretical undertakings of the average Associate Professor looking for tenure, however. It seems one must gain a certain "stature" in the academy to be taken seriously when one starts going out on these limbs... but quite a few well-respected scientists do crawl out there in their latter years.

:namaste:

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 7:47 am 
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viniketa wrote:
It seems one must gain a certain "stature" in the academy to be taken seriously when one starts going out on these limbs... but quite a few well-respected scientists do crawl out there in their latter years.

:namaste:


Yup and it signals to the community that it is high time they should no longer be listened to, as scientists at least. Linus Pauling's senile rants on Vitamin C come to mind. It was so bad that he forgot about the need for significant sample sizes and blind trials.

Any physicist who came out with a study of enlightenment and claimed it had something to do with science would immediately lose all respect in the community, and likely his job - and rightly so, too. The guys doing the fMRI studies are following standard protocols and reporting measurable, repeatable results. It's quite legit. The real papers discuss cerebral blood flow and alpha and theta activity, not enlightenment.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 8:39 am 
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catmoon wrote:
Yup and it signals to the community that it is high time they should no longer be listened to, as scientists at least. Linus Pauling's senile rants on Vitamin C come to mind.


I forget, did Pauling see God in Vitamin C? :tongue:

I respect your thoughts on this, catmoon, but it seems we outright disagree about the nature of science and scientists. Many of the scientists I know are awed all the time by their own findings and experience a deep sense of the mysteries of the universe we don't see in many churches...


What Is It to be Intellectually Humble?

:namaste:

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