The "Materialist View"

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Re: The "Materialist View"

Postby Alex123 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:59 pm

jeeprs wrote:That's right. He was a cautious researcher, and never claimed to have proven the case. And, of course his methodology would be criticized, because in a culture where such ideas are regarded as outlandish or taboo, how else would you go about discrediting such suggestions? It is the age-old method of 'discrediting the witness'.


His methodology was criticized because it wasn't totally scientific and it had holes. At the very,very best his conclusions could also support idea of ESP, or "the devil made them speak the truth to Doubt Christianity".

How can we objectively test rebirth?

Did you read article about "James 3" ?
http://skeptico.blogs.com/skeptico/2005 ... ion_a.html

What if some more or all cases can be explained in the above way?

jeeprs wrote:This, however, is a Buddhist forum, and I would rather hope that contributors here would be both better informed, and have a more open mind, about such matters. Alas, such expectations are often dashed.


When I tried to be open minded Budddhist, I became very skeptical of rebirth.
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Re: The "Materialist View"

Postby LastLegend » Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:14 pm

Alex123 wrote:
When I tried to be open minded Budddhist, I became very skeptical of rebirth.


If there is birth, there is death. Then rebirth again. This can simply mean that there is a flower, it becomes wilt, and becomes a part of the earth. Constant transformation from one form to the next with no inherent existence.
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Re: The "Materialist View"

Postby Alex123 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:03 pm

LastLegend wrote:If there is birth, there is death.


Right. We can also test this.

LastLegend wrote:Then rebirth again.


This does not follow.

LastLegend wrote:This can simply mean that there is a flower, it becomes wilt, and becomes a part of the earth. Constant transformation from one form to the next with no inherent existence.


Yes. But how is new flower a continuation of the past flower? How is mind of a baby continuation of a mature old guy who has died?


An old person who dies can know multiple languages, has specific personality, has certain memories and learned skills.

A new born baby does not come knowing even one language, does not have specific memories and learned skills.

Baby doesn't say, "Mom! Switch on sports channel. I want to see New York yankees play agains Boston Red Sox! Mom lets visit my grave on such and such a street and avenue..."
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Re: The "Materialist View"

Postby LastLegend » Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:23 pm

Alex123 wrote:
Yes. But how is new flower a continuation of the past flower? How is mind of a baby continuation of a mature old guy who has died?


Sometimes in a dream, you are very confused. I think death is like a dream. Even at the mundane level, we are not always clear because we cannot stop identifying with our thoughts.
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Re: The "Materialist View"

Postby Alex123 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:38 pm

LastLegend wrote:
Alex123 wrote:
Yes. But how is new flower a continuation of the past flower? How is mind of a baby continuation of a mature old guy who has died?


Sometimes in a dream, you are very confused. I think death is like a dream. Even at the mundane level, we are not always clear because we cannot stop identifying with our thoughts.



Still. A new born baby doesn't seem to be a continuation of a dead mature old person. New born baby appears and behaves as if it was the first life.
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Re: The "Materialist View"

Postby LastLegend » Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:41 pm

Alex123 wrote:

Still. A new born baby doesn't seem to be a continuation of a dead mature old person. New born baby appears and behaves as if it was the first life.


If the mind is constantly awake, then there is no rebirth. So you would have the constant mind that is constantly aware, maybe like that old man's mind.
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Re: The "Materialist View"

Postby futerko » Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:41 pm

Alex123 wrote:
LastLegend wrote:
Alex123 wrote:
Yes. But how is new flower a continuation of the past flower? How is mind of a baby continuation of a mature old guy who has died?


Sometimes in a dream, you are very confused. I think death is like a dream. Even at the mundane level, we are not always clear because we cannot stop identifying with our thoughts.



Still. A new born baby doesn't seem to be a continuation of a dead mature old person. New born baby appears and behaves as if it was the first life.
You could ask the same question about waking up in the morning - how is brushing your teeth a continuation of the dream you were having 5 minutes earlier?
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Re: The "Materialist View"

Postby Namgyal » Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:46 pm

According to Wikipedia... 'One famous scarlet koi, named "Hanako", was owned by several individuals, the last of whom was Dr. Komei Koshihara. Hanako was supposedly 226 years old upon her death in 1977, based on examining one of her scales in 1966. Koi "maximum longevity" is listed as 47 years old.'
The full article by Dr. Komei Koshihara is at...http://users.vcnet.com/rrenshaw/hanako.html
Image
I looked up the 'infamous and knowledable' Koi expert Peter Waddington mentioned at the bottom of the article and on his website he writes, 'Many state in writing that ‘Hanako’, a very early form of Aka-muji or Higoi, lived to 278 years of age. I often wonder why today our Koi rarely, if ever, exceed 40 years in age despite the far better water conditions we can now produce...Oh, I would dearly love to be able to accept this wonderful fable.'
He cannot accept the wonderous story of Hanako the long-lived carp, because sadly, he is a materialist.
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Re: The "Materialist View"

Postby Alex123 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:48 pm

futerko wrote:
Alex123 wrote:Still. A new born baby doesn't seem to be a continuation of a dead mature old person. New born baby appears and behaves as if it was the first life.
You could ask the same question about waking up in the morning - how is brushing your teeth a continuation of the dream you were having 5 minutes earlier?



Brushing the teeth is a skill that I've learned in this life. A baby has to learn how to brush teeth and what external objects are.


Orthodox Buddhist teaching (Dharma is the best!!!) says that we have been in all worldly situations except for Awakening and Pure Abodes (from which there is no retrogression). But why does a baby has to learn all the skills as if s/he never knew them?
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Re: The "Materialist View"

Postby futerko » Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:15 pm

Alex123 wrote:
futerko wrote:
Alex123 wrote:Still. A new born baby doesn't seem to be a continuation of a dead mature old person. New born baby appears and behaves as if it was the first life.
You could ask the same question about waking up in the morning - how is brushing your teeth a continuation of the dream you were having 5 minutes earlier?



Brushing the teeth is a skill that I've learned in this life. A baby has to learn how to brush teeth and what external objects are.


Orthodox Buddhist teaching (Dharma is the best!!!) says that we have been in all worldly situations except for Awakening and Pure Abodes (from which there is no retrogression). But why does a baby has to learn all the skills as if s/he never knew them?
The point was that what you do when you wake up has little relation to what you were dreaming about.

When I get a new mobile phone I still have to learn how to use it, even though it works similarly to the old one. I'm not really sure what this has to do with continuity though, you seem to be focusing on the idea of continuity of consciousness rather than stepping back and seeing the wider view.
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Re: The "Materialist View"

Postby Alex123 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:26 pm

futerko wrote:The point was that what you do when you wake up has little relation to what you were dreaming about.


Yes. But it is related to the fact that I've learned to brush the teeth or, lets say, to drive - years before.


futerko wrote:When I get a new mobile phone I still have to learn how to use it, even though it works similarly to the old one. I'm not really sure what this has to do with continuity though, you seem to be focusing on the idea of continuity of consciousness rather than stepping back and seeing the wider view.



How is a new born baby a continuation of old person who has died? Why does new born baby behave as if it is first life? Why don't we see carry over of skills?
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Re: The "Materialist View"

Postby shel » Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:30 pm

Namgyal wrote:According to Wikipedia... 'One famous scarlet koi, named "Hanako", was owned by several individuals, the last of whom was Dr. Komei Koshihara. Hanako was supposedly 226 years old upon her death in 1977, based on examining one of her scales in 1966. Koi "maximum longevity" is listed as 47 years old.'
The full article by Dr. Komei Koshihara is at...http://users.vcnet.com/rrenshaw/hanako.html
Image
I looked up the 'infamous and knowledable' Koi expert Peter Waddington mentioned at the bottom of the article and on his website he writes, 'Many state in writing that ‘Hanako’, a very early form of Aka-muji or Higoi, lived to 278 years of age. I often wonder why today our Koi rarely, if ever, exceed 40 years in age despite the far better water conditions we can now produce...Oh, I would dearly love to be able to accept this wonderful fable.'
He cannot accept the wonderous story of Hanako the long-lived carp, because sadly, he is a materialist.


Hello Namgyal,

Interesting case, but your conclusion does not follow, as there is nothing necessarily supernatural about a long lived fish. It could be a genetic mutation or something.

There is no rational basis for labeling another person a "materialist" in cases like this. It only reifies the polarity between belief systems, which might seem to make our own beliefs more meaningful, but really just does more harm than good, if it does any good at all, in my opinion.
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Re: The "Materialist View"

Postby Namgyal » Fri Mar 01, 2013 6:49 pm

In my view, a two hundred year old fish that lived in a pool below a sacred mountain and responded with such love to it's friends is...magical. In Buddhism there could be several explanations for such a blessing, but what is clear is that such phenomena are increasingly unsustainable in the present age. Your scientific explanation of a ' mutation or something' just doesn't cut it, and moreover it misses the point. I'll give you another example...
Image
The Smithsonian calls the Zapata track site (150 million years BP) 'Problematica', but from a Buddhist perspective it isn't problematic at all and is simply a relic of one of the twenty-eight or so civilisations that preceded our own in the far distant past. Teams of eminent scientists have tried to debunk this footprint, even down to a forensic analysis of the stress fractures preserved in the atomic structure of the surrounding granite...without success. However instead of revising their theories in accordance with their own scientific methodology, they have chosen to remain completely silent, doubtless to protect their academic salaries. So scientific materialism is not just delusional in respect of its own significance, it is also dishonest.
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Re: The "Materialist View"

Postby futerko » Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:28 pm

Alex123 wrote:
futerko wrote:The point was that what you do when you wake up has little relation to what you were dreaming about.


Yes. But it is related to the fact that I've learned to brush the teeth or, lets say, to drive - years before.


futerko wrote:When I get a new mobile phone I still have to learn how to use it, even though it works similarly to the old one. I'm not really sure what this has to do with continuity though, you seem to be focusing on the idea of continuity of consciousness rather than stepping back and seeing the wider view.



How is a new born baby a continuation of old person who has died? Why does new born baby behave as if it is first life? Why don't we see carry over of skills?
It's not really the case that the new life is a continuation of the old on the level of personality/identity/behaviour etc. Although there have been cases where certain remnants of these have been perceived to have continued.
It's also not strictly the case that a new born has to completely learn everything from scratch. Take for the example theories of language acquisition.
Some people do seem more naturally talented in certain areas than others - some children get a PhD in Mathematics at the age of 6 - it seems likely that this isn't just a case of superior learning.

Personally I think this kind of misses the point about rebirth though. The wider view rests on the idea that there is nothing independently produced. If you take the big bang as a starting point for example, then every process that we see today is a result of that - the fact that we are here discussing this online is a result of all those processes interacting.
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Re: The "Materialist View"

Postby shel » Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:58 pm

Namgyal wrote:In my view, a two hundred year old fish that lived in a pool below a sacred mountain and responded with such love to it's friends is...magical. In Buddhism there could be several explanations for such a blessing, but what is clear is that such phenomena are increasingly unsustainable in the present age. Your scientific explanation of a ' mutation or something' just doesn't cut it, and moreover it misses the point.

It's not a scientific explanation. It's merely one offhand theory which has not been investigated, much less proven. My point is that we do not know what ontological views the King of Koi holds. I briefly skimmed his website and couldn't find anything but koi info. He could be a devout Christian for all we know. Would it make any sense to label a devout Christian a materialist?

He may have never picked-up a book on philosophy in his whole life.

I'll give you another example...
Image
The Smithsonian calls the Zapata track site (150 million years BP) 'Problematica', but from a Buddhist perspective it isn't problematic at all and is simply a relic of one of the twenty-eight or so civilisations that preceded our own in the far distant past. Teams of eminent scientists have tried to debunk this footprint, even down to a forensic analysis of the stress fractures preserved in the atomic structure of the surrounding granite...without success. However instead of revising their theories in accordance with their own scientific methodology, they have chosen to remain completely silent, doubtless to protect their academic salaries. So scientific materialism is not just delusional in respect of its own significance, it is also dishonest.

I don't follow how the eminent scientists should "revising their theories in accordance with their own scientific methodology." You just wrote that their methods (the scientific method) failed to explain the phenomena. What other choice does a scientist have when they can't explain something with the scientific method but to not make conclusions about it or continue investigating?

Perhaps they will discover evidence of time displacement technology and that the footprint was made by barefooted future folk, or perhaps... :alien:
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Re: The "Materialist View"

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:21 pm

Namgyal wrote:The Smithsonian calls the Zapata track site (150 million years BP) 'Problematica', but from a Buddhist perspective it isn't problematic at all and is simply a relic of one of the twenty-eight or so civilisations that preceded our own in the far distant past. Teams of eminent scientists have tried to debunk this footprint, even down to a forensic analysis of the stress fractures preserved in the atomic structure of the surrounding granite...without success. However instead of revising their theories in accordance with their own scientific methodology, they have chosen to remain completely silent, doubtless to protect their academic salaries. So scientific materialism is not just delusional in respect of its own significance, it is also dishonest.
:namaste:


All that says is that if you can come up with some sort of answer, even if it is wrong, or not based on any evidence, or simply made up, that simply because it is some kind of answer, that this is better than saying you simply don't know, don't have enough factual information to make a solid conclusion.

It's as though I wrote a word on a piece of paper, and hid it so you can't see it,
and you guess that the word is "chair" and since that's the only guess, then the word must be chair.

Unfortunately, this way of thinking is very common.

Where does "28 civilisations' come from?

What does "...revising their theories in accordance with their own scientific methodology..." mean?

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Re: The "Materialist View"

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:34 pm

shel wrote:
First of all, one has to stop regarding a lifetime as a specific thing that belongs to a specific being.a lifetime is a collection of events. But that's just the start.

Please, finish what you've started.


Maybe when I have more time.
This is basic Buddhist understanding of no-self.
"lifetimes" is only a convenience based on our immediate perceptions of things.
Relatively speaking, you can say, yes, it is born, it lives, it dies.
But in discussing materialist /non-materialist view at this level
the discussion has to move beyond relative appearances.
Nagarjuna (Seventy Stanzas) points out that thoughts do not spontaneously arise out of nothing
but are always part of a continuation
and that if you take any point identified as the beginning or end of any sort of awareness
that point can be subdivided infinitely
so no point of start or finish of awareness can actually be found.
From this, it can be deduced that therefore
one has to stop regarding a lifetime as a specific thing that belongs to a specific being.
A lifetime is a collection of events, not totally separate, but
interconnected, none of which has a finite beginning or end.
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Re: The "Materialist View"

Postby Alex123 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:11 pm

futerko wrote:It's not really the case that the new life is a continuation of the old on the level of personality/identity/behaviour etc.


What continues on? Why then isn't it the case of "Jon does bad kamma and dies" and then "Rob is born and suffers the result" ?


futerko wrote:Take for the example theories of language acquisition.
Some people do seem more naturally talented in certain areas than others - some children get a PhD in Mathematics at the age of 6 - it seems likely that this isn't just a case of superior learning.


It could be case of superior genes, superior neural wiring in the brain.

futerko wrote:Personally I think this kind of misses the point about rebirth though. The wider view rests on the idea that there is nothing independently produced. If you take the big bang as a starting point for example, then every process that we see today is a result of that - the fact that we are here discussing this online is a result of all those processes interacting.


Right. Every effect depends on causes and conditions. This doesn't mean that we can say that "so rebirth exists".
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Re: The "Materialist View"

Postby Alex123 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:18 pm

Namgyal wrote:In my view, a two hundred year old fish that lived in a pool below a sacred mountain and responded with such love to it's friends is...magical.
:namaste:


Nothing magical. It is fully explainable with biology (Hayflick limit).

There are animals that do live 200 years, and some trees live much much more than that. There are beings that are almost immortal unless they are killed


One species of jellyfish, Turritopsis nutricula, reverts to a sexually immature stage after reproducing, rather than dying as in other jellyfish. Consequently the species is considered biologically immortal and has no maximum lifespan.

There may be no natural limit to the Hydra's life span, but it is not yet clear how to estimate the age of a specimen.

Flatworms, or Platyhelminthes, are known to be "almost immortal" as they have a great regeneration capacity, continuous growth and binary fission type cellular division.[27]

Some scientists think that Lobsters may be biologically immortal because they don't seem to slow down, weaken, or lose fertility with age.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maximum_li ... #Exception
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Re: The "Materialist View"

Postby futerko » Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:30 pm

Alex123 wrote:Right. Every effect depends on causes and conditions. This doesn't mean that we can say that "so rebirth exists".
Right, but if you examine the "causes and conditions" they are themselves nothing but effects, so on that ultimate level nothing is born, nor does it ever reach the status of "existing". So rebirth doesn't "exist", it is simply another effect. Given that all the aspects of "self" are also effects, they are not carried over.
If you see a rainbow, then it stops raining, and 5 minutes later it starts again and a rainbow appears - is it the same rainbow? The colours appear the same, the location is similar, the sunlight, rain, and person seeing it are comparable though not identical (due to the passage of time). Has something new been created here? Has anything been created at all? It is a combination of the same processes creating the appearance of the same effects - therefore it is not something new - it is "recycled".
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