Why makes Buddhism true ?

Whether you're exploring Buddhism for the first time or you're already on the path, feel free to ask questions of any kind here.

Re: Why makes Buddhism true ?

Postby Namgyal » Wed Mar 27, 2013 6:04 pm

'However, the more sophisticated extremists meditate on the coarse impermanence of birth, aging, sickness, death, and so forth; they know the suffering of this life and of the desire realm; they affirm that coarse substances such as material forms lack a true reality; they decrease their attachments and know contentment; they develop loving kindness and compassion; they meditate on the equanimity of friends and enemies; and they relinquish the four roots. Since they have an excellent view, meditation, and conduct, their path leads to exalted states.'

(Jetsun Taranatha 'Essence of Zhentong'. http://www.jonangfoundation.org/files/j ... _final.pdf)
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Re: Why makes Buddhism true ?

Postby lojong1 » Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:20 pm

newagegeek wrote:Buddhism (like other religions) claims that it has the only truth. Only by following the Buddha could we attain salvation.

Where is this idea from? Can you show a sutta or sutra?
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Re: Why makes Buddhism true ?

Postby Alfredo » Sat Mar 30, 2013 4:23 am

Buddhism appears to be logical compared to several others


It's really not. The rationalist rhetoric was a 19th century Theravadin development which arose in the context of British colonialism. In fact, Buddhism is chock full of irrational elements, which are by no means marginal to it, but lie at its very center: reincarnation and karma, spirits, the efficacy of spells and rituals, the credentials of a certain priestly class, even tedentious historical beliefs (such as the assumption that the sutras are reliable records of the Buddha's words). All told, Buddhism is no more rational than any other religion. For example, Catholicism has a critical intellectual tradition as well, as does Judaism. It would be hard to claim Buddhists to be more rational than Catholics or Jews.
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Re: Why makes Buddhism true ?

Postby Indrajala » Sat Mar 30, 2013 4:41 am

Alfredo wrote:
In fact, Buddhism is chock full of irrational elements, which are by no means marginal to it, but lie at its very center: reincarnation and karma, spirits, the efficacy of spells and rituals, the credentials of a certain priestly class, even tedentious historical beliefs (such as the assumption that the sutras are reliable records of the Buddha's words).


Those who are religiously illiterate tend to say such things. If you're a dedicated materialist subscribing to logical positivism, then sure Buddhism can be called irrational, but if you see things from a different perspective, like idealism or panpsychism, then magical thinking is realistically efficacious, and such theories as karma and rebirth are likewise sensible.

Magical thinking is basically where you intentionally cause a change in consciousness towards some goal. It is bending reality to your will. Western occultists and plenty of Asian religious traditions understand the power of this and thus for centuries have invested heavily in such projects.

If you see reality on different levels, such as the material, mental, spiritual and so on, then what occurs on one level inevitably affects the other, albeit in perhaps subtle ways. So above, so below.

This is why mental events have a long-term effect on physical reality. Despite the widespread belief nowadays that the physical system is a closed one, you have only to point to the causal power of language and thought in affecting reality to see how fallacious such ideas are.

My point is that if you see things from an alternative perspective, magic and associated practices are quite reasonable. The use of rites, empowerments and incantations bend reality to your will, though do not bestow omnipotence.


All told, Buddhism is no more rational than any other religion. For example, Catholicism has a critical intellectual tradition as well, as does Judaism. It would be hard to claim Buddhists to be more rational than Catholics or Jews.


I think we need to stop forcing Buddhism into a mould that makes it suitable to postmodern feminist materialist secularist rationalist secular humanist scientists.

All the magic and metaphysics serve a purpose, and they actually work quite well if you understand their function isn't science.
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Re: Why makes Buddhism true ?

Postby Alfredo » Sat Mar 30, 2013 4:53 am

What you are describing can hardly be called "rational." I do not mean that it is false, or meaningless (as a logical positivist would say), only that it cannot be justified with reason. Buddhism is just another religion, or as you might say, magical tradition.
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Re: Why makes Buddhism true ?

Postby Indrajala » Sat Mar 30, 2013 4:56 am

Alfredo wrote:What you are describing can hardly be called "rational." I do not mean that it is false, or meaningless (as a logical positivist would say), only that it cannot be justified with reason. Buddhism is just another religion, or as you might say, magical tradition.


You did not address my point: from one perspective, it is irrational, but from another perspective, it is quite reasonable.

The causal relationship is not apparent if you're looking at things like a habituated materialist, but if you understand the function and premise magic, then it is quite sensible and reasonable; conforming to reason and the laws of causality.
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Re: Why makes Buddhism true ?

Postby Alfredo » Sat Mar 30, 2013 5:08 am

I suppose that if you have reason to believe magic to be true--some sort of personal experience, perhaps--then it would be rational for you to believe it. Not that being irrational is necessarily bad. Anyway, the OP will probably see what you wrote as confirming what I said!
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Re: Why makes Buddhism true ?

Postby Indrajala » Sat Mar 30, 2013 5:18 am

Alfredo wrote:I suppose that if you have reason to believe magic to be true--some sort of personal experience, perhaps--then it would be rational for you to believe it. Not that being irrational is necessarily bad. Anyway, the OP will probably see what you wrote as confirming what I said!


It depends on how you frame, quantify and define a "truth".

The power of magic is not based on experience alone. It isn't a physical process that can be observed. It is about setting patterns in motion directed towards some aim or goal. Magic generally assumes that logic, patterns, language and feelings have the same ontological value and/or causal power as cold hard physical processes. So, the use of symbolic patterns, incantations (mantras in Buddhism) and the feelings that arise from being immersed in certain environments, like in front of an altar or in an assembly, can be directed towards some aim.

A change in consciousness will result in a change in physical reality, albeit in subtle ways that the untrained cannot usually notice. Again, the principle of "so above, so below" applies.

There's also the matter of dealing with gods and other non-corporeal beings. This is a huge component in most Buddhist traditions historically, but perhaps less so nowadays.

From the perspective of tradition and perhaps personal experience, such beings seem to really exist. But then our modern world it is likewise said that quantum fields also seem to exist. Theories are formulated based on inference, and they seem to work. In Tibetan medicine and Ayurveda there are specific treatments for spirit possession, which indeed seem to work, and have worked for ages.

In any case, if you break through modern paradigms and ways of thinking, then all this makes perfect sense.
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Re: Why makes Buddhism true ?

Postby Wayfarer » Sat Mar 30, 2013 6:46 am

Alfredo wrote:What you are describing can hardly be called "rational." I do not mean that it is false, or meaningless (as a logical positivist would say), only that it cannot be justified with reason. Buddhism is just another religion, or as you might say, magical tradition.


You want to be careful about what you think constitutes 'rational'. I mean, modern science cannot demonstrate any kind of 'casual closure' in scientific terms, much as the dogma says otherwise. What I mean by this is that science cannot identify some kind of first principle or fundamental ground in terms of which everything else can be explained. It was thought at one stage that atoms would provide such a ground but as is now well-known, there are no such things as 'atoms' in the sense of fundamental, indivisible particles. There is no ultimate 'thing'. People might say that the universe can be described in purely physicalist terms, but I don't think they really deserve a hearing at least until the dark matter issue is resolved.

I subscribe to New Scientist, and enjoy it a great deal. But the speculations that comprise modern physics and cosmology are far from rational, in any neat sense of the word. Sure they're logical, in some mathematical sense, but they are often used to invoke ideas which are far from rational, for example the bizarre Everett multi-world speculation, which suggests that reality comprises infinitely proliferating multiple dimensions within which everything that could happen, will. (I have discussed this idea on Physics forums, and many physicists can't see anything the matter with such an idea, which, I think, is instructive.)

Really 'rational' has just become shorthand for 'normal' which, in turn, is simply 'common-sensical'. Most of those who appeal to it, simply appeal to our common-sense physical naturalism - the kind of tangible, touchable world which our homo sapiens perceptory apparatus and Western cultural heritage simply feels to be true. But any real philosophy - Buddhist included! - calls that into question.
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Re: Why makes Buddhism true ?

Postby Alfredo » Sat Mar 30, 2013 11:58 am

It is one thing to say that there are uncertainties in science, or that any scientific fact or theory is by nature provisional, and quite another to say that science and religion are on equal footing. The track record of science is well established, and its force is felt across all cultures and religions. Religion remains very much a matter of opinion.
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Re: Why makes Buddhism true ?

Postby Indrajala » Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:54 pm

Alfredo wrote:The track record of science is well established, and its force is felt across all cultures and religions. Religion remains very much a matter of opinion.


Yes and no. In many ways technological development has been fuelled by surplus resources which the industrial revolution and fossil fuels provided. A lot of scientific knowledge came after engineers and tinkerers developed machines and so forth. Before the industrial revolution, a lot of scientific knowledge was largely irrelevant to common people and had little effect on their daily lives. With machines freeing up people from agriculture (which was an engineering, not scientific, development), a lot more brains were able to develop various fields of knowledge.

In the past, civilizations with ample surpluses of wealth and resources were able to develop very advanced material cultures (China, India, Persia and Rome all come to mind) and their own versions of the sciences without having to depend heavily on what we understand now as modern science. Also bear in mind that many past civilizations invested their resources in endeavours we might not feel so compelled to nowadays (like say extensive studies on grammar, astrology and compilation of religious canons).

A lot of what goes for "science" was really just skilled engineering projects.
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Re: Why makes Buddhism true ?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:42 pm

Alfredo wrote:
Buddhism appears to be logical compared to several others
In fact, Buddhism is chock full of irrational elements, which are by no means marginal to it, but lie at its very center: reincarnation and karma, spirits, the efficacy of spells and rituals, the credentials of a certain priestly class, even tedentious historical beliefs (such as the assumption that the sutras are reliable records of the Buddha's words).


There is a lot of misunderstanding about what Buddhism actually teaches and also about what Buddhists actually believe.
You have listed them nicely:
reincarnation
karma
spirits,
the efficacy of spells and rituals,
the credentials of a certain priestly class

and I would like to know what your understanding of these concepts are,
and then compare your understanding with the meaning of these concepts in Buddhism,
and see if they actually match up or not.

The meanings you ascribe to them probably are irrational.
For example, people often have a very distorted idea of karma,
that if I do something good or bad, the universe will reward or punish me, accordingly.
They do not understand the difference between reincarnation,
which asserts the existence of a permanent 'soul'
and the Buddhist concept ofrebirth, which occurs precisely because no permanent self can be shown to exist.
That Buddha never spoke of spirits,
but that the reality of what we experience is a reality produced by the mind,
and that in this context alone, what you call "spells and rituals" serve a function.
As far as the credentials of a certain priestly class are concerned,
you'd have to give examples.

And yes, we assume that the sutras are reliable records of the Buddha's words,
but we know that this may not be the case at all, they might not be.
So, we validate them by testing them out.
In scirnce, this is known as replicating the experiment and achieving the same results.

So, I would like to know what your understanding of these concepts are,
and eagerly await your reply..
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Re: Why makes Buddhism true ?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:47 pm

Alfredo wrote:It is one thing to say that there are uncertainties in science, or that any scientific fact or theory is by nature provisional, and quite another to say that science and religion are on equal footing. The track record of science is well established, and its force is felt across all cultures and religions. Religion remains very much a matter of opinion.


I agree. And, I also think that you have to establish why you yourself classify Buddhism as a religion
aside from what others call it.
I hope it isn't due to outward appearances
otherwise we'd have to classify bats as birds and whales as fish.
And if there is some internal common denominator
between the Dharma teachings and God-based philosophies,
I'd really like you to identify it,
because I myself am a skeptical buddhist
who, like you,
puts great faith in science.
.
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Re: Science Vs Religion, again...

Postby Wayfarer » Sat Mar 30, 2013 10:52 pm

Alfredo wrote:It is one thing to say that there are uncertainties in science, or that any scientific fact or theory is by nature provisional, and quite another to say that science and religion are on equal footing. The track record of science is well established, and its force is felt across all cultures and religions. Religion remains very much a matter of opinion.


Indeed, and the force of modern scientific humanism is often felt as the dissolution of cultures and values in the acid of nihilism and the feeling that life has arisen by chance, and that we are simply the outcome of blind and meaningless co-incidence.

Science is indispensable for finding things out and getting things done. No question about that. But I think the case can be made that there really is no 'scientific truth', as such. There are theories and hypotheses that are true and/or useful, but not the kind of holistic insight into the nature of reality denoted by capital-T Truth - Truth as way or condition of being, not simply an hypothesis about this or that class of facts.

Recall the origin of the notion of 'opinion' as distinct from 'certain knowledge' given in the Republic as the Analogy of the Divided Line. Plato recognizes different levels or realms of truth, for instance the sensory, mathematical-intellectual and noetic. Modern empiricism has forgotten such distinctions and wishes to explain everything in terms of the objects of perception and sensory experience. So it doesn't really even have a coherent way of discussing questions such as what is the nature of opinion as distinct from insight into the conditions of knowledge (as for instance explicated by Kant).

So what you're expressing here is the historical positivism of Grayling, Dawkins, Dennett and others.

See Buddhism and Science: Probing the Boundaries of Faith and Reason Martin Verhoeven.
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Re: Why makes Buddhism true ?

Postby monktastic » Sat Mar 30, 2013 11:02 pm

Why is rational so important? Must something be reasonable for it to be true? Does being reasonable imply that a thing is true?

Reason relies on concept. Concept relies on experience. If you don't believe me, have a go at locating a concept without employing awareness itself -- that is, experiencing a thought that carries the concept.

What could be truer than experience itself? Is even that true, or is that just another concept?

Once you've seen clearly that concepts need not be reified, despite the tantalizing desire to do so, keep that up. See where it leads you. My guess is you'll arrive at the non-place that Buddhism (and I believe, other traditions) describes.

To me, that is what makes Buddhism true.
This undistracted state of ordinary mind
Is the meditation.
One will understand it in due course.

--Gampopa
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Re: Reason and Experience...

Postby Wayfarer » Sun Mar 31, 2013 1:56 am

Monktastic wrote:Concept relies on experience.


And tell me, how has your experience of the law of the excluded middle been of late? :smile:

In actual fact, I would pose a contrary view. I think that in some way, 'reason' actually underlies and informs experience. We use it to make sense of and organize experience.

Rational proofs are generally of the kind that don't require validation by experience. If I put three cows in a paddock, and see one leave through the only gate, I know that there must be two left even if they are not within my field of vision at that moment.

But we constantly reference both 'experience' and 'reason'. It is not as if they are antagonistic, although sometimes we can experience things that seem to 'defy reason', and other times reason suggests things which we can't experience. But I wouldn't want to simply dismiss reason, as I think within its scope (which is considerable) it is extremely powerful and indeed one of the main things that differentiates humans from other species.

But this came up with with Alfredo's referring back to 'reason' and how Buddhist beliefs are often 'non-rational'. A lot of people say that, as if 'science' has a monopoly on reason. But it doesn't! In many respects, science actually undermines 'reason', at least as the concept was understood in classical philosophy. The origin of reason (and indeed logic) goes back to Greek philosophy. 'The Logos' was thought to be 'the reason that underlies everything'. The philosopher was one who, through the power of Reason, was able to 'grasp' the Logos. This is the very origin of logic.

But note how post-Darwinian thinking has undermined this view of things, as discussed by Max Horkheimer in 'The Eclipse of Reason':

In traditional theology and metaphysics, the natural was largely conceived as the evil, and the spiritual or supernatural as the good. In popular Darwinism, the good is the well-adapted, and the value of that to which the organism adapts itself is unquestioned or is measured only in terms of further adaptation. However, being well adapted to one’s surroundings is tantamount to being capable of coping successfully with them, of mastering the forces that beset one. Thus the theoretical denial of the spirit’s antagonism to nature–even as implied in the doctrine of interrelation between the various forms of organic life, including man–frequently amounts in practice to subscribing to the principle of man’s continuous and thoroughgoing domination of nature. Regarding reason as a natural organ does not divest it of the trend to domination or invest it with greater potentialities for reconciliation. On the contrary, the abdication of the spirit in popular Darwinism entails the rejection of any elements of the mind that transcend the function of adaptation and consequently are not instruments of self-preservation. Reason disavows its own primacy and professes to be a mere servant of natural selection. On the surface, this new empirical reason seems more humble toward nature than the reason of the metaphysical tradition. Actually, however, it is arrogant, practical mind riding roughshod over the ‘useless spiritual,’ and dismissing any view of nature in which the latter is taken to be more than a stimulus to human activity. The effects of this view are not confined to modern philosophy.


As far as 'modern science' is concerned, 'reason' is simply 'an adaption', something which, like everything else, only exists for the purposes of survival. There is no criterion of truth by which to judge its efficacy, because we don't have a concept of 'truth', but only of 'what works', defined in Darwinian terms.

So whilst Dawikns, Dennett, etc, regard themselves as 'champions of reason', in fact they debase reason, because they relegate it to the status of a type of organ or adaption, something which can be 'explained' with recourse to the 'universal acid' of 'Darwin's dangerous idea'. In fact, in their universe, there is no ultimate reason, or reason in any sense beyond the instrumental. Of course, this is ironic, so I expect that it is not the kind of thing that they would understand.
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Re: Reason and Experience...

Postby monktastic » Sun Mar 31, 2013 2:32 am

jeeprs wrote:And tell me, how has your experience of the law of the excluded middle been of late? :smile:


Did I misuse it somewhere without noticing?

In actual fact, I would pose a contrary view. I think that in some way, 'reason' actually underlies and informs experience. We use it to make sense of and organize experience.

Rational proofs are generally of the kind that don't require validation by experience. If I put three cows in a paddock, and see one leave through the only gate, I know that there must be two left even if they are not within my field of vision at that moment.


I think we are talking past each other -- or perhaps, you are simply talking past me :). I am using "experience" in the sense of the cognizant aspect of mind, which is the basis of conceptual mind.

You experienced one cow leaving. Then you experienced the thought "there must be two left." In what way could that thought exist outside of experience? You may think that a concept exists outside of experience (as Platonists do), but that just demonstrates the existence of a thought about the concept (which itself was experienced) and not the concept itself.

To quote from A Spacious Path to Freedom (I fortuitously stumbled upon this just now):

A mind imbued with conceptual elaboration is a mind of samsara. A mind free of conceptual elaboration is liberated. The very nature of the mind-itself is primordially, intrinsically free from conceptual elaboration. ... People go awry in their practice because they fail to recognize this point and pursue it.


It seems to me that concepts are simply empty displays of rigpa, just as any texture or color is. Whether we decide to reify them after that is our choice. The Buddha showed that we can get on "just fine" without doing that. Hence my suggestion to leave reason in its proper place, instead of using it as an arbiter of truth.

(Obviously I am not arguing against the use of concepts in a relative sense, just as I wouldn't argue against the use of emotions or other appearances. But in a deeper sense, it seems to me that reason is no more meaningful than emotion or color.

Oh, also, I just read your note about using reason ironically. Dawkins, Dennett, et. al may not have realized it, but I think all realized teachers recognize that their use of conceptual mind to go beyond conceptual mind is ironic and still pragmatic :smile:)
This undistracted state of ordinary mind
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One will understand it in due course.

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Re: Reason and Experience...

Postby Indrajala » Sun Mar 31, 2013 3:19 am

jeeprs wrote:But this came up with with Alfredo's referring back to 'reason' and how Buddhist beliefs are often 'non-rational'. A lot of people say that, as if 'science' has a monopoly on reason. But it doesn't!


I think one issue is related to our contemporary popular lexicon: "science" is equated to what is really undeniably true and hence the adjective "scientific" has come to mean objectively true. Moreover is the development, and perhaps quite discomforting, that scientists are often seen as objective arbitrators of objective truth. Hence, what they collectively declare as true is objective and greatly more reliable than what, say, philosophers or religious thinkers have to say. This is why popular scientists, in the English speaking world at least, get to declare their own ideologies as "rational" (some of which has nothing to do with science, like matters related to ethics), while denouncing opponents as "irrational".

Interestingly, this sounds a lot like the old matter of "orthodox" and "heretical" teachings as determined by the Church, the old arbitrators of truth.

Old habits die hard.

However, as Alfredo has done, you can point to the supposedly infinitely benevolent gains made through science and all the celebrated scientists of the past as proof that science is superior to religion. Science has a proven track record for progress and has changed the world while no religion can stand to compare.

However, this is really just valuing one form of knowledge alongside material development ahead of alternative perspectives. The cold hard realities of nuclear energy, genetic engineering and advanced aviation are visible, objective and immediately tangible, whereas yoga, literature, elaborate art, gnosis and philosophy are all subjective and based on mere opinion. On a society-wide scale, the appreciation for some things over others is really directed by popular trends.

Nevertheless, from an alternative perspective, all this scientific knowledge has enabled our species to wreck the planet. A lot of megafauna will become extinct in the coming years. We're suffering overpopulation. The seas are contaminated with plastic particles and will become devoid of life. Acidity levels in the oceans are rising. When our environment collapses and people are going hungry a lot more, I suspect the cheerleaders for science will be made silent. "Science" is likely to start having very negative associations and scientists will be regarded in the same light as the priests running the inquisition. For all their ostensibly good intentions, they were all too fallible and ended up doing more harm than good.

Basically, "truth" is generally decided by popular opinion. At the moment our new priestly class is preaching evolution, logical positivism and nihilism as objective truth, but it wasn't always like that, and in due time I believe things will greatly shift so that what is presently seen as good and true will be regarded as outright misguided evil.
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Re: Reason and Experience...

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sun Mar 31, 2013 4:06 am

jeeprs wrote:But this came up with with Alfredo's referring back to 'reason' and how Buddhist beliefs are often 'non-rational'. A lot of people say that, as if 'science' has a monopoly on reason. But it doesn't!


Huseng wrote:I think one issue is related to our contemporary popular lexicon: "science" is equated to what is really undeniably true and hence the adjective "scientific" has come to mean objectively true.


What the term "objectivity" refers to in science, is that an event can be experienced by two or more witnesses and the description of what is witnessed is the same, and furthermore, that various mitigating circumstances can be eliminated from that observation in order to determine the actual cause of that event, and the same event can be replicated using the same circumstances repeatedly.

The general effects of Buddhist meditation (shamatha, mind calming) can be replicated, and have been for more than 2,000 years, even though the personal experience of each meditator is different. Analytical (Vippasna) meditation is essentially a logical breakdown of the appearance and experience of the self, which leads one to see that there is no final point of origin from which a self can be seen to emerge.

What Alfredo offers is a comparative argument, basically, that Buddha fields and ghost realms and such cannot be shown to exist, and by this, meaning shown to exist in the way our reality exists. In other words, for example, comparing the 'hungry ghost realm' to our everyday world (one can be photographed from outer space, the other cannot). But this assumes a lot about the way our reality exists, mainly, that objects in our reality have an inherently existent quality to them.

Because Buddhist analytics can demonstrate that objects of our perception have no intrinsic reality to them, but arise only due to a series of temporary conditions, and that these conditions are mainly projections of the mind, this undermines the assertion on which a comparative argument is based. The most we can say is that the hungry ghost realm is no more real than our own human realm, and the reason for this is that both realms, as real as they seem, are a projection of mind. Merely, disproving the intrinsic reality of one world does not mean that another one really does exist, and Buddhists do not make any claim to the contrary (that our realm is an "illusion" yet other realms are "real").

It is often argued that Buddhism is the same as ("other") religions because Buddhists assert some reality of "Buddha-heavens" (pure lands), as a friend of mine called them, and this appears to be the same idea as an afterlife in the teachings of various religions, for instance, Christian Heaven. But this argument reveals a fundamental misunderstanding (and this is pivotal), which is is that any theory involving a creator-god must depend on the intrinsic existence of something that has been created: a 'self' , which Buddhism rejects. Only when this difference is understood can the distinction between Buddha realms and God-heaven be fully appreciated.

So, the question of whether these 'unprovable' places are real or not becomes moot.
At this point, any difference between rational and irrational is transcended by an understanding,
and eventually a direct experience that goes beyond anyting based on mere appearances,
regardless of how many people can 'objectively' document it.

The same holds true for what alfredo refers to as "the efficacy of spells and rituals", except that I am not sure what he means by these words, and depending on the meaning behind them, they can refer to anything from Tibetan Buddhist mantras (which serve a definite function as part of a visualization practice) to tattoos one gets in a parlor in a back alley in Bangkok, to ward off bad luck. I mentioned that many of the things on Alfredo's list were grossly misunderstood, and I was mainly referring to western popular culture, but even within eastern traditions, many times the purpose and efficacy is misunderstood. But lumping them all together is a mistake and really only demonstrates, because one cannot tell the difference, a superficial and inaccurate lack of understanding.

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Re: Reason and Experience...

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sun Mar 31, 2013 4:38 am

huseng wrote: Nevertheless, from an alternative perspective, all this scientific knowledge has enabled our species to wreck the planet.



I don't think we can blame science, which is a quest for knowledge, as much as we can blame our own ignorance, and the fact that scientific discovery only exists in the context of ignorance. It may be a matter of proportion, that knowledge is acquired faster than ignorance can be dispelled. That doesn't actually make sense, I know. But for example, Science gave us cars, but ignorance about the accumulated effects of carbon monoxide meant that we never realized that the exhaust pipe was actually a major design flaw.

I am thrilled that scientists are developing a way to reverse FragileX syndrome, which causes my son's disability.

I am also thrilled that science has allowed me to instantly read your post about the evils of science.
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Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
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