Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

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Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue May 07, 2013 5:09 pm

I don't know, how can I know what is the evidence supporting a views that you didn't bother to provide?
??? :shrug: ???
All this was aimed to show the illusion like nature of the sphere we are in. If we all believe in something, and no one is able to prove superiority of his belief, we shouldn't focus on criticising views of others. I know that there may be a desire to save people from wrong interpretations, but if we cannot prove our view, how can we disprove beliefs of others?
Batchelor sets about to disprove (an impossibility) the truth of Buddhism, he does so by misinterpreting or misunderstanding basic Buddhist concepts, like karma and rebirth, and then proceeding to show their lack of validity (classic straw man argument technique). The evidence for the validity of Buddhism can be seen by practicing the techniques yourself or by communication with realised teachers. I am just asking where the evidence for Batchelors ideas comes from. It is a valid question. Buddhists have been arguing with materialists since Buddhism started, but now Materialists are calling themselves Buddhists and denouncing all other Buddhists as non-Buddhists so the onus of proof lies with Batchelor et al to prove that they are real Buddhists (which, quite obviously, they are not).
Check out my question again. I asked, what caused this change.
Karma and the fact that a Buddha manifested and taught in this world system. His teaching of Dharma, and its practice is the cause for an increased capacity for sentitent beings to accumulate merit, and thus an increased "probability" to achieve a precious human rebirth. But if you do not believe in the six realms then I am afraid this explanation will not mean much to you.
From the rebirth point of view, the biggest change since the beginning of our planet took place, and... we don't know crap about it.
Speak for yourself.
Questioned, you can always say that we have 7 bln people because pretas rushed to earth.
I did not say this. But let's say I did, what is your theory (and please try to express it in an understandable manner, I know English is not your primary language, so please feel free to take your time) as to how/why this happened?
"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: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue May 07, 2013 5:14 pm

dharmagoat wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:And what is the cause of the variety of conditions?

Do you deny any randomness in the universe?
Yes, I see no evidence for (apparent) randomness in the universe, I believe that all things arise from causes and conditions and that the idea of randomness is based on our incapacity to see/explain those causes and conditions.
"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: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby Jnana » Tue May 07, 2013 5:33 pm

Simon E. wrote:I dont think Batchelor misunderstands Buddhism...by which I mean he has a thorough grasp of its philosophical underpinning.

Yes, well, he also admits that he finds the Buddha's teachings of karma and rebirth "unintelligible."

Simon E. wrote:I think what he does is actively reject much of the philosophy of Buddhism, but that he wants to retain some of the Upaya.
What is happening is an experiment to ascertain to what degree that is possible and viable.
Of course it is possible to argue that any attempt to retain Upaya in isolation from its conceptual base is in itself the result of misunderstanding.

If by philosophy you are implying that he rejects right view (samyagdṛṣṭi), this he does indeed reject. And without right view the rest of the noble eightfold path doesn't arise or function, i.e. it's not possible to attain the noble path of seeing and path of meditation.

Simon E. wrote:I am not sure that he cares very much whether they are labelled Buddhist or not.

" Buddhism for me is a convenient and conventional name for a collection of skillful means. Whether or not that is " Buddhism " and whether I am considered a " Buddhist " is not of any great interest to me. Its just a handy peg to hang things on."

From a talk at Sharpham June 2003.

There's nothing specifically Buddhist about teachings on ethical conduct (śīla) or meditative composure (samādhi). What is unique to the Buddha's dharma is his understanding of karma, rebirth, suffering, origin of suffering, cessation of suffering, path leading to cessation of suffering, and dependent origination. With the rejection of these teachings specific to the Buddha's dharma there is nothing left to appropriate that is uniquely Buddhist.
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Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Tue May 07, 2013 5:36 pm

"Buddhism Without Beliefs".

I'd say he cares about whether or not what he does is called Buddhism. They may not be militant about it, but it does seem like much of the secular humanism Buddhism crowd is putting forth it's version as definitive, in the fashion they always do - saying that people who believe otherwise are guilty of superstition on some level, and that you shouldn't believe things just based on inference. Never mind that the entire materialist worldview also rests on inference.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby Simon E. » Tue May 07, 2013 5:58 pm

Jnana wrote:
Simon E. wrote:I dont think Batchelor misunderstands Buddhism...by which I mean he has a thorough grasp of its philosophical underpinning.

Yes, well, he also admits that he finds the Buddha's teachings of karma and rebirth "unintelligible."

Simon E. wrote:I think what he does is actively reject much of the philosophy of Buddhism, but that he wants to retain some of the Upaya.
What is happening is an experiment to ascertain to what degree that is possible and viable.
Of course it is possible to argue that any attempt to retain Upaya in isolation from its conceptual base is in itself the result of misunderstanding.

If by philosophy you are implying that he rejects right view (samyagdṛṣṭi), this he does indeed reject. And without right view the rest of the noble eightfold path doesn't arise or function, i.e. it's not possible to attain the noble path of seeing and path of meditation.

Simon E. wrote:I am not sure that he cares very much whether they are labelled Buddhist or not.

" Buddhism for me is a convenient and conventional name for a collection of skillful means. Whether or not that is " Buddhism " and whether I am considered a " Buddhist " is not of any great interest to me. Its just a handy peg to hang things on."

From a talk at Sharpham June 2003.

There's nothing specifically Buddhist about teachings on ethical conduct (śīla) or meditative composure (samādhi). What is unique to the Buddha's dharma is his understanding of karma, rebirth, suffering, origin of suffering, cessation of suffering, path leading to cessation of suffering, and dependent origination. With the rejection of these teachings specific to the Buddha's dharma there is nothing left to appropriate that is uniquely Buddhist.

Just to be clear, the views I have quoted are Batchelor's , heard first hand and pretty much verbatim.
They are not necessarily the views of Simon Ellis. ;)
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Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed May 08, 2013 11:08 am

Discussion on Dzogchen and karma moved here.
"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: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby Adamantine » Wed May 08, 2013 12:10 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:Never mind that the entire materialist worldview also rests on inference.


Probably one of the most important points that is endlessly overlooked in these type of discussions. . .
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
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Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby Adamantine » Sun May 12, 2013 3:42 pm

Adamantine wrote:
Johnny Dangerous wrote:Never mind that the entire materialist worldview also rests on inference.


Probably one of the most important points that is endlessly overlooked in these type of discussions. . .


Also, here is an important article for those who like to define their faith-based worldviews at the feet of the holy temple of science:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/28/magazine/diederik-stapels-audacious-academic-fraud.html?ref=magazine

Stapel’s fraud may shine a spotlight on dishonesty in science, but scientific fraud is hardly new. The rogues’ gallery of academic liars and cheats features scientific celebrities who have enjoyed similar prominence. The once-celebrated South Korean stem-cell researcher Hwang Woo Suk stunned scientists in his field a few years ago after it was discovered that almost all of the work for which he was known was fraudulent. The prominent Harvard evolutionary biologist Marc Hauser resigned in 2011 during an investigation by the Office of Research Integrity at the Department of Health and Human Services that would end up determining that some of his papers contained fabricated data.

Every year, the Office of Research Integrity uncovers numerous instances­ of bad behavior by scientists, ranging from lying on grant applications to using fake images in publications. A blog called Retraction Watch publishes a steady stream of posts about papers being retracted by journals because of allegations or evidence of misconduct.

Each case of research fraud that’s uncovered triggers a similar response from scientists. First disbelief, then anger, then a tendency to dismiss the perpetrator as one rotten egg in an otherwise-honest enterprise. But the scientific misconduct that has come to light in recent years suggests at the very least that the number of bad actors in science isn’t as insignificant as many would like to believe. And considered from a more cynical point of view, figures like Hwang and Hauser are not outliers so much as one end on a continuum of dishonest behaviors that extend from the cherry-picking of data to fit a chosen hypothesis — which many researchers admit is commonplace — to outright fabrication. Still, the nature and scale of Stapel’s fraud sets him apart from most other cheating academics. “The extent to which I did it, the longevity of it, makes it extreme,” he told me. “Because it is not one paper or 10 but many more.”
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
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