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Buddhism And The Scientific Method - Dhamma Wheel

Buddhism And The Scientific Method

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Pannapetar
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Buddhism And The Scientific Method

Postby Pannapetar » Wed Aug 05, 2009 2:55 am

I brought up this topic on another forum a while ago. Perhaps it is interesting enough to have another look at it. It would seem that the four noble truths can be framed in terms of the scientific method:

The Scientific Method:

1. Define the problem.
2. Form a hypothetical solution.
3. Design an experiment.
4. Test your hypothesis.

The Four Noble Truths:

1. Suffering. (Problem definition.)
2. Origin of suffering. (Hypothetical solution.)
3. End of suffering. (Defining the path, or "experiment," which led previous Buddhas to nirvana.)
4. The way to the end of suffering. (Testing the method for yourself, i.e. conducting the experiment.)

Is the epistemic foundation of Buddhism scientific? What do you think?

Cheers, Thomas

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Re: Buddhism And The Scientific Method

Postby kc2dpt » Wed Aug 05, 2009 3:27 am

That seems forced to me. The 4Nt are usually summarized as:

problem
cause of problem
end of problem
cause of end of problem

I think you can state the basic tenets of Buddhism in terms of the scientific method, but I don't think it's a 1-1 like you've presented it. I would say...

1. Define the problem - suffering
2. Form a hypothetical solution - end craving and suffering will end
3. Design an experiment - the noble eightfold path is the way to end craving
4. Test your hypothesis - people who endeavor to develop the N8FP
- Peter


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Re: Buddhism And The Scientific Method

Postby Individual » Wed Aug 05, 2009 4:44 am

The best things in life aren't things.


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Re: Buddhism And The Scientific Method

Postby Pannapetar » Thu Aug 06, 2009 3:38 am


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Re: Buddhism And The Scientific Method

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Aug 20, 2009 1:30 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Buddhism And The Scientific Method

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Aug 20, 2009 5:01 am


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Re: Buddhism And The Scientific Method

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Aug 20, 2009 5:08 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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acinteyyo
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Re: Buddhism And The Scientific Method

Postby acinteyyo » Thu Aug 20, 2009 7:39 am

science and buddhism are completely different, they just appear to be comparable.
where buddhism investigates the view of subjectivity (of a being in subjectivity or a being believing in subjektivity), seeing that there isn't really any subject-object relationship but (dependent) phenomena "acting" in a way where (related to particular circumstances) "objects appear for a subject" (which is wrong view, because of avijja and so on...) - science instead investigates the view of absolute objectivity, which is also not correct because, what is to be investigated is seen from the point as "a subject who investigates objects" and after such an investigation/examination science reduces every subjective evidence, loosing every subjective gained information of an actual situation to represent it as a repeatable objective situation, with always the same results. the objective/scientifc determined situation hasn't still really much to do with the actual situation, due to a lack of a lot of subjective information.
science does not have the ability to say us anything about phenomena like consciousness, feelings, mind and so on... because they are totally subjective/private, not possible to examine or investigate through "others" and thus out of any scientific range.
whereas these particular phenomena are mainphenomena in buddhistic investigation/examination.

I apologize, if there are parts difficult to understand. I tried to make myself as clear as possible with my available english knowledge.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

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Re: Buddhism And The Scientific Method

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Aug 20, 2009 10:54 am



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Re: Buddhism And The Scientific Method

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Aug 20, 2009 10:57 am



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Re: Buddhism And The Scientific Method

Postby Mawkish1983 » Fri Aug 21, 2009 7:48 am


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Re: Buddhism And The Scientific Method

Postby BlackBird » Sat Aug 22, 2009 6:33 am

The Dhamma, as taught by the Buddha is emperical truth.
Science is also said to be emperical truth.

To that end, Dhamma is science. In fact, Dhamma is the most important science of them all.

If I were leader of my nation, I would earmark a lot of taxpayer dollars towards scientific research in this field.

*ROAR*
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." -

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Re: Buddhism And The Scientific Method

Postby Mawkish1983 » Sat Aug 22, 2009 8:48 am


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Re: Buddhism And The Scientific Method

Postby BlackBird » Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:46 pm

"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." -

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Re: Buddhism And The Scientific Method

Postby Mawkish1983 » Sun Aug 23, 2009 7:10 am


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Re: Buddhism And The Scientific Method

Postby Fede » Sun Aug 23, 2009 8:25 am

Science is fundamentally not about Altruism, and in fact there is much in science which is detrimental to humanity.

There is nothing in Buddhism which is detrimental to humanity, and it is entirely altruistic.
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


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Re: Buddhism And The Scientific Method

Postby Mawkish1983 » Sun Aug 23, 2009 9:13 am


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Re: Buddhism And The Scientific Method

Postby clw_uk » Sun Aug 23, 2009 6:54 pm

Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken

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Re: Buddhism And The Scientific Method

Postby cooran » Sun Aug 23, 2009 7:59 pm

The Buddhadhamma is for individual beings who make up the nations of the world. The background of samsaric existence goes on and on. Living in samsara, but not being distracted from practising sila, samadhi and panna is a difficult but realisable goal.
A Government doesn't "love" - only individual beings do. A Dhamma practitioner can love those performing unwholesome acts, can work to ameliorate or prevent the harmful consequences if the opportunity arises for them to do so, without harming others.
The whole world doesn't have to become celibate (As if!!). An individual, should they feel it is best for their practice, can - as a lay person or ordained person - lead a celibate life.
Most Scientists aren't working altruistically in their isolated homes - they are working on projects for governments and large companies.
A scientist who is a follower of the Dhamma can choose the work in an area benefiting beings.

metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Re: Buddhism And The Scientific Method

Postby clw_uk » Mon Aug 24, 2009 1:53 am

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