Reasons for Conventional Reality

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Re: Reasons for Conventional Reality

Postby gad rgyangs » Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:12 am

three views:

eternalist - "exists"

nihilist - "does not exist"

madhyamaka - "not 'exists', also not 'does not exist'"
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Re: Reasons for Conventional Reality

Postby conebeckham » Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:28 am

gad rgyangs wrote:commenting at all on the way in which something does or does not exist is itself a view.


Saying someone's "view" is mistaken, and using logical arguments to demonstrate why, is not the same as expressing "a view," is it?
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Re: Reasons for Conventional Reality

Postby Sherab » Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:30 am

Astus wrote:Sherab,

If in your interpretation conventional reality is only defined by agreement between people and nothing else, even causality can't be established, not to mention morality and karma. Those are the very bases of all Buddhist practice without which there can be neither sravakas nor bodhisattvas. Madhyamaka reasoning is great once the fundamental doctrines are clarified, but before that it's pointless to discuss emptiness. So instead of quotes and arguments about Buddhist sophisms one should first of all investigate the crude basics.

I thought that agreement between people automatically means that whatever is agreed is "established" for them individually. Method of establishment could be different for each individual but there has to be "establishment" before agreement takes place.
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Re: Reasons for Conventional Reality

Postby gad rgyangs » Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:44 am

conebeckham wrote:
gad rgyangs wrote:commenting at all on the way in which something does or does not exist is itself a view.


Saying someone's "view" is mistaken, and using logical arguments to demonstrate why, is not the same as expressing "a view," is it?


no, but theres plenty of positive statement in MMK, several of which I already posted, concerning the two truths, dependent origination etc. It is false to present MMK as a purely negative dialectic which does not have a view or a thesis, since it clearly does have these things.
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Re: Reasons for Conventional Reality

Postby ground » Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:17 am

conebeckham wrote:Saying someone's "view" is mistaken, and using logical arguments to demonstrate why, is not the same as expressing "a view," is it?


This is wrong.
As soon as there is communication using terms and terminology there is a view.
If you say "apple" but you do not say "horse" instead then you are expressing the view that "apple" is the correct label for what you are referring to and that the one you are communicating with understands what you mean by "apple" assuming that he does not understand "horse".

In that another understands the meaning of "apple" "apple" is independent of the one who expresses himself saying "apple" because the other does not wrongly understand "horse" but does correctly understand "apple". If "apple" were exclusively dependent on the one using "apple" then another would not understand the meaning of "apple".

If the talk is about a particular visual perception of "apple" we can say that there is a cause for the appearance of what is called "apple" which is independent of the two persons communicating applying and understanding the term "apple" because if it were not independent these two could not communicate with reference to their visual perception of what is called "apple".


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Re: Reasons for Conventional Reality

Postby ground » Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:44 am

Therefore the mere fact of communication is valid evidence for what is called "convention". However to add the concept of "reality" or to think of "existence" (or "non-existence") in this context of "convention" is an affirmative exaggeration resulting from the clinging khandhas, is an affirmative exaggeration of the clinging khandhas resulting from attachment to perception and thought (papanca), both being the effect of contact (phassa).

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Re: Reasons for Conventional Reality

Postby Acchantika » Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:49 am

gad rgyangs wrote:
Acchantika wrote:Negating something does not necessarily equal affirming its absence.


commenting at all on the way in which something does or does not exist is itself a view.


Nagarjuna is negating existential qualifiers. An assertion requires existential qualifiers. If we take him to be asserting a view, then by virtue of his own view he is self-refuting. Therefore, there is no instance where he could be meaningfully said to be presenting a view.

What you seem to be talking about is called the "law" of the excluded middle. It only applies to Aristolean logic, which has two existential possibilites - "is" or "is not". It also not accepted in most Western logical systems. Narajuna is using non-Aristolean Indian logic, which has as many as 4, 8 or 12 existential possibilites, depending on interpretation.
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Re: Reasons for Conventional Reality

Postby Acchantika » Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:54 am

gad rgyangs wrote:three views:

eternalist - "exists"

nihilist - "does not exist"

madhyamaka - "not 'exists', also not 'does not exist'"


At least four views: eternalist (exists), nihilist (not exists), relativist (both) and "negationist" (neither).

Madhyamaka attempts to show than none can apply to reality coherently.
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Re: Reasons for Conventional Reality

Postby gad rgyangs » Thu Nov 17, 2011 4:58 am

Acchantika wrote:
gad rgyangs wrote:
Acchantika wrote:Negating something does not necessarily equal affirming its absence.


commenting at all on the way in which something does or does not exist is itself a view.


Nagarjuna is negating existential qualifiers. An assertion requires existential qualifiers. If we take him to be asserting a view, then by virtue of his own view he is self-refuting. Therefore, there is no instance where he could be meaningfully said to be presenting a view.

What you seem to be talking about is called the "law" of the excluded middle. It only applies to Aristolean logic, which has two existential possibilites - "is" or "is not". It also not accepted in most Western logical systems. Narajuna is using non-Aristolean Indian logic, which has as many as 4, 8 or 12 existential possibilites, depending on interpretation.


ok: "for all x, x is empty". there's an assertion for you.
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Re: Reasons for Conventional Reality

Postby gad rgyangs » Thu Nov 17, 2011 5:00 am

Acchantika wrote:
gad rgyangs wrote:three views:

eternalist - "exists"

nihilist - "does not exist"

madhyamaka - "not 'exists', also not 'does not exist'"


At least four views: eternalist (exists), nihilist (not exists), relativist (both) and "negationist" (neither).

Madhyamaka attempts to show than none can apply to reality coherently.


then its 5 views.
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Re: Reasons for Conventional Reality

Postby Acchantika » Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:04 am

gad rgyangs wrote:
Therefore, there is no instance where he could be meaningfully said to be presenting a view.


ok: "for all x, x is empty". there's an assertion for you.


Qualified existence is what x is empty of.

These objections are just linguistic analysis and I think miss the point.
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Re: Reasons for Conventional Reality

Postby Acchantika » Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:10 am

gad rgyangs wrote:
At least four views: eternalist (exists), nihilist (not exists), relativist (both) and "negationist" (neither).

Madhyamaka attempts to show than none can apply to reality coherently.


then its 5 views.


What is empty is empty of existing impossibly. Existing, not-existing, both existing and not-existing and neither existing nor not-existing are impossible ways of existing.

As thought and language cannot conceive of something that does not fit these categories, all conceptions must not be representative of reality.

What is not representative of reality is a fabrication. Therefore, a view is a conceptual fabrication.

Nagarjuna concludes that liberation, then, must be "the cessation of all thought, the dissolution of all plurality", which no conceptual fabrication can accommodate.

Therefore, Nagarjuna does not advocate a view.
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Re: Reasons for Conventional Reality

Postby Astus » Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:52 am

Sherab wrote:I thought that agreement between people automatically means that whatever is agreed is "established" for them individually. Method of establishment could be different for each individual but there has to be "establishment" before agreement takes place.


By established I meant a logical system. That is rarely something people care to contemplate.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
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This face, the face at birth."

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Re: Reasons for Conventional Reality

Postby padma norbu » Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:51 pm

I have often thought about the topic of this thread. It doesn't take long before my brains are scrambled and I just give up. Still, I nudge at the problem with my mind on strolls and whatnot, trying to loosen the knot a bit.

On the one hand, all is samsara due to imperfect perception. On the other hand, everything is perfect. What about the Dakinis and the Nirmanakaya manifestation of the Buddhas to help all sentient beings? The instruction to view everything as the manifestation of the deity and the deity's mandala? If all is merely delusion and nothing else, that doesn't explain these concepts very well at all. However, if our interpretation and experience of the deity's manifestations is delusional, that makes sense. It would also mean from a non-personified concept of "deity" that, while our deluded mind creates a confusing world of suffering and discontent around us, that the internal consistency of karma and the inseparability of Buddha Nature from the all phenomena makes it "perfect" in the sense that all desires can be manifested, experienced, learned from and eventually overcome somehow. I really don't understand how such impressions continue on from one life to the next, obscured by deluded mind yet somehow "learned from" deep in the Heart Mind somewhere, but... :rolleye:
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Re: Reasons for Conventional Reality

Postby Malcolm » Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:53 pm

gad rgyangs wrote:three views:

eternalist - "exists"

nihilist - "does not exist"

madhyamaka - "not 'exists', also not 'does not exist'"


This last view is refuted by Madhyamaka. This is explained most cleary by Aryadeva in the Jñānasarasammucaya.
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Re: Reasons for Conventional Reality

Postby gad rgyangs » Thu Nov 17, 2011 4:20 pm

Namdrol wrote:
gad rgyangs wrote:three views:

eternalist - "exists"

nihilist - "does not exist"

madhyamaka - "not 'exists', also not 'does not exist'"


This last view is refuted by Madhyamaka. This is explained most cleary by Aryadeva in the Jñānasarasammucaya.


ok six views then. :tongue:

right now im sorting out N's use of the word pratijñā in VV and its use as a technical term in the Nyaya system.... basically it seems that a distinction needs to be made between the thesis of a syllogism, which N disavows, and philosophical positions, which his texts are of course full of. You can't just sweep everything under the word "view" because he didn't.
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Re: Reasons for Conventional Reality

Postby Malcolm » Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:01 pm

gad rgyangs wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
gad rgyangs wrote:three views:

eternalist - "exists"

nihilist - "does not exist"

madhyamaka - "not 'exists', also not 'does not exist'"


This last view is refuted by Madhyamaka. This is explained most cleary by Aryadeva in the Jñānasarasammucaya.


ok six views then. :tongue:

right now im sorting out N's use of the word pratijñā in VV and its use as a technical term in the Nyaya system.... basically it seems that a distinction needs to be made between the thesis of a syllogism, which N disavows, and philosophical positions, which his texts are of course full of. You can't just sweep everything under the word "view" because he didn't.


For example, what kind of philosphical position does Nāgārjuna hold. Please provide and example.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Reasons for Conventional Reality

Postby gad rgyangs » Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:04 pm

Namdrol wrote:For example, what kind of philosphical position does Nāgārjuna hold. Please provide and example.


jeez, take your pick. how about 24.10 (and now thanks to Terma we have Bocking's translation to use):

"Unless you rely on the conventional truth
You will not attain the ultimate meaning.
Unless you attain the ultimate meaning
You will not attain nirvana."
Thoroughly tame your own mind.
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Re: Reasons for Conventional Reality

Postby Malcolm » Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:08 pm

gad rgyangs wrote:
Namdrol wrote:For example, what kind of philosphical position does Nāgārjuna hold. Please provide and example.


jeez, take your pick. how about 24.10 (and now thanks to Terma we have Bocking's translation to use):

"Unless you rely on the conventional truth
You will not attain the ultimate meaning.
Unless you attain the ultimate meaning
You will not attain nirvana."



This sounds like a prescription, not a position.

N
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

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Re: Reasons for Conventional Reality

Postby gad rgyangs » Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:22 pm

Namdrol wrote:
gad rgyangs wrote:
Namdrol wrote:For example, what kind of philosphical position does Nāgārjuna hold. Please provide and example.


jeez, take your pick. how about 24.10 (and now thanks to Terma we have Bocking's translation to use):

"Unless you rely on the conventional truth
You will not attain the ultimate meaning.
Unless you attain the ultimate meaning
You will not attain nirvana."



This sounds like a prescription, not a position.

N


which contains all kinds of views about what conventional truth is, what the ultimate and nirvana are. In short, a whole worldview, not to mention all kinds of epistemological beliefs about what is or isn't valid reasoning etc.
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