buddhism and science

Discussion in 'Eastern Philosophy' started by cpt.scruffy, Dec 14, 2006.

  1. cpt.scruffy The Future's Coolest Guy Registered Senior Member

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    what are your thoughts?

    in general i'm an athiest.
    thing is, is that buddhism, once looked into... makes a lot of sense too.


    "The religion of the future will be cosmic religion. It should transcend a personal God and avoid dogmas and theology. Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual and a meaningful unity. Buddhism answers this description. . . If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism."

    --Einstein.

    buddhism is pretty damn interesting.
    and in my opinion, a lot more friendly than other religions.
     
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  3. shakushinnen Registered Senior Member

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    Hi,
    From a purely analytical point of view, it's Theravada buddhism that makes a lot of sense. Many of the other sects are steeped in ritual, and some border on diety worship. Many sects revere the buddha as if he was a god, but the theravadins acknowledge him as a man, with a great capacity to understand the mind, what motivates us, and how to understand ourselves, but a man none the less. The thing I find compelling about buddhism is it's admonition to find one's path in all of existence. It doesn't claim to be the only way to live, and suggests that one look into all ways, all philosophies, all religions.
    John
     
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  5. VitalOne Banned Banned

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    I hate it when people think Buddhism is so different from other religions and there's nothing supernatural in it...they watch TV and hear stuff but they don't read the actual Buddhist scriptures
     
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  7. Sauna Banned Banned

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    re. both postings, one should be obliged to see references, i.e. evidence to support the assertions.
     
  8. VitalOne Banned Banned

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    ok...well lets see The Buddha talks about heaven and hell, people going to heaven by devotion, gods like Brahma and Indra existing on other world-systems, iddhis or superhuman powers like walking on water, reincarnation, karma, etc...all as being true.....Taoism fits in better with what Einstein describes
     
  9. Sauna Banned Banned

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    763
    Walking on water? I'd never heard of that before.

    On the invitation to read the scriptures, as if to imply that these are immediately accessible, I'd expect to be told which in particular.

    The appeal of Buddhsm is rather for instance that of the Acintita Sutta which advises not to speculate with regard to that which is not amenable to speculation, and with due respect to the notion that karma was peculiar to Buddhism and representative of it, this has not stood up anyway to my previous personal research, which is why I am keen for further references.

    I have heard tell of Sagga, a Buddhist version of Heaven, which is distinctly different in supposing that its inhabitants also succumb to aging, illness, and death, subject to karma as on Earth today.

    I have also heard of "Hell" to describe an unpleasant siuation, but not in the same sense as the Christian Hell.

    Whatever the Buddha talked about, in all fairness, I think it fair to distinguish between the poetic merit and our modern scientific analysis, and to see it in the context of the time, as a practical reaction to theism.
     
  10. VitalOne Banned Banned

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    2,716
    The Buddha spoke of many heavens and many hells, as he says there are billions of world-systems in the universe.

    As for walking on water, its just another iddhi power, along with flying, splitting your body into many and into one again, etc....this was obviously not meant to be metaphoric as fools say, but literal

    Anyway back to the main point, these things are supernatural, I don't know where people get the idea that Buddhism is atheistic and involves nothing supernatural
     
  11. Sauna Banned Banned

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    763
    Strangely enough they get it from Buddhists who speak for themselves.

    There is all sorts of supernatural stuff mixed up with Tibetan Buddhism, unashamedly so, but none of it is an obligatory prerequisite to the profession in general which rather proclaims the way, the method to mind the self rather than the Universe beyond.

    That I would say is the difference with science, while Buddhism escapes from the truth, science pretends to pursue it.
     
  12. VitalOne Banned Banned

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    2,716
    The fact is things like reincarnation, karma, etc....are an intergral part of Buddhism in every sect. In fact The Buddha's whole philosophy revolves around rebirth, as nirvana is the escape from rebirth. Atheists don't believe in an afterlife or anything like that, its all made up fiction to them. As for supernatural things, Buddhism is filled with it, just visit a Buddhist temple and see for yourself
     
  13. shakushinnen Registered Senior Member

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    Hi,
    "... while Buddhism escapes from the truth ..." I haven't found buddhism to be that way. Seems to make a lot of sense, to me. Granted some of the sects have some odd practices, but even if you don't get some of them, i.e. I have never understood reincarnation, there are many aspects of it which are worth investigating. Of course, many philosophies, religions, have things to teach us.
    John
     
  14. shakushinnen Registered Senior Member

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    Hi Sauna,
    So you interpret 'refuge' to mean escape? I must admit I never thought of it that way. I think of it more in the sense of a place to go to contemplate, or re centre oneself, somewhat like a christian going to a church to pray or meditate. None of the sects I know of promote escaping from reality, quite the opposite in fact.
    ..... John
     
  15. Sauna Banned Banned

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    What do they actually do then to deal with reality?

    Please tell.

    I am talking about the reality of how they actually deal with people, not some kind of thought experiment.

    Were the truth that is typical of members here to be repeated in the context of Buddhist Temple they'd be banned in short order, with nothing so tolerant or compassionate about it.
     
  16. shakushinnen Registered Senior Member

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    130
    "What do they actually do then to deal with reality?
    Please tell.
    I am talking about the reality of how they actually deal with people, not some kind of thought experiment."
    I'm not sure I understand??? Have you been mistreated by some buddhists?

    "Were the truth that is typical of members here to be repeated in the context of Buddhist Temple they'd be banned in short order, with nothing so tolerant or compassionate about it."
    This has not been my experience, and I have been in many temples. I have heard, however, of teachers whom I thought had rather narrow interpretations. Have you run across one of these?
     
  17. Sauna Banned Banned

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    "mistreated"?

    Yes .... and no, but that is not the best word.

    I have met with refugees from Buddhist monasteries who'd adopted the orange robes and come away a year or two later, disillusioned.

    I was rather hoping for an answer to the actual question: What do they actually do then to deal with reality?

    With all said and done the goal of Buddhism is to end the cycle of death and rebirth, and if that is not to escape from reality I don't know what is or would be:

    Let go of the past, let go of the future, let go of the present, and cross over to the farther shore of existence. With mind wholly liberated, you shall come no more to birth and death.

    (Dhammapada 348)
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2006
  18. shakushinnen Registered Senior Member

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    Hi Sauna,
    ....."What do they actually do then to deal with reality?" I'm sorry, I really have no idea how to answer this question. It's so vague.
    "With all said and done the goal of Buddhism is to end the cycle of death and rebirth, and if that is not to escape from reality I don't know what is or would be:" Yes, I can see how one would interpret this in the way your suggesting. But to tell you the truth, I have NO idea what this means.
    ....."Let go of the past, let go of the future, let go of the present, and cross over to the farther shore of existence. With mind wholly liberated, you shall come no more to birth and death." Again, this means next to nothing to me. There are many quotes in buddhist literature that I can't explain, nor do I feel they are relavent to day to day living.
    .....One of the common criticisms of buddhism is that there is little set down in stone to guide the aspirant. This is compounded by the fact that there are so many interpretations of it that one doesn't know what to choose and what to disregard; and even that changes as one progresses. So it becomes the task of the aspirant to separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. There are lots of people willing to tell you what is relevant, but one really has to decide for oneself. This is by design, because most buddhist believe that the only truth worth knowing is the one one discovers for oneself. Uncritically accepting what another says is like building ones house on a bog. Hence that lack of dogma.
    That being said, there is so much in buddhist teachings and literature to recommend it as a way of life, that the investigation is well worth the effort.
    John
     
  19. Sauna Banned Banned

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    Last edited: Dec 30, 2006
  20. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    But I don't interpret rebirth or Karma to be supernatural. Nirvana is alot of things, and escape from rebirth is just one benefit, not the primary concern. I think a religion has been built up around Buddhism, but for me, the essence of Buddhism is best expressed in Zen Buddhism. I guess you never read Buddhism, the Religion of No Religion, by Alan Watts?
     
  21. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    24,690
    Looking at Buddhism strictly from the outside, it appears to be more readily, usefully and tolerably deconstructible than the Abrahamic religions. People who are born into Buddhist cultures discard bits that seem like fairy tales and pick up bits from the Dao and Kong Fuzi, and call it Buddhism. People who are born into other cultures pick up bits that make sense and still celebrate Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, and call it Buddhism. And the more mainstream Buddhists don't call people who do that "pagans," "infidels," or "apostates."
     
  22. Sauna Banned Banned

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    Last edited: Dec 30, 2006
  23. shakushinnen Registered Senior Member

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    Hi Sauna,
    ....."I concur with the criticism, with regard to the actual dealing with reality because of the insidious hypocrisy, the smarmy saying of one thing notwithstanding the doing of another, and a shortage of advice to apply to the modern World, real time."
    Sorry, I didn't mean to appear critical of buddhism. I was simply outlining what I understand to be the majour objection to it. Certainly it's not for everyone, precisely for the reason you've cited below.
    "Folk at large want to know what to do in a given practical situation..." If this is what someone needs, buddhism is not for them. The focus is finding out for oneself what works, not accepting what someone else said, or wrote, because of who they are.
    "....with regard to the actual dealing with reality because of the insidious hypocrisy, the smarmy saying of one thing notwithstanding the doing of another...." I havent seen to much of this. If your saying that many of the buddhist sayings are difficult, unfathonable, or bullshit, I can't say. I know what I understand and what I don't understand. As regards, "shortage of advice" - Well, there's lots of advice, problem is sifting through it and deciding what makes sense. However there is a shortage of dogma, 'thou shalts' so to speak.
    .....Sauna, I think you need to have a look at a clear, uncomplicated expanation of one of the sects teachings. Since you seem to be a very analytically minded person, may I suggest theravadin. Then we could have a more informed discussion. Seems like you've had some unfortuate experiences with bad teachers, and perhaps assumed that some of the more esoteric expressions of buddhism are representative of the mainstream. If you like I can recommend a good primer.
    John
     

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