Author Topic: Science and Buddhism?  (Read 1934 times)

Offline ECS

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Science and Buddhism?
« on: July 19, 2016, 08:02:39 pm »
Perhaps science is human desire ..is human fulfilling desire / the need to know..is human trying to understand what they think they should understand .....but Buddhism is the natural process that lead to human realize he is the emotion itself ... he is the desire ...as he awaken to this , his desire to know decreases ......and as he journey further , questioning stop ...answering ceased .......

Offline Kenneth Chan

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Re: Science and Buddhism?
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2016, 06:37:35 am »
In Buddhism, ignorance is considered the root of samsara. In Tibetan Buddhism, both study and meditation are used, in a complementary way, to help overcome this ignorance and to awaken to the true nature of reality, which is the wisdom realizing emptiness. Therefore, knowing (in the form of a direct realization of the true nature of the mind) and desire are not the same things.

Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: Science and Buddhism?
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2016, 09:59:20 am »
Perhaps science is human desire ..is human fulfilling desire / the need to know..is human trying to understand what they think they should understand .....but Buddhism is the natural process that lead to human realize he is the emotion itself ... he is the desire ...as he awaken to this , his desire to know decreases ......and as he journey further , questioning stop ...answering ceased .......

I think the opposite happens. Awakening is the start of the rest of your life, not the end of a desire to know stuff. As Kenneth Chan says, Buddhism is there to overcome ignorance, not to perpetuate it by ceasing to question, and there is no contradiction between Buddhism and exploring different areas of human knowledge.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Science and Buddhism?
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2016, 01:21:34 pm »
Perhaps science is human desire ..is human fulfilling desire / the need to know..is human trying to understand what they think they should understand .....but Buddhism is the natural process that lead to human realize he is the emotion itself ... he is the desire ...as he awaken to this , his desire to know decreases ......and as he journey further , questioning stop ...answering ceased .......


I think the opposite happens. Awakening is the start of the rest of your life, not the end of a desire to know stuff. As Kenneth Chan says, Buddhism is there to overcome ignorance, not to perpetuate it by ceasing to question, and there is no contradiction between Buddhism and exploring different areas of human knowledge.


My guess is that science is a human method developed to discover, verify, and validate the truth, much like Buddha's advice in his message to The Kalamas.

reference:  http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/soma/wheel008.html

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Offline Matibhadra

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Re: Science and Buddhism?
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2016, 07:26:44 pm »
My guess is that science is a human method developed to discover, verify, and validate the truth, much like Buddha's advice in his message to The Kalamas.

Science, insofar as it is concerned with any reality, except for any reality's mere lack of independent existence, is actually a method to discover, verify, and validate falsities. And why? Because no reality, except for any reality's mere lack of independent existence, denies any reality's independent existence, whereby every reality, except for any reality's mere lack of independent existence, is deceptive, or a falsity.

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Science and Buddhism?
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2016, 12:18:28 am »
Science, insofar as it is concerned with any reality, except for any reality's mere lack of independent existence, is actually a method to discover, verify, and validate falsities. And why? Because no reality, except for any reality's mere lack of independent existence, denies any reality's independent existence, whereby every reality, except for any reality's mere lack of independent existence, is deceptive, or a falsity.

 :wacky:

Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: Science and Buddhism?
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2016, 02:13:18 am »
My guess is that science is a human method developed to discover, verify, and validate the truth, much like Buddha's advice in his message to The Kalamas.

Science, insofar as it is concerned with any reality, except for any reality's mere lack of independent existence, is actually a method to discover, verify, and validate falsities. And why? Because no reality, except for any reality's mere lack of independent existence, denies any reality's independent existence, whereby every reality, except for any reality's mere lack of independent existence, is deceptive, or a falsity.

I'm sorry that you seem to turn your back on the wonders that science brings. Science is not Buddhism, of course, and if it was, there'd be no need for Buddhism! The two can coexist easily- with Buddhism being there for the path to enlightenment and science for exposing pseudo-scientific charlatans, as well as uncovering reality behind seeming reality. I for one think that science, if you follow it at the cutting edge of the very large and very small, clearly shows movement towards that which underlies every 'reality'. Clearly shows those on the path that they are, indeed, on the right path.

I would go further and say that, in my opinion, any Buddhist who deliberately keeps themselves in ignorance of any area that human inquiry uncovers is moving away from the path, not following it as the Buddha would have wanted.

“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Science and Buddhism?
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2016, 03:02:54 am »
I would go further and say that, in my opinion, any Buddhist who deliberately keeps themselves in ignorance of any area that human inquiry uncovers is moving away from the path, not following it as the Buddha would have wanted.

Buddhism has been called "the science of the mind", and there is the same spirit of interested enquiry.  Having said that, I think it is a good idea to maintain a degree of separation between Buddhism and science.  For example sometimes people try to mix Buddhist teachings on emptiness with quantum mechanics, which leads to a horrible mess!

Offline Kenneth Chan

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Re: Science and Buddhism?
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2016, 09:51:23 am »
There is actually no problem in applying the concept of emptiness in quantum physics. The main problem is that many physicists refuse to acknowledge the fact that the observer plays a crucial role in quantum physics. These physicists hate to acknowledge this fact because it brings the issue of consciousness into consideration, and physicists know next-to-nothing about consciousness. Physicists do need to learn to admit ignorance when that is the case. Otherwise, they simply mislead the public.

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Science and Buddhism?
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2016, 11:39:01 am »
There are huge problems trying to compare sunyata to quantum mechanics, it's like chalk and cheese.

Sunyata applies to the phenomenal world, not the sub-atomic world. The Heart Sutra describes the bodhisattva using prajna wisdom to see the emptiness of the five aggregates of experience.

QM only applies at the sub-atomic scale, and you cannot apply this to our everyday world where behaviour is determined by Newtonian mechanics.  Buddhadharma relates to our everyday phenomenal world.

And note that in QM experiments it is not consciousness that is required, just a detection device, the introduction of an external influence.

QM is fascinating, but muddling it up with Buddhadhamma just leads to confusion, misrepresentation and a horrible muddle.

Offline Kenneth Chan

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Re: Science and Buddhism?
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2016, 03:56:43 pm »
There are huge problems trying to compare sunyata to quantum mechanics, it's like chalk and cheese.

Sunyata applies to the phenomenal world, not the sub-atomic world. The Heart Sutra describes the bodhisattva using prajna wisdom to see the emptiness of the five aggregates of experience.

QM only applies at the sub-atomic scale, and you cannot apply this to our everyday world where behaviour is determined by Newtonian mechanics.  Buddhadharma relates to our everyday phenomenal world.

There is only one reality; so it is not "chalk and cheese." We cannot artificially split our reality into two separate compartments. Emptiness applies to everything with no exception.

Everything in our material world is made up of elementary particles, so QM applies to all material phenomena. All our electronic equipment run on quantum mechanical principles, so QM also determines the behavior of our phenomenal world.

And note that in QM experiments it is not consciousness that is required, just a detection device, the introduction of an external influence.

QM is fascinating, but muddling it up with Buddhadhamma just leads to confusion, misrepresentation and a horrible muddle.

The formulation of quantum mechanics requires the observer in order to make sense. Saying that it requires “just a detection device” does not make sense. This is because it is the observer that makes a device a “detection device.” Otherwise all devices are simply objects made up of elementary particles, and are no different from anything else. The observer has to be involved for “detection” to take place. Then the question arises: What makes an observer an observer? If it is not consciousness that makes an observer an observer, what else can it be?

There is no such thing as “muddling it up with Buddhadhamma.” Emptiness applies to everything, no exception.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2016, 04:22:12 pm by Kenneth Chan »

Offline Matibhadra

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Re: Science and Buddhism?
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2016, 06:50:12 pm »
My guess is that science is a human method developed to discover, verify, and validate the truth, much like Buddha's advice in his message to The Kalamas.

Science, insofar as it is concerned with any reality, except for any reality's mere lack of independent existence, is actually a method to discover, verify, and validate falsities. And why? Because no reality, except for any reality's mere lack of independent existence, denies any reality's independent existence, whereby every reality, except for any reality's mere lack of independent existence, is deceptive, or a falsity.

I'm sorry that you seem to turn your back on the wonders that science brings.

Not so! The wonders science brings have not been denied at all! Such wonders have just been ascribed to the realm where they belong, the realm of falsities, which by no means detracts from their reality and worth.

Indeed, a falsity is a reality, and it has to be a reality in the first place, in order to be false.

Besides, much of Buddha's teachings, such as dependent arising, karma, love, compassion, the realities of suffering, of its causes, and of the path, and so forth, are all about falsities, and still highly worthy teachings.

Quote
Science is not Buddhism, of course, and if it was, there'd be no need for Buddhism! The two can coexist easily- with Buddhism being there for the path to enlightenment and science for exposing pseudo-scientific charlatans, as well as uncovering reality behind seeming reality. I for one think that science, if you follow it at the cutting edge of the very large and very small, clearly shows movement towards that which underlies every 'reality'. Clearly shows those on the path that they are, indeed, on the right path.

Nothing to disagree here, methinks.
 
Quote
I would go further and say that, in my opinion, any Buddhist who deliberately keeps themselves in ignorance of any area that human inquiry uncovers is moving away from the path, not following it as the Buddha would have wanted.

+1
« Last Edit: August 10, 2016, 09:25:24 pm by Matibhadra »

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Science and Buddhism?
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2016, 11:06:19 pm »
There are huge problems trying to compare sunyata to quantum mechanics, it's like chalk and cheese.

Sunyata applies to the phenomenal world, not the sub-atomic world. The Heart Sutra describes the bodhisattva using prajna wisdom to see the emptiness of the five aggregates of experience.

QM only applies at the sub-atomic scale, and you cannot apply this to our everyday world where behaviour is determined by Newtonian mechanics.  Buddhadharma relates to our everyday phenomenal world.

There is only one reality; so it is not "chalk and cheese." We cannot artificially split our reality into two separate compartments. Emptiness applies to everything with no exception.

Everything in our material world is made up of elementary particles, so QM applies to all material phenomena. All our electronic equipment run on quantum mechanical principles, so QM also determines the behavior of our phenomenal world.

And note that in QM experiments it is not consciousness that is required, just a detection device, the introduction of an external influence.

QM is fascinating, but muddling it up with Buddhadhamma just leads to confusion, misrepresentation and a horrible muddle.

The formulation of quantum mechanics requires the observer in order to make sense. Saying that it requires “just a detection device” does not make sense. This is because it is the observer that makes a device a “detection device.” Otherwise all devices are simply objects made up of elementary particles, and are no different from anything else. The observer has to be involved for “detection” to take place. Then the question arises: What makes an observer an observer? If it is not consciousness that makes an observer an observer, what else can it be?

There is no such thing as “muddling it up with Buddhadhamma.” Emptiness applies to everything, no exception.

No, sunyata has a specific meaning in a specific context, and saying it applies to "everything" is new-age nonsense.  The Buddha frequently advised against this kind of metaphysical speculation.  Sunyata describes our phenomenal experience and is not intended as a metaphysical statement.

And no, the observer does not have to be involved, all it requires is the introduction of some external influence, in this case a detection device.  And to repeat, QM only applies at the sub-atomic level, I do not have to observe a chair for it to pop into existence.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2016, 11:14:27 pm by Spiny Norman »

Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: Science and Buddhism?
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2016, 02:25:46 am »
One problem in this discussion for me is with the word 'falsity'- with the root being 'false', ie wrong, made up, fake, lying, and so on. It is not a suitable word in this context, as scientists are after 'truths' that apply to their area of inquiry. To say that everything is 'empty' is simply not applicable to the science they are doing.

Emptiness is another such word. In the Buddhist sense it has nothing to do with quantifiable experience, but is a tool to be used when meditating to explore what you happen to be trying to hold on to at the time. It is the answer to the question, 'Does any 'thing' in existence contain something 'essential' that I can cling to, to help me understand any underlying reality?'. And the answer is of course, 'No. You must let go of every thing, even nothing.'

As a scientist I am both comfortable with the kind of truth that science uncovers, and with using cutting-edge counter-intuitive ideas such as QM as part of my meditation. These ideas, for me, act as a sort of Koan to help me abandon dependence on reason. But of course they are the result of reason.....

Another idea I use like this is 'the observer collapses the waveform', where the universe is only visible as it is because there is someone or something to observe it, and collapse the waveform into one of it's possible states. I can spend hours contemplating that sort of thing- but it's not for everyone I guess. Luckily there are lots of different ways in to the same kind of thing in Buddhism, or only scientists would be capable of attaining enlightenment!

“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Offline Kenneth Chan

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Re: Science and Buddhism?
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2016, 03:01:59 am »
No, sunyata has a specific meaning in a specific context, and saying it applies to "everything" is new-age nonsense.  The Buddha frequently advised against this kind of metaphysical speculation.  Sunyata describes our phenomenal experience and is not intended as a metaphysical statement.

What I said was that emptiness of inherent existence applies to everything. Please do not use terms like "new-age nonsense." We are talking about Buddhism. The fact that emptiness applies to everything is the position of Madhyamaka philosophy which is an extensive philosophy based on concrete philosophical and logical analyses that has been extant for over a thousand years. Madhyamaka philosophy stems from the texts of Nagarjuna, Chandrakirti, Shantideva, Aryadeva, Tsongkhapa, and so on.

And no, the observer does not have to be involved, all it requires is the introduction of some external influence, in this case a detection device.  And to repeat, QM only applies at the sub-atomic level, I do not have to observe a chair for it to pop into existence.

As I already mentioned, there is no such thing as a "detection" device unless there is an observer. If there is no observer, what does detection even mean? The so-called "detection device" is then merely an object composed of elementary particles and is no different from any other object. If there is no observer, there is no such thing as "detection."

The problem is actually deeper than even that. If you understand quantum physics, there is also the problem of the "preferred basis." What this means is that how particles manifest not only depends on a measurement being made. It also depends on what we observers choose to measure. What we choose to measure sets up the "preferred basis" which determines the alternative outcomes of our measurement. Now, how can this preferred basis come about without an observer to decide what to measure? That is why the formulation of quantum physics makes no sense without the observer.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2016, 03:05:28 am by Kenneth Chan »

 


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