Author Topic: Science and Buddhism?  (Read 4509 times)

Offline Dairy Lama

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Re: Science and Buddhism?
« Reply #30 on: August 11, 2016, 08:17:21 am »
I do not have to observe a chair for it to pop into existence.

Actually, “to exist” means “to appear to a consciousness.”

Indeed, if a chair does not appear to a consciousness, how can is be said to exist?

The dependent arising of phenomena in a Buddhist context is nothing to do with QM. 
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Offline Kenneth Chan

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Re: Science and Buddhism?
« Reply #31 on: August 11, 2016, 08:51:18 am »
Matibhadra, my apologies if I have misunderstood your meaning. So what exactly do you mean by "falsity"?

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The entity depends on causes and conditions, depends on its parts, and depends on the mind that imputes its label upon it.

In English language there is no such thing as “to impute upon”. Whatever is imputed is imputed *to*. “To impute upon” is a meaningless expression invented by neo-Buddhists who lacked any meaning to express, and who have never checked in a dictionary what does it mean “to impute”.

Besides, if a mind imputes a label to an entity, this means that the entity does not depend either on such mind or on such labeling, whereby it could not be empty of inherent existence.

This is a technical point in language. Actually the phrase "to impute a label upon something" is used and I can't see why there is anything wrong with it. Also I think it is far more likely to convey the correct meaning. Take for example this sentence by Alan Wallace: "The central question to be explored is whether or not the bases of designation are identical to the labeled objects that are imputed upon them." If we say "imputed to them" it would too strongly suggest that the other entity is separate.

Offline Kenneth Chan

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Re: Science and Buddhism?
« Reply #32 on: August 11, 2016, 09:04:53 am »
Spiny Norman, this is ridiculous. If you do not even know how energy and force can be linked, you certainly do not know enough physics to say anything at all about it. So it is pointless continuing this discussion with you.

Lets see. Force is a vector quality. It is the application of energy to change the speed or direction of an object, including acceleration. If you want to use it in any other sense, then that's perfectly acceptable, but it ain't science. Deliberate obfuscation isn't the same as debating the truth of the matter. It's like saying, 'See that cloud I've generated? I've placed the truth in there. You can't say the truth isn't in there.' It just isn't helpful to the rest of us trying to chase down underlying reality.

stillpointdancer, please do not take my statements out of context. There is no problem discussing physics even if one knows very little about it. It becomes unacceptable, however, for someone to accuse another of misrepresenting quantum physics (without providing any logical argument to back up this accusation) and using terms like "new-age nonsense" when the accuser himself does not even understand basic high-school physics, let alone quantum physics. That's all I am saying.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2016, 09:23:08 am by Kenneth Chan »

Offline Dairy Lama

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Re: Science and Buddhism?
« Reply #33 on: August 11, 2016, 11:26:40 am »
There is no problem discussing physics even if one knows very little about it. It becomes unacceptable, however, for someone to accuse another of misrepresenting quantum physics (without providing any logical argument to back up this accusation) and using terms like "new-age nonsense" when the accuser himself does not even understand basic high-school physics, let alone quantum physics. That's all I am saying.

You have no credibility here, you are a fraud.

Here you are: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLuzq1GKuao
« Last Edit: August 12, 2016, 04:02:41 am by Spiny Norman »
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Offline Matibhadra

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Re: Science and Buddhism?
« Reply #34 on: August 11, 2016, 11:31:59 am »
I do not have to observe a chair for it to pop into existence.

Actually, “to exist” means “to appear to a consciousness.”

Indeed, if a chair does not appear to a consciousness, how can is be said to exist?

The dependent arising of phenomena in a Buddhist context is nothing to do with QM.

Your answer is not only wrong, but also irrelevant.

Offline Dairy Lama

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Re: Science and Buddhism?
« Reply #35 on: August 11, 2016, 11:45:06 am »
I do not have to observe a chair for it to pop into existence.

Actually, “to exist” means “to appear to a consciousness.”

Indeed, if a chair does not appear to a consciousness, how can is be said to exist?

The dependent arising of phenomena in a Buddhist context is nothing to do with QM.

Your answer is not only wrong, but also irrelevant.

Prove it, in Plain English.  Stop being so patronising and make a proper argument. And please tell me you're not an NKT clone.

Your pronouncements remind me of the Borg.

« Last Edit: August 12, 2016, 04:03:49 am by Spiny Norman »
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Offline Kenneth Chan

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Re: Science and Buddhism?
« Reply #36 on: August 11, 2016, 01:34:44 pm »
I think it should be evident to everyone by now that Spiny Norman is a troll. He is wasting everyone's time. Here's the definition from Wikipedia: A troll is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion, often for their own amusement.

Offline Dairy Lama

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Re: Science and Buddhism?
« Reply #37 on: August 11, 2016, 01:46:28 pm »
I think it should be evident to everyone by now that Spiny Norman is a troll. He is wasting everyone's time. Here's the definition from Wikipedia: A troll is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion, often for their own amusement.


No, you are the troll.  You are a new-age time waster, misrepresenting both science and Buddhism. Go and troll on new-age forums where people are more gullible.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2016, 04:01:39 am by Spiny Norman »
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Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: Science and Buddhism?
« Reply #38 on: August 11, 2016, 02:18:50 pm »
Spiny Norman, this is ridiculous. If you do not even know how energy and force can be linked, you certainly do not know enough physics to say anything at all about it. So it is pointless continuing this discussion with you.

Lets see. Force is a vector quality. It is the application of energy to change the speed or direction of an object, including acceleration. If you want to use it in any other sense, then that's perfectly acceptable, but it ain't science. Deliberate obfuscation isn't the same as debating the truth of the matter. It's like saying, 'See that cloud I've generated? I've placed the truth in there. You can't say the truth isn't in there.' It just isn't helpful to the rest of us trying to chase down underlying reality.

stillpointdancer, please do not take my statements out of context. There is no problem discussing physics even if one knows very little about it. It becomes unacceptable, however, for someone to accuse another of misrepresenting quantum physics (without providing any logical argument to back up this accusation) and using terms like "new-age nonsense" when the accuser himself does not even understand basic high-school physics, let alone quantum physics. That's all I am saying.

No, I'm making a point. I'm not taking anything out of context. I was a science teacher for 30 years so offer a scientific definition of force and energy, which has nothing to do with traditional Buddhist terminology. You may use force and energy in other contexts, even Buddhism, but not to deliberately mislead between the contexts used. Use force and energy in Buddhism by all means, but please make clear that the terms have nothing to do with the scientific terms, and have alternate meanings available to show how they differ.

Of course there's a problem discussing physics if one knows little about it. Shared understanding of terminology is essential to any such discussion. The terminology from quantum physics similarly has no place in any discussion about Buddhism, unless redefined in terms of traditional Buddhist language. Otherwise it does indeed come over as having little credibility.
“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 Matibhadra

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Re: Science and Buddhism?
« Reply #39 on: August 11, 2016, 04:56:48 pm »
I do not have to observe a chair for it to pop into existence.

Actually, “to exist” means “to appear to a consciousness.”

Indeed, if a chair does not appear to a consciousness, how can is be said to exist?

The dependent arising of phenomena in a Buddhist context is nothing to do with QM.

Your answer is not only wrong, but also irrelevant.

Prove it, in Plain English.

Your answer is wrong because, since QM is a phenomenon, it cannot not have to do with the dependent arising of phenomena.

And your answer is irrelevant, because it does not relate to my original point.

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Stop being a patronising twerp

That you gratuitously feel “patronized” suggests an inferiority complex from your side.

And that you want to see your conversation partner as a “twerp” suggests an unskillful attempt to overcome such inferiority complex.

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and make a proper argument.

My original statement came together with a proof. This is called an “argument”.

However, instead of either accepting or refuting my argument, you gratuitously felt “patronized”, and could only call your conversation partner a “twerp”.

Therefore, apart from your obvious psychological imbalance, I believe that you might not be actually interested in an honest discussion.

May I suggest that you review your motivation to join this forum.

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And please tell me you're not an NKT clone.

Actually most of my statements clearly refute points or at least usages found in NKT texts. But your NKT-phobia might have rather to do with your own, widely recognized, intellectual dishonesty and psychological imbalance.

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Your cliched monosyllabic pronouncements remind me of the Borg.

Please keep notes of all of your association of ideas; they will surely prove themselves valuable in a future therapeutic process.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2016, 05:39:08 pm by Matibhadra »

Offline Dairy Lama

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Re: Science and Buddhism?
« Reply #40 on: August 12, 2016, 12:51:07 am »
Your answer is wrong because, since QM is a phenomenon, it cannot not have to do with the dependent arising of phenomena.

No, QM as a phenomena is just some fuzzy images on a screen.   You are just parroting lines from books and don't even understand what a phenomenon is. Or dependent arising for that matter.  Clueless.

You are just a patronising NKT troll spouting unintelligible word-salad and attacking anyone who disagrees with you.  No wonder your cult has been banned on most Buddhist forums.  Hopefully you'll get banned from this one too after your self-indulgent ad homs on anyone who challenges your preach pronouncements.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2016, 04:06:02 am by Spiny Norman »
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Offline Matibhadra

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Re: Science and Buddhism?
« Reply #41 on: August 12, 2016, 08:33:16 am »
Matibhadra, my apologies if I have misunderstood your meaning. So what exactly do you mean by "falsity"?

Thank you for the question. I understand by “falsity” any reality which covers, or conceals. Conversely, I understand by “truth” any reality which does not cover, or does not conceal.

Therefore, any reality which does not deny any reality's independent existence is a falsity, because it covers, or conceals, such lack of independent existence.

Conversely, any reality which denies any reality's independent existence is a truth, because it does not cover, or does not conceal, such lack of independent existence.

Therefore, any reality's mere lack of independent existence, and just any reality's mere lack of independent existence, is a truth, because just such a mere lack is the very denial of any reality's independent existence.

Conversely, any other reality, apart from any reality's mere lack of independent existence, is a falsity, because it does not deny, and therefore covers, or conceals, any reality's lack of independent existence.

Offline Matibhadra

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Re: Science and Buddhism?
« Reply #42 on: August 12, 2016, 08:35:33 am »
Quote
The entity depends on causes and conditions, depends on its parts, and depends on the mind that imputes its label upon it.

In English language there is no such thing as “to impute upon”. Whatever is imputed is imputed *to*. “To impute upon” is a meaningless expression invented by neo-Buddhists who lacked any meaning to express, and who have never checked in a dictionary what does it mean “to impute”.

Besides, if a mind imputes a label to an entity, this means that the entity does not depend either on such mind or on such labeling, whereby it could not be empty of inherent existence.

This is a technical point in language.

Right. Technically it's called a “barbarism”.

Someone in the English-speaking Buddhist world, lacking a clue to the meaning and usage of the verb “to impute”, or of the noun “imputation”, introduced such terms in order to express a meaning which they obviously failed to understand, let alone to make understandable.

To make things worse, barbarisms such as “to impute upon”, or “imputation upon”, which are thoroughly contrary to English usage, were also introduced, and have been persistently and repeatedly adopted and spread within some circles in the Buddhist English-speaking world.

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Actually the phrase "to impute a label upon something" is used

Right. A barbarism is always something used, or a misusage.

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and I can't see why there is anything wrong with it.

With reason, as a meaningless collection of words cannot be either right or wrong; rather, it is just meaningless.

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Also I think it is far more likely to convey the correct meaning.

Any sign can convey any meaning, but first one should be able to define the purported sign, so that it becomes a sign to start with, and there are no available definitions for purported signs such as “to impute upon”, or “imputation upon”.

Quote
Take for example this sentence by Alan Wallace: "The central question to be explored is whether or not the bases of designation are identical to the labeled objects that are imputed upon them."

Since the author did not define what he wants to say with the meaningless barbarism “imputed upon”, this collection of words does not actually qualify as a sentence.

The day the author exactly defines what he means by the mere collection of words “imputed upon”, then we'll have a sentence to judge of.

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If we say "imputed to them" it would too strongly suggest that the other entity is separate.

Since according to you the the phrase “imputed to them” now has a different meaning than the collection of words “imputed upon them”, you should be prepared to define what you mean by “imputed upon”, which unfortunately till now you failed to do.

And even if you do, still it will not be clear if others, such as the author of the quoted collection of words, mean the same as you. Such are the troubles following the usage of undefined barbarisms, which obviously just hide the lack of an actual meaning to be expressed.

Besides, previously you said that what is “imputed upon” are labels, as in two of your previous sentences, to wit, “Actually the phrase "to impute a label upon something" is used” and “The entity depends on causes and conditions, depends on its parts, and depends on the mind that imputes its label upon it.”

Now, however, you agreeingly quote an author who says that what is “imputed upon” are not labels, but rather “the labeled objects”, as in the collection of words "The central question to be explored is whether or not the bases of designation are identical to the labeled objects that are imputed upon them."

Therefore, not only you must define the collection of words “imputed upon”, but also you must decide if that which is “imputed upon” are the labels or the labeled objects, which are obviously completely different animals.

Furthermore, since by definition a “basis of designation” is the receptacle of such designation, or that which receives the designation, or that which is designated, or that which is labeled, or the labeled object, the absurd follows that according to the quoted author the labeled object is “imputed upon”... the labeled object!

Therefore, one can see that the author of the meaningless, preposterous, quoted collection of words qualifies at best as a self-promoting charlatan, a ridiculous philosophaster lacking any clue to the topic he claims to be talking about, and thus worthless being taken as a reference in any serious discussion on such topic.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2016, 08:45:32 am by Matibhadra »

Offline Kenneth Chan

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Re: Science and Buddhism?
« Reply #43 on: August 12, 2016, 09:17:34 am »
Matibhadra, I think we need to recognize that words have serious limitations, and that not everything can be expressed adequately in words. That is why deep meditational experiences are said to be ineffable. This is not because they are not real, but simply because there are no words to describe them adequately.

Words can only convey the intended meaning if they represent experiences that are already shared and understood by both parties. If one party gains a deeper meditational insight that the other party has not experienced, he cannot convey that experience to the other party through words. That is simply because the other party has not gained a similar experience, and there are no words (that are shared by both parties) for it.

Also, we need to recognize that language evolves, and that new usage has regularly been created to express new thoughts. I understand that even the most reputable dictionaries, like the Oxford and Cambridge dictionaries, add new words on a fairly regular basis. Please do not get too caught up with the technicalities of language. Words have serious limitations. That is why, in Buddhism, it is not the words that count, but the direct experiential insight that is important.

Actually what Alan Wallace is talking about is essentially the same as what I was trying to express. Now we need to admit that both sets of words cannot precisely convey the exact meaning, because we are talking about emptiness. If the meaning of "empty of inherent existence" can be completely conveyed through words alone, what need is there then for anyone to meditate upon it in order to gain a direct experiential insight of this true nature of reality? Words cannot completely convey the meaning because words have serious limitations, and we need to recognize this fact.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2016, 04:46:00 pm by Kenneth Chan »

Offline Kenneth Chan

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Re: Science and Buddhism?
« Reply #44 on: August 12, 2016, 05:30:53 pm »
Matibhadra, my apologies if I have misunderstood your meaning. So what exactly do you mean by "falsity"?

Thank you for the question. I understand by “falsity” any reality which covers, or conceals. Conversely, I understand by “truth” any reality which does not cover, or does not conceal.

Therefore, any reality which does not deny any reality's independent existence is a falsity, because it covers, or conceals, such lack of independent existence.

Conversely, any reality which denies any reality's independent existence is a truth, because it does not cover, or does not conceal, such lack of independent existence.

Therefore, any reality's mere lack of independent existence, and just any reality's mere lack of independent existence, is a truth, because just such a mere lack is the very denial of any reality's independent existence.

Conversely, any other reality, apart from any reality's mere lack of independent existence, is a falsity, because it does not deny, and therefore covers, or conceals, any reality's lack of independent existence.

Thank you for your explanation. However, I think we still need to be very cautious with the word “falsity” as it can so easily convey the wrong understanding. A better way, I believe, to convey the meaning you express is to follow what is done in Madhyamaka philosophy. Here, two levels of truths are recognized: the ultimate truth and the conventional truth. Both are considered to be correct.

Ultimate truth refers to the fact that all things are empty of inherent existence. But since this does not mean that all things are totally nonexistent, the conventional truth is also considered to be valid. The conventional truth refers to how things, even though they are empty of inherent existence, nonetheless still function, and partake in the workings of karma and in manifestations of cause and effect. Actually the correct realization of the conventional truth comes after the realization of the ultimate truth.

Let me illustrate this issue with the famous story in Ch’an Buddhism concerning the Sixth Patriarch:

The Fifth Patriarch of Ch'an Buddhism, Hung Jen told his monks to express their wisdom in a poem. Whoever had true realization of his original nature (Buddha Nature) would be ordained the Sixth Patriarch. The head monk, Shen Hsiu, was the most learned, and wrote the following:

The body is the wisdom-tree,
The mind is a bright mirror in a stand;
Take care to wipe it all the time,
And allow no dust to cling.

The poem was praised, but the Fifth Patriarch knew that Shen Hsiu had not yet found his original nature. On the other hand, Hung Jen found his true successor in Hui Neng (who became the Sixth Patriarch), whose poem read:

Fundamentally no wisdom-tree exists,
Nor the stand of a mirror bright.
Since all is empty from the beginning,
Where can the dust alight?

The poem of Hui Neng needs to be understood correctly. As he makes clear with the words "all is empty," his poem is a teaching on emptiness. Thus, the poem has to be understood in the same way as the words of the famous Heart Sutra: "In emptiness, there is no form, no feelings, no perceptions, no mental formations, and no consciousness."

The teaching on emptiness is not a teaching on nihilism. What it teaches is that "all things are empty of inherent existence." This means that things do not exist independently on their own right; they are, instead, dependently originated. They depend on their parts, depend on causes and conditions, and particularly, depend on the imputation of the mind that perceives them. Nonetheless, while things do not exist independently on their own right, they are also not totally nonexistent.

So while emptiness is considered the ultimate truth in Buddhism, another aspect of the truth - known as the conventional truth - is also recognized. The conventional truth refers to our conventional way of speaking about how we function. While all things are ultimately empty of inherent existence, we do still function in life. Thus, while the poem by Hui Neng reflects the ultimate truth, the poem by Shen Hsiu actually reflects the conventional truth. Both are to be considered correct.

In the same spirit as the Heart Sutra (which states that "there is no suffering, origin, cessation or path"), Hui Neng's words do not mean that we should not strive to take the spiritual path. What they mean is that we need to ultimately realize that these entities are all empty of inherent existence. We actually do need to strive, with effort, along the spiritual path in order to attain this profound realization.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2016, 06:33:50 pm by Kenneth Chan »

 


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