Author Topic: Belief vs rationality  (Read 91 times)

Offline ground

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Belief vs rationality
« on: September 19, 2017, 10:34:38 pm »
This is an interesting topic because if one is confused by irrational emptiness philosophies - and there are some of these that are very common in buddhism especially tibetan buddhism - one might think that there is no significant difference between belief in this or that and being certain of this or that logical inference.
However the quality of belief and certainty based on logical inference may be strikingly different.

The characteristic of belief is that it is based on cultivation of a sentiment of truth. The object of belief is either held to be true or the individual is struggling for it to appear as truth. Since there is no truth to be found inherently existing anywhere belief always is accompanied by intermittent doubt. So belief and doubt go hand in hand and are the two faces of uncertainty.

The characteristic of logical certainty however is that it is accompanied by necessity. There is simply no alternative to that which has been inferred through rational analysis. Doubt is impossible.

One might think that the object of logical certainty simply is an instance of an object of belief and is based on a sentiment of truth too. But if one has established a rational view of emptiness of inherent existence this is not the case: One then is certain of this or that and at the same time knows the emptiness of inherent existence and thus the emptiness of truth of that which one is certain about.

How is this possible? How can there be certainty without being sullied by the innate ignorant habit of truth grasping?

I do no know how and why this is possible but I know validly that it is possible. I can only offer some speculative thoughts:
Certainty empty of belief in truth is possible if a logical inference meets an intuitive knowledge that has been present already but has not been an explicit object of consciousness so far.
Or - from a neuroscientific perspective - certainty empty of belief in truth is possible if a logical inference activates a pre-existent pathway in the neural network of the brain that has not been activated so far.

So both speculations are based on the assumption that special logical inferences are revealing something that is already present in the thinker/knower. Thus the characteristic of that special logical inference that entails certainty may be that it is accompanied by an intuitive self-knowing aspect which therefore renders impossible or at least unnecessary an imputation of truth that always is directed towards an object erroneously felt to be inherently different from the thinker/knower.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2017, 10:39:52 pm by ground »

Offline philboyd

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Re: Belief vs rationality
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2017, 08:45:15 pm »
How does one become unbound of "the innate ignorant habit of truth grasping "? Have you employed Buddhist teachings toward this end?
Peace

Offline ground

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Re: Belief vs rationality
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2017, 01:18:49 am »
How does one become unbound of "the innate ignorant habit of truth grasping "? Have you employed Buddhist teachings toward this end?
your question is a question about a generally valid way. But - provided that one accepts that there is an 'innate ignorant habit of truth grasping' because one may also negate the existence of such a habit - I can only answer from within the sphere of my individual experience and the answer is: through rationality, i.e. rationally investigating into the meaning of the words 'truth' and 'true' and its concomitant sentiments.
I have applied the logical reasonings that are used in a rational variant of buddhist prasangika madhyamaka philosophy.

Offline Samana Johann

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Re: Belief vs rationality
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2017, 09:06:04 pm »
The diffences between tantric looping of tibetan and european "Buddhism" is a cultural. One takes the green tara as vehicle, one Audi. (and all the various schools). But by believing that phenomenas have a beginning and an end, they do not teach a way out, but give explainings of "reality". Tibetan might like to use the expression "believe" to give their horicont a name, European call it maybe "rationalising".

Caught in the "reality" of the 2. Noble Truth (of wandering on), not seeing the first, there is no interest to investigate the 2., search for an escape and even find the 3. realized. Why is that? Because its fine to perceive in frames of the secooud for them and even more fine that they can identify it as "their own culture". Which naturally of causes, seeks for growing...

So if you like to understand it, don't seek how to see for your self, they would not be able to explain it, the Aharahats or Bodhisattvas, but simply belive it, and it becomes true, with a beginning and an end.
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