Author Topic: Is Buddhism compatible with science  (Read 541 times)

Offline somekindofmonster

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Is Buddhism compatible with science
« on: September 04, 2016, 01:45:07 pm »
Hello everyone, i'am a truth-seeker who spend many of his spare time studying different religions and see how they can combine with modern science.
I'am interested in buddhism, especially zen but also theravada and i'am wondering how it sees the creation of the world and the developement of humanity? Is there views compatible with darwinian evolution? Also if it is the case how can we include in a logical way the rules of dharma into this evolution?

Thanks

Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: Is Buddhism compatible with science
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2016, 02:23:58 am »
The aims of both Buddhism and science are the same- to see the world as it really is. The methodology is different, though, because they are different ways of tackling the same thing, and so they can proceed without much overlap. Where problems arise is in efforts to bring the methodology from one to the other. A bit like trying to combine, say, swimming and tennis. You might be able to come up with something you enjoy playing, but it wouldn't be the best of both sports combined, it would be something different.

In the same way there is no need to bring something like evolution into Buddhism. Why bother? Evolution describes how we came to be, but is nothing to do with following the path, other than to accept it as one way of describing the world. The only reason to use it, as far as I can see, is if someone wants to make out enlightened people to be some kind of Ubermensch, from Nietzsche's 'Thus Spake Zarathustra'. I like the book, but Buddhism as developing some kind of evolved human being is not what Buddhism is about, at least not for me.

It was one of the disagreements I had at the Buddhist center I went to. Their view was that we had to change to be some kind of superior person, somehow 'better' than the rest. Mine was that insight through Buddhist practices allows you to be an enlightened human being. No different from anyone else, except that you see things as they really are, which enables you to have a different relationship with everything.

As a retired science and math teacher I like logical thinking. You could use science to bring validity to the claims that meditation brings changes to the brain. It would then be logical for people to start meditating to bring these changes about, but that's not logic as a discipline. I've seen some attempts to use the rules of mathematical logic in Buddhism, but it involves mixing disciplines again, and doesn't really work for me.

Science and Buddhism can live quite happily together, unlike some religions you may have studied, and, although all ways of looking at the world have a certain validity, Buddhism offers a unique way of changing how you see the world. A world as it is, not as seen through any discipline or belief system.
“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 loopix

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Re: Is Buddhism compatible with science
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2016, 12:34:55 am »
the dalai lama himself has stated that if buddhism and science evidencibly contradict, go with science.

Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: Is Buddhism compatible with science
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2016, 03:01:37 am »
the dalai lama himself has stated that if buddhism and science evidencibly contradict, go with science.

I think the problem is with people using science in the wrong  way, or at least the terminology of science. To use Darwinism in the context of Buddhism is nonsense, but to use science to find changes that take place in the brain during and after meditation enhances both. Science can give people the confidence to invest time meditating- it's proven to change your brain. Buddhism can then guide the meditations, and therefore these changes, in the best possible way for you.
“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

 


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