The "Materialist View"

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Re: The "Materialist View"

Postby shel » Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:34 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:This is basic Buddhist understanding of no-self.
"lifetimes" is only a convenience based on our immediate perceptions of things.

Actually the concept of a lifetime may be based on very in-depth study and not just immediate perceptions.

Relatively speaking, you can say, yes, it is born, it lives, it dies.
But in discussing materialist /non-materialist view at this level
the discussion has to move beyond relative appearances.

Actually if this discussion moved beyond the relative it would be over with.

Nagarjuna (Seventy Stanzas) points out that thoughts do not spontaneously arise out of nothing
but are always part of a continuation

Still rather relative...

and that if you take any point identified as the beginning or end of any sort of awareness
that point can be subdivided infinitely
so no point of start or finish of awareness can actually be found.

I hope Nagarjuna was never challenged to a footrace with a tortoise. That could have been embarrassing. :emb:

From this, it can be deduced that therefore
one has to stop regarding a lifetime as a specific thing that belongs to a specific being.
A lifetime is a collection of events, not totally separate, but
interconnected, none of which has a finite beginning or end.

So how does this relate to the apparent co-dependence of mind/matter?
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Re: The "Materialist View"

Postby undefineable » Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:32 pm

shel wrote:
No, but your statement points to a subconscious assumption

People don't usually start pointing at my subconscious until they get to know me a bit better. But it's alright, I'd like to know my subconscious better.

You've claimed (on this thread) that viewing mind AS matter is obviously wrong, which is a non-materialist view (epiphenomenalist in your case?).
shel wrote:The scientific method is applied to a wide range of applications. Proving the existence of things might be something like trying to find subatomic particles?

Yes; between the lines you seem to be hinting that subatomic particles are unfindable, yet millions/billions put their 'faith in science' into the assumption that they're more real than anything else.
shel wrote:
... the only real things are those whose existence I can prove in that particular way"

Generally, a real thing is a thing that exists as a thing or occurring in fact; not imagined or supposed.

'Things imagined or supposed' exist as suppositions and instances of imagination just as other facts exist in the physical world. Further, such things can, in theory, point co-incidentally to facts about the physical (or external) world - E.g. atoms were imagined millenia before they were proven scientifically _
shel wrote:But I think you may have missed the point. No one knows how to apply the scientific method to that which cannot be sensed in any way. Or maybe I'm wrong and they can.

This was in fact my point, more or less - What's to say, though, that the method might not have to be tweaked slightly, as with the 'first-handedness' of Buddhist meditation? {In this case, one's findings would just be harder to demonstrate to everyone else}
shel wrote:Why are we trying to rationalize it anyway. If there are no stories about other realms being unlike this realm then why should we try to figure out how there could be such realms?

Why try and imagine anything?
shel wrote:Rebirth doesn't really have much to do with the topic, if anything. As I've tried to express, there are many many many many many... a lot of things in the universe that we couldn't even begin to explain or imagine.
Well if they're all physical then don't we already have something of a handle on them?

Why would we assume they are all "physical"? and even if they were, how would that give us a handle on them?

My own point exactly - again.
"Removing the barrier between this and that is the only solution" {Chogyam Trungpa - "The Lion's Roar"}
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Re: The "Materialist View"

Postby undefineable » Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:05 pm

Alex123 wrote:Still. A new born baby doesn't seem to be a continuation of a dead mature old person. New born baby appears and behaves as if it was the first life.

I disagree - New-born baby appears as if it had severe alzheimer's :P
Alex123 wrote:But why does a baby has to learn all the skills as if s/he never knew them?

Because one lifetime is as long as our mental capacity can stay stuck in a single rut? - Every time we learn skills, we learn limiting habits alongside them _ _
Alex123 wrote:Why does new born baby behave as if it is first life? Why don't we see ?

What about inborn skills -basic social skills for example- ? {I don't actually think this is 'carry over of skills' btw, just playing Devil's Advoc8 :twisted: }

Personally, I'm skeptical about everlasting nothingness post-death ;) -
PadmaVonSamba wrote:Nagarjuna (Seventy Stanzas) points out that thoughts do not spontaneously arise out of nothing
but are always part of a continuation
and that if you take any point identified as the beginning or end of any sort of awareness
that point can be subdivided infinitely
so no point of start or finish of awareness can actually be found.
"Removing the barrier between this and that is the only solution" {Chogyam Trungpa - "The Lion's Roar"}
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Re: The "Materialist View"

Postby undefineable » Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:13 pm

Alex123 wrote:
futerko wrote:Take for the example theories of language acquisition.
Some people do seem more naturally talented in certain areas than others - some children get a PhD in Mathematics at the age of 6 - it seems likely that this isn't just a case of superior learning.


It could be case of superior genes, superior neural wiring in the brain.

That's an explanation for reality as a whole, but no explanation at all for the boy in question - Why was he born this way and not some other way {I won't say 'learning disabled' or 'dimwitted' since so many prodigies are in fact all three of these things.}
"Removing the barrier between this and that is the only solution" {Chogyam Trungpa - "The Lion's Roar"}
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Re: The "Materialist View"

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:36 am

undefineable wrote: What about inborn skills -basic social skills for example- ?

Please give an example of a social skill one is born with.
.
.
.
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Re: The "Materialist View"

Postby shel » Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:48 am

undefineable wrote:
shel wrote:The scientific method is applied to a wide range of applications. Proving the existence of things might be something like trying to find subatomic particles?

Yes; between the lines you seem to be hinting that subatomic particles are unfindable, yet millions/billions put their 'faith in science' into the assumption that they're more real than anything else.

Not at all, for example I read somewhere recently that people are working on trying to find a hypothetical graviton particle.

What's to say, though, that the [scientific] method might not have to be tweaked slightly, as with the 'first-handedness' of Buddhist meditation? {In this case, one's findings would just be harder to demonstrate to everyone else}

The structure of the method is pretty basic. I'm not sure where or how it could be tweaked to accommodate insight, or even why it would be interested in the first place. Even if something like no-self were scientifically proven, if that makes any sense, what good would it do anyone?
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Re: The "Materialist View"

Postby shel » Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:49 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
undefineable wrote: What about inborn skills -basic social skills for example- ?

Please give an example of a social skill one is born with.
.
.
.

Probably the most important one: empathy.
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Re: The "Materialist View"

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:17 am

shel wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:
undefineable wrote: What about inborn skills -basic social skills for example- ?

Please give an example of a social skill one is born with.

Probably the most important one: empathy.

What makes you think that of all things, empathy
(being able to recognize the emotional state of another being)
is a social skill one is born with, and not acquired?
.
.
.
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
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Re: The "Materialist View"

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:24 am

shel wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:This is basic Buddhist understanding of no-self.
"lifetimes" is only a convenience based on our immediate perceptions of things.

Actually the concept of a lifetime may be based on very in-depth study and not just immediate perceptions.


Regardless of the depth of study (not pertinent to the discussion),
the point is that while we talk about a lifetime as one single thing, it is not,
any more than a building made of bricks is one single thing.
.
.
.
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
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Re: The "Materialist View"

Postby shel » Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:27 am

Wiki wiki...

"A mirror neuron is a neuron that fires both when an animal acts and when the animal observes the same action performed by another.[1][2][3] Thus, the neuron "mirrors" the behavior of the other, as though the observer were itself acting. Such neurons have been directly observed in primate and other species including birds. In humans, brain activity consistent with that of mirror neurons has been found in the premotor cortex, the supplementary motor area, the primary somatosensory cortex and the inferior parietal cortex.

The function of the mirror system is a subject of much speculation. Many researchers in cognitive neuroscience and cognitive psychology consider that this system provides the physiological mechanism for the perception action coupling (see the common coding theory).[3] They argue that mirror neurons may be important for understanding the actions of other people, and for learning new skills by imitation. Some researchers also speculate that mirror systems may simulate observed actions, and thus contribute to theory of mind skills,[4][5] while others relate mirror neurons to language abilities.[6] Neuroscientists such as Marco Iacoboni (UCLA) have argued that mirror neuron systems in the human brain help us understand the actions and intentions of other people. In a study published in March 2005 Iacoboni and his colleagues reported that mirror neurons could discern if another person who was picking up a cup of tea planned to drink from it or clear it from the table. In addition, Iacoboni has argued that mirror neurons are the neural basis of the human capacity for emotions such as empathy."

We are born with mirror neurons.
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Re: The "Materialist View"

Postby shel » Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:29 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
shel wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:This is basic Buddhist understanding of no-self.
"lifetimes" is only a convenience based on our immediate perceptions of things.

Actually the concept of a lifetime may be based on very in-depth study and not just immediate perceptions.


Regardless of the depth of study (not pertinent to the discussion),
the point is that while we talk about a lifetime as one single thing, it is not,
any more than a building made of bricks is one single thing.
.
.
.

So how does this relate to the apparent co-dependence of mind/matter?
shel
 
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Re: The "Materialist View"

Postby Namgyal » Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:54 am

...we do not know what ontological views the King of Koi holds...He could be a devout Christian for all we know...He may have never picked-up a book on philosophy...

Sticking with what we do know...he can't accept the age of Haneko, even though he wants to believe. He wonders why modern, scientific water purification cannot produce long lived carp so he clearly knows nothing about blessed animals, geomancy or the power of sacred springs. Christians have no problem believing in some decidedly supernatural things, including sacred springs so your arguement is rather tenuous, and anyway it's beside the point. Materialists are just plain wrong and have chosen to slavishly follow a group of men in white coats who are themselves no wiser than the average sheep. Instead of following some half-baked theories that are at best three hundred years old, I prefer the viewpoint shared by all the sages and holy man that the human race has ever produced, over millions of years.

...I don't follow how the eminent scientists should "revising their theories in accordance with their own scientific methodology."You just wrote that their methods (the scientific method) failed to explain the phenomena. What other choice does a scientist have when they can't explain something with the scientific method but to not make conclusions about it or continue investigating?...

If they pursued honest science, they would simply revise their earlier conclusions on the basis of the new evidence, in this case Darwinian history. Of course this would result in the complete destruction of their academic careers.

...Perhaps they will discover evidence of time displacement technology and that the footprint was made by barefooted future folk, or perhaps... :alien:...

Are you a Buddhist? Perhaps you are simply playing devil's advocate...because surely you must know that Buddhism is completely far-out and supernatural?
:namaste:
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Re: The "Materialist View"

Postby shel » Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:09 am

Namgyal wrote:...we do not know what ontological views the King of Koi holds...He could be a devout Christian for all we know...He may have never picked-up a book on philosophy...

Sticking with what we do know...he can't accept the age of Haneko, even though he wants to believe. He wonders why modern, scientific water purification cannot produce long lived carp so he clearly knows nothing about blessed animals, geomancy or the power of sacred springs. Christians have no problem believing in some decidedly supernatural things, including sacred springs so your arguement is rather tenuous, and anyway it's beside the point. Materialists are just plain wrong and have chosen to slavishly follow a group of men in white coats who are themselves no wiser than the average sheep. Instead of following some half-baked theories that are at best three hundred years old, I prefer the viewpoint shared by all the sages and holy man that the human race has ever produced, over millions of years.

You're labeling this person a materialist without actually knowing what his ontological beliefs are. In my neck of the woods this is called prejudice.

Prejudice bad. :oops:


...I don't follow how the eminent scientists should "revising their theories in accordance with their own scientific methodology."You just wrote that their methods (the scientific method) failed to explain the phenomena. What other choice does a scientist have when they can't explain something with the scientific method but to not make conclusions about it or continue investigating?...

If they pursued honest science, they would simply revise their earlier conclusions on the basis of the new evidence, in this case Darwinian history. Of course this would result in the complete destruction of their academic careers.

That sounds very premature to me.

Premature revision bad. :oops:

Are you a Buddhist?


Buddhist good. :cheers:
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Re: The "Materialist View"

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:37 am

shel wrote: So how does this relate to the apparent co-dependence of mind/matter?

anyway you want it to.
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Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
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Re: The "Materialist View"

Postby shel » Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:41 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
shel wrote: So how does this relate to the apparent co-dependence of mind/matter?

anyway you want it to.


If your point is that's how wishful thinking works then we are in agreement, again. :twothumbsup:
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Re: The "Materialist View"

Postby Alex123 » Sat Mar 02, 2013 3:06 am

undefineable wrote:I disagree - New-born baby appears as if it had severe alzheimer's :P


Not if we compare brain-scans of newborn baby and actual person with alzheimer.

undefineable wrote:What about inborn skills -basic social skills for example- ? {I don't actually think this is 'carry over of skills' btw, just playing Devil's Advoc8 :twisted: }


Genes could be responsible for some of them. Plus learned behavior from parents and other people.

Depending on what kind of social skills you are talking about, some people (with autism, for example) have to learn them more than someone with more normally functional brain.

undefineable wrote:Personally, I'm skeptical about everlasting nothingness post-death ;) -


Prove to me that there is some sort of existence after brain permanently ceases to function.
If life is imperfect (dukkha), then it is ignorant to try to change it to perfection (sukha). Accept what is!
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Re: The "Materialist View"

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:53 pm

shel wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:
shel wrote: So how does this relate to the apparent co-dependence of mind/matter?

anyway you want it to.


If your point is that's how wishful thinking works then we are in agreement, again. :twothumbsup:


No, my point is, quit jumping around and dodging one point only to chase another.
If you want to know what my statements are responding to, scroll back through the thread.
Don't just randomly pick from one of the many items discussed in this lengthy string of posts and then ask
"So how does this connect to that?"

That really borders on trolling.

What I said was,
"lifetimes" is only a convenience based on our immediate perceptions of things."
Your response is,
"So how does this relate to the apparent co-dependence of mind/matter?"

And the way it relates is that a "lifetime" appears as a unitary thing,
pertaining to a self, having a beginning and end.
It is due to that appearance,
and even the perception of that appearance,
that misunderstandings about co-dependence of mind/matter occur,
and that, specifically, the purely materialist view, falls into error.
And if you want to know why that is,
go back and read the previous posts
or, better yet,
study more Buddhist teachings.
.
.
.
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
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Re: The "Materialist View"

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sat Mar 02, 2013 5:05 pm

shel wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote: Please give an example of a social skill one is born with.

Probably the most important one: empathy.

One is not born with empathy.
Depending on what is going on in the genetic make up of the brain,
that brain may or may not have the potential
to produce events which, in early childhood
begin to be experienced through awareness
as empathy.
If the physical brain produced empathy,
the physical brain itself would be empathetic.
If the physical brain alone produced cognitive witness to events,
or alone produced an experiential "self"
that would still fall back into the belief that physical matter
has the potential to produce its own awareness of itself.
.
.
.
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
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Re: The "Materialist View"

Postby shel » Sat Mar 02, 2013 5:30 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:No, my point is, quit jumping around and dodging one point only to chase another.
If you want to know what my statements are responding to, scroll back through the thread.
Don't just randomly pick from one of the many items discussed in this lengthy string of posts and then ask
"So how does this connect to that?"

That really borders on trolling.


Plezzz, it hard enough to decipher one of your posts, much less string them all together in coherence. I don't know why you write the way you do and I won't speculate, but I am starting to get the hang of it. :smile:

What I said was,
"lifetimes" is only a convenience based on our immediate perceptions of things."
Your response is,
"So how does this relate to the apparent co-dependence of mind/matter?"

And the way it relates is that a "lifetime" appears as a unitary thing,
pertaining to a self, having a beginning and end.
It is due to that appearance,
and even the perception of that appearance,
that misunderstandings about co-dependence of mind/matter occur,
and that, specifically, the purely materialist view, falls into error.


Misunderstandings about the co-dependence of mind/matter occur because of a sense of self? Okay, got it. :twothumbsup:
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Re: The "Materialist View"

Postby shel » Sat Mar 02, 2013 5:32 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
shel wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote: Please give an example of a social skill one is born with.

Probably the most important one: empathy.

One is not born with empathy.
Depending on what is going on in the genetic make up of the brain,
that brain may or may not have the potential
to produce events which, in early childhood
begin to be experienced through awareness
as empathy.
If the physical brain produced empathy,
the physical brain itself would be empathetic.
If the physical brain alone produced cognitive witness to events,
or alone produced an experiential "self"
that would still fall back into the belief that physical matter
has the potential to produce its own awareness of itself.

We're going back to the beginning here, a brain "alone" doesn't produce anything. It apparently requires the world.
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