For the science and religion crowd

Casual conversation between friends. Anything goes (almost).
tkp67
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Re: For the science and religion crowd

Post by tkp67 » Tue May 14, 2019 1:32 pm

I have had to tackle this question internally to reconcile all science, religion and philosophy one underlying treatise and I think I understand my own rational of such well enough to share it.

Of course I hope not to offend, confuse or detract and wish for correction if I do.

Simply said the treatise of all of the phenomenon (science, philosophy and religion) are all born of the human mind and thus the treatise lay within.

I don't believe the Buddhist truths conflict with science and the us of science to further or detract from them is a reflection of our own individual nature not of science since sans us it has no meaning

That doesn't invalidate what it teaches either, because at some point all of these things and how they effect the human condition and experience are subject to Buddhist perspective regardless. Let us take the article because as my mind's eye interprets it, it simply proves that the truth is still being formed and subject to a mystery that in the opinion of science is a constant. i.e. this is the impermanence the buddha described.

From a scientific standpoint we still have the double slit experiment which lends to observation being one of the facets of causation that make this happen (observation changes outcome) which proves that our karma effects outcome.

Of course this is greatly reduced and does not discuss any of the nuance and the practice of science itself might ask us engage another paradigm of evaluating the "environment" that these experiences are all influenced by outside of our own individual and particular place in time, space and being.

If we look to the internet and how it facilitates Buddhist understanding here one might come to realize how science can server Buddhism opposed to conflict with it.

I hope if nothing else this is reasonable enough to understand be it for critique, comments or concerns.

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Queequeg
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Re: For the science and religion crowd

Post by Queequeg » Tue May 14, 2019 6:01 pm

For your consideration:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog ... sciousness
Because consciousness is such a pervasive concept, the language game we use is crucial to how we come to understand it. Consider that, as this Great Course notes, most Western language systems give us vocabulary that sets us up to make a choice between (a) some form of Materialism or Physicalism versus (b) some form of Mentalism or Idealism or (c) Dualism, which is some kind of combination. Eastern philosophical traditions do not necessarily divide the world up this way. The language game problem includes how we talk about physical relative to mental causation and other relationships between matter and mind (e.g., reductionism versus emergence; primary versus secondary qualities, etc.). I think the language game problem is, in some ways, the most fundamental.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

tkp67
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Re: For the science and religion crowd

Post by tkp67 » Tue May 14, 2019 8:03 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 6:01 pm
For your consideration:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog ... sciousness
Because consciousness is such a pervasive concept, the language game we use is crucial to how we come to understand it. Consider that, as this Great Course notes, most Western language systems give us vocabulary that sets us up to make a choice between (a) some form of Materialism or Physicalism versus (b) some form of Mentalism or Idealism or (c) Dualism, which is some kind of combination. Eastern philosophical traditions do not necessarily divide the world up this way. The language game problem includes how we talk about physical relative to mental causation and other relationships between matter and mind (e.g., reductionism versus emergence; primary versus secondary qualities, etc.). I think the language game problem is, in some ways, the most fundamental.
For me this reiterates the mutual exclusive question I posted in another area as in all these viewpoints are born of the human condition and the solution lies therein. Are these perceptions implicitly exclusive or inclusive of each other or are they simply various human mechanism of rationalization that have relative bearing to the phenomenon in question. As I see it the rationalization and the purpose thereof run parallel with each other but not necessarily towards the same purpose but rather they reflect the intent of our desires the end of which are subject to karma.

Buddhism puts focus on the purpose of buddhahood and in this context these other world view points, being externally hinged in nature do not provide the impetuous to put them all in context with the human condition as both individuals and or as a race, so while they might be employed as a tool for the benefit of mankind they do not address the mind as a source of our interpretation of said phenomenon and how they effect us from a karmic perspective.

Scientific inquiry might seem counter intuitive to Buddhism by proxy of the nature of scientific inquiry but if we inspect existing attitudes and mindsets even the various Buddhist teachings can seem counter intuitive to each other where in upon other inspection they might seem developmentally predicated on each other. Even in light of this variation the fruit of Buddhism is still the fruit of Buddhism regardless.

Doesn't this make the lack of reconciliation between these dichotomies themselves a delusion since they are born of the mind through grasping wherein upon selfless observation they all service the human race in their own relative form according to feature outside of our own individual existence?

Once again I must conclude with admittance of my rudimentary understanding and hope that I did not incorrectly misrepresent any teaching or truth in the process and thank you in advance for any necessary correction.

boda
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Re: For the science and religion crowd

Post by boda » Tue May 14, 2019 8:16 pm

Wayfarer wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 5:33 am
Yes, but....science has enormous influence and prestige nowadays as to 'how intelligent persons ought to think', comparable to that which was accorded in other cultures to philosophy or religious teachings.
Oh, how I wish that were true! I was just reading an article headlined in today's news about the rise in science denial:

https://www.newsweek.com/flat-earth-sci ... ca-1421936
Furthermore, there's a cottage industry of books and programming that appeal to science in support of materialist philosophy, with many public intellectuals and talking heads jumping on the bandwagon (examples including Neil Degrasse Tyson, Steve Pinker, Lawrence Krauss, Carl Sagan, and numerous others).
I've skimmed through a couple of Pinker books and I don't recall him talking about philosophical materialism, in support of or otherwise. I've watched a good amount of Sagan and Tyson and I don't recall them talking about philosophical materialism on Cosmos. A quick scan of the google search results for Lawrence Krauss shows that he appears to be active in the science/belief debate.
So, understanding the relationship between the subjects of 'metaphysics' and 'philosophy' and 'science' and 'religion' is by no means so simple and obvious is you're making it sound.
I didn't make it sound simple or obvious. I'm sure that the relationship is quite foggy for the flat-earth folks mentioned in the linked article above. Such people are at the mercy of whatever they're lead to believe.

A virtue of science, in regards to "how intelligent persons ought to think," is that it's more flexible or dynamic. If something in science is proved wrong then it's revised with little or no resistance. That's good for discovering truths about the world and truths about the world are useful, and therefore good.

Usefulness isn't the only good, obviously, shared fictions also have value. The flat-earth folks benefit, in a way that I won't get into, for their shared beliefs. Problems arise when the value of shared fictions outweigh the value of empirical evidence or proof.

boda
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Re: For the science and religion crowd

Post by boda » Tue May 14, 2019 8:18 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 6:01 pm
For your consideration:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog ... sciousness
Because consciousness is such a pervasive concept, the language game we use is crucial to how we come to understand it. Consider that, as this Great Course notes, most Western language systems give us vocabulary that sets us up to make a choice between (a) some form of Materialism or Physicalism versus (b) some form of Mentalism or Idealism or (c) Dualism, which is some kind of combination. Eastern philosophical traditions do not necessarily divide the world up this way. ...
The bold part literally made me laugh out loud. Yes, not necessarily.

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Wayfarer
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Re: For the science and religion crowd

Post by Wayfarer » Tue May 14, 2019 10:34 pm

boda wrote:I've skimmed through a couple of Pinker books and I don't recall him talking about philosophical materialism, in support of or otherwise. I've watched a good amount of Sagan and Tyson and I don't recall them talking about philosophical materialism on Cosmos.
What it is, is simply the belief that life and mind are the consequence of the interactions of atoms and are simply the consequence of physics and chemistry. It is the default attitude in a secular, non-religious culture (although if you drill down, at least some of those who profess it, might admit that there could be some form of amorphous higher intelligence in the universe. Pinker and Sagan have written at length in defense of it - I would try and explain it further, but I feel the time would be wasted.)

Science denialism is another thing altogether. I agree it is dangerous and irrational. But again, I don't see a conflict between religion and science, but between scientific materialism and religious fundamentalism. They're two sides of the same coin.
boda wrote:That's good for discovering truths about the world and truths about the world are useful, and therefore good.

Usefulness isn't the only good, obviously, shared fictions also have value. The flat-earth folks benefit, in a way that I won't get into, for their shared beliefs. Problems arise when the value of shared fictions outweigh the value of empirical evidence or proof.
Another one of the posts that make me wonder why you post to a Buddhist forum.

Of course science is useful and can be beneficial (although not always, as nobody will argue that atomic and chemical weapons or plastic pollution are either useful or beneficial).

Then of course there's literal beliefs in ridiculous myths, like flat earth, or young-earth creationism.

Then there's also the entire domain of 'meaning-value' in which Buddhism is situated and which once again you show almost no awareness of.

Sorry to be so blunt.

Edited - QQ
'Only practice with no gaining idea' ~ Suzuki Roshi

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Re: For the science and religion crowd

Post by Wayfarer » Tue May 14, 2019 10:44 pm

tkp67 wrote:I hope if nothing else this is reasonable enough to understand be it for critique, comments or concerns.
I think I understand what you're saying. Have you ever heard of the Dalai Lama's book on philosophy of science, Universe in a Single Atom? It was published back in the early 2000's, and addresses many of the points you make. You might find it helpful in respect of these questions.
'Only practice with no gaining idea' ~ Suzuki Roshi

boda
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Re: For the science and religion crowd

Post by boda » Tue May 14, 2019 11:25 pm

Wayfarer wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 10:34 pm
boda wrote:I've skimmed through a couple of Pinker books and I don't recall him talking about philosophical materialism, in support of or otherwise. I've watched a good amount of Sagan and Tyson and I don't recall them talking about philosophical materialism on Cosmos.
What it is, is simply the belief that life and mind are the consequence of the interactions of atoms and are simply the consequence of physics and chemistry. It is the default attitude in a secular, non-religious culture (although if you drill down, at least some of those who profess it, might admit that there could be some form of amorphous higher intelligence in the universe. Pinker and Sagan have written at length in defense of it - I would try and explain it further, but I feel the time would be wasted.)
I agree that your time would be wasted.

So, how would you suggest that scientific discoveries be reported on shows like Cosmos? Always with the caveat that reality or reality as humans can know it, may be fundamentally mental, mentally constructed, or otherwise immaterial? I don't think that would accomplish what you think it might.
I don't see a conflict between religion and science.
Evolution and other scientific discoveries conflict with religious accounts of the world. Ancient people simply didn't know a lot of things that we know now. No shame in that. No reason to deny it even if there were.
boda wrote:That's good for discovering truths about the world and truths about the world are useful, and therefore good.

Usefulness isn't the only good, obviously, shared fictions also have value. The flat-earth folks benefit, in a way that I won't get into, for their shared beliefs. Problems arise when the value of shared fictions outweigh the value of empirical evidence or proof.
Another one of the posts that make me wonder why you post to a Buddhist forum.

Of course science is useful and can be beneficial (although not always, as nobody will argue that atomic and chemical weapons or plastic pollution are either useful or beneficial).

Then of course there's literal beliefs in ridiculous myths, like flat earth, or young-earth creationism.

Then there's also the entire domain of 'meaning-value' in which Buddhism is situated and which once again you show almost no awareness of.

Sorry to be so blunt.
You don't need to apologize for being blunt. It would have more impact if what you said were true. "Meaning-value" is what I was talking about with "The flat-earth folks benefit, in a way that I won't get into, for their shared beliefs." I don't want to get into it because it tends to upset people of faith to speak of it this way, and I don't want to upset anyone.

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Dechen Norbu
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Re: For the science and religion crowd

Post by Dechen Norbu » Tue May 14, 2019 11:35 pm

Wayfarer wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 10:34 pm
boda wrote:I've skimmed through a couple of Pinker books and I don't recall him talking about philosophical materialism, in support of or otherwise. I've watched a good amount of Sagan and Tyson and I don't recall them talking about philosophical materialism on Cosmos.
What it is, is simply the belief that life and mind are the consequence of the interactions of atoms and are simply the consequence of physics and chemistry. It is the default attitude in a secular, non-religious culture (although if you drill down, at least some of those who profess it, might admit that there could be some form of amorphous higher intelligence in the universe. Pinker and Sagan have written at length in defense of it - I would try and explain it further, but I feel the time would be wasted.)

Science denialism is another thing altogether. I agree it is dangerous and irrational. But again, I don't see a conflict between religion and science, but between scientific materialism and religious fundamentalism. They're two sides of the same coin.
boda wrote:That's good for discovering truths about the world and truths about the world are useful, and therefore good.

Usefulness isn't the only good, obviously, shared fictions also have value. The flat-earth folks benefit, in a way that I won't get into, for their shared beliefs. Problems arise when the value of shared fictions outweigh the value of empirical evidence or proof.
Another one of the posts that make me wonder why you post to a Buddhist forum.

Of course science is useful and can be beneficial (although not always, as nobody will argue that atomic and chemical weapons or plastic pollution are either useful or beneficial).

Then of course there's literal beliefs in ridiculous myths, like flat earth, or young-earth creationism.

Then there's also the entire domain of 'meaning-value' in which Buddhism is situated and which once again you show almost no awareness of.

Sorry to be so blunt.
:good:

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Re: For the science and religion crowd

Post by Wayfarer » Tue May 14, 2019 11:54 pm

Boda wrote:So, how would you suggest that scientific discoveries be reported on shows like Cosmos? Always with the caveat that reality or reality as humans can know it, may be fundamentally mental, mentally constructed, or otherwise immaterial?
Yes. 100%, as it's basically true. And the culture is starting to wake up to this - hence the thread!
'Only practice with no gaining idea' ~ Suzuki Roshi

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Caoimhghín
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Re: For the science and religion crowd

Post by Caoimhghín » Wed May 15, 2019 12:22 am

Imagine a Buddhist speaking to a non-Buddhist. The non-Buddhist inquirers of the teachings of the Buddhist's guru. The Buddhist goes on at length of the appreciation they have for their guru and the wonder of his instruction.

The non-Buddhist says "Would you like to meet my guru?"

The non-Buddhist leads the Buddhist to a small chapel where a consecrated host sits in a monstrance.

"This is my guru." Says the non-Buddhist.

Confused, the Buddhist inquirers if the non-Buddhist has a human guru. "Yes," says the non-Buddhist. Confused, the Buddhist inquirers if the non-Buddhist's guru passed away and this is a memorial. "No," says the non-Buddhist, "my guru is alive and human."

"This is your guru?" Asks the Buddhist.
"Yes." Replies the non-Buddhist.
"This is a piece of bread." Says the Buddhist.

"Well," says the non-Buddhist, "if you weren't so obsessed with scientific materialism you could see this is a human being."

Was the non-Buddhist's guru a human being or a piece of bread?
歸命本覺心法身常住妙法心蓮臺本來莊嚴三身徳三十七尊住心
城遠離因果法然具普門塵數諸三昧無邊徳海本圓滿還我頂禮心諸佛

In reverence for the root gnosis of the heart, the dharmakāya,
for the ever present good law of the heart, the lotus terrace,
for the inborn adornment of the trikāya, the thirty-seven sages dwelling in the heart,
for that which is removed from seed and fruit, the upright key to the universal gate,
for all boundless concentrations, the sea of virtue, the root perfection,
I prostrate, bowing to the hearts of all Buddhas.

胎藏金剛菩提心義略問答鈔, Treatise on the teaching of the gnostic heart of the womb and the diamond, T2397.1.470c5-8

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Re: For the science and religion crowd

Post by boda » Wed May 15, 2019 12:34 am

Wayfarer wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 11:54 pm
Boda wrote:So, how would you suggest that scientific discoveries be reported on shows like Cosmos? Always with the caveat that reality or reality as humans can know it, may be fundamentally mental, mentally constructed, or otherwise immaterial?
Yes. 100%, as it's basically true.
And that would not be an annoyingly repetitive and superfluous statement because...

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Re: For the science and religion crowd

Post by Wayfarer » Wed May 15, 2019 12:40 am

Because a lot of people realise that it's important.
'Only practice with no gaining idea' ~ Suzuki Roshi

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Re: For the science and religion crowd

Post by Wayfarer » Wed May 15, 2019 12:49 am

Caoimhghín wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 12:22 am
Was the non-Buddhist's guru a human being or a piece of bread?
:?:
'Only practice with no gaining idea' ~ Suzuki Roshi

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Re: For the science and religion crowd

Post by boda » Wed May 15, 2019 1:07 am

Wayfarer wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 12:40 am
Because a lot of people realise that it's important.
Why?

What I’m getting at is that it won’t be important until specific metaphysical claims start being made in relation to it, and at that point you’re not reporting scientific discoveries.

It’s easy to at least consider the thought that everything is mentally constructed.

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Re: For the science and religion crowd

Post by Queequeg » Wed May 15, 2019 1:31 am

Caoimhghín wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 12:22 am
Imagine a Buddhist speaking to a non-Buddhist. The non-Buddhist inquirers of the teachings of the Buddhist's guru. The Buddhist goes on at length of the appreciation they have for their guru and the wonder of his instruction.

The non-Buddhist says "Would you like to meet my guru?"

The non-Buddhist leads the Buddhist to a small chapel where a consecrated host sits in a monstrance.

"This is my guru." Says the non-Buddhist.

Confused, the Buddhist inquirers if the non-Buddhist has a human guru. "Yes," says the non-Buddhist. Confused, the Buddhist inquirers if the non-Buddhist's guru passed away and this is a memorial. "No," says the non-Buddhist, "my guru is alive and human."

"This is your guru?" Asks the Buddhist.
"Yes." Replies the non-Buddhist.
"This is a piece of bread." Says the Buddhist.

"Well," says the non-Buddhist, "if you weren't so obsessed with scientific materialism you could see this is a human being."

Was the non-Buddhist's guru a human being or a piece of bread?
I don't think you're making the point you think you're making.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: For the science and religion crowd

Post by Caoimhghín » Wed May 15, 2019 1:38 am

Queequeg wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 1:31 am
Caoimhghín wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 12:22 am
Imagine a Buddhist speaking to a non-Buddhist. The non-Buddhist inquirers of the teachings of the Buddhist's guru. The Buddhist goes on at length of the appreciation they have for their guru and the wonder of his instruction.

The non-Buddhist says "Would you like to meet my guru?"

The non-Buddhist leads the Buddhist to a small chapel where a consecrated host sits in a monstrance.

"This is my guru." Says the non-Buddhist.

Confused, the Buddhist inquirers if the non-Buddhist has a human guru. "Yes," says the non-Buddhist. Confused, the Buddhist inquirers if the non-Buddhist's guru passed away and this is a memorial. "No," says the non-Buddhist, "my guru is alive and human."

"This is your guru?" Asks the Buddhist.
"Yes." Replies the non-Buddhist.
"This is a piece of bread." Says the Buddhist.

"Well," says the non-Buddhist, "if you weren't so obsessed with scientific materialism you could see this is a human being."

Was the non-Buddhist's guru a human being or a piece of bread?
I don't think you're making the point you think you're making.
Really? I think I am. What point do you think I'm making?
歸命本覺心法身常住妙法心蓮臺本來莊嚴三身徳三十七尊住心
城遠離因果法然具普門塵數諸三昧無邊徳海本圓滿還我頂禮心諸佛

In reverence for the root gnosis of the heart, the dharmakāya,
for the ever present good law of the heart, the lotus terrace,
for the inborn adornment of the trikāya, the thirty-seven sages dwelling in the heart,
for that which is removed from seed and fruit, the upright key to the universal gate,
for all boundless concentrations, the sea of virtue, the root perfection,
I prostrate, bowing to the hearts of all Buddhas.

胎藏金剛菩提心義略問答鈔, Treatise on the teaching of the gnostic heart of the womb and the diamond, T2397.1.470c5-8

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Re: For the science and religion crowd

Post by Queequeg » Wed May 15, 2019 1:41 am

I don't know if all Buddhists would respond so incredulously.

For instance, I'd just think they were Catholic. :shrug:
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: For the science and religion crowd

Post by Dechen Norbu » Wed May 15, 2019 2:00 am

boda wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 11:25 pm
Evolution and other scientific discoveries conflict with religious accounts of the world. Ancient people simply didn't know a lot of things that we know now. No shame in that. No reason to deny it even if there were.
This could be a problem for Theravadins, who are realists, not Mahayanists. We can validate both Mount Meru, the continents and what have you while accepting the great discoveries of astronomers, for instance. Same goes for the theory of evolution.
I'll say more. As a human being living right now, if you don't know why is this, don't bother practicing Vajrayana. Without that understanding and insight about the nature of self and phenomena, it will be just like child's play. Like playing "Operation" and believing you're a surgeon.

I might have broken boda's mind now. :lol:

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Re: For the science and religion crowd

Post by Queequeg » Wed May 15, 2019 2:15 am

Dechen Norbu wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 2:00 am
I might have broken boda's mind now. :lol:
No. Its vajra like.

LOL

Boda, I jest.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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