The paradox of lack of cognitive dissonance

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: The paradox of lack of cognitive dissonance

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:52 pm

Viach wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:58 pm
jake wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:45 pm
Viach wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:31 pm


The fact of the matter is that there are no such concepts. And so Buddhism is not a religion.
Okay, but then what was the point of your original post?
Viach wrote:How do buddhists who consider Buddhism as a religion avoid cognitive dissonance? For a religion is a faith...
If you would write more than one sentence it might be easier to have a more productive discussion.
Amazing. What's so incomprehensible? On the one hand, Buddhists claim that Buddhism is a religion, on the other hand, I quoted a clearly anti-religious statement of Buddha. Is this not a paradox?

Religion has more than one definition, it's a fairly complex term.

Also, stop trolling. Either engage with what people are asking you, or I will close thread. If you are posting just to pontificate and don't want to actually interact, consider the points of others, etc., there is no reason for the discussion to continue, consider this the last warning.

Dharma has elements of both religion and rational philosophy/analysis. You are stuck in following conventional definitions for something which (from the Buddhist perspective) eschews those very definitions. The Buddha would not have care a whit for present-day definitions of worldly philosophers about what is "religion" and what is "science", and you can find pretty much direct refutations of the assumptions behind both if you bother to study Sutra, etc. The Lankavatara has an entire section breaking this down.
There's no hoarding what has vanished,
No piling up for the future;
Those who have been born are standing
Like a seed upon a needle.

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Re: The paradox of lack of cognitive dissonance

Post by jake » Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:56 pm

Viach wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:58 pm
Amazing. What's so incomprehensible? On the one hand, Buddhists claim that Buddhism is a religion, on the other hand, I quoted a clearly anti-religious statement of Buddha. Is this not a paradox?
Well, for one, you've not defined the term 'religion' and therefore it is hard to see how the Buddha giving a teaching to test his words as being "clearly" anti-religious (whatever that means). Secondly, I would imagine many Buddhists have a rather sophisticated understanding of their own tradition and the teachings of the Buddha and therefore have a framework wherein they understand Upaya and the how some teachings are soteriological but not necessarily ontological, etc. Therefore, one might say that telling someone to go off and test his words like one would test gold might be like when the Buddha told the distraught mother that he could help her if she returns with a mustard seed from a household that has never experienced death. Meaning, as Williams writes in "Mahayana Buddhism," the Buddha is employing an audience-appropriate strategy. That, "teachings are appropriate to the context in which they are given and thus their contradictions are only apparent." (pg 151, second edition). Lastly, they may have a broader definition of religion than you seemingly do. Perhaps, believing that a "religion" is simply a set of customs, beliefs, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader. (In this case, I am defining 'spiritual leader' being one concerned with a soteriological goal).

So, please using more characters than a tweet, explain why you think this one line from one sutra is sufficient enough to cause cogitative dissonance?

*edited for typo.

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Re: The paradox of lack of cognitive dissonance

Post by Grigoris » Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:55 pm

Viach wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:46 pm
Based on Ohm’s law, one can predict events, and not just explain them.
Do you understand my point yet?
PS Ohms law cannot predict events, Ohms law cannot take into account variables like (for example) if the person coming into contact with the electric current is grounded or not.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
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Re: The paradox of lack of cognitive dissonance

Post by SunWuKong » Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:33 pm

Viach wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:12 pm
How do buddhists who consider Buddhism as a religion avoid cognitive dissonance? For a religion is a faith, but Buddha taught this:
“O bhikshus and wise men, just as a goldsmith would test his gold by burning, cutting, and rubbing it, so you must examine my words and accept them, but not merely out of reverence for me.”
(Ghanavyuha sutra (Sutra of the Dense Array))
In India's history there's more different philosophies, religions, and psychologies than probably anywhere else in the world. A religious and spiritual system does not need a central diety. All religions have a statement to this effect, it's not unique. I know some people like to say Buddhism is not a religion, or their particular thing, "Zen" for example, is not a religion. I just take that with a grain of salt. The religious aspect usually rears it's head eventually. Most spiritually advanced systems incorporate enough of 'what kind of works' that if followed as indicated have "transformative" effects. It isn't actually a proof of anything, but it's not wrong to place value on it. Yawn!
"We are magical animals that roam" ~ Roam

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Re: The paradox of lack of cognitive dissonance

Post by catmoon » Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:17 am

Grigoris wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:12 pm
Viach wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:53 pm
stevie wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:05 pm
In the Kalama sutta, Buddha also said: "When you know for yourselves that, 'These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness' — then you should enter & remain in them."
So there has to be at least faith in 'the wise' and who is or belongs to 'the wise'.
No.
Here we are talking about usual confidence, not faith. We have the same confidence in, for example, physics, as we have repeatedly seen the effectiveness of its laws.
The laws are just descriptions of phenomena, there were other descriptions in the past that were considered unshakable and there will be others in the future. Ultimately one must believe that the descriptions scientists are giving are correct, one must have faith, belief and trust in their announcements and in the scientific method.

As for faith in Buddhism:

faith.png

https://www.saraniya.com/books/meditati ... dhamma.pdf

If I can sort out the nested quotes in the above message(s) . it would appear that our noble leader has once again tried to walk on water with predictable results. My objection?

I object to being portrayed as a mindless faith and authority following sheep in scientific matters. It is not the case at all. My support for the scientific view comes not from authorities, popes, or lamas. The great scientific writers have no bearing on this. My beliefs are anchored in first hand experience in the lab, and an understanding of those experiences, and an understanding of mathematics. I judge things to be true or false by checking and seeing if I can reduce an assertion to one or another of the many basic lab experiments I have done. I do not rely on authorities much and refuse to advance a firm opinion where I have nothing better than authority to stand on.

To be accused of faith in such matters is a low blow, a horrendous accusation, ungrounded, unfair and unreasonable.
Sergeant Schultz knew everything there was to know.

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Re: The paradox of lack of cognitive dissonance

Post by Grigoris » Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:36 am

catmoon wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:17 am
My beliefs are anchored in first hand experience in the lab, and an understanding of those experiences, and an understanding of mathematics.
That's good FOR YOU. For the vast majority of people though...

Same goes with Buddhist practice. My belief is anchored in first hand experience, and an understanding of those experiences, and an understanding of the theory behind the practices. For other's though...

So how do we differ?
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: The paradox of lack of cognitive dissonance

Post by Queequeg » Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:10 pm

When I started an MA program in religion, I think in the critical theory course, the first week was devoted to defining the term religion. We read a bunch of stuff, all lost to memory now, but my take away was that there is no simple definition. Its one of those things like "obscenity" - you know it when you see it.

Anyway, cognitive dissonance comes from having inconsistent thoughts and beliefs. If there's no inconsistency, then no cognitive dissonance. OP seems to have a particular definition of religion in mind, though he won't explain what that is. Proceeding from that definition he cherry picks a passage out of the voluminous records of the Buddha's teachings and then asks how people reconcile these things.

Its really a contrived problem.

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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.
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Re: The paradox of lack of cognitive dissonance

Post by smcj » Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:52 pm

From the OP:
For a religion is a faith, but Buddha taught this...
I think he’s bought into the pervasive marketing of Dharma as being completely empirical. “Religion” would then be anything having to do with faith or the supernatural. People are surprised when the marketing turns out to not be entirely true.

It happens a lot.
1. No traditional Buddhist sect, Tibetan or otherwise, considers deities to be fictional. (DW post/Seeker242)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post/by ?)
4. Shentong] is the completely pure system that,
Through mainly teaching the luminous aspect of the mind, holds that the fruitions--kayas and wisdoms--exist on their own accord. (Karmapa XIII)

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Re: The paradox of lack of cognitive dissonance

Post by SunWuKong » Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:33 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:10 pm
When I started an MA program in religion, I think in the critical theory course, the first week was devoted to defining the term religion. We read a bunch of stuff, all lost to memory now, but my take away was that there is no simple definition. Its one of those things like "obscenity" - you know it when you see it.

Anyway, cognitive dissonance comes from having inconsistent thoughts and beliefs. If there's no inconsistency, then no cognitive dissonance. OP seems to have a particular definition of religion in mind, though he won't explain what that is. Proceeding from that definition he cherry picks a passage out of the voluminous records of the Buddha's teachings and then asks how people reconcile these things.

Its really a contrived problem.

:toilet:
Queequeg - that's a very well put reply. I failed to state my case successfully, in that I meant to say, most religions contain the boiler-plate disclaimer that the spiritual laws that govern things would operate whether you believed in them or not, so these things are really just empirically true. Empirical Truth is just another religion imho. What a person believes makes a significant difference in outcomes. I see the truth about Buddhism to strike a parallel to Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl.
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Re: The paradox of lack of cognitive dissonance

Post by catmoon » Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:14 am

Grigoris wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:36 am
catmoon wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:17 am
My beliefs are anchored in first hand experience in the lab, and an understanding of those experiences, and an understanding of mathematics.
That's good FOR YOU. For the vast majority of people though...

Same goes with Buddhist practice. My belief is anchored in first hand experience, and an understanding of those experiences, and an understanding of the theory behind the practices. For other's though...

So how do we differ?
Well I'll be jiggered. He tried to walk on water and only sank in as deep as his knees. That's pretty impressive, really. Maybe I should look into this vajrayana stuff.

Have you ever tried this exercise: Setting to one side everything you have read, heard or been taught, using only your first hand experiences of the teachings as you have used them. what is left? When I try this, I find the remainder is something very like the things the Dalai Lama teaches - kindness, compassion and the four noble truths. Of course HHDL also teaches things far beyond my experience, which leaves me in a minor dilemma. I have an enormous backlog of unconfirmed teachings, from many teachers. I wonder how many lifetimes it to take to work through them all?
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Re: The paradox of lack of cognitive dissonance

Post by stevie » Wed Mar 20, 2019 6:35 am

An important aspect of faith from my perspective is that without faith conventional bodhicitta would be impossible and thus Mahayana would be impossible.
But actually it's the same with all other paths as well. Who would generate a resolve to attain a goal without faith?

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Re: The paradox of lack of cognitive dissonance

Post by Supramundane » Wed Mar 20, 2019 7:55 am

SunWuKong wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:33 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:10 pm
When I started an MA program in religion, I think in the critical theory course, the first week was devoted to defining the term religion. We read a bunch of stuff, all lost to memory now, but my take away was that there is no simple definition. Its one of those things like "obscenity" - you know it when you see it.

Anyway, cognitive dissonance comes from having inconsistent thoughts and beliefs. If there's no inconsistency, then no cognitive dissonance. OP seems to have a particular definition of religion in mind, though he won't explain what that is. Proceeding from that definition he cherry picks a passage out of the voluminous records of the Buddha's teachings and then asks how people reconcile these things.

Its really a contrived problem.

:toilet:
Queequeg - that's a very well put reply. I failed to state my case successfully, in that I meant to say, most religions contain the boiler-plate disclaimer that the spiritual laws that govern things would operate whether you believed in them or not, so these things are really just empirically true. Empirical Truth is just another religion imho. What a person believes makes a significant difference in outcomes. I see the truth about Buddhism to strike a parallel to Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl.
Interesting that you mention Viktor Frankl; i was just flipping through that book the other day. the interesting thing about psychotherapy is that it is usually 'negative' in that it is trying to cure distortions that the patient may have ("everyone hates me"; "i am good for nothing"). It strives to show the patient that he has a distorted view of the world, and this is causing him pain. Very few systems, however, are 'positive': i.e. deal with what makes us happy, how to find happiness.

Buddhism, it can be said, contains both sides of the coin, both positive and negative. perhaps this is what makes it more than simply a 'benevolent philosophy'.

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Re: The paradox of lack of cognitive dissonance

Post by stevie » Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:20 am

Queequeg wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:10 pm
Anyway, cognitive dissonance comes from having inconsistent thoughts and beliefs. If there's no inconsistency, then no cognitive dissonance.
Good point:
In the field of psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental discomfort (psychological stress) experienced by a person who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values. This discomfort is triggered by a situation in which a person’s belief clashes with new evidence perceived by the person. When confronted with facts that contradict beliefs, ideals, and values, people will find a way to resolve the contradiction to reduce their discomfort
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance

So the mental discomfort is the decisive sign, NOT contradictory conceps or conceptual inconsistency.

This leads me to the 'two truths doctrine' which actually is a good example for a potential cause of cognitive dissonance that may afflict a buddhist because of being torn between affirmation of the path on the one hand and an over-negation of phenomena on the other hand due to mere conceptual understanding of the doctrine.

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Re: The paradox of lack of cognitive dissonance

Post by narhwal90 » Thu Mar 21, 2019 1:36 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:55 pm
Viach wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:46 pm
Based on Ohm’s law, one can predict events, and not just explain them.
Do you understand my point yet?
PS Ohms law cannot predict events, Ohms law cannot take into account variables like (for example) if the person coming into contact with the electric current is grounded or not.
It absolutely does predict events. If you are part of the circuit ohms law will predict the amount of current that passes through you based on your electrical resistance. Knowing that, related formulas will specify how much power you absorb and yet other formulas will predict the type & degree of shock. If you are unaware of being incorporated into the circuit obviously the formula won't predict the consequences but thats not a shortcoming of ohm's law.

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Re: The paradox of lack of cognitive dissonance

Post by pemachophel » Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:02 pm

catmoon wrote: ↑Sun Mar 17, 2019 12:17 am: "My beliefs are anchored in first hand experience in the lab, and an understanding of those experiences, and an understanding of mathematics."

All of which are nothing more than concepts in your own mind. IOW, everything you know and think about science and supposed objective external "reality" are nothing other than mental experiences.
Pema Chophel པདྨ་ཆོས་འཕེལ

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Re: The paradox of lack of cognitive dissonance

Post by catmoon » Fri Mar 22, 2019 12:20 pm

pemachophel wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:02 pm
catmoon wrote: ↑Sun Mar 17, 2019 12:17 am: "My beliefs are anchored in first hand experience in the lab, and an understanding of those experiences, and an understanding of mathematics."

All of which are nothing more than concepts in your own mind. IOW, everything you know and think about science and supposed objective external "reality" are nothing other than mental experiences.
Doesn't matter if the knowledge is predictive, and it is. If you want you can regard scientific knowledge as knowledge of patterns in mental experiences, but the patterns are there and they still are predictive. and independently so. And that's what makes the difference between the Mormon Tabernacle and the MIT labs.
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Re: The paradox of lack of cognitive dissonance

Post by stevie » Fri Mar 22, 2019 2:35 pm

catmoon wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 12:20 pm
... If you want you can regard scientific knowledge as knowledge of patterns in mental experiences, but the patterns are there and they still are predictive. and independently so. And that's what makes the difference between the Mormon Tabernacle and the MIT labs.
That's nicely expressed although 'independently' might be misleading because it's dependent on the human sphere. As such in current age scientific knowledge is the most commonly accepted conventional deception.

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Re: The paradox of lack of cognitive dissonance

Post by narhwal90 » Fri Mar 22, 2019 4:43 pm

Such considerations may be conventional deception, but ohms law works regardless- much like gravity and leaky roofs.

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Re: The paradox of lack of cognitive dissonance

Post by 明安 Myoan » Fri Mar 22, 2019 6:27 pm

Viach, can you provide an example of a specific teaching/practice that looks contradictory to you?
Otherwise, things are too general.

When witnessing other people try to improve themselves or pray for the world, mudita is not just a nice way to respond, but a source of happiness for yourself and others. It can inspire further development of positive qualities.

If you see an old woman praying to a statue, she may be aspiring to free all beings from suffering, including you.
With a heart wandering in ignorance down this path and that, to guide me I simply say Namu-amida-butsu. -- Ippen

The virtuous man should recite nembutsu just as he is, as should the bad man. We regard faithful people, who repeat Nembutsu with a mind as pure as the day they were born, as those who do not require external support in nembutsu. However, if the bad rectify their misdeeds, become good and recite nembutsu, they will truly be in harmony with the heart of Buddha Amitabha. -- Master Hōnen

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Re: The paradox of lack of cognitive dissonance

Post by pemachophel » Fri Mar 22, 2019 7:41 pm

Narwhal,

Are you sure gravity is absolute?
Pema Chophel པདྨ་ཆོས་འཕེལ

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