"...but the science of Buddhism will never change."

Forum for discussion of Tibetan Buddhism. Questions specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
muni
Posts: 4530
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:59 am

Re: "...but the science of Buddhism will never change."

Post by muni » Thu Dec 19, 2013 8:34 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
bob wrote:
Any certainty that we think we have can only arise in consciousness, but how reliable is consciousness?
consciousness is conditional.
awareness is absolute, meaning that
one cannot deny the experience of awareness.
That is a truth you can rely upon.
.
.
.
Good morning! :smile:
Consciousness / awareness.
To avoid confusion, some expressed teachings are not making this differentiation like free breath in air is not different from air. You clearly use it to show conditioned / unconditioned.
“ Only the development of compassion and understanding for others can bring us the tranquility and happiness we all seek. ”
H H Dalai Lama

"Relax." nirvana-samsara do not stray from spaciousness.

shel
Posts: 1500
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:38 pm

Re: "...but the science of Buddhism will never change."

Post by shel » Thu Dec 19, 2013 8:39 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
bob wrote:
Any certainty that we think we have can only arise in consciousness, but how reliable is consciousness?
consciousness is conditional.
awareness is absolute, meaning that
one cannot deny the experience of awareness.
That is a truth you can rely upon.
.
.
.
And one can deny the experience of consciousness? :tongue:

Practice
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2013 11:56 am

Re: "...but the science of Buddhism will never change."

Post by Practice » Thu Dec 19, 2013 1:42 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Science (as opposed to Scientism) is always "...there is still a lot yet that we don't know".
Could you please be clearer on your distinction between “Science” and “Scientism”? Please be specific, I think this is very important for communication and an understanding of your position.

Thanks.

User avatar
PadmaVonSamba
Posts: 2990
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

Re: "...but the science of Buddhism will never change."

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Thu Dec 19, 2013 3:00 pm

shel wrote: And one can deny the experience of consciousness? :tongue:
Well, at first i was going to say, "the person in a coma...."
but of course, that person isn't really making too many claims about anything,
as far as we can tell.

But I think a distinction can be made in that
in order for consciousness to arise,
there has to be an object of consciousness.
one has to be conscious of something.
In many respects, this is similar to my statement about
awareness and objects of awareness.
The difference is that consciousness itself is an experience that arises from conditions
and 'ground of awareness' (to distinguish it from ordinary sensory awareness)
is a precondition, an existent context.
Although it cannot be observed in isolation,
its occurrence can be logically inferred.

So, what I am suggesting is that
the ground of awareness occurs as a precondition
much the same way that "three dimensional space" is the context in which our 'reality' reveals itself.
and doesn't need an object of awareness in order to do that.
the analogy I gave before was
an allergy to bee stings
which is there already, regardless of whether one gets stung or not.

My understanding is that when this ground of awareness arises with phenomena,
with objects of awareness, in a confused and distorted way,
that is in essence, the experience of samsara.
And when it arises with phenomena,
with objects of awareness, in a perfectly clear and undistorted way,
this is the experience of a Buddha.
.
.
.
Profile Picture: "The Fo Ming (Buddha Bright) Monk"
People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.

User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 28238
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: "...but the science of Buddhism will never change."

Post by Malcolm » Thu Dec 19, 2013 3:36 pm

Practice wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Science (as opposed to Scientism) is always "...there is still a lot yet that we don't know".
Could you please be clearer on your distinction between “Science” and “Scientism”? Please be specific, I think this is very important for communication and an understanding of your position.

Thanks.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientism
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

Practice
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2013 11:56 am

Re: "...but the science of Buddhism will never change."

Post by Practice » Thu Dec 19, 2013 4:41 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Practice wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Science (as opposed to Scientism) is always "...there is still a lot yet that we don't know".
Could you please be clearer on your distinction between “Science” and “Scientism”? Please be specific, I think this is very important for communication and an understanding of your position.

Thanks.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientism
I am trying to figure out if you are just a careless reader of people’s questions, or is it an aversion. I did not ask for someone’s definition of “scientism”, I am aware of Wiki’s definition. What I asked, let me try again, “Could you please be clearer on your distinction between “Science” and “Scientism”?”

It would be helpful for understanding your over all thesis. I truly would like to understand.

Thanks.

User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 28238
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: "...but the science of Buddhism will never change."

Post by Malcolm » Thu Dec 19, 2013 5:03 pm

Practice wrote: It would be helpful for understanding your over all thesis. I truly would like to understand.

Thanks.
"Science" is an open-ended iterative method of inquiry into physical reality. Scientism is a belief system, which includes metaphysical beliefs, constructed out of the findings of the former.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

User avatar
PadmaVonSamba
Posts: 2990
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

Re: "...but the science of Buddhism will never change."

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Thu Dec 19, 2013 9:06 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Practice wrote: It would be helpful for understanding your over all thesis. I truly would like to understand.

Thanks.
"Science" is an open-ended iterative method of inquiry into physical reality. Scientism is a belief system, which includes metaphysical beliefs, constructed out of the findings of the former.
I thought 'scientism' was a term made up by people
who don't really understand what the scientific process is,
and needed a word to describe those who deny the claims
made by people who cannot offer empirical evidence.

If one argues that (what would have to be called)a "scientism-ist" is
a person who maintains that the scientific process is the only viable method
for determining the true nature of something, or the facts about a particular situation
then, again, I think they perhaps do not really understand what the scientific method is.

The Buddha made extensive use of the scientific method of examining empirical evidence,
and also discredited claims of things that were not obsrvable
(e.g., look for where your 'self' exists can you find it in your body? outside your body? etc.)
and he also (purportedly) made claims that cannot be backed up with any empirical observation.
Science only deals with empirical observation.
Thus, the scientific process does not exclude the possibility for
events which have not been proven using its own methodology,
but insists that no conclusive statement can be made until empirical evidence can be presented.

For example,
one person might say that until there is evidence,
there is no reason to assume that a hungry ghost realm exists.
A second person might say,
because there is no evidence that a hungry ghost realm exists,
therefore it is impossible for a hungry ghost realm to exist.

By my understanding, the position of the second person would be considered 'scientism"
but I have never heard of anyone declaring that something which cannot be proven
is thus an absolute impossibility
unless the causes for such to occur are impossible.
For example,
one could say that there is no such thing as a horse who can recite Buddhist sutras in Chinese.
This is not merely a case of lack of empirical evidence,
but of a realistic examination of the factors which would make such a thing possible.

Can someone give an example which demonstrates how:
"Scientism is a belief system, which includes metaphysical beliefs, constructed out of the findings of the former."

.
.
.
Profile Picture: "The Fo Ming (Buddha Bright) Monk"
People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.

User avatar
anjali
Global Moderator
Posts: 1478
Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2011 10:33 pm

Re: "...but the science of Buddhism will never change."

Post by anjali » Thu Dec 19, 2013 10:02 pm

I think this link on scientism at rationalwiki.org is pretty good (and funny): http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Scientism.
Last edited by anjali on Thu Dec 19, 2013 10:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Image

Dharma Wheel Terms of Service and Reporting Procedures.
Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness. –-Seneca

User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 28238
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: "...but the science of Buddhism will never change."

Post by Malcolm » Thu Dec 19, 2013 10:05 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Can someone give an example which demonstrates how:
"Scientism is a belief system, which includes metaphysical beliefs, constructed out of the findings of the former."
For example, deciding that neuro-cognitive functions prove that mind is at best a epiphenomena of the brain. That is a species of metaphysical belief.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

User avatar
PadmaVonSamba
Posts: 2990
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

Re: "...but the science of Buddhism will never change."

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Thu Dec 19, 2013 10:44 pm

Malcolm wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Can someone give an example which demonstrates how:
"Scientism is a belief system, which includes metaphysical beliefs, constructed out of the findings of the former."
For example, deciding that neuro-cognitive functions prove that mind is at best a epiphenomena of the brain. That is a species of metaphysical belief.
thanks :smile:
.
.
.
Profile Picture: "The Fo Ming (Buddha Bright) Monk"
People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.

User avatar
futerko
Posts: 993
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:58 am

Re: "...but the science of Buddhism will never change."

Post by futerko » Fri Dec 20, 2013 4:21 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:The Buddha made extensive use of the scientific method of examining empirical evidence,
and also discredited claims of things that were not obsrvable
(e.g., look for where your 'self' exists can you find it in your body? outside your body? etc.)
and he also (purportedly) made claims that cannot be backed up with any empirical observation.
The difference between the Buddha's empiricism here is that modern science does not treat consciousness as a sense.
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche

User avatar
futerko
Posts: 993
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:58 am

Re: "...but the science of Buddhism will never change."

Post by futerko » Fri Dec 20, 2013 1:46 pm

futerko wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:The Buddha made extensive use of the scientific method of examining empirical evidence,
and also discredited claims of things that were not obsrvable
(e.g., look for where your 'self' exists can you find it in your body? outside your body? etc.)
and he also (purportedly) made claims that cannot be backed up with any empirical observation.
The difference between the Buddha's empiricism here is that modern science does not treat consciousness as a sense.
Thinking further, this would seem to reflect the difference between ancient and modern scepticism, where modern scepticism questions only what is observed, but takes the observer as truly established.
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche

Practice
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2013 11:56 am

Re: "...but the science of Buddhism will never change."

Post by Practice » Fri Dec 20, 2013 2:10 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Practice wrote: It would be helpful for understanding your over all thesis. I truly would like to understand.

Thanks.
"Science" is an open-ended iterative method of inquiry into physical reality. Scientism is a belief system, which includes metaphysical beliefs, constructed out of the findings of the former.
To make sure that I am not misunderstanding you-

Two questions:
Does “true science” (science void of scientism) then reject any metaphysical clams? Also, a major branch of metaphysics is ontology, would science embrace ontological inquires or consider them a form of scientism also?

Again, thank you for your responses.

User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 28238
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: "...but the science of Buddhism will never change."

Post by Malcolm » Fri Dec 20, 2013 3:57 pm

Practice wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Practice wrote: It would be helpful for understanding your over all thesis. I truly would like to understand.

Thanks.
"Science" is an open-ended iterative method of inquiry into physical reality. Scientism is a belief system, which includes metaphysical beliefs, constructed out of the findings of the former.
To make sure that I am not misunderstanding you-

Two questions:
Does “true science” (science void of scientism) then reject any metaphysical clams? Also, a major branch of metaphysics is ontology, would science embrace ontological inquires or consider them a form of scientism also?
Science does not reject metaphysical claims, it simply is not equipped to deal with them.

Scientific methodology cannot verify non-falsifiable phenomena (such as karma, rebirth, God, etc.) because they cannot be tested and reproduced. Nonfalsifiabiluty does not render something false, merely untestable at present.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

smcj
Posts: 5817
Joined: Wed May 29, 2013 6:13 am

Re: "...but the science of Buddhism will never change."

Post by smcj » Fri Dec 20, 2013 5:13 pm

Malcolm wrote: Science does not reject metaphysical claims, it simply is not equipped to deal with them.

Scientific methodology cannot verify non-falsifiable phenomena (such as karma, rebirth, God, etc.) because they cannot be tested and reproduced. Nonfalsifiabiluty does not render something false, merely untestable at present.
Along the same lines, studies of complex systems, like macro economics, cannot be tested and reproduced either, which is why there are so many different economic theories.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

pensum
Posts: 354
Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2011 9:12 pm

Re: "...but the science of Buddhism will never change."

Post by pensum » Fri Dec 20, 2013 5:44 pm

I've attached an article by the French philosopher Michel Henry discussing the limits of science. For a more extended treatment i highly recommend reading his book Barbarism which is available online here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/124126217/Bar ... chel-Henry. I really think that these might clear up many of the issues being expressed on this thread in regard to the theory, purpose and methodology of science.
Attachments

[The extension pdf has been deactivated and can no longer be displayed.]


User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 28238
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: "...but the science of Buddhism will never change."

Post by Malcolm » Fri Dec 20, 2013 5:44 pm

smcj wrote:
Malcolm wrote: Science does not reject metaphysical claims, it simply is not equipped to deal with them.

Scientific methodology cannot verify non-falsifiable phenomena (such as karma, rebirth, God, etc.) because they cannot be tested and reproduced. Nonfalsifiabiluty does not render something false, merely untestable at present.
Along the same lines, studies of complex systems, like macro economics, cannot be tested and reproduced either, which is why there are so many different economic theories.

Economics is often called "the dismal science", when in fact it is actually dismal science.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

User avatar
PadmaVonSamba
Posts: 2990
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

Re: "...but the science of Buddhism will never change."

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Fri Dec 20, 2013 6:02 pm

Malcolm wrote:Scientific methodology cannot verify non-falsifiable phenomena (such as karma, rebirth, God, etc.) because they cannot be tested and reproduced. Nonfalsifiabiluty does not render something false, merely untestable at present.
Yes, that is quite correct.
But a big factor is also what the terms mean.
For example, if karma is used to express some sense of cause and effect,
then that can be tested. if it refers only to some notion of
some continuity of behavior patterns or conditions from one lifetime to another
then, not so easy to test.
And, it depends on what you define as a 'lifetime".
if there is no 'self', how long is a lifetime?
Also
Scientific instruments can map out where certain brain activities correspond to certain emotional experiences
and the typical scientist points to a monitor connected to a brain scanner and says
"you see...sexual arousal (or fear, or anger, or some other emotional event)
occurs right there where the part of the cortex is showing up yellow on the screen"
and that may the extent of their interpretation of what they see.

But we can take that a little further,
and I think the process of analysis (vippasana, perhaps) leads one in this direction,
and determine that
all that is going on in the brain is some charged up synapse activity
not appreciably different from stomach acids digesting food, really
except that brain activity is experienced directly as emotions or thoughts
while stomach activity goes largely unnoticed, unless there is a problem.
Even then, the mechanics of that observance is in the brain.
but, it cannot be determined, scientifically , that brain mechanics or activity witnesses itself
because there is nothing in the molecules of fat, water, salt and amino acids
that can be shown, scientifically, to have any cognitive ability whatsoever.
In my opinion, asserting that "the brain thinks"
is not really any different from saying that rocks and rivers have spirits
(a concept most scientists would probably reject).
How ironic.
So, we have to theorize then that, either
awareness has another cause,
or that it is a causeless precondition in which everything else arises.

There is a lot that can be logically inferred
but you can't test out the unobservable
(for example, prayers helping to heal the sick)
because you can't rule out other unobservable factors
that would contaminate the data
(such as invisible unicorns in the same hospital,
giving people magical healing kisses).
.
.
.
Profile Picture: "The Fo Ming (Buddha Bright) Monk"
People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.

User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 28238
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: "...but the science of Buddhism will never change."

Post by Malcolm » Fri Dec 20, 2013 6:23 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Malcolm wrote:Scientific methodology cannot verify non-falsifiable phenomena (such as karma, rebirth, God, etc.) because they cannot be tested and reproduced. Nonfalsifiabiluty does not render something false, merely untestable at present.
Yes, that is quite correct.
But a big factor is also what the terms mean.
For example, if karma is used to express some sense of cause and effect,
then that can be tested.
But that is not strictly what karma means. Karma refers to morally driven actions performed by a person whose continuum, either in this life or in some future life, will experience the ripening [phala] of that action.

Cause and condition [hetu and pratyaya] is a separate topic; necessary for understanding karma, but more general.

For this reason, Vasubandhu first writes about causes and conditions; then he writes about dependent origination; then he writes about karma: moving from the very general to the very specific.
if it refers only to some notion of
some continuity of behavior patterns or conditions from one lifetime to another
then, not so easy to test.
That is what karma means.
And, it depends on what you define as a 'lifetime".
if there is no 'self', how long is a lifetime?
Conventionally, there is a self, there is birth, there is death, and rebirth. Conventionally, there is also karma. Ultimately there is no self, no birth, no death, no rebirth, and also no karma.

The lifespan of human beings is considered to be about 80 years.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

Post Reply

Return to “Tibetan Buddhism”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Empty Desire, Norwegian and 70 guests