Texts that destroy ""scientific" materialism

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madhusudan
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Texts that destroy ""scientific" materialism

Post by madhusudan » Sun Jun 05, 2016 1:47 pm

I'm looking for recommendations of texts that explain the error in scientific materialism and/or positivism. I have Thinley Norbu's Cascading Waterfall of Nectar, which has some good refutations of both eternalism and nihilism. What medicine do you recommend?

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Malcolm
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Re: Texts that destroy ""scientific" materialism

Post by Malcolm » Sun Jun 05, 2016 1:50 pm

madhusudan wrote:I'm looking for recommendations of texts that explain the error in scientific materialism and/or positivism. I have Thinley Norbu's Cascading Waterfall of Nectar, which has some good refutations of both eternalism and nihilism. What medicine do you recommend?
His refutation of modern geography and defense of Meru Cosmology is pretty lame, quite frankly.
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Re: Texts that destroy ""scientific" materialism

Post by MiphamFan » Sun Jun 05, 2016 2:13 pm

Rupert Sheldrake and Thomas Nagel

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Lobsang Chojor
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Re: Texts that destroy ""scientific" materialism

Post by Lobsang Chojor » Sun Jun 05, 2016 2:33 pm

Malcolm wrote:
madhusudan wrote:I'm looking for recommendations of texts that explain the error in scientific materialism and/or positivism. I have Thinley Norbu's Cascading Waterfall of Nectar, which has some good refutations of both eternalism and nihilism. What medicine do you recommend?
His refutation of modern geography and defense of Meru Cosmology is pretty lame, quite frankly.
Hi Malcolm, I don't have the text but I don't suppose you can gove a brief rundown of his refutation.

:thanks:
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Re: Texts that destroy ""scientific" materialism

Post by Tsongkhapafan » Sun Jun 05, 2016 2:46 pm

Malcolm wrote:
madhusudan wrote:I'm looking for recommendations of texts that explain the error in scientific materialism and/or positivism. I have Thinley Norbu's Cascading Waterfall of Nectar, which has some good refutations of both eternalism and nihilism. What medicine do you recommend?
His refutation of modern geography and defense of Meru Cosmology is pretty lame, quite frankly.
Since Mount Meru is a mere appearance to mind in accordance with a person's karma (as is everything) and doesn't exist outside the mind, how can Mount Meru be refuted?

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Re: Texts that destroy ""scientific" materialism

Post by Malcolm » Sun Jun 05, 2016 2:58 pm

Manjushri Fan wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
madhusudan wrote:I'm looking for recommendations of texts that explain the error in scientific materialism and/or positivism. I have Thinley Norbu's Cascading Waterfall of Nectar, which has some good refutations of both eternalism and nihilism. What medicine do you recommend?
His refutation of modern geography and defense of Meru Cosmology is pretty lame, quite frankly.
Hi Malcolm, I don't have the text but I don't suppose you can gove a brief rundown of his refutation.

:thanks:

He gives a classic argument from authority. 1) It says so in Abhidharmakośa, 2) it is based on wisdom, and therefore we are fools to reject it.
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Re: Texts that destroy ""scientific" materialism

Post by tiagolps » Sun Jun 05, 2016 3:04 pm

madhusudan wrote:I'm looking for recommendations of texts that explain the error in scientific materialism and/or positivism. I have Thinley Norbu's Cascading Waterfall of Nectar, which has some good refutations of both eternalism and nihilism. What medicine do you recommend?
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Re: Texts that destroy ""scientific" materialism

Post by Malcolm » Sun Jun 05, 2016 3:06 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
madhusudan wrote:I'm looking for recommendations of texts that explain the error in scientific materialism and/or positivism. I have Thinley Norbu's Cascading Waterfall of Nectar, which has some good refutations of both eternalism and nihilism. What medicine do you recommend?
His refutation of modern geography and defense of Meru Cosmology is pretty lame, quite frankly.
Since Mount Meru is a mere appearance to mind in accordance with a person's karma (as is everything) and doesn't exist outside the mind, how can Mount Meru be refuted?
Just as the karmic appearance of pus and blood to a preta is a false perception of water for a human, likewise, the imputation of Mt. Meru cosmology is a false imputation from the perspective of what is commonly accepted conventionally among most modern humans living today.

That said, I have always maintained that Meru Cosmology has a basis in our world, but that it is Indo-centric perspective of the world, no more nor less exaggerated than medieval European visions of the world, with all their inaccuracies and "Here be monsters..."

Anyway, it is pretty clear that Meru Cosmology is a descendent of Babylonian cosmology, shifted to India.

Image

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babylonia ... _the_World
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Re: Texts that destroy ""scientific" materialism

Post by Grigoris » Sun Jun 05, 2016 3:16 pm

He gives a classic argument from authority. 1) It says so in Abhidharmakośa, 2) it is based on wisdom, and therefore we are fools to reject it.
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Re: Texts that destroy ""scientific" materialism

Post by MiphamFan » Sun Jun 05, 2016 3:19 pm

Also read about philosophy of science: Popper, Kuhn, Feyerabend. Academic scientism is often not scientific.

Rupert Sheldrake is good at attacking scientism although when it comes to his own theories he is on much shakier ground.

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Re: Texts that destroy ""scientific" materialism

Post by Lobsang Chojor » Sun Jun 05, 2016 3:21 pm

Malcolm wrote:He gives a classic argument from authority. 1) It says so in Abhidharmakośa, 2) it is based on wisdom, and therefore we are fools to reject it.
Thanks for that :)
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Re: Texts that destroy ""scientific" materialism

Post by heart » Sun Jun 05, 2016 3:51 pm

madhusudan wrote:I'm looking for recommendations of texts that explain the error in scientific materialism and/or positivism. I have Thinley Norbu's Cascading Waterfall of Nectar, which has some good refutations of both eternalism and nihilism. What medicine do you recommend?
I also liked Cascading Waterfall of Nectar, it was very refreshing. I also liked this, which is actually science: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYp5XuGYqqY

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Re: Texts that destroy ""scientific" materialism

Post by BuddhaFollower » Sun Jun 05, 2016 6:18 pm

So what is the best way to support Meru cosmology?

Point out that Tertons use Meru cosmology to navigate the Pure Lands?


P.S. Yes I know Pure Lands is not the accurate translation.
Just recognize the conceptualizing mind.

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Re: Texts that destroy ""scientific" materialism

Post by Quay » Sun Jun 05, 2016 8:19 pm

You can also find good arguments from non-Buddhists that offer a Buddhist-like notion on these matters especially in regards to explaining the errors of the scientific-materialist view. One of the 20th century's most celebrated academics, Jacques Barzun, wrote a book in 1964 titled Science: The Glorious Entertainment which I recommend as a good read. Here is an excerpt:
Since abstractions stand for phenomena, and numbers for their interconnections, the natural drift of the mind reared on science (or close to it) is to take the peculiarly abstract abstractions of science for the things themselves and soon come to believe that only what is measurable is real. Thus a famous psychologist, bent on bringing the mind within his scope, declared that whatever exists exists in quantity, and whatever exists in quantity can be measured. Again, scientific as well as common speech refers to genes as things which “do” this or that. Texts on modern physics refer to the four-dimensional continuum as if it were an object of perception which “acts” thus and so. Yet the same scientific logicians who speak in this way also doubt the existence of ordinary things. And since the reasoning throughout rests on analogy (the abstraction is like the real thing; the statistical unit is like the individual case; the inductive law is like a descriptive enumeration), the tendency is to forget the distortion that has been practiced upon experience for the sake of science. The principal distortion is that of selection, for selecting means attending to one thing only, and regarding the rest as unimportant, unreal, nonexistent--at least temporarily. But the temporary becomes the permanent by long inattention, and thus it happens that scientific specialization, by growing narrower, reintroduces a kind of subjective bias into its work, each worker seeing nature through “his” phenomena.

This danger, which is steadily resisted as a type of anthropomorphism, or projection of man’s shape upon the screen of events, is compounded with another graver one. Because scientific method excludes from the start whatever cannot be brought to the test of visibility, and constructs a material machine out of selected phenomena, the scientist--once again understandably forgetful--comes to believe and to say that matter is the only entity. His success blinds him and others to the fact that he began by assuming the conclusion which he now presents as having been found and demonstrated. In a word he turns metaphysician, which he has a right to do like any other man, except that in doing so he violates his original contract with reality.* He also puts science in the peculiar position in which we find it today, of half-claiming and half-exercising a monopoly of truth.

The history of this assumption of power is recorded in the vocabulary of abuse which goes with scientific materialism--in particular the derogatory application of such words as: “metaphysical,” “mystical,” “subjective,” and “anthropomorphic.” The implication of the last-named is that in a well-poised and well-trained mind nothing should have the shape of man, nothing should correspond to human tendencies and desires; rather, everything should mold itself on the shape of matter and its behavior as taught by science. This amounts to saying that much of experience is to be denatured, or denied its part in the common life.
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*As [Alfred North]Whitehead points out, “there is a trimness about it [the materialist theory] with its instantaneous present, its vanished past, its non-existent future, and its inert matter. This trimness is very medieval and ill accords with brute facts.” Concept of Nature, 1920, 41.
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Re: Texts that destroy ""scientific" materialism

Post by Tsongkhapafan » Sun Jun 05, 2016 8:24 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Just as the karmic appearance of pus and blood to a preta is a false perception of water for a human, likewise, the imputation of Mt. Meru cosmology is a false imputation from the perspective of what is commonly accepted conventionally among most modern humans living today.

That said, I have always maintained that Meru Cosmology has a basis in our world, but that it is Indo-centric perspective of the world, no more nor less exaggerated than medieval European visions of the world, with all their inaccuracies and "Here be monsters..."

Anyway, it is pretty clear that Meru Cosmology is a descendent of Babylonian cosmology, shifted to India.

Image

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babylonia ... _the_World
Yes, but the appearance of pus and blood is valid for a hungry ghost, and water is a valid cognition for a human. It would be wrong to say that there are beings who do not experience liquid as pus and blood. In the same way, it would be wrong to say that there are no beings who experience Mount Meru. Buddha talked about it, as did Nagarjuna (who went to the Western continent) and other great Buddhist masters. We cannot say that the appearance of a planet earth is the only valid appearance.

Since everything is mere karmic appearance, and there are different appearances for different minds, it is incorrect to say that Mount Meru does not exist.

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Re: Texts that destroy ""scientific" materialism

Post by Grigoris » Sun Jun 05, 2016 8:39 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:Since everything is mere karmic appearance, and there are different appearances for different minds, it is incorrect to say that Mount Meru does not exist.
Of course you realise that, according to your logic, it is just as incorrect to say it does exist. In which case: back to square 1.
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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."
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Re: Texts that destroy ""scientific" materialism

Post by Quay » Sun Jun 05, 2016 8:39 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:...
Since everything is mere karmic appearance, and there are different appearances for different minds, it is incorrect to say that Mount Meru does not exist.
As Thinley Norbu wrote in his book already cited, it's not the mountain's existence or non-existence that needs to be recognized or found to be true or not true but rather the futility of spending much of our precious human birth endlessly studying concepts and fortifying our ignorance:
Since phenomena are always coming and going, all ideas about the universe are temporary appearances, so any idea can exist. Western science cannot say that Eastern mystics are wrong, since it is only conception. Instead of debating about differing explanations of the universe or phenomena, it is better to let others think as they wish. There is no need to be concerned if some people think the world is round and moving, and others think the word is flat and still, since it is all delusion. It is not necessary to explain each detail of phenomena: just to understand that all phenomena, including all material judgements, can be recognized as manifestation, so there is no reality to each single explanation and no need to endlessly analyze conceptions.
Bless me and all phantom beings like me
That we may extract the essence of the generation and perfection stages.

– Patrul Rinpoche, Words of My Perfect Teacher.

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Re: Texts that destroy ""scientific" materialism

Post by Tsongkhapafan » Sun Jun 05, 2016 8:54 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:
Tsongkhapafan wrote:Since everything is mere karmic appearance, and there are different appearances for different minds, it is incorrect to say that Mount Meru does not exist.
Of course you realise that, according to your logic, it is just as incorrect to say it does exist. In which case: back to square 1.
That doesn't make any sense. Since great beings with greater insight and keener minds have described the universe according to the Mount Meru model, it definitely does exist for some.

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Re: Texts that destroy ""scientific" materialism

Post by Tsongkhapafan » Sun Jun 05, 2016 9:01 pm

Quay wrote: As Thinley Norbu wrote in his book already cited, it's not the mountain's existence or non-existence that needs to be recognized or found to be true or not true but rather the futility of spending much of our precious human birth endlessly studying concepts and fortifying our ignorance.
I agree, but there is valid cognition and non-valid cognition. Any idea can exist but not any object can exist, since it depends on karma. It's true that we should be focusing on the dream-like nature of whatever universe is appearing to our mind rather than quibbling over details.

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Re: Texts that destroy ""scientific" materialism

Post by smcj » Sun Jun 05, 2016 9:40 pm

So what is the best way to support Meru cosmology?
Look it up on Google Maps. It's in Tanzania.
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