Arising and decomposition of phenomena occur due to causes. If there is no cause for an object to decompose, then it won’t, of course. That’s why some things made of bronze still exist while others no longer exist.Aemilius wrote: ↑Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:27 amNon sequitur.PadmaVonSamba wrote: ↑Mon Sep 14, 2020 1:06 pmThis can be determined by deductive reasoning.samr wrote: ↑Sat Sep 12, 2020 4:58 am I would still be interested not only in the point of view of modern science, but in the classical Buddhist explanations.
The Buddhist thinkers did not have direct access to the structure of the atoms, so how were they able to deduce that matter (and not only matter, but everything which is composed) is in a state of constant flux?
If your shoes eventually wear out (or anything decomposes), there must be a reason, a cause.
And, if composite things, such as shoes, decompose, then whatever they are composed of must likewise be decomposing.
It is kind of easy in the case of shoes to see that leather decomposes. Pieces of metal, that may be belong to the structure of shoes, do not decompose so evidently, and there is logical necessity that would require it. If shoes decompose, it does not necessitate that bronze decomposes.
In Buddhist thinking material objacts are composed of earth, water (fluidity), fire (warmth, heat), wind and space. In bronze there is some malleabilty ( i.e. "water" or fluidity, and "fire" or temperature/heat). Bronze does not, and the elements of bronze do not, perceivably decompose in normal circumstances. How would the elements of material objects decompose? According to You and according to Buddhist thinking, say in the view of Abhidharma and Sutra?
But it is still subject to decomposition, which is why it (composite phenomena) is regarded as unsatisfactory. “Unsatisfactory” here means unreliable, not suitable as a means of providing permanent satisfaction (or, in the broader Buddhist sense, freedom from suffering).
This “unreliable” as compared with something that would not be subject to decomposition. Even if one wore metal shoes, that metal would eventually be worn away, as compared with some kind of material that could never be worn away.
If one uses the example of bronzed baby shoes, which can be produced as a kind of “permanent” souvenir, even those will tarnish. Further, since they can no longer function as footwear, the Buddhist would say that they are shoes in name only.
But let’s keep in mind the context. When the Buddha discusses phenomena as being unsatisfactory he means that taking refuge in composite phenomena as a means of happiness can only be temporary. Composite phenomenon cannot be a permanent cause of the end of dissatisfaction (dukkha).
Nāgārjuna takes the idea of “composite” even further: “composite” includes an object’s relation to everything else. Thus, if you build a house of bronze although it will protect you from rain and attackers, when the sun is out it’s going to be terribly hot, and in the winter, terribly cold.