I can't decide at the moment whether I think its weak or not, probably because I have to run in a second, but for now I wanted to point out that its very similar to Venerable Nanavira's Sketch of a Proof of Rebirth***CedarTree wrote: ↑Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:15 pmMalcolm wrote: ↑Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:08 pmThe old Dharmakīrti heuristic
All conditioned things have causes. Mind, being conditioned, has a cause. If mind has a material cause it must come from the body.
If mind does not have a material cause it must have a nonmaterial cause.
If the mind has a nonmaterial cause it must be conditioned, since the unconditioned has no causal action.
The only nonmaterial thing that can cause mind is mind.
Since mind streams are unique and independent, this present moment of mind must have as its cause a previous moment of mind.
Since the mind does not arise from matter, then, this life's first moment of consciousness at conception must have its cause in a previous moment of mind prior to conception.
Some people instinctively accept rebirth. For them, this chain of reasoning is superfluous.
I've studied a bit of philosophy of mind and I think this is kind of weak.
***As he says in the footnote, he regarded the article "our of date, and partly misleading, pariticularly as regards Dhamma." However he never abandoned his belief in rebirth and the argument is entirely in line with his later elaborations on the stucture of experience, so I'm inclined to believe that he felt the argument in general was rock solid. As he says in conclusion:
pg 327Venerable Nanavira wrote:This proof of rebirth is absolutely certain; it is as certain as our own existence. By sheer reflection at any time it is possible for us to see in the structure of our present experience that our existence is necessarily without a beginning, and that it necessarily continues until it puts an end to itself from within. And to the extent that we see these necessities at all we see them with certainty: but the trouble is that to see them is by no means easy-that needs hard work.
Of course putting an end to the stream of experience in toto is hardly a shocking aspiration within non Mahayana systems. Whether that leaves us with Buddhaghosa's Nibbana qua Existent Unconditioned Ultimate Reality, the Sautrantika's non implicative negation, or neither, is another question I guess...