Is there Buddhism without rebirth?

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aflatun
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Re: Is there Buddhism without rebirth?

Post by aflatun » Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:07 pm

CedarTree wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:15 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:08 pm
PuerAzaelis wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:03 pm

In other words, acceptance of rebirth by that practitioner is not the result of a reasoning process.
The 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.
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***


***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:
Venerable 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.
pg 327

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...
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

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Malcolm
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Re: Is there Buddhism without rebirth?

Post by Malcolm » Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:16 pm

PuerAzaelis wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:47 pm
Fine.

Malcolm, you re-state Dharmakirti's argument as follows:
Malcolm wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:08 pm
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.
This cannot be his full argument, since there is no premise or argument that shows that the mind does not arise from matter.
I did not say it was his full argument. I stated it was his heuristic.

Basically, the argument that mind cannot arise from matter is that mind cannot arise from the four elements, since matter and mind are different kinds of substance (dravya), and just as material entities of different continua cannot arise from one another, i.e. corn cannot grow from wheat seeds, likewise, matter cannot produce mind nor can mind arise from matter.

When the Buddha grouped phenomena, he did so into six distinct dhātus; solids (earth), liquids (water), gases (air), heat (fire), space, and consciousness.

Four of these dhātus are material, two are nonmaterial. They are all nevertheless "substances." (dravya).
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

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CedarTree
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Re: Is there Buddhism without rebirth?

Post by CedarTree » Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:28 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:16 pm
PuerAzaelis wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:47 pm
Fine.

Malcolm, you re-state Dharmakirti's argument as follows:
Malcolm wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:08 pm
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.
This cannot be his full argument, since there is no premise or argument that shows that the mind does not arise from matter.
I did not say it was his full argument. I stated it was his heuristic.

Basically, the argument that mind cannot arise from matter is that mind cannot arise from the four elements, since matter and mind are different kinds of substance (dravya), and just as material entities of different continua cannot arise from one another, i.e. corn cannot grow from wheat seeds, likewise, matter cannot produce mind nor can mind arise from matter.

When the Buddha grouped phenomena, he did so into six distinct dhātus; solids (earth), liquids (water), gases (air), heat (fire), space, and consciousness.

Four of these dhātus are material, two are nonmaterial. They are all nevertheless "substances." (dravya).
I think a lot of that is meta premised still in dualism.

John Searle I think did some pioneering work in this by avoiding the reductionism/eliminativism of methodological forms of naturalism or monism.

His view was biological naturalism.

But I was just kind of getting at in general that that kind of proof in a university higher level philosophy of mind class would not be well accepted.

That's before even going into Philosophy of language and how these could be problems made up by terms and their mis application.

Practice, Practice, Practice

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Malcolm
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Re: Is there Buddhism without rebirth?

Post by Malcolm » Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:31 pm

CedarTree wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:28 pm

I think a lot of that is meta premised still in dualism.
And dualism is a problem because?

But I was just kind of getting at in general that that kind of proof in a university higher level philosophy of mind class would not be well accepted.

That's before even going into Philosophy of language and how these could be problems made up by terms and their mis application.
And this is relevant to the discussion of rebirth exactly how?
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

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CedarTree
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Re: Is there Buddhism without rebirth?

Post by CedarTree » Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:32 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:31 pm
CedarTree wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:28 pm

I think a lot of that is meta premised still in dualism.
And dualism is a problem because?

But I was just kind of getting at in general that that kind of proof in a university higher level philosophy of mind class would not be well accepted.

That's before even going into Philosophy of language and how these could be problems made up by terms and their mis application.
And this is relevant to the discussion of rebirth exactly how?
Lol come on Malcolm.

I have to head off but i'll continue watching this thread. Seems like one that could really bring about some great content and others being challenged to bring out their best selves.

Practice, Practice, Practice

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Malcolm
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Re: Is there Buddhism without rebirth?

Post by Malcolm » Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:37 pm

CedarTree wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:32 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:31 pm
CedarTree wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:28 pm

I think a lot of that is meta premised still in dualism.
And dualism is a problem because?

But I was just kind of getting at in general that that kind of proof in a university higher level philosophy of mind class would not be well accepted.

That's before even going into Philosophy of language and how these could be problems made up by terms and their mis application.
And this is relevant to the discussion of rebirth exactly how?
Lol come on Malcolm.
We understand the terms, and in any case, what the Dennets, Nagles, and Searles think about consciousness is pretty irrelevant to Dharma.
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

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PuerAzaelis
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Re: Is there Buddhism without rebirth?

Post by PuerAzaelis » Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:46 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:16 pm
... mind cannot arise from the four elements, since matter and mind are different kinds of substance (dravya), and just as material entities of different continua cannot arise from one another, i.e. corn cannot grow from wheat seeds, likewise, matter cannot produce mind nor can mind arise from matter.
When I lift my arm, my arm lifts.

When I see a red object, I have a red percept.

When I touch a hot stove, I feel pain.

Matter and mind dependently produce each other.

This is contact - the red percept only occurs when there is a red object as a basis of imputation, utilizing a sense organ.

Since they interact, Dharmakirti's assertion that mind can only be caused by a previous mind, is false.
Generally, enjoyment of speech is the gateway to poor [results]. So it becomes the foundation for generating all negative emotional states. Jampel Pawo, The Certainty of the Diamond Mind

For posts from this user, see Karma Dondrup Tashi account.

Norwegian
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Re: Is there Buddhism without rebirth?

Post by Norwegian » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:09 pm

CedarTree wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:32 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:31 pm
CedarTree wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:28 pm

I think a lot of that is meta premised still in dualism.
And dualism is a problem because?

But I was just kind of getting at in general that that kind of proof in a university higher level philosophy of mind class would not be well accepted.

That's before even going into Philosophy of language and how these could be problems made up by terms and their mis application.
And this is relevant to the discussion of rebirth exactly how?
Lol come on Malcolm.

I have to head off but i'll continue watching this thread. Seems like one that could really bring about some great content and others being challenged to bring out their best selves.
You can lol all you want, but that doesn't change the fact that you've said nothing that is relevant here. We're discussing Buddhism and rebirth. Not Western Philosophy.

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CedarTree
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Re: Is there Buddhism without rebirth?

Post by CedarTree » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:15 pm

I actually really enjoy your posts but sometimes your so hard line you actually become blind.

We are talking about reality. Western Philosophy/Science, and many other things help inform us past eastern philosophy/science.

Come on....

(P.s. I can't keep going back on here to put input so save the pot shots.)
Norwegian wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:09 pm
CedarTree wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:32 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:31 pm


And dualism is a problem because?




And this is relevant to the discussion of rebirth exactly how?
Lol come on Malcolm.

I have to head off but i'll continue watching this thread. Seems like one that could really bring about some great content and others being challenged to bring out their best selves.
You can lol all you want, but that doesn't change the fact that you've said nothing that is relevant here. We're discussing Buddhism and rebirth. Not Western Philosophy.

Practice, Practice, Practice

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Malcolm
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Re: Is there Buddhism without rebirth?

Post by Malcolm » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:16 pm

PuerAzaelis wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:46 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:16 pm
... mind cannot arise from the four elements, since matter and mind are different kinds of substance (dravya), and just as material entities of different continua cannot arise from one another, i.e. corn cannot grow from wheat seeds, likewise, matter cannot produce mind nor can mind arise from matter.
When I lift my arm, my arm lifts.

When I see a red object, I have a red percept.

When I touch a hot stove, I feel pain.

Matter and mind dependently produce each other.

This is contact - the red percept only occurs when there is a red object as a basis of imputation, utilizing a sense organ.

Since they interact, Dharmakirti's assertion that mind can only be caused by a previous mind, is false.
These examples you provide do not negate Dharmakīrti's proof. Why? You have selected the wrong negandum.

We are talking about rebirth, not sense consciousness. In other words we are talking about the link, consciousness, not the link, sensation.

Dharmakīrti will happily agree that a a direct perception of blue requires a blue object. However, from where does the mind arise at the first moment of conception? If it is restricted to this life, your examples fail because at this point there are no senses and no sense organs. There is only namarūpa. The point Dharnakīrti is driving home is that one has to decide if consciousness is something that arises from the body or not. If consciousness is only something that arises through physical contact, then this also eliminates mental consciousness, since a mental consciousness by definition takes a mental object as a sense base and arises on the basis of contact with that.

If we follow your example, there are only ten ayatanas, fifteen dhātus, or one skandha.

If however one decides that the consciousness is not produced by the body, then consciousness requires another cause that is not the body.
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

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Malcolm
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Re: Is there Buddhism without rebirth?

Post by Malcolm » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:17 pm

CedarTree wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:15 pm

We are talking about reality.
No, we are talking about conventional truth. In ultimate truth, there is no birth, no death, and so on.
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

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dzogchungpa
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Re: Is there Buddhism without rebirth?

Post by dzogchungpa » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:45 pm

PuerAzaelis wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:34 pm
Rebirth is the flying spaghetti monster of Buddhism.

Personally, I would say that karma vipaka is the true flying spaghetti monster of Buddhism.
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

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PuerAzaelis
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Re: Is there Buddhism without rebirth?

Post by PuerAzaelis » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:47 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:16 pm
However, from where does the mind arise at the first moment of conception? If it is restricted to this life, your examples fail because at this point there are no senses and no sense organs.
Why is that so?

Consciousness was not switched on, like a light switch, it developed gradually as my body grew, in my mother's womb, and after I was born.

If I take away the atoms of my brain, atom by atom, slowly my consciousness will fade until it's not there.

It won't suddenly disappear, like a light going out.

There's no "first moment of conception" of consciousness any more than there is a "first moment of tree" from a seed.

PS: There's no more reason to think that when I remove the final atoms of my brain 3 ... 2 ... 1 ... a "next mind" suddenly is somehow produced somewhere any more than when the atoms of the brain of a fetus accumulate 1 ... 2 ... 3 ... then consciousness suddenly is produced from a "previous mind".
Generally, enjoyment of speech is the gateway to poor [results]. So it becomes the foundation for generating all negative emotional states. Jampel Pawo, The Certainty of the Diamond Mind

For posts from this user, see Karma Dondrup Tashi account.

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Malcolm
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Re: Is there Buddhism without rebirth?

Post by Malcolm » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:59 pm

PuerAzaelis wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:47 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:16 pm
However, from where does the mind arise at the first moment of conception? If it is restricted to this life, your examples fail because at this point there are no senses and no sense organs.
Why is that so?

Consciousness was not switched on, like a light switch, it developed gradually as my body grew, in my mother's womb, and after I was born.

If I take away the atoms of my brain, atom by atom, slowly my consciousness will fade until it's not there.

It won't suddenly disappear, like a light going out.

There's no "first moment of conception" of consciousness any more than there is a "first moment of tree" from a seed.

PS: There's no more reason to think that when I remove the final atoms of my brain 3 ... 2 ... 1 ... a "next mind" suddenly is somehow produced somewhere any more than when the atoms of the brain of a fetus accumulate 1 ... 2 ... 3 ... then consciousness suddenly is produced from a "previous mind".
Dharmakirti's heuristic indicates it is pointless to discuss this issue with someone who holds a physicalist perspective, such as Carvakas/Lokayatis. His heuristic is not meant to convince materialists to abandon their views. His heuristic is aimed at eternalists who adhere to a view of a permanent self.

Thus, if you actually think your consciousness arises from your body, there really is no point for you to study Buddhism at all. Not only are you wasting your time, you are wasting the time of others by seeking to engage in them in something in which you have no confidence.
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

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Tiago Simões
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Re: Is there Buddhism without rebirth?

Post by Tiago Simões » Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:37 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:59 pm
Dharmakirti's heuristic indicates it is pointless to discuss this issue with someone who holds a physicalist perspective, such as Carvakas/Lokayatis.
So how did Buddhists debate Carvakas in India? Are there scriptures of such debates?
Last edited by Tiago Simões on Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PuerAzaelis
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Re: Is there Buddhism without rebirth?

Post by PuerAzaelis » Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:50 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:59 pm
... it is pointless to discuss this issue with someone who holds a physicalist perspective ...
A "physicalist perspective" is not the proper way to engage with the argument ... that matter cannot produce mind.

Is that ... more or less correct?

PS: Just to re-cap, I made the assertion that rebirth cannot be proven inductively, and has to be accepted on faith. You seemed to challenge that, by making Dharmakirti's argument, that since mind and matter are different, matter cannot produce mind. You're now saying that his point of view can't legitimately be discussed by ... I assume, materialists? I.e. an argument that matter doesn't produce mind can't be addressed by a point of view that states that ... matter produces mind?
Generally, enjoyment of speech is the gateway to poor [results]. So it becomes the foundation for generating all negative emotional states. Jampel Pawo, The Certainty of the Diamond Mind

For posts from this user, see Karma Dondrup Tashi account.

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PuerAzaelis
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Re: Is there Buddhism without rebirth?

Post by PuerAzaelis » Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:47 pm

aflatun wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:07 pm
Sketch of a Proof of Rebirth***
Now that is one hell of an argument for rebirth. It's an example of how much you can get done if you use phenomenology to bracket everything which falls outside experience.
Generally, enjoyment of speech is the gateway to poor [results]. So it becomes the foundation for generating all negative emotional states. Jampel Pawo, The Certainty of the Diamond Mind

For posts from this user, see Karma Dondrup Tashi account.

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Malcolm
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Re: Is there Buddhism without rebirth?

Post by Malcolm » Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:25 am

PuerAzaelis wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:50 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:59 pm
... it is pointless to discuss this issue with someone who holds a physicalist perspective ...
A "physicalist perspective" is not the proper way to engage with the argument ... that matter cannot produce mind.

Is that ... more or less correct?

PS: Just to re-cap, I made the assertion that rebirth cannot be proven inductively, and has to be accepted on faith. You seemed to challenge that, by making Dharmakirti's argument, that since mind and matter are different, matter cannot produce mind. You're now saying that his point of view can't legitimately be discussed by ... I assume, materialists? I.e. an argument that matter doesn't produce mind can't be addressed by a point of view that states that ... matter produces mind?

It can be inductively proven, however, there needs to be a common basis of departure: physicalists and Buddhists do not have that common basis.
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

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PuerAzaelis
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Re: Is there Buddhism without rebirth?

Post by PuerAzaelis » Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:30 am

Ok anyway a good teacher feeds his demons, my belly is full. (Must be the roast chicken).

_/\_
Generally, enjoyment of speech is the gateway to poor [results]. So it becomes the foundation for generating all negative emotional states. Jampel Pawo, The Certainty of the Diamond Mind

For posts from this user, see Karma Dondrup Tashi account.

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aflatun
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Re: Is there Buddhism without rebirth?

Post by aflatun » Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:37 am

PuerAzaelis wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:47 pm
aflatun wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:07 pm
Sketch of a Proof of Rebirth***
Now that is one hell of an argument for rebirth. It's an example of how much you can get done if you use phenomenology to bracket everything which falls outside experience.
Agreed!

I think I mispoke earlier with respect to the similarities between the two arguments. Of course I'm basing myself on Malcolm's kindly offered synopses (thank you as always), but it seems that while Ven. Nanavira's argument has a similar structure (experience is the condition of experience), it is more strictly phenomenological.
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

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