Skip to comments.Our Faith in Science (If science proves Buddhism wrong, then Buddhism will have to change)
Posted on 07/17/2013 11:40:53 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
SCIENCE has always fascinated me. As a child in Tibet, I was keenly curious about how things worked. When I got a toy I would play with it a bit, then take it apart to see how it was put together. As I became older, I applied the same scrutiny to a movie projector and an antique automobile.
At one point I became particularly intrigued by an old telescope, with which I would study the heavens. One night while looking at the moon I realized that there were shadows on its surface. I corralled my two main tutors to show them, because this was contrary to the ancient version of cosmology I had been taught, which held that the moon was a heavenly body that emitted its own light.
But through my telescope the moon was clearly just a barren rock, pocked with craters. If the author of that fourth-century treatise were writing today, I'm sure he would write the chapter on cosmology differently.
If science proves some belief of Buddhism wrong, then Buddhism will have to change. In my view, science and Buddhism share a search for the truth and for understanding reality. By learning from science about aspects of reality where its understanding may be more advanced, I believe that Buddhism enriches its own worldview.
For many years now, on my own and through the Mind and Life Institute, which I helped found, I have had the opportunity to meet with scientists to discuss their work. World-class scientists have generously coached me in subatomic physics, cosmology, psychology, biology.
It is our discussions of neuroscience, however, that have proved particularly important. From these exchanges a vigorous research initiative has emerged, a collaboration between monks and neuroscientists, to explore how meditation might alter brain function.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
And is science proves that Christianity is right, then Christianity will have to be discarded.
Heh, science has proven liberalism wrong for decades, and those dolts won’t change.
Samsara IS nirvana!
I knew it!
It’s good to take a look at how the modern sciences arose, which was as natural philosophy, which in turn arose from a theologically perceived imperative to investigate how the glory of deity was expressed in nature. (While having an unabashed Christian world view, I am speaking in general terms which could be understood by those of different faiths.)
Anyhow, when the modern sciences begin to presume that they are self contained philosophical systems, that they can in fact rule out spirit in spite of mankind’s implicit entwinement in all manner of spiritual things, they presume to bear a very heavy load. So far they bat very miserably as far as offering any viable alternative to spirituality. Psychology is the best they can do, and this is a psychology that does not even acknowledge spirit. Psychology of that kind also cannot furnish any moral imperative; it can observe events but it cannot ever say anything is good or bad or urge someone to do something in one way rather than in another way or to refrain from doing something.
We should make no mistake - there isn’t any hatred for religion in general,
just for Christianity.
As they say... when you are taking the heaviest flak then you know you are over the target.
Toby Huff examines the long-standing question of why modern science arose only in the West and not in the civilizations of Islam and China, despite the fact that medieval Islam and China were more scientifically advanced. Huff explores the cultural contexts within which science was practiced in Islam, China, and the West. He finds major clues in the history of law and the European cultural revolution of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, as to why the ethos of science arose in the West and permitted the breakthrough to modern science that did not occur elsewhere.
It all depends. Is it science fact or consensus?
Lately science has become as faith based religion.
Take global warming for example.
the ancient version of cosmology I had been taught, which held that the moon was a heavenly body that emitted its own light.
I do find teh description of the Behemeth and Leviathan fascinating as well. They sound an awfully lot like dinosaurs.
One had to accept an imperative to “do science” before one actually carried it out. The more focused and intense the imperative, the more effect the obedience had. Seems glaringly obvious in retrospect. Anyhow, if sciences presume to nullify the concept of imperative, then they ultimately commit suicide (well actually, imperative does not go away, because it’s built into the spiritual universe, but now no longer understood according to its divine root, it gets to do all sorts of mischievous things — case in point the global warming craze).
The James Burke series “Connections” from 1979 argued that, and I use my own interpretation of his words, if a dirt farmer in china invented the airplane, the ruling class would thank him and give him the boot back to his farm. There was no incentive to be inventive. Meanwhile, western civilization worked hard to protect the rights of the inventor to keep any profits it generated. This incentivized countless tinkerers to change the world rather rapidly.
Some think the behemoth and leviathan of Job may have been the hippopotamus and crocodile; in any event Job would have had to be aware of them or God’s mention of them would have seemed like so much nonsense to him.
RE: Take global warming for example.
They’re not using that term anymore. Now it’s CLIMATE CHANGE.
Or, as someone once said: Science is about how. Religion is about why.
And I will add: Understanding of the latter is the higher pursuit.
And not just why, but what. And in understanding what, the how comes in.
Some think the behemoth and leviathan of Job may have been the hippopotamus and crocodile
However, when you read the description, those descritions seem to be reaching way too far. Men at the time did not fear any of those creatures the way the Behemoth and Leviathan are feared based on the descriptions.
Also, I raised a bit of a stir this last month in my church bible study. We were studying Job and It hit me as I read the thing from cover to cover: It reads like a parable. All the other books tie togehter. The characters are mentioned in other books, they string together, etc. But this book is completely self contained. The whole book is there solely for instruction to the reader, just like Jesus’ parables.
Just a thought.
Ah, but global warming has an imperative, and it IS a religious imperative, though not a divine one.
Humanism demands that the human himself define and live out his own righteousness. You will be as gods, knowing/defining right and wrong for yourselves.
Global warming gives an imperative “cause” for those who are... looking for love in all the wrong places.
And don’t forget who... and when... and we now have the classical elements of the well written news story. Who, what, how, when, and why. And there is one News Story that crowns all the rest.
Yes. Ultimately it all fits together.
The reference I posted stated that the Chinese impediment was their ancestor worship. They couldn’t develop “new” things because their ancestors were to be revered as if they knew everything possible. Now that I think about it, this is the total OPPOSITE of modern day humanism!
And as for the Muslims, “doing science” meant that you inherently expected consistency in creation, which would be “chaining Allah”, a blasphemy.
And there is one News Story that crowns all the rest.
The hyperbolic descriptions of the creatures could be a matter of perspective. Men who did not have sufficiently advanced technology (Job is believed to be the most anciently written book of the canon) wouldn’t be able to cope well with either a crocodile or a hippopotamus, and perhaps not even an elephant. Job himself and his family seemed to be agrarian and agrarians wouldn’t normally need to deal with elephants/hippos and crocodiles.
Yeah, and that reminds me of something else burke said: That the chinese believed that everything had a sort of “spirit” and if you built a model of a thing, it didn’t have the “spirit” of the thing and therefore was not the thing, so modeling was not comprenensible.
I’ve also heard that the language you speak can change the way you think about highly technical things. And this is why a person that spoke a language that allowed one to communicate both internally and externally, via words, about complex ideas and problems was more likely to come up with complex and elegant solutions.
Language has to contain the capacity to abstract and analogize concepts or
ur gettin’ nowhere.
Job himself and his family seemed to be agrarian and agrarians wouldnt normally need to deal with elephants/hippos and crocodiles.
I don’t buy it. Modern man’s arrogance causes us to sell those guys way short.
I found it fascinating in jr high math class that someone had to “discover” zero and negative numbers for discovery in mathematics to really explode.
Think of the brain capacity of the first man created before corruption entered creation.
Couple that with a 900 year lifespan, and you’ve got some incredible potential.
Again, I would posit that without an imperative, no need would be seen to deal with such animals. So when they are encountered they would be seen as more fearsome than they need to be. The capability may have been there, but the imperative to exercise it, not yet there.
Think of the brain capacity of the first man created before corruption entered creation.
Couple that with a 900 year lifespan, and youve got some incredible potential.
Those are concepts.
My 6 & 8 yr old understand negative numbers because of an analogy to something they’re familiar with.
I used legos. Stack legos 1,2,3,4 high... Now, envision digging a hole in the floor that requires you to put 2 legos in to get to floor level. That’s -2.
We’re losing information in our genome.
We weren’t meant to, as a species, last forever.
There is a beginning and an end to HIStory.
The capability may have been there, but the imperative to exercise it, not yet there.
Basically, it may be we who have the mistaken arrogance that such conquest is naturally built into men, when it’s the “joy of the Lord” that brings it forth. And Job’s generation didn’t even have the Jewish revelation let alone the Christian one.
Maybe something related to a crocodile, though, which is now extinct. We would not know about dodos today were it not for history. Fossils show us only a very tiny peep hole into biological natural history. Anyhow I got to get back to my programming.... have a blessed day
You know what hardly ever gets mentioned in the whole Galileo flap?
Geocentrism was a idea introduced promulgated and defended by scientists, not churchmen. Just look at the names: Aristotle, Ptolemy. By the time of Copernicus it was just considered settled science—and it performed excellently at describing observed planetary motion. It was so settled, in fact, that a whole theology grew up around it.
The lesson I take away from Galileo is exactly the opposite of what most people take away from it—the Church should be very careful about getting too cozy with any scientific theory, lest when it fall, she fall with it.
Those are concepts.
I remember when I was in my very early years, I was fascinated by the trombone because the slide seemed to magically get longer. I was mesmerized and calculated in my mind all the ways it could be possible for such a devise. I never could come up with a plausible answer. Once someone showed me one. I saw how a smaller slide fit into a slightly larger one, giving the impression to a four year old that a single slide was magically lengthening. And then I felt dumb for not seeing it from the beginning.
I was not even looking for part of the slide to be slightly smaller than the other part.
And there are lots of things, I believe, that mankind STILL does not see because we are not looking for the right thing. And once someont finds it, it becomes obvious. Virtually all of mans discoveries and inventions become obvious and easy to understand by anyone with an average IQ, yet many took thousands of years to come to be a part of our concept of the physical world, just like the slide within a slide.
There’s a book the First Fossil Hunters by Adrienne Mayor, which looks at the ways ancient people discovered and described fossils.
It’s really turned my thinking around. I mean, you get a person in 1000 B.C. or whatever finding a mastodon skeleton or dinosaur bones, what is he gonna think?
He’s gonna think this thing was a giant animal that was alive once, and he I’m sure he has eaten and picked apart enough of them to tell the difference between a reptile and a bird or mammal, etc
I’m convinced that fossil finds have reinforced and perhaps given rise to legends of mythical beasts. Humanity universally believed that the earth was once full of monsters....and you know what, it sure as heck was! Maybe they didn’t call it a pterodon, but a dragon, but that’s just semantics. The idea’s the same.
LOL Your samsara must be doing better than mine! ;^)
I’ll add that the creatures are described in Job as living contemporaniously with his generation.
That being said, as I suggested in a previous post, Job reads like a long parable in a single book. I tend to think he never really existed but, rather, the book is wisdom from God used to instruct mankind as to the nature of the man/God relationship. Frankly, I think the whole history of Israel before Jesus was just such an exercise by God.
Sudden showers have washed the cherries;
The bees hide in the linden tree.
Yeah, I try to smell the roses. LOL
Nothing wrong with rat mazes and behavioral psychology. It just stumbles when it gets into the morality of motivation.
Yes, good insight. If you can't admit that a human can be both a suffering servant and king of all creation, and is ruining your religious construct, you need to kill him, don't you? If not in reality, at least in concept.
Any religion that science alone can prove or disprove isn’t a religion.
I have faith in the scientific method to indicate to me something of how the world works. And I have faith in Torah to teach me something of how God works in the world.
“And is science proves that Christianity is right, then Christianity will have to be discarded..”
Some think the behemoth and leviathan of Job may have been the hippopotamus and crocodile...”
Makes sense. Buddhism is just a philosophy, it’s not based on revelation, it’s not based on evidence. It’s based on idle speculation and contemplation. So when theories and speculation are contradicted by facts it’s easy to abandon the speculation in favor of facts.
Some think the behemoth and leviathan of Job may have been the hippopotamus and crocodile...
Same with this. They knew that a hippo or elephant’s tail is nothing like a “great cedar”. And it is pretty easy to kill either with the most basic of weapons. especially when a few guys get together.
The creatures described in Job are significantly more formidable.