Long, Detailed posts

Discussion in 'Eastern Religions and Philosophies' started by Vajradhara, Jul 29, 2003.

  1. Skeptic44

    Skeptic44 New Member

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    ________________

    Yes, it does.

    After you discover all the rules of natural selection - how many generations it takes for a mutation with a 1% increase in survival factor to spread through a population, what % of a population will have x mutation after 100 generations - you come up with a surprisingly vast and thorough explanation for all of the questions asked in the original post.

    Why do some people fail? Why are some born with crippling birth defects and other gifted athletes?

    Science has given us - not a 100% certainity, but certainly a reasonable and valid possibility as to why.

    There is no motive. No reason. It happened thru natural selection and mutation.

    There is no "God-figure" sitting on the other side of the dimensional divide saying, "I wanted you to be born autistic for THIS reason."

    It isn't because there's a higher power that decides, "I'm doing it for THIS reason."

    Natural selection explains most, if not all, of the questions.

    And if you don't agree... phrase the question in as few words as possible and give me another crack at it.

    But the basic answer - there is no God deciding things. All of the things that appear to be an intellect guiding things are actually the result of Natural Selection. The idea of there being a single supernatural force behind them is only an illusion.
     
  2. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    God is a concept that remains an unquantified construct. Science can only address concepts that are quanitified. So science as a discipline is absolutely incapable of addressing the concept of God so long as God remains unquanitified. Therefore, science is not equipped to make any direct pronouncement on God. (I'm taking "God" as being a pan-theist concept, btw.)

    Now, some people will read their own verdict on God through the annals of modern science - various different religious and secular camps sometimes do this as a matter of course in very different ways.

    Essentially, whether a person reads the presence of a Deity - through whatever processes of the unvierse...or not - remains an entirely personal perception.
     
  3. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste skeptic,

    this is essentially the position of Karma as well. it's an impersonal force.. it's not someone or something passing judgement or rewarding proper behavior or belief. it's the natural outflow of our actions, whether positive or negative.

    if a farmer plants his crops yet chooses not to water them, we don't say that he's being punished when his crop doesn't come in.... we say that "he reaped what he sowed." when he does take care of them and water them and they come in, we don't say that he's being rewarded either.
     
  4. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    LOL!!! :D

    For myself, I think you just succintly explained the concept better there than all the preceding information!

    Certainly addresses, quite directly, my earlier concerns of a "moral engine" being behind karma.
     
  5. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste Brian,

    excellent!

    as i stated earlier, i'm destitute of learning and devoid of skill with words.. i am pleased that i was able to present it in a way that is more clear :D
     
  6. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Namaste Vajradhara,

    A yeoman's job you did on these long and detailed posts...

    I've just skimmed and am printing them out to read at my leisure...

    Thought others might be interested.
     
  7. citizenzen

    citizenzen Custom User Title

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    In long, detailed posts? Not me.

    Cut it up into nice little bite-sized chunks that are easily swallowed.

    Then maybe I'll give it a taste.
     
  8. Francis king

    Francis king New Member

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    I didnt see this the first time round, Vaj- nice one for posting, bk in the day, etc...
     
  9. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    they are like zombie threads!!

    :)

    thanks for the kind words Francis :)

    metta,

    ~v
     
  10. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

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    It would be nice if more people were as destitute and devoid as you are, Vaj.:)

    s.
     
  11. I am free

    I am free And anything is possible

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    Hello Vajradhara,

    For me, one of the difficulties in understanding how karma works is when people refer to "good karma" and "bad karma".

    I can understand cause and effect perfectly, when the cause and the ensuing effect are directly related - You walk on to a busy road, you get hit by a car. You dont study for the exam and you fail.

    By how does karma actually explain all the unexpected and uncontrollable events? Getting cancer when you have exercised daily, been sensible with food & never ever touched a cigarette, for example? If there is no direct cause for this effect then karma is not really just a "natural outflow of our actions" as you say.

    It follows then, then there are some past accumulated karmas which manifest some events in our life - but who judges whether these events will be pleasant or not? Is pleasant the same as good? For example is it not true that pain and suffering can bring about spiritual growth?

    I am led to believe that all events that come to pass in our life are neutral in nature - neither good nor bad. For me, it does not make sense to say for example that a person is born blind because of past bad karma, because who is to say that she will not go on to achieve great things because of her blindness? Infact I know of exactly one such person who is currently an executive in a very large global organization and has done some great work in Accessibility technologies. I listened to one of her speeches in which she said "I thought it was a great misfortune for me to be born blind, but now I believe it is one my greatest gifts, because I would not have been able to do what I did if I was sighted".

    So then, if events in themselves are neither good nor bad, then what is the point of classifying karmas as good and bad at all?

    The whole edifice of what is right and what is wrong, what is good and what is bad falls flat. Then it would follow that all actions too are neither good nor bad. It would then be okay to love or to hate. Then it would mean that I could actually go through life as a sociopathic killer or as a selfless nun and both paths would result in karma which has to be exhausted either way in the next life.

    I have also been wondering, would we have the freedom to choose the manner in which we exhaust our karmas - that is the lives we will live & the events that we will experience before we are born? So in effect the experiences that we go through in this life may be our own choosing?

    I know I am missing something...but right now the fact that good=bad is confusing me and would love to hear everyone's thoughts.
     
  12. Tao_Equus

    Tao_Equus Interfaith Forums

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    What a good post.

    Perhaps karma is firstly ambivalent and secondly not always applicable. Its compelling presence in our lives and folklore, where we daily see the effect of positive actions earning kudos, is perhaps so strong that mentally we apply it to areas in which it plays no part. As in your cancer example. Cancer is bad luck exacerbated by environmental conditions. Roy Castle, a famous trumpet player with huge lung capacity, never smoked a cigarette but he played smoky clubs and had twice as many lung cells as the average man and was thus highly likely to see a few of them turn cancerous and spread. He campaigned to stop smoking in public enclosed areas and perhaps his death focussed some of the attention that has led to so many countries legislating to ban public smoking. There is nothing mysterious about genuine karma. It is simple cause and effect. It is not mysterious, just complex.
     
  13. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste I am free,

    thank you for the lovely post :)

    sorry for the tardy reply. things have been hectic and very transitory IRL.

    for the record, i find such distinctions to be problematic as well. the Buddha didn't speak of "good" or "bad" karma at all, he spoke of "bright" or "positive" karma and vipaka and "dark" or "negative" karma and vipaka.

    further more, most beings tend to conflate the separate ideas of karma and vipaka. karma means intention, in particular intentional actions, thoughts and words. the consequence (vipaka) of our intentional actions, thoughts, words (karma) is what is most often being referred to.

    in terms of positive/bright or negative/dark the Buddhas criteria is pretty straight forward... if it helps you make progress along the path of Awakening and Liberation its positive if it hinders your progress its negative.

    within the Buddhist paradigm the vipaka of a being can ripen when the conditions are correct even if those conditions may not be present until a future arising. the most salient point regarding the ripening of vipaka, however, is that the fruit can be mitigated, even changed prior to it's ripening by our ongoing karma (intentional thoughts, words and deeds). what would have been negative can become positive and what would have been positive would have been negative.

    such judgements are usually made by society, it can be difficult to discern the spiritual growth within a being, even beings that seem to have enormous challenges.

    there is no point in so doing, indeed, such ideas subvert what the ideas of karma and vipaka are conveying, imo.

    there is more than one next arising, however, and the negative seeds (karma) which are planted produce fruit (vipaka) which hinders our progress along the path of Awakening and Liberation.

    until you value walking that path more than the cycle of rebirth, old age, sickness and death there would be no intellectual hinderance in engaging in either path once you do value the Dharma the choices clarify themselves within that paradigm.

    by and large, no... the details, say, of our next arising are beyond our ability to influence. the Suttas relate, however, that Arhans and Bodhisattvas can do that very thing when they choose to take rebirth in this world system. as there are few of those beings roaming about it's pretty safe to answer in the negative... though it's a qualified one :)

    to be honest with you i think one of the issues you're having is a fundamental philosophical paradigm difference. nearly every being that i've met in the Western Hemisphere has a Greek philosophical world view, namely that Aristotles A OR NOT A is how logic and things work.... this is not a view which is shared by the Dharma traditions. the Dharma traditions posit the idea of A AND NOT A which leads to a very different world view. the Buddhist teachings are not couched in a manner which is consistent with an A or not A approach as the Buddha taught to the individual audiences capacities... what he might teach you is something different than he might teach me.... leaving that aside, the very idea of diametrical opposites of "good" and "bad" simply find no ground rather the idea that phenomena are comprised of both "good" and "bad" aspects is the operating world view.

    i'm not sure that the western and eastern world views can be reconciled except at an intellectual level and even then it's pretty difficult.

    metta,

    ~v
     
  14. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    well, this is kind of what judaism does, being as how a central concept in kabbalah is about coping with the paradox of a-AND-not-a as well as G!D-Is-All and All-Is-G!D but we still have free will even though G!D Knows all. i think we have more in common with buddhism than you realise!

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  15. dauer

    dauer New Member

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    BB,

    Not to mention some of the more non-dual approaches to the issue of yesh and ayin.
     
  16. badmood

    badmood New Member

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    God is a concept that remains an unquantified construct. Science can only address concepts that are quanitified. So science as a discipline is absolutely incapable of addressing the concept of God so long as God remains unquanitified. Therefore, science is not equipped to make any direct pronouncement on God. (I'm taking "God" as being a pan-theist concept, btw.)

    Now, some people will read their own verdict on God through the annals of modern science - various different religious and secular camps sometimes do this as a matter of course in very different ways.

    Essentially, whether a person reads the presence of a Deity - through whatever processes of the unvierse...or not - remains an entirely personal perception.
     
  17. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    "i think we have more in common with buddhism than you realise!"

    --> I believe Judiasm and Buddhism originally came from one common set of teachings. It is only because of the changes over the centuries that the two have ended up looking so different. (And I believe Judiasm is a LOT older than 6,000 years.)
     

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