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Re: logical

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  • oreznoone@aol.com
    Hello Rob, ... My first inclination is to say I disagree, perhaps with a reference to kamma: act/cetana now, result/vipaka later. All are actions are in time.
    Message 1 of 9 , Oct 2, 2002
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      Hello Rob,

      >How can we use a tool (logic) that is so limited (only valid at one
      >time) to explore issues that are time-independent such as ethics?
      My first inclination is to say I disagree, perhaps with a reference to kamma:
      act/cetana now, result/vipaka later. All are actions are in time.
      But what do you mean?
      It's sometimes held that logical / mathematical statements are outside of
      time, just the opposite.
      (And the temporal status of logical truths creates problems: If it's true
      that you will brush your teeth tomorrow morning then isn't it determined? You
      have to, if it's true. There's something wrong here but it's not so easy to
      say what. I think it's related to what you're saying.)

      >I have the feeling that Buddhism focuses less on logic (Stcherbatsky
      >notwithstanding) than on direct experience (Howard's beloved
      >phenomenology). What is your opinion on this?
      Well, not phenomenology, but yes, direct experience. Still, there's a point
      in discussing logic, among other things. Philosophy texts often begin with a
      chapter on logic or critical thinking. What are the canons of reasoning, what
      kinds of evidence should be accepted. This seems to center almost entirely on
      the Kalama sutta these days but there's more to it.

      >In an earlier message, you quoted a Sutta as
      >mentioning the Buddha rejected both extremes of "existence" and "non-
      >existence" (and that you found that Sutta to be confusing). Which
      >Sutta was that?
      I almost have it in my head; is that helpful? It'll flash on me then I'll see
      if I can't find on online source. And a wonderful commentary so you won't be
      misled into some third reality beyond the real and unreal ;-)

      metta, stephen
    • robmoult
      Hi Stephen, ... one ... === I believe that time does not exist. It is a construct of the human mind. I believe that this is an area where Einstein and the
      Message 2 of 9 , Oct 2, 2002
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        Hi Stephen,

        --- In dhammastudygroup@y..., oreznoone@a... wrote:
        > >How can we use a tool (logic) that is so limited (only valid at
        one
        > >time) to explore issues that are time-independent such as ethics?
        > My first inclination is to say I disagree, perhaps with a
        reference to kamma:
        > act/cetana now, result/vipaka later. All are actions are in time.
        > But what do you mean?

        ===

        I believe that time does not exist. It is a construct of the human
        mind. I believe that this is an area where Einstein and the Buddha
        are in accordance. However, I do not believe that the fact that time
        is not an ultimate reality (paramattha dhamma) denies causality.

        Some people, such as profesor Stanley Sobottka, use the non-reality
        of time to deny causality and thereby deny the existence of kamma
        (see his materials at http://faculty.virginia.edu/consciousness/ ).

        I do not agree with this position. Filita P. Bharucha takes a stab
        at this issue in his book, "Buddhist Theory of Causation and
        Einstein's Theory of Relativity" (lots of math, not light reading)
        and so does Venerable Nyanaponika Thera in his article "The Problem
        of Time" in the book "Abhidhamma Studies".

        My understanding (still evolving as I wade through this material) is
        that causality is a local phenomena, existing only within a specific
        frame of reference (i.e. one stream of kammic consciousness). This
        understanding allows me to reconcile both Einstein's theory of
        relativity (time is a concept) and kamma (causality).

        > It's sometimes held that logical / mathematical statements are
        outside of
        > time, just the opposite.
        > (And the temporal status of logical truths creates problems: If
        it's true
        > that you will brush your teeth tomorrow morning then isn't it
        determined? You
        > have to, if it's true. There's something wrong here but it's not
        so easy to
        > say what. I think it's related to what you're saying.)
        >

        ===

        I also have some comments on this issue, but as they do not relate
        directly to Buddhism, I am not going to post them here. Feel free to
        email me if you want to have an off-line discussion.

        ===

        > >I have the feeling that Buddhism focuses less on logic
        (Stcherbatsky
        > >notwithstanding) than on direct experience (Howard's beloved
        > >phenomenology). What is your opinion on this?
        > Well, not phenomenology, but yes, direct experience. Still,
        there's a point
        > in discussing logic, among other things. Philosophy texts often
        begin with a
        > chapter on logic or critical thinking. What are the canons of
        reasoning, what
        > kinds of evidence should be accepted. This seems to center almost
        entirely on
        > the Kalama sutta these days but there's more to it.

        ===

        Here is a section of the Kalama Sutta giving the criterion for
        rejection of teachings: "Do not go upon what has been acquired by
        repeated hearing; nor upon tradition; nor upon rumor; nor upon what
        is in a scripture; nor upon surmise; nor upon an axiom; nor upon
        specious reasoning; nor upon a bias towards a notion that has been
        pondered over; nor upon another's seeming ability; nor upon the
        consideration, 'The monk is our teacher.'"

        How do you interpret the rejection of "axioms" and "specious
        reasoning" (I have seen "specious reasoning" translated as "logic"
        as well)?

        ===

        >
        > >In an earlier message, you quoted a Sutta as
        > >mentioning the Buddha rejected both extremes of "existence"
        and "non-
        > >existence" (and that you found that Sutta to be confusing). Which
        > >Sutta was that?
        > I almost have it in my head; is that helpful? It'll flash on me
        then I'll see
        > if I can't find on online source. And a wonderful commentary so
        you won't be
        > misled into some third reality beyond the real and unreal ;-)

        Looking forward to it :-)


        Thanks,
        Rob M :-)
      • oreznoone@aol.com
        Hello Rob, ... Specious reasoning sounds good (who wants to be specious?) but it s off the mark, I think; why even say that, it s too obvious. But how not to
        Message 3 of 9 , Oct 2, 2002
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          Hello Rob,
          >How do you interpret the rejection of "axioms" and "specious
          >reasoning" (I have seen "specious reasoning" translated as "logic"
          >as well)?
          "Specious reasoning" sounds good (who wants to be specious?) but it's off the
          mark, I think; why even say that, it's too obvious. But how not to deny
          reason altogether (which is, of course, wider than "logic"). How about "mere
          reason?" Be reasonable, but that's not enough. Direct experience, as we spoke
          before.
          Consider MN.ii.170-171 where it's said that 5 things have two types of
          consequences. Thinking according to reason is one: Things that one has
          thought out carefully can turn out to be false, things one hasn't considered
          can turn out to be true. I think this is about remaining at the level of just
          reading and thinking and reasoning. All good (I want to think) but
          inadequate.

          I'll be interested in hearing how one can have causality without time;
          though, I think I'm going to agree with you, in some way that is just what
          Einstein held. But Einstein was a determinist and the Buddha was not; kamma
          won't work without time. Now we're broaching freewill, but leaving this
          troublesome word aside, the future as determined, despite what we do, was
          rejected. Difficult to get one's mind around.
          (I now have the sutta under question? but not the comments yet, so, in
          fairness:
          <A HREF="http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/samyutta/sn12-015.html">SN
          XII.15: Kaccayanagotta Sutta</A>; it can possible stand without my
          interpretation ;-)
          metta, and good night, stephen
        • robmoult
          Hi Stephen, ... as logic ... it s off the ... deny ... about mere ... as we spoke ... types of ... has ... considered ... level of just ... ==== I am very
          Message 4 of 9 , Oct 2, 2002
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            Hi Stephen,

            --- In dhammastudygroup@y..., oreznoone@a... wrote:
            >
            > Hello Rob,
            > >How do you interpret the rejection of "axioms" and "specious
            > >reasoning" (I have seen "specious reasoning" translated
            as "logic"
            > >as well)?
            > "Specious reasoning" sounds good (who wants to be specious?) but
            it's off the
            > mark, I think; why even say that, it's too obvious. But how not to
            deny
            > reason altogether (which is, of course, wider than "logic"). How
            about "mere
            > reason?" Be reasonable, but that's not enough. Direct experience,
            as we spoke
            > before.
            > Consider MN.ii.170-171 where it's said that 5 things have two
            types of
            > consequences. Thinking according to reason is one: Things that one
            has
            > thought out carefully can turn out to be false, things one hasn't
            considered
            > can turn out to be true. I think this is about remaining at the
            level of just
            > reading and thinking and reasoning. All good (I want to think) but
            > inadequate.

            ====

            I am very happy with this explanation. It has resolved a 30-year-old
            question in my mind. Thank you!

            ====
            >
            > I'll be interested in hearing how one can have causality without
            time;
            > though, I think I'm going to agree with you, in some way that is
            just what
            > Einstein held. But Einstein was a determinist and the Buddha was
            not; kamma
            > won't work without time. Now we're broaching freewill, but leaving
            this
            > troublesome word aside, the future as determined, despite what we
            do, was
            > rejected. Difficult to get one's mind around.

            ===

            I believe that kamma can work without time. I am trying to figure
            the details out and how to express it clearly... give me some time
            (oops, there's that word again!)

            I have been wrestling with free-will for some time and recently made
            some progress (see my message 15951).

            ===

            > (I now have the sutta under question? but not the comments yet,
            so, in
            > fairness:
            > <A HREF="http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/samyutta/sn12-
            015.html">SN
            > XII.15: Kaccayanagotta Sutta</A>; it can possible stand without my
            > interpretation ;-)

            ===

            My first pass at interpreting this Sutta is that neither "Existence"
            nor "Non-existence" are valid because they both imply a static
            state. The Sutta goes on to mention dependent origination to
            reinforce that everything is in flux.

            Thanks (and sleep well),
            Rob M :-)
          • oreznoone@aol.com
            Hello Rob, ... Me too. I don t want to alarm you but a quick reading of your post this morning gives me the impression that we may be in agreement! It occurred
            Message 5 of 9 , Oct 3, 2002
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              Hello Rob,

              >My first pass at interpreting this Sutta is that neither "Existence"
              >nor "Non-existence" are valid because they both imply a static
              >state. The Sutta goes on to mention dependent origination to
              >reinforce that everything is in flux.
              Me too. I don't want to alarm you but a quick reading of your post this
              morning gives me the impression that we may be in agreement!
              It occurred to me later that if we see it as 'mere reason' in the sense that
              it's good to use reason (don't be unreasonable) but it's not enough, then
              this also must apply to the other criteria. So they are also valid, so far as
              they go; they just don't go all the way.
              (I hope look up your post on freewill sometime this afternoon.)
              metta, stephen
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