This thread arises from an off topic discussion in this thread, see posts #51 to #55. The discussion was triggered by my sig: “The ultimate truth is that there is no Ultimate Truth.”
[quote=SocaliCatholic]Do you as a scientist believe in the Buddhist attitude of reality or is it something that you found interesting but dont take seriously?
I do take the Buddhist attitude to reality very seriously. Parts of Buddhism are not within the limits of science. Those that are do not present a great obstacle for me. One Buddhist analysis of the material world starts from the Three Marks: Impermanence, Suffering and Soullessness. Everything is impermanent, everything is suffering and nothing has a soul. Within science impermanence, i.e. change, is ubiquitous in the material world. Suffering and souls are both outside the remit of science. Hence I do not see any real difficulties with being a scientist and a Buddhist.
Nirvana, the ultimate goal of Buddhism, is also to some extent testable by science. The Buddha attained nirvana when he became enlightened at about age thirty-five. He died at about age eighty. You do not have to die to attain nirvana, so in principle it is possible to study someone who has attained nirvana to get some idea of what nirvana is like. Certainly some studies of Buddhist practitioners have been done, see Buddhists really are happier for an example.
In some ways Buddhism also uses the scientific method. Buddhism is a very practical religion with an emphasis on techniques that work. When something does not conduce to peace, happiness or the attainment of nirvana then it does not get much, if any, emphasis. Hence the lack of any specifically Buddhist stories about the origin of the universe - when asked the Buddha said in effect “That question is not relevant.”
[quote=SocaliCatholic]It appears that the content of your posts are elegantly logical, yet your signature appears that you might also believe something that is apparently paradoxical.
Logic works within a particular area and is not applicable outside that area. A lot of people assume that the area to which logic applies is equal to the whole universe. I am not sure of that assumption. Logic does apply to a large part of the universe, but I remain to be convinced that it applies to all of the universe. There is still room for paradox. Zen koans are one approach to an alogical description of reality.
The master Tozan was weighing some flax. A monk came up to him in the storeroom and said, “Tell me, what is Buddha?”
Tozan answered, “Here: five pounds of flax.”
I shall leave the last word to the Bodhisattva Vimalakirti:
Then the Bodhisattva Manjushri said to Vimalakirti, “We have all given our teachings, noble sir. Now, may you elucidate the teaching of the the entrance into the principle of nonduality.”
Thereupon Vimalakirti kept his silence, saying nothing at all.
The Bodhisattva Manjushri applauded Vimalakirti: “Excellent! Excellent, noble sir! This is indeed the entrance into the nonduality of the bodhisattvas.”
(Vimalakirtinirdesa sutra Ch 9)