45
   

Are atheists being more illogical than agnostics?

 
 
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Jan, 2014 10:22 am
@igm,
Okay, let me try and start something... It's gona be a bit haphazard, but in order to start a philosophical dialogue between east and west, maybe the best is that we define where we both come from?

I was raised a Catholic, am now an agnostic, philosophically very much a realist and a proponent of pragmatism in philosophy, in the Kantian-Popperian tradition. The world exist, we exist, our mind exist, but our mind finds it impossible to access the world's essence or true nature directly - we are only able to access phenomena. Therefore truth comes from arguing with the world and with others, and we are never sure of any truth anyway. Does that make sense?

Now your turn. I am aware that there are different types or sects of Buddhism. There are probably also different philosophies. Which is yours, in a nutshell?
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Jan, 2014 10:46 am
@Olivier5,
Olivier5 wrote:

Okay, let me try and start something... It's gona be a bit haphazard, but in order to start a philosophical dialogue between east and west, maybe the best is that we define where we both come from?

I was raised a Catholic, am now an agnostic, philosophically very much a realist and a proponent of pragmatism in philosophy, in the Kantian-Popperian tradition. The world exist, we exist, our mind exist, but our mind finds it impossible to access the world's essence or true nature directly - we are only able to access phenomena. Therefore truth comes from arguing with the world and with others, and we are never sure of any truth anyway. Does that make sense?

Now your turn. I am aware that there are different types or sects of Buddhism. There are probably also different philosophies. Which is yours, in a nutshell?


A congruence that I want to point out, Olivier.


I was raised Catholic and am now agnostic, although in deference to the atheists here, I have stopped using the designation "Agnostic" in favor of a recitation (from time to time) of my particular (agnostic) position.

I have no idea if what we call the real world...is actually the REAL WORLD...or if it is an illusion. It appears we cannot access that information...but I am not in position to say we definitely cannot. The true nature of the REALITY of existence seems unattainable...although there are many here in A2K who seem to argue that they know what it HAS TO INCLUDE...or what MUST BE EXCLUDED from it. I treat all of that with several tons of salt.

I think we are never sure of the truth in anything...but I have no problem using the term "I know" for general usage in day to day conversation...such as, I know I am typing in my den; I know the name on my birth certificate is Frank Apisa; I know 2 + 2 = 4 in base ten.
igm
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Jan, 2014 12:25 pm
@Olivier5,
Olivier5 wrote:

The world exist, we exist, our mind exist, but our mind finds it impossible to access the world's essence or true nature directly - we are only able to access phenomena. Therefore truth comes from arguing with the world and with others, and we are never sure of any truth anyway. Does that make sense?

Now your turn. I am aware that there are different types or sects of Buddhism. There are probably also different philosophies. Which is yours, in a nutshell?

The purpose of Mahayana Buddhism is to be motivated to show all sentient beings how to put an end to suffering. First one needs to put an end to one's own suffering in order to know how to explain it to others who ask (and only those who ask). So the motivation is one of compassion for all those that suffer. The paradox is that in the Heart Sutra it say, 'There is no suffering, no cause of suffering, no ending of suffering and no path to the ending of suffering.' So as a Buddhist one needs to understand what the Buddha can mean when he says, 'All is suffering' and when he also says what he said above about there being no suffering.

In debates I would use the philosophy called, Prasaṅgika Mādhyamaka but in retreat I'd use something else but that is not important as this is not a retreat but is like a debate.

The way I'd explain it in a nutshell is: The Prasangika does not have any argument with ordinary people who have not come to some view based on philosophical analysis. The result is that everyday life can be lived in the same way as ordinary people live it.

The Prasangika show that all philosophical views are ultimately incorrect but the absence of those views is not a position in itself. Technically it is called, 'non-affirming negation.'

For example:

If someone says the world exists then Prasangika would show that if the word 'exists' is defined correctly then the world cannot be said to exist but that does not automatically mean that appearances are non-existent. If someone said the world is non-existent then if the word 'non-existent' is defined correctly then the world cannot be said to be non-existent but that does not automatically mean that appearances are existent. If someone say they are both existent and non-existent or exist and become non-existent then Prasangika would say that if you can't find either individually then you can't combine them. If someone says that the world is something other than these three possibilities then the Prasangika would ask them to explain what that alternative is and refute that alternative. If some said 'I don't know' then that would be the same as the view of an ordinary person... who also doesn't know and so the Prasangika would have no argument with them.

This link may help but the above is in my own words and not from this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prasa%E1%B9%85gika

The technique of the Prasangika, is only an attempt to use words to show what reality isn't. Reality's true nature is only understood via meditation. The words and concepts are used to undermine clinging to words and concepts so that which is beyond them is no longer ignored due to one's attention being on those mistaken views... this ends suffering... or reveals bliss that's free from suffering and always has been.

So, in a nutshell the Prasangika don't have a philosophical position they refute other philosophical positions... and don't argue with those that don't have a philosophical position. If there isn't someone to argue with, they do it in the form of a dialectic.
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Jan, 2014 04:13 pm
@igm,
Quote:
If someone says the world exists then Prasangika would show that if the word 'exists' is defined correctly then the world cannot be said to exist but that does not automatically mean that appearances are non-existent. If someone said the world is non-existent then if the word 'non-existent' is defined correctly then the world cannot be said to be non-existent but that does not automatically mean that appearances are existent. If someone say they are both existent and non-existent or exist and become non-existent then Prasangika would say that if you can't find either individually then you can't combine them. If someone says that the world is something other than these three possibilities then the Prasangika would ask them to explain what that alternative is and refute that alternative. If some said 'I don't know' then that would be the same as the view of an ordinary person... who also doesn't know and so the Prasangika would have no argument with them. [...] So, in a nutshell the Prasangika don't have a philosophical position they refute other philosophical positions... and don't argue with those that don't have a philosophical position.

I feel uncomfortable with that part. It looks like shooting at other people's world view, but never proposing a world view of one's own; a facile approach.

Also, everybody has a philosophical position, including the Prasangika I would assume. Even if it is: "philosophies aren't workable", that in itself is a philosophy.
igm
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Jan, 2014 05:13 pm
@Olivier5,
It sets the meditator up to transcend worldviews.. the purpose is to put an end to suffering... not to gain some 'truth'.

The Prasangika don't have a philosophical position as I mentioned briefly in my last post to you (there is an explanation in the wiki link (see the link in my last post)):

igm wrote:

The Prasangika show that all philosophical views are ultimately incorrect but the absence of those views is not a position in itself. Technically it is called, 'non-affirming negation.'


Thanks Oli, I can see from your reply we are poles apart and you're actually not really interested in having your worldview examined or understanding my reasons for saying that all philosophical positions are untenable including:

Olivier5 wrote:

The world exist, we exist, our mind exist, ...


But that's okay... let's not waste time... if you have any questions and not just statements about how my position is facile, without showing why it must be facile, then let me know...





cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Jan, 2014 05:29 pm
@igm,
Isn't ending suffering part of truth?
igm
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Jan, 2014 05:44 pm
@cicerone imposter,
cicerone imposter wrote:

Isn't ending suffering part of truth?

It's about transcending the notion of truth and even the notion of suffering. That's why the Buddha said, 'All is suffering' and also said, 'There is no suffering, no cause of suffering, no ending of suffering and no path that leads to the ending of suffering.'
0 Replies
 
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Jan, 2014 06:05 pm
@igm,
Facile, because "critique is easy but art is difficult".

Quote:
Thanks Oli, I can see from your reply we are poles apart and you're actually not really interested in having your worldview examined

Of course we are poles apart, but I don't mind having my worldview examined, not at all.
0 Replies
 
carnaticmystery
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Jan, 2014 08:31 pm
@igm,
Quote:
Hi cm, if you want to discuss my reply to you (in blue above) then we can. The quote is not religious nor can it be identified as Buddhism.

it is not the quote, but you who i thought identifies with buddhism. perhaps i was wrong.

Quote:
What Buddhism is...is beside the point when it comes to my reply above (although I don't agree with your view but I don't want to discuss that).

again, i am not against buddhism or religion, i just think that non duality allows a deeper understanding.

Quote:
I haven't said you're bored I've said, 'If' you are bored... there is a very big difference. Also I've said that 'if' you are bored that 'could' be a sign of a problem... I haven't said that it is. I've said you shouldn't be able to become bored but what is 'boredom', who is there to be bored and what is there that can create that boredom? Is boredom a label attached to a feeling but incorrectly? Etc... etc.. I also said IMO which means I am replying with relative/conventional truth i.e. as if there was an 'I' and there was 'other' and what you said had a conventional meaning that seemed to contradict my understanding of how the ultimate could attempt to be explained in words.

all this is fine, i know you were only speculating that i may be bored, it could be a problem. still, i am pointing out that those speculations are born from buddhist philosophies, probably, which ultimately imo are more LIMITING, not 'wrong', than non duality.

Quote:
We can discuss my reply and you can explain why you said you were bored and that does not contradict you non-dual stance... up to you... but I want to stick to what I've said in my reply and nothing else... it could be interesting...

let me explain CLEARLY why i said i was bored, and why it does not contradict my non dual stance.

i said i was bored because i saw you and olivier had ended an argument by agreeing to disagree and stop talking. i decided to stir up some more arguments by saying i was bored, let's argue more. a simple catalyst for more engaging discussion. and how did it result? it ended up starting off another big philosophical debate, with plenty of content, which i am going to respond to now.

so it fits into my non dual stance because EVERYTHING always fits into a non dual stance. and anybody who ever tells you that something doesn't fit into a non dual stance is necessarily wrong, nonduality is all inclusive. it accepts all religions, philosophies and concepts, and simultaneously goes beyond them all, while keeping their apparent truth as it is.



0 Replies
 
carnaticmystery
 
  2  
Reply Mon 27 Jan, 2014 08:41 pm
@igm,
Quote:
The purpose of Mahayana Buddhism is to be motivated to show all sentient beings how to put an end to suffering.

this is why it is slightly more restrictive than non duality. the idea that suffering exists, and the ultimate goal is to remove it, is the only limiting factor in buddhism. which means, once you have eliminated suffering, you are enlightened. but is there greater possibility in life even after eliminating suffering? if so, a philosophy is needed to address it. i propose non duality.

Quote:
First one needs to put an end to one's own suffering in order to know how to explain it to others who ask (and only those who ask). So the motivation is one of compassion for all those that suffer. The paradox is that in the Heart Sutra it say, 'There is no suffering, no cause of suffering, no ending of suffering and no path to the ending of suffering.' So as a Buddhist one needs to understand what the Buddha can mean when he says, 'All is suffering' and when he also says what he said above about there being no suffering.

In debates I would use the philosophy called, Prasaṅgika Mādhyamaka but in retreat I'd use something else but that is not important as this is not a retreat but is like a debate.

The way I'd explain it in a nutshell is: The Prasangika does not have any argument with ordinary people who have not come to some view based on philosophical analysis. The result is that everyday life can be lived in the same way as ordinary people live it.

The Prasangika show that all philosophical views are ultimately incorrect but the absence of those views is not a position in itself. Technically it is called, 'non-affirming negation.'

For example:

If someone says the world exists then Prasangika would show that if the word 'exists' is defined correctly then the world cannot be said to exist but that does not automatically mean that appearances are non-existent. If someone said the world is non-existent then if the word 'non-existent' is defined correctly then the world cannot be said to be non-existent but that does not automatically mean that appearances are existent. If someone say they are both existent and non-existent or exist and become non-existent then Prasangika would say that if you can't find either individually then you can't combine them. If someone says that the world is something other than these three possibilities then the Prasangika would ask them to explain what that alternative is and refute that alternative. If some said 'I don't know' then that would be the same as the view of an ordinary person... who also doesn't know and so the Prasangika would have no argument with them.

This link may help but the above is in my own words and not from this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prasa%E1%B9%85gika

The technique of the Prasangika, is only an attempt to use words to show what reality isn't. Reality's true nature is only understood via meditation. The words and concepts are used to undermine clinging to words and concepts so that which is beyond them is no longer ignored due to one's attention being on those mistaken views... this ends suffering... or reveals bliss that's free from suffering and always has been.

So, in a nutshell the Prasangika don't have a philosophical position they refute other philosophical positions... and don't argue with those that don't have a philosophical position. If there isn't someone to argue with, they do it in the form of a dialectic.

if you look at everything prasangika is saying, it is essentially non duality. so, the proposed solution to ending suffering is non duality anyway. his arguments for existence are the same as mine, a paradoxical truth of both existence and non-existence which becomes experiential knowledge, eliminating the possibility of suffering which requires 'existence' to have its effect.
0 Replies
 
carnaticmystery
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Jan, 2014 08:43 pm
@Olivier5,
Quote:
I feel uncomfortable with that part. It looks like shooting at other people's world view, but never proposing a world view of one's own; a facile approach.

non duality is the proposed world view after shooting down all others, because you don't actually shoot them down, you still acknowledge their existence, but go beyond it.

Quote:
Also, everybody has a philosophical position, including the Prasangika I would assume. Even if it is: "philosophies aren't workable", that in itself is a philosophy.

exactly, so non duality can be defined as a philosophy. but the content of the philosophy is unique in that it is all inclusive, and it logically holds true under any circumstances conceivable.
0 Replies
 
carnaticmystery
 
  2  
Reply Mon 27 Jan, 2014 08:47 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Quote:
I was raised a Catholic, am now an agnostic

funny, both you and olivier, i am seeing the pattern now. most christians have to end up agnostic, because the presentation of 'god' in christianity has become so distorted that they can't possibly integrate it into their worldview. but being atheist is scary for anyone raised catholic, so you sit in the middle ground.

Quote:
I have no idea if what we call the real world...is actually the REAL WORLD...or if it is an illusion. It appears we cannot access that information...but I am not in position to say we definitely cannot. The true nature of the REALITY of existence seems unattainable...although there are many here in A2K who seem to argue that they know what it HAS TO INCLUDE...or what MUST BE EXCLUDED from it. I treat all of that with several tons of salt.

I think we are never sure of the truth in anything...but I have no problem using the term "I know" for general usage in day to day conversation...such as, I know I am typing in my den; I know the name on my birth certificate is Frank Apisa; I know 2 + 2 = 4 in base ten.

so everything you said there amounts to nothing. you simply keep asserting that you know nothing essentially, can never be sure of anything. all your knowledge is limited as you concede.

you treat everything with so much salt, that you restrict the actual possibility of tasting the truth.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Jan, 2014 07:26 am
@carnaticmystery,
carnaticmystery wrote:

Quote:
I was raised a Catholic, am now an agnostic

funny, both you and olivier, i am seeing the pattern now. most christians have to end up agnostic, because the presentation of 'god' in christianity has become so distorted that they can't possibly integrate it into their worldview. but being atheist is scary for anyone raised catholic, so you sit in the middle ground.


Saying that I do not know the answers to questions for which I do not know the answers...IS NOT sitting in the middle.

It is telling the truth.

I would explain what "telling the truth" is to you...but I suspect it is beyond your ability to understand.



Quote:

Quote:
I have no idea if what we call the real world...is actually the REAL WORLD...or if it is an illusion. It appears we cannot access that information...but I am not in position to say we definitely cannot. The true nature of the REALITY of existence seems unattainable...although there are many here in A2K who seem to argue that they know what it HAS TO INCLUDE...or what MUST BE EXCLUDED from it. I treat all of that with several tons of salt.

I think we are never sure of the truth in anything...but I have no problem using the term "I know" for general usage in day to day conversation...such as, I know I am typing in my den; I know the name on my birth certificate is Frank Apisa; I know 2 + 2 = 4 in base ten.

so everything you said there amounts to nothing. you simply keep asserting that you know nothing essentially, can never be sure of anything. all your knowledge is limited as you concede.

you treat everything with so much salt, that you restrict the actual possibility of tasting the truth.


You ought not to be lecturing on "the truth", CM.

And I said a great deal more than your summary. But I doubt you can see that, because your mind is closed.

Hey, it doesn't make you a bad guy. Wink
0 Replies
 
BeHereNow
 
  2  
Reply Tue 28 Jan, 2014 10:21 am
@Frank Apisa,
Quote:
Frank A I have no idea if what we call the real world...is actually the REAL WORLD...or if it is an illusion.
I saw this and it made me think of Henri Bergson and others.
Below is a quote, not from Bergson, but in connection to him.
Just food for thought.

"It is impossible to know Reality through logic and science. It is known only in intuition which is a direct vision and experience transcending intellectual processes and scientific observations and reasonings. The elan vital is a creative spirit which defies the attempts of the mathematical manner of approaches to it, and demands a deeper sympathy and feeling which will enter into its very essence. In intuition we comprehend the truth of things as a whole, as a complete process of the dynamic life of the spiritual consciousness. Instinct is nearer to intuition than is intellect. Intuition is instinct evolved, ennobled and become disinterested and self-conscious. Instinct, when not directed to action, but centred in knowledge, becomes intuition. Intuition has nothing of the mechanistic and static operations of the logical and the scientific intellect. Intellect is the action of consciousness on dead matter, and so it cannot enter the spirit of life. Any true philosophy should, therefore, energise and transform the conclusion of the intellect with the immediate apprehensions of intuition. Reality has to be lived, not merely understood. "



neologist
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Jan, 2014 10:30 am
@carnaticmystery,
Frank wrote:
I was raised a Catholic, am now an agnostic
carnaticmystery wrote:
funny, both you and olivier, i am seeing the pattern now. most christians have to end up agnostic, because the presentation of 'god' in christianity has become so distorted that they can't possibly integrate it into their worldview. but being atheist is scary for anyone raised catholic, so you sit in the middle ground.
What?
Are you saying Frank is Terrified at the possibility that 'the god' he reviles might actually be the 'true God'?
Frank Apisa
 
  0  
Reply Tue 28 Jan, 2014 10:33 am
@BeHereNow,
BeHereNow wrote:

Quote:
Frank A I have no idea if what we call the real world...is actually the REAL WORLD...or if it is an illusion.
I saw this and it made me think of Henri Bergson and others.
Below is a quote, not from Bergson, but in connection to him.
Just food for thought.

"It is impossible to know Reality through logic and science. It is known only in intuition which is a direct vision and experience transcending intellectual processes and scientific observations and reasonings. The elan vital is a creative spirit which defies the attempts of the mathematical manner of approaches to it, and demands a deeper sympathy and feeling which will enter into its very essence. In intuition we comprehend the truth of things as a whole, as a complete process of the dynamic life of the spiritual consciousness. Instinct is nearer to intuition than is intellect. Intuition is instinct evolved, ennobled and become disinterested and self-conscious. Instinct, when not directed to action, but centred in knowledge, becomes intuition. Intuition has nothing of the mechanistic and static operations of the logical and the scientific intellect. Intellect is the action of consciousness on dead matter, and so it cannot enter the spirit of life. Any true philosophy should, therefore, energise and transform the conclusion of the intellect with the immediate apprehensions of intuition. Reality has to be lived, not merely understood. "






The enlarged part is absurd, BHN.

It reminds me of the notion peddled in the Bible about people "knowing" stuff through a dream.

You do not know stuff by intuition...and one certainly does not know REALITY through intuition.

Some people intuit that there MUST BE A GOD.

Some intuit that there are no GODS.

Some intuit that the world is this thing that we call "the physical world."

Some intuit that the world is an illusion.

"Intuition" is intuition...and nothing more.

I have NO idea if what we refer to as "the real world"...is actually the REAL WORLD...or if all of this is simply an illusion.

I do not know if there is duality...or if non-duality is the case.

I do not know if this thing I call "my mind" is just my mind among many...or if this thing I call "my mind" is all there is.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Jan, 2014 10:33 am
@Frank Apisa,
Do you?
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Jan, 2014 10:35 am
@neologist,
neologist wrote:

Frank wrote:
I was raised a Catholic, am now an agnostic
carnaticmystery wrote:
funny, both you and olivier, i am seeing the pattern now. most christians have to end up agnostic, because the presentation of 'god' in christianity has become so distorted that they can't possibly integrate it into their worldview. but being atheist is scary for anyone raised catholic, so you sit in the middle ground.
What?
Are you saying Frank is Terrified at the possibility that 'the god' he reviles might actually be the 'true God'?


The god of the Bible may be the true god. If so...I am in deep ****, because I think that god is a creation of people who wanted a barbaric, jealous, almost pathetically demanding, murderous, petty god...

...and who were successful beyond their wildest dreams.

If it makes you comfortable to think I am terrified by that thought...think it, Neo.
BeHereNow
 
  2  
Reply Tue 28 Jan, 2014 11:12 am
@Frank Apisa,
Frank Apisa wrote:

BeHereNow wrote:

Quote:
Frank A I have no idea if what we call the real world...is actually the REAL WORLD...or if it is an illusion.
I saw this and it made me think of Henri Bergson and others.
Below is a quote, not from Bergson, but in connection to him.
Just food for thought.

"It is impossible to know Reality through logic and science. It is known only in intuition which is a direct vision and experience transcending intellectual processes and scientific observations and reasonings. The elan vital is a creative spirit which defies the attempts of the mathematical manner of approaches to it, and demands a deeper sympathy and feeling which will enter into its very essence. In intuition we comprehend the truth of things as a whole, as a complete process of the dynamic life of the spiritual consciousness. Instinct is nearer to intuition than is intellect. Intuition is instinct evolved, ennobled and become disinterested and self-conscious. Instinct, when not directed to action, but centred in knowledge, becomes intuition. Intuition has nothing of the mechanistic and static operations of the logical and the scientific intellect. Intellect is the action of consciousness on dead matter, and so it cannot enter the spirit of life. Any true philosophy should, therefore, energise and transform the conclusion of the intellect with the immediate apprehensions of intuition. Reality has to be lived, not merely understood. "






The enlarged part is absurd, BHN.



Since you do not like "blind guesses", shall I assume you have spent some great amount of time investigating this notion of 'intuitive knowledge"?

From your response, I think not.
If you are the type of person who rejects new ideas out of hand, without proper consideration, might you be irrational?


As I said somewhere, sometime, I am no evangelist.
Science, which strives so hard to answer all questions, really just raises more questions.
If you seek the explanation that all reasonable persons agree to, you will die trying.
If you seek the explanation that satisfies your own mind, you must open doors.
This may not seem like much, after 45+ years of asking questions, but it is all I have to offer at this time.
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Jan, 2014 11:34 am
@BeHereNow,
I totally agree with you (and/or Bergson) about the importance of intuition, and find it very strange that some people can dismiss it entirely.... I would disagree about it being that closed to instinct though. To me, intuition is a distillation of individual experience. Instinct may be similar but at another level: a distillation of the experience of the entire species plus its ancestors.
 

Related Topics

 
Copyright © 2021 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.05 seconds on 05/10/2021 at 02:06:08