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Where is the self? How can dualism stand if it's just a fiction?

 
 
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Feb, 2013 05:21 pm
@MattDavis,
Quote:
The existentialists or fresco could mount a very persuasive argument in regards to what you are getting at about semantic interpretations of reality.
Yea, guys, the suggestion is very strong if two seemingly irrefutable propositions, eg freewill v determinism, seem in absolute contradiction then it's (merely) a semantic matter

Maybe one reason call self apodictical existential pantheist
XXSpadeMasterXX
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Feb, 2013 05:32 pm
<lag>
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Feb, 2013 05:36 pm
@XXSpadeMasterXX,
I noted that "lag" too, first time I can remember being a victim. Must have taken 5 to 10 min for my posting to appear

At first sure I was losing it, I then wondered if there might be two threads with same title and I was replying to the wrong one
0 Replies
 
MattDavis
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Feb, 2013 05:49 pm
@dalehileman,
I'll get back to you Dale.
Gotta go fulfill some non-cyber obligations (within the bounds of veganism of course) Laughing
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Feb, 2013 05:59 pm
@MattDavis,
Quote:
I'll get back to you Dale.
Looking forward Matt to hearing from you
MattDavis
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Feb, 2013 09:07 pm
@dalehileman,
So I think we will need to discuss will. Laughing
0 Replies
 
MattDavis
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Feb, 2013 09:19 pm
@dalehileman,
So lets just entertain the notion that at its base the "reality" is deterministic. In that, one circumstance necessarily leads to the next circumstance. We can model this computationally. That's how Turing machines work. In such computational models we can produce 'emergent' behavior.
Behavior that is in a sense unpostdictable. There is no way to look at the outcome and predict the circumstance leading to it. The emergent behaviors are unknowable to the deterministic system. These "agents" within the system seem to produce behaviors which are unpredictable to the non-emergent outside deterministic system. So you might say these "have a will of their own" within a deterministic frame.

Now we can't really model a non-deterministic "reality" (if quantum computers are developed, and quantum phenomena are actually non-deterministic maybe we will be able to).
It seem (to me) however that to speak of will in this sort of system would be to say that it is either everywhere or nowhere. No distinct "actors" or "agents".
0 Replies
 
igm
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2013 09:04 am
I'd like to thank 'everyone' for their contributions to this topic.

Next, we could look at the subject 'not' from the wisdom side but from the 'merit' side. The Buddha said, ‘to fly to enlightenment you need the two wings of merit and wisdom’.

Please feel free to explore in other directions what the consequences and ramifications are of living a life that is less 'self-obsessed'.

This aspect is less about absolute rigorous ‘reasoning’ and more about common-sense approaches to our actions and how they impact on others around us and our own well-being. I would say though that the two are inextricably linked i.e. actions are wiser the more wisdom one has (due to a lessening of a belief in a truly existent self) and wisdom develops from being careful about how one acts in the world – always trying to be virtuous and therefore less selfish.

In Buddhism virtue means either practicing the opposite of non-virtue or for the more realized, ceasing to do non-virtue and acting spontaneously from that state-of-mind (very tricky to get right because the underlying (sometimes hidden) intent maybe selfish).

As a guideline to Buddhist non-virtue, it is to -

Abandon:
  • Harming others.
  • Taking that which is not offered.
  • Sexual misconduct.
  • Telling lies for selfish reasons.
  • Harmful speech (although it could be true it is designed to hurt the feelings of others out of spite).
  • Slander.
  • Frivolous speech (in order to distract others from virtue).
  • Ignorance (not easy to do or explain).
  • Selfish desire.
  • Hatred.


Merit is the result of Virtue.

If anyone has any questions about this aspect of Buddhism then please ask… and of course ask whomever you wish.

Also, those who have contrasting ideas about how we should ‘act’ in the world can contribute and even (of course) argue against the Buddhist view of ‘what is virtuous’ and results in ‘merit’.

Is there any benefit to be experienced from not always putting ourselves first?

Is Buddhism pessimistic given the first 'Noble Truth' taught by Buddha that 'all' is suffering?

The Buddha said virtuous behavior leads to merit and the effect of merit is a happier life experience.
igm
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2013 09:14 am
@igm,

A few minutes later I added some more lines to my post above.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2013 09:26 am
@igm,
Quote:
This aspect is less about absolute rigorous ‘reasoning’ and more about common-sense approaches to our actions and how they impact on others around us and our own well-being. I would say though that the two are inextricably linked i.e. actions are wiser the more wisdom one has (due to a lessening of a belief in a truly existent self) and wisdom develops from being careful about how one acts in the world – always trying to be virtuous and therefore less selfish.


“COMMON SENSE APPROACH”…as I see it.

One way to “lessen a belief in a truly existent self”…is by acknowledging that a “belief” (in this context) is little more than a guess dressed in fancy clothes. I suggest that removing the fancy cloths and calling that " guess” a guess will help accomplish what you are suggesting ought to be done.

We do not know what the REALITY is…so we don’t know if there is a self (dualistic world) or if there is no self (non-dualistic world)…and at this moment, the best we can do is to guess (or as most like to put it, “believe”) one way or the other. (Obviously I am saying that it ought not matter what guess the Buddha made on this issue...or what guess Jesus or anyone else made...because to give credence to that other person's guess...whould just be another guess.)

If we stop calling our guesses “beliefs”…we take lots of the charge off our ruminations on issues like this...we make them easier for others to deal with.

To illustrate what I mean by that, consider the difference between the following sets of two sentences, which truly mean the same thing:

I believe there is no “self”…versus…my guess is that there is no “self.”

I believe there are no gods…versus…my guess is there are no gods.

Does that make sense to you, igm?
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2013 09:28 am
@igm,
Quote:
A few minutes later I added some more lines to my post above.


I noticed, but I intend to disregard what the Buddha guessed about these things...and try to understand why you are guessing that the Buddha's guesses are so important.
JLNobody
 
  3  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2013 09:43 am
@MattDavis,
Earlier MattDavis noted that "All knowledge requires basic axioms to build up from." I would like to note that this is also true of ignorance. To me (and I havn't traced this belief back to its axioms) there may be at least two forms of "knowledge", those notions logically deduced from (unproven/unprovable) axioms and insights emerging from immediate (but, I suppose, not completely raw) experience.
JLNobody
 
  2  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2013 10:05 am
@Frank Apisa,
Frank, the Buddha wasn't guessing; he was reporting what he saw.
Note that there may be two kinds of "buddhists": the religious buddhists who BELIEVE what the Buddha says because they view him as an infallible god and philosophical/psychological budhists who study his teachings for their practical benefits. I am of the latter. For more than 30 years I have meditated because it seems to strengthen my capacity for compassion which in turn strengthens my capacity for joy. I confess, however, that I do not seem to have gained much in terms of philosophical wisdom. But that's fine with me.
XXSpadeMasterXX
 
  2  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2013 10:18 am
@igm,
Quote:
Please feel free to explore in other directions what the consequences and ramifications are of living a life that is less 'self-obsessed'.

I think this is a very easy one to break down indeed...I think it is simply one of the greatest strengths, and probably the single-handed greatest concept that Buddhism has to offer, over pretty much every other philosophy, or religion...The whole notions of self-evaluations, while also promoting a life less self-centered...Or being a much more humble, simple, happy, empathetic, forgiving, accepting, kind, friendly, compassionate, caring...etc person...about every situation, and always being mindful or aware of these actions and the ramifications of ones own actions, is simply well advanced past any other philosophy, or the ways it is demonstrated as prominent in any other organized religion...

I think the fact that most Buddhists are very generous, happy, caring...etc people...Are the main reasons I choose to participate in Buddhists threads since I am not a Buddhist myself....And utterly feel compelled to get to know them better and understand them more...Because I want to strive to be those characteristics myself as much as I possibly can...Just like a Buddhist does...

And I would also like to say that I hope Christians one day embrace the significant importance of these self-notions while preaching how important faith is...

I think by what I have just said...It should be clear what I think the ramifications of being more self-obsessed would be...

From my own personal experiences...(which may differ for each persons own perspective) But I can sense from the God I think exists, that being humble is simply the most underrated, admirable, characteristic that one can simply possess...

In other words, it is the most prevalent concept that a person can possess, that he simply finds favor and delight in...that most do not have...
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2013 10:48 am
@JLNobody,
Quote:
Re: Frank Apisa (Post 5260551)
Frank, the Buddha wasn't guessing; he was reporting what he saw.


JL...every indication is that the Buddha was most assuredly guessing when he said "there is no self"...if he said "there is not self." I am getting conflicting information about whether he actually did or not.

Edited to add: "every indication is that"
0 Replies
 
XXSpadeMasterXX
 
  2  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2013 11:04 am
I think the ramifications of living a life that is less self-obsessed is infinitely greater/ can't be measured for ones own existence regardless of what they think existence is...

If they are an atheist, I think they will be infinitely happier/ impossible to measure a happier lifestyle...

If they are a Buddhist, I think it can't be measured/infinitely greater for helping you find enlightenment faster...

If they are a theist, and an Omni God exists, I think it is can't be measured/infinitely greater for their forgiveness and compassion from this God and their afterlife...
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2013 11:32 am
@XXSpadeMasterXX,
I believe happiness includes more of life's potential benefits of equality. Denmark's religions are Lutheren and Islam, but they also have good health care. Their citizens are the happiest in the world according to several polls.
0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2013 11:37 am
@XXSpadeMasterXX,
Spade I've often reflected on this very theme. How many of us for instance would continue using honey to sweeten our coffee if we knew it was bee vomit

http://www.google.ca/#hl=en&sclient=psy-ab&q=is+honey+really+bee+spit&oq=honey+is+bee+spit&gs_l=hp.1.1.0j0i22.0.0.1.60868.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0..0.0.les%3B..0.0...1c..4.psy-ab.DQ56exx9CAA&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&bvm=bv.42768644,d.cGE&fp=6779cbe12c91057e&biw=1303&bih=723
XXSpadeMasterXX
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2013 12:34 pm
@dalehileman,
I am sorry mate...But I do not really understand what your analogy is trying to point out?

That many would change their perceptions/views if they knew the truths?

I agree mate...

So it is easy to say what we should do if we knew what we should?

I agree as well...


I just think that the self-notions that Buddhism has to offer...Are the greatest concepts it has to offer...Is very important...And seems to be the philosophy/theology that has mastered these notions the best...And seems to take the most interest in these notions, and I think that every theism/atheist should...

I do not mean it in a harsh way as in the rest of Buddhism is not worth anything...But rather mean it in a complementary way from a non-Buddhist perspective giving intellectually honest words of encouragement about the notions it certainly does well...As I am no Buddhist, and could only speculate what would be flaws within it anyways...
XXSpadeMasterXX
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2013 12:46 pm
@dalehileman,
If I think I understand your analogy correctly...

I think that any person who is happy with the person that they are, and is only interested in being the best person they possibly could...as much as possible...No matter if they have rejections, a philosophy, or are theistic...they would not stop using honey if they found out it was bee vomit...because the nature of a truth being revealed would not disturb or alter them enough to where they would just drastically change their thinking or abandon all of their previously perceived thoughts...
0 Replies
 
 

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