Saturday, March 20, 2010

Describing The Proof-Based-Faith Process Using The Scientific Method pt. 2

(TBO's Note - For an explanation of these two posts, read my note for part one. From that departure point, KTC went from "what you describe has nothing to do with the scientific process, and everything to do with the Big Questions. Science isn't about the Big Questions yet"* to the following...)

KTC - You said “- What would be the point of life if not for the journey and struggle to get the things you want out of it?”

To which I say, “There *is* no “point” to life. None. It’s just something that happened. There’s no guiding principle. None. We can try to make our own meaning up as we go along, and we do – we all do – but there’s actually no point. No endgame. No Big Reason we’re all here.”

And that’s a pretty fundamental difference. It’s way beyond arguments about who is “rational” and whatnot. I mean, we’re all rational folks. We just have a HUGE fundamental difference in the way we see the world.


It's funny that you picked one answer out of the three I gave. Here, let me cut/paste that bit for further parsing:

Why? So many different answers, and I'll give a few:

- What would be the point of life if not for the journey and struggle to get the things you want out of it? It'd be pointless if it was all just easy wish fulfillment.

- Just like birth and death, cause and effect, light and dark, yin and yang are all part of their same individual coins, so is victory and struggle.

- In an answer that ought to sound familiar to the rational among us: It just is that way.


Note that I didn't say that there was any one answer that's more valid than another. Frankly, all three are valid and applicable to the question of why the universe supplies both a path and obstacles to your desired goal(s).

Also note I said nothing about an "End Point." I don't mention heaven, because there is none. Nirvana exists in this place, in this state, in our current lives, at this exact moment, right now; but so does hell, so does rapture, so does hunger, etc.

I don't mention reincarnation, because I can't prove it, though as a theory it has both merit, logic and its own attractiveness, and I believe it to be quite likely...I can't prove it, though, so when I die, my particles dissipate back into NMRK or star stuff or what have you. What happens after that, I simply don't know.

Similarly with "Big Reason." "To live a fulfilled life and to emerge victorious over your obstacles and circumstances in this crazy fucked up world," while a massive paraphrasing that leaves out huge amounts of Buddhist philosophy, it is about as Big as it gets in Nichiren Buddhism, along with "help others do the same."

Nichiren Buddhism is a philosophy that's focused on the individual and in the here and now...

But let's take this to a secular level...Even if there is no capital 'p' Point to life, and happiness, sadness, fear, courage, ambition, goals, etc., are just human constructs, then we should do something with these constructs, shouldn't we? If for no other reason, we could at least give our lives purpose (not "Purpose," but purpose). Otherwise, it's a recipe for stagnation, and fleeting feelings of satisfaction, lack of compassion and empathy...

"If we're only on this trip once, and it all means nothing, may as well make it count in some way," is not the approach to life I take, but I don't see anything wrong with that general approach, do you?

*In response to this, I mentioned Ikeda's dialogues with prominent scientists, the title of which now escapes me and can't find in the SGI Bookstore.

70 Comments:

Blogger ytramo said...

I thought that Buddhism was about (among other things) freeing yourself from desire - not learning how to get what you want, but rather learning that you already have everything you need. Where does that leave things like motivation and ambition? I'm not sure, but I certainly think that ambition for it's own sake is not necessarily a good thing. Also, from my understanding of the Gospels of Buddha (admittedly read in an English translation) The Buddha explicitly says that reincarnation is not about an individual soul being reborn intact, but it's actually about the "Energy" you leave behind and how that may coalesce into a new being - or with other "Energies" into many other beings. Usage Note: By "Energy" I don't mean in the scientific sense, and many, if not most scientists, from what I understand, abhor this usage of the word. What I mean is more akin to the wake of causality you leave behind you as you pass through the universe. Your actions cause effects, and those effects cause effects and so on. This is also known as another term - "Karma." Also, I didn't put the word energy (or karma) in quotes to suggest I was quoting The Buddha, but just to denote it's special usage.
Well anyway, that's my opinions/thoughts on the matter, for what it's worth.

3:02 AM  
Blogger the beige one said...

ytramo,

Much to filter here, and may take a few posts to reply. I just noticed what time it was.

But I'll touch on the first aspect of your reply, that Buddhism is about freeing yourself from desire.

What you describe here is ascribable to Zen Buddhism, which isn't what the Nichiren's Buddhism is about.

Where the two schools differ, on the matter on "earthly desires," is that NB espouses that earthly desires are enlightenment, and that the process of turning one into the other is essential to achieve the desired goal.

Ambition turns negative when it is used to the denigration of life, in whatever form that may take, from personal privation through Dick Cheney to outright massacre, with all possible cosmic (used in both the Buddhist and Marvel Comics senses) permutations in between.

More to come.

3:34 AM  
Blogger thelyamhound said...

I'd also like to chime in and point out that there really aren't any "Gospels of Buddha" . . . or rather, that there are so many hundreds of sutras that one might call gospel, and no Nicene Council (arbitrarily) separating the canonical from the apocryphal, that no such definition has any meaning.

I don't think that ambition is antithetical to an inner condition of abundance. That seems like a binary assumption that makes more sense in more theistic constructs.

2:31 PM  
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7:21 PM  
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3:36 AM  
Blogger SeymourZ_Reger嘉容 said...

幸福不是一切,人還有責任。..................................................

7:58 AM  
Blogger TerryM又來ontane said...

It takes all kinds to make a world.............................................................

5:17 PM  
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愛情是一種發明,需要不斷改良。只是,這種發明和其他發明不一樣,它沒有專利權,隨時會被人搶走。............................................................

8:20 PM  
Blogger 子帆 said...

責人之心責己,恕己之心恕人。........................................

2:43 AM  
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一個人的價值,應該看他貢獻了什麼,而不是他取得了什麼..................................................

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Never put off till tomorrow what may be done today.................................................................

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10:25 PM  
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1:58 AM  
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與人相處不妨多用眼睛說話,多用嘴巴思考,....................................................................

4:54 PM  
Blogger Elvis湘均Kasp湘均 said...

幸福不是一切,人還有責任。.................................................................                           

8:16 PM  
Blogger 思翰思翰 said...

一棵樹除非在春天開了花,否則難望在秋天結果。.................................................................

11:19 PM  
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人不能像動物一樣活著,而應該追求知識和美德.................................................................

11:19 PM  
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生存乃是不斷地在內心與靈魂交戰;寫作是坐著審判自己。......................................................................

2:23 AM  
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成熟,就是有能力適應生活中的模糊。.................................................................

9:55 AM  
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當一個人內心能容納兩樣相互衝突的東西,這個人便開始變得有價值了。............................................................

7:25 PM  
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當一個人內心能容納兩樣相互衝突的東西,這個人便開始變得有價值了。............................................................

6:29 PM  
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8:16 PM  
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11:14 PM  
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海鷗要高飛,必先遠退。花蜜要香醇,必先久釀。............................................................

1:00 AM  
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要用心經營哦~~祝福你~~
............................................................

3:18 AM  
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責人之心責己,恕己之心恕人。..................................................................

1:32 PM  
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Never hesitate to hold out your hand; never hesitate to accept the outstretched hand of another..................................................................

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9:09 PM  
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2:37 AM  
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Never hesitate to hold out your hand; never hesitate to accept the outstretched hand of another..................................................................

5:34 AM  
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5:45 AM  
Blogger dawsonfelicia張君dawsonfelicia均 said...

困難的不在於新概念,而在於逃避舊有的概念。............................................................

7:18 PM  
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9:05 PM  
Blogger 琬安琬安 said...

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3:43 PM  
Blogger 琬安琬安 said...

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6:43 PM  
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成功可招引朋友,挫敗可考驗朋友............................................................

4:33 AM  
Blogger RicoLisi0802志竹 said...

我們這一代最偉大的發現是,人類可以藉由改變心中的態度來改變人生。.......................................................

4:15 PM  
Blogger ToryO_Vis建銘 said...

相見亦無事,不來常思君.................................................................

4:55 AM  
Blogger ToryO_Vis建銘 said...

A friend in need is a friend indeed.............................................................

4:50 PM  
Blogger 琳楊楊義 said...

百發百中不是一試就成的。..................................................

4:56 PM  
Blogger 秀吉秀吉 said...

這個部落格好好好~棒棒棒............................................................

7:31 PM  
Blogger 筱朝宜財 said...

Lets cross the bridge when we come to it............................................................

6:39 PM  
Blogger 亦奈美妮 said...

鞋匠能作好鞋子,因為他只做鞋,不做別的。..................................................

8:29 PM  
Blogger 姜堯林智超玟 said...

友誼能增進快樂,減少痛苦......................................................................

1:44 AM  
Blogger 偉曹琬 said...

實在是太完美了!非常感谢!给心心!(〃ω〃)............................................................

5:12 AM  
Blogger 怡劉修 said...

the best as always thanks..................................................................

6:42 PM  
Blogger 麗王王珠 said...

很用心的部落格 路過留言支持 ..................................................................

8:37 PM  
Blogger 恩宛玲如 said...

不論做什麼事,相信自己,別讓別人的一句話,把你擊倒。..................................................

1:38 AM  
Blogger 偉冠儒冠儒倫 said...

祝福大家開開心心。............................................................

4:13 AM  
Blogger 佳張張張張燕張張張張張 said...

傻氣的人喜歡給心 雖然每次都被笑了卻得到了別人的心..................................................................

2:23 AM  
Blogger 幸平平平平杰 said...

每日都有新日光,每日都有新希望。.................................................

7:53 AM  
Blogger 秋協盛協盛昀 said...

知識可以傳授,智慧卻不行。每個人必須成為他自己。..................................................

4:57 PM  

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