Saturday, February 06, 2010

Scientistic Buddhaflaw Correcting

Our omninameable troll asked if Buddhism could support the scientific enterprise, now that it's conveniently up and running thanks to Christianity. The answer is a qualified "yes," in the sense that, once your body is grown, you can survive on gummy bears and RC cola.

One thing I like about Jaki -- and which no doubt limited his appeal to the 'nadless wimps of political correctness -- is that he was a pretty obnoxious guy (in a righteously ringtailed way). He always renders to his ideological opponents the swift kick in the ass of which they are so desperately in need. Here's how he expressed it:

"One need not be a Buddhist to be a good historian of Buddhist thought and culture, but nothing can dispense the historian from a thorough effort to understand what it means for a Buddhist to be a Buddhist and to achieve things by virtue of that Buddhism. The theistic contribution to science and to history, and the Christian concreteness of that theism, demand no less in the way of scholarly treatment and integrity" (emphasis mine).

In contrast, those Buddhists who truly believed and practiced Buddhism arrived at bupkis (which is the yiddish rendering of the shunyada-yada-yada of "the Void"). There's no insult in saying this. It's just a fact. It's no more an insult than, say, reminding people that the only Palestinian contribution to the world is the suicide belt.

So I suppose one can always be a Western make-believe Buddhist and practice at the margins of science, but only if one ignores metaphysical consistency and rejects those parts of Buddhism that clash with a scientific worldview -- most notably, the absence of a Creator.

Again, the underlying unity of the cosmos results from the fact that "the ways of God are simplicity itself, for in God will and mind are fused in the simplest unity." Science did not develop in the Buddhist world because it could not develop in the Buddhist world. It can only graft itself onto an already developed Western science, and only then at the cost of ignoring some of its own most cherished assumptions.

Ultimately, the same barriers that prevent the apprehension of the Creator put up roadblocks to the development of science. One loses the unifying bridge that connects change to change, and instead apprehends only perpetual change from which the only escape is into the void of shunyata.

In other words, the only thing that doesn't change is the meaninglessness of it all. But "the existence of God becomes possible, nay, well-nigh inevitable to any lover of consistency." Conversely, "an epistemology that obstructs the ways to God also blocks the advance on the road to science."

The main point is that there is no reason whatsoever for the present postmodern and anti-Christian fragmentation of our worldview into religion, the arts, science, and dozens if not hundreds of scientific specialties and subspecialties with no way to reconcile them. After all, the unity is there. The unity is a fact, even if science is powerless to explain the fact.

As mentioned in my book, the simple reality of the matter is that all levels, dimensions, and modes of reality are seamlessly harmonized in the human being in such a manner that science cannot, and will never, account for it, for it is the prior condition that makes the very practice of science (and the existence of scientists) possible -- e.g., the completely unreasonable harmony between a human mind that was supposedly selected for eating and mating being capable of peering into the deepest and most hidden mathematical recesses of the cosmos.

Unfortunately, some people are just incapable of spiritual wonderment, which is not a banal "absence of explanation," but the positive intuition of a deeper -- nay, the deepest -- level of explanation. It is not (-k) but (+n). The same goes for mystery, sanctity, holiness, innocence, and, of course, slack. To suggest that these are "unreal" only because they are inaccessible to the cold and grasping hands of the scientistic materialist is the height of naivete. And no, you can't measure naivete with a slide rule either. But there it is.

The unwashed horde of the tenured likes to pretend that someone like Galileo was somehow opposed to the Christian God, when the opposite is true:

"Little if any effort is made, for instance, to recall the role played in Galileo's scientific methodology by his repeated endorsements of the naturalness of perceiving the existence of God from the study of the book of nature. Much the same silent treatment is given to Galileo's view of the human mind as a most excellent and most special product of the Creator."

Whoomp!, there it is in all its metaphysical clarity and simplicity: there is a Creator, and he is revealed in the book of nature, but only to beings who are themselves mirrorcles of the Divine Mind.

Alternative explanations are not only too silly to take seriously, but more importantly, reactionary to the core. Their real interest is in perversely denying a Creator but profiting from all the benefits of having one -- benefits like a rational and unitary cosmos, a transcendent reality that is uniquely disclosed to the mind of man, evolutionary progress, a scientific ethic that disinterestedly seeks truth, and much more.

13 Comments:

Blogger walt said...

"...there is a Creator, and he is revealed in the book of nature, but only to beings who are themselves mirrorcles of the Divine Mind."

Sheesh! Breakfast at One Cosmos, anyone? A person could chew on that serving for, oh, say ... a lifetime -- and the "nutrient content" would not diminish!

Personally, I sometimes wonder about the wish to graft things onto religious traditions. I haven't encountered one yet that could be exhausted in its own terms. But perhaps to compare and try to integrate is just to be human.

2/06/2010 09:31:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"Our omninameable troll asked if Buddhism could support the scientific enterprise, now that it's conveniently up and running thanks to Christianity. The answer is a qualified "yes," in the sense that, once your body is grown, you can survive on gummy bears and RC cola."

Reminds me of early leftist economists 'The problem of production has been solved! Now we can seize them and eat sugar candy mountain!'

It's just not an isolated 'thing', it's part of a process, and can't be biopsied or transplanted. If so, to the extent that the original culture comes with it, it may still function, like RC Cola and gummie bears, but expect to get rickets. See Haiti and Africa for further examples.

It requires a Whole to keep rolling, and even then it's got to be inflated... let the air out, and it may roll for a while, but it's gonna come apart on you soon enough.

2/06/2010 09:48:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

That is a critical point, because the ideological left will eventually produce a culture that is unsustainable -- for science or for anything else truly human. See the latest Doctor Zero for details.

2/06/2010 10:01:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

See Haiti and Africa for further examples.

You beat me to it, Van. You can export all the scientific hardware you want to impoverished tribal cultures, but without the metaphysical software that makes the most of the science, all you get is superstitious madmen with cellphones and advanced ways of slaughtering each other. And they'll only stay technologically advanced so long as there is an influx from outside. Left to their own devices, they'd be back to the dark ages in short order, because they don't value that which makes advanced technology possible, horizontally or vertically.

Which is really just another way of saying what you guys already said.

2/06/2010 11:05:00 AM  
Blogger grant said...

What I gather from this post is that people have varying levels of perception of reality; some levels of perception are more complete and accurate than others. Christianity is more complete than Budhism, for example.

There is a spectrum of human understanding from lower to higher in terms of value, utility, and truth.

What then is the proper reaction or next step to take regarding the fate of humanity in light of this state of things, both in general and in detail?

2/06/2010 11:27:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Grant said "What I gather from this post is that people have varying levels of perception of reality"

That can only be said among those whose views are derived from reality to begin with. If at the root, your views deny and/or oppose reality (see Descartes, Rousseau, Hume, Kant, etc), any similarities are on the appearance only, and in that case the only proper next step is to reject all that they declare as being merely relative and equally valid opinions.

Truth does have depth and can be grasped in better and more detailed understandings.

Falsehood is flat and wrong. Period. There is no further discussion or compromise to be made with it.

2/06/2010 11:51:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

What then is the proper reaction or next step to take regarding the fate of humanity

I'd say the only thing properly doable is to make the truth available; people still have to be able to choose for themselves. With that in mind, the step has already been taken. It happened around 33 AD, if memory serves.

You can't force people to accept the truth, nor to conform themselves to it. That's a conscious decision every person must make for him or herself. It can only be offered.

2/06/2010 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger Alan McCann said...

Cargo Cult: A cargo cult is a type of religious practice that may appear in traditional tribal societies in the wake of interaction with technologically advanced cultures. The cults are focused on obtaining the material wealth (the "cargo") of the advanced culture through magical thinking and religious rituals and practices, believing that the wealth was intended for them by their deities and ancestors.

2/06/2010 02:35:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

But enough about the left.

2/06/2010 02:43:00 PM  
Blogger Grant Maher said...

Julie: Thank you for your response to the question of what should be done on behalf of the cause of truth.

After mulling it over, I agree. "Making truth available to others" is then a worthwhile endeavor (perhaps the most worthwhile endeavor)

Coercion of the misinformed on the other hand is ineffective or counterproductive.

A hierarchy of proper actions could then be formulated :

1. non-essential goods and services- (light entertainment such as TV, vacation travel, parties, events, manufactering of disposable consumer products, etc)

2.essential goods and services-(food, medical, security, energy, shelter, information technology, communications, education, defense)

3. truth-spreading activity-
production of art such as music and painting, speaking out such as preaching or lecturing, writing of monographs and blogs, thinking of or developing material that reflects truth, praying, meditation.

Therefore in arranging one's daily schedule such goals can be taken under consideration and time alloted to each.

2/06/2010 04:13:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

I suppose. Sounds like you're over thinking it a bit though, at least to my perspective. Really, it just goes back to what Bob said yesterday:

To align oneself with the Absolute by knowing what is true, doing what is virtuous, loving what is beautiful, and being what is real.

These are not things that are compartmentalized and separate from the minutiae of everyday life. Instead, ideally (and obviously, no human is perfectly conformed to these ideals; the goal is for each of us to strive to get as close as we are able), they are fused with it in every way. They inform how one behaves regardless of what one is outwardly doing.

2/06/2010 04:49:00 PM  
Blogger walt said...

Bob suggested,
"To align oneself with the Absolute by knowing what is true, doing what is virtuous, loving what is beautiful, and being what is real."

I say, the Aim contains the Agenda!

Get. The. Message. Out.:
•T-shirts
•Coffee Mugs
•E-blasts
•A Rush to Alignment Tour
•Facebook promotion

Think of the "boost" for the Raccoon Store!

2/06/2010 04:50:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

Why are liberals so condescending?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/04/AR2010020403698.html?nav=hcmodule

2/06/2010 07:46:00 PM  

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