## I don't get Buddhism

For intuitive and critical discussions, from spirituality to theological doctrines. Fair warning: because the subject matter is personal, moderation is strict.

Moderator: Dan~

### Re: I don't get Buddhism

Fanman wrote:...
It is triggered spontaneously without the person being conscious of it or putting any conscious effort to it.

But believing in religions necessarily requires conscious cognition. Conceptualisations, idealisations and "experiences" of religion are formed through conscious knowledge pertaining to a particular religion (whichever the person is dedicated to). That undoubtedly requires the conscious mind. If this process soothes the subconscious fear of death, it does so because the information relating to the religion is being relayed to the subconscious mind, from the conscious mind. I don't doubt that there are subconscious elements in religion, but we cannot claim that belief in religions has no features related to the conscious mind or stick an arbitrary "%" on the degree to which it does. And again, if you're claiming that the subconscious mind is more dominant than the conscious mind in religious belief, you need to evidence that claim.

I noted all your points above, but it is getting a bit tedious to response to them individually when I have to provide information rather than refute counter arguments.
It is easier when we were dealing with the tip of the iceberg, but when we dig deeper into the iceberg, it would be too tedious for me to dig while you are not digging but rather sit on the tip waiting for answers.

I believe what I explain below will cover the substance of all the above points.

One point to note,
we started roughly with differentiating the subconscious from the conscious and unconscious from the conscious.
However as we dig deeper, we need to be more precise.

If you look at the human brain, there are three distinguishable parts to it in relation to evolutionary hierarchy, i.e. the lower brain, the mid brain, and the higher brain.
Within the higher brain we have the equivalent of the mammalian brain, the primate brain and the human brain.

https://www.ninds.nih.gov/sites/default ... rBrain.gif

I have argued the concept of cognition is more relevant to the human brain [neo-cortex]. The primal and other mammals, animals may have some level of cognition but they are not significant to our point in relation to religions and human activities.

Cognition can be conscious or subconscious but it happened only within the higher brain not the lower brain.

What is to be differentiated from cognition are instincts, autonomic and other responses which are not be regarded as 'cognitive'.
These non-cognitive responses are triggered subconscious and they can also be triggered consciously. E.g. an actor [or anyone] can consciously trigger a real anger response, a sad or other emotional responses.

The fear of death is triggered subconsciously i.e. non-cognitively and it can also be triggered consciously but this is suppressed.

In general the default root cause of religion is the subconscious fear of death, not a cognitive fear of death.
It is the subconscious fear of death that generate the program of pattern-recognition, which is a subconscious cognitive process in the higher brain leading to agencity and thus religion.

I have demonstrated with argument where the subconscious non-cognitive fear of death precedes pattern recognition in the case of one believing in a theistic-religions.

Here is another point.
In the case of non-theistic religion, the believer is triggered by subconscious non-cognitive fear of death which trigger the faculty of reason to decide a non-theistic religion [e.g. Buddhism] is the most rational religion to adopt. There is no pattern-recognition to a agency god.

In the case of deism, the reasoned-God, he believer is triggered by subconscious non-cognitive fear of death which trigger the faculty of reason to decide the reasoned-God, not an agent as personal God, it most rational. There is no pattern-recognition to a agency god.

In the case of agnosticism, the 50/50 believer is triggered by subconscious non-cognitive fear of death which triggered the faculty of reason to decide sit on the fence. There is no pattern-recognition to a agency god, maybe a bit.

In all cases, the non-cognitive instinctual subconscious fear of death is the root cause.

If you disagree, you can try to present an argument in logical steps why your views prevail over mine.

If I missed out any point you think is critical, let me know.
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
Prismatic567
Philosopher

Posts: 2673
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2014 4:35 am

### Re: I don't get Buddhism

Oh, I should have added. I did raise the issue of Prismatic perhaps not wanting to face the no-self facet of Buddhism, since he was denying its presence. But I think the threat of no-self in Buddhism is primarily experienced when one comes at the tradition via books and isolated practice. Not if one participates in the tradition through a temple or center where one is in contact with masters. Westerners often think they can just hop into traditions not their own and pick and choose, whereas long term empirical work and experience has led to holistic approaches, such as that in the various Buddhist traditions.

Westerners are very modular - one can see this foolishness in the dangerous way we approach genetic modification - and think you can just pull out pieces and rearrange pieces, despite our knowledge of how complex systems - for example, ecological ones - do not function like cars and other machines. And this plays out in the way Westerners dabble in spiritual practices. Oh, I'll just do that part. I'll just believe this part.
Karpel Tunnel
Philosopher

Posts: 2513
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:26 pm

### Re: I don't get Buddhism

Prismatic,

In my previous post, amongst other points, I reasonably asked you to provide substantive evidence for what you're claiming. Instead, you've just reasserted your position, with ever more increasing certainty - whilst not providing the necessary evidence to actually validate the claim.

However, no matter how much you insist, your claims (just like any claim) require validation. Until you provide the evidence, I don't see a convincing reason to accept that: "The subconscious fear of death is the root cause of all religions." You are making a huge claim(s). Therefore the onus is upon you to substantiate them. It is only correct that I ask you to provide evidence, and I believe that you would do the same if I were making a sweeping, absolute claim. I also suspect that if I failed to provide substantive evidence, you would infer that there isn't any, which would be reasonable.

So as much as I like your iceberg analogy. The reason it applies is because you're making factual, sweeping, absolute claims. I am waiting for answers (evidence), but I suspect that the iceberg will melt before I get them.

If I missed out any point you think is critical, let me know.

From my perspective all of my points were critical. I suspected that was the reason that you didn't deal with them, and that your claim of “tedious” was just an excuse. The link that I posted regarding unconscious cognition, is critical to what you're arguing about the subconscious/unconscious mind, but strangely for you, you just ignored it.

For example when you say things like “What is to be differentiated from cognition are instincts, autonomic and other responses which are not be regarded as 'cognitive'. These non-cognitive responses are triggered subconscious and they can also be triggered consciously. E.g. an actor [or anyone] can consciously trigger a real anger response, a sad or other emotional responses.” you need to reference things like this, otherwise they just seem nonsensical. Like your trying to sell me snake oil. Where did you get this idea from? It has been argued that human-beings don't have instincts (here).

I have demonstrated with argument where the subconscious non-cognitive fear of death precedes pattern recognition in the case of one believing in a theistic-religions.

No. IMV, you have “demonstrated” that the fear of death precedes pattern recognition in terms of biological series. Like the way 1 precedes 2 numerically. That's all, you have not demonstrated that these two aspects of the human psyche act in the same series, in terms of how they are cognized in the mind - pattern recognition also has subconscious elements.

Here is another point.
In the case of non-theistic religion, the believer is triggered by subconscious non-cognitive fear of death which trigger the faculty of reason to decide a non-theistic religion [e.g. Buddhism] is the most rational religion to adopt. There is no pattern-recognition to a agency god.

In terms of pattern recognition and agenticity, I specifically referred to theistic and polytheistic religions. However, pattern recognition is not only relevant to religious or supernatural beliefs. People apply agency to all sorts of things that don't involve beliefs (like luck), it is fundamental to human beings.

In the case of deism, the reasoned-God, he believer is triggered by subconscious non-cognitive fear of death which trigger the faculty of reason to decide the reasoned-God, not an agent as personal God, it most rational. There is no pattern-recognition to a agency god.

This is very wrong, but I'm not going to unpack it. Not for free .

In the case of agnosticism, the 50/50 believer is triggered by subconscious non-cognitive fear of death which triggered the faculty of reason to decide sit on the fence. There is no pattern-recognition to a agency god, maybe a bit.

...Maybe a bit. I like that.

In all cases, the non-cognitive instinctual subconscious fear of death is the root cause.

This has not been demonstrated.

If you disagree, you can try to present an argument in logical steps why your views prevail over mine.

I'm not trying to “prevail”. Also, someone with your amount of pride, should be careful they wish for.
Fanman

Posts: 301
Joined: Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:47 am

### Re: I don't get Buddhism

Fanman wrote: Instead, you've just reasserted your position, with ever more increasing certainty - whilst not providing the necessary evidence to actually validate the claim.

This is the central problem. Sometimes he will assert how much he has studied issue X or some other self-evaluation and present this as if it is evidence in addition to the repetition of the position. That someone could confuse a self-evaluation of one's ability/knowledge with a supporting argument is really beyond the pale. And to reassert an argument instead of responding to points made is an act of philosophical rudeness. You worked and it was not respected. This puts you in the position of working again or seeming to give up.
Karpel Tunnel
Philosopher

Posts: 2513
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:26 pm

### Re: I don't get Buddhism

Fanman wrote:Prismatic,

In my previous post, amongst other points, I reasonably asked you to provide substantive evidence for what you're claiming. Instead, you've just reasserted your position, with ever more increasing certainty - whilst not providing the necessary evidence to actually validate the claim.

However, no matter how much you insist, your claims (just like any claim) require validation. Until you provide the evidence, I don't see a convincing reason to accept that: "The subconscious fear of death is the root cause of all religions." You are making a huge claim(s). Therefore the onus is upon you to substantiate them. It is only correct that I ask you to provide evidence, and I believe that you would do the same if I were making a sweeping, absolute claim. I also suspect that if I failed to provide substantive evidence, you would infer that there isn't any, which would be reasonable.

So as much as I like your iceberg analogy. The reason it applies is because you're making factual, sweeping, absolute claims. I am waiting for answers (evidence), but I suspect that the iceberg will melt before I get them.

Note I have given my fundamental argument, presented many times.
Obviously I will repeat them unless you have an effective counter argument or prove my premises are wrong.
So far you have not proven any of my premises are wrong.

You insisted KT point re pattern recognition is the primary cause of all religion.
Note the term 'recognition' from 'cognition'.
I have argued 'cognition' is process of the higher brain.
The fear of death is from the primal brain which precedes the higher brain.
Therefore the primary cause of religions is the subconscious fear of death while pattern recognition [agenticity] in this case is secondary.

If I missed out any point you think is critical, let me know.

From my perspective all of my points were critical. I suspected that was the reason that you didn't deal with them, and that your claim of “tedious” was just an excuse. The link that I posted regarding unconscious cognition, is critical to what you're arguing about the subconscious/unconscious mind, but strangely for you, you just ignored it.

For example when you say things like “What is to be differentiated from cognition are instincts, autonomic and other responses which are not be regarded as 'cognitive'. These non-cognitive responses are triggered subconscious and they can also be triggered consciously. E.g. an actor [or anyone] can consciously trigger a real anger response, a sad or other emotional responses.” you need to reference things like this, otherwise they just seem nonsensical. Like your trying to sell me snake oil. Where did you get this idea from? It has been argued that human-beings don't have instincts (here).

Tedious is not the main excuse.
I do not want to waste hours to explain and repeat what I had already stated in the previous posts and due to your ignorance of even basic points accuse me of pushing 'snake oil', e.g.

"an actor [or anyone] can consciously trigger a real anger response, a sad or other emotional responses."
This is so basic and for me to explain and is a waste of my time, more so when you accuse me of selling snake oil when what we are doing are serious objective issues.
Suggest you read up Neuro-Linguistic Programming.

Human don't have instincts?
To insist on that would be crazy?
At best we can can look at 'instincts' from another perspective, not rejecting the concept.

I have demonstrated with argument where the subconscious non-cognitive fear of death precedes pattern recognition in the case of one believing in a theistic-religions.

No. IMV, you have “demonstrated” that the fear of death precedes pattern recognition in terms of biological series. Like the way 1 precedes 2 numerically. That's all, you have not demonstrated that these two aspects of the human psyche act in the same series, in terms of how they are cognized in the mind - pattern recognition also has subconscious elements.

You are ignorant of the term 'recognition' which originate from 'cognition' which is the function of the higher mind.
You should not confused 'pattern recognition' with merely 'pattern.'
Any two similar things together forms a pattern which is a common and fundamental thing in reality.

Note this is 'pattern recognition'

The pattern recognition contented here is;
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apophenia
Apophenia (/æpoʊˈfiːniə/) is the tendency to mistakenly perceive connections and meaning between unrelated things.
In particular, these two pattern recognition, "Patternicity" "Agenticity"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apophenia#Related_terms

I think this the the critical point you missed;
The subconscious fear of death is supported by 'pattern recognition' and other instincts, thus precedes these instincts.
As relevant to topic, the powerful forces from the subconscious fear of death drove the mind to mistakenly perceive connections and meaning between unrelated things, which led to 'agencity' thus to the idea of God as the ultimate agent.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apophenia ... nticity%22

Note the above point.

Here is another point.
In the case of non-theistic religion, the believer is triggered by subconscious non-cognitive fear of death which trigger the faculty of reason to decide a non-theistic religion [e.g. Buddhism] is the most rational religion to adopt. There is no pattern-recognition to a agency god.

In terms of pattern recognition and agenticity, I specifically referred to theistic and polytheistic religions. However, pattern recognition is not only relevant to religious or supernatural beliefs. People apply agency to all sorts of things that don't involve beliefs (like luck), it is fundamental to human beings.

The topic is pattern recognition and religion not otherwise.
In other cases, all other activities [non-sexual] that have an indication of pattern recognition, they are reducible to the subconscious fear of death.
Pattern recognition of food is due to getting food driven by the fear of death to avoid death then to live.

In the case of deism, the reasoned-God, he believer is triggered by subconscious non-cognitive fear of death which trigger the faculty of reason to decide the reasoned-God, not an agent as personal God, it most rational. There is no pattern-recognition to a agency god.

This is very wrong, but I'm not going to unpack it. Not for free .

Think deeper.

In the case of agnosticism, the 50/50 believer is triggered by subconscious non-cognitive fear of death which triggered the faculty of reason to decide sit on the fence. There is no pattern-recognition to a agency god, maybe a bit.

...Maybe a bit. I like that.

Reflect deeper.

In all cases, the non-cognitive instinctual subconscious fear of death is the root cause.

This has not been demonstrated.

I have presented my argument and given a ton of examples but you could not recognize them. Where is your pattern recognition gone?
You have not countered my argument other than not agreeing to the sequences but you provided no counter argument to support your point.

If you want demonstration from your own experiences I can provide that.
Try this, pinch your nose and hold your breathe as long as possible, even if you feel uncomfortable, try holding your breathe much longer. A normal person can last 4 minutes before being knocked out unconscious.
At the extreme of your capability to hold to a longer time, your body will be desperate and you will squirm and experience terrible pains to force you to breathe.
That is the subconscious reaction of your subconscious mind from the subconscious fear of death response to ensure you breathe. There is no pattern recognition in this case.

In the case of the fear of death itself the subconscious fear of death response trigger terrible reactions which is not made conscious [like that of the holding breath example] but exude indirectly as Angst. To relieve this Angst, the instinct of pattern recognition jumped into agenticity with the wrong conclusion of a god as an ultimate agent. Even this pattern recognition end up with a falsehood, it works thus the majority are theists.

Note the case of the rope-in-the-shade mistaken for a snakes. It is the subconscious fear of death [fundamental] that trigger the pattern-recognition instinct [module] to jump to the wrong conclusion the rope-in-the-shade is a snake and the person react and run away.

If you disagree, you can try to present an argument in logical steps why your views prevail over mine.

I'm not trying to “prevail”. Also, someone with your amount of pride, should be careful they wish for.

I am only wishing I don't have to waste so much time due to your narrow database and wasting my time to explain with so many examples to get through to you only to be accused as snake oil.
I am not going to waste hours of my time on what you think is merely 'snake oil'.

At this point, I will not go deeper and there is still a lot of depth to dig.
I will just stick to the superficial points.

I suggest you counter my argument and demonstrate where my premises are false and why they are not in the right sequence. In this case, you have to present your right sequence, i.e. pattern recognition is the basis of all religions and justify for it.
Last edited by Prismatic567 on Wed Nov 20, 2019 6:20 am, edited 3 times in total.
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
Prismatic567
Philosopher

Posts: 2673
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2014 4:35 am

### Re: I don't get Buddhism

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
Fanman wrote: Instead, you've just reasserted your position, with ever more increasing certainty - whilst not providing the necessary evidence to actually validate the claim.

This is the central problem. Sometimes he will assert how much he has studied issue X or some other self-evaluation and present this as if it is evidence in addition to the repetition of the position. That someone could confuse a self-evaluation of one's ability/knowledge with a supporting argument is really beyond the pale. And to reassert an argument instead of responding to points made is an act of philosophical rudeness. You worked and it was not respected. This puts you in the position of working again or seeming to give up.

OK,

At this point, I will not go deeper and there is still a lot of depth to dig.
I will just stick to the superficial points.

I suggest you counter my argument and demonstrate where my premises are false and why they are not in the right sequence. In this case, you have to present your right sequence, i.e. pattern recognition is the basis of all religions and justify for it.
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
Prismatic567
Philosopher

Posts: 2673
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2014 4:35 am

### Re: I don't get Buddhism

Prismatic,

This is another reassertion of your points, with misinterpreted or misrepresented views on what I've stated.

1. I believe that pattern recognition and attributing agency is a primary cause of religious belief, but I didn't claim that it is the cause of all religions.

2. You have still not provided the evidence which substantiates your claim "the subconscious fear of death is the root cause of all religions." At this point, I don't think that you are going to.
Fanman

Posts: 301
Joined: Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:47 am

### Re: I don't get Buddhism

Prismatic567 wrote:
zinnat wrote:...
well, I do not think that Buddhism follows the doctrine of anatman ( as we understand it), though it is also true that it is mentioned in their texts. if we look at the timeline and the circumstancial context of Buddhism, we will find that that was the time when Brahmans(priests) were in full control of the Indian society in the name of Vedas. As they were the only community which was allowed to learn and interpret Vedas, thus they were bending it as they wanted in the name of Vedas and mostly for personal gains.
Both of Buddha and Mahavira realized that they need to free the Indian society from this trap of Brahams and the easiest way to do this was to eliminate the concept of eternal soul/self from the religion so that the brahmans cannot force the folks to do anything by fearing them from the suffering consequences of afterlife, Gods and hell and so on. Thus both of these religions stood up against the brahmans and castism.

The Brahmins did exploit and abuse their position with exclusivity to the knowledge of the Vedas. However the principles of the atman is core to the Vedas of Hinduism.

It is reported Guatama tried the majority of the existing methods of spiritual practices from the existing Gurus of Hinduism but did not find 'enlightenment' in them until he discovered his enlightenment based on the core principles of 4NT, 8FP, annica [avidya], anatta [anatman], dependent origination, two-truths theory and others.

The principle of anatman or anatta is a core principle of Buddhism that pervades throughout all the core doctrines of Buddhism-proper. As such the core principle of anatta [non-self] has to be an imperative part of Buddhism-proper.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anatta

However the two-truths theory do not deny the empirical-I-self [the living person] but it deny on the transcendent-I-self [atman].

I believe Buddhism-proper when introduced was too advance for the majority masses during Guatama's time then and even now to a degree.
As such, Buddhism-proper then has to be compromised and diluted for the masses. This is why the masses of Buddhists prayed to idols and statutes of a Buddha and prayed with joss-sticks, make offerings in prayers and other superficial practices.

It is said, the dharma wheel of Buddhism made three turns, i.e. Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana. In each turn the core principles of Buddhism-proper are dressed in various forms to suit the believers during those specific times.

This is where all the fanciful stuffs of rebirth, hell, heaven, cosmology, even a personal god like Christianity, from the Pure Land sects. The Mahayanas are the most fanciful.

But throughout the three turns of the Dharma Wheel, the core principles of Buddhism-proper remained intact.
With advancement in communication, translations, the internet, new technology, the more expert Buddhists are now clearing the cobwebs of old to reveal more of the core principles, the effective practices of Buddhism proper.

With the advancement of the internet and information technology, the concept of Sangha will be obsolete in the future.
The Dalai Lama has even conceded "Buddhist truths" to Science;

Code: Select all
“If scientific analysis were conclusively to demonstrate certain claims in Buddhism to be false, then we must accept the findings of science and abandon those claims.”― Dalai Lama XIV, The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality

But is it not likely Science will shake any of the core principles. Those which may be affected are the fringe fanciful stuffs which may be intended to be allegorical but some claim them to be real truths.

The reason i think that this explanation is worth considering becuse Buddhiam do beleive in afterbirth, hell and heavens. Not only that, Buddhism has well defined vertical Cosmology of Spiritual Planes where one ascends step by step. All this makes no sense without accepting that something remains after death from the living beings. Thus, it is not only me who disagrees with the concept of anatman but Buddhism itself does so.

It looks to me that perhaps Buddhism initially denies the theory of atman to conter Brahamans but later it introduced its version.
Have a look at this-
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhist_cosmology

As I mentioned the fanciful stuffs were are compromised to suit the masses.

The picture of the world presented in Buddhist cosmological descriptions cannot be taken as a literal description of the shape of the universe. It is inconsistent, and cannot be made consistent, with astronomical data that were already known in ancient India.
The cosmology has also been interpreted in a symbolical or allegorical sense (for Mahayana teaching see Ten spiritual realms).

lastly, as far as i am concerned, I learned the religions by unknowingly adopting their practices and read about those later. As i am more inclined towards emprical parts of the religions, so i am more into Santmat, rather than conventional Hinduisim. The other reason is that being very old religion, the origial litrature of Hinduisim is not available anymore. what we have now is merely commentries and commentries on commemtries and so on. On the other hand, Santmats are relatively new , merely one or two centuries old, thus they bound to have less impurities.

with love,
sanjay

Noted 'Santmat'
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sant_Mat
Its root meaning is "one who knows(is) the truth" or "one who has experienced (merged into) Ultimate Reality."

The above is very basic to Hinduism [general] i.e. where the atman merged into Brahman which the opposite of Buddhism-proper where there is no atman and no Brahman.

In principle, anatman [anicca, non-self] cannot be excluded from Buddhism-proper else the rest of its doctrines would not make sense.

instaed of going to address point by point, i will take the core issue only; anatman

The most common mistake about understanding religions what is done is that we try to see them in isolation and try to draw meaning purrely what we read. That is not the right way to understand what they are saying. Religions, especially the ancient ones, do not deal merely in spirituality but are equaly concerned about the daily life of the people, for a simple reason that their promoters knew that if the routine life of the folks were not calm and peacefull, they cannot be taught about spirituality. Thus, every religion has two parts, one for folks and other one for scholars. Religions realized that their duty is not offering mere spirituality but a complete lifestyle for the masses.

The place of Buddhism and Jainism is the same in Hinduism what is of Christianity in Abrahamic religions. Chirstianity took away all the complexity of Judism and made it very simple for the followers so that a layman can clearly understand and follow the same. Buddhism and Jainism tried to do the same and were quite successful in their attempt too. These are corrective/complementary religions within the broad canvas of Hinduism. The third in this caregory is Sikkhism which stands somewhere between both of these and conventional Hinduism in ideology.

if you go through the Buddhisht cosmolgy throughly, you will find that the details of the habitants of the higher spiritual planes are also mentioned like, what is thier forms, qualities and lifespans. Only a fool will go in such a detail if something does not remain after death and goes there. And, if one is suposed not to take all that detail literally, why one is supposed to take the concept of anatman literally?

And lastly but most importantly( especially for me) reason is that if an ordinary person like me can draw a conclusion of having atman from my limited efforts and experiences, i cannot accept that a commited person like Buddha, who spent almost his whole life in finding answers, would not be aware of the reality.

Prismatic567 wrote:Noted 'Santmat'
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sant_Mat
Its root meaning is "one who knows(is) the truth" or "one who has experienced (merged into) Ultimate Reality."

That is the meaning of word Sant, and that is not what santmant stands for. Santmat meants the opinion/way of the saints..

In the past some centuries, there has been many enlightened saints in India, who presented their own version of reality and how to attain that. The most prominant one is Saint Kabir, whose timeline is around 15th century. Ther are many after him too. All these saints founded their orgnizations which are called Dera in local language like, Dera Saccha Sauda, Dera Sahib bandgi, Dera Vyas etc. TThese deras say more or less the same thing. The difference between conventional Hinduism and these are that these focus more on meditation. They go in details, which is missing( or perhaps lost) in Conventional Hinduism beacuse of the time lapsed. These schools talk about 14 planes(Chakras) instead of nine which are mentioned in Hinduism. They do not criticize Hinduism but say it is incomplete. Final destination is even beyond.

The reason i find these schools more interesting is that unlike Hinduism, in person litratures of the promoters of all these schools are still available so there is no chance of someone corrupting and misinterpreting.

with love,
sanja

zinnat
Philosopher

Posts: 3521
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 7:27 pm

### Re: I don't get Buddhism

Prismatic,

Also, you seemed surprised by the proposition that human-beings don't have instincts. Have you never read about that?

You're taking "snake oil" comment out of context It was not intended to offend you. It was in relation to a particular point and I gave an explanation for it.

If that's all you've taken away from what I've stated then I too perceive that I am wasting my time.
Last edited by Fanman on Wed Nov 20, 2019 9:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
Fanman

Posts: 301
Joined: Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:47 am

### Re: I don't get Buddhism

Fanman wrote:Prismatic,

Also, you seemed surprised by the proposition that human-beings don't have instincts. Have you never read about that?

Yes, I am surprised in the first instance on the claim human-beings don't have instincts.

On 2nd thought, I agree, one can bypass the concept of instincts by presenting those neural impulses from a different perspective.
Example I can state a diamond gem is soft, if view from the electron perspective and I have an electron based laser.

However, no psychologists and other scientists would in their right mind at the present, will accept 'there are is 'absolutely' no instincts in human being'.
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
Prismatic567
Philosopher

Posts: 2673
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2014 4:35 am

### Re: I don't get Buddhism

zinnat wrote:
Prismatic567 wrote:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhist_cosmology
As I mentioned the fanciful stuffs were are compromised to suit the masses.

The picture of the world presented in Buddhist cosmological descriptions cannot be taken as a literal description of the shape of the universe. It is inconsistent, and cannot be made consistent, with astronomical data that were already known in ancient India.
The cosmology has also been interpreted in a symbolical or allegorical sense (for Mahayana teaching see Ten spiritual realms).

instaed of going to address point by point, i will take the core issue only; anatman

The most common mistake about understanding religions what is done is that we try to see them in isolation and try to draw meaning purrely what we read. That is not the right way to understand what they are saying. Religions, especially the ancient ones, do not deal merely in spirituality but are equaly concerned about the daily life of the people, for a simple reason that their promoters knew that if the routine life of the folks were not calm and peacefull, they cannot be taught about spirituality. Thus, every religion has two parts, one for folks and other one for scholars. Religions realized that their duty is not offering mere spirituality but a complete lifestyle for the masses.

The place of Buddhism and Jainism is the same in Hinduism what is of Christianity in Abrahamic religions. Chirstianity took away all the complexity of Judism and made it very simple for the followers so that a layman can clearly understand and follow the same. Buddhism and Jainism tried to do the same and were quite successful in their attempt too. These are corrective/complementary religions within the broad canvas of Hinduism. The third in this caregory is Sikkhism which stands somewhere between both of these and conventional Hinduism in ideology.

I believe there is a big difference between what is Christianity to Judaism from what is Buddhism to Hinduism.

In 'Judaism to Christianity' there is no paradigmatic change in the idea of God except the moral standards are changed significantly from where God was very violent to suit the times to a God who was a pacifist, i.e. 'love all - even enemies'.

In 'Hinduism to Buddhism' there is a 180% turn from theism, atman and Brahman of Hinduism to non-theism, anatman and alaya-vijnana of Buddhism.

alaya-vijnana is not equivalent to Brahman of Hinduism.
alaya-vijnana refer to 'store-consciousness.'
https://www.learnreligions.com/alaya-vi ... ess-449659
This idea is only claimed by the yogacara school but not others who claim there is 'nothing'.
The overriding idea is that of Sunyata, the idea of 'emptiness' and even emptiness of emptiness.
In this case, there is nothing for the Buddhist to cling to [no possibility of attachment] while interacting in reality in the Now.

In terms of core-principles, Hinduism and Buddhism are on the opposite end of each other.

if you go through the Buddhist cosmolgy throughly, you will find that the details of the habitants of the higher spiritual planes are also mentioned like, what is thier forms, qualities and lifespans. Only a fool will go in such a detail if something does not remain after death and goes there. And, if one is suposed not to take all that detail literally, why one is supposed to take the concept of anatman literally?

And lastly but most importantly( especially for me) reason is that if an ordinary person like me can draw a conclusion of having atman from my limited efforts and experiences, i cannot accept that a commited person like Buddha, who spent almost his whole life in finding answers, would not be aware of the reality.

I mentioned earlier, the fanciful stuffs are to be taken allegorically and not in the real sense.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhist_cosmology
The cosmology has also been interpreted in a symbolical or allegorical sense (for Mahayana teaching see Ten spiritual realms).

The picture of the world presented in Buddhist cosmological descriptions cannot be taken as a literal description of the shape of the universe. It is inconsistent, and cannot be made consistent, with astronomical data that were already known in ancient India.

Only a fool will go in such a detail if something does not remain after death and goes there. And, if one is suposed not to take all that detail literally, why one is supposed to take the concept of anatman literally?

As mentioned above;
The overriding idea is that of Sunyata, the idea of 'emptiness' and even emptiness of emptiness.
In the case of Buddhism, there is no atman and no Brahaman. In this case there is nothing for the Buddhist to cling to [no possibility of attachment] while interacting in reality in the Now.

The idea of anatman is viewed literally as a negative but not taken realistically. Since anatman is in the negative, there is no essence in it to be positive and be real.

Note I have discussed at length with Fanman in the previous posts, why the mind reaches for 'something' [God in religion] rather than 'nothing' is due to one's internal psychology.
The main purpose of Buddhism-proper is to manage and deal with this terrible internal psychology starting with the Buddha Story [a myth].
Last edited by Prismatic567 on Wed Nov 20, 2019 9:54 am, edited 2 times in total.
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
Prismatic567
Philosopher

Posts: 2673
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2014 4:35 am

### Re: I don't get Buddhism

Fanman wrote:Prismatic,

This is another reassertion of your points, with misinterpreted or misrepresented views on what I've stated.

1. I believe that pattern recognition and attributing agency is a primary cause of religious belief, but I didn't claim that it is the cause of all religions.

2. You have still not provided the evidence which substantiates your claim "the subconscious fear of death is the root cause of all religions." At this point, I don't think that you are going to.

I have already provided plenty of evidences and explanation.
I am going to waste time explaining again and again.

However, I am very interested in your argument,
Fanman: "I believe that pattern recognition and attributing agency is a primary cause of [some] religious belief"
If you can present your argument with sequential premises, that would be great.
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
Prismatic567
Philosopher

Posts: 2673
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2014 4:35 am

### Re: I don't get Buddhism

Prismatic,

Note: I have updated my previous post re the snake oil comment.

However, I am very interested in your argument,
Fanman: "I believe that pattern recognition and attributing agency is a primary cause of [some] religious belief"
If you can present your argument with sequential premises, that would be great.

Not sequentially, I don't know what the sequential premises are cognitively. I have searched, but I didn't find anything substantive. In short, what I believe is that data (including fear), is relayed dynamically between the conscious and subconscious mind, consisting of a variety of sensory information. Then, based upon both the conscious and subconscious cognition of the data, things are interpreted, like agency etc. I don't believe there is a strict sequential series in terms of cognition, but I could be wrong.

Re humans not having instincts, the section of the link which discusses this is "history". It won't take you long to read the whole article though.
Last edited by Fanman on Wed Nov 20, 2019 6:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Fanman

Posts: 301
Joined: Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:47 am

### Re: I don't get Buddhism

KT,

I think that you're right, but I've decided to stick with it as long as he participates - in spite of his ways.

I can take away a few things from this discussion so it hasn't been a waste of time. I've learned quite a lot here. It would be cool if you participated also at this stage.
Fanman

Posts: 301
Joined: Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:47 am

### Re: I don't get Buddhism

Fanman wrote:KT,

I think that you're right, but I've decided to stick with it as long as he participates - in spite of his ways.

I can take away a few things from this discussion so it hasn't been a waste of time. I've learned quite a lot here. It would be cool if you participated also at this stage.
I've reached my too cranky point. I spent years with one person, so I understand that you can be getting stuff. For me it has to be about human nature. The issue gets discussed, but when I have put in for the long haul, I have tried to find different ways to explain what I see as the blank spots. And then wondered over human nature and the person in particular. How can they not get what I mean? Is the cognitive dissonance so strong they simply will not see it? And then over time, what is the motivation for X has to be what they say it is? What is that doing? That kept me going for years with one person and I did learn a lot. About myself, about people, about my assumptions.

My sense is that if these side issues are not on the table - not necessarily in the posts - then it's a bit like letting someone torture you.

But you seem to have a good handle on yourself.

To tie this to Buddhism - in a sense a long conversation like this is a bit like meditating on someone. Of course, you have to check up on yourself also, during this. But it ends up oddly intimate. And that's better, I think, than meditating on the breath, say. More complicated, but richer.
Karpel Tunnel
Philosopher

Posts: 2513
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:26 pm

### Re: I don't get Buddhism

KT,

I agree. It is exactly that.

I've been trained and I'm quite experienced in dealing with behaviours. So when I get the brow beating, it kind of rolls off after the initial "wtf?" I tend to make a sport of it, because I lose respect for the person - whilst keeping serious about the topic. Rightly or wrongly, that's my approach.

Your contribution here has been appreciated.
Fanman

Posts: 301
Joined: Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:47 am

### Re: I don't get Buddhism

Prismatic,

Note I have discussed at length with Fanman in the previous posts, why the mind reaches for 'something' [God in religion] rather than 'nothing' is due to one's internal psychology.

I can certainly agree with this. The mind does reach for things that are associated with religious belief, though of course not in all cases. If we are speaking strictly about the continuation of life after death, then I believe that the fear of death (not necessarily the subconscious fear of death) is a cause of this, amongst other existential anxieties and questions. I think it is plausible to claim that the fear of death (conscious or subconscious) is a factor in religious belief, but realistically, religious belief could be caused by any number of factors, given that people are individuals. What is a "root cause" for some is not necessarily a root cause for others.

To claim what you are, on the basis of something very close to human instincts, which may or may not exist in relation to your claim, and further to use the operator "all", is where (IMV) your argument falls apart. Fundamentally, if you're going to keep arguing this as a fact. Your going to have to provide the evidence, period.

It is ridiculous to claim that you've provided factual evidence, that hasn't been recognised by anyone here.
Fanman

Posts: 301
Joined: Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:47 am

### Re: I don't get Buddhism

"Is The Buddhist ‘No-Self’ Doctrine Compatible With Pursuing Nirvana?"
Katie Javanaud asks whether there is a contradiction at the heart of Buddhism.

When Buddhists assert the doctrine of ‘no-self’, they have a clear conception of what a self would be. The self Buddhists deny would have to meet the following criteria: it would (i) retain identity over time, (ii) be permanent (that is, enduring), and (iii) have ‘controlling powers’ over the parts of a person. Yet through empirical investigation, Buddhists conclude that there is no such thing. ‘I’ is commonly used to refer to the mind/body integration of the five skandhas, but when we examine these, we discover that in none alone are the necessary criteria for self met, and as we’ve seen, the combination of them is a convenient fiction.

Once again [in my view] this is basically a scholastic assessment of the "self" that amounts to a general description of nothing in particular. One has a clear "conception" of the self because it revolves almost entirely around concepts defining and defending other concepts. To expose something as a "convenient fiction", we have to examine the choices that "I" actually make in a particular context and differentiate what we can know to be in fact true and what is merely a personal opinion based on a specific set of assumptions regarding human interactions "in general".

And, even here, to speak of, "when Buddhist assert the doctrine of 'no self'", is in itself based on the assumption that there is in fact only one way that all Buddhists around the globe think about this. Even only as a concept.

So, could there be something outside the skandhas that constitutes the self? Siderits observes: “in order for the Buddha’s strategy to work, he will have to show that the doctrine of the five skandhas gives an exhaustive analysis of the parts of the person”. This exhaustiveness claim amounts to asserting that every element or aspect of a person is accounted for by the five skandhas.

Okay, but then take this person and situate him or her in a set of circumstances whereby in interacting with others the dots are connected between the "good life" on this side of the grave, karma, and one's fate on the other side of the grave.

As this might all unfold in regard to my "illegal immigrant" example above, or in regard to an ensuing political upheaval as is unfolding for particular Buddhists in Hong Kong.

An "exhaustive analysis" of "heaps, aggregates, collections, groupings" pertaining to "forms, sensations, perceptions, mental activity and consciousness"?

That sort of analysis?

Okay, but then bring this assessment out into the world in which Buddhists interact with others who see the "self" in very, very different ways. What then? If only [for now] on this side of the grave.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382

iambiguous
ILP Legend

Posts: 33125
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: baltimore maryland

### Re: I don't get Buddhism

Prismatic,
Note I have discussed at length with Fanman in the previous posts, why the mind reaches for 'something' [God in religion] rather than 'nothing' is due to one's internal psychology.
You have asserted at length. You have consistantly conflated correlation with cause. You have repeatedly ignored the complexity and development of religions. You have asserted things about the mental processes of people long dead with great certainty. You ignore facets of religion - in practices, texts, self-reporting, ceremonies, commentaries - that do not fit your hypothesis, even when these vastly outweigh the presence of evidence that your hypothesis is correct and complete.

There are basic philosophical discussion practices and concepts that you do not understand. Your posts are riddled with fallacies and conflate possibility with certainty, contributing factors (at best) with solitary causes, assertion with coherent argument, parts you select for the whole (of texts for example), book knowledge with a more complete knowledge and your own sense of certainty with evidence for others.

It is not even remotely close to what a decent professor would accept as a solid opinion paper.

You have a speculative hypothesis. Which is peachy, if it is presented as that. and then if you actually deal with counterarguments in specific rather than dismissing them with appeals to incredulity. Or with someone disagreeing with you means they think there is no unconscious mind or fear of death. Strawmen, red herrings. In fact your posts provide excellent examples of many fallacies and evasions.

Look up, cognitive dissonance, please, and just consider for a moment that you might not want to notice what a great many people have, in common, said about the flaws in your arguments might be the case.

Not for our sake, but for yours.
Karpel Tunnel
Philosopher

Posts: 2513
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:26 pm

### Re: I don't get Buddhism

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
Prismatic,
Note I have discussed at length with Fanman in the previous posts, why the mind reaches for 'something' [God in religion] rather than 'nothing' is due to one's internal psychology.
You have asserted at length. You have consistantly conflated correlation with cause. You have repeatedly ignored the complexity and development of religions. You have asserted things about the mental processes of people long dead with great certainty. You ignore facets of religion - in practices, texts, self-reporting, ceremonies, commentaries - that do not fit your hypothesis, even when these vastly outweigh the presence of evidence that your hypothesis is correct and complete.

My main point is whatever the forms and facets of religion which I have accounted for, they are all reducible to the subconscious fear of death response to avoid death.

There are basic philosophical discussion practices and concepts that you do not understand. Your posts are riddled with fallacies and conflate possibility with certainty, contributing factors (at best) with solitary causes, assertion with coherent argument, parts you select for the whole (of texts for example), book knowledge with a more complete knowledge and your own sense of certainty with evidence for others.

You have a speculative hypothesis. Which is peachy, if it is presented as that. and then if you actually deal with counterarguments in specific rather than dismissing them with appeals to incredulity. Or with someone disagreeing with you means they think there is no unconscious mind or fear of death. Strawmen, red herrings. In fact your posts provide excellent examples of many fallacies and evasions.

The above is all talk but no specific counter to the premises I have raised.

Look up, cognitive dissonance, please, and just consider for a moment that you might not want to notice what a great many people have, in common, said about the flaws in your arguments might be the case.

Not for our sake, but for yours.

Cognitive dissonance is actually a central element and mainstay of my argument.
I have not discussed it in detail here but have done in other threads.
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
Prismatic567
Philosopher

Posts: 2673
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2014 4:35 am

### Re: I don't get Buddhism

Fanman wrote:Prismatic,

Note: I have updated my previous post re the snake oil comment.

However, I am very interested in your argument,
Fanman: "I believe that pattern recognition and attributing agency is a primary cause of [some] religious belief"
If you can present your argument with sequential premises, that would be great.

Not sequentially, I don't know what the sequential premises are cognitively. I have searched, but I didn't find anything substantive. In short, what I believe is that data (including fear), is relayed dynamically between the conscious and subconscious mind, consisting of a variety of sensory information. Then, based upon both the conscious and subconscious cognition of the data, things are interpreted, like agency etc. I don't believe there is a strict sequential series in terms of cognition, but I could be wrong.

Sequentially... that is the basic rule of logic, i.e. one premise must follow from the previous to the conclusion, otherwise it is non-sequitor.

There is no absolute determination, but from the beginning of evolution to the present, all events are deterministic, thus sequential.

You need to update your knowledge on the neural circuits of primal fear and emotional fear, plus the amydala short-circuit that ranged from the subconscious and conscious.
What is critical here is the conscious fear of death is heavily suppressed.

On the point of agencity.
Note this apply to those earlier group of theists who founded the concept of god as an agent [driven by agenticity] and invented holy books to establish God as the ultimate agent.
Those theists [then and now] who later cling to a God do not rely on their pattern recognition and agenticity in relation to theism.
These theists merely cling to what is presented them with a promise of eternal life which is directly driven by the subconscious-fear-of-death responses based on faith, not by agencity.
Their agenticity may drive them to see the image of Jesus in a sandwich, surface of the moon, but not of God.
The idea of the ontological God is not based on agenticity but by solely from crude reasoning.

Re humans not having instincts, the section of the link which discusses this is "history". It won't take you long to read the whole article though.

Do you agree, it is certain [scientific wise] human do not have instincts?
It would be crazy if you do.
At most, that is only valid from a different perspective.
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
Prismatic567
Philosopher

Posts: 2673
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2014 4:35 am

### Re: I don't get Buddhism

Fanman wrote:Re humans not having instincts, the section of the link which discusses this is "history". It won't take you long to read the whole article though.

You made a misinterpretation "humans not having instincts".

Note the wiki point;
By the year 2000, a survey of the 12 best selling textbooks in Introductory Psychology revealed only one reference to instincts, and that was in regard to Sigmund Freud's referral to the "id" instincts.[citation needed] In this sense, the term 'instinct' appeared to have become outmoded for introductory textbooks on human psychology.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instinct#History

I would not depend on this wiki point [the contributor seem myopic] too much.

It only the used of the word 'instinct' but not what 'instinct' actually represent in psychology and neuroscience, i.e. "Instinct or innate behavior is the inherent inclination of a living organism towards a particular complex behavior."

If you google the term 'instinct' it is still very popularly used within the psychology community, e.g.

Actually, your "human beings do not have instinct" to counter my premises is very cheap, based on a falsehood and deceptive.

If you read the 'History' section at the beginning is this;

Jean Henri Fabre (1823-1915), an entomologist, considered instinct to be any behavior which did not require cognition or consciousness to perform.
An interest in innate behaviors arose again in the 1950s with Konrad Lorenz and Nikolaas Tinbergen, who made the distinction between instinct and learned behaviors. Our modern understanding of instinctual behavior in animals owes much to their work.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instinct# ... al_biology

Human beings inherited most the animal and mammalian neural functions via evolution, the above qualities are not likely to have changed in relation to instincts between animals and human beings. At most there are some additions at the frills but not the substance of it.

It is still true, human instincts do not require cognition or consciousness to perform.

It is said in the article, 4000 types of instinct were identified.
When I talk of the subconscious-of-fear-of-death instinct or responses, it is a very deep primal instinct [the very early] which had evolved long before and inherited by human being via evolution.
Such an instinct definitely preceded the pattern recognition of agencity which require 'cognition'.
Note the above point, instincts do not require cognition or consciousness to perform, in this case, more so with the primal instinct of the subconscious-of-fear-of-death instinct.

You and KT made a lot of complains with my arguments and presentation.
Your lack and incapable to grasp my argument is more to do with your limitations than my lack of evidences. It is that I have thrown in too much [necessary] information and knowledge herein that you are unable to see them in a whole picture and perspective.
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
Prismatic567
Philosopher

Posts: 2673
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2014 4:35 am

### Re: I don't get Buddhism

Prismatic,

Where did I specifically claim that human-beings don't have instincts?

I specifically stated that it has been argued that human being don't have instincts. One of the points I was referring to was this excerpt from the wiki article, which you seem to have missed;

Psychologist Abraham Maslow argued that humans no longer have instincts because we have the ability to override them in certain situations. He felt that what is called instinct is often imprecisely defined, and really amounts to strong drives. For Maslow, an instinct is something which cannot be overridden, and therefore while the term may have applied to humans in the past, it no longer does.[7]

I'm not sure if human beings have instincts, there are arguments both for and against it.

This;

Those theists [then and now] who later cling to a God do not rely on their pattern recognition and agenticity in relation to theism. These theists merely cling to what is presented them with a promise of eternal life which is directly driven by the subconscious-fear-of-death responses based on faith, not by agencity.

Requires evidence.
Fanman

Posts: 301
Joined: Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:47 am

### Re: I don't get Buddhism

Fanman wrote:Prismatic,

Where did I specifically claim that human-beings don't have instincts?

I specifically stated that it has been argued that human being don't have instincts. One of the points I was referring to was this excerpt from the wiki article, which you seem to have missed;

Psychologist Abraham Maslow argued that humans no longer have instincts because we have the ability to override them in certain situations. He felt that what is called instinct is often imprecisely defined, and really amounts to strong drives. For Maslow, an instinct is something which cannot be overridden, and therefore while the term may have applied to humans in the past, it no longer does.[7]

I'm not sure if human beings have instincts, there are arguments both for and against it.

As I had stated it is matter of perspective, i.e. Maslow's perspective.
When Maslow (1908 – June 8, 1970) was active, the neurosciences were in the very early infancy phase, thus he [a psychologist] did not have knowledge of finer workings of the brain.

There is no way babies and infant can override these instincts.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instinct# ... _in_humans

Adult humans has the cognitive power to modulate the impulses of the instincts and primal instincts but there is no way the inherent and innate instincts from the DNA-RNA could be changed.
In most cases, many adults are controlled by their instincts rather than they overriding their primal and other inherent, innate and hardwired instincts.

In this case, Maslow's view on instinct is insignificant to current views of the inherent innate instincts.
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
Prismatic567
Philosopher

Posts: 2673
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2014 4:35 am

### Re: I don't get Buddhism

Prismatic,

This is the last time I'm going to ask. Could you please provide the evidence which substantiates your claim: "The subconscious fear of death is the root cause of all religions."

If you don't provide it, then I'm going to assume that you can't. If you perceive that you already have and it has been missed, could you then summarise your evidential points into a coherent post. Until you do this, it will be difficult to move forward.
Fanman

Posts: 301
Joined: Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:47 am

PreviousNext