Buddhism
Posted: 12 July 2007 06:01 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Hi, I am sorry if the question is a bit lame, but

Can the research on Ricard “prove buddhism to be true”? Are there some problems with the studies?

http://www.medialens.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2442
http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/this_britain/article2171679.ece

If for example, that guy would meditate on anatta (or emptyness), and feel a state of bliss (as the scriptures indicate) - if the state of bliss would be confirmed by the measurements, would that prove emptyness or anatta?


and can the research of Benson prove some doctrine of tibetan buddhism?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tummo


What confuses me most the monk’s talk about devotion. Devotion seems to me as personality cult - something which dumbens the mind, robbing it of its clear thinking, and critical capacities. But if he says that it causes hapiness, and science proves it - can he be right? Should I change my mind? It is hard - after all devotion is really dumb…

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Posted: 12 July 2007 11:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Well, saying “buddhism is true” is saying a lot and not much at once, since you’d have to decide what buddhism is, which buddhists can’t agree entirely on, and then decide if it was all true or just parts of it. FWIW I think the research to date, which is pretty early and not very rigorous, suggests that meditation absolutely has measurable effects on the brain and on other body systems. This likely means there is some reality to the changes in internal states that people report, so to some extent these are also real, though the meaning people ascribe to them is another thing. I think buddhism has managed, through trial and error, to find some effective, and potentially useful, ways to alter thoughts, emotions, and behavior patterns by altering brain states. This isn’t really so shocking an idea, since we have ample evidence for the plasticity of even the adult brain, and operant conditioning can do the same. I don’t personally feel this has any implications about the underlying metaphysics or mythology, which I don’t find any more convincing than that of other religions. But I do think it’s unfortunate that skeptics and scince-minded people are often so put off by the fact that the ideas come from a religious tradition that they are reluctant to study and evaluate them objectively on their own merits.

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Posted: 13 July 2007 02:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Can you explain why :

I don’t personally feel this has any implications about the underlying metaphysics

For example, if the claim is : shunyata, emptiness, lack of inherent existance is true. Meditating upon shunyata causes a strong feeling of hapiness.  The last is proved by brain correlates. Voila! shunyata is proved.

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Posted: 13 July 2007 02:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Endorphins. Pas voila!  Et ta esposition ne porte rien d’eau.

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Posted: 13 July 2007 02:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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English please

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Posted: 13 July 2007 03:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Et ta esposition ne porte rien d’eau = Your explanation holds no water.

I will rephrase it, I think it does hold water.

(1) Shunyata is true - buddhist claim
(2) Meditating about shunyata causes hapiness -> buddhist claim.
(3) Meditation about shunyata causes more endorphins in the brain. - shown by research
(3) So, meditation about shunyata Does cause hapiness in the end, by enlarging the number of endorphins in the brain.
(4) Conclusion : (2) is correct.

Though (1) is not neccessary. Meditation about shunyata can cause hapiness, while it is not true. For example, one might feel peace after meditating on the mantra “two plus two equals five”. That wouldn’t proove the mantra. 

Are there are other problems?

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Posted: 13 July 2007 08:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Basically, what he said. I think meditation on emptiness may quiet the mind, meditation on compassion may help generate compassionate thoughts and behavior, etc. None of that means that reincarnation is real, that god and demons exist, that enlightenment once acheieved allows us to transcend samsarra and avoid rebirth, etc. Saying the rosary may accomplish the same as chanting om shanti without the underlying mythology behind either act being true.

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Posted: 14 July 2007 04:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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What Brennen said.

The same feeling of happiness could be achieved by meditation on any mantra, object or idea.

And even if it could only be achieved by meditation on emptiness, that would not show that the doctrine of emptiness were true, it would only show that thinking about emptiness in a particular way made you happy. Some people claim that thinking about god or Jesus’s love for them makes them happy. OK. But that doesn’t mean that Christian doctrine is true, either. They may just be deluding themselves into a false sense of happiness.

OTOH if happiness is all you’re looking for ...

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Posted: 14 July 2007 12:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Off-topic :

 
OTOH if happiness is all you’re looking for ...

What else are you looking for?

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Posted: 14 July 2007 02:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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wandering - 14 July 2007 12:39 PM

Off-topic :

 
OTOH if happiness is all you’re looking for ...

What else are you looking for?

Good health, good friends, nice neighbourhood, beer, etc.  In short loads of things, including but not limited to happiness.

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Posted: 14 July 2007 02:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I usually aim for satisfaction; happiness is a bonus…

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Posted: 14 July 2007 03:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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[quote author=“narwhol” date=“1184462421]

Good health, good friends, nice neighbourhood, beer, etc.  In short loads of things, including but not limited to happiness.

 

Can I say that in the end you are looking for hapiness, just finding it through health, friends, neighbourhood, beer?

Though I admit that if no matter what you say, I will say that you are looking for hapiness, my assertion is rather vague…


George :

” I usually aim for satisfaction; happiness is a bonus…  “

Can you explain it please?

[ Edited: 14 July 2007 03:46 PM by wandering ]
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Posted: 14 July 2007 05:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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No, I’d like happiness and those things.  No point being happy three seconds before you drop dead of ill-health, friendless in a bad neighbourhood with no beer.

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Posted: 07 August 2007 08:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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On happiness:

Are you familiar with the rats experiments of James Olds?

Would you like to live like that?

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