[lit-ideas] Re: vedic science

  • From: "Peter D. Junger" <junger@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 27 May 2004 20:22:20 -0400

One can make the same sort argument about the Buddha's teachings
being ``scientific,'' perhaps even with a bit more reason, since
the central theme of those teachings is that nothing has an 
independent existence, that everything is interdependent, and
that everything is constantly changing in accordance with
its causes and conditions.  These teachings are much less
likely to come into conflict with science than are the dogmas
and doctrines of Christianity, including the existence of a
totally ``other'' creator.  And then there is the passage in the
Lankavatara Sutra that says:  ``Things are not as they seem,
nor are they otherwise,'' which seems to describe the ultimate
teaching of quantum mechanics.

And the instruction of the Buddha to rely on yourself sounds
like a claim that one should adopt something like an empiricist
approach to understanding that sounds remarkably ``scientific.''

On the other hand the Buddhist teachings are more properly 
considered as involving psychology than physics.  And their
goal is to allow us to free ourselves from the causes of
our unhappiness, not to explain the world.  The goal is not
to understand the world, but to change ourselves, which is
to be done by understanding ourselves.

Peter D. Junger--Case Western Reserve University Law School--Cleveland, OH
 EMAIL: junger@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx    URL:  http://samsara.law.cwru.edu   
         NOTE: junger@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx no longer exists
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