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Why I reject karma and reincarnation, as illogical and nonsensical


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I will continue to be obdurate. I am suggesting that we should not take decisions in philosophy until we have understood the issues. I have no intenton of altering this view.

 

From here it appears that Tar is a visitor from another planet, and I really don't know what to say to the latest post. It demonstrates a complete lack of knowledge and a great deal of confusion mingled with an assortment of bold statements and confident assertions that no real philosopher would make. I'm trying to do the guy a favour. But no matter.

 

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Why I reject karma and reincarnation I believe the religious idea of Karma and Reincarnation are illogical and nonsensical and l list my objections this belief below. 1) Karma is the belief that

1)Nothing to argue there   2)Hitler could of failed his life lesson. Then he could of devolved. Who knows, maybe for the next 1000 years he is doomed to be trees that gets cut down over and over a

This must be where I've gone wrong. I didn't know it was as simple as refusing to "prescribe" because of unpleasantness. This seems MUCH easier than using reason, AND I get to make up something pleasa

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PeterJ,

 

I am not completely devoid of experience in Tao teachings. I experienced the 70's and "third eye" teachings and aster fibers and reading about American Indian Shaman using peyote and the like to get in touch with the spirits.

 

You can talk about Hun and Po, Yin and Yang, 3 souls and 7 spirits, as if it is literal fact, whereas I can take it all and parse it into its "real" components, according to me and my 61 years of experience, and parse it all through my own understanding of what about the world is that which is modeled, and what about the world is the model, and what about the world is the modeler.

 

Freud discussed the Id, the ego and the super ego. Not completely foreign to the three Hun souls of Buddism. Walt Disney discussed the seven dwarfs, not completely foriegn from the seven deadly sins, or the seven po spirits. Hun and Po, not unrelated to the moon and the sun. Christians have the Son and the Father. I am sure the Sun and the Moon were around from the moment we rose from the primodial sludge, until now.

 

Wu Wei, effortless action, is not something unappreciated by the West, or by me. Quite logically invalid, but understood.

 

It is not up to you to decide I know nothing of these things. I am just as related to the Earth and the Sun and the Moon, and to Lucy, as you are.

 

And making an effort to be effortless would be rather pointless.

 

I have a general disregard, for religions that call for special knowledge and understanding, that can be accessed only by the initiated.

 

My common understanding is that truth is available to all, free to all, and obvious to all. If you think the philosophy of the West fails to answer the main question, tell me then, in your own words, but in words I can understand without being a Taoist, what the main question, is, and what the answer, valuable to both you, and to me, and to the world, is.

 

This thread is about the logic and sensibility related to Karma and Reincarnation. Which of the notions related to Karma and Reincarnation, do you figure are real, and which do you figure are made up?

 

Regards, TAR

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I seem to have missed something here.

Are we going to have a succession of threads titled

"Why I reject unicorns and lepricorns, as illogical and nonsensical"

"Why I reject the idea that 2+2 = 6 and and all brown things are green, as illogical and nonsensical" and

"Why I reject the idea that the sea is boiling hot and and think that debate concerning whether pigs have wings as illogical and nonsensical"?

 

On a scientific site, what does this thread bring to the party?

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I seem to have missed something here.

Are we going to have a succession of threads titled

"Why I reject unicorns and lepricorns, as illogical and nonsensical"

"Why I reject the idea that 2+2 = 6 and and all brown things are green, as illogical and nonsensical" and

"Why I reject the idea that the sea is boiling hot and and think that debate concerning whether pigs have wings as illogical and nonsensical"?

 

On a scientific site, what does this thread bring to the party?

 

John dear John,

 

"It should be obvious that no one is trying to further scientific thought in this sub-forum"

 

The title of this thread that you mock, is directly related to a religious topic, and if you can take the time to look at which subforum it occurred in you will notice "Religion"

 

The Administrator/Owner created this sub-forum, which is about "Religion" and after more than 10,000 posts you should know by now that it is impossible to get consensus in these types of topics.

 

To me it is fun to watch a debate unfold and where it leads. Lighten up and smell the roses John!

 

Much of science seems illogical and 2+2 can =6, and remain within the boundaries of physics.

 

Such as the "Flow of time"

 

The sea might be boiling hot, simply because you left out which sea you were talking about. The primordial sea of planet earth was boiling hot, or a sea on another planet might be also?

 

Unicorns might exist, how can you positive there is no such animal somewhere in our vast universe?

 

Leprechauns might also exist, and their existence come down as the memories of small human like creatures that existed before mankind (Homo Sapiens) came on the scene some 150,000 years? ago?

 

One should never lose a sense of wonder or the mysterious, no less a person like Albert Einstein made a comment much like this one.

 

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http://blog.gaiam.com/quotes/authors/albert-einstein/66301

The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of all true art and science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed. It was the experience of mystery - even if mixed with fear - that engendered religion. A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, our perceptions of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which only in their most primitive forms are accessible to our minds - it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute true religiosity; in this sense, and, and in this alone, I am a deeply religious man.

Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

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PeterJ,

 

I just randomly gave you my neg rep allowance.

 

You say its pointless to engage, yet you don't engage. I came on this thread to back up Alan's thesis, you agreed, and then the both of you, turned on me, as I demanded logic and sensibility from you, and gave my opinion as to how to answer questions of existence and belonging and to tell the difference between reality and illusion. You say I know nothing about the subject, and do not answer my objections. You make no comment on my opinions, and make no defense of your beliefs. Just call me ignorant, and give me neg reps.

 

Yes it is rather pointless to attempt to engage with you, when the result is loosing a dozen reputation points, for the effort.

 

The thread question is, "Does Karma and Reincarnation, make any logical sense." It seems, on a discussion board, and a science discussion board, at that, that one should look to identify those things that are common to all people and are passed from generation to generation, both literally and figuratively. What mechanisms, physical and mental are used to accomplish this?

 

If your beliefs are indefensible, it is not my doing. Don't give me neg reps for pointing out the flimsy nature of the ground you so proudly are standing on.

 

Effortless effort? Really? That is the key?

 

Regards, TAR

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John - You asked - "On a scientific site what does this thread bring to the party?"

 

I would ask the same. It's not the topic that is the problem, Any topic can be discussed 'scientifically', thus with rigour and care for the facts etc.. But this is not what is happening here. So yes, I'd ask the same question. What is the point of discussing a topic with so little effort to do it justice? Might as well chat about the weather.

 

So far I haven't seen a description of karma that is accurate, let alone any attempt to address the question of whether it is 'logical' and survives philosophical analysis.

 

Perhaps the dictionary entry for the 'Principle of Charity' could be made a sticky for philosophy discussions. Mods?

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Any topic can be discussed 'scientifically', thus with rigour and care for the facts etc..

But there don't seem to be any facts.

Some opinions and hearsay- but that's it.

Of course, in accordance with the principle of charity, both sides are right- always- so the weather looks as good a topic as any.

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There are no such thing as "facts in science"

 

So called facts have a degrade graph almost as soon as they are postulated. What was considered tue yesterday might be found untrue today!

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So, it seems we're going to deny that there are such things as facts. It would follow that the falsity of the theory of karma is not a fact. All very confusing.

 

I can only keep repeating that karma can make no sense with no grasp of the wider theory. It's like trying to discuss non-locality armed with no knowledge of quantum mechanics and no familiarity with the data. Good fun but hardly likely to be useful.

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OK, let's join Alan in his pursuit of pedantry, and ask if there are any viable working hypotheses concerning karma and reincarnation?

 

Why did you fail to respond to my post about the unicorn, 2+2=6 etc??

 

I am most definitely not a pendanterist or dogmatic in any way or form and you know nothing about me, so it is very wrong to give me that type of attribute.

 

Your quote "Alan in his"pursuit in my pedantry", makes no sense, why should I seek dogmatism?

 

In fact I'm open minded and if anyone can prove the truth about reincarnation/karma to me, I would become a believer, however, not a dogmatic believer!

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So, it seems we're going to deny that there are such things as facts. It would follow that the falsity of the theory of karma is not a fact. All very confusing.

 

I can only keep repeating that karma can make no sense with no grasp of the wider theory. It's like trying to discuss non-locality armed with no knowledge of quantum mechanics and no familiarity with the data. Good fun but hardly likely to be useful.

 

 

You’re not trying to discus; you’re just trying to find a way to be correct without reasonable rigor.

 

Present this “wider theory” without the logical fallacies, please.

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Well, here's the thing. It would be impossible for anyone to prove the truth of karma to you. The only way to be sure would be 'empirically', by direct experience of the nature of reality. This is why arguing about the truth of karma is largely a waste of time. It would be possible, however, to investigate whether karma can be refuted in logic or whether it would contradict any known facts.

 

Philosophy is permanently unable to establish what is true or false about reality, it can only tell us what would be most sensible to believe. To establish what is actually true would require more than logic, as Aristotle is careful to note. This is a dangerous thing for a philosopher to forget.

 

The philosophical question is not whether karma is true of false but whether it can be falsified, whether it solves any problems, whether it explains anything and so on.

 

I have no argument at all for its truth or falsity but I do know that it is an extremely subtle theory that cannot be understood easily. I do happen to believe that it is basic principle of the Cosmos, but that's a belief and I wouldn't expect anyone else to take any notice of it. Our beliefs are irrelevant to anything.

 

What is relevant is the framework theory within which karma sits, because this can be investigated in logic and science. Logic can demonstrate that it works and that no other theory does. The wider theory has many names but it is commonly nondualism. It translates into metaphysics as a neutral metaphysical position.

 

Unless this general theory is understood then there's not much point in discussing karma because it would be impossible to make any sense of it.

 

I hope it's becoming obvious that I'm not arguing against anybody's particular view here, but just for remaining dispassionate and open-minded and giving every idea its due attention before dismissing or endorsing it. Otherwise discussions go round and round in circles, unable to break out of the constraints of our unexamined assumptions.


dimreeper - I thought you'd be able to find my blog. I won't be thanked for writing a million words here. Or you could simply could google 'nondualism'. If you google 'neutral metaphysical position' you'll probably find my dissertation on the topic.

 

For a physicist writing on nondualism you could check out Ulrich Mohrhoff. Erwin Schrodinger endorsed it for the last forty years of his life and wrote extensively. It's very well known and is the oldest cosmological scheme on record. It isn't well known in the sciences or academic philosophy, but I believe that this is changing, possibly thanks to the internet.

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Why did you fail to respond to my post about the unicorn, 2+2=6 etc??

 

 

Because it said things like "The sea might be boiling hot, simply because you left out which sea you were talking about. The primordial sea of planet earth was boiling hot, or a sea on another planet might be also?"

 

In which you fail to notice the difference between "the sea" which I said and "a sea" which I didn't. Similarly "the sea is boiling hot" rather than "the sea was boiling hot."

 

Essentially, it seemed a bit pointless to reply.

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PeterJ,

 

Thanks for your reasonable reply.

 

However, I think you overestimate the sublety required to understand "the wider theory". That is, I think you are wrong to think that you "get it" and TAR has no clue.

 

Think about it for a minute. If there is no difference between Atman and Brahman, no difference between subject and object, no differences between anything, then I gave myself 3 neg reps yesterday when I randomly assigned neg reps to three of your posts in this thread.

 

There is, in reality, a PeterJ and a TAR. We are on many of the same teams. We are on many competing teams. We are both in and of the universe, and in this can find no difference, nor any other universe to be in and of. Is the universe capable of consciousness? Well yes. Here we are, conscious of ourselves, each other, and that which would be objective reality to the both of us.

 

I already, in this thread, suggested that I knew the difference between the modeler, that which is being modeled, and the model. Socrates in the cave, with the shadows on the wall taught me this.

Kant, with "what we can say about a thing" being different from the thing in itself, taught me this.

 

I have already gone to Sunday school, I have already read books with Eastern and Western thought behind them. I have already empirically experienced life and mused about how life grabbed form and structure, from a universe otherwise tending toward entropy, and passed it on to the next generation. I already get the subtleties, I don't have to read your blog.

 

The thread question, is does "the wider theory" have any body of knowledge, upon which it is based, that any of us can inspect for ourselves and find it reasonable to believe in reincarnation, or Karma.

 

Directly asking if there is a real something, that lived in the body of A, that was different and unique, separate from all the rest of the universe, enough to be considered by all observers, as As soul, that then transferrred, by some mechanism in its entirety, into the body of B?

 

That is reincarnation.

 

Karma's existence as a real fact, would be an extension of reincarnation, in that, in addition to there being an objectively real soul of A, there is also an objectively real bank account associated with each soul, that tracks its progression through an objectively real course, leading from, and back to, the master soul.

 

In this, nonduality would argue against Karma, as there is no distinction between Atman and Brahman, and no way to determine any difference between good and bad karma, nor any particular reason to leave the master soul, in the first place, just inorder to undergo an eternal process designed to return to it.

 

Regards, TAR

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Alan,

 

It was about PeterJ's nondualism.

 

I do not believe that effortless effort and no divisions, make any sense, and I was attempted to show the illogic of PeterJ's position.

 

And as well, giving my opinion as to what does make sense.

 

PeterJ, earlier had indicated that he agreed that reincarnation did not work, and that rebirth was more along the lines of what was sensible, and that if one read his blog and delved into the research that backed up his thinking and Taoist thinking and nondualism, that one could then understand the subtleties required to grasp what Karma is all about. He also described Western Philosophy as a failure, and my philosophy as not worth being called philosophy, and told me to look into Wu Wei. I googled a few things, found them to be ideas I had already read or thought about, and had opinions on. So I expressed those opinions to indicate that not only were reincarnation and karma suspect in the ways PeterJ initially allowed, but were questionable as well, according to his particular philosophy or way of thinking. That a basis in logic and sensibility is not to be found, in a "wider theory" that speaks specifically of the individual's attainment of this and loss of that, while pretended there is no such thing as an individual.

 

Regards, TAR

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Sorry Tar, but I cannot figure out what to say to you. I just cannot see where you're coming from.

 

Yes. metaphysically speaking there is no such thing as an individual. Indeed, nothing really exists. Did you know that the claim that nothing really exists is part of the theory of karma? From here it looks like you simply don't understand the theory since your objections are wide of the mark.

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From some reading it seems that even the Buddha did not believe in reincarnation?

 

http://www.buddhistsagainstreincarnation.com/

 

‘Thy self to which though cleavest is a constant change.
Years ago thou wast a small babe;
Then, thou wast a boy;
Then a youth, and now, thou art a man.
Is there an identity of the babe and the man?
There is an identity in a certain sense only.
Indeed there is more identity between the flames
of the first watch and the third watch,
even though the lamp might have been extinguished
during the second watch’ (57) .

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Yes. The Buddha did not teach reincarnation. As I've been trying to point out for a while.

 

Maybe you should have done what I did copy and paste direct from a Buddhist site (Of course with the link)

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PeterJ,

 

I am thinking there is such a thing as an individual. Established by exactly the real components of blood and sinew, chemical signals and neurological patterns, sense and experience, DNA and cultural history that establishes an individual.

 

The waking world is obviously different than the dream world. In the waking world, you must live with the reprecussions of your actions. In the dream world, you can establish any rules of cause and effect that you want.

 

You have established that Buddism does not teach reincarnation, but rebirth. This does not make reincarnation sensible, or logical. Reincarnation would have the sense memories of an earlier life, inhabit the present life. There is no sense in this. No mechanism. No way to have the model of the world, that the new life builds, from their sensory experience, contain the results of the senses of some earlier experience, by some other body. We can put ourselves in other people's shoes, we can remember the sound of our dead mother's voice, we can imagine what it was like to be uncle Albert, we can even have his limp as we might share some genes that weakened a bone we both injured, but conversing with an unseen other, is not proof that the other person is hearing your words. And imagining you were the Queen of Sheba, does not make it so.

 

But you have made metaphysical conclusions as to what must be illusion, and what must be reality, without consulting me. It is not that I am not aware of your conclusions, it is that I do not agree with them. Kant, working on what it is, that we can logically build understanding from, identified our understanding of time and space as the two apriori understandings, that have no other understandings from which they are constructed. And very reasonably Kant logically concludes that sensing the world and making judgments about the world does not prove you know the thing as it is, but does establish the thing as real, in that you can say something about it, which is the same set of somethings I can say about it. Somewhere in your thinking, you have taken Kant's thoughts, and concluded that he was proving that everything is an illusion. I do not agree with you, on this interpretation of Kant, and your take is also quite unsatisfactory in my eyes.

 

This is where I accused you of a strawman argument, because you base your idea that Western philosophy and Kant's metaphysics, is a failure, on a critique that you have misinterpreted, in my estimation.

 

This section of the Science Forum is for discussing the rational foundations of religion. There are many to discuss. Many things that tie us to the Moon and the Sun and the Earth and to each other. Many things, many considerations, like "forgiveness" that was mentioned earlier, that have rational, sensible, logical reasons to be built into our understanding of ourselves, our world, and each other. And of course there is the human desire not to die, to be immortal, that exists in most of us. We would, many of us, like to visit the fountain of youth, or isolate a regenerative subtance from a jelly fish, that would allow us not to die. It is thusly "satisfying" to consider your life line, unbroken. To be the light of a lamp even if doused and relit. And in some ways we are such, continuations of Lucy. The same patterns repeated in the structure of your brain and body as in the structure of mine. And relationship to goats and pigs as well.

 

But as much as I like the idea of going across the rainbow bridge and seeing the dog I put to sleep, playing in a field, I hold the idea only as a dream. I do not consider it is part of the waking world. The bridge has no location, that you can navigate to. Except in your dreams.

 

Regards, TAR

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Alan - The idea of having to post a link to show that the Buddha did not teach reincarnation is exactly my complaint. This is a science forum and the topic is reincarnation and everybody has an opinion. How on earth would it be possible for it not to be well known here what the Buddha taught on the topic? I was objecting the use of the words, since rebirth is better, but I did at least assume that those expressing their opinions had got as far as Wikki.

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PeterJ,

 

Well, still, you have not told me how the two ideas of loosing your identity, and cultivating your identity, are logically compatible.

 

If a shaman reaches nirvana, is it his achievement, or not?

 

It certainly has little to do with objective reality, as that all of existence, does not reach nirvana, with him.

 

If you are telling us that rebirth is a better term than reincarnation, you still need to describe which parts of the rebirth are components of the waking world, that any and all could witness and study and share and examine, and which parts of the idea of rebirth are figurative, or imaginative in nature.

 

Regards, TAR

 

This is an expensive topic to discuss with you, rep wise. I wish you would at least attempt to answer my points, rather than talk about me in the third person.

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