Sunday, November 9, 2008

Science and Buddhism


Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 1300


Question:(unedited)

Hello,
I'm writing to you only to refer to a question asked from and answered by you. It's the one with the subject "Time", posted by Tudor.

To answer that question, people prefer to turn to sciences other than the 'science of the mind', although the latter can also provide a quite thorough explanation, if I'm not mistaken. As far as I know, Buddhism has a lot in common with contemporary physics. A book called 'The quantum and the Lotus' deals with the different aspects of and the similarities between quantum physics and Buddhism. (Written by Matthieu Ricard & Trinh Xuan Thuan)

I'm not a Buddhist, I've never studied Buddhist scripts and don't know a single prayer. I'm just a thinker and have always been and I find it comforting and encouraging to see that experts of natural sciences and 'the science of the mind' justify the conclusions I've also come to by thinking and various experiences (and, of course, studying - you can't just "assume" quantum physics without going through a pile of books).

The deeper we search for truth and reality, the more similar the ways of conducting the search and further possibilities opening up become. Sciences and philosophies will no longer be strictly separated as they get closer and closer to the one truth they're seeking.

Thanks for your time :)

Eve


Answer: Hi Eve,

Welcome to this site. It is indeed very refreshing to have visitors like you. The Buddha's teachings were about the true nature of the universe and life....Universal Truths. There is nothing about blind belief. There is nothing about obeying dogmas and commandments. It is about the study and investigation of Universal Truths. Universal Truths transcend time and space, let alone race, nationality, and belief.

Scientists may be very clever. They can invent machinery and equipment and fantastic gadgets to probe the tiniest particle and explore the vastness of space. But there is one thing they cannot do. They cannot increase the power (or lack of it) of their physical sense organs. The range of their eyesight, their hearing ability, and even their mental intelligence, are hopelessly quite limited. That is why they have to rely on huge telescope to explore the universe, and powerful microscope to probe the invisible organisms. As the saying goes, the more we see the universe, the less we know because we now realize that there are so much that we do not know.

The Buddha used the power of his mind to "see and know" the true nature of this world and life. Buddhism has no problem with science. This is because a lot of things that science had discovered were already known and revealed by the Buddha over 2500 years ago! So long as science can help in the progress of humans without harming others, Buddhism accepts. The danger lies in the evil tendency, wickedness, and utter foolishness, of very intelligent people! To be very clever does not equate to be very wise. Cleverness and wisdom are two different traits. This is the danger of this world.

If science is the study and investigation of universal truths, then it is Buddhism! By the way, you need not have to know a single prayer to be a Buddhist. If you know the universal truths, you are a Buddhist!

Smile from justinchoo :-)

6 comments:

A true Malaysian said...

Well said, Justin, "If you know the universal truths, you are a Buddhist!". I like this statement.

For any action, there will be re-action. This scientific fact is similar with the Law of Kamma.

In this sense, Buddhism is scientific but Science is not Buddhism in its entirety.

Justin Choo said...

A True Malaysian,

But then again, others will claim that theirs is the Only Truth; others are false. What pathetic mentality.

A true Malaysian said...

Justin,

Many people choose to live in oblivion, what can we do?

But so long as they don't step into my toes, I can still accept, hahaha.

A true Malaysian said...

It is a fact that if the word 'God' is being used, there will be an element of 'fear' imposed.

That is why we have phrase such as 'God fearing person' whereby it is because of God, one is 'fear' to do this or that, and not because there is or are 'truth' involve.

So, 'God' is powerful in this sense, even though HE may not exist to us.

Agree?

Even if this is not agreeable, it is still fine to me as God fearing has resulted in you doing no harm to others. Why not?

Justin Choo said...

A True Malaysian,

This is what I call "wrong belief right result".

Thanks for being a regular visitor and comments as well.

Very much appreciated.

A true Malaysian said...

Justin,

Haha, you are so 'kek ki' (in Hokkien).

It is my pleasure to be able to share my thoughts here, where I found my line of thinking very similar to yours, either in politics or Buddhism.

Some time I put true my argument with my Christian friends like if God is so powerful, then how come this and that. But, still unable to convince them.

Still, this is ok to me and the comfort is, we are still good friends.

I am hopeful I can do the same with my Muslim friends but there is always excuses of 'sensitivity' that we cannot touch on. This resulted in no fruitful discussion that I desire.

Maybe I should get to know RPK personally, haha. He is very different from others.

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