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A Proponent of Rationality

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Re: A Proponent of Rationality

Postby Ajax on Sun Sep 18, 2011 9:54 pm

Huifeng wrote:
Ajax wrote:Thank you for addressing my inquiry.

I will attempt to correct a slight miscommunication on my part. It is my fault for posing the question so open-endedly. I am not asking about attainment, the action or fact of achieving a goal toward which one has worked. The Four Noble Truths are rational, in my opinion. I am asking if others (including yourself) also believe that they are rational.

If anyone believes that the Four Noble Truths are not rational, or that some part or parts are not rational, please specify which part or parts.


Thanks for the clarification.

However, stating that you are "not asking about attainment" itself poses something of a problematic to the question, at least in my mind.
The four aryan truths each have a specific action associated with them, and for the third - that of nirodha - it is "nirodha is to be realized", where "realized" pretty much means the same thing as "attained". The passage I cited above is specifically this.
Thus, the issue of attainment is integral to the four aryan truths themselves, and it is perhaps difficult to ask such a question while disregarding that.

Perhaps you could further explain what you mean by "are the four noble truths rational". For example, are you asking whether or not their relationship is one of rationality? Or, are you asking whether or not we accept these as truths through rational means? Or ...? Could you perhaps flesh out the question itself in somewhat more detail.

Thank you!

~~ Huifeng

I think we may be getting closer to reaching an understanding.

A small clarification before continuing. I did not mean to disregard "attainment" in writing that I was not asking about attainment. I apologize for the misunderstanding which was again my fault for not communicating my meaning adequatly. Indeed the successful attainment of a goal indicates that a course of action, and the reasoning and plan which those actions were based on, is rational.

I will offer the metaphor of "cultural anthropology" in attempt to reach a better understanding between us Huifeng. This branch of anthropology has a goal and a variety of methods for "attaining" its goals. The goals of cultural anthropology are "unattainable by reasoning" and one of the methods which anthropologists practice is called fieldwork. Fieldwork is intensive and extensive experiential involvement with the culture being studied.

If the reasoning, motivation and methods that cultural anthopologists use successfully attain their set goals can it not be said that their reasoning, motivation and methods are rational, even though they utilize experiential methods, or methods that do not only rely on reasoning?
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Re: A Proponent of Rationality

Postby Ajax on Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:19 pm

Does ANYONE believe that the four aryan truths are rational?
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Re: A Proponent of Rationality

Postby fukasetsu on Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:28 pm

Ajax wrote:Does ANYONE believe that the four aryan truths are rational?


Alike the 4 noble truths, the superimpositions of rational and irrational are only valid on the level of mind.
Now that it is all about mind, understand that you cannot get something from mind with the use of mind.
So where does that leave the question about the believe if it's rational or not?
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Re: A Proponent of Rationality

Postby Bob Skank on Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:31 pm

Ajax wrote:Does ANYONE believe that the four aryan truths are rational?


I do.

"Rational"—behavior guided more by conscious reasoning than by experience and not adversely affected by emotions; being in or characterized by full possession of one's reason; sane; lucid: consistent with or based on reason; logical; a decision-making process that is based on making choices that result in the most optimal level of benefit or utility; characterizing behavior that purposefully chooses means to achieve ends.

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Re: A Proponent of Rationality

Postby Ajax on Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:44 pm

fukasetsu wrote:
Ajax wrote:Does ANYONE believe that the four aryan truths are rational?


Alike the 4 noble truths, the superimpositions of rational and irrational are only valid on the level of mind.
Now that it is all about mind, understand that you cannot get something from mind with the use of mind.
So where does that leave the question about the believe if it's rational or not?

Without a real basis?
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Re: A Proponent of Rationality

Postby fukasetsu on Mon Sep 19, 2011 11:13 pm

Ajax wrote:Without a real basis?


Full attention leaves no room for a conceptual center, now "a basis" is nothing but an idea, it's nothing tangible and there are no concepts apart from concepts. Thus "basis" is a word, something one might give reality but again mind cannot be used to grasp mind. So In full attention, where is this conceptual center arising and differentiating?
Can you see superimpositions as rational and irrational are just layers of ideas unto ideas, and the reality is that there are no ideas apart from ideas, there isn't even such a thing as two seperate ideas, or even one.
So why stick an idea unto an idea and pretend your having a new idea, or a valid idea?
4 noble thruths - rational - basis etc etc.
In awareness, where is rational or irrational?
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Re: A Proponent of Rationality

Postby Ajax on Mon Sep 19, 2011 11:20 pm

fukasetsu wrote:
Ajax wrote:Without a real basis?


Full attention leaves no room for a conceptual center, now "a basis" is nothing but an idea, it's nothing tangible and there are no concepts apart from concepts. Thus "basis" is a word, something one might give reality but again mind cannot be used to grasp mind. So In full attention, where is this conceptual center arising and differentiating?
Can you see superimpositions as rational and irrational are just layers of ideas unto ideas, and the reality is that there are no ideas apart from ideas, there isn't even such a thing as two seperate ideas, or even one.
So why stick an idea unto an idea and pretend your having a new idea, or a valid idea?
4 noble thruths - rational - basis etc etc.
In awareness, where is rational or irrational?

In the same place as the four aryan truths?
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Re: A Proponent of Rationality

Postby fukasetsu on Mon Sep 19, 2011 11:35 pm

Ajax wrote:In the same place as the four aryan truths?


Where is there anywhere that is not you, just doing those crazy little things you do, birthing galaxies, populating universes with that vast cast of characters know locally as sentient beings, all flashing in your own delightful frightful mirror in the funhouse of totality?
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Re: A Proponent of Rationality

Postby Bob Skank on Mon Sep 19, 2011 11:58 pm

[quote="fukasetsu"][/quote]

Love the quotation in your signature!

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Re: A Proponent of Rationality

Postby Ajax on Tue Sep 20, 2011 2:52 am

fukasetsu wrote:
Ajax wrote:In the same place as the four aryan truths?


Where is there anywhere that is not you, just doing those crazy little things you do, birthing galaxies, populating universes with that vast cast of characters know locally as sentient beings, all flashing in your own delightful frightful mirror in the funhouse of totality?

You had me at "Where."
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Re: A Proponent of Rationality

Postby Gregory Wonderwheel on Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:23 pm

Ajax wrote:I just read something that someone posted on the forum. They wrote:

"I've never been a great proponent of rationality."

I had to read it twice to make sure that I read it correctly.

Are not the Four Noble Truths, the foundation of Buddhism, rational?

What is the difference between "rational," "rationality," and "rationalism"?

To the extent that the Four Noble Truths are the rational foundation of Buddhism then that rational structure needs to be deconstructed (dare I say "tear down that wall of rationality"?) in the sense that Linnji and other Zen masters say "kill the Buddha."

Buddha's victtory cry is "I see you oh Housebuilder! No more shall you build....." This is tearing down the construction of self-image that we cherish as being "rational."

To the extent that the Four Noble Truths are used to encourage us to give up our clinging to our mental constructions by our delusional dependence on ideas like "foundations" and "rationality" being necessary to Buddha Dharma, then the Four Noble Truths are the foundation of Buddhism.

_/|\_
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Why you do not understand is because the three carts were provisional for former times, and because the One Vehicle is true for the present time. ~ Zen Master 6th Ancestor Huineng
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Re: A Proponent of Rationality

Postby Gregory Wonderwheel on Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:36 pm

thewhitesquirel wrote:Thanks for the psot, Sunyavadi!

The first thought that popped into my head when I read the title, which has been instilled into me by my teachers in philosophy, is that rationality originally meant 'to balance'. Especially in terms of our perspectives, it meant 'to balance them out'. When the Greek term was translated into Latin it become almost a purely theorhetical procedure and nowadays it's generally associated with logic and analogue thinking.

The difference between the original Greek understanding and our current understanding is that the Greeks used the term to avoid extreme ways of thinking: either/or, black and white, dichotomous thinking. Whereas nowadays rationality generally means having an either/or, black and white and dichotomous perspective. The irony is pretty astounding.

That's a great perspective on the question of rationality. Another way of looking at it is that the balance of "ratio" as in finding the mean is the Middle Way.

"In the beginning was the 'ratio'" means the same thing as "in the beginning was the Logos" and "in the beginning was the word." But the three words ratio, logos, and word have all spun out in different directions.

To me, "in the beginning was the word (ratio, logos)" as a motto of religious significance, for the gnostic mystery schools related to the Pythagoreans from which the beginning of the Book of John was derived, is another way of saying "investigate the huatou" in the sense of turning attention and awareness to the beginning or "head" of the word.

_/|\_
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Why you do not understand is because the three carts were provisional for former times, and because the One Vehicle is true for the present time. ~ Zen Master 6th Ancestor Huineng
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Re: A Proponent of Rationality

Postby Possum on Tue Sep 20, 2011 9:17 pm

The problem I see is the assumption that apart-from is the same as greater-than. Paramedics are not the same as doctors, but that's not to say that they're superior to doctors.
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