Matters of Interest :
- Shinkoku-O Gosho Part 6
- Is Buddhism scientific?
- Words of Wisdom 19
- Short Katha for Phra Somdej Archan Toh
- Katha for Tok Raja Phra Pidta
- Words of Wisdom 18
- My amulet collection - Phra Pidta Phakawan Wat Ban...
- 督拉惹 (Tok Raja/LP Khron)
- Why are there so many different types of Buddhism?...
- My amulet collection - Somdej Phra Tat Phanom 2401...
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- ► 2010 (43)
Wednesday, 19 October 2011
Is Buddhism scientific?
Before we answer that question it would be best to define the word 'science'. Science is, according to the dictionary, 'knowledge which can be made into a system, which depends upon seeing and testing facts and stating general natural laws, a branch of such knowledge, anything that can be studied exactly'. There are aspects of Buddhism that would not fit into this definition but the central teaching of Buddhism, the Four Noble Truths, most certainly would. Suffering, the First Noble Truth, is an experience that can be defined, experienced and measured. The Second Noble Truth states that suffering has a natural cause, craving, which likewise can be defined, experience and measured. No attempts is made to explain suffering in terms of a metaphysical concept or myths. According to the Third Noble Truth, suffering is ended, not by relying upon a supreme being, by faith or by prayer but simply by removing its cause. This is axiomatic. The Fourth Noble truth, the way to end suffering, once again, has nothing to do with metaphysics but depends on behaving in specific ways. And once again behavior is open to testing. Buddhism dispense with the concept of a supreme being, as does science, and explains the origins and workings of the universe in terms of natural laws. All of this certainly exhibits a scientific spirit. Once again, the Buddha's constant advise that we should not blindly believe but rather question, examine, inquire and rely on our own experience, has a definite scientific ring to it. In his famous Kalama Sutta the Buddha says;
'Do not go by revelation or tradition, do not go by rumor or the sacred scriptures, do not go by hearsay or mere logic, do not go by bias towards a notion or by another person's seeming ability and do not go by the idea "He is our teacher". But when yourself know that a thing is good, that it is laudable, that it is praised by the wise and when practiced and observed that it leads to happiness, then follow that thing'. A.I,188
So we could say that although Buddhism is not entirely scientific, it certainly has a strong scientific overtone and is certainly more scientific than any other religion. It is significant that Albert Einstein, the greatest scientist of the 20th century said of Buddhism:
'The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend a personal God and avoid dogmas and theology. Covering both natural and the spiritual, it should be based on a religion sense arising from experience of all things, natural and spiritual and a meaningful unity. Buddhism answers this description. If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism'.
by S. Dhammika
Due to this merits,
May I soon,
Attain the enlightened state of Guru Buddha,
That I may be able to librate all sentient beings from their suffering.
May the precious bodhi mind, Not yet been born in me, will arise and grow.
May the birth have no decline, and will increase forever more.
Namu Myo Ho Renge Kyo