Logical/mathematical consequences of the law of kamma and re-birth

Mike Smirnoff, modified 4 Months ago.

Logical/mathematical consequences of the law of kamma and re-birth

Posts: 77 Join Date: 2/6/20 Recent Posts
.
George S, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Logical/mathematical consequences of the law of kamma and re-birth

Posts: 1872 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Mike Smirnoff
This also raises the question: What is time? Is it a creation of the mind? Or does it have independent existence outside our faculties?

​​​​​​​It could be both! Time could be an external physical reality, which our brain also models to create a subjective experience of time. And even the physical and subjective aspects of time have multiple facets. On the physical side, time is a measure of irreversible thermodynamic change (increasing entropy) as well as a "static" coordinate in a relativistic 4d manifold (spacetime), to name just two facets. On the subjective side, the experience of time is very different in thinking about human history, vs our own lifetime, vs waiting for a bus, vs worrying about the future, vs sitting in a jhana. The personal sense of time passing is the most interesting from a meditative perspective IMO because - whatever physical reality is doing (even if it exists) - it is still a fabrication, created by laying down and reprocessing memories as well as thinking about the future, all in the present moment. Truly accepting our inability to escape from the present moment, even when we are remembering or planning, is significant and takes time (!) to integrate.
George S, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Logical/mathematical consequences of the law of kamma and re-birth

Posts: 1872 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Mike Smirnoff
George, yes it can be both But what's the evidence that it is an external physical reality? I don't see how we can ever be sure. All conclusions we come to is by the use of our faculties. I think, at best we can say, we don't know the ultimate nature of reality.

Agreed, but if our experience is not causally related to an external physical reality then what's the alternative explanation? A finely synchronized series of hallucinations?!
Hector, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Logical/mathematical consequences of the law of kamma and re-birth

Posts: 93 Join Date: 5/9/20 Recent Posts
How do you have lemmas and proofs without specifying the axioms they were built on emoticon.
Is n a natural number, is it countably infinite, is it real, is it complex, what about purely imaginary beings?
Is time a real number, e.g. given special relativity it's not clear that everyone
is on the same scalar time axis, you'd need a 4 vector at least.
​​​​​​​How do you even prove the law of kamma, you'd have to assume
and specify it as an axiom in your system.
thumbnail
Chris Marti, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Logical/mathematical consequences of the law of kamma and re-birth

Posts: 3992 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Personally, I think it's all imaginary  emoticon
Hector, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Logical/mathematical consequences of the law of kamma and re-birth

Posts: 93 Join Date: 5/9/20 Recent Posts


Mike Smirnoff
Hector --
I've already said in the post:
Before Lemmas 1,2,3, I've said, we assume that the law of kamma and rebirth are true.
I've also said, rebirth in the sense of beings coming in and passing away as in the Majjhima Nikaya, thus, n is a natural number.
Huh I was thinking n is probably not a natural number. How would we figure out what happens when saimese twins get separated, or when someone ends and their gut bacteria begins. Or when they donate blood and their blood cells become separate entities.  It is not even clear you can add two beings, say a person donates an organ upon death does n go down by 1 or a fraction.  When dolly the sheep got cloned did n go up by 1 or 0? Seems like there seems a conflict too to assume integer n and then have all this parallel thought about no self and dependent co-arising but I am not too familiar with these concepts coming from more secular mindfulness stuff so  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
George S, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Logical/mathematical consequences of the law of kamma and re-birth

Posts: 1872 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Something about this thread reminds me of the story about the night before Kurt Godel's US citizenship test. Supposedly he stayed up all night because he thought he had discovered a loophole in the constitution whereby the US could become a dictatorship. He was convinced he couldn't go through with it and Einstein had to come and talk him off the ledge.

(In a little known addendum, not only did Trump have a copy of Mein Kampf besides his bed but also Godel's collected works. Or maybe that was on Melania's side, I forget the details.)
Hector, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Logical/mathematical consequences of the law of kamma and re-birth

Posts: 93 Join Date: 5/9/20 Recent Posts
Thanks, will check it out. I've seen the Middle length discourses cited a few times in MCTB 2.0. How do you experience it before
reading it though? I tend to like experiencing something for myself rather than reading it first. Do you just enter jhana and then
resolve to see a past life?
genaro, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Logical/mathematical consequences of the law of kamma and re-birth

Posts: 77 Join Date: 11/23/19 Recent Posts
Mike:  does this affect your 'proof'?

let's assume that 'beings in the cycle of rebirth' have existed for an 'infinite' time, back until the big bang (and possibly beyond!)  and can only decrease in number as each one is liberated (i think that's what you said).

let's also assume that to be reborn they each need to find a 'vehicle' to be born into and that vehicle has to be a metazoan animal with a nervous system (keeping the parameters fairly loose, but it makes no difference if we restrict it to mammals for example).

this implies that until life evolved that far all those beings were stuck in a very long bardo.  and unless there is a practically infinite supply of them, as the world's (universe's) population of 'vehicles' increases we  get to be surrounded by a lot of zombies.

kind of makes life tedious for bhoddisattvas, as not only do they have to liberate the entire population of the world, they have to do it more than once to get through the backlog, and yes towards the end it's ZOMBIE APOLCALYPSE, or there's an ultimate mass extincion event.

footnote:
FWIW there's a theory that time gets squashed as you approach the big bang, so it's inifinte, there's no other side of that event.
genaro, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Logical/mathematical consequences of the law of kamma and re-birth

Posts: 77 Join Date: 11/23/19 Recent Posts
Mike, I think we're getting confused by words. I was just playing with some consequences of your maths.

(Apologies for the too many words)

(In answer to your last two para's:

Time's not really relevant to what i was saying, you just mentioned 'before the big bang' and I was pointing out that it's possible to have infinite time and still have a beginning, kind of like applying zeno's paradox to peering back into galactic history:  you keep getting closer to the beginning but can never reach it, so there's no need to consider what happened before the big bang because there was no before.  It was an aside remark and of no great releveance, and the theory comes from Steven Hawking.    

FWIW  re evidence for time: general relativity requires time to be a 4th spatial dimension and it's a theory that has been tested way beyond what was known at the time for example light bending due to gravity and gravitational waves; it's not ever failed an experimental test. You can't put time in a wheelbarrow, but the sums involved (in GR), plus experimental evidence,  give the statistical chance of the theory being correct or not and the chance of not is exceedingly low.  Likewise, space does not exist outside our imagination: up/down left/right/ fwds backwards are not things you can put in a wheelbarrow, or build from Lego (ie they don't exist physically), but we would find life very difficult without them, and they depend very much on which way we are facing. Space-time is a framework we use to understand what's around us, that's all.)


Regarding your 'proof': 

I was suggesting that unless the finite number of beings on the cycle of rebirth you mention is guaranteed to be strictly no less than the number of 'sentient beings' alive at any one moment in the history of the universe for ever and ever then either some of reborn/ living beings are zombies or new 'beings in the cycle of rebirth' must appear somehow. (Given that we believe the universe to be infinite in size it's probable (no, certain) that there is an infinite number of sentient beings right now and therefore the number of beings in the cycle of rebirth must be infinite, or that some 'sentient beings' are zombies.)

So your argument logically implies that if the laws of karma and rebirth as stated by you is correct then there must be zombies. 

By implication I'm suggesting that the idea of a finite number of beings that have always existed back into an infinite past looks unlikely (I don't beleive in zombies). 

So, applying logic to the laws of karma and rebirth as stated you get contradiction and absurdity, which imples that there's something wrong with your assumptions or your or my logic.

You said to Hector:
Your current issue is that my assumptions on which I base the Lemmas are wrong. I've nothing to say about that. All I'm saying is the assumptions that  I'm starting with and the consequences of it.
All i'm saying is that the consequences show the assumptions to be wrong.


You ask what my model is: it's meta (that's meta not Metta) to this.   The texts you refer to were written hundreds of years after they were first stated and relate to some description of reality as understood at the time. They are not that reality in themselves.   I don't beleive we can describe reality by treating words as that underlying reality.  If someone 2500 years ago said 'infinite' then I don't believe they used that exact word, more likely something like 'a thousand' (as in 'a thousand petalled lotus'), thousand just means 'lots of them'.  We know a lot about infinities now, 2500 years ago I'm not so sure; we only got the idea of zero from the arabs significantly more recently than that.   Reputedly the many discourses of the Buddha were given to a wide range of audiences and i'm prepared to take as a working hypothesis that he made certain statements for the desired effect on his audience rather than for a mathematical description of the universe.  From my no doubt false POV, more likely than not, if/when he said 'beginningless time' he was just saying 'don't get too hung up on this and pay attention to my main point'.
Jake Frankfurt Middenhall, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Logical/mathematical consequences of the law of kamma and re-birth

Posts: 94 Join Date: 9/12/18 Recent Posts
The Buddha never said that Samsara is "Beginningless". What it actually happenned, is that the Buddha looked countless of eons in the past and he didn´t found a beginning, so, my hypothesis is that he understood this shit is too fucking old, so there is no point on trying to speculate about it, because NOBODY has the capabilities to know when it all started, and so he proceeded to declare Samsasa´s origins as one of the four imponderables. Meaning "Incomprehensible". I don´t recall the Buddha saying "no Beginning", more like "Not evident".
thumbnail
Milo, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Logical/mathematical consequences of the law of kamma and re-birth

Posts: 365 Join Date: 11/13/18 Recent Posts
Well, we can't let this get out : )

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mGBxUNaQI1I

Breadcrumb