Questions to ask a Buddhist

Study course in Buddhist philosophy

Questions to ask a Buddhist. This is designed to be a study course that takes Buddhism seriously on a philosophical level by studying its arguments with an eye to seeing which arguments hold up well and which fail to be fully convincing. It is not meant to be an exegesis of Buddhist scriptures or a doctrinal history of particular schools, but a systematic discussion of issues. The principal sources of information on the issues discussed are Indian Buddhist treatises, but there are occasional discussions of those issues as they were treated by Tibetan and East Asian Buddhists, as well as by non-Buddhists in various cultural settings. Although all of what is dealt with here with has been discussed by Buddhists in the distant past, it is hoped that the topics chosen have universal appeal and are still of philosophical interest today. While many of the arguments studied were initially made long ago, an attempt has been made to illustrate them with examples that people living in today’s world can readily find relevant. In short, this course is based on the conviction that if Buddhist philosophy was ever worth examining seriously to assess its merits and shortcomings, it still is.

Richard P. Hayes (Dayāmati Dharmacārin, TBO) received a doctorate from University of Toronto’s Sanskrit and Indian Studies department in 1982. He taught comparative religions and Indian philosophy at University of Toronto before taking a position in 1988 in the Faculty of Religious Studies at McGill University, where he taught intermediate and advanced Sanskrit and several courses in Buddhist thought. He returned to his native New Mexico in 2003, teaching Asian philosophies in the Department of Philosophy at The University of New Mexico until his retirement in 2013. He now lives in Jemez Springs, NM.

 

Questions to ask a Buddhist

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The Importance of Empathy in Everyday Life

Your most important skill: Empathy

Empathy is the most important skill you can practice. It will lead to greater success personally and professionally and will allow you to become happier the more you practice. I’ve never considered myself a real programmer. I know at this point it’s probably silly to say, but I started my scholastic and professional life as a musician, and I’ve never quite recovered from the Impostor Syndrome that comes with making such a shift. One of the faux-self-deprecations I use to describe myself is: “I”m a people person who just happens to express this tendency through programming and technology projects”.

More ……

More…lifehacker.com

From Chad Fowler
Your most important skill: Empathy

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The Case Against Reality

A professor of cognitive science argues that the world is nothing like the one we experience through our senses.

lead_960As we go about our daily lives, we tend to assume that our perceptions—sights, sounds, textures, tastes—are an accurate portrayal of the real world. Sure, when we stop and think about it—or when we find ourselves fooled by a perceptual illusion—we realize with a jolt that what we perceive is never the world directly, but rather our brain’s best guess at what that world is like, a kind of internal simulation of an external reality. Still, we bank on the fact that our simulation is a reasonably decent one. If it wasn’t, wouldn’t evolution have weeded us out by now? The true reality might be forever beyond our reach, but surely our senses give us at least an inkling of what it’s really like.

Not so, says Donald D. Hoffman, a professor of cognitive science at the University of California, Irvine. Hoffman has spent the past three decades studying perception, artificial intelligence, evolutionary game theory and the brain, and his conclusion is a dramatic one: The world presented to us by our perceptions is nothing like reality. What’s more, he says, we have evolution itself to thank for this magnificent illusion, as it maximizes evolutionary fitness by driving truth to extinction.

Getting at questions about the nature of reality, and disentangling the observer from the observed, is an endeavor that straddles the boundaries of neuroscience and fundamental physics. On one side you’ll find researchers scratching their chins raw trying to understand how a three-pound lump of gray matter obeying nothing more than the ordinary laws of physics can give rise to first-person conscious experience. This is the aptly named “hard problem.”

Full Article In The Atlantic

https://www.theatlantic.com/

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