Friday, December 28, 2007

Buddhism and Science

Here is an interesting bit from Chapter 1 in the book Train Your Mind Change Your Brain by Sharon Begley.

Buddhism and science share the goal of seeking the truth, with a lowercase t. For science, truth is always tentative, always subject to refutation by the next experiment; for Buddhism--at least, as the Dalai Lama sees it--even core teachings can and must be overturned if science proves them wrong. Perhaps most important, Buddhist training emphasizes the value of investigating reality and finding the truth of the outside world as well as the contents of one's mind. "Four themes are common to Buddhism at its best: rationality, empiricism, skepticism, and pragmatism," says Alan Wallace, who spent years as a Buddhist monk in Dharamsala and elsewhere before turning in his robes to become a Buddhist scholar and who is a longtime participant in the dialogues between scientists and the Dalai Lama. "His Holiness embodies these. He often says with delight that if there is empirical evidence that contradicts something in Buddhism, 'Into the garbage!' He is quite adamant that Buddhism has to yield to rational argument and empiricism."

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