Do you believe in life after death?

Do you believe in life after death?

  • Yes

    Votes: 79 40.7%
  • No

    Votes: 80 41.2%
  • I don't know

    Votes: 35 18.0%

  • Total voters
    194
Mar 2012
4,136
Of all the Original ancient beliefs, only TWO, in my view, have stood the test of challenge and modern science without being proven erroneous. The original texts of Taoism by Lao Tzu and Chuang Tsu. And Stoicism as elucidated by Zeno and Epicurus.
Neither bothers itself with any form of "afterlife" . Rather they seek to understand Life and being as we Can know it.

Strip away the malarky in other ancient traditions- such as the supremely complex Hindu mythology, and you find much the same basic insights into perception and being in most of them.

But my argument is that if you really want to get what is of value out of ancient philosophy or mysticism... you really have to try and tear away all the generations of false embroidery and facade that people who really did not understand it laminated on top.
The problem isn't stripping away the religious BS, of where there are indeed plenty, its the fact that you never even engaged in the standard practice of Daoist or Buddhist meditation nor engaged in even the superficial aspect of the actual philosophy of Mahayana Buddhism to even be qualified to comment and strip away what can be deemed mystic nonsense. You simply denounce the doctrine without even entering, let alone understanding the basics. I've started out with a materialism deterministic attitude long ago (so you are doing nothing unique), also not understanding what Buddhists meant by emptiness and mind only, but once I read deeper into Yogacara, Madhyamaka, and Huayan discourses and their commentaries, I realized Buddhist mind only has nothing to do with denouncing material reality's conventional existence nor is it anything similar to western solipsism based idealism. Buddhist philosophy is light years more intricate than Daoist ones (something even Tang emperors like Taizong who claimed to be descended from Laozi, recognized) and also answers questions not answered in Western idealism. I still don't believe in any of the religious cosmologies mentioned in Buddhism like the purelands, but Buddhist philosophy is a whole nother animal.
Yogacara philosophy isn't just some outdated ancient philosophy, it has been deemed superior to modern Western idealism and epistemology by a number of modern Eastern philosophers. If you knew a thing about the doctrine, you'll know that everything you experience in the meditation of insight (Vipassana) is this worldly. Emptiness is not some transcendental mysticism, its seeing the world without self nature and conceptual trappings.
Also from your description of meditation, I know you never even tried any of the current central Daoist or Buddhist meditations. The very nature of insight meditation is to see the emptiness of phenomenon and detach your thoughts from objects, and clinging on to materialistic determinism is one of the biggest obstacles (if not outright contradictory) in such meditation. Even Zhuangzi talks about meditations similar to Buddhist insight meditation, Nan Huaijing relates it to Xinzhai 心斋 or "fastening the mind".
庄子:“颜回曰:敢问心斋?仲尼曰:若一志,无听之以耳,而听之以心;无听之以心,而听之以气。听止于耳,心止于符。

"Yanhui asked, what is fastening the mind? Zhongni answered: if one is of one determination, not listening with the ear, but with the mind; not with the mind, but with the breath. The listening stops at the ear, the mind stops with the image." Zhuangzi, chapter 4

Early Zen never focused on the afterlife, in fact several masters would outright hit students if they make metaphysical speculations of what happens after death; not because they believed in materialistic nihilism but because the idea of a self dying is another samsaric conceptual delusion. Even the early Buddhism mentioned in Pali and Agama have Buddha refusing to answer questions such as what happens after a person achieves Nibbana and then dies.
 
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Ficino

Ad Honorem
Apr 2012
6,616
Romania
I would recommend modern introductions (either articles or books) of Yogacara or of these philosophers first if you are not grounded in philosophy as a discipline, reading any philosophers directly for starters is a pain as the terminologies and language they use are often not conforming to modern norms, especially in regard to non-western philosophers (or non-modern). That's why people aren't understanding the quotes I made, even when there was already a commentary on it.
Do you imply that you are unable to explain concisely and with your own words what do you understand by the dependence of the knower on known? Because I suppose that you mean more than the fact that no one can be actually a knower without knowing something.
 
Mar 2012
4,136
Do you imply that you are unable to explain concisely and with your own words what do you understand by the dependence of the knower on known? Because I suppose that you mean more than the fact that no one can be actually a knower without knowing something.
No, I am implying that you do not have sufficient grounding in the topic to understand what I already said. I've been as concise as I could already, and you still aren't understanding what I said nor to the philosophers I quoted. Yes, the point is that a knower cannot form as a concept without the object of knowing, just like left cannot be an independent concept without right. When you speak of left, it has to be applied to an object and another object's spacial relation to that object to make sense at all, and the same goes with the knower and knowing. Without the object of perception, the subject by itself cannot form as an independent concept. I believe I've already said that multiple times in the past.
 

Ficino

Ad Honorem
Apr 2012
6,616
Romania
No, I am implying that you do not have sufficient grounding in the topic to understand what I already said. I've been as concise as I could already, and you still aren't understanding what I said nor to the philosophers I quoted. Yes, the point is that a knower cannot form as a concept without the object of knowing, just like left cannot be an independent concept without right. When you speak of left, it has to be applied to an object and another object's spacial relation to that object to make sense at all, and the same goes with the knower and knowing. Without the object of perception, the subject by itself cannot form as an independent concept. I believe I've already said that multiple times in the past.
My impression is that you are the one who lacks a philosophical education and among other things tends to confuse the things with their mental representations. True knowledge means knowing the things as they are in themselves, and no one can know before being, being living and having the power to know. To say that no one is a knower before actually knowing something or that a mental representation can't exist outside a mind is called "platitude".
 
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Mar 2012
4,136
My impression is that you are the one who lacks a philosophical education and among other things tends to confuse the things with their mental representations.
At least I understand what academic sources say, and what Sartre, one of the most prominent philosopher of the 20th century wrote, which seems to be beyond your capacity when I quoted them. Considering Sartre has established a great presence in the discipline, I'm clearly not in the minority in citing and utilizing what he wrote. Yet you don't seem to even know where to start responding when I cited what he wrote. If you can't even read and comprehend a basic published philosophy article or read what prominent philosophers wrote, then what grounds do you have in talking about philosophical education or training? Forget about Yogacara philosophy, you can't even have a mature conversation with me in modern western philosophy.

For starters, the line between things and their mental representation have been blurred at least since philosophers like Hegel and Sartre (Yogacara have proposed that over a mellenium earlier), maybe reading them in depth would help you with this discussion.

True knowledge means knowing the things as they are in themselves, and no one can know before being, being living and having the power to know. To say that no one is a knower without actually knowing something or that a mental representation can't exist outside a mind is called "platitude".
I'm curious whether you are refusing the premise of the philosophy or just aren't capable of comprehending relativism. If its the later, then you are just not ready for a philosophical debate (philosophers at least understand another's position even if they do not accept it), if its the former, then you should at least see where its coming from and understand that we do not share a common premise, which only emphatically proves the limits of intellect.
 
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Ficino

Ad Honorem
Apr 2012
6,616
Romania
At least I understand what academic sources say, and what Sartre, one of the most prominent philosopher of the 20th century wrote, which seems to be beyond your capacity when I quoted them. Considering Sartre has established a great presence in the discipline, I'm clearly not in the minority in citing and utilizing what he wrote. Yet you don't seem to even know where to start responding when I cited what he wrote. If you can't even read and comprehend a basic published philosophy article or read what prominent philosophers wrote, then what grounds do you have in talking about philosophical education or training? Forget about Yogacara philosophy, you can't even have a mature conversation with me in modern western philosophy.

For starters, the line between things and their mental representation have been blurred at least since philosophers like Hegel and Sartre (Yogacara have proposed that over a mellenium earlier), maybe reading them in depth would help you with this discussion.

I'm curious whether you are refusing the premise of the philosophy or just aren't capable of comprehending relativism. If its the later, then you are just not ready for a philosophical debate (philosophers at least understand another's position even if they do not accept it), if its the former, then you should at least see where its coming from and understand that we do not share a common premise, which only emphatically proves the limits of intellect.
Personally I am a Philosophy graduate having a diploma issued by one of the most important public universities in my country, so I have a level of knowledge on the subject which is more than "subjective" and allows me to appreciate yours very well, I have seen nothing from you except using terms whose meaning is not very clear and uttering platitudes which you fancy to be profound philosophy. Which of your claims and quotes I haven't addressed yet? Yes, people may start from different ultimate assumptions, but I'm not sure if you distinguish between the case when an intellect is limited by intelligibility and the case when it is limited by something else.
 
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Ficino

Ad Honorem
Apr 2012
6,616
Romania
@heavenlykaghan

Just to give you a sample of your reasoning qualities:

1. An object can't exist without a subject. This is obvious, because "object" means in philosophy what appears to a mind, and mental representations can't exist without the subject endowed with mind.
2. A subject can't exist without an object. If by being a "subject" you mean "being actually aware of something" (I think that I explained you very well the philosophical meanings of the word "subject"), it is obvious that without an object of awareness you can't be aware of anything and there is no actual awareness, so in your meaning you are not a "subject".

1&2 above are simple platitudes, I am curious how do you argue that at our ontological level objects are not related to something existing independent of the subject or how do you argue against solipsism.
 
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