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#102- Is Buddhism True? A Conversation with Robert Wright

 
Nhoj Morley
 
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Nhoj Morley
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30 October 2017 11:38
 

In this episode of the Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Robert Wright about his book Why Buddhism is True: The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment.

#102- Is Buddhism True? A Conversation with Robert Wright

This thread is for listeners’ comments.

 
GAD
 
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GAD
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30 October 2017 17:33
 

No, it’s bullshit.

 
 
Cheshire Cat
 
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31 October 2017 13:07
 
GAD - 30 October 2017 05:33 PM

No, it’s bullshit.

Did you at least listen to the podcast before you made this determination?

Granted, some of Buddhism is superstitious bullshit, but the part that deals directly with meditation and awareness of internal states of being is very well thought-out and highly organized. Twenty-five hundred years of accumulated introspective knowledge involving spiritual awakening isn’t something to be brushed off so lightly.

I am currently reading Robert Wright’s book, and I think it’s great – so much so that I was thinking of writing a suggestion here for Sam to interview Wright on his podcast. Now that’s not necessary.

Wright has joined various Buddhist concepts with current ideas in evolutionary biology/psychology. He’s also linked and clarified several Buddhist ideas in ways that I’ve never heard before, making them more accessible and streamlined in the process.

In many ways, Why Buddhism is True is a complimentary book to Sam’s book, Waking Up, and both cover some of the same ground.

I’ve really enjoyed this podcast, and will probably listen to it more than once.

 
 
LordranBound
 
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LordranBound
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31 October 2017 14:15
 
Cheshire Cat - 31 October 2017 01:07 PM

In many ways, Why Buddhism is True is a complimentary book to Sam’s book, Waking Up, and both cover some of the same ground.

I’ve really enjoyed this podcast, and will probably listen to it more than once.

I’m pretty familiar with Robert, having listened to many of his podcasts on Bloggingheads.  Unlike Sam’s uncanny self-possession, Robert seems to be as attached to everything around him as much as anyone else.  I’m a novice meditator and mindfulness experimenter, but if Robert is where he is despite all his practice, it gives me pause in my own.  It also makes me doubt how ‘true’ Buddhism really is.

p.s. I’m not at all impugning his character, he seems like a moral and thoughtful guy.  Just not sure how ‘wise’ he actually is.

 
dhave
 
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31 October 2017 14:52
 

I like GAD’s reply.  It’s like The Zen of Negative Reviews.  Short, no mincing of words.

I wonder what is the etymology of “bullshit”...

Regards,
Dave.

 
 
Tahiti67
 
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31 October 2017 15:04
 

Good to gain insight into the past (10 years ago). I will add that video to the watch list. I guess threats can probably fuel one’s views but I am glad that fire has died down.
Good analysis on dogmatic atheists and extreme right or left. But if in the latter, both are not your friend, then there should be more care about mentioning them individually without the other as that only fuels negative debate. 

Re: BLM, I remember about a year ago where Van Jones retweeted a suggestion “all lives matter.” Again it’s only the extremists in the group not all. Van Jones should be on a podcast, he’s doing a lot to try and get rid of identity politics. Although I think tribalism is a natural and healthy to some degree. Considering the danger though of extreme groups, where can violence be legitimate? It only breeds more violence, if not now then later. Shooting a terrorist is different naturally, or someone holding people hostage, but freedom of speech that incites violence? People will be hurt before people get exposed. And why should we morally risk that just for the sanctity of free speech?

Glad to hear there will be more on free will. What I wonder is what % of born lack of free will, in ratio to environmental factors builds character or neuron connections that build good/bad intentions. I would like to hear other neuro-scientists on the podcasts, to dig into consciousness more as the discussion on the brain is interesting and meta-consciousness. But I wish that the west would stop taking precious things from the east i.e. Buddhism and changing it into things like ‘mindfulness.’ It always cheapens the whole idea whereby the original concept loses its authenticity. At 2500 years old, terming it as such sounds like business consultants just out to create the latest buzz word. Similar to the fact that meditating doesn’t suddenly make people into saints. Finally, as far as Robert Wright goes, I heard no talk of reincarnation, so in that sense the basic logic and sensibility of Buddhism does make it truer than any other tools we have in modern life, at least, authentic tools that are not artificially manufactured.

 
dhave
 
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31 October 2017 16:07
 
Tahiti67 - 31 October 2017 03:04 PM

But I wish that the west would stop taking precious things from the east i.e. Buddhism and changing it into things like ‘mindfulness.’ It always cheapens the whole idea whereby the original concept loses its authenticity.

It’s an honor to meet a channeler of “the original concept.”  Also see CC’s post.

Wiktionary says the etymology of “bullshit” is “bull” + “shit”.  I was reading books on postmodernism, boring as fuck, and they talked about the importance of the words we use, how they affect our interpretations of everything that happens.

What would society be like if everyone said “catshit” instead of “bullshit”?  Is this important?  For example, Wiktionary says the etymology of “catshit” is “cat” + “shit”, similar to the etymology of “bullshit”, but the fascinating thing is that “catshit”, but not “bullshit”, has a plural, “catshits”!

So you can have four catshits but you cannot have four bullshits, you can just have bullshit.

I could be wrong but this stuff seems important, essential, to understanding how we interact with our world.

Regards,
Dave.

[ Edited: 02 November 2017 19:01 by dhave]
 
 
GAD
 
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31 October 2017 16:25
 
Cheshire Cat - 31 October 2017 01:07 PM
GAD - 30 October 2017 05:33 PM

No, it’s bullshit.

Did you at least listen to the podcast before you made this determination?

No podcasts are bullshit.

Granted, some of Buddhism is superstitious bullshit, but the part that deals directly with meditation and awareness of internal states of being is very well thought-out and highly organized. Twenty-five hundred years of accumulated introspective knowledge involving spiritual awakening isn’t something to be brushed off so lightly.

Religion has the same claims and beats it by over a 1000 years and 10’s of billion’s more practitioners, does that make it real? No, it’s bullshit too. It’s all the same bullshit, methods to make yourself believe in things that you want to believe because other people believe them. 

 

 
 
Jb8989
 
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01 November 2017 10:11
 

No, it’s not true, but it is a higher form of masturbation. One where an actual orgasm is possible. I hear fundamental Christians jerk off with nooses around thier necks. And that’s dangerous.

 
 
mapadofu
 
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01 November 2017 10:57
 

Here’s the “deposition” interview referred to in this episode: https://youtu.be/0dwD6XQ9Tsw

 
janety
 
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01 November 2017 14:55
 

“Is Buddhism True?”
conventionally or ultimately? please specify…
(buddhist joke)
(maybe not funny, but it made me chuckle)

 
dhave
 
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01 November 2017 16:09
 
mapadofu - 01 November 2017 10:57 AM

Here’s the “deposition” interview referred to in this episode: https://youtu.be/0dwD6XQ9Tsw

Thanks for the research, mapadofu, I enjoyed Wright’s youtube more than Sam’s podcast and do not see the historical tension mentioned in Sam’s podcast.  Wright’s youtube provides a better picture of Wright’s perspectives.

Regards,
Dave.

 

 
 
dhave
 
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01 November 2017 16:11
 
janety - 01 November 2017 02:55 PM

“Is Buddhism True?”
conventionally or ultimately? please specify…
(buddhist joke)
(maybe not funny, but it made me chuckle)

Ultimately, Buddhism does not exist.

But I still think you should explore a career in comedy, I will come to your shows.  wink

Regards,
Dave.

 
 
Cheshire Cat
 
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01 November 2017 16:59
 
janety - 01 November 2017 02:55 PM

“Is Buddhism True?”
conventionally or ultimately? please specify…
(buddhist joke)
(maybe not funny, but it made me chuckle)

How about:

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
I don’t know. I don’t have a self.

dhave - 31 October 2017 04:07 PM

I could be wrong but this stuff seems important, essential, to understanding how we interact with our world.

You’re right about that, Dave. A culture’s unspoken assumptions are hidden in it’s common language.

 
 
dhave
 
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01 November 2017 17:03
 
dhave - 01 November 2017 04:09 PM
mapadofu - 01 November 2017 10:57 AM

Here’s the “deposition” interview referred to in this episode: https://youtu.be/0dwD6XQ9Tsw

Thanks for the research, mapadofu, I enjoyed Wright’s youtube more than Sam’s podcast and do not see the historical tension mentioned in Sam’s podcast.  Wright’s youtube provides a better picture of Wright’s perspectives.

Another fun part of this youtube is that, if you pause it right at the beginning, you can see that Sam is able to raise one eyebrow, he must have been practicing the Spock move.  I can wiggle my ears but the Spock move is beyond my skill set…

Regards,
Dave.

 
 
jstevewhite
 
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01 November 2017 20:37
 
dhave - 01 November 2017 05:03 PM

Another fun part of this youtube is that, if you pause it right at the beginning, you can see that Sam is able to raise one eyebrow, he must have been practicing the Spock move.  I can wiggle my ears but the Spock move is beyond my skill set…

Regards,
Dave.

I’m pretty sure my wife married me because she had a Spock crush and I could move my eyebrows independently.

 
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