Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Absurdity of Buddhist philosophy

Greed, Buddhist Philosophy and science


Four noble truths of Buddhism emphasize that it is our greed, our expectation which is at the root of our suffering.

Question is-how solid is this foundation of Buddhism? Is it a rational, scientific foundation?

Now look what we are-what is our existence as human being!

I am a father, husband, son, Engineer, Indian, Bengali etc. etc. Meaning, I have to carry out certain biological and social functions to continue as father, husband etc. For carrying out these functions, for each and every step I am dependant on scientific invention of last centuries like phone, PC, internet, electricity, medicine etc. etc. Without these innovations, my existence reduces to a primitive man and some of existence like engineering dissolves into vacuum.

Which of the above innovation was not born out of greed of making money and forming capital? Edison created electricity to make more money-or else he would not have risked investing his resources to build electrical infrastructure. Internet came from APRANET, which again saw its sky rocketed growth thanks to the greed of each and every individual—be it business or pornography or dating. Hard to digest-but truth is--every video technology—be it VHS, VCR, DVD or streaming came to existence for the greed of porno Industry in USA which always wanted better video quality.

That’s why Capitalism is called –science of rational greed. The word rational is important. It means you are allowed to be greedy within the limit of law.

I give you an example. Let say, I meet a beautiful charming lady in a party or in a train. If I become so greedy that I attempt molesting her- I will be behind the bar next day. This is irrational greed. Now according to four noble truths of Buddism-- after seeing her, I shouldn’t desire to talk to her because that would raise some expectation in my heart—will that be good? Not at all—If I don’t get excited looking at beautiful girl, I would consider my biological existence depleted at that moment—because after all our biological existence is completely sexual. So as long as my excitement is within the rational limit, it serves no bad purpose and indeed greed keeps us into our existence.

We see so many scandals in share markets—because people crossed the limit of rationality in being greedy and they are in Jail. USA and advanced countries have tons of laws to rationalize this greed or else the civilization will collapse. All the corporate laws are essentially a kind of rational limit on corporate greed. But society will not innovate for material growth if there is no greed. Hence, rational greed is the solution and no greed according to Buddhism is counter productive to the social evolution.

It is completely absurd to talk about elimination of greed-our biological religion is to raise kids (see my blogs in http://biplabspiritualism.blogspot.com/ ) . In that process we try to ensure survival of our kids by giving them education and building wealth that he/she would inherit. That’s why a person is much less greedy when he/she does not have children. It is proven in social science that a society that forbids individual inheritance, is less wealthy and sterile in innovation. And that’s why Communism is not in existence any more. Our greed is linked with our biological existence for survival of our genetic code.

Anyhow, I found four noble truths are useful not as a religion but to rationalize our greed. I started a lot of reading on Buddhism after I broke with my first girlfriend. I was suffering and I thought Buddhism might alleviate my pain. Well, it helped but I also realized suffering in love is essential and without suffering nobody can realize true love either. Likewise without suffering from greed, nobody can realize their existence either. Hence four noble truths are useful but they are not good enough for human realization and in some sense not relevant at all to our main biological religion.

2 comments:

Vishnu said...

Bip,
After reading here and there you claim the words of a remarkable man as Absurd! Are you dumb to call it Absurdity?
The perspective of Buddhist teaching is so different from where you are looking at.
To give you an example, you might see Albert Einstein as insane guy who gave the theory of relativity. In his theory nothing is absolute everything is relative. He goes on to say that if you leave this planet at the speed of light you might espace aging!
Now when you read the full perspective of where and how he came to this conclusion he could see a genius in him. If on the contrary, you see his statement without proper background, you will see absurdity!
Same with Buddha, first try to understand what is the problem that he tried to solve. If you understand the problem first then you will understand his solution.
From your blogs here and in orkut your knowledge on Buddha seems shallow. You did not even understand the problem he is describing forget about the solution part!
Half baked knowledge with a big statement does not put you in good light!

Biplab Pal said...

And where is your logic against my rational? You need to refute the points with logic and specific example.