On Ven. Ajahn Brahm's comments

The following essay is a reaction to the article http://sundaytimes.lk/090503/Plus/sundaytimesplus_13.html with the heading “Buddhism more scientific than modern science - Ven. Ajahn Brahmavamso reflects on Buddhism’s enduring significance”


 >>"A dogma, according to the dictionary, is an arrogant declaration of an opinion. This was a fitting description of the science that I saw in the labs of Cambridge.

I wonder this applies to Ven. Ajahn Brahmavamso too. It is only one persons experience at one university or one lab but here he is declaring an opinion about whole field of Science. Someone can say that's everyone talks from their experiences and I agree. Talking about one's experience is totally different from declaring an opinion about the whole field of Science. I don't think I have enough grasp of Science to declare anything about of Science. I don't think I have enough grasp to declare an opinion about my own field. I think lord Buddha said what we know is equal to handful of leaves compared to what we don't know (all the leaves in the forest).

There are certain places Science and Religions (in general) overlap but it doesn't mean either one is better than the other.

"Some misguided scientists maintain the theory that there is no rebirth, that this stream of consciousness is incapable of returning to a successive human existence."

As far as I know this is not proven beyond any doubts by any field. Even religions don't agree on this. Yes since it is closer to our Buddhist hearts, we tend to believe any shred of evidence supporting it but to scientifically prove such a thing need lot more than just circumstantial evidence. Again quoting Buddha, "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense". - Kalama Sutta (he also quote this).

"Ordinary people know so little about science that they can hardly even understand the jargon. Yet, if they read in a newspaper or magazine "a scientist says that?", then they automatically take it to be true. "

Ordinary people rarely believe what scientists say. None of us listen to our doctors. Ordinary People undetsnad so little about religion too. How many of them know about the Kalama sutta or some other suttas. Most Buddhists don't know beyond pansil, thisarana, and mal pahan pujas. It is because religions talk about unknown powers and next life or life after death (unproven scenarios) the fear of the unknown attract them to religions. If you ask 100 people why they go to dalda maligawa (I did too during last visit), there is no rational reason.

I am not sure Ven. Ajahn Brahmavamso actually said all that but this could be what the writer/reporter of this article understood from the conversation with him. This even could be what the reporter believe about science.

Ordinary people argue about lots of things scientists say - climate change, abortion, genetic engineering, automatic railway sensors, etc. People never use small electrical/electronic appliances the rigth way (generalizing).

"Why do scientists have such unchallenged credibility?"

This is wrong and if there is credibility because scientist get their piers to review what they say and believe. Again wrong way to go about saying Buddhism is better than science.

My point is if you try to taste something with your eyes rather than the tongue, you may end up deciding something is tasteless. Religion in general should be perceived from different sensors than science. If you mix the two, you end up commenting on things you don't know for sure.

Ven. Ajahn Brahmavamso is searching for a different thing than the scientists, he should stick to that. Otherwise I feel like it is lamenting of a failed scientist.

Didn't mean to offend anyone who like Ven. Ajahn Brahmavamso. I love my religion and I love science. They provide me answers to questions which doesn't overlap. May be in future if they overlap, I will read the Kalama Sutta again before deciding.