Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Logic and Buddhism...

Joe Carter mentions a "new apologetics blog," by one Dr. Thomas A. Howe that among other things, has a rather odd post about "Logic and Buddhism."

It's odd because it's not the usual superficial fundamentalist attack on Buddhism, but rather, a seeming admission that the "popular belief" that "the laws of logic—non-contradiction, excluded middle, identity—do not apply to reality or that they are not always relevant," do not apply to Buddhism, by quoting a "book on Buddhist logic," that affirms that you can't think two contradictory thoughts at the same time.

Now I think I'm going to expand this post a bit and consider the role of Logic and Buddhism without the seeming quote-minnig of Howe. (I mean, he quoted an entire paragraph out of an obscure book "Th. Stcherbatsky. Buddhist Logic. In Bibliotheca Buddhica: XXVI. Leningrad: ЛЕНИНГРАД, 1932," which of course every Buddhist learns by heart when they affirm the precepts, right?) Incidentally, for those of you who can't read Cyrillic, "ЛЕНИНГРАД" means "Leningrad." You can't make up stuff like that...

Now I see this is going to take a bit more than perhaps Howe would like, but here's the basic run-down:

  • What logic actually is and isn't, as far as we can find metaphysical agreement.
    • The Limiting/Liberating theorems of logic
  • They don't call 'em 4 Noble Truths for nothing.
  • The guys who wrote the sutras were smarter than fundamentalist give 'em credit
  • The Heart Sutra, and Nagarjuna: Dense words, what logic?
So, I will intersperse this over the next few days, and probably the hundreds of readers that have been going to this site (yes, I'm not making that up) because of the "Jeff Gannon" scandals will have something to read that's a bit more, um, highbrow than "Who in the White House might have wanted a male prostitute?")

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