Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Question on Buddhism and science

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Question: Do you think that Buddhism should take into account scientific discoveries, and even change to accommodate science?

Answer: Many people nowadays bow to science like to an all-powerful and supreme god. But in samsara, and especially now in this dark (mappo) age, nothing is supreme and all-knowing, including what nowadays people call, "science". Whenever somebody wants to argue about something, he says, "it was proven by science".... But what some scientists agree upon, others may disagree, so I don't see the point in praising a transitory "truth". 

I do not deny the benefits brought by science in various fields, nor its usefulness in discovering the laws of the material universe, but I am against using science as a standard for religious truths. No matter the immediate, material benefits it brings, we must never forget that science is the product of unenlightened minds, and so it doesn't have the supreme authority of a Buddha who is perfectly Enlightened, nor it has any authority over the Path that leads to Enlightenment and freedom from the repeated births and deaths.

So, let's use science in worldly matters and Buddha Dharma in religious matters. We must never attempt to modify the Buddha Dharma to accommodate it with various scientific theories.

I especially like these words of Chamtrul Rinpoche:

"If you took all of the knowledge that this world has ever produced, and compared it to the knowledge of an omniscient mind of a Buddha, it would be like comparing a single drop of water to the entire ocean."

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