Essay on The Buddha Views On Critical Thinking And Reasoning Making

Essay on The Buddha Views On Critical Thinking And Reasoning Making

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“The Kālāma-sutta (or, more accurately, the Kesamutti-sutta) is one of the best known and most widely cited suttas of the Pāli Nikāyas. Its importance, on the one hand, is that it seems to give an account of the Buddha’s epistemology; its popular appeal, on the other, is that the epistemology seems strikingly modern.” Looking closely at the Kālāma Sutta, one would assume that the structure is very familiar. One would theorize that it is consonant with science. In other words, one cannot ignore the fact that the data and the way the Buddha expounded his teaching is very similar to that of science methodology, namely, empiricism. It is very much alike to the scientific method that is well-known today—of theoretical, hypothesis, test, and results. Further, the Buddha places great emphasis on critical thinking and reasoning making it vividly clear to scholars to think that Buddhism is in agreement with science.
Let examine the passage that is highly discussed in the academic world:
Come, [Kālāmas]. Do not go upon what has been acquired by repeated hearing, nor upon tradition, nor upon rumor, nor upon scripture, nor upon surmise, nor upon axiom, nor upon specious reasoning, nor upon bias towards a notion pondered over, nor upon another’s seeming ability, nor upon the consideration ‘The monk is our teacher.’ When you yourselves know: ‘These things are bad, blamable, censured by the wise; undertaken and observed, these things lead to harm and ill,’ abandon them... When you yourselves know: ‘These things are good, blameless, praised by the wise; undertaken and observed, these things lead to benefit and happiness,’ enter on and abide in them.

The Kālāma Sutta shows that after the Buddha lists the ten criteria that one should not go up...


... middle of paper ...


...hes sounds familiar to science, and the method he instructed is embedded with what we today called empiricism, it has nothing to do with science. Instead, it is for practitioner to examine critically what they practice. This is exemplified in the Four Noble Truths, which teaches what is suffering…what is the cause of suffering…how to end suffering, and the way leading to the end of suffering.
In as much as to say, the Kālāma Sutta is not about science and its methodology or appropriateness. In fact, there is no place in the sutta that one can trace the word science or its method. One would arguably say it is only the scholar’s point of view that thinks that it is relatively correlated, consonant or not with science. In as far as the whole Kālāmā Sutta speaks, the sutta purely discourses about morality and happiness. This is what will be examined in the next section.

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