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((From the Philosophy And Ethics A-Level OCR 2017 exam))

I’m trying to revise but want to do so according to the exam board. Doesn’t have to be the exact question(s). Even if you remember the topics that came up it will be very useful, thanks !!!

Also if you did Buddhism, that would also be incredibly helpful 😁
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gjd800
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I don't know about the exam question, but if you need anything Buddhism-related, do get in touch.
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I don't know about the exam question, but if you need anything Buddhism-related, do get in touch.
I definitely will, (probably soon since I have mocks) thank you!
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I don't know about the exam question, but if you need anything Buddhism-related, do get in touch.
Are you familiar with Nietzsche's critique of Buddhism and if so what do you think of it!
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Are you familiar with Nietzsche's critique of Buddhism and if so what do you think of it!
Only in broad terms, though a bloke I know wrote a book on it (which I own and haven't fully read - whoops!). The problem as I see it is twofold, first he equates the idea of nirvana with the idea of a nihilistic void, which is fair in some ways but not so in others. He was right that Buddhism is a desire for a different sort of being, but wrong that this is a fundamental shift in being. We are still the same, we jsut experience differently. Second, his understanding was limited because he relied on Schopenhaur, who was himself a poor Sanskritist who relied on the skills of his mate, Karl Krause, who was himself also a pretty average Sanskritist (we often read that he was a 'master' but this IMO is just not true).

Schopenhaur misunderstood vast swathes of the dharma religions he wrote about, I think it fair to say, and so basing an understanding of them on Schopenhaur's vision is problematic at best. He often conflated Brahman and nirvana, for instance. Not really his fault since Sanskrit was at that point scarcely done well and the literature was dense, untranslated, and difficult. He might have a different take on things if he was about now - we know far more about the languages and the concepts that he tried to deal with just in virtue of the fact that we have got more, better translations (often from multiple languages, now, too). So that is one side of things.

Then there's the idea of nirvana as life-denying because it is often translated as 'voidness', but this doesn't mean that there is nothing, it just means that there is nothing ultimately, or that everything (literally everything) is contingent and has no absolute grounds. Nirvana is thus devoid of self, or it is the extinction -- nirvana literally means 'blowing out' -- of self as a permanent, ultimate concept. Given than Nietzsche was all about the construction of a sort of superself, this is probably the sticking point for him (this despite his eternal return looking a lot like samsara and his Zarathustra looking a lot like a bodhisattva). I guess he disliked the diea of denying the will, given he spent so much time developing his will-to-power. Buddhists are big on frugality and self-cntrol, so maybe there is a tension there, you are probably better placed than me to discern that at this point.

Personally I don't understand how anyone can take sunyata as pessimistic. The denial of essential features is to characterise radical change in the world, and this can only be liberating. I think Nietzsche is too cncerned with a weird sort of essentialism and working out how to make that essential feature floursh. Buddhists want to say there is no essential feature, and getting over this uncomfortable fact is the major step to flourishing. I think that might be the biggest difference. A greater awareness of Buddhism at large would have shown Nietzsche that nihilism is one extreme to be avoided at all costs in just about every Buddhist tradition.
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Only in broad terms, though a bloke I know wrote a book on it (which I own and haven't fully read - whoops!). The problem as I see it is twofold, first he equates the idea of nirvana with the idea of a nihilistic void, which is fair in some ways but not so in others. He was right that Buddhism is a desire for a different sort of being, but wrong that this is a fundamental shift in being. We are still the same, we jsut experience differently. Second, his understanding was limited because he relied on Schopenhaur, who was himself a poor Sanskritist who relied on the skills of his mate, Karl Krause, who was himself also a pretty average Sanskritist (we often read that he was a 'master' but this IMO is just not true).

Schopenhaur misunderstood vast swathes of the dharma religions he wrote about, I think it fair to say, and so basing an understanding of them on Schopenhaur's vision is problematic at best. He often conflated Brahman and nirvana, for instance. Not really his fault since Sanskrit was at that point scarcely done well and the literature was dense, untranslated, and difficult. He might have a different take on things if he was about now - we know far more about the languages and the concepts that he tried to deal with just in virtue of the fact that we have got more, better translations (often from multiple languages, now, too). So that is one side of things.

Then there's the idea of nirvana as life-denying because it is often translated as 'voidness', but this doesn't mean that there is nothing, it just means that there is nothing ultimately, or that everything (literally everything) is contingent and has no absolute grounds. Nirvana is thus devoid of self, or it is the extinction -- nirvana literally means 'blowing out' -- of self as a permanent, ultimate concept. Given than Nietzsche was all about the construction of a sort of superself, this is probably the sticking point for him (this despite his eternal return looking a lot like samsara and his Zarathustra looking a lot like a bodhisattva). I guess he disliked the diea of denying the will, given he spent so much time developing his will-to-power. Buddhists are big on frugality and self-cntrol, so maybe there is a tension there, you are probably better placed than me to discern that at this point.

Personally I don't understand how anyone can take sunyata as pessimistic. The denial of essential features is to characterise radical change in the world, and this can only be liberating. I think Nietzsche is too cncerned with a weird sort of essentialism and working out how to make that essential feature floursh. Buddhists want to say there is no essential feature, and getting over this uncomfortable fact is the major step to flourishing. I think that might be the biggest difference. A greater awareness of Buddhism at large would have shown Nietzsche that nihilism is one extreme to be avoided at all costs in just about every Buddhist tradition.
Your point about poor translation leading to misunderstanding is well taken of course.

Although Nietzsche was interested in constructing a super-self, he does actually seem in agreement with the anatman doctrine as he claims that whatever seems to be 'the self' at any given time is really just one faction of myriad warring 'drives' which happens to be dominant 'now', and proclaims itself the eternal and essential 'self', until knocked off its throne by another drive which makes the same claim. That shows how selfhood is a pretence or claim to power. Nietzsche admits that even so-called 'strong' people could become weak, so his idea of the superself could be seen as consistent with sunyata.

Nz doesn't have much of a systematised metaphysics, except to criticise the way language confuses us about it and the way our psychology, especially our weakness, deludes us about it. That does seem consistent with Buddhism I think? The eternal recurrence is often taken as a metaphysical claim, but personally I agree more with the interpretation that it was actually just a moral thought experiment.

I think the force of Nietzsche's 'life denying' objection is that Buddhism regards suffering as a problem to be solved by relinquishing desire (including the desire not to suffer). Nihilism for Nz is the 'will to nothingness'. He thinks that to be alive is to have a will to power which seeks to dominate, create, destroy, grow, do violence, etc. In Nz's view, the only reason a human might diverge from that nature and will nothingness is if they are too weak to satisfy their desire for power.

Nz regards suffering as a positive life-enhancing force, not a problem to be solved (what doesn't kill me makes me stronger). He regards Buddhism as the symptom of a weak person trying to pretend that they are not essentially a power-seeking being in order to create a reversal of the values of nature and baptize their weakness not only as good but chosen.

You do say he's too concerned with essentialism but I think he really regards this as only biological essentialism!
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Your point about poor translation leading to misunderstanding is well taken of course.

Although Nietzsche was interested in constructing a super-self, he does actually seem in agreement with the anatman doctrine as he claims that whatever seems to be 'the self' at any given time is really just one faction of myriad warring 'drives' which happens to be dominant 'now', and proclaims itself the eternal and essential 'self', until knocked off its throne by another drive which makes the same claim. That shows how selfhood is a pretence or claim to power. Nietzsche admits that even so-called 'strong' people could become weak, so his idea of the superself could be seen as consistent with sunyata.

Nz doesn't have much of a systematised metaphysics, except to criticise the way language confuses us about it and the way our psychology, especially our weakness, deludes us about it. That does seem consistent with Buddhism I think? The eternal recurrence is often taken as a metaphysical claim, but personally I agree more with the interpretation that it was actually just a moral thought experiment.

I think the force of Nietzsche's 'life denying' objection is that Buddhism regards suffering as a problem to be solved by relinquishing desire (including the desire not to suffer). Nihilism for Nz is the 'will to nothingness'. He thinks that to be alive is to have a will to power which seeks to dominate, create, destroy, grow, do violence, etc. In Nz's view, the only reason a human might diverge from that nature and will nothingness is if they are too weak to satisfy their desire for power.

Nz regards suffering as a positive life-enhancing force, not a problem to be solved (what doesn't kill me makes me stronger). He regards Buddhism as the symptom of a weak person trying to pretend that they are not essentially a power-seeking being in order to create a reversal of the values of nature and baptize their weakness not only as good but chosen.

You do say he's too concerned with essentialism but I think he really regards this as only biological essentialism!
I suppose I'd advance the claim that it is not really in agreement with anatman in strict terms, because constructing a self -- even a temporary, fleeting one -- is still grasping to something that isn't there and so is problematic in terms of the Buddhist project. The act of construction of a superself implies attachment and grasping to the idea of self in the first instance, and that's the problem. Anatman on its own has no soteriological impetus if you somehow spin it around to build something else. Of course, N isn't very concerned with a soteriological cause, so this isn't a problem for him, but it is the entire point of Buddhist praxis and so fundamental point of divergence.

There was a school of Buddhists that went down a similar line (pudgalavadins, literaly 'adherents of theory of persons') and they were roundly denounced as heretics, so I am more than wary of making that equivalence (I think Robert makes a similar equivalence in the book I mentioned, but it's been so long since I looked at it I could be wrong about that: he has definitely made the claim in discussions in our dept back when he was affiliated). In other words, he can be in agreement re the human as a vassal for causal forces, but in disagreement re the appropriate response to that (grasping at them to 'build' or construct).

Sunyata is at all points emptiness of svabhava, an essential motive, principle, foundation, mode of being etc. It is all encompassing so there is nothing at all that is not contingent on something else. It is not clear to me how Nietzsche can escape the charge that he thinks there is (or ought to be) a foundational principle -- as svabhava -- to his 'system' (insofar as it is a system), namely that humans have a 'nature'; I don't think the WtP is at all commesurable with any aspect of mainstream Buddhist thought because he seems to think it is a type of nature. Sunyata precludes a nature (svabhava) and so the Buddhist would simply say that N is engaged in some sort of wrongthink and imputing an existence which isn't there.

'Power' is an awkward thing. Any Buddhist owuld define it in a weak sense and probably tell you that they seek 'power' over their responses to stmuli etc in an attempt to live as peacefully as possible. That N thinks this is a weakness is demonstrative of the fundamental issue in reconciling the two, I suppose.

As I say, I'm not really a Nietzsche scholar, so taking my word for N's positions is not advised :laugh: You are better placed than I am to detail N's positions!
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Oh I forgot about metaphysics!

The disdain for metaphysics is there with the Buddha himself and is re-established by Nagarjuna with the advent of the Madhyamaka school, but in general, Buddhists ****ing love metaphysics and the earliest Buddhist system (Abhidharma) is essentially a list of metaphysical ultimates. This preoccupation is something that is there even now (unless you read any of my stuff, ha!), though renewed interest in Madhyamaka and the resurgent opinion that Madhyamaka might be some sort of revised 'original' Buddhism is seeing more scholars switch their focus.
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I’ve decided to start tutoring A level Buddhism and knew Nz criticised it (though said it was better than Christianity for whatever that is worth) so I am hoping there might be some interesting points of contact!

Nz’s WtP seems to have been influenced by his (admittedly poor) understanding of Darwin. Although Nz says some spooky things about the WtP at times, I think he regards it as a biological phenomenon and must, therefore, hold that it is ultimately contingent, even if it is an aspect of human nature? Would that be consistent with sunyata?

Nz also claims all things are interconnected and draws a moral injunction from this, to say ‘yes’ to all things, though that includes suffering and all the other elements which arise from the pursuit and gain of power. If anyone says ‘no’ to one thing, as Buddhists seem to do (eg suffering), for Nz that causes them to de facto say no to everything.

Nz saw in all religions and philosophies which say ‘no’ to the general state of human existence and seek or promise something else, merely a delusionary attempt to invert, at least in their mind, the power structure in which they exist but are too weak to achieve satisfaction in and be able to say ‘yes’ to.

He gave an analogy of birds of pray who eat lambs. The birds of pray would not have much need for morality, but the lambs he imagines saying to each other that the birds of pray are evil and whatever is the negation of that, like a lamb, is good. The self-affirmation of the strong is therefore foundational and assumed. All suffering and injury is taken in its stride. One wonders what use Buddhism would be for them. Why not then seek the satisfaction of power, if you are not too weak to manage it? There would not even arise such a question in one who was strong from the outset, Nz thinks. Those who are too lamb like however only draw their affirmation indirectly from the negation of a not-self and lie their values into existence, including that they would like to be humble and meek and not full of hatred or tyrannical power and so on when the real truth is that they are simply incapable of anything more. Or at least so they believe.

I suppose this all only follows from Nz’s characterisation of life as WtP, but arguably it does amount to a soteriological project of sorts, to ‘become who you are’.
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I’ve decided to start tutoring A level Buddhism and knew Nz criticised it (though said it was better than Christianity for whatever that is worth) so I am hoping there might be some interesting points of contact!

Nz’s WtP seems to have been influenced by his (admittedly poor) understanding of Darwin. Although Nz says some spooky things about the WtP at times, I think he regards it as a biological phenomenon and must, therefore, hold that it is ultimately contingent, even if it is an aspect of human nature? Would that be consistent with sunyata?

Nz also claims all things are interconnected and draws a moral injunction from this, to say ‘yes’ to all things, though that includes suffering and all the other elements which arise from the pursuit and gain of power. If anyone says ‘no’ to one thing, as Buddhists seem to do (eg suffering), for Nz that causes them to de facto say no to everything.

Nz saw in all religions and philosophies which say ‘no’ to the general state of human existence and seek or promise something else, merely a delusionary attempt to invert, at least in their mind, the power structure in which they exist but are too weak to achieve satisfaction in and be able to say ‘yes’ to.

He gave an analogy of birds of pray who eat lambs. The birds of pray would not have much need for morality, but the lambs he imagines saying to each other that the birds of pray are evil and whatever is the negation of that, like a lamb, is good. The self-affirmation of the strong is therefore foundational and assumed. All suffering and injury is taken in its stride. One wonders what use Buddhism would be for them. Why not then seek the satisfaction of power, if you are not too weak to manage it? There would not even arise such a question in one who was strong from the outset, Nz thinks. Those who are too lamb like however only draw their affirmation indirectly from the negation of a not-self and lie their values into existence, including that they would like to be humble and meek and not full of hatred or tyrannical power and so on when the real truth is that they are simply incapable of anything more. Or at least so they believe.

I suppose this all only follows from Nz’s characterisation of life as WtP, but arguably it does amount to a soteriological project of sorts, to ‘become who you are’.
Hmm, yeah, maybe! Becoming 'who you [really] are' is the startpoint of pretty much all other Indic traditions and presupposes an essential feature 'you' that you then 'really' are, so that's the sticking point from a Buddhist perspective. There seems to be some degree of talking past each other insofar as N's startpoint is so different from the Buddhist one that a fatal divergence seems almost inevitable. A Buddhist would flatly deny that you can talk of a 'nature' in any meaningful sense if it is not wholly self-sufficient. This is what is is to be a nature in the Indian traditions; a nature cannot be contingent because it is necessarily immutable (this is the criticism against Buddhist accounts of (non)selfhood by phenomenologists like Dan Zahavi, actually), and immutability is not compatible with dependent origination (pratityasamutpada).

I guess another point would be that in saying 'yes to everything, N is not treading a middle path and is instead embracing an extreme. For the Buddhists, it doesn't necessarily follow that in 'saying no' to something, you say no to everything, because the way in which things are connected is not linear. Dependent origination is usually thought of as an infinite web of cnnections whereby everything is in some way causally connected to everything else. You can sever some links without severing all the links; you can break one rope without having the whole piano fall to the floor.

The analogy of lambs etc is interesting because history is replete with successful, powerful warlords that embraced Buddhism, perhaps the most famous being Asoka. From what has been said already, I think N might respond by saying that this 'strong' character has then become 'weak' but I'm not sure how this can be justified outside of the assumption that commanding 'power' -- and what seems to be a specific account of 'power', at that -- is 'the good'. Asoka has also demonstrated that he is capable of more, and yet still embraced a Buddhist path. I might have the wrong end of the stick, I've not bothered with N for about 7 years :laugh: Self-affirmation is the delusion from which all dissatisfaction stems (careful with going straight for 'suffering' when translating duhkha - it is not accurate or appropriate in a great many contexts in which we read the word). If N thinks that one who is 'strong' has no anxieties at all, then, well, I'm not sure that is defensible from any rational perspective. Is that what he really means?
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Hmm, yeah, maybe! Becoming 'who you [really] are' is the startpoint of pretty much all other Indic traditions and presupposes an essential feature 'you' that you then 'really' are, so that's the sticking point from a Buddhist perspective. There seems to be some degree of talking past each other insofar as N's startpoint is so different from the Buddhist one that a fatal divergence seems almost inevitable. A Buddhist would flatly deny that you can talk of a 'nature' in any meaningful sense if it is not wholly self-sufficient. This is what is is to be a nature in the Indian traditions; a nature cannot be contingent because it is necessarily immutable (this is the criticism against Buddhist accounts of (non)selfhood by phenomenologists like Dan Zahavi, actually), and immutability is not compatible with dependent origination (pratityasamutpada).

I guess another point would be that in saying 'yes to everything, N is not treading a middle path and is instead embracing an extreme. For the Buddhists, it doesn't necessarily follow that in 'saying no' to something, you say no to everything, because the way in which things are connected is not linear. Dependent origination is usually thought of as an infinite web of cnnections whereby everything is in some way causally connected to everything else. You can sever some links without severing all the links; you can break one rope without having the whole piano fall to the floor.

The analogy of lambs etc is interesting because history is replete with successful, powerful warlords that embraced Buddhism, perhaps the most famous being Asoka. From what has been said already, I think N might respond by saying that this 'strong' character has then become 'weak' but I'm not sure how this can be justified outside of the assumption that commanding 'power' -- and what seems to be a specific account of 'power', at that -- is 'the good'. Asoka has also demonstrated that he is capable of more, and yet still embraced a Buddhist path. I might have the wrong end of the stick, I've not bothered with N for about 7 years :laugh: Self-affirmation is the delusion from which all dissatisfaction stems (careful with going straight for 'suffering' when translating duhkha - it is not accurate or appropriate in a great many contexts in which we read the word). If N thinks that one who is 'strong' has no anxieties at all, then, well, I'm not sure that is defensible from any rational perspective. Is that what he really means?
It sounds like Nz is advancing a different understanding of 'nature' than the Indic traditions. If our nature is biological then in principle it isn't immutable as we could alter the genes which code for it, but regardless the human race could all die out, which makes the existence of their nature contingent even if it is immutable..? Or am I missing something there. Does immutability entail eternal existence when it comes to biological human nature?

The understanding of the Buddhist notion of interconnectedness I got was from Indra's Net, where every jewel (representing a particular?) sparkles as a reflection in every single other jewel and thereby any disruption to any would imply a change to every other (i.e the loss of the reflection of the disrupted jewel). Did I not understand that right?

Nz certainly thought strong people had anxieties and so on, he just claimed they were strong enough to 'shake off' things which would 'dig and worm their way' into weaker people.

It's difficult to say that Nz regard strength as 'good', really. He claims his views are beyond good and evil. He does present his views in very moralising language, though he also admits that is due to his 'perspective' as a strong human who can not but find weakness sad and unfortunate. 'Objectively' we are simply birds of pray and lambs and the things we say or think about morality, ourselves and to each other will be exactly the thing we would say based on what we are. There is no good and evil, just health (and then saying yes to life) or sickness (resulting in saying no). To say that health is really 'the good', for Nz is just language that expresses that health, and to say that power is not good is an indirect expression of weakness as it is claimed by people who are hoping to satisfy their power in a subterranean way by inverting the value system nature has foisted onto them, and ranked them low in. People's perspective, including their philosophical claims, grows out of what type of person they are and bears the fruit you would expect from that. This is why Nz is so critical of metaphysics and yes I had read that the Buddha was similarly so, the 'noble silence' thing? Is there anything like perspectivism in Buddhism? What epistemology does it rely on?
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It sounds like Nz is advancing a different understanding of 'nature' than the Indic traditions. If our nature is biological then in principle it isn't immutable as we could alter the genes which code for it, but regardless the human race could all die out, which makes the existence of their nature contingent even if it is immutable..? Or am I missing something there. Does immutability entail eternal existence when it comes to biological human nature?

The understanding of the Buddhist notion of interconnectedness I got was from Indra's Net, where every jewel (representing a particular?) sparkles as a reflection in every single other jewel and thereby any disruption to any would imply a change to every other (i.e the loss of the reflection of the disrupted jewel). Did I not understand that right?

Nz certainly thought strong people had anxieties and so on, he just claimed they were strong enough to 'shake off' things which would 'dig and worm their way' into weaker people.

It's difficult to say that Nz regard strength as 'good', really. He claims his views are beyond good and evil. He does present his views in very moralising language, though he also admits that is due to his 'perspective' as a strong human who can not but find weakness sad and unfortunate. 'Objectively' we are simply birds of pray and lambs and the things we say or think about morality, ourselves and to each other will be exactly the thing we would say based on what we are. There is no good and evil, just health (and then saying yes to life) or sickness (resulting in saying no). To say that health is really 'the good', for Nz is just language that expresses that health, and to say that power is not good is an indirect expression of weakness as it is claimed by people who are hoping to satisfy their power in a subterranean way by inverting the value system nature has foisted onto them, and ranked them low in. People's perspective, including their philosophical claims, grows out of what type of person they are and bears the fruit you would expect from that. This is why Nz is so critical of metaphysics and yes I had read that the Buddha was similarly so, the 'noble silence' thing? Is there anything like perspectivism in Buddhism? What epistemology does it rely on?
Just a quick reply because I'm on my way to the pub (surprise surprise) - I'll pick this up again tomorrow!

In a nutshell, 'nature' always entails an eternality and immutability in Buddhist thought, so to have a human nature is analogous to saying we have an atman, which is both eprmanent and unchanging. You could talk conventionally about traits and habits, but these would more likely be attributed to individial (or maybe collective) karma, but my feeling is that many Buddhists - or at least classical Indian Buddhists -- would not recognise 'nature' as N wants to use it.

Indra's net is awkward because it is only fleetingly mentioned in the Indian Mahayana literature and was later developed by Chinese schools. I don't read Chinese so I'm less comfortable offering opinions on their renderings, but Sanskrit stuff I can deal with. The thing with Indra's net is that it's an inadequate metaphor, but it will do for the time being - if we cut off one jewel in Indira's net, what happens? Well, that jewel falls, and it changes (in a very minor way) the physical aspect of the net, and changes the perception of the net (one less jewel is reflected). What does not happen is that all the jewels come crashing down, and so by removing one, two, three, whatever, the net is always and at every point structurally sound. So to say no to one is not to say no to everything, it is simply to change the way we percieve (and interact with) everything else.

I know he claims the good and evil thing, but it's hard to see how he maintains that given that he expresses a preference for some things over others, even in a very weak sense. Thus there is some bias toward some things. Buddhist ethics aren;tconcerned with intrinsic goods or abds either, they are largely instrumental or functional - act like this, and this will follow. Why is this better or worse? Because you will feel better/worse when it happens.

Epistemology only really came in with Vasubandhu and Dharmakirti, and they tend to rely on what is called the pramanavada, or means of (true) knowledge. Perception and inference, usually. This needs far more space than I can give it now, but I will try tomorrow (or maybe have a look at the SEP page!).

Cheers for the convo today, I have enjoyed it. back later on
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Just a quick reply because I'm on my way to the pub (surprise surprise) - I'll pick this up again tomorrow!

In a nutshell, 'nature' always entails an eternality and immutability in Buddhist thought, so to have a human nature is analogous to saying we have an atman, which is both eprmanent and unchanging. You could talk conventionally about traits and habits, but these would more likely be attributed to individial (or maybe collective) karma, but my feeling is that many Buddhists - or at least classical Indian Buddhists -- would not recognise 'nature' as N wants to use it.

Indra's net is awkward because it is only fleetingly mentioned in the Indian Mahayana literature and was later developed by Chinese schools. I don't read Chinese so I'm less comfortable offering opinions on their renderings, but Sanskrit stuff I can deal with. The thing with Indra's net is that it's an inadequate metaphor, but it will do for the time being - if we cut off one jewel in Indira's net, what happens? Well, that jewel falls, and it changes (in a very minor way) the physical aspect of the net, and changes the perception of the net (one less jewel is reflected). What does not happen is that all the jewels come crashing down, and so by removing one, two, three, whatever, the net is always and at every point structurally sound. So to say no to one is not to say no to everything, it is simply to change the way we percieve (and interact with) everything else.

I know he claims the good and evil thing, but it's hard to see how he maintains that given that he expresses a preference for some things over others, even in a very weak sense. Thus there is some bias toward some things. Buddhist ethics aren;tconcerned with intrinsic goods or abds either, they are largely instrumental or functional - act like this, and this will follow. Why is this better or worse? Because you will feel better/worse when it happens.

Epistemology only really came in with Vasubandhu and Dharmakirti, and they tend to rely on what is called the pramanavada, or means of (true) knowledge. Perception and inference, usually. This needs far more space than I can give it now, but I will try tomorrow (or maybe have a look at the SEP page!).

Cheers for the convo today, I have enjoyed it. back later on
Thanks I've enjoyed it too, very interesting. I'm looking forward to becoming better versed on this subject.

The main issue A level students of Buddhism face that I consistently hear from them is that it's difficult to get in depth to the same level as they do in their philosophy or ethics exam. They lack the marks for evaluation as a result.

That's why I'm pursuing this Nietzsche angle, as an alternative philosophy with deep disagreements seems like a good solution.

I'd be really interested to hear what else you might suggest? What are the main sources of criticism of Buddhism, either that Buddhists themselves engage with or otherwise?
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Wooord
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#15
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#15
(Original post by ltsmith)
"are dank memes real?"
The philosophical question that should be getting asked 😤
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Wooord
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#16
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(Original post by gjd800)
I don't know about the exam question, but if you need anything Buddhism-related, do get in touch.
Hi, I need some help on understanding Zen and Pure Land Buddhism.
Are there any websites you would recommend for A-level students? I have my class work but it doesn’t seem to be making sense (I tend to right in note form and then later regret it)
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gjd800
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#17
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#17
(Original post by Wooord)
Hi, I need some help on understanding Zen and Pure Land Buddhism.
Are there any websites you would recommend for A-level students? I have my class work but it doesn’t seem to be making sense (I tend to right in note form and then later regret it)
Are there specific parts with which you are struggling?
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