The Dalai Lama on Science

“If science proves some belief of Buddhism wrong, then Buddhism will have to change. In my view, science and Buddhism share a search for the truth and for understanding reality. By learning from science about aspects of reality where its understanding may be more advanced, I believe that Buddhism enriches its own worldview.”

Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama

16 thoughts on “The Dalai Lama on Science

  1. I have a similar quote in my blog by the last Dalai Lama that maybe can shed light:

    “If scientific analysis conclusively showed that certain beliefs of Buddhism are false it would be necessary to accept those scientific discoveries and abandon those beliefs.”

    Buddhism seems better equipped in its approach to science since, as the Dalai Lama says, “it grants maximum authority to experience, secondly to reason and only lastly to scriptures.” The religions of the revealed Books instead (the Abrahamic religions) seem to consider these elements in a reversed order.

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  2. Pingback: Unblogged Bits for Saturday, 17 October 2009 | ***Dave Does the Blog

  3. @ Web, i would say i thank god most religions dont.
    The sad truth is that neither science(atheism) nor religion will ever be disproved. That’s why both of them are based on the same common denominator, faith.

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  4. You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but I would not agree with it. The evidence does not favor the notion that religion is real and not a myth. Psychologists have evidence for parts of the brain that help one person have faith over another, but they also have evidence to why our brains developed to come to a position of faith, versus no faith. As science and technology gets better more answers will start to come forward. Neither of us may be alive when the time comes, but it’s only a matter of time. I would say it’s a question of when not if.

    Besides all the reasons I could give I think the ones that hold most true with me are 1) the existence of atheists and 2) probability. 1) This is a conversation for another time and place, but I think squashing atheism would the easiest thing to do as a god to secure faith. Not to mention if you are the type of god that has no problem with murder, rape, incest, and genocide, nixing a few nonbelievers would be easy and would solve the problem.

    2) Faith and non faith do not deserve equal weight. Simply the evidence is more on the side of non faith than faith. So there is not much of a 50/50 discussion to be had.

    As far as atheism being a faith, that just makes no sense. Atheism is the lack of any faith or belief period. That’s it. There is no ideology behind it, no magic books, or people in power telling an atheist what they can and cannot do. Atheism is the lack of a faith therefore it cannot follow logically that atheism is a faith.

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  5. LOL other Paul… yea and Hitler was atheist and all the others so therefore it must follow atheists are evil people or better yet atheism leads to people doing bad things. I am assuming there was sarcasm there.

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  6. @Webs

    If atheism is the lack of any faith, what is the difference between them and an agnostic? It seems to me atheists somewhat exclude the existence of any deity (a-: exclusion, theos: god). That, in itself, is a faith and a doctrine (and in fact they are often militant about this non existence).

    Agnostics instead do not deny the possible existence of a deity [how can we honestly be so damn sure] but they are very skeptical about it.

    I am an agnostic.

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  7. An agnostic is someone that thinks god might exist.

    An atheist is someone with a lack of any faith or belief in anything theistic. Break down the word, “a” “theist”. Theist, someone that prescribes to a religious system, someone with faith. Add it together. Atheist, someone with a lack of everything the word theist stands for.

    It makes no logical sense to go from that to “atheism is a religion”. Such a statement is utter nonsense. You can say it as many times as you like but it will not make the statement true.

    Furthermore, why are you asking my what’s the difference when you just stated the difference with your first sentence and forth?

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  8. Webs, I did not infer that atheism lead to evil. I just stated that it was, under some regimes, an official state position and that is different from a separation of church and state. That makes for a lay society; however some apostle of laycism are just as rabid and sectarian as some religious bigots. Both are evil in my book. Just for the record, I believe in God but have not, for many years adhered to any church.

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  9. Too bad all the major religious leader don’t share his basic philosophy and insights. There could actually be a chance that mankind could create a truly peaceful and better world. I’ve looked up other quotes from him and have been really impressed. He doesn’t so much stress his religion – but more of a universal spirituality and insights that arise from true critical thinking.

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  10. Yet atheism defines itself by theism and so is forever bound to faith, if only so it can be faithless.

    Science does not exclude faith or religion, but certainly a repeatable and testable methodology can put superstition in its place. In science we don’t believe we prove.

    The mistake of atheism is to believe that the existence or not of “god” or “gods” is a scientific question at all. It’s not because we can neither prove or disprove that statement. The chances are we couldn’t even ever come to any sort of consensus as far as what phenomena we’re even discussing.

    Atheism is NOT science!

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