Monthly Archives: April 2011

Drill Baby Drill

Why do working class people whose lot has steadily declined over the years of Republican-dominated politics since 1980, vote against their interest? The core Republican belief system of minimal government and low tax rates is in the interest of the … Continue reading

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Gotama on Free Will and Determinism

One might say that Reverend Gotama had a quick answer to the question of free will and determinism. He called it dependent origination, the middle way. Neither of these alternatives, neither free will nor determinism, is the case. Like so … Continue reading

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Austin and Past Lives – a Mishmash

J.L Austin once remarked (Sense and Sensibilia, p. 4) that “One of the most important points to grasp is that these two terms ‘sense data’ and ‘material things’, live by taking in each other’s washing – what is spurious is … Continue reading

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Popper on the Mind Body Problem

Although not all of the various proponents of materialism (proponents of behaviorism, physicalism, the identity theory, functionalism, and strong AI) will admit this openly, they all deny that consciousness exists as a separate phenomenon. I think the mind / body … Continue reading

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Investing in Gold

Let’s assume that you have invested money in gold during a period in which the price of gold was rising rapidly. The proceeds from your decision to invest at a price that turned out to be low and to sell … Continue reading

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The First Discourse – Setting in Motion the Wheel of Dhamma

It is widely recognized that the first teaching of Reverend Gotama was given in the deer park at what was then called Isipatane and is now called Sarnath outside the ancient city of Benares (now Varanasi.) The discourse is given … Continue reading

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The Refuge Passage from the Mahaparinibbana Sutta

There has been much concern about the use of the term “attan” in the Pali Nikayas and the implication that a correct reading of these texts implies that Siddhattha Gotama taught a doctrine of the soul similar to that of … Continue reading

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Eternalism in the Brahmajala Sutta

The Brahmajala Sutta is the first sutta collected in the Digha Nikaya, thought by many to be among the oldest collections of the Pali Canon. T.W. Rhys Davids, the founder of the Pali Text Society (PTS) and the editor of … Continue reading

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Denial of the Atman – The Alagaddupama Sutta

The Alagaddupama Sutta is one of the few suttas in the Pali Canon in which Reverend Gotama appears to explicitly deny the atta (Pali) or atman (Sanskrit) as the Great Soul of the Upanishads. Richard Gombrich, Oxford Pali and Sanskrit … Continue reading

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The Potthapada Sutta – The Soul Theory

The Potthapada Sutta is the ninth sutta in the Digha Nikaya, the collection of long discourses of the Pali Canon. It is contained in the Sila Khandha Vagga, the first 13 suttas, all of which contain reference to the Silas … Continue reading

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