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Logical Criticism of Buddhist Doctrines

A Thematic Compilation by Avi Sion

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Blog posts : "soul"

4. Devoid of a self

 

1.    Fallacious criticisms of selfhood

Since writing Buddhist Illogic, I have been reviewing Buddhist arguments against selfhood more carefully, and I must say that – while they continue to inspire deeper awareness of philosophical issues in me – I increasingly find them unconvincing,…

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5. The self or soul

 

1.    Abstract vs. concrete self

I finally managed to conceive (on a theoretical level, without making personal claims to the direct experience concerned) how the Buddhist idea of ‘emptiness’ of self (in subjects, and indeed in objects of consciousness) might be convincingly presented …

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7. Understanding the self

 

1.    The individual self in Monism

Granting the Monist thesis [briefly described in the preceding chapters], we can understand that our respective apparent individual selves, whether they are viewed as souls (entities with a spiritual substance distinct from mind and matter) or as som…

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12. Impermanence and soul

 

1.    Impermanence

 

Man is like a breath; his days are as a passing shadow. (Ps. 144)

 

The transience[1] of worldly existence is rightly emphasized by Buddhism; but it is wrongly formulated when it is stated as “everything is transient” (or some similar expression), becaus…

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14. Mind and soul

 

1.    Behold the mind

Judging by a collection of essays attributed to Bodhidharma[1], the latter’s teaching of Zen meditation was quite introverted. He keeps stressing the futility of physical acts and rituals, and stresses the necessity of “beholding the mind”, to achieve enlighte…

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16. The five skandhas doctrine

 

In this essay, I critically comment on the Buddhist ‘five skandhas’ doctrine. This doctrine is attributed to the Buddha himself and considered as a core belief of Buddhism[1]. However, in my humble opinion, in view of its evident intellectual limitations, this doctrine should not be give…

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17. The five skandhas doctrine (cont’d)

 

1.    The metaphysical aspects

The Encyclopaedia Britannica (EB) defines the skandhas as “the five elements that sum up the whole of an individual’s mental and physical existence.” It lists them as “(1) matter, or body, the manifest form of the four elements—earth, air, fire, and water…

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