I see some very promising trends in some of the Western Zen stuff, eg Brad Warner ( http://hardcorezen.blogspot.com/)(before anyone says it, I also see big problems with him!)

There's a lot of dumping of mysticism, and some of the more unfortunate bits like gods and reincarnation.

And there are Buddha quotes like:

"Be lamps unto yourselves. Be refuges unto yourselves. Take yourself no external refuge. Hold fast to the truth as a lamp. Hold fast to the truth as a refuge. "

(intermediate source http://www.sapphyr.net/buddhist/buddhist-quotes.htm, I'm pretty sure there are primary sources but too lazy to dig them up)

Which I think is very compatible with rationalism.

And a lot of Buddhism seems to me to make nice testable claims "do these things and you will experience a greater frequency of desirable mental states", for example.

However there's also other stuff I'm somewhat sympathetic to, but have doubts about, which seem to suggest giving up on rational thought.

Welcome to Less Wrong! (2010-2011)

by orthonormal 1 min read12th Aug 2010805 comments


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