Buddhist Biology: Ancient Eastern Wisdom Meets Modern by David P. Barash

By David P. Barash

Many high-profile public intellectuals -- together with "New Atheists" like Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, and the overdue Christopher Hitchens -- have argued that faith and technology are deeply adversarial, representing global perspectives which are totally incompatible. David Barash, a popular biologist with 40 years of expertise, mostly has the same opinion with them, yet with one very gigantic exception: Buddhism.

In this attention-grabbing publication, David Barash highlights the exciting universal flooring among medical and non secular concept, illuminating the numerous parallels among biology and Buddhism, permitting readers to determine either in a brand new means. certainly, he indicates that there are lots of areas the place Buddhist and organic views coincide and make stronger one another. for example, the cornerstone ecological idea -- the interconnectedness and interdependence of all normal issues -- is remarkably just like the elemental perception of Buddhism. certainly, a big Buddhist textual content, the Avatamsaka Sutra, which is composed of ten insights into the "interpenetration" among beings and their surroundings, may perhaps good were written via a educated ecologist, simply as present insights in evolutionary biology, genetics and improvement could have been authored by way of the Buddha himself. Barash underscores different striking similarities, together with a shared mistrust of straightforward cause-and-effect research, an appreciation of the "rightness" of nature, in addition to an acknowledgment of the agony that effects while usual tactics are tampered with. Buddhist Biology exhibits how the concept that of "non-self," so complicated to many Westerners, is totally in step with sleek biology, as is the Buddhist standpoint of "impermanence." Barash either demystifies and celebrates the biology of Buddhism and vice versa, exhibiting in a concluding tour-de-force how smooth Buddhism --shorn of its hocus-pocus and abracadabra -- not just justifies yet truly mandates either socially and environmentally "engaged" proposal and practice.

Buddhist Biology is a piece of certain highbrow synthesis that sheds remarkable mild on biology in addition to on Buddhism, highlighting the notable methods those views come jointly, like strong searchlights that provide complementary and wonderful views at the international and our position in it.

"I'm skeptical of makes an attempt to reconcile faith with technology. At worst the 2 are incompatible. At top the reconciliation turns out superfluous: why trouble, why not only pass instantly for the technology? but when you want to essay this tough reconciliation, Buddhism is unquestionably religion's top shot, not less than within the atheistic model espoused via David Barash. And the duty is an uphill one, so you'd greater choose an excellent author to aim it. David Barash, by way of any criteria, is unquestionably a really, excellent writer." -- Richard Dawkins, writer of The egocentric Gene and The God Delusion

"Most atheists flip from faith with feelings among disdain and reduction. no longer so David Barash. he's confident that conventional Western religions fall simply because they're refuted by means of smooth technology, specially within the evolutionary realm of which he's a grasp. however, in Buddhism he reveals deep insights approximately human nature and our tasks to others and to our surroundings. Barash is typically fallacious, and infrequently even frustrating. yet as this provocative and stimulating booklet indicates, he's by no means boring." -- Michael Ruse, Professor of Philosophy at Florida nation collage and Editor of the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Darwin and Evolution

"All who're stimulated to look for life's which means may be encouraged and guided by means of David Barash's exploration of similarities and variations among Buddhism as a philosophy and glossy evolutionary biology. He demonstrates that combining sleek biology with that historical philosophy can yield a deep and pleasurable starting place for taking part in an international that doesn't care approximately us." -- Gordon Orians, Former President of the Ecological Society of America

About the Author

David P. Barash, PhD, is Professor of Psychology on the college of Washington. A long-time evolutionary biologist in addition to an aspiring Buddhist, he has been keen on the improvement of sociobiology in addition to the sphere of Peace reviews, and is the writer or co-author of 33 books.

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He was an ex-Jesuit, he explained, and until recently he had been professor of philosophy at a Catholic college near Bangalore. In his classes he had made it clear that certain truths the Church regarded as beyond doubt were, in fact, open to question, at least from the standpoint of philosophy, and could be freely discussed. For this he had got into serious trouble, both with the college authorities and with his Jesuit superiors, and in the end he had decided to leave both the Jesuit order and the Church.

All hope abandon, ye who enter here’ are the dreadful words inscribed above the entrance to Dante’s Inferno. The idea of eternal punishment in hell is surely one of the most horrible ideas ever to have entered into the mind of man, yet belief in its truth seems to have been an article of faith within what was to become mainstream Christianity from the beginning, and to have scriptural authority behind it. … And these shall go away into everlasting punishment; but the righteous into life eternal’ (Matthew 25:41,46).

As a Buddhist, I have no emotional vested interest in its being decided either way, or in its being decided at all. Were it to be proved ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ that Jesus actually did live, I would not find it difficult to believe, given the fact of his existence, that he really was ‘crucified, dead, and buried’, crucifixion being the common mode of execution for criminals in the Roman empire at the time. What I cannot believe is that the Jewish religious teacher who was crucified was in fact no other than God, the Almighty Creator.

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