Dhamma, Religion and Science
None of the above is infallible.
This word is often used to describe human capacity for error — no one is infallible.
In that context only science accept capacity to error.
Neither Dhamma nor religion accepts that they are prone to error.
It is easy to dispense orthodox Church's dogma that god is the creator and the essence of the beginning.
If God created the world, who created God is the next pertinent question in science.
This was the question I used to pose as a kid when not even 7 years old.
I have not found an answer to this question all my life.
So my mind worked itself to science without any hindrance.
I was good at asking the most demanding question, in the class and I was thrown out of the class by my Christian rather the Catholic teacher.
He did not realize that I made my fellow mates to ask even more probing questions in my absence.
The end result was that all the so called Buddhists by descent were thrown out eventually.
We enjoyed games while my fellow Christian mates were indoctrinated with the dogma or the current expression “God Delusion”.
I subsequently stopped going to this school (there were many other reason including not teaching elementary science) to my father's annoyance.
To my disgust I never found a good science teacher in the city school, I subsequently joined.
I was born with scientific thinking and that was not a problem, thanks to books from the British Council Library.
I was reading Scientific American very early in my life.
Coming to Dhamma, I never had a teacher who could make interesting introduction to its basics.
Jataka Katha was an antithesis to me.
I should relate a particular incident.
We had a Poya Dasa Sil program in my village school as an antidote to our rebelliousness in the Christian school.
One of my mates asked a simple question from the Buddhist monk.
His question was (based on merit and demerit principle or the good and the bad moral principle) related to Buddhist decorations with Buddha's image littered all over the streets soon after Wesak Poya.
Is it good or bad to litter the streets with Buddha images?
The monk did not answer that question to my satisfaction.
I do not know what my mate's gut feeling was and I never discussed it with him.
This had a remarkable impression on me.
It seeded the interest in environment at a very early age.
Live and let live principle and do not litter the mother earth.
Our capital city Colombo is a classic example of living every day with litter.
The recent floods had made the city fathers to wake up from slumber.
Even the Colombo crows (cravens) decimated due to garbage menace and polythene (cause intestinal obstruction and death).
The crows did a better service than our city fathers and mothers.
I never liked any religion including Buddhism.
I never declared my inner feeling to anybody including my parents but pretended to be a very religious person (which was trues as far as good habits were concerned and I was a visible conformist from outside).
I probed into Dhamma well past my adulthood.
I found Dhamma very tricky especially the Rebirth.
Buddha deliberately avoided controversy.
He strictly forbade the inquiry into the universe and the world of science.
He said they were the deterrent and superfluous to the eightfold pathway he preached.
Kalama Sutta was the red herring which later scholars got hold of it by the wrong end or the tail of it, to say Dhamma is scientific.
He used his qualifications for systematic inquiry in Kalama Sutta to verify his basic teaching of Eightfold Pathway of life.
His Dhamma was a way of life and a mental culture in pristine form.
There is no science in Buddha's teaching.
Any rendering outside his teaching is a viscous dogma (science included) which he specifically forbade.
What he tried to convey is that “the universe is within you” and not from outside or any alien forces.
Nibbana or the four sublime forms were the goals to target and not scientific methodology.
The bottom line is I am yet to find a Buddhist monk or layperson who reached these goals.
In my case, I am not at all interested in those targets and in that sense I am not a Buddhist, at all.
I am very much happy with what I am and my goals are very simple and mundane like, good night sleep, good holiday, bit of wine, a piece of cupcake with some chocolate chips, a good science book to read or detective story to ponder and never a melodrama.
If one has not worked out who one is, it is simply a burden to the mother earth, which gives oxygen to breath, water to drink, fruits (food) to eat and gravity to pull oneself into an erect homo sapien who has not evolved to his full potential, yet.