Comparative Nonwestern Worldviews Essay
Ethics of imperturbability
The ancient Indians and Greeks placed in high regard ethical systems. For instance, the Greeks held that the state of mind complements the nature of an action to have ethical significance. A Jain considered it murder as ethically negative whether or not the act was voluntary. The Buddhist could kill in a voluntary scenario since the nature of the act and the voluntary state of mind are relevant to the ethical value the Greek tradition had plenty of Judeo- Christian to influence most of the ancient Greek philosophers. For that reason, Greek held that, it was ethical to kill others in the event they were their enemies. The Greeks used gladiatorial combat as a form of entertainment where they butchered their enemies from Carthage. In the traditional Roman ceremonies frequently conducted before the battles by the priests had the implications that gods needed ritual, blood, prayer, and sacrifice. That practice follows in the Roman Catholic churches where priest faces the congregants to propitiate the gods. Imperturbability does not seem like a natural posture as Epicurus points it proceeds to seek delight and withdraw one from twinge. Both Indian and Greek philosophers held the same emotion and value towards pleasures and fulfilled intentions. The interpretation of Greek ataraxia means imperturbability. The ethics of imperturbability entails an attempt to get one mind beyond the vacillation of delight and twinge. One of the approaches was transcendentalist while the other was naturalistic. For one to attain such an attitude you have to uncouple to the patterns of motivation. In some events, the uncoupling promotes a transcendentalist motivation. The experience leads to one becoming impartial or indifferent with a hyperactive sensual realm where one could gain access to a supreme being. This type of perspective is common in the Mahayana Buddhism schools and Platonism. Thomas McEvilley asserts that in other contexts the Theravada Buddhism and Epicureanism accept the worldly experience. One should avoid using this approach to attain a transcendental perspective on a naturalistic approach.
Ethics and role of Skandhas
Buddhist teachings are crucial for modern life and thoughts in the discipline of science, psychology, and other related disciplines. The contemporary psychiatrists suggest Abhidharma in the analysis of five Skandhas where a person experiences a table of elements that correspond to modern science. The Buddhist analysis that depicts a personal experience has a careful inventory and evaluation of elements. The five aggregates include Samjna, Rupa, Vijnana, Vedana, and Samjna. The aggregate of Rupa refers to personal material factors. It includes people’s bodies and the surrounding physical factors such as trees, buildings, and mountains. This aggregate require an individual five sense of organs that correspond to the material factors. The sense and the corresponding physical object is as follows eyes, the visible objects, ears, the sound, skin, the tangible objects, tongue, the taste, and nose, the smell. The physical objects are insufficient to produce experience. The contact established between tongue and taste cannot result in the experience without Vijnana (consciousness). The eyes in conjunction with a visible object can fail to produce experience. The collaboration of consciousness, sense organ, and the material object will produce an experience. In essence, ears as the sense will collaborate with the sound physical object and consciousness. Consciousness is an indispensable element in the production of experience. The mind (dharmas) can work in conjunction with the five senses. Just as if the five senses have a corresponding physical object, the material object for the mind is ideas. Consciousness will unite with the mind and its object to produce experience. Consciousness can turn the physical factor to experience into the personal conscious experience. Consciousness is a mere sensitivity to an object. When a material object of experience such as the nose and smell object, come into contact, conscious associated with physical factors of experience so that the scent consciousness arises. The aggregate of Vedana (feeling) produces a pleasant, unpleasant, and indifferent sensation. From the experience of an object comes an aggregate of feeling than turns to personal experience. The aggregate of Samjna(perception) identifies the activity of recognition. Perception functions by turning an indefinite experience into an identified and recognized experience. With perception, one has a conceptual element that helps to introduce a definite, determinate idea that concerns the object of experience. The aggregate of Samskara (mental formation) serves as a conditioned response to the object of experience. The mental impression is an impression created using a previous action stored in former lives. The mental formation contains moral dimension as the perception has a conceptual dimension and feeling has an emotion dimension. The underlying factor for all the five aggregates is that each undergoes constant change.
Sextus Empiricus was a physician around second century C.E. all his works are skeptical in nature against different experts. He starts the Pyrrhonian skepticism by distinguishing three types of philosophers the dogmatists that believe they have discovered the truth, academics that believe it is hard to discover the truth and skeptics that continue with the process of investigation, as they believe that none has discovered the truth while it is not impossible to do so. Sextus understands that suspending judgment will determine nothing other than tranquility. According to the philosopher one should not start as a skeptic rather, one should determine appearances accurately in the world to reveal the casual histories of events. The motivation of finding things out according to Sextus is to become tranquil and remove the disturbance of having confronting incompatible views of the world. Every account that purports to establish something true concerning the world has another account that purports to establish a contrary incompatible view of the same thing. By virtual of intellectual integrity he cannot arrive at a conclusion where he does not have a definite view. Tranquility follows upon the suspended judgment the way a shadow follows a body. According to the philosopher, arriving at definite views is not a matter of intellectual dishonesty instead; it is the primary source of all mental disturbances.
Role Greek thought played in Indian philosophy & the role Indian philosophy played in Greek philosophy
The Hellenistic period in classical Greek philosophy undergoes a radical transformation from an essential Greek product to develop in a cosmopolitan and eclectic cultural movement so as to influence the Indian culture. The transformation symbolizes the role played by Alexandria as the hub of diverse currents of thought that make up the new philosophy. The goals of philosophy in the Greek-Hellenistic philosophy in the Islamic world are compatible with other religions where the Greeks unsurpassed other nations in wisdom. The rise of Neo-Platonism came with a version of Greek philosophy that exerted a particular fascination upon Muslim minds. That led to the translation of Greek philosophy to Arabic. The conquest of Syria in the seventh century does not interfere with academic pursuits of Syriac scholars at Edessa and other centers of Syriac-Greek learning. A new impetus started in the era of Alexander the Great where the translation movement benefited from an enlightened patronage of the early Abbasid caliphs at Baghdad. The reign of al-Ma’mun brought the translation of medical, scientific, and philosophical texts mainly from Greek or Syriac placed on an official footing. None of the translators made any significant contribution to the Arabic philosophical literature while they laid the foundation for subsequent advancement and served as the elite purveyors of Greek wisdom and science in the Islamic world.
Indian philosophy similarly had an influence on Greek philosophical tradition. Diogenes states that Pyrrho borrowed the idea of agnosticism and the suspension of judgment while on a trip to India. Pyrrho had a strong influence from Indian philosophy. A body of scholars believes that Pyrrho traveled with the army of Alexander the Great, and while he was there, he came across naked philosophers. Most of the naked philosophers were the Jain monks taught a doctrine of total indifference to bodily concerns. The philosophers stood motionless on the hot sand to show devote to endurance. The sand was so hot that no one could endure walking on it bare feet while the monks lay motionless on the sand for the whole day. The primary teaching was that a person has to remove bliss and throbbing.
Commonalities between Greek & Indian essentialism, skepticism, & naturalism
Greek philosophy bequeaths an interesting legacy in Western civilization. The process of separating humanity from the world started with Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle that placed an emphasis on the unique rationality of the human species. The rationalism of the philosophers was holistic, essentialist, and organicist other than atomistic and empirical. The ancient Greeks believe that the natural world is animate, and the universe is a living organism. The pre-Socratic analogy exalts reason above instinct, emotion, and the human body. The early naturalism of the earlier thinkers places a clear and precise intellectual framework. Plato essentialist rationalism incorporates the primal roots of Greek civilization that state that the creator created a single visible living thing that contain the same natural order. The foundation of philosophical naturalism is the Vaishehika Orthodox schools that originate from the era of Renaissance. The modern emphasis of naturalism originates from the medieval thinkers that attribute it to a supernatural being.