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A science related view of rebirth within Buddhist philosophy | Metta Physics - The Scie... - 0 views

    The notions of rebirth and reincarnation are crucial to the Buddhist worldview : 'rebirth' can be considered as a crude English translation of 'Punarbhava' ( re-emergence of self, Sanskrit). Those amongst us who seek scientific explanations for non-scientific concepts might find it difficult to frame any testable or falsifiable hypothesis in the support or the denial of the notion of the Buddhist philosophical self and its re-emergence. However if a concept cannot be framed in scientific terms it does not imply that we cannot employ scientific reasoning to it.

    Although we can define concepts like life and death with degrees of scientific objectivity, such definitions are essentially useless in a spiritual context that combines philosophical and rational understanding. It is when we apply these concepts to our own existence that its philosophical significance emerges, and to a large extent the same applies to the concept of rebirth. This perhaps explains why nearly a quarter of all Western Europeans stated that they believe in reincarnation in the oft quoted European values survey(1) in 2006. Despite the fact that reincarnation does not exist in either Christianity or science, the two traditional sources that have generated philosophical viewpoints in western Europe. Figures are higher in the Nordic countries and eastern Europe, and in addition, another 20 to 25% or so indicated that they did not know and maintained an open mind on the issue.

    Despite scientific debates on the significance of findings suggestive of evidence of reincarnation (e,g, Dr Ian Stevenson and that Jim Tucker both for the division of perceptual studies, University of Virginia medical school being two notable examples ) (2), alternative possibilities for holding completely non-supernatural views can emerge from the sociological point of view. For instance viewing life on Earth as an interconnected web can also produce significant insights into the life-and-death of individual entities
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