[Buddha-l] Students as potential spooks?

Richard Hayes rhayes at unm.edu
Tue Feb 7 21:21:02 MST 2012

On Feb 7, 2012, at 6:04 PM, sjziobro at cs.com wrote:

> Intelligence personnel 
> need to know about many matters if  they're to be successful in their field 
> of endeavor.  The CIA, for  example, regularly assesses religious influence 
> within any particular society  or culture.

Unfortunately, whether one is talking about the academic world, the news media, or the CIA, most attempts to assess the religious influence on human behavior is embarrassingly simplistic. I have pretty much come to the view that there is no connection at all between human behavior and thought. So any study of theology or philosophy (both of which are thought-based) yields very close to zero basis on which to predict how people will act or to analyze how they have acted. Thinking is utterly irrelevant. 

There are two theories making the rounds that I find very exciting and that I am increasingly convinced may be true (whatever the he'll "true" means). 

The first theory is that there is no such thing as causality. Things just happen. One can gather statistics about events,  but statistics have no connection with causality. 

The second theory is that there is no such thing as conscious decision making. Decisions arise in consciousness after processes of which no one is conscious have put the body in motion. Everything we call decision making is after-the-act rationalization. There being no conscious decisions, there is no free will and therefore no moral responsibility. 

Some of the conclusions I have been driven to consider as pretty likely to be the way things really are may be at odds with Buddhist dogma, which is itself part of the delusional sham that Buddhists pretend to want to eliminate. 

Just some thoughts. Now I'm going to bed. 

Richard Philip Hayes
Department of Philosophy
University of New Mexico

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