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Old 08-01-2013, 11:46 AM   #31
tantric
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Default Re: What a "god"?

Re: Nopeti (Pali or Sanskrit?)

This was the Buddha's answer to several questions. I was being whimsical, but it is a valid answer and it doesn't mean "I don't know". If nothing else, the Buddha was an excellent logician. He had other ways of telling people to shut up - there's a parable about a man shot with an arrow, which arose directly from a monk who didn't like 'nopeti'.
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Old 08-01-2013, 01:48 PM   #32
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Default Re: What a "god"?

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Originally Posted by tantric View Post
Re: Nopeti (Pali or Sanskrit?)

This was the Buddha's answer to several questions. I was being whimsical, but it is a valid answer and it doesn't mean "I don't know". If nothing else, the Buddha was an excellent logician. He had other ways of telling people to shut up - there's a parable about a man shot with an arrow, which arose directly from a monk who didn't like 'nopeti'.
I understand that many people believe that is a valid answer. I consider it gibberish. But even if it were the correct answer to reality, it doesn't sound valid in a known to be made up setting, in my opinion.
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Old 08-01-2013, 02:01 PM   #33
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Default Re: What a "god"?

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Re: Nopeti (Pali or Sanskrit?)
In Sanskrit it is "na upeti", in Pali it is "nopeti".

As I understand it, the meaning is approximately "indescribable".
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Old 08-01-2013, 02:18 PM   #34
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I understand that many people believe that is a valid answer. I consider it gibberish.
It may seem so, but in my interpretation it is a distinction between "I know",
"I do not know" and "It cannot be known", where "It cannot be known" is a
reaction to questions about something which is beyond the realm of human
knowledge as well as to questions which have no meaningful answer becau-
se they are based on false assumptions.
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Old 08-01-2013, 02:22 PM   #35
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Default Re: What a "god"?

I think that as an "answer" it sounds equal parts arrogant and gibberish.
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Old 08-01-2013, 02:24 PM   #36
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Default Re: What a "god"?

Nopeti, from the original description, almost sounds like the "invalid" response. As a programmer, I can respect that. What number to you add to one to make orange? (to be cliche). What happens when you ask for the address of someone who doesn't exist?

That said, if the question is "which came first, the gods or the worshipers, and someone says Nopeti, they're either copping out, saying 'no one knows, its the way things work', or saying 'there was no beggining', or 'they were created at the exact same time'. (you can use 'came to be' instead of created).
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Old 08-01-2013, 02:30 PM   #37
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Default Re: What a "god"?

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I understand that many people believe that is a valid answer. I consider it gibberish.
While I'm not convinced by the actual list of unanswerable questions, it is certainly possible to have questions that are fundamentally unanswerable due to being poorly defined, incoherent, contradictory, or paradoxical.
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Old 08-01-2013, 02:31 PM   #38
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I think that as an "answer" it sounds equal parts arrogant and gibberish.
It is not so much an answer as a statement that an answer based on know-
ledge and/or logic is not possible.
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Old 08-01-2013, 09:45 PM   #39
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Default Re: What a "god"?

Quote:
That said, if the question is "which came first, the gods or the worshipers, and someone says Nopeti, they're either copping out, saying 'no one knows, its the way things work', or saying 'there was no beggining', or 'they were created at the exact same time'. (you can use 'came to be' instead of created).
Imagine a universe that is completely devoid of sentient life. Where is the only place it can exist? Your imagination. It is by definition unknowable. Now, imagine a sentient being with no universe or external input - also impossible. Thus it is possible that sentience and the universe create each other in a process of interdependent co-origination, because neither one can exist meaningfully without the other.

I'm being whimsical again, because, like the Buddha, I regard such questions as inane. On the other hand, the above is the real answer to such a question as in a koan. The actual logic is nonsense, but if you force yourself to think about it long enough, you'll have a flash of satori, of standing outside of logic and just being, which the actual answer. When a tree falls in an empty forest does it make a sound? The question forces you to think about what perception means without a perceiver and the indefinable difference between subjective and objective reality. Yes, we know that objectivity is a very useful assumption, but it's only that. So is subjectivity, though less useful. What is hard to understand is that there is a third option, which is non-duality. YMMV. Namaste.

On the gaming side, if you're players ask you silly questions, give them the parable of the arrow. If they get something out of it, you've created RPG-do and are eligible for sainthood. In the real world, you have a choice between this kind of double think and divine revelation. Which do you prefer? 'Nopeti' is an acceptable answer ;-)

Last edited by tantric; 08-01-2013 at 09:50 PM.
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Old 08-02-2013, 01:05 AM   #40
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Imagine a universe that is completely devoid of sentient life. Where is the only place it can exist? Your imagination.
Or you know far enough back in time or forward in time that sentient life hasn't arisen yet or has all succumbed to inevitable entropy.

Quote:
It is by definition unknowable.
Well no. We know a bit about what the universe was like shortly after the Big Bang after all.


Quote:
Now, imagine a sentient being with no universe or external input - also impossible.
Clearly in order for a thing to exist a place for that thing must exist. Of course in a supernatural context that place may be devoid of solid matter much less life until something conjures it up.
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