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Manual of Pramana - Reading Seven: Contradiction and Relationship

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Selection from the collected topics:

Contradiction and Relationship


The following reading consists of the Presentation of the Concepts of Contradiction and Relationship (‘Gal-’brel gyi rnam-bzhag), from An Explanation of the Intermediate Path of Reasoning]] (Rigs-lam ‘bring-gi rnam-par bshad-pa), by the Master Tutor Purbuchok Jampa Tsultrim Gyatso (1825-1901), who in his day held the position of Tutor to the Dalai Lama.

Please note that indented statements are usually those given by the opponent. Responses within brackets are those that are usually left unwritten in the Tibetan text, and are understood to be there because of the context following each.

_______________

Here is the first section: an explanation of the concepts of contradiction and relationship. For this presentation we will first refute the position of our opponents, then present our own position, and then finally eliminate their rebuttal.

Suppose someone comes and makes the following claim:

Anything which is such that being it is contradictory to being a working thing is always something which is such that being it is contradictory to being something which is such that being it is contradictory to being a working thing.

Consider the exclusion of all that is not an unchanging thing.

So is being it then [something which is such that being it is contradictory to being something which is such that being it is contradictory to being a working thing]?

Because being it is [something which is such that being it is contradictory to being a working thing].

[It's not correct to say that the exclusion of all that is not an unchanging thing is something which is such that being it is contradictory to being a working thing.]

Suppose you say it’s not correct.

It is so correct,

Because (1) it [the exclusion of all that is not an unchanging thing] is something distinct from a working thing, and (2) there exists no one thing which is both it [the exclusion of all that is not an unchanging thing] and a working thing.

[The first part of your statement is not correct: it's not correct to say that the exclusion of all that is not an unchanging thing is something distinct froma working thing.]

Suppose you say that the first part of our statement is not correct.

Consider this same thing.

It is so distinct frombeing a working thing,

Because it is an unchanging thing.

[The second part of your statement is not correct: it's not correct to say that there exists no one thing which is both the exclusion all that is not an unchanging thing, and also a working thing.]

Suppose you say that the second part of our statement is not correct.

Consider an unchanging thing.

It is so true that there exists no one thing which is both the exclusion of all that is not it, and also a working thing,

Because it is unchanging.

[Then I agree to your original statement: the exclusion of all that is not an unchanging thing is such that being it is contradictory to being something which is such that being it is contradictory to being a working thing]

Consider the exclusion of all that is not an unchanging thing. It is not so true, that it is such that being it is contradictory to being something which is such that being it is contradictory to being a working thing,

Because being it is something which is such that being it is not contradictory to being something which such that being it is contradictory to being a working thing.

[It's not correct to say that the exclusion of all that is not an unchanging thing is such that being it is not contradictory to being something which is such that being it is contradictory to being a working thing.]

Suppose you say it’s not correct.

Consider this same thing.

It is so,

Because there does exist one thing which is both it, and which is also such that being it is contradictory to being a working thing.

And this is because an unchanging thing is just such a thing.

_______________

Suppose someone comes and makes the following claim:

If something is such that being it is contradictory to being something which is such that being it is contradictory to being something which is unchanging, then it is always something such that being it is contradictory to being something which is changing.

Consider the exclusion of all that is not a pillar.

So is it then [something such that being it is contradictory to being something which is changing]?

Because it is [something which is such that being it is contradictory to being something which is such that being it is contradictory to being something which is unchanging).

[It's not correct to say that the exclusion of all that is not a pillar is something such that being it is contradictory to being something which is such that being it is contradictory to being something which is unchanging.]

Suppose you say it’s not correct.

Consider this same thing.

It is so,

Because it is (1) distinct from that which is such that being it is contradictory to being a changing thing, and (2) such that there does not exist a single thing which is both it [the exclusion of all that is not a pillar] and also something which is such that being it is contradictory to being a changing thing.

[It's not correct to say that the exclusion of all that is not a pillar is (1) distinct from that which is such that being it is contradictory to being a changing thing, and (2) such that there does not exist a single thing which is both the exclusion of all that is not a pillar and also something which is such that being it is contradictory to being a changing thing.]

Suppose you say that it’s not correct.

Consider a pillar.

It is so true that there does not exist a single thing which is both the exclusion of all that is not a pillar and also something which is such that being it is contradictory to being a changing thing,

Because anything which is the exclusion of all that is not it [a pillar] is always such that being it is not contradictory to being a changing thing.

[Then I agree to your original statement: the exclusion of all that is not a pillar is such that being it is contradictory to being something which is changing.]

Suppose you agree to our original statement.

Consider the exclusion of all that is not a pillar.

It is not such, that being it is contradictory to being a changing thing,

Because it is such that being it is not contradictory to being a changing thing.

[It's not correct to say that the exclusion of all that is not a pillar is such that being it is not contradictory to being a changing thing.]

Suppose you say it’s not correct.

Consider this same thing.

It is so this way,

Because there does exist one thing which is both it [the exclusion of all that is not a pillar] and also a changing thing;

And this is true because a pillar itself is just such a thing.

This reason is easy to accept.

_______________

Suppose someone comes and makes the following claim:

If something is such that being it is not contradictory to being a working thing, then it is always such that being it is not contradictory with being something which is not contradictory to being a working thing.

Consider that which is one and the same as the two of a pillar and a water pitcher.

So is it then [such that being it is not contradictory with being something that is not contradictory to being a working thing]?

Because it is [such that being it is not contradictory to being a working thing].

[It's not correct to say that that which is one and the same as the two of a pillar and a water pitcher is such that being it is not contradictory to being a working thing.]

Suppose you say it’s not correct.

Consider this same thing.

It is so,

Because there does exist one thing which is both it [that which is one and the same as the two of a pillar and a water pitcher] and also a changing thing;

And this is because the two of a pillar and a water pitcher is just such a thing.

If you say it’s not correct, the answer is easy.

Suppose though you agree to our original statement, [saying that that which is one and the same as the two of a pillar and a water pitcher is such that being it is not contradictory with being something which is not contradictory to being a working thing].

Consider that which is one and the same as the two of a pillar and a water pitcher.

It is so not something which is such that being it is not contradictory to being something which is not contradictory to being a working thing,

Because it is something such that being it is contradictory to being something which is not contradictory to being a working thing.

[It's not correct to say that that which is one and the same as the two of a pillar and a water pitcher is such that being it is contradictory to being something which is not contradictory to being a working thing.]

Suppose you say that it’s not correct.

Consider this same thing.

It is so,

Because (1) it is distinct from that which is such that being it is not contradictory with being a working thing, and (2) there exists no one thing which is both it [that which is one and the same as the two of a pillar and a water pitcher] and also something such that being it is not contradictory to being a working thing.

[It's not correct to say that that which is one and the same as the two of a pillar and a water pitcher is such that there exists no one thing which is both it and also something such that being it is not contradictory to being a working thing.]

Suppose you say that it’s not correct.

Consider the two of a pillar and a water pitcher.

It is so true that there exists no one thing which is both it and also something

such that being it is not contradictory to being a working thing,

Because it is something which no one thing can be.

_______________

Suppose someone comes and makes the following claim:

If something is such that being it is not contradictory to something which is not contradictory to being a working thing, then it is always such that being it is not contradictory to being a working thing.

Consider a thing which does no work.

542.jpg

Is it then [such that being it is not contradictory to being a working thing]?

Because it is [such that being it is not contradictory to something which is not contradictory to being a working thing].

[It's not correct to say that a thing which does no work is such that being it is not contradictory to something which is not contradictory to being a working thing.]

Suppose you say it’s not correct.

Consider this same thing.

It is so,

Because there does exist one thing which is both it, and which is also such that being it is not contradictory to being a working thing;

And this is true because “knowable thing” is just such a thing.

[Then I agree with your original statement: a thing which does no work is such that being it is not contradictory to being a working thing.]

Consider a thing which does no work.

It is not so a thing which is such that being it is not contradictory to being a working thing,

Because it is a thing such that being it is contradictory to being a working thing.

_______________

Suppose someone comes and makes the following claim:

If something is such that being it is not contradictory to being a thing which is contradictory to being a existing thing, then it is always such that being it is contradictory to being an unchanging thing.

Consider a thing which is not made.

Is it then [such that being it is contradictory to being an unchanging thing]?

Because it is [such that being it is not contradictory to being a thing which is contradictory to being a existing thing].

[It's not correct to say that a thing which is not made is such that being it is not contradictory to being a thing which is contradictory to being a existing thing.]

Suppose you say it’s not correct.

Consider this same thing.

It is so,

Because there does exist one thing which is both (1) it [that is, a thing which is not made] and (2) such that being it is contradictory to being an existing thing;

And this is true because the two of unchanging things and changing things is just such a thing.

[Then I agree with your original statement: a thing which is not made is such that being it is contradictory to being an unchanging thing.]

Suppose you agree to our original statement.

It is not so, that it is such that being it is contradictory to being an unchanging thing,

Because it is such that being it is not contradictory to being just such a thing.

[It's not correct to say that a thing which is not made is such that being it is not contradictory to being an unchanging thing.]

Suppose you say it’s not correct.

Consider this same thing.

It is so,

Because anything which is an unchanging thing is such that it is one thing which is both itself and unchanging.

_______________

Suppose someone comes and makes the following claim:

Anytime something is such that it is sharing a relationship with a working thing, it must also always be such that it shares a relationship with what is sharing a relationship with a working thing.

Consider sharing a relationship with a working thing.

So is it then [such that it shares a relationship with what is sharing a relationship with a working thing]?

Because it is [such that it is sharing a relationship with a working thing].

[It's not correct to say that sharing a relationship with a working thing is such that it is sharing a relationship with a working thing.]

Suppose you say that it’s not correct.

Consider this same thing.

It is so,

Because it shares a relationship with “working thing” such that to be it is to automatically be a working thing.

[It's not correct to say that sharing a relationship with a working thing is sharing a relationship with "working thing" such that to be it is to automatically be a working thing.]

Suppose you say that it’s not correct.

Consider a working thing.

Sharing a relationship with it is so sharing a relationship with it such that to be it is to automatically be it,

Because sharing a relationship with it is (1) distinct from it, and (2) sharing a relationship with it exists.

[Then I agree with your original statement: sharing a relationship with a working thing is such that it shares a relationship with what is sharing a relationship with a working thing.]

Consider sharing a relationship with “working thing.”

It is not so, that it is what shares a relationship with it,

Because it is one example of the truth that the person has no nature of his own.

_______________

Suppose someone comes and makes the following claim:

Anything that shares a relationship with a working thing always shares a relationship with the working thing such that to be it is to automatically be the working thing.

Consider a working thing in the moment after it.

Does this then [share a relationship with the working thing such that to be it is to automatically be the working thing]?

Because it does [share a relationship with the working thing].

[It's not correct to say that a working thing in the moment after it shares a relationship with the working thing.]

Suppose you say it’s not correct.

Consider this same thing.

It does so,

Because it shares a relationship with the working thing such that it came from it.

[It's not correct to say that a working thing in the moment after it shares a relationship with the working thing such that it came from it.]

Suppose you say it’s not correct.

Consider this same thing.

It does so,

Bu.jpg

Because it is a result of the working thing.

[Then I agree to your original statement: a working thing in the moment after it does share a relationship with the working thing such that to be it is to automatically be the working thing.]

Suppose you agree to our original statement.

Consider this same thing.

It is not so, that it shares a relationship with the working thing such that to be it is to automatically be the working thing,

Because it shares a relationship with the working thing such that it came from the working thing.

Our reason has already been proven.

_______________

Suppose someone comes and makes the following claim:

There exists no one thing which is both (1) something which is such that being it is contradictory to being something which is such that being it is contradictory to being one and the same as the two of a pillar and a water pitcher; and also (2) something which is such that being it is not contradictory to being something which is such that being it is not contradictory to being one and the same as the two of a pillar and a water pitcher.

But such a thing does so exist,

Because the presence of all three of the material qualities for “existing thing” is just such a thing.

[The "presence of all three of the material qualities" for any particular thing is, as we will see in Class Eight, the definition of its definition. The three material qualities are: (1) generally speaking, the thing is a definition; (2) it does apply to a typical example; and (3) it is the definition of no other thing than what it defines.]

[It's not correct to say that the first part of your reason applies to your example: it's not correct to say that the presence of all three of the material qualities for "existing thing" is the kind of thing such that being it is contradictory to being something which is such that being it is contradictory to being one and the same as the two of a pillar and a water pitcher.]

But the first part of our reason is correct,

Because there exists no one thing which is both (1) it and (2) also something such that being it is contradictory with being that which is one and the same as the two of a pillar and a water pitcher;

And this is true because “that which can be made an object of the mind,” [which is the definition of "knowable thing",] is something which is such that being it [the presence of all three of the material qualities for "existing thing"] is not contradictory to being it [one and the same as the two of a pillar and a water pitcher].

[It's incorrect to say that the second part of your reason applies to your example: it's not correct to say that the presence of all three of the material qualities for "knowable thing" is the kind of thing such that being it is not contradictory to being something which is such that being it is not contradictory to being one and the same as the two of a pillar and a water pitcher.]

Suppose you say that it’s not correct to say that the second part of our reason applies to our example.

Consider the presence of all three of the material qualities for this same thing. It is so something which is such that being it is not contradictory to being something which is such that being it is not contradictory to being something which is one and the same as the two of a pillar and a water pitcher,

Because there does exist one thing which is both (1) it [the presence of all three qualities for "knowable thing"] and (2) something which is such that being it is not contradictory to being one and the same as the two of a pillar and a water pitcher;

And this is true because “that which can be made an object of the mind” is just such a thing.

_______________

Suppose someone comes and makes the following claim:

There does exist one thing which is a combination of all of the following: (1) something which is such that being it is contradictory to being something which is such that being it is contradictory to being a working thing; (2) something which is such that being it is not contradictory to being something which is such that being it is not contradictory to being a working thing; (3) something which shares a relationship with something which shares a relationship with a working thing; and (4) something which does not share a relationship with something which does not share a relationship with a working thing.

So is something which is such that being it is not contradictory to being a working thing then just such a combination?

Because (1) there does exist one thing which is all of those and (2) that which does not share a relationship with a working thing is not such a combination.

[The second part of your reason is not correct: it's not correct to say that that which does not share a relationship with a working thing is not such a combination.]

Suppose you say that the second part of our reason is not correct.

Consider that which does not share a relationship with a working thing.

Is it then something which is such that being it is contradictory to being something which is such that being it is contradictory to being a working thing?

Because it is just such a thing; [that is, one thing which is a combination of all the above].

[It's not correct to say it is just such a combination.]

But the reason is what you’ve already said directly.

[Then I agree with your original statement: that which does not share a relationship with a working thing is something which is such that being it is contradictory to being something which is such that being it is contradictory to being a working thing.]

But you can’t agree to our original statement,

Because there does exist one thing which is both not related to it [to a working thing] and which is also not such that being it is contradictory to being the working thing;

Boo30tbb.jpg

And this is true because the two of a valid perception and a recollection which act as a cause for a working thing are just such a combination.

[It's not correct to say that the two of a valid perception and a recollection which act as a cause for a working thing are just such a combination.]

Suppose you say that it’s not correct.

Consider these two.

They are so,

Because they are something which is both (1) not related to a working thing, and (2) also such that being themis contradictory to being a working thing.

[The first part of your reason is not correct: it is not correct to say that the two of a valid perception and a recollection which act as a cause for a working thing are not related to the working thing.]

But the first part of our reason is correct,

Because they are its cause.

[The second part of your reason is not correct: it is not correct to say that the two of a valid perception and a recollection which act as a cause for a working thing are such that being themis contradictory to being a working thing.]

But the second part of our reason is correct,

Because they are a knowable thing which cannot be.

_______________

Suppose someone comes and makes the following claim:

There is no one thing which is all of the following: (1) such that being it is contradictory to being something such that being it is contradictory to being a thing which is unchanging; (2) such that being it is not contradictory with being something such that being it is not contradictory to being a thing which is unchanging; (3) related to something which is related to a thing which is unchanging; and (4) not related to something which is not related to a thing which is unchanging.

But there does exist one thing which is all of the above,

Because that which is not related to an unchanging thing is just such a thing.

[It's not correct to say that that which is not related to an unchanging thing is just such a thing.]

Suppose you say it’s not correct.

Consider this same thing.

It is so just such a thing, one that combines all four;

Because it is something which is (1) such that being it is contradictory to being something that is such that being it is contradictory to being an unchanging thing; and (2) it is such that being it is not contradictory to being something which is such that being it is not contradictory to being this (unchanging thing]; it is related to what is related to this (unchanging thing]; and it is unrelated to what is unrelated to this (unchanging thing].

[The first part of your reason is not correct: it is incorrect to say that that which is not related to an unchanging thing is such that being it is contradictory to being something that is such that being it is contradictory to being an unchanging thing.]

Suppose you say that the first part of our reason is not correct.

Consider this same thing.

It is so,

Because it is (1) distinct from this [thing that is such that being it is contradictory to being an unchanging thing], and (2) if something is it [that is, if something is something which is not related to an unchanging thing], then it must be such that being it is not contradictory with being an unchanging thing;

And this is true because if something is it [that is, if something is something which is not related to an unchanging thing], then it cannot be distinct from an unchanging thing.

[The second part of your original reason is not correct: it is not correct to say that that which is not related to an unchanging thing is such that being it is not contradictory to being something which is such that being it is not contradictory to being an unchanging thing; it is related to what is related to an unchanging thing; and it is unrelated to what is unrelated to an unchanging thing.]

Suppose you say that the second part of our original reason is not correct.

Consider that which is not related to it [that is, to an unchanging thing].

It is so such that being it is not contradictory with being something which is such that being it is not contradictory with being it [an unchanging thing],

Because there does exist one thing which is both (1) it [that is, something which is not related to an unchanging thing], and (2) something which is such that being it is not contradictory to being it [an unchanging thing];

And this is true because an unchanging thing is just that.

[The third part of your original reason is not correct: it is not correct to say that that which is not related to an unchanging thing is related to something which is related to a thing which is unchanging.]

Suppose you say that the third part of our original reason is not correct.

Consider that which is not related to it [to an unchanging thing].

It is so something which is related to something which is related to a thing which is unchanging,

Because it is (1) distinct from that which is related to it [to a thing which is unchanging), and (2) if there existed no things which were related to it [to a thing which is unchanging), then it could not exist either.

[The fourth part of your original reason is not correct: it is not correct to say that that which is not related to an unchanging thing is not related to something which is not related to a thing which is unchanging.]

Suppose you say that the fourth part of our original reason is not correct.

Consider that which is not related to an unchanging thing.

It is so true, that it is not related to itself,

Because it is an example of a thing which has no nature of its own.

_______________

Buddha life 24.jpg

Suppose someone comes and makes the following claim:

There does exist one thing which combines all the following: (1) something which is such that being it is not contradictory to being something which is such that being it is contradictory to being a knowable thing; (2) something which is such that being it is contradictory to being something which is such that being it is not contradictory to being a knowable thing; (3) something which does not share a relationship with something which shares a relationship with a knowable thing; and (4) something which shares a relationship with something which does not share a relationship with a knowable thing.

So then is something which is such that being it is not contradictory to being a knowable thing this kind of combination?

Because (1) there does exist just such a combination, and (2) something which shares a relationship with a knowable thing is not such a combination.

You have already agreed directly to the first part of our reason.

Suppose then you say that the second part is not correct.

Consider something which shares a relationship with a knowable thing.

So is it then something which is such that being it is contradictory to being something which is such that being it is not contradictory to being a knowable thing?

Because it is just such a combination.

You have already agreed directly to the reason.

But you cannot agree to our original statement here,

Because it [something which shares a relationship with a knowable thing) is something which is such that being it is not contradictory to being something which is such that being it is not contradictory to being this thing;

And this is true because there does exist something which is both (1) it [that is, something which shares a relationship with a knowable thing) and

(2) something which is such that being it is not contradictory to being that (knowable thing);

And this is true because that which is one and the same as a water pitcher is just such a combination.

[Then I agree to your original statement: something which shares a relationship with a knowable thing is something which is such that being it is contradictory to being something which is such that being it is not contradictory to being a knowable thing.]

Consider something which is such that being it is not contradictory to being a knowable thing.

So is it then something which does not share a relationship with something which does share a relationship with a knowable thing?

Because it is just such a combination.

You’ve already agreed directly to the reason.

You can’t agree to our original position,

Because it [something which is such that being it is not contradictory to being a knowable thing) is something which does share a relationship with something which does share a relationship with a knowable thing;

And this is because (1) it is distinct fromsom ething which does share a relationship with a knowable thing, and (2) if the thing with which it shares a relationship ceased to exist, then it would itself cease to exist.

The reason we’ve given is easy to accept.

Suppose, relative to this same point, someone comes and says:

It is so, that there does exist a typical example which incorporates all the conditions stated.

Because there does exist one thing which is (1) something which is such that being it is not contradictory to being something which is such that being it is contradictory to being a pillar; (2) something which is such that being it is contradictory to being something which is such that being it is not contradictory to being this same thing; (3) something which does not share a relationship with something which does share a relationship with this same thing; and (4) something which does share a relationship with something which does not share a relationship with this same thing.

Our answer to this is, “It doesn’t necessarily follow.”

The reason, by the way, is itself true, for something which is such that being it is contradictory to being a pillar is just this kind of combination.

[It's not correct to say that something which is such that being it is contradictory to being a pillar is just this kind of combination.]

Suppose you say it’s not correct.

Consider something which is such that being it is contradictory to being a pillar.

It is so just such a combination,

Because it is (1) something which is such that being it is not contradictory to being something which is such that being it is contradictory to being a pillar; and (2) it is something which is such that being it is contradictory to being something which is such that being it is not contradictory with being this thing [a pillar], (3) it is something which does not share a relationship with what does share a relationship with this thing [a pillar], and (4) it is something which shares a relationship with what does not share a relationship with this thing [the pillar].

The first and second elements in our reason are easy to accept.

Suppose you say that the third is not correct.

Consider this same thing [something which is such that being it is contradictory to being a pillar].

It is so something which does not share a relationship with something which does share a relationship with this thing [the pillar], Because it is not necessarily the case that, if something which did have such a relationship ceased to exist, it too would have to cease to exist;

And this is true because a place where there is no pillar is an example of that.

Suppose you say that the fourth element in our reason is not correct.

Consider something which is such that being it is contradictory to being a pillar.

It is so something which shares a relationship with something which shares no relationship with a pillar,

Because (1) it is distinct from something which shares no relationship with a pillar; and (2) if something which shares no relationship with a pillar ceased to exist, it too would have to cease to exist.

_______________

Suppose someone comes and makes the following claim:

If something is such that being it is not contradictory to being something which is such that being it is contradictory to being something which is not contradictory, then it must always be something which is such that being it is not contradictory to being something which is contradictory.

Consider the exclusion of all that is not something which is contradictory.

So is it then [something which is such that being it is not contradictory to being something which is contradictory)?

Because it is [something which is such that being it is not contradictory to being something which is such that being it is contradictory to being something which is not contradictory).

[It's not correct to say that the exclusion of all that is not something which is contradictory is something which is such that being it is not contradictory to being something which is such that being it is contradictory to being something which is not contradictory.]

Suppose you say it’s not correct.

Consider this same thing.

It is so,

Patanjali.jpg

Because there does exist one thing which is both it, and also a thing which is such that being it is contradictory to being something which is not contradictory.

And this is because being something which is contradictory is just such a thing.

[Then I agree with your original statement: the exclusion of all that is not something which is contradictory is such that being it is not contradictory to being something which is contradictory.]

Suppose you agree with our original statement.

Consider this same thing [the exclusion of all that is not something which is contradictory).

It is not so something which is such that being it is not contradictory to being something which is contradictory,

Because (1) it is distinct from something which is contradictory, and (2) there is no one thing which can be both it and something which is contradictory;

And this is because being contradictory is not something which is contradictory.

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Here is the second part, where we present our own position. We proceed in two steps, covering the definition of what it is to be in contradiction, and then the different types of contradiction.

Here is the definition of what it is for two things to be in contradiction:

The two things must (1) be distinct from each other, and then they must be such that (2) it is impossible for any one thing to be both of them.

There are two different ways of being in contradiction: contradictory in the sense of being mutually exclusive; and contradictory in the sense of being diametrically opposed.

The definition of the first of these, to be contradictory in the sense of being mutually exclusive, is as follows:

Two things which conflict with each other in such a way that the presence of one automatically means the absence of the other.

The two terms “contradictory in the sense of being mutually exclusive” and “contradictory” refer to the same thing.

Things which are contradictory in the sense of being mutually exclusive may be further divided into two types: those which contradict each other in this way directly; and those which contradict each other in this way indirectly.

The definition of things which contradict each other in this way directly is “Two things which conflict with each other directly.” The definition of things which contradict each other in this way indirectly is “Two things which are such that no one thing can be both, but which are not such that one immediately obviates the other.”

A typical example of the first would be something like the two of “working thing” and “a thing which does no work.” A typical example of the second would be “heat” and “coldness,” or else “the state of mind which holds that things have some nature of their own” and “the wisdom which realizes that nothing has a nature of its own.”

Here is the definition of the second kind of contradiction—of things which are contradictory in the sense of being diametrically opposed:

Two things which conflict with each other in such a way that each one acts to stop the continued existence of the other.

A typical example would be a spiritual antidote and the negative personal quality which it allows you to eliminate.

The definition of what it is to share a relationship with something else in such a way that to be the first is to automatically be the other is as follows:

Whenever two existing things are such that, to be the first is by nature to be the second, but in such a way that they are separate things; and where—if the second were to cease to exist—then the first would have to cease to exist as well.

An example would be the relation between a vase and the exclusion of all that is not the vase.

Here is an actual application of the concept. The definition of what it is to share a relationship with “working things” in such a way that to be a particular thing is to automatically be a working thing is “something which is such that to be it is by nature to be a working thing, but in such a way that they are separate things; and where—if ‘working things’ were to cease to exist, then the particular thing would have to cease to exist as well.” A typical example here would be a water pitcher.

The definition of what it is to share a relationship with something else in such a way that the first has come from the second is as follows:

Whenever two things are such that to be the first is to be the kind of thing which is the result of the second, in such a way that to be the first is not to be, by its very essence, the second.

A typical example would be the relationship of one coming from the other between those things which are a working thing the moment after it, and the original working thing.

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Here is the final part: eliminating our opponent’s rebuttal. Suppose someone comes and makes the following claim:

Consider the two of existence and non-existence.

So are these then two things which are discrete from one another, and which are such that no one thing can be both?

Because they are two things which are contradictory.

To this we answer, “The statement you gave as your reason is not correct.”

Suppose you do agree [that the two of existence and non-existence were two things which are both discrete from one another, and which are such that no one thing can be both].

Consider the two of existence and non-existence.

Are they then something which exists?

Because they are discrete from one another.

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Suppose someone comes and makes the following claim:

Consider smoke.

It is so then a relationship where one thing has come from another,

Because it shares a relationship with fire such that it has come from the other.

To this we answer, “It doesn’t necessarily follow.”

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[Please note that this section continues, but was not translated due to the quantity of material.]


Formal logic subject:

Logical Statements Used to Prove an Absence of Something, and the First Category of this Type of Statement


The following selection is from the monastic textbook entitled An Explanation of the Art of Reasoning (rTags-rigs), also by the Tutor of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Purbuchok Jampa Tsultrim Gyatso.

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Here thirdly is our discussion of correct reasons of the type used to prove the absence of something. We will proceed in three parts: the definition, an explanation of the divisions, and a description of the valid perception where we confirm hat the definition applies to a typical example.

Here is the first. The definition of a correct reason used to prove the absence of something in any particular proof is as follows:

Any reason which is (1) a correct reason for the particular proof; and (2) such that there can exist one thing which is both (a) the explicit version of the thing which is considered the quality to be proven in the particular proof in which it acts as the reason, and also (b) a negative thing.

Correct reasons to prove the absence of something can be divided into two types: correct reasons for the absence of something involving a thing which is imperceptible [to the particular opponent], and correct reasons for the absence of something involving a thing which is perceptible [to the particular opponent].

Here is the first. Now there is a sutra where it says,

No person should ever judge another; those who try will fall.

The point of these words is to show us how wrong it is for us to say that someone else lacks any particular good quality, only because it does not appear to us that they do. This same point is made in the Commentary with lines such as the following:

In a case where valid perception has yet

To engage in the object, the result obtained

Is that they don’t: they didn’t engage.

The definition of a correct reason used to prove the absence of something involving a thing which is imperceptible in any particular proof is as follows:

Any reason which is first of all a correct reason used to prove the absence of something for the particular proof, and which is secondly such that—even though the thing which is considered the main element of all which is denied by the proof in which it serves as the reason does generally exist—this thing is imperceptible to the valid perceptions of a person for whom this same reason fulfills its role in the relationship between the subject and the reason.

This kind of reason can be further divided into two types: a correct reason used to prove the absence of something in a particular proof, by virtue of the absence of a corollary which possesses a relationship [with whatever is denied]; and a correct reason used to prove the absence of something in a particular proof, by virtue of the presence of a corollary which is contradictory [to whatever is denied].

Here are the respective definitions. The first is defined as:

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Anything which is first of all a correct reason in a particular proof for the absence of something involving a thing which is imperceptible, and which is secondly a negative in the sense of being the absence of something.

The second is defined as:

Anything which is first of all a correct reason in a particular proof for the absence of something involving a thing which is imperceptible, and which is secondly either a negative in the sense of not being something, or a positive.

The first of these can be divided into three types: those which are correct reasons used to prove the absence of something which represent (1) a cause for something involving a thing which is imperceptible; (2) a greater set than something involving a thing which is imperceptible; and (3) a nature of something involving a thing which is imperceptible.

Here are respective typical examples for the three. Suppose someone sets forth the following logical statement:

Consider the place in front of us.

There cannot exist here, in the mental continuum of a person for whom flesheater spirits [another word for a preta, or tormented spirit) are still abstruse objects, a recollection whose object corresponds to reality, and which is used to ascertain the existence of a flesheater spirit;

Because there does not exist, in the mental continuum of this same person, any valid perception wherein he or she perceives any flesheater spirit.

Think of this fact: that there does not exist, in the mental continuum of this same person, any valid perception wherein he or she perceives any flesheater spirit. This represents the first type of reason just listed—for proving the fact that, in the place in front of us, there cannot exist, in the mental continuum of a person for whom flesheater spirits are still abstruse objects, a recollection whose object corresponds to reality, and which is used to ascertain the existence of a flesheater spirit.

Think now of the fact that a person for whom flesheater spirits are still abstruse objects has not yet perceived, with a valid perception, the fact that flesheater spirits exist. This represents the second type of reason just listed—for proving the fact that, in the place in front of us, it would be improper for a person for whom flesheater spirits are still abstruse objects to swear that flesheater spirits do exist.

Think finally of the fact that—in the mental continuum of a person for whom flesheater spirits are still abstruse objects—there cannot be perceived, with any valid perception, a recollection whose object corresponds to reality, and which is used to ascertain the existence of a flesheater spirit. This represents the third type of reason just listed—for proving the fact that, in the place in front of us, there does not exist, in the mental continuum of just such a person, any recollection whose object corresponds to reality, and which is used to ascertain the existence of a flesheater spirit.

There is a specific purpose to these kinds of proofs. We are demonstrating here that, if a person still doubted whether flesheater spirits existed (and if they were thus still objects which were abstruse for them), then it would be inappropriate for them to come to some definite conclusion in their own minds about whether these spirits existed or not. We are meant by this example to realize how inappropriate it is for us to either overestimate or underestimate any particular person we may encounter, unable as we still are to confirm—through a valid perception—whether or not they do in reality possess a particular positive or negative personal quality.

It is not necessarily the case, by the way, that if something is what we consider the main element in all that we deny in a particular logical statement, then it is also all that we deny in the same statement. Think of the possibility that there did exist, in the mental continuum of a person for whom flesheater spirits are still abstruse objects, a recollection whose object corresponds to reality, and which is used to ascertain the existence of a flesheater spirit. This is both what we consider the main element in all that we deny, and also all that we deny, in a proof that there does not exist any such recollection whose object corresponds to reality. The two of (1) flesheater spirits themselves, and (2) states of recollection whose objects correspond to reality, and which are used to ascertain the existence of such spirits, are—each of them separately—a kind of case where something is what we consider the main element in all that we deny in the particular logical statement, but not all that we deny in the particular logical statement.

The former example is easy. Suppose though that you say that the latter two are incorrect.

Consider then (1) flesheater spirits themselves, and (2) states of recollection whose objects correspond to reality, and which are used to ascertain the existence of such spirits.

These are so—each one of them separately—things that we consider the main element in all that we deny in the particular logical statement,

Because a correct opponent for this particular proof doubts whether or not flesheater spirits exist in the place in front of us, and also doubts whether or not there exists any such kind of recollection whose object corresponds to reality.

Neither one of these is though, by itself, all that we deny in the particular logical statement, because generally speaking there do exist flesheater spirits; and because smoke is not all that we deny in a proof that there exists no smoke upon the nighttime ocean.

Consider the fact that [the person described here] exists. This is an example of a correct reason used to prove the absence of something in a particular proof, by virtue of the presence of a corollary which is contradictory [to whatever is denied], for proving that a person for whom flesheater spirits are still abstruse objects still has no recollection which ascertains the existence of such spirits, and whose object corresponds to reality.

Generally speaking, there are three different ways in which an object can be abstruse, relative to your state of mind. These are objects which are abstruse by virtue of the place, time, and nature. The first would be something like the details of particular beings or realms which are situated at a great distance from your particular location. The second would be something like the details of events which have occurred or are going to occur at times which are eons away in the past or future. These things are not abstruse in their own general right, but only relative to a given state of mind. The third would be something which is abstruse by virtue of being very subtle in nature, even though it may exist in the immediate proximity. Examples of this would be things like a flesheater spirit, or a being between death and rebirth who is headed towards birth as a human or pleasure being, and their various heaps.


The forms of debate:

Some Debating Tactics


The exquisite boxing style of Muhammed Ali showed the value of distracting and harassing your opponent before even throwing a punch, and we use some of the same tactics in a Buddhist debate. Again remember though, that the goal is not to defeat your opponent, but to help him and yourself and the audience listening; to sharpen his ability to concentrate under pressure, and to raise challenging questions that will clarify everyone’s understanding of the life-saving Dharma.

Almost every normal debate begins with the attacker taking a mistaken position, and this is perhaps the most important tactic of all. The greatest geshes and debaters in the monastery have overcome any kind of pride, and are fearless in taking a position which is mistaken—a position where they will eventually have to “lose”—if this means that the defender and the audience will learn some important point. The goal here is to take a position which is almost correct, and very subtly mistaken: this will make for a fun debate, and clear up this point for everyone.

Feigning is another common tactic in boxing and debate. Hutzpah is essential: even if you’re not sure your answer is correct, act like it is. Let the other person prove you wrong logically, and you’ll both learn something valuable. Even if you can’t hear the opponent’s position clearly (which is a common occurrence in the incredibly noisy debate grounds!), or you don’t have much clue of what he’s talking about, take a shot! It starts a lively debate, which sooner or later clarifies every detail of the issue. The point is: always work from what you honestly think, answer to the best of your current understanding, and don’t be afraid to go on a journey with your opponent, even through some dark or fuzzy places in your understanding, to reach to the higher ground of knowledge.

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Don’t be afraid to use the audience to help you distract or disrupt your opponent. Many an unbeatable position is overthrown in the monastery simply by the (mistaken) boos of the audience, egged on by the attacker. Here there are a whole repertoire of distracting taunts, which are fair game in the rules of debate. We will list a few of themfollowing—please note though that the exact meaning of the words used has often been obscured over the centuries; the meanings given here are sometimes “best guesses” offered to us in an informal interview by the most qualified master in the world, Khen Rinpoche Geshe Lobsang Tharchin.

One common taunt is Whoa! The attacker either feels or feigns great surprise at a position taken by the defender, and begins a loud whoa sound. This is picked up by the monks in the immediate vicinity who are following the argument, and quickly spreads to the “deadheads” in the back (who are often engaged in some conversation of their own and not listening) and even to monks in other debate groups in the compound—all of whom have no idea what the defender even said that he deserves a whoa! This whoa! generally means “Uh-oh! Now you’re in trouble!”

In the winter debates, the whoa can be followed by a loud chir! This is most often used when an argument has been presented to a defender and he finds himself unable to formulate an answer; it has the meaning of “Come on! We want an answer!” A common corrolary in smaller groups is for the attacker himself to say to a speechless defender, labda!—”Come on! Say something!” Some people say that the chir! is che!—meaning “Your argument has stalled now!” The spellings of these three in Tibetan are:

A screamed ha! has the same meaning as in English, “Wow! What a joke! Are you kidding?” It is often accompanied by throwing your hands up in the air. Tsa! is one of the most common taunts; it comes from the word ngo-tsa, meaning “You should be ashamed to have said such a stupid thing!” and is typically used when someone is forced to retract a position they have taken themselves earlier. This is most often accompanied with a slap of the back of one hand in the palmof another, with everything repeated a few times for emphasis: Tsa! Ooooh tsa! Tsa chik! (“You should be ashamed! Ashamed, man! What a disgrace!”). At this point a debater might scowl at his opponent and jam his finger in his own cheek, meaning: “Time for you to blush, man!” Some people say the tsa is the tsar in ngo-tsar, meaning, “Man! That was a weird thing to say!” These words in Tibetan are:

Two more taunts are more based in formal logic than in tactics. The first is kyappa long, which literally means, “Give me your statement of necessity then!”

This is used in a context like the following, with the indented portion from the opponent:

Consider sound.

It must so be a changing thing,

Because it’s a thing which is made.

And that’s true because anything which is made is always a changing thing.

It’s incorrect to say that.

Give me your statement of necessity then!

At this point, the opponent would be forced to give the following absurd statement of necessity:

Just because something is a thing which is made doesn’t prove that it’s a changing thing.

A final rejoinder is korsum! or kordhi korsum! This means “You have just made a circular argument,” or “Now you have contradicted yourself completely!” A typical case would be where the opponent accepts that sound is a made thing, and accepts that if something is made it must be a changing thing, but stubbornly asserts still that sound is an unchanging thing. In the second version of this statement, the root syllable for the mantra of Gentle Voice (Manjushri, or Jampel Yang) is interjected. The Tibetan spellings for these are:

Defenders have a few tactics of their own, one of the most useful being ah? or la?—meaning “Whaddya say? I couldn’t catch what you said.” Then you put your cupped palm up to your ear as if you’re having a problem hearing the attacker in all the mayhem of the debate ground. This is a great way to buy a few extra moments while you formulate your answer!

See also


Source

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