The Law of Contradiction, Otherness and Excluded Middle A Buddhist Perspective

by Aik Theng Chong, The Buddhist Channel, May 31, 2011

Singapore -- In Buddhist logic, the origin of every judgment and concept from data of our senses starts with the act of running through the manifold of undetermined pure sensations first before we fasten upon one point of that series of pure sensations, a point with regard to which the rest will be divided in two.

On the one side we have a comparatively limited number of similar things, on the other the less limited number of dissimilar ones. Both parts mutually represent the absence of each other. Therefore, every of our conscious thought or cognition thus represents a division into two parts. Thus, our cognition begins with an act of dichotomy.

As soon as our intellectual eye begins to ‘see’, our thought is already beset with contradiction. Once our thought has stopped running and has fixed upon an external point, to produce a judgment said, ‘this is blue’, we have already separated the universe of discourse into two unequal halves, the part that is blue and the infinite part that is non-blue.

Both parts are relative to each other. There is actually nothing blue in itself. The Law of Contradiction is an expression of the fact that all cognition is dichotomizing and relative. We can only cognize or determine a thing by opposing it to what it is not.

Now, everything be it real or imagined, is subject to the Law of Otherness also. Otherness and opposition are realized as representing the negation of the similar. Differences and the contraries cannot be conceived so long as the non-existence of the similar is not realized. Otherness and opposition is the absence of the similar indirectly.

Contradiction can be conceived in its logical or dynamic forms. View logically it is a complete mutual exclusion such as e.g., blue and non-blue. They can co-exist in close proximity with each other without interference with each others’ existence. This mutual exclusion can also be referred to as the Law of Excluded Middle. In its dynamic form, both the opposing parts are mutually endeavoring to oust one another out of their mutual opposition. Light and darkness is such an example as each is a complete negation of the other. They cannot peacefully co-exist in close proximity with each other. They appear and disappear due to the totally of causes. This is the Buddhist theory of causation. The Law of Excluded Middle also fully applied here as well.

In real phenomena, there is always something in the middle. If light appears all of a sudden, there is always an intermediate moment of twilight between darkness and light. This is different in the case of logical opposition between light and non-light, the opposition is complete without an intermediate twilight moment.  Here, it can also be mentioned that the Theravada tradition maintained that between pleasure and pain there is the third position of Indifferent feeling in the middle. To the Buddhist logician, the last moment of the series of darkness is the cause (in the sense of dependent origination) of the first moment of light. Real causation belongs to a single moment only. On the other hand, efficient opposition is between one set of moments (duration of time) and another set which is constructed by our intellect. It is not ultimate reality. It is constructed phenomena.

The Laws of Contradiction is one of the main tools used by the Buddhist logicians in establishing their theory of Instantaneous Being, for Instantaneousness is the very essence of every real thing. The logical law of contradiction does not apply to the ‘Things-in Themselves’, as logic is thought and thought is imagination and not ultimate reality. Ultimate reality in Buddhist philosophy is the reality of a point instant. It is the efficiency of a point instant. There is no relation of opposition between entities.

We Need Your Help to Train the
Buddhist AI Chat Bot
NORBU!
(Neural Omniscient Robotic-Being for Buddhist Understanding)



For Malaysians who wants to donate in MYR, please use the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB

The SWIFT/BIC code for RHB Bank Berhad is: RHBBMYKLXXX
Address: 11-15, Jalan SS 24/11, Taman Megah, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Phone: 603-9206 8118

Note: Please indicate your name in the payment slip. Thank you.


Dear Friends in the Dharma,

We seek your generous support to help us train NORBU, the word's first Buddhist AI Chat Bot.

Here are some ways you can contribute to this noble cause:

One-time Donation or Loan: A single contribution, regardless of its size, will go a long way in helping us reach our goal and make the Buddhist LLM a beacon of wisdom for all.

How will your donation / loan be used? Download the NORBU White Paper for details.



For Malaysians who wants to donate in MYR, please use the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB

The SWIFT/BIC code for RHB Bank Berhad is: RHBBMYKLXXX
Address: 11-15, Jalan SS 24/11, Taman Megah, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Phone: 603-9206 8118

Note: Please indicate your purpose of payment (loan or donation) in the payment slip. Thank you.

Once payment is banked in, please send the payment slip via email to: editor@buddhistchannel.tv. Your donation/loan will be published and publicly acknowledged on the Buddhist Channel.

Spread the Word: Share this initiative with your friends, family and fellow Dharma enthusiasts. Join "Friends of Norbu" at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/norbuchatbot. Together, we can build a stronger community and create a positive impact on a global scale.

Volunteer: If you possess expertise in AI, natural language processing, Dharma knowledge in terms of Buddhist sutras in various languages or related fields, and wish to lend your skills, please contact us. Your knowledge and passion could be invaluable to our project's success.

Your support is part of a collective effort to preserve and disseminate the profound teachings of Buddhism. By contributing to the NORBU, you become a "virtual Bodhisattva" to make Buddhist wisdom more accessible to seekers worldwide.

Thank you for helping to make NORBU a wise and compassionate Buddhist Chatbot!

May you be blessed with inner peace and wisdom,

With deepest gratitude,

Kooi F. Lim
On behalf of The Buddhist Channel Team


Note: To date, we have received the following contributions for NORBU:
US$ 75 from Gary Gach (Loan)
US$ 50 from Chong Sim Keong
MYR 300 from Wilson Tee
MYR 500 from Lim Yan Pok
MYR 50 from Oon Yeoh
MYR 200 from Ooi Poh Tin
MYR 300 from Lai Swee Pin
MYR 100 from Ong Hooi Sian
MYR 1,000 from Fam Sin Nin
MYR 500 from Oh teik Bin
MYR 300 from Yeoh Ai Guat
MYR 300 from Yong Lily
MYR 50 from Bandar Utama Buddhist Society
MYR 1,000 from Chiam Swee Ann
MYR 1,000 from Lye Veei Chiew
MYR 1,000 from Por Yong Tong
MYR 80 from Lee Wai Yee
MYR 500 from Pek Chee Hen
MYR 300 from Hor Tuck Loon
MYR 1,000 from Wise Payments Malaysia Sdn Bhd
MYR 200 from Teo Yen Hua
MYR 500 from Ng Wee Keat
MYR 10,000 from Chang Quai Hung, Jackie (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from K. C. Lim & Agnes (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from Juin & Jooky Tan (Loan)
MYR 100 from Poh Boon Fong (on behalf of SXI Buddhist Students Society)
MYR 10,000 from Fam Shan-Shan (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from John Fam (Loan)
MYR 500 from Phang Cheng Kar
MYR 100 from Lee Suat Yee
MYR 500 from Teo Chwee Hoon (on behalf of Lai Siow Kee)
MYR 200 from Mak Yuen Chau

We express our deep gratitude for the support and generosity.

If you have any enquiries, please write to: editor@buddhistchannel.tv


TOP