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Now let us make one more comparison between science and Buddhism. I have already mentioned that science does not include the human condition in its research, because it has veered away from it into the direction of material things.

Buddhism learns the laws of nature, and then applies them back to an ethical perspective. When people practise in accordance with ethics, they receive the results in accordance with the natural law of cause and effect, and attain a good life, which is their objective. This gives us a cycle with three stages: Knowing or realizing the truth; practising in an ethical way; attaining a good life.

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Science knows the truths of nature, but only on the material side, and then sends the knowledge gained to technology, attaining the life of abundance in accordance with its objectives.

One path leads to a healthy life, while the other path leads to abundance; one way deals with the nature of man, the other way deals with the nature of material things. Science does not connect the truth to ethics, but instead, because it deals only with the material world, connects it to technology.

pic_29.jpg (9114 bytes) It is generally understood that science concerns itself  exclusively with the questions “What is,''shrugging off any concern with “What should be?'' as a concern of values or ethics, which lies beyond its scope. Science does not see that ethics is based on reality because it fails to see the connection between “What is?'' and “What should be?''. On the material plane, however, science does address the question of “What should be?'', albeit unknowingly, but the question is handed over to technology.

For example, Pure Science tells us that water will freeze when the temperature drops to zero degrees Celsius. Technology then steps in and considers what is to be done to get ice, which is to develop some way of making the temperature drop to zero degrees Celsius. The principle and the means must be in conformity like this. This is why I said that Pure Science looks for the truths of nature, while technology and Applied Science put that knowledge into effect.

Science applies itself to problems on the material plane, but on ethical questions it is silent. Suppose we saw a huge pit, full of fire, with a temperature of thousands of degrees. We tell someone, “The human body is only able to endure up to a certain temperature. If it enters into that fire it will be burnt to a crisp.'' This is the truth. Now suppose we further say, “If you don't want to be burnt to a crisp, don't go into that pit.'' In this case, the level of science tells us that the hole is of such and such a temperature, and that the human body cannot withstand such a temperature. Ethics is the code of practice which says, “If you don't want to be burnt to a crisp, don't go into that fire.''

In the same way that technology must be based on the truths of Pure Science, ethics must be based on reality. And just as any technology which is confounded on scientific truth will be unworkable, so too will any ethic not founded on natural truth be a false ethic. The subject of ethics covers both ''What should be?'' and “What is?'' in that it deals with the truth of human nature, which is that aspect of natural truth overlooked by science. For that reason, a true understanding of reality, which includes an understanding of human nature, is impossible without a clear understanding of genuine ethics. The question is, what kind of reality, and how much of it, and in what degree, is sufficient to bring about an understanding of genuine ethics?

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