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Ultimate Concerns features interviews and discussions with religion experts about their research. Insights from these discussions are applied to contemporary cultural and political questions. Topics are related to many different religions (such as Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism) and methods of study (such as literary studies, history, theology, and philosophy). Ron Mourad, professor of religious studies at Albion College, hosts the show.

Nov 3, 2016

Are we living in a virtual reality? If we are, what should we do about it? Jonathan Gold joins me on this episode to discuss how the first-millennium Buddhist philosopher Vasubandhu might answer these questions.

We discuss Vasubandhu’s views about the hidden causes of the reality we experience and the mentally constructed nature of the world. We compare his position to the idea that we live in a computer-generated simulation, like the characters in the movie “The Matrix.” Then, we explore theoretical and practical implications of his view. If this world is a virtual reality, you might think that our efforts to understand it or act morally within it don’t matter. Gold’s analysis of Vasubandhu suggests that this is the wrong conclusion.

Paving the Great Way: Vasubandhu’s Unifying Buddhist Philosophy is available here: https://www.amazon.com/Paving-Great-Way-Vasubandhus-Philosophy/dp/0231168276

Additional music: Title - 12 Days of Christmas (Instrumental) - Jingle Punk; Free Music Archive; Creative Commons.


Dave
over a year ago

Love your sarcasm

Ron
over a year ago

You're welcome! Thanks for listening and commenting.

Maria
over a year ago

Thank you so much for this wonderful podcast!