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Episteme

Abstract

Isn’t there is logical disagreement in Buddhism’s dual theses: 1) humans tend toward incorrectly imputing permanence and a positive essence to the world, and 2) humans have no innate qualities at all—they are empty? In this article, the author presents the scope of this problem and then tries to defend Buddhism. Could it be that our physical survival depends on our substantialization? Can we re-work the theories of Gesha Rabten and Keiji Nishitani to support this? Or could it be that our language unfairly makes a word (such as “destiny”) into an object? No; none of these attempted solutions would impress Buddhists who believe that enlightenment overcomes human nature. A closer look at Nishitani shows us that Buddhism actually purports to offer humans the only escape from the “conditioned truth” of substantialization. It becomes clear, then, that “destiny” is not really the right word.

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