David Brooks Knows Nothing About Buddhism

So says this person over at Tower of Dabble, responding to an atrocious little piece of crepulence from Mr. Brooks, published over at the New York Times. The piece is called “The Neural Buddhists,” but appears to be a very poorly considered rant against the ongoing materialism of scientists. I’m not exactly certain what Mr. Brooks proposes scientists replace their commitments to materialism, empiricism, and confirmation with, but I am certain he has some similarly obnoxious theory about it.

He mentions Buddhism twice but I have no idea why. My guess is that he knows as little about Buddhism as he does about evolution or neuroscience. I think maybe he read a page of the Dancing Wu Li Masters while investigating California latte sippers in 1987 and he thinks he now understands Buddhism.

I have again wasted a lot of words saying what could be said in very few:

I’ll let you go see what the short version is for yourself. Tower of Dabble‘s summary caught my eye for two reasons: first, she or he does an excellent job of showing how Brooks’ use of Dawkins’ scientific work, The Selfish Gene, completely misses the point and project of that work, and that he appears to be using Buddhism as some sort of slam at scientific atheists. Are all Buddhists scientific materialists? I have misunderstood everything, apparently.


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