I think on the subject of objective truths Buddhism has the edge.

2,500 years ago, someone (who tradition calls the Buddha) formulated the so-called four Noble Truths (he borrowed a formula from Indian medicine): dukkha (dissatisfaction with existence), the origin of dukkha, the way to the cessation of dukkha and the state beyond dukkha.

Next to this, the origin of dukkha was said to originate in the impermanence and insubstantiality of phenomena. Nothing else much was formulated in the way of the nature of reality.

After this, the whole Buddhist endeavour is about the practice of the way to the cessation of dukkha. You’re basically left to realise the truth of these basic tenets in your own mind, which is basically what reveals the world to us (or even originates it!).

Buddhism avoids speculation and focus instead on the appreciation of that minority of conditions that can be readily perceived, while keeping in mind the existence of infinity of conditions and impossibility of knowing all of them. All this is underpinned by the sense of all beings sharing the same essential nature, which naturally express itself in compassion. In comparison to this way of seeing the world western philosophy can come across as speculative, overly rational and blind to simple realities. My penny’s worth.

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As usual, I appreciate your thoughts, but have some comments :)

One main thing here I'd say is that you leave way too much out of the context, because you seem to look only at the political/sociological context.

But it's not possible to leave out the economic context, as our friend Karl M would say (and while he got some things wrong, like humans adaptability, he got some right, and this one I'd say he got right).

Say, slavery was, arguably, an economic measure first and foremost. Slavery died when it economically stopped paying out (compared to other available modes) - it almost died in the US on its own before the invention of the cotton gin, which gave it another lease on life.

Or put it differently. When you fight for your existence on a daily basis, can die of a disease which no-one understands and looks like a random act of god, etc. etc, then the context of your thinking is vastly differen than if you're a comfortable-living noble with too much time on their hands, or a middle class person, where much of the renneisance and then rationalism came from.

Same is say about the status of men and women. When an legal heir was important, "protecting" the women (effectively abridging their rights in many ways) made economic sense. Funny fact - homosexuality there was silently accepted, often even welcomed (still silently). A lesbian wife meant that your heirs are really yours. A gay youngest son meant you don't have to worry about him trying to usurp the older one, and there was even an institution (the Church) where you could happily get him to the satisfaction of everyone. I guess medieval Italy was the most visible example of this, but it was I believe present elsewhere too, just not as openly.

But to get to your original point - that all above means that things do change. Sometimes in cycles, sometimes not, but as long as there is _economic_ change (I'm not going to say progress, because we can regress fairly easily, hello climate change), things WILL change, and what's accepted today will become weird tomorrow.

So even if Aristotle would think about cars, planes, antibiotics, automated industrial factories and what have you, from his perspective they would be irrelevant, as their real impact on _his_ world was, except for dreaming, nil. I'm sure that if you'd have offered Roman patrician a mechanised farming that would be cheaper than slaves, he'd have happily taken it (because we can see this technological jumps elsewhere) - but if anyone would claim, that it means their context would have switched to ours, that's a nonsense too (again, because we can see it in examples).

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