Sponsored By: Infinity Foundation

Is The Belief In The Cessation State an Unjustified Belief

Is The Belief In The Cessation State an Unjustified Belief?
An examination of the Yogacarin Buddhist’s belief in the cessation state (nirodhasamapatti), the store-house of consciousness (alayavijnana) and anti-substantivism (adravyasat)
by Amjol Shrestha

This paper was written by a student at the University of Hawaii as part of an Infinity Foundation sponsored project.

This paper attempts to answer the above question by investigating Paul Griffiths’s argument against the cessation state (C-state). The first part of this paper concludes that Yogacarin Buddhist’s belief in the .layavijn.na (store-house of consciousness) may not be the best explanation for the C-state because the .layavijn.na is an ad-hoc belief that was conjured up in order to preserve their underlying belief in anti-substantivism (adravyasat). The second part of this paper is a reply to Griffiths’s charge of ad-hocness by concluding that Yogacarin Buddhists are within their epistemic rights to believe in anti-substantivism since no convincing requirements have been established for properly basic beliefs (basicality) that rule out the possibility of anti-substantivism as a candidate for basicality. Therefore, in the end, the belief in the C-state is not an unjustified belief. The third part of this paper investigates the “common sense” criteria or the “innocent-until-proven-guilty” principle of rationality that allow the Yogacarin Buddhists to responsibly hold anti-substantivism as a properly basic belief. Lastly, I examine a possible argument against common sense as criteria for basicality due to its detriment in performing positive apologetics.

To download this paper is available as a .pdf file, please click here.

To download a free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader to view these files, please click here.