case study MN 128 🍒 cherry pickers galore, the four jhānas are not mentioned, ♾️🦆
🍒 cherry picking
the action or practice of choosing and taking only the most beneficial or profitable items, opportunities, etc., from what is available.
"it is an exaggeration based on the cherry-picking of facts"
The 🍒 cherry picking strategy is abused frequently along with confirmation bias and narrative fallacy. Basically, one has a preconceived notion, an agenda, or biased view. For example:
Since stream entry could be attained with First jhāna, first jhāna must be a very difficult practice, and (V&V💭) vitakka & vicāra, directed-thought & evaluation, must be more subtle and fundamentally different than ordinary thinking.
Then reading through the suttas, MN 128 in this case, we look for evidence to support our agenda (confirmation bias), quote out of context, quote selectively to support our agenda (🍒 cherry picking). And if the evidence doesn't quite fit, we distort and twist it until it can appear to fit, like the bed of Procustes*.
In the case of MN 128, the four jhānas are not mentioned. And instead of 5 hindrances, there are 11 upa-kilesas (defilments). The sutta instead works with 3 ways of samādhi, which are in fact another way of mapping out the four jhānas. But an important point needs to be made here. When Bhikkhu Anālayo, Bhikkhu Sujato, Ajahn Brahm need samādhi to be four jhānas, then they call it four jhānas. In other contexts, when the samādhi is obviously also jhāna quality like it is here, then they say, "it's a samādhi that is lower than four jhāna quality". This is cherry picking, inconsistent application of samādhi standard, confirmation bias, and intellectual dishonesty. In trying to find evidence in the EBT to support their view of Jhāna, they employ these strategies often. And in the long debate between Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu and Bhikkhu Anālayo on Bhikkhuni ordination, Bhikkhu Anālayo does this in abundance. I didn't follow the whole debate and read all of their back and forth essays, but I read enough of it (very carefully), and looked at some of the pāḷi text to verify some of their claims, enough to see Bhikkhu Anālayo uses the same bag of intellectually dishonest strategies as he does in gathering evidence from the EBT to support his view on jhāna.
♾️🦆 Infinite Duck Dilemma
If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, waddles like a duck, it's jhāna!
Unless you're Bhikkhu Anālayo or Bhikkhu Sujato, and you need the evidence to say something else. When you need samādhi to be four jhānas, then you call it four jhānas. If you need to show the samādhi is less than four jhānas, then it's just a bird species that looks incredibly similar to a duck, quacks like a duck, etc., but is not actually a duck.
So what happens you when cherry pick ducks and call them ducks, and label all the other ducks not-ducks? You have an infinite Duck Dilemma. And you've destroyed the integrity and coherence of the suttas in the EBT, making it impossible to interpret and understand the meaning of the EBT if they apply your arbitrary cherry picking way of interpreting text consistently across the rest of the teaching.
🛏️ Bed of Procrustes
In Greek mythology, Procrustes (Ancient Greek: Προκρούστης Prokroustes) or "the stretcher [who hammers out the metal]", also known as Prokoptas or Damastes (Δαμαστής, "subduer"), was a rogue smith and bandit from Attica who attacked people by stretching them or cutting off their legs, so as to force them to fit the size of an iron bed.
Intellectual honesty is an applied method of problem solving, characterized by an unbiased, honest attitude, which can be demonstrated in a number of different ways:
One's personal faith does not interfere with the pursuit of truth;
Relevant facts and information are not purposefully omitted even when such things may contradict one's hypothesis;
Facts are presented in an unbiased manner, and not twisted to give misleading impressions or to support one view over another;
References, or earlier work, are acknowledged where possible, and plagiarism is avoided.
Harvard ethicist Louis M. Guenin describes the "kernel" of intellectual honesty to be "a virtuous disposition to eschew deception when given an incentive for deception".
Intentionally committed fallacies in debates and reasoning are called intellectual dishonesty.
Occam's razor (also Ockham's razor or Ocham's razor (Latin: novacula Occami); further known as the law of parsimony (Latin: lex parsimoniae) is the problem-solving principle that essentially states that simpler solutions are more likely to be correct than complex ones.