Carvaka - Questions?
#1
"Cārvāka (Sanskrit: चार्वाक) is a system of Indian philosophy that assumes various forms of philosophical skepticism and religious indifference.[1] It is also known as Lokāyata. It is named after its founder, Cārvāka, author of the Bārhaspatya-sūtras.[2]

In overviews of Indian philosophy, Cārvāka is classified as a "heterodox" (nāstika) system, the same classification as is given to Buddhism and Jainism.[3][4] It is characterized as a materialistic and atheistic school of thought. While this branch of Indian philosophy is not considered to be part of the six orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy, it is noteworthy as evidence of a materialistic movement...."

Source: Wikipedia - Carvaka

Ask your questions about Carvaka here. :-)
Reply
#2
Fascinating to read about all these. I have not gone in details of Vedanta, neither Indian Mythology.
It would be great if you could educate me and many like me.
Reply
#3
(29-Mar-2010, 06:09 PM)jithu.nv Wrote: Fascinating to read about all these. I have not gone in details of Vedanta, neither Indian Mythology.
It would be great if you could educate me and many like me.

Hopefully we can all share information :-)

Thank you for joining the Carvaka Forum.
Reply
#4
I came across this website,
http://www.hinduwebsite.com/history/athiesm.asp

Can anyone give explanation for their arguement?
Quote:The Charvaka school of thinking had many draw backs:

1. Its chief weakness was its excessive reliance upon subjective experience and upon sensory perceptions, as the basis of truth. These two are not perfect and reliable instruments of truth and they would not always guarantee complete wisdom.

2. The Charvakas ignore the fundamental fact that our perceptions can be very misleading and that they are colored by our own prejudices, fears, anxieties, expectations, desires, thoughts and most important of all by our own ignorance.

3. They also fail to explain the role of Nature, the rationale for good social conduct or the need for social harmony.

4. The Charvakas provide very simplistic solutions to the complex problems of pain and suffering, and fall short of providing lasting solutions to the real problems of human life and society.

5. In short they fail to explain such human needs and aspirations that are not purely physical or mental but spiritual, and the importance of such morals and social values in human life that distinguishes us from the world of the animals.
Reply
#5
(02-Nov-2010, 05:15 PM)shrihara Wrote: I came across this website,
http://www.hinduwebsite.com/history/athiesm.asp

Can anyone give explanation for their arguement?

I think the arguments are valid to some degree, but what I find annoying about them is that the very same arguments are valid for Hinduism as well. The website is trying to portray a picture of how Carvakas got everything wrong and Hinduism gets everything right, blissfully ignorant of the irony.

For example, take the first argument:

Quote:1. Its chief weakness was its excessive reliance upon subjective experience and upon sensory perceptions, as the basis of truth. These two are not perfect and reliable instruments of truth and they would not always guarantee complete wisdom.

Religion stands on subjective experience. It abhors objective experience. The Carvakas may be wrong in relying solely on our senses, but Hinduism too makes the same mistake. Instead of relying on sensory experiences, it relies on the non-sensory experiences of the mind. The experience is still subjective. Hinduism has no means of verifying that those experiences are not delusional. Whatever a stoned saintly looking guy says is taken as the truth.

What the article should have concentrated on is the present day atheism and naturalism. They offer a vastly superior world view than Hinduism.
[+] 1 user Likes Lije's post
Reply
#6
(02-Nov-2010, 05:15 PM)shrihara Wrote: I came across this website,
http://www.hinduwebsite.com/history/athiesm.asp

Can anyone give explanation for their arguement?
Quote:The Charvaka school of thinking had many draw backs:

1. Its chief weakness was its excessive reliance upon subjective experience and upon sensory perceptions, as the basis of truth. These two are not perfect and reliable instruments of truth and they would not always guarantee complete wisdom.

2. The Charvakas ignore the fundamental fact that our perceptions can be very misleading and that they are colored by our own prejudices, fears, anxieties, expectations, desires, thoughts and most important of all by our own ignorance.

3. They also fail to explain the role of Nature, the rationale for good social conduct or the need for social harmony.

4. The Charvakas provide very simplistic solutions to the complex problems of pain and suffering, and fall short of providing lasting solutions to the real problems of human life and society.

5. In short they fail to explain such human needs and aspirations that are not purely physical or mental but spiritual, and the importance of such morals and social values in human life that distinguishes us from the world of the animals.

Carvakas believed only in the existence of material world, not things that has never been perceived like soul or heaven.

1. Its chief weakness was its excessive reliance upon subjective experience and upon sensory perceptions, as the basis of truth. These two are not perfect and reliable instruments of truth and they would not always guarantee complete wisdom.

Carvakas felt that perception is the most reliable source of valid information, while scriptures and sages are not. As for 'subjective experience' stick, the critics are twisting words. A carvaka can see the sun and show the sun to others --- if someone wants to redefine it as 'subjective' they are welcome. The critics will of course insist that the gods they hallucinate are objective.

2. The Charvakas ignore the fundamental fact that our perceptions can be very misleading and that they are colored by our own prejudices, fears, anxieties, expectations, desires, thoughts and most important of all by our own ignorance.
Worse than pot calling the kettle black.

3. They also fail to explain the role of Nature, the rationale for good social conduct or the need for social harmony.
Role of Nature is that everything happens because of its svabhava, not because some god is directing it. Life and consciousness arose from inanimate matter.
Good social conduct is needed in order to prosper. Comfort and prosperity can be gained through agriculture, trade and cattle rearing and good adminstration.

4. The Charvakas provide very simplistic solutions to the complex problems of pain and suffering, and fall short of providing lasting solutions to the real problems of human life and society.
According to them there is pain in this world but there is also pleasure. So enjoy yourself and don't pay any attention to what the Brahmins say or the Buddhist and Jaina monks.

5. In short they fail to explain such human needs and aspirations that are not purely physical or mental but spiritual, and the importance of such morals and social values in human life that distinguishes us from the world of the animals
Maybe they did explore such questions but their books were destroyed? After all we get the names of books and writers but not the actual texts.

And really, the cheek of people worshipping something that can never be proved as the solution to all evils accusing others of simplemindedness. when it comes to logic, they are not going to be able to outargue the Carvakas, either ancient or modern.
Boat
Reply
#7
(02-Nov-2010, 05:15 PM)shrihara Wrote: I came across this website,
http://www.hinduwebsite.com/history/athiesm.asp
Can anyone give explanation for their arguement?
I have a thought in general. Whatever the charvaka thought was, it was based on what we knew about the human brain, and its workings in the iron age. Today we know enough about the human brain to say the experiences the saints/spiritual leaders are having, and the resulting words/blurbs, are very local. There is no interaction with spirits, external energies/divine.
Reply
#8
(06-Jan-2011, 12:13 AM)muffintop Wrote: I have a thought in general. Whatever the charvaka thought was, it was based on what we knew about the human brain, and its workings in the iron age. Today we know enough about the human brain to say the experiences the saints/spiritual leaders are having, and the resulting words/blurbs, are very local. There is no interaction with spirits, external energies/divine.

That's true. Today neuroscience is revealing the human brain in unprecedented detail. In fact, Advaita Vedanta, the torch bearer of hindu spiritualism seems to be based on a primitive argument that can only be made with ignorance of the working of the human brain. It goes like this - "A rope seen in bad light conditions may look like a snake. It means all that we see is may not be real. Hence the totality of what is perceived is maya. Hence the existence of an ultimate reality Brahman". The people back then did not know that the problem is in the human brain and not in the world around them.

Reply
#9
I read about Carvaka and Lokayata in a book "Indian History" written by Vachaspati Gairola. His writings does not seem to be biased. I tried to make a search on google for this book and was not able to find it. It is a nice source to have an overview of the different theologies in that era.
Reply


Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Carvaka - Research - References trancegemini 29 26,564 07-Oct-2016, 08:09 PM
Last Post: praggy1973



Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)