Great to find this forum
#1
Being a rationalist, secularist, humanist, atheist and anti-theist Indian, I find it rather miraculous(self-conflicting yet appropriate) to find so many fellow citizens on the same side of the cosmological argument. Not that I ever doubted that Hinduism will fail to sustain it's pupil in allegiance, but I did suspect that Hinduism with all it's self contradicting and outrageously conflicting tenets compiled in a monstrous anthology will eventually fade into irrelevance and all it will leave behind will be a large community of ex-Hindus who would find it tiring to question the authority of Hinduism. But it's one of those occasions where being proven wrong gives you an impulse of excitement for you know that you gained much more than the slight intellectual pride you lost.

I personally believe that India is the most atheistic country in the world, and a much intriguing one too, in that, many Indians don't realize it. To be an Hindu, you should be able to answer the following, and if not atleast have a decent sense of direction to where it leads:
-> What the original sacred texts of Hinduism?
-> What are the Shrutis and the Smritis?
-> Is hindusim monotheistic, polytheistic, pantheistic or panentheistic?
-> When did the God reveal the sacred texts to us primates?
-> Who created the universe?
-> Who are the creator, destructor and preserver in hindu theology?

My experience with this exercise has been rather successful for me but largely disappointing for my audience. Not only were they unable to answer any of the questions but they were completely unsure of what they believe in.

At best, they could provide a deistic argument to their belief but it was impossible for them to go from a deistic designer or a prime mover to a theistic GOD, one who interferes in our daily matters, one who knows what to eat and on what days, one who cares with whom we procreate and in what positions, one who keeps a 24/7 surveillance on us and can intervene when needed, answers our prayers etc etc.

It is of utmost disappointment that most of the Hindus are so irresolute and weak in their convictions that they would rather ignore the overwhelming evidence against their religion to take shelter in the ever fleeting comfort of indifference, and while they do that they forget that their indifference is causing and has for centuries caused immense misery and violence across the globe. If I may just take up the 'B' letter - Bombay, Beirut, Baghdad, Belfast, Bosnia.

Looking forward to share some thoughts.
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#2
Welcome to Nirmukta, Kruttik! Nice to meet another Indian atheist!

There have already been a number of discussions about Hinduism. To learn more about the prevalent views here, do have a look at:
http://nirmukta.net/Thread-What-is-Hindu...ne-a-Hindu
http://nirmukta.com/2009/11/28/is-hindu-...n-culture/
http://nirmukta.com/2009/05/11/hinduism-...y-of-life/

(20-Nov-2010, 09:39 AM)Kruttik Wrote: At best, they could provide a deistic argument to their belief but it was impossible for them to go from a deistic designer or a prime mover to a theistic GOD, one who interferes in our daily matters, one who knows what to eat and on what days, one who cares with whom we procreate and in what positions, one who keeps a 24/7 surveillance on us and can intervene when needed, answers our prayers etc etc.

It is of utmost disappointment that most of the Hindus are so irresolute and weak in their convictions that they would rather ignore the overwhelming evidence against their religion to take shelter in the ever fleeting comfort of indifference, and while they do that they forget that their indifference is causing and has for centuries caused immense misery and violence across the globe. If I may just take up the 'B' letter - Bombay, Beirut, Baghdad, Belfast, Bosnia.

Nice to see that you are a fan of Christopher Hitchens too! Thumbup
Aditya Manthramurthy
Web Administrator & Associate Editor
Nirmukta.com
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#3
(20-Nov-2010, 09:39 AM)Kruttik Wrote: Being a rationalist, secularist, humanist, atheist and anti-theist Indian, I find it rather miraculous(self-conflicting yet appropriate) to find so many fellow citizens on the same side of the cosmological argument.

Nice to meet another anti-theist.

Quote:Not that I ever doubted that Hinduism will fail to sustain it's pupil in allegiance, but I did suspect that Hinduism with all it's self contradicting and outrageously conflicting tenets compiled in a monstrous anthology will eventually fade into irrelevance and all it will leave behind will be a large community of ex-Hindus who would find it tiring to question the authority of Hinduism.


There's unfortunately no evidence to support this, and indeed much evidence that suggests the opposite is true. Have you seen Meera Nanda's latest book, The God Market? I reviewed it here. But its not all bad news, especially since you've joined us and we can make a bigger difference together smile

Quote:It is of utmost disappointment that most of the Hindus are so irresolute and weak in their convictions that they would rather ignore the overwhelming evidence against their religion to take shelter in the ever fleeting comfort of indifference, and while they do that they forget that their indifference is causing and has for centuries caused immense misery and violence across the globe.
GoodMorning





"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
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#4
Nice to have you here, Kruttik.
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#5
(20-Nov-2010, 09:39 AM)Kruttik Wrote: If you want to understand the General Theory of Relativity, you should ask a Doctoral or Post doctoral student of Physics, not a 5th or 6th class student...........The 5th grade student may still end up telling you in vague terms what it means, but only the PhD student can tell with clarity.

Similarly human beings are all at different levels of spiritual evolution, and when you ask the person at the right level of evolution he will answer all your questions.....

You are free to deny the existence of God and still be a Hindu (thankfully a religion on Earth that allows this luxury), provided you respect others who believe in the existence of God......

A man wanting to jump from the top of a building by claiming that he does not believe in the Law of gravitation, hurts himself and not the Law of Gravitation.

A rationalist (as you claim to be) is a person who neither denies nor accepts anything without a proof. But by denying the existence of God, you are anything but a rationalist....

World famous rationalists and scientists like Albert Einstein, Robert Oppenheimer, Arthur Schopenhauer, Erwin Schroedinger, Carl Sagan had immense respect for Hindu thoughts and finally accepted to their application as universal cosmic laws........
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#6
(26-Feb-2011, 03:15 PM)aarun Wrote: The 5th grade student may still end up telling you in vague terms what it means, but only the PhD student can tell with clarity.

This would make sense if there is something to be clear about in the first place. The argument being made here is just a local variant of the following argument which has been disposed by Prof. Dawkins. Quoting wikipedia:

Quote:Oxford theologian Alister McGrath (author of The Dawkins Delusion and Dawkins' God) maintains that Dawkins is ignorant of Christian theology, and therefore unable to engage religion and faith intelligently. In reply, Dawkins asks "do you have to read up on leprechology before disbelieving in leprechauns?

(26-Feb-2011, 03:15 PM)aarun Wrote: A man wanting to jump from the top of a building by claiming that he does not believe in the Law of gravitation, hurts himself and not the Law of Gravitation.

The approach of Physical Evidence and Reasoned Logic that gave us the understanding of Gravitation in the first place, is incompatible with a faith-based stance and adopting this stance has been shown historically to be fraught with the danger of hurting oneself and humanity in the process.

(26-Feb-2011, 03:15 PM)aarun Wrote: But by denying the existence of God, you are anything but a rationalist....

Proof? A proof can be supplied for falsifiable claims. The claim that 'God exists' is not even wrong.

(26-Feb-2011, 03:15 PM)aarun Wrote: World famous rationalists and scientists like Albert Einstein, Robert Oppenheimer, Arthur Schopenhauer, Erwin Schroedinger, Carl Sagan had immense respect for Hindu thoughts and finally accepted to their application as universal cosmic laws........

Scientists who cannot by anyone in their right mind be dismissed as 'unintelligent or lazy thinkers' can nevertheless get some things terribly wrong. Science functions not on the authority of revered figures, but on Physical Evidence and Reasoned Logic.
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#7
(26-Feb-2011, 03:15 PM)aarun Wrote: You are free to deny the existence of God and still be a Hindu (thankfully a religion on Earth that allows this luxury), provided you respect others who believe in the existence of God......

We respect people alright. But it's not our fault if some people are so mentally weak that they can't handle some criticism of their supposedly eternal truths.

(26-Feb-2011, 03:15 PM)aarun Wrote: A rationalist (as you claim to be) is a person who neither denies nor accepts anything without a proof. But by denying the existence of God, you are anything but a rationalist....

You know precisely nothing about rationalism. What next, should we not deny or accept the existence of the 5 cm tall Invisible Uber Ignorant Fat Troll that resides in the brains of religious believers?

Quote:World famous rationalists and scientists like Albert Einstein, Robert Oppenheimer, Arthur Schopenhauer, Erwin Schroedinger, Carl Sagan had immense respect for Hindu thoughts and finally accepted to their application as universal cosmic laws........

Arguments from authority may work for people who are trained to not use critical thinking, but unfortunately for you, they don't work on us.
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#8
(26-Feb-2011, 04:02 PM)arvindiyer Wrote:
(26-Feb-2011, 03:15 PM)aarun Wrote: The 5th grade student may still end up telling you in vague terms what it means, but only the PhD student can tell with clarity.

This would make sense if there is something to be clear about in the first place. The argument being made here is just a local variant of the following argument which has been disposed by Prof. Dawkins. Quoting wikipedia:

Oxford theologian Alister McGrath (author of The Dawkins Delusion and Dawkins' God) maintains that Dawkins is ignorant of Christian theology, and therefore unable to engage religion and faith intelligently. In reply, Dawkins asks "do you have to read up on leprechology before disbelieving in leprechauns?

aarun Wrote:This is like someone saying, ''Do I have to read Physics before disapproving Laws of Thermodynamics?, Do I have to read Chemistry before disapproving the existence of molecular bonds?"


(26-Feb-2011, 03:15 PM)aarun Wrote: A man wanting to jump from the top of a building by claiming that he does not believe in the Law of gravitation, hurts himself and not the Law of Gravitation.

The approach of Physical Evidence and Reasoned Logic that gave us the understanding of Gravitation in the first place, is incompatible with a faith-based stance and adopting this stance has been shown historically to be fraught with the danger of hurting oneself and humanity in the process.

aarun Wrote:Everyday millions board an aircraft based on their FAITH in the Laws of Aerodynamics, but NOT on their Physical Evidence and Reasoned Logic....

What is Faith to an ignorant one, is a Reasoned logic to an evolved soul......

This is not to criticize the ignorant - that is his limitation of understanding.......Getting up one morning and seeing everything around as yellow is not a problem of everything around. The problem is that the body has jaundice.....


(26-Feb-2011, 03:15 PM)aarun Wrote: But by denying the existence of God, you are anything but a rationalist....

Proof? A proof can be supplied for falsifiable claims. The claim that 'God exists' is not even wrong.

(26-Feb-2011, 03:15 PM)aarun Wrote: World famous rationalists and scientists like Albert Einstein, Robert Oppenheimer, Arthur Schopenhauer, Erwin Schroedinger, Carl Sagan had immense respect for Hindu thoughts and finally accepted to their application as universal cosmic laws........

Scientists who cannot by anyone in their right mind be dismissed as 'unintelligent or lazy thinkers' can nevertheless get some things terribly wrong. Science functions not on the authority of revered figures, but on Physical Evidence and Reasoned Logic.

aarun Wrote:Reasoned logic is relative. For centuries geometry was based on an axiom that ''the shortest distance between 2 points is a straight line''. For any mathematician anything otherwise was INSANE. Until Stephen Hawking has disproved it few years ago. He has proved that the shortest distance between 2 points is NOT a straight line in the time-space curve''.

Did geometry not exist before Hawking? Did geometry collapse after Hawking's discovery?

http://www.freeonlineresearchpapers.com/...me-summary
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#9
Quote:This is like someone saying, ''Do I have to read Physics before disapproving Laws of Thermodynamics?, Do I have to read Chemistry before disapproving the existence of molecular bonds?"

One doesn't need to read physics. They just need to form a hypothesis and perform some experiments to confirm it. However one can't perform experiments to accept or deny the existence of The Invisible Uber Ignorant Fat Troll in the brains of religious believers.

Quote: Everyday millions board an aircraft based on their FAITH in the Laws of Aerodynamics, but NOT on their Physical Evidence and Reasoned Logic....

What is Faith to an ignorant one, is a Reasoned logic to an evolved soul......

This is not to criticize the ignorant - that is his limitation of understanding.......Getting up one morning and seeing everything around as yellow is not a problem of everything around. The problem is that the body has jaundice.....

When people board airplanes they know the risk involved. And the risk is calculated using Physical Evidence and Reasoned Logic.

Quote:Reasoned logic is relative. For centuries geometry was based on an axiom that ''the shortest distance between 2 points is a straight line''. For any mathematician anything otherwise was INSANE. Until Stephen Hawking has disproved it few years ago. He has proved that the shortest distance between 2 points is NOT a straight line in the time-space curve''.

Did geometry not exist before Hawking? Did geometry collapse after Hawking's discovery?

http://www.freeonlineresearchpapers.com/...me-summary

No, reasoned logic isn't relative. The conclusions vary based on your premises. One of the premises of science is that something has validity as long as there is evidence to support it. You are ignorant of that premise and hence the claim - "Reasoned logic is relative" Religions on the other hand, have the arrogant premise that they know the truth and then form conclusions around it.
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#10
(26-Feb-2011, 04:16 PM)Lije Wrote: [quote='aarun' pid='4026' dateline='1298713554']You are free to deny the existence of God and still be a Hindu (thankfully a religion on Earth that allows this luxury), provided you respect others who believe in the existence of God......

We respect people alright. But it's not our fault if some people are so mentally weak that they can't handle some criticism of their supposedly eternal truths.

(26-Feb-2011, 03:15 PM)aarun Wrote: A rationalist (as you claim to be) is a person who neither denies nor accepts anything without a proof. But by denying the existence of God, you are anything but a rationalist....

You know precisely nothing about rationalism. What next, should we not deny or accept the existence of the 5 cm tall Invisible Uber Ignorant Fat Troll that resides in the brains of religious believers?

Quote:World famous rationalists and scientists like Albert Einstein, Robert Oppenheimer, Arthur Schopenhauer, Erwin Schroedinger, Carl Sagan had immense respect for Hindu thoughts and finally accepted to their application as universal cosmic laws........

Arguments from authority may work for people who are trained to not use critical thinking, but unfortunately for you, they don't work on us.
[/quote]



(26-Feb-2011, 04:16 PM)Lije Wrote: [quote='aarun']

I do not expect any moderator to intrude in between a healthy debate going on between 2 forum members.......

If this forum is not about healthy debate, but a site where everyone has to pat the backs of the "rationalists'' and call them the greatest humans to ever have inhabited this planet, then I am in the wrong forum......

Thankfully, at no point of time in history, rationalists have caught popular imagination........The few who were forced to accept rationalistic thought under communist dictatorships, reverted back to religion the very next day communism collapsed. Many ''rationalists'' from the west are migrating to Buddhism and Hinduism...In China inspite of 50 years of ''rational'' conditioning, people are flocking to Buddhism and Taosim in droves.....Millions all over the world flock to the Art of Living (http://www.artofliving.org) and that includes scientists, doctors, engineers, quantum physicists, psychologists..........

Obviously the only area (thankfully) the ''rationlists'' have made their presence felt is in the blogosphere where they have fallen in love with their own voice, obviously other voices sound cacophonous.....Keep it up !!!

......


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#11
Loads of BS from aarun to wade through here, but I'll start with his first post:

Quote:"If you want to understand the General Theory of Relativity, you should ask a Doctoral or Post doctoral student of Physics, not a 5th or 6th class student...........The 5th grade student may still end up telling you in vague terms what it means, but only the PhD student can tell with clarity.

This is a form of the courtier's reply, in combination with a tautology (circular argument that takes as one of its premises that which it must prove) leading to a false analogy. Of course a PhD student in Physics will probably know more quantum theory than a kid. But we all already know and agree with this! The entire debate is about whether Hindu supernatural claims are true or nonsense. By using the known facts about quantum mechanics to defend Hindu superstitions, you are presenting a false analogy that assumes as true that which it must demonstrate- that Hindu scholars are not full of shit.

Quote:A man wanting to jump from the top of a building by claiming that he does not believe in the Law of gravitation, hurts himself and not the Law of Gravitation.

Same lame form of argument. No one is debating the law of gravitation, which is a law that we know because of science and rationality. You cannot simply co-opt the findings of science in support of your anti-scientific nonsense.

Quote:A rationalist (as you claim to be) is a person who neither denies nor accepts anything without a proof. But by denying the existence of God, you are anything but a rationalist....

How convenient that you would define what a rationalist is in such a way that suits your criticism of atheism? Science is not about definitive proof. It is about what the evidence says. And atheism is not just denying the existence of god. It is also about accepting the lack of evidence for such a thing as god. That is the scientific and rational stance.

Quote:World famous rationalists and scientists like Albert Einstein, Robert Oppenheimer, Arthur Schopenhauer, Erwin Schroedinger, Carl Sagan had immense respect for Hindu thoughts and finally accepted to their application as universal cosmic laws........

ROTFL
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
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