Who are the official or lead spokespersons for Hinduism?
#1
I was reading this article
http://news.oneindia.in/2010/09/17/hindu...eists.html
when I wondered, who are the prominent defenders of hindu religion that offer the official position on religious or other issues.. that may be invited for debates, in the same vein as Christianity vs Atheism debates that are so numerous on the internet.

A while ago, I ran into this one, Christianity vs. Hinduism debate / pt 1 of 14 / Dave Hunt vs Budhendranauth Doobay
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ne-KYjUavaI
I couldnt watch the whole thing, coz the Doobay guy is a bumbling fool and his arguments gets incoherent very soon.

I think that debates in the public square in India are absolutely useless charades, and serve only as publicity stunts (as exemplified by Zakir Naik's videos on youtube), because of the nature of the assembly.. largely uninformed, partisan crown that does premeditated cheering and staged conversions. The intellectual discourse would be much better if held in premier universities. And wouldnt a Hitchens-like teardown of Hinduism be wonderful, at least for certain target communities like the scientific one? But then, who are the official representatives of the Hinduism side?
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has - Margaret Mead
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#2
(23-Sep-2010, 09:34 PM)astrokid.nj Wrote: I was reading this article
http://news.oneindia.in/2010/09/17/hindu...eists.html
when I wondered, who are the prominent defenders of hindu religion that offer the official position on religious or other issues.. that may be invited for debates, in the same vein as Christianity vs Atheism debates that are so numerous on the internet.

There are probably many "scholars" who have spent their lives studying the Vedas and Upanishads, but these are not the ones we'd want to argue against in the public square. They are relatively unknown, and the debates would not be of popular interest. Ramdev, Sri Sri, Nithyananda, Chopra .... etc, are the names that most people are aware of. I would count all these as the leaders we should go after when we are ready to hold these publicized debates. Of course,we could still have highly academic debates for a different audience.


"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
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#3
(23-Sep-2010, 09:34 PM)astrokid.nj Wrote: And wouldnt a Hitchens-like teardown of Hinduism be wonderful, at least for certain target communities like the scientific one? But then, who are the official representatives of the Hinduism side?

There are no official representatives now. The representatives used to be the Acharyas of the various Darshanas. But all of Hindu philosophy was thrashed out into a coherent structure (if you accept the underlying ontological axioms) centuries ago.

There is nothing new that Hitches would have brought into the debate.
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#4
(26-Jun-2012, 07:05 PM)KalBhairav Wrote: .... The representatives used to be the Acharyas of the various Darshanas. But all of Hindu philosophy was thrashed out into a coherent structure (if you accept the underlying ontological axioms) centuries ago.

There is nothing new that Hitches would have brought into the debate.

That's such a big IF! Besides, there is nothing shatteringly new or immune to objection, that the learned Acharyas got into the debate. Here is an example of a leading early 20th century revivalist claiming to offer 'arguments for the existence of God' while all he does is rehash the ontological and cosmological arguments, for which samples of now-routine counter-arguments can be viewed here and here respectively. It's interesting that for all the claims of exceptionalism and an all-important difference from Abrahamic faiths, a Sanatana Dharmic preacher rushes to the company of an Anselm and Aquinas, not to mention the Kalam schools, while attempting to establish the existence of God. So much for the claim of being a school of philosophy to which 'other schools are nowhere close'!

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#5
Er...the Kalam argument argues for creatio ex nihilo. No Hindu Darshana believes in it. Time is eternal in Hinduism - unlike the Abrahamic Kalam argument. My point was that Hitchens brings nothing new to the table. All arguments were argued and counterargued for and against centuries ago.
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