How did an old religion get it directionally right?
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24-01-2016, 11:31 PM
RE: How did an old religion get it directionally right?
This is the 1st meaningful reply so far, so thank you very much for it. I'd like to continue this discourse if you are interested as well.

Firstly, I now realize I got the title wrong. It should have read "How did an old civilization get it directionally right?

(24-01-2016 08:52 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  
(24-01-2016 04:08 PM)SNair Wrote:  Here is one modern day scientific hypothesis of how everything could have come from nothing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ImvlS8PLIo. Essentially, the theory states that a disturbance in the space time fabric of some sort causes energy fluctuations and that in turn starts a cascade of events where energy is converted from one form to another (i.e. material world).

Hinduism (Sanatan Dharma), one of world’s oldest religion has had the following concepts of creation:

Now did anyone who believed the religion know what any of that meant BEFORE science came along, or did they just say "hey, these two are kinda similar" AFTER the fact? Because the latter has a track record of giving predictive credit to a lot of stuff that is actually pretty false. Being predictive requires you to actually give a PRECISE statement of what you're predicting, not something vague and poetic that you can later fit to match reality. That's one of the older tricks of con artists and mentalists to make it seem like they know more than they actually due.

How else could you relate something written in the past to the present? PRECISE is a relative term isn't it? What was precise a few centuries ago is not considered precise today and many things we consider precise today will no longer be considered precise a century from now.

Talking about track record, I consider the Indus Valley civilization of India to be one obsessed with meticulous observations and calculations. For example, the Kamasutra (kama = lust; sutra = formula) is a meticulous study of love and lust. Likewise Natya Shastra (Natya = drama; shastra = techniques) is a meticulous study of the fine arts and one of the most comprehensive treatise written till date on the subject. Ganitha Sasthra (ganitha = counting) is the study of numbers & is called Vedic Mathematics today. Ayurveda (Ayur = life; veda = science) is the detailed study of Medicine of which Yoga is just a small part. Lots of people swear by the benefits of yoga though only 1 element of yoga called Asanas is what's taught mostly. The study of celestial bodies is called Vedanga Jyotisha.

So just like modern day science evolves its theories based on observations and new findings, so did the science of the people of ancient civilizations. I find it hard to believe these claims were mere dumb luck. It could however very well based on the knowledge at the time, which could in turn be have been wrong.

(24-01-2016 08:52 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  
(24-01-2016 04:08 PM)SNair Wrote:  1. In the beginning, there was total silence (i.e. nothingness) and the universe was created (i.e. by Brahman = Universal consciousness) with the sound OHM (i.e. frequency = fluctuations in space time fabric). Theosophists like myself argue that this is in harmony with modern much more specific and detailed scientific discoveries.

Frequency is simply a rate of repetition of some event, be it the compression of a medium carrying successive sound waves or how rapidly your statements make one of us repeatedly bash our heads against the desk. It is not necessarily a "fluctuation in space-time" -- neither the sound waves nor the facedesking involve space-time fluctuating. If there were fluctuations in space time, AND the repeated at a somewhat fixed rate, then they would have a frequency, but in that particular case frequency would be a property of the fluctuation and NOT definitively the SAME as the fluctuation, in much the same way as grass is not definitively the same as green or tubas are not definitively the same as bass.

... also, I'd challenge you to provide one scientifically verified example of a repetitive "fluctuation in space time" -- and no, sound waves don't count. We're talking about how this religion supposedly matches science, right? Well where does it match?

Any signal can be decomposed into its constituent sinusoidal frequency components via Fourier Transformation. I hope this settles your argument around repetitive and seemingly non-repetitive or ever changing oscillations. By "Fluctuations", all I intended to say was a disturbance akin to multiple ripples on a surface of water. How a similar phenomenon (metaphorically similar) would manifest itself with respect to space and time, I do not know as I am not a physicist working in this field. If you or anyone else care to describe, I would definitely like to learn.

I cannot adequately defend their (inhabitants of the Vedic period) description that the universe was created from nothing and first sound heard was OHM. I do not believe this is meant literally as Hinduism is replete with metaphors. However, even if this is taken literally (which I do not believe to be the case), can you definitely argue that human audible frequency components would not have been been generated?

If you pin me down to provide specifics of how OHM could be the first sound heard, I cannot. However, I find it interesting that a 3-5k old civilization made such a claim, especially when looked at along with other claims pertaining to nature of the universe.

(24-01-2016 08:52 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  
(24-01-2016 04:08 PM)SNair Wrote:  2. Cyclical Universe in Hinduism: The birth and death process is endless. The universe is created and in time it will cease to exist and in its place another one is created and this cycle of birth and death is endless. Again, I argue that this is in harmony with modern scientific theory that the expanding universe with at some point start to contract and the whole Big Bang may repeat itself.

Science is currently leaning away from the Bang/Crunch cycle and towards an eventual heat death. It's not wholly settled, but if we were to call it now on account of some arbitrary game clock having run out, it would be settled AGAINST a cyclical universe. In any event, "things go in cycles" is hardly unique enough of a prediction to point to Hinduism.
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Well, its at the very essence of the belief system. The concept of re-incarnation (As opposed to heaven and earth in Abrahamic religions) may be an extension of this. You may be correct in stating that cyclic nature is hardly unique, but considering the ancientness of the civilization (3-5 thousand years), there is something to be commended here. Again, considering they were people who objectively and scientifically analyzed things (contributions in other fields I mentioned above), I am not inclined to believe this is just dumb luck.

(24-01-2016 08:52 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  
(24-01-2016 04:08 PM)SNair Wrote:  3. Multiverse: There are multiple universes in simultaneous existence. Though there are modern day scientific theories, I don’t think we can conclusively assert this to be the case. Nevertheless Hinduism (Sanatan Dharma) is firm in this point of view.

Multiverse theory is one way of modelling quantum mechanics. It is far from universally agreed upon by scientists and is not proven, as you note. There's no agreement to be accounted for here.
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Agreed. Once science settles this one way or other, it will settle this claim in Hinduism as well.


(24-01-2016 08:52 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  
(24-01-2016 04:08 PM)SNair Wrote:  My Question: For a religion that is well over 3000 years old, from all the possible explanations and descriptions they could have developed for the creation and nature of the universe, why did they develop this one?

Obviously you're trying to hold this version of Hinduism up as essentially calling the results before science did when, as pointed out, that argument is being... oversold, to say the least. But as for why they did it? Lots of possible explanations.

You are partially correct in deciphering my intention. I am trying to hold the people of Indus Valley civilization as having got the results directionally correct. Its not ancient religion vs science... but ancient science vs modern science. Like I stated before, I got the title wrong. It is however true that their spiritual belief system was Hinduism or more correctly Sanatan Dharma and that the concept of creation of universe and one's purpose in life were all dealt at the spiritual domain. Unlike other areas like art, math, medicine etc. the department that dealt with creation and nature of universe was handled amidst astronomy and astrology (Vedanga Jyotisha) and had a massive spiritual component to it. But that in itself doesn't make it wrong.

(24-01-2016 08:52 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  Lets say it was just completely random guessing, and all the other religions out there did the same thing, and let's for the sake of argument say that Hinduism clearly got it right (it hasn't) at the same time that everyone else got it wrong. What did they know? Well, let's say a million people buy lotto tickets at a million-to-one odds, and one person wins when all the others lose? What did THAT person know? Nothing. It's possible to be right by dumb luck, and if there's enough people playing the guessing game, the odds are that someone's going to do just that. (Not that Hinduism has won, either. You were off on every point of evidence.)

I would like to explore and eliminate other possibilities before latching on this one. They were a civilization obsessed with understanding nature. Things I can readily quote that most people can understand are Yoga and Kamasutra. Was it dumb chance that they came up with these things as well? I have a medical condition that has no treatment in modern medicine, but is completely cured in Ayurveda today. Granted they are much easier subjects and accordingly they have delivered specifics and details. For this difficult subject, how did they get it directionally correct?

(24-01-2016 08:52 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  That it IS a guessing game is easy to see in how people are playing it, though. The point of commonality in these religions is that they extrapolate ideas and metaphors from their primitive time, things that the human authors of the universe would be familiar with, to the larger forces governing the universe. The Abrahamic religions, for example, extrapolated the notion of an absolute lord as king of all reality. Many religions extrapolated the cyclical nature of the seasons or heavens to a cyclical pattern to all existence. One of the most common ways to make gods are to anthropmorphize natural or abstract forces, such as a god behind the natural phenomenon of lightning (Thor or Zeus) or a god behind the abstract concept of destruction (Shiva).

Again, you may be right. However, I would like to give them the benefit of the doubt at this point.

The concept of God in Sanatan Dharma is amazingly deep intellectually and very hard to logically dispute if we get down to it. We can have this discussion as a separate thread. Remember, its a 3-5k years old spiritual theory developed by some very intelligent people and one that has been debated and accordingly refined over the millenniums and spread across multiple scriptures/documents that corroborate and/or contradict each other. Its clearly a work of man (not God) trying to give some pretty good logical explanations as to the reason for existence. Spiritual in nature, nevertheless no less intellectually stimulating.
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(24-01-2016 08:52 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  The commonality of method is this: First, someone comes up with the doctrine. Bonus points for it being poetic or superficially deep. Yes, I know that should be an oxymoron, but somehow it works in practice. Second, have people accept and believe it on faith rather than subject it to a rigorous and critical examination that would eliminate it from consideration if it proved to be false. Bonus points if the believers are willing to punish or silence the critics in all manner of brutal methods. Third, propogate this faith-based belief down through the generations. And fourth, use confirmation bias to register all the hits, ignore all the misses, and often mischaracterize misses as hits. Your own post is a prime example of this.

I agree that what you described above is a reasonable description of how the business of religion operates. However, lets go deeper into the actual theosophy. Budha according to me is one of best philosophers of the human mind to have walked this earth. For example, in 500BC, he said: "what you see, hear, smell, taste, and feel, we do so with our mind". He understood that the brain is the center of all perceptions and that is why no two people may like the same food, music or even an idea. There is much more to just this phrase of his, but like I said, we can have this discussion in a separate thread.

(24-01-2016 08:52 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  This is how ALL the religions worked. Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Shinto, ALL OF THEM. Even modern, invented religions like Scientology are falling into this pattern. And this method -- let's give it the name "epistemological faith", meaning "I believe this because I have a per-determined conviction in it as doctrine despite a lack of evidence for it and despite evidence against it" -- has a woefully abysmal track record for being right. If every religion but yours is wrong -- and there's a hell of a lot of those -- then even if the one lotto ticket got lucky (it didn't) epistemological faith has guided a hell of a lot of people to false beliefs and is a shitty way of knowing anything. It IS just guessing.

Again, I agree with your description of how the business of religion operates. Budha for example only tried to teach his method of self-realization (know your self) and shared his view of the spiritual world. Born a Hindu, he broke away from Hinduism due to its unbelievable oppression and subversion and took its fundamental teachings and proceed to spread them. He was absolutely against the business of religion and using him as God figure, but after his death, that is exactly what Buddhists do today.

(24-01-2016 08:52 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  So how did the ancient Hindus come to their beliefs? THEY GUESSED. If their horseshoe landed closer to the stake than most beliefs -- and that's still an if -- that doesn't mean they were any better than anyone else. Get a bunch of people with weak arms and terrible aim and SOMEONE'S horseshoe is going to end up closer to the stake, regardless of how much they all equally suck. Given how many ringers science has thrown and how few religion has thrown, I think the best strategy is to ignore religion entirely and pay attention to the science. And if there comes a point where science and religion do agree on one or two items, then hey, paying attention to science will let me know they're true, and paying attention to the religion will not.

If you have read my counter points above, I don't think I need to discuss much here. Science is an ever refining process and the ancient folks may have been much cruder by today's standards, but nonetheless they deserve credit for it.

Look at it this way: Right now, we do not have any scientific discipline that deals with "why was the universe created". How/when have answers, but not why. Spirituality is all about the why. Let the poor folks come up with theories and explanations.. at least they are trying. Science is not in the game of answering why yet. So until the time it does, lets not throw too many stones at the spiritual seekers.
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24-01-2016, 11:32 PM
RE: How did an old religion get it directionally right?
(24-01-2016 11:16 PM)Paleophyte Wrote:  
(24-01-2016 04:08 PM)SNair Wrote:  My Question: For a religion that is well over 3000 years old, from all the possible explanations and descriptions they could have developed for the creation and nature of the universe, why did they develop this one?

They didn't. You have managed to post hoc shoehorn bits of your religion into something that vaguely resembles parts of one of many theories regarding cosmology. I've seen Christianity and Islam do just as much for exactly the same reason and using exactly the same methods. You'll receive what they did for their efforts.

Thousands of gullible believers?

OP, what happens if current theory is updated or proved wrong? Then your 3000 year old amazing Hindu priests got it wrong too? Or do you reinterpret some vague woo-woo pronouncements to say "Oh no, my *interpretation* of what the 3000 year old never-wrong priests said was wrong."

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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24-01-2016, 11:39 PM
RE: How did an old religion get it directionally wrong?
(24-01-2016 09:44 PM)jennybee Wrote:  You could also do this same thing with virtually any religion. There are several books I read as a Christian written by "scientists" and woo peddlers like Ray Comfort (check out his book Scientific Facts in The Bible-- if you want a good laugh) who claim that the OT and NT have scientific facts written within their pages.

No, no, no. To appreciate the genius of Ray Comfort one must Experience it.

Behold! The Atheist's Nightmare!

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24-01-2016, 11:42 PM
RE: How did an old religion get it directionally right?
(24-01-2016 11:39 PM)Paleophyte Wrote:  
(24-01-2016 09:44 PM)jennybee Wrote:  You could also do this same thing with virtually any religion. There are several books I read as a Christian written by "scientists" and woo peddlers like Ray Comfort (check out his book Scientific Facts in The Bible-- if you want a good laugh) who claim that the OT and NT have scientific facts written within their pages.

No, no, no. To appreciate the genius of Ray Comfort one must Experience it.

Behold! The Atheist's Nightmare!

I'm a dumb bastard. For a while I thought you were a xian.

Sorry.

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24-01-2016, 11:51 PM (This post was last modified: 25-01-2016 12:21 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: How did an old religion get it directionally right?
(24-01-2016 11:31 PM)SNair Wrote:  So just like modern day science evolves its theories based on observations and new findings, so did the science of the people of ancient civilizations. I find it hard to believe these claims were mere dumb luck. It could however very well based on the knowledge at the time, which could in turn be have been wrong.

There is nothing different about this, than all the other religions claiming "foreknowledge" (prophecy). In fact they said nothing SPECIFIC that everyone else at the time didn't know. The "scientific method" was unknown in human history as as idea until a couple hundred years ago. Clearly you know nothing of science. They had no null hypothesis or any other steps of what is called "science" today. Humans have always made observations and looked for patterns. It's what our species does. It's not science until the "scientific revolution" happened.

(24-01-2016 11:31 PM)SNair Wrote:  If you pin me down to provide specifics of how OHM could be the first sound heard, I cannot. However, I find it interesting that a 3-5k old civilization made such a claim, especially when looked at along with other claims pertaining to nature of the universe.

Actually their creation myths were very similar to others, which you chose to ignore.

(24-01-2016 11:31 PM)SNair Wrote:  Again, considering they were people who objectively and scientifically analyzed things (contributions in other fields I mentioned above),


Provide references and examples. The Kama Sutra is not a work of science.

(24-01-2016 11:31 PM)SNair Wrote:  Its not ancient religion vs science... but ancient science vs modern science.

They had no "science" or scientific method. They made observations, and knew nothing unique.

(24-01-2016 11:31 PM)SNair Wrote:  Look at it this way: Right now, we do not have any scientific discipline that deals with "why was the universe created". How/when have answers, but not why. Spirituality is all about the why. Let the poor folks come up with theories and explanations.. at least they are trying. Science is not in the game of answering why yet. So until the time it does, lets not throw too many stones at the spiritual seekers.

Your definition may be about that question. It will NEVER be the subject for science as there is no way to test it. "Trying", by making up babble is worthless. Chaos Theory and Evolution demonstrate there is no "why". Making up a fake "why" is not helpful, nor is pretending the ancients had the answer to something they didn't, just because your ambiguity tolerance is low, and you need for cognitive closure is high.

And BTW, the ancient Arabs knew a hell of a lot more about astronomy and math than your boys in the Indus Valley.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pareidolia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apophenia

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24-01-2016, 11:57 PM
RE: How did an old religion get it directionally right?
Wisdom of the ancients Rolleyes I mean, Hindu / Indian civilization goes back thousands of years and they got up to some pretty nifty tricks, but why they're acclaimed as wiser than modern scientists... ? Why is that? And OP, how strong is your physics background? There're some guys here who study that shit full-time. How can you say that your boys were top-notch and had theories matching current ones, if you yourself do not study modern physics and understand it?

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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25-01-2016, 12:04 AM
RE: How did an old religion get it directionally right?
(24-01-2016 09:44 PM)jennybee Wrote:  
(24-01-2016 08:54 PM)WhiskeyDebates Wrote:  That's not what a sharp-shooter fallacy means, don't act like a twat.

I'd also point a few other things: Firstly that you are engaged confirmation bias, counting the hits but ignoring the misses, which is inherently misleading if not intentionally dishonest.

Secondly you are trying to relate superstitious writings to shit that doesn't exist. You have to show that a "universal consciousness" not only exists but that it's capable of creating a universe and that it did. Also you would have to show how you can create a universe with a sound/ fluctuation is space time when a universe has to exist for their to be space time. Got your cart before your horse there kiddo.
So no Theosophists are just wrong, your superstitions can't be in line with science if the science your saying it's in line with is a bunch of disproven, unproven, or just plain made up nonsense.

You're just trying to weld your personal beliefs on to science, nonsense science no less, after the fact.

You could also do this same thing with virtually any religion. There are several books I read as a Christian written by "scientists" and woo peddlers like Ray Comfort (check out his book Scientific Facts in The Bible-- if you want a good laugh) who claim that the OT and NT have scientific facts written within their pages.

If you break down enough pieces of (any) religion, you may find shreds of things that could line up with science. For example, yes, there is a cyclical universe in Hinduism *but* the death and destruction of the earth will come about by the Hindu god, Shiva (also known as the Destroyer). In order to line pieces up with science (or sort of line pieces up with science), you'll have to wring out the woo as is done here by simply saying "cyclical universe" and leave out the part that a Hindu god is going to be the one who is going to destroy things.

I do understand where you are coming from, but I feel one mistake you are doing is using a very broad religion-is-bullshit brush to paint everything and anything that has a religious connotation. Anyway, I am replying to correct your concept of Shiva per Hinduism not to preach religion, but to just describe to you the actual theosophy involved.

In sanatan dharma, there is only one God called the Brahaman and described as the ultimate reality of the universe. Since we humans can only perceive through our senses, this concept of an omnipotent entity need to be abstracted to a form our senses can perceive. Hence the concept of Vigrah, meaning "description of the one". It can be any vigrah (description) you like as the sole purpose is to invoke in you the reverence of this omnipotent entity. Thus the countless forms of idols (visual description), names (auditory description) and procedural descriptions in sanatan dharma. You could take a piece of scrap metal and make that your vigrah. All that matters is that it invokes the feeling of spirituality in you when you look at it. Shiva is nothing but one such description. Followers of this description are called "Shaivism". The three large groups at the time in Indus Valley were Shaivism, Vaishnavism (Vishnu) and Smartism (Bhrama) and they decided they wanted to carve out a specific role for their favorite vigrah (description of god) and Bhrama was made the creator, Vishnu the sustainer and Shiva the destroyer.

The theory of a cyclical universe in sanatan dharma is not based on an actual god called Shiva coming and destroying it and another god called Brahama creating a new one. These are just names given by their respective believers as I described above.
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25-01-2016, 12:09 AM (This post was last modified: 25-01-2016 12:13 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: How did an old religion get it directionally right?
(25-01-2016 12:04 AM)SNair Wrote:  You could take a piece of scrap metal and make that your vigrah. All that matters is that it invokes the feeling of spirituality in you when you look at it. Shiva is nothing but one such description.

Drugs can do that. Beer can do that. Why do you think people meditate ? They get high ? http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7669835
So you're claiming it comes down to "feelings". Feelings are brain chemistry. Nothing more. There is nothing mystical or religious about brain chemistry. The "feeling" of "awe" and "beauty" are reproducible, by science.

What is "theosophy" anyway ?

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25-01-2016, 12:10 AM
RE: How did an old religion get it directionally right?
(24-01-2016 11:57 PM)morondog Wrote:  Wisdom of the ancients Rolleyes I mean, Hindu / Indian civilization goes back thousands of years and they got up to some pretty nifty tricks, but why they're acclaimed as wiser than modern scientists... ? Why is that? And OP, how strong is your physics background? There're some guys here who study that shit full-time. How can you say that your boys were top-notch and had theories matching current ones, if you yourself do not study modern physics and understand it?

Where did I claim they were wiser than modern scientists? Shocking
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25-01-2016, 12:21 AM
RE: How did an old religion get it directionally right?
(25-01-2016 12:10 AM)SNair Wrote:  
(24-01-2016 11:57 PM)morondog Wrote:  Wisdom of the ancients Rolleyes I mean, Hindu / Indian civilization goes back thousands of years and they got up to some pretty nifty tricks, but why they're acclaimed as wiser than modern scientists... ? Why is that? And OP, how strong is your physics background? There're some guys here who study that shit full-time. How can you say that your boys were top-notch and had theories matching current ones, if you yourself do not study modern physics and understand it?

Where did I claim they were wiser than modern scientists? Shocking

Facepalm So what's the point of paying attention to them if they're not? Your little game of retro-fitting myth to whatever your dream of the latest science is is *old* and pointless. Ahhh, hang on a sec, you're one of those "Vedic mathematicians invented everything and Hindu civilisation is the most glorious" people, aren't you? Greek civ > Hindu civ Tongue

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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