Is Hinduism Smarter than Theism?
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26-04-2012, 06:50 PM
Is Hinduism Smarter than Theism?
I note that within Western Atheism, Hinduism and other Eastern religions tend, quite understandably, to get minimal coverage.

Eastern religions Hinduism started in the Hindus Valley with Aryan invaders adopting and extending the prevailing indigenous religion some thousans of years pre Christianity. Unlike Judaism a plethora of gods were created with Brahma seen as the creator God and other lesser gods existing in something of an hierarchichal order.

Aside from all the gods (thousands of varying degree) the controlling body consisted of the priesthood or Brahmin who largely ran the show, authoring, via their priesthood massive works such as the Bhagahavad Gita and other instructional books.
The other main classes were the military, commerce and artisans along with the untouchables (Dalits) who did the most menial and degrading of work.

The alleged ethical system posits a higher ethical system or systems in which the soul, as distinct from the physical body experiences a multitude of "lives" progressing and regressing in what might be likened to a form of spiritual evolution.
Bad karma following bad acts leads to further suffering and vice versa and this is seen as cause and effect as adjudicated by an ineffable being.

If we ignore the multitude of difficulties and compare this with Christianity, I think it makes more sense.

In Christianity the usual but not total approach, is that humans live one life of any duration and are then judged, based on some highly questionable notion of free will, to be resurrected intact to enjoy a better place, or as some claim burn for eternity or simply become extinct.

I see the reincarnation approach, in some way as more attractive by virtue of the multitude of soul lives having the opportunity to "grow" over a huge space of time and become progressively more cognizant of what potential cosmic things are all about. As a metaphysical theory relating to eternal (more??) 'life' in my view makes a lot more sense than the Judaeo/ Christian one life only chance for salvation.

I have glossed over here to a huge degree and there are many problems for me with Hinduism in all its forms, and with all its off shoots. Simply put, I just want to question the .....multi life/ multi chance line of thought as opposed to the one- chance seeming absurdity of theism. Interestingly early Jesus followers were not opposed to the idea of reincarnation, such becoming anathema round 500A.D.
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26-04-2012, 06:58 PM
RE: Is Hinduism Smarter than Theism?
I don't see any reason to believe in reincarnation, either. Why would it "make a lot more sense" than the other unverifiable hypothesis of the Christians?

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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26-04-2012, 08:13 PM
RE: Is Hinduism Smarter than Theism?
I would say that it's basically like this:
One group believes that god is the wind.
One group believes that god is fire.
One group believes that god is the sun.
One group believes that god lives in the river.
Which religion makes more sense?

The old gods are dead, let's invent some new ones before something really bad happens.
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26-04-2012, 10:54 PM
RE: Is Hinduism Smarter than Theism?
As far as I'm concerned, the only aspect of Hindu philosophy worth taking away is the concept of non-dualism. While I feel that even this concept has its limitations because it is not falsifiable, the idea of oneness does have value.


And I know, based on conversations with a Hindu holy man in Miami that certain schools of Hindu philosophy do not believe in concepts like the soul or the afterlife.


The Hindu holy man expressed these beliefs by first asking the group in attendance,“have you ever looked out at the ocean on a sunny day? You ever notice that there seem to be a limitless number of glimmers of light reflecting off the surface of the water?”


He then went on to assert, “much like those glimmers of light are simply illusory reflections of the sun, all of you are simply reflections of Brahman (e.g. oneness/singularity/nondualism). Moreover, what you believe to be your eternal souls are also just illusions; reflections of a singular source, much like those reflections on the water are simply illusions being cast by a singular star."

I remember some Christians in the room being perplexed and asking questions about how this impacted concepts like heaven, hell, god, Jesus, the afterlife, etc.
The holy man just laughed.

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26-04-2012, 11:32 PM (This post was last modified: 26-04-2012 11:50 PM by Mr Woof.)
RE: Is Hinduism Smarter than Theism?
(26-04-2012 06:58 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  I don't see any reason to believe in reincarnation, either. Why would it "make a lot more sense" than the other unverifiable hypothesis of the Christians?
An idea does not have to be verified in order to ponder over it.

If a phenomenon roughly akin to God existed, the vehicle enabling spiritual growth appears, to me.far more convincing than the Christian formula because in Christianity the general teaching involves the judgement of a solitary individual.
A soul experiencing a multitude of negative and positive experience could arguably grow experientially.


Thomas.I see religions as largely making a dangerous shamble by creating their own gods.

I do not hold that ideas need not be considered because they do not meet falsefiability criteria .


(26-04-2012 10:54 PM)lightninlives Wrote:  As far as I'm concerned, the only aspect of Hindu philosophy worth taking away is the concept of non-dualism. While I feel that even this concept has its limitations because it is not falsifiable, the idea of oneness does have value.


And I know, based on conversations with a Hindu holy man in Miami that certain schools of Hindu philosophy do not believe in concepts like the soul or the afterlife.


The Hindu holy man expressed these beliefs by first asking the group in attendance,“have you ever looked out at the ocean on a sunny day? You ever notice that there seem to be a limitless number of glimmers of light reflecting off the surface of the water?”


He then went on to assert, “much like those glimmers of light are simply illusory reflections of the sun, all of you are simply reflections of Brahman (e.g. oneness/singularity/nondualism). Moreover, what you believe to be your eternal souls are also just illusions; reflections of a singular source, much like those reflections on the water are simply illusions being cast by a singular star."

I remember some Christians in the room being perplexed and asking questions about how this impacted concepts like heaven, hell, god, Jesus, the afterlife, etc.
The holy man just laughed.
Sounds like an unusually smart holy man.

Even if reincarnation was true as most Hindus, as distinct from many Buddhists believe, our 'self' would seem to become a nothing in terms of how our ego perceives our existence; in other words, a speculated ongoing soul seems pretty remote from our consciousness as we understand it.

Could perhaps many tenuously linked souls impact on a state of eventual non duality? Huh
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27-04-2012, 04:06 PM
RE: Is Hinduism Smarter than Theism?
The problem is:

1, like other religions one group has power over another group for no other reason than “because we say so”

2, there is as much proof of reincarnation as there is proof of “suddenly fish, loads of them!”

There are other issues too but this will do.

One of the many things that totally wind me up to the point of ranting and raving and screaming at the sky is when we have some self elicited “moral leader” saying how it’s all peace and love with his form of dementia and then dribbles on about how woman/gays/blacks/lower born/disabled/red heads/left handed/people from other places/religions/backgrounds/last names/you/your friends/family/pets/etc aren’t worthy of being saved/touched/educated/breathing/medical attention.

Hinduism has the lower cast, who gave them the right to point at someone and say they are not worthy of human contact?

Reincarnation, as much as I like the idea it has some huge and obvious flaws.

There are about 7 billion people flapping about on the earth right now doing what they do.

There used to be less of us, so where did the extra incarnations come from?

The idea is that as we progress through life we learn things and what we don’t learn we have a shot at in the following life.

But as we don’t get to keep what we picked up from our last run it’s kinda pointless isn’t it?

From an atheist point of view it gives me many more gods and goddesses not to believe in.

A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything. Friedrich Nietzsche
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27-04-2012, 07:15 PM
RE: Is Hinduism Smarter than Theism?
(26-04-2012 11:32 PM)Mr Woof Wrote:  
(26-04-2012 06:58 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  I don't see any reason to believe in reincarnation, either. Why would it "make a lot more sense" than the other unverifiable hypothesis of the Christians?
An idea does not have to be verified in order to ponder over it.

If a phenomenon roughly akin to God existed, the vehicle enabling spiritual growth appears, to me.far more convincing than the Christian formula because in Christianity the general teaching involves the judgement of a solitary individual.
A soul experiencing a multitude of negative and positive experience could arguably grow experientially.


Thomas.I see religions as largely making a dangerous shamble by creating their own gods.

I do not hold that ideas need not be considered because they do not meet falsefiability criteria .


(26-04-2012 10:54 PM)lightninlives Wrote:  As far as I'm concerned, the only aspect of Hindu philosophy worth taking away is the concept of non-dualism. While I feel that even this concept has its limitations because it is not falsifiable, the idea of oneness does have value.


And I know, based on conversations with a Hindu holy man in Miami that certain schools of Hindu philosophy do not believe in concepts like the soul or the afterlife.


The Hindu holy man expressed these beliefs by first asking the group in attendance,“have you ever looked out at the ocean on a sunny day? You ever notice that there seem to be a limitless number of glimmers of light reflecting off the surface of the water?”


He then went on to assert, “much like those glimmers of light are simply illusory reflections of the sun, all of you are simply reflections of Brahman (e.g. oneness/singularity/nondualism). Moreover, what you believe to be your eternal souls are also just illusions; reflections of a singular source, much like those reflections on the water are simply illusions being cast by a singular star."

I remember some Christians in the room being perplexed and asking questions about how this impacted concepts like heaven, hell, god, Jesus, the afterlife, etc.
The holy man just laughed.
Sounds like an unusually smart holy man.

Even if reincarnation was true as most Hindus, as distinct from many Buddhists believe, our 'self' would seem to become a nothing in terms of how our ego perceives our existence; in other words, a speculated ongoing soul seems pretty remote from our consciousness as we understand it.

Could perhaps many tenuously linked souls impact on a state of eventual non duality? Huh
It's a nice story and a mind-opening analogy in its own right but I don't believe or ponder reincarnation or the concept of a soul.

I believe that I will utterly and completely cease to exist when I physically die . Here are some extremely powerful videos that focus on this specific topic:
http://youtu.be/syNVg8V4EQU

http://youtu.be/RBEE8Yfr3AM

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28-04-2012, 07:22 PM
RE: Is Hinduism Smarter than Theism?
From what I read years ago, I gathered that the Hindu gods were more like figurative representations of human traits or endeavors. Not a physical being one might actually encounter under any circumstances.

I thought that was a much better idea than the abrehamic god but then a Hindu friend told me it's not the case. She might actually expect to run into Shiva.

Still confused about that.

"While religions tell us next to nothing useful or true about the universe, they do tell us an enormous amount - perhaps an embarrassing amount - about ourselves, about what we value, fear and lust after." Iain M Banks
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28-04-2012, 07:56 PM
RE: Is Hinduism Smarter than Theism?
The "future life " pundits use whatever they can, from any source, to come up with weird notions of totally remote and unstructured "after lives"

It is not impossible, unless we totally accept science at its present state of evolution, that "we" are, in some very remote state, linked to some cosmic experiment for an unknowable term post mortem. Even here it need not be eternal.

There are no parameters to infinity, so there is no reason to conclude more than secular reason and empirical science offers, us and as for pondering an ineffable cosmos, all religions can only deal with guess work and a strange form of hope not indicated by the nature of things our finite analyses provide us.
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