[Advaita-l] 'End' not 'Means'

Aditya Varun Chadha adichad at gmail.com
Thu Apr 27 11:54:07 CDT 2006

On 4/27/06, Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com> wrote:
> A typical society only has one policeman for every few thousand citizens.
> Pratyaksha shows it is very easy to commit a crime without being caught.
> Yet civilization hasn't disintegrated into an orgy of muder, rape, and
> theft.  Why?  Because the "still small voice" of which poets speak is a
> more powerful motivator of behavior than a crude fear of punishment.

the "still small voice" does not have scriptures as a NECESSARY
prerequisite. nAstika societies are no more or less "harmonious" (in
terms of ethical behaviour) than Astika ones.

> So the skeptical position, no matter how useful it is (and I agree that it
> is) is ultimately a pose.  This is why for all their good intentions, I
> think people who rely on a skeptical approach to the "why" of religion,
> end up with weakened faith.  They are a substituting a new set of
> assumtions and claims not clarifying the old ones.

scepticism SHOULD be used as a tool for clarification of old
assumptions and claims, but ofcourse, comes with the possibility of
falsifying those claims. Without a hint of scepticism are we not being

> Really?  What is the SI unit of Adhikara?
> It is also important in the design of an experiment to know exactly what
> you are trying to measure.  "effect on society" is too broad and vague.
> If you could measure how many Vedic-studying women got mukti as opposed to
> a control group that studied e.g. Ramayana then I suppose that would be
> more definitive.  And you would get a Nobel prize for sure :-)

to measure adhikAra by measuring the effect of letting women study the
vedas and recording the demographics of how many attain mukti. Thanks
for clarifying the quantity subject to measurement yourself. Yes, the
existence of such an experiment proves that the Sruti's stand on women
studying the vedas IS falsifiable.

No, I don't think I'd get the Nobel prize, because it would not be
that significant a result. The existence of such an experiment is
trivial to see.

> > All this is based on the assumptions that
> > * ethics are evolutionary in nature (CAN be developed from pratyakSa,
> > as conscientious nAstik philosophers might do). i.e. ethics are
> > subject to pratyakSa
> > * "Sruti is a fully correct depiction of (spiritual/esoteric/evident)
> > reality" is a theory (is falsifiable)
> >
> But there's the rub.  Astikas don't accept these assumptions.  So we are
> back to square 1.

Actually, the second point is not an assumption. it is a logical
consequence of the existence of the experiment that you yourself have
clarified above. So whoever believes that Sruti is not FALSIFIABLE
(different from "false", mind you) against pratyakSa when dealing with
issues of Acharan, they are simply wrong. come on man, you yourself
admit to the existence of the experiment and its conductability.

Do you see the qualititative difference between "brahman exists" and
"women should not read the vedas"? the difference is that the first is
not falsifiable but the second is. No two ways about it. by specifying
the exact experiment, you yourself have proved that the second
statement is falsifiable.

Aditya Varun Chadha | http://www.adichad.com | +91 9840076411 (M)
Room#1024, Cauvery Hostel | IIT Madras | Chennai - 600036 | India

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