Asathya Sri Longus Thuma This is just a flawed generalization, isn’t it Yapa Thumani? There are ‘great truths’, ‘better rulers’, ‘better cultures’, ‘better histories, ‘better religions’, and ‘better restaurants’! Isn’t it so?Asathya Sri Longus Thuma So, there ARE ‘barbarians’ and ‘civilized people’, ‘glorious leaders’ and ‘wicked despots’, ‘noble people’ and ‘backward savages’, ‘great religions’ and ‘primitive superstitions’, ‘adventurers and ‘invaders’ etc?
Asathya Sri Longus Thuma That’s sad. What I want to show is, that nothing is equal; always there are better ones in quality. Now, Yapa Thumani, having said that, does it mean that quality always plays a role. I mean you don’t play Beethoven’s or Mozart’s music at a party; you play some low quality stuff. Why? In the same way, whatever the ‘truth’ you are talking about in Siddartha Gauthama’s teachings, it may not be as “user-friendly” as that ‘Magic Jew’s” religion. The magic jew has told that you can believe in his father and He’ll look after you; solve your problems; cure your sickness; pass your exam; and even win you a lottery! He has also told that this life is merely a temporary accommodation(like a stop-over at an airport) and your permanent life will be in heaven after this life-with his father! You can confess and be free of all your sins and also you can give all your troubles to ‘God’ and be mentally free.
Now, as far as the usefulness is concerned, can you tell that Magic Jew’s religion is inferior?
P Senarath Yapa In short, what you say is “ignorance could be bliss”, and it should be accepted in that event (on the basis of usefulness)?
[In reality shows who is better, “hondama tharuwa (best star)” or “janppriyama tharuwa (most popular star)”?]
Asathya Sri Longus Thuma In fact ignorance is a bliss, when it comes to such things, as long as it helps that person. For a pilot who is flying a plane it is immaterial whether he knows the universe is expanding or not; whether omega is 0 or 1!
Priyanjith Perera I beg your prdon for intervening in this philosophical dialogue between two well-known philosophers of our time. The problem I see when you brand one is better than the other is that it will give you the right to make the latter better. That was what British colonial masters thought when they tried to civilse their subjects in the colonies by introducing their relegion, language, customs etc. When you think relegion A is better than B you will automatically acquire the right to convert followers of B to A. It seems to be alright to categorize art into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ because it is accepted by all mankind that there is such distinction. (Please llow me to correct a ASLT’statement. Jews do not confess. Confession is only in Catholicism)Asathya Sri Longus Thuma You are welcome, Priyanjith Muni Thumani! First of all, I was talking about Christianity in common where confession is advocated as a means of repenting sin. As you know a Jewish reformer founded that religion.
You seem to have understood the complicated state of affairs in popular generalizations as the one above. They look OK and fair on the outside, but when you look deeply, the logic seems to fall apart.
Did you think, why it seems alright to categorize art, restaurants, airlines, cakes, etc and not some other things like religions? There seems to be no reason to say so, Muni Thumani. As you say the British, Spanish and the Portuguese did it, converted the natives to their religion(most of the time forcibly), because they thought that the natives’ religions were inferior to theirs. But we saw, that according to Hon.Yapa, this is the other way around. If you ask why, he may go into fine details of Buddhist philosophy and say that because of these and these, Buddhism is superior to other religions.
This is exactly the point the above illustration is trying to highlight.
Therefore I request Hon. Yapa to once again please be kind enough to elaborate your reasons to say that Siddhartha Gauthama’s teachings are superior to (say) Jesus’ teachings.
Asathya Sri Longus Thuma Yapa Thumani, the ‘popularity’ of something was not what I meant. I said ‘usefulness’ and it could be popular or unpopular.(Even if it is unpopular), if hanging on to a myth helps a person, it does some good to him. If a person believes that he is getting ‘eternal happiness’ and all his sins are forgiven, there is nothing wrong in believing so. After all, nobody is going to come back after death and tell you that their sins were not forgiven and there is no ‘eternal happiness’. He is not going to tell you that his ‘karma’ was following him and he was born as a worm as a result of it. So how do we know?Priyanjith Perera The logic does not fall apart as long as we are very clear about what we say. When we say a restaurant is better than the other we should tell the people in what aspect it is better. Is it the space, service, food etc? We have set criteria to say one is better than the other. For instance one restaurant is bigger than the other and it is objective evaluation. But when it comes to art it is not so straightforward. However, when somebody says Van Gogh’s ‘sun flowers’ is better than my ‘sun flower’ he has to put forward the criteria to say so and he would. Likewise, if somebody says Buddhism is better than, say, Islam he has to put forward the criteria he used to say so. However, we should remember that the aximatic truth Buddhist take for granted need not be so with the others. For instance, one would say Buddhism is a more ‘non-violent’ relgion than Islam. This is a fact. But the question is whether this fact is enough to say Buddhism is better than Islam. In whose eyes is it better? In the Buddhist eyes of course. This is because the Buddhists think that there is a universally accepted defintion of non-violence. Therefore, I would like Yapa to put forward his criteria on which he based his conclusion that Buddhism is better than other relegions.
An Ram Sorry to interject in your highly intellectual discussion. Conversion is not saying one religion is better than the other. Conversion depersonalises victim and severs the roots of the converted and controls his or her life. This is a wonderful ploy to pacify the conquered populations and neutralise any dissent. When Christianity was in it,s infancy Rome hijacked it to prolong the life of the failing Roman empire for another millennium or so. Religion is cultural, nothing more and nothing less. It is an instrument of control. And conversion creates a fifth column and sows the seeds of cultural invasion. In that sense it is no different to Macdonalds and Coke. Will you say Mac is better than KFC or Coke is better than Pepsi.? I prefer to cook at home.Asathya Sri Longus Thuma Once, I told Sri Dayapala Thuma that it is very difficult to find what is better in comparable cultures. It’s like the normal distribution curve. Any judgement on the majority of it is purely subjective. But, it doesn’t mean that there are things that fall outside this mainstream. For example head-hunter’s cultures, stoning to death for apostasy, honour killings, and female genital mutilations of some religions can be cited. Aren’t these inferior practices in whatever the yard-stick you use to judge them?
P Senarath Yapa I think we should go to fundamentals rather than to details to resolve the issue of existence/non existence of differences.
I think as ASLT has said, in principle two things are different ‘unless they are congruent’.
In first principles, A=A and, A does not =B.
Can anybody conclude Islam=Christianity=Buddhism?
It is true that there are similarities among them, however, existence of similarities does not eliminate the existence of differences! In such a case not the similarities, but the differences dominate and make them dissimilar in total.
A single difference makes two things different despite the existence of thousand similarities in them.
I think truth should be regarded as truth disregarding the nature of its implications; whether they are beneficial or harmful (to humans).
Should the existence of a Tsunami be denied just because it is harmful to humans? Should religions be regarded as equal as somebody could interpret them for the benefit of their religions?
(Will the truth be different if it is differently harmful or beneficial to other animals other than the humans?)
If we go further than identifying differences among the religions and move forward to objectively analyze of them to have an hierarchy of merits, wouldn’t such a misuse be prevented? If we can and are prepared to undertake identify parameters to prepare hierarchies in almost everything, what is the wrong in analyzing religions to see their merits and demerits of them to keep them in a hierarchical sequence? Over a several billion people of the world would relieved of the burden of having mis-beliefs if that is done.If the endeavour of Science is to discover the truth eliminating untruth from it in physical world and if it is hailed even if there could be bad repercussions (for instance nuclear energy), why the endeavour of finding truth in religions are not hailed but objected?
At in my opinion, at least truth should not be denied, as it cannot be denied, if not for any other reason.
In principle I don’t see any reason as to why one should not go for a better belief system (if really they want) rather than keep on believing a religion which adores inferior belief system such as head hunting or so, as ASLT has mentioned.
People should move forward and appreciate improvements in their ideologies, at least we should accept this in principle. We should throw away the “hanamiti” and gradually go for “yakada miti”, ridee miti”, “run miti” and “diamond mities”, throwing away the “preceding mities”.
Priyanjith Perera Yapa’s comment is very interesting. He seems to say that there is only one ‘truth’ in the this world therefore, there is no harm telling people about it. The inference, I made from his writing is that this so called ‘truth’ is Buddhism. On the other hand, people who follows Abrahaminic relegions would say the truth is in the ‘Creator God’. How are we going to resolve this conflict? Does Yapa have any instrument, philosophical of ortherwise, to solve this and come to a concrete conclusion? We judge others using our ‘frame of reference’. We do not understand that others also have their ‘frames of reference’. According to a Jain ‘frame of reference’ as to the non-violence Buddhism is a relatively violent relgion as it is not so strict as Jainism about life.Priyanjith Perera Yapa also says that Buddhism is a better ‘belief’ system. We want to know the reasons? Basically all the relgions are based on ‘beleif sytstems’, which escape scientific verification. The ‘Nirvana’ and ‘God’ are both beyond our senses. The people, who say that they have personally experienced ‘God’ or ‘Nirvana’, will not be able to ‘prove’ to another person that they have done so. How can we say that ‘Nirvana’ is better than ‘GoD’?
Priyanjith, one of the most difficult things in the world is to guess what is in somebody else’ mind!
1. I do not believe that there is only one truth in this world.
2. I don’t say there aren’t any instances telling truth is harmful.
3. I am not talking about subjective beliefs of followers of any religion, and hence their judgments, but judgements based on an objective methodology.
4. Does Yapa have any instrument, philosophical of otherwise, to solve this and come to a concrete conclusion?
5. We judge others using our ‘frame of reference’
Not always, doesn’t science has a common frame of reference?
6. Yapa also says that Buddhism is a better ‘belief’ system.
YES!, objectively it is so.
7.Basically all the relgions are based on ‘beleif sytstems’, …..
Not always, and not everything in them at least.
8. …….which escape scientific verification.
Scientific verification fails most of the time in this regard, though it is effective in some cases. Scientific verification is possible on the things of the “phenomenal world”!
9. How can we say that ‘Nirvana’ is better than ‘GoD’?
Very simple.Asathya Sri Longus Thuma Yapa, according to your No.(3), you need an objective methodology. But according to your (8), this cannot be science. Then what is it that made you believe that your (6) is correct?
Priyanjith Perera Yapa, what you have given us is a set of conclusions. As you very well know, before you prove something you need to give us reasons so that we can examine those reasons whether they are acceptable or not. I awaiting how you prove your conclusions given under 4, 6, 7 and 9. If scientific verification is good only for the things in ‘phenomenal world how are you going to verify the things in ‘noumenal’ world. I think these two terms were introduced first by Kant to solve the conflict between ‘rationalists’ and ’empiricists’. This is from Wickipedia “Much of modern philosophy has generally been skeptical of the possibility of knowledge independent of the senses, and Immanuel Kant gave this point of view its canonical expression: that the noumenal world may exist, but it is completely unknowable to humans.”Priyanjith Perera Yapa, were you active in Groundsview discussion forum a few years ago? (I do not know whether you are still active as I havent been to it for last 3 years.) I am asking this because I engaged with a person named Yapa on similar topics many times. (BTW I used a pseudonym). In one, he promised me to prove Nirvana, Karma and Rebirth scientifically but did not!P Senarath Yapa If you think you offended me in GV and you think I am keeping a grudge over it, it is not so. I don’t keep grudges with anybody who engaged intellectually with me. Even with those who insulted me in debates I never take it beyond that point, however, I am not asking now to reveal your pseudonym, it is entirely a personal matter of yours.Asathya Sri Longus Thuma Back to the topic, people! If it is not science, it should be philosophical arguments. So let us see those philosophical arguments that led you to your conclusion, Yapa. If they are convincing and stand the trial, we all should accept what you say!P Senarath Yapa ASLT, Yes I stand no. (3). WRT (8) , I have not eliminated the possibility of using scientific verification, if you read it carefully you will realise. So, I think now you understand that your question about no. (6) doesn’t arise.Asathya Sri Longus Thuma So, what are those scientific or philosophical methodologies you have used to arrive at your conclusion?(Though this may require some repetition of your arguments posed on previous occasions, we need to know them again.)
P Senarath Yapa Ok, I will start from where I stopped, and you will witness the methodologies used, I think it is unnecessary to deal them separately describing them.
In the last serious post of mine, I showed with fundamentals that Islam, Christianity and Buddhism are not equal. In the case of all the other religions are it is the same.
Now will consider about the hierarchy of them (in the context of truthfulness)
1. The probability of an disproven thing (as untrue) is zero.
2.The probability of something that cannot be disproven/has not been disproven is more than or equals to zero.
so, the probability of something that cannot be disproven/has not been disproven is more than or equals to zero.
However, if there is any evidence (at least one piece of evidence) to support something cannot be disproven/have not been disproven,
Then, definitely the probability of something cannot bet diproven/has not been disproven s more than the probability of a disproven thing (as untrue).
Above is the theoretical basis we need to prove what I said I would prove.
Now, will apply this theory to the religions we considered.
1. All Abraham religions including Islam and Christianity say their doctrines are revelations of omnipotent, omnipresent and all compassionate God who created the world. God is the center of their religions.
Existence of such a God can be easily disproven, hence his revelations, therefore such revelations cannot exist.
2. The doctrine of Buddhism has not been proven untrue with the use of Empiricism or Rationalism and some of its doctrines can be supported with evidence and keep on consistent within the doctrine and also with the accepted knowledge forms discovered through other knowledge gaining systems and compatible with their findings such as Classical Physics, Modern Physics, Modern Psychology and Modern Philosophy.
So, in the context of truth, Buddhism is superior to those religions>
N.B. : I think you know how to disprove the God in those religions, I have said it in many discussions.
P Senarath Yapa Ok, there are several methods, each method comprehensively and separately disproves the God (in those religion)
1. Infinite Regression
Argument for God’s existence: The world is so systematic, therefore it cannot come into existence all by itself, therefore, there should be somebody to to create such a complicated thing without whom which is impossible.
Debunking: If the complicated design< world, was created by the God, he (or his brain or whatever the entity used to design it) must be a more complicated design than His design and , therefore God cannot come into existence by Himself but there must be somebody to create him. Therefore there must be a predecessor Creator to the God.
In this line every creator God must have a predecessor creator and world is not the fist creation, and also Creation “ends up with a Infinite Regression, which is a logical fallacy.
2. Averroes Argument.
Think of an omnipotent entity (being or a God or whatever it is)
Can this omnipotent create a stone he cannot lift?
a). If he can create: he cannot lift it. So he is not omnipotent.
b). If he cannot create such a stone: again he is not omnipotent as he cannot do it.
So omnipotence is an impossibility.
So, there cannot exist an omnipotent God.
3. Epicurus Argument-1
God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
4. Epicurus Argument-2
The universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust?
Further, God contradicts in thousands of cases with his other activities described in his so called revelations.Asathya Sri Longus Thuma Now, Yapa, what if the beginning of ‘God’ cannot be known?(because you cannot simply see that far!) Just like the beginning of ‘samsara’ or the beginning of ‘consciousness'(vin~nana) cannot be known?
P Senarath Yapa Yes, when those arguments are kept aside for a moment as inactive, Yes! they can claim so.
Howevr, those who claim so should prove it.
Can they do it or otherwise what is the credibility level of that unproven and unsupported claim? Isn’t it zero?
However, when something is disproven once, it is disproven for ever. You don’t need to disprove each and every tit bit of it.
Asathya Sri Longus Thuma Yapa, Buddha has told (when asked about the beginning of ‘samsara’ and ‘vin~nana’) that it is unanswerable! Does that mean samsara and vin~nana are disproven?P Senarath Yapa No! It was unanswered. That is all.
Understand the difference between:
1. Claim that there exists a beginning to the world (creation by God)
2. Refusal to give an answer to a question which either do not have an answer or the answer can not be worked out.
Now, in God’s case he claimed he caused the beginning, which can be comprehensively disproven and you must understand that He can not be resurrected, with unproven claims or even with a sound argument if there is such arguments.
Disproven once, disproven forever, I must re-remind to you.
Can you disprove what the Buddha said about consciousness or universe by proving that they have a known beginning?
Was the Buddha’s claim contradicted or disputed the way it was done to the God’s claim that he created the world?
I think you understand the difference between disproof and doubting, giving the responsibility of it to the opposition and taking the benefit of it.
Disproof is a claim of the claimant who says he/she can do it and does so.
I claimed I can disprove God’s claim and disproved the same. If you claim Buddha can be disproven of his claim, it is your responsibility to keep up with your claim.
I haven’t come across any methodology so far to prove that universe has a limit or consciousness has a beginning.
Try and find one, you would be considered by the generation to come as the greatest individual ever come into being surpassing even Siddharha Gauthama and the Buddhists will invariably accept you as their next anticipating Buddha, Maithree.
Try and disprove it if possible. Then I will accept that Buddhism too is no more than a religion of the level of Islam or Christianity or Judaism. I have no problem doing so, and I vow to do so and to give up Buddhism as my religion and to embrace any religion named by you.
N.B. 1. No argument can resurrect anything that has been disproven.
2. Negatives cannot be proven. Undisputable negatives remain intact as not disproven.
Asathya Sri Longus Thuma Most of your response was irrelevant, Yapa Thumani!
P Senarath Yapa “Most of your response was irrelevant, Yapa Thumani!”
That has been the “andapalai” you always had when something is proven beyond doubt against your contention.
Above statement/claim is just arbitrary, authoritative and made against sound arguments
Just take points from my arguments and dispute them specifically just without giving grand conclusions.
“Some people believe that Goat/God created the universe. But they don’t say that ‘God’ was created. You make a basic error in assuming so!”
What is the basic error, point to it specifically.
“The beginning of that Goat..er sorry, ‘God’ is not answerable. ”
Why not? the present God was created before the creation of the world and after the creation of his predecessor as per logic based on their own premise: Intelligent Design.
Even if this was not answered God was disproven in many other ways, (Keep in mind once disproven, he is disproven for ever)
Do you have any idea against this?
“He was there..there..there..and ..there..you cannot see his beginning. Just like the beginning of ‘samsara’…..”
That is your contention and will. But the beginning of the present God logically should be between the so called creation and his predecessor.
Another interesting logical implication is if the predecessor God did not die after the present God was created, there were two Gods at the same time which disputes the “One God” concept of those religions, as per the Infinite Regression argument I mentioned. There could have been and could be even today thousands of such Gods if they are eternal and do not die as claimed by their texts and followers.
In that argument the number of Gods in the Abrahamic religions must be more than the gods in Hinduism, 330 million.
So there is a chronological sequence of the beginnings for all the (logically implied) Gods as per that logic; Infinite Regression.
Can you show that there is a beginning to “Samasara” or consciousness or a limit to the universe?
“This is the same thing, Yapa Thumani! Goat was didn’t have a beginning, and so was ‘samsara’!”
Just a claim and your wishful thinking against my sound arguments.
Asathya Sri Longus Thuma If you have a problem of grasping things what can I do Yapa Thumani!
The believers of ‘God’ never say that their ‘God’ has a beginning. And the believers of ‘samsara’ don’t say that ‘samsara’ had a beginning. Understand?
Asathya Sri Longus Thuma Yapa Thumani, your first argument has failed to disprove Goat. Now you can try your second one.
P Senarath Yapa ” if you have a problem of grasping things what can I do Yapa Thumani!”
I don’t say you have a much of a problem of comprehension, but there is a difficulty to accept things against your contention.
“The believers of ‘God’ never say that their ‘God’ has a beginning”
Not only never say, they say He existed eternally, but, intelligent Design argument of theirs contradict and disproves the claim.
Therefore, according to their premise logically there should be a beginning to the God which contradicts their claim.
So, their claim is a logical fallacy.
Do you say “NO” with reasons?
Priyanjith Perera Yapa, this is the ‘cosmological argument’ put forward by Aquinas on the ‘first ause’. 1. Some things are caused.
2. Everything that is caused is caused by something else.
3. An infinite regress of causation is impossible.
4. Therefore, there must be an uncaused cause of all that is caused.
4. This cause, eveveryone calls God. This shows that your ‘infinite regress’ argument is not so conclusive. There are many arguments against and for the existence of God in the litrature. Nothing has been concretely proven as you claimed. The arguments you have listed in a previous post have their counter arguments. Therefore, there will not be end this debate whether the God exists or not. What we are concerend here, especially ASLT, is that whether the Buddhist concepts of Nirvana, Samasara, rebirth and Karma are similar to the God concept, which is provably unprovable.All these concepts are beyond logic and philosophical inquiry. How do you prove there is something called ‘samsara’ or ‘nirvana’ using any philosophical argument let alone scientific method? What you have so far done is to show us that there are arguments aginst the existence of God. When this fact is questioned by ASLT your answer was that these concepts (samsara, nirvana etc.) have not been disproved yet. Therefore we should accept them as ‘true’. This is lame argument. I think you have heard about the ‘tea pot orbiting around the Sun, Russell’s famous simile against the existence of God. Just because we cannot disporve that there is a Tea Pot orbiting around the Sun do we have to accept it as true?
Priyanjith Perera Yapa, I hope you accept evolution. If evolution is correct consciousness and samsara should have a begining. If not consciousness should have come here from other worlds. If the life was evolved from nothing in those ‘other worlds’ their consciousness should have come from some other world other than the worlds menioned above. This is another form of infinite regress isn’t it? How do you solve this problem?Asathya Sri Longus Thuma Your last two posts show the answer to this question, but the believers on both sides of the divide don’t take that as an answer. Because their founders have not told them about those! Now, what they do is, try to split hairs to prove that their founders have had similar knowledge!
P Senarath Yapa Regarding the first of your last three posts, Priyanjith.
You claim that all of my arguments listed 1-4 have counter arguments. You have cited one for the argument 1, Aquinas’ Argument to counter it. Until I answer it I accept it as a counter argument for that.
Do you have specific counter arguments against the other three? Please state specifically.
Please note that the formula I used to compare religions is ,
“the probability of something cannot bet diproven/has not been disproven is more than the probability of a disproven thing (as untrue).”
Please note that it is unnecessary to compare them, “proven” against “disproven” for the purpose of finding their superiority/inferiority.
Therefore, even if Buddhism is not proven true, it remains superior over disproven religions as Buddhism has not been disproven.
So, the proof of Samasara, rebirth, karma or nirvana as true, is not necessary, and would only make the things of the present discussion unnecessarily complicated.
We will discuss them in a separate forum, probably we might not be able to prove them, but it has no effect on the present discussion. However, If they could be proven true, it would help my stance, but inability to prove will not change the results of the formula.
You also say there are arguments for and against the existence of God. It must have been possible some arguments against the God were countered by some arguments for God, but can you specifically show counter arguments against 2-4 to dispute them?
(I will address the other two posts of yours above too as well.)
Asathya Sri Longus Thuma Does/Did ‘samsara’ have a beginning?
P Senarath Yapa ASLT, Unnecessary/irrelevant questions can cause an argument more complicated if not jeopardize it. I think it is better if we stick to the specific arguments at present alone. Will discuss about the beginning of Samasara in another discussion, so that it would not be an obstacle to this discussion. Please be focused to this topic and and to it alone for the moment.
I think your endeavour is not to make me tired asking all sorts of questions at the same time, so that I will not be able to answer, due to break of my focus. We will be honest in this discussion, and will not use unaccepted methods to support our stances, but will make it a chance to arrive at a good conclusion whether it is favourable for or against either of us.
I also would like to request you to stick alone to the arguments and counter arguments alone and not to go to give your opinions on them as you did in the penultimate post of yours. We will remain debaters until it is finished and will not undertake the role of judges before we finish it.
Asathya Sri Longus Thuma No..no..no..no, Yapa Thumani, this is the only question I asked you so far, in various forms: Did ‘samsara’ have a beginning?P Senarath Yapa I cannot come to that conclusion as well, on the facts/things I have heard about it. What I can surely say is for the time being is “I cannot answer it”. I surely cannot say whether somebody else be able to do so or not.P Senarath Yapa For that too I have no a reasonable answer. Most of the things seems to have a beginning and this fact doesn’t necessarily imply that everything should have a beginning, as per my understanding about logic.P Senarath Yapa It is not something I think, it is a logical conclusion arrived at based on a premise based for the existence of God. Even if I don’t think so, the argument is sound and valid and the conclusion is true, as per the principles of logic.Asathya Sri Longus Thuma Say for a moment, that the universe is ‘intelligently designed’ as some people claim. In that case why do you think its creator should have a beginning? Aren’t intelligent beings travellling along ‘samsara’ which has no beginning?P Senarath Yapa Because, if there should be a creator to create the intelligent design, there should be another creator to create a more intelligent design, that is that creator who created the intelligent design. if that creator was so created as logic points out, that particular creation is the beginning of him and hece it is logically implied that the God must have a beginning.